Category Archives: Home Buying

Home buying tips and secrets

The Deal About Zillow

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 12.06.30 PM      As millions turn to Zillow to begin their home shopping experience please know the conflict it can cause you when buying, or selling your home. The website is an automated property value estimate that is calculated from public  and user submitted data which is computed 3 times per week. Three times per week?! Public and user submitted data is not information you can get from your local Real Estate Agent, or Appraiser who inspect the subject properties, know the current market conditions, location and special features of a home.

Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff admits to their “median error rate” in home pricing. At the bottom of Zillow’s home page you will find a Zestimate tab where you can read more about their accuracy in your market area.Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 12.07.04 PM

Catchy word that has implied meaning, Zestimate is as it sounds, an estimate of a home’s value. Rascoff also admits that these Zestimates have an error rate of 8%-26%. Houston, we have a problem! In fact, we have such a large real estate market that on Zillow’s accuracy table, Houston doesn’t even score on error rate.

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I do give Rascoff credit though, he does advise that Zestimates are no more than a starting point in pricing discussions with the real authorities, your local Real Estate Agents and Appraisers.

Admittedly I have used Zillow from time to time for a quick property search, but always question the “freshness” of the information. When you are wanting reliable information on homes for sale, you can find it on                      Unlike Zillow that updates their information 3 times per week, HAR updates accurately every 15 minutes!

For quality results in buying, or selling your home find the experts. Invest in contacting your local agent who has access to true market information and will get your needs met.


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Filed under Home Buying, Home Trends, Neighborhood News

There’s more than you might think to buying a new construction.

Exciting as it may seem, buying a new construction home is an emotional roller coaster! Expect highs and lows in your decision making process, building time and procedures. Above all expect your Builder to get it right!

Read Blake Miller’s post on 6 Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a New-Construction Home on Trulia’s Blog.

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Filed under Home Buying, New Construction, New to Houston

New to the Market! 11202 Endicott Ln.

Lovely Westbury home, 3/2 corner lot. Very spacious bedrooms, closets, kitchen and living rooms. A detached 2 car garage, plush landscaping, new roof and survived all past Houston flooding! This home is high and dry, never flooded. Well priced! Make it your own.

New on the Market 11202 Endicott Ln.

Formal Living and Dining rooms


11202 Endicott Ln.-18 (1)

Spacious kitchen has a breakfast nook.


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Filed under Home Buying, Just LISTED, New on the Market, Westbury

Houston Market Up for August 2011!

I think we can all sit back and relax, things are looking better for our housing market! Rates are still historically low, not since the 50’s have they been this low.

Take advantage and start looking for your new home.

Listen to today’s HAR report on the Houston Housing Market.

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Filed under Home Buying, Houston Real Estate Outlook, Neighborhood News, Uncategorized

Step 8: Get Insurance

Step 8: Get Insurance

10 Steps to Home Ownership

 No one would drive a car without insurance, so it figures that no homeowner should be without insurance.

 The essential idea behind various forms of real estate insurance is to protect owners in the event of catastrophe. If something goes wrong, insurance can be the bargain of a lifetime.

What kind and how much?
There are various forms of insurance associated with home ownership, including these major types:

Title insurance: Purchased with a one-time fee at closing, title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. Coverage includes “lenders” policies, which protect buyers up to the mortgage value of the property, and “owners” coverage, which protects owners up to the purchase price. In other words, “owners” coverage protects both the mortgage amount and the value of the down payment.

Homeowners’ insurance: Homeowner’s insurance provides fire, theft and liability coverage. Homeowners’ policies are required by lenders and often cover a surprising number of items, including in some cases such property as wedding rings, furniture and home office equipment.

Flood insurance: Generally required in high-risk flood-prone areas, this insurance is issued by the federal government and provides as much as $250,000 in coverage for a single-family home plus $100,000 for contents. Local REALTORS® can explain which locations require such coverage.

Home warranties: With new homes, buyers want assurance that if something goes wrong after completion the builder will be there to make repairs. But what if the builder refuses to do the work or goes out of business?

Home warranties bought from third parties by home builders are generally designed to provide several forms of protection: workmanship for the first year, mechanical problems such as plumbing and wiring for the first two years, and structural defects for up to 10 years.

Home warranties for existing homes are typically one-year service agreements purchased by sellers. In the event of a covered defect or breakdown, the warranty firm will step in and make the repair or cover its cost.

Insurance policies and warranties have limitations and individual programs have different levels of coverage, deductibles and costs. For details, speak with REALTORS®, insurance brokers and home builders.

Where to look.
REALTORS® often provide home insurance and such policies are also available from insurance brokers.


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7 Reasons To Own A Home

      Rates are moving upward, the time is NOW to buy your home.

      Watch this 3 minute video brought to you by AHS (American Home Shield) and listen to the  7  top reasons to own your own home!

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Filed under Home Buying, Houston Real Estate Outlook, Neighborhood News, Tax Savings

Step 5, Choosing The Right Home

Step 5: Choose a Home

10 Steps to Home Ownership

There’s no doubt that choosing a home is a big decision and you want to do it right.

As a buyer, here’s what actually happens. A home has been placed on the market for which the seller has established an asking price as well as other terms. In effect, this is an offer. At this point, you have three choices: accept the seller’s offer and create a contract; reject it and not make an offer; or suggest different terms and make a counter-offer. If you choose this last option, the seller may accept, reject or make a counter-offer.

No aspect of the home buying process is more complex, personal or variable than bargaining between buyers and sellers. This is the point where the value of an experienced REALTOR® is clearly evident because he or she knows the community, has seen numerous homes for sale, knows local values and has spent years negotiating realty transactions.

Is it THE house?
A house is shelter, but a home is far more. It’s where you live, relax, entertain friends, raise families, and work. A home is where you spend much of your life, and so choosing a house is an enormous decision.

How do you know if a house is THE one? Probably the best approach is to look at as many homes as possible, something made easy by, where you can quickly and easily view huge numbers of homes, check prices, take video tours and view extensive neighborhood information. Once your choices have been narrowed, you can then contact a local REALTOR® to find specific information and options.

Can you really afford it?
Remember Step 2 – the pre-approval process? Getting pre-approved means you have a very good idea of how much you can borrow, what loan programs will most likely work best in your situation and how much home you can afford.

How reliable is a pre-approval? While pre-approval is not a loan commitment, it’s still necessary for lenders to check such items as appraisals and the latest credit reports. Despite fluctuating interest rates, pre-approval nonetheless provides a reasoned, careful analysis of what you can afford. After all, loan officers are routinely paid only when loans are originated. It doesn’t make much sense for loan officers to suggest high loan limits that later can’t be delivered.

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