Fort Bend County, TX Real Estate News

By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
As you set out on your homebuying journey, you likely have a plan in place, and you're working on saving for your purchase. But do you know how much you actually need for your down payment?If you think you have to put 20% down, you may have set your goal based on a common misconception. Freddie Mac says:The most damaging down payment myth since it stops the homebuying process before it can start is the belief that 20% is necessary.Unless specified by your loan type or lender, its typically not required to put 20% down. According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn't been over 20% since 2005. It may sound surprising, but today, that number is only 13%. And its even lower for first-time homebuyers, whose m...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Are you one of the many renters thinking about where you'll live the next time your lease is up? Before you decide whether to look for a new house or another apartment, its important to understand the true costs of renting in 2022.As a renter, you should know rents have been rising since 1988 (see graph below):In 2021, rents grew dramatically. According to ApartmentList.com, since January 2021:. . . the national median rent has increased by a staggering 17.8 percent. To put that in context, rent growth from January to November averaged just 2.6 percent in the pre-pandemic years from 2017-2019.That increase in 2021 was far greater than the typical rent increases we've seen in recent years. In other words rents are rising fast. And the 2022 National Housing Forecast from realtor.com proje...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
When mortgage forbearance plans were first announced and the pandemic surged through the country in early 2020, many homeowners were allowed to pause their mortgage payments. Some analysts were concerned that once the forbearance program ended, the housing market would experience a wave of foreclosures like what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago.Here's a look at why that isn't the case.1. There Are Fewer Homeowners in Trouble This TimeAfter the last housing crash, over nine million households lost their homes to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they gave it back to the bank. Many believed millions of homeowners would face the same fate again this time.However, todays data shows that most homeowners exited their forbearance plan either fully caught up on payments or wit...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Shining a Light on LED UpgradesIn these, the darkest days of the year, there’s nothing more important than adequate lighting. Unfortunately, firing up those incandescent bulbs costs money, and the more hours they run, the more they cost. Although change can be hard, today’s LED bulbs are better than ever, mimicking traditional bulbs in almost every way but with significant benefits to homeowners who make the switch.LEDs Are Much Safer in Homes Incandescent bulbs get hot. Sometimes they get very hot, especially when in enclosures like ceiling can fixtures. There are endless stories about recessed lighting catching fire because the wrong wattage bulb was put in by a homeowner in an attempt to brighten their space a little. That 100-watt incandescent bulb generates significantly more heat ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Once you've found your dream home and applied for a mortgage, there are some key things to keep in mind before you close. Its exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating your new place, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, be sure to consult your lender someone who's qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.Here's a list of things you shouldn't do after applying for a mortgage. They're all important to know or simply just good reminders for the process.1. Don't Deposit Cash into Your Bank Accounts Before Speaking with Your Bank or Lender.Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn't easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
As a buyer in a sellers market, sometimes it can feel like you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. When you're ready to make an offer on a home, remember these five easy tips to help you rise above the competition.1. Know Your BudgetKnowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. As Freddie Mac puts it:This pre-approval allows you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious buyer.Showing sellers you're serious can give you a competitive edge, and it helps you act quickly when youve found your perfect home.2. Be Ready To Move FastHomes are selling quickly in todays competitive housing ma...
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By The Legacy Group, The LegacyGroup of CrossCountry Mortgage
(CrossCountry Mortgage)
Special Government Home Renovation Loan Program using FHA 203k Mortgage Loans in Missouri City Texas. Many are not aware of a special government loan program that is actually a part of FHA (Federal Housing Administration- a department within HUD). Existing home owners or potential home buyers can remodel and update their homes without having a higher cost second lien because of this FHA loan program.  "Luxury items" like a hot tub and a swimming pool are not allowed by this FHA loan program. Repaint, remodel cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms, add wallpaper, replace appliances and flooring and even a add a room to an existing structure (which will increase the value of the homes square footage).   One of the biggest advantages to this government loan program is you have all of your acq...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
As we move into 2022, both buyers and sellers are wondering, what's next? Will there be more homes available to buy? Will prices keep climbing? How high will mortgage rates go? For the answer to those questions and more, we turn to the experts. Here's a look at what they say we can expect in 2022. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American:Consensus forecasts put rates at about 3.7% by the end of next year. So, that’s still historically low, but certainly higher than they are today. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com: Affordability will increasingly be a challenge as interest rates and prices rise, but remote work may expand search areas and enable younger buyers to find their first homes sooner than they might have otherwise. And with more than 45 million millennials ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Tips for Painting Over Dark WallsHooboy. You’ve finally bought a house, but the paint is so, so dark. “It’s only paint,” you told yourself as you walked through the place, and repeated at your walkthrough prior to closing. “It’s only paint.” And while it’s true that it’s only paint, and paint can always be painted over, going over dark walls is a much different story than trying to paint over light colored walls. Reds, purples, browns, and dark grays are particularly tricky, though anything with much pigment can pose a significant challenge if you’re not prepared. But don’t worry, we’ve put our best painting tips together to help you conquer your dark wall challenges.Tip #1: Primer Is Not Optional It can be easy to scoff at basic prep work when you’re “just painting,” but as with any pr...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Selling your house is no simple task. And when you sell on your own known as a FSBO (or For Sale by Owner) youre responsible for handling some of the more difficult aspects of the process without the expert guidance you need.The 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys homeowners who recently sold their house on their own and asks what difficulties they faced. Those sellers say some of the biggest headaches are prepping their house for sale, pricing it right, and handling the required paperwork.Working with an agent is the best way to ensure you have an expert on your side to guide you at every turn. Agents have the skills and knowledge that are essential to navigating each step with ease, efficiency, and accuracy. Here are just a f...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
As the threat of winter ice and snow increases, many homeowners start stocking up on deicer and other products to try and keep their walkways safe and clear throughout the winter. Not all deicer products are created equal, however, and some can actually do some harm around the home. Not only can some deicing compounds harm plants around your walkway, but they can even cause some damage to your walkways as well if you aren’t careful.Obviously, damage to your lawn or property isn’t ideal when trying to use a product to keep yourself and your family safe during the winter. With several options available, how do you know which deicer is best for your home? While it may differ based on the composition of specific deicer products, here are some things that you can look for to help choose the ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
To succeed as a buyer in todays market, its important to understand which market trends will have the greatest impact on your home search. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, says there are two factors every buyer should keep their eyes on:Going forward, the conditions buyers face are primarily dependent on two things: mortgage rates and housing supply.Here's a look at each one.Mortgage Rates Projected To Rise in 2022As a buyer, your interest rate directly impacts how much you'll pay on your monthly mortgage when you purchase a home. Rates are beginning to rise, and experts forecast they'll continue going up in 2022 (see graph below):As the graph shows, mortgage rates are expected to climb next year. But they're still low when you compare to where they were just a few years a...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
When you think of homeownership, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are you might focus on the non-financial benefits, like the security or stability a home provides. But what about equity? While it can be overlooked, a homeowners equity helps build long-term wealth over time. Here's a look at what equity is and why it matters.For a homeowner, your equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. So, as home values climb, your equity does too. Thats exactly what's happening today. There aren't enough homes on the market to meet buyer demand, so bidding wars and multiple offers are driving prices up. Thats because people are willing to pay more to buy a home. Right now, this low supply and high demand are giving current homeowners a significant equ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
If you're thinking of buying a home, you're probably wondering what you need to save for your down payment. Is it 20% of the purchase price, or could you put down less? While there are lower down payment programs available that allow qualified buyers to put down as little as 3.5%, its important to understand the many perks that come with a 20% down payment.Here are four reasons why putting 20% down may be a great option if it works within your budget.1. Your Interest Rate May Be LowerA 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender you're more financially stable and not a large credit risk. The more confident your lender is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the mortgage interest rate they'll likely be willing to give you.2. You'll End Up Payin...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
The need for effective pest control is unfortunately all too real for many homeowners. As temperatures start to drop it can become even more vital as many critters begin seeking places to stay warm and dry during the winter. Add in a readily available food supply and your home can start to look awfully appealing to various rodents and creepy crawlers. The problem is only going to get worse as the nights get colder and the outdoors become more inhospitable.Obviously, no one wants to share their home with a bunch of freeloading pests. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help keep your home pest-free throughout the winter months and into the spring. There are also services available to help you evict even the most stubborn of unwanted invaders. Let’s take a look at some of yo...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Its clear that owning a home makes financial sense. But lately, the emotional side of what drives homeownership is becoming increasingly important.No matter the living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether its a familiar scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes can be more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why.1. Owning your home is an accomplishment worth celebratingYouve put in a lot of work to achieve the dream of homeownership, and whether its your first home or your fifth, congratulations are in order for this milestone. Youve earned it.2. There's no place like homeOwning your own home offers not only safety and security but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
From the opportunity to take advantage of todays low mortgage rates to changing homeowner needs, Americans have more motivation than ever to buy a home. According to the experts, buyers are making moves right now, creating an unseasonably strong housing market for this time of year.As we wrap up the fall season and move into the winter months, here's a look at what several industry leaders have to say about the continued momentum in the current market, and what it means as we head into the early part of next year.Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors (NAR)This solid buying is a testament to demand still being relatively high, as it is occurring during a time when inventory is still markedly low. The notable gain in October assures that total existing-home sales...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
The sense of pride you'll feel when you purchase a home cant be overstated. For first-generation homebuyers, that feeling of accomplishment is even greater. Thats because the pride of homeownership for first-generation buyers extends far beyond the homebuyer. AJ Barkley, Head of Neighborhood and Community Lending for Bank of America, says:Achieving this goal can create a sense of pride and accomplishment that resonates both for the buyer and those closest to them, including their parents and future generations.In other words, your dream of homeownership has far-reaching impacts. If you're about to be the first person in your family to buy a home, let that motivate you throughout the process. As you begin your journey, here are three helpful tips to make that dream come true.1. Reach Out...
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By The Legacy Group, The LegacyGroup of CrossCountry Mortgage
(CrossCountry Mortgage)
Special Government Home Renovation Loan Program using Houston Texas FHA 203k Mortgage Loans. Many are not aware of a special government loan program that is actually a part of FHA (Federal Housing Administration- a department within HUD). Existing home owners or potential home buyers can remodel and update their homes without having a higher cost second lien because of this FHA loan program.  "Luxury items" like a hot tub and a swimming pool are not allowed by this FHA loan program. Repaint, remodel cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms, add wallpaper, replace appliances and flooring and even a add a room to an existing structure (which will increase the value of the homes square footage).   One of the biggest advantages to this government loan program is you have all of your acquisition ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
If you're thinking of buying a home in todays housing market, you may be wondering how strong your investment will be. You might be asking yourself: if I buy a home now, will it lose value? Or will it continue to appreciate going forward? The good news is, according to the experts, home prices are not projected to decline. Here's why.With buyers still outweighing sellers, home prices are forecast to continue climbing in 2022, just at a slower or more moderate pace. Why the continued increase? Its the simple law of supply and demand. When there are fewer items on the market than there are buyers, the competition for that item makes prices naturally rise.And while the number of homes for sale today is expected to improve with more sellers getting ready to list their houses this winter, we...
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