Question: What is title insurance? Why do I need it? Answer: Before you close on a new home, the title company does a title search that includes examining the deed, tax records and survey. The point is to make sure that there are no existing liens or restrictions on the property you want to buy.
Question: Does it make any difference whether we close on our new house before or after January 1? Answer: If this new home will be your primary residence, then, yes, it does make a difference. If you own your house as of January 1, you will qualify for the homestead exemption. What does that mean?
Question: We’re considering selling our home ourselves without using a real estate agent. Is that legal? Answer: Yes, it’s perfectly legal to sell your own home. But there are many reasons why you are better off using a professional. Sellers who choose to sell their home on their own – the industry term for “for
Question: What is an option fee? How is it different from earnest money? Answer: Earnest money is an amount agreed on in your home-purchase contract that you pay soon after the contract is signed by all parties. It is typically about one percent of the agreed-upon price, although it can be more if you want
Last year we began a new feature on our blog called Ask the Agents. It’s proven to be one of the most popular features on the website. Here is the current batch of questions – most of them from our clients – and answers. Question: What does “short sale” mean? Answer: When the net proceeds
Question: Our kids are grown and have moved away, and we no longer have any use for our backyard pool. We’d prefer to stop paying for its upkeep and get rid of it altogether. Do people do that? Answer: Yes, they do. But just filling the pool with a couple dump-truck loads of dirt is
Question: I understand the concept of curb appeal, but I don’t want to spend the money to have my house entirely repainted. What else can I do to make it look good? Answer: You know what they say about getting just one chance to make a first impression, right? Curb appeal is very important. It’s
Question: We’re thinking of adding a swimming pool to our backyard. Will that add to or detract from its appeal when we sell the house? Answer: It depends on the market. If half or more of the homes in the neighborhood have a pool, then it’s a positive thing. And for buyers with teenagers, a
Question: Our house needs to be painted before we put it on the market. What wall colors do homebuyers like most? Answer: It pains us to say so – because we personally love strong and bold colors – but neutrals are usually best when a home is put on the market. Neutral colors allow buyers
Question: We are looking at an older home in The Heights. The owner has a survey, but it’s more than 20 years old. Do we need to spend money on a new survey before closing? Answer: Yes. In Texas, buyers should always pay to have a new survey of their own made, especially in neighborhoods