The truth is that the home buying process can be overwhelming at times and a lot of buyers are afraid of making a mistake. That’s why today, I’ve put I’m going to give you my Top 10 West Texas Home Buying Tips.
My 1st tip is for you to identify your Top 3 Must-Haves in a new home. I know this sounds simple, but many home buyers never put in the time to identify what their Top 3 must-haves are. I very much recommend writing these downs to solidify what your must-haves are.
Must Haves can be things like:
· You have a dog and a fenced in back yard is a Must-Have.
· You have 3 children, and a 4-bedroom house is a Must-Have
· You have a restored 1969 Z-28 Camaro, and a 2-car garage is a Must-Have.
By identifying your Must-Haves, it will make the process of sifting through the 100’s of homes for sell in Lubbock and the surrounding areas much easier. This will also help you find the home that will be the best fit for you and your family.
Number 2 is you have to be willing to compromise. Buying a home is not a process of selection, it’s a process of elimination. You’re going to start off with a list of a few hundred homes in Lubbock and you will narrow that list down to the handful of homes that are the best fit for you and your family. The truth is, you’re never going to find a 100% perfect home, but if you find a home that’s 80-85% of what you want, then that’s a win.
Number 3 is to write a personal letter to the seller. It’s amazing how powerful a personal and emotional letter can be to influence the seller to accept your offer. I’ve absolutely seen sellers in a multiple offer situation choose a lower price offer, because a of personal letter that connected them to the buyer. With all of my offers I have my buyers write a short 1-page personal letter with a picture of them and their family. We submit the letter with the offer that we give the seller. Our goal with the letter is to make them personal, so they stir emotional response in the seller. An example of something we might say is, I can envision my children growing up in this house and playing in that beautiful backyard. We also might say, we intend to buy this as our forever home. We’re looking to say things that will emotionally connect us to the seller.
Number 4. Start talking to a mortgage lender as soon as possible. I’ve worked with dozens of home buyers that were very confident that they could get pre-approved when they were ready, only to find out that they have a blemish on their credit report that they weren’t aware of. I’ve also worked with buyers that bought a new car recently, which caused their debt-to-income ratio to not be good enough to qualify for a home loan. I’ve also had customer that qualified for home loans, but their mortgage payment at their target price point ends up being much higher than what they originally expected. This is why it’s very important to start the conversation with a mortgage lender early on and to get pre-approved for a home loan before you start looking at homes you’d like to buy. If you need help choosing a mortgage lender, give me a call at 806-928-4453, and I’ll recommend some excellent lenders I know and trust.
Number 5. Focus on your monthly payment, not the purchase price. Most home buyers have a monthly budget and staying within that budget is what matters most, so don’t get stuck on the total purchase price. There are a lot of factors that go into determining what your monthly mortgage will be, which include:
· Do you have an HOA fee?
· What are the property taxes?
· How much will home insurance be?
· What are the interest rates at the time of purchase? (Note -As interest rates go up, you’re buying power goes down)
Number 6 is 1st identify the area in Lubbock or the surrounding areas that you want to move to, then find the house. In my opinion, the area is just as important as the house. Many of the home buyers that I work with have a picture in their mind of the home they want and aren’t thinking as much about the area that house is located. I think that is backwards and the area that the home is located in, is just as important as the home itself. I recommend that you find the area or neighborhood that you want to live in 1st, then you start to look at houses to eliminate as many of them as possible, leaving you with just the handful of homes that you’re interested in.
Number 7 is to use Google Maps to determine what your commute will be from various locations. Google Maps will show you how long of a commute you will have and what your commute will be at different times of the day. I recommend playing around with this feature and seeing what your actual commute times will be, like at 8 AM on a Monday morning when you’re going to work.
Number 8. Don’t skip your home inspection. A general home inspection in Lubbock will run between $400.00 and $600.00 hundred dollars. However, there are some other additional inspections that I highly recommend.
1. If you have well water, I very much recommend a water quality test.
2. If you have a septic system, you will need a septic system inspection.
3. If you have a basement, I recommend a radon test.
4. If you have a fireplace, I recommend a chimney inspection.
5. Lastly, I always recommend a termite inspection.
Yes, these inspections do add up, but I highly recommend them, because you want to have a safe home and if issues are identified you can request that the seller makes these repairs. I have absolutely seen buyers get 3,000 to 5,000 dollars’ worth of repairs done by the seller, because they invested in getting these types of inspections performed.
Number 9. Don’t low-ball the seller. Buying a home can be a very emotional process, both for the buyers and the sellers. If you offer to far below the home’s listing price, you run the risk of offending the home seller. By putting in a low-ball offer, you’re saying the home that the sellers lived in all of these years and made so many wonderful memories in, is not actually worth what they think. I’ve worked with home sellers in the past that have gotten so offended by a low-ball offer that when those buyers put in a more reasonable offers, the seller wanted nothing to do with them. So, you may not realize it, but there’s a lot of emotion that goes into selling a home. If you do want to get a deal, you need to think about how much you really want the home before deciding to put in a low-ball offer. If you’re set on putting in a lower offer than what the home is listed at, I recommend only 2-4% below the asking price, and no more.
Lastly, Number 10 is to buy a home that you can grow into. One thing that I see often is that home buyers buy a home that fits their family needs today, but they fail to think about what their family will look like 2-4 years. So, if you think there’s a chance that you may have more children, or if there’s a chance you may have a parent in your home someday down the road, then you’ll be better off buying a bigger house. I always recommend buying a bigger home, rather than buying a smaller home that you’re going to grow out of.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I’d love to have a conversation about real estate with you and help you with all of your home buying and home selling needs in Lubbock or the surrounding areas. If you’re looking for homes outside of the area I service, then I can recommend top real estate agents like me, all over the United States.
NOTE - If you’re planning on selling and are in the market for a top agent to make it happen, I would love to help!
We provide real estate services to these West Texas cities - Abernathy, Brownfield, Buffalo Springs, Crosbyton, Denver City, Farwell, Floydada, Idalou, Hale Center, Lamesa, Levelland, Littlefield, Lubbock, Muleshoe, New Deal, New Home, Olton, Plains, Plainview, Post, Ralls, Ransom Canyon, Seagraves, Seminole, Shallowater, Spur, Sudan, Sundown, Tahoka, Tulia and Wolfforth.
We provide real estate services to these counties - Bailey County, Briscoe County, Castro County, Crosby County, Dawson County, Dickens County, Floyd County, Gaines County, Garza County, Hale County, Hockley County, Kent County, Lamb County, Lubbock County, Lynn County, Parmer County, Scurry County, Swisher County, Terry County and Yoakum County.
-Turn the Key to your clean Slate-
Sincerely, Lainie Eilenberger
Lubbock’s Top Realtor
Key and Slate Real Estate Group
Keller Williams Realty