Home Buyer Advantage: HOME WARRANTY

As many people venture out from renting to owning, the one thing that stops them from crossing the line is the maintenance of it all. In this video, I sit and talk to Erin Timmers from First American Home Warranty about the buyer’s home warranty.  Did you know a home warranty plan can help protect your budget on the cost of owning a home? Learn the scoop by clicking play.

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7 Truths about Buying a Home

In today’s time, everyone knows everything about real estate besides the Realtor. My cousin bought a home 4 years and this is what he said. My aunt said I needed this. My Pastor said I should do this. 

It’s okay to have solicited advice HOWEVER the best advice would come from a professional in that field. I have many conversations daily with others about real estate. There are some that are inquisitive and some that just tell you what it is which is rarely the truth. 

Here’s the truth for people looking to buy a home. 

1. You Need 20% Down to Purchase a Home

There are several different loan programs out there. You have some that require 3% down. You have some that require 0% down. Every loan product varies and it is based on your financial picture. I repeat. It’s based on your financial picture. Yours may vary from your cousin and you co-worker no matter if you make the same salary. 

2. You Need Thousands of Dollars Saved

I always get asked well how much do I need to save? It depends on what type of loan product you’re using. There is no such thing as free money but there are down payment assistance programs that helps people with the down payment. You’ll need some money because there are upfront costs like your earnest money (which can range between 1-3% of the OFFER price not the sale price), inspections, option fees, and appraisals. Those things alone can be a few thousands DEPENDING on the price of the home. The good news is the earnest money (deposit on the home) and option fee (paid to seller to do your due diligence on the home) is applied towards your down payment. That means less meaning to bring to the closing table. 

3. You need a credit score of 700 and Up

Credit means the world when it comes to purchasing a home. It isn’t just the score that you should worry about. It’s also the debt that is generating the score. You can qualify for a home loan with some lenders with a MIDDLE credit score of 580. What do I mean by middle? Let’s break it down. You have 3 scores from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Mortgage lenders look at all 3. They take out the highest, they take out the lowest. The middle number is your credit score for the mortgage purpose. Example: TransUnion Score – 715; Equifax – 700; Experian – 728. Your credit score for this purpose is 715. For some it may make more sense to save to pay off debt than anything. 

The higher the score, the better the loan and the interest rate that is available. Guess what? Rates are still low despite the fact that they’ve increased since the Presidential election. 

Back to where I said the things that are generating your score is more important than the actual number. Your debt to income ratio plays the most factor on what you can afford. Depending on the type of loan you have, the lender has certain ratios to play with to determine what you can afford. Example: Let’s say you qualified for a FHA loan and you have a ratio that’s up to 55%. The 55% ratio is calculated on your monthly income BEFORE taxes. This ratio is would include how much house you can afford because it would include your debt, mortgage payment, and/or HOA. 

Monthly Income: $4000

DTI: $2200 (Most you can have to spend on debt and your mortgage payment)


  • Credit Cards  (Monthly Minimum Payment Here): $250
  • Student Loan: $400/month
  • Car Payment: $209/month
  • Negative Collections: Any items reported negative takes a 5% debt towards you. Let’s say you have 5 negative items. The total of your negative items at 5% of their balances is $345. 

Next you’ll subtract DTI – Debt. In this example, the total debt is $1204. That’s $2200 – $1204. That’s leaves a house payment for you at $996. Is that realistic to purchase a home? Maybe. A $996 payment is approximately a $100,000 home. It may be an $80K condo once you add in HOA dues. That’s all based on a FHA loan with 3.5% put down. As for this scenario, that’s $3,500 for a Down payment. 

4. You Want to Own Where You Rent

That may be feasible but have you contacted a lender to see what you can afford? That’s one of the first steps is knowing what you can afford. The lender will provide an estimate on what you’ll need to close on a home. The smartest thing is to research what homes cost where you live. The rule of thumb is to calculate 2.5-3 times your annual salary to determine how much you can afford but your lender can give an accurate number that includes your debt. 

4. You’re Only Saving for a Down Payment

There are more costs for purchasing a home than the down payment. You’ll need funds for closing costs as well. The closing costs include title fees, property taxes, lender fees, and HOA fees. 

5. You Need to Be Prepared for the Cost of a Home

Now this part is where the advice comes in handy. You won’t be able to call a maintenance man but if you purchase a home warranty, it will help you save on the cost of certain expenses. I’ve had clients use them when the water heater stopped working and when the air no longer blew on the second floor of the home. Buying a home is a forced savings. You don’t stop saving because you purchased a home because anything can happen. The cost of owning a home is most likely cheaper with a home built within the previous 10 years because homes are built to be more energy efficient. There’s a builder I visited a few weeks ago and the cost to heat and cool a 3000+ home was $156. 

6. You Can Only Save for Your Down Payment 

There are SO MANY resources to fund your downpayment. You may be surprised when you can find the money to purchase your home with. If you’re open to living in Little Elm, Aubrey, Prosper, or anywhere north of 380, you could qualify for a USDA LOAN which requires no money down. Learn your options before thinking there is none. Here’s 9 Ways to Fund Your Down Payment. 

7. Drea’s Two Cents

Talk to a real estate professional. I’m open to consultations for your personal situation. Be open. Yes, you may love renting in Frisco but your buying power may be Little Elm/Aubrey. Look for resale opportunities in your home purchase. The market may not always be a seller’s market. You want a home that can resale in any market. Areas are developing and redeveloping ALL THE TIME. If your area seems like nothing now, wait 5 years. I’m currently in The Colony. I lived in the area in 2011-2012 when I was in grad school and it was a forest and dead. There was no need to stop. Look at what’s happened in 5 short years. Development is happening years before you actually see it. The longer you wait, the more the prices increase. It’s okay. There are other areas to explore. 

Moral of the story: Know your options. Everyone’s buying experience is different. You may be closer to being a homeowner than you think. 

P.S. Everyone’s first home is the end all be all home. A starter home could be just that. A start to homeownership with a 2000 square foot home. 

To schedule a consultation, contact me at 972-813-9788. 

The Connection between Homeownership and Your Coins

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.22% per year on average and to grow by 17.3% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.
So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?
As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.4% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained $11,000 in equity in just one year.
Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $43,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.
Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today! Comment below to have a list of my preferred lenders sent to you.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Searching for a Dallas Home? Focus on your 5 Must-have. 

When it comes to searching for your Dallas area home, knowing your five must haves will be important in your home search. Why? It helps you narrow down what is most important to you.
I view it based on these things: Your price range, what city has more homes in your price range, and what type of homes are available. That’s the due diligence of the buyer when it comes to research. Your top 5 must haves help you stay clear on what it is important to you. There is no such thing as a perfect home. The top five helps narrow down on what you are looking for. The top 3 are deal breakers and the bottom two are nice to haves. If a home has 3 of the 5, we are in winning mode, 4 of the 5 and we are moving near the finish line, 5 of the 5 and we hit the jackpot.

Do most buyers hit the jackpot? Not all the time unless the have the money to build their home. Even if the buyer builds, it would depend on what floorplan is available and what’s within their budget. Your must haves are still a factor there as well.

How do you narrow your 5 must haves? One important factor is to eliminate cosmetic things from must haves. What’s cosmetic? Cosmetic things are the need for having hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, light colored walls, and the list goes on. These are things that can be done over a weekend in a few hours. You can change out appliances, you can replace flooring, you can paint walls.

Here’s what my top 5 would consist of:

1.1500 square foot or more

2.Split Floorplan (Master bedroom separated from the other bedrooms)

3. Foyer Entrance/Hallway Entrance

4. Countertop and cabinet space in kitchen

5. Spacious backyard space to fit a minimum of 5 people outside at the same time. In other words, a yard big enough for a playset for my future children.

It is important to focus on your resale. The average homeowner stays in a home for 5-7 years before selling. Your home is an investment. It needs to function for you and your family and be able to become a sellable product when it’s time for you to move on with your life.

So tell me, what are your 5 must haves?

New Communities in Dallas Suburbs


As a Realtor, I love finding new communities in Dallas suburbs before information is released publicly. It helps my clients beat the rush and get in on pre-sale prices. Now some communities may have an advertisement or two but not all model homes have been built in the community. Recently, I had a relocation buyer looking to build a home in the suburbs. She saw a community but wasn’t quite sure of it. We both went to visit it and discovered the three builders in the community.

From there, I went on to find more information and which builder fit her price range. We not only found one that did her price range but one that had their upgrades as standard options for her. We had pre-sale prices and even after she built the home out the way she wanted, we still didn’t reach her max budget. Can we say SCORE?!

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see that I absolutely love new construction. It is my thing for my clients. I like resale as well but I understand that some clients like the thrill of new. I understand. It is like the difference between new car sales and used car sales. The used car sales are great for your budget and timing. The new car sales come with a sticker price. It is somewhat equivalent to it. I love to help clients build their “perfect” home for now. I placed “perfect” in quotations because there is no such thing as a perfect home.

Below are a few communities that I have found while out on the search as well as some from my builder relationships. If you are interested in any of these communities, contact me. Seriously, I always get the question of whether you need an agent purchasing new construction. YES! The sales representative represents the builder. Who is representing you? It’s free representation for you so why not have someone represent you. Agents can help you negotiate the deal, understand what will help you in the resale process (if you are building), and explore your options. You don’t want to get caught up in the beauty of the model homes. Yes, they are staged well and you will be ready to hand over your whole checking account but an agent can help you weigh the pros and cons. So if you are interested in buying a built home in a community or building one, contact me to walk you through it.

Lakewood Hills – “New Carrollton” as they as describing it but it’s basically the Lewisville area outside of Castle Hills on Josey Lane and 121 Toll. As of now, I know Pulte Homes and Beazer Homes will be in this community.

Willow Wood – Located in McKinney. Builders in this community consist of First Texas Homes, Chesmar Homes, and Bloomfield Homes.

Winn Ridge – Dirt hasn’t even been built up yet for this community but it is coming soon. The only builder I can find so far is Centex Homes. Pre-sales start in summer 2017!

Windhaven Crossing – Townhome communty by DR Horton and Megatel Homes Pricing has yet to be revealed.

Melton Ridge – Located in the Stonebridge Ranch community in McKinney. New homes are being built by American Legend and Shaddock Homes.

Hollyhock Frisco

Merion at Midtown – Dallas

There will be more updates as I receive them about new communities in North Texas. To sign up to receive more information, head to my website at NewAvenueRealty.com.

Find out where I head on Wednesday with my #WOWWednesday posts.