HOMEBUYER F.A.Q

You want to buy a home, HOWEVER, you don’t know where to start? I’ve highlighted some of the frequently asked questions that I get and made videos for them. 

Buyer F.A.Q Videos

View videos here: BUYER F.A.Qs

Have your own personal question that I didn’t highlight on the Buyer F.A.Q playlist? Chat with me via text/call/email at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com. 

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)

Debt: 

  • 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?

[SUNDAY FUNDAY] Brunchin’ on a Bus

Brunchin on Bus was a very new concept for me. In fact, when I saw it as the event for a Facebook group that I am, I didn’t hesitate to purchase my ticket to join. It was my first time joining the group and this event was worth it.

 

The whole theme is having a brunch prepared on the bus with dining and all. We brunched on my favorites such as shrimp and grits and even had jerked salmon salad. The one meal that I thoroughly enjoyed was the quiche with chorizo and ground turkey.

Brown sugar topped along fruit parfait.
Entree Meal

The bus journey around Dallas and we even got the scenic view at White Rock Lake in Dallas. Overall this experience was a great one. I’d definitely do it again with a group.

Arts, Beats, and Lyrics Recap

In my spare time I love to enjoy friends and eat. I don’t get much spare time because I am constantly working but this particular Friday night, I was ready for it.

I had a friend who was supposed to accompany me but I ended up being solo. The first thought of that made me feel like I should stay home but this event was right up my alley and I could not NOT attend. I was ready for a solo night in Dallas.

This was the Jack Daniels’ “Arts, Beats, and Lyrics” event. This is basically all of my favorite things mixed into one. When I got there, I ran into my friend, Blythe which made the solo dolo event worth it. I wasn’t alone after all.

I didn’t do much networking this night as I had planned to have a chill day and really immerse myself with my culture and take a much appreciated “night off”

Unlock Your Opportunity | #NewAveRealty 2016

Can you believe that we are near the end of 2016? This year is really over in a less than 48 hours. I am one who is excited about 2017. 2016 was a great year, ready to rock 2017! Thanks to all who were apart of 2016!

 

 

Visit our Website: Unlock Your Opportunity in 2017

[Sunday Funday] Dallas Mavericks and Mexican Food

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I love to share my places in Dallas a lot. I like to eat despite my palate being small and I like to adventure to places.

One of my favorite places to go is the American Airlines Center. This includes Mavericks games, concerts, comedy shows, etc. I like the whole feel of the arena and this Sunday, I was able to participate in a Dallas Mavericks game.

Sidebar: I love that you can get all the professional sports in Dallas. You can watch a major baseball league game with the Texas Rangers, professional hockey with the Dallas Stars, NFL games with “America’s Team” aka the Cowboys, and NBA games with the Mavericks. You simply cannot beat the sports entertainment here in Dallas.

A few months ago, I held a contest privately for previous clients. The winner was able to choose one of a few prizes and we’d celebrate from there. My winners were Chauntel and Bendita who purchased a condo last year in Dallas. They preferred a Mavericks game which was a nice choice since I wanted to get a game in this season. As soon as our schedules matched (more so theirs because their travel game is years ahead of mine), we decided on the Mavericks versus the Kings game. The schedule changed from a night game to a daytime one so Bendita could no longer attend. My friend Blythe happily took her place.

You can grab really great seats for the low at a Mavericks game. I have been really surprised on the price of tickets that I score. Earlier in the year, I scored Mavs and Thunder playoff tickets in the 100 section for less than $150. Last night, the tickets were behind the goal for $45 each. Can we say winning?

After the game, we ventured to Campuzano in Oak Lawn. The reason being this:

I don’t know the name of this drink but we selected this restaurant based on Yelp pictures of it. It was this drink and the shrimp nachos that won us over. Let’s just say that it won’t be our last time going to Campuzano.

Our day started at 3:15 and we spent over 5 hours just enjoying the day DESPITE the 60 degree weather drop in Dallas. I forgot yesterday was Sunday and expected to take a rest day today. 

 

Champagne-A-Rita
Shrimp nachos
I wanted brunch food but at 6pm, is it even called brunch? Nachos will do.

 

What’s your favorite Sunday Funday activity in Dallas?