This area of the site has a dedicated Knowledge Base of information about “the process of buying a home.” You may be a first-time buyer, or an experienced home buyer wanting up-to-date information on current market conditions.

Maybe you’re just gathering research for a friend or for your own purchase later on; whatever the reason, we welcome you to use this resource as often as you need to.

Our Knowledge Base Includes:

Homebuying 101 – For The First Time Homebuyer

Buying a home can be a confusing process, especially if you are a first time homebuyer. There are many things to consider. We want to provide you with the knowledge and resources that will help you make an informed decision. The links below will help guide you through important steps of the entire home buying process.

After you take a look at the questions below, note the articles on the left. These articles of the site that have very specific information about some of the things we mention in the buying process. The information is a valuable resource in helping you become familiar with the buying process.

Why should I buy?

A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you’ll enjoy having something that’s all yours – a home where your own personal style will tell the world
who you are.

Should I use an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent?

Using a traditional Realtor is a good idea, but using an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent is better. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. As an experienced Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, I can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. I am well-acquainted with all the important things you’ll want to know about a neighborhood you may be considering…the quality of schools, the safety of the neighborhood, traffic volume, and more. We will help you figure the price range you can afford and search multiple listing services for homes you’ll want to see. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re put on the market, we can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it’s time to make an offer on a home, I can point out ways to structure your purchase to save you money. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And there is no cost to you! Our fee is paid by the home seller – not you, the buyer.

Initial Interview With Buyer’s Agent

The initial interview with you will come at your request. Our hope is that you will contact us right now and discuss your expectations. We will be glad to help you learn more about the process of buying a home in Dallas and the surrounding suburbs. You will gain valuable market knowledge, information on home prices and available financing, and an overall understanding of the homebuying process. Our trained professionals will discuss financing, formulating an offer, negotiations and closing. This is all based on your wants, needs and financial.

Prequalification and Financing

The best way to determine how much house you can afford is to pre-qualify with a lender. Pre-qualifying will help you narrow your search to houses you can afford and will give you more negotiating power with the seller. You will also get an idea of what your monthly mortgage payments will be.

Many lenders allow customers the option of paying “points” in exchange for a lower interest rate on the loan. What are points? A point is a fee the lender charges equal to one percent of the loan amount. For example, one point on a $100,000 loan would be $1,000. Points are included in the mortgage fees and paid at closing. Down payments can also help you reduce your monthly mortgage payment and the amount you pay in interest. You’ll need to determine the amount of money you want to put towards your downpayment.

One key benefit to home ownership is that you may be able to deduct your mortgage interest and property taxes at tax time. Consult your tax advisor for details.

What if I have bad credit?

The first thing you should do is contact us. We can help to identify all options available to you under special circumstances. In addition, we have worked with a number of mortgage companies and can direct you to ones that can assist you.

Applying for a Mortgage

You can finance a home with a loan from a bank, a credit union, a private mortgage company, or various state government lenders. Shopping for a loan is like shopping for any other large purchase: you can save money if you take some time to look around for the best loan programs. Interest rates and loan fees vary among lenders. A lower interest rate can make a big difference in how much home you can afford. Talk with several lenders before you decide.

Buyer’s Resource is here to help you find the best mortgage company. Our experience and the contacts we’ve made in the industry will ensure you have the best options from which to choose. Some of the things we will discuss in determining the right mortgage for you are:

  • Buyer Qualifications
  • Buyer’s Closing Costs
  • Alternate Financing Plans
  • ARM vs. FRM
  • Mortgage Comparison
  • Mortgage Accelerator

The Home Search

Once you have been pre-qualified, the next step is to determine in which neighborhoods you are interested. What features in a home are important to you? Wood floors, granite countertops, a game room, a pool? We will set up a search in the Multiple Listing Service based on your criteria. We will email to you the information sheets for you to peruse at your convenience.

Once you decide which homes you’d like to see, we will verify the locations, ensuring the home doesn’t back to commercial property or busy streets. We’ll schedule appointments and take you to see the properties. This will give us a better understanding of what is important to you and your family.

Once you find a potential home, we will gather as much information as we can – how long has the property been listed, how motivated is the seller, how does the home price compare to recent neighborhood sales, along with many other questions. We know you are looking for answers and together we can find them. Buyer’s Resource is here for you. We will show you as many houses as you want to see…to make sure we find the perfect home for you.

Making an Offer

When we find a home you love, it’s time to discuss making an offer. We will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis to determine the listing and sales prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood. We will assist you in deciding what price to offer and we’ll prepare the purchase contract. A real estate contract is a contract for the purchase/sale, exchange, or other conveyance of real estate between parties. One of three things will occur – the seller will accept the offer; the seller will reject the offer, or; the seller will counter with a different price and/or different contract terms. Our extensive experience gives us the knowledge to provide to you sound advice during these negotiations. Our goal is to get you the best home for the best price.

Once the contract is agreed upon and fully executed, a copy will be delivered to the title company with your earnest money check. Earnest money is a deposit held in escrow at the title company as a sign of your good faith. It is given as a credit at closing. You will also deliver an option fee check to the Seller. This is nominal fee paid to the Seller for the option to terminate the contract during a specified time period. During that time period, we will have the home inspected by a licensed Real Estate Inspector. The inspector will examine the condition of the home and provide a written report. For additional information on inspectors, go to the “Appraisals and Inspections” page under “Homebuyers FAQ.” Together we will review the report and decide what, if any, repairs you would like for the Seller to complete. Again, the Seller can accept the requested repairs, negotiate for changes to the list or refuse to perform any of them. If we are able to successfully negotiate the repairs, we will have a binding contract after the expiration of the option period.

Let Buyer’s Resource step in beside you and together we can evaluate your best position of strength in the purchase of this beautiful home.

Loan Approval

With a valid contract in place, your mortgage company can begin working on your final loan approval. You will need to provide a number of items to them. A few examples are:

  1. social security numbers for both your and your spouse, if both are applying for the loan;
  2. copies of your checking and savings account statements for the past 6 months;
  3. evidence of any other assets like bonds or stocks;
  4. a recent paycheck stub detailing your earnings;
  5. a list of all credit card accounts and the approximate monthly amounts owed on each;
  6. a list of account numbers and balances due on outstanding loans, such as car loans;
  7. copies of your last 2 years’ income tax statements; and
  8. the name and address of someone who can verify your employment.

Depending on your lender, you may be asked for other information.

Title Company – Search and Insurance

While your lender is working on final loan approval, the title company is researching the deed records for the home. They will verify the ownership, current loan information and determine if there are any other liens (a security interest on a property to secure payment of a debt). Examples of liens are Federal Tax Liens for non-payment of federal taxes by the homeowner or Mechanics’ Liens for non-payment for work completed for the homeowner. It is the title company’s job to ensure that all of these encumbrances are cleared prior to closing or paid at closing. The title company will also determine what restrictions apply to the property. You will be given a copy of the “Title Commitment” which is a written report of the title search.

At closing, the Seller typically purchases title insurance for the Buyers and the Buyer purchases title insurance for the mortgage company. Other types of insurance (health, life, etc.) insure the subject from the date of coverage forward. Title insurance guarantees clear title to the property from the date of closing back in time.

The Closing

The closing is the final step of the real estate process. An appointment at the title company is made on or before the agreed upon closing date. Prior this appointment, you will receive a copy of the Settlement Statement. This is a summary of all fees and charges related to the closing. This document will indicate the amount you’ll need to bring to closing. Funds must be in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer.

At your closing, you’ll meet with your agent and a closing agent, or escrow officer. He or she will have the loan papers and other documents for you to review and sign. While the escrow officer will give you a basic explanation of each paper, we can give you more detailed information, if you desire. You may also want to take the time to read each one to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing. After all, this is a large amount of money you’re committing to pay for a lot of years! Your lender should be able to provide copies of these documents prior to closing for your review. Don’t hesitate to ask questions during closing.

Typically, the Seller signs documents after the Buyer. Once everyone has signed papers, the title company contacts the lender for loan approval and funding authorization. This could take 30 minutes or several hours. Once the loan has funded, the title company is responsible for filing the appropriate documents, including the deed, with the county clerk’s office and returning the loan documents to your lender. And, most importantly, you will receive the keys to your new home!

Where can I view a list of the current tax rates?

You can view the current tax rates by clicking here.