Enjoy a variety of terms and information included in my blog.
Learn from my vast experience of home selling here in Houston which includes the sale of residential homes, condo's, and investment property.
Earnest money (An initial deposit indicating your interest in buying a home), a down payment and closing costs that usually cover various fees the lender charges. Other costs to consider are your home inspection, insurance, homeowners association dues, taxes and moving costs. Got questions....call (832) 341-6444 or email me a email@example.com
Any shopping can be done at www.har.com/harrietvital
Don’t be fooled by websites that claim to offer a free estimate for the value of your home.
Such sites often use incorrect or outdated data to calculate their estimates, and their results can range from marginally believable to outrageous fiction.
The single most reliable source for an estimated sale price on your home is a REALTOR®.
REALTORS® have personally studied and sold homes that are comparable to yours in square footage, lot size, age, and amenities.
REALTORS® are the only professionals who have access to accurate “Sold Data” from the Houston Association of REALTORS® MLS (Multiple Listing Service),
and know the exact sales figures on area homes.
They have a first-hand feel for the market in any specific neighborhood, because they are helping their clients and customers buy and sell Houston homes every day.
Feel free to ontact me if you are interested in a
Comparative Market Analysis to find out what your home is valued at in today’s real estate market.
If it’s actual data you’re after, contact a REALTOR®
I’m happy to help!
Are You Automatically Approved For The Loan When You Get Pre-qualified?
No. Pre-qualification simply means that a lender has reviewed the preliminary information you have provided, including your monthly or annual income. Based on this preliminary information, the lender will pre-qualify you for a certain amount. The lender is not yet in receipt of written documentation supporting your claims. You will only qualify and be approved for the loan, when you actually apply and submit all necessary documentation and a credit check proves you are worthy of being approved for the loan or multiple loans.
Often when a property is sold for a highly discounted price or in case of foreclosure properties offered for sale by a banking institution, the term Sold-As-Is is used to indicate the seller shall have no obligation to make repairs to the property and the buyer purchases the property at his/her own risk. Even if the purchaser agrees to buy the property in “as is” condition, the buyer should request the right to conduct an inspection prior to closing, in order to ascertain the nature and extent of any structural or other damage. Should an inspection reveal the property to be in a state of decay beyond repair, the buyer must retain the right to terminate the contract and be refunded the Earnest Money.
Understanding how appraisals work will help you achieve a quick and
profitable refinance or sale.
1. An appraisal isn’t an exact science
When appraisers evaluate a home’s value, they’re giving their best opinion
based on how the home’s features stack up against those of similar homes
recently sold nearby. One appraiser may factor in a recent sale, but another may
consider that sale too long ago, or the home too different, or too far away to
be a fair comparison. The result can be differences in the values two separate
appraisers set for your home.
2. Appraisals have different purposes
An appraisal being used to figure out how much to insure your home for or
to determine your property taxes may rely on other factors and arrive at
different values. For example, though an appraisal for a home loan evaluates
today’s market value, an appraisal for insurance purposes calculates what it
would cost to rebuild your home at today’s building material and labor rates,
which can result in two different numbers.
Appraisals are also different
from CMAs, or competitive market analyses. In a CMA, a real estate agent relies
on market expertise to estimate how much your home will sell for in a specific
time period. The price your home will sell for in 30 days may be different than
the price your home will sell for in 120 days. Because real estate agents don’t
follow the rules appraisers do, there can be variations between CMAs and
appraisals on the same home.
3. An appraisal is a snapshot
Home prices shift, and appraised values will shift with those market
changes. Your home may be appraised at $150,000 today, but in two months when
you refinance or list it for sale, the appraised value could be lower or higher
depending on how your market has performed.
4. Appraisals don’t factor in your personal issues
You may have a reason you must sell immediately, such as a job loss or
transfer, which can affect the amount of money you’ll accept to complete the
transaction in your time frame. An appraisal doesn’t consider those personal
5. You can ask for a second opinion
If your home appraisal comes back at a value you believe is too low, you
can request that a second appraisal be performed by a different appraiser. You,
or potential buyers, if they’ve requested the appraisal, will have to pay for
the second appraisal. But it may be worth it to keep the sale from collapsing
from a faulty appraisal. On the other hand, the appraisal may be accurate, and
it may be a sign that you need to adjust your pricing or the size of the loan
The primary reason for foundation problems is the
highly expansive nature of the clay soil on which the building rests. The clay
expands or contracts as its moisture content changes with the weather.
Depending on the area, the amount of contraction or shrinkage ranges from
minimal to upwards of 65% of the total wet volume. The average amount of
shrinkage that can be expected in this region is approximately 35%, with wide
variation depending on the location. For example, a sample of water-saturated
clay will shrink up to an average of 35% when dried completely. This shrinkage
accounts for the large cracks that form in the soil after an extended dry
period. The more expansive the clay, the larger the cracks.
OF PLANTS ON FOUNDATION PERFORMANCE
Because of the highly expansive nature of the
soil, trees and other large plants can significantly contribute to differential
settlement of a foundation. The roots of trees and large plants consume the
moisture from the soil, causing the soil to shrink much faster than other soil
areas exposed to the weather. The soil where the moisture is lost more rapidly
will sink lower than the surrounding soil, causing evidences and consequences
of differential settlement in building structures. Research studies indicate
that a tree should be at least as far away from a building as the mature height
of the tree to minimize the effect of drying caused by the tree.
OF WET SPOTS AT THE SIDE OF A FOUNDATION
Wet spots caused by dripping faucets, leaking
drains, air conditioning condensate drains, leaking water pipes, etc., can
cause differential settlement at the location where the soil has been kept wet.
The foundation may sink into the soil at a wet area while the soil dries and
shrinks at other locations because the drying soil allows the foundation to
move downward and overload the wet area.
OF POOR DRAINAGE AT THE PERIMETER OF A FOUNDATION
Water standing or running alongside a foundation
after rains may cause differential settlement of a foundation. If soil grading
is such that water runs alongside a foundation during rains, the water will run
under the edge of the foundation and carry away soil supporting the foundation.
The effect is much more pronounced if the soil was very dry prior to the
beginning of the rain. In addition, if water is allowed to stand alongside a
foundation, it will flow below the foundation and dissolve the clay supporting
the foundation, carrying it into the cracks that develop in the yard outside
the foundation area during extended dry periods. This problem is more severe if
the soil in the general area has been very dry, but is less severe if the soil
has been maintained moist.
An owner can significantly reduce the rate of
differential settlement by observing the following recommendations:
1.Try to maintain constant
moisture content in the soil around the foundation. Water the soil evenly and
around the entire foundation during extended dry periods. This should prevent a
gap from opening between the soil and foundation edge. However, if a gap does
appear, water frequently (at least daily) around the entire foundation during
extended dry periods (6 to 7 days in the summer). Do not apply water
directly into the gap. Instead, water 1 to 2 feet away from the foundation
edge. Some homeowners choose to install a fully automated foundation watering
system to eliminate the need to remember to water. It is best to add water
about three times per day to insure that the applied water has time to soak
into the soil.
2.Cut and cap the roots of any
large trees growing closer to the foundation than the mature height of the
trees. The roots from a large tree or several medium size trees can consume
more water from the soil than can be added with a watering system. This will
limit the consumption of water from the soil below the foundation and may
prevent excessive differential settlement and cracks in the structure. It is
recommended that a professional tree expert be used to prevent damage to the
trees When a tree grows too close to a building to allow cutting and capping of
the roots, it is advisable to remove the tree or make special provision for
watering the soil below the foundation.
3.Properly grade the soil by
filling in low spots and leveling off high spots adjacent to the foundation so
that the surface of the soil slopes gradually away from the building. A
recommended slope is 1 inch per foot for a distance of 3 to 4 feet from the
4.Control roof water runoff and
help prevent soil erosion by using a gutter and downspout system. This is
especially important if a building has no eaves which overhang the walls or if
the eaves are less than 1 foot wide.
5.Water trees and shrubs
growing near a building during extended dry periods as they cause shrinking of
the soil due to their high water consumption. Keep in mind that moderate to
large trees consume 50 to 75 gallons of water from the soil every day.
Please Remember: the intent of foundation maintenance is to maintain a constant moisture
content in the soil around and below the entire foundation and to prevent soil
erosion that can result from water flowing off the roof or other large flat
surfaces near the building.
This includes (But not limited to) your first mortgage
payment, property tax payments, legal fees, appraisal fees, and your mortgage
Your mortgage professional will provide you with a written
good faith estimate of closing costs within three days of completing your
mortgage application.They will be happy
to explain anything that is unclear to you at that time.
A Municipal Utility District (MUD) is a political entity created
under Texas State law, specifically, Chapter 54 of the Texas Water Code. Since most of Houston's subdivisions are in an
unincorporated part of the county they typically get their water through MUD
districts. A MUD is limited to providing water, sewage, drainage and a few
other services within the MUD boundaries. There are over 1500 MUD districts in
the state of Texas.
How does a MUD work?
The Board of Directors is publicly elected and they control all
the affairs of the MUD. The MUD is subject to the Texas Commission of Environmental
Quality. As a public servant the board establishes policies in the interest of
its constituents. A MUD may adopt and enforce all charges, fees and taxes to
provide the district facilities and services.
How will you be taxed?
MUD tax rates vary according to property values and debt
requirements. MUD rates generally decline as the MUD area is built out. MUD
rates differ greatly. They may be as low as .25 per 100 house value and as high
as $2.00 per 100 house value. Typically the newer subdivisions have a little
higher MUD tax as they have not had the time to build out. As the subdivision
gets more established the tax starts coming down.
Is there any way around being in a MUD?
You could buy out in the country and be on your own well and
septic. Another option would be to buy in a country subdivision that has
community water and then have your own septic. However then you have to deal
with well and septic issues. Sometimes community water fee's are higher than
the water charge in a MUD but the good news is there is no MUD tax with this
option. The other option is to buy in a town but then you have an extra city
hope this helped with your understanding of a MUD. Take care!
Once every 12 months, you are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three national consumer reporting agencies. These reports show whether you pay your bills on time, have filed for bankruptcy and even whether you have been sued or arrested. Credit reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com, the only site approved by the federal free credit report program. Don't use imposter sites hoping to cash in on unsuspecting consumers.