Monthly Archives: May 2016

What a Buyer Should Expect During the Closing.

The last step in the home buying process is commonly referred to as the closing. The close of escrow is when all steps—from acceptance, title search, inspection, mortgage approval, and so on— come together in a final transaction. Documents are ready to sign, the buyer is ready to hand over the purchase price and the seller is ready to transfer title. And most importantly, the keys!

signing_contract

It usually takes about an hour and may be attended by some or all of the parties involved: buyer, seller, real estate sales professional, attorney and title company representative. The buyer reviews and signs the loan and real estate documents and pays for the property, closing and other costs.

Assuming that the funds are in order, the deed is correct and the title is clear, the final step is the disbursement of funds to the seller. The title company should have the funds in its possession, but the buyer needs to bring a cashier’s or certified check for the down payment and the closing costs if it was not included in the mortgage loan. If the buyer’s annual real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance will be paid through the lender, an escrow account will also be established.

Once all the papers are signed and funds are disbursed, the buyer receives the keys and is now a homeowner.

Terra Colinas is a beautiful new home community in Bee Cave, TX.  It is conveniently located off Hwy 71, just a few miles away from the Hill Country Galleria.  Upon completion, this neighborhood will have about 150 homes along with a community center and pool.

Terra Colinas currently has three home builders with prices to meet everyone’s needs.  Grand Haven Homes and David Weekley Homes are building houses on 50′ lots with prices starting in the low 300’s.

Terra Colinas - www.askshan.com

Even the smallest floor plans are smartly designed to give every room an open spacious feel. Both builders offer some of the lowest prices for new homes in this area!

Terra Colinas - www.askshan.com

If you are looking for more space, M/I Homes is building on 70′ lots.  Prices start in the upper 400’s to mid 500’s.  When you tour the model home, you will see that it is loaded with high-quality finishing touches, many of which are standard.  This means that buyers do not need to spend an extraordinary amount of money in the design center.  The basic floor plans come well-equipped!

Terra Colinas, M/I Homes - www.askshan.com

Another unique feature of the Terra Colinas community is its abundance of full grown trees, which are rare in new construction areas.  Also, this community has natural gas instead of community propane tanks.  This will mean a great deal of savings each month on gas bills, especially when gasoline prices are high!  If you haven’t had a chance to tour Terra Colinas, you should definitely stop by each model home and see what the builders have to offer.

Ask me for a personal tour below.


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West Cypress Hills is a master planned community off Hwy 71 that has the best of both worlds!  Families can enjoy secluded hill country views on greenbelt lots, while having the convenience of nearby shopping and restaurants.  After touring this community, it is obvious why so many families with young children choose to call this place home.  Here are the top 5 reasons to move to West Cypress Hills:

  1. Nature!  This community spans over hundreds of acres, much of which will remain undeveloped.  The houses do not appear overcrowded, but instead your eye focuses on the beautiful oak trees and rolling hills.  Almost 90% of the homes adjoin a greenbelt area in the backyard!
    Nature at West Cypress Hills
  2. Great values!  West Cypress Hills features homes from Highland Homes and Milestone Community Builders.  Prices start in the low 300’s, which makes this community one of the more affordable in the area.  The homes have beautiful features inside and out.  Just take a look at these rooms!
    West Cypress Hills - Homes
  3. Award winning schools!  Young children can safely walk or ride bikes to West Cypress Hills elementary, which is located within the community.  It is newly built and part of the award-winning Lake Travis ISD.
    West Cypress Hills Elementary
  4. Amenities!  Families can enjoy the community center with a swimming pool, pavilion, soccer fields and playground area.  There are also plenty of hike and bike trails throughout the neighborhood.
  5. Location!  Although the neighborhood feels like it is out in the countryside, it is only about 10 minutes from the shopping area at the Hill Country Galleria.
    West Cypress Hills - Builders

If you would like a personal tour of homes in West Cypress Hills, please contact me in the form below.

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If you are considering buying a home, you might wonder whether or not you should buy an existing home or consider new home construction.  Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

New or Used
Advantages of Existing Homes 

  • Seeing the finished product.  With an existing home, you know exactly what you are getting.  You can actually experience the home and see the size of the rooms and quality of construction, unlike buying a new home where you might just be looking at a drawing of a floor plan.
  • Well-developed neighborhoods.  When purchasing an older home, you can easily research the history of the area to see how well the homes have maintained their value. You can also explore the surrounding businesses, schools, parks, and other amenities to see if they are what you like.
  • Mature trees and landscaping.  There is nothing like beautiful oak trees in your yard!
    Highland_Park,_Texas
  • Uniqueness and character.  Older homes can have more unique characteristics that give them charm.  You can also choose homes in central areas, closer to downtown.

Disadvantages of Existing Homes

  • Possibility of repairs. Depending on how well the home was maintained, you might need to do a considerable amount of repairs or updates.  Be sure to budget for updates that you want, such as new carpeting or new appliances.  Will you be able to afford these after closing?
  • Less energy efficient.  Older homes are usually less energy efficient, which could could mean larger utility bills each month.
  • Outdated floor plans.  An older home might lack some features that modern homes include, such as a multi-car garage or walk in closets.  Although you might be able to do some remodeling, altering the floor plan can be extremely expensive.  Make sure you can live with the space you purchase.

Tip:  Before buying any existing home, always get an inspection to make sure that there are no hidden problems, such as a leaky roof, termites, or structural damage.

Advantages of New Construction Homes

  • Designing your own space.  Do you want a media room or an large covered patio? Not only can you pick your floor plan, you can also choose your flooring, wall color, tiles, brick, stone, cabinets, etc.  The home you design will have everything you like – no remodeling necessary.
    kitchens
  • Energy savings.  New homes come with more energy-efficient materials that reduce your utility bills each month.  Look for builders that are Energy Star certified.
  • Less maintenance.  With a brand new home and appliances, you shouldn’t have to do any major repairs for a long time.  New homes also come with a warranty, which can give you peace of mind.  Check with each builder to make sure you understand what is covered and for how long.
  • It’s new!  There’s just something satisfying about owning a brand new space that has never been used by anyone else!

Disadvantages of New Construction Homes

  • Unsure of the future community.  If a new community has just started being built, you might risk not knowing what the area will look like when finished. Always make sure you ask what else will be built in the surrounding area, and also research the builder to make sure that they have plenty of good reviews from customers.  Possibly tour another community designed by the same builder to see if you are happy with the overall look and quality.
  • The “cookie cutter” look.  In some new home communities, the houses look very similar.  If this bothers you, look for master-planned communities in which there are multiple builders and a variety of home styles.
  • Undeveloped trees and landscaping.  Those skinny trees will be amazing… in about 10 years.  It’s rare to find new homes with well-developed landscaping, and if there are mature trees on a lot, they will cost you extra.
    IMG_2659
  • Less room to negotiate price.  Builders have a small profit margin on homes, so you will rarely negotiate the sales price of a floor plan, unlike existing homes in which the owner might have considerable equity and be willing to bargain.  Most builders will offer some incentives towards design options or closing costs rather than lowering the price of the home.
  • Location.  Typically new home communities are on the outskirts of town, which can mean a longer commute depending on where you work.

Tip:  You have a better chance of getting a discount on a new home when a neighborhood is close to being complete.  Builders are often eager to close out the remaining inventory homes.  If a neighborhood is near completion, you also have a much better idea of the overall look and feel of the area.

Whether or not a home will appreciate over time really depends on its location. Both existing homes and new homes can be good investments if they are in the right area.  It’s up to you to decide which type of home appeals to you more.

Are you considering buying this summer?  Ask me for help below!  I’d love to discuss your goals.

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I recently had the pleasure of touring Vistancia, a new community located off Hamilton Pool Rd. featuring homes by Ashton Woods and Vintage Estates Home.  Every home is built on a one acre lot, giving homeowners a beautiful living space and a lot of privacy.  From the outside, the Ashton Woods model home is attractive, but you haven’t seen anything until you step inside.  It has a surprisingly modern twist with stunning details.

Vistancia model home, Austin, TX - www.askshan.com #askshan #Vistancia

One of the things that makes this home stand out is its modern design elements, such as this floating staircase.Modern floating staircase. www.askshan.com #askshan #vistancia

Every room has high-end luxury details, but the base prices for floor plans only start in the upper-400’s.

Modern kitchen - www.askshan.com #askshan #vistancia

The master suite features an award-winning and highly-photographed luxury spa retreat.
spa

The house is designed for entertaining guests both inside and out.  The backyard patio and swimming pool are a hill country oasis!

entertainment spaces - www.askshan.com #askshan #vistancia

Buyers also have the option to add a casita to their home, which is a rare feature in new homes.  This small living space adds tremendous resale value!  It features a living area with kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom.  This is ideal for anyone who has an elderly relative, an adult son or daughter living at home, or out-of-town relatives who need a space when visiting.  It can also be used as a home office or studio where clients can visit without entering your private home.Casita - www.askshan.com #askshan

If you are looking to upgrade your current home, I highly recommend you tour Vistancia! Please call me at 512-897-4349 or email me below for a personal guided tour.

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