Tag: buying a home

If you are looking for a luxury home with a Hill Country view, be sure to visit the model home of Vintage Estate Homes. This custom builder is currently designing homes on one-acre lots in West Cypress Hills in Spicewood, and Vistancia in Dripping Springs.  The model is located between those communities in Spicewood at 5200 Evidence Cove. There are only a handful of lots available in each community, so don’t miss this opportunity to work with one of the finest custom builders in town!

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Vintage Estates Homes offers buyers a variety of floor plans ranging from 2694 sq.ft to 4241 sq.ft.  Each floor plan is completely customizable to meet your needs and vision.  Current base prices range from about $450,000 to $585,000.  That means you can have a beautifully upgraded home as low as the mid-500’s!
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One of the great features of this builder is the customer service!  The company has a very small, close-knit team in Austin who develop a personal relationship with each individual client.   One sales counselor will support buyers through the entire building process, holding their hand (so to speak) so that the process isn’t overwhelming, but enjoyable. The goal of Vintage Estates Homes is to involve clients as much as possible in the design process so that the home is what the clients envision.  They also hold high standards for themselves to build it right the first time!IMG_7894

Designing a custom home can be an exciting project, and Vintage Estates Homes desires to make it as stress-free and fulfilling as possible.  If you would like to view the model home or explore West Cypress Hills & Vistancia, just ask me for a tour!

If you are searching for an amazing deal on a home in Sweetwater, then don’t miss the Perry Homes model located in the Stonecreek neighborhood.  Perry Homes is a Houston-based company who has been in business for 49 years and who won Builder of the Year award recently in 2015.  In Sweetwater, Perry Homes offers smaller sized houses ranging from 1653 sq. ft. to 3190 sq. ft. Current prices start at $336,900 and go to up $436,900.

Although the floor plans are smaller than other homes in Sweetwater, they are smartly designed to make the best use of space.  Single story homes come standard with high ceilings and oversized windows to allow more natural light into the rooms.  It is surprising how spacious the rooms feel!

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The baseline floor plans also include many high-end features that other builders typically consider “upgrades.”  For example, French doors are standard on an office, mud set tile is standard in the shower, and beautiful wood tile floors are one of many standard flooring options.

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The entire model home only has about $25,000 in upgrades!  This means that as a buyer, you can expect to spend less than 10% at the design center to have a beautifully upgraded home!

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If you haven’t stopped by Perry Homes in Sweetwater, ask me for a tour! Click here to search for available homes within Sweetwater.

Most home buyers are aware that they need to make a down payment on a home.  However, first time home buyers might be confused about paying earnest money towards a home. Earnest money is paid to the title company when a purchase contract is signed by all parties. This demonstrates that the buyers are serious about the transaction and are backing it up with cash.

Without this, buyers could simply make offers on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until they choose a favorite. Sellers rarely accept offers without earnest money.

There is no set amount for an earnest money deposit, so it’s negotiable. However, in the Austin area, typically it is 1% of the sales price of the home.  Assuming the buyer actually purchases the home, the earnest money goes toward the buyer’s down payment and closing costs. However, a buyer can lose earnest money through default, which happens when he or she does not perform according to the terms stipulated in a purchase and sale agreement.

Work carefully with your agent to ensure a clear understanding of all terms and obligations so that you do not lose your earnest money!

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!

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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.

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.

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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!
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

ASK SHANNON

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