Navigating Home Buying in Houston

Norhill Realty July 31, 2012

Buying a home in Houston is not like any other place in the country, so be prepared. The truly great homes in Houston don’t last long.

At Norhill Realty, we focus on preparing you to find your dream home and making sure you have the information you need to make the process fun and stress-free.  Our knowledgeable, experienced agents will help you navigate the home buying process from the discovery of your dream home and through closing and beyond.

STEP 1 – FIND A GREAT AGENT

Well, the search is over. You have come to the right place. Norhill Realty has a dedicated team of real estate professionals that are ready to assist you. Our agents know this town street-by-street and they armed with the tools and technology to find a great home and negotiation a great price.  Leverage our Meet the Team page to learn more about our experienced consultants.

STEP 2 – GET PRE-APPROVED

Great homes typically sell very quickly in Houston, and most home sellers will not even consider your offer unless you have documented proof from a reputable lender that pre-approves you for mortgage financing. Getting pre-approved for financing is a really easy process. Find a great lender, answer some quick questions, and send them a few documents. Once you have your pre-approval letter in hand, you will be ready to put an offer on a home in a matter of minutes. Your Norhill agent can assist you in finding a great mortgage lender that can assist you with this process. If you would like us to send you a list of reputable mortgage lenders in Houston, feel free to shoot us an email at [email protected].

STEP 3 – FIND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

It doesn’t take a very long drive through Houston’s Inner Loop before you discover that the neighborhoods in Houston are very unique. For years, Houston has maintained a firm commitment to a no zoning policy. In fact, Houston is the only large city in the United States that does not have zoning. This policy has served this city very well. According to the numbers, Houston’s the #1 city where paychecks stretches the farthest. Although these libertarian leanings make our homes much more affordable, this policy makes it all the more important that you are investing in the right neighborhood and more importantly the right street. Your Norhill agent can assist you with find the neighborhood that is the best fit for you, and more importantly, help you find the most sought after locations within that neighborhood.  Check out our Where to live in Houston series to learn more about our favorite neighborhoods in Houston.

STEP 4 – FIND YOUR PROPERTY

Once you and your agent have narrowed down the neighborhood or neighborhoods that are right for you, you can then begin the process of touring neighborhoods and touring properties. Whether its 3 or 30, we are ready to show you as many properties as it takes to find your home. It may be that you find a home that fits perfectly with your needs from that initial tour. If you don’t, our agents are armed with the technology to help you find great homes as the come on the market so you are ready to pounce a your dream home as soon as you are ready. If you would like to start your search online, visit our property search page.

STEP 5 – MAKE AN OFFER

Your Norhill Realty agent can assist you with putting together an aggressive offer to get the best deal possible your favorite property.  They will walk you through all of the finer points of the contract, such as price, closing costs, closing date, title/closing fees, etc.  Your agent will help you develop an offer with a well thought out negotiation strategy.  After we submit your offer, your Norhill agent will work diligently to make your case to the seller and leverage their professional experience to help you secure a great all around deal on the home of your choice.

After the terms are agreed upon by both parties, the executed contract will be delivered to an agreed upon title company to begin the transfer of ownership.  The contract will also be delivered to your mortgage company so they can begin the process of fully approving your mortgage financing.  Your Norhill agent will help to herd all of these parties as well as the seller along so everyone gets to closing on time and on schedule.

STEP 6 – HOME INSPECTION

Norhill Realty recommends to all of our clients that a detail home inspection be performed in the early stage of the contract.  The home inspection report will look at the condition of the home and its systems.  Your Norhill agent will review this document with you so you have a clear picture of all of the issues that might be covered in this document.  After review of the inspection report, your Norhill agent will help to get questions and concerns outlined in the report remedied by the seller.

STEP 7 – GET TO CLOSING

The Title company will be responsible for facilitating the actual closing. They will act as a disinterested third-party and prepare the final closing statement and disburse funds after all relevant documents have been approved and signed by the buyer, seller, and your mortgage lender.  The mortgage lender (if applicable) will be responsible for delivering all relevant closing documents to the title company after they have received a clear to close from their underwriting department.

Once we arrive at the actual closing table, it will typically take 1 to 3 hours to complete the tranasction.  The buyer and the seller will review and sign all necessary documentation, and the title company will submit  those documents to the mortgage lender for final funding approval.  After funding is approved, Voila, the transaction is closed and the home is yours.

STEP 8 – GET THE KEYS AND MOVE-IN

After funding, the seller or the title company will present you with the keys to your new home and you are free to move-in. Your Norhill agent can assist you with finding a mover as well as helping you coordinate your utility hook-ups.  We will be happy to assist you well after the sell and look forward to long-term relationship.

Join The Conversation