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mrharpr, Home Buyer in Houston, TX

Looking to buy my first home in Houston

Asked by mrharpr, Houston, TX Thu Apr 18, 2013

I'm a young woman looking to buy my first home in Houston. My office is in Bellaire and I would like to find something as close to that area as possible. My price range is $150-$160K... ideally I could find a house or townhome with a small yard that has little upkeep. If anyone can suggest a good neighborhood within 15 miles or so of Bellaire to start my search I would appreciate it. Also, I need to be in my home by October first so how soon do I need to get serious about my search? Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:


Good evening mrharpr,

First steps:

Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

*If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
With the market extra "hot" in Houston, if you find a home you really like it will probably be off the market the next day cause someone else will like it also. This is a great time to get everything in order (financing, etc) so that you can be serious when you begin looking. Don't be caught up in the "I can get you closed in 10 days" rhetoric. Things happen, so plan to be under contract by the second week in August. Price range is going to keep you a little limited to being right in Bellaire unless you go into a more "distressed" area, or one that just hasn't quite caught up with development. I can help you find that and have a mortgage license as well. Give me a call or email me:

Arnold Richie, Realtor®
Terry Burnaman Realtors
713-396-2017 281-788-8962
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 29, 2013
Bellaire resident here. Would love to help you purchase your first place! I bring fun and excitement to the table while explaining the process very patiently. Let me know if I can help you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 29, 2013
Hi there!
Townhomes or condominiums are great places to start when buying your first home and it's never to early to begin your search. As a young professional finding an area that suits your needs and lifestyle is very important so your search should begin with looking at what you want your surroundings to be. Ideally, you may want start researching now and find a real estate agent that puts your interest first. If you have any other questions in your search for your new home, please feel free to contact me. Hope your everything goes well!

Yari Pujols
Intero Real Estate Services
(832) 390-4266
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
Timewise, it is never too early to begin working on getting your ducks in a row. I know of some great homes in Westbury and there are many townhomes and some homes in that price range in the Post Oak area. Some sections are better than others for value. You really just need to choose a Realtor to work with (a Buyer generally does not have to pay the Realtor fee). Preferably one that is on this forum
:-) and begin talking. Get your credit score as high as possible by working with a Loan Officer. I am a Realtor with a Mortgage Originator license and would be happy to help. Feel free to contact me.

Arnold Richie, Realtor®
Terry Burnaman Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013

Thank you for posting your question here where so many of us are glad to help you.

I checked out the current availability and found a decent number of Townhome / Condominium type properties that are within 15 miles of Bellaire - I saw a few around the Braeswood area both east and west of 610. Some of them may have a small patio-type space outside whereas others may not. Condominiums also charge monthly fees so you will need to check and make sure that does not take you over the budget. Once you get into really looking you can start screening what you must have.

It would help to know what you are looking for in a home - how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. so a search can be catered to your liking.

Driving around that area is really the best way to make sure that you are comfortable with it and the commute, amenities, etc.

Glad to know that you are working with the a broker. Let me know if you would like to find out more about the transaction process. I'd be happy to help you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
Since you have some time before you need to start looking at houses to purchase by Oct. 1, I would suggest driving around the subdivisions close to your area of work and then the areas as far away from work that you are willing to commute to see which subdivisions/areas interest you. You'll do most of your searching of areas during the weekends, Im sure. So after you find areas that interest you, drive those areas at different times to learn about the neighborhoods and driving commute times. Once you decide on a realtor to assist you (one you feel comfortable with), have that realtor provide you with the price range of those areas to see if any of those areas work within your price range. If so, great. If not, your realtor can provide you with subdivisions within your price range as close to your interested areas as possible, so you can drive around those areas.

It's great that you are already working with a mortgage broker. Your mortgage broker may have spoke to you about different types of loans. Do you know if you qualified for a conventional loan or an FHA loan? The reason I mention this is all houses/properties do not qualify for FHA financing. Most of the homes in Bellaire are older and some will not qualify because of condiion and needed repairs. In your price range, many of the houses may not qualify for FHA. So this is something you will need to discuss with your realtor.

I've assisted many first-time homebuyers and it would be my pleasure if you allowed me to assist you. Buying a home is a process taking one step at a time, and I help my buyers each step of the way providing them information and knowledge, so they can make educated decisions in one of the biggest (if not the biggest) asset in their lives.

If I can answer more of your questions or assist you further, please give me a call, text or email me. Wishing you the best!

Sharon Fritsche, Realtor
Principal - Broker
Step By Step Real Estate, LLC
(713) 303-8160
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
I specialize and enjoy assisting first-time home-buyers and guiding them through what can sometimes be a confusing process.

I would be glad to meet with you and explain how I can help you with your home search. I am very familiar with Bellaire and surrounding areas and I think I can find just what you are looking for. I can discuss the timeline during our meeting.

Contact me anytime if you have any questions. Also, let me know when you are available to meet so I can get a better idea of how to exceed your expectations. A thirty minute meeting will clarify many of your questions.

Warmest regards,
Melissa Mims
Licensed Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
I'd get serious in July...get something under contract by August...give the lender September to process your loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
As long-time Realtors, we have always been forthright with our clients ... we don't know any other way to do business. In your situation, $160k isn't going to buy you much of a home in the vicinity surrounding Bellaire. We've lived and worked in the area for close to forty years, know the market as well as anyone, and better than most. Inventory is at a near-record low, and prices are escalating ... supply and demand, nothing more. Anything that is available will need some work. Most properties in the vicinity have fairly large outdoor spaces, so you'd be limiting yourself to townhomes if your wish is to have as small a yard as possible.

The summer is the height of "selling season" ... and while there may be more properties available, the number of buyers will also increase. I would begin looking in July ... figure three months to find a home, negotiate the terms of sale and process the paperwork.

I would very much like to speak with you, so that we may discuss your options ... yes, you do have some. Please get in touch, so that we may explore them in detail. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards ...

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
I am currently working with a mortgage broker and was able to get pre-approved back in Janurary of this year. Right now I'm working on increasing my credit score so that I can hopefully get a lower intrest rate by the time I find a home in the next few months.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
Now is a great time to get started. Have you been pre-approved? I reside in the Bellaire area. I am renting, but thinking of purchasing at fairly the same price range. Let me know how I can help.

Joe Cano - Realtor/Locator
(281) 785-5132
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013

I live and work in that area and would love to talk more about what your needs are. Feel free to contact me and we can go over our next steps.

Feel free to search my site for homes!

Talk Soon,

Kevin Sechelski
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
You will need to get pre approved for financing. If you're shopping for a home loan, please check us out!

Anna Maria Durr, NMLS 266699
Codemark Financial
2626 Richmond Ave., Houston, Texas 77098
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
Hey there!! I would love to help you find a house. I live and work in the area and I can help you through the whole process! Contact me and I will get a list sent to you immediately!! I would start looking a homes July 15, but I can at least send you a list so you can see what you get for your price range! I hope to hear from you soon!

Diane Schrakamp
Total Real Estate Service
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
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