General Area in Houston>Question Details

Relocating, Home Buyer in Houston, TX

Relocating from Chicago Suburbs, need to know how to go about...

Asked by Relocating, Houston, TX Sun May 5, 2013

Hi, My family and I are looking to relocate to the area North of Houston this Summer.
We have a trip planned for Memorial day weekend to come down and see as many properties and neighborhoods as possible, and maybe even make an offer on a house! But we have never been down there before and we are hoping to see a different neighborhood a day, we will stay from Thursday till Monday morning.
We are mostly interested in The Woodlands, Tomball, Sugar Land, Katy, and maybe others, we are trying to work it down to our favorites.
We have done extensive searches online, know our budget and mostly what we need in our new home, but not knowing the area we need an agent that will be ready to work with us on this.
It is a HUGE cost just to fly down there, not to mention the hotels and car rental, meals and more, so we need to make it worth it.
My question is, do you recommend or even think that we find one agent willing to help us with this, or do we need to find an agent per general area?

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

21
You will want to work with only ONE agent and make him/her your Buyer's agent. That way he/she can represent you. Any of us are very proficient on knowing the different areas of Houston. I note that you first say you want to relocate to the North area, but then list Sugar Land (southwest) and Katy (west) areas. Good idea to narrow your search as there is a lot to see in each area. Homes in Houston are going quickly and if you see something you really like, chances are someone else is seeing it as well. Make sure you have your financing lined up so that you can make an offer if you want to. Many contracts require a pre-approval if you are going to get a loan.

I can assist you as a Realtor® for over 30 years (and native Houstonian) as well as holding a Mortgage Originator License. I hope to hear from you.

Arnold Richie, Realtor®
Terry Burnaman Realtors
http://www.yournewhomehouston.com
arnold@yournewhomehouston.com
713-396-2017
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Hi, if you need a local mortgage broker to work with to get pre approved for financing, please check us out. I also work with Ramonica, who answered below!


Anna Maria Durr, NMLS 266699
Codemark Financial
2626 Richmond Ave., Houston, Texas 77098
281-592-0667, anna@codemarkfinancial.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
You need to find a new and young and super energetic agent for this exhausting quest ! The younger the better . I would be shocked and amazed if you found a 20 year vetran to join you on this quest
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
You're first step is to get pre-approved by a lender. Contact an agent in the area you want to relocate and they will send you properties that are for sale and match your criteria. You can browse though the listings and choose the ones you want to view during your trip. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 10, 2014
log on to zillow.com and try forrent.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 10, 2014
I would suggest NO. Our office works with hundreds of relocating families every year and we are very accustom to showing a wide area to get buyers familiar with different areas of the city. This also allows the Realtor to really learn about your needs and understand the little details.

We have assisted many BP buyers coming in from Naperville and their wants and needs varied greatly. Some wanted master planned communities, others wanted inner-city town home type properties and finally some wanted that "Texas" ranch with some land.

Of course the Realtor would need to know a lot more about your needs. Many other factors might include where future employment might be located, the price range of a home, the type of home, are schools a factor, how long will you be living in the home, and more.

Some Realtors will only work in one area of the city. I would suggest having a very experience agent that shows a wide variety of areas and can give you the pros/cons about each area. Let us know if we can assist you.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Absolutely, the combination of the global navigator and my knowledge of closing hundreds of homes all over the Greater Houston area allows us to schedule many showings in day. The real trick is the timeline in making the appointments. Knowledge of driving conditions and roads is a must. There is only a one hour window in the scheduled appointment time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Month of March had 31 days on market median in Clear Creek ISD with minimum days on market 0 - put in MLS and same day status changed to pending equals 0 days on market. Homes were selling at 97.5% of list price on median level and up to 109% on maximum level. Anything over list price equates to bidding war or buyer needing help with closing costs so they bump the sales price up. Not going to get less than list price with closing costs too. And with all things being equal if a seller has two offers at one time one where sales price needs to be bumped up for closing costs and the other buyer not needing closing costs then the seller will always go with the buyer who needs to closing costs - because when you bump up the sales price to include buyers closing costs you are jeopardizing that the home may not appraise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
One thing I guess we left out the houston market is on fire now and it may not offer the option of sleeping on it, we are in some area selling homes in 8 hours it is very important to me and my team that you select one agent since we all work very hard and have the keys to all the on market properties in Texas it would be unfair if we are selected to show you Katy and we gather all the required info to assist you but you decide on Sugarland with the agent that show you Sugarland will I'm 100% sure that the Katy agent wouldn't have mind showing you that city as well . We would mostly break the search up over 2 days saving the 3 day to do revisits since it is the holiday weekend it may be a challenge getting in some properties on Sunday and Monday.



Broker@mpirealestategroup.com
8325417744
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
First I would like to say welcome to Houston I also made the move from the Great Lakes area Michigan, Your best action would be to select one agent or team that will be willing to help you over this holiday weekend. My team is designed to help families relocating into our area. I fill my team could be help u since I have personally made the move and know the things that local agents are likely to miss when giving you information on area and help you with your actual move.




Cedric McGrew Broker/Owner
MPI Real Estate Group
Broker@mpirealestategrouup.com
832-541-7744
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Relocating:

I grew up North of Chicago in Gurnee, IL and still have family there. I can tell you the market is and home styles are completely different here in the Houston area.

I think once you determine what priorities you have, ie. schools, shopping, business, travel. A good realtor can help you narrow down your search area. You may be surprised by what is available at affordable prices compared to your current situation.

If you would like to talk about your options, or just have some questions, Call me. 832-267-4647.

Good Luck,

STEVE K
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
A good agent will know all these areas. As to knowing the SPECIFICS of each area, most agents will know the highlights, which will do a good job for you. If you want an agent who will be willing to give you maximum time and explain each area to you, you should try and find ONE agent who will be ready and able to take you around, provide general information, maps and so forth to give you information relating to the overall view of Houston metroplex and where things are in relation to each other. If you select an agent for each area, that will generally eat up a bit of your time, switching from place to place, because these areas, although GEOGRAPHICALLY, not far apart, they are, TIMEWISE, very far apart. So you probably should try and find ONE agent who will take you to all these areas and explain the differences between the areas, the pros and cons as well as the shopping differences, etc.
I know it's expensive to come here, and to BEST maximize your visit, probably best to find one agent who you believe will serve you the whole time you're here. I have done that with many clients and although it will be very tiring for you, it will help you get a feel for what feels BEST for your family. Long days but you will be glad you did that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
thank you very much for your honest reply. :) Much appreciated.
I don't think we will be going ALL over the place, but like you said, a good agent can talk to us now, ahead of time, and we can plan out the best areas to meet our needs.
Flag Sun May 5, 2013
"This is a super loaded question /statement/wish list. First of all is the buyer aware of the difference between - a Geographical area - versus a planned community which is also full of subdivisions - and or a subdivision which is not in a planned community? Perhaps the buyer does not really need to see this much geography. Where will the buyer be working? What's the longest the buyer would want to commute? can the buyer afford commuting on the toll road at $1.25 per axel per section? buyer has not stated if they own a home or if they need to sell before they buy. Buyer has said nothing about schools and if schools are important. Buyer has said nothing about price range either. All of this information is necessary...... And buyer better be physically fit to conduct that safari. To me this does not really sound like a buyer. This sounds like a looker......."

I just posted a ton of the answers below your comment.
I am glad I am posted on here to avoid you as my realtor honestly, as you feel the same apparently about my family and I of 'LOOKERS'
Sounds very bitter to me...

Anyways, I didn't give a whole life history in my question, I didn't think I will applying for anything, just asking a question.

I was looking for an answer to what would be best, and if one realtor would be out there to help us. Glad I got the answer that one is not you obviously.

Physically fit? axle cost, omg, really? Please I am sorry, I just feel really off put by your response and bitterness. That is okay, I think my family and I who don't need to sell our home, are pre-approved and obviously very serious BUYERS to be putting ourselves in this position in the first place will find someone, with the opposite views and judgements that you just posted here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
This is a super loaded question /statement/wish list. First of all is the buyer aware of the difference between - a Geographical area - versus a planned community which is also full of subdivisions - and or a subdivision which is not in a planned community? Perhaps the buyer does not really need to see this much geography. Where will the buyer be working? What's the longest the buyer would want to commute? can the buyer afford commuting on the toll road at $1.25 per axel per section? buyer has not stated if they own a home or if they need to sell before they buy. Buyer has said nothing about schools and if schools are important. Buyer has said nothing about price range either. All of this information is necessary...... And buyer better be physically fit to conduct that safari. To me this does not really sound like a buyer. This sounds like a looker.......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Debbie -

Relocating to a place you are not familiar with can be overwhelming. You cannot expect a buyer to know where they want to be or what they will or won't like about a location.

We are here to guide them considering their vision of what "home" should be. We are here to ask questions and get an idea of who they are, what their lifestyle is like, what they envision for their children, etc.. By those few questions we can learn so much from a homebuyer.

I enjoy each opportunity given to help a buyer find a home. If it takes a day or a month of showings... knowing that they find the place they will hang stockings, tell bedtime stories, cozy up in front of a movie, do homework, bake cookies, grow, learn, live.. make memories... it's all worth every second - or long enduring hour drive from one community to the next.

That's my 2 cents.
Flag Mon May 6, 2013
Hi,
I am looking for ONE realtor, I was just worried maybe there is no ONE realtor willing to take this task on.
We do not want a "new' home, just our "next" home :)
I am sorry, I am a little off on the geography, but I don't mind what area so much, I am self employed, so there is no job travel involved.

I have been preapproved, so no worries on that.
It is important to us the schools for our two girls and I like to be close to shopping, etc. Walking trails, and family activities, that is why I feel I would need to see the different areas as well.

Thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
The areas you selected just happen to have some of the best school districts in the Greater Houston area.....i.e. Katy & Cyfair are great examples. In terms of walking trails and family activities you can also find this in any area that you have selected as they all have master planned communities within the general area. Personally I think the Cy Fair area will be your best bet considering that the area is growing rather quickly and it offers more family activities with variety. Again, I'd be happy to assist you in identifying the pros and cons of each area and narrowing your search based upon that. And of course if you want visit homes in all areas...we can certainly do that.

Ramonica Caldwell, 832-293-5385, http://www.har.com/ramonicacaldwell, ramonicasellshomes@gmail.com
Flag Sun May 5, 2013
A good Realtor in Houston area will know ALL these areas and have done deals in all of them. It's not a difficult thing, but it will wear you guys out. I know once you see each area, you will have a good idea of which one FEELS right for your family. Each one is very different......shopping and schools are all very different. But you did good homework. All these areas are great areas and would be good for RESALE, which is what a good buyer's agent should be guiding you toward. "Next" home is correct.....very few people stay in ONE home for a long time. So any of these areas would situate you where you wouldn't go horribly wrong with a purchase decision. :o)
Flag Sun May 5, 2013
It's not that big of a task - once it's determined what you're looking for the rest is a piece of cake. It may take a few days to handle all areas but it's not unheard of and I have done this for many clients.

Do me a favor and provide a list of your must haves, budget, bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, sqft, updates, etc and email me at dejaland@live.com

:)
Flag Sun May 5, 2013
Hello,

I agree this is a huge step and lot of time and effort that you will have to dedicate to the relocating process.

You initially mentioned that you want to relocate to the North of Houston, but also mentioned Katy and Sugar Land which are not in the north area. What are your highest priorities? Do you need to be closer to your job location, do you have specific schools in mind, and do you have any particular specifications regarding the home and the area in which you will be purchasing? I also want to inquire if you mean a brand new home when you said 'our new home', or if that was just to mean the one you will be purchasing next. In certain areas we are seeing a relatively low inventory of homes, which is not to say you cannot build them, however, it needs to meet your time line.

I recommend working with one agent - most of my peers will agree that if we are dedicating our time and efforts to work with you, we would expect the same dedication and committment from you as well.

If you have specific questions you would like addressed, please call or email me at the contacts below. Thank you for your post on Trulia and we will be happy to help.

Persis
persis.realtor@gmail.com
713-294-7747
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Lol - Debbie - I agree entirely! That's what I'm here for :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Take that ball and run with it. I know I used to. Just can't muster up that kind of enthusiasium anymore for a somewhat unknown quest.
Flag Sun May 5, 2013
Hello Relocating,

In Houston we have a very organized real estate site http://www.har.com , which you will find to be the most accurate place to locate agents, properties, and gain information on our market. A great feature of har.com is the feedback our clients provide regarding their experience with us as their agent. If an agent opts to allow feedback to be shown they must give each client an opportunity to submit feedback - therefor they can't hide a deal that went south due to agent incompetence unless they completely opt out of allowing their feedback to be public. FYI - to see feedback go to har.com and then to "find a realtor". You can then view agents by company, location, etc. Another good research tool - facebook, twitter, linkedin, google, etc. :)

I highly recommend getting a feel for any agent you are considering. Email, text, call - whichever you do best, and make sure your personalities mesh. Communication and work ethic are extremely important as well. Since you have a bit of time to interview - test agents out by contacting them and monitoring their response time. Today we use smart phones - there is no excuse for emails, texts, or calls to be unanswered as they all go to our trusted iphones, androids, etc.

I personally would love to work with you! I am a full time agent and available 7 days a week. I go the extra mile for my clients - if it means picking you up and taking you back to the airport I am happy to do so! I would also be inclined to pick you up from your hotel and drop you back off following showings. This shouldn't be an issue for any agent you choose. I can also preview properties and send videos for anything you are unable to view in person.

You and your family should sit down together and each write down your must haves in a house. Combine the lists and order by importance. This can be extremely helpful when deciding location and property features.

You will also want to be sure you speak with a lender. If you do not have a preferred lender in mind I am happy to recommend a few to you that I work with and have great experience with. Request a prequalification - you do not need a preapproval at this time, unless you decide you are for sure working with the lender. Each lender will have different rates and costs incurred with using them. Before settling on a lender always compare first. Prequalifications do not require a lender to run your credit - a preapproval does. Multiple inquiries into your credit will be negative on your overall score - hence the prequal as opposed to preapproval.

I hope to hear from you!

Best Regards,
Deja



Deja Land
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
5111 Bellaire Blvd. / Bellaire, Texas 77401
713-585-5017 mobile
dejaland@live.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
I have helped many families relocate to Texas and live in the Northwest area. I am familiar with the areas that you mentioned and would be happy to help you. We should be able to do it in the time allotted. I have shown as many as 22 houses in one day. It's like a field trip. Let me know if I may assist you further in planning your stay etc. and sending you some information about the Greater Houston area subdivisions and schools.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Al is right getting pre-approved is the most important part. Viewing the neighborhoods is secondary and once you have visited each neighborhood your mind will be made up about where you want to live.

It just so happens that I live and work out of Northwest Houston and I'd be more than happy to help you out. I am quite familiar with The Woodlands, Tomball, and Katy....and I have done some work in Sugarland as well. Therefore, before you get here I can identify the pros and cons of each area for you.

You only need one agent to handle this for you. But you are certainly on the right track by having a definite plan before coming down.

Feel free to give me a call and I'd be happy to help you plan your itinerary for when you visit for Memorial Day weekend! I'll even sneak some fun activities in there for you as well.

Happy House Hunting!

Ramonica Caldwell
832-293-5385
http://www.har.com/ramonicacaldwell
http://www.facebook.com/ramonicasellshomes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
One agent can generally help you ... but if you plan to make an offer, it is essential that you be pre-approved for financing, in addition to having the cash available for your down payment and closing costs. There's no sense in looking a property, only to discover that you won;t be able to qualify for a loan. Get pre-approved first, then get in touch ... I'll be happy to help.

Regards ...

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
al@geffon.net
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer