Home Buying in 76248>Question Details

Mark, Home Buyer in 76132

Looking in the Keller/Saratoga area for a home . Help !!!! Its driving me nuts

Asked by Mark, 76132 Wed Sep 16, 2009

I am a first time home buyer looking in the Keller/Saratoga area and have a few questions. (probably lame ones so please don't get mad)

How do I select a realtor?
What do u do when the realtor who has a listing for sale wants to represent you. is it advisible ? or could it be a conflict of interest?
Do you have to be preapproved for financing before looking at properties?

Recently I visited the Meritage Wilshire property and was appaled at the lot sizes and the homes literally ontop each other.Where can I find a decent quality built home with a decent sz lot ? I am not looking for a cheaply built huge home.I have seen those and have decided I want a good mix of quality and size of home and the lot. I am looking for a single story 2200 to 2600 sq ft home with a decent size back yard. Where do I start ? Any advice would be welcome. My price range is upto 200K

Help the community by answering this question:


Buying a house always starts with desire. A common mistake buyers make is assuming they have good credit or they have bad credit. After they put a contract together, then they find out the truth. It sounds like you're smarter than that.

Yes, it is a good idea to approach a lender and find out at least what you qualify for. If you have not considered your finances beforehand, it could be a bit of a shock. First, you'll need to have a decent income and expect not to spend more than about 1/3 of your gross each month on your house payment. Your house payment normally includes an amount for the real estate taxes and insurance.
Second, you'll need to have a stack of cash in the bank for you to meet your down payment and pay closing costs. It is a little like buying a car: car + tax + title + license. Your house will have prepaid expenses and closing costs on top of the price. And you can't finance 100% anymore (unless you're a veteran).

So, when you have considered your income and set a budget amount for housing, contact a loan and ask the next big question: how's my credit? You'll need to show that you have handled credit responsibly over the last couple of years or more, with a 620 minimum credit score. Higher is better. The loan officer can go over how it works and what the timeline is. Once you have a pre-qual or pre-approval letter in hand, you'll be able to go out with your favorite Realtor, see some homes, and make an offer. [Some Realtors won't go with you to see houses until you're qualified.]

If negotiations go well, the contract will be within your budget and you'll close on your new home a few weeks later.
Web Reference: http://www.Mortgages-TX.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
HI Mark,

Please don't feel like you have to hold back about questions. Ask anything please.
We don't get mad, we just get even ... J/K

If the agent who has a listing wants to be your agent, they are not going to represent you and look after your best interest and they cannot give you advice. They already have a written agreement with the seller to represent them. So yes there is a big conflict of interest. They can help you find other homes that are not listed by them.

Since your are buying for the first time, you want a buyer's agent "like me" to represent you and work on your behalf.

The homes in Wilshire has very small lots indeed. Are you looking in Keller only? Feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to send you a list of suggestions with homes on larger lots

Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009

Please get a Realtor! Many Buyer who look at new homes choose not to use a Realtor, this is a mistake. Realtors know the neighborhoods, they know the Builders, and can often get a better price or upgrades that the person off the street cannot. The Realtor usually means multiple sales for that builder so they are glad to give us a little more when we are negotiating. Also, the Builder pays our commission, so why wouldn't you get represented!

Second, when looking for resale homes, the same applies. There are pros and cons to letting the listing agent also represent you but if you "click" with someone and you trust that Realtor, you may not even buy that listing, just let that Realtor represent you. The Seller's agent does have a contract with the Seller, but if you choose that agent and also sign an agreement, the agent can give you advise but just not on what to offer. That agent can still show you comps and can make sure that what is agreed upon is done.

It is best to always get preapproved before searching for a home. That way, you know what you can afford, you know what terms are needed when placing an offer, and you know the comparison information when looking at new homes. Many new home builder will give you extra incentives if you use their lender and sometimes that is a better deal. But the only way to know is to have a lender to compare with their lender. The agent you choose will help you pick the best lender for your needs. That is the Realtor's job to make sure that you are "taken care of" in all aspects of the transaction. Finding the home is actually the easy part.

I love the Saratoga community. It truly is one of a kind with its rolling hills, the neighborhood, and the location. I have a two story listed there and think that Jennifer at Plantation Homes is awesome as well as Levi at Standard Pacific. There are a few other communities that I would highly recommend. If you would like to discuss them further, please email me.

Good luck with your home search! I encourage you to let a professional help you save time and MONEY!
Web Reference: http://www.soldbydede.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009

Looks like you got a lot of good advice here.

Regarding whether you should get pre-approved or not; certainly, this will improve your bargaining power as well as provide you and the seller with a sense of surety that you will be able to attain financing in this market.

Secondly, when choosing an agent, interview local candidates to see if you are comfortable with them and their ability to help you find and negotiate the best terms for a home with you. How well do they listen to you and what you are seeking. A local agent is usually more knowledgeable about the area in which you are looking because they spend so much time in that area assisting clients. Living and working in the Keller area myself provides me ample opportunity to see what is happening in our community.

An agent who is representing the seller may be a great REALTOR but in your case it sounds like you are not a seasoned buyer and really need an agent to represent you. In order to do that I recommend you do not use the seller's agent. When the seller's agent represents both sides in Texas they can only facilitate the process. They cannot give advice or negotiate for either side.

If I can be of any help to you please give me a call at 817-800-4780 or email me at JimCartermail@charter.net. Best of luck in your search.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009
Hi Mark,

1. Always use a Realtor. Normally no cost to you and so many benefits.
2. The realtor on the sign represents the seller....get your own realtor....have them show you the houses.
There is no need to call the realtor on the sign.
3. The best thing to do even before you ever look is to get preapproved.
This gives you a lot of leverage.
A. You look at homes in the right price range.
B. When you find the perfect home, you are ready to make an offer.
C. You may be able to lock in an interest rate now at a lower cost.
D. You may be able to get a better interest rate by adjusting some of your credit.
If you get prequalified now you may have time to fix it. If you wait until you find the right house
it may be too late to fix it and therefore you could pay a lot more money over the long run for the house.

Haslet might be a good option for you.
Do you only want a new home or would you consider preowned?
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
See below, let me know how we can help!

From my blog


What a Buyer’s Agent Can Do For You
The CostPurchasing a home is a complex and a significant financial transaction. The seller’s agent (the listing agent) is not on your side. He or she is legally bound to represent the seller. They are trained and experienced in how to protect their seller’s interests. Even with new construction, that sales representative represents the builder – not you. The legal designation of a buyer’s agent was created to put buyers on equal footing by giving buyers an experienced representative with a fiduciary duty to protect them.

Think you’re going to save money buy going at it alone? That’s not the way it works. The seller pays the full commission (both seller and buyer sides) to the listing agent/broker. The listing agent then pays a potion of their commission to the buyer’s agent. If you don’t have a buyer’s agent, the listing agent still gets the whole commission. And you open yourself up to making expensive mistakes.

Specially Trained and Certified
Not only do we provide experienced representation to buyer, I’ve been specially trained as an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. The Real Estate Buyers Agent Council gives this accreditation to agents who complete dozens of hours of specialized training and have a required level of past experience representing buyers. Less than ten percent of Realtors nationwide hold this important designation.

Market Knowledge
Whether you’re moving to the county or a life-time resident, you likely do know have the detailed market knowledge to know what a home is worth today. There’s always lots of neighborhood gossip about what someone sold for, what someone else paid, etc., but these figures frequently do not include other accommodations between buyers and sellers or value adjustments for upgrades, amenities, deferred maintenance or other items. Plus, there are trends in neighborhoods, different long-term prospects and changes in surrounding areas that will affect value. We know these details and can help you be sure you’re paying the right price.

In addition to valuation, we know the neighborhoods themselves. Especially if you’re moving here, you’ll need someone who knows the areas so you are sure to move into the community that’s right for you!

Buyer’s Agency Agreement
The legal agreement that bounds your agent to you as your buyer’s agent varies by State. But, regardless of its name, this document is critical for you to understand your rights and to secure the legal and ethical representation. However, while it’s important to have an agency agreement in place, be sure to it gives you the right to terminate the agreement if you become unhappy with the relationship.

This agreement may state that you, the buyer, are bound to pay the agent. This exists for two reasons. First, by tying the fee to you, it binds the legal relationship between you and your agent/broker. Second, if you buy a home that is being sold without a listing agent (for sale by owner), you may need to pay your agent if he/she cannot structure a deal to have the seller pay a commission. The agent is providing you a great deal of value and is probably doing all of the seller’s work too!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2014

I just wanted to check in and see how the search was going? Have you been able to find a home that fit your needs? If I can be of any assistance please let me know, I love working in this area and has been able to assist several families with request similar to yours.

Heather Shimala
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
YES you need pre-approved prior working with realtor all sales offers are submitted with that letter

Contact a realtor who can take all your specifications forward you properties.

RULE OF THUMB: never purchase a home direct from
Bank, Builder, For Sale by Owner, Listing Agent

You need your own agent who represents you not property owner

EXAMPLE: would you go to a trial have defendent's attorney represent you and defendant probably not

Lynn A. Crosby ~ National Featured Realtor
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911
"...Specializing in Residential, Commercial Properties and Loans..."
Dallas Realtor, and Credit Repair Consultant -
The Michael Group - "Dallas Business Journal 07’ & 08' list top realtors"
Dallas Loan Officer -
Dallas Real Estate Website: http://www.lynn911.com 60,000 listings Dallas homes for sale
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 18, 2009
Hi Mark,

I found a home on the MLS that is a one story 3 bdrms-2 bths w/ close to 2,600 SF for under $200K! I just spoke to the Sales Manager & the community is running some great incentives! Please feel free to call or email me at your convenience so that I can get you more info!

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Make it a Blessed Day!

Tamika A. Turner
Buyer's Agent - Hendrickson Realty Group
Cell: (972) 697-1178
Email: Info@NewHomesInDFW.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009
Hi Mark,

I just got an email from a Homebuilder with a one story beautiful home in Keller Schools that is 2400 square feet for around 200k. I just sold another one there so I think that you will be interested. Please email or call me and I will help you with it.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009

I am 2 minutes away and can give you advice on how to find the right home.
Please read my profile: http://www.ziprealty.com/agent/lpuniwai
And you will learn what to expect from a Realtor.

In short, someone who knows the area, has measureable results in representing Buyers in the
given area and has strong negotiating skills.
In addition, I have a power point presentation I would like to send you. I put it together to help first time
home buyers.

I have a reputation of helping my clients every step of the way from finding a home, writing a winning offer, financing, inspection all the way through closing. My clients also remain in touch with me after closing so I can help with anything else that arises.

My heart is in the right place as I have children that bought their first home(s) and I just want to offer my services in the spirit of helping people as this is my true passion. At the end of the day, I make a living by helping others!

Lucy A. Puniwai
ZIP Realty

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009
All of the agents the have responded so far have had excellent advise.

One other thing to consider is a neighborhood expert in the area your looking. Not only will an agent that specializes in the area be able to help you out. They will also able to save you time while searching. They will know the current inventory like the back of their hand and a lot of the time live in the area you're looking. This will help you because they will already have information about taxes, schools and neighborhoods from their prior experiences.

There are several great properties in the NE Tarrant county area that believe it or not have larger than average lot sizes. I was with a buyer in Saratoga last weekend was able to show them several properties that had nice size yards and were in the low $200's. There are several other neighborhoods that are near Saratoga that you will be able to find homes that meet your search requirements.

Best wishes and good luck with your home buying experience!! If I can be of further assistance please feel free to contact me.

Heather Shimala
Prudential Texas Properties
817-600-1083 Office
817-379-0305 Fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009
Wow! I didn't expect to have any answers till tomorrow. Thank you all for your advice and prompt replies.

To answer a few questions that have been asked.

I am open to a preowned home . Nothing too old may be 2-5 years old.

We want into the Keller or Saratoga area for the school districts Keller or NW ISD

"If the agent who has a listing wants to be your agent, they are not going to represent you and look after your best interest and they cannot give you advice. They already have a written agreement with the seller to represent them. So yes there is a big conflict of interest. They can help you find other homes that are not listed by them. "
TY Naima I sholud have known that I had a feeling it would be a great conflict of interest.TY for clarifying that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Meritage has very gorgeous homes. In Keller they do have smaller lots and it does feel like you're very clsoe to your neighbors. Are there other areas besides Keller that you are willing to consider. You are fair to choose any Realtor but all Realtors aren't the same.

With you being a first time homebuyer, you need someone who is going to be with you every step of the way from contract to closing. I only deal with new homes and I've been doing this for 5 yrs and I have dealt with every major and small builder in the DFW area, including Meritage.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance!

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Make it a Blessed Day!!

Tamika Turner
"Your New Home Specialist"
Cell: (972) 697-1178
Fax: (682) 222-1049
Email: Info@NewHomesInDFW.net
"Specializing in the Sales of Brand New Homes in DFW!"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Good Evening,

I just read your post on Trulia. I specialize in the sales of brand new homes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I would be happy to assist you in finding and purchasing your new home and answering any questions that you may have.

I can get started on this right now, as well as, email you available inventory in those areas.

I always strive to meet and exceed your expectations, as well as, negotiate the best deal possible!

Please call or email me at your convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Make it a Blessed Day!!

Tamika Turner
"Your New Home Specialist"
Cell: (972) 697-1178
Fax: (682) 222-1049
Email: Info@NewHomesInDFW.net
"Specializing in the Sales of Brand New Homes in DFW!"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Home > Texas > Tarrant County > Keller > 76248 > Home Buying in 76248 > Question
Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer