Contact Tom Wilson at Supreme Lending 972.447.5555 -- Tom does the majority of real estate deals and is very knowledgeable about the new loan programs out there.
I also specialize in first time home buyer's (bought my first in July of 2007, so I know exactly what you guys are going through), so if I can be of any assistance please let me know!
The Good Home Selling Team
Keller Williams Realty
469 951 4193 cell
Energy Efficiency - newer homes are going to be more energy efficient. A 13 SEER A/C is the current standard. You can think of a SEER rating like miles per gallon on your car. With a 13 SEER, this is going to save you about 60% on your utility bills. They will have the low-e windows that will keep your home cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and help fade your furniture less. Some builders are offering PEX plumbing which will expand and contract unlike copper and has a 25 year transferable warranty. More info here: http://www.zurnpex.com/Default.aspx?tabid=198 Some builders are building Green Built North Texas homes now which is where the trend is going and all homes will be mandated to be built to this code in about 5 years or so according to experts. More info on GBNT Builders: http://www.greenbuiltnorthtexas.com/#Participating_Builder_M Homes built prior to even 2005 are less energy efficient than new homes. If power consumption is important to you, older homes will not be green built homes and will produce more emissions than a Green Built Home.
Fortunately, FHA has raised the loan limits, so now instead of being able to only buy a $206k home under FHA, they now allow $271k in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. So, this will allow you to buy in more new and resale neighborhoods now than ever before. Of course, there are more loan options than FHA, but this is one option that gives some first time homeowners more purchasing power than they had before.
There is a first time homebuyer's credit at $7,500 being offered right now. There is down payment assistance, but you need to have a case number prior to Oct. to be able to get it. Since your wife is a teacher, she will also qualify for the hometown hero's program.
I used to sell for a builder and was Sales Counselor of the Year for one of the top builders in the Nation. Please do not go see the builder by yourself. The sales counselors are there to get the builder the best price they can on the home. There will not be anyone there to represent your best interests. This summer, we negotiated with a builder on a home and got our buyer a better price and terms than the real estate agent who also works for them on his home in the same community. There is power in knowledge of how these things work.
Happy to help,
The Hayley Group
Keller Williams Dallas, Preston Rd.
If you're considering new or pre-owned, these are some of the things you may want to think about:
Lifestyle - Do you like to tinker on your home? Do you love having projects to do? Paint? Fix things up? Or, would you prefer to spend your time relaxing? Entertaining? Participating in sports? Leisure time?
Savings - Do you have money saved up for repairs? Warranty? Trade service call fees? Your portion of estimated charges? Items not covered under warranty? Here is the website for American Homeshield which is a popular home warranty company: http://www.ahswarranty.com/homeowners/faqs.jsp#basic-warranty.
Many people think if they get a home warranty on a re-sale home that it's just the same as having a warranty on a new home. With a new home, the home is covered "bumper to bumper" for the first year as long as you do the required maintenance - change filters, etc. Then, the 2nd year is quite often everything behind the walls like the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and wiring. The roof will usually have 20-40 year warranty depending on the builder. Then, each component of the home will have it's own warranty like the A/C condenser unit, appliances, foundation, structure, patio/sidewalk//porch, windows, etc. There is no fee for the repair of these items with the builder's warranty even if several contractors are required to fix the job.
What's important to you in a lot? Is that a major consideration for you? Or, not really? Do you want something that will let the morning sun in the breakfast area? Do you want a big back yard where you can have b-b-ques? Do you want a gentle slope? Do you want a tiered slope at the back so you can put in a garden back there and put in some gardening logs to separate the yard? Is a pool important to you? Typically, you will not re-coop your investment of the pool when you put it in, so it's nice to get a home with a pool that's already been installed if that's a must have for you.
What about price point? Usually new communities at a lower price point are at the outskirts of town with less services, shopping and restaurants available. If the price point is higher and it's closer in town, the lots will typically be smaller and sometimes there will be less square footage. If older architecture appeals to you, tree lined streets, lots of nature (squirrels, birds, fireflies, etc.) and neighborhoods that are built up that have typically seen their appreciation already (yes, there are exceptions) with larger bedrooms and more defined spaces for a lower price, then you may want to explore re-sale homes.
Do you like design selections already being made for you? Do you like to walk in and see the finished home? Complete with custom paint colors on the wall, wood floors and intercom systems? Or, would you prefer to make your own design selections and make your own mark on the home? Builders typically do have completed homes, but they will not have as much character, let's say, as pre-owned homes. They will typically be finished out in neutral colors to appeal to as many people as possible. Pre-owned homes are going to reflect the personal tastes of that homeowner. Builders always have some sort of incentive package going on that you can choose to put options into your new home or take some off the price. Lots of times, you can include items like blinds, garage door opener and refrigerator... again depending on price point. Could be Viking appliances, fireplace for your outdoor living space and Klipsch audio equipment for your media room.
Community - what type of community would you like to live in? Do you like to live in an older, established neighborhood with big trees and people who've typically lived there a while? Usually, there will be more grocery stores, dining, movies, and other conveniences around in this type area. You won't use as much gas going from place to place - an especially big consideration right now. It could possibly be closer to your work. Or, would you prefer to move in somewhere where it's new and you're just starting out in the area the same as everyone else? The higher the price point, the closer the community will be to a more developed area typically. For example, if you are looking at the $150k range, this is going to be further on the outskirts of town than if you are looking in the $450k range.
Resale value - You don't want to buy at the top or bottom end of any neighborhood. Let's say if you were to suddenly get transferred in 2 years and need to sell your home, you want to make sure you can get out of it and won't lose money in our "savings bond" Texas market with steady growth of around 3-6% on average. You need someone who knows the area, the comps, what the trends are, and who can negotiate confidently on your behalf.
Welcome to the Metroplex.
1. To get a payment about $1300/month we probably need to get a loan for you of no more than $1400/month
2. Frisco and McKinney are both nice places to live, so those are likely good places to start looking.
3. You should have some choices in both cities with both new and preowned homes.
4. It really just depends on what you want and what is acceptable to you on the value of new vs preowned.
5. I think you can normally find better deals on preowned homes, but some people like the new feel.
6. ALWAYS take a realtor with you when visiting builders even for the very 1st time and even when you are just looking. Almost ever day on this web site we see buyers asking questions about problems they're having with their builder which are pretty tough to solve if there was not a Realtor involved from the first point of contact and certainly when the contract was signed.
7. We can normally get you a better deal than going to the builder directly.
8. I can tell you if I was moving to a new city and thinking about buying or building, I'd call a local realtor and have them help me, even though I am a Realtor myself.
Homes here in DFW are affordable either new or pre-owned one. You might want to check my web site to browse the Plano, McKinney, Allen available homes for sale in order to become more familiar with the homes and the prices. Please call or email me if you need more info. I can represent you whether you purchasing the new or pre-owned home.
Loan officer information is:
Century 21 Judge Fite Company
6959 Lebanon Road, Suite 201
The Shops at Starwood
Frisco, TX 75034
You need to contact a local realtor to be your buyer's agent. They can take you to builders too!!
Have you been pre-approved? You should do that sooner than later.
Will you need your wife's income to qualify for the loan? If so, she will need to be employed. Future income cannotbe counted. I know it is hard to for teachers to move to a new city and buy right away because they can only be hired at certain times of the year.... just a consideration.