If you’re looking to buy your first home in Texas, the process can feel overwhelming, and you may not even know where to begin. If that sounds familiar, we invite you to take a few moments to review our top tips for buying a house in Texas.
Determine Your Budget
Your first step is to analyze your finances and determine your home buying budget. Take a look at the following factors that can impact your mortgage terms:
- Monthly expenses – credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc.
- Monthly income – the amount of income you take home from work, investments, and other sources of income.
- Overall savings – how much money you have available in bank and savings accounts and other investments.
- Overall debt – the amount of total debt you owe from all sources.
- Available credit – if you have credit cards or other lines of credit, are these maxed out or do you have a significant amount of credit available.
- Credit score – all of these factors are used to create an overall credit score, which is the most important factor in determining your likelihood for loan approval.
Using this information, you can do some research about your odds for loan approval, and you can even reach out to a mortgage lender to apply for pre-approval on a mortgage loan amount you feel comfortable covering.
Consider the Full Cost of Homeownership
Now that you have a good budget of what you can afford on your mortgage each month, before you start putting in a final offer at your maximum amount, you should take some time to determine the full cost of purchasing this new home. Some added expenses that people often forget to budget for include:
- Homeowner’s insurance – this protects your home and ensures you have money for repairs in the case of natural disasters, accidents, robbery, and other issues.
- Property taxes – many mortgages include the cost of property taxes as part of the monthly payment. If not, make sure you are budgeting for this added expense.
- Homeowner’s Association (HOA) fees – if your dream home is a neighborhood with an HOA, make sure you know what the monthly and/or annual fees for the HOA are and budget for this expense.
- Maintenance – keeping your home looking its best and avoiding unnecessary wear and tear is essential to protect your investment in a new home. That means you need to budget and plan for annual maintenance, including things like cleaning the exterior of your home, emptying gutters, lawncare, and other common homecare needs.
Find Your Ideal Location & Search for Your Dream Home
Once you know about how much house you can afford, start searching for your dream home. The first step is choosing a location. Where you live will impact your life every day, including determining factors like the cost of living, access to local conveniences, and property tax rates, so make sure you’re doing your research about each neighborhood and choosing wisely. Next, you should work with a realtor who can help you find the perfect home in your desired location. Make sure you visit each home and do your due diligence by requesting appraisals and/or home inspections as part of the purchase process. Once you find your new home, the realtor can help you make an offer and complete all the other steps of finalizing the purchase of your home.
Interested in Learning More About How We Help with Property Taxes?
If you’re already a Texas homeowner or you just purchased a new home, your first property tax bill may be due in January. If you need help covering the cost of this expense, don’t hesitate to contact Home Tax Solutions. We offer property tax loans to help homeowners who are struggling to cover the high cost of Texas property taxes. You can get started by filling out our simple online application.