Buying Property Guides

Icon Property Group is a Residential Real Estate Brokerage Company in San Antonio, Texas. We have collected this useful information for real estate buyers to make it easier for you to make informed decisions. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help.

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Professional Buyers Agent

The Five Myths that
Create Barriers to Homeownership

Buying a home is an important step in building a secure financial future. But because of some common misconceptions, many people believe homeownership is out of their reach. Don't let these myths keep you from the personal and financial rewards of homeownership.

  • Myth #1

    "I don't have enough money for a down payment."

    In the past, buying a home required a 20% down payment. But not today. In fact, 7 out of 10 first-time homebuyers make a down payment of 10% or less. There are many loan programs that can help you buy a home without a lot of cash, or any at all.

  • Myth #2

    "I have less-than-perfect credit, so I can't get a mortgage."

    A less-than-perfect credit history doesn't have to stand in your way of reaching your homeownership goals. FHA loans have helped thousands of individuals move beyond credit challenges into homes of their own.

  • Myth #3

    "It's less expensive to rent, and now may not be the right time to buy."

    In fact, you may be surprised how much home you can buy for the same rent check you're sending in now, especially when you consider the tax advantages of homeownership. And unlike rental costs, your monthly principal and interest payments will stay the same for the life of a fixed-rate mortgage. Because home prices historically increase (and only occasionally decline), buying as soon as you're able can be a more effective strategy than trying to time the real estate market. Moreover, as a homeowner, you'll be building wealth as your home equity grows, instead of paying someone else's mortgage with your rent each month.

  • Myth #4

    "The whole mortgage process is too long and complicated."

    Let us help make buying your first home as easy as possible. As full-time Realtors®, we know many home mortgage consultants who will help you through each step of the financing process.

  • Myth #5

    "I won't be able to fit a mortgage in my budget."

    A good loan officer will carefully review your loan options with you and will help you choose the loan that's right for you. With a loan that fits your budget and your financial goals, your home will be a powerful tool in building a secure future for you and your family.

Tired of paying your landlord's mortgage with your monthly rent check?

Let us help you own a home of your own and build wealth for your family's future!

parents and child on stone stairs ready to own a home in San Antonio

Ten Ways to Prepare for Home Ownership

  1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
  2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
  3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of 3 or 4 neighborhoods in which you'd like to live, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
  4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and to cover your down payment? With FHA loans, you only need 3.5% of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Don't forget to factor in closing costs, which include taxes, title company fees, and HOA fees average between 2-7% of the home price.
  5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts and any late payments.
  6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. For how large a mortgage do you qualify? Also, explore different loan options - such as 30-year vs. 15-year fixed mortgages and conventional vs. FHA or VA loans.
  7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of the last 2 month's pay stubs, account numbers and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
  8. Think of other sources of help with a down payment. Your Realtor® should be able to refer you to a lender who can tell you if you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs. If you have an IRA account, you can use the money you've saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
  9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities and Home Owner Association fees, if applicable.
  10. Contact a Reator®. We can help guide you through the process and, as the buyer, you do not pay for our professional services. Why wouldn't you want someone to protect YOUR interests in such an important transaction?

Avoid Common Buyer Errors

Shopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It is, however, also a business transaction and must be treated as such. Three of the most devastating things that can go wrong are:

  • Paying too much
  • Losing a dream home to another buyer
  • Buying the wrong home

When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you'll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips on making the most of your home purchase:

Get the information you need

What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller's asking price too high? Is it a deal? Your own research is important, as is the assistance of a Realtor®. A professional Realtor® can provide the current market analysis of the value of the home, based on many factors and a great deal of information. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity. Hire the right person and trust that person to represent your interests.

Buy YOUR home

What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple, but clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping leaves you in a much better position. How much space do you really need? Too small and you may feel like you live in constant clutter. Too big and maintenance may become too daunting. Outline all of your priorities, and work on finding not just a great home, but a great home for you.

Check the title

Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As a part of his or her services, a Realtor® can ensure that you are given a copy of the title to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases, or easements against the title.

Update the survey

Before the buy a home, an updated survey is essential. This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbor's new fence that is extending a boundary line, etc.), and will guarantee that you are indeed getting what you pay for.

Minimize the unexpected

For $300-$500, a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. The inspector's expertise can mean the difference between uncovering major flaws before or after you own a home. Make the final contract subject to the report's findings. Remember, you will want to hire your own inspector for new construction as well.

Get pre-approved

It only takes a few days to get financing pre-approval. When you are shopping for a home, this gives you more power. A seller is more likely to consider an offer from a serious buyer.

Remember additional costs

Besides the funds for the purchase of a home, you'll need funds for items such as loan fees, insurance, legal fees, surveys, inspections, etc.

Take a deep breath

Before you sign, ensure that all documentation clearly reflects your understanding and conditions of the transaction. Has anything been forgotten? Don't rush. You could lose money, financing, or even the sale if you attempt to push things through too hastily.