Your Guide To Moving To Texas

If you have been thinking about moving to Texas, you are not alone. From 2010 to 2020, Texas grew by nearly 4 million people. Much of that growth is due to people like you attracted to our great economy. Moving to a new state can be overwhelming and we here at the Estancia Group want to ensure becoming a homeowner in North Texas is easy.

Your Guide To Moving To Texas

 

Getting Pre-Approved

This is your first step because sellers won’t accept an offer without seeing a loan pre-approval letter or proof of funds. Plus, it helps you know your price range. We highly recommend using a local lender. They know this market best, know our contracts, and can be contacted anytime. Also, be prepared to put down at least 3-3.5% of purchase price, depending on your loan.

 

The Home Search

Once we get your pre-approval letter, we will start looking at houses. If you can come visit, we suggest you simply drive around! Find out which communities you like more than others, which style of homes, check traffic, schools, stores, etc. If schools are a key factor in your move, check out niche.com or greatschools.org.

When you pinpoint the areas that interest you most, we’ll focus on the houses. I’ll email you homes for sale and we will start touring. We can see them in person or we offer virtual tours for your convenience. 

Making An Offer

Once you have found THE home, we will determine our offer. I’ll run a comparative market analysis so you know what the house is worth. The more competition there is for the home, the better the offer should be, both in price and terms. Once you determine the offer, I write it up, go over it with you via Zoom, send it to you to sign electronically, and then present the offer to the listing agent. The seller will either accept, reject, or make a counter-offer. This is when we will negotiate terms if necessary. Once the seller accepts an offer by signing, it becomes a legal contract. 

 

Earnest and Option

You have two payments to make after going under contract. First is the earnest money or good faith money, which is typically 1% of the purchase price. However in this market you might want to go higher. Second is the option period money, which buys you time to get an inspection and request repairs. This can be as low as $100, or again, you may want to go higher to improve your offer. Both earnest money and option money can be put in the same wire or check. If you decide to terminate during the option period, the seller keeps the option money and your earnest money is returned. If you continue, both are applied to closing costs.

 

Inspection

I highly suggest you have a professional home inspection, even if it’s new construction. All repair negotiations are done during the option period, so we need to work fast. You can use any inspector you choose or we can recommend experienced options. Prices vary, but start at around $400. On the day of the inspection, the expert goes over every detail of the home and will meet/call you with their findings. They also write up a full report. It’s not a pass or fail. No home is perfect and often it’s mostly little items. The roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC are the biggest focus. We will negotiate repairs or you may decide it’s no longer the home for you.

Title 

A Title Company handles the following: tax check, title search and examination, document preparation, and closing of the transaction. For a one-time charge at closing, title insurance safeguards you against problems an exhaustive search will not reveal. 

 

Service Providers

We are happy to make recommendations of service providers. These are vendors we have worked with in the past or that are recommended to us by satisfied customers. Whether it is for an inspector, lender, handyman or anyone else, we are happy to provide you with contacts. Please remember these recommendations are offered as a convenience to you, but we can’t guarantee the work.

 

Appraisal

This is a report done by a licensed appraiser who provides their opinion on the value of the property. This report is needed for your lender, but you are required to pay for it. Depending on the lender, you will either pay upfront or at closing. The cost ranges from $450-$700.

Home Warranty

When you purchase new construction, the builder usually offers a warranty on things like the quality of design, materials, and workmanship. These warranties are usually for one year, with the exception of structural being 10 years. You can also buy a yearly home warranty on resale homes to protect you against common issues or we can request in our offer for the seller to buy one for you. 

 

Prepare to Move

At least a week before closing, have your homeowner’s insurance set up. Also, schedule movers and get the utilities to transfer to your name on closing day. We can help find your utility providers. For electricity, we suggest using powertochoose.org. Right before closing, we want to walk through the home. During this walkthrough, we will make sure all the negotiated repairs were made and there is no new damage to the property.

 

Closing

On closing day, you’ll meet with the title agent or a notary to sign paperwork to transfer the property to you. You will be required to pay all fees and closing costs with a cashier’s check or wire. Wire is most common, but check with your bank. Some out of state banks will not allow you to wire without physically being in their branch and they may have to send a cashier’s check. Your lender will notify you of the exact amount you will pay at closing. Schedule your closing early so funds can transfer the same day. On that note, I encourage you to schedule services like movers, painters, etc for the day after closing  to be safe. 

 

You’re a Texan Now

Congratulations on making Texas home!  We hope to be your Realtors for life, so don’t be surprised if you get an invite to a fun party or a gift dropped off at your door.