You may be from Texas if you use words like “y’all”, own a pair of boots, and love country music and sweet iced tea. Like Conrad Hilton once said,
“There’s a vastness here and I believe that the people who are born here breathe that vastness into their soul. They dream big dreams and think big thoughts, because there is nothing to hem them in.”
If you are planning to embrace the Texas lifestyle and plant some roots, here is what you need to know:
When buying property in Texas, these are the people you are likely to work with:
- A loan officer: A lender determines the amount of the loan you will be able to take out to buy your home based on household income, assets, debt, your credit report, and employment history.
- A licensed real estate agent: Your licensed real estate agent will handle negotiations on your behalf, prepare contracts, and handle inspections and option periods.
- A home inspector: The home inspector will insure that the home you are wanting to buy is structurally sound and doesn’t have major damage that will hurt you in the future.
- An escrow agent: The role of the Escrow Agent is usually played by an attorney.
There are a few different ways to search for your future home in Texas:
- Online sources: Texas, like the rest of the United States, utilizes sites like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com to help buyers search for their homes.
- Email: Your licensed real estate agent can set you up to receive automatic emails that contain properties that you may be interested in. Just tell them what you are looking for in a home and they can enter it in to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and send you properties every time a home matching your needs comes up.
- Video’s: Most brokerages in Texas utilize social media by putting video walk troughs of properties on their social media platforms.
- In person: If you are in Texas over the weekend, chances are that there are multiple open houses going on. Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com will show you if there is an open house coming up for a property. You can also look in the local newspaper to find all of the open houses going on that weekend. If the property you like doesn’t have an open house scheduled, call your real estate agent to schedule a showing time.
The Escrow Process
Texas is an escrow state. The escrow process begins after the offer is accepted by the seller and the contract is signed. Earnest money is then deposited either with the seller’s brokerage or an escrow agent. When all requirements are met, the transaction continues. Check out Amitree Home Buyer’s Guide for more about the escrow process.
The Real Estate Market
According to the Texas Housing Insight report written by four professors from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, “The Texas housing market held steady as sales rose 4 percent, maintaining the current four-year average.” The Texas economy is accelerating and more houses are being built to keep up with the employment growth.
Most people purchase their homes by taking out a mortgage loan. The typical amount of a down payment is 20% of the purchase price however, different types of loans could require a different amount.
According to WalletHub ,Texas Real-Estate Property taxes rank 46th in the United States. In simpler terms, only 5 states have a higher property tax than Texas. That may seem bad on the surface, but according to an associate professor at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Rebekka Dudensing,
“Property taxes are just one piece of the equation, and, of course, we don’t have a state income tax and our sales tax rates are actually relatively low, and so when you look at the overall burden, Texas is very middle of the road – bottom half, even.”
Mary Lasswell once said,
“I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth by a really top hand.”
Everyone loves Texas so much that Texas ranked number 1 in highest numeric increase in population according to Bounce Energy. In case you need more of a push, BuzzFeed created a list of 101 Reasons You Should Live in Texas at Least Once in Your Life.