- 4 Bedrooms (master bedroom on the 1st floor)
- 2 bathrooms
- 2,505 sf home
- 48,060 sf lot (just over 1 acre)
- Horses allowed!
- Corner lot
- Completely renovated
Beautiful country retreat, within minutes of shopping and restaurants. 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with study, formal dining room and breakfast room. Master bedroom located on first floor, master bathroom with HUGE shower and double sinks. PLENTY of storage throughout the home. Two additional rooms located behind the home. These rooms would be a perfect office space, kennel, art studio or workshop. Completely remodeled, open and bright floor plan. Move in ready. Home located on a little over 1 acre. Bring your horses. Circular driveway and additional long driveway and huge carport. Plenty of parking. Gorgeous outdoor space with plenty of mature trees and gazebo. Additional storage shed within a small fenced area.
Location, 🔥 Location 🔥 Location!! Property is located in an up and coming area minutes from downtown, the Galleria and, the Energy Corridor. Adorable 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home with a HUGE backyard. Enjoy the large fenced backyard with shade trees, just perfect for family BBQs. Ready For Move In! Laminate and tile floor throughout. Open floor plan. Ceiling fans throughout the home. Kitchen includes a refrigerator. Never flooded.
New construction within close proximity makes it attractive for future appreciation or new development. There is plenty of space for a single family home, or several single family homes. Buy and hold for future appreciation.
I love halloween!
Halloween is so fun. I love admiring at all the creative costume and the kid’s love of the holiday is infectious.😀
This year I participated in Houston Magazine Fun Festival 2019. I knew I wanted something fun for my booth that kids would love…so I ended up on Pinterest. I found a monster that was created for a carnival. Kids had to reach into the monster’s nose to get candy. I knew that this was it! Kids love boogers and farts.
The online post had no instructions so I came up with my own version. Here are the instructions if you’d like to recreate it. I guarantee you that it will be a big success!
- A large wood board ( you can decide what size you’d like.
- A set of wiggle eyes
- Spray insulation. I used 3 cans of this product
- Water based craft paint. I used several shades of green, yellow, gold, purple and red.
- 2 disposable cups. This will hold the space for the nostrils
- Serrated knife
- Saw to cut out the circles. I used something like this
- Sand paper
- glue gun
This was the picture I found online. It looked like they might have used paper and maybe plaster of paris. It was hard to tell but I think the spray foam had to be easier.
First, I used a marker to draw the image of the monster of the board. It was rough drawing, something to use as a guideline to spray the foam. I used the wiggle eyes to trace the area I needed to leave open for the eyes. I also traced two circle where the nostrils would be. I used the disposable cups as a guide to trace the circles.
Next, I cut out the two circles for nostrils. I used a hole saw. See shopping list for the item. I then sanded the holes to avoid wood splinters.
I read that the spray foam will stick to the wood better if it was slightly damp. I wiped the wood with a wet towel. The wood was not soaked, just slightly damp on the surface.
I coated the cups with vaseline (be generous) and positioned them in the nostril holes.
Then the fun began! I stated spraying the foam. Take your time because the foam will expand. I did this in layers and in stages. I used one can at a time. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can later cut the foam with a knife to give it a better shape.
I chose to make the nose huge because I wanted it to be the main focus.
I let it dry over night.
The next day, I took a serrated knife and started to shape the foam. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth. In fact I found that the pits make it a little more gross.
I cut around the area where the wiggle eyes would be glued. Make sure that the eye will lay in the space. I cut out the cups that were hold the nostrils open.
Once shaped, you can now start painting the monster. Be warned, the wood and the foam will soak up quite a bit of paint. I used at least 16oz of green paint. Paint the entire monster in the main color, then you can start adding darker and lighter colors on top to give it dimensions.
Once the paint is dry, you can glue the wiggle eyes in their place. I suppose that you can paint the eyes in instead of using wiggle eyes but I really liked the fact that the pupils moved.
I added some text and a few “booger” images to add to the overall look.
The day of the event, the kids would reach into the nostrils and either get candy or they would stick their hand into slime (boogers). The look on kids faces when they reached into slime was priceless. 😂
I hope you enjoy this! If you have any questions let me know.
Needs vs. Wants
Housing is a need; wants are items that help you live more comfortably. Wants are not completely necessary but certainly nice. For example, can you live without a private pool? yes. Can you live without a kitchen? Probably not.
When starting your search, be flexible. Give yourself the opportunity to explore options. You will start with a list but more than likely this list will change as you are introduced to more homes.
Be prepare for the likelihood that you won’t get everything you want. There will be compromises, trade-offs and finding the best possible property for you and your family. One home might lack a game room but its in a perfect location. Another might have a great yard but will force you into a longer commute. Decisions, decisions, decisions…
The MOST important decision is location. This is something that cannot be changed. You can renovate a home, add a bedroom or bath, etc. but you cannot move the home. Explore the surrounding area. Do you like the proximity to work, shopping, school zoning, restaurants, friends and family?
Check out this worksheet that can help you through the deciding process.
PMI, also known as private mortgage insurance, is a lender’s protection in the event that you default on your primary mortgage and the home goes into foreclosure. This is exclusively for the lender’s protection. Banks don’t like losing money, who does? They have determined that they can recover about 80% of a home’s value at a foreclosure auction if the buyer defaults and the bank has to seize the house.
If you fall behind on your payments, PMI will not protect you and you can lose your home through foreclosure.
When home buyer applies for a conventional loan a lender will feel more comfortable if they are able to put down at least 20%. If this is not possible, a lender will typically look at the loan as a riskier investment and require that the borrower take out PMI.
Note: Your loan estimate and closing disclosures will list PMI as part of your payment. Most of the times, this fee is paid monthly but on occasion you will see the fee listed as an up-front premium. Sometimes you will see a combination of month and up-front fee.
The PMI is usually paid monthly as part of the overall mortgage payment to the lender. PMI may cost between 0.5% and 1% (depending on the type of loan) of the entire mortgage loan amount annually. For example: assuming your PMI is a 1% on a $200,000 loan. That fee would add approximately $2,000 a year, or $166 each month, to the cost of your mortgage.
PMI can sometime be cancelled once you have reached loan balance of 80% of the loan balance. You might have to contact your lender and request that the PMI payment be removed. Keep in mind that the lender might have other conditions, such has no past due payments. Normally the bank will require that your home be appraised before they would consider removing this fee.
Look for Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). If you are an FHA-insured borrower, the Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) you pay as a part of your monthly mortgage payment is what makes the reduced downpayment on your mortgage possible. FHA uses these payments to insure your lender against losses if the loan goes to foreclosure.
Borrowers can request that monthly mortgage insurance payments be eliminated once the loan-to-value ratio drops below 80%. Some loan servicers will allow (but are not required) borrowers to cancel PMI sooner based on home value appreciation. If the borrower accumulates 25% equity due to appreciation in years two through five, or 20% equity after year five, the investor who purchased the loan may allow PMI cancelation after the home’s increased value is proved with an appraisal.
An alternative to PMI, is a second loan to cover the 20%. A second mortgage will typically come with a higher interest rate.
Make extra payments towards you principal balance. Not only will this get you to the 80% balance faster but it will save you a tons in interest. Even the smallest payments makes a huge difference.
TRICK OR TREAT! I’m happy to be participating in this event on Oct 20, 2019 and Oct 27, 2019 from 12-4 It’s free and should be super fun for kids.
Enjoy face painting, rock wall, food trucks, activities under every tent, inflatables, arts and crafts, door prizes, music, onstage performances, HFM goodie bags and more!
Come by and bring your witches and goblins for some fun activities and trick or treating!
Come by my booth and tell your kiddos to give me the secret password “boogers” for a special goodie bag.
Did you know that October is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, rose bushes and perennials. Planting now will help the plant survive come spring and summer.
When deciding what to plant think about our pollinators. I love the fact that my yard is full or butterflies, hummingbirds, dragon flies, hummingbird moths and many types of bees. It’s beautiful to see them flying from one plant to another.
We have 600 species of native bees in Texas! How many have you seen flying around? I love to see the huge bumble bees on my Vitex tree. Don’t forget about the butterflies There are about 100 different species that visit our Houston gardens and surrounding areas. Learn more.
It’s always best to choose native plants. They do better in our climate and tend to be more drought resistant. You can conserve water and still have a beautiful garden! Most of the times it’s best to go to a local nursery vs a big box store like Home Depot. Most of the larger stores will carry the same plants nationwide. A plant that does well up north might not do well in our weather.
Check out some of our local nurseries. These are some of my favorites:
Do you have a favorite that isn’t listed? Let me know. I’d love to check it out.
Ideally these are plants that are low maintenance, are attractive and functional for our area and climate. Here are some of my favorites:
I love Lantana. It comes in a variety of colors and pollinators love it. My lantana is always covered in butterflies.
This plant is almost impossible to kill. During the winter months I cut it back and come spring it pops back up. This is a very low maintenance attractive plant that loves our hot summers; it thrives in full sun.
Salvia is another plant that does really well and the pollinators love it. Salvia comes is many varieties and colors. It’s drought tolerant and very low maintenance. Plant it and forget it.
My Vitex tree is always covered in huge black and yellow bumble bees. I’ve heard them referred to as flying pandas. They are harmless and so cute!
I’m constantly cutting this plant back because it loves our climate and grows fast. Vitex is heat and drought resistant.
You can trim this like a small tree or let is grow like a shrub.
Hummingbird or fire bush is beautiful and the pollinators love it, especially hummingbirds. This does well in full sun but doesn’t like freezes. It might die down if the weather gets too cold but normally will come back come spring.
I love Blue Plumbago; not only is it beautiful but it’s no easy. My dogs haven’t been able to kill this one!
It grows like a low lying shrub and it likes both sun and shade. It’s very drought resistant once it’s established.
Esperanza, Yellow Bells is gorgeous and pollinators love it, especially the hummingbirds. You can trim it to look like a small tree or let it grow wild like a large bush. The flowers are beautiful.
Very low maintenance and it loves full sun and it’s drought resistant.
Check out Buchanan’s list of native plants, shrubs, grasses and vines:
Do you have a home garden? Its time to plant fall veggies and herbs – Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts , lettuce, cabbage, peas, dill, cilantro, parsley, Swiss chard, mustard greens, etc. I’ve had great success with Collard Greens! Remember that most of these freeze very well.
Do you need more space?
Spend Less – Get More! Buying a home is very rewarding in many ways.
This is the number 1 reason why people buy a home. The home buying process can be daunting. It’s one of the largest purchases that you will make during your lifetime. That said, the process is easier when you have the right team on your side. A good lender, REALTOR® and home inspector will guide you through the process stress free.
Right now in most areas we are in a buyer’s market. Rates are still low so it’s really the perfect time to buy.
What’s holding you back? Let’s explore some common misconceptions.
1. You need 20% down to buy a home
Many buyers believe that they need 20% down to buy a home. This is a very common misconception. There are FHA loans that will permit a 3.5% down payments and some conventional loans that will go as low as 3%. If you are or were in the military, VA loans require zero down! In addition, if the home is a rural area, USDA loans will also require no down payment.
2. You need a credit score in the 700s or better
This is no longer the case. There are many different loan programs available that will qualify many different buyers. It’s important to speak to a lender and have them analyze your situation. In most cases they will be able to get you qualified. If you like a list of mortgage lenders contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Don’t have too many lenders check your credit because that will lower your score
You have the right to shop for a loan. FICO, the company that computes the credit scores lenders use. Allow consumers to “rate shop”. When doing to make sure that you are comparing the same types of products. Don’t focus exclusively on interest rates. Sometimes a lender will increase your closing costs by making you pay down points in order to get you a better interest rate.
4. Adjustable rate mortgages are bad
We all heard a lot of negative things about adjustable mortgage rates after the mortgage melt down in 2008. Adjustable mortgage rates are not all bad and can be a great option for someone that plans of paying off a home in 5 years or if you plan on selling the home within 5 years. This will provide you will a low interest rate for the first five years on the loan and that maybe all you need. Speak to a lender about options.
5. You just need enough money to cover your down payment in savings
There are several upfront cost when buying a home. The down payment is usually the largest but you will need to cover the following as well:
- Earnest Funds: Once your offer for a home is accepted, you will have to deposit your earnest funds with the title company. Earnest funds are typically 1% of the sales price. For example: if the home is being sold for $200,000, your earnest funds will be $2000. These are funds that will be applied towards your down payment at closing so they are not in addition to the sales price offered.
- Option Fee: An option fee is a fee that is offered to the seller in exchange for a set number of days for you to complete your due diligence and be able to cancel the agreement if you find something that you don’t like. This fee will also typically be credited towards the balance due at closing if you proceed with the purchase. This is money well spent because as little as approximately $200 or less you can take your time and inspect the property before you fully commit.
- Inspection Fee: It’s always a good idea to have your home inspected. This usually will cost about $350-$450 on average. This is also money well spent. This is a large purchase and it’s important to know the condition before you commit to the sale.
- Appraisal Fee: This is a fee that the bank will ask you to pay in advance for the appraisal of the property. This fee will run between $450-550 typically. It is part of the closing cost and will be credited at closing.
- Reserves: The lender will usually want to see that you have around 2 months of mortgage payments in savings as reserves.
- Closing Costs: When you first get pre-qualified by a lender they will give you wants called a loan estimate. In it, the lender will disclosure all your costs; including your down payment, loan costs and closing costs. Closing costs can add up. Most of the closing costs go to what’s call pre-paids. This is a set amount that the lender will require to start your escrow account.
6. It’s cheaper to rent than it is to buy
Rent is expensive and normally there are a lot of upfront fees when renting a home. Along with those fees there are restrictions. Explore the option to buy. I think you’d be surprised that your monthly payment can be the same or less than a rental property.
7. You don’t need a home inspection for new construction
Whenever you are buying a home, be it new or a resale, it is always best that you have the home inspected. Even new homes have issues that come up during an inspection. A home is a major purchase. The investment in a home inspection is nothing compared to the cost of buying a home with major problems
8. It is cheaper to buy a home that needs work
It can be but in many cases you end up spending a lot more on a rehab than you do on a move-in ready home. Many people watch these HGTV shows and feel that rehabbing a loan is easy. It’s not! There are always surprises and these surprises can be costly.
In many cases buyers go in with good intentions of getting the work done but faced with the cost and time of the repairs, they are put off. Over time they let the repairs go and ultimately they are never get done.
9. I can save money by not using a REALTOR®
As a buyer, it will normally not cost you anything to have an agent on your side. In most instances the seller pays the buyer’s commission. There is not reason to not have ally on your side.
Before submitting an offer it’s important to review comparable sales in the area and overall market conditions. Every home is different and it’s important to look at all aspects of the home before submitting an offer. The surrounding area is very important. You can change things about the home but you can’t change its location.
10. I need to find a home before I speak to a mortgage lender
This would be false. It’s important to be pre-qualified before you start looking. Sometimes the bank will qualify you for more or less than expected.
When you find that perfect home, your offer is submitted with your pre-qualification letter. Don’t run the risk of losing the perfect home. By the time you get qualified the home might be gone.
Note: A qualified real estate attorney should be consulted to answer any questions as well as write the sales contract and promissory note.
What is owner finance?
Owner financing is also known as seller financing. This can be an option for people that can not qualify for a conventional bank loan.
In an owner finance agreement, the owner or seller will act like the bank. They will list the finance terms they are willing to offer. Owner financed deals are recorded with the County. The buyer’s interests is protected. An additional protection is that a trustee has the deed instead of the seller. The Deed of Trust in an owner financed deal will show that the buyer is the rightful owner.
Just like a traditional bank loan, there is usually a down payment, amortization period, a possibly balloon payment and a set or adjustable interest rate. The terms can be customized to fit the needs of the seller and buyer.
Most owner-financing deals are normally short term and a typical arrangement might involve amortizing the loan over 30 years but with a final balloon payment due after five. The idea is that after 5 years the buyer may be in a better financial position and can now get a traditional loan.
How does it work?
A contract is negotiated. The contract should include a Seller Finance Addendum that will disclose the terms of the agreement. It should cover the balance to be financed, the down payment, interest rate, balloon payments, pre-payment penalty, etc.
Part of the closing documents will include a promissory note. This is a very important document; it will include all the loan terms, the loan amount, the amount of your monthly installments, interest rate, payment schedule, late fee terms, balloon payment (if applicable) and when and how you need to pay.
Most promissory notes will have a due-on-sale clause that will make the entire balance due if the buyer decides to sell the property before the balance is paid off.
A deed of trust will also be signed and it’s usually recorded at the county’s clerks office. This legal document protects the seller in case the buyer defaults on the loan. It will allow the seller to foreclosure of the property if payments are not made.
Like any option, there are pros and cons. Let’s explore these below.
- Buyers that can not traditionally qualify through a bank might qualify through a seller directly. Banks sometimes have a very black and white way of looking at things. A seller might evaluate the buyer’s entire potential and make a decision based many other factors.
- The loan terms can be customized to fix the parties needs.
- Flexible down payments.
- The closing may be faster. With a traditional loan the closing can take 30-45 days.
- The closing costs could potentially be less. They might not include some of the normal lending fees
- The loans terms can be less desirable.
- The sales price and down payment requested could be higher.
- Interest rates can also be much higher than market rates.
- The amortization period might be too short or too long for comfort.
- The seller might include a balloon payment after 5-10 years.
- There usually is no appraisal involved so you might pay more that market value (Do your research).
- There might be pre-payment penalties
- The interest rates might not be fixed.
Ultimately owner financing can be a good option for both buyers and sellers but there are risks.
Buyers be warned
As a buyer thinking about owner financing, do your due diligence. Research the property, the community, the seller, etc.
- Beware of homes that are exclusively being offered as owner finance. Why? Are they selling the home for much more that market value? Is the home in poor condition? Are they trying to avoid home inspections or appraisals? Ask the questions.
- Did the seller ask your for a credit report, financial statements, proof of income, etc? If the seller is not looking into your finances, walk away. They should care if you can afford the home. Ideally you want your monthly payment to be less than 30% of your monthly income.
- Is the home paid off? If the seller owes a balance on the home, there is a higher risk for the buyer. You may be punctual in your payments but what happens if the seller doesn’t apply your payment to his mortgage? His mortgage company can foreclose of the home. You can end up losing all the funds you have paid towards the home plus the home itself!
- If the seller still owes a balance make sure that their mortgage does not have a due on sale clause. If they do have a due on sale clause, the bank can his bank demand immediate payment of the debt in full if the house is sold to you. If the lender isn’t paid, the bank can foreclose. To avoid this risk, make sure the seller owns the house free and clear or that the seller’s lender agrees to owner financing.
- Balloon payments – with many owner financing arrangements, a large balloon payment becomes due after a set number of years. If you can’t secure financing by then, you could lose all the money you’ve paid so far, plus the house.
- Consider having the home inspected. A home inspection is always an option for a buyer. These inspections are typically completed by a third party inspection company and will typically cost $350-550. If the seller does not allow you to have the home inspected, let this be a warning sign. What is he/she hiding?
- The seller should provide you with seller’s disclosures. All seller should disclosure issues that they know to be wrong with the property.
- Since a bank is not involved, there might not be an appraiser. In a traditional bank loan process, the bank will send an appraiser to evaluate the property’s worth. The appraiser will issue his opinion on value and condition. An appraiser is not an inspector, but if they see something that might effect the property’s value, they will note it and possibly force the parties to make repairs before the bank approves the loan. You as a buyer can order an appraisal of the property. If you are not sure of the market value of the property, speak to an REALTOR® or hire an appraiser.
- Research the community and schools. Even if you don’t have school aged kids, schools can make or break a property’s resale worth. Properties zoned to poor preforming schools might not resale as well as those zoned to excellent schools.
- Traditional owner-financed transactions often close in a lawyer’s office without title insurance, although it might be wise for the buyer in such transactions to at least obtain a title report indicating what liens, lawsuits, and judgments may affect the property. There has been fraud in this area. People that are not the true owners of a property might try to sell or rent a home they know to be vacant.
- This is one of the largest purchases you will probably make. You might want to consider hiring a real estate attorney to review the terms of the contract prior to signing an agreement.
- The owner will normally keep title to the house until the buyer pays off the loan. If the buyer defaults, the seller keeps the down payment, any money that was paid, plus the house.
Sellers be warned
As a seller you too run risks when owner financing a home. Do your due diligence before signing a agreement.
- SAFE Act – Sellers who engage in more than five (5) owner-finance transactions in a 12 month period must now have a Residential Mortgage Loan Originator License according to the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, also known as the SAFE Act.
- If you owe a mortgage on the property, speak to your lender to see if you have a due on sale clause. If you do, then owner finance may not be possible. Once you sell the home your mortgage balance will come due entirely. Speak to your lender and see if they will agree to owner financing.
- Make sure to review the buyer’s income. Their financial strengths, their credit or lack of credit, their available funds, etc. Speak to the buyer’s employer if they are not self employed. If they are self employed, considering looking at a few years of tax returns. You will decide what you find acceptable or not.
- Think about hiring a servicing company to receive the payments and establish an escrow account. This way the payment can be applied to the balance owed directly.
- The seller must determine that the buyer has the ability to repay the loan (and this must be supported by verifications and documentation).
- Although you won’t have to worry about insuring the property or making repairs as needed, you do run the risk of having to foreclose if the buyer stops making payments.
- Repair cost – if you do take back the property for whatever reason, you might end up having to pay for repairs and maintenance, depending on how well the buyer took care of the property.