Homes that are for sale by owner — when a seller decides not to hire a listing agent — are more common than you might think. They account for about 8 percent of all home listings currently on the market. If you’re on the house hunt, you’re likely to come across one in your search.
What’s different about buying one of these homes? What can you do to leverage the situation to get the most for your money?
Here are four things for you to keep in mind when thinking of buying a “For Sale by Owner” home:
1. Hire an agent. Since the seller doesn’t have an agent, it’s vital that you do — if only to ensure the transaction is handled correctly and legally. An agent will be knowledgeable about market conditions and can help you craft your offer, prepare the contracts and find the right lender to work with.
2. Be ready to negotiate. These homes are rarely priced appropriately. Sellers typically overvalue their homes due to their emotional attachment to it. Having an agent on your side gives you access to comparable sales data to help you negotiate the right price.
3. Get a home inspection. The owner may not know that they are legally required to disclose known issues with the property, and that oversight could mean costly repairs down the road. A home inspection can shed light on potential problems before you go through with the sale.
4. Add contingencies to your contract. Contingencies give you an exit route should something go wrong during the transaction. If you can’t get a loan, you’re unhappy with the inspection results or the appraisal doesn’t come in at the sale price, you have a way to back out and save your money.
Want to be prepared for your new home purchase? Get in touch today for help on making the best decision for your budget and goals.
#thevillarrealteam #remaxintegrity #homeforsalebyowner #needanagent
Moving can be hectic. With dozens of to-dos, a tight timeline and a growing pile of boxes, it’s easy to forget things. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Get organized now by making a checklist to work from.
Set deadlines for tasks like hiring movers, renting a storage or turning on your new utilities. Aside from packing up room by room, make sure your list has these often forgotten items, too:
Forward Your Mail: The post office makes it very easy to ensure your mail gets routed to the right place. Just head to a local branch or go online to update your address with the date you’ll be moving, and your mail will automatically forward.
Measure and Decide: Take a measuring tape to your new home and jot down the measurements of each wall and nook. What furniture and decor will fit in your new space? What won’t? It’s better to make decisions about what to donate or sell before moving day.
Refill Prescriptions: It may take some time to get your prescriptions forwarded to a new pharmacy, plus finding the time to pick them up. So if possible, get your prescriptions refilled ahead of time from your current pharmacy.
Back Up Your Electronics: Back up your computer and phone to the cloud, and make sure you’ve uploaded all your photos, documents somewhere safe. In the event something happens to your devices during the move, a backup will get you up and running.
Are you ready to make a move? Whether you’re considering selling your current home or thinking of finding a new one, get in touch today for help and resources to guide you through the process. The Villarreal Team can help!
#rubenandnancy #thevillarrealteam #movingdaylist
The fourth of July celebration is rooted in American history.
It’s a day for backyard barbecues, hometown parades and fireworks. It’s the celebration of our independence as a nation, and it’s been known as America’s birthday since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
On July 4, cities across the country will celebrate with concerts, parades, festivals, food, and of course, fireworks. But, if crowds aren’t your thing, host your own festivities from home. Here are some simple ideas to celebrate the red, white and blue from your own backyard.
BBQ Cookoff – Kick your Independence Day cookout up a notch with a BBQ cookoff. Create categories such as meat, veggies and appetizers and invite your friends to bring their favorite recipe in a specific category. Have guests vote on their favorite and award the winner in each category a prize. Need a little inspiration?
Check out these fun and festive 4th of July recipes from Good Housekeeping.
Movie Under the Stars – All you need is a projector and an outdoor screen (or white bed sheet) to enjoy a movie under the stars. Popcorn and s’mores will make it the perfect night. (Don’t forget the bug spray!) Here are a few films full of patriotism and celebration of America the whole family will enjoy: American Graffiti (PG-13); Independence Day (PG-13); Stand By Me (R); Glory (R); National Treasure (PG); Lincoln (PG-13); Yankee Doodle Dandy (G); Miracle (PG); Apollo 13 (PG).
Backyard Carnival – Break out the slip ‘n’ slide, set out the yard games and decorate with banners, flags and lights for a backyard carnival and fun for kids of all ages. Sparklers, poppers and fireworks will make the perfect ending to your Fourth of July backyard carnival (be sure to check your local ordinances regarding fireworks).
Go Camping – Set up tents and a firepit for a campout with the kids. This is a simple, low-key way to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. Cook hotdogs and roast marshmallows over the fire, tell ghost stories, sing songs and catch fireflies. A backyard campout is certain to create lasting memories for you and your children.
Celebrate with Red, White and Blue – Don’t forget the decorations! From tablecloths and paper plates to banners, flags and flowers, make your party festive with plenty of red, white and blue. Decorating doesn’t have to break the bank — check out your local dollar store for plenty of festive and affordable balloons, decor, paper goods and more.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, here are a few tips to ensure your backyard celebration is enjoyable for everyone:
- Watch the weather. If there’s a chance of rain in the forecast, have a backup plan so you and your guests can enjoy the day, rain or shine.
- Keep unwanted pests away with citronella candles, tiki torches and bug spray. Be sure to remove any standing water from in and around your yard.
- Be sure there’s plenty of lighting. Hang outdoor lights or strategically place lanterns around the yard to create a soft glow when the sun goes down.
- Keep cool. It’s sure to be hot in July, so offer plenty of ways for your guests to stay cool. Pop up shade tents, place fans and/or misters around the yard and keep drinks chilled with plenty of ice in the cooler.
- Start early. July 4 falls on a Wednesday this year, so start your party early so guests can enjoy the fun without worrying about staying out too late on a weeknight.
Don’t have a backyard of your own where you can host a celebration? Maybe it’s time to make the move and purchase your own home by contacting The Villarreal Team today!
#thevillarrealteam #rubenandnancy #happy4thofjuly #remaxrealtor
Ruben & Nancy Villarreal along with the entire Villarreal Team considers the heroes at the Spring Fire Department as one of our community’s greatest assets. In return, we are proud to go the extra mile for their health. Spring Senior Captain, Matt Corso’s story highlights one of our initiatives that is already saving lives. Please click on the link to watch the video.
Join The Villarreal Team in saluting The Spring Fire Department and all our local heroes!
The Spring Fire Department is located in Spring, Texas, approximately 25 miles north of downtown Houston. Founded in 1953, Spring FD is one of the largest combination fire departments in the state of Texas serving 62 square miles of unincorporated Harris County. Under a contract with Harris County Emergency Services District #7, Spring Fire Department provides fire suppression and certain rescue services to a population of 152,000 residents. Operating out of nine stations, with a fleet of 40 apparatus, Spring FD is under the leadership of Fire Chief Scott Seifert.
As a combination fire department, they utilize volunteer, part-time and full-time firefighters each and every day to provide the best service for the community.
Their Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating from ISO is a Class 3.
#thevillarrealteam #rubenandnancy #springrealtors #springheros
Texas is BIG in its Barbeque:
Butler House… a Home Style American Fare with a Classical French Influence
The Butler House is a new innovative restaurant with an intriguing concept. The restaurant itself was formerly a home and pays tribute to Bryan, one of the owner’s, as he is from Butler, Pennsylvania.
When the idea to open a restaurant presented itself our goal was to produce a place of uniqueness and versatility. Besides our core values, we cherish family, community and charity, which is represented the moment you step inside. With a local American theme, using locally sourced foods, in addition, craft beer. With the perk of being easily accessible and centrally located helps us bring it together. The layout perfectly accommodates family dining while simultaneously pleasing our happy hour guests.
The Butler house serves as the perfect place for any occasion and for any customer. Offering a beautiful menu with classical French influence mixed with a southern home style flare and our Chef’s personal entrées. Our goal is to be remembered for our service, distinct atmosphere and exclusive adaptability.
#thevillarrealteam #rubenandnancy #butlerhouse #springtexas
There is a great new loan program for buyers that are self-employed and/or 1099 employees! Below is some general information regarding this loan program. Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact us. We would love to assist you with your real estate needs!
Borrower Employment Types:
o Must provide business license, Tax Preparer’s letter or corporate paperwork.
Personal or Business Bank Statements can be accepted. However, qualifying income will be calculated differently.
Personal Bank Statements: 100% of Deposits
Add all deposits for all 12 or 24 months and divide that amount by 12 or 24 respectively to receive the monthly income amount we will apply as the borrower’s qualifying income.
Ex. 24 months deposits total = $200,000 / 24 = $8,333 a month income.
Ex. 12 months deposits total = $100,000 / 12 = $8,333 a month income.
Business Bank Statements: 50% of Deposits
Add all deposits for all 12 or 24 months, divide by 2, and then divide by 12 or 24 respectively to receive the monthly income amount we will allow for the borrower.
Ex. 24 month deposit total = $500,000 / 2 = $250,000 / 24 = $10,333 per month income. Only 50% is used because we have to assume the business has overhead.
Details of Loan Program:
Personal & Business Guidelines
- Only deposits can be used
- Transfers are NOT counted on personal and case-by-case for business*
- Must have 12 or 24 consecutive months of statements (no gaps)
- Must provide All pages (even the last pages with advertising)
- Cannot comingle (use two different accounts) statements**
- If account was used and closed and new account for remainder of statements must show closing of old account and opening of new account
* Transfers may be accepted for business statements when they come from credit card clearing houses (examples: Paypal, Square, AMEX, etcetera). Reviewed for acceptance of loan on a case-by-case basis, and must be considered normal for the company.
** Multiple accounts are considered for loan on a case-by-case basis when (a) one account is closing and reopening new account, or (b) for Business accounts that are two different and autonomous businesses.
Again, feel free to contact The Villarreal Team for further information on this program and/or for all your real estate needs.
#rubenandnancy #thevillarrealteam #remax #remaxintegrity #loanprogramforselfemployeed
Here are a few quick fairly easy options for updating your space:
Tired of your home looking off-trend and out of touch? Or investing in an older home and want ideas in updating it? You don’t need deep pockets to do either. In fact, upgrading your home can be quite affordable with the right projects.
Here are five ways to make a big impact without spending a lot:
Repaint. Paint trends come and go, so if your walls are still the same color or have the same wallpaper from 1950, they’re likely out of date. Consider giving the walls a new look with a more modern tone.
Change light fixtures. It’s time to kick out-of-style light fixtures to the curb. Pendant lighting, Edison bulbs and simple recessed lighting are what’s hot with today’s designers and buyers.
Update your hardware. You’d be surprised at how easily doorknobs, drawer pulls, locks and handles can start to look aged. Take a good look at your existing hardware, and consider upgrading to newer models. And don’t forget the hinges.
Reface your appliances. Have an old, yellowing appliance but don’t want to replace what’s not broken? Just use peel-and-stick stainless steel or marble contact paper, and reface those appliances instantly.
Install a kickplate. If you want to upgrade your curb appeal but can’t afford a new door, consider installing a kickplate. It’s an instant, affordable way to add visual appeal to any existing entryway.
These upgrades may seem minor, but when done properly, they can have a serious impact on your home’s aesthetic.
If you’re considering more extensive updates, let’s get together to discuss ways to increase your home’s marketability and long-term value. We are just a phone call away to talk about your options to increase the sell or appearance of your home for future sell. RE/MAX Integrity – Ruben and Nancy Villarreal…Office 281-370-5100.
#rubenandnancy #thevillarrealteam #updatinghome
Our Community Market since 1991 – Their Story
Locally owned and operated:
Mike Atkinson along with his wife Theresa, and son Bobby make up Atkinson Farms.
This is a 4th generation farm, with my grandfather having started farming in Harris County.
My father and grandfather farmed through the 50’s while also running a grocery store on the north side of Houston. In the year 1953 I came along. And in 1961 my grandfather purchased the farm my son and I farm own today.
Throughout the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s my grandfather and father raised vegetables and sold them to Weingarten’s Grocery Store. The crop we primarily grew was 50,000 tomatoe plants, 100,000 bell peppers and 50,000 eggplants in the spring. In the fall and winter we only grew green onions and radish. In the late 70’s we started raising leafy vegetables. Mustard greens, collards and turnips. In 1983 Weingarten closed. We started to change and grow a different variety of vegetables, selling direct to grocery stores and the Harris County Farmer Market.
Successful Farming – Preparation of land – Soil fertility – Proper equipment – Variety of seed – Good weather conditions – Neat and clean harvesting fresh – Proper marketing
In 1988 my grandfather passed away, leaving the farm to my dad and me. Two years was enough for him, and he retired and sold me the farm in 1991. My son Bobby has always worked on the farm. He graduated from Klein Oak H.S. and went right to work on the farm full time 60-
In the late 90’s things really got tough growing vegetables at wholesale on a large scale, because of competition and Mexico. My wife, Theresa one day asked why we don’t open a market of our own. Bobby and I thought about that and decided why not. In 2000 we did just that, and it has been good for us on the retail side and raising vegetables for our market. Now our market caters to the local grocery store, Bayou City Farmers Market, and The Woodlands Farmers Market.
Presently today we farm about 100 acres of vegetables. We have two box trucks for RB Schoemann, 19 tractors, over 100 pieces of equipment, and 8 full time workers at about 60-