5 Questions to Ask Katy TX Mortgage Lenders

calcBuying a home is undoubtedly one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. It’s important to thoroughly research ahead of time, especially as you begin the mortgage process and working with a Katy TX lender.

However, finding a lender you trust can be a process in itself, not to mention remembering to ask the proper questions. Below I’ve included five great questions to ask Houston area lenders this year as you prepare to buy a home in Katy TX and the surrounding communities.

1. Is now a good time for me to buy?
A lender will look at your financial situation and determine if now is the best time for you to buy a home.

2. Which debts should I pay down first? And how soon?
Taking into consideration your high-interest debts and loans, a lender will determine which will help get you a better interest rate and how soon you should begin paying them in order to secure one.

3. How much will I have to pay at closing?
Each loan comes with its own set of closing costs, so be sure to ask your lender about those that apply to yours.

4. How do I pay at closing?
Inquire about the method of payment for closing costs when the time comes.

5. Who services my home loan?
Mortgage loans are often serviced by third-party, so make it a priority to ask who will be overseeing yours.

Choosing a lender is one of the most important steps in the home buying process and these questions are just the beginning. Give me a call today for more information about homes available in the Houston TX area or with questions about getting started as a buyer.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

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How to Lower Your Katy TX Energy Bill This Summer

sunThe temperatures are really heating up here in Katy TX! And while we’re all certainly looking forward to this time of year, the impending summer heat can bring about a rise in utility bills for Texas homeowners.

There are dozens of ways to keep mounting utility costs at bay this year and as your Katy TX real estate expert, I’m sharing some with you below!

Clean your air filters
It’s important to clean your air filters to keep your heating and cooling bills down this summer. When filters are dirty, these systems have to work much harder and use much more energy to function properly. With clean filters, your home can run as it is meant to and help bring down your utility bills.

Install a new thermostat
If you haven’t already, consider installing a new thermostat in your Houston TX area home. A programmable model can control your home’s temperature at various times of the day—for instance, when you’re sleeping or out of the house—to keep costs low. These types of thermostats can reduce your energy usage drastically this summer.

Add mulch
Summer is a popular season for planting flowers, vegetables and herbs, but that also means you’ll be watering more often. Adding mulch into your landscaping will help to slow evaporation, keep the water on the ground longer and allow you to water less frequently.

Apply window film or curtains
To keep the hot summer sun out of your home and reduce cooling costs, Katy TX homeowners can install curtains or window film. Installing window film is as simple as measuring your window size, cutting the film and applying it to your window; this will help to block the heat from entering your home.

If you’re ready to begin house-hunting in the Houston area this season or contemplating selling your home, give me a call today!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

Mickie C Team
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What a Seller’s Market Means in Katy TX

kitchenBy now, you may have heard about a lack of inventory in the real estate market or noticed it for yourself as you begin house-hunting in Katy TX. Inventory has been trending on the lower side for months and while it may be frustrating for buyers, it has contributed to what’s called a “seller’s market.”

A seller’s market is one in which homeowners have the upper hand, which can lead to quicker and easier sales. For buyers, it likely means more competition for the house of your dreams in the Houston TX area.

If you are a home seller this year in Katy TX, keep in mind the following ways you can prepare for a successful sale:

Inspect and disclose
As a homeowner, it is wise to disclose any known issues associated with your property from a roof leak to a plumbing problem. Once you have a deal with a buyer, the control becomes theirs and it could be more costly to you than repairing the problems ahead of time or making the buyer aware prior to the deal so they can factor that in their offer.

Decide how to deal with offers
In a real estate market with lower inventory, you may find that multiple offers are on the table. Devise a plan for how you will deal with them or wisely defer to your real estate agent for assistance. Each strategy is dependent on the specific area— for instance, it may make more sense to accept an offer right away in one area versus waiting a given amount of time to review all offers in another.

Analyze the competition
This is one perk of working with a real estate agent! Prior to listing your home in the Houston TX area, I will analyze comparable properties in the area to find the best listing price. I have years of experience in helping sellers price their homes competitively so buyers will take notice!

Questions about selling your Texas home? Give me a call today! I’m happy to help walk you through what it takes for a successful sale!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

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The Extra Costs of Buying a Katy TX Home

moneyThe two major costs associated with buying a home in Katy TX are the down payment and the monthly mortgage. However, there are a few others that buyers tend to overlook— causing both surprise and shock when the time comes to sign on the dotted line.

Below are four hidden costs of buying a home and to avoid disappointment later, it is important to factor them into your budget before you find the one.

Closing Costs
Katy TX buyers can expect closing costs to span anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of the home’s value. Your mortgage lender will go over all of the fees and costs with you, but be sure to consider closing costs in your research. And while the seller may cover some of these costs—depending on how you work your offer—you may have to contribute toward the grand total that can add up to a few thousand dollars.

Home Inspection
Although the home inspection can cost up to $500, it ultimately provides buyers with peace of mind, knowing that they are not purchasing a property with major issues or one that requires extensive repair.

Home Warranty
A home warranty provides extra security to buyers who may be purchasing an older home, with older appliances and operating systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC). Warranties can be paid for at times by the seller, but if taken on by the buyer, they can cost around a few hundred dollars per year.

Maintenance
A large yard may be on your wish list for a home in the Houston TX area, but that also requires timely upkeep— and the tools to do so. Do you have a lawn mower? Take expenses like these into account before you are faced with having to buy them quickly.

If buying a home in the Houston TX area is on your agenda this spring, give me a call today for more information!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

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Your Katy TX Homeowner To-Do List for March

hoseMarch has arrived and before we know it, the birds will be singing, the weather will warm even more, and spring will be in full bloom. But before we can get there, there are a few tasks you will want to cross off of your Katy TX homeowner to-do list— cleaning your gutters, for instance.

Below are four tasks to add to your homeowner to-do list this month and you will be ready to enjoy the spring season ahead!

Clean your gutters
Debris has likely built up in your gutters over the past few months and if not tended to, it can cause a variety of problems both inside and outside of your Katy TX home. Take a weekend to clean out the gutters and flush water through to ensure the spouts are in proper working order.

Repair cracks in walkways
It is not uncommon for the winter to bring about cracks and gaps in your sidewalks and driveway. Use a sealant to fill these gaps and prevent further cracking, not to mention keep trips and falls at bay!

Caulk windows and doors
Check around windows and doors for any caulking that may have been damaged over the winter and repair if necessary. As spring weather tends to bring more rain than usual, you will want to ensure that no water is able to get inside.

Clean your home’s exterior
No matter if you’re staying put or planning to move to a new home in the Houston TX area, cleaning your home’s exterior is a must this March. Consider renting a pressure washer to spray away any dirt and grime that may have built up on your siding over the winter and doing the same to your deck or patio area. These two small tasks will do wonders for curb appeal and impressing buyers!

Every Houston area homeowner is looking forward to the spring season, but especially those who are interested in selling!

Give me a call today for more information about listing your home in the Katy TX area or for next steps about preparing your property for today’s buyers.

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

Mickie C Team
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4 Things to Never Do When Buying a Katy TX Home

house-1407562_1280Buying a home in the Katy TX area is a major milestone, not one to be taken lightly. In fact, there is a great deal of research that should go into your decision to choose and purchase a property. As your local real estate expert in Katy TX, I’ve gathered a list below of four things never to do when buying a home so your experience can be as positive and smooth as possible!

Below are four things to avoid on your home buying journey in the Houston TX area this year:

Don’t shop for a home by yourself
When you go it alone on your home search in the Katy TX area, you are missing out on all of the expertise a real estate agent has to give you! Do yourself a favor and team up with a knowledgeable agent before you begin looking at homes for sale. After all, they’ve done this before and can help you around obstacles!

Don’t take the first mortgage quote
Shopping for a mortgage is a crucial part of the buying process. Smart buyers will gather numerous quotes from lenders before deciding which mortgage type and interest rate best suits them. As a rule of thumb, never take the first quote you receive, instead look at a few quotes before you choose.

Don’t ignore your budget
There is a reason the term “price range” exists and that is to keep you from going over how much you can reasonable afford in the real estate market. The last thing you want is to find a home you love, but learn it is out of your reach. Sit down and create a budget, then stick to it when you begin shopping for homes.

Don’t ignore closing costs
Did you know many buyers are unaware of closing costs? Don’t let yourself be surprised at the closing table, learning that you owe more money, but ask your lender how much closing costs may be when you meet with them. You can typically estimate two to seven percent of the home’s purchase price.

Give me a call today for more information about buying a home in the Houston TX area! I am happy to provide a list of homes available around Katy TX, as well as next steps for making your home buyer dreams come true!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

Mickie C Team
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Now is a Great Time to Sell Your Katy TX Home!

house-1353389_640We recently shared 4 Features That Will Hook Katy TX Homebuyers and to continue with the helpful homeowner tips, we’re now breaking down why the current market offers the best opportunity to sell in YEARS!

If you’re a homeowner in Houston TX area, don’t be too quick to write off this spring, given the global health situation, as a poor time to list your home. In fact, the local market conditions present a lucrative scenario for sellers!

Below are five reasons why now is the best time in years to sell your home in the Katy TX area:

Home Buyer Demand is High
The pandemic may have slowed many things, but buyer demand is not one of them. Buyers are determined to upgrades their homes, realizing that what they have may no longer be working for them, and they are out in droves!

Home Inventory is Low
And while buyer demand soars, the number of homes for sale to meet this demand does not match. Inventory is on the lower end, meaning listing your property now could get you in front of those buyers (multiple buyers!) eager to move! The ball is truly in the seller’s court right now!

Home Prices are Rising
Conditions are right for home sellers to get a great price for their property. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS, “Many sellers can get top dollar in the current market conditions.”

Mortgage Rates are Still Low
Did you know that mortgage rates dipped to record lows 16 times in 2020? Interest rates are expected to continue with this trend as we move further into the new year, but if you’re wondering if you should wait for another steep drop before you sell and move, the answer is always to act sooner.

According to Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate, “As a return to normal starts to come into view, we’ll see mortgage rates bounce off the record lows.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com agrees: “Home asking price growth is actually higher now than it was before the pandemic.”

Home Buyer Needs Have Changed
Now that buyers are spending more time at home, their current spaces aren’t seeming so roomy anymore! Dining tables have become offices and with more than one family member working from home, buyers are noticing they need more square footage, or at the very least, an additional bedroom. Even outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly important as residents spend more time within their own yards.

If your property could fit the bill for today’s Katy TX buyers and you’re looking to sell and move on, why not find out what your home is worth? Give our team a call today to find out how we can help you list your home and find your next dream home in the Houston TX area!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

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4 Home Features That Will Hook Katy TX Homebuyers

mat

Welcome Home

When you’re motivated to sell your Katy TX home, you will likely go to many lengths to ensure that your property is ready for the market, but also to ensure you hook buyers from the start! Of course that is dependent on many factors, one of the most important being pricing, but there are a few home features that can help you grab and keep buyer interest this year.

The front door
Curb appeal is everything to Katy buyers, so grab their eye immediately with your front door! A bold color could be just what they need to want to see more, especially if the exterior is rather neutral. But if bold color isn’t your cup of tea, consider an architecturally appealing door instead.

Ceiling height
High ceilings are a buyer favorite, but they are not available in all Katy TX homes. If you are not among the high ceiling crowd, you can achieve a similar feel by painting your entry white, including the ceiling, to create the illusion of wide, open space.

Privacy
Don’t have an open concept home? Don’t worry! Many buyers love the idea of privacy between rooms, especially living and dining spaces. It’s the differentiation between spaces that will set your property apart! Talk it over with your agent as buyers differ by location, but you may even like to consider adding a wall to achieve this feel.

Separation from the pack
Regardless if your Houston TX area home is located in a neighborhood full of similar looking properties, if yours has even one different identifying factor like a paint brick instead of the typical red, you could be on your way. Buyers today are looking for that something that sets your property apart from the rest, especially as many homes in today’s newer neighborhoods tend to look the same.

I’ve helped numerous Katy TX home sellers prepare their properties for the market and achieve a successful sale— let me do the same for you! Give me a call today for more information about the Katy real estate market and the best time to list your home.

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

Mickie C Team
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Kick Off 2021 with These Katy TX Activities

Katy TX Events

Katy TX Winter Events

Happy New Year! With a new year comes new events, activities and traditions to experience and create in Katy TX. Though many events are still on pause, there are some fun activities you can enjoy in the coming weeks. As your Katy real estate agent, I’m here to offer a few suggestions, so you can get out of the house this winter and have some fun, as a family, couple, group of friends, or solo!

1.  Painting with a Twist has a whole new lineup of paintings for you to explore this year. A few upcoming options include a tranquil spring morning, date night celestial moon, beach scene, northern lights, raccoons for kids ages six and up, elephant, sunset and more. There are tons to choose from, pick your favorite and sign up for a painting night!

2.  Learn a new craft this year. Cane Island has a few workshops coming up. On Jan. 16 is a Photography Workshop. Learn basic camera settings, shooting in manual mode, lighting tips and more. Sign up in advance and take these new skills with you when you explore nature or capture family moments in 2021! Also on Jan. 16 is a Sushi 101 Class. If you love sushi, learn to make it at home!

3.  Wino Events hosts virtual and in-person events around the area. It looks like the Katy tours are sold out this month, but check their lineup for future outings. On Jan. 16 is a North Houston trip to Chappell Hill Winery Tour with BBQ Lunch. Virtually, they have a Virtual Wine Tasting Class & Murder Mystery coming up tomorrow, Jan. 14. On Jan. 20 is a Virtual Wine Tasting Class & Trivia Contest.

4.  Get out on Katy’s trails this month! If you have a resolution to get fit, get outside more, spend more time as a family, etc., Katy’s hiking and biking trails are a great way to achieve those goals. There are so many to choose from. Bear Creek Park has 2.01 miles of walking trails. Cullen Park has 5 miles. George Bush Hike and Bike Trail has 11.36 miles. Check out this full list to choose your next destination!

5.  Central Green Park at LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch is hosting numerous events throughout the month. This includes Laughter Yoga on Jan. 14, Tai Chi on Jan. 16, Story Time on the Green on Jan. 18 and more. They also sometimes host Movie Nights, so check their schedule for February to see what else they will have available.

Enjoy your start to a new year! When ready to achieve your Katy TX real estate goals, as a buyer, seller or both, give me a call. As your Katy real estate agent, I can tell you that 2021 is still a hot year for real estate activity. There is no reason to wait until spring to achieve your goals! Contact me, let’s discuss your goals and your timeline, and we’ll go from there.

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

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2021 Design Trends for Your Katy TX Home

katy tx real estateAre you looking to update your Katy TX home in 2021, after spending much more time at home in 2020? Home design experts have shared some of the trends they are seeing now, and some they predict will become big in 2021. As your Katy real estate agent, I’m here to share some of these with you today. Happy renovation!

1.  Luxury pantries. Luxury walk-in closets have been trendy in bedrooms for awhile, but now, walk-in pantries are catching up. Buyers want a bigger space for storing food, and lots of space to browse.

2.  Outdoor oasis. Homeowners are seeking more time outdoors, especially after 2020. Any updates to the backyard space are desirable, but this time of year, especially fire pits and patio heaters.

3.  Home offices. Also a trend due to 2020, more homeowners are converting spare bedrooms or spare corners of a room into a home office, or a desk space for kids schooling at home.

4.  Warmer palettes. Homeowners are switching to warmer, cleaner, brighter palettes, and softer, more plush materials, for more upbeat and cozier settings. Whites, natural wood finishes, soft green and blush undertones are all gaining popularity.

5.  Grander staircases. Entryways have been in the spotlight for years, but now homeowners desire a grand staircase to show off upon entering. Upgrade a current staircase with new treads, risers, handrails, etc.

6.  Resilient landscaping. Homeowners want landscaping that is more native to their location and therefore less work and more resilient to extreme weather conditions.

Wondering which home design trends are on their way out? This can be determined by which trends appeal to buyers, and which turn them off. Here are some trends that designers say are on their way out:

1.  Modern farmhouse style décor has been in for years now, but it seems to be on its way out, such as barn doors and shiplap. Other elements of this style are sticking around, like light, airy styles and neutrals.

2.  White-on-white kitchens have seen their day in the spotlight, but perhaps due to homes being more lived in this year, buyers are more interested in grays and accent colors.

3.  Glass block bathrooms walls were popular for a time, because they let more light through them. Now buyers would prefer skylights and LED lights for better bathroom lighting.

4.  Granite has been the go-to for kitchen countertops for a long time now, but this trend is starting to move more toward quartz. This is good news, as quartz is harder and more durable.

What home design trend would you like to see come or go? Have fun making your Katy home more desirable in 2021, either for your family, or so it attracts buyers when you go to sell! When ready to achieve your Katy real estate market goals, give me a call, your Katy real estate agent. I am here and ready to help you buy, sell or both in the coming year! Happy New Year!

Mickie Cioccia | Broker Associate

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Katyites | Powered by © Katy Real Estate, Texas Real Estate - use Katyites Real Estate to find real estate in Katy Real Estate or other Texas real estate. Use our home buyer tools to research all aspects of the Katy Real Estate housing market including Katy Real Estate neighborhood information, Katy Real Estate home loans, and Katy schools. Whether looking for homes for sale in Katy Real Estate or Katy Real Estate apartments for rent, Yahoo! Real Estate can help. Our Katy real estate market snapshot gives you an overview of the housing market in Katy Real Estate, TX - easily find Katy Real Estate housing market prices, housing inventory statistics such as number of listings, median home price, home price trends, and monthly real estate market trends. Once you have a better sense for the Katy real estate market, search our Katy Real Estate foreclosures, Katy Real Estate new homes, Katy Real Estate classifieds, Katy Real Estate rentals, or all Katy homes for sale. From the award winning KatyISD school district, to the tremendous value in luxury homes in great family subdivisions like Cinco Ranch, Grand Lakes, Seven Meadows, Green Trails, Kelliwood, Nottingham, Windsor Park, Cross Creek Ranch, and Falcon Ranch, to world class hospitals and medical facilities that have the Katy area being dubbed "Med Center West"

realized they had found the perfect place for their clients to raise a family...and for their clients parents to enjoy the Grandchildren! Katy boasts great Active Senior options like Heritage Grand (a 55+ section of Cinco Ranch) and The Solana at Cinco Ranch, wonderful family amenities like parks, playgrounds, golf courses, lakes, fishing, boating, nature walks, and short drives to the beach and Hill Country. the Katy area is a great place to enjoy the weekend. Simply put Katy has it all! Area Tour" with you and show you why they feel Katy Real Estate is the best place in the Houston area to live, work. and play! You will see schools, great luxury family subdivisions, shopping facilities, highway options, and wonderful restaurants! Cross Creek Ranch: Cross Creek Ranch is the newest Master Planned Community in the Katy Real Estate area but is quickly catching on with those looking for a little slower pace

While still having lots of amenities and wonderful school options. Developed by the same people who brought us Grand Lakes, Cross Creek Ranch has a wide variety of homes and prices. This community is an easy commute to I-10 and the Westpark Tollway. Kelliwood: Kelliwood is a beautiful group of subdivisions off S. Fry Rd. A wide range of homes and home prices can be found here. From Custom Gated sections like LakeForest that are comprised of all estate homes...to smaller patio homes that border the Willow Fork Country Club. The short commute times appeal to a wide range of buyers! Green Trails: Green Trails is a large Master Planned Community that borders I-10, S. Fry Rd, and Baker Rd. It is full of amenities for the family, is close to I-10 and the Houston Energy Corridor, and has a variety of styles and price ranges from small one story homes up to Custom Estates...no matter what you are looking for it will be easy for you to carve out your slice of Green Trails! Silver Ranch: A fairly new master planned community located in area that some folks believe is the best part of all of Katy Real Estate.

Silver Ranch is only a short drive away from Katy Mills Mall and is located in the highly acclaimed Katy Independent School District. The community is approximately 3 miles from both I-10 and the Westpark Tollway. Lavish homes ranging from the $140's to $300's make the community very affordable for growing famililies or empty nesters. Silver Ranch is conveniently located for access to major employers in the energy corridor and has easy entree to South West Houston, Sugarland, West Park Tollway along with numerous park and ride bus lots that have express service to downtown Houston. When this community is completed it will be home to about 1,500 families. Amenities include Six Lane Jr Olympic Pool , Stone Grill Children's Splash Pad, Tennis Court, Playground and Swing Set, Outdoor BBQ Pavilion and numerous Walking Trails.

Seven Meadows: Seven Meadows is a Master Planned Community that was developed by the same people who put Cinco Ranch on the map! It is located right off HWY 99 (the Grand Parkway) with short commutes to both I-10 and the Westpark Tollway. Pools, parks, a movie theater, work out facilities, and nature trails are all part of this great community!


Katy is a city located in Harris, Fort Bend and Waller Counties in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The population was 11,775 at the 2000 census.

Katy, suburb of Houston, Texas, is named for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (commonly referred to as the "K-T Railroad", now a part of Union Pacific) that ran through Katy in the 19th century. Katy was once known as Cane Island. The name is derived from Cane Island Creek which runs just west of downtown. Cane Creek is a branch of Buffalo Bayou. The origins of the name Cane Island are believed to be from the fact that Katy was once a major sugar cane producer and rice producer. To commermorate the importance of rice to the Katy community, the Chamber of Commerce holds the Rice Harvest Festival every second weekend of October.

Katy was recently the location of one of the ten large red balloons in the DARPA Network Challenge on December 5, 2009. The balloon was stationed in Katy Park.

In 2009 the Gadberry Group named Katy as one of nine "9 from 2009" most notable high growth areas in the United States.
After a low income apartment complex was proposed for development in an adjacent unincorporated area, in 2010 the Katy City Council passed a resolution stating that the development would decrease property values.[5] The plans for the complex were canceled.