Tag: Katy TX Homebuyers

Make the Most of Open Houses as Katy Homebuyer

katy tx homebuyers

Open House Tips for Katy Homebuyers

If you’re visiting open houses this summer as a Katy homebuyer, you want to make the most of your time, so you’re not just wasting precious hours of summer! As your Katy real estate agent, allow me to fill you in on some ways you can get the most out of the open houses you visit. If you’d like to set up some private showings that work better with your schedule, give me a call!

1.  Plan ahead. Some open houses are scheduled last minute, but usually the week before, you can plan which open houses to visit the following weekend. Ask your agent for a list of open houses that best fit your criteria. You can also browse the web and social media, or drive around, to find open houses.

2.  Arrive early so you can scope out the area. Walk around the neighborhood a bit, check out the community clubhouse or pool if there is one, and stop and talk to neighbors if you see any. This is a great way to learn more about the location!

3.  Have a list of questions ready for the seller’s agent. Helpful questions include: Have you received any offers? If bids are already in, you’d have to move really fast and decide if you’re prepared for that. When does the seller want to move? This will let you know if the seller is in a hurry, which might mean more negotiating power. Is the seller flexible on price? How many days has the home been on the market? Has the price changed? What are the average utility costs, or HOA costs, or property taxes? Are there any issues or recent renovations/repairs the agent knows about? What amenities does the community include, if any? These are all important and acceptable questions.

4.  Don’t give out too much information. The agent may ask you questions in return, but you don’t want to give too much away, as oversharing could hurt your negotiating power if you decide to make an offer. However, be friendly and thank the agent for their time, as you may be working with them if you do make an offer.

5.  Take notes and photos. If you’re visiting numerous open houses, especially in one weekend, it’s easy to forget what you liked or disliked about each home, and which features belonged to each home. Bring a notepad and take photos on your phone to help you keep them straight. In your notes, make it obvious which homes and features you liked most.

Whether visiting open houses or setting up private showings, you can gather a lot more information about a home from seeing it in person than you can from viewing images online. When ready for help with the home-buying process in Katy, contact me, your Katy real estate agent! Whether buying, selling or both this summer, I can help answer your questions and guide you through the entire process in the Katy real estate market.

Mickie Cioccia

Mickie C and Company Realty
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How to Spot Expensive Repairs When House Hunting in Katy, TX

Katy Real Estate

Home Inspections for Katy Homebuyers

When you’re ready to buy a home in the Katy real estate market, give me a call for help! As a Katy real estate agent, I can answer all of your questions and help guide you through the entire home-buying process, until you’ve got the keys to your Katy dream home in hand!

It’s a competitive market for homebuyers, but that doesn’t mean that you should forego the home inspection before purchasing. Knowing which repairs are most expensive will help you determine whether a home with major issues is still worth purchasing.

Here are some of the most expensive repairs/issues to look out for:

Cracks in the foundation – No matter how many updates can be found in the home, if it has a faulty foundation, it can have a ripple effect throughout the entire home. Fixing foundation problems could run well into the tens of thousands. Make sure your home inspector checks for this!

High-rise updates – If you purchase a condo, the good news is that your HOA fees go to fixing repairs in the building. But if you’d like to upgrade your unit, such as install central air or heavy-load appliances, or replace windows, it could cost you a pretty penny. The higher up you are, the more you may be charged. Pay attention to the details when purchasing in a high rise!

Installing air-conditioning – Nobody wants to find themselves without air-conditioning in the heat of a summer in Katy! Adding A/C to a home without existing duct work could run $30,000 or more. The cost of replacing a unit varies on size of home and efficiency of unit. Just something to keep in mind when assessing the A/C in a home!

Mold and drainage issues – Mold is a growing problem in homes, but also hard to find if it’s hidden inside drywall. Home inspectors don’t always check for this, so it’s something you may have to hire an extra mold inspector for. If you are immunocompromised or have major allergies, or you notice any mold or water leak stains, it might be worth your while to prevent health issues in the future.

Termite troubles – Pest control experts estimate homeowners in the U.S. have spent around $2 billion treating termite issues each year. This cost is rarely covered by homeowners insurance. Since they are hard to spot by untrained eyes, this is again something to lay in the hands of a home inspector or termite inspector.

For more major home repairs to look out for, check out this MSN Real Estate article. As you can see, the home inspection is not a step that should be skipped as a homebuyer. There are other ways to make sure your offer is a competitive one. You don’t want to regret your purchase in the future!

When ready to buy a Katy home, contact me, your Katy real estate agent! I will guide you through the process, answer all of your questions and put you in contact with other real estate professionals in the area, so you feel calm and confident in your decision-making process. Give me a call today!

Mickie Cioccia

Mickie C and Company Realty
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Credit Score Info for Katy TX Homebuyers

katy homebuyers

Credit tips for Katy homebuyers

If you’d like to buy a Katy, TX home this spring, it’s a great season to do so! Mortgage rates are still low, but predicted to rise. Home prices are still going up, so buying sooner than later could save you money. More homes are coming on the market. The weather is great for house hunting. If you buy now, you’ll be settled in for a summer season of fun. The list goes on!

As your Katy real estate agent, I am always here to answer questions, to guide you through the home-buying process, and to help you find the Katy home of your dreams! I am also here to provide helpful tips and information for buyers, such as the latest info on credit scores.

Many Katy buyers are misconceived about what type of credit score it takes to purchase a home. Many don’t even know their credit score, but assume it’s too low to buy. Let’s take a look at the latest data so you can get a better idea of your options.

First off, a credit score, also known as a FICO score, is a calculation of your history of paying back debt and making regular payments. The higher the score, the better your credit history.

A recent report showed that 24 percent of renters think you need a credit score between 780 and 800 to be considered for a mortgage, which is a really high number. Fortunately, there are many other options, as only 25 percent of Americans have a score between those numbers.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires a minimum credit score of 580 for low down payment mortgage loans. USDA loans usually require a score of at least 640. VA loans for veterans have no credit score requirement.

The average credit score for loans closed in January was 726, but there were plenty of people with lower scores who were obtaining loans. The average score of closed FHA loans was 675.

So, if you’ve got a low score, you’ve got options. But your best bet is to pull your credit reports when ready to buy, so you can find out exactly what your FICO score is. The average year-over-ear FICO score has steadily increased since 2009. The average score is 704. You might be pleasantly surprised when you pull your credit reports!

If you’d still rather improve your credit score before buying, so you can qualify for better mortgage options, there are plenty of ways you can do so. Here’s a realtor.com article that offers many. The first step is to go through your credit history and make sure there aren’t any errors! Then, try some of their other tips. Even if you’re not ready to buy yet, these are great tips for anyone wanting to improve their credit, and it can be a slow process, so better to start soon.

When ready to buy a home in the Katy real estate market, contact me, your Katy real estate agent! I am here and ready to help you with all of your home-buying and/or home-selling needs in Katy this spring.

Mickie Cioccia

Mickie C and Company Realty
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How to Sell and Buy Simultaneously in Katy TX

Katy Home Sellers

Selling and Buying in Katy real estate market

If you are ready to sell your current Katy home so that you can move up to your dream home, downsize or relocate, the thought of selling and buying simultaneously might seem overwhelming. However, as your Katy real estate agent, I am here to help you get it done!

Here are a few strategies that can help the process go as smoothly as possible:

1.  Understand your local market. Contact an agent and discuss current market conditions. Find out if the market is more a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, and what homes like yours are selling for. This will help you determine when you should put your home on the market. If homes are selling fast, you might want to begin your home search first. If they’re taking a while, you might be safe to list and then search for a home, as other sellers will take you more seriously.

2.  Consider an inspection and appraisal before listing. Getting these out of the way early will help you determine if any issues will come up in the home-selling process. This way, you can make any repairs necessary, and price your home properly, so the sale of your home runs more smoothly. Also, knowing what you can get for your home will help you house hunt appropriately for your new home.

3.  Plan carefully. Determine which order of things will work best for your schedule. If you sell first, it’ll make getting a mortgage easier. You might have to do it this way. But if you sell first, you may also need to find temporary living until you buy, so plan accordingly for that. If you buy first, moving is easier, but then you’ll have two house payments to juggle and possibly a harder time getting a new mortgage loan.

4.  Have a backup plan. It’s important to plan, but it’s also important to realize that your plan might not go as you expect, as there are so many other people and things in the equation. No matter which way you hope things will go, plan for where you will live if you sell first unexpectedly, or come up with a financial plan if you buy first unexpectedly.

5.  Know your financial options.  If selling first, consider a rent-back agreement, where you can remain in your property in exchange for a lower selling price or rent paid to the buyers. If buying first, consider a contract contingency, which allows your new home purchase to be dependent on the sale of your old home, or a bridge loan, which allows you to own two homes simultaneously without a second down payment handy. Talk to your agent and lender about your options!

Don’t let fear hurdle you into the unknown, unprepared. As a Katy real estate agent, I can help you sell and buy, and I can help answer all of your questions about the process and about the Katy real estate market. Don’t delay living the life you want! Give me a call and let’s get started!

Mickie Cioccia

Mickie C and Company Realty
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Five Questions for Your Katy Moving Company

moving boxes2If you are buying or selling in the Katy real estate market this spring or summer, you’ve got a move ahead of you! Reports have shown that moving can be as stressful as or more stressful than planning a wedding or getting a divorce. That’s a lot of stress! You can avoid much of it, though, by planning ahead. As your Katy real estate agent, I am here to help!

First, check out my Moving Checklist, which gives you a guideline to follow eight weeks before, six weeks before, four weeks before, three weeks, two weeks, one week and 2-3 days before. Follow that, and you won’t miss a step or have to backtrack steps!

I’ve also got 14-foot moving trucks available for my clients to use for FREE! The trucks come fully loaded with a ramp, three dollies, and a bin full of furniture pads. Whether you’re buying, selling or both with us, these trucks are offered to our clients based on availability.

If you decide to hire a moving company, here are some questions to ask, according to RISMedia:

1.  Do you have references? This day in age, it’s easy to look a company up on Google and find reviews from past clients. However, if you can’t find any reviews, or even if you can, it’s still a good idea to ask the company for references so you may contact past clients and ask them questions about the quality of service.

2.  What specific services do you offer? This varies greatly from company to company, so determine what your needs are, and then see if each company you contact can provide them. Will they move a grand piano or four-post bed? Will they load a truck you rented yourself? Ask what their minimum and maximum workloads are.

3.  Do you offer in-home estimates? There’s no better way to find out what a moving company will cost than to have them actually come to your house and give you an estimate. Have a few do this and you have a great way to compare. Make sure to get the estimates in writing!

4.  Will you draw up an inventory of my items? When using a moving company, you risk the chance of losing items. It’s helpful if a company is willing to create a detailed and organized list of your items. This can save you a lot of time from having to do this yourself as well.

5.  What happens if something is lost or damaged? Find out what each company’s policy is on this. Most will offer optional coverage for repairs or replacements, which will cost more, so it’s up to you to decide if this is important to you.

Before you move, you need to accomplish your home-buying and/or home-selling goals in the Katy real estate market. As your Katy real estate agent, I am here and ready to help make that happen! Give me a call and let’s work toward your goals this spring/summer.

Mickie Cioccia
Mickie C and Company Realty
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Make This Spring When You Buy or Move Up in Katy!

Katy TX Homebuyers

Buy a Katy, TX home this spring!

Have you been either wanting to buy your first home in Katy, or wanting to move up to a bigger or better home? As your Katy real estate agent, I am here to tell you that now is the time to do it! Believe or not, once you sift through all of the fear-based opinions on the internet, you’ll find that now is still one of the most affordable times to buy real estate.

If you look at real estate trends over the past 40 years, you’ll see what excellent conditions are available to you right now as a Katy homebuyer. A recent study found that the affordability of real estate now is at one of its highest levels. Here are some of the findings:

  • Right now, the median household can afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price.
  • Comparably, in 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price, due to high mortgage rates.
  • Despite stagnant incomes, affordability has grown because of the drop in mortgage rates. While they’re hovering between 4 and 5 percent now, they were up to 16 percent in the 1980s!
  • Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only one became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. At the same time, 22 flipped from unaffordable to affordable.
  • The only time housing was more affordable than it is now is the past few years, especially after the housing crash, when there were lots of foreclosures and short sales available at major discounts. Mortgage rates were lower too, but they’ve begun to increase now.

This is proof that if you want to buy a Katy home, either as a first-time buyer or as a move-up buyer, your best chance is now! Home prices and mortgage rates are expected to continue increasing, which will cause housing affordability to go down.

Want some other reasons to buy a Katy home this spring?

1.  You’re paying a mortgage either way. If you currently rent, you’re already paying a mortgage. You’re paying your landlord’s mortgage! Your landlord will reap the rewards when they go to sell, but you are losing that money and will never see it again. Invest in your own future as a homeowner! If you want to move up, you too are already paying your own mortgage. You can use your funds from your current home to put a down payment on your next home.

2.  You have reasons for wanting to buy. If buying is on your mind, you must have some good reasons. If you’re buying for the first time, do you want to invest in your future and stop throwing your money away on rent? Do you want some privacy after living with parents or roommates? If you’re moving up, do you want more space to grow your family, or a bigger yard for your pets, or a better location? Keep these reasons in mind to give you motivation!

If you have home-buying questions, or you’re ready to buy in the Katy real estate market, I’m here to help. Contact me, your Katy real estate agent, today!

Mickie Cioccia
Mickie C and Company Realty
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First Step to Buying Your First Katy, TX Home

Katy Homebuyers

Katy TX Home-Buying Tips

Happy New Year! Is your 2018 new year’s resolution to finally buy a Katy, TX home? Have you been considering it for a while but are finally going to do it this year? As a Katy real estate agent, I am happy and eager to help you out! Whether you want to buy this winter or this spring and beyond, I am here to answer your questions and guide you through the process.

The first step in the home-buying process is to get a preapproval from a mortgage lender. Most real estate professionals will agree that in today’s market, with housing inventory lower than usual, you shouldn’t even begin browsing for a home until you’re preapproved.

Why is this step so important? For one, it lets you know exactly what you can afford. This will save you wasted time searching for homes above your budget, not to mention heartache when you find a home you love and then later realize you can’t afford it.

Two, it helps home sellers take you seriously. If you fall in love with a home and want to put an offer down, a seller is more likely to accept your offer if they know that you’re already preapproved for that amount. In this competitive market, bidding wars can happen, and if another buyer is preapproved and you’re not, the seller is likely to go with that buyer.

Finally, it makes the whole process go faster. If you put an offer down on a home, and you’re already preapproved for a loan, the closing tends to happen much faster, since you got the initial work out of the way.

To determine how much you will be qualified to borrow, lenders will look at your four C’s:

1.  Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your mortgage payments.

2.  Capital: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash.

3.  Collateral: The home, or type of home, you’d like to purchase.

4.  Credit: Your history of paying bills on time and the amount of debt you have.

If you still need to pay down debt, increase your down payment savings or improve your credit score, here are the three things you should do now:

  • Automate your down payment savings – Automatically deposit some of your paycheck into a savings account for a down payment.
  • Build your credit history and keep it clean – Pay down debt, pay your bills on time and fix any credit report errors.
  • Practice living on a budget. Cook and make coffee at home rather than buying it out, and don’t buy new cars, clothes, furnishings, vacations or any expensive items right now.

If you need help finding a local mortgage lender, I can point in you the right direction. If you’re ready to begin the home-buying process now in the Katy real estate market, contact me! I am your Katy real estate agent, ready to help you achieve your home-buying goals in 2018!

Mickie Cioccia

Mickie C and Company Realty
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What Katy Homebuyers Should Know About Closing

Katy Homebuyers

Lots takes place before the final closing 

As a Katy homebuyer, you might consider house hunting as the most stressful part of a home-buying process, and some buyers would agree! Other buyers would say that the most stressful period was after they put an offer on a home and had to wait for closing day. Every home-buying process is different, depending on the buyers and sellers, the Katy real estate agent involved, compromises and negotiations, timelines, the house itself, the home inspection and appraisal, and so on.

Here are four things that Zillow recommends buyers know while they wait for closing day to arrive in the Katy real estate market:

1.  Your mortgage rate could expire. Your mortgage lender will typically lock in the interest rate they quoted you, for 45 or 60 days, but closing on a Katy home could take longer than that. This is especially true if any issues arise, such as open permits or illegal renovations. Keep an eye on rates.

2.  The mortgage process isn’t over. You’re not in the clear until closing day papers are signed and the keys are in your hand! Some lenders will continue to verify income, credit and so on until the very last minute. Don’t go moving around funds, spending a bunch of money or changing jobs without running it by your mortgage professional.

3.  The house isn’t yours yet. Until all of the papers are signed, you can still back out. Request a walk-through 24 hours before the closing to see that things are as they should be. If the seller hasn’t made repairs that you agreed on, or hasn’t moved out yet, or systems aren’t working, you can postpone the closing if need be.

4.  You might need to do homework. Find out if the seller was required to disclose issues with the home, or if it’s “caveat emptor,” or buyer beware. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to do some research on the home to see if there’s any outstanding permits, or any issues with the local building department or health department.

What does this all mean for you? Zillow recommends that for the smoothest closing, Katy homebuyers must have a reliable, experienced Katy real estate agent on their side! Your agent can refer you to quality mortgage professionals in the area, along with attorneys, inspectors and more, which saves you time and stress. Agents also negotiate on your behalf, to ensure that you are satisfied and comfortable with the closing agreements, timelines and compromises made with the home seller.

Ready to buy a Katy home? Contact me! I would love to work with you as your Katy real estate agent, to ensure a smooth home-buying process for you and all those involved. Call me as soon as you’re ready to get started, or if you have home-buying questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Mickie Cioccia
Mickie C and Company Realty
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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.