Welcome to the Blog

2017-08-28 14:49:17
8 Home-Buying Myths Debunked

The home-buying process can bring up a lot of questions and misconceptions. From thinking you need a 20 percent down payment to thinking you won’t qualify for a mortgage without a perfect credit score, I’ve seen it all! With that in mind, I'm here to help you decode eight of the most common home-buying myths to give you a better understanding and grasp of buying a home in the greater Austin area: 

Home-Buying Myths Debunked



Myth #1: The first step to buying a home is to start looking

Browsing for homes is all fun and games until you run the risk of setting your heart on a home, only to have it broken. Before embarking on your home-buying journey, get pre-approved for a mortgage. We know waiting can be hard, especially with the convenience of the Internet and online home listing sites, like Trulia and Zillow – but, you may be thankful you did. You don't want to set a budget and fall in love with a home, only to realize you qualify for a smaller loan than you initially thought.


Myth #2: Your down payment must be 20 percent

While a 20 percent down payment is ideal so you can avoid that pesky private mortgage insurance (PMI) payment, there are a variety of loan programs to help you get into the home of your dreams for much less:

  • FHA loans can get into a home for a down payment as low as 3.5 percent. 
  • VA loans can get into that same home for as little as 0 percent. 

Consult a mortgage lender about your options before automatically thinking you have to make a certain down payment. You never know, you could get a better deal!


Myth #3: Since you have enough for the down payment, you’re all set

Frequently, the down payment is the only thing homebuyers save up for when they are searching for a home. However, there are more expenses than just the down payment. On top of the down payment, you will have the following additional costs:

  • Homeowner’s insurance to protect the property and your belongings
  • Closing costs
  • Appraisal and inspection costs to determine the condition and actual value of the property
  • Monthly mortgage payments
  • Utilities, property taxes, regular maintenance and repairs and more

Saving enough for the down payment is a good start, but go beyond that number to ensure you can afford the additional expenses listed above.


Myth #4: A 30-year fixed mortgage is always the best option

A 30-year fixed mortgage may be the best choice if you plan to keep the home that long…However, if you only intend to keep the home for five to seven years, there may be other options (like an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)) that are more appropriate. Remember, the longer the fixed rate, the higher your interest rate  – meaning, you could be paying a higher rate for nothing. Before choosing a mortgage plan, think about how long you plan on living in the home – and, always consult your REALTOR® and lender for advice.


Myth #5: You have to have perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage

Not true…even in the slightest. While an excellent credit score – over 700 – may make it easier to get a mortgage with a lower interest rate, your credit score isn't the only consideration that goes into determining if you qualify for a loan. On top of your credit score, a lender will look at your credit history, savings, debt and more. Find out your credit score on FICO's loan savings calculator to see where you stand and how it will affect your loan interest rate.  

However, take the information found online at face value. To determine how you REALLY stand, contact a lender in your area.


Myth #6: The seller’s asking price is non-negotiable

Much like buying a car, the offer you make on a home doesn’t have to be the full asking price. If you have good credit, pre-approval, and a down payment ready to go, sellers will likely negotiate with you rather than hold out for another buyer. Keep in mind, every market is different, as is every seller's approach to pricing his or her home. For example, some sellers will purposely price their property right at or just below market value to get multiple buyers interested. Consult your REALTOR® on what to offer and trust their recommendation – their expertise and knowledge of the market will ensure your offer is positioned to be accepted.


Myth #7: If you don’t have kids, local schools don’t matter

The neighborhood you choose matters, both now and when you consider selling. Even if you don’t have children, good schools are a sign of a good community. What does this mean for the resale value of your home? When the time comes to sell, your home will likely sell quicker and for more money than a comparable home in a rougher neighborhood. Location always matters - remember that when buying your first home.


Myth #8: You don’t need an agent

If you think you don’t need an agent because you have the Internet, think again! When you align yourself with a real estate agent, you get assistance during every step of the home-buying process: help finding homes, inside information on properties and neighborhoods, and a skilled negotiator on your side to help you navigate any bumps on the road to becoming a homeowner. Trust the professionals – they are there to guide you.


Do you have any questions about buying a home? If so, give me a call anytime. I would be happy to provide guidance.


Blog Archive
2019-04-10 15:04:29
Relish the Springtime Weather and Gorgeous Bluebonnets at these Austin-area Patches

2019-03-26 15:31:03
4 Tips for Spring Yard Prep in Central Texas

2019-03-20 08:41:50
Know Before You Go! Mortgage Prep & Home Affordability

2019-03-20 08:01:37
Meet The Ruby Hotel in Downtown Round Rock

2019-02-28 16:22:06
America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark Opening in Round Rock in 2020

2019-02-28 16:17:32
Cedar Park Development Led by Award-Winning Mueller Team

2019-02-25 14:27:58
Kid-friendly Staycations in Austin - just in time for Spring Break!

2019-02-01 05:40:16
Round Rock’s Forest Creek Golf Course named No. 8 most improved by Golf Advisor

2019-02-01 05:16:55
City Council Approves First Step to a New 1,200 Home Development in Northeast Round Rock

2019-01-30 12:50:52
Dog-Friendly Places in Williamson County, TX

2019-01-30 10:33:21
Did you buy a home in 2018? Here's everything you need to know about filing your Homestead Exemption in Texas!

2019-01-07 07:37:34
Buyer Tips for House Hunting in 2019

2018-12-21 07:03:09
Selling in the Winter Months? Here’s How to Maximize Your Home Sale Chances

2018-12-20 12:28:07
Williamson County Vote to Review Property Tax Exemption Policy for Residents Over 65 and the Disabled

2018-11-30 09:11:28
Selling Your Home in the Winter May Not Be So Bad

2018-11-28 13:05:06
Austin-Area Home Sales and Sales Dollar Volume Set October Record

2018-11-28 09:55:00
Smoke Alarms Save Lives -- Tips for Setting Up and Using Smoke Alarms

2018-11-26 12:07:14
Holiday Fun in Austin, TX

2018-11-06 09:58:45
Staging Tips and How to Stage on a Budget

2018-10-31 11:22:08
Should I Stage My Home Before Selling?

2018-10-31 09:49:08
What is a Multi-Gen or NextGen® Home?

2018-10-19 13:34:03
What is an In-Law Suite? Simple: It is a Smart Feature with Endless Possibility

2018-09-26 10:05:37
Proposed Cedar Park Mixed-Use Development Indigo Ridge South Could Bring Businesses and Housing for Thousands

2018-09-25 14:04:51
American Planning Association Names Historic Downtown Georgetown, TX as a 2018 Great Neighborhood

2018-09-24 14:11:13
Moving Checklist

Click here to see ALL articles.

Comment on this Article

Your Name:
Your Email:
Verify:  Please enter the numbers shown to help eliminate spam.