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January 2020

Whether you own a home or are looking to buy or sell one, here are some useful tips, ideas and advice. When you’re ready to make your move, give me a call or drop me a line.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty
Nicki Turner
REALTOR®
563-343-7193
Nicki.Turner@BHHSTxRealty.com
www.NickiTurnerRealtor.com/

 

MORTGAGE ADVICE

Prequalify, Preapprove - What’s the Difference?

Some mortgage terms can be confusing, none more so than the similarities and differences between prequalification and preapproval. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they mean very different things to lenders, real estate professionals and home sellers.

Prequalifying is a rough-idea process that tells you how much money you’ll likely be able to borrow to buy a home. You can prequalify yourself on any banking or real estate-related website simply by putting your salary, type of loan you want, down payment amount and a ballpark home price into a mortgage calculator. You can talk with a lender, who will also give you a ballpark amount without a credit check.

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you’ll share your income records, the source and amount of your down payment, and your social security number so the lender can pull your credit. This is the key difference between prequalification and preapproval – when the lender is able to review your application and verify your credit standing to make a lending decision.

The lender will get back to you within three days or less with a preapproval letter stating the maximum amount of money you’re approved to borrow.

Preapproval gives you the real numbers so you know exactly how much you can spend on a home. It lends you credibility with real estate professionals and with sellers who will take you seriously as a buyer.

Prequalification becomes preapproval once you have a purchase contract on a home. Then, the preapproval is real.

time to file your homestead exemption

Did you buy a home in 2019?

If you purchased a home in Texas in 2019, you have from January 1st through April 30th, 2020 to file your Homestead Exemption with the county. 

For all of my 2019 buyers, I will send you a reminder with specific instructions. This is just one of the many services I offer all of my clients.  

HOMEBUYERS’ ADVICE

The Fairytale Tudor

Great Britain’s Tudor reign spanned 1485 and 1603 and was unprecedented in terms of prosperity. International trade led to a great expansion in free-thinking and in – home design concepts, including new ideas like the decorative indoor fireplace with a mantle, hand-made rugs from the Orient as table coverings, and built-in cabinets and seating. 

Tudor style is down-to-earth and charming, and many urban homebuyers are enchanted by their asymmetrical designs, distinctive half-timber accents, deeply pitched roofs, leaded glass windows, gables, turrets, and brick or stone exteriors, accented by one or more large brick-patterned chimneys.  The entry is typically a plank style door with a rounded arch and iron hardware. 

Tudor interiors feature lots of wood – wide plank wood floors, wood beams on the ceiling, wood mantles and more. Timber beams on cathedral-style ceilings are usually stained dark in color. Interior walls are textured and painted off-white to mimic plaster.

With materials and craftsmanship that simply can’t be duplicated today, few Tudors were built after WWII as the country needed quick, easy-to-build housing. But, between 1910 and 1940, Tudors comprised 25% of architectural styles, so they can still be found, according to House Beautiful.

Due to their solid construction, these homes can be easy to update. Lighten the interior with candlelight bulbs, natural stone floors, colorful rugs, and minimal furniture bedecked in plush velvets, tapestries and brocades.

If you believe your home is your castle, enjoy antiques, and have a romantic streak, the Tudor style will bring you years of comfort and delight.

community events

Things To Do in the Austin Area

Looking for things to do in the Austin area? Click here for more information on events in or around Austin during the next few months.

Don't want to head into the city? Check out these events in Williamson county.  Click here for more information.

Looking for events geared towards younger children and families? Check out the 365thingsaustin website to see updated events and activities to help keep the little ones entertained.

HOMESELLERS’ ADVICE

What the CMA Can’t Tell You

The comparison market analysis, otherwise known as a CMA, is an analytics tool real estate professionals use to help sellers learn what homes similar to theirs in size, age, and features have sold for, and buyers learn how close to asking price homes have sold for so they have a better idea how much to offer.

A CMA can provide quantifiable commodity details – such as age, square footage, lot size, and location, and number of bedrooms, living areas, and baths. But it can’t tell you the subjective details that make one house more attractive than another similar home, such as how well it’s been updated, landscaped, or maintained.

And that’s where your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can be invaluable. With their market knowledge, neighborhood expertise, and connections, they can provide the house-by-house intelligence you need to make a better-informed decision.

For homes that are listed for sale, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can show you inside the ones most similar to your home or the home you’re most interested in buying. Homes that have already sold could still have virtual tours and photos that you can peruse.

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can also provide you with a detailed market report including graphs and pie charts compiled by the multiple listing service. You’ll learn the current macro and micro market conditions that explain why prices are trending up or down.

The market is constantly changing, and the more you know, the easier it is to reach your buying and selling goals.


3303 Northland Dr. Ste. 100 Austin, TX 78731

©2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.