First-Time Home Buyers

If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Houston, TX.

  • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
  • List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
    1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
    2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
    3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
    4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
    5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
  • Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
    1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
    4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

See What Our Clients Have to Say

Great service, fast and friendly!
Rexhe Kasumaj

Erion transformed our home buying experience into what it should be: a celebration of our next step in life. Buying a home, for most people, is very stressful and can create bad feelings all around. This is particularly true if you're looking for a home in Sugar Land where the competition for the right house is intense. Erion gladly handled all the details which can create anxiety. He really understood what we were looking for in a home and was quick to steer us away from houses that were either overpriced or just not the right fit for us. More than once, he reminded us that he was not going to let us pay too much for a home. Great homes in Sugar Land might be on the market for 2 days, and Erion was always able to get us in on that day or the next morning. His Signature Houston website is always up to date and easy to navigate and customize. My wife and I walked away from the experience, and into our dream home, truly enjoying the whole process. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. You have the choice of whether that experience will be fun and exciting or a stressful disappointment.
Matthew Blair

Erion helped us find exactly what we were looking for in a very short period of time. He is a very knowledgeable person and provides a lot of information (which is exactly what you need when you are a first-time buyer!)

His website is AWESOME!!! much easier to use than most of the brand names that are out there.
I would highly recommend Signature Real Estate to any of my friends and family.
Dennis Alzoubi

We are very pleased to share our home buying experience with Erion Shehaj and his staff. Erion is very knowledgeable about market trends and ready to share all the details. He guided us throughout the process very well. We highly recommend him for any real estate needs.
Raja Bandla

I am very pleased to share my real estate buying and selling experiences with Erion Shehaj and his staff at the Signature Real Estate. I met Erion through a friend of mine in late 2011. My primary residence was fully paid for so I was looking to buy another house as my primary residence and lease out the mortgage-free house. Erion did not ask me to sign any contracts and simply said, "If you like my services we will work together otherwise we go our separate ways." Well, that was the beginning of a mutually trusting relationship which is still going on to this date and one which I cherish very much. Since then he has helped me acquire several rentals. He is also able to manage the rental properties. He has sound judgment when it comes to selecting the right tenants. He has also helped me quickly sell some of these rentals and get the best price the market had to offer. He is very well educated and has excellent analytical and communication skills. And he is very knowledgeable about the real estate market. I would highly recommend Erion and his staff to anyone who is looking to either purchase a primary residence or invest in real estate.
Sajid Mumtaz

If I could leave 10 stars I would for Erion and Signature Real Estate. Signature Real Estate is way more than a real estate agent -- they are your guide through an otherwise challenging investment landscape. Whether you are looking for an investment property or just rock solid real estate advice, I would recommend Erion without the slightest hesitation. Erion is my investment guru and I can't recommend him enough. Look no further.
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