houston real estate: 7 Common Home Buying Mistakes - 09/10/09 03:40 AM
Even though each home and home buyer is unique, the same mistakes are made over and over again when making a purchase. This special report will point out seven of the most common mistakes made during home buying and how to avoid them.
Buying a home is one of the most exciting events in a person's life, whether it's the first home or the fifth one; however, it can also be one of the most stressful. Purchasing a home should be regret-free and anxiety-free.
 Learning to avoid these 7 most common mistakes when buying a home can help lower your stress … (1 comments)

houston real estate: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust not for this file- Seldom Used Mortgage Program - 09/03/09 09:44 AM
Wow! What a day I had yesterday, 3 weeks ago one of my referring Realtors sent me one of their clients. She went online and field out an online credit application. After running her credit and looking at documented income from her jobs and getting a 626 mid credit score and a 43% debt ratio. I was able to receive a DU approval. She went house hunting and found her dream home.
    In the mean time the lender that I was using for her financing sent out a notice that their guidelines were in the midst of change. There new guidelines … (0 comments)

houston real estate: Horror Stories to Avoid When Buying Real Estate - 09/02/09 01:52 AM
Everybody has a horror story of some kind, when talking about real estate. There are just some things most people don't think about when searching for property to buy or sell, whether you're the buyer, the seller or even, yes, the agent
Exhibit A
Sheryl (name changed to protect the innocent) is exhibit A. Now, she thought she'd bought a nice house at a good price. Everything seemed to be perfect. The one place that Sheryl went wrong was forgetting to do a home inspection on that beautiful piece of real estate. 
  After a pleasant day of moving in, she … (1 comments)

houston real estate: Buydown options - 08/24/09 01:16 AM
A buydown is a type of financing where the buyer or seller pays extra points (also called discount points) to reduce the interest rate on a loan. Buydowns make it easier to qualify for a loan because they lower a loan's interest rate. They can also allow you to buy more house for your money.
There are generally two types of buydowns: a permanent buydown and a temporary buydown. A permanent buydown lets you pay extra points to get a low interest rate over the life of your loan.
 A permanent buydown can be paid by the seller or the builder … (3 comments)

houston real estate: How Do You Attract High-End Buyers to Your Home for Sale - 08/24/09 01:08 AM
Trying to get buyers to come and see your high dollar home? Not having any luck. When it comes to high end home buyers you need to treat them a little different than the norm. Here are some ideas on how to change your high dollar home from no one showing up to people are flying in the door.
Stage a Benefit
No open house for high-end buyers.  Host an event instead - maybe even a benefit dinner for a worthy charity.  Let people come and view the property, but give them an avenue to mix and mingle as well.  In addition, … (4 comments)

houston real estate: Home For Sale Flyer.... - 08/20/09 07:32 AM
Amazing how you look all over the Internet to find something and its sitting right in front of you all a long.
Yesterday, I was trying to help one of my new Realtors find a flyer that she could use.  I looked all over the Internet and tried to find something that would help her out. All found where these free trial offers.
So I downloaded a couple but when you tried to use them not all of stuff is available for you to use.  So, it is really a free trial offer when you can't use all of the software.  Yeah, I know the … (3 comments)

houston real estate: Standard closing cost. - 08/19/09 05:44 AM
I was talking to a young couple the other day in my office and was going over their GFE with them and the young lady asked "what are all these closing cost?"  So, it got me thinking. How many other young potential home owners don't know what closing cost are. Which ones are real costs and which ones do lenders just through in as junk fees?
So I decide to write up a list for the general consumer on what closing costs you should have on a general basis.  Now, mind you, some lenders may call different fees different things but this is a general idea of what fees you … (2 comments)

houston real estate: Eco-friendly Tax Credits for Home Owners - 08/18/09 01:14 AM
Being eco-friendly is an important issue to most people today. Making your home as energy efficient as possible makes sense on many levels, but do you know it makes sense when it comes to federal tax credits too? They're not small incentives either. These tax credits are another major reason to be serious about going green in your home.
Tax Credits for Existing Homes
Making your home energy efficient will benefit you whether you are planning to stay in your home for years to come or you are considering selling in the near future. Prospective buyers will react favorably to eco-friendly … (0 comments)

houston real estate: 5 Steps Owners of Houston Homes for Sale Should Follow - 08/17/09 01:48 AM
There's a lot of competition in the current market for Houston homes for sale.  If you're thinking about adding your home to the list, this checklist is for you.
#1.  Set your goals.  What do you expect from your sale?  Do you just want to get rid of the home, or do you want the highest price possible?  Will you be ready if a buyer wants to close quickly?  The answers to these questions factor into how much time it takes for a house to come off the market.
#2.  Decide whether to use an agent or not.  Although … (0 comments)

houston real estate: 7 Ways Condos in Houston Can Go Green - 08/14/09 03:33 AM
I was talking to a friend of mine that lives in a condo in the galleria and she was wanting to go green but afraid it won't work for condo in Houston?  We sat and talked for a while and thought up some possible ways that it could be done. 
1.  Go Energy Star - Anytime you get a chance, use Energy Star appliances, lighting, heating and cooling equipment.  When it's time to replace something, look for the Energy Star option.
2.  Use a power strip - Many people have a slew of chargers and electronics.  Instead of plugging them directly … (1 comments)

houston real estate: 6 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time for Houston Home Remodels - 08/13/09 01:17 AM
Cash in your pocket and equity in your Houston home?  If you've been thinking about making changes to your house but thought you couldn't afford a remodel, it's time to rethink the possibilities.  The payback on renovations in cost versus higher home value, should you decide to sell your house later, can be better than you thought.
 Reason #1:  Lower bids from the contractors.  The home renovation business is falling with the current housing market, leading to lower bids for the homeowner's remodeling project.  In addition, most contractors are willing to negotiate with you for a better price, leaving you with … (2 comments)

houston real estate: FSBO vs. Hiring a Houston Real Estate Agent - 7 Points to Ponder - 08/12/09 02:06 AM
Selling a home isn't easy, especially now.  Yet some homeowners believe they can stick a "for sale" sign in the ground and have the house off the market within a few days. 
While FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales do occur, four out of five homeowners still use a Houston real estate agent.  Why?  Because selling your home on your own is hard work, and even more importantly, statistics prove that real estate agents get homes sold faster and for more money than FSBOs. 
 If you're not sure what you should do, here are a few things to think about:

houston real estate: 6 Credit Score Myths You Need to Know Before Buying Houston Real Estate - 08/11/09 01:26 AM
If you're buying Houston real estate, you might start worrying about your credit score.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about that score, and many individuals actually end up making things worse by following them. 
Read this list of common credit score myths and be in the know before talking to a lender:
1.  Close out your credit cards.  This is a big no-no, especially when you want to buy Houston real estate.  Closing out your older credit cards, especially, can actually make your credit score drop.
2.  Lower your credit limits.  Lowering your credit limits can … (0 comments)

houston real estate: 4 Ways to Get the Best Deal for New Houston Home Construction - 08/06/09 01:14 AM
Some buyers would much rather have a brand spankin' new home - fresh, clean and untouched.  Does this describe you?  Then read on and learn some of the guidelines for getting the best deal on your dream home.
Be on the lookout for disreputable builders...
Reputation is everything for a builder.  Ask for recommendations from people you know, but also do your research.  Check with the Better Business Bureau.  Talk to people in the same development about their experiences with the builder.  Look over the homes in the early construction phase to see what type of materials and quality of … (0 comments)

houston real estate: 5 Tips on Choosing the Perfect Piece of Houston Real Estate for DIY - 07/30/09 01:30 AM
If you're a do-it-yourself kind of person who really likes getting your hands dirty, now is a great opportunity to find a piece of Houston real estate you can enjoy.  As you know it can be hard to find that perfect piece of fixer-upper real estate, but here are a few tips on what to look for:
1.  More ground than house - Almost every do-it-yourselfer I've ever met enjoyed puttering in a garden and beautifying a yard.  Not only can it be relaxing, but done right it can also up the value of the place if you decide to … (0 comments)

Christy Hempel, Sr. Loan Officer (Secure Mortgage Company)

Christy Hempel

Sr. Loan Officer

Katy, TX

More about me…

Secure Mortgage Company

Office: (713) 623-5195

Mobile: (281) 639-7687

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