El Paso/Fort Bliss Texas Real Estate First Time Home Buyers

Real Estate Agent with EXIT East Realty Tx #549104


Many times, I get emails from first time home buyers that request additional information on home buying in the El Paso area. The following is an email with questions from an active duty soldier looking to relocate to the El Paso/Fort Bliss Texas area and my response towards the end.


In a message dated 4/11/2008 7:21:50 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, [name witheld] writes:

Good Morning Mr Alvarado

We are diligently going through the homes on the website and other places to see what is available.  We have made a short list of houses that we are interested in and are planning on making a trip to El Paso to look at some of them in May.  We are interested in working with you to find our home.  We have not gotten pre-approved yet because we're unsure about how long that approval will last and given the fact that my husband will be away at training until the end of July we were uncertain. 

We did have a couple of questions though:

1.  How long does the typical pre-approval last? We have checked our credit reports/scores and right now we both have a 740. I'm assuming that might be acceptable given the current state of the market- or are we looking at a problem? We're would like to go with a VA loan-possible through USAA unless you have another suggestion?
2.  If we find a home and want to put an offer in, is it possible to schedule the closing the end of July, when we'll actually be moving to El Paso?
3.  Is there a list of bank repossessions or foreclosures? What are the advantages/disadvantages of purchasing one of these homes? I think those are our questions right now. 

Thanks for your willingness to help us navigate the housing market as we make our transition to sunny El Paso! Thanks,


Hi [name witheld],

Thanks for getting back to me so soon. In response to your email: 1) Your pre-approval is good for three months (depending of who you go with). The reason I like to get you pre-approved three months in advance is that your pre-approval gives us a very good "starting point" before initiating a home search. I can't tell me how many times I've had home buyers "settle" for a much smaller house that what they would have liked just because they did not qualify for the bigger house. Of course, you may go through USAA. I have worked with them in the past and am looking forward to working with them again.

One thing that I ask, get a "good faith estimate" on your closing costs and let's compare with another mortgage company here in town. Ultimately, it is your choice who you go with. I do know for a fact that different companies will charge you different rates. 2) When we find you a home that you like, it is advisable that we put in an offer as soon as possible.

The home buying process will take approximately thirty days to closing once we put in an offer so let us plan ahead. I have seen home sellers wait as long as forty five days towards their closing. I'm afraid that much more than that and they will not accept your offer to purchase. Think about it for a moment, they have to give additional mortgage payments and that reduces their profits from the sale of their home.    3) To keep up with the current lists of bank repos and foreclosures, I go to the bank's home site and that is where they are listed. Just so you know, banks play by their own rules and much of what I'm advising you does not apply.     

Please feel free to email me back with any more questions that you might have.


Mike Alvarado
Remax Associates
(915) 494-6637
email: alvaradoma@aol.com 

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