Buyer's FAQs

 

The property taxes are how much???

If you're coming in from out of state, or buying your first home, you'll be coming face-to-face with the Texas Property tax and how it affects the monthly payment.  Here in Texas we don't have a state income tax.  It does however have property taxes.  The taxes vary by county but they all follow the same premise, that is, they are made up of various components that when totaled together make up the tax rate for any given home.  That’s why when someone asks “What are the taxes in Austin?”  You can’t answer the question.  It is very specific to address as even within a large neighborhood such as Avery Ranch, because the school district lines split the neighborhood, the taxes will vary. 

In order to understand how the taxes are calculated on any given property you
need to have a basic understanding of all of the various components that make
up the tax rate.   The final tax rate may include any or all of the following components: city tax, county tax,school tax, Mud tax (if applicable), emergency services tax and/or water district taxes. So just because you are looking at two homes in the same city does not mean the tax rate will be the same. It will likely be similar, but the location of the home determines what tax rates apply. 

If the property taxes are a major factor for you in considering which home you purchase, ask your realtor (hopefully us) for an idea of what the taxes would be for each of the homes on your final list.  Then when you have narrowed it down to a single home if you want to be absolutely positive of the tax rate, a call to the Tax Appraisers office for the county of purchase might be worth your time.   

What does FM, RR, CR mean on the road signs?

Many of my clients who were new the area, had trouble figuring out the road signs, here's a quick lesson:  FM -Farm to Market;  (Keep in mind Texas was a wide open state with a lot of ranches and farms for most of its' history.) RR-Ranch Road,   CR-County Road. And if you've ever wondered about how Mopac got it's name...I've read it is because it runs parallel to the Missouri Pacific Rail Road Tracks.

 

What is the first step in purchasing a home?

The first step in buying is talking to a lender. We can recommend some great lenders if you don't have one. But the reason we say this is that we find you are setting yourself up for disappointment when you are looking at homes at a price point for which you aren't qualified to buy.  The online calculators are great, but too often they aren't factoring in the property taxes and that can add several hundred dollars to your monthly payment. And in any case once we've found a home you are interested in making an offer, we are required to provide a lender letter with the offer. The seller wants proof if they accept your offer, you are able to purchase. Again we'd be more than happy to give you some recommendations.  

How long does it take to purchase a home?

Finding a home can take days, weeks, months or even years. That depends on you. But once you find the house you want to make an offer on, from contract to close (when you get the keys) usually we plan on 35-45 days.  If you are purchasing a foreclosure (especially if you are purchasing a Government owned foreclosure such as a HUD home or a VA) it will likely take a bit longer.