Home buying from the beginning

Residential real estate deals range from relatively simple to complex. Professionals such as loan officers and real estate agents can help guide buyers through the process. This guide is not comprehensive or intended as legal advice.


After deciding that purchasing a home is the right long-term decision, potential buyers should look at their credit scores. To qualify for a mortgage a buyer will need good credit with a history of paying bills on time.

Buyers can also contact a bank or credit union to talk to a loan officer about getting prequalified for a mortgage.


A real estate agent can help with searching for a home. Furthermore, websites such as Zillow.com and Trulia.com can show buyers what’s on the market.

Oftentimes when searching buyers take into account the home’s price and square footage as well as intangible factors, such as the quality of the neighborhood, surrounding schools and parks, and aesthetics.


A real estate agent can collect data on similar homes sold recently in the neighborhood to see if a home in which a buyer is interested is priced well.

When a buyer has settled on a bid amount, a real estate agent can help him or her through the bidding process. If the bid is accepted the transaction may move forward. If not, the buyer can submit a new bid.

Inspection & negotiation

The inspector will look at the home for issues such as water damage, roof problems and slope of the house.

After the inspection the buyer can negotiate the price or ask for repairs. At this point the buyer may be free to end the process and continue the search elsewhere if he or she chooses.


Before closing on the home the buyer may obtain financing or a mortgage from a bank as well as home insurance. To do this the buyer will need to coordinate various types of documents.

Closing is typically held in an office setting and important documents are signed. The transaction is complete when funding is confirmed by buyer to seller.

Important documents

• Identification
• Social Security card
• Credit report
• W-2/1099 statement for prior years
• Federal income tax returns for prior years
• Pay stubs with earnings from prior months
• IRA, 401K statements for at least the past two months
• Evidence of financial assets and account balances such as bank accounts and stocks
• Titles for cars, boats or other vehicles
• Evidence of debts including car payments, credit cards, student loans
• Value of life insurance policy and monthly premiums

Out-of-pocket expenses

• Down payment: 20% of the home price on average
• Closing costs: 2-5% of home price
• 1-3% of home price earnest money
• $400-$500 home inspection
• Home insurance varies with home price
• Moving equipment: varies depending on move

All prices may vary. This list is not comprehensive.

What’s next?

Move in: New homebuyers can move themselves, rent a truck or hire professionals.
Maintain: Maintenance is necessary to ensure a home’s value does not depreciate.
Change locks: Research reputable locksmiths, or ask a friend or colleague for a recommendation.
Purchase extras: A new home could require anything from drapes to smoke detectors.

Do’s and don’ts


  • Tell the lender of salary, address or compensation changes

  • Obtain homeowners insurance for the home’s value

  • Document any deposits into bank accounts


  • Take out new lines of credit

  • Change jobs without telling the lender

  • Make large purchases such as cars or large appliances

Sources: Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Association of Realtors/Community Impact Newspaper


Raveneaux Country Club was one of hundreds of properties that flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Cagle: Goal of Raveneaux acquisition is not to put an ‘ugly hole in the ground’

“The goal is to create something more along the lines of Kickerillo [Mischer Preserve] with beautiful park amenities—little fishing piers, boat launches and walking trails that go around it,” Cagle said.

A Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County study on eliminating ride fares left both METRO board members and officials seemingly unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
METRO board of directors say free fare 'not realistic' for transit authority

A METRO study on eliminating ride fares left board members and officials unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County.

Star Cinema Grill, a dine-in theater featuring ten theaters, two large auditoriums and an event space, opened in the area in October. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact)
Apartments and more to break ground in Springwoods Village

Following corporate developments and amenity additions in 2019, Springwoods Village, a 2,000-acre master-planned community located west of I-45 and north of Spring Stuebner Road, is expected to see construction of its third multifamily community, the groundbreaking of a new corporate campus, and dining and retail openings in 2020.

McGown was appointed to the position in June 2019. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Klein ISD extends Superintendent Jenny McGown’s contract to 2025

The Klein ISD board of trustees unanimously voted to extend Superintendent Jenny McGown’s contract term to 2025 during a Jan. 14 board meeting

(Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert tickets go on sale Jan. 16

Lower-level seating options are already very limited.

Burkes Outlet offers a selection of clothing for men, women and children as well as a variety of shoes, handbags, accessories, beauty products and home goods. (Courtesy Burkes Outlet)
Burkes Outlet to close store on Spring Cypress Road on Jan. 18

The store is offering 50% off all merchandise as of Jan. 15 and will continue to increase the discount throughout the rest of the week.

Texas oil and gas industry could see a major slowdown in 2020

The oil and natural gas industry paid a record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties to local governments and the state in 2019, the Texas Oil and Gas Association announced Tuesday.

HGA driver Derek King picks up a patient from David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring before transporting her to the Texas Medical Center. (Courtesy Derek King)
Houston Ground Angels seeking volunteers to drive patients to Texas Medical Center

Houston Ground Angels is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation between local airports and the Texas Medical Center for patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases and illnesses.

After proposing two instructional calendar options for the 2020-21 school year and gathering public feedback on both, the Spring ISD board of trustees approved Option 1 in a 6-1 vote at its Jan. 14 meeting. (Courtesy Spring ISD)
Spring ISD selects Option 1 for the 2020-21 instructional calendar

After proposing two instructional calendar options for the 2020-21 school year and gathering public feedback on both, the Spring ISD board of trustees approved Option 1 in a 6-1 vote at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve will host a S’mores & Stars event Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)
Support nonprofits, enjoy barbecue: 19 ways to get involved in the Spring and Klein community throughout January, February

Here are a few events happening in and around the Spring and Klein community throughout January and February.

Chasewood Crossing Three is a six-story, 156,000-square-foot class A office building located off Hwy. 249. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
NCS Multistage Holdings, Inc. inks lease for office space in Chasewood Crossing Three

NCS Multistage Holdings, Inc., an oil and gas technology and services company, has relocated its headquarters to Chasewood Crossing Three.

Back to top