Friday, December 30, 2016

3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Home

Photo by ddpavumba

If you're planning to buy a home in the near future, you may be about to make one of the biggest decisions of your life. From a financial perspective and from a personal standpoint, the act of purchasing a home requires a significant investment of time, energy and money. You need to be sure that you are ready for this decision before you finalize your choice for a new home.

One of the best ways to prepare for this process is to honestly ask yourself some questions. There are just three important questions that you need to answer to know if you are ready for a home purchase. Answering these questions and consulting with your local College Station realtor can provide you with a wealth of knowledge as you move through this process.

1. Are You Financially Ready?

While there are many factors that go into a buying a home, it's no secret that your finances are one of the biggest pieces of the equation. You need to make sure that you have enough money on hand to cover a down payment, as well as a home loan from a reputable lender.

The time to start working on your finances is as soon as possible. Set up a strict budget and start saving months or even years before you are planning to look for a home. The more time that you give yourself to prepare, the more robust your savings will be.

Taking your time can pay off in other ways. If you spend a year or two in an apartment or a rent house, you can get used to the experience of paying rent and taking care of bills while on a budget. This is great practice for the responsibility of owning a home. Make sure that you talk with several lenders to find out what your options are for obtaining a home loan. Not all loans are the same and some might not be right for your needs and goals.

2. Are You Mentally Ready?

Buying a home can be extremely stressful. The process of finding a home, making a successful bid, competing with other potential buyers and setting up your finances can be tough on your mental and emotional health. You need to be sure that you are prepared for this stress before you get started.

You can get yourself ready for this experience by talking to other homeowners and your College Station realtor. Ask them honest questions about what the home buying experience is like and ask for any advice that they can offer.

3. Do You Have Support?

One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced realtor in College Station, TX. Your realtor will be able to give you practical and experienced advice about any issues that pop up during the home buying process. Trying to go through this process alone is a recipe for stress and confusion. Hire the right help to learn all you can.

Monday, December 19, 2016

4 Questions To Ask Your College Station Realtor

Whether you are selling a home or looking for a new house in the College Station/Bryan area, your College Station realtor is one of your most valuable resources. These real estate agents have the experience and the training to be able to help you navigate the home purchase process. When you are looking for a new home, you will likely have a lot of questions about the experience.

Your realtor can help you find the answers that you need to make the process as stress-free as possible. You should find a realtor with whom you feel comfortable and approach them about any issue which needs clarification. If you aren't sure where to start, here are four questions that you definitely need to ask your realtor.

1. How Is The Local Market?

One of the most important things that you need to know to buy a house is whether or not it's a good time to buy. Housing markets fluctuate and the current state of the market can have a big impact on the kind of deals that you can find. Your realtor pays close attention to the local market and will be able to clue you in.

Photo by ddpavumba
When you first meet with your realtor in College Station, TX, make sure to ask them how the market is doing. If the time is right to start house shopping, make your move but if things are uncertain, you might want to wait for a change.

2. How Much House Can I Afford?

There's now way around it: before you can buy a home, you need to have a budget. You should take as much time as necessary to write up a thorough and detailed budget to find out exactly how much you can spend. Of course, you want to get the best house available but don't make the mistake of overspending.

Feel free to discuss your budget with your realtor. They will understand that cost is an important factor and they can help you narrow down your search to homes that are within your price range.

3. Where Can I Find What I Need?

We all have a list of “must haves” that we are looking for in a new home. Think carefully about the things that you absolutely want in your ideal home. For example, maybe you want a large, well-appointed kitchen or a study for your home business. Make a list of these things and discuss them with your realtor. They will help you locate homes that are a good fit for these needs.

4. What Is The Neighborhood Like?

When you have a few houses in mind, ask your realtor for their opinion of the local neighborhood. Ask about the location of the home in regards to schools, shopping and entertainment. Remember, the perfect home won't be so perfect if you can't get to the places that you want to go easily.

When you ask your College Station realtor these important questions, you'll be one step closer to finding the home of your dreams. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

What Not To Do When Shopping For A New Home

Shopping for a new home in College Station can be a very busy time in your life. Applying for a mortgage, hiring a moving service and packing up your belongings can be very time-consuming. However, even when you are busy, it's important to keep a few things in mind as you shop for a new home.

There are some common mistakes that many people make when they are shopping for a new home. Making these mistakes is understandable because the moving process is so busy and stressful. However, a bit of careful planning and attention can keep you from making these common errors.

As you look for a new home with the help of your College Station realtor, watch out for these things that you shouldn't do during the home shopping process.

Rushing Into A Deal

As time goes on during the home shopping process, many homeowners will want to close a deal quickly. After all, it can take months or even longer to be approved for a home loan and to sort out all the small details that a move entails.

This timeframe might lead some homeowners to be tempted to rush into a deal for the first house that looks like a good choice. However, rushing this step of the process can get you into a difficult situation. Take a deep breath and try to stay as patient as possible as you talk with your College Station realtor about finding a home that meets your needs and is within your budget range. A little patience goes a long way and a better choice might be right around the corner.

Too Much Negotiation

A bit of negotiation is par for the course when you're shopping for a home. Most homeowners and realtors will want to come to an agreement on a home price that is agreeable for the seller. You might also have to negotiate about things like home inspections, renovations and repairs. Whether you love the negotiation process or dread it, make sure you aren't wasting your time.

Simply put, some home sellers will just be too hard to please. If you are spending weeks and weeks negotiating over the final cost and details of a home sale, remember that you have the ability to move on. If it seems like a home seller won't budge, it might be time to start looking at other properties. Remember, the more time that you spend in negotiations, the less likely you may be to find a great deal in the same area on a similar home.


We all want to live in the perfect home but the search for that home might get us to spend beyond our means. Before you begin shopping for a home, write up a detailed budget with the help of your College Station realtor so that you can pinpoint exactly how much you can spend. Don't forget to factor in the costs of hiring a moving company, a home inspector and a rental at a storage facility.

Decide on what is absolutely essential for your to have in your new home. Extravagant features and lavish decorations are great but they aren't necessary for you to find the right home for your needs. Keep your budget firmly in mind and communicate with your realtor to find a home that is affordable for you.

If you pay careful attention to these common errors when shopping for a new home, you can improve your chances of finding a property that will be right for you for many years to come. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

3 Essential Home Items For Green Living

It's never been a better time to go green. If you're environmentally conscious and you are looking for a new home in the College Station area, there are a few essential items that you'll want to keep an eye out for.
Your College Station realtor can help you find the perfect eco-friendly home that is right for your needs as well as your budget. When you are touring homes in the area, be sure to ask your realtor and the homeowners questions to find out if a property can help you achieve your goal of a green lifestyle. Most importantly, look for these three essential items that can keep your home comfortably green.
  1. Energy Efficient Appliances
More than ever before, many homes on the market come with energy efficient appliances available as part of the asking price. Things like efficient refrigerators and washing machines can help you reduce the amount of energy that you consume. Not only is this good for the environment, it can also help you save a bundle on your monthly and annual utility costs.
When you are touring a property, ask your College Station realtor or the homeowner about the appliances in the kitchen, bathroom and living areas. A home with efficient appliances included in the price might cost a bit more, but you will recover these costs with the savings on your utility bills. Also, you'll be able to feel good about doing your part to help the environment.
  1. Proper Insulation
Energy efficient appliances are very helpful for reducing energy usage and costs but those costs can be offset in a home that has poor insulation. Improperly installed or old insulation will let warm and cool air escape from your home, causing your HVAC system to work overtime to keep up with the demands of your thermostat.
This is especially important in Texas, when summer temperatures can easily climb over a hundred degrees for weeks at a time. Ask your realtor about a home inspection that can determine if that property that you have your eye on has insulation that is up to code and properly installed.
  1. Curbside Recycling Services
Recycling is one of the best things that you can do to add more “green” to your lifestyle at home. Curbside recycling services make it fast and easy to separate reusable items from the trash that you throw away each day. However, these services are not available in all areas.
If recycling is already a part of your green lifestyle, or if you would like to become more eco-friendly, do some research online or ask your realtor in College Station, TX if curbside recycling services are available at particular location.
Going green is very important but it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. If you can find a home that has these essential eco-friendly items, you'll be well on your way to a more environmentally conscious style of living in your brand new home.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jaw dropping ranch just a short drive from B/CS

Jaw dropping ranch just a short drive from B/CS. This 45 acre property has everything you could dream of for your family (& extended family!). The main home boasts its custom features from the ground up. The interior rock work, the theatre room, cathedral ceilings and exposed beams, and the large wrap around porch are sure to wow (just to name a few!). Lets not forget the customized Rainbow Playsystems playground salt water swimming pool with rock inclosed water slide & beach area. The nearly 1200 sq. ft. guest home has 2 bedrooms with J&J bathroom, full kitchen with an open layout to breakfast room and large living room. There is a 1000 sq ft custom built apartment down by the barn with all the same fabulous features you have come to expect from this property: granite countertops, wood flooring, 9" crown molding. I have been saving the best for last: 1400 sq ft. cabin overlooking the 2.5 acre pond. 2 bedrooms, 1 VERY large bathroom with an open kitchen to breakfast room and living room. And with a view like that you will appreciate the 855 sq ft deck. And did I mention there is a custom built Rockin J barn equipped with a utility room and bathroom! 10 acre coastal hay pasture. 800 square bales per cutting average; three cuttings per year. This property is sure to meet every need! There are many more pictures to see, please email me if you would see more.

Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Ft: 4,565
County Name: Robertson

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Home Buying Strategy for Millennials

Image Credit:

Whether in College Station, Texas, Bryan, Texas or anywhere else, buying a home relies primarily on finding the right location and saving for a down payment. Buying a home is cheaper than renting - by different margins depending on your location. However, saving for a down payment and finding a house in the right location doesn’t seem achievable for many millennials like yourself who have recently graduated from college and are starting new careers. That’s why I have created this home buying strategy list for you.

Low Interest Rates

Interest rates continue to remain low. So, it just makes sense to take advantage of the home buying opportunity while loan pay-back is more affordable.

Loan Options

Better deals are often available for first time home buyers. Meet with loan officers from a few reputable banks, credit unions or other lenders in your area to find out all the options available to first time home buyers. Some options require little to no down payment at all! However, weigh all options carefully as what you don’t pay down will require additional monthly interest payments. In other words, any down payment you make is interest free, and you will pay interest only on the remaining balance. So, the more you pay down, the less interest you will have to pay. Also, compare lenders’ loan fees and closing costs. 

Credit Scores

Consult with loan officers as soon as possible in case you need to improve your credit rating. If your FICO score is less than satisfactory, follow advice to improve that as quickly as possible.

Meet with Your Realtor

Contact your realtor once you are pre-qualified for a loan. A real estate agent is important to the home buying process for many reasons. She knows the other realtors in the region, understands the buying process and knows how to handle problems that may arise.

Be Patient

When you finally start house hunting, be patient. Finding the right home in the right location may take time. Another issue you may run into during your search is information overload. Don’t be overwhelmed by this. Your realtor can put things into perspective for you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
Buying your first home doesn’t have to be intimidating. The right strategy and a helpful realtor are all part of finding your dream home.  Good luck!

Featured Home for Sale in College Station, TX

Mariott Real Estate is dedicated to serving our clients with honesty, integrity, and quality customer service. Our goal is to serve our clients with the utmost respect and professionalism to guarantee their home buying or selling process is a smooth, joyful, and positive experience. Let our knowledge and expertise of Bryan/College Station enrich your real estate needs.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

10 Quick Tips that will Help You Sell Your House Fast

With an average of 1200 homes for sale in College Station, TX and Bryan, TX, I want to give you a few tips that will help you sell your house fast. Making sure your house stands out in the crowd will make the difference between selling fast and waiting several months for the right buyer to come along. 

Given the fact that College Station, TX is the second fastest growing city in the U.S., the time to sell is now while so many people are looking for houses to buy in our beautiful region. Texas A&M University graduates are lending to the population boom as they are looking for nice houses after getting jobs in the area after graduation. Relocating families who are being drawn in by the area’s attractive features - warm climate, numerous public parks, great employment opportunities, safe communities, highly ranked public schools and quality healthcare – are contributing to the population spike as well. As an immense number of new businesses continue to develop across the region, more people will follow. So let’s get your house ready for a quick sell.

1. Over 90% of buyers begin their house search online. Be sure everything is tidy and encourage several pictures to be taken of your house inside and out. More pictures uploaded to home selling sites improves house sells.

2. Always allow your home to be shown so as many people as possible will see it. By limiting the viewing times and days, you may lose a potential buyer. You should also leave the house when prospective buyers are brought by to view it.

3. Start packing! Not only will you have a head start when your house sells, but packing away unnecessary clutter and personal items such as collectibles and family photos will make the home look as spacious as possible. Try to remove at least half of the content from closets, cabinets, drawers and garages. Store everything off-site if possible, have a garage sell or donate to charities. With less clutter, buyers can envision their own items in your house.

4. Rid your home of any bad odors. A friend who doesn’t live in your house should be able to tell you if you have been successful during a quick visit. Don’t overpower visitors with masking fragrances. Giving the house a good cleaning – and keeping it clean - should make the house smell welcoming.

5. Potential buyers are looking at several homes with many common attributes, so try to make your home stand out above all others. In most cases, clean and uncluttered stand out the most. But adding something like a small vase of flowers will provide the inviting atmosphere that will be remembered when the time comes for buyers to make a decision.

6. Houses with more light sell quickly. Pull back drapes, open the blinds and clean the windows so natural sunlight can stream in. Add higher wattage bulbs in rooms with low light to improve viewing quality.

7. Opt for an inexpensive, quick house facelift such as fresh, neutral paint on the walls, cleaning the drapes, updating cabinet hardware or adding fresh mulch to the flower garden instead of pricey upgrades.

8. Have your home in prime condition by fixing items like leaky faucets and squeaky doors before your house is viewed.

9. Turn up the outdoor charm. Curb appeal sells many homes. A few colorful flowers, inexpensive bushes, a well-manicured lawn and clean driveway can make a big impression before house hunters even walk through your front door.

10. Go viral. With advice from your agent, a YouTube video of your house while talking about your favorite memories in the house and favorite places to visit nearby may be a helpful selling tool. Also, consider posting your listing on Facebook. 

With so many people moving to College Station, TX and Bryan, TX, the time is right for selling your home. Following these tips should help you sell fast so you can start looking for your new dream home.

Featured Home for Sale in College Station, TX

Mariott Real Estate is dedicated to serving our clients with honesty, integrity, and quality customer service. Our goal is to serve our clients with the utmost respect and professionalism to guarantee their home buying or selling process is a smooth, joyful, and positive experience. Let our knowledge and expertise of Bryan/College Station enrich your real estate needs.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

4 bedroom 3 bath home - Classic Homes by Mariott

Another beautiful home brought to you by Classic Homes by Mariott. This one story home is located in the popular neighborhood of Castlegate II. This Tuscan style home features all the upgraded amenities and quality of work that you have come to expect in a Mariott Home! If you like custom cabinets, tile showers, and granite counter tops throughout then this is the home for you. No expense was spared on energy efficiency as this home features Foam insulation in the rafters, blown in insulation in the walls, & upgraded Carrier 16 SEER HVAC equipment. Come see this custom today and experience quality!

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Ft: 3,113
County Name: Brazos

Charming 4 bedroom 3 bath home

Another great floor plan by Classic Homes by Mariott. You will find the open floor plan charming & exposed beams in the living room eye catching! This darling home offers four spacious bedrooms with wonderful bathroom lay outs. You will also find this home boasting energy efficiency. You will appreciate the foam insulation in the rafters & Carrier 16 SEER multi-speed HVAC equipment. **Please note that price increase reflects upgrade to foam insulation in the rafters & Carrier 16 SEER multi-speed HVAC equipment.

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Ft: 2,733
County Name: Brazos

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beautiful 5 Bedroom Custom Home in South College Station

Step into another beautiful custom home brought to you by Classic Homes by Mariott! If energy efficiency is important to you, then this is the home for you! This extremely energy efficient home features foam insulation in the rafters, blown in insulation in the walls, and upgraded 16 Seer Carrier HVAC equipment. The large gourmet kitchen overlooks the fireplace in the family room. This custom home features custom cabinets, granite counter tops, & tile showers throughout. With a study, formal dining room, & over-sized game room, this custom home has all the space you need in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in South College Station!

Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 4
Square Ft: 3,827
County Name: Brazos