Sales: 979.694.8844 | sales@bhhscaliber.com
Leasing: 979-694-2747 | rentals@bhhscaliber.com
HOA: 979-703-1819 | hoa@bhhscaliber.com

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How to Buy a Home Remotely

Purchasing a home remotely is becoming popular these days, not only for those who are residing far but also for those who are minimizing contact in the time of COVID-19. Whether you’re buying your second home or a vacation home, here’s how you can purchase a home without actually on site.

Connect With the Right Real Estate Agent

When buying a house in Texas, it is important to find a real estate agent that fully understands your needs. He or she will be handling the majority of the real estate transaction, so it is best to deal with an agent that can represent you in the home buying process.

Not all real estate agents are the same, and choosing one who’s a perfect match with you can be a trial-and-error process. Phone or video interviews are good ways to gauge if he or she is the right fit. Another way is to ask around for recommendations so you can know more about them from another point of view. Generally, here are the factors to consider when choosing a real estate agent for buying a property remotely:

  • Experience

    The agent may be experienced in dealing with home buying transactions with ease, but working remotely with a client is a different story. Ask if the agent has experience in the process of buying a house in Texas remotely, and how often he or she works with this kind of setup. Those who can easily navigate the process can search suitable properties and handle negotiations with confidence.

  • Availability

    Some real estate agents don’t work as an agent full-time. While there’s nothing really wrong about it, this means that they might be unavailable during normal work hours because they’re focused on their full-time job. Choose an agent that can attend face-to-face meetings with the other party and accomplish tasks related to the home buying process during regular hours.

Specify Your Needs

Give your agent a list of your specifications when it comes to the property you’re looking for. Specify the size, location, style, and details in the home that are non-negotiable for you, such as a kitchen island for your baking needs or a spacious yard for weekend parties you like hosting.

Don’t forget to mention the things you don’t want in the potential property, so your agent can cross out properties with features you can’t live with, such as a staircase without railings if you have young kids or exteriors with an outdated design. Trust your agent to use industry knowledge while incorporating your specifications when searching for the perfect property.

Maximize the Due Diligence Window

After signing the contract, there is such a thing as a due diligence window. This period is used to review titles and deed restrictions as well as conduct inspections, financing, and bank appraisals. Most of the time, the due diligence period lasts anywhere between 14 and 30 days.

Buyers have to pay a non-refundable due diligence fee, around $500-$2,000, in order to reserve the property for a few days before deciding to close the deal. An earnest money deposit is also made around this time. The amount of the due diligence fee and earnest money deposit are negotiable.

You can choose to terminate the contract for any reason during this period and get back your earnest money. In case you decide to back out once the due diligence period is up, both the due diligence fee and earnest money will be forfeited. Since you’re buying the property remotely, the due diligence period gives you enough time to inspect the property before proceeding with closing the deal.

Close the Deal

To complete the remote home buying process, close the deal electronically with help from your real estate agent. Using an electronic signature to sign documents is valid, as per the E-Sign Act of 2000. Once the agent sends you the contract, you will sign it using an electronic signature system, which will send the signed copies to the other party.

For instances where an actual signature is needed, the real estate agent will ship the documents to you to have them signed. Once you’ve sent the files back, the agent will close the deal on your behalf. All payments will be also transferred electronically. For situations that call for buying a home remotely, get in touch with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Real estate transactions that are not done face-to-face may be nerve-wracking, but that shouldn’t be the case. The company will guide you every step of the way to make the remote home buying experience stress-free. Call 979.694.8844 to get started.

Looking for a property manager for your investment? Here’s how to find the best

Investing in quality real estate does not stop at the closing table. Securing ownership of the property is only the beginning of a continuous, long-term process that requires attention, strategy, and commitment.

Hiring a competent property manager is an integral part of this process. Having a professional running the day-to-day operations of your investment property will ease your burden.

Here are eight things to keep in mind when you start looking for search for the best property manager to hire:

Understand the essential roles of a property manager

To find the ideal candidate to become your property’s designated manager, you must first have a clear idea of the roles that this individual will need to perform.

A property manager’s responsibilities may vary depending on the size, type, and purpose of your property, but the following are considered as the general scope of functions that may be expected from this position:

  • Managing rent, including setting and adjusting rates, as well as collection
  • Finding, screening, and managing tenants
  • Overseeing property maintenance and repair needs
  • Ensuring the compliance of your business with statewide and national landlord-tenant laws
  • Supervising other employees such as security personnel and concierge staff, if any
  • Budget-setting, cash flow management, and other financial recordkeeping roles

Ask for referrals from trusted friends and colleagues Good word of mouth always goes a long way. Listen to recommendations and warnings from fellow property investors in your area, as well as from any friends, colleagues, and even contractors.

Get as much information from your peers as possible; not just names and contact details. The more real-life experiences, anecdotes, and even complaints that you can gather from them, the better for your search.

Do your own research

The internet can help you filter through a long list of recommendations, as well as add interesting new candidates if the referrals you receive still feel inadequate. Peruse the professional websites of your prospective property managers to see whether the services that they offer match your needs.

Check their profiles to review their licenses, specializations, and other important professional accreditation that may be relevant to your business. Pay close attention to client reviews that your top candidates publish on their individual website, as well as other local professional review sites.

Interview several candidates

Take time to interview multiple prospects so you can have a good selection to choose from. Try to limit your interviews to three or four top candidates, however. Remember that these meetings also cost time, energy, and money. Keep a standard list of questions to make objective comparisons easier. Focus on their experience and formal knowledge of the business, the range of services that they offer, and professional fee structures.

Give your prospects a chance to ask you questions, as well. How inquisitive they are, as well as the type of questions they ask, can give you a hint of how engaged and dedicated they can be as your professional partner.

Contact previous clients and other references

As in any hiring process you might have experienced, character references should play a key role in your final decision-making process.

Word-of-mouth referrals and published client testimonials can help you build a list of leads, but these are typically focused on prospects’ positive qualities. On the other hand, personal accounts from your prospects’ previous tenants and former colleagues allow you to dig deeper.

Contacting references at this stage in your search can also help you verify information and resolve lingering questions resulting from your interviews.

Thoroughly review the details of your contract

Even after you have made your choice among your leading prospects, do not commit to a candidate until you have reviewed the terms of your management agreement. The contract should cover every detail that you and the property manager have discussed and agreed upon, and nothing more.

To guide you through this crucial final review, look for the following basic elements in the management contract:

  • A complete rundown of the property manager’s services and fees
  • A summary of your responsibilities as the owner of the property
  • A provision that ensures that the agreement is made in accordance with statewide and national fair housing laws
  • A “hold harmless clause” that protects the property manager from liability, except in cases of outright negligence
  • A clear statement of the duration of the contract
  • A clear termination or cancellation clause

You can opt to work with a lawyer at this stage if you want to make sure that all your bases are covered.

If you are searching for the most qualified and reliable property management professionals in Texas, look no further than Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty. To get in touch with the team, call 979.694.8844, email sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com, or send your inquiries here.

6 ways to have a great time in College Station, TX

Home to Texas A&M University, College Station is an exceptional place to live in Brazos County, thanks to the sheer number of local destinations and activities that local residents can enjoy. You don’t have to be a university student to enjoy what this city has to offer, however.

Here is closer look at six of the most enjoyable things to do in College Station:

  1. Expand your knowledge at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

    It comes as no surprise that one of College Station’s featured attractions is a place of learning. But one thing is for sure: whether for academic or recreational purposes, a visit to the George Bush Presidential Library Center is time well spent.

    On top of approximately 43 million pages of documents in its archives, this facility itself is a stunning architectural achievement. It also houses a replica of the Oval Office, the Presidential Limousine, as well as other memorabilia and artifacts commemorating the 41st President of the United States.

    Just outside the museum is Research Park, an excellent place to unwind with nature after your stroll through the museum.

  2. Catch live games at Kyle Field and Olsen Field

    The best places in College Station to immerse in the genuine excitement and passion of college athletics are Kyle Field and Olsen Field. Kyle Field is a historic stadium that has been home to Texas A&M football since 1904. It was completed as a full-fledged concrete stadium in 1927. With a seating capacity of more than 102,000, this venue is the largest football stadium in Texas, as well as one of the four largest in the country today.

    Home to the Aggies’ baseball program, Olsen Field opened in 1978 and has since made a mark as one of the best baseball stadiums in the country.

  3. Eat your fill at the iconic Dixie Chicken

    If you want a sample of College Station’s culinary tradition, you will not be disappointed with a stopover at Dixie Chicken.

    As a beloved dining destination since 1974, this local landmark boasts a long tradition of treating College Station residents and visitors to sumptuous Southern fried chicken, filling burgers, and more. There are pool tournaments, domino games, and plenty of refreshing beer to go along with the mouthwatering menu, as well.

    Since its humble beginnings as just another bar in College Station’s famed Northgate area, this restaurant has seen it all—from awkward first dates, to 20th wedding anniversaries. You are welcome to add your story here, too.

  4. Discover the Lone Star State’s rich military history at Sam Houston

    Sanders Corps of Cadets Center and the Museum of the American GI Located in the Texas A&M campus, the Sanders Corps of Cadets Center offers a unique perspective to the state’s long and storied military history. Here, the focus is on memorabilia related to the university’s Corps of Cadets, including more than 600 photographs and various exhibits telling fascinating stories about the Corps’ most interesting traditions.

    The Museum of the American GI shines the spotlight on the US military in general. Here, an array of restored tanks, boats, and aircraft used in World War II and the Vietnam War are on exhibit. You can also see astonishing artifacts from these periods, including preserved letters, photographs, and even the actual dog tags worn by military personnel.

  5. Hit the links at the Pebble Creek Country Club

    Fancy a round of golf? Pebble Creek Country Club is College Station’s contribution to avid fans of the gentleman’s game. This family-friendly, private club is nestled cozily amid Brazos Valley’s gorgeous landscapes, making excellent use of the terrain to present an enjoyable challenge to players at every level of experience.

    In addition to the 18-hole championship golf course, Pebble Creek also boasts a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse, the Creekside Grille and Cantina, and top-tier service from the on-site staff.

  6. Experience the holidays like never before at Santa’s Wonderland

    If you live in College Station—or you are planning a visit around Christmas time—there is no better place to visit than the city’s iconic Santa’s Wonderland, especially if you’re bringing your family along.

    This seasonal attraction is certainly worth a visit for the visual spectacle it offers, as well as the variety of activities and experiences that genuinely celebrate the season of giving. The colorful, festive lights on display, the array of gift shops and food stalls, and various forms of entertainment will instantly put you in the mood for some holiday cheer.

Want to learn more about the College Station, TX lifestyl? Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com today.

Guide: Preparing your home to sell

Putting your property for sale in the Texas real estate market? The right preparations will make your listing worthy of the highest offers from the most discriminating buyers.

Here are nine tried and tested steps that will make your house look, feel, and work like new before you advertise it to buyers:

Declutter and depersonalize

Homebuyers appreciate seeing clean, neutral spaces that they can imagine occupying and personalizing as their own. Turn your living spaces into a “blank canvas” by clearing away personal decorations, keepsakes, and other unnecessary items that have accumulated in your house over the years. This step is an excellent way to begin preparing for a home sale. Not only does it make your house look tidier in an instant, it also gets you started with packing your belongings for your upcoming move.

Deep clean the entire property

Selling your house will require you to clean it like you’ve never done so before. Your goal is to bring the entire house back to its most pristine, most good-as-new condition—or even better.

While you can take on general house cleaning chores as a weekend project— especially if you have time to spare—some deep cleaning might require professional services. Getting pros to do your deep cleaning will spare you from having to do most of the tedious work, leaving you with more time and energy to attend to the other steps in this list.

Get essential repairs done

Pay close attention to every fixture in and around your home. Look for leaky faucets and pipes, creaking door or window hinges, flickering light bulbs, cracks in walls or tiles, and other clear signs of wear and tear. Make sure all of these are repaired or replaced before you list your property. Even the slightest flaw can make an otherwise interested buyer think twice about making an offer.

Update appliances and furniture

If your furniture or appliances are already too worn out, don’t hesitate to replace them with new ones. The positive impression you’ll make with brand new home fixtures will boost the value of your home and help you recoup the money you invested.

Remember that you don’t have to go overboard with top-of-the-line, high-end models if these are too expensive. Functional, high-quality pieces available at good value are enough if they complement the rest of the property.

Repaint the walls

A fresh coat of paint can instantly liven up a room. Remember to use neutral instead of bold colors though.

Warm tones of beige, cream, or grey work best in the living room and other spaces designed for socializing. Cooler hues like blue or green are more ideal for bedrooms, where the space is meant more for relaxation.

Make everything look brighter

Light is a key ingredient in making a house appear more appealing to buyers, especially when they visit for a personal showing. Bright spaces appear larger and evoke a more pleasant vibe, contributing to a more positive home tour.

If you are welcoming buyers during daytime, remember to open the curtains and allow as much natural light to enter your home. Update your light bulbs if necessary, and consider adding lamps to illuminate shadowy corners around your home. Installing mirrors around the house also helps light bounce around the house.

Clear out your storage areas

Impress your buyers with generous storage space. As part of your decluttering, clear out your closets so you can showcase the available space that the home’s next owner can use.

Installing lights inside your cabinets is a good idea. In addition to making your storage spaces more presentable during the selling process, this is also a practical feature that your buyer will appreciate when they move in.

Spruce up your curb appeal

First impressions are important when you’re trying to impress someone. This is why you should pay as much attention to the exterior features of your property as you do to what’s inside.

There are various ways to improve your curb appeal. Revive your lawn or buy fresh, flowering plants in time for buyers’ visits. Power wash your walls and roof. Repair cracks in the pavement. Decorate your entryway, or even install a brand new front door.

Have your property staged and photographed

When you’re done with the previous steps, get a professional home stager and photographer to capture the best angles of your house in photos and videos. These will make your listing more attention-grabbing, especially when you use online channels and social media posts.

If you want more expert tips for selling your home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty.
Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com.

8 benefits of hiring a real estate agent when buying a house

Buying a house has its fair share of thrills and excitement. But it also comes with a great deal of tedious, time-consuming, and stressful work. This is why working with a skilled and experienced real estate professional always puts homebuyers in a better position to succeed.

If you’re still curious about how an agent can make your homebuying journey a smoother and more satisfying experience, these eight essential reasons will convince you:

  1. Navigating the entire process becomes much easier

    No two homebuying experiences are the same. Even if you’ve already bought a home in the past, you’re still in for a few surprises and challenges on your next try.

    This is especially true if the next home you want to buy is a different type of property (moving from a house to a condo, for example) or is located in a different neighborhood or city.

    For real estate professionals, however, this is not a big deal. With their formal training and accumulated experience in the field, local agents already know the process of buying a house in Texas like the back of their hand.

  2. You benefit from an expert’s keen attention to detail

    Agents bring a different perspective to real estate transactions. This comes in handy when you need to evaluate and compare information to make critical decisions in your homebuying journey.

    With an agent’s guidance, you’ll have an easier time perusing listings pages and whittling down your available options into a viable short list. As you go further along the process, your agent’s sharp eyes will also be essential in combing through the finer points in your transaction’s required paperwork.

  3. A knowledgeable local agent will easily match your needs and interests with the best homes available

    Shopping for homes is always exciting. But choosing the best house among the dozens, or even hundreds, of available options is more challenging than it seems.

    It’s also easy to get distracted by flashy listings that actually don’t offer much. On the other hand, you might overlook more low-key options that offer a better fit for your needs.

    Working with an agent makes this process more efficient. Their skills are what you need to turn your house-shopping wish list into a realistic selection of available local listings.

  4. An agent’s local area expertise presents useful tidbits of information that will enrich your lifestyle

    Getting to know your neighborhood is a crucial piece of research you need to do when shopping for a new house.

    Fortunately, real estate agents are local area experts. When you work with one, you learn more than just about homes for sale, but also the neighborhoods and communities around them. You can even expect to give you recommendations on the best local destinations that will make the move to your new home more enjoyable.

  5. An agent will fight for your best interests at the negotiation table With a real estate agent, you’ll get the home of your dreams for the best possible deal. This is because you’ll have a skilled negotiator in your corner during one of the most tense and contentious stages in the homebuying process.

    During negotiations, your agent will represent you with a firm, levelheaded, and objective stance based on facts and data, instead of emotional arguments that can derail the deal.

  6. Local real estate agents have extensive professional networks

    Before you can complete the purchase, you will need to tap the services of a professional home inspector. You might also need help choosing the best lender that can offer the most favorable mortgage terms. After the sale, you might look for repair, renovation, or utility services, too.

    If you’re working with an esteemed local real estate pro, you’ll have no trouble finding all these resources. Your agent will have all the referrals you need.

  7. You will stay organized and on schedule throughout the homebuying process

    Buying a house involves a lot of paperwork, as well as a few trips and meetings. These pile up as you move further along the process. With an agent by your side, you don’t have to worry about missing important appointments or overlooking crucial details in your contracts. Your agent will stay on top of all these concerns.

  8. An experienced professional will prevent you from making costly mistakes

    Guided by a professional, you can be more confident about making the right decisions every step of the way. The choices that you make throughout the homebuying process will always be based on relevant data—from local housing market trends, to pricing information for homes in your area—as well as the agent’s insights that are based on years of experience in the local real estate business.

For more expert guidance on buying a house in Brazos Valley, Texas, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.8844 or email sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com to learn more.

The Importance of Property Management

Couple meets with realtor

Couple meets with realtor

There’s a high demand for rentals in scenic Los Brazos Valley, which makes the area an obvious choice for property investors who want high returns on their assets. And while choosing an investment property based on location, operational costs, profitability, and other factors have a huge impact on the success of your rental, there’s another thing that affects the performance of your rental – property management.

Texas property management is a 24/7 job, with professionals responding to tenants’ complaints and keeping vacancy rates high around the clock.

Find out what goes into property management and why it matters to property investors.

What is property management?

Property management is the profession of overseeing and managing the operations of a rental property, such as an apartment building or a multifamily. This task is typically performed by a third party, such as a real estate company with significant experience in operating rentals as well as access to a pool of renters.

However, in certain instances, the property investor may take over the role, especially if the rental is limited to just one or few units.

What does a property manager do?

Property managers perform a wide range of tasks related to the operations and management of your rental property. These tasks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Scheduling repairs and maintenance work
  • Creating and promoting rental listings
  • Attracting and screening tenants
  • Evicting tenants
  • Returning deposit money
  • Preparing and administering lease agreements
  • Collecting monthly payments
  • Maintaining a record of financial documents
  • Preparing and sending regular reports to the property owner

And so on. Essentially, property managers must ensure tenant satisfaction, maintain records, and keep vacancies to a minimum.

Because of the amount of work that goes into property management, especially for larger rental properties, property managers must automate certain aspects of the role, such as billing, collection, and records management.

With the property manager taking over these tasks, you can choose the level of involvement in the rental.

If you want to be more involved, you can check in with the property manager on a day-to-day basis.

But if you have other commitments, or if you’d like to maintain some personal distance from your investment property, you can have peace of mind knowing that your rentals are being managed properly, even if you don’t communicate with the property management or tenants on a regular basis.

The importance of property management

Hiring a property management company comes with the following benefits:

  • Lower vacancy rates – With a property manager actively promoting your listings and securing tenants, you can expect to have a reasonably high occupancy rate year round, especially if your rental is located in a desirable area.
  • Quality tenants – The property manager will conduct a thorough background check to secure quality tenants. The screening process typically involves financial, employment, and criminal checks. The property manager may also speak with previous landlords.
  • Better tenant relations – Your property manager will respond to tenant complaints and requests for repairs to ensure tenant satisfaction and strengthen tenant relations. This, in effect, helps minimize turnover and vacancy rates.
  • Better-maintained rentals – Rentals get a lot of wear and tear from the sheer influx of people moving in and out of the units. Moreover, rentals must meet basic requirements for safety and building codes. A property manager will make sure that your investment property is properly cared for by scheduling regular maintenance and repairs.
  • Increased profitability – Well-maintained rentals are more attractive to prospective tenants, which is why hiring a property manager can help make your investment property more profitable. Moreover, they make sure that all the proceeds from monthly rentals, penalties, and other fees are remitted properly so that you don’t lose money in the process.
  • More time and freedom – Entrusting operations with a property manager frees up your time so that you can turn your attention to other investments. It also helps minimize stress and prevent burnout.

How to choose a property manager

When looking for a property manager in the Brazos Valley, choose someone who has proven experience in property management in addition to a robust portfolio of rentals.

Moreover, their personal values must be aligned with yours – choosing a property management company that strikes a balance between protecting your interests and making sure that tenants are treated fairly is ideal.

Looking for property management services in the Brazos Valley? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty has over 60 years of combined experience in property management and leasing services. You can reach the BHHS Caliber Realty team here. You can also speak with a property manager at 979.694.8844, 979.694.2299, and Sales(at)BHHSCaliber(dotted)com.

History of College Station, TX

Albritton Bell Tower in Twilight

Albritton Bell Tower in Twilight

There’s nothing like living in College Station, TX – the games, parties, and quirky traditions of Aggieland will blow you away. But there’s more to life in this city than Texas A&M University, although the institution certainly plays a central role in day to day living in College Station.

The city offers a laid-back suburban environment where people from all walks of life can thrive and set down roots.

College Station celebrated its 75th year in 2013. Here’s a closer look at this city’s storied past.

Origins of a city

The city was built around Texas A&M University, which was founded in 1876. Situated on the Southern Pacific Railroad, then known as Houston and Texas Central Railroad, the city was named College Station, TX by the Postal Service in 1877 after the train station west of campus.

The university is the first public institution of higher education in Texas and is one of the largest universities in the United States. Situated on over 5,200 acres of land in College Station, the founding of the university was made possible through the Morrill Act, which allows for the donation of public lands for higher education purposes.

Early development

In the city’s early years, many Texas A&M faculty members lived in university-provided housing on campus. The railroad depot was built in 1883 along with two general stores 1884. Electrical service became available sometime in the 1890s.

Despite these developments, however, the population remained small at just 391 in 1900, comprised mainly of faculty, students, and others who were in some way connected to the university.

The electric interurban railway came to College Station and the neighboring city of Bryan in 1910 and was replaced by a modern bus system in the 1920s. In the same decade, the area north of campus gradually developed into a bustling business district.

Despite the city being built around a university, school-aged children in College Station attended school in nearby school districts until the founding of A&M Consolidated High School in 1920.

Major expansion

The growth of the university throughout the 1920s and 1930s drove city expansion in all directions. Seeing the need for smart planning and managed growth, College Station incorporated in 1938 with John H. Binney as the city’s first mayor. A zoning commission was established a year later.

Ernest Langford, known as the “Father of College Station,” was elected mayor in 1942 and served the city for 26 fruitful years, prioritizing robust city services over commercial development. College Station became a council-manager city government in 1943.

By 1940, the city had 2,184 residents, 60 registered businesses, and a new school. A decade later, the population grew to 7,898.

Texas A&M University launched a major expansion program in the 1960s and College Station grew along with the university.

The partnership between A&M and the city made way for the development of tech manufacturing industries in the city, with College Station becoming an esteemed research center.

Present-day College Station, TX

Today, College Station has grown into a prosperous and peaceful community that prizes education and hard work. It is primarily residential, made up of many subdivisions offering single-family homes, townhomes, and condos.

Residents enjoy great shopping, dining, and nightlife in Downtown Bryan, which is lined with specialty stores, art galleries, bars, and restaurants. Exciting events, like Restaurant Week, Margarita Mayhem, Family Festifall, and Downtown Street & Art Fair take place here throughout the year.

Post Oak Mall is anchored by major retailers like H&M, Forever 21, and Foot Locker. The mall also offers casual dining options like Chuck E. Cheese’s and Roman Delight Pizza & Pasta.

The local dining scene is underrated, with restaurants serving Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian, German, and Pan-Asian cuisine. The city also loves its craft beer, with several breweries and pubs operating in the area.

College Station offers numerous green spaces for rest and relaxation. Many of the city’s parks feature nature trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, basketball courts, and soccer fields:

  • Bee Creek Park
  • Brother’s Pond Park
  • Stephen C. Beachy Central Park
  • Brian Bachmann Community Park
  • Richard Carter Park
  • Neal Park

Click here to explore Byran-College Station’s parks.

You can also enjoy a weekend of camping and golfing at Lake Bryan, Road Runners Campground, and Bryan Golf Course in College Station’s sister city of Bryan.

For more information on College Station, visit their official website.

Do you think College Station should be your new home? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty is here to help. You can reach them here. You can also contact them at 979.694.8844, 979.694.2299, and Sales(at)BHHSCaliber(dotted)com.

Home Selling 101

House for sale

House for sale

Selling your home is never an easy decision. It’s more than just a piece of property – it’s a cherished investment that has grown with you over the years. But once you’re ready, you’ll want to avoid the common mistakes home sellers make. Here are some tips for selling your home in Brazos Valley.

Prepare your home for the sale

Tidy up. Clear away the dust, dirt, debris, and grime that conceal the true beauty of your home. This will make it easier to stage the property and have listing photos taken.

Make obvious repairs. This can be something as simple as fixing a leaking faucet or making sure that the doors and window open and shut properly. Not all buyers want a fixer-upper, and if they come across one, they expect the asking price to reflect the condition of the property.

Update the interiors. Some homeowners will take months or years to prepare their home for a sale if they feel the need to update the interiors. If you’ve been living in your home for a while, you may need to make a few upgrades that suit contemporary tastes.

Do your research

Get a feel for the local market. Are you in a sellers’ market? Then you might have the slight edge in negotiations. But if you’re in a buyers’ market, you’ll have to make a few concessions to close the deal. College Station, for instance, has a stable housing market with limited supply for the most in-demand homes.

Research home prices. Find out what the average home price is for comparable properties, or comps, in your neighborhood. This will give you an idea of how much you can sell your home for.

List your home with an agent

Choose the right representative. Selling your home is an intricate process with lots of moving parts. Working with the right agent will help you stay on top of deadlines, paperwork, and other requirements.

Set a justifiable asking price

Price your home accurately. It can be difficult to maintain an objective view of your home’s value if you’ve poured a tremendous amount of effort into maintenance and renovations. But it is important to base your asking price on existing data, such as average home prices, in order to attract reasonable offers and not risk alienating buyers. Your agent can give you access to relevant data and provide an objective view of your home’s market value.

Stage your home

Declutter. If your home is buried in stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, now’s the time to sort through your belongings. Decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go. Freeing up the space creates the illusion of a larger property and enhances the flow of the layout.

Depersonalize your home. Remove any items that mark the home as yours, including family photos, travel souvenirs, collectibles, and so on. Depersonalizing the space makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves moving in with their stuff. It also helps protect your privacy during public home viewings.

Keep it neutral. Not only is a neutral palette elegant, it also makes it easier for buyers to imagine the home in other colors. Keep décor to a minimum and stick with essential furniture and appliances.

Remove pets and pet accessories. If you have any pets, consider re-homing them with friends or family just before the open house. Put away their toys, feeding bowls, and litter boxes in the meantime.

Some buyers have expressed concern over the presence of dogs in a property. Others might get turned off by the sight or smell of your cat’s litter box.

Pets can also escape or get stolen during open houses, so re-homing them prior to home viewings can help prevent this from happening.

Market the property

Invest in marketing collateral. It’s worth paying a professional to take high quality photos and videos to be used for your listing. Most buyers start their home search online, and the quality of these images can make or break the sale.

Get the word out. Your agent will utilize their professional network to promote your listing. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get the word out on yours – tell friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers that your house is for sale. You might just find a willing buyer within your own circles.

Vet offers

Evaluate offers. Once the offers start coming in, you’ll need to decide which one to accept depending on your goals and motivations as a seller. In some instances, the highest offer isn’t necessarily the best offer – if you’re pressed for time, you might want to sell to someone who is willing to waive certain contingencies and close the sale quickly.

Negotiate. Not quite happy with their offer? You can make a counter offer. You can also sweeten the pot by throwing in extras like furniture and artwork. Work with your agent to get the best deal possible.

Ready to list your home? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty is here to help. You can message them here. You can also reach out at 979.694.8844, 979.694.2299, and Sales(at)BHHSCaliber(dotted)com.

A Guide to Buying Your First Home

Woman with Keys

Woman with Keys

So you’re ready to buy your first home. You’ve fallen in love with the Brazos Valley and feel that this is a place where you can set down roots. We don’t blame you – its natural beauty, high quality of life, and prime real estate make it an obvious choice.

Don’t let the excitement of buying a house in Texas turn into anxiety – this first time homebuyers’ guide will help you navigate the process from start to finish.

Getting ready to buy a home

Prepare your finances. When buying your first home, it’s not enough to save money for the down payment. You’ll encounter many expenses throughout with the buying process, such as inspections, closing fees, and relocation fees.

Likewise, you’ll need an emergency fund for when you move to your new place just in case something breaks within the first few months of your stay.

If you have existing debt, such as student loans or consumer debt, pay it down as much as possible – it will reflect more positively on your credit score, which is one of the main factors lenders take into consideration when approving (or rejecting) loan applications. You can also consolidate multiple loans to make them more manageable.

It’s also generally advisable to avoid making big ticket purchases, like a new car or flat screen TV, in the months leading up to your loan application.

Talk to your financial advisor about how you can best prepare your finances for a home purchase.

Gather the necessary documents. The loan application process entails a great deal of documentation and paperwork. Get everything ready before speaking with a lender to speed up the process.

These are some of the necessary paperwork when applying for a home loan in 2020:

  • Pay stubs reflecting at least 30 days of income
  • Names and addresses of previous and current employers within the last two years
  • W-2 forms from the last two years
  • One or two years’ worth of tax returns
  • An accomplished Form 4506-T/4506T-EZ
  • Bank statements from the last two or three months
  • Bonuses
  • Information on existing debt (Car loans, student loans, etc.)
  • Security accounts (stocks, bonds, etc.)
  • Dividend earnings
  • A copy of earnest money deposit

If applicable:

  • Year-to-date profit and loss statement (if self-employed)
  • Signed returns from last two years (if self-employed)
  • Social Security and Disability payments
  • Proof of pension income
  • Child support1 Footnote
  • Alimony1 Footnote payments

Know your reasons for buying. This may seem like an obvious question, but there’s no harm in clarifying your reasons and motivations for buying. Are you looking for a forever home? Will you upgrade to a bigger house in the future? Do you have plans to resell within the next few years? The answers to these questions will help guide your decisions as well as manage any expectations you might have of the process.

Applying for a mortgage

Find a lender. It’s generally recommended to speak with more than one lender in order to find the best terms possible. Shopping for a lender lets you compare terms and rates.

Get a preapproval letter. Having a preapproval letter can give you an advantage in buying process, especially if the seller receives multiple offers. A preapproval letter sends the seller the message that you’re serious about buying the home and that you’re in a financial position to buy.

Finding a real estate agent

Work with a licensed agent. There’s substitute for professional guidance when buying a home in Los Brazos Valley, or in any market, for that matter. Buyers have access to more real estate information than ever, thanks to technology. However, information doesn’t always translate to knowledge. Only a seasoned agent can help interpret data and anticipate every scenario that can come into play during the buying process.

The agents at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty offer quality service to first time homebuyers in Brazos Valley. The agency has won numerous awards in the area, including the Newman 10 Award for small business growth.

Choosing a home

Go through your options. With so many gorgeous homes in the Los Brazos Valley, choosing is truly the hard part. Buyers have the pick of the litter, from luxury townhomes to custom built single family homes.

Working with an agent will give you access to the MLS, which contains numerous listings. Your agent will also utilize their network to find off-market listings and other listings that match your criteria.

Attend open houses. If the home will serve as your primary residence, it’s worth taking time off your schedule to attend the open house. This allows you to get a first-hand impression of the home as well as ask the seller’s representative questions about the property.

Have the home inspected. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes buyers make is skipping the home inspection. It’s a necessary expense, as it can help uncover underlying issues with the property, such as cracks in the foundation or dampness in the basement.

Making an offer

Craft a strong offer. Once you’ve found your dream home, don’t let it slip away by making a lowball offer. Although it’s customary for agents to offer just below the asking price, then countering with a higher offer when the seller refuses, this may not work in instances where there are multiple offers on the home. Assess the situation carefully and work with your agent to come up with a good offer.

Closing the deal

Open escrow. Once the seller accepts your offer, you’ll have a short window of time in which you must review and accomplish the necessary paperwork as well as entrust the funds with an escrow company.

Get the keys to your new home. If the escrow period goes by without a hitch, you can do a final walkthrough of the home to determine whether it’s in the same condition as when you made an offer.

If you’re satisfied, the property will be transferred to your name and you will finally be able to move into your new home.

Ready to explore the Brazos Valley real estate market? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty is at your service. You can reach the team here. You can also get in touch with them at 979.694.8844, 979.694.2299, and Sales(at)BHHSCaliber(dotted)com.

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