excellent, elegant residential real estate marketing
1101 S. Capital of TX Hwy. Ste. 100-F
Austin TX 78746
512-327-9310 x 234
icg investor spec sheets
(for download in MS Word format)
Tom Polk is a real estate broker licensed in the State of Texas.
Stanberry & Associates has operated as a real estate brokerage firm licensed in the State of Texas since 1985.
Q: Can you do a walkthrough in my absence?
A: No, we use a different procedure (see below). I don't perform walkthroughs because doing so requires inspection of the builder's work. Texas law prohibits real estate agents from performing inspections. Home inspectors must be licensed by the State. I recommend that you have a professional inspection performed to protect your investment.
Q: How can I be assured the house has been completed to my satisfaction?
A: We take the following steps to have repairs performed and to document repairs required by the inspection.
Alternatively, you can contact the property manager can help contact an unlicensed individual who will do a survey of property condition, which is not an inspection, but a record of the cosmetic condition. Such a survey may cost $150-$200. For more information on this type of survey, contact the property manager, Rick Ebert, 512-794-8171.
To put this in perspective: Some builders actually hire a third party inspector at no cost to you. Most often, this inspector is not as thorough as the third party inspector you hire. HIstorically, few buyers of new homes actually bother to get a third party inspection. I'm aware that I may be in the minority of brokers by suggesting an inspection on a new home, and that doing so with out-of-towners can cause temporary inconvenience or extra cost. I remain committed to suggesting it because I believe it's the right thing to do regardless of the inconvenience.
As far as I know, we are the only group that gets the builder to actually sign off on repairs. For the in-town homebuyers who do get an inspection, it's not the builder's practice to sign off on inspection reports because these buyers can be present to verify repairs themselves. Because most investors are not interested in making a trip for that reason, we needed to work out a method to verify. It took some negotiating to get builders to agree to put their own John Henry on the forms; doing so means they are on the hook more than with other buyers. In my opinion, the very act of putting initials on the form pretty much forces them to make sure the work is done. If it's ever discovered they didn't do the work, there is a written record they'd have to deal with. Neither the builder nor the individual who added his initials warranting the repairs wants to have such issues come back and bite them.
That being said, you still have the right to hire an inspector to check the builder's work. I've been through this conversation before; the inspectors charge pretty much the same for a reinspect as for the original, since it fills up an inspection time slot.
Q: Should I use the builder's inspector?
A: Builders sometimes provide inspectors for free. In my experience, these inspectors' scopes are determined by the builder and with emphasis on cosmetic issues. Such an inspection is most often not as thorough as one you would get with an independent inspector.
Q: How do I obtain a building inspection?
A: If you choose to have an inspection done, there are dozens of licensed inspectors in Austin. Technically, it is your choice and your responsibility to choose and retain an inspector. Because you are probably not an Austin resident, I'll try to help:
For ICG investors, I've negotiated a discount with Rick Runnels of Excel Inspections. Excel inspections requires payment at or before the time of inspection, so be prepared to overnight payment if you wait until the last minute. Excel's phone number is 512-262-1100. They will give you their mailing address.
Alternatively, Home Critic (I believe the largest inspection firm in town) can often perform inspections on short notice. They may charge more than Excel Inspections, and they will take VISA over the phone. Their number is 512-440-8282.
Feedback I've received from buyers regarding these inspectors has been generally favorable, and at least as good as for any other inspector I've heard about.
How do I choose a lender?
Three basic choices: Builder's preferred lender, local Austin lender, and your existing lender (if you have one.)
My preferred local Austin lender is Cheryl Darter of SouthTrust Mortgage. She can get a loan approved on one day. In fifteen years, Cheryl has never let me down. Contact info: 512-634-2106; email is firstname.lastname@example.org, website is http://cdarter.wachovialoans.com/
Your existing lender:
There may be some overhead here, as an out-of- state lender who does not
regularly loan in Texas may have difficulty getting you the best financing.
They also don't know who the best and fastest appraisers are and don't
have relationships with the local title companies, which can cost you.
you like your existing lender, I would encourage you at a minimum to compare
good faith settlement estimates between them and at least one of the above
two lenders to help ensure you are getting the best rate and terms.
It's like borrowing against your equity each month; your equity does not grow as fast as with an amortizing loan, but that is offset with a more comfortable cash flow.
Here's what it means to you after five years: With the amortized loan, you will have reduced your principal about $10,000. With the interest-only loan, instead of reducing principal, you will have saved $8,565 in monthly mortgage payments.
The actual difference is $1,429.
This means that if you choose to forego $1,429 in equity,
The builder in Horizon Park, Centex Homes, requires domestic investors
to visit the property at some point prior to closing. This policy
is intended to help Centex comply with interstate commerce laws.
Such laws can require a sale to be made in the state where the property
is being bought. Foreign investors don't need to visit the property,
only domestic investors.