What to expect headed into real estate season

Are you looking for a new home? Here's what you need to know before you buy.

HOUSTON – Buying a home. It’s a huge commitment. And if you are thinking about buying a new house, whether you are a current homeowner or even a first-time buyer, is important to take a lot of information into consideration. Evaluating your current situation is key to getting the process going.  

“Most people are selling their home when they are buying a home. For most people, their first step should be get a value for your home. Because most people are taking that cash that they net when they sell their home to buy the next home,” said real estate expert Alex Doubet, from door.com, who is sharing everything you need to know before making your big purchase.

“A great place to start is online, there is a lot of free resources now. Zillow has their 'zestimates' that everybody likes to look at. And that’s not a perfect number, that’s usually around 5 percent off nationwide. A great step is to talk to a real estate agent to get a free evaluation. An agent is going to give you a free professional opinion on what the value of your home is. That will help you home in on the actual value, as opposed to just an online estimate. But once you know that, then you are better equipped to know how much money you are going to have when you buy a house, if you have to sell yours first,” said Doubet.

When it’s time to actually go buy, Doubet recommends getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

“That kind of pits constraints around your search, what price point to look for. And if you are putting in offers and you don’t have that mortgage pre-approval a lot of time sellers won’t give you the time of day,” he added.

If you decided to start looking for a brand new pad, good news, because real estate season is off to a good start.

“Obviously, it’s tougher to buy a house than it was five years ago in Texas, but, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good year on the whole, particularly because mortgage interest rates aren’t going up like we were scare of late last year,” said Doubet.

To see the complete interview, watch the video above.