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As the real estate market changes, it’s important to have a running start on your home buying journey. 

Here are three things to keep in mind — from mortgage rates to buying power — as you navigate the housing market.

What’s going on with mortgage rates? 

As consumers, we have been spoiled with historically low interest rates that held out for an uncommonly long time. As interest rates begin to fluctuate, it is common to feel concern, especially for first-time home buyers. 

Understanding the cause and effect behind rate increases can help reduce worry over market changes. Interest rates directly influence a buyer’s buying power. Real estate agents can help you understand what this means and what steps you can take to better prepare for it. 

I often advise clients to check with the financing institution with whom they have a working relationship. This institution will already have your financial history and a personal gain in maintaining your business. They are best equipped to help you understand your buying power. 

Know your buying power 

Increased interest rates will increase mortgage payments, and this ultimately influences how much buying power you have. Knowing your buying power is an important factor when it comes to entering the housing market. 

It is especially important to understand what you can afford monthly (in terms of payments) and how much of a down payment you need to get the monthly payments where you need them. Many people would rather look for lower costs vs. having to produce more of a down payment, but it is always good to have options.  

Don’t be afraid to shop lenders

I have a working relationship with several lenders, and I encourage my clients to shop around for the best rate when going through the pre-approval process. A home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, and even though refinancing is an option later down the road, you should feel confident in your purchase and the process of paying it off for the foreseeable future. Plus, it is always in the buyer’s favor to come to the market prepared.

Amazing things are happening at Celina ISD – known as the destination district. 

Boasting an A rating, this school district holds a promise of growth and excellence in student education. Celina ISD is located 40 miles north of Dallas and it is currently one of the fastest growing public school districts in Texas. And it’s easy to see why.

The district has an enrollment of over 2, 500 students and currently has one high school, one junior high school, two elementary schools and one early childhood school. 

Here are a few things I want you to know about the district:

Academic Excellence 

According to this list of the best school districts in the Dallas area, Celina comes in at the top 20 for its high STARR, AP/IB, SAT and ACT scores. 

Academic excellence is certainly a contributing factor in Celina ISD’s high rating. In 2020, the high school received the College Success Award; this is coupled with the high percentage (99%) of high school students who graduated early or on time in 2019. 

With the pandemic, current numbers are slow coming as many requirements were previously put on hold.   

Extracurricular Activities 

There’s no doubt that academic excellence goes hand in hand with extracurricular activities. According to the Celina ISD website, “Our district has a long-standing reputation of providing quality education that gives our students hope for tomorrow by helping them reach their potential through innovative programs and experiences.” 

Celina ISD offers a fine arts program and a robust athletic program, attracting students around the area. 

Summer athletic camps keep students engaged with baseball, basketball, football, softball and volleyball camps.  

Parent Reviews 

Greatschools.org is based on parent reviews and a high percentage of Celina ISD schools average a nearly perfect score. The average years of teacher experience is 12.7 years, and this shows in many of the well-rated parent reviews.

Celina ISD does accept transfer applications within the district.

Do you need a safe and close-knit community to raise a family? Are you looking for a peaceful but eventful location to attend college or send your children to school? Does the small-town lifestyle appeal to you? Look no further! Celina, Texas is a beautiful location to settle down or even attend college. Collin College attracts students from all across the nation for its Business Management, Construction Management, Health Sciences, and Information Technology courses.

Known as the “fastest-growing city in North Texas,” Celina is packed full of potential for families, young singles, and even college students (About Us)

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Historical Small Town Appeal

Enjoy a pleasant stroll through the historic town square that was notably established in 1902 when the railroad began to run through town (About Us). Since the early 1900s, the town has grown to an impressive 30,000.

Celina, Texas offers the calm environment of a small town with all of the benefits of living near a large city. Located only 46 minutes away from Dallas, the restaurants, shopping opportunities, and events of the big city are just a short drive away!

The beautiful town of Celina, TX has many entertainment opportunities. Check out Hope Park for its rolling hills and innovative playground or Arcade 92 for pinball, amongst other games. Also, Frisco Fresh Market is a farmer’s market that is a notable local favorite.

Perfect Family Environment

Impressively, Celina, TX has earned A’s in the “Public Schools,” “Housing,” and even “Good for Families” categories. This makes Celina one of the best places to relocate to for settling down and raising a family (Niche).

In addition, the school district in Celina, Texas is known for its dedicated teachers, safe campuses, and proven results. Your children will enjoy their Celina public school experience with the district’s dedicated teachers and secure campuses. Go bobcats!

Employment and Commuter Potential

Whether you want to relocate for better employment opportunities or you have an established career in one of the surrounding areas, Celina, TX is the perfect town for you! Within close range of Dallas and even Fort Worth, many professionals choose Celina for its commuter potential.

According to BestPlaces, the average resident of Celina, Texas makes over 5% more per year than the rest of the United States. As an added perk, the cost of living for Celian is also much lower than the national average. As Celina has shown rapid growth in the recent ten years, the area continues to show more and more promise and has proven to be rich in new employment opportunities.

Let’s Get Started!

Are you interested in moving to Celina, Texas, or any other smaller town inside the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex? Join other individuals and families who, like you, desire a secure place to put down their roots.

For more information about the homes available in Celina, Texas, Contact our Merit Homes Team at any time! Matt Braun, or one of our other local specialists, will be pleased to answer your questions or to consult with you about your upcoming move.

There are many reasons why homebuyers love new construction. They get to move into a brand-new house that has the latest and greatest finishes and will likely have little maintenance in the near future. While the process may seem straightforward, there are lots of things that buyers need to be aware of. Having a real estate agent in your corner can help you avoid the many headaches associated with going the new construction route. 

Selecting the Right Builder

Most agents are very familiar with the various builders in their area. They understand which builders have the best price points, who specialize in certain styles of homes (production, semi-custom, custom, etc.), what materials a builder uses, and whether the builder has a reputation for having good or bad quality or is responsive to service requests after-closing. 

By sitting down with an agent and explaining your goals and requirements, they can save you a lot of time by immediately narrowing down the list of builders who are best suited for your project.  

Selecting the Right Community, Floor Plan, and Lot

Agents help guide buyers through the selection process to ensure that the floor plan, community, and lot aligns with the buyer’s individual needs. There are some floor plans and communities that may be hard to resell. An agent will be able to point out these potential challenges. An agent can also help identify poor lot orientations or difficult soil conditions. 

Selecting Options

When you visit a builder to tour a model home, you will likely be presented with a model that has all of the optional features and upgrades. This is intentional as the builder’s number one priority is to sell each house for the highest possible price. Not every upgrade adds significant value to the property. A real estate agent can help their clients pick the best options to maximize their investment. An agent also knows which options are highly marked-up in order to assist with negotiating a better deal. 

Having an Advocate in Your Corner

The on-site agent at the model home may look and sound like someone who is there to help you. However, this representative works for the builder and is there to represent their employer’s best interests. Agents are licensed professionals bound by law and professional ethics, while the builder’s sales representatives are not constrained by those requirements. A good quality agent will be able to see through what is truth and what is a sales pitch.

Once you have reached a decision on which builder to use and which model you would like, it’s time for the real work to begin. Now it’s time for your real estate agent to negotiate with the builder and lock down the purchase of your new property! 

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