First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide

by Sheila Cox, Five Star Real Estate Agent in Katy TX

home buyers guide 

This fantastic First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide, by Sheila Cox, is a 50+ page guide with multiple checklists and lots of tips and advice about buying a home, including:

  • The benefits of home ownership
  • Are you ready for home ownership?
  • Planning Your Timing
  • Understanding Down Payments and PMI  
  • Do you know what it costs to buy a home?            
  • How to budget and plan to buy a house   
  • Need help with the down payment cash?
  • Analyze your net worth  
  • How much can you afford to borrow?     
  • How to find a reputable lender   
  • How to improve your credit score             
  • Texas Home Buying Process        
  • Planning the Move
  • Real Estate Glossary       


Videos About Home Buying

Your home is probably your largest financial investment. Why wouldn’t you want a dedicated, Five-Star agent who is looking out for YOU?!
buyer videos
>> Go to my YouTube Channel


When You Are Ready to Tour Homes

When you are ready to tour some homes, then call/text me at 832-779-2890 so we can get you on the calendar and discuss exactly what will be the perfect home for you. As a Katy real estate agent (an expert!) I can narrow your focus and help you find the perfect neighborhood.

Or you can send me your perfect home criteria here:

Once I set up your custom search, then you will start getting home listings via email and you can mark them with Hearts to mark your favorites. A couple of days before our scheduled tour, I make appointments for your Favorite homes and print out the maps, home data, etc. for our tour. On the day of our tour we will meet at my office and then drive the area together so I can tell you about the area and point out various features while also touring homes. This is a great way to find your perfect home!

Helpful Articles About Home Buying

katy real estate market report

Katy Real Estate Market

Real Estate Terminology Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market The  real estate market is constantly changing. The way we determine the type of real estate market we’re in (Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market) is based on the amount of Inventory (homes available for sale) currently available. Six months of inventory is usually ... [Read More]
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Self-Guided Tour of Katy Texas

Some people want a self-guided tour of Katy Texas before looking at houses with a REALTOR, so I created this tour to show you around the area. You will start this tour at LaCenterra which is a great place to find a restaurant. Just click each address in the order ... [Read More]
Timeline for Planning a Home Purchase

Timeline for Planning a Home Purchase

Resale Homes Most people need help with the timeline for planning a home purchase, so here's my recommendation. Start with a Deadline. That's the date you absolutely have to be out of your current home/apartment. This Deadline may be the end of a lease or a move-out date for an ... [Read More]
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Buyer Representation in Texas

The Agent Showing You Houses May Not Be Your Agent Many people think that if a real estate agent is showing them houses, that means the agent is their agent and looking out for their best interests. This is not the case in Texas, which is why the Texas Real ... [Read More]

Checklist of Steps for Buying a Home

This list is not comprehensive. There are a lot of steps that your REALTOR® takes care of behind-the-scenes. Call Sheila Cox for help at 832-779-2890  Buying a home is a serious legal commitment with important deadlines and possibly large financial losses if you do not meet your contractual deadlines (as established ... [Read More]
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Do I Need a Real Estate Agent? Maybe I Can Do This Myself

 "That's what I used to think! In fact, before I became a licensed real estate agent, I did several FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales and THOUGHT I knew what I was doing. But if I had known then what I know now...I never would have risked it. Here's what ... [Read More]

Texas Laws on Brokerage Services & Dual Agency

Does My Real Estate Agent Represent Me or the Seller? When I bought my first house in the mid 1990s, Texas was kind of a "Buyer Beware" state. In fact, a home Buyer could spend weeks looking for a home with a real estate agent, telling her secret information (like ... [Read More]

What To Look for In a Katy Real Estate Agent

What To Look for In a Katy Real Estate Agent Want to know how to hire the best Katy real estate agent?  See below! NOTE: Many of these items are specific to Texas agents. ___ Did your agent give you the "Information About Brokerage Services" notice that is legally required by the ... [Read More]

Sheila Cox – Katy Real Estate Agent – Reviews & More

Client Reviews Here's what clients have to say about Sheila Cox, Katy real estate agent ... [Read More]
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Who Pays Real Estate Commissions in Texas?

Who Pays the Real Estate Commission in Texas? One of the questions that I'm frequently asked is, "Who pays the real estate commission in Texas for a real estate transaction?" That's a good question! Here's the answer. Please not that the sales commission is NEGOTIATED (not always 6%) between the ... [Read More]
Texas Home Buying Process

Texas Home Buying Process

If you are buying a home in Texas, then you need to learn about the home buying process, which may be different than other states. One thing to consider is that before you even begin the process of searching for a home, you must: Determine how much house you can ... [Read More]
Costs To Buy a Home in Texas

Costs To Buy a Home in Texas

Do You Know What It Costs To Buy a Home in Texas? It’s one thing to want to own your own home…it’s another to be able to afford one. Here is a run-down of estimated costs to buy a home in Texas you must consider...  Understanding Down Payments and ... [Read More]
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Why You Need a PreApproval Letter & How to Apply for a Home Loan

You need a PreApproval letter to start the home search phase in the home buying process in this area because: You need to know exactly how much house you can afford and a lender is the best source for that information. You won't be able to make an offer on ... [Read More]
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Katy Flood Zones

People moving to the Katy area are often concerned about Katy flood zones. The good news is that, for the most part and with a few exceptions, most Katy neighborhoods are located out of Special Flood Areas. There are a few areas that are in 500-year Floodplain (yellow zone) and ... [Read More]
Option Periods

Option Period and Fees in Texas Real Estate

In Texas, you can buy an "option period" (usually 10 days) from the seller for $200-$300 that gives you the irrevocable privilege to back out of the sales contract for any reason, and still receive your 1 percent earnest money back. (During this time, the Seller cannot back out of ... [Read More]
Home Inspections for Buyers

Home Inspections for Buyers

Please know that a home inspection is one of the most important parts of buying a home. But it can be overwhelming trying to find a reputable inspector who you can trust. I provide all my buyer clients with a list of licensed home inspectors in the area to make ... [Read More]
Pricing a Home Correctly

Pricing a Home Correctly

Pricing a home is more complicated than simply comparing the list price to the sales price. Clients often ask me how much they should pay for a home, and I tell them, “It depends on how much it’s worth!” For example, if a house is listed at $450,000 and you ... [Read More]

Beware of Internet Real Estate Statistics

The bottom line: No one knows an area better than a local, experienced real estate agent. Don't gamble your biggest investment on automated Internet data. It's Not All About the ZIP Code...Or Shouldn't Be I love the Internet and I'm an information junkie, but I am constantly amazed at how ... [Read More]

About Appraisals and What To Do When One Comes in Low

The Problem Regarding Real Estate Appraisals One troublesome aspect of home buying and selling is how to handle low real estate appraisals.  A real estate appraisal is an estimate of the market value of a piece of real estate based upon a variety of factors.  In the definition above, notice the word ESTIMATE. If ... [Read More]

Home Warranties

When you purchase a resale home, you can purchase a home warranty (a.k.a., Residential Service Contract or RSV) that will protect you against most ordinary flaws and breakdowns for at least the first year of occupancy.  The warranty may be offered by either the Seller, as part of the overall ... [Read More]

Buying New vs. Resale Home

One question that I get a lot is, "What's recommended: buying new vs resale home?" A new home is one that has never been lived in while an existing home has been lived in by a previous owner. There are Pros and Cons either way that you should consider. Here ... [Read More]
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What to Expect When You Buy a New Construction Home

So you have put a contract to buy a new construction home with a builder and you can't wait to move in. Buying a home is exciting, especially if you are a first-time home buyer, but buying a brand new home that has never been lived in doesn't mean the ... [Read More]

Katy New Construction Homes for Sale (from home builder)

Many people moving to the Houston area decide they want to live in Katy or Sugar Land because of the great schools. However, they are often surprised to find out that there is very limited new construction in these areas, especially Sugar Land. Sugar Land is completely land-locked by Houston, ... [Read More]

What Is a Real Estate “Closing”?

A real estate “Closing” is where you and I meet with some or all of the following individuals: the Seller, the Seller’s agent, a representative from the lending institution and a representative from the title company, in order to transfer the property title to you. The purchase agreement or contract you ... [Read More]

Buying & Selling Real Estate Is a Huge Investment
Don’t You Deserve a Five Star Real Estate Agent?

Sheila Cox

Sheila Cox Realtor
Author of…so you know that I know this area! Winner of Five Star award every year since 2010.


Real estate agents don’t “just” sell houses; we sell a SERVICE to effectively guide home buyers and sellers through the entire real estate transaction, which usually takes several months. We are more like real estate consultants than we are salespeople. That’s probably why 86 percent of all home buyers and sellers choose to hire a real estate agent when buying or selling a home!

Buying or selling a home is not like buying or selling a TV, a computer, or a car. You can’t buy/sell a home on the Internet with a couple of clicks. There are MANY legal aspects, deadlines, and requirements that most people are not trained to handle. What’s more…mistakes along the way can cost you thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The financial risk is much greater than just about anything else you may buy.

That’s why you need your own dedicated, experienced real estate agent
looking out for YOUR best interests.

Please read the list of my value-added services for home buyers

FREE GUIDES & REPORTS by Sheila Cox, Five Star Realtor

Click Image Below to Download a Guide or Report

katy real estate guide
Katy Relocation Guide
katy market report
Katy Market Report
katy flood report
Katy Flood Report
Katy Schools Report


View Helpful Videos on Sheila’s YouTube Channel

Sheila Cox YouTube Channel

Why You Should Hire Sheila Cox As Your Agent

sheila cox five star realtor5Integrity—I promise to give you candid opinions on all homes and areas so you can make the best decisions. I won’t ignore potential defects that can cost you money, or effect your resale value, in the future…I point them out to you! My job is to protect you, as much as possible, from defective homes while helping you make a sound financial investment. You will get more REAL info from me regarding homes/neighborhoods than you ever had before! (Read client testimonials)

Local Area Expertise—This isn’t just my business…it’s where I work and live (for 20+ years) so I really know the area. I will help you narrow your options and find the best neighborhood for you based on your specifications. For long-term resale value, the neighborhood you choose is just as important as the home you buy. (Download my Ultimate Katy Guide)

Great Pricing Data—I will give you the most in-depth data you have ever seen…to help you make the wisest decisions. This includes a professional CMA when you are ready to purchase a specific home…so you don’t pay too much. You can’t get this level of pricing information anywhere else. (Also see Pricing a Home Correctly)

Premium Customized Home Searches—Yes, you can search on your own, but no other home search available can filter down to the school level…and filter out the subdivisions that may be known to flood. Plus my search includes “Coming Soon” homes not listed on other  websites. (Request a Premium Customized Home Search)

Video Home Tours—If you or your spouse lives out of the state or country, then you will enjoy my detailed video home tours. I have sold multiple homes to out-of-area clients “site unseen” by providing High Definition video walkthroughs of potential homes. My videos show front and back yards, closets, pantries, laundry rooms, and the garage…as well as the entire home. This gives you a complete picture of the house (unlike those silly Matterports). I also point out any potential defects or deferred maintenance that I see. (view sample video walkthrough)

Easier Process—Moving your family (and possibly changing jobs) is stressful enough. I’m your transaction manager and will guide you, step-by-step, through the process so you never miss an important deadline. I assist with inspections, repair negotiations, home warranties, HOA compliance inspections, hazard insurance, surveys, appraisals, title commitment, home warranties, title commitment, and more. (Get Details of My Value-Added Services)

Client Reviews of Sheila

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