Real Estate

You want to buy a house, but where do you start?

I believe that by following certain steps in order you will have a better experience purchasing you new home. These include having a minimum amount of money on hand, getting preapproved, and working with a full time realtor.

When writing an offer, you will need earnest money also know as deposit money. The standard in Oklahoma is $500-$1000, may be more or less. You will also be asked to pay for the appraisal, typically $450 in Oklahoma, and the home inspection fees are approximately $300 for home and termite. While the lender and inspectors may be willing to wait to closing to be paid, they will probably want a credit card or check to hold incase the file does not close. Even if the house does not close, if these services have been rendered you will be required to pay for them. The earnest money may or may not be refundable depending on contract terms and reasons for fall through.

Preapproval is essential. By getting preapproved you will learn the following:

Is your credit and income where it needs to be to qualify for a loan.

Do you need a down payment and how much?

Can you qualify for down payment assistance?

What type of loan can you obtain?

Are you eligible for an American Native loan, VA loan, or rural development loan?

What are the costs associated with the loan?

How much do you want to spend a month?

Without getting preapproved you are simply window shopping and you may not know the exact fees that are associated with the cost of purchasing. You could also possibly spend money attempting to get a house that you don’t qualify to purchase as well as wasting time and gas.

Working with a full time Realtor who knows the area that you want to purchase a home in is critical. If you are calling sign to sign, you have no representation. The realtor on the sign is being paid a commission by the seller. If you hire a realtor of your own, then that Realtor can represent you the buyer. The buyer does not pay the commission for this service. The seller contracts with the listing agent to sell their house. The listing agent offers a portion of the full commission to a buyer’s realtor to bring them a buyer. This way your best interest is represented during the transaction.

If you are looking for a full time Realtor in Moore, Midwest City, Del City, Mustang, Yukon, or Oklahoma City to represent you, please feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website

Real Estate

Homestead and SQ 758

This blog is not a debate about whether this is a good piece of legislation or bad, but rather what it means to Oklahomans, including our military.

The taxes that a person pays on a property are determined by the taxable value multiplied by the millage rate. SQ758 does not dictate the millage rate one way or other.  So it is only half of the equation.

State question 758 won by 67.7% ( of the vote to change the current cap from 5% to 3% increase of  taxable property values, but only on homesteaded properties and agricultural properties.

If the property is not homesteaded then the 5% cap applies.

There is a difference between a tax value and a market value. You pay taxes on the tax value not necessarily the market value.

When a property is sold the value of the property is reassessed to the current market value. Properties that were purchased many years ago may have a different tax value than a market value and would thereby see the taxable values rising at either the 3 or 5% rate until they reach the market value. Property that is currently at market value could also increase by these same measures if the assessor showed this amount of increase. We are currently not seeing this amount of increase. This bill affects people who have owned property for a long period of time more than it affects people who have recently purchased property. 

All owner occupied properties are eligible for homestead provided the owner is a resident of Oklahoma and the owner has occupied the house as of Jan 1 for the year homesteaded.

Military members do not always claim the state they live in as their place of residence.  Sometimes a non-resident military member and their resident of Oklahoma spouse are on the deed.  In speaking to David Tinsley, Cleveland county assessor, this morning, he stated that by homesteading ones property the person does become a resident of Oklahoma.  In this scenario, the non-resident military member would become a resident of Oklahoma. This could have tax implications for some of our military. So our military will need to decide if the benefits of homesteading their domicile out weigh the tax benefits they receive from being an out-of-state resident.

The other times that homes are not homesteaded are rental property and people who most likely don’t know to fill out the form.

If you are not sure if your property is homesteaded, go to the county assessor’s website-put your address in and check to see if there is an exemption.  I am not an accountant or a lawyer and this blog is not to give legal or tax counsel, if you need more information, please contact  an attorney or CPA.

There are other reasons that you should homestead that I will discuss in a future blog.

If you have real estate questions, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at


The seller accepted our offer and we are so excited. Now what?

My buyers always want to know–now what? So here is a synopsis of what happens after the offer is accepted. At least in Oklahoma.

The earnest money check will be deposited into the listing realtor’s escrow account or the escrow account noted on the contract.  Make sure the funds are available.

The contract will be turned into your lender, if you are getting financing. The lender should be calling you within a day or two to go over the loan and request additional information. If not, please call them and make sure they have a copy of your contract.

The contract will be turned into the title company. In Oklahoma, we are an abstract state, so the abstract will need to be brought up to date. The abstract is the document that shows the transfer of ownership from statehood until now. The title company will also hire a survey company to survey the property. This is done to verify that house is not violating the easements, building or property lines. The title company’s attorney will cleared the title or list any requirements needed for clear title. These items will need to be cleared by the time of closing. They could include liens, probate issues, improper releases, etc.

You or your realtor will schedule the home inspection and the termite inspection to be performed within the time reference dates. You, the buyer, will want to be at the inspection so that you can ask any questions and discuss any findings with the home inspector.

During the time reference period, shown in the contract, you will need to find who you are going to use for your insurance company. Insurance rates vary widely from company to company, so you will want to check around. You will not pay for this insurance until closing, but your lender and realtor will need this information.

Once the inspections are completed you will decide what repairs you will ask the seller to make for you or whether you want to continue with the contract or not. If during the time reference period, you decide you do not want to purchase the home you will need to sign a release. If you are satisfied with the inspections, you will need to sign a TRR (Treatment, Repair, and replacement form). This will be sent to the seller for them to review and accept, reject or make amendment.

I suggest that you wait until the inspections are completed and you know the out come as to whether you are satisfied or not and whether the seller is willing to make the repairs you want completed prior to giving your notice to you landlord. (If this applies)

The bank will send out the appraiser to measure the house and verify that the house is worth the amount you are willing to pay for it. If the appraiser requires any repairs, they will inform the lender. These repairs will need to be made prior to closing. The lender will send the appraiser back out to verify that the repairs are made.

Typically a day or two before closing, you will be notified that the loan is clear to close. The title company will prepare the closing statement which shows all debits and credits for the home purchase. Your realtor will then call you with the amount that you will need to bring to the closing table. This needs to be a cashier check or a bank wire, Not a personal check.

Remember to call the utility companies. The day of closing you will receive your key and can move into your new home. I do always suggest that you change your locks, since there is no way to know who might have a copy of the old key.

If you have real estate questions, please feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at