The Brandee Kelley Group Buyers' Guide

The Brandee Kelley Group believes in informing our clients about the ins and outs of buying real estate. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide with all the information you need to know about buying a home in North Texas!

To ask questions or obtain the latest information, please contact us [hyperlink] and we will be glad to assist you!

What Does the Home-Buying Process Look Like?

With the Brandee Kelley Group, the home-buying process is easy and stress-free. Here are the seven main steps of the home-buying process.

Purchasing a home is a financial and lifestyle choice that requires you to think about how you like to spend your time and the type of community and neighborhood in which you want to live. The more you understand your priorities, the easier it will be for you to narrow your real estate decisions.  You might begin compiling a list of “Must Have Features” as well as a list of “Absolutely Nots”!

Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter.  You need to engage with an experienced real estate team to guide you through the maze of forms and legalities.  The Brandee Kelley Group’s guiding principle is serving our clients with professionalism and integrity.  We’ll guide you through each step of the process with knowledge and professionalism.

Our agents will help you refine your list of “Must Haves” and create a roadmap of homes that meet your criteria and your financial parameters.  We won’t waste your time by showing you homes that you cannot afford, but rather pinpoint listings that are in your price range and in the neighborhoods you like, with the amenities important to you.

Meeting with a mortgage professional for loan pre-approval before you begin your search is a necessity. When you find a home you love, you will be prepared to make an offer to purchase.

In a preapproval application, you will have gone through the credit check and paperwork requirements for a mortgage. If your lender finds a problem with your credit or any other qualifiers, you’ll have time to fix it before making an offer.

Having your financial documentation in place and a preapproval letter issued by your lender will help insure your offer is accepted by the seller when you find the home of your dreams!

Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank is the Brandee Kelley Group’s preferred lender, and for good reason.  Don is an experienced mortgage professional mortgage professional and he and his highly trained team produce consistent results for their clients.  Don knows how to navigate the maze of regulatory and underwriting challenges to make your dream home a reality.  At the time of your application, he’ll look for any potential roadblocks that may stand in the way of your loan approval and he’ll recommend the best loan package that meets your home buying objectives.

Armed with your mortgage loan preapproval, you are now ready to begin your home search. It can be a daunting task, and this is where your Realtor’s knowledge of the market comes into play. The Brandee Kelley Group’s agents have in-depth knowledge of the Arlington and surrounding area market and we’ll help you streamline your home search.

Items that we’ll take into consideration when showing you available homes are:

  • Neighborhoods and their locations: Schools, churches, shopping areas, recreational activities,
  • The prices of homes within different neighborhoods, as well as characteristics of these neighborhoods
  • Amenities important to you


It’s important that we know your “Must Haves” as well as your “Absolutely Nots”. We’ll only show you homes that meet your priorities and your budget.

You’ve found the home you want and you want to make an offer! This is where the experience and knowledge of your Realtor comes into play again, where you can rely on your agent’s judgment and expertise.  Your agent will help you prepare a solid offer that offers you protection AND increases your chances of getting your offer accepted.

When we prepare the Offer to Purchase, you will need to submit an earnest money deposit along with the offer.  If your offer is accepted, your deposit will be held in an escrow account until closing, when the funds are released from escrow and applied to your down payment.

Once the seller has accepted your offer, the next steps are home inspections.  Our skilled administrative staff will oversee these inspections, making certain they are scheduled and performed in a timely manner. A survey will take place to determine legal boundaries and title work is begun.

For your protection, you need a buyer’s inspection to determine any potential problems with the structure, the foundation, and plumbing and mechanical equipment.  Once the inspections have been completed to the satisfaction of you and your lender, you then move into the actual closing phase of the transaction.

Once inspections have been satisfactorily conducted, your loan application will go through the underwriting process.  The closing is scheduled upon underwriting approval and at this point, property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.  A final distribution of funds is made. You will sign your mortgage documents, legal disclosures, tax records and more at the closing. The seller will sign the deed over to you and the title company will register the new deed in public records to establish a legal record that you are the new owner of the property.

What Should I Look For in a Home?

Before you begin your home search, we want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. The following lists are points you may want to consider in your decision-making process:


Age: Do you prefer the charm of older properties, or newer homes?
Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
Bedrooms: How many?
Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
Stories: How many?
Square feet: How much space?
Ceilings: How high?
Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
Extras: Attic or bonus storage areas?

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Home office
Play/exercise room
Security system
Sprinkler system
In-law suite
Pool and hot tub
Wooded lot
Patio, deck, or porch

Where Should I Buy?

Where you buy not only affects the home’s current and future worth, but it also affects your lifestyle. The team members of the Brandee Kelley group have in-depth knowledge of neighborhoods and the market in north Texas. Our agents will conduct a targeted home search based upon your preferences in neighborhoods and nearby amenities. Here’s a checklist of items you should consider and communicate to your real estate agent.

  • Urban, suburban or rural
  • Commute time
  • School districts
  • Desirable neighborhoods
  • Proximity to the airport
  • Proximity to restaurants and retail
  • Access to major highways, thoroughfares and public transportation
  • Health care facilities
  • Parks and recreation
  • Length of time you plan to live in the home as growth trends and projections affect your financial investment
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How Much House Can I Afford?

Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.

Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from redecorating, new furnishings, to landscaping and repairs.

Historically, banks use a ratio of 28/36 to decide how much borrowers can borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent.

As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market, we urge you to think carefully before spreading your budget too much.  By staying in your financial comfort zone, you’ll be assured that you can live in your new home without being strapped for cash.

Does the Brandee Kelley Group Have Preferred Lenders?

Yes! Below are our preferred lenders and their contact information.

Let Us Help You Find Your Dream Home

It’s not easy finding that perfect house. We know the North Texas real estate market like the back of our hand. We’ll save you time and stress by only showing you homes that meet your needs, your preferences, and your budget.

For free information on the home buying process, please contact us today!

Let us help you find your dream home.

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Brandee Kelley Group - Arlington Today 2024

We were featured in the January 2024 issue of Arlington Today!