First Time Home Buyer

5 Tips for Buying a Home in Killeen, TX

Owning a home is part of the American Dream! Home ownership can help families build wealth because mortgage payments build equity, whereas, rent payments do not. There is a certain pride that comes with home ownership, signifying a sense of stability and security for your family. Even though home markets wax and wane, over time, the value of your home will often increase, so you can sell your home for MORE than you purchased it for! Whether you’re planning to buy a home in 2020 or further down the road, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you work toward your goal.


1. Pay Off Debt and Build an Emergency Fund.

Dave Ramsey, a well-known financial guru, suggests that in order to reach financial freedom, you must first pay off all of your debts and build up an emergency fund. This is a great first step if you are planning to purchase a home because in order to succeed, you must focus on a realistic budget.


2. Start Saving for a Down Payment Early.

The more money you put toward the down payment, the less you will pay in interest over the course of your mortgage. A good way to get started, once you’ve paid off your debts, is to put whatever amount you were paying toward debt into a dedicated savings account.


3. Explore your Down Payment and Mortgage Options.

There are quite a few mortgage options for first-time home buyers that allow you to purchase a home for as little as a 3% or 3.5% down payment. Some VA loans may not require a down payment. Be sure to review your options thoroughly; Nerd Wallet has some great tips on exploring mortgage options here.


4. Get Pre-Approved Before your Start your Home Search.

Pre-approval for a home loan is a great way for first time home buyers to to understand how much they can afford to spend on a house. Getting pre-approved requires you to go to a mortgage lender and provide them with a few documents stating your income, assets, debts, etc. Any mortgage lender should be happy to walk you through the process of pre-approval.


5. Find the Right Real Estate Agent.

Your real estate agent should understand your needs AND the community in which you would like to buy a home. NextHome Tropicana Realty’s team is knowledgeable about the Central Texas area and skilled in working with each client’s specific needs. If you would like to speak to a member of the NextHome Tropicana Realty team, please call us at (254) 535-0277. We’re here to help you get started on your journey toward buying a home.



Tenant Rights During COVID-19

“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented impact and uncertainty for tenants and landlords. To address these uncertainties, Texas REALTORS® is providing answers to several frequently asked questions regarding your lease and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

What Current Tenants Need to Know

Paying Rent
No laws have passed or decrees that freeze home rental payments. Tenants are still contractually obligated to make rent payments according to the terms of their lease. If you are unable to pay rent, then communicate with the landlord or property manager as soon as possible. Your landlord or property manager may be able to set up a payment plan, waiver, or a rental forbearance for tenants facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Can I get evicted?
Texas Supreme Court has generally suspended proceedings for residential evictions until April 19th. Writs of Possession may be issued but not executed until April 26th.


NextHome Tropicana is my landlord, and I am experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, what should I do?

Contact to us as soon as possible.We are working with tenants who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. See the COVID-19 Lease Payment Plan Agreement and reach out to us with questions.

CALL: 254.535.0277




Copperas Cove, Texas, Central Texas, buy a home, new home, home near killeen

New Home Community in Copperas Cove

(Image Courtesy of Copperas Cove Herald)

Copperas Cove’s newest community, Creekside Hills, has some impressive features and is just 15 minutes from Fort Hood. DR Horton has kept Central Texas family lifestyles in mind when designing their newest floor plans. If you are looking for a Smart Home that will usher your family into a new generation of technology, this is definitely the place to go.

DR Horton has fitted all of the homes in Creekside Hills with their Home is Connected features. This system allows the homeowner to control all of the devices in their home from one central hub, your phone. You can lock doors, control the thermostat, and turn lights on an off just using your phone. DR Horton is also including an Amazon Echo Dot in all of the Creekside Hills homes, making voice activation of your Smart Home a breeze.

We are highlighting some of the larger floor plans offered in this community. Reach out to the NextHome Tropicana team if you’re interested in viewing a home at (254) 616-1850.

Visit Copperas Cove’s Creekside Hills Community


The Prescott Home

The Prescott floor plan is designed with your family needs in mind. This home includes a flexible space that could be a game room or study, and open layout in the kitchen, dining and living room. Relax in the master bathroom which has a large closet and plenty of room for storage.

  • 1,953 square feet
  • 1 story / 4 bedroom / 2.5 bathroom / 2 car garage
  • Starting around $192k

Creekside Hills Prescott InteriorCreekside Hills Prescott Floor Plan

The Richmond Home

You will love the inviting entry way in the Richmond floor plan. The bright and spacious kitchen includes a beautiful island, and the space opens up to the dining and living rooms. Designed with comfort in mind, this home is an excellent option for a growing family.

  • 1,783 square feet
  • 1 story
  • 4 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage
  • Starting around $180k

Creekside Hills Richmond Interior

Creekside Hills Richmond Floor Plan

The Everett Home

The kitchen in the Everett floor plan is nothing short of luxurious. Featuring granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a large island for you to gather around, the kitchen is fantastic. It flows into a large dining and family room in this open layout. This home has 2 flexible spaces that could be a formal dining room, study, game room, or fourth bedroom, depending on what your family needs.

  • 2,150 square feet
  • 1 story
  • 3 or 4 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage
  • Starting around $206k

Creekside Hills Everett Kitchen

Creekside Hills Everett Floor Plan

The Kiawa Home

Stretch out in the Kiawa, D.R. Horton’s largest floor plan in the Creekside Hills community. The first floor has an optional study or an extended living room, a dining room and a breakfast nook that opens up to the patio. On the second floor, you’ll find a large game room or media room with the option to add a fifth bedroom. Plus, you will have plenty of storage space in the huge master closet.

  • 3,150 square feet
  • 2 story
  • 4 or 5 bedroom / 3 bathroom / 2 car garage
  • Starting around $238k

Creekside Hills Kiawa Upstairs

Creekside Hills Kiawa Floor Plan

The Magnolia Home

The Magnolia floor plan was designed with convenience in mind. The first floor boasts a large, open kitchen, a connected dining and living room, and an optional study or fourth bedroom. The utility room is conveniently located upstairs between the master closet and third bedroom for easy access to kids’ rooms without hauling clothes up and down the stairs.

  • 2,206 square feet
  • 2 story
  • 3 or 4 bedroom / 2.5 bathroom / 2 car garage
  • Starting around $212k

Creekside Hills Magnolia Kitchen

Creekside Hills Magnolia Floor Plan

The Sonoma Home

The designers at D.R.Horton made sure to give the Sonoma floor plan some extra charm. With a large master suite on the first floor and an over-sized living room, you have plenty of room for your family to grow. The second floor features 3 bedrooms and an open loft that is great for entertaining. There is even room to add a fifth bedroom!

  • 2,572 square feet
  • 2 story
  • 4 or 5 bathroom / 2.5 bathroom / 2 car garage
  • Starting around $216k

Creekside Hills Sonoma Interior

Creekside Hills Sonoma Floor Plan

LEARN MORE About Copperas Cove

“The City built for Family Living” is nestled between five hills in Central Texas, and it is a wonderful place to call home!

5 Quick Facts About Copperas Cove:

  1. Cost of Living is Low
  2. It’s a Military Friendly Town
  3. Plenty of Family Events
  4. People Love Texas Football
  5. So Many Beautiful Parks


Reach out to the NextHome Tropicana team if you’re interested in viewing one of these homes or have questions about living in the area (254) 616-1850.

Office / Model for Creekside Hills

Creekside Hills by DR Horton

Copperas Cove is known as the “City for Family Living.” DR Horton’s newest community in Copperas Cove lives up to that title. Creekside Hills offers 10 different floor plans, ranging between 1,508 and 3,150 square feet. Whether you want the perfect 3 bedroom starter-home or you are looking to upgrade to a larger 5 bedroom home, Creekside Hills is an ideal location.

Creekside Hills is strategically located minutes from Highway 9, so you will have easy access to Killeen, Fort Hood, and Harker Heights. In this community, the kids can attend Hettie Halstead Elementary and House Creek Elementary School, S.C. Lee Junior High School, and Copperas Cove High School. Call NextHome Tropicana Realty for information or to schedule a private tour of your favorite home at (254) 535-0277.

Here are some of the 3-bedroom “Starter” floor plans to consider:

Alpine Home 

The Alpine home is one of the most popular floor plans. It is a perfect starter home for a single adult, couple, or small family. It features 9-foot ceilings, granite counter tops in the kitchen, and stainless appliances.

  • 1,508 square feet

  • 1 story / 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage

  • Starting in the $166s

 Creekside Hills Alpine Kitchen Creekside Hills - Alpine Floor Plan

Willow Home

The master bedroom suite of the Willow floor plan is located off the family room and it includes a large walk-in closet and a relaxing master bathroom. You’ll enjoy added security in your new DR Horton home with our Home is Connected features.

  • 1,637 square feet

  • 1 story / 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage

  • Starting in the $172s

 Creekside Hills - Willow Living Area Creekside Hills - Willow Floor Plan

Ashford Home

You will love the entryway of the Ashford opens into a dining area and spacious living area that flows effortlessly to the bright and spacious kitchen. Enjoy preparing meals and spending time together gathered around the kitchen island.

  • 1,695 square feet

  • 1 story / 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage

  • Starting in the $176s

Creekside Hills - Ashford Entryway Creekside Hills - Ashford Floor Plan

Dakota Home

The inviting entryway of the Dakota opens into the spacious living area with an open dining area, leading into the spacious kitchen. The master bedroom suite is located off the family room and it includes a large walk-in closet and a relaxing master bathroom.

  • 1,568 square feet

  • 1 story / 4 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage

  • Starting in the $170s

Creekside Hills - Dakota Master Bath Creekside Hills - Dakota Floor Plan

Roosevelt Home

The Roosevelt floorplan is designed to provide you and your family a comfortable place to call home. Unwind in your master suite, which includes a beautiful master bathroom with his and her sinks.

  • 1,605 square feet

  • 1 story / 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage

  • Starting in the $169s

Creekside Hills - Roosevelt Living and Kitchen Creekside Hills - Roosevelt Floor Plan

Rosewood Home

The Rosewood floor plan is among the most popular homes and is a perfect starter home for a single adult, retired couple, or small family. Other Features include 9-foot ceilings, granite counter tops in the kitchen, and stainless appliances.

  • 1,368 square feet

  • 1 story / 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 car garage

  • Starting in the $159s

Creekside Hills - Rosewood Kitchen Creekside Hills - Rosewood Floor Plan


Stages of Buying a Home in Texas

For a first-time home buyer, the home buying process in Texas can appear intimidating. There is loan pre-approval, finding the right neighborhood, house hunting, home inspection, and many smaller steps that can easily overwhelm you. We want the home buying process to be as easy as possible for you, so we’ve put together a list of what to expect during the process of buying a home.

Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

You can be pre-qualified for a mortgage loan and apply for your home loan. Even if you are not qualified right now, the right loan officer will explain the steps you need to take to get there. Typically, the qualification process takes between 3 and 12 months. To get pre-approved for a home loan, you will fill out the loan application and submit supporting documents (such as your tax returns, bank statements, etc.). Once the loan is in process, you can get out those comfortable shoes and start looking at homes.

Search for Your Next Home

It is time for house hunting! Aside from closing day, house hunting is the most fun part of the home buying process. There are so many options available for exploration and you get to choose exactly the option that will work best for you and your family. NextHome realtors are here to guide you through your decision making process. Here are some questions to help you figure out which one will be the right home for you:

  • What area of town is ideal for your commute?
  • What neighborhood amenities are you looking for?
  • Do you prefer new construction or a resale home?
  • Where are the best schools?

Submit Your Offer

Once the house is found, it’s time for negotiation! Armed with the latest neighborhood information, NextHome Tropicana realtors guide you to make the right offer and submit it to the seller. Negotiation may require some back and forth as you discuss the details with the seller.

The negotiable details could include both the cost of the home, as well as things like: who pays for the home warranty, closing costs, title insurance, and more. Once everything is agreed upon, the offer becomes a contract. To seal the deal, some sellers require a deposit called earnest money sent to the title company. This shows your good faith in the transaction, which allows the sale to move to the next step.

Get a Home Inspection

A home inspection is essential for you to know exactly what you’re getting into. The inspector helps you identify any issues that the property might have. It’s conducted by a third party independent licensed inspector, and it is a must-do. A home is likely to be the largest purchase you will make, you want to scrutinize it and ensure that everything is up to par. If any repairs are needed, you can use that information to negotiate with the seller while the contract is in an option period. The option period is a short time frame, typically 10-15 days, after the contract is ratified.

Loan Processing

This is the hardest part of the process only because you are anxiously awaiting the green light to get into the house. During this time, quite a few things take place behind the scenes. These include the home appraisal, survey, title work, and other behind the final loan-related checklists.

Appraisal is conducted by a licensed real estate appraiser who ensures that you are not paying more for the house than it is worth. Survey of the plot of land you are purchasing ensures that you are aware of underground utility lines and informs you of any setback lines where no permanent structure can be built, etc. Title policy highlights any deed restrictions that might prohibit a certain activity, ensures the title to the property does not have liens and encumbrances.

Final Walk-Through and Closing

To seal the deal, the buyer (you) conducts a final walk through with your realtor to ensure the house is still there and in good condition (i.e. it has not been burned down to the ground, ha ha ha). You are also checking to see that all of the repairs agreed to by the seller are complete with copies of the receipts. If all is well, a drive to the title company is the final step to sign your life away for the next 30 years (shorter terms like 15 or 20 year notes are available).

lakeview, lakeview homes, home community, killeen texas, buy a new home, new homes, NextHome tropicana

Before you know it, you’ll hear the words, “Congratulations, you are now a proud homeowner!!”