Frequently Asked Questions

The list below directs you to step-by-step instructions for getting to the information most frequently requested by our guests.  Please note that FAQ is the only page at FBREI that opens in a new window.  This is so you can load it once and then consult it as often as needed without reloading.  Just remember that your Browser's Back button will not automatically return you to the FBREI Home Page - you have to manually re-select it from your Browser's Open Windows List.  

  1. How do I Use This Site ?
  2. How do I Search MLS Listings?
  3. How do I estimate monthly payments?
  4. How can I view tax rates and estimate property taxes?
  5. How can I view Fort Bend County flood maps and FEMA information?
  6. How can I learn about Fort Bend County  Schools
  7. How can I learn about local neighborhoods

How do I Use This Site?

About the Menu Bar.  

You access information available from this site using the Menu Bar at the top of the Home Page.  Dragging your mouse over Menu Buttons often exposes sub menus with buttons which may in turn expose additional sub menus.  A simple rule to remember when navigating with the Menu Bar is that you should always drag your mouse straight down and/or across its buttons to expose and access sub menus.   Another is that you do not normally click on a button that displays a sub-menu - it is there only to display the sub menu.  

Linking to Other Sites.

FortBendRealEstate.Info allows you to gather information from many different sites, but  linked sites are always presented in the middle frame of the Main page, so you never have to leave it as you move from site to site, or from page to page within a site. Use the middle frame's scroll bar to view all of a page's contents when there is more to display than what fits in the frame.

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How Do I Search MLS Listings ?

To view all MLS listings in the Greater Houston Area, drag your mouse over the Search Button and the click the All Houston MLS button.  This links you to the HAR (Houston Area Realtors) site.  From there you can initiate your property search.  First select the type of property you want to find, then either enter your selection criteria on the form that appears, or if click the Map Search link to use a map to select the area's) you want to search.

To view only featured listings, drag your mouse over the Search Button and the click the Featured listings button.  This takes you to HAR, but you only  see my featured listings.

After entering your search criteria, scroll to the bottom of the page and click search and a list of results is presented.  Each item in the list has several buttons: View Details, Map, Photo Gallery and Virtual Tour (if available).  Use these buttons to learn all about the home.  View Details brings up a page full of information about the home and provides access to a mortgage calculator and other useful tools.  Clicking the Map button produces a map with directions to the selected home.   You can use your Browser Back and Forward buttons to review pages you've already accessed.

To View National Listings,  drag your mouse over the Search Button and the click the National Listings button.  This links you to Realtor.com, where you are presented with a map from which you choose the area you want to search.  There are four tabs at the top of the map that let you access methods for setting your search criteria: By Map (the default), By City & State, By Zip, or by MLS.  Choose the one you like, set your selection criteria and click the Search button.  As with HAR, you are presented with a results list showing homes matching your criteria and each item in the list has a View Details button that will bring up a full page of useful information about the selected house.

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How Do I Estimate Monthly Payments?

You can estimate your monthly payments by combining the anticipated monthly payment amounts for: principal and interest, property taxes and insurance.  Follow these steps to calculate those amounts (or drop me a note and I will do it for you):

  1. Most MLS listings have a built-in mortgage calculator available on the property's  View Details page and its use is straightforward: you simply put in the variables, down payment amount, financed amount and the expected term of the mortgage and the calculator computes the monthly payment amount for principal and interest. 
  2. To get insurance, contact your agent and ask for a quote.  
  3. Now use FortBendRealEstate.Info to get a property's appraised value and learn what taxing entities levy taxes against it. 
  4. Select Search, County Records, Appraisal District from the Menu Bar to link to txcountydata.com. 
  5. Click on "Address Search" on the left side of the screen. 
  6. Type in the property's address information and click the Submit button to link to a page showing the Property ID and Market value of the home.  Make note of both.
  7. Now click the Property ID hyper link to get the property's datasheet.  
  8. Print the Datasheet while noting the box labeled 'Taxing Entities". 
  9. Select Search, Country Records, Tax Rates from the FBREI Menu Bar to get the rates charged by taxing entities in Fort Bend County. 
  10. For each taxing entity on the page printed in step 5, look up the rate and multiply the property's market value by it, then sum the amounts calculated for all taxing entities.  
  11. This will give you an idea of the property's annual taxes.
  12. To calculate approximate monthly tax payments divide annual taxes by 12.
  13. To calculate approximate monthly insurance payments divide your annual premium by 12
  14. Now add the estimated monthly mortgage, insurance and taxes amounts to get a general idea of what you might expect your monthly payments to be.
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How can I view Fort Bend County flood maps and FEMA information?

To view Fort Bend County Flood Plain maps, Select Links, Tools, FEMA Flood Maps from the Menu Bar.  This will take you a page at the FEMA site containing a list of maps and buttons for buying or viewing them.  If you want to view and print a map free of charge, simply click the green View button on the right side of the page.  

Please click the link below for more detailed instructions about using the FEMA site.  (Requires Microsoft Word). 

http://msc.fema.gov/documents/firmette_mapsearch.doc

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How can I learn about Fort Bend County Schools?

To get information about any of the Independent School Districts in Fort Bend County, select Links, School Districts from the Menu Bar.  This takes you to Texas Education Agency's (TEA) web-site with the Fort Bend County page selected. You can use the map on this page to get a general idea of district boundaries, or you can use the drop down on the right side of the page to select a specific district.  From there, you can search for information about the district, and follow other links.

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How can I learn about Fort Bend neighborhoods?

To get information about neighborhoods and subdivisions in Fort Bend County, select Links, Neighborhoods, Find a Neighborhood from the Menu Bar.  This takes you to the Realtor.com, Find Neighborhoods Page where you will find four links that take you to pages where you can search neighborhoods based on selection criteria that you specify.  To learn about a specific neighborhood, you must enter its zip code into the text box at the bottom of the screen and then click the go button.  If you want to see a map showing Fort Bend County zip codes, then select Links, Neighborhoods, Look Up Zip Codes from the Menu Bar.

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Diana Power.
Copyright 2003  FortBendRealEstate.info. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 13, 2008 .
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