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Welcome to Cinderella Real Estate

At Cinderella Real Estate we know your home is your castle!!  Our Unique Boutique-Style approach allows us to provide a specialized personal real estate experience for our clients.   We believe this approach is what sets us apart from other Realtors®!  Our team has decades of experience in all areas of Real Estate, Buying or Selling,  and we use this knowledge to negotiate the best deals for our clients.

We provide real estate services in several areas around Texas, Cypress, Grimes County, Huntsville, Montgomery County, Waller County and Washington County.  Our team works with First Time Homebuyers, Farm & Ranch Buyers, Luxury Homebuyers, Empty Nesters and more! 

Welcome to Cinderella Real Estate

We Know Your Home is Your Castle!

At Cinderella Real Estate we know your home is your castle!!  Our Unique Boutique-Style approach allows us to provide a specialized personal real estate experience for our clients.   We believe this approach is what sets us apart from other Realtors®!  Our team has decades of experience in all areas of Real Estate, Buying or Selling,  and we use this knowledge to negotiate the best deals for our clients.

Real Estate Service Areas

We provide real estate services in several areas around Texas, Cypress, Huntsville, Waller County, Grimes County, Montgomery and Washington County.  Our team works with First Time Homebuyers, Farm & Ranch Buyers, Luxury Homebuyers, Empty Nesters and more! 

If the thought of a spacious country homestead with a party barn and extra cottage sounds like a dream, it’s closer to reality than you think.  Just a 25-minute drive up Highway 290 in the Waller County countryside is a five-acre property filled with oak trees, a cozy barn and a three-story home with a kitchen built for a chef. “It would be perfect for a large family or a retiree who just wants to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” says Cindy Ochsner, Broker and Owner of Cinderella Real Estate.


Our properties


Our SErvices


With our extensive knowledge of both the greater houston market, as well as, the residential real estate process, we are confident that we can assist you with any residential real estate needs.


Cinderella Real Estate provides commercial real estate services including retail leasing, land brokerage, and tenant representation.


Buying or Selling in Texas – from land sales and acquisitions, title transfer, water and mineral rights… we have the experience and expertise!


Our vast experience provides unique market knowledge, and allows for a full-service approach while leasing a home in Cypress, Harris County, Waller & Hempstead.



"She treated us as if we were apart of her family. She continuously kept in contact to make sure everything was in order. All in all she made buying our first house quite enjoyable"
Cody & Shannon C.
"Cindy was great! I felt she went out of her way to find me what I was looking for. She put me at ease throughout the process. "
Tim K.



Frequently asked questions about buying, selling or leasing real estate

Frequently asked questions about buying, selling or leasing real estate

We practice residential & commercial real estate in the following areas of Texas:

  • Brenham, TX
  • Chappell Hill, TX
  • Cypress, TX
  • Houston, TX 
  • Waller, TX
  • Hockley, TX
  • Hempstead, TX 
  • Huntsville, TX
  • Harris County, TX
  • Grimes County, TX
  • Montgomery County, TX
  • Washington County, TX

Cinderella Real Estate can help you in the following areas:

  • Residential Properties
  • Commercial Properties
  • Farm & Ranch Properties
  • Rental Properties

Yes, we do! 

Buyers spend 60% of their time looking at listing photos, and only 20% each on the listing description and agent description. 


Purchasing a home is the ultimate American Dream and can be a really good investment.  It can also be a daunting task of the unknown. Many are unaware of the additional items needed, including money, when you purchase a home. This is where the value of working with a Realtor comes into play. Your realtor knows the step by step process needed to buy a home, the amount of funds needed, and the contracts in order to negotiate the best deal whether you are on the buying or selling end. In addition, your Realtor will handle all bumps that come along during the home buying process because they deal with all the key elements –  the lender, title company, and the other party of the transaction.


Your down payment is basically the amount of cash or equity you put down to secure a loan. The lender requires a minimum down payment, but you can opt to put down more. The minimum down payment amount depends on what type of loan product you qualify for.


FHA Loan: A loan insured by the Federal Housing Association. The minimum down payment for this loan is 3.5%. For example: a $200,000 purchase price X 3.5% = $7,000. You will need a minimum of $7,000 if you are looking to purchase a home for $200,000 in order to secure the loan.

Conventional Loan:  A loan product that is not apart of any governmental institutions. The minimum down payment amount is 5%. For example: a $200,000 purchase price X 5% = $10,000. You will need a minimum of $10,000 down to buy a home for $200,000.

Opting to put down more money will reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Your mortgage monthly payment is reduced because you are not financing the entire loan. For example: Your total purchase price or mortgage is $200,000. If you put 20% down ($40,000) the amount that is financed through your lender is $160,000 ($200,000-$40,000).  In fact, if you decide to put down 20% in cash, you will not have to pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). PMI is an additional charge on your monthly payment which insures the loan until you have 20% equity (cash invested) in the home.


Closing costs are the unknown costs that occur when buying a home. Closing cost are fees charged by your lender and the title company on the buying end. If you are selling your home, your closing cost consist of paying for your title commitment and Realtor fees.

If you’re buying a home, you will need cash for closing cost in addition to your down payment. Your Realtor can negotiate on your behalf to get a portion of your closing costs paid for, but be aware that this is harder to obtain in a Seller’s Market.

Closing cost are typically 4.5% of the purchase price plus any pro-rated taxes for the year. So if you are looking to purchase a home for $200,000, your closing cost will be approximately $9,000.

The total minimum amount needed to purchase a home using the $200,000 scenario would be approximately $16,000-$19,000. If you purchase a home for less than $200,000, then your total cost will be less. There are also down payment assistance programs which will grant you money towards your down payment and/or closing cost. These may be income restricted and require certain debt to income ratios.

Information Provided by: Brittney Gantz  @

You’ve been searching online for just the right home, cruising neighborhoods looking for the “that’s it!” house and picturing yourself on your shady new porch. You know there’s plenty to do before you get to the really serious house hunting, but it’s hard to resist.

Hang on, you’re almost there. You’ve got to have one thing in hand before the fun begins: your pre approval letter.

Prequalified or preapproved?

Mortgage terminology can be confusing. One important milestone to becoming a serious buyer is understanding the difference between being prequalified and preapproved.

Prequalifying means you’ve been initially screened by a lender. It is only getting your foot in the door. Usually, you will submit some basic information, and the lender will provide a rough estimate of what you might be able to afford. Frankly, this won’t help much in your efforts to seal a handshake deal on a home.

On the other hand, preapproval takes the preliminary loan process a step further. Additional financial information is gathered, likely including a credit report. In some instances, you might be asked to provide many of the same documents that will be required to complete the actual loan process, including tax returns, bank statements and employment verification. With a preapproval letter from your lender, real estate agents and sellers know you are a serious buyer.

This letter can be shown to sellers when bidding on a property. It proves that you already have backing and the ability to go through with the sale, which makes you a much more attractive buyer to sellers.

What documents will you need?

We mentioned you’ll need to provide some information when applying for pre approval, to demonstrate your financial history and reliability. This may include:

  • Personal information such as your driver’s license, Social Security number, marital status, contact information and address
  • Recent statements from your bank accounts and any investment accounts. (Exactly how far back you’ll have to go depends on the lender.)
  • Employment information, including where you have worked and for how long, as well as recent paycheck stubs and W-2 income tax forms for the last two years
  • Your total monthly expenses, which includes bills you pay regularly
  • Your overall financial condition, which includes all of your assets (stocks, 401(k), IRAs, bonds, cash) and all of your liabilities (any debts such as credit card debt, student loans, car loans)
  • Profit and loss statements if you are self-employed
  • Rental property income
  • Canceled checks for rent, which shows your payment history
  • Gift letters, if you are using a gift from a relative to help cover the down payment

It’s helpful to create a folder in Google Drive or Dropbox where you can upload and update all documents in one place. If you wind up ultimately choosing a different lender than the one you used for your pre approval, you’ll be able to share documents with just a few clicks.

Preapprovals aren’t a sure thing

A mortgage pre approval letter puts you head and shoulders above other buyers who may be interested in the same home as you are — but it’s not a guarantee. The preapproval process does not include a full-fledged underwriting review by the lender, so it’s not an absolute commitment to issue you a home loan, though it is pretty close. There may even be conditions listed on the preapproval that are contingent to receiving a loan.

While a preapproval is proof that a lender is willing to make you loan, it is not an official commitment until you complete the full due diligence and application process. Other matters during the closing process can trip things up, including an appraisal of the home’s value and your ability to make a sufficient down payment.

When pre approval isn’t necessary

There can be good reasons to skip loan pre approval when house hunting. If you’re doing preliminary research on an area that is simply a potential new home base — checking out home prices, schools and lifestyle — it’s best to wait until you have a better idea of what you’re willing to spend, and where.

Also, delay pre approval if you need to iron out some wrinkles in your credit history. Pulling your credit score and then determining what improvements can be made should be done before seeking preapproval for a loan.

However, if your credit is solid and you’re on good financial footing, a preapproval will give you the confidence and flexibility to do some serious house hunting. Your real estate agent might work even harder to find you the perfect property, and you’ll have more leverage when negotiating a price.

What your pre approval letter says

A typical pre approval letter will contain language similar to this: “This pre approval is issued based on your current credit history, income, assets and debt — assuming that there are no changes in your financial situation. This preapproval should not be considered a commitment to lend until the following conditions are met:

  1. A valid sales contract is initiated on a specific property.
  2. A satisfactory appraisal is completed on such property.
  3. You select a mortgage program, which allows your mortgage payment to fall within the pre approved amount.
  4. And a rate commitment is issued by our company under the above-referenced mortgage program.”

The letter will often state an approximate purchase price that you qualify for, and usually an expiration date, often within 90 days.

Now can we shop?

OK, let’s say you’ve received that precious piece of paper. You’re in the game, practically packed and moving to your next address. A couple of quick reminders:

As we’ve noted earlier, even a preapproval letter is not a guarantee. In fact, a lender’s underwriting department can’t issue a firm loan offer until a specific property has been identified. It’s likely you haven’t gotten quite that far yet.

Lenders want to have some wiggle room in case your financial situation changes between the time you obtain the letter and when you actually find a home and complete the loan approval process. That means it’s important to:

  • Keep your finances operating smoothly in the meantime.
  • Avoid opening any new credit accounts — for furniture or anything else you’ll be planning for your new address.
  • Keep existing lines of credit paid up and without substantial balance increases.

Having a preapproval letter in hand is often required in order to place a bid. A loan pre approval might not be a home run, but it will get you on base.

By: Virginia Alvarado on

Credit scores are critical to the home buying process. Not only does your FICO score determine if you can qualify for a loan in the first place, but it it will also impact your mortgage terms — the higher your score, the lower your interest rate.

You can probably buy a home even with a lower score, but you’ll have different options than someone with a higher one. For FICO scoring models that top out at 850 — some models go higher — here’s what you can expect based on your credit score range:

300 – 499: Few options

Having bad credit — or no credit — means you’re unlikely to get a mortgage unless someone is willing to help out.

“Their only option would be to have a friend — or more likely a family member — purchase the home, add them to title, then try to refinance into their name(s) when credit scores improve sufficiently,” says Ted Rood, a senior loan officer in St. Louis.

500 – 579: Poor credit score mortgage programs

If you have a credit score in the 500s, it’s likely that your best choice for a home loan will be one insured by the Federal Housing Administration. But with a credit rating of 500 to 579, be prepared to put 10% down.

“Someone with a 500 credit score is likely to have some combination of collection accounts, liens and judgments,” Joe Parsons, a senior loan officer with PFS Funding in Dublin, California, says. “Even though FHA will insure a loan with a 500 score, the lender will require that collections, judgments and most liens be paid off before closing.”

580 – 619: Some low down payment programs

The FHA also allows loans with down payments as low as 3.5%, but to qualify, you’ll need a FICO score of 580 or better. Some lenders will also authorize mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, commonly called VA home loans, at this level.

620 – 699: Government-backed and conventional options

Potential home buyers with credit scores of at least 620 have more options. VA-backed mortgages definitely come into play. That can mean you won’t make a down payment and you’ll pay very favorable interest rates. USDA-backed loans are also available to those with a minimum 640 score.

FHA loans for remodeling, known as 203(k) loans, are underwritten at this FICO score level.

Most importantly, conventional loans — the mortgages lenders like best — are available to qualified borrowers with credit scores of 620 or higher.

700 – 739: Good credit score mortgage programs

Home buyers with credit scores of 700 or greater qualify for better mortgage interest rates, as well as for higher value homes that require “jumbo” mortgages.

740 and above: The best interest rates

With a FICO score of 740 or higher, you’re likely to get the most favorable interest rate available, especially on a non-jumbo, conventional loan.

Borrowers with higher scores also earn a break in the cost of private mortgage insurance if they make down payments of less than 20%. Parsons says with a 10% down payment, a 620 borrower will pay 1.1% in PMI. A 760 FICO borrower would pay just 0.30%, he adds.

Of course, every lender has different underwriting standards, so credit score qualifications can vary. And your ability to repay plays the most important role in getting approved for a home loan. To determine that, lenders review your monthly income minus your recurring debts (your debt-to-income ratio), as well as how much money you’re putting down (loan-to-value).

Having money in a savings account — beyond what you’ll need for the down payment and closing costs — can also work to your favor.

If you’re selling your home, you should expect a list of expenses. The commission you pay the seller’s agent is usually one of the biggest, around 6% of your home’s selling price. This pays for the valuable work your seller’s agent, also known as a listing agent, does for you: preparing the home, marketing it, showing it to potential buyers and helping you through the selling process.

Some owners try to save money by not working with an agent and listing their homes “for sale by owner.” But FSBOs, as they’re known in the trade, require time, effort and real estate know-how. FSBOs also incur their own expenses, ones that people who hire listing agents don’t have to pay.

For most homeowners, it pays to hire a listing agent. Here’s why:

Getting the price right

An experienced real estate agent can help price your home, in part by reviewing recent selling prices for comparable nearby homes. Without an agent, you’d need to research the market and find these “comps” on your own.

A seller’s agent can also list your home in a local Multiple Listing Service database, where buyers and their agents can find it. If you’re selling on your own, you can pay a listing agent a one-time fee for this service. It would be much less than a 6% commission, but you’d still be paying for a service a listing agent would normally provide.

Negotiations and savvy

Listing agents can help you negotiate with potential buyers and respond to multiple offers. Once you accept an offer, he or she will also help manage the scheduling of appraisals, inspections and related tasks before the deal closes.

Some sellers decide to go to FSBO route, then hire listing agents when their properties don’t attract buyers. But if your goal is to sell your house fast, you might be better off starting with a pro who can quickly draw traffic to your home.

Even if you don’t think speed is a factor, potential buyers might offer lower-than-desired prices if your house has been on the market for a while. They might also make lower offers if they know you aren’t paying a seller’s commission.

Commissions are negotiable

Listing agents don’t always charge 6% of the purchase price. You might be able to negotiate a lower commission or find an agent who charges a flat rate for his or her services.

It’s also worth noting that listing agents don’t pocket the entire commission; they split it with the buyer’s agent. If you plan to sell your home yourself, you might attract more buyers if you offer to pay their agent’s share of any commissions. But this means that in addition to paying for an MLS listing and handling the sale process yourself, you’ll pay a buyer’s agent about 3% of the sale price. So selling your own home might not be as big a savings as you expected.

Should you ever try to DIY?

Hiring a seller’s agent is best in most cases, but there are some times when selling your own home is a good choice:

You’re in a seller’s market: If you’re in a hot area, it might be easy to sell your home. But you’ll still need to review and negotiate offer letters. Even if you don’t work with an agent, consider hiring an attorney to help you through the closing process.

You already have a buyer: If someone has already contacted you about purchasing your home, it’s possible to put together a private sale without a real estate agent — but it’s still a good idea to research selling prices for nearby homes and get legal advice before agreeing to a deal.

Margarette Burnette is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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