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Houston Home Showings in Yucky Weather

Houston weather doesn’t always behave as we’d like, so it’s one of those enduring givens that inclement conditions are possible when you are getting ready for an open house or your Houston home showing. To some degree, the more flexible scheduling that goes with individual showings can usually help you dodge really crummy weather—but not always. Every veteran Realtor® can tell you tha...View More

Houston Real Estate Prices: Turn of Fortune Hinted

At the tail end of the workweek, CNBC added its voice to the pack of observers who have decided that residential real estate is now less likely to suffer a sustained downdraft. Shortly after noon on Friday, CNBC released Emmy award-winner Diana Olick’s commentary on U.S. home prices “as mortgage rates fall.” For area homeowners who have hesitated to list their properties lest they face a...View More

Houston Home Values Fate Aired by Experts—and Robots

Much of the media spent last week exploring the topic of Artificial Intelligence—with mixed opinions about whether it will turn out to be a boon or a curse to Mankind. Much of the discussion focused on AI-generated writing, which some students were already trying to pass off as the product of their own research. One example was a robotic essay answering the question, “What are the chances t...View More

Last Look Back at Houston Residential Real Estate in 2022

Last Saturday, while media attention was largely fixed on preparations for a pleasantly warm-weather New Year’s eve in Times Square and predictions about the year to come, it was also the moment for backward-looking “roundups” of 2022. Joining the crowd was Realtor® Magazine, offering its look at how residential real estate fared throughout last year. For all who follow residential real...View More

Beating Winter Blues with One New Year’s Resolution

More than a few Houston residents see the first days of January as annual invitations to invent (in the lexicon of self-help gurus) “a new you.” A concerted effort to follow through on a New Year’s resolution is one way to prevent falling prey to the darker moods that winter’s shortened daylight hours can foster in many people. Another approach—one with Houston real estate implicatio...View More

Appraising Whether to Sell Your Houston Home in 2023

Here’s hoping that your 2023 Houston New Year brings health, happiness, and prosperity your way—as well as renewed confidence that fewer headlines will have us doing double-takes. Whether or not you pine to reenact the America of yesteryear, a little more predictability than 2022 provided wouldn’t be a bad thing. As for plotting the course of your 2023 Houston real estate dealings, the ...View More

Mortgage Rates in Houston Get Positive Spin for a Change

The national press has fallen into the habit of treating almost every piece of news dealing with U.S. real estate as an all-too-predictable blow to the economy. Last week provided a welcome break in the pattern, as area residents who’ve been following mortgage rates in Houston found little to gripe about. CNBC’s headline, “Mortgage rates fall for the third straight week…” was a good ...View More

Houston Listing Terms: Seeking Bests and Worsts

Some effective listing descriptions almost write themselves. This can happen when the property itself is unique in ways that elicit uniform reactions from visitors. “It’s so much bigger than I expected” is what you might hear about one home with unusually high ceilings; its listing will be sure to make the most of it. Since there are only so many adjectives that accurately depict any rea...View More

Buying the Right House Challenges Future Retirees

Buying the right Houston house—one that not only appeals to our innate preferences but that will serve to satisfy all the practical living requirements that the future holds—is a challenge that all of us will face as we look toward our golden years. As many seniors ruefully acknowledge, simply staying put in the family house can gradually lose its allure as kids move out and maintenance ch...View More

Automated Houston Real Estate Idea Faces Extinction

Of all the changes that technology has brought to how Houston real estate transactions are conducted, one of the advances that many thought would literally transform almost everything arrived with the introduction of iBuying. The theory behind it was simple enough. Well-funded companies would use computer programs to estimate Houston residential property values, then pay cash to buy the homes ...View More

Effective Houston Listings Don’t Overplay the Poetry

Creating the language that makes Houston listings sparkle is a skill that advances over time, but for even the most practiced, it’s at its best when it achieves a judicious mix of creativity and restraint. When the restraint part is momentarily abandoned, the results can be disconcerting. This was the amusing takeaway from a now-famous review of listing language that graced the pages of the...View More

Why Houston Home Equity is Now Called ‘the “Right Tool’

The folks in the northern states (and even down into Kentucky) who have sugar maple trees on their properties have the old-fashioned option of supplementing their incomes by tapping into the sap. Boiling it down takes a lot of energy, but the maple syrup is highly saleable. Many Houston homeowners don’t need to turn to agribusiness to have an alternate option for raising cash in a pinch: tap...View More

A Priceless Comparison for Today’s Houston Listings

“Bargain” is a word that can get your attention¬—particularly right after you’ve just paid off a round of the latest utility bills. But it’s useful to remember that it has become a term that’s been largely hijacked by the ad world. It’s also fairly meaningless unless there is something with which it is being compared. This month there appeared a real estate example that could i...View More

Houston Thanksgiving: This Year, a Narrow Escape

One Houston Thanksgiving is the appropriate number of turkey days. Two Thanksgivings would not only result in needless overexposure to your most irritating relative—it would also be a textbook example of inflation economics: twice as many feast days chasing too few turkeys. Pointing this out wouldn’t normally be necessary were it not for what happened in 1939 and how close we came this ye...View More

Houston Closing Costs: a Quick Rundown

Veteran Houston homebuyers won’t need to spend much time reading the following—they’re already familiar with the stack of documents that accompany a closing. At closing, they had only to sign on the dotted lines (they aren’t actually dotted—but never mind). By then, their Realtor® (ideally, that’s me) has acquainted them with the sheaf of papers they are finalizing—so the followin...View More

Houston Luxury Homeowners Unfazed by Price Ranges

The past week brought a broad range of properties debuting on the luxury home market. For local owners of Houston luxury homes, two examples demonstrate that sellers are confident that buyers are out there for an extremely broad range of offerings. From Manhattan, long a bastion of high-end real estate, comes the Journal’s report on “The Priciest Home in America.” It acknowledges that Man...View More

Today’s Houston Homebuying Advantage Goes to…

Passenger's 'Let Her Go" is a song that only caught on years after it was first recorded— ultimately becoming a #1 hit in 22 nations. Houston FM and satellite stations are still playing it:: But you only need the light when it's burning low Only miss the sun when it starts to snow It's hard to argue with the way we humans validate those lines. It could easily apply to area homeowners who di...View More

Last Week’s Event Could Impact Your Utility Costs

Houston utility bills are headed upward—with nobody expecting them to head in any other direction. Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that their Energy Index increased 32.9% for the year ending last month—and that was the good news, since June’s 12-month increase had been 41.6%! Houston utility bills didn’t need to match those pain-producing national averages for the writ...View More

Despite Recession Talk, Houston Home Prices May Advance

As the week ended, anyone who switched on a TV or radio or checked in on one of the financial websites was greeted with a term that hadn’t been seen before: “housing recession.”’s “housing market slides into a recession” was typical, as was MarketWatch’s “America has entered a housing recession, builders and brokers say.” Even Realtor Magazine joined the chorus with ...View More

Last Week’s Rate Move and a Surprise for Houston Real Estate

For anyone who owns (or plans to own) Houston real estate, last week's Federal Reserve interest rate hike came as no surprise. Even the unusual size of the raise was expected. At 75 basis points (civilians think of that as ¾%), it fell in line with universal expectations. It was what happened next that perplexed many. Considering the past two Fed actions together, Wednesday's move lifted the J...View More

Selling Your Houston Home as the Market Changes

It's been a while since we've read headlines like CNBC's "Home sellers are lowering their prices at the fastest clip since 2019." Seller's market conditions have made "bidding wars" a more common topic—and for the most part, there remains a seller-friendly, below-average supply of homes for sale throughout the nation. Still, reports that the upward movement of sale prices has begun to flatten ...View More

Houston Houses Could Be Pointed at a Mushroom Future

If you’ve never heard anything about houses made of mushrooms, it’s understandable if your first mental image is of something like a cute, top-hatted cartoon elf posing proudly in front of his bright red polka-dotted cartoon mushroom-domed cottage. So, when the Wall Street Journal features “fungi” as leading contenders to become tomorrow’s leading building materials, it’s clear that ...View More

Now Houston Household Inflation has Everyone’s Attention

For everyone responsible for handling their Houston household expenses, the steady barrage of inflation examples is changing long-standing buying patterns. Their own latest experiences at the gas station or supermarket are impossible to ignore—most local Houston householders hear the latest percentages and mentally confirm them. When the official government figures were in the low single di...View More

Houston Real Estate Outlook Defies Shaky Economic News

For those who keep a close watch on the outlook for Houston real estate, finding the upside amidst last week’s raft of less-than-cheery economic news was a tall order. Let’s face it: after years of buoyant tidings and record-setting Houston real estate advances, few had doubted the certainty that some retrenching was certain to come about at some point—the storm warnings had been there. E...View More

Houston’s Luxury Home Market after a “Frenzy”

Residential real estate’s high end—including Houston’s luxury home market—was the subject of a thought-provoking assessment that appeared at week’s end. It was offered by Mansion Global—a Dow Jones publication that targets the international “high net worth audience.” Although at first blush the article, “No Immunity for Luxury Sector From Biggest Interest Rate for U.S. Since 19...View More

The Essence of Summer in Houston: Now Beyond Question

Summer finally becomes a reality on Tuesday—as opposed to Memorial Day weekend, which eager beavers in the media like to pretend was the kickoff to summer. Realists don’t agree—they believe that falling for the "unofficial start of summer" line means giving in to one of those unsavory impulses Mother warned us about (like shaking hidden birthday presents to guess what we're going to get, o...View More

Five Houston Real Estate Design Trends Slated for Destruction

When it comes to your own Houston real estate holdings, so long as a sense of proportion is retained, keeping up with fashion writers’ latest opinions is usually a harmless pursuit. So it was that the publication on March 31 of Betty Stefanova’s “5 Interior Design Trends that will Disappear this Year” seemed worth checking out. After all, the abrupt termination of a trend could be cost...View More

Encouraging News for those with Houston Homes for Sale

For the local homeowners with Houston homes for sale, last week’s real estate news was filled with encouraging details. Headlines like “Home-Price Growth Accelerated in January” (the Wall Street Journal), “Home prices skyrocket 19.2% in January” (CNBC), and “Condo prices hit all-time high: Redfin” ( were prominent across the media, with reportage emphasizing signs...View More

Houston Supply Chain Issues add to Inflation Effect

No one needs to remind Houston homeowners of the impact inflation is having. Anyone who shops for groceries is fully aware of its effect, as are many grumbling gas station patrons. You would expect that Houston real estate would be among the affected categories—and although that is true, it’s clear there is more than just inflation going on. If February’s official 7.87% inflation figure...View More

Why Some Say Now’s the Time to Sell Your Houston House

Given all the publicity given to supply chain disruptions, energy prices going bonkers, interest rates heading either slightly or not-so-slightly uphill, etc.—with all this going on—why are we also hearing that now is such a good time to sell? Especially if there is no pressing reason to compel a move, why would you choose now as a prime time to sell your Houston house? Wouldn’t it be mo...View More

Minimizing Houston Moving Day Stress: the Countdown

“Stress” and “stress avoidance” are pop psychology topics that have gotten a lot of attention lately, much of it deserved. If you ask anyone about how “moving day” rates among life’s stressful events, it’s surprisingly up there near the top. University Hospitals lists “Moving” as #3 (right between “Divorce” and “Major Illness or Injury”). This is unnecessary. Unlik...View More

Why Back Yards Gain Importance in Houston Real Estate

Homeowners who choose to live where the climate is mild have always been able to enjoy more of the year outdoors. As a result, you’d think the value they place on their property’s yard and garden space is greater than what’s reckoned by those in frostier climes. Now a just-released poll could bring that assumption into question. It turns out that, at least in 2022, more Americans—north ...View More

Did the Number of Houston Listings Suddenly Explode?

The rationale behind U.S. housing’s rising prices has been nothing if not consistent. The tale has been all about the supply/demand imbalance—a textbook example that makes perfect sense for everyone with a smattering of free-market economics. For those who have been tracking the number of Houston listings, that’s why last Thursday’s release from the Census Bureau seemed to make no sens...View More

Gearing Up to Scout for Houston Houses for Sale

How to find and buy your first home is one subject that high schools decline to teach. An online canvass of theories why this is so yields two main lines of thought. The first is that it is one result of a conspiracy to keep young people from making smart financial decisions. Not clear is who the masterminds behind this might be, nor how they would stand to benefit. The second theory is more...View More

A Guide to Senior Storage

Special Blog Request Provided by: Jessica Franklin with Community Outreach A Guide to Senior Storage If you are a senior moving into a senior residential living community, or if your family has a senior loved one who is planning such a move, there's a lot to take care of beforehand. One of the major things to work on is finding storage for furniture and other personal items that cannot stay in ...View More

Houston Real Estate Investors: Ahead of Wall Street

It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue: this new real estate “first” reported on by the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday. It was the kind of ‘break-through’ that sounded like it belonged in a footnote to an investment banker’s annual report. Nonetheless, for one segment of Journal readers who also happen to be Houston real estate investors, the topic and the phenomenon it described...View More

News Yields Sparse Guidance for Houston Buyers or Sellers

Last week, the national real estate news was not likely to provide much guidance for local buyers or sellers. The “story” was simply too convoluted. On Friday, the “LATEST NEWS” from the National Association of Realtors® looked like this: • Median existing home sales prices were up 15.4% over the previous January’s. • The sales volume in the same year-over-year comparison drop...View More

Houston Video Tours Can’t Top This One

The title of the online video tour that posted earlier this month is “Touring the MOST EXPENSIVE HOUSE in the United States.” The house in question has been profiled before, but not like this. But before you click on Enes Yilmazer’s version, be forewarned that this is no brief highlight reel. It’s more than 40 minutes long, but unlike many long-winded video tours, it’s hard to tear y...View More

What “Gap” Can Sometimes Delay Houston Home Sales?

Last week, U.S. News & World Report brought up an issue that today’s Houston home buyers should be aware of: the possibility of an appraisal gap. It can be a sticking point, even when everything else about a given Houston home’s sale seems to be falling into place. The article opens with an understatement about today’s buyers: “many people are financing their home purchases.” That’s...View More

Turning Delay in Selling Your Houston House into a Gift

When you find yourself in a maybe-I-should-list-now or maybe-it’s-better-to-wait standoff, the latter is the decision that usually wins out. The reason is what the high school science teachers told us was “momentum.” When ‘list now’ and ‘list later’ signals are equally compelling, the roll-up-your-sleeves positive energy that’s so useful when you finally do put your Houston hou...View More

For Houston Home Loan Applicants, Help is on the Way!

Throughout the U.S., the average value of a single-family residence has grown by double digits for more than two years. Area homeowners have been rightly pleased to see how rapidly their own home’s market values have continued to appreciate. With increases at those levels, it’s only to be expected that sellers are delighted—but buyers, less so. One of the inevitable fallouts is that buy...View More

Listing Your Houston House Despite Wacky Reports

The decision to go ahead and list your Houston house is often governed by personal and professional developments, but when the timing isn’t dictated by individual circumstances, the performance of the real estate market in general can be decisive. When a pronounced downturn is in the headlines, most homeowners will hold off for a while. Likewise, when a healthy market is being widely ballyho...View More

“First-Time Homeowner” May Not Mean What You Think

For a large number of prospective homebuyers, the feasibility of the transaction depends on the terms being offered by the home loan originators. Once you delve into the range of possible home loan offerings, you soon find that a large proportion of special benefits are being made available only to first-time homebuyers—who may also qualify for financial help through various government-spons...View More

First-Home Buyers’ in Houston-First Step: Facing Unknowns

For many younger local residents, any sense of urgency about buying their first Houston home has probably been shelved for a while now. The pandemic necessitated putting many a long-range plan on hold—and even after the initial disruptions had faded, it was often replaced with a natural impulse to wait to see what the ‘new normal’ would look like once the health threat subsided. As for b...View More

Unreal Real Estate Makes Its Curious Debut in Houston

Down through the ages, land ownership has been synonymous with permanence, stability, and substance. Buying a piece of property also carried a measure of “belonging” since owners are automatically deemed to be members of the community (their tax bills prove that)! The feeling of substantiality that goes with owning a parcel of Houston land is part of its appeal—hence, the real that is p...View More

Is Houston Inflation Really 5%? So Says the Consumer Price Index

The latest Consumer Price Index registered a 12-month rise of just 5.0%. For many Houston homeowners, that percentage is hard to square with the prices that keep ringing up at local gas stations. Five percent inflation doesn’t seem to match what’s been happening to a dollar’s purchasing power. But actually, the CPI number isn’t deliberately deceptive. True, Houston residents have exp...View More

Is ‘Smart Money’ Pointing to Houston Real Estate’s Future?

With U.S. home prices at record levels, it’s reasonable to speculate about the future of Houston real estate—particularly whether it’s such a good idea to buy right now. Most everyone recalls the last time real estate prices set records—and the drop-off that followed. Once the U.S. market hit bottom, even though history teaches that it was an ideal time to buy, most regular consumers ...View More

Houston Home Décor Trends Reach the Back Yard

  Like all fashion trends, Houston home décor styles come and go—something that can prove troublesome when it comes time to sell your home. Dealing with the master bath’s wallpaper (the one with a motivational saying whose stylish font had such a modern feel 15 years ago) may be an easy fix—but abandoning a formerly trendy rolling barn door room separator can involve a good deal...View More

The Finger Puzzle Exception for Houston Listings

Houston real estate wisdom tends to agree with verities from other realms. When you consider the size of real estate transactions in general, it’s logical that it would be hard to keep any truly valuable observation secret for long. Even so, there are exceptions to the rule. One of them is based on a complicating factor—namely, that when a perceptive move seems to be illogical (and theref...View More

Why Do Houston Home Bargains Keep Getting Pricier?

You can rightly say that Houston home bargains are still out there—but not without an asterisk. For local house-hunters who’ve been warned about a shortage of homes for sale, that should come as welcome news—but that does neglect to mention that the meaning of ‘bargain’ has stretched appreciably. No matter how elastic your definition, Houston “bargain” homes in today’s market ...View More

Gigantic Rescue Plan Act Should Give Houston Housing a Jolt

The passage of the massive American Rescue Plan Act last week gave those who plot the ebb and flow of Houston housing activity much to ponder. Even without the Act, most observers already expected that by the end of spring, the majority of the U.S. economy would be undergoing a healthy recovery due to the escalating rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. It was predictable that the Act's injection ...View More

Selling Your Houston House as Buyer Preferences Change

When you’ve been in the same home for quite some time, selling your Houston house to today’s buyers probably means studying market preferences that differ somewhat from those that were current the last time. If you check up on the Top Ten lists of features buyers value, you find that what people say they will pay a premium for does, indeed, change. You can trace more specific examples of th...View More

Houston FSBOs May be Confounded by Today’s Web

“For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) enthusiasts certainly hoped that the ascendancy of the Internet would be just what the doctor ordered to catapult their endeavors—and why not? Once Houston buyers were free to do their own searches on the web, the listing information that professional real estate companies had previously controlled would be available to all. But just as Wall Street’s ...View More

Despite Contradiction, U.S. Listings Generate Brisk Sales

We keep reading about the widespread shortfall in U.S. home listings—usually credited for the steady rise in prices. For the typical Houston homeowner inclined to sell anyway, you’d think those conditions are reason enough to add their property to the Houston listings. It seems unlikely. Evidently, there is a shortage of sellers willing to put their homes on the market, yet the latest U.S...View More

Help in Rating Today’s Tech-Heavy Household Components

If you have anything to do with keeping the constituent parts of your Houston household in good running order, you’re probably familiar with Consumer Reports magazine and its website. Year in and year out, their technicians run thousands of household products through their testing laboratories, subjecting them to merciless stresses designed to simulate the effects of years of wear and tear. ...View More

Houston Homes for Sale during Emotionally Trying Times

You can bet that just about every one of the Houston homes currently for sale is owned by someone whose wish is for a rapid sale to a buyer who will be delighted that their offer was accepted. For this happy tableau to play out in reality, it’s only necessary that the Houston home for sale has been described fully and accurately, that the prospective buyer has thoughtfully assessed that info...View More

Houston Listing Decision May be Affected by Federal Move

For homeowners weighing the pros and cons of adding their homes to the Houston listings, the ‘pros’ are substantial. The steady national rise in home prices indicates a healthy market—one significant “pro.” The latest national existing-home sales price figures confirmed a median rise of 14.6% over the previous year—the 105th consecutive month of price gains across all regions. Ano...View More

Houston Homes for Sale: Why Wait?

About this time every year, the question for house hunters is whether to delay their serious shopping until the anticipated springtime upsurge in Houston homes for sale. Almost every year, when the weather begins to warm, the springtime ‘For Sale’ signs blossom. One school of thought has it that the wider selection favors buyers—it means more sellers will compete for their attention. On ...View More

Simple Actions Help Turn Renters into Houston Homeowners

The season for New Years’ Resolutions is barely underway, but if history is any guide, many have already met their Waterloos. For future Houston homeowners resolved to make this the year they make the leap from renter to homeowner, there are some incremental moves that will make that leap less daunting. Here are three: 1) Starting now, keep monthly tabs on your credit profile. The three credi...View More

What Will Houston Homeworkers Miss after Time Shift?

Houston residents who dutifully set their clocks back an hour last Saturday night may have been grateful for the extra hour of shuteye—but if they've been reading what shrinks and biologists are telling the Wall Street Journal, they probably spent the extra hour tossing and turning. The Journal's "Why the Time Change Is Trickier When Working from Home" provided a new reason to append some ad...View More

When to List: Controversy in This One-Off Year

Sometimes, the timing for when to list your Houston home is pretty much dictated by circumstances. Whether they be personal or professional changes that call for a move, when to list is (as politicians say) "baked in." When to list can't be rescheduled. When that isn't the case—when the timing is solely up to you—there are two ways to look at the decision. One of them is controversial. Con...View More

How Will You Score in this Houston Real Estate Quiz?

Every profession creates them—an ever-expanding vocabulary of specialized terms, followed by the list of acronyms they spawn. Houston real estate is certainly no exception Fortunately for the numerous house-hunters who have been out prospecting for Houston homes this fall—and for the homeowners whose properties are their quarry—there’s really no need to memorize them all. Your Realtor®...View More

“Renter Nation” Future has One Logical Upshot

When yahoo!finance (the exclamation point is part of the title) puts residential real estate at the top of their feed, a fair number of Houston readers are apt to come across it. Last Thursday, such was the case with the commentary, “U.S. will ‘become a renter nation,’ says real estate investor.” The report was offered by a reliable reporter, Sarah Paynter—and since the byline includ...View More

How Some Location, Location, Locations Skew Resale Values

When yahoo!finance (the exclamation point is part of the title) puts residential real estate at the top of their feed, a fair number of Houston readers are apt to come across it. Last Thursday, such was the case with the commentary, “U.S. will ‘become a renter nation,’ says real estate investor.” The report was offered by a reliable reporter, Sarah Paynter—and since the byline included...View More

Your Houston Home’s Value and Sale Price: they’re Different

Last month’s U.S. News article headline looked promising: “The Guide to Understanding Your Home Value.” What Houston homeowner isn’t at least curious about that? Written by U.S. News’s real estate editor, the piece addressed a slew of informational tidbits, some of which are not as commonsensical as you’d think. Chief among them was a description of “the process of calculating” ...View More

Your Houston Home’s Value and Sale Price: they’re Different

Last month’s U.S. News article headline looked promising: “The Guide to Understanding Your Home Value.” What Houston homeowner isn’t at least curious about that? Written by U.S. News’s real estate editor, the piece addressed a slew of informational tidbits, some of which are not as commonsensical as you’d think. Chief among them was a description of “the process of calculating...View More

To Sell Your Houston House, Start with Penny-Wise Planning

Once you have decided to sell your Houston house, unless it’s already in top-notch shape, you face some meaningful decisions about things that might need to be refreshed, upgraded, or replaced altogether. Some major items are hard to ignore: a roof that’s barely weatherproof, or over-the-hill front door hardware, for instance. But other facets can be a coin-toss: will they be worth the exp...View More

How Will Pandemic Fallout Affect Residential Real Estate?

“To understand the future, we must focus on what real estate does for people.” That deceptively simple quote underlies the central proposition in this month’s Editor’s Pick by Forbes magazine—an essay by Bill Conerly that assesses possible future directions for residential real estate. Since residential real estate in Houston is our daily pursuit, any and all glimmerings about its f...View More

Why Houston Mortgage Rates are Anything but “Normal”

Ask any grandparent: “is it actually true that Houston mortgage rates averaged more than 18%?” They’ll tell you. It happened. And that was less than 40 years ago. The reason to revisit such an unimaginable scenario isn’t that anyone expects Houston mortgage rates to repeat that history anytime soon (or anytime, period). It’s useful to recall because the current era of incredibly low...View More

Beyond the ‘R’ Word: Existing Home Sales Spike in Every Region

When corporate leaders seek to communicate good news on their company’s performance, they frequently reach for the ‘R’ word: “robust.” Sales are robust; production is robust; future prospects are robust, etc. The ‘R’ word performs the near-miraculous feat of conveying strength, energy, and accomplishment —all without having to come up with specifics. Especially in earnings gui...View More

Houston Homes for Sale High Season: Better Late than Never

The Covid-19 pandemic may have thrown a monkey wrench into many a local resident’s summer plans—but none more thoroughly than those who had been waiting to put their Houston homes up for sale. It’s a common strategy to hold off listing until real estate’s ‘Busy Season’—the time of year when more homes are put on the market, attracting hordes of prospective buyers. That’s what ...View More

Houston Home Sellers Greeted by Encouraging Signs

For prospective Houston home sellers who have been holding back, waiting for the past months’ chaotic events to quiet down, last week ended with an array of encouraging signs. The national indicators that underpin the Houston real estate climate were almost uniformly promising. After the dislocations that have characterized most of 2020, now, at midsummer, home sellers are finding conditions...View More

‘Clean Technology’ Enters Houston Residential Mainstream

They’re yet to become a major presence in the mainstream of housing technology, but that could be in for a change. Increasingly, advances in “clean” technology—innovations aimed at sanitizing household living spaces—seem likely to become commonplace in the coming years. Along with many other accommodations spawned by the coronavirus pandemic, Houston homeowners have grown much more ...View More

Reliable Houston Movers Face “Black Hat” Competitors

Back in February, the housing market’s watchdog observed that a good way to judge the strength of the housing industry is to “Look at how often people move.” That makes perfect sense. Logic would seem to dictate that a strong housing market would mean good times for movers. If industry analysts at IBISWorld’s publicly available “Moving Services” page are to be reli...View More

Record Mortgage Rates: Is It Time to Invest in Real Estate?

Most people are aware of the record-setting lows Houston mortgage rates are chalking up right now—the kind of rates that create tempting cashflow projections for even the most conservative would-be investors. But, of course, other factors enter the decision, whether they are planning their real estate investment for their own residence or as a rental. Given the uncertainty in the economy, pr...View More

Virtual Tours in Houston: Now’s the Time!

In case you’ve been thinking of selling your home but aren’t keen on letting strangers into the house at this moment in time, that problem has a two-word solution (although, in fact, those strangers probably don’t want to come into your house, either). The two words are “virtual tour.” While Houston virtual tours have long been prominent in the toolboxes of Houston sellers and thei...View More

Selling Your Houston House—Hot Question, Cool Answer

There was a sort of silly article last summer, “What You Can Do if Your Air Conditioner Breaks Before Selling Your House”—a title designed to ensure that Houston readers who plan on selling their Houston house will put everything on hold while they find out “what they can do” if their A/C goes AWOL. A more recent article—also a must-read for home sellers with broken A/Cs—was title...View More

Houston Home Fixer-uppers: Not for Everyone

Before          After                 Despite the well-documented national shortfall in residential housing, determined house hunters still can find Houston homes for sale that are priced to sell. Given today’s extremely low mortgage interest rates, affordable options are out there right now. As those home shoppers soon discover, the properties with the most attractive asking p...View More

Luxury Homes in Houston: Part of a Rising Market Segment

If Yahoo Finance’s take is correct, as residential real estate continues to revive after the economic shocks of the pandemic, high-end properties may be among the first to lead the recovery. For the owners of luxury homes in Houston who thought twice about joining the Houston listings, last month’s activity across the nation among seven- and eight-figure properties could provide the necess...View More

Houston Apartments: What Will They Think Up Next?

Houston apartments—specifically, the way new apartment complexes are built—could be in for some major changes if some tech company executives are right. The idea is to bring the manufacturing lessons learned from companies like Apple and Tesla into the real estate realm. If they succeed, erecting Houston apartment buildings in the future could be considerably more efficient (and less expen...View More

One Way to Recognize the Best Houston Real Estate Agent

By definition, the best Houston real estate agent for you is the one who sells your Houston home soonest, for the highest price, and with a minimum of hassle. Because you have to designate the one who will be your exclusive listing agent, you can’t ever prove how all the others would have fared. So, what’s a homeowner to do when it’s time to sell? Going it alone isn’t a good idea—st...View More

Why Houston Zestimates Are Not Z Final Word!

Today's Houston house hunters are using the web more than ever—and more than ever, they're running into seemingly omnipresent "Zillow." It's unavoidable because Zillow ads are everywhere—often in the first and/or second position on the search engine results pages. With annual revenue topping $2 billion, the e-commerce mega-company can afford it. From its national data processing centers, Zi...View More

Despite Uncertainty, Houston Readers See Home Sales Surge

Yahoo’s “Money” tab is a source Houston readers can visit for non-technical reportage on the latest U.S. economic developments. Last week it led with a surprisingly upbeat look at residential real estate: “Homebuyers rush back in droves despite coronavirus pandemic.” There was ample evidence to support the description—a rush from homebuyers attested to by a 44.3% jump in pending hom...View More

Study Shows Generational Traits Alter Home Choices

If you are thinking about putting up your Houston home for sale, you can expect that a goodly number of the buyers who will be considering your property will be female. And increasingly, the decision-makers may be Millennials—part of the group reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. Distinguishing how buyer traits and preferences differ is important for understanding what features are li...View More

Selling Your Houston Home? The 2nd Crucial Decision

When the objective is selling your Houston home for the highest price (which it always is), establishing the asking price is the second of the two most crucial decisions you will make. Many homeowners reason that setting the original asking price “at the max” makes the most sense. They see that strategy as a way of controlling the process since it provides room for negotiations. Because th...View More

This Year, Houston Householders Do More Tidying Up

Summer doesn’t officially begin until the 20th, but with most Houston householders having spent so much time at home, it’s a cinch that there will be a lot more need than usual to tidy up the house. One unchanging truth about humans and their domiciles is that things gradually pile up. It can seem as if they have lives of their own—as if all those household “things” crave company. Ma...View More

Study Shows Generational Traits Alter Home Choices

If you are thinking about putting up your Houston home for sale, you can expect that a goodly number of the buyers who will be considering your property will be female. And increasingly, the decision-makers may be Millennials—part of the group reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. Distinguishing how buyer traits and preferences differ is important for understanding what features are ...View More

Luxury Homes in Houston: Part of a Rising Market Segment

If Yahoo Finance’s take is correct, as residential real estate continues to revive after the economic shocks of the pandemic, high-end properties may be among the first to lead the recovery. For the owners of luxury homes in Houston who thought twice about joining the Houston listings, last month’s activity across the nation among seven- and eight-figure properties could provide the necess...View More

Pining for Days of Yore? Check Out This Luxury Home…

Houston luxury homes can be categorized as ultra-modern or even exhilarating contemporary, incorporating the latest wifi- and Bluetooth-enabled smart home technology in with elegant design and craftsmanship. Or they can be the polar opposite—luxury homes that meticulously preserve the authentic antique artisanship of past eras. Last week, a luxury home was listed in Billings, Montana, that ar...View More

“Nothing Short of Miraculous”—Housing Market Rebound

Long ago, Hollywood discovered the ticket-selling power of inserting “Miracle” into film titles. Houston moviegoers in the early 20th century flocked to the Christmas family classic, “Miracle on 34th Street”—then to Oscar-winner, “The Miracle Worker.” There was “The Miracle of the Bells,” Frank Capra’s “Pocketful of Miracles—and so forth. You might have thought the last...View More

Houston Real Estate’s Busy Season during Saturday’s Solstice

Houston’s summer solstice arrives this Saturday, June 20th. Astrophysically speaking, the solstice marks the longest day of our year. The moment of the summer solstice prompts a lot of scientific explanations, some more confusing than others. For instance, since the Sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth,’s definition (“Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun ...View More

What Workplace Change Could Affect Houston Real Estate?

lifestyle changes that began as temporary adaptations may be around for a while. One of those could impact Houston real estate in ways that are only gradually becoming apparent—at least that’s one conclusion Houston readers of last week’s Wall Street Journal would have drawn. WSJ’s “Management and Careers” editors reported on a phenomenon that’s been developing for a while. It...View More

Friday’s News Shock Rocks Houston Real Estate Prospects

Last Friday morning, Houston residents who had braced themselves for the dismal details of an unprecedented surge in national unemployment heard some astounding news instead. The greatest surge in hiring for a single month left the commentators scrambling to explain how it was possible that all of them could be so far off (some by as much as 10 million jobs). For homeowners who had been watchi...View More

Houston Mortgage Interest Rates: Calm in the Storm

The unsettling events of the first half of 2020 have prompted some Houston residents to adopt a wait-and-see attitude—especially major decisions concerning Houston real estate. For most of the spring, it had looked as if June would be the month when more clarity would surface, starting with how soon Covid-19 restrictions would be relaxed. To some extent, that’s been the case—but many oth...View More

Why Do Both Buyers and Sellers Call Houston Realtors®?

Most Houston homeowners who prepare to put their homes on the market come to the same decision—to tap into the services of one of Houston’s Realtors®. They decide they’ll have enough to do without tackling the piles of paperwork generated in the course of a sale—nor do they have any desire to familiarize themselves with the changing regulations that govern Texas real estate transactio...View More

Airbnb Turmoil: Early Signal for Houston Homebuyers?

Prospective Houston homebuyers who have held fire during the pandemic emergency might be encouraged by some signs emanating from Wall Street. Although the news was narrowly focused on a vacation area phenomenon, it might signal early stirrings that could have local ramifications. The news came from Marketwatch, the financial information website operated by Dow Jones & Company. Last week i...View More

Why are Houston Home Values More Stable This Time?

About the last thing area homeowners need now is to spend time worrying about the effect the pandemic will have on their Houston home values. Given that memories of the Great Recession have yet to fade, a replay of that decline in home values might seem logical. So, it was reassuring to read Claire Trapasso’s calming analysis pointing out the multiple reasons why a housing crash is viewed a...View More

Houston House Hunting for a “Very Satisfied” Result

One consequence of the pandemic was the on-again/off-again nature of this year’s Houston real estate busy season. The restrictions resulted in what you’d expect: pent-up demand. The promise of loosening restrictions is widely expected to bolster the number of “For Sale” signs that we’ll soon be seeing—in any case, we should know before long. For house hunters who will be looking t...View More

Cloudy Houston Real Estate Picture Gets Rays of Sunlight

Houston homeowners could be forgiven if recent months of preponderantly bleak reportage have driven them to cut down on their news consumption. Since no one has a very clear picture of how quickly the nation will be able to get fully humming again, endlessly dwelling on the latest details of various downturns eventually loses its charm. It’s why there was one sunny tidbit you might have miss...View More

Buying a Home in Houston Now: 6 Factors

The other day, it was interesting to read a featured commentary on the website. It promised to pinpoint the “6 Factors” to consider when deciding whether you “should buy a home now— or wait?” No dateline was visible, but you’d have to deduce that it had first been published a while ago. The absence of any mention of today’s changed circumstances and the uncertaint...View More

5 Tips for 2020’s Summer in Houston

Officially, Houston’s summer won’t arrive for a couple of weeks—but Memorial Day was the unofficial starting date, and the thermometer has seemed to agree more with that than with the meteorologists. That means it’s already time to dust off the ‘Best of’ tips for accommodating summertime weather. Here are some of the best ones: 1. Pollen control. We’ve all been experiencing the ...View More

“Stickiness” is the Goal for Effective Houston Listings

Crafting language that makes a property stand out in the Houston listings is one of the skills that successful Realtors® continue to develop throughout their careers. Initially, a listing’s photos may be more important than the text when it comes to grabbing buyers’ attention—but after that, the words matter a lot! Especially when they’re sticky! When it works—when one Houston list...View More

Top 7 Spring Cleaning Tips Houston Pros Know

The feeling of being cooped up that has predominated throughout so much of Houston’s springtime may be loosening up, but one way to capitalize on the situation is to take the extra indoors time to make this year’s spring cleaning project a more-serious-than-usual event. In addition to relieving the monotony that the semi-voluntary confinement has wrought throughout Houston, it will add the...View More

The Business of What Your Houston Home is Worth

Looking at the prospect of selling your Houston home from a purely business perspective, it has some odd sales attributes. Pricing is definitely one of them. Consider how manufacturers arrive at a selling price for the things they make. Before even beginning to lay out their production line, the target sales price for their product is usually pretty well pegged. First, the cost of production ...View More

Houston Mortgage Rates Make History

For Houston mortgage interest rate chroniclers, this month began with the culmination of a trend that’s been playing out for quite some time. It’s “the other shoe” that finally dropped. The headlines confirmed the numbers that government-owned mortgage backer Freddie Mac posted: “Mortgage Rates Dip to New Record Low.” The 3.23% national average on the 30-year fixed-rate hit was, ...View More

For Houston Homeowners, Potting Season is Game On!

We’ve arrived at the familiar post-Mother’s Day time of year. The birds are cheering up everyone’s Houston mornings with their noisy springtime come-hither commotion. Out in the garden, flowers have broken out where they are supposed to (hopefully—if not, it’s time to hightail it to the garden store). Post-Mother’s Day is also an ideal time for adding color in other places around t...View More

Home Equity Report’s “Rosy” Picture Needs Perspective

Last Thursday was the regular release date for ATTOM Data Solution’s quarterly Home Equity report. This year, ongoing events created the need for some additional commentary. As the “curator of the nation’s premier property database,” ATTOM’s figures can be relied upon to gauge the nation’s residential real estate equity levels—Houston homes included. This latest report covered 2...View More

For Houston Home Buyers and Sellers, a Shift in Tone

The “Real Estate News” tab in is a reliable source for information that real estate followers—especially active Houston home buyers and sellers—can turn to for the latest takes on real estate market activity. Since it comes from the National Association of Realtors®, it’s not where you’d turn to for a completely impartial view—nonetheless, the underlying information ...View More

What’s the Chance of Selling Your “Unique” Houston Home?

Suppose your Houston home is an oddball? It may be a terrific residence, but there’s no denying that it just doesn’t fit in very well with the feel of the neighborhood. In Houston, we have a reasonably eclectic mix of architectural styles, so it’s unusual to come across a house that stands apart as decidedly out of place. If your own Houston home is one of those oddball properties, when...View More

Houston Real Estate is “Live”—Even if TV isn’t!

Despite all hurdles, Houston residential real estate continues actively—now with the sense that an uptick is in the wind. Even for area homeowners who have been waiting for a return to pre-pandemic life before listing their Houston homes, the positive signs have to be encouraging. Texas official pronouncements make it clear that the need to get more businesses back up and running is gaining ...View More

Are Houston Home Loan Bargains Being Passed Up?

Last week Yahoo’s Finance page led with a commentary that posed the question, “Why Aren’t Homeowners Taking Advantage of Low Mortgage Rates?” Although the premise (“mortgage rates have plunged back to the lowest levels in at least half a century”) may have been slightly overblown, Houston home loan shoppers could indeed have found published rates that were at bargain-basement level...View More

Listing Your Houston House Now: Surprising Positives

At first blush, the idea of listing your Houston house during today’s emergency conditions would seem impractical—but it turns out to be entirely doable. There are even some plusses. Some sellers apparently agreed. Last week’s Forbes magazine offered an interesting view from one area where home sales rose significantly in March. A local agent there realized a human dimension that seemed...View More

What’s the True Reason for “Soap” and “20 Seconds?”

By now, everyone in Houston has had drummed into their consciousness the advice repeated endlessly from every quarter: that we wash our hands for 20 seconds. It’s sound advice that’s now part of everyone’s new daily routine—a routine that, for a while at least, includes a lot more time spent at home. For the legions of new Houston homebodies, there’s suddenly time to muse over thing...View More

For Houston Homes, a More Predictable Road Ahead

Like many other local professional people, we Houston Realtors® have been working in a challenging (you might say, “topsy-turvy”) business environment. It’s one that nobody had foreseen—much less prepared for. It has taken multiple adjustments to navigate through some awkward restrictions, but since the need for shelter can’t always be put on hold, they were necessary. As in many lo...View More

History’s Surprise Hints for Future Houston Home Values

After what seemed like ages, the tone of the news started to slowly brighten last week. Government officials began to discuss how they anticipated managing a return to pre-pandemic life—one replete with businesses open to the public, sporting events, and even restaurants with sit-down service. “Light at the end of the tunnel” was the metaphor used most often, even though the length of th...View More

Through Dire Circumstances, Houston Real Estate Happens

For the next wave of Houston home buyers—as well as for homeowners who intend to offer their Houston properties for sale—the past week produced little to clarify what to expect from future Houston market conditions. Even so, as Texas’s state and county officials scrambled to offer guidance on public health and safety issues, there was also a growing national awareness of the simultaneous...View More

Friday is Houston’s May Day (Maypole or No Maypole!)

May Day is an officially recognized public holiday in 66 nations and unofficially celebrated in many more—but here in the U.S., it isn’t. That’s why on Friday, there won’t be any official Houston May Day celebrations that have to be canceled; local banks will remain open (to the same extent that they are, currently); and the mail will be delivered as usual. The principal observance of ...View More

Amid Wall St. Tumult, Houston Residential Investors Encouraged

Last week there came this snippet from a radio commentary: “No matter how business is doing, the landlord business is doing just fine.” Especially in the context of last week’s nerve-rattling tumult on Wall Street, that remark seemed particularly relevant—especially for investors newly motivated to investigate the upside of Houston residential investments. There is one national stati...View More

Houston Residents: Come to Your Census!

By now, just about everyone has been contacted in one way or another by the folks at the Census Bureau. For Houston residents who received a letter, email, or smartphone notification, it probably pointed out that there is a legal obligation to provide truthful answers for the every-ten-year canvass. For those who have yet to respond, this might have provided a degree of anxiety—especially g...View More

Distressed Houston Homeowners Get Forbearance Relief

Fallout from the abrupt closure of local businesses has created financial chaos for some Houston homeowners. For breadwinners forced to make painful choices between creditors, there seems to be no right answer. With payments pending for auto loans, credit cards, student loans, and/or the big one—the monthly mortgage payment—the dilemma can be all but disabling. Recognizing the unfairness ...View More

What’s One Houston Real Estate Solution for Cabin Fever?

The “closet space” factor is something most Houston house hunters think about—but it's not one that is likely to determine the final choice. Yet, as the whole country adjusts to the changes in lifestyle needed to address the health emergency, the “closet space” factor may become more important. As people find themselves spending a lot more time indoors, the value of ample closets—a...View More

Five Simple Things to Do if You’re Feeling Under the Weather

Now for a purely temporary diversion from the Houston real estate topics you usually find here. As with so many other aspects Houston life, we are straying a bit off the trodden path due to the pandemic that’s been turning Houston topsy-turvy. This, too, shall pass—but in the meantime, this practical advice just appeared on Yale University’s Medicine website. It hasn’t been widely refe...View More

Houston Mortgage Rates Finally Do It!

It seems like forever that TV and radio ads have been boasting about their “near-historical” or “near-record” mortgage interest rates—and they haven’t been exaggerating. Compared with what Houston home loans have cost in past eras, recent quotes have indeed been exceptionally low. The resulting expansion of “how much house” an individual buyer’s monthly income can prudently s...View More

Houston Listing Plays the Biggest Role in Marketing Your Home

  Of the many pieces that together make up your home’s marketing effort, none is more likely to play a leading role than your Houston listing. Since at least half of today’s buyers wind up purchasing a home they first see on the internet, the factor that used to be called ‘curb appeal’ could equally well be renamed ‘screen appeal.’ Your Houston listing is a lot more than j...View More

Houston Real Estate in a Tumultuous Week

Last week will probably stand as one that people in Houston will look back on as a turning point—the kind of week that marks the end of an era. As ever, the nature of the next will be unknown for a while. As for Houston real estate, it’s a sign of the times that last week, despite the Federal Reserve’s surprise slashing of the benchmark interest rate to next to nothing (literally 0%, fo...View More

The Two Different Houston House-Hunting Approaches

One way to think of various ways that house-hunters approach their search is by how the project has been initiated. If you are already house-hunting in Houston, you’ll recognize which of the two house-hunting approaches yours fall into. The one that’s most common is the Gradual Getting Serious method. The second is more Structured. GGS usually prevails because most changes in residence re...View More

Will Houston Sight Unseen House-Hunting Increase?

As of last Sunday, nearly half of Americans found themselves in one variation or another of government-mandated “stay-put” orders. While you might think that alone could freeze much of Houston’s house-hunting activity—one trend indicates why that doesn’t necessarily follow. The fact is that for years now, a trend has been developing that makes actually visiting a home before buying ...View More

Piercing a Fogbound Future for Houston Home Sales

Homeowners who began 2020 planning to sell their Houston homes this year are by now acutely aware that the shape of future economic conditions is (to put it mildly) foggy. Pea soup foggy. There are always buyers who proceed, unfazed—but they aren’t usually in the majority. With so much in flux, the latest sales numbers for the quarter ending last December don’t help point to what comes n...View More

Last Week’s Events Affecting Houston Home Sellers

In addition to last week’s earthshaking mortgage interest rate developments, a batch of other events that also could affect Houston home sellers made news: • Houston home sellers who’ve been hearing that millennials constitute the next wave of prospective buyers might have been momentarily discouraged by CoreLogic’s new report, which included the dire-sounding, “only 40% of millenni...View More

Houston Investors React to Wall Street Record-Breaking

As you’d expect, the Wall Street Journal had a hard time keeping up with the head-spinning reverses and double-reverses in its namesake roadway’s fortunes. Houston investors with holdings in the sometimes-plummeting, sometimes-soaring equities weren’t alone in being unsettled by the whip-sawing proceedings. In truth, just about everyone with an IRA or other retirement stake had reason to...View More

What Steps Can Boost Prices for Houston Homes for Sale?

Taking any action that helps improve the environment is bound to return some degree of personal gratification—but for homeowners with Houston homes for sale, recent research adds less esoteric rewards. In fact, homeowners don’t have to be planning to sell to begin to cash in on the financial benefits it identifies. The research comes out of the Department of Energy and the Federal Home Lo...View More

For Houston Buyers and Sellers, it’s “Business as Unusual”

If we thought the shifts in Houston lifestyles had been developing rapidly, the onset of COVID-19 and the disruptions now upon us make yesterday’s changes seem positively glacial. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen fundamental dislocations in nearly every aspect of Houston living—changes that make trying to plan ahead mostly an exercise in “maybe, if this” followed by “unless that...View More

Buying or Renting Houston Homes? The “Savings” Grace

Some of the reasons cited by advocates of renting over owning are the financial burdens homeownership entails. • “Maintenance and Repairs are On The Landlord,” boasts online site • “Renting frees up money to save,” says There are certainly circumstances that make renting Houston properties a prudent choice—some are due to specific career, lifestyle, ...View More

When Will the Spring Rush begin for Houston Homes?

January has often been a month when Houston homeowners decide to get serious about projects they’ve put on hold during the past year. It’s only logical: most of us tend to regard the annual calendar changeover as a kind of mental departure point. “Out with the old! In with the new!” is more than just a greeting card motto: January has long been a month for committing to major initiativ...View More

Why Today’s Houston Homebuyers May Inspire Future Envy

As Houston homebuyers arrive at their final choice, it’s impossible to ignore how greatly their decision will influence their future. Five, ten, twenty—or more— years from now, the purchase will likely have shaped a lot of what’s to come. Buying a home in Houston at this point in time may be seen to have been a great move for the family. Or not. It’s a truism that puts most homebuyer...View More

What are the 3 Greatest Financial Decisions You Can Make?

Houston homeowners who regularly watch the “Today” show or Fox Business, or who listen to NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the drive home from work may already be familiar with the views of Liz Weston, a regular contributor to ATC and a number of other leading media outlets. Her best-selling book, “Your Credit Score-Your Money & What’s at Stake” is a years-long bestseller, ...View More

Minimizing Unintended Outfall from Inheriting Houston Homes

The wisdom behind the truism that there’s no such thing as a free lunch can even apply in a context as virtuous as inheriting Houston homes. Parents bequeathing the family home—or generations passing down the ancestral vacation cottage—are intended to be acts of unalloyed generosity. But common to many commentaries on the subject are some common unintended consequences. For Houston homeo...View More

Houston Real Estate Investments’ DSCR: a Simple Tool

Houston real estate investors who are taking a hard look at this autumn’s Houston listings can be counted on to have some blend of two objectives in mind. They’ll be looking for a property that will bring in cash on a regular basis, or one that grows in collateral value over the long haul—or some combination of both. Experienced investors can do a quick estimate of how most Houston prope...View More

Auspicious News for Selling Your Houston House

For those pondering the timetable for selling their Houston house, last week’s developments may add a couple of plusses into the “sooner” column. There are always pros and cons about listing in the fall versus waiting for the spring and summer market—but last week’s information could tilt toward acting now. First (and most well-publicized) was the outlook for home loan interest rate...View More

Downsizing Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Moving Success

If “downsizing” figures large as a goal many Houston homeowners are seriously considering, The Washington Post is now citing a newer phenomenon that many older home buyers are discovering: “smart sizing.” It’s a cute phrase that might sound like a real estate feature writer’s invention—but the details will probably ring true for some retirement-bound adults who plan to be moving fr...View More

Houston Homeownership Boost from the Father of the 401(k)

Ever since its introduction in 1965, Americans by the millions have embraced the retirement vehicle known by its IRS handle, the “401(k).” It hardly matters that few Houston breadwinners know much about its relatively recent origins (much less, its family lineage)—but had they attended the Wall Street Journal’s recent “Future of Everything Festival,” they’d have been enlightened....View More

Time is Money Applies to This Houston Property Feature

If you ask the web, “what does Time is Money mean?” it tells you that time is a valuable resource, so do things as quickly as you can. That’s one way to look at it—from a superior, it probably means, “stop wasting time” or “get back to work!”But when it comes to property values—certainly including those here in Houston—it has another valid application. Of interest to anyone...View More

In Houston Real Estate Parlance, a Word with Many Meanings

The word “estate” is one of those words that can carry a boatload of different meanings. As part of the “Houston real estate” caption, it’s one of the positive ones. “Real estate” means physical property that’s anything but imaginary. In fact, the U.S. Constitution initially restricted voting rights to owners of real estate! As a stand-alone, “estate” can summon up image...View More

House Selling in Houston Calls for This Gracious Touch

When you first begin thinking about house selling, most Houston sellers are rightly focused on getting the property in top shape, establishing a solid relationship with their Houston Realtor®, and making some key decisions (like what the optimal asking price should be). In other words, laying out a practical strategic house selling game plan. About the last thing anyone thinks about is the...View More

Houston Neighborhood Prospects Deserve a Look-See!

Every serious house hunter is aware that the Houston neighborhood surrounding any house has a significant effect on its ultimate value. It follows that the future of a neighborhood will have a measurable impact the future value of the properties in it. Part of the reason not much emphasis is given to this factor is the difficulty of gauging a neighborhood’s future prospects. That’s espe...View More

Houston Real Estate Investing Without Pop-Up Ads

Few Houston residents who spend much time online have avoided the unnerving experience of having their screens populated with ads aimed at them, personally. Whether the culprit is Google or Facebook or one of the otherwise-useful apps, it’s close to impossible to avoid having your personal preferences noted and exploited by the omnipresent web snoops. Among the annoying pop-up ads that re...View More

Newly Sold Houston Houses: Tending to Invisible Remnants

When most of us envision the momentous occasion when you hand over the keys to your just-sold Houston house, it’s probably some variation of the traditional mental image: people gathered at the front porch, everybody beaming. Realistically, that Norman Rockwell grouping happens only occasionally—but even when it takes place in a lawyer’s conference room, the occasion is likely to trigger...View More

Enhancing Your Own Houston Home? A New Idea that’s Elderly!

According to Alina Dizik, one of the leading Wall Street Journal’s real estate commentators, a growing number of luxury homeowners are finding new appreciation for an old idea. In fact, the older, the better. Pursuing a way to enhance the feel of modern homes, more and more homeowners are “getting into the groove” of reclaiming ancient materials—especially old wood. Antique timbers ...View More

Houston Landlords Cheered by News of U.S. Rent Acceleration

Houston landlords who have already profited from the national tilt toward rental popularity will have been further cheered by last month’s Zillow report on the growth of rents across the nation. They might be including apartment housing in their data, but in any case, according to the report, rent revenue is accelerating (except in Milwaukee). Landlords had to be pleased everywhere else. ...View More

Houston Homebuying Basics: What Some People Don’t Know

The government thinks that Americans are sorely lacking when it comes to key homebuying information. It’s hard to say whether that’s true of the Houston homebuying population—but Fannie Mae’s latest study explains some good reasons why it might be. In Fannie’s recently issued publication, 3,600 respondents were ‘largely unsure’ or just plain wrong about current homebuying real...View More

Houston Mortgage Rate Watchers Get Scattered Messages

For those who’d been monitoring Houston mortgage rates ahead of last week’s Federal Reserve interest rate cut, the news that followed was less than definitive. The Fed’s decision to lower their overnight lending rate for the first time since the Great Recession commanded first page headlines—but the details that followed provided little clarity. For those whose interest in Houston m...View More

Houston Lender Pre-approvals Make Sellers Comfortable

The idea of gaining a lender’s pre-approval is one of Houston house financing’s “no downside” ideas—it can only help. Can’t hurt. Theoretically, even if you belong in the upper reaches of the upper crust, having a bank pre-approval in your hip pocket couldn’t be a mistake. For instance, suppose you happen to run across one of Houston’s all-time dream homes, for sale at a rea...View More

Houston “For Sale” Signs Really Do Pack a Whallop!

Every now and then we have to shake our heads at how much the electronic transformation has changed daily living in Houston. Electronics have invaded practically everything—from home wifi to ultra hi-def TV to cell phones that double as search engines. As you read this, you’re only a couple of clicks away from being able to summon up all the current Houston homes for sale that fit your ...View More

Your Houston Energy Bills can Improve Your Home’s Value

cooling capacity, its energy consumption will rise (just as it does in the chilliest depths of winter). It isn’t at the top of most homeowners’ summer to-do list, but now is an ideal time to take a hard look at how to reduce your Houston home’s energy consumption. According to the people who study these things, now is actually an ideal time to assess how your home’s energy use can b...View More

7 Step Progression for Buying Houston Homes Under Pressure

Buying Houston homes takes some degree of organization no matter what. Especially when time is a screaming imperative, it can make or break whether you land a home that’s right—or one you ultimately determine isn’t adequate over the long haul. Whether the time pressure is due to a sudden job transfer, family emergency, or the unexpectedly rapid sale of an existing Houston residence (that...View More

Surprising Finding: Younger Persons may Afford Home Ownership

It may just be me, but doesn’t it seem as if the general drift of things is that it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet? And that younger people are getting the brunt of it? If that sounds familiar, it could be one generalization that’s no longer quite so valid when it comes to younger adults—specifically, about their prospects for owning their own Houston homes. If we are ...View More

What’s the Houston First-Time Buyer’s Safety Valve?

It may just be me, but doesn’t it seem as if the general drift of things is that it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet? And that younger people are getting the brunt of it? If that sounds familiar, it could be one generalization that’s no longer quite so valid when it comes to younger adults—specifically, about their prospects for owning their own Houston homes. If we are ...View More

Friday News Flash Makes Real Estate a Front-Page Story

On Friday, Houston’s real estate outlook ended the busy month with a genuine surprise—one that could well augur an extension of Houston real estate’s traditional peak selling season. The news was significant enough to move from financial sections to front pages and bottom-of-the-screen crawls on cable channels. Atop the Mortgage News Daily broke the story: “Mortgage Rates Drop Well ...View More

How Prospects for Buying a Home in Houston Just Grew

If you find yourself suddenly revisiting the idea of buying a home in Houston, it won’t surprise you that you’re not alone. Lately, it’s seemed as if the stars are continuing to align to draw more and more people—first timers as well as those who are already Houston homeowners—to make that decision. Last week ended with yet another inducement to point people in that direction. The imp...View More

Friday News Flash Makes Real Estate a Front-Page Story

On Friday, Houston’s real estate outlook ended the busy month with a genuine surprise—one that could well augur an extension of Houston real estate’s traditional peak selling season. The news was significant enough to move from financial sections to front pages and bottom-of-the-screen crawls on cable channels. Atop the Mortgage News Daily broke the story: “Mortgage Rates Drop Well ...View More

What 10 Things Should Houston Open House Hosts Know?

It was the Washington Post’s real estate reporter Michele Lerner who came up with the list of the most important “10 things” house hunters look for when they stop by Houston open houses. The ‘ten things’ list is a useful one—and every bit as relevant for homeowners selling their own Houston homes. It’s valuable to be aware of which features are bound to get the closest scrutiny in...View More

Put Your Houston Utility Bills on a Summertime Diet

It’s around this time of year that the bottom line on Houston utility bills tends to begin to grow larger once again. Power and water consumption can’t help but rise as we bid farewell to Houston’s mild springtime conditions. Gardens and lawns get thirsty now that the days are growing longer, and once deep summer heatwaves develop, household utility bills report what happens when air conditi...View More

Retirement Security and Insecurity — and Houston Real Estate

The title alone was slightly chilling. Houston readers didn’t have to be anywhere near senior discount age to furrow their brows if they happened to come across last week’s white paper, “Retirement Insecurity 2019.” Worse yet, there wasn’t much in the National Institute on Retirement Security’s 28-page manifesto to brighten their mood. Fortunately for Houston homeowners who are anyw...View More

New Homeowners Can Explore Household Landscaping Ideas

When your new Houston house is literally brand new, you are presented with the kind of ‘empty canvas’ landscaping scenario that true gardening enthusiasts dream about. (If you fall into that group, your head is probably already filled with possibilities—so never mind). On the other hand, if your new Houston residence is an existing home dotted with mature plantings, unless it’s already...View More

4710 Cashel Circle; Houston, TX 77069-For Rent-(832) 445-4957

NW Houston has been growing at record numbers. Rinnovare Realty, LLC has just completed a renovation project located in 4710 Cashel Circle; Houston, TX 77069. These apartments have no record of flooding and have been renovated with only the customer in mind. Look at these photos! These are just a few of the photos... We added storm drainage all around the property to help reduce the water dur...View More

Your Houston Real Estate Planning Can Pay Off Immediately!

Any Houston home sale, like everything else, tends to go better when preparation has been carefully thought out—and then acted upon. For homeowners who suspect that they will be selling sooner or later, there are some planning steps that can be taken long ahead of time. Some Houston real estate planning is the long-range variety. The first thing the canniest new homeowners do is to take a ...View More

Do Remodels Make Sense when Selling Your Houston Home?

The numbers are in! If you are among the local homeowners counting the days until Houston’s hot selling season begins, unless your house is already in perfect showing shape, you might be pondering which—if any—possible remodeling projects would be wise to take on before you list. The answers aren’t simple. The first consideration is the calculation for whether your property is like...View More

How Houston Architecture Differs from Malibu’s “The Case”

If you page through this month’s Houston listings, you’ll find a collection of homes that embody all kinds of structural styles. There is no single “Houston architecture”—although some homeowner associations are aimed at preserving a pleasantly homogeneous neighborhood look. Now, from out in Southern California, comes word of a small but impressive architecturally conscious project...View More

What House Size Should Houston House Hunters Aim For?

A few years ago, the Realtor® website weighed in with some ideas addressing a question that Houston house hunters face all the time: what house size should they be aiming for? I have one approach, but the team took another tack—posing five questions buyers should ask themselves. Here they are: 1. How long do you intend to live in the new house—and what will your family size ...View More

Houston Homeowner Improvements Need to Be Done Right

If Houston homeowners search the web for anything like “surprising things that decrease your home’s value,” they will be answered with literally millions of links. Some of the “surprises” are anything but. "An Outdated Bathroom,” for instance, is hardly surprising. Likewise, “Brightly-Colored Kitchen Cabinets” (especially if it’s accompanied by a picture of a blinding expanse...View More

Four Words Sum Up the Goal for Choosing Your Agent

When you boil down what most people are looking for when it comes to choosing their Houston agent, it’s usually an outcome that can be summed up by a simple 4-word phrase, “best price, least hassle.” It’s no different whether you’re buying or selling. For Houston home sellers, the best price, least hassle observation certainly holds—but it might not be the first thing that leaps...View More

Houston Home Sales Could Reflect National Turnaround

A couple of storylines have dominated national real estate news outlets for more than a year. Houston homeowners who are less industry-focused have been hearing the same thing from the national news media, too. Last week, they both staged a partial about-face. The storylines are interconnected. The dominant one dealt with the national trend toward a weakening in the number of homes being so...View More

The Best Houston Real Estate Agents Help Minimize Headaches

The topic of preventive maintenance seems particularly timely, given last week’s record-breaking polar vortex and the many tales of household plumbing disasters it spawned. The best Houston real estate agents do more than just represent their selling clients in the marketing, negotiation, and documentation of their homes’ sale—they also roll up their sleeves to make the entire process l...View More

Buying Your Houston Home without Credit Confusion

“It can be kind of confusing.” - Tom Quinn, V.P Business Development for myFICO in “The Scores That Matter in Mortgage Lending.” Unless you’re a buyer who falls into the all-cash category, once you begin to zero in on buying your next Houston home, you will already have been paying close attention to your bill-paying reputation. You will probably have requested one or more of the fr...View More

Buyer’s Market or Not, It’s Still All about YOU!

Houston ears that were attuned to some of the nation’s commentators might have heard that last year’s gradual slowdown in residential sales might signal a dawning “buyer’s market.” That may be true or not, but as for its impact on your own home-buying plans, there are a couple of realities to bear in mind. First is that any shift from seller’s to buyer’s market is at best bare...View More

Will Friday’s Giddy Turnarounds Benefit Houston Real Estate?

Last week ended with a quadruple-barreled blast of good news that bolstered prospects for Houston real estate—an effect magnified by how unexpected all had been. When times are good, Houston real estate can’t help but benefit. That may seem to be so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be said, but a close cousin is arguably even more important: When people feel times are good, Houston ...View More

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