Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 24, 2022

Why an Agent Is Essential When Pricing Your House

Some Highlights

  • When it comes to pricing your house, there’s a lot to consider. The only way to ensure you price it right is by partnering with a local real estate professional.
  • To find the best price, your agent balances current market demand, the values of homes in your neighborhood, where prices are headed, and your home’s condition.
  • Don’t pick just any price for your house. If you’re ready to sell, let’s connect to find the perfect price for your house.

Houston Gay Realtor Real Estate Agent Leslie Don Wilson Houston Real Estate BOSS

Houston Gay Real Estate Agent Realtor Real Estate BOSS Leslie Don Wilson

Houston Gay Real Estate Agent Realtor Real Estate BOSS Leslie Don Wilson

Posted in Investors, Seller
June 23, 2022

Hedge Against the Impact of Rising Inflation

If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you know that inflation is going up. Inflation is at its highest level in 40 years. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says the following:

 

"Consumer prices went up again in May, as prices for housing, energy, and food kept going up at the fastest rate in decades. This was the first time since December 1981 that the rate of inflation was higher than 8% for three months in a row.

 

As prices go up for gas, groceries, and other things, you may be able to tell that inflation is going up. The rising cost of goods and services can put a strain on your budget and make you think twice about any big purchases you were planning.

 

If you've been thinking about buying a home this year, you might be wondering if you should go ahead or if it would be better to wait. The answer depends on your situation, but here are some ways that being a homeowner can help you deal with the rising costs caused by inflation.

 

Buying a home helps you keep one of your biggest monthly costs stable.

 

Investopedia says that when there is a lot of inflation, prices go up everywhere. This is true for food, entertainment, and many other goods and services, including housing. Prices for both homes and apartments are going up. So, how can you, as a buyer, protect yourself from rising prices? The answer is to buy a house.

 

When you buy a home, you can stabilize what is usually your biggest monthly cost: housing. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payment stays the same for the life of the loan, which is usually between 15 and 30 years. Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate, James Royal, says:

 

"A fixed-rate mortgage lets you keep most of your housing costs at the same payment amount. Even though your property taxes will go up and you may have to pay more for other things, your monthly housing payment will stay the same. If you rent, that's certainly not the case."

 

So, even if the prices of other things go up, your rent will stay the same, which will help you keep your budget in order. If you rent, you don't have that benefit, and you won't be protected from rising housing costs.

 

Putting money into something that has historically done better than inflation

 

While it’s true rising home prices and higher mortgage rates mean that buying a house today costs more than it did even a few months ago, you still have an opportunity to set yourself up for a long-term win. When inflation is high, you want your money to be invested in something that does better than inflation and usually holds or grows in value.

 

The graph below shows how the average home price appreciation outperformed the average inflation rate in most decades going all the way back to the seventies – making homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation (see graph below):

So, how does that affect you? Experts think that home prices will only go up from here on out because supply and demand are still not in balance. If the price of your home goes up after you buy it, your equity and your net worth will grow. And because homes are usually assets that increase in value over time, you can be sure that your investment is a good one.

That means that if you are ready and able, you should buy now before prices go up even more.

 

Bottom Line

Even though prices are going up, if you want to buy a house this year, it makes sense to do it soon. So, you can keep your monthly housing costs stable and put your money into an asset that has historically done better than inflation. If you're ready to get started, let's talk so that when you're ready to buy a home, you can get expert advice on your specific situation.

 

Houston Gay Realtor Real Estate Agent

Houston Gay REal Estate Agent Realtor

Posted in Buyer, Landlords, Seller
June 22, 2022

Don't Do These Things After You Apply For A Mortgage

After you have applied for a mortgage to buy a home, there are a few important things to remember. Even though it's fun to think about moving in and decorating, don't make any big purchases just yet. Here are a few things you probably didn't know you shouldn't do after getting a home loan.

 

Don't put in a lot of cash.

 

Lenders need to know where your money came from, and cash is hard to track down. Before you put any cash into your account, talk to your loan officer about the right way to keep track of your transactions.

 

Don't buy anything too big.

 

You could lose your loan if you buy something that isn't related to your home. Lenders may be worried about any big purchases. When a person has new debt, their debt-to-income ratio goes up (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since loans with higher ratios are riskier, the borrower may no longer be able to get a mortgage. Don't give in to the urge to buy anything big, even furniture or appliances.

 

Don't sign loans for other people.

 

When you co-sign for a loan, you agree to be responsible for making sure the loan is paid back. With this obligation, the ratio of debt to income will also go up. Even if you say you won't make the payments, your lender will still count them against you.

 

Don't move your money around.

 

Lenders must be able to find and keep track of your assets. This job is much easier to do when all of your accounts are the same. Talk to your loan officer before you send any money.

 

Don't try to get more credit.

 

It doesn't matter if you're getting a new car or a new credit card. Your FICO® score will be affected when your credit report is checked by multiple companies (mortgage, credit card, auto loan, etc.). Your mortgage interest rate and maybe even your ability to get a mortgage can be affected by how low your credit score is.

 

Don't get rid of any accounts.

 

Many buyers think that having less credit makes them less of a risk and makes it more likely that they will be approved. This is wrong. A big part of your credit score is how long and how well you've used credit (not just how well you've paid bills) and how much of your available credit you've used. Both of these parts of your score will go down if you close accounts.

 

In short, talk to a professional.

 

In short, be honest with your lender about any changes when you talk to them. Changes in your income, assets, or credit score should be looked at and handled in a way that makes sure you can still get a home loan. Tell your lender if your job or employment status has changed since you last talked to them. In the end, it's best to tell your loan officer everything you plan to do before you do anything related to money.

 

Bottom Line

 

You want everything to go as smoothly as possible when you buy a house. Remember that you should talk to your lender before you make any big purchases, move your money around, or make any big changes in your life. Your lender is the best person to explain how your financial decisions may affect your home loan.

Houston Gay Realtor Real Estate Agent

Houston Real Estate BOSS - Leslie Don WilsonHouston Gay Real Estate Agent Realtor

Posted in Buyer
June 21, 2022

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year

If you own a home, your net worth probably just went up a lot because your home equity is going up. Equity is how much your home is worth now minus how much you still owe on the loan. And because home prices have been going up recently, you're building equity much faster than you might think. Here's how it works.

 

Home prices are going up because there aren't enough homes for sale to meet the demand for them. That means that your home is in high demand and is worth more on the market right now. As CoreLogic's President and CEO, Patrick Dodd, says:

 

"Price growth is the most important factor in building home equity wealth.... This has led to the largest one-year gain in average home equity wealth for owners...."

 

Your equity has probably gone up because the value of your home has probably gone up so much. CoreLogic's latest Homeowner Equity Insights report says that over the past year, the average homeowner's equity has grown by $64,000.

 

Even though that is the number for the whole country, you can use the map below to find out what's going on in your area. Using data from CoreLogic, it shows how much equity has grown on average from one year to the next in each state.

The Chance Your Increasing Home Equity Gives You

Equity can help you reach other goals, like buying your next home, as well as help you build your overall net worth. When you sell your current home, you get back the equity you've built up. In a market where homeowners are gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover most or all of the down payment on your next home.

 

So, if you've been waiting to sell or are worried that you won't be able to afford your next home because of how much home prices are going up right now, you can rest assured that your equity can help you move.

 

Bottom Line

If you want to move, the equity you've built up in your home can make a big difference. Let's talk so you can get a professional report on your home's equity. This will tell you how much equity you have and how you can use it to pay for your next purchase.

Houston Real Estate BOSS - Houston Gay Realtor Real Estate Agent

Houston Real Estate BOSS - Houston Gay Realtor Real Estate Agent

Houston Real Estate BOSS - Houston Gay Realtor Real Estate Agent

June 20, 2022

Why The American Dream Of Owning A Home Can Be Harder To Reach For Some

Houston Gay Realtor - Real Estate Agent

Today, we take time to honor and recognize the past and present lives of Black Americans. When it comes to real estate, equal access to housing has come a long way, but it's still harder for households of color to buy their own homes.

 

The Difference in the Rate of Homeownership in America

Some buyers have a harder time getting into homeownership, as shown by the gap between the average homeownership rate in the U.S. and that of non-white groups. Census data shows that the Black community still has the lowest rate of owning a home.

Houston Real Estate BOSS - Leslie Don Wilson

This graph shows that there is still a difference between the percentage of people in each community who can buy their own home.

 

How owning a home affects a family's wealth

One thing that could make it harder for these groups to buy a home is how hard it can be to save up money. Even now, some racial and ethnic groups, especially the Black community, still have to deal with problems. A recent NextAdvisor article explains:

 

"According to the Economic Policy Institute, the median Black household makes 61 cents for every dollar that a comparable White household makes. This makes it harder not only to buy a home, but also to save money and pass it on to the next generation.

 

This can make it harder or harder for many people to become homeowners, making it harder for them to increase their net worth and build wealth that they can pass on to future generations. A 2022 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) makes this point clear:

 

"Since owning a home helps build wealth and the rate of owning a home is lower among minority groups, data shows that these groups' net worth is also lower. In 2019, the average white family had a net worth of $188,200, which was almost 8 times higher than the average Black family's net worth of $24,100.

 

It's important to talk about the experiences Black homebuyers may have and the problems they may face as they try to achieve their dream of homeownership. The fact that housing is still not fair for everyone can be a source of pain and frustration. That's why it's so important for people from different backgrounds to have the right team of experts on their side as they buy a home.

 

These experts are not just seasoned advisors who know the market and give the best advice. They are also caring partners who will always look out for your best interests. They can show you where to find important tools and resources that can help you on your way to becoming a homeowner.

 

Bottom Line

Every day, there are more chances to make money in real estate, but many people still have trouble with equity. Let's talk so you can make sure you have someone on your side to help you reach your goal of becoming a homeowner.

 

Houston Real Estate BOSS Leslie Don Wilson Houston Gay RealtorHouston Gay Realtor - Real Estate Agent

Leslie Don Wilson
Realtor - ABR AHWD ALHS CIPS CNE CRS GREEN GRI MCNE SFR SRES TRLP
Houston - 281-804-2291 
DFW - 214-702-3447 
Texas Pride Realty Group
Brokered by: HomeSmart Stars 

 

Posted in Buyer
June 2, 2022

Pros and Cons of Owning A Home With A Pool

Who wouldn't want a pool?

 

A closer look uncovers the reality (and hazards) of pool ownership, good and bad, and all should be considered by potential homeowners.

Realtors say pools lower resale value. Americans are increasingly forgoing swimming pools. Over 28.4 million U.S. households owned a pool in spring 2009. By April 2017, it was 18.9 million.

 

This deterioration is financially-driven. In 2009, the Great Recession was still raging, so many cash-strapped homeowners stopped paying for pools.

 

U.S. homeowners may not desire the inconvenience and expense of developing and maintaining a pool.

 

Experts agree having a pool has benefits. Pool ownership has many benefits:

 

Realtors say pools lower resale value. Americans are increasingly forgoing swimming pools. Over 28.4 million U.S. households owned a pool in spring 2009. By April 2017, it was 18.9 million.

 

This deterioration is financially-driven. In 2009, the Great Recession was still raging, so many cash-strapped homeowners stopped paying for pools.

 

U.S. homeowners may not desire the inconvenience and expense of developing and maintaining a pool.

 

Experts agree having a pool has benefits. Pool ownership has many benefits:

Physical and mental health benefit from swimming. "If you're a swimmer, a pool may double as your workout," says Jennifer Beeston, a mortgage lender in Santa Rosa, Calif. "My family's best times have been at my pool. My son and his pals plunging from the waterfall as I read is priceless."

Your home looks good. A well-designed pool can bring indoor and outdoor design together like few other components, says Beverly Solomon of Beverly Solomon Design in Austin, Texas. "I still envy a client/friend with a hilltop home/vineyard and an infinity pool," she admits. "It appears like water is flowing into space with mountain views for miles."

 

Here are several pool drawbacks.

 

Pool Cons

 

Precious. Solomon argues that despite marketing from pool gadgets and chemical businesses, pools require effort and attention. "Design, site prep, and building costs are just the tip," she explains. "Maintenance, insurance, and upkeep are expensive. Energy prices can add $100 or more to your monthly bill."

Risks. Teris Pantazes, the co-founder of EFynch in Baltimore, Md., says pool safety is paramount. Pools are inherently unsafe, thus most towns require a lockable fence, explains Pantazes. "Drowning and diving are prevalent concerns, and because pools attract attention, these dangers are like a magnet that draws everyone around. I've heard lots of stories about intruders using home pools or kids when parents are gone, which is dangerous."

Insurance premiums. The safety concern with pools causes homeowners to seek supplementary insurance to cover accidents and other safety issues. Charlie Riley, a pool owner and marketing director at Curbell Plastics, Inc. in Orchard Park, N.Y., recommends adding an umbrella policy to your homeowner's coverage due to the increased liability a pool entails. "Fencing, cameras and locking systems may be required when children are present. My 20-month-old offers another safety layer."

Mark Ferguson, a real estate broker and investor, says "consider your neighborhood." "Pools can increase a property's value in some places. In some locations, they reduce home values."

 

In Ferguson's native state of Colorado, in-ground pools are only functional for a few months. In Colorado, an in-ground pool can be a detriment. "Maintenance exceeds benefits. I've seen individuals buy houses, fill in pools, and resell them for more money."

Conclusion? A pool is a terrific place to relax, swim, and spend time with family and friends. It's a financial, maintenance, and safety headache.

 

Solomon compares a pool to a puppy in a pet store display. "It's so enticing, you don't consider the cons."

 

If you can afford a pool, you'll love it like a puppy.

 

Houston Homes For Sale With Pools

Houston Re BOSS - Houston Real Estate BOSS

Posted in Buyer, Investors, Seller
April 28, 2022

What You Need To Know About Selling in a Sellers’ Market

People even if they haven't been watching real estate news have heard about the sellers' market. Because there's a lot of talk about how strong the market is for people who want to sell their homes. People who are thinking about selling their homes might want to know: what does it mean that we're in a sellers' market right now, and what does that mean?

A seller's market is a place where people who want to buy things are.

The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that there is still a very low amount of housing available for sale. There are enough homes for two months at this rate of sales.

When you sell, what does this mean?

People who want to buy a home have a hard time finding one when there aren't as many homes for sale. That makes it more difficult for people to buy things, which can lead to more bidding wars. If buyers know they might be in a bidding war, they'll do their best to make a very good offer right away. This could make your house cost more in the end.

Mortgage rates and home prices are going up, which makes people who want to buy a house want to do it now, before they go up even more. People who want to buy a house will likely pay a lot of attention to yours if you put it on the market while there isn't much competition.

 

The Bottom Line

The current real estate market is full of great opportunities for people who want to move. Putting your house on the market this season means you'll be in front of people who are ready to buy. Let's meet up so you can start the selling process right away.

When there are enough homes for buyers to choose from in a normal or neutral market, a six-month supply is needed to keep the market stable. When you look at this graph, you can see that today is a seller's market.

 

 

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Posted in Buyer, Seller
April 27, 2022

The Dream of Homeownership Is Worth the Effort

If you're looking to buy a home this season, keep going. Homebuyers encounter obstacles in any market, including today's. Perseverance pays off in the end if you decide to buy a home. According to a recent Bankrate survey, homeownership is so powerful:

“Nearly three-quarters of homeowners say they would buy their current property again.”

That is, the benefits of owning a property surpass the effort required to attain it. If you're a homebuyer, realize that the work you do today will pay you for years to come. Here are some reasons to keep going with your search.

Owning a home is important to your financial health.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests numerous reasons to consider buying a property. The equity you build is a major financial reason. NAR says:

“Rent is money lost, while mortgage payments allow you to develop equity... Home equity building is a ready-made savings plan.”

You can use your equity in several ways. With recent home price increases, homeowners now have historic levels of equity. That may be why so many individuals consider homeownership a fantastic investment and a sign of financial security. As shown by the Bankrate survey:

“Americans respect homeownership more than any other sign of economic stability...”

Owning a home outranks retirement, a good career, and a college diploma. That shows how significant the financial benefits of owning are.

The Emotional Benefits of Home Ownership

Of course, homeownership is a lifestyle. The NAR's top reasons to buy a home list include substantial non-financial benefits of homeownership. Among them is the chance to personalize your property to suit your tastes. Says:

“It's yours. You can personalize your home with renovations and new features that suit your lifestyle.”

Stability is another advantage homeowners have. Most homeowners outlive renters. According to NAR, staying put for a few years can help you connect with your neighborhood. That can boost your self-esteem and improve your relationships.

So What?

As NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith puts it:

“The value of homeownership is undeniable, from personal wealth and community development to social stability and economic growth.”

You will be rewarded if you succeed in buying a home in today's market.

In Brief

If you plan to buy a property this year, you will reap enormous rewards. Let's connect to discuss the benefits of owning.

 

Houston Real Estate Agent Houston Realtor Houston Listing Agent Houston Homes For Sale Houston Gay Realtor Houston Gay Real Estate Agent Houston Best Real Estate Agent

Posted in Buyer
April 26, 2022

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation

As the news goes today, you're more than likely to have heard about an increase in prices. In your day-to-day life, prices for gas, groceries, and more are likely going up. There are more and more costs for people to buy things. This can hurt your wallet and make you think twice about any big purchases you have planned.

 

If you've been thinking about buying a home this year, you might be wondering if you should keep going or if it would be better to wait. Here's how owning a home can help you deal with the rising costs that come with inflation, even though the answer is different for everyone.

 

Stability and security come with owning a home.

 

Investopedia says that when there is a lot of inflation, prices go up all over the place. That's true for things like food, entertainment, and other goods and services, as well as housing, as far as I know. Rental and home prices are going up. So, as a buyer, how can you protect yourself from the cost of things going up? The answer is to own your own home.

 

Buying a home lets you keep your biggest monthly expense, your housing costs, the same. As long as you get a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you can set your payments for as long as your loan lasts. Usually, this is for 15 to 30 years. At Bankrate, James Royal is a Senior Wealth Management Reporter.

 

"A fixed-rate mortgage lets you keep the majority of your housing costs at the same payment." Sure, property taxes and other costs will go up, but your monthly housing payment will stay the same, so that's good.

 

As prices go up, your housing payment will stay the same. This will help you keep your budget in check even if other prices go up. It's not the same if you rent, and you won't be able to keep up with rising housing costs.

 

Use the rising value of your home to your advantage.

 

Because mortgage rates and home prices are going up, it costs more to buy a house now than it did a year ago. You can still set yourself up for a long-term win, though. Now is the best time to buy so that you can lock in today's rates and prices before both of them rise.

 

You should put your money into an asset that usually stays or grows in value when inflation is high. The graph below shows that home price appreciation has outperformed inflation in most decades, going back to the seventies. This makes homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation, as shown in the graph below.

April 25, 2022

Is It Enough To Offer Asking Price in Today’s Housing Market?

Think about what you'll need to do to get your offer to the seller accepted if you want to buy a home this season. In the past, it was common for buyers to figure out how much less than the asking price they could offer and still get the home. This is no longer the case. The buyer and seller would then work together to come up with a new price that was somewhere between the buyer's bid and the home's asking price.

Buying a home in today's market isn't the same as buying a home in the past.

Things have changed today.

If you want to buy a house today, you won't find anything normal about the market. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says that the average home that's sold today is worth about $120,000.

A person gets 4.8 offers from other people.

In just 17 days, it's sold.

The fact that homes are selling quickly and getting a lot of offers shows how competitive the housing market is for buyers right now. The reason for this is that there are more buyers on the market than there are homes for sale. Home prices can go up when there aren't enough homes on the market to meet demand.

When it's time to make an offer, how does this affect you and your chances?

The market should help you make decisions during the process. Today, the asking price of a home is more often the starting point of a negotiation than the ending point, but that doesn't mean it's always the case. The more you know about this when it's time to make an offer, the better. You should also use this information when you're looking for homes. When you buy a house, you don't want to fall in love with it and then find out that it sells for more than you've planned on.

If you want to buy a home in a competitive market, The Mortgage Reports has some advice for you. The article tells you to be realistic about your home search, saying:

You should set your budget and expectations before you start looking for a home. This way, you know how much you can afford to offer and when to walk away from the deal. This will make talks a lot easier.

When you find the home of your dreams, you'll want to do everything you can to make your best offer right away and avoid a bidding war. Knowing the current market is very important to making a good offer. That's when it's important to work with a real estate expert.

A real estate professional will use their years of experience and knowledge of today's housing market to help them through the process. They'll also make sure your offer stands out from the rest of the ones in your area.

The Bottom Line

Buyers need to know how to deal with the asking price of a home and what's going on in the real estate market today in order to buy a home. Let's meet up so we can work together to come up with a plan that will work for you.

Posted in Buyer, Investors