Archives for October 2012

Preparing Houston real estate for Halloween

Illuminated jack-o-lanterns can instantly whip a Houston home into the Halloween spirit, but this may be a fire hazard.Halloween is here and Houston homeowners are preparing their properties to spook trick-or-treaters and hand out candy. However, before youngsters start going door-to-door, households should ensure their homes are safe for visitors.Providing a safe path from the street to the front door is important and should be properly illuminated, even if you want to create an eerie atmosphere. This can allow trick-or-treaters to see where they are going and prevent any trips and falls.For a quick fix, homeowners can install temporary lights that run off of solar power. These lights are easy to install, since they don't require any major rewiring that can be both expensive and time consuming.Meanwhile, front walks should also be cleared of debris and any wobbly stones should be secured. While a homeowner might know where not to step on their path, visitors may not be aware, which could result in a misstep and injury.??Illuminated jack-o-lanterns can instantly whip a Houston home into the Halloween spirit, but this may be a fire hazard. Instead, homeowners should eliminate their potential hazard and use faux candles powered by LED bulbs.? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Texans worried about future of U.S. economy, housing

Nearly 58 percent of Texans have a pessimistic attitude toward the national economy and real estate industry.Although the Texas economy and housing market has gained considerable momentum so far this year, the majority of residents feel these sectors on a national level are still on the wrong track.According to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, 58 percent of Texans have a pessimistic attitude toward the national economy and real estate industry. In contrast, just 34 percent of respondents share a similar sentiment about condition in the Lone Star State.”Almost all of the wrong-track numbers went down, and almost all of the right-direction numbers went up,” said Texas Politics Project head Jim Henson. “You get a sense that people are feeling some slight improvement in the economy and they're feeling things going pretty well in Texas.”The state currently has an unemployment rate far below the national average, and this rift has existed during the course of 2012. This development has weighed favorably on Houston real estate and Texas as a whole.Local residents considering an investment in Houston homes may want to make the transaction sooner rather than later, as prices are expected to increase in the near future. Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Mortgage rates keep Houston homes affordable

During the week ending October 25, the average rate for a 30-year FRM inched higher.Fixed mortgage rates hovered below 4 percent for all but one week so far this year, and remained near these levels last week.During the week ending October 25, the average rate for a 30-year FRM inched higher to 3.41 percent, up from 3.37 percent, according to a report from Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.72 percent, an increase from 2.66 percent a week earlier.”Mortgage rates remained relatively unchanged this week and should continue to support the housing market and mortgage refinance,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.Despite the slight gain, buyers interested in Houston real estate may be able to capitalize on the high level of affordability to make the transition to homeownership.Additionally, the average rates for five- and one-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages hit 2.75 and 2.59 percent, respectively, the report said.The average price of Houston homes increased significantly so far this year, but with mortgage rates hovering near all-time lows, local buyers may still have a number of affordable options.? Real Estate News brought to you by http://www.2mrealty.com/news/2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

New downtown complex scheduled for development

Plans to break ground are scheduled for some time in the third quarter next year.For more than half a decade, a six-acre lot sat unused in downtown Houston, but now that market conditions have improved, the spot is finally scheduled for development.Camden Property Trust and Midtown Development Authority recently came to an agreement to split the land in half and construct a multifamily housing complex. Plans to break ground are scheduled for some time in the third quarter next year.Additional housing options in the downtown area could be a popular option for buyers interested in Houston real estate, especially among younger demographics. However, these aren't the only homebuying options.In addition, conventional Houston homes have also been very popular so far this year, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. During the month of September, property sales increased 8.7 percent from a year earlier, totaling an estimated $1.2 billion.However, buyers may have to opt for new builds in the near future, as the existing-home inventory declined 6.8 percent, the report said. At the current sales pace, this represents just a 4.7-month supply.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston college recognized for great value

Many people from across the country may want to consider a move to Houston.One of the many reasons households choose to move to Houston is to take advantage of the area's excellent education system. This includes both public schools, which regularly receive funding from local energy corporations, as well as Houston's prestigious colleges and universities.??In fact, Rice University, arguably the most well known college in Houston, was recently recognized for having one of the best values in the country for students, according to Kiplinger. Overall, Rice ranked number two on the list.This was determined by a combination of the school's quality of education combined with affordability, based on available financial aid, competitiveness, graduation rate and student indebtedness.Many people from across the country may want to consider a move to Houston. This could give them an opportunity to continue their education or allow their children to take advantage of educational opportunities in the future.Once these individual arrive in the city, they may want to invest in Houston real estate, which is currently one of the strongest local markets in the country. Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Texas households some of the largest energy consumers

Out of all the states in the nation, residents of the Lone Star State rank number six in energy consumption.Texas accounts for the largest share of energy production in the country, and households are are also responsible for one of highest rates of energy consumption.Out of all the states in the nation, residents of the Lone Star State rank number six in energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration. While the majority of this energy consumption goes toward the industrial sector, residential housing accounts for 14.4 percent use.The average household in Houston paid $344.37 in September on utility bills and other essential services, according to the White Fence Index. This was a significant increase from April when the average household paid $249.88 for the same services.While this cost may seem expensive to households in many other parts of the country, the per capita disposable income in Texas surged 15 percent since 2006 to $36,631, making the payment of such bills more affordable for many individuals.? ? A high utility cost should not deter prospective buyers from investing in Houston real estate. Property values in the metropolitan area are expected to increase in the near future, which could make an investment very profitable.? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Increased disposable income could yield more homebuying, remodeling

Since 2006, per capita disposable income in Texas increased 15 percent to $36,631.In what could be another indicator of a strong local economy, disposable income among Texas households surged during the past five years.Since 2006, per capita disposable income increased 15 percent to $36,631 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This could give a number of local buyers the funds needed to purchase property and homeowners extra cash to make needed home repairs and updates.The overall price of Houston real estate increased significantly so far this year, and additional home remodeling could go a long way in continuing this trend.Homeowners and buyers planning to make updates shortly after they move in should concentrate on particular areas of the home. For example, the most profitable rooms of a home to change are kitchens and bathrooms.?Households can hope to recoup a considerable amount on their investment, and if they ever choose to sell, could turn these rooms into key selling points of the property. However, before they break ground, they should make sure to do a little homework on reputable contractors in the Houston area to ensure they are hiring the best professionals for the job.????? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Young workers show interest in Houston townhouses, high-rises

A lack of available land in the downtown area has caused housing developers to build upward, rather than outward.Houston continues to be a hot destination for young workers looking for employment opportunities. Many of these individuals want to live where the action is, and as a result, activity among certain types of homes in the area surged so far this year.In August, condominium and townhouse sales spiked on a year-over-year basis, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. Although single-family property sales also gained momentum, the overall growth rate was eclipsed by the demand for townhouse and high-rise property.During the month, an estimated 600 high-rise and townhouses changed hands, up from 466 in August 2011. This marked a 28.8 percent increase, and local real estate professionals say activity is now at the same pace experienced prior to the beginning of the recession. A lack of available land in the downtown area has caused housing developers to build upward, rather than outward, and these trends could result in additional activity in the near future. Additionally, many consumers anticipate fixed mortgage rates to increase significantly during the course of 2013, which could spur many borrowers to capitalize on the current level of affordability.? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Texas small businesses more confident

The success among both large- and small-sized businesses has gone a long way in contributing to the strength of Houston real estate.A strong economy often yields a healthy housing market, and vice versa. In Houston, both sectors experienced significant gains so far this year and these upward trends are expected to continue in the near future.According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, an estimated 76 percent of Texas small business owners plan to expand their businesses during the next six months. While this is a notable share, it was actually a slight decline from earlier this year when 81 percent shared similar sentiment.?Although Houston has a large presence of successful corporations, such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron, small business owners in the area have reported their own success so far this year. For example, 60 percent of respondents said they were able to pay themselves a salary this year, compared to the same time last year when only 36 percent had the business stability to do so.The success among both large- and small-sized businesses has gone a long way in contributing to the strength of Houston real estate. Because these gains are expected in the future, rising home prices and increased home sales could follow suit in 2013.? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston named one of the must-watch markets of 2013

Houston is one of the must-watch markets of 2013.While many local residential and commercial markets across the country continue to struggle, Houston was recently recognized as one of the top real estate markets to watch in 2013.According to a report from the Urban Land Institute and PwC US, a low unemployment rate paired with a heavy presence of the energy industry pushed Houston to the fifth spot on the list. This was an increase from eighth last year.”With the outlook for commercial real estate continuing to improve in 2013, investors are expected to allocate substantial sums of capital to the real estate asset class, according to our survey respondents,” said Mitch Roschelle of PwC.Meanwhile, Houston real estate is also expected to experience notable gains in 2013 after gaining considerable momentum so far this year. During the month of September, single-family home prices appreciated 4.7 percent on an annual basis, making 16 straight months of increases.This development pushed average Houston home prices to $220,992. Investing in local property could prove to be a profitable investment in the near future if prices continue this upward trend.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

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