Further evidence of sunnier days ahead for Houston real estate with green building announcement

Green buildings coming to Houston marketA firm of green home builders will showcase eight new models of eco-friendly housing in a large-scale open house event on March 5 and 6, GreenEco Builders announced today.

The company's sales manager, Wayne Green, said the company was focused on building its homes the right way.

"GreenEco's success is a result of our commitment to providing the highest quality of construction, and features for the best value, rather than the lowest price," he said.

The company also announced that, in addition to the environmentally friendly features present on all of its homes, prospective homebuyers were being offered assistance with down payments and closing costs, credit repair help, and mortgage tax credit certificates.

Experts say the news of these new green developments comes on the heels of the news that Houston home prices had increased for the first time in seven months as of January. This could mean that the time to get into the market could be right now, if the upward pricing trends continue.

Houston property will be sold to fund city budget gap

City government to close budget gap with property saleAn abandoned gas station and a public works building will be sold by the city of Houston to help bridge a $54 million gap in the municipal budget, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The newspaper notes that any potential deal will have to be done by June 30 in order to avoid a further dip into the city's savings, which are not as extensive as they once were.

Other remedies are also under consideration, city controller Robert Green told the Chronicle.

"The only thing we will be able to do is cut expenses, which will mean cuts in services, or talk about other revenue sources. The public wants to make sure we've cut as far as we can before we look for other revenue sources. It's a tough time, and I think we're cognizant of that," he said.

Savvy property investors with a creative plan for either of the Houston properties under discussion could realize significant savings if the city government wants to sell badly enough, experts say.

Report: Big deals show Houston property market could be heating up

Houston property market heating upThe owner of Houston's second-tallest office building – MetLife – is putting a half-stake in Wells Fargo Plaza up for sale, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

MetLife's real estate investments boss Robert Merck told the newspaper that market conditions for Houston property had improved to the point where it felt comfortable taking this step.

"We feel this is an opportune time to test the market given the abundance of capital looking for core assets in top markets like Houston," he said.

The Journal reported that partial sales are a popular way to move property right now, since prestigious properties have been commanding higher and higher prices in recent months.

The tower is leased primarily to troubled energy firm Dynergy, which has recently rolled back the proportion of the building it occupies, the newspaper said.

The Wells Fargo Plaza deal may be a harbinger of growing activity in Houston's commercial real estate market, according to experts. This could push prices higher and provide a spur to more general movement in area property.

Home Inspections / Hiring a Qualified Home Inspector

Once your offer has been accepted on the home you would like to purchase one of the things that is suggested is for you to get a home inspection. What is a home inspection? Well, one of the best ways to understand the property’s condition is to hire a qualified home inspector. It is recommended you contact and interview at least two to three different home inspectors in order to find one that will meet your individual needs.  Inspectors are familiar with the building codes and will help look for flaws in the home your are purchasing.

The following are some important questions to ask before making your final selection;

  1. How long have you been in the home inspection business?
  2. What are your qualifications?
  3. Are you a member of any inspection organization or association?
  4. How many resale home inspections have you completed?
  5. If I hired you today, when would you be available to complete my inspection?
  6. What will the inspection cover?
  7. How long is your average inspection and how long after it’s completed will I receive my report?
  8. How much will the inspection cost?
  9. May I attend my inspection? May my real estate agent also attend?
  10. Do you provide estimates for repairs and improvements?
  11. Can I contact you post-inspection for any questions?

These are just a few questions and you may have more but hopefully this will help you when it is your time to need a home inspection.

Talk to you soon, Patti

Eco-Friendly “Green” Homes

How knowledgable are you when it comes to your home and the environment?  Should you decide to build a home you may find that your builder is among many that are now using eco-friendly products in the home building process. Building green can be costly, but home buyers are willing to spend this knowing that they are helping to save the environment along with the anticipation to recover some of these expenses through savings on energy and water bills.

If asked, most people want to go green, but how far are they willing to go?. There has to be a compromise somewhere between what’s ‘over the edge’ green and what can get be placed in the housing market so that people can have a home that’s environmentally safe and attractive.

There are several green home building programs across the USA, and organizations ranging from the EPA to the Green Building Council are working to establish ratings and guidelines for eco-friendly homes, making construction more available.
In my next blog I will write about the value of going green and the types of products being used.
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