Many buyers look at their monthly budget when considering to purchase a home. Though it would be great if we could all afford to pay cash for our home, most people have to consider borrowing money to make their purchase. Since this is the case, interest rates play a significant role in determining purchase power.
This is significant because as interest rates change, buyer’s ability to purchase changes. The higher the interest rate, for example, the lower the purchase price has to be to keep the same monthly principal and interest (P + I) payment. Conversely, the lower the interest rate, the more home a purchaser can afford or the lower the monthly payment is.
Though interest rates have come up and are now above the historic lows we experienced a year or so ago, they are still below average making this a great time to buy!
For more information regarding home affordability, give me a call today at 832-309-0450 or send me an email at ByronU@cbunited.com.
With employment and population in Houston growing, demand on apartments is increasing. The current supply of apartments is not enough to keep pace with the higher demand. Because of this increased demand and the slower increase in supply of apartments in the Houston area, apartment occupancy rates are extremely high.
The building classifications are as follow and may vary from market to market.
- Generally, garden product built within the last 10 years
- High-rise product in select Central Business District may be over 20 years old
- Commands rents within the range of Class “A” rents in the submarket
- Well merchandised with landscaping, attractive rental office and/or club buildings
- High-end exterior and interior amenities as dictated by other Class “A” products in the market
- High quality construction with highest quality materials
- Generally, product built within the last 20 years
- Exterior and interior amenity package is dated and less than what is offered by properties in the high end of the market
- Good quality construction with little deferred maintenance
- Commands rents within the range of Class “B” rents in the submarket
- Generally, product built within the last 30 years
- Limited, dated exterior and interior amenity package
- Improvements show some age and deferred maintenance
- Commands rents below Class “B” rents in submarket
- Majority of appliances are “original”
- Generally, product over 30 years old, worn properties, operationally more transient, situated in fringe or mediocre locations
- Shorter remaining economic lives for the system components
- No amenity package offered
- Marginal construction quality and condition
- Lower side of the market unit rent range, coupled with intensive use of the property (turnover and density of use) combine to constrain budget for operations
Occupancy rates over 90% are in the landlord’s favor with renters leaving being quickly replaced by new renters. The Houston market, however, is not showing great investment into the rental market with owners willing to allow the growth of demand of rental units to outpace the growth of supply. Nobody wants to be caught holding too many units in a downturn. The result is continued low supply in a demand driven market.
This information is supported by Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) statistics showing the price of rentals increasing in Houston since 2007. The median rental price inn Houston in 2007 was just over $1400 with the median rental price at the end of the third quarter of 2013 at $1650.
This is a great time to consider investing in rental property. Missouri City has many homes and townhouses that ideal for investment purposes. If you or someone you know is considering investing in real estate, give me a call at 832-309-0450 or email me at email@example.com
The Texas economy is teaming along evidenced by its healthy job growth. Though California had more new jobs by numbers, Texas had the largest percentage growth in jobs in the country in 2013. The top five states are:
- Texas +312,870
- California +229,660
- Florida +144,530
- New York +89,750
- Georgia +71,540
Looking at more detail in the state of Texas shows that the majority of new jobs are in Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with Houston leading the way in percentage of increase.
This trend is good not only for the Texas economy but also for home owners. The more jobs created, the greater the pressure on the supply of homes. As demand to purchase and rent housing increases the supply of homes to rent or purchase goes down. Lower supply and higher demand means higher home prices for sellers.
Do you know what your home is worth? Call Byron Underwood at 832-309-0450 today to schedule your free market analysis.
Tonight looks like a chilly night with temperatures forcasted to be below freezing. The concern according to Click2Houston, there is a significant chance of temperatures below freezing for several hours. Freezes can be deadly for animals and expensive in lost landscaping and broken water pipes. So, be mindful of outdoors pets! Also take care to prepare your plants for the freeze and perhaps exposed pipes. Stay warm!
Monthly reports continue to show increases in prices and sales volume on month to month comparisons. Inventory is lower than it has been. Employment is strong and projected to continue to be strong. It’s a great time to be in Texas. This Texa-Plex video that keeps floating around shows why.
“Who gets to pick the title company?”. If you guessed the Buyer, you are correct. The HUD RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) guidelines are very specific.
Choice of title company
Who gets to pick the title company that will issue the owner policy of title insurance? (updated July 27, 2010) Logical arguments can be made that support either a seller or buyer picking the title company. A seller may feel he should be the one to pick the title company where the applicable provision of the TREC contract shows the cost of the owner policy to be a seller’s expense. A buyer may feel that he should pick the title company because he will actually be the insured party in the owner policy.
The only law governing this issue is under the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). The HUD Web site states, “Section 9 of RESPA prohibits a seller from requiring the home buyer to use a particular title insurance company, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale.
Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.”
How do yo choose a title company?
- Price – Price is Important, Value is more Important! You should search for a closing agent or title company that offers you a savings on title insurance, closing costs, title search & exam, and courier fees, etc. You may be entitled to a discounted rate on your title insurance policy. If you are refinancing and have a previously written Owners or current Lender’s Title Policy, ask if you qualify for a “reissue rate” or “substitution rate”. Title companies may not offer the discounted rate unless you ask for it. The savings could be 30 percent or more of the original title policy.
- Service – Title Companies and Closing agents are not all alike. Title insurance rates and closing fees vary from company to company, but you may not be aware of the differences in service you will receive from one company to the next. Many borrowers also are not aware that they have the right to choose title insurance agents. Under the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), the seller cannot require you to buy title insurance from a particular title company. The lender may request that you use a title company it finds acceptable, and it likely will recommend some companies, but in most cases you have the choice. In the end, the lender usually agrees with your pick. This power of choice is a tool you can use to be sure your closing goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. Closing is about preparation, service and anticipating your needs before and long after the closing. Making the right choice on service is a major component of Value and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
- Reputation – When choosing a Title Company, Closing Agent or Escrow Officer an important component is their reputation in the community. Ask the number of years the company has been in business. Ask your friends and acquaintances who have had recent experience with real estate transactions to recommend a company or an individual they have been pleased with, one who met all their expectations. Inquire among friends as to the reputation of the individual officer or Title Company in your local community. Ask your friends if the escrow agent they recommend returns phone calls promptly, explains details in everyday understandable language, inspires confidence, is knowledgeable and acts in a professional, courteous manner.
- Technology – Does the Title Company use a “transaction-management system” or other means of receiving/delivering documents? Can Realtors, Lenders, home buyers and sellers log into this system to monitor the status of the closing? Are they set up to receive lenders “digitally delivered documents” from Lenders quickly and efficiently. It’s critical to be able to receive last-minute changes, corrections and additions to your loan documents. How good is their bank’s wire room? Do they get instantaneous notifications of arrival of funds? Things sometimes move fast at closings. Access to funds and documentation can mean the difference between closing and not closing. It can cost your money! Again, it’s all about Value!
- Experience – The Title Company should able to comply with the terms and conditions of your contract, strive to be as confidential as possible, answer your questions, and clear up any title problems which may arise. Management experience and Professionalism, as well as knowledge, friendliness and efficiency are critical. Ask lots of questions about their previous experience. Do they have a good working relationship with lenders and understand loan documents? Do they have experience in handling possible title problems? Choosing the company to handle your sale can mean the difference between a smooth rapid closing or a complicated, delayed closing, fraught with anguish and extra cost. Again, this is part of Value.
- Underwriters – A great indication of the quality of your Title Company is the identity of their Underwriters. The five major national title insurance companies are LandAmerica Financial Group (Commonwealth Land Title & Lawyers Title), Old Republic Title Company, Fidelity National Financial Inc., First American Corporation, and Stewart Title Guaranty Company. These underwriters comprise the vast majority of all transactions in the United States. The top Title Companies and Agents have the top underwriters, simple as that.
- The Final Decision – Your choice of escrow or closing agent may be one of the most important decisions you make to arrive at your final goal of a timely real estate sale or purchase. Although price is a major factor in choosing a title company, good service, reputation, access to technology and the ability to pay claims should also be considered. You will want to try to select the most reputable and professional escrow or closing agent you can find, combined with the one who also charges the most reasonable fees. In the end, It’s about Value.
The Quail Valley Municipal Utility District encourages its customers to voluntarily conserve water due to the current drought situation. Residents are being asked to limit water usage, including watering lawns, to the following days:
Odd street number address: Use water on Monday & Thursday
Even street number address: Use water on Tuesday & Friday
If you have questions, call the Quail Valley Utility District at 281-499-5539.