How Much You Need To Earn To Buy A Luxury Home Near Houston

Average Income Required To Buy A Luxury Home In The Houston Area

Thinking about buying a home in one of Houston’s luxury neighborhoods this year?  If so, you’ve probably heard about some of the beautiful neighborhoods outside the city, and may have even begun looking for homes for sale as well.


As you’re conducting your preliminary research, keep in mind that the cost of homeownership will inevitably vary from one town to another.  Understanding the varying costs of homeownership from the beginning of the buying process is an important step towards making a carefully calculated decision on which property is right for you.


One of the most important meetings I conduct with my clients, if not the most important, is the initial meeting.  There’s usually quite a bit of anxiety in the room, mostly stemming from financial and budgetary questions.  This is especially true for first-time homebuyers, and the uncertainty usually stems from lack of knowledge on what the buyer can afford.


While I’m not an expert on mortgages, I do have access to many lenders that can help determine the answer to this question.  I communicate to my clients that the 2nd most important partner in the home buying process is their lender.  (Of course, the important person in the home buying transaction is their friendly neighborhood Realtor, me!)


The lender will assist in providing exactly what the buyer can afford based upon their short and long range goals.  I never encourage someone to become “house poor” and factor how long they wish to stay in the house.


While each homebuyer’s situation will vary depending on their unique resources and needs, Houston Business Journal’s recent article about the average salary needed to buy a home in Houston can serve as an excellent starting-off point for those who are in the early stages of the homebuying process.


Estimated Salaries Needed To Buy Homes In Houston’s Luxury Neighborhoods:

Memorial Village:


  • Median listing price: $1,575,000
  • Average salary required: $416,483


Memorial Park


  • Median listing price: $1,525,000
  • Average salary required: $403,262




  • Median listing price: $1,476,000
  • Average salary required: $390,304


West University


  • Median listing price: $1,284,000
  • Average salary required: $339,533




  • Median listing price: $1,035,000
  • Average salary required: $273,689


Afton Oaks


  • Median listing price: $855,000
  • Average salary required: $226,091




  • Median listing price: $790,000
  • Average salary required: $208,903


Rice/ Museum District


  • Median listing price: $660,500
  • Average salary required: $174,659


Memorial West


  • Median listing price: $511,000
  • Average salary required: $135,126


Timbergrove/ Lazybrook


  • Median listing price: $432,500
  • Average salary required: $114,368


Memorial Close In


  • Median listing price: $407,000
  • Average salary required: $107,625




  • Median listing price: $292,000
  • Average salary required: $77,215

(View the full article here.)


Are You Ready To Buy A Luxury Home In The Houston Area?


If you’re interested in viewing homes for sale near Houston, or would like additional information about how to begin your home search, please reach out to me!  I can help you navigate the current local market and find the right property to meet your budget.  Please contact me today to discuss your path to homeownership in Houston!

Negotiating Tips For Luxury Home Buyers in Houston

Negotiating Tips For Houston Luxury Homebuyers

The suburbs of Houston are known for being home to some of the most beautiful luxury properties, complete with tranquil neighborhoods, spacious yards, and access to excellent public and private schools.  These breathtaking homes in safe, quiet towns can easily tempt buyers to ignore their budget limitations and bid the full asking price or more, even if that means spending more on a home than it’s actually worth.


Avoid overspending on your luxury home purchase by learning how to strategically negotiate with sellers.


6 Negotiating Tips Every Luxury Homebuyer In Houston Needs To Know


1. Put aside your emotions and trust your realtor


One of the biggest advantages of buying a luxury home with a realtor is the ability to consult with an objective party before making an offer.  Most buyers who overpay for their homes do so because they became emotionally attached to the property and bid too high as a result.  An experienced realtor will help you avoid making this mistake, and instead guide you towards placing a realistic bid.


Remember, you are working with a professional for a reason; don’t be afraid to trust your realtor’s judgement.  The lack of emotional involvement is one of your realtor’s biggest strengths, and should not be confused with a lack of caring.  The best realtors will remain poised, calm, and collected in a stressful situation, in order to help you make the right decision.  Don’t be afraid to cut through the smoke and listen carefully to the advice your realtor provides.


2. Understand the seller’s priorities


Some sellers are simply in a rush to close the deal, and while this may not be the case with every home you look at, it never hurts to inquire about the seller’s reason for moving.  Events such as the death of a loved one, changes in sellers’ financial situations, divorce, and career opportunities requiring relocation are all examples of reasons why sellers may be motivated to close on a deal as soon as possible.


In these types of situations, showing the seller you’re able to close quickly can help persuade him or her into accepting an offer below asking price, so make sure you’re ready to act even before you start viewing homes for sale.


3. Leverage the estimated cost of repair work the home needs


One of the most effective ways to negotiate with a seller is to identify repairs the home may require and determine a rough estimate of how much the work will cost.  Carefully look over the entire property yourself, even before hiring an inspector, to lessen the chances of missing any significant problems in the home that will require work.


Depending on the scope of the repairs that may need to be made, the seller may choose to either cover the cost themselves or accept an offer below asking price due to the home’s less-than-perfect condition.


4. Avoid making a low-ball offer


Despite how well you may be able to put your own emotions aside, there’s no way to control the seller’s response if you make a low-ball offer.  Rather than risking upsetting the seller with a potentially insulting offer, work with your realtor to determine if the asking price does in fact reflect the home’s value.  Your realtor should be able to quickly gather information about the local real estate market and help you use this data to place an appropriate bid.


5. Put a time limit on your offer


Let the seller know you’re serious by providing a deadline for which your offer can be either accepted or rejected.  Typically, the time limit should be between 24 and 48 hours from the time you make your offer in order to encourage quick decision-making on the seller’s end.  By setting an expiration date for your offer, you’re also proving that you have no emotional attachment to the home and are prepared to explore other options if the seller can’t meet your deadline.


6. Walk away if necessary


If you can’t come to an agreement with the seller, be willing to walk away.  Not only will your realtor likely be able to find a more suitable property for you, but if the seller is interested in your offer at all, this last-resort tactic could provide the final push needed for your bid to be accepted.  You may be surprised by just how effective this strategy is when used correctly.


Interested in purchasing a luxury home near Houston?


I can help you find a home that fits your needs and your budget, all while taking the guesswork out of a complex real estate transaction.  As a Houston resident myself for 27 years, I’ll help you understand the current market and guide you down the path to homeownership.  Please contact me today if you’re thinking of buying a luxury property in the Tanglewood, Uptown, Memorial, or Galleria neighborhood!

5 Proven Steps For Getting The Full Asking Price

How To Get The Full Asking Price For Your Luxury Home

One of the most common misconceptions regarding luxury homes for sale is that buyers are willing pay the full asking price, simply because they can afford to.  In actuality, though, home buyers in every market are always looking for grounds to negotiate.  As a seller, you need to anticipate how buyers will respond to your listing so you can reduce their negotiating power and increase your chances of receiving the full asking price.


After you’ve determined a fair listing price for your home, there are still a few steps you can take to ensure that the offers you receive are worth entertaining.


5 Proven Steps For Getting The Full Asking Price:


1. Research the real estate market in your neighborhood


One of the most important reasons to hire a neighborhood realtor is to give yourself the advantage of working with someone who can provide insight on the latest real estate trends that will influence your own home sale.  Additionally, a realtor who knows your neighborhood well will understand what current buyers in the area are most interested in, and can help you market your property to these buyers effectively.


2. Work on enhancing your home’s curb appeal


Make your home look as inviting as possible to capture attention from your ideal buyers.  Remove any built up dirt or algae from your home’s exterior, make sure the landscaping looks healthy and maintained, and keep the yard clear of any debris.


3. Look at your home from a buyer’s point of view and beware of the 3 big issues


From my perspective, and national statistics concur, the three big issues are REAL.  From personal anecdotal experience, most buyers are turned away from a purchase decision by odor, clutter, and perceived work that they would have to do!  From a consultation perspective, I encourage my sellers to take those issues off the table; after all, they are controllable!


Even if you don’t believe your home has an odor, carefully air out every room for a few hours a day leading up to each showing.  It takes minimal effort, but skipping this precautionary step could potentially cost you in the long run.  You can also deep clean your home as you air out each room, for added assurance that your home will be shown in the best state possible.


Next, remove as much clutter as you can from every room.  It may be worthwhile to temporarily rent a storage space for your belongings so that interested buyers are not distracted and can fully appreciate the space in your home.  You may be surprised by how much larger a room looks and feels once it’s been cleared of unnecessary items.


Lastly, look at your home objectively to discourage buyers from arguing that the property needs work.  This leads to our next point:


4. Hire a home inspector and invest in any necessary repairs


Hiring a home inspector allows you to become familiar with your property the way an interested buyer would.  Many homeowners are simply unaware that their homes are in need of repairs, so asking a home inspector to assess the property will eliminate guesswork and pay off in the long run.


Remember, buyers will always notice the condition of your home, and you’ll leave a much stronger impression when you can prove to buyers that the home does not require immediate work.  Careful buyers will first look over your home themselves even before hiring an inspector, so any potential problems that could justify a low bid are sure to be uncovered if you don’t carefully prepare the property.


If you can show an interested buyer the work you’ve recently done on the home, this allows you to prove that the house is a safe investment and well worth your asking price.


5. Work with an experienced home staging expert


Similar to the way you would select a realtor to help sell your home, make sure you select a local home stager who is familiar with your neighborhood and knows how to present your home in a way that will appeal to the types of buyers who will be viewing it.


Keep in mind that not every room will require staging, but those that do must make the right impression.  Usually, your realtor will know of a quality staging service, so be sure to ask him or her for a recommendation.


Selling a luxury home near Tanglewood?


As a 2017 top performing realtor and a Houston resident for 30 years, I can help you navigate the local market and sell your luxury home with ease.  If you’re a homeowner in the Tanglewood, Uptown, Memorial, or Galleria neighborhood, and need help selling your home, please contact me today!

Things To Do In Houston April 2018

Looking For Things To Do In Houston This Month?

When you live near a city like Houston, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in your free time.  Whether you’re looking for weekend plans or some entertainment for your next day off, you won’t have to search for too long before you find an event or activity that you can look forward to.


Things To Do In Houston This April


Watch a game


Now that baseball season is finally here, you can catch an Astros home game, or show your support for the Rockets as they continue through the playoffs!


Upcoming Houston Astros home games this month:


  • Texas Rangers at Houston Astros, 4/13
  • Texas Rangers at Houston Astros, 4/14
  • Texas Rangers at Houston Astros, 4/15
  • Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros, 4/23
  • Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros, 4/24
  • Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros, 4/25
  • Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros, 4/27
  • Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros, 4/28
  • Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros, 4/29
  • New York Yankees at Houston Astros, 4/30


Visit to purchase your Astros tickets!

Houston Rockets playoffs


  • Quarterfinals: Home Game 1, 4/14
  • Quarterfinals: Home Game 2, 4/16
  • Quarterfinals: Home Game 3, 4/23
  • Quarterfinals: Home Game 4, 4/27
  • Semifinals: Home Game 1, 4/30


Purchase tickets online at!


See a show


Not interested in sports?  Check out some of the most highly-anticipated shows coming to Houston later this month!


  • Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream at NRG Stadium, 4/11 – 4/15
  • The Mavericks at House Of Blues Houston, 4/12
  • Foo Fighters at House Of Blues Houston, 4/19
  • Sirius XM Presents Todd Rundgren’s Utopia at House of Blues Houston, 4/22
  • Jack Johnson at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 4/26
  • Eric Church at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 4/27
  • Lewis Black: The Joke’s On US at Revolution Music Center, 4/28


Also coming soon to Houston is the Lynyrd Skynyrd Farewell Tour at The Cynthia Mitchell Pavilion on 5/12.


View more upcoming shows and order tickets through TicketMaster!

Get active for a good cause at the MS 150


If you love cycling, don’t miss out on the opportunity to help raise money for MS research at the 2018 BP MS 150.  The 2-day event, organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, features a bike ride from Houston to Austin, and with over 13,000 cyclists and volunteers, it’s the largest event of its kind in the entire continent.  So far this year, the event has raised just over a third of its $15 million goal.


Learn more about how you can join fellow Houstonians to support this cause.


Don’t miss out on exciting things to do in Houston!


Make sure you follow me on social media to keep up with all the best entertainment, events, and other fun things to do in the Houston area!

Top Public Schools Near Tanglewood

Public Schools Near Tanglewood: Everything You Need To Know


If you’re thinking about purchasing a home in the Tanglewood neighborhood, chances are you’re wondering what the local schools are like.  In addition to a wide selection of remarkable private schools, local residents benefit from a wide variety of excellent public schools near Tanglewood.


Top public schools near Tanglewood*


While local schools’ performance will inevitably change over time, is an excellent resource for buyers and homeowners to refer to for a general understanding of current school ratings.  Some of the different factors that rates each school on are as follows:


  • State test scores
  • Student progress: how much students at each school improve from one school year to the next, in comparison to students at similar schools
  • Equity: how well the school offers disadvantaged students the extra attention they require
  • College readiness: how well high school students are prepared for college when compared to students from other schools
  • Advanced courses: the number of advanced courses taken per student, compared to the state average


Below is an overview of some of the top rated schools near Tanglewood, TX, according to data as of March 2018.


Primary and middle schools:


Mandarin Immersion Magnet School


Unlike most public schools, magnet schools accept students regardless of their zip code and offer specialized courses beyond the state-required curriculum, free of charge.

Established in August 2012, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School currently teaches grades pre-k through 8th grade, with 50% of the school day taught in Mandarin Chinese and 50% taught in English.  Classes are taught by native speakers of each language.

The school also states on its website, “A crucial distinction to make is that we are not a foreign language school with Chinese fluency our only end goal; rather, we are an elementary school charged with the same mission to educate children in all the TEKS necessary to be college and career ready, and it is our manner of delivery (Mandarin Chinese) which is different from other high-performing schools.”


Latest at MIMS


Students are currently preparing for a handful of state tests scheduled to take place throughout the month of April, extending well into May.  For more information on upcoming events, view the Mandarin Immersion school calendar online.


Briargrove Elementary


International Baccalaureate World School, Briargrove Elementary, teaches students from kindergarten through 5th grade.  Briargrove is part of the Vanguard Neighborhood Program, making the school an excellent choice for parents of gifted and talented children.  In fact, rather than strictly following Houston Independent School District’s curriculum, Briargrove uses a customized inquiry-based instruction model that increases student engagement in the classroom.


Briargrove ratings:


  • Test scores: 8/10
  • Student progress: 8/10
  • Equity overview: 5/10
  • Student-teacher ratio: 20:1


(View the full report for Briargrove Elementary on


Latest at Briargrove


Assessments including the Iowa Survey and High Frequency Word Exam will be administered throughout the month of April.  Open Transfer Period will also begin later on in the month, from April 23 until May 18.  For more information, view the Briargrove calendar online.


Tanglewood Middle School (formerly known as Grady Middle School)


Part of the International Baccalaureate World School program, Grady Middle School re-opened as Tanglewood Middle School in 2016 with a brand new building designed to provide students with the look and feel of a college campus.  In addition to its stunning property, complete with breathtaking views of Houston, Tanglewood Middle School offers a gifted and talented program for advanced students, which helps to prepare children for high school AP courses.


Latest at Tanglewood Middle School


STAAR exams in reading, writing, and math will be administered during the second week of April, with make-ups available on Friday, April 13.  On Saturday, April 14th, students are invited to attend a career expo from 10 AM – 1 PM at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.  For more information about upcoming events at Tanglewood Middle School, view the online school calendar.


Cornerstone Academy


Founded in 1997 to relieve crowding in other local middle schools, Cornerstone Academy has classes between 6th and 8th grade and teaches accelerated core classes using Pre-AP strategies.  In addition to offering challenging, enriching courses, Cornerstone also has a CESIT program that allows students to explore different the career paths they may wish to pursue in the future.


Cornerstone Academy ratings:


  • Test scores: 10/10
  • Student progress: 9/10
  • Equity overview: 10/10
  • Student-teacher ratio: 14:1


(View the full report for Cornerstone Academy on


Latest at Cornerstone Academy


The Campus Improvement Team has its next meeting on April 24, at which time teachers, staff, parents, and representatives from administration can collaborate on projects an initiatives to improve the Cornerstone campus.


High schools:


Challenge Early College High School


Known as the “school of opportunity,” Challenge Early High School caters to students in grades 9 through 12 and offers students the ability to take college-level courses for credit.  Last year, the school also placed #79 in the country and #21 in the state on Washington Post’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools, which compared more than 2,300 schools nationwide.


Challenge Early College ratings:


  • Test scores: 9/10
  • College readiness: 10/10
  • Student progress: 9/10
  • Advanced courses: 10/10
  • Equity overview: 10/10
  • Student-teacher ratio: 21:1


(View the full report for Challenge Early College High School on



Latest at Challenge Early College High School


In addition to state exams and the Iowa Survey, students have the opportunity to participate in the Spring Fling, Career Expo, and History Bowl during April.  View the school’s online calendar for more information on upcoming events and exams.


High School For The Performing And Visual Arts


The HSPVA, otherwise known as High School For The Performing And Visual Arts, was founded in 1971 and encourages both academic and artistic excellence from students in grades 9 through 12.  HSPVA boasts one of the country’s highest numbers of Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and even earned the highest ranking possible under the Texas Education Agency’s accountability system during the 2015-2016 school year.


HSPVA ratings:


  • Test scores: 9/10
  • College readiness: 10/10
  • Student progress: 9/10
  • Advanced courses: 10/10
  • Equity overview: 10/10
  • Student-teacher ratio: 16:1


(View the full report for HSPVA on


Latest at HSPVA


In April, students across each program will be performing every week, with plays, concerts, art shows, and more all scheduled to take place over the next few weeks.  Visit the HSPVA school calendar online for more information.


TH Rogers School


With a diverse student body representing countries all over the globe, TH Rogers School teaches grades pre-k through 12, and has a massive student body, including gifted and talented students, deaf and hard of hearing students, and a multitude of students with other impairments as well.


TH Rogers ratings:


  • Test scores: 10/10
  • College readiness: 1/10
  • Student progress: 10/10
  • Equity Overview: 10/10
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11:1


(View the full report for TH Rogers School on


Latest at TH Rogers


This April, aside from state assessments and the Iowa Survey students and parents can look forward to the beginning and intermediary orchestra concert, the middle school sport award ceremony, and the National Junior Honors Society induction.  View the school’s calendar online for more information on upcoming events.


KIPP Houston High School


Founded in 2004, KIPP Houston High School serves grades 9 through 12 with a student body mainly composed of college-bound children from Houston’s Southwest community.  KHHS boasts more than 30 extra-curricular activities for students to choose from, and is also KIPP’s first college-preparatory high school in the US.  For anyone unfamiliar, KIPP stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program and is a non-profit network of over 200 college-preparatory schools throughout the country.


KIPP Houston High School ratings:


  • Test scores: 8/10
  • College readiness: 9/10
  • Student progress: 1/10
  • Advanced courses: 9/10
  • Equity overview: 9/10
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15:1


(View the full report for KHHS on


Learn more about KHHS


Parents who are interested in enrolling their children at KHHS can find more information about the application process for the upcoming schoolyear on the KIPP Houston website.


Moving to Tanglewood?


The Tanglewood community is fortunate to be surrounded by a variety of exceptional private and public schools that not only enrich the community, but increase property values as well.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Tanglewood neighborhood and need help finding homes for sale in or around Tanglewood, please contact me today for more information!


*The selection of schools listed in this post, with the exception of Mandarin Immersion Magnet School and Tanglewood Middle School, is based on data for top schools near Tanglewood, TX as of March 2018