Moving To A New Neighborhood

How To Choose The Right Neighborhood When You Move

You have an idea of where you’d like to buy, but you haven’t yet narrowed down which neighborhood makes the best home.  Sound familiar?

 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re looking for a new home.

 

Aside from fundamental property requirements, one of the most important things I advise my clients to do is to write down a list of their priorities.  When I review the list, I can usually identify a corresponding location and discuss the key factors of that particular area— the pluses and, inevitably, the minuses of the neighborhood—so that my client can move forward with confidence.

 

If you’re planning a move and don’t know where to start, you can usually get an idea of whether a neighborhood is right for you based on the following 7 factors.

 

7 Factors To Consider When Moving To A New Neighborhood:

 

1. Proximity To Work, Transportation, And Shopping

 

How far are you willing to travel for work?  What would your route to the office look like, and how much traffic is there during rush hour?

 

If you’re considering neighborhoods far from your job, find out what your commute would feel like.  Pick one or two days to drive to work from each neighborhood where you’re thinking of buying, and see if the travel time is compatible with your schedule.

 

This goes hand in hand with proximity to transportation; if you’re thinking of purchasing a home far away from work, family, or other commitments, it may be beneficial to live close to transportation.

 

Lastly, think about conveniences like shopping and entertainment.  Do you cook or dine out most nights?  How would these habits be affected if you were to live in a given neighborhood?

 

Again, one of the best ways to answer these questions to set aside time to explore each area where you’re thinking of buying a home.

 

2. Local School Ratings

 

Whether or not you have children in school, your home’s value and property taxes will be affected by schools in the area.  Research public schools near the neighborhoods you’re most interested in, and avoid areas with underperforming schools when possible.

 

If you are a parent, it may be worthwhile to research nearby private schools as well.

 

GreatSchools.org is an excellent resource for finding more detailed information about different schools in each neighborhood.

 

3. Climate And Weather In The Area

 

Whether you’re moving 5 miles away or across the country, research the climate and how your new home could potentially be affected.  Find out if the area you’re interested in has extreme summers or winters.

 

Learn what to expect during each different season and how different weather patterns could affect a property.  Depending on where you’d like to buy, you may be required to purchase flood insurance for your home.  This information will be important when you’re determining your total budget.

 

4. Presence Or Absence Of An HOA

 

As you can imagine, homeowners associations and their corresponding fees can vary dramatically from one town to the next.

 

If the home you’re interested in is part of an HOA, contact its manager for detailed information.  Aside from knowing how much the HOA costs annually, make sure you research what the HOA offers.  Learn about the duties you’d be responsible for as part of the association, and find out how you could benefit from joining the HOA as well.

 

Your findings regarding the HOA alone could help you decide if a neighborhood is the right choice for you.

 

5. Crime Rate

 

Researching an area’s crime rate is a critical step for choosing a neighborhood.  In addition to keeping you and your family safe, avoiding high-crime neighborhoods increases the chances your home can be sold at a favorable price if and when you move again.

 

You can begin your research through various websites and even apps for your phone that provide information about local crime rates.  Additionally, make sure you also contact the local cops to request a log of recent crimes and police calls made in the area.  This will give you a better understanding of whether or not a specific neighborhood is, in fact, a safe choice.

 

6. Property Taxes

 

Another critical factor that can easily be overlooked is the annual cost of property taxes in the neighborhood you’re considering.

 

Luckily, property tax information isn’t too hard to find.  If you’re buying a home in the Houston area, for instance, you can look up historical property taxes on the Harris County Appraisal District’s website.

 

Your realtor is also a great resource for finding out about property taxes in the area.

 

7. Income Required For A Comfortable Lifestyle

 

Being “house poor” is never the goal!  Research the cost of living for each neighborhood you’re interested in, and ask yourself honestly if you could live comfortably.

 

Estimate your monthly mortgage payments, and compare this to your household income.  Could you easily afford to pay bills and buy groceries, or would you be stretching your wallet too thin?

 

Still Need Help Choosing Your New Neighborhood?

 

As a long time resident of Houston, almost 30 years now, I know practically every nook and cranny of the city.   I know the shortcuts, the ground streets to use to avoid highways, the parks, the cool restaurants and other area amenities!  I’m a geographical wizard!

 

If you’re thinking of buying a luxury home near Houston, please contact me for assistance!

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more information about the Houston real estate market.

 

 

 

Review Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate

Is It A Waste Of Time To Review Small Businesses?

As consumers, we’re constantly being asked to provide feedback on our experiences.

 

Whether we’re dining at a local restaurant, buying clothes a nearby boutique, hiring a plumber, or even house hunting with a realtor, just about every business we engage with asks for our opinion.

 

Often times, we tend not to think about leaving reviews online until we’ve had an experience that’s exceptionally beyond what we expected (either in a positive or negative way).

 

At some point by now, though, you’ve probably left at least one review of a local business; do you ever stop and wonder if your review can make an impact?

 

Reviewing Local Businesses Online: Yes, Your Words Matter!

 

Review Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate-2

Reviews for Ces Guerra (Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate)

 

According to a recent BrightLocal report, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

 

With the rise in popularity of smart devices and voice search, it makes sense that online reviews can carry such significant weight; consumers who want to learn more about a business can easily do so at any given moment.

 

For this reason, it should come as no surprise that the same study reported 73% of consumers are more willing to trust a local business when they see a positive review online.

 

You may even find this data coincides with your own behavior.

 

How many times have you looked up a business or service online and decided to reach out for more information after reading a positive review?

 

It’s almost hard not to let online reviews influence your decisions, as social media and search engines tend to display star ratings and snippets of online reviews almost every time you search for a company.

 

Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate Review

 

Do You Have A Habit Of Leaving Online Reviews?

 

Despite how much we rely on others’ reviews when making decisions, as consumers, we don’t often think about sharing our own reviews online until it is requested of us.

 

In their report, BrightLocal stated that 68% of consumers reviewed local businesses online in 2017 after being prompted to do so.

 

This information suggests that consumers are generally willing to write reviews for local businesses, but the thought may not occur to them.  It’s as if we only think about online reviews when we’re making our own decisions, but by the end of our experience, those reviews are long-forgotten.

 

Importance Of Online Reviews For Real Estate Agents

 

When it comes to buying and selling homes, online reviews are especially important for both the homeowner and the agent.

 

As we all know, real estate transactions have the potential to become incredibly stressful or even unpleasant.  Finding a real estate agent you trust is a foolproof way to reduce that stress, and online reviews are a great way to start your search.

 

Whether you prefer to use Google, Yelp, or social media, these all are great places to share honest reviews about your own real estate transaction.  Always make sure to include the name of the agent you worked with and as much information as possible.

 

Whether your agent helped you to negotiate an amazing deal or sold your house in record timing, these types of details are important to share with other buyers and sellers so they can enjoy positive experience as well.

 

Review Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate Online

 

Share your experience!  If you’ve recently worked with Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate, please leave a review on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or LinkedIn!

 

For more information about Houston real estate, you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel today.

 

What You Should Know About Flooding in Houston

What You Should Know About Flooding In Houston

Flooding in Houston has been a major concern for several years now, especially after the overwhelming amount of damaged caused by 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.

 

During Harvey, Houston was hit with record-breaking amounts of rainfall and suffered an estimated $1.25B worth of damage, with at least 68 storm-related deaths as well.  The National Hurricane Center called Harvey, “the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in United States history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts since reliable rainfall records began around the 1880s.”

 

There are almost no words to describe the complete turmoil that Harvey created, but if there’s one positive effect of the storm, it’s the new precautions the city is taking to prevent such disaster from striking again.

 

Post-Hurricane Harvey flood prevention in Houston

 

Earlier this spring, the City of Houston published a press release* announcing flood prevention reforms taking place in 2018.

 

Current laws require new construction to sit 1 foot above the 100-year floodplain (land that’s expected to flood 1 year out of every 100 years).  After new regulations take effect on September 1, however, newly constructed homes in Houston will be required to sit 2 feet above the 500-year floodplain.  This means that even in areas less likely to experience flooding, newly constructed homes will soon be required to meet stricter standards to prevent a repeat of the extreme damage we saw after Harvey.

 

Additionally, the city is finally nearing completion on Project Brays, and Mayor Turner is fighting for Congress to vote on the construction of a third reservoir in Houston.

 

With June 1 marking the official beginning of Texas’ hurricane season, it’s still too early to know what to expect in 2018.  One thing we do know for certain at this point is Houston is taking the steps to better prepare for potential flooding in the future, and we will continue to see more improvements in how the city prevents disaster.

 

In a letter to Mayor Turner, Roy Wright (FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation) wrote, “For the nation to be more resilient, many communities will take these forward-leaning steps.  We will be looking to Houston to lead the nation in its resilience and capacity to shape policies that keep citizens safe through all hazards.”  Those who experienced the recent flooding in Houston first-hand will likely agree with Wright’s sentiment: after all, Houston is a strong city, and considering recent events, it only makes sense that we demonstrate that strength to the rest of the country.

 

Flooding in Houston: what to expect in the future

 

Currently, the estimated completion date for Project Brays is set for 2021.  At the very least, Houstonians can be hopeful that this construction, in addition to newly updated building codes, will prove effective in preventing significant flood damage during the years to come.

 

Though there’s still uncertainty surrounding the third reservoir’s construction, knowing the City is prioritizing flood prevention can at least give Houstonians some peace of mind.

 

Stay updated on the latest in Houston

 

For more information and updates regarding the Houston area, please follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel today!

*http://houstontx.gov/mayor/press/flood-prevention-reforms-approved.html
*https://www.chron.com/news/politics/houston/article/How-well-does-the-new-Brays-Bayou-contain-12728996.php
*https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Turner-urges-lawmakers-to-back-third-reservoir-12819157.php

Top Corporate Relocation Service in Houston

Get To Know Kinetics: Houston’s Top Corporate Relocation Service

It’s no secret that every company’s success depends on its ability to attract and retain talent.

 

From hiring third party recruiting firms to offering perks like free lunch or even tuition assistance, companies are constantly seeking new ways to appeal to jobseekers.  One of the best ways to attract more talent to your company is to recruit new employees outside of your city, and using a corporate relocation service allows you to do so with ease.  When you work with Kinetics, your company can help ease the burden of relocating for work and provide employees with a pleasant moving experience.

 

Gary Greene Realtors, including myself, have partnered with Kinetics in order to help you create a relocation policy tailored to fit your company’s unique needs.

 

Overview Of The Kinetics Program

When your company works with Kinetics, you’ll be able to create an enticing relocation package to help your employees save money when buying, selling, or renting a home.  Whether you’re hiring new employees from outside the area or you’re relocating existing staff to a different city, Kinetics can help you accomplish these goals and create a stress-free experience for your teams.

 

Kinetics will help your company create a Relocation Policy that clearly outlines every last detail of your unique relocation package, from timeframes and covered expenses to reimbursable items, van lines, and more.  As one of the area’s top corporate relocation programs, Kinetics can even provide insight into which specific relocation benefits are considered standard in today’s job market so you can offer a competitive package.

 

Impress candidates even further by taking advantage of Kinetics’ Transplant Buddy Interviews and Candidate Tour Services, both of which are also available at zero cost to the employer.  Through these services, candidates will have the opportunity to learn more about the area and even tour the city with a local real estate agent.

 

Better yet, the Kinetics program is designed to provide support to both domestic and international candidates throughout the entire relocation process.  That means your employees can start working in their new location as quickly as possible when you partner with us.

 

Kinetics will even work with your company to create tiered real estate benefit programs for your employees.  So, whether your workers are buying their first homes, downsizing for retirement, or just moving to a different neighborhood, Kinetics is fully equipped to help you offer an enticing benefits package so you can meet your employees’ needs.

 

Who Qualifies For Kinetics?

 

The Kinetics program is available to companies in the following neighborhoods:

 

  • Bay Area
  • The Woodlands
  • Friendswood
  • League City
  • Tiki Island
  • Katy
  • Inner Loop
  • Memorial
  • Lake Houston
  • Lake Conroe
  • Conroe
  • Tomball
  • Magnolia
  • Champions
  • Corporate
  • Cypress
  • Fairfield
  • Bend
  • Galveston/ Pirates Beach
  • Grant Road
  • Bellaire
  • Pearland

 

Each company’s eligibility to join the Kinetics program is determined on a case-by-case basis.  If you’re interested in partnering with Kinetics, please contact me today and include your company’s name and number of employees in your message.

 

Keep Up With All The Latest Updates On Houston’s Real Estate Market

 

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for more information about available listings.

Fun Things To Do In Houston This May and June

Fun Things To Do In The Houston Area

There’s always something exciting happening in the Houston area!  Whether you’re planning a night out with friends or a casual date night, there are plenty of upcoming local events to enjoy.  I like to say that Houston is the smallest big city in the country and having these great events brings us all a little closer!

 

Fun Things To Do In Houston This May And June

 

See a show

 

 

See an Astros game:

 

  • San Francisco Giants at Houston Astros
    • Tues, May 22, 7:10 pm
  • San Francisco Giants at Houston Astros
    • Wed, May 23, 1:10 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Thurs, May 31, 7:10 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Fri, June 1, 7:10 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Sat, June 2, 6:15 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Sun, June 3, 6:38 pm
  • Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
    • Tues, June 5, 7:10 pm
  • Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
    • Wed, June 6, 7:10 pm
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
    • Mon, June 18, 7:10 pm
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
    • Tues, June 19, 7:10 pm
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
    • Wed, June 20, 7:10 pm
  • Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
    • Fri, June 22, 7:10 pm
  • Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
    • Sat, June 23, 6:15 pm
  • Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
    • Sun, June 24, 1:10 pm
  • Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros
    • Mon, June 25, 7:10 pm
  • Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros
    • Tues, June 26, 7:10 pm
  • Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros
    • Wed, June 27, 1:10 pm

 

Buy your tickets online!

 

Support a local cause:

 

 

Never miss another great Houston event!

 

Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter for more updates on fun things to do in the Houston area!

7 Steps To Buying Your First Home

Everything You Need To Know About Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting experience unlike any other.  I love reviewing the “Yellow Brick Road” to homeownership with my first time homebuyers!   It is an excellent illustration that allows the client to visualize the path which they are about to embark upon.   Many questions are answered and more arise simply by reviewing the illustration.   It’s lots of fun to explain the process and discuss the various challenges and hurdles that inevitably present themselves.

 

Home Buying Illustration

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you probably have some questions about what steps you’ll need to take.

 

These Are The 7 Critical Steps To Buying Your First House:

 

1. Research all of your options

 

The first step towards becoming a homeowner is to consider the lifestyle you want to achieve in your new home.

 

Take the time to research the individual neighborhoods where you can see yourself living.  Don’t forget to focus on factors that will affect your home’s value and your quality of life, such as local school ratings, crime rates, and property taxes in the area.

 

Think about how your commute to work will be affected as well.  Map out the route you’d be taking every day to see if you’re comfortable with the amount of time you’ll be spending on the road.

 

You should also learn about the local real estate market, and pay close attention to the prices of recently sold homes in the area.

 

This information will help you determine which neighborhoods fit within your budget and meet your needs.

 

Additionally, as you start thinking about your down payment, you can research mortgage programs to understand what your monthly payments will look like.

 

Don’t forget to budget for other expenses that may be new to you, like utilities, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and the occasional unexpected home repair!

 

Once you’ve had some time to consider your budget and compare mortgage programs, get pre-approved so that you can make a more compelling offer.

 

2. Find a real estate agent who’s equipped to meet your needs

 

When you’re looking for your first home, working with a real estate agent can make the entire buying process much simpler.  That being said, no two real estate agents are the same, and the best agent to work with will often depend heavily on the neighborhoods you’re most interested in looking at.

 

Make sure you know the right questions to ask when you’re looking for a real estate agent to represent you.

 

3. Start viewing homes for sale

 

Once your agent has a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a home (and neighborhood), he or she can help you find houses for sale within your price range.

 

As you’re viewing these homes, you may want to write down notes about the properties so you can keep track of features that you did or didn’t like.  Don’t be afraid to carefully inspect each home as you’re walking through; sellers are usually willing to negotiate when there’s an obvious need for repair work.

 

4. Make an offer

 

Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in pursuing, talk to your real estate agent about a negotiation strategy.  He or she should be able to help you create a strategic offer based on the local market and the property’s estimated value.

 

If the seller doesn’t immediately accept your offer, don’t be discouraged!  Trust your real estate agent’s advice, and don’t let your emotions get in the way.  If you simply can’t come to an agreement with the seller, there’s no harm in walking away from the home.

 

Once your offer is accepted, you and the seller will then enter into a contract outlining any contingencies that must be addressed before the deal can close.  Typically, most home sales are contingent on the buyer’s ability to secure financing and the results of the home inspection.

 

After you’ve deposited an earnest payment, the seller will then take the home off the market.  Typically, this is followed by an option period, during which time you as a buyer reserve the right to terminate the contract.

 

5. Hire an inspector

 

The option period provides the perfect opportunity to have the house thoroughly inspected.  If the home inspector uncovers significant problems, you can try to renegotiate the deal with the seller.  If, at this time, you and the seller cannot reach an agreement, then you can terminate the contract and recoup your earnest money.

 

6. Get your mortgage loan approved

 

Before your loan can be approved, your lender will require an appraisal to determine the home’s value and prevent you from borrowing more than the home is worth.

 

Additionally, you will be required to obtain title insurance, which protects you as a homeowner from certain losses that could be incurred as a result of purchasing the home.  Your title commitment paperwork will outline the specific coverage provided by your title insurance.

 

7. Close on your new home

 

If your contract required the seller to make repairs, these will be taken care of after your loan has been approved.  If you’re buying new construction, then a final inspection is completed at this time instead.

 

Next, you’ll hire a surveyor to measure the land and identify the legal boundaries of the property.  This will help you and your new neighbors avoid any confusion over property lines.

 

After these steps have been completed, you can close the deal and move into your new home!

 

Need more information about how to buy your first home?

 

Get the answers to all of your questions!  Contact me today to reserve your spot at the Better Homes And Gardens Home Buying Seminar on Saturday, May 19.

 

Home Buying Seminar

Fun Facts About Houston That May Surprise You

7 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Houston

How much do you really know about Houston?  Whether you’ve lived here for decades or you’re new to the area, there’s always more to learn about Texas’ most populated city.  You might even be surprised by some of the city’s historical secrets and other fun facts about Houston.

 

Fun Facts About Houston That You May Not Have Heard About:

 

1. There’s an 87,500 square foot cistern hidden beneath Sabine Street

 

According to Houston Chronicle, the structure was built during the 1920s and had been forgotten after its abandonment.  More recently, the cistern was rediscovered, and you can even schedule a 30-minute guided tour through Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

 

2. The Hyatt downtown is home to a rotating restaurant

 

Most Houstonians have no idea that we have our own rotating restaurant, Spindletop, located on top of the Hyatt downtown.  The dining room completes a revolution every 45 minutes, allowing guests to enjoy breathtaking views of the city at night.

 

3. Airmail Route didn’t get its name the way you think it did

 

Many Houston residents believe the street in North Houston called Airmail Route was named for the Bush airport, but that’s actually far from the truth.

 

The Airmail Route name dates back to the 1800s, long before planes were even invented.  Back then, the road served as a main route to Dallas.  Because Airmail Route ran through so many low-lying areas, the road was built above the ground, inspiring its name.

 

4. There’s an underground tunnel system that spans 7 miles below the city

 

Located 20 feet below the ground is an underground pedestrian tunnel system connecting 95 city blocks.  According to DowntownHouston.org, the tunnel was originally built to connect two downtown movie theaters.  Today, however, it’s grown to include a number of restaurants and shops.

 

The tunnel can be accessed from Houston Center at 909 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77010, and many of the buildings located above the tunnel also have direct access to it.

 

Interestingly enough, Verizon Wireless recently ran an ad campaign boasting strong cellular signals that can still be reached from the tunnel, so no need to worry about missing texts or calls when you visit this secret landmark.

 

5. There’s a cleverly-placed button that makes the Buffalo Bayou bubble

 

Look around carefully the next time you’re crossing the Preston Street Bridge, and you might spot a big, red button hidden within the brickwork.  Press it to watch a massive bubble form right within the Bayou!

 

6. We have multiple secret bars (and they’re hidden in plain sight)

 

With no front signs or blatant advertising, it’s easy to walk right by some of Houston’s most interesting bars without even realizing it.  Here are 4 secret bars you probably didn’t know about:

 

Last Concert Café

 

Located at 1403 Nance Street in Downtown Houston, Last Concert is the perfect secret spot to enjoy Tex-Mex dishes while listening to live music from some of Houston’s most popular bands.

 

Just knock on the red door to get inside!

13 Celsius

 

At 3000 Caroline St in Midtown, look for a sign with “3000 Caroline” lit up in red to locate a secret wine bar.  Named after the recommended temperature for storing wine, 13 Celsius offers an extensive wine list, complete with gourmet meats and cheeses.

Mongoose Versus Cobra

 

Though you may not be able to tell from the outside, the ivy-covered building at 1011 McGowen St in Midtown might just be one of Houston’s most interesting bars.  With a wide variety of cocktails and specialty beers to choose from, Mongoose Versus Cobra is a beloved spot among Houston’s underground bar scene.

 

Notsuoh

 

Spell “Houston” backwards and you’ve got the name of one of the only bars in the area that doubles as a clothing store.  Next time you’re in Downtown Houston, visit 314 Main Street and look for the neon “Clarks” sign to find this hidden bar.

 

7. You might be shocked to learn what’s under the Franklin Street Bridge

 

If you look closely under the Franklin Street Bridge, you can see part of the Donnellan Crypt, the former burial site of an early Houston settler and his family who lived in the area during the 1800s.

 

No longer used as a resting place, the crypt is still intact below the Franklin Street Bridge, where today’s Houstonians can view its entrance.

 

Learn More About The Houston Area

 

Living in Houston is truly unlike any other experience.  If you’re thinking about moving to the area and are interested in buying a home near the Tanglewood, Uptown, Memorial, or Galleria neighborhoods, please contact me today to learn how I can help!

 

 

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

 

Tanglewood

 

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

 

West University

 

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

 

Bellaire

 

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

 

Afton Oaks

 

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

 

Briargrove

 

  • 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

 

Galleria

 

  • 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!