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Superstitions in Real Estate

Have you ever had a superstitious client?  What about yourself? During my first open house as an intern a couple expressed some superstitions that changed their minds on the house. This intrigued me to explore how cultural superstitions/ old tales play a role in a clients decision to buy or sell a home.

Some of the most popular superstitions I came across were:

 

Finding the Right Place
– According to the Chinese philosophical system of feng shui, a house must have windows the east side to face the sunrise, or it’s bad luck.
– The Chinese also believe that moving into a home that sits on a curved road or faces a “T” intersection will bring bad fortune.

– Also in China, home buyers are warned to avoid homes with the number four in the address, because the the word for “four” sounds like the word for death in both Cantonese and Mandarin.

Buying It
– Look for homes that have the number eight somewhere in the list price. In China, this is said to be good luck.

– In the Philippines, the date a property is transferred matters. To ensure that things keep looking up for you, make sure the closing d
ate includes a number that, when written, ends with the pen stroke pointing toward the top of the page rather than the bottom, such as 0, 3, 5, or 8.

Moving in
– In India it is said to be bad luck to move into a new house on a Friday or Saturday, or on a rainy day. Thursday is considered the luckiest day to move in.

– Always buy a new broom for a new house. According to popular belief, bringing an old broom to a new home will bring along all of the bad luck you want to leave behind, whereas a new broom signifies a fresh start.

– Stuffing fennel into your keyhole or hanging it over the door is said to protect your home from witches.

– A southern legend claims that painting your front porch blue will ward off ghosts. The ghosts, which can’t cross water, mistake the blue porch for water and stay away.

– The ancient Norse believed that placing an acorn on a windowsill would protect the house from being struck by lightning.

In real estate, it is important to honor cultural superstitions and beliefs. Not only does this build a solid relationship, but it will help effectively search for the right homes resulting in more closings.

-Kaylee Monteleone

Visit http://farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2013/10/28/home-buying-superstitions/ for more information on home superstitions.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

As the saying goes … One of the most important factors in deciding where you want to live is the LOCATION of the home. Do you want to be close to work? Do you want a particular school district? Looking for a particular neighborhood? Close to family? Friends?

If you like to be near amusement parks, Katy, TX is going to be the place to be! Coming soon, The Typhoon Texas Waterpark is set to open! A great summer time venue for kids to play, gather and cool off during those hot summer months!

On the other hand, if you don’t want to be near amusement parks, give me a call there are plenty of other options!

top secrets

WHY BETTER HOMES & GARDENS REAL ESTATE

2015 was a banner year for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate throughout the Houston marketplace. The results do not lie. If you are considering selling or buying, please contact me to provide a free market analysis.

Our company is first-place position in all production categories in the Houston MLS for 2015:

· #1 in listings! We have 42% more listings than company #2 BUT WE NEED MORE!
· #1 in listings SOLD! This is the VALUE category for sellers’ – we have SOLD more listings than any other company for $1 Billion + or 34% more listings sold than #2
· #1 in buyers closed! We not only sell our listings – we bring more buyers’ to the closing table than any other company for $1 Billion + or 13% more than #2
· #1 in total transactions closed!

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET SLOWING

Some would say that the market slow down is a bad thing. As an eternal optimist, I feel as though this could be a good thing for a couple of reasons.

1. It allows buyers to shop the market with an increased inventory. That along with the continued low interests rates creates a nice climate for home buyers of any kind. So whether you are first-time home owner, down-sizing, up-sizing or relocating. The water is warm, so jump in!!

2. A continued “HOT” market could lead to a competitive disadvantage for Houston on a national level. Our relatively low property values offers incentives for folks that are retiring or companies that would like to relocate their headquarters to the Houston area.

This excerpt from the recent Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate blog helps define the situation a little further.

“Single-Family Home sales closed down by 10% for the month bringing year-to-date sales down by 1%. This is no surprise with Houston’s energy sector restructuring and real estate feeling, ever so slightly, the brunt of a contraction.

It’s almost welcome news! Why? Houston has always been in the top nationally for its’ housing affordability. If we remain on a continuum of record sales and dollar volume increases, Houston would lose an asset that makes the city enticing to population growth and corporate relocation. In October 2013, the median sales price for a single-family home in Houston was $177,330 and October 2015, it is $205,000. 16% increase! As we see supply increasing – we should return to a normal market with negligible value loss, if any, to homeowners yet a sense of reasonableness to homebuyers.”

Happy House Hunting in 2016!!

BETTER HOMES & GARDENS REAL ESTATE

Everyone pretty much knows the magazine, but are just now realizing that Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) is a powerhouse in Houston. The latest rankings identify us as a major player in Houston.

What goes into being #1? Whether it is your favorite football team or a real estate broker, it’s the people. BHGRE has an outstanding leadership team with seasoned real estate broker managers at every office in Houston. The training program for new agents and veteran agents is second to none offering updates on legal changes and industry transitions helping us stay ahead of the game! Tools. BHGRE offers a vast array of technological and print support for marketing properties or finding properties at the best price in the best neighborhoods in Houston.

Be sure to contact your friendly neighborhood BHGRE agent soon if you’re thinking of moving or if you know of someone that needs help! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

INTERVIEWING YOUR REALTOR

There are many steps in the real estate transaction process. One that often gets overlooked is the interview. Whether you are seeking to find someone to help you sell or buy a property, it is important to meet with, ask questions, and allow the agent to ask you questions as well. It is very much like a job interview.

What is important to you as the consumer, as the “boss”, as the hiring decision maker? Well lets look at some of the important factors one should consider:

1. Will your agent be readily available throughout the process? Everyone is available at the beginning, but be sure to determine if that is the way it’s going to be.

2. How well does your agent know the area? Have they lived in the area for a long time? If not, have they done business in that area?

3. Is your agent a negotiator? Is he/she a deal maker? Make sure they are savvy regarding the latest technology advancements, data gathering

4. Does your agent understand and use the latest technology? Be sure to inquire about the agent’s utilization of the most recent innovations if that is important to you.

So, whether you’re in the suburbs of Sugar Land, Cypress or The Woodlands,or the inner city area near the Galleria, Uptown, River Oaks, Montrose, or Memorial, be sure to ask the questions that can help you understand if the agent can help you with the most important purchase of your life! Be sure to ask all the questions you need to ask and be sure to be open to answering questions. Communication has to be a two-way street!

RENTING VS BUYING IN THE HOT HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET

As an active Realtor in Houston, I encounter many individuals and families that are challenged with the issue of renting vs buying. Whether they’re the Millennials or Baby Boomers some of the same issues apply. Let’s explore some of the facts around this issue.

According to a recent article by Bernice Ross, The real reasons millennials aren’t buying homes: Part 1, homeownership peaked in 2002 at nearly 70%. Flash forward 10 years and the home ownership has dropped to 65% in 2013. Some of the drop is attributed to the “correction after 2008, but also a drop in first-time homebuyers, rising housing costs and income levels that have remained stagnant for several years.”

In my everyday experience discussing home ownership, and having deep conversations about personal finances, job security, and available homes, I’ve surmised that there is a significant lack of consumer confidence that is real. Consumers are very aware of market conditions, and the volatility of various job industries. Thus, the behavior is to minimize risk and find the best alternative to buying which is renting.

The $64,000 dollar question is when will this turn around? Your guess is as good as mine. I will say that it is an individual by individual situation, so there will be some home buying but a lot of consumers will continue to rent.

Unfortunately, while there is a fixed upfront cost for consumers to “manage”, the long-term loss is deceptive and financially problematic. See the chart I’ve included to illustrate the long term savings at higher rent costs vs paying a mortgage payment.

HOUSTON IS DOG FRIENDLY

Man’s best friend does not get the short end of the stick here in Houston. Many restaurants allow dogs on a leash to accompany. While some people consider it to be a hygenic issue, the establishment’s I’ve been to are careful to maintain a good separation from the food preparation areas.

You can see many pets on leashes on decks and patios under the shade. It provides a warm welcoming atmosphere for most and owners I’ve witnessed are usually very considerate of other patrons. The complete list of Houston – Galleria – Tanglewood – Montrose and other area restaurants that allow pets can be found in the article below.

Check out the article in 365thingsinhouston.com titled 10 Dog Friendly Restaurants.

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE #1 BROKER

When it comes to selling your home or buying a new one, among the most crucial decisions you will make is the broker/agent that will help you through the real estate transaction.

Important factors to consider are longevity, reliability, market presence and credibility. In all of those areas, Better Homes & Gardens – Gary Greene will meet or exceed your expectations. With the national brand and powerhouse of Better Homes & Gardens behind us, local agents like me will use every asset at our disposal to get the job done!

Give me a call today or tell a friend that you know is moving!

HOUSTON LUXURY REAL ESTATE & THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY

This is completely an unscientific opinion piece based upon my day to day first hand experience in the Houston Real Estate Market. This is probably no news to anyone, but I thought it would be important to put “pen to paper”, so that you could share it with your friends. Let’s start with the 800 pound gorilla in the room! Oil prices – According to Fox News, “Oil prices fell about 4 percent on Wednesday, with U.S. crude hitting 6-1/2 year lows and threatening to break below $40, after a huge unexpected stockpile build in the United States reinforced concerns about a growing global oil glut.”

I want to share the varying perspectives of buyers & sellers. The psychology is fascinating. As in any market it all comes down to supply and demand. However, in the real estate market there tends to be a lag that hits consumers anywhere from 3 to 6 months late. The declining oil prices have taken a while to influence the market, but it is my opinion, again based upon daily experience, that the day of reckoning is upon us!

Seller’s perspective: Sellers have started out the year in the 2014 frame of mind. “Price it high and watch it fly!!” However in 2015 slowing sales have caused listings to stay on the market for upwards of two to three months! Serving as a slap in the face and a wake-up call. Consumer confidence is forcing buyers to wait, rent, or submit low-ball offers. Uncertainty of a sale is something sellers are dealing with everyday.

Buyer’s perspective: 2014 prices paired with 2015 consumer confidence has buyers jittery at best. The “wait and see” approach is common now. No one seems to want to pull the trigger on the property. Buyers are concerned about job security, decreasing income and low disposable cash. The waiting strategy creates a stockpile in inventories, causing an increase in supply, which in the end will force prices down. Not good for sellers, but great for buyers. The challenge is deciding when to pull the trigger.

As we approach the 4th quarter of the year, and examine the data, Realtors and consumers alike will have to evaluate their own individual situations in order to make their decisions. In my opinion it is going to be a wild ride to Dec 31, but the good news is low gas prices will put extra dollars in everyone’s pockets for those daily needs. I always see the glass as half full!