August 2011 RSS Feed

Found 6 blog entries for August 2011.


Does the Zillow price represent the true market value? I was asked this question yesterday by a client and my answer is that it all depends upon how you're using the information.

Most people use Zillow pricing or "zestimate" to get a quick "price" of how much a home should sell for. They want the quick answer. They seem to think that Zillow is an authority on home pricing and if Zillow says the home should sell for XXX then that's the price they're willing to pay. Unfortunately, they fail to realize it is an estimate that is sometimes not based on a whole lot.

If you dig into Zillow's website you can learn more about their valuation process. Zillow states that it is an estimated market value, not a professional valuation. It is merely a "starting…

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I came across a local Real Estate Discount Brokerage website today and I decided to do some checking.  I really wanted to find out what the discount brokerage offers.  What's the appeal?  Why would someone use them over the traditional x% real estate brokerage?

The appeal is that they will list your home for a flat fee.  In this case, it's $500.  For that fee, they will take photos of your home, place a sign in the yard, they may or may not place a supra key box or lock box on your door, but they will list the home for sale in the local MLS. And....that's just about it!

But you know what?  There's so much more to selling a home than just taking pictures and listing it in the local MLS - especially in this real estate market!

Does the discount…

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Many people have heard the term, "Short Sale" but don't really know what it is or how it works.  A "Short Sale" is a term used to describe the agreement of the lender to accept less for the home than what is owed on it.  This may seem like a simple process but it's not.  In order for the lender to agree to accept less than what is owed, you must meet certain criteria.

HAFA Qualifications 

(Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives)

It's important to know the rules and guidelines for the HAFA short sale program if you're considering the short sale option.  Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies.

To qualify, you must:

  • Own a home that was purchased before the year 2009.
  • You must be living in the home as your primary residence, and must…
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school_bus_with_kids_400Wow!  We're already into the second week of August and it's time to think about getting the kids ready for another school year.  Where did the summer go?  It seems like we should have at least 4 more weeks!

As our summer days are winding down and you're trying to plan your fall schedule, I've attached links for area schools to help you gather all the information you may need. 

Click on the links below to see the New School Year Calendar, School Supply Lists, and Bus Schedules and more.  

Here's to a great school year!






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Remember The Good?  If so, keep in mind that Texas looks pretty good and, when compared to the rest of the country, Texas looks pretty darn good!  If not, you'll need to read the previous blog regarding Texas' economic outlook and the greater Houston area housing statistics. 

According to Realty Trac, a foreclosure listing firm, banks took back 421,212 homes the first half of this year, down from 529,633 in the first six months of 2010.  That's a 30% decrease.  However, this decrease does not indicate a recovering housing market but merely a delay in filings. 

Lenders are taking longer to file against homeowners in order to work through the foreclosure documentation problems and allowing the delinquent homeowners additional time to catch up on…

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map_of_texas_400The Good 

In July, according to the Texas Comptroller's Economic Outlook, it appears that the Texas economy has emerged from the recent recession.  Citing economic indicators such as job growth, consumer spending, sales tax collection, and automobile sales. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau report, Texas saw an increase in population of 4.3 million people from 2000 to 2010.  That's more than any other state and a strong indicator of Texas' healthy economy.

82% of the jobs cut by employers during Texas' recession have been recovered by the summer of 2011, compared to 20% nationally ending in 2010.  Texas' unemployment rate remains stable at 8%.

The Greater Houston Area Housing Market

In June, the local Houston housing market saw single family…

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