Pricey Katy Rentals Reflect Tight Market

Nationwide, more than 20 million households spent over 30 percent of their income last year on rent. In fact, more than half of those renters spent at least half their income on housing, “severely burdening” their finances. This information is from Realtor Magazine and USA Today.

Demand has surged for rental homes as many prior homeowners have lost their homes to short sales and foreclosures. Credit repair is a lengthy process. The other factor is the very tight lending environment which precludes many families from realizing the American dream of home ownership.

In the past few years, median rents have soared almost 20%. In Katy, one is hard pressed to find a reasonable property for less than $900 a month. Properties on the southside of I-10 are next to impossible to find below $1100 per month. With a shortage in homes for lease, landlords are requiring reasonable credit scores, good rental history and steady employment. Criminal background checks are also done on a prospective tenant. It is not unusual for a new rental property to receive multiple applications shortly after it goes on the market.

According to HAR MLS data, leases accounted for 35% of Houston area residential real estate transactions last year. In 2011, rentals accounted for a little bit above 50% of all real estate Read the rest of this entry »

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Houston Veterans: The Wonderful World of VA Home Loans, Part Three


I hope you enjoyed Parts One and Two of this series on VA Home Loans and have found it helpful. For those who have served and sacrificed for our great country, this is a terrific, grossly under-utilized, program and one you should not overlook in your pursuit of the American Dream: Home Ownership.

In today’s article, we will cover a variety of points to sum up what makes a property a good candidate for a VA Home Loan and other details. I hope to tie up the loose ends. Again, when you begin to explore VA Loans, contact me for a fabulous lender referral; it is imperative that you work with an expert who specializes in VA funding. My number is 713-818-2404.

What are the VA minimum property requirements? The VA Appraiser is looking to ensure that the house is “safe, sound and sanitary”. If there are defective conditions such as cracks in the floor or walls that could indicate foundation issues, a structural engineering report will be mandatory.

All utilities must be on and the systems functioning properly. This covers electricity, gas and water. The heating system must be in place and functional; this is not negotiable.

If there is a well or septic system, both will require testing and inspection. Not all inspectors cover these systems, you will need to inquire when interviewing inspectors as these are systems that usually exist primarily in rural areas.

Any active termites must be treated. Conditions “conducive to” termites must be corrected. High voltage power lines cannot impact the structure. Read the rest of this entry »

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HAR MLS September Market Report: Houston and Katy Real Estate


September brought the Houston housing market its third straight month of declining sales volume following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. However, despite the drop, pricing continued to demonstrate strength with a boost in the average price and a slight uptick in the median price of single-family homes.

According to the latest monthly data compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), September sales of single-family homes throughout the Houston market fell 18.6 percent compared to September 2009. Declines were recorded in three of the five pricing segments.

The average price of a single-family home rose 5.0 percent from September 2009 to $215,250, primarily due to continued strength in the upper end of the market. The September single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—edged up 0.2 percent from one year earlier to $156,250. Both average and median pricing achieved the highest levels for a September in Houston.

Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) declined 6.9 percent in September compared to one year earlier. The median price of September foreclosure sales slid 5.2 percent to Read the rest of this entry »

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National Association of Realtors: Halting Foreclosures Could be Hindrance to Economic Recovery

Katy TX Foreclosures

Thousands of first-time and move-up buyers who hoped to make a foreclosed property their new home now face uncertainty, anxiety and possibly remorse as they worry that closing on their desired property could be in jeopardy.

For many, the dream of homeownership could turn into agony if their home purchase is indefinitely delayed by a moratorium on foreclosures declared by some banks, the National Association of Realtors® said today. The moratoriums are needed, banks say, to review all of the foreclosures in their portfolios to make sure they’re in compliance with the law and that titles are clear.

NAR warned that a prolonged review process would have a damaging impact on many communities and hinder the nation’s economic recovery.

“As the leading advocate for homeownership issues, we understand that many lenders need a time-out to review their actions to ensure that homeowners are not improperly foreclosed on and that the lenders are following regulations and state laws. After that, the foreclosure process must resume quickly to return stability to families, the housing market and the economy,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates, Tucson, Ariz.

Over the past few months NAR has met with officials of top banks to discuss market issues. NAR urged banking leaders to seek resolution quickly through loan modifications and the short-sale process rather than through foreclosure. “We stand ready to help lenders develop better short-sale Read the rest of this entry »

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Katy Realtor Earns Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification

Katy Realtor Earns Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification

A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or  lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner.

Recently, I earned the nationally recognized Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification. The National Association of REALTORS® offers the SFR certification to REALTORS® who want to help both buyers and sellers navigate these complicated transactions, as demand for professional expertise with distressed sales grows.

REALTORS® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities.

“As leading advocates for homeownership, REALTORS® believe that any family that loses its Read the rest of this entry »

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