An inside look at the residential real estate market in Southeast Texas including: the hottest neighborhoods, proven home selling strategies, home buying and negotiating tactics, median prices by neighborhood, average days homes are on the market, and professional advice on how to get the best deal when buying or selling a home.

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September 2008
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November 2008

October 2008

Beaumont Home Sales History Repeats Itself.

Three horsesThere are some interesting similarities between the Beaumont real estate market post Hurricane Rita and post Hurricane Ike. 

Funny how some things seem to repeat themselves.  Take these five similarities for instance:

  1. In October 2005, the month after Hurricane Rita there were 86 closings. The lowest number that year.
  2. In September of 2008, the month of Hurricane Ike there were 83 closings. The lowest number so far this year.
  3. 12 million in real estate transactions changed ownership the month of Hurricane Rita.  13 million in real estate changed ownership the month of Hurricane Ike.
  4. The month prior to Rita there was about 1200 homes for sale in the Beaumont MLS.  Currently, there are about 1200 homes for sale in the Beaumont MLS. 
  5. The months supply of inventory pre-Rita was about 7.1 months.  The months supply of inventory pre-Ike was about 7.6 months.

In the months post Hurricane Rita the number of homes for sale in Beaumont through the MLS dropped below 850 homes which represented less than a five month supply.  Less than six months supply becomes a sellers market.  In sellers markets prices typically increase. 

In the months post Hurricane Ike we have already seen the number of homes for sale drop by over 200 homes.  Will we see the same drop in supply over the next five months as we saw after Hurricane Rita?  Now, that's a guessing game.  Anyone with a crystal ball out there?  Let me know what you see. 

What's my guess?  Inventory numbers will fall.  Maybe not as sharply because mortgage money is a little harder to come by today.  You actually have to qualify to buy a home in 2008. 

So are you a believer?  Do you think history will repeat itself this time?  If so, then its time to by a home now before inventory numbers go down any further and prices go up.

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Home Sales Surge Across Nation.

Beaumont, Texas home sales may have been temporarily affected by Hurricane Ike but there is good news on the national housing scene. Home sales surge!  This new video has just been released by msnbc.com.

How long has it been since we've seen that news?  Its been three years since we've had an increase in sales numbers from the national housing market. Now isn't that good news for a Monday. 

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Slower Market Equals Faster Home Sale for the Savvy Seller.

Slow roadIts not a secret that the record home sales Beaumont experienced in 2007 slowed a little in 2008.  Talk about the perfect storm going against home sellers.  Sellers are faced with increased inventory, difficult lending standards, and a barrage of economic news which is scaring all but the bravest home buyers. 

So how does a seller make the best of this market and get their home to sell faster than their neighbor?

Slow-Market Secrets offers sellers some strategies to help sell their home before the "For Sale" sign begins to collect dust.  Authors William Bronchick and Ray Cooper offer these top tips for a home seller. No, they aren't anything earth shattering or never heard before but they do offer some common sense advice for all those hoping to sell their home in a tough market. 

To break it down for you, here's the six things they tell you do to:

  1. Make sure your sales price puts you in the best price point in the right price range.  For a full explanation - read article or call me.
  2. Information is key.  Buyers want to know everything about the home they buy.  That means schools, utility bills,taxes, and more. 
  3. Ask your REALTOR to prepare advertising fliers on your home to keep out with the yard sign. *I'm not sure I agree with them on this one.

  4. Tell the neighbors.  Tell all the neighbors.  Tell them again.  They may want to pick who moves in.  Let them help you sell your home.

  5. Creative financing can help buyers over the hurdles of closing costs.

  6. Don't pass up the first offer.  Holding out in a slowing market can be a big mistake.   

Sure its a little tougher to sell now that it was this time last year.  You just have to be market savvy.  If you've owned your home for more than three years you will probably have around 25% appreciation in your home's value.  Don't be greedy and try to over price your home.  That doesn't work in the current market.  Price it right and you will find you can still sale your home fast even in a slower market. 

Need to know what your home is worth in today's market?  Call me and I'll provide you with a competitive market analysis on your home.  Free!

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Over $8 Million In Pending Home Sales In Beaumont.

Pumpkin patchBeaumont home sales took a direct hit from Hurricane Ike.  September sales numbers will be one of the lowest months on record.  If you consider we had two mandatory evacuations during the month, and you consider the courthouse was closed for multiple days, and you consider insurance companies won't issue home owner policies when there is a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, it seems a little amazing any homes were able to close in September.

Somehow about 100 home owners actually closed on homes in September.  *Data from Beaumont and Mid-County MLS. 

Welcome to October.  The U.S. economy is in the doldrums, everyones waiting on the election, and the stock market is scarier than the most frightening Halloween movie.

So who's buying a home in October? 

Currently there are 66 pending sales with a Beaumont City address. 

Here's five market statistics that may surprise you.

1. Average days on the market went down from 108 in August to 82 days on the market for this group of pending sales.

2. $106,000 is the median price.

3. 3 of the 66 pendings had an asking price over $300,000.

4. 28 of the 66 pendings had an asking price less than $100,000.

5. The neighborhoods with the three most expensive pending sales are:  Barrington Heights, Sheridan Park and Brownstone. 

What will the final October sales numbers come in at?  We will know that answer in a few more weeks.  Check back on the blog in early November.  Or better yet just subscribe to the blog.  Its easy.  Look in the upper right corner above the map search.  That way you'll be one of the first to know every time the latest market news is published. 

 

 


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Beaumont - Port Arthur Foreclosure Rates v. Nation.

NAR Q2 08 ForeclosuresThe National Association of Realtors provides its members with some really good data.  Recently, they published the 2008 local market reports.  If you read the last article you already knew that but in case you just found the blog, sharing some of the Beaumont-Port Arthur market statistics has been the topic of late. 

Foreclosure activity has been the buzz word in the media for most of the past two quarters.  In Jefferson county, the activity has seen a little spike but Southeast Texans seem to be fairing the housing crisis a lot better than most of the country.  In the first quarter of 2006, before the mortgage crisis really starting hitting towns across the U.S, the U.S. foreclosure rate hovered right about 1%.  In Jefferson County in Q1 of 2006 our foreclosure activity was the same as the rest of the nation. 

What a change two years makes!  In Q1 2008 foreclosure activity around the nation has spiked up to just under 3% of all mortgages.  With all the press foreclosures are getting in the news you might have thought it was a lot higher than 2.8%.  Go on you can admit it.  So even thought its hard to believe 3% of the mortgages can cause the kind of mess, havoc, panic that they have caused- believe it, they did. 

Back home in Jefferson county our mortgage foreclosure rates started to climb above 1% in Q1 2006 but even at the last check they were still under 1.5%.  Beaumont-Port Arthur had that kind of foreclosure activity back in 2003 so its not something that's never happened here before.  It is a nice note to see that Southeast Texas has never had over a 1.5% foreclosure rate. That will help keep our home values from depreciating. 

RealtyTrac is one of the leading providers of statrustics on foreclosures.  For a fee they will provide you a list of foreclosures in any market you choose.  With a little detective work you can also get the information from public records.  But for those investors short on time to do the investigative work its a good resource. 

As Southeast Texas continues to recover from Hurricane Ike one would expect our inventory levels to decline.  Think back to your first economics class.  When supply is reduced what happens to price?  It goes up.  With the Jefferson county's foreclosure rate at normal levels and well below that of the U.S. its another positive sign that our real estate market will stay strong and prices will continue to appreciate over the next 12 months. 

So how does Southeast Texas compare to the Nation in foreclosure activity?  If we are keeping score on this matter then we'd have to call it 

Southeast Texas 1  - Nation 0.   

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Beaumont-Port Arthur Market Report Just Released.

Beaumont_market_report_3

The National Association of Realtors has just released the 2008 Local Market Reports. 

We made the cut.  Beaumont-Port Arthur was included in the nation's largest metropolitan housing markets. 

The reports reflect data available through September 2008. 

This chart shows the price growth in Beaumont-Port Arthur.  29.4% for the three year period ending 2008 Q2.  Not a bad investment.  Have you owned your own since 2005?  Chances are the value is up about 30%. 

These are great reports.  They have data on foreclosure rates, housing inventory, and debt to income ratios for Southeast Texas.  Want to know more?  Just call me.  Good news is always fun to share!

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Aerial Images of Bolivar Pennisula and Crystal Beach

Crystal_beach_post_ike

If you haven't seen Crystal Beach and Bolivar Peninsula since Hurricane Ike tore through the area Hawkeye Media has created an amazing and somewhat "depressing" way to view the destruction that Hurricane Ike bought to Southeast Texas.  The program is large and it takes a little while to download but if you want your own personal aerial tour of Crystal Beach and Bolivar this one can't be beat.  Unless you can charter your own helicopter that is. 

To view the images and take your own aerial tour click here  Hawkeye media aerial tour - Bolivar Peninsula.

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What's New! New Construction In Lumberton, Texas

As you may know by now, I'm a fan of graphs.  Its an easy way to convey a lot of information.  New construction is a hot topic in the real estate business.  People like to buy brand new homes.  Fortunately, for you new home buyers out there we have a good selection of new construction throughout Southeast Texas. 

  • 137 properties are listed in the Beaumont MLS as new construction.
  •   About 30% of the new homes available in the area are in Lumberton

Here's a cool chart to help you compare neighborhoods in Lumberton.  Color coded by Neighborhood.  You can see what you will be paying for square footage that has never been lived in by anyone other than you.

New_construction_lumberton

The highest cost per sqaure foot is in Grace Lake Estates, followed by Silvercrest and Stonegate.  The most affordable cost per square foot is Westwood.  If you want all the perks that come with a brand new home (fresh carpet smell is the best) then be prepared to pay.  Since Southeast Texas is not home to any of the BIG production home builders out there, our new home buyers are paying more than buyers in towns where the big guys build.  Its not uncommon to pay less than $90 per square foot for brand new construction in the Houston market. 

One advantage new home construction buyers in Southeast Texas have is that our local builders generally build to a higher "spec level" than the production builders do.  You can expect to find tray ceilings, crown molding, tile, granite and upgraded architectural detail on the new construction homes in Southeast Texas.  In other markets those are all upgrades. 

If you aren't from the area you won't recognize the names of our local builders. Right now in Lumberton the following builders have homes ready and available for purchase.

  • Bassa Homes
  • Lee Grantz
  • Just Construction
  • HR Homes
  • DJM Contractors Ltd
  • Beard Homes
  • AAA Homebuilders
  • S.E.T Construction
  • G C Builders
  • Merrill Builders

Texas Residential Construction Commission keeps track of builders who are licensed and in good standing in the state.  You can search for builders in any town or neighborhood.  Lumberton builder search results are posted for your review.

Its good to know TRCC is watching out for the consumer and making sure the builders remain in good standing.  Its also good to know if you are looking for new construction in Southeast Texas you have a good selection of homes and builders to choose from. That's what new in new construction in Lumberton, Texas.   

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Five Custom Barrington Heights Homes Open This Sunday.

If you ever wondered what the interior of a custom home in Barrington Heights looks like, well here's your chance.  This Sunday 10/12/08, from 2-4:30pm, five custom homes will be held open for your viewing pleasure.  Even if this is a little out of your price range, these are beautiful homes that are fun to look at. 

Here's a sneak peak at the homes that will be held open.Barrington_1

Barrington_2

Barrington_3

Barrington_4

Barrington_5_3

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