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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August 2009
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October 2009

September 2009

Beaumont Number Two in Nation For New Building Permits

Business Week Story

Need some good news on a rainy Monday afternoon?  Well, this story should do the trick.  Business Week just released a list of the top twenty markets across the nation where building permits are on the rise.  

Don't have time to read the whole story?  Here's the "cliff notes".

 10 Markets Where Building Is Booming
The building business—both commercial and residential—is a seeing a recovery in some markets, especially those where military, government, and energy jobs are driving demand.

Lake Charles, La., which leads the nation, is an anomaly—it’s recovering from hurricanes—but the other markets are largely driving by economic growth. For instance, building permits for apartments in Huntsville, Ala., near the expanding U.S. Space & Rocket Center, have jumped 400 percent so far in 2009.

Many of the contracts are going to smaller local builders, but some of the giants are getting back in the game as well. KB Home resumed construction in the Mid-Atlantic, including Washington D.C., after pulling back earlier this year.

The top 10 growth markets, based on building permits, are:
Lake Charles, La., 122.5 percent
Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, 65.8 percent
Salt Lake City, 36.6 percent
Huntsville, Ala., 30 percent
Jacksonville, N.C., 28.6 percent
Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.-S.C., 21.6 percent
Fayetteville, N.C., 12.2 percent
Las Cruces, N.M., 11.6 percent
Auburn-Opelika, Ala., 11.3 percent
Little Rock-North Little Rock, Ark., 7.7 percent

Source: BusinessWeek, Prashant Gopal (09/18/2009)

There now, doesn't that make this rainy Monday a little better.

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Tour Beaumont's Hot Spots

If you have five minutes to spare sit back, relax and see some of the best places to visit when you are in Beaumont, Texas.  This video was made by the Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau.  If you are planing to relocate to Beaumont you've got to see these hot spots when you are in town.  If you need to look at homes while you are in Southeast Texas call me.  Enjoy the video!


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August Home Sales In Southeast Texas

August09_sales

The official MLS residential data for August is in.  187 homes changed owners in Beaumont. 87 homes changed owners in Mid-county.  The average sales price in both areas is separated by less than $250.  

Here's a few other residential home sales statistics to think about:

  • In the $500,000 plus price range only two homes changed owners.
  • The most activity in Beaumont occurred in the $120,000-$139,999 price range with 27 sales.
  • The most activity in Mid-County occurred in the $140,000-$159,999 price range with 12 sales.

  • There are 1,511 homes for sale in the Beaumont MLS.

  • There are 745 homes for sale in the Mid-county MLS.

Want to know more about what's selling in Southeast Texas?  Call, text, or email me.

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Time Is Running Out on the $8,000 Tax Credit

Beat the clockFirst-time home buyers have just 12 weeks to find and close on a home to qualify for the $8,000 Federal Tax credit before the November 30th deadline. 

Don't miss out.  Here's what you need to do:

  1. Start your search today.  You can search for all homes in the Beaumont MLS here on the blog.  Click the interactive map to begin searching.
  2. Get pre-qualified.  Know how much you can afford to spend on a home before you spend precious time driving around looking at homes.  Need a good lender, call me.

  3. Don't waste time.  Its taking most lenders about 45 days to process a loan application and get full approval.  That means if you haven't found a home by mid-October you might not be able to close by the November 30th deadline.

  4. Do a little homework.  Read up on the Tax Credit . RISMedia posted an informative article yesterday that gives some helpful tips. 

  5. Print a copy of IRS form 5405  to apply for the first-time buyer tax credit.

It's not that often you will find the government giving away $8,000.  If you are able to take advantage of this opportunity you will be buying a home when home affordability is at its highest level in 28 years.  You will be taking a huge step forward in building your future wealth.  As the old saying goes "Buy when prices are low, sell when prices are high."  Just don't let time run out.

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Sneak A Peak At Homes Bought in Bellechase

BellechaseIf you are looking for exclusive addresses and executive homes then look no further than Bellechase.  Only one hundred and forty three homes located on about a dozen streets tucked between Montclaire and Thomas Road make up this prestigious neighborhood. 

Here's what's for sale:

  • 4 homes
  • Median asking price $604,900
  • Average days on the market 172

Here's what's sold this year:

  • 5 Bellchase Gardens
  • 4 Bellchase Gardens
  • 5150 Oakmont
  • 4880 Ashland
  • They averaged 178 days on the market
  • The most expensive sold for $628,741.  The least expensive sold for $250,000
  • The sold price averaged about 90% of asking price.
  • One home sold for 69% of the original asking price.  The seller came down more than $200,000. 

What to know more... Call me.

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Southeast Texas Home Sales During the Dog Days of Summer

Dog swimming The dog days of summer take on new meaning in August when about the only place a dog or person wants to be is some place with cool water or some place with air conditioning. 

Regardless of the soaring thermostat there were still home buyers out buying homes. 

Here's a quick look at some Southeast Texas home sales statistics before they are even official.  *Statistics are from the Beaumont MLS. 

  1. 180 homes sold in August
  2. $138,450 was the median price
  3. 106 days was the average days on the market
  4. 64 homes sold in Beaumont's west end neighborhoods
  5. 28 homes sold in Lumberton
  6. 256 homes sold in August 2007, and 190 sold in August of 2008.
  7. 36% of buyers used conventional financing, 31% used FHA, 23% paid cash

In a few days the data will be sent to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and then it becomes part of the official Southeast Texas residential housing market history.  One more thing that will soon be history is the 2009 dog days of summer.  Hello Fall!

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Home Sales Up For Sixth Straight Month

Headlines Each day my Google Home Page is filled with the most current real estate news and headlines from around the county.  Today, this one caught my attention.  Its a huge indicator that the national housing recovery has positive momentum.  August marked the sixth straight month of sales increases.  Read what the National Association of Realtors reported below:

Daily Real Estate News  |  September 1, 2009  |   Share

Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll
Contract activity for pending home sales has risen for six straight months, a pattern not seen in the history of the index since it began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007, when it was 100.7.

Affordability at Record High
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market momentum has clearly turned for the better. “The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country. Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit,” he said.

“Other buyers are taking advantage of low home values before prices turn higher. Nationally, the typical mortgage payment now takes less than 25 percent of a middle-income family’s monthly income to buy a median priced home, with payment percentages so far in 2009 being the lowest on record dating back to 1970. As long as home buyers stay within their budget, mortgage payments will be very manageable,” Yun said.

First-Time Buyers
NAR estimates that about 1.8 to 2.0 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with approximately 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit. Buyers have little time to act because they must complete the transaction by November 30 to qualify for the credit. Unless extended, contracts signed but not completed by that date will not be eligible – it is taking approximately two months to complete home sales in the current market.

By Region

  • Northeast: The Pending Home Sales Index declined 3.0 percent to 78.8 in July but is 4.7 percent higher than July 2008.
  • Midwest: The index slipped 2.0 percent to 88.1 but is 8.1 percent above a year ago.
  • South: Pending home sales activity rose 3.1 percent to an index of 103.8 in July and is 12.0 percent above July 2008.
  • West: The index jumped 12.1 percent to 112.5 and is 20.0 percent above a year ago

 

We'll find out in a few days what the final sales numbers for the Southeast Texas housing market were during August.  Check the blog later this week to see if Southeast Texas also saw a sales increase in August.

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