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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November 2009
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January 2010

December 2009

Can You Guess the Best Month To Sell A Home in Southeast Texas?

"The Best Time of Year to Sell A Home" according to Forbes.com might not be the time of year you would expect.  

Reprinted from the Forbes article: 

Late spring and summer are usually thought of as the best times to put a home on the market because buyer demand builds steadily through spring.But this year, experts predict that the selling boom, which normally starts in spring, will hit at a different time than it has in the past.

Sellers with flexibility should market their homes earlier in the year.

Take a look at the sales trends in Southeast Texas over the past three years.

Monthly home sales

It has held true that early spring and summer have been the peak months for residential home sales in Southeast Texas since 2007 but never before has there been home buying stimulus money set to expire on April 30.

In 2010, the new expanded tax credit that allows a first-time home buyer up to an $8,000 tax credit and a move up buyer up to a $6,500 tax credit will end on April 30th.  Any home buyer wanting to take advantage of the credit will have to have found a home and had it under contract for purchase before the April 30th deadline. 

List your home earlier this year. Don't just take my word for it.  Read what the experts quoted in the Forbes article have to say, "For smart sellers, Shuman and Hall agree, taking a chance and starting the sale process earlier will reap distinct benefits in 2010."

Ready to list your home?  Contact me and let's get the sales process started.
 

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Oh, How Times Change. Hello 2010.

This video isn't really about real estate.

Its about how things change over time.  With the new year approaching, the video seems revelent. 

More than that, its interesting.

Take five minutes and watch.  After all its the holidays!


 


 

Want to know how to sell your home in the new age of social media and internet marketing?  Call me and I'll tell you.

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Southeast Texas Homeowners Check This Out

Houselogic

The National Association of Realtors has just launched HouseLogic.  You can check it out during the Beta Test.  The big advertising push to consumers will be in February. 

The new website will help homeowners with home improvements, home maintainence projects, and provide consumers with information about taxes, incentives and home financing. 

Check it out!  Tell your friends you saw it first on setexasrealestatetalk.com. 

Let me know what you think.


 

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Beaumont MLS Just Released November Homes Sales

The big three have just been announced!

  • Sales Closed 137
  • Average Days on the Market 114
  • Average Sales Price $140,883

Dig a little deeper...

Nov_sales

  • Homes priced from $120,000-$139,999 are the hottest selling segment
  • Homes under $200,000 account for approximately 75% of the sales in November
  • Less than 5% of the sales are homes priced above $300,000

Dig even deeper...

Nov_actives 

  • There are more homes for sale in the $50,000-$79,999 price range than any other
  • Every segment has at least 100 hundred or more homes except $400,000 plus

And even deeper into the November home sales data...

 Nov_inventory

  • There is more than six months supply in all price segments above $180,000. 
  • Inventory levels above an eight month supply generally represent a buyer's market
  • At the current sales rate the months supply for homes above $300,000 is 24 months or greater.

Want to know more about buying or selling a home in Southeast Texas? Contact me.


 


 

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2008 Southeast Texas Home Sales Out Number 2009

Its not the end of 2009 yet but it sure is getting close.  When the year does come to an end we can all start comparing 2009 to other years.  But why wait? 

Home sales or the lack there of have been a big topic in the news throughout 2009.  Beaumont made the national news several times during 2009.  In at least three national stories our little housing market was named as one of the best.  One of the healthiest housing markets in the country.  One where values were stable and inventory levels were in balance. 

Home sweet home, Beaumont, Texas. 

Under a microscope there were some foundation cracks that occurred in 2009.  Nothing bad enough to call in the Home Leveling Companies mind you, but enough to cause some sellers a sleepless night here and there.  Take a look at 2008 home sales compared to 2009.

09v08 Home sales

In a brief recap of the Southeast Texas housing market history, 2007 was the pinnacle year.  More homes sold for higher prices than ever before.  In 2008, the housing market began to show some signs of the overall national economic slowdown.  Now here we are a few weeks from the end of 2009 and it appears we will have a lower overall sales total than we did in 2008. 

To match last years total number of homes sold *as recorded through the Beaumont MLS* there would need to be 403 closings in November and December.  A little over 200 each month.  Since we only had one month - July- where over 200 homes closed, its not real likely November and December will reach the plus 200 threshold. 

Housing Market Watchers Take Note:

January and February are historically the slowest months for home sales in Beaumont but this year the extended home buyer tax credit expires in April.  If you are thinking about selling your home this spring you will want to have it on the market, ready for showings by late January.  On average it takes about 100 days for most Southeast Texas homes to sell. 

No, its not the end of 2009. However, if you plan to buy or sell a home, it is time to start planning for 2010.

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One More Reason Coldwell Banker Southern Homes is the Top Real Estate Compnay in Southeast Texas

Cb_beta

Coldwell Banker is unquestionably the most technology driven of the real estate companies out there and holding true to the company slogan "We never stop moving", the new beta test site has just gone live.

Be one of the first to check out the new Coldwell Banker Beta Website.  Right now its still in the test phase but check it out. 

If you plan to sell your Southeast Texas home in 2010 call me to find out how your home can be part of the new Coldwell Banker online revolution. 

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The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act Offers Help to Southeast Texas Home Buyers

Ark cartoonYou haven't missed the ship yet!

It is no secret the economy has seen better times.  It is no secret that the U.S. Government has been trying to help keep it afloat. 

For homeowners who want to move up and want-to-be homeowners trying to buy a first home consider this your life raft. 

Say "Hello" to the, The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009.  The law went into effect on November 6, 2009 and in a nut shell it extends the first-time homebuyer credit for five months and allows an eligible move-up buyer to sell their home, buy a new one and receive up to a $6,500 credit. 

Details can be found at The IRS.gov website.  Just want the cliff notes, then here you go:

  • Purchase deadline extended to April 30, 2010
  • Maximum credit for a first-time home buyer is $8,000
  • "Long-time resident" buyers can receive up to $6,500.  To qualify a buyer must have owned and used the same home as a primary residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date of the purchase of a new home as a primary residence. 
  • You have the option of claiming the credit on your 2009 or 2010 tax returns.

Its a great opportunity to move-in or move-up to a new home.  Once the economy is running smoothly again you can bet the homebuyer tax credits will be gone for good.  Don't get left behind. Jump on board this ship before it has sailed.

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Southeast Texas Home Buyers Say Goodbye To 3.5% Down Payments

5%

Say it ain't so.  First, we all said goodbye to the zero percent down payments.  Now we might have to say goodbye to 3.5% down payments.  Right now FHA allows a home buyer to put 3.5% down and they allow a seller contribution to help buyers with closing costs.  If changes currently being discussed are passed then start saving your pennies because the FHA is going to require a 5% down payment.  To add more strain to those home buyers just struggling to get into a home, the FHA is talking about limiting the seller allowable contribution toward closing costs to drop from 6% down to 3%. 

Here's how it looks in color:

FHA changes

To buy a home that costs $100,000 your minimum down payment will increase by $1,500 and the seller allowed contribution toward closing costs drops by $3,000.  Buying a home that costs $200,000 you'll need an extra $3,000 for your down payment and the seller will only be allowed to contribute $6,000 toward your closing costs not $12,000.  Luckily, most buyers don't have loans with $12,000 in closing costs. 

Here's more detail:

Daily Real Estate News  |  December 3, 2009  |   Share

HUD Considers Tightening FHA Requirements
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on Wednesday asked Congress for authority to raise borrower premiums and down payments in order to bring the Federal Housing Administration’s reserves above the mandated 2 percent minimum.

The agency plans to reduce the maximum permissible seller concessions from 6 percent to 3 percent. The minimum borrower FICO score will be raised above the current 500, although the final number has not yet been determined. It also will likely increase the down payment to 5 percent, but that number hasn’t been decided either.

Donovan also wants lenders to take responsibility for losses associated with loans not underwritten to FHA standards and to be accountable for origination quality and compliance.

Critics said tightening up FHA could slow the housing recovery.

"What would cripple the housing market is the FHA changes its down payment requirement," said Rodney Anderson, a broker with Supreme Lending in Plano, Texas, the top individual originator of FHA loans in the country.

Source: Reuters News, Lucia Mutikani (12/02/2009)

Its one more reason for home buyers to get off the fence and buy now rather than wait.  The 3.5% down payment is still in effect but its hard to say when the change will be made.  Rates are still historically low; home prices are more affordable than they have been in years, and the government just extended the home buyer tax credit. How many more reasons do you need to buy a home?  Just be prepared to say goodbye to the 3.5% down payment if you don't act soon. 




 

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Don't Settle When Choosing Your Southeast Texas Real Estate Agent

Are you in the holiday spirit yet?  Have you gone to your first holiday party?  It is the season for sharing.  So here's a funny video worth sharing. It pokes fun at some real agent agents who can come across as too pushy.  Watch, enjoy. 


 


If you need a Southeast Texas Realtor who's going to listen to you and help guide your home purchase rather than push you to buy the first house you see, then talk to me. 

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Email Diane