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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January 2010
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March 2010

February 2010

Guess What New Homes Sell For in Beaumont, Texas

If I told you three new homes sold for less than $70 per square foot in the past six months would you believe it?  If you read two new homes sold for more than $150 per square foot in the past six months would you believe that?

"It's true!"

New sales_$SF

According to data from the Beaumont MLS there have been 68 sales since July 1, 2009 of homes that are categorized as less than five years old.  

Here's a few other things you might want to know if you are thinking about buying a new home in Southeast Texas.

  • 108 is the average number of days these homes were on the market
  • $235,400 was the median list price
  • $226,500 was the median sold price
  • Seven of the ten highest priced homes that sold were in Barrington Heights (Its still one of the hottest neighborhoods in town)
  • Pine Glen is the place to look if you want to buy a new home priced less than $100 per square foot  There have been five sales in the past six months that sold in the 90's per square foot
  • $100-$119/SQ FT is the most active price category for newer construction in Beaumont

Did you know it costs more to buy a newer home in Beaumont that it does in parts of Houston?  I hear that comment all the time.  Here's the deal.  In Beaumont we have a small group of semi-custom and custom home builders.  In major markets like Houston, they have the big production builders.  Production builders put up homes at a lower cost per square foot with a lot fewer bells and whistles than what you will find in the newer homes in Southeast Texas. 

What else should you know before you buy?  Ask me.  I share the secrets with all of my clients.



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Luxury and Executive Home Sales In Southeast Texas

Right now there are seventy-five luxury and executive homes listed for sale in the Beaumont MLS.  What criteria defines a luxury or executive home in our market?  The simple, straight forward answer is price.  For the post today, any home priced at or above $400,000 is considered a luxury and or executive home.

Luxury sales

Its fair to say the upper echelon home buyers have been an elusive group the past few months.

Seems everybody, even the big dollar home buyer, has been waiting and watching the economy before making any major financial moves- including buying a luxury home. 

  • Fourteen homes have sold in our luxury market segment in the past six months
  • Seventy-five homes are for sale
  • The highest number of active, closed and pendings are located in Beaumont W2
  • Lumberton has seven luxury homes on the market but no closings in the upper price points lately

Surprisingly...

Even though the luxury segment has seen fewer sales over the past six months, the average number of days homes were on the market prior to contract was 107.  Very close to the same days on market for all price categories. 

How much are sellers coming off their asking price?

Data is from the Beaumont MLS.

  • In Fannett 4% on average
  • In Port Arthur 5% on average
  • In Port Neches 19% on average
  • In Beaumont W2 12% on average
  • In Beaumont W4 4% on average

Do you have more questions about luxury and executive homes sales in any Southeast Texas neighborhood?  I've got answers! 

 

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Willow Creek: One of the Hottest Neighborhoods in Beaumont, Texas

Take a look at what's been happening in Willow Creek for the past six months.  Thirteen homes have sold and only eight homes are currently on up for sale.  Willow Creek is one neighborhood where its still a sellers market as long as the home is priced right.

See for yourself!

Willow creek

Graph shows the $ per square feet of living space on the axis.  Homes that have sold are in blue.  Homes on the market are shown in red.

  • All thirteen homes sold within a range of $79 per square foot of living space on the low side to $115 per square foot on the high side
  • Seller's averaged 94% of their asking price as the final sales price
  • Two homes sold for 100% of their asking price
  • $143 per square foot is the current highest price of any of the homes for sale in Willow Creek
  • $95 per square foot is the current lowest price of any of the homes for sale in Willow Creek

Wait there's more...

  • Most homes that are listed and have sold fall between $95 and $115 per square foot
  • Homes on the golf course sell at the upper end of the price range as a general rule
  • On average homes in Willow Creek were on the market for 104 days from listing to contract
  • Homes under $200,000 typically stay on the market the fewest number of days

If you are selling a home in Willow Creek you'll want to know more about the competition to know how to price your home for maximum resale value.  If you are buying a home in Willow Creek you'll need to know why some homes sell for over $100 per square foot and others sell for $80 per square foot. 

Want more information about home sales in Willow Creek...

I've got it.  The good news is when you work with me as your Realtor you'll have that information too.

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Official Southeast Texas Home Sales Released Today

Snail Last week, you got a sneak peak at what the January homes sales data was going to look like.  Now, its official.  The Beaumont Board released the numbers today. 

Eighty-three homes sold in January.  That's a snail's pace to say it simply. 

The optimists will say, "hallelujah! the market has finally hit bottom".

The pessimists will say something totally different.  You can say what you want but Eighty-three sales is a number significantly lower than the average. 

Broken down into price categories, Southeast Texas home sales for January 2010 look like this:

Jan2010_Sales

The bulk of the home sales, if you can call any of these numbers "a bulk", were in the $100,000-$159,999 price range.  Eighteen homes sold between $100,000-$159,900.  That category equals about 20% of the residential housing market.  That is not unusual.  The median price of about $150,000 has been been fairly consistent the past year. 

There were several sales above $400,000.  It is a good sign to see some of the higher priced homes starting to sell. 

The chart above also shows a frightening month supply of inventory column.  There is an asterisk because this number is based on January sales only.  So its not a true measure of months supply.  Those numbers are artificially high because January's sales are so low.  Normally, to get an accurate months supply of inventory you use the past six months of sales.  Not just one month. 

"Don't panic"

If you are trying to sell your home.  Be realistic.  Know the competition and price your home appropriately.  This is not the right time to expect to sell your home for more than your neighbor sold for.  This is the time to know the market and understand what your home will appraise for.  If you are planning to sell your home in Southeast Texas and need a Realtor who can help you maximize the value of your home, then call me.  Its more important than ever to know the market and have a solid plan.

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Southeast Texas Home Sales: January's Big Three

Three catsThe first month of 2010 has come and gone.  Is this the year the residential housing market rebounds?  Or are we looking at another year of "ho hum" sales?

Quite often at the start of a new month its interesting to look back at the closings that occurred in the prior month and see what trends appear.  The trends most real estate professionals follow closely are:  the total number of sales for a given time period, the number of days on the market it took for homes to sell, and the average price of all homes that sold. 

"The Big Three"

  1. 82 homes closed in Jan. 2010

  2. 127 days on the market was the average

  3. $172,400 was the average sales price

What does that tell you about the Southeast Texas housing market?

Take a look at this five year comparison.  Check my data at The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

Jan_5yr 

Here's what I see.  Well, first one disclaimer.  The January 2010 data is preliminary.  Its from the Beaumont MLS. I pulled the data today. However, it has not been officially released yet.  There may be a few more sales added to the grand total of eighty-two home sales before its all recorded in the record books.  (I hope so!) Otherwise, we can say the year has not started off "like a lion" more like a lamb, kitten, or turtle for that matter. 

Eighty-two home sales in January in Southeast Texas would be the fewest number our area has seen in the past five years - by a lot!

But before you go yank the "for sale" sign out of your front yard, take a deep breath and look at the average sales price.  Its up.  Its up a lot.  Maybe some of the big dollar home buyers who've been sitting on the fence (see squirrel photo and previous post) have realized now is a great time to buy a home. 

Hhum!  Let's ponder that for the afternoon.  Once the official residential home sales data for January 2010 is released by the Beaumont Board of Realtors, you'll see it hear. 

 

 

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Southeast Texas Home Buyers: Take This Quiz

Tools

How well do you know what repairs will be required if you buy a home using FHA financing?

Test your knowledge.

Answer yes or no to the following questions.

1.  Required repairs are limited to those repairs necessary to preserve the continued marketability of the property and are also known as the three S's.  Safety, Security, and Soundness.

2.  FHA will reject a property that would be cost prohibitive or impractical to bring up to the minimum property requirements.

3.  The following are considered defective conditions that must be remedied before the FHA will lend money on the property (answer yes or no for each)
a.  decay 
b.  termites 
c.  defective construction 
d.  evidence of continuing settlement  

4.  The roof must have 2 or more years of remaining life.

5.  A roof can have a maximum of three layers.

6.  In Texas a termite inspection is required.


That's it.  How do you think you did?

 

Here's a hint.  The biggest obstacles seen in Southeast home sales are termites, wood decay and foundation settling.  You can learn more about Appraisal and Property Requirements required by FHA at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Want the answers without having to look them up?  "Yes" is the answer to each and every one of the questions.   

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New Residential Construction Costs In Beaumont, Texas

Thinking about buying a new home in 2010?  There's something so appealing about buying brand new construction.  Fresh carpet that has never been walked on.  Bathtubs that have never had a ring of soap scum. Appliances that still have a warranty.  Oh yes, there is something wonderful about buying directly from a builder. 

Home buyers are willing to pay a premium for "brand new".

Just how much are Southeast Texas home buyers willing to pay for the luxury of a home that has never been lived in home.  Take a look.

New construction $sf

This graph shows the asking price on a cost per square foot basis that home builders in Beaumont, Texas are listing homes for and the price on a cost per square foot basis that home buyers have been willing to pay.  The data is from the Beaumont MLS.  Sales are from the past six months. 

Break it down another way:

  • Most new construction is on the market in a range from $115 - $130 per square foot.
  • Most sales have occurred in a range from $105 - $120 per square foot.
  • The highest sale went for $151.89 per square foot.  Any guesses where it was?  Barrington Heights.
  • The lowest sale went for $92.64 per square foot.  It was on Brooks Road.

Other tidbits about new construction in Beaumont:

  • Builders are still averaging over 95% of their asking price on most sales.
  • On average number of days on the market for new construction homes is about 130.
  • Right now there are 47 active listings classified as new construction in Beaumont, in the Beaumont MLS
  • In the past six months there have been 24 sales classified as new construction in Beaumont, in the Beaumont MLS. 
  • 47 actives vs 24 sales in a six month time frame would mean we have a 12 month supply of new construction in Beaumont. 
  • According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M a six-eight month supply of inventory represents a balanced market.  We've got a slight buyers market at the present time. 

Want to know more?  Its easy.  Just contact me with any Southeast Texas residential real estate, home buying or selling question you have.  If I don't know the answer, I will find it for you.

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Southeast Texas Home Investors Start Flipping

Back flip

"Did you hear the news?"

 Daily Real Estate News  |   February 1, 2010  |   Share

FHA Relaxes Anti-Flipping Rule
Beginning Feb. 1, the Federal Housing Administration will provide mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller bought the property and held it for fewer than 90 days.

The agency is changing what is known as the “anti-flipping rule” to speed up sales of renovated homes in communities with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes, says FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens.

Waiving the 90-day rule will encourage private investors to buy vacant properties, fix them up, and quickly sell them to buyers who will be eligible to buy them using FHA financing.

FHA's change "is going to be absolutely terrific" for first-time home buyers hoping to take advantage of the tax credit, says Bobby Taylor, an associate with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate in Salem, Ore.

Source: Washington Post (01/30/2010)

 

Its great news for real estate investors and home buyers in Southeast Texas.  The anti-flipping rule makes it harder for investors to make a profit when they buy a home, fix it up, and sell it in a short time frame.  Investors don't want to buy and hold for a long time because it eats away at their profit margin.  One rule that may still apply to investment properties is the two appraisal rule.  FHA financing has recently required two appraisals on any home that has been owned for less than twelve months.  It seems redundant to have two appraiser both with the same certifications and license have to appraise the same property.  Lenders today just can't be too cautious.

At least the change to the "anti-flipping rule" is the first rule change aimed at encouraging investors to buy homes that has come along in quite a while.  Ready to buy your first investment property and flip it?  Call me and I'll find you some fixer uppers with great potential. 


 

 

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