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My Opinion on the Current DFW Real Estate Market

I am hearing a lot of conjecture on the current housing market situation in the DFW Metroplex that currently includes almost all the way to Oklahoma, in my opinion and practice. According to the North Texas Real Estate Information System (NTREIS, the Multiple Listing Service of North Texas), the fact is that the average days on the market for a house in August 2019 (8-2019) in North Texas is 46 Days for Single Family Residential (SFR). That represents 7% increase in how long it takes to sell a home when compared to August of last year (8-2018). Condos/ Townhomes average Days on Market increased a whopping 38% from August 2018 compared to August 2019. SFR means a house basically. I am just an email away from trying to explain all of the interesting terms and acronyms in real estate. If you are new to real estate transactions, these terms sound like a foreign language.

Also, as a side note, I use averages for statistics. I am a statistician in my other career, and I like to keep real estate simple. I am, again, an email away from trying to explain all of the differences of statistical terms (mean, median, average, outliers, etc.). Average means that we take the sum of all values (whole number in the entire metroplex, and add it up), and then divide by the number of transactions or the total number of values. Average and Mean are in essence the same thing and are used synonymously for purposes of this article.

So, is the increase of Days on Market one of the many signs that the smoking hot DFW housing market has finally begun to cool down? Not in all areas. I have read a lot of interpretations of the data. And, since I am super comfortable with data, I read it, interpreted it and am telling you MY opinions here. Please understand that I am not making any investment recommendations. ALWAYS CHECK DATA SOURCES! (NTREIS201908) That declaration made, my reasoning and argument against this big “slow down” is that fact that prices continue to rise and overall numbers continue to increase.

Average price of SFR in August 2019 was $319,463 representing an increase of 2% from August 2018. This is down from about 5-6% in the previous year-to-year comparison. The average price for Condos/ Townhomes in 8-19 increased 1% compared to 8-18. Now, to really look at averages and make any logical and scientific assumptions, we need to look at rentals. The average monthly rental amount in 8-19 was $1,858 representing an increase of 3% when compared to 8-18. So, what does that signify economically, I am not sure. But, mathematically, I can infer that rent is increasing on average about 3% in year-to-year analysis while condo ownership is documenting a 1% increase. I work with many entry-level or first-time buyers. The data indicates that it is still a good idea to buy rather than rent just from mathematical inferences, not to mention the tax and credit benefits.

Now, let’s look a little deeper into some of the numbers. While Zillow calls our market, “Cool”, I am not in 100% agreement. I hear that it is a seller’s market. A seller’s market is typically signified by the number of months inventory of the market. If months of inventory is between zero and four months, real estate professionals say the market is a seller’s market. In other words, if supply is relatively low, that means that sellers have more control to set terms or raise prices. A healthy market is about 3.0 (depending on who you ask) or meaning that there is about 3 months of housing inventory at the time meaning that, if no new houses were listed for sale for the next three months, the existing level of demand would consume all the current listings leaving no more homes left to buy. But, DFW has new listings coming online all the time—both for new homes and existing homes.

There are some areas of DFW that documented in excess of 12.0 signifying that there were about twelve months of houses available at that time. DFW has been in such a hot market over the past several years meaning that we had less than 1.0 in many markets. We are still hovering around 1.0 in many submarkets in the DFW while some are in the healthy 3.0 and up.

In my opinion, the reports are too quick to call any shift a big deal. I see this as a shift in a healthy way. But, as I said, I work with many first-time buyers and entry-level buyers. These people have a very difficult time finding a nice home for $200,000 or under. I have to be prepared and aggressive as an agent to get these deals for my clients, and it is quite stark for them when they think they are going to have the ‘HGN’ experience. I look forward to a healthier market to help those on the fringe get out of the mathematical trap that I documented in the paragraphs above about rental increases.

The other variable that DFW has is that we have significant amount of jobs. The area is growing and is so diverse. Dallas is not just Dallas any more. Parts of Arlington are ridiculously hot. And, Salina Melisa and Aubreyville are part of the DFW Metroplex these days. Obviously, I am a real estate agent, and I am still really encouraging my people to buy now. Interest rates are favorable, and the market is to the point that you may not need prescription medications to get through buying a home. If you are an investor, the same principles apply, and there are some tax benefits in some slowing areas of the Metroplex making it more appealing to invest in certain areas. I look forward to answering your questions.

The following is a chart that I extrapolated from the August Report published by Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and NTREIS (North Texas Real Estate Information System) for August 2019.  I have also attached the NTREIS report from which I extrapolated all of the data and based my pontification for this article.

Areas with highest “Hotness Ratio” as designated by NTREIS Hottest Sales Locations in DFW Area

(The hotness ratio is calculated by NTREIS by pending sales as a percent of active listings)

August 2019

Location pending         sales active        listings months inventory NTREIS Hotness Ratio
Parker County 144 14 11 2.0 127.3
Arlington (Kennedale) 17 14 1.1 121.4
GRAND PRAIRIE- NEW 2 22 20 1.1 110.0
Arlington SE 140 140 1.4 100.0
GRAND PRAIRIE – NEW 3 32 34 1.4 94.1
Mesquite 207 232 1.6 89.2
Lancaster 55 63 1.6 87.3
Arlington Central SE 18 21 1.0 85.7
Bedford 64 78 1.5 82.1
Arlington Central NE 18 22 1.2 81.1
Watauga 34 42 1.2 81.0
GRAND PRAIRIE – NEW 4 45 57 1.2 78.9
GRAND PRAIRIE – NEW 21 27 1.8 77.8
Arlington Central NW 47 65 1.8 72.3
N. Richland Hills/ Richland Hills 95 157 1.9 71.3
FW – Summerfield Park / Park Glen 235 374 1.8 67.0
Carrollton/ Farmers branch 173 312 2.0 55.4
Richardson 124 239 2.4 51.9

 

NTREIS201908

 

 

DFW Market Analysis: May 2018 vs May 2017

Rising housing market concept with multi-floor buildings.

According to the North Texas Real Estate Information System Summary MLS Report for: May 2018 compared to May 2017, the DFW Metroplex real estate market is escalating at impressive rates. The Median price of a Single Family Residential (SFR) home in the DFW Metroplex is 5% more in May 2018 than it was in May 2017. The SFR in the Metroplex averaged 39 Days on the Market (DOM) for homes that closed in May 2018. That is 3% slower than last year, and there are about 13% more homes on the market this year versus last year.

Condos are holding their value as well. The average price for a condo in the metroplex stayed the same from 2017 to 2018 ($286,196), but the average time on the market is 48 days- up 9% from last year. There are 17% more condos on the market in May 2018 than there were in May 2017.

Some notable changes in the market are in multifamily properties. Multifamily properties were on the market 15 days that reflects a 53% faster time compared to last year with prices up 25% on average compared to last year.

Rentals are also a great story, and congratulations if you purchased a rental property in January of 2016. The median price for rent in January 2016 was $1588 in the NTREIS compared to $1791 in May 2018. In January 2016, it took about 42 days to lease a home as a landlord (42 DOM) compared to about 36 days (36 DOM) in May 2018.

If you are renting, it is still a good time to buy. Yes you could have purchased cheaper if you had not waited, but I believe that the market will continue to pick at its current rate if not pick up at a higher pace. If you own a home that you are wanting to change, now is a good time to do it. I have worked with many people to make this happen. It is tricky, and it requires experienced real estate agent, the right lender, timing and a little luck. And, if you are considering purchasing investment property, just look at the numbers. I am very familiar with investors, the terminology and closing deals that sometimes close quickly and sometimes can take a year or longer.

If you are looking for a good and honest agent, reach out to me. I can help you with your real estate needs here in the Metroplex and am also very familiar with the Austin market as well as the Corpus Christi-Rockport-Copano Bay areas. I live on referrals, so please give my information to your friends who may need an agent in this crazy competitive market.

Kiddie Condo Program

Do you or someone you know have a kid heading off to college in Austin? As if there is not enough going on for you now, but rent is ridiculous in most places around the state, and particularly in Austin, TX. Apartments.com reports that you can expect to pay about $1250-2000 per month for a one bedroom apartment near downtown/ campus area. It will be more like $1800-3000 for a two bedroom. This does not indicate luxurious living either. I can tell you from direct experience and my direct market analysis, you can expect to pay at least $2 per square foot in rent and much more ($5 and up) for one of those swank places in the sky in the shiny buildings downtown.

So, why not invest in a property? This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of some programs available in these situations.  Ever heard of the kiddie condo loan? It is actually not a sanctioned FHA term, but a catchy way to describe the FHA “non occupying co-borrower”. Though this name is a bit deceiving. The loan program is NOT limited to condos. Townhomes and SFR are also eligible properties. This program does a few things. First it curbs the increase in rent in the Austin area over the next four or more likely five years for college. Second, it allows the co-borrower to establish credit. Third, when the co-borrower graduates, they should have some equity if they choose to cash out and start the next phase of their lives. There are also federal income tax bonuses, and you always have a place to stay for SXSW.

By using the “non occupying co-borrower” caveat, as long as the co-borrower is related by blood/ consanguinity  (i.e. parent, grandparent, sibling, etc.) then the loan requires as little as 3% down. The co-borrower can lease rooms out under this loan program, as long as they occupy the property.  There is also a lower interest rate for owner occupied versus investment/ lease property.

So, what can you get in the Austin area? Click below to see an active snapshot of condos available in the Austin and surrounding are that are $200,000 and under, with at least two bedrooms:

http://matrix.abor.com/DE.asp?k=1246113C1ZV&p=DE-66965481-423

The following link gives you an idea of what condos are available on the MLS now in and near the downtown area. Just click around. Home prices are on the rise in Austin and have been for a while. Read some of my other articles about the incredible market increases both in Austin and in the DFW area.

http://matrix.abor.com/DE.asp?k=1246113C1ZV&p=DE-66966016-68

I know this is a tough time, and maybe buying is too overwhelming at this point. Even renting takes a skilled and knowledgeable professional so that you get the best home for the best price in the right area, which trust me is not cheap or easy around here.  I can help you make that transition either by connecting you with the best lenders in the state and finding the best property for you. Or if you decide that leasing is best for you and your family, please let me know. I can help you find a killer apartment or service in Austin.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Also, feel free to pass this on or use it, but just give me credit, please.

Buyers Market?

Image result for real estate market pics

There are three good reasons why it is the season to buy now, in my opinion. If you are on the fence about buying or have been waiting for the right time, this may be it, from my perspective.

Reason #1: There has been a fundamental shift in the Texas market. I do not have the citations for this and do not know what the others are saying as I have been busy selling real estate. I am just writing what I am seeing in the real estate trenches. I can tell you that people who have been looking for homes for a long time are going into contract now. Buyers are not having to pay more than the home is worth to get it. And, buyers are not looking at 100 homes for a year before finding one. Now, that is a generalization, and there are still spots and price points where homes do not stay on the market more than a few hours, but for the most part, it is taking longer to sell homes, and particularly those from about $400,000 and up.  The back-to-school rush is over, so the market always cools down this time of year and will continue to slow as we approach the holidays.

Reason #2: The Feds and people who make those decisions are talking about raising interest rates. There have been arguments to why it is a good idea overall for our economy. They are almost giving money away at current interest rates. If you are in a position to get in on this, I recommend it. Even a small interest rate hike has significant impact on the price of a home you can purchase, and just think about all that extra interest over the next 30 years.  My own son who is not quite ready to buy is looking before the beginning of 2017, when I expect to see interest hikes. (Please read other opinions and news articles on this. There are always different sides to the story). While he will probably be making a little more money next year and more in a position to take on a mortgage, by that time I expect to see higher interest rates. While he will likely be in a higher price range in a year, he could probably buy about the same home he can buy now at less money at these historically low interest rates. Add that onto the value increase rates we are seeing, and we have ourselves a good-time-to-buy. I recommend you look at yours and your children’s position now as well.

Reason #3: If you close before the end of the year, you get your homestead exemption next year, which can be a nice tax savings at the end of the year. Further, there are tax deductions typically from closing, so it can help ease the burden for two years if you close before December 31.

Please note that I am not an economist, accountant or a tax adviser. I am a real estate sales professional and mother, and these are just my opinions and observations. Always consult the appropriate experts before making any financial decisions and/or investments. I am not saying to run out and do anything without great thought, but if you are a buyer deciding on good timing, then look at the variables closely.  I am your friend and expert in real estate…Call me with any of your needs. I work hard for every client, and I treat each client like family. My clients usually become good friends of mine, if they were not already.

Time to Sell This One! Great Spot in Pflugerville!

2216 Callaway Garden Ct. Meadows of Blackhawk, Pflugerville, TX

You really have to see this one if you are looking for a home in this price range! This is really a gorgeous home in Pflugerville located in the Meadows of Blackhawk. This one has custom 42″ mahogany kitchen cabinets and a very modern kitchen open to the rest of the house. It comes already wired with surround sound, remote control ceiling fans. The  Brazilian hardwood floors and crown molding really set this one apart. It is a 3 bed plus Den/Office/game room.  It has an extended patio in the backyard. It is near Lake Pflugerville, Hawaiian Falls water park, shopping, schools, storage facility, convenient stores, and toll roads 2-6 miles radius away, as well as midway located in the ATXplex with easy access I-35 Hwy. Recently Reduced to sell! $227,500!

house_edited-1 kitchen

 

Too Many Homeless Vets!

Veterans are men and women and their families who have a calling and serve for our freedom. They do it because they want to unless they are among those who were in the draft. They are a special breed. They are different, and thank you each for being who you are and for your service.

I drive by a man on the street corner everyday when I take my daughter to and from school. He has a sweet disposition and really piercing blue eyes. He is dirty and disheveled, but I have always noticed that he is tone and has amazing posture and a Marine hair cut.

I watch him when I sit at the red light. He has a military backpack, and he is always drinking a cup of what appears to be a Whataburger cup. He goes to his backpack and pours it from of a 40 ounce can of malt liquor or beer. He starts early and stays late. He is so fucked up by the end of the day that he falls down on his little hill. Once we saw him almost fall under the bus. He stopped just off the curb just before the bus wheels would have run over his head. He got up laughing.

One day early in our lives here, I saw him on my way to school. He is across the street when going. I saw an ambulance and a cop. They loaded him up and took him away. After I got my kiddo, I was at his red light and saw his backpack. I considered and talked to Jessi about picking it up and bringing it back to him later so that someone would not steal what he has in there. We opted out of that one. And someone did steal his backpack and his things.

I know that because when he was back a few days later with stitches on his head and abrasions all over his body. He had a different backpack. I stopped at the green light and stopped traffic behind me and asked him a few questions. He said that it had been his birthday, and he fell and hurt himself. Someone did steal his backpack, but a nice lady bought him a new one with a new alarm clock that he needed. The light turned green again, and I gave him a dollar and drove off.

I talk to him almost everyday after that. His name is Ed. He served our country in Iraq for four years in the Marine Corp. He has been arrested four times since then, so he is not eligible for any benefits. His hair is still cut right. His posture looks like that of a Marine when he is not completely shit faced. His eyes are clear, and his skin is dirty but not unkempt like a lot of homeless people.

I do not want him on the street. I offered to help him, but he does not want to go to homeless shelter. To Ed and the other homeless Veterans in America—estimated to be between 130,000 and 200,000 on any given night representing between one-fourth and one-fifth of all homeless people – according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, I say Happy Veterans Day.