Housing Inventory | Homes Sold By Jessica Harless

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash

Whether or not you owned a home in 2008, you likely remember the housing crash that took place back then. And news about an economic slowdown happening today may bring all those concerns back to the surface. While those feelings are understandable, data can help reassure you the situation today is nothing like it was in 2008.

One of the key reasons why the market won’t crash this time is the current undersupply of inventory. Housing supply comes from three key places:

  • Current homeowners putting their homes up for sale
  • Newly built homes coming onto the market
  • Distressed properties (short sales or foreclosures)

For the market to crash, you’d have to make a case for an oversupply of inventory headed to the market, and the numbers just don’t support that. So, here’s a deeper look at where inventory is coming from today to help prove why the housing market isn’t headed for a crash.

Current Homeowners Putting Their Homes Up for Sale

Even though housing supply is increasing this year, there’s still a limited number of existing homes available. The graph below helps illustrate this point. Based on the latest weekly data, inventory is up 27.8% compared to the same week last year (shown in blue). But compared to the same week in 2019 (shown in the larger red bar), it’s still down by 42.6%.

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So, what does this mean? Inventory is still historically low. There simply aren’t enough homes on the market to cause prices to crash. There would need to be a flood of people getting ready to sell their houses in order to tip the scales toward a buyers’ market. And that level of activity simply isn’t there.

Newly Built Homes Coming onto the Market

There’s also a lot of talk about what’s happening with newly built homes today, and that may make you wonder if we’re overbuilding. But home builders are actually slowing down their production right now. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, notes:

“It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory.”

To avoid repeating the overbuilding that happened leading up to the housing crisis, builders are reacting to higher mortgage rates and softening buyer demand by slowing down their work. It’s a sign they’re being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

And according to the latest data from the U.S. Census, at today’s current pace, we’re headed to build a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.4 million homes this year. While this will add more inventory to the market, it’s not on pace to create an oversupply because builders today are more cautious than the last time when they built more homes than the market could absorb.

Distressed Properties (Short Sales or Foreclosures)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back in the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to secure a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions on properties with foreclosure filings to help paint the picture of how things have changed since the crash:

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

This graph shows how in the time around the housing crash there were over one million foreclosure filings per year. As lending standards tightened since then, the activity started to decline. And in 2020 and 2021, the forbearance program was a further aid to help prevent a repeat of the wave of foreclosures we saw back around 2008.

That program was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

Bottom Line

Although housing supply is growing this year, the market certainly isn’t anywhere near the inventory levels that would cause prices to drop significantly. That’s why inventory tells us the housing market won’t crash.

Republished from Keeping Current Matters
What is a real estate market shift?

Just What Is A Market Shift?

There’s a lot of talk, media chatter, and press going around about the current real estate market. The best way to describe it is “the market is shifting.”
𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙚𝙩 𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙛𝙩?
When the supply of listed property is more than the demand it’s a buyers’ market. Sometimes this can cause prices to decline.
 
A sellers’ market is when there is a higher demand for properties than the active available properties. This often results in bidding wars and higher sale prices.
 
𝙎𝙞𝙜𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙎𝙝𝙞𝙛𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙚𝙩
• A lot of Expiring Listings – an increase shows signs of a shift to a buyers’ market.
• Change in the Number of Offers – a decrease shows signs of a shift to a buyers’ market.
• Absorption Rate – when it takes more than 6 months for all the listed homes to sell it’s a shift to a buyers’ market.
• Days on Market – A longer selling period for listings often indicates a shift to a buyers’ market.
 
There’s a lot of talk and press about the current real estate market. The best way to describe it is “A Shift.” d to price realistically and buyers should see less competition when they submit an offer. Thinking about buying or selling? Let’s talk about marketing your home as the market shifts. Thinking of buying? Let’s start with a local lender…then begin your home search.
Real Estate | Prices for the rest of 2022

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices?

Whether you’re a potential homebuyerseller, or both, you probably want to know: will home prices fall this year? Let’s break down what’s happening with home prices, where experts say they’re headed, and why this matters for your homeownership goals.

Last Year’s Rapid Home Price Growth Wasn’t the Norm

In 2021, home prices appreciated quickly. One reason why is that record-low mortgage rates motivated more buyers to enter the market. As a result, there were more people looking to make a purchase than there were homes available for sale. That led to competitive bidding wars which drove prices up. CoreLogic helps explain how unusual last year’s appreciation was:

Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021, up from the 2020 full year average of 6%.”

In other words, the pace of appreciation in 2021 far surpassed the 6% the market saw in 2020. And even that appreciation was greater than the pre-pandemic norm which was typically around 3.8%. This goes to show, 2021 was an anomaly in the housing market spurred by more buyers than homes for sale.

Home Price Appreciation Moderates Today

This year, home price appreciation is slowing (or decelerating) from the feverish pace the market saw over the past two years. According to the latest forecasts, experts say on average, nationwide, prices will still appreciate by roughly 10% in 2022 (see graph below):

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices? | MyKCM

Why do all of these experts agree prices will continue to rise? It’s simple. Even though housing supply is growing today, it’s still low overall thanks to several factors, including a long period of underbuilding homes. And experts say that’s going to help keep upward pressure on home prices this year. Additionally, since mortgage rates are higher this year than they were last year, buyer demand has slowed.

As the market undergoes this change, it’s true price appreciation this year won’t match the feverish pace in 2021. But the rapid appreciation the market saw last year wasn’t sustainable anyway.

What Does That Mean for You?

Today, the market is beginning to move back toward pre-pandemic levels. But even the forecast for 10% home price growth in 2022 is well beyond the 3.8% that’s more typical for a normal market.

So, despite what you may have heard, experts say home prices won’t fall in most markets. They’ll just appreciate more moderately.

If you’re worried the house you’re trying to sell or the home you want to buy will decrease in value, you should know experts aren’t calling for depreciation in most markets, just deceleration. That means your home should still grow in value, just not as fast as it did last year.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say nationally, prices will continue to appreciate this year, just at a more moderate pace. When you’re ready to begin the process of buying or selling, let’s connect so you have a local market expert on your side each step of the way.

As published By Keeping Matters Current
Older Home | Jessica Harless Next Home Realty Center

Pros & Cons of Buying an Older Home

Here are the pros of buying an older home (one built 15+ years ago):
• Higher quality or more detailed construction
• Bigger yards with mature landscaping
• Often have character and charm
• Located in established neighborhoods
• Attractive price

The downsides:
• Smaller rooms, garages, and closets
• Lack of storage
• Likely to require more maintenance

HVAC systems are less efficient
Older appliances, water heater, and roof

• Cost of upgrades

If you are thinking about making a move – let’s talk about your options…

Housing Market - Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Is the Housing Market Correcting?

If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may leave you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction. As realtor.com says:

The housing market is at a turning point. . . . We’re starting to see signs of a new direction, . . .”

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | Simplifying The Market

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

Headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters. Here’s a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | Simplifying The Market

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this:

“. . . today’s housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time.”

Bottom Line

If recent headlines are generating any concerns, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It’s just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels. Let’s connect if you have any questions about our local market and what it means for you when you buy or sell this year.

from Keeping Matters Current
First-Time Homebuyers | Homes Sold by Jessica Harless NextHome Realty Center

What Are the Best Options for Today’s First-Time Homebuyers?

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’re likely balancing several factors. Because both mortgage rates and home prices have risen this year, it costs more to buy a home than it did even just a few months ago. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your plans on hold.

If you partner with a trusted real estate advisor and hone your strategy, you can navigate today’s market and find the home you’re looking for. Here are two tips to help you get started.

Work with a Professional To Prioritize Your Wish List

If you’re having trouble finding a home in your budget that checks all the boxes, it may be worth taking another look at your lists of what you want and what you really need. According to the latest First-Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report from NerdWallet, your wish list can have as much impact on your search as your finances:

“Your budget isn’t all that you need to be concerned about; your wish list and desired location may carry just as much weight.”

It’s all about prioritization. If you’re serious about purchasing your first home soon, be flexible in what you’re looking for to open up your pool of options. Partner with a local real estate professional to better understand what’s available in today’s market and reprioritize your wish list. Remember, making a concession now doesn’t mean you’ll never have everything on your list. After you’ve moved in, you can always add certain features to make the home your own.

Increase Your Search Radius To Consider More Locations

Some areas may have more homes within your target price range than others, but it may require you to be flexible on your location. For example, if you’re a remote worker, you may be able to expand your search radius. As Fannie Mae explains:

“. . . continued remote work flexibility is likely giving many the ability to live farther away in more affordable areas.”

The decision to search in places with a lower cost of living could help you find a home that fits your budget and checks the most boxes off your wish list.

Bottom Line

If you’re serious about purchasing your first home this year, revisiting your wish list and desired location can help. Let’s connect to explore all the options in our local market – and beyond – so you can achieve your homeownership dreams.

courtesy of Simplifying The Market (KCM)
1

𝗖𝘆𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝗧𝗫 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗘𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 (𝟳𝟳𝟰𝟯𝟯 & 𝟳𝟳𝟰𝟮𝟵)

Number of Sold Properties, Days to Sell, Average Sale Price, and Active Listings of re-sale homes as reported by HAR.com.

 These statistics include the following communities in 77433:2

 Ashton Woods Barker Lake
Blackhorse Ranch Bridge Creek
Bridgeland Canyon Lakes West
Cypress Creek Lakes Dunham Pointe
Fairfield Lakes of Fairhaven
Marvida Miramesa
Park Creek Towne Lake
 Westgate

And, these communities in 77429:3

Coles Crossing Cypress Mill
Cypress Point Bridge Creek
Bridgeland Canyon Lakes West
Cypress Creek Lakes Hidden Arbor
Lakes of Rosehill Lakes on Eldridge
Lakewood Forest Longwood Village
Park At Arbordale Ravensway
Rock Creek Stablegate
Stablewood Farms Sydney Harbour
Villages of Cypress Lakes

Want more detailed information? Let’s talk…

#cypressrealestate #jessicaharlessrealtor

Real Estate Recession | Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

The One Thing Every Homeowner Needs To Know About a Recession 

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. That’s the one thing that every homeowner today needs to know. Everywhere you look, experts are warning we could be heading toward a recession, and if true, an economic slowdown doesn’t mean homes will lose value.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession this way:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.”

To help show that home prices don’t fall every time there’s a recession, take a look at the historical data. There have been six recessions in this country over the past four decades. As the graph below shows, looking at the recessions going all the way back to the 1980s, home prices appreciated four times and depreciated only two times. So, historically, there’s proof that when the economy slows down, it doesn’t mean home values will fall or depreciate.

The One Thing Every Homeowner Needs To Know About a Recession | Simplifying The Market

The first occasion on the graph when home values depreciated was in the early 1990s when home prices dropped by less than 2%. It happened again during the housing crisis in 2008 when home values declined by almost 20%. Most people vividly remember the housing crisis in 2008 and think if we were to fall into a recession that we’d repeat what happened then. But this housing market isn’t a bubble that’s about to burst. The fundamentals are very different today than they were in 2008. So, we shouldn’t assume we’re heading down the same path.

Bottom Line

We’re not in a recession in this country, but if one is coming, it doesn’t mean homes will lose value. History proves a recession doesn’t equal a housing crisis.

Keeping Current Matters  Thursday May 19th, 2022   s

Schnauzer Rescue of Texas (SRT)

We Are A Schnauzer Rescue Family

It’s Official We Are A Schnauzer Rescue Family!

Yana joined the Harless Family this past weekend. We are all getting to know each other…

Lot’s of hugs and kisses – Stella is working into her role as big sis (not in age but in size)! Both pups climbed in my lap to say hello to Kyle’s football friends!

Yana in her new finery –Dresssed Yana

Both dogs are very friendly so if you see us around Cypress – please say hello to the girls!

Interested in becoming a rescue family? Visit the Schnauzer Rescue of Texas (SRT)

 

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Your House Could Be Closer to List-Ready Than You Think

One of the biggest concerns for a homeowner looking to sell is the time they’ll have to put in before listing their house. If that’s the case for you, you should know – your home might be closer to list-ready than you think in today’s housing market. A survey of recent sellers from realtor.com finds that many were able to get their house ready in less than a month. It says:

“With many homeowners expecting a quick sale, and in many cases a lack of contingencies, the preparation process took less than a month for over 50% of home sellers this past year, with 20% completing it in less than two weeks.

Those sellers expecting to sell quickly are following recent buyer trends. With mortgage rates and home prices rising, buyers in today’s market are serious about finding a home quickly. But with the limited number of homes for sale, there are very few options for those buyers to choose from. That means many may be willing to take on projects after they purchase.

Because of this, you may be able to focus on less time-consuming tasks before putting your house on the market. According to the survey mentioned above, some of the top things recent sellers completed before listing over the past year include landscaping, making minor cosmetic updates, and touching-up paint (see image below):

Your House Could Be Closer to List-Ready Than You Think | Simplifying The MarketA Real Estate Advisor Will Help Streamline the Process and Keep You Focused

Of course, each situation is different and knowing what repairs or updates your house needs to stand out in your local area is critical. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. In a recent article, NextAdvisor explains:

“. . . Real estate can be hyper-local, and demand can vary from one neighborhood to the next. It’s a good idea to work with a local real estate professional to determine an ideal listing price and if any improvements or repairs need to be completed before putting your home on the market.”

Your trusted real estate advisor knows the ins and outs of the market in your specific area. They’ll help you identify the places where you should and shouldn’t spend your time and money – and that can enable you to list quickly.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to take advantage of the incredible conditions for sellers in today’s real estate market but are worried about the time it’ll take to get your home ready, you might be closer than you think. Let’s connect so you can see what you need to do before listing your house today.

Keeping Current Matters 5/2022 |  For SellersSelling Myths

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Help You Achieve Homeownership

For many homebuyers, the thought of saving for a down payment can feel daunting, especially in today’s market. That’s why, when asked what they find most difficult in the homebuying process, some buyers say it’s one of the hardest steps on the path to homeownership. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows:

“For first-time home buyers, 29 percent said saving for a downpayment [sic] was the most difficult step in the process.

If you’re finding that your down payment is your biggest hurdle, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your goals. The key is understanding where to look and learning what options are available. Here’s some information that can help.

First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible

According to downpaymentresource.comthere are thousands of financial assistance programs available for homebuyers, like affordable mortgage options for first-time buyers. But, of the many programs that are available, down payment assistance options make up the large majority. They say 73% of the assistance available to homebuyers is there to help you with your down payment.

And it’s not just first-time homebuyers that are eligible for these programs. Downpaymentresource.com notes:

“You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 38% of all programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.”

That means no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available for you.

There Are Local Programs and Specialized Programs for Public Servants

There are also multiple down payment assistance resources designed to help those who serve our communities. Teacher Next Door is one of those programs:

“The Teacher Next Door Program was designed to increase home ownership among teachers and other public servants, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.”

Teacher Next Door is just one program that seeks to help teachers, first responders, health providers, government employees, active-duty military personnel, and veterans reach their down payment goals.

And, most importantly, even if you don’t qualify for these types of specialized programs, there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. And the best way to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Bottom Line

If saving for a down payment seems daunting, there are programs available that can help. And if you work to serve our community, there may be even more opportunities available to you. To learn more about your options, let’s connect so you can start your homebuying journey today.

Courtesy of KCM

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row

In an annual Gallup poll, Americans chose real estate as the best long-term investment. And it’s not the first time it’s topped the list, either. Real estate has been on a winning streak for the past eight years, consistently gaining traction as the best long-term investment (see graph below):

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row | MyKCMIf you’re thinking about purchasing a home this year, this poll should reassure you. Even when inflation is rising like it is today, Americans agree an investment like real estate truly shines.

Why Is Real Estate a Great Investment During Times of High Inflation?

With inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial benefits of homeownership. Rising inflation means prices are increasing across the board. That includes goods, services, housing costs, and more. But when you purchase your home, you lock in your monthly housing payments, effectively shielding yourself from increasing housing payments. James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrateexplains it like this:

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same.”

If you’re a renter, you don’t have that same benefit, and you aren’t protected from increases in your housing costs, especially rising rents.

History Shows During Inflationary Periods, Home Prices Rise as Well

As a homeowner, your house is an asset that typically increases in value over time, even during inflation. That‘s because, as prices rise, the value of your home does, too. And that makes buying a home a great hedge during periods of high inflation. Natalie Campisi, Advisor Staff for Forbesnotes:

Tangible assets like real estate get more valuable over time, which makes buying a home a good way to spend your money during inflationary times.

Bottom Line

Housing truly is a strong investment, especially when inflation is high. When you lock in a mortgage payment, you’re shielded from housing cost increases, and you own an asset that typically gains value with time. If you want to better understand how buying a home could be a great investment for you, let’s connect today.

Courtesy of KCM

Homes sold by Jessica Harless | FHA Limits

FHA Loan Maximum Increase for 2022

Good news, the maximum loan amounts for FHA and Conventional Conforming is going up about 18% in 2022, and are effective 1-1-2022

New FHA loan limit for Harris and surrounding counties will be $420,680 – up from $356,362

New Conventional Conforming limit will be $647,200 –up from $548,250.

This is great news for FHA buyers that can now borrow over $64,000 more in 2022 using the more flexible FHA loan

This is really great news for conventional buyers, who can borrow almost $99,000 more, without having to use the more stringent NON conforming loan products 

If you are thinking about a move in 2022, now is the time to reach out to your local lender. If you don’t have a lender you know and trust. I can provide you with a list of several who have helped my past clients.  When you are ready to start your home search or list your home- let’s talk!

Together we’ll make your dream home your NextHome!

courtesy of:
Amal Boulos
Sr. Loan Officer | Network Funding, LP
New texas HOA laws

New Texas HOA Laws In Effect

Recent changes in HOA Laws benefit Homeowners, Home Buyers | Sellers,  and REALTORS®!

From the Texas REALTOR® magazine September/October 2021 issue: Several new REALTOR®-supported homeowners association reform laws took effect September 1. These changes will bring more balance between the rights of property owners and their property owners’ associations.

The 87th Texas Legislature passed these changes as Senate Bill 1588, which was authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes and Rep. Chris Turner.

  • Fees are capped for subdivision information ($375), resale certificates ($75), and updated resale certificates ($75).
  • TREC will create a publicly accessible central database of Texas HOAs by December 1, 2021. HOAs that have filed management certificates in county records before December 1, 2021, are required to file with TREC by June 1, 2022.
  • HOAs are required to maintain websites with management certificates and meeting information and notifications.
  • HOAs that have at least 60 lots or contract with a management company are required to file dedicatory instruments with the county and provide certain contact information on all dedicatory instruments and management certificates.
  • Property owners have new protections from negative credit reporting when a fine or fee is in dispute, and HOAs are required to give a detailed report of charges and offer a payment plan before reporting delinquencies.
  • New laws improve some conflicts of interest within HOA architectural review boards.
  • HOAs are barred from requiring access to lease agreements and are only allowed to request a tenant’s contact info and lease beginning and end dates.
  • HOAs are required to solicit bids for contracts for services over $50,000.
  • HOAs are barred from prohibiting certain pool safety enclosures, the installation of certain security measures on an owner’s private property, or certain religious displays.
  • HOA boards are required to provide members with timely notice about meetings.
  • New laws improve due process in dispute resolution and provide additional legal avenues when seeking resolution from a dispute with an HOA.
Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Whether you’re buying or selling – today’s housing market has plenty of good news to go around.
  • Buyers can take advantage of today’s mortgage rates to escape rising rents and keep monthly payments affordable. Sellers can reap the benefits of multiple offers and a fast sale.
  • If this sounds like good news to you, let’s connect today so you can capitalize on the unique opportunity you have in today’s market.
Home Prices | Jessica Harless Next Home Realty Center

Your Agent Is Key When Pricing Your House copy

Your Agent Is Key When Pricing Your House [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Pricing your house right takes market experience and expertise.
  • To find the best list price, your agent balances current market demand, values of homes in your neighborhood, where prices are headed, and your home’s condition.
  • If you’re ready to sell, don’t guess the price. Let’s connect today so we price your house to attract multiple offers and maximize your return on investment.
Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

What Does Being in a Sellers’ Market Mean?

Whether or not you’ve been following the real estate industry lately, there’s a good chance you’ve heard we’re in a serious sellers’ market. But what does that really mean? And why are conditions today so good for people who want to list their house?

 

It starts with the number of houses available for sale. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still astonishingly low. Today, we have a 2.6-month supply of homes at the current sales pace. Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (see graph below):What Does Being in a Sellers’ Market Mean? | Simplifying The MarketWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. That creates increased competition among purchasers which leads to more bidding wars. And if buyers know they may be entering a bidding war, they’re going to do their best to submit a very attractive offer. As this happens, home prices rise, and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms.

Right now, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and the ongoing rise in remote work have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. If you put your house on the market while supply is still low, it will likely get a lot of attention from competitive buyers.

Bottom Line

Today’s ultimate sellers’ market holds great opportunities for homeowners ready to make a move. Listing your house now will maximize your exposure to serious buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it. Let’s connect to discuss how to jumpstart the selling process.

courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Sometimes it can feel like everyone has advice when it comes to buying a home. While your friends and loved ones may have your best interests in mind, they may also be missing crucial information about today’s housing market that you need to make your best decision.

Before you decide whether you’re ready to buy a home, you should know how to answer these three questions.

1. What’s Going on with Home Prices?

Home prices are one factor that directly impacts how much it will cost to buy a home and how much you stand to gain as a homeowner when prices appreciate.

The graph below shows just how much experts are forecasting prices to rise this year:Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketContinued price appreciation is great news for existing homeowners but can pose a significant challenge if you wait to buyUsing these forecasts, you can determine just how much waiting could cost you. If prices increase based on the average of all forecasts (12.46%), a median-priced home that costs $350,000 in January of 2021 will cost an additional $43,610 by the end of the year. What does this mean for you? Put simply, with home prices increasing, the longer you wait, the more it could cost you.

2. Are Today’s Low Mortgage Rates Going To Last?

Another significant factor that should inform your decision is mortgage interest rates. Today’s average rates remain close to record-lows. Much like prices, though, experts forecast rates will rise over the coming months, as the chart below shows:Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketYour monthly mortgage payment can be significantly impacted by even the slightest increase in mortgage rates, which makes the overall cost of the home greater over time when you wait.

3. Why Is Homeownership Important to You?

The final question is a personal one. Before deciding, you’ll need to understand your motivation to buy a home and why homeownership is an important goal for you. The financial benefits of owning a home are often easier to account for than the many emotional ones.

The 2021 National Homeownership Market Survey shows that six of the nine reasons Americans value homeownership are because of how it impacts them on a personal, aspirational level. The survey says homeownership provides:

  • Stability
  • Safety
  • A Sense of Accomplishment
  • A Life Milestone
  • A Stake in the Community
  • Personal Pride

The National Housing & Financial Capability Survey from NeighborWorks America also highlights the emotional benefits of homeownership:Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketClearly, there’s a value to homeownership beyond the many great financial opportunities it provides. It gives homeowners a sense of pride, safety, security, and accomplishment – which impacts their lives and how they feel daily.

Bottom Line

Homeownership is life-changing, and buying a home can positively impact you in so many ways. With any decision this big, it helps to have a trusted advisor by your side each step of the way. If you’re ready to begin your journey toward homeownership, let’s connect to discuss your options and begin your journey.

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Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.

A Shortage of Homes for Sale

Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com says:

“In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.”

This is good news for buyers who crave more options. But even though we’re experiencing small gains in the number of available homes for sale, inventory remains a challenge in most states. That’s why it’s still a sellers’ market, giving homeowners immense leverage when they decide to make a move.

Buyer Competition and Bidding Wars

Today’s ongoing low supply, coupled with high demand, creates a market characterized by high buyer competition and bidding wars. Buyers are going above and beyond to make sure their offer stands out from the crowd by offering over the asking price, all cash, or waiving some contingencies. The number of offers on the average house for sale broke records this year – and that’s great news for sellers.

The latest Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the average home for sale receives five offers (see graph below):Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | Simplifying The MarketFor buyers, the best way to put a compelling offer together is by working with a local real estate professional. That agent can act as your trusted advisor on what terms are best for you and what’s most appealing to the seller.

Home Price Appreciation

The competition among buyers is driving prices up. Over the past year, we’ve seen home price appreciation rise across the country. According to the most recent Home Price Index (HPI) from CoreLogic, national home prices increased 15.4% year-over-year in May:

“The May 2021 HPI gain was up from the May 2020 gain of 4.2% and was the highest year-over-year gain since November 2005. Low mortgage rates and low for-sale inventory drove the increase in home prices.”

Rising home values are a big part of why real estate remains one of the top sought-after investments for Americans. For potential sellers, it also means it’s a great time to list your house to maximize the return on your investment.

A Rise in Home Values and Equity

The equity in a home doesn’t just grow when a homeowner pays their mortgage – it also grows as the home’s value appreciates. Thanks to the jump in price appreciation, homeowners across the country are seeing record-breaking gains in home equity. CoreLogic recently reported:

“…homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 19.6% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion, and an average gain of $33,400 per borrower, since the first quarter of 2020.”

That’s a major perk for households to leverage. Homeowners can use that equity to accomplish major life goals or move into their dream homes.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there’s no time like the present. Let’s connect to talk about how you can take advantage of the conditions we’re seeing today to meet your homeownership goals.

From Keeping Current Matters…
Sold by Jessica Harless | Appraisals

What To Expect as Appraisal Gaps Grow

In today’s real estate market, low inventory and high demand are driving up home prices. As many as 54% of homes are getting offers over the listing price, based on the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser at CoreLogicelaborates:

 

“The frequency of buyers being willing to pay more than the market data supports is increasing.”

While this is great news for today’s sellers, it can be tricky to navigate if the price of your contract doesn’t match up with the appraisal for the house. It’s called an appraisal gap, and it’s happening more in today’s market than the norm.

According to recent data from CoreLogic19% of homes had their appraised value come in below the contract price in April of this year. That’s more than double the percentage in each of the two previous Aprils.

The chart below uses the latest insights from NAR’s Realtors Confidence Index to showcase how often an issue with an appraisal slowed or stalled the momentum of a house sale in May of this year compared to May of last year.What To Expect as Appraisal Gaps Grow | Simplifying the MarketIf an appraisal comes in below the contract price, the buyer’s lender won’t loan them more than the house’s appraised value. That means there’s going to be a gap between the amount of loan the buyer can secure and the contract price on the house.

In this situation, both the buyer and seller have a vested interest in making sure the sale moves forward with little to no delay. The seller will want to make sure the deal closes, and the buyer won’t want to risk losing the home. That’s why it’s common for sellers to ask the buyer to make up the difference themselves in today’s competitive market.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying or selling, let’s connect so you have an ally throughout the process to help you navigate the unexpected, including appraisal gaps.

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters
Houston area firework Displays

Fourth of July Firework Displays In & Around Houston

I am reposting from https://mommypoppins.com/

Red, Hot, & Blue Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza – July 3 & 4 – The Woodlands

This 4th of July celebration boasts a weekend of activities throughout The Woodlands that kick off with a parade on Saturday, July 3 and strolling entertainment, live music, concessions and more on Sunday, July 4. Sunday evening concludes with fireworks.

2021 Baytown July 4th Celebration – July 3 & 4 – Baytown

Come out for two days of 4th of July fun in the city of Baytown. Saturday kicks off the festivities with an evening of live music. Sunday enjoy an Independence Day parade, more live music, a 4th of July ceremony, and a fireworks extravaganza.

Shell’s Freedom over Texas Live Broadcast – July 4 – Downtown Houston

Freedom Over Texas is presenting a modified July 4th celebration with performances by Jimmie Allen, the Houston Symphony, headliner Lee Brice, and other musical guests. The big finale includes a fireworks show by Reliant.

Tomball’s July 4th Celebration & Street Fest –July 4 – Tomball

Celebrate America’s independence at Tomball’s annual July 4th Celebration with an evening of fireworks, food, music, and more.

City of Nassau Bay 4th of July Celebration – July 4 – Clear Lake

Get ready to get wet, because a water war is the opening event of this 4th of July celebration! Other activities include a celebration in the park, a Veterans parade, and fireworks to wrap up the night.

Rosenberg’s Family 4th Celebration – July 4 – Rosenberg

Spend the evening celebrating your patriotism at the Family 4th Celebration in Rosenberg. The evening has live music, local food vendors, a kids’ zone, horse-drawn wagon rides through the Nature Park, and fireworks show to conclude the night.

Katy Freedom Celebration Fireworks – July 4 – Katy

The 4th of July fireworks display at Katy Mills Mall/Typhoon Texas is going forward this year! Note that the daytime Freedom Celebration at Katy Heritage Park will not take place in 2021 due to ongoing projects.

2021 Fulshear Freedom Fest – July 4 – Fulshear

Come out to the 2021 Fulshear Freedom Fest for an evening of live music from The SPAZMATICS, local food trucks, vendor booths, and a spectacular Independence Day fireworks show.

July 4 Fireworks + Concert at Kings Harbor – July 4 – Kingwood

Celebrate our country’s birthday with a live concert by Shotgun Road Band at 7 pm and, weather permitting, fireworks display off the pier at 9:30 pm.

Galveston Independence Day Fireworks & Parade – July 4 – Galveston

Galveston Island is celebrating Independence Day with its annual parade of floats, military vehicles, and performers, followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the gulf to conclude the evening.

Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular – July 4 – Memorial

Celebrate the 4th of July at CityCentre with an Independence Day bash featuring live music from Hybrid 7 and  15-minute fireworks spectacular.

Fourth of July Celebration at Kemah Boardwalk – July 4 – Kemah

Come enjoy a patriotic fireworks show over Galveston Bay and live music and entertainment on the Boardwalk to celebrate the 4th of July.

Celebration of Freedom in Pearland – July 4 – Pearland

Celebrate Independence Day with an evening of strolling entertainment, live music, food trucks, vendors, a Presentation of Colors, giveaways, and fireworks.

Deer Park 4th Fest – July 4 – Deer Park

Celebrate the 4th of July with an evening of outdoor attractions and games, live music, and an amazing fireworks display to cap off the night.

Pasadena’s Fireworks at the Fairgrounds – July 4 – Pasadena

Enjoy an evening of delicious food and amazing fireworks at Pasadena’s Fireworks at the Fairgrounds event.

Kingwood’s Annual July 4th Festival – July 4 – Kingwood

Join your neighbors, friends, and family for a 4th of July festival full of live music from several different local musicians and bands and lots of fireworks!

Friendswood’s 126th Annual July 4th Celebration – July 4 & 5 – Friendswood

Celebrate the 4th of July with activities on both Sunday AND Monday. On Sunday head to Centennial Park for food, live music, and a fireworks show. On Monday enjoy a parade, vendors, entertainment, and more at Stevenson Park.

 

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Don’t Forget to Budget for Closing Costs

 When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.

 What Are Closing Costs?

According to Trulia:

When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.”

For example, for someone buying a $300,000 home, they could potentially have between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing fees. If you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your closing costs could be greater. As mentioned above, closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price. 

Trulia gives more great advice, explaining:

“There will be lots of paperwork in front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.

The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You’ll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there’s a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask—your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”

Bottom Line

As home prices are rising and more buyers are finding themselves competing in bidding wars, it’s more important than ever to make sure your plan includes budgeting for closing costs. Let’s connect to be sure you have everything you need to land your dream home.

Keeping Current Matters: Buying MythsDown PaymentsFirst Time Home BuyersFor BuyersMove-Up BuyersPricing

Selling you home in a sellers market | Jessica Harless

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market

Monday, March 29th, 2021

If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | Simplifying The MarketWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.

Jessica Harless | NextHome President's Circle Award

Press Release: Jessica Harless Named A President’s Circle Award Winner

March 16, 2021

NextHome recognizes Jessica Harless for her sales achievements in 2020

Pleasanton, CA — 3/16/2021 — NextHome is proud to congratulate Jessica Harless NextHome Realty Center in Cypress TX, on her achievement in receiving the President’s Circle Award. Her hard work in 2020, having sold 31 units and over $12.5M in volume, has been recognized by the NextHome franchise with this award.

The NextHome franchise, established in 2014, has experienced tremendous growth due to its consumer-focused branding, technology, and marketing. The franchise currently has 480+ offices across the country with over 4,400 members, in 48 states. Recently, the brand has been recognized as the No. 1 Franchise in the country for customer satisfaction by Franchise Business Review, ranked No. 79 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® list, and No. 3344 on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies, along with many other accolades.

The NextHome franchise wouldn’t be where it is today without the “NextHomies” behind the brand. The “Humans Over Houses” slogan coined by NextHome has turned into a philosophy adopted by NextHomies as the meaning behind why they do what they do, and why they do it so well.

Recognizing hard work and dedication runs deep within the NextHome franchise through their annual Awards Program. The franchise is proud to recognize nearly 600 NextHomies for their impressive track record of sales achievements in 2020.

“Every year, I have the great privilege of congratulating each award winner on their impeccable performance from the previous year. And while this year it is through a video instead of on the main stage during our annual conference, sharing these recognitions is even more rewarding,” said James Dwiggins, Chief Executive Officer of NextHome, Inc. “Our NextHomies have gone through so many challenges last year due to the pandemic and tight inventory, but their underlying goal has never shifted, never faltered, they’ve continued to help families find their next home. Thank you for continuing to make a difference in the real estate industry, and in the lives of your communities.”

“NextHomies have always been much more than a real estate professional in their local communities. When your profession is to help others, that passion doesn’t stop at the end of a deal,” said Imran Poladi, Vice President of NextHome, Inc. “This past year, when each and every one of our communities experienced hurt and fear, our members stepped up to be a resource for their people. I’m overwhelmed, with hopefulness, that during a time of such negative circumstances, people were still able to reach the American Dream of homeownership thanks to hard-working, and caring, NextHome real estate professionals.”
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About NextHome, Inc.
NextHome, Inc. is an independently owned national franchisor with a focus on changing the way consumers work with local agents and shop for real estate online. The NextHome franchise has 480+ offices and 4,400+ members across 48 states. The company closes over 29,000 transactions annually worth over $8.2B in volume.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Each office is an independently owned and operated business. 

CFISD | Federal Report Cards

CFISD | Federal Report Cards (2019 – 2020)

Federal Report Cards for the state, the district, and each of the district’s campuses are now available on the district’s website at this link:

https://www.cfisd.net/en/about/know-your-district/school-ratings

Select a campus
Select 2019-20 school year
Click Filter
Select Federal School Report Card

Information on these report cards includes:

  • Part I: General Description of the Texas State Accountability System
  • Part II: Student Achievement by Proficiency Level
  • Part III: Academic Growth and Graduation Rate
  • Part IV: English Language Proficiency
  • Part V: School Quality or Student Success
  • Part VI: Goal Meeting Status
  • Part VII: STAAR Participation
  • Part VIII: Civil Rights Data
  • Part IX: Teacher Quality Data
  • Part X: Per-pupil Expenditure
  • Part XI: STAAR Alternate 2 Participation
  • Part XII: Statewide National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
  • Part XIII: Cohort Rate of Graduates Enrolled in Postsecondary Education
NextHome #1 in Satisfaction

NextHome Named #1 in Satisfaction by FBR

Hello everyone,

It brings us great joy, and even more humility, to announce that NextHome has been ranked the number one franchise in the country in owner satisfaction by Franchise Business Review (FBR) for 2021!

Over 300 franchise brands participated in FBR’s research in 2020. More than 28,000 franchise owners shared their feedback on 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction with their franchise system. The independent survey covered areas such as training and support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations, and financial opportunity.

Only seven years after its inception, our company has climbed to the very top of this list, landing the No. 1 position across all categories. This follows our No. 1 ranking in the real estate category and No. 3 overall for 2019 as announced last year.

Our entire corporate team would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you, our amazing NextHomies across the country. Without your support, we would not have the pleasure of achieving this incredible milestone together.

Thank you again and congratulations to each and every one of you!

To read more about FBR and this recognition, please click HERE.

Regards,

 

James Dwiggins
Chief Executive Officer | NextHome, Inc.
facebook.com/dwigginsj | linkedin.com/in/dwigginsj

Like our NextHome Facebook Page!

Home Buying | House and Keys | Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller’s Housing Market

Here’s some sound advice for home buyers from HousingWire | February 4, 2021, 8:00 am By Aly J. Yale

Should you buy a home in a seller’s market?

1. Qualify for the lowest mortgage rate you can
Home prices have been on a tear in recent months, and according to Realtor.com, they’ll rise another 5.7% just this year. Fortunately, record-low mortgage rates can help offset those rising prices — that is, if you can snag them.

To make sure you’re getting the best rate possible, take time to boost your credit score first. Pay down debts, settle any overdue accounts and alert credit bureaus of any errors on your credit report. Saving up a larger-sized down payment can also help your case.

2. Get pre-approved before beginning your home search
A mortgage pre-approval is non-negotiable in this environment. Not only can it give you a good price range to work with, but it can also make sellers more likely to choose your offer.

When faced with multiple bids, pre-approved ones are typically stand-outs, indicating a buyer is prepared, ready to buy and a safe bet to follow through with the deal.

3. Work with an experienced agent
Having a great real estate agent can give you the upper hand in a seller’s market. For one, they can speed up the search for you. They can alert you ASAP when a suitable property hits the market, they can schedule day-of tours (or even tour homes for you) and they might even know of up-and-coming listings that aren’t quite public yet.

Thanks to their experience and expert negotiation skills, agents can also help you submit a more competitive offer when you do find that dream house.

4. Consider buying when it’s not a seller’s housing market
Most experts predict things will get easier toward the end of the year — particularly when vaccines are more widely spread. This will likely spur more on-the-fence sellers to list their homes, boosting inventory and tamping down price growth.

Here’s how Dannielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, put it in her recent 2021 forecast: “The housing market in 2021 will be much more hospitable for buyers as an increased number of existing sellers and ramp-up in new construction restore some bargaining power for buyers, especially in the second half of the year.”

The long and short of it? If you can wait a few months to buy that home, you probably should.

The bottom line
It might be a seller’s market, but finding an affordable home is still possible. If you take time to prep your credit and finances, get pre-approved for your mortgage and enlist a great agent, achieving the American Dream may be easier than it seems.

Sellers Market (2)

Buying In A Sellers Market

Winning Strategies for Buyers in a Sellers’ Market

  • Expect the Sellers’ Market to continue for at least the first months of 2021
  • Buying a home in today’s sellers’ market doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle.
  • Here are four ways to make sure you’re positioned for success when making a home purchase, even when the scale tips toward sellers.
  • Let’s connect to make sure you’re armed for victory in the housing market this season.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Infographic Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters
Family Meetings

4 MEETINGS EVERY FAMILY OUGHT TO HAVE

 Posted Courtesy of Russell Rhodes SWBC Mortgage

 An unexpected crisis draws families together–it’s almost inevitable. But families should also meet regularly to discuss important topics, both fun and serious. These meetings give each family member the opportunity to contribute and be invested in outcomes that consider everyone’s needs. They make your family stronger, happier, and more harmonious. They make it second nature to come together in crisis, as well as help avoid stress in more mundane matters. Here are four meetings your family should regularly have.
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Gift Giving Guidelines. Is excessive gift-giving causing strain from the desire to reciprocate? Meet on this topic with extended family members. The goal is to reduce the tsunami of gifts that come to your children on birthdays and holidays. Try meeting on this at the end of a visit. Suggest that you all put a limit on the value of gifts you exchange, or have each family member give only one gift to only one other family member. While you can’t force anyone to gift the way you’d like, you can set some limits that will keep things under control. Here are some other strategies to keep gift-giving gracious, instead of stressful.

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Family Safety. A simple conversation can save lives, so make safety issues a regular topic of discussion. Review what to do in case of a fire and agree on a place to meet outside. Decide what to do if separated during a storm, flood, or other natural disasters, and make sure all family members agree on the plan. Remind family members of home safety hazards, such as watching videos in the tub while charging your phone. Kids have more access than ever to questionable pranks they see online, so discuss the dangers these pranks can pose. Empower older kids with a plan of action if they’re home alone and accidentally start a fire, and what to do if someone has a medical emergency. Post emergency numbers in the kitchen put them on all phones, and touch base with neighbors you could call in an emergency. Because emergencies can still happen while away from home, it’s important for everyone in the family to memorize each other’s phone numbers. Remind kids if something happens when you’re not around, they must listen to a police officer or other first responder, teacher, or other adults in charge. Ask extended family members for backup contacts if you can’t reach them. By having these discussions, you’ll be better prepared if disaster strikes.

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Family Vacations. Meeting as a family to decide on a vacation is a great way to keep everyone happy. Share ideas about what a vacation means to each person, and what they think was their best vacations. Keep the focus away from where they went, but instead on how they felt there. Let everyone share the one thing they’d really like to do, then see what vacation choices could satisfy all family members. If nothing satisfies all, have each person make a list, and keep searching for the trip that checks a box for everyone. When taking a vacation with extended family members, be honest and up front about sharing your budget limit, keep in regular contact as plans are made, and be ready to compromise.

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Your Parents’ Future. Discussing the future with aging parents can be stressful, but the earlier you know their desires, the better you can plan to fulfill them. Meet with your parents to make sure they’re set for the future. Meetings can be by texts, emails, or online video conferences. First, meet with siblings, so you’re together on questions and issues. With Mom and Dad, check that they’ve written a will, appointed an executor, and created an advance healthcare directive (living will). Find out where they keep important documents and get contacts for their lawyer and financial person. See if there are any health or safety concerns, and how they plan to cover costs if they need care later on. If parents need assistance now, meet with siblings to coordinate caretaking support. By approaching these topics and discussing personal considerations and desires before choices become urgent, you and your family will save a lot of headaches and heartaches.

If you have questions about home financing or refinancing, with rates now near historical lows, please text, call or email us. We’re here to help!

Russell Rhodes
Russell Rhodes
SWBC Mortgage Corporation
Sr. Loan Officer
NMLS# 223298
26503 Oak Ridge Dr
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Direct: 832-381-2224
Cell: 713-582-6908
Fax: 1-866-275-4987
rrhodes@swbc.com
www.swbcmortgage.com/russellrhodes
Home Prices | Jessica Harless Next Home Realty Center

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising

As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some of us wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come.</p

Due to the undersupply of homes on the market today, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply of it, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. That’s what’s happening in today’s real estate market. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which will also drive price points higher in the home sale process.

There’s no evidence that buyer demand will wane. As a result, experts project price appreciation will continue over the next twelve months. Here’s a graph of the major forecasts released in the last 60 days:Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | Simplifying The Market

I hear many foreclosures might be coming to the market soon. Won’t that drive prices down?

Some are concerned that homeowners who entered a mortgage forbearance plan might face foreclosure once their plan ends. However, when you analyze the data on those in forbearance, it’s clear the actual level of risk is quite low.

Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates and a highly-regarded expert in housing and housing-related industries, was very firm in a podcast last week:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With demand high, supply low, and little risk of a foreclosure crisis, home prices will continue to appreciate.

Bottom Line

Originally, many thought home prices would depreciate in 2020 due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus. Instead, prices appreciated substantially. Over the next year, we will likely see home values rise even higher given the continued lack of inventory of homes for sale.

Shared from Keeping Current Matters

The Casan Collection | Jessica Harless NextHome Realty Center

Announcing The Casan Collection

Exciting News: NextHome announces its luxury collection and I am now a Casan Certified Agent!The Casan Collection by NextHome | Jessica Harless NextHome Realty Center

NextHome members are innovators, passionate about redefining the real estate experience in ways that prioritize the value of the human relationship. We understand that people looking to buy or sell their home are looking to do so with the greatest ease, placing their trust in us to expertly guide them through the process.

Luxury clients share these same qualities, plus an innate desire for something exclusive, someone who recognizes their unique wants and needs. The Casan Collection was specially designed to meet the standards of the top 10% of the market and set a new benchmark in luxury real estate.

 

NextHome’s commitment to elevating the highly specialized sale of luxury homes translates to the Casan Collection being available only to NextHome members who have completed a thorough training and certification course through the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. As a Casan Certified professional, you’ve experienced firsthand the Institute’s deep understanding of the affluent clientele that makes up the top 10% of their market. I can create the Casan Collection visual identity and marketing suite for my clients.

When the Inspection report is not good...

What to do When the Inspection report isn’t good

BY AMERICAN HOME SHIELD |OCTOBER 15, 2020

Whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller, the home inspection can be a critical time in the real estate transaction process. When the home inspection report is good, a collective sigh of relief can often be detected from agents and clients alike. When the home inspection report isn’t good, it’s time for agents to swing into action. Here are some steps to consider:

Know your market.

To some extent, reaction to a less-than-stellar inspection report may be tempered by whether you’re dealing with a buyers’ or a sellers’ market. If it’s a buyers’ market, sellers may be on the line to fix most of the deficient items noted in the report before the deal can continue. In a sellers’ market, buyers may not have as much negotiating power. It’s important to understand the current real estate climate and explain to your clients how the market conditions factor into home inspection expectations.

Work with the other agent.

As soon as possible, contact the other agent in the transaction to discuss the inspection report findings. Acknowledge that the report contains bad news and start the conversation about next steps. As much as possible, try to get a sense of their reaction and willingness to make concessions.

Ask for more time.

The real estate contract often specifies a date or timeframe for removing the home inspection contingency. Requesting an extension of that date may give you and your clients the chance to consider the report, gather additional information or estimates, negotiate repairs, fix deficient items, or decide your next steps. If you think some extra time would help keep the deal on track, request it.

Get multiple estimates.

If the cost of repair work noted in the report concerns the buyer or the seller, gathering several quotes from qualified sources may help pinpoint what exact costs are likely to be. In some cases, repair costs may be lower than the client’s project, which can be reassuring. If the estimates come in higher than clients predict, they have the accurate information they need for negotiation and decide whether to move forward.

Communicate.

With accurate figures in hand, have a heartfelt conversation with your clients to understand how the inspection report affects their financial and emotional commitment to the deal. Be ready to communicate their position to the other agent clearly.

Negotiate.

After you’ve assessed market conditions, have an accurate understanding of costs involved, and have communicated with your clients, it’s time to negotiate. In some cases, you may be negotiating which repairs the seller needs to make before the deal can close. In other cases, you might negotiate a reduction in selling price or a credit at closing to cover the repair costs. If you’re facing an unusual inspection issue, seek advice from trusted colleagues who may have handled similar situations in the past.

Request documentation.

For everyone’s protection, specify that sellers submit documentation of repair work performed from qualified service professionals. It’s also a good idea to schedule a follow-up inspection or a walk-through to confirm that the negotiated work was satisfactorily completed.

Add American Home Shield® Home Warranty Coverage.

300,000 real estate transactions per year include American Home Shield home warranties, and for a good reason. In addition to offering important budget protection for covered items, American Home Shield coverage can help mitigate unexpected home inspection issues to keep transactions on track. Home warranty protection can also offer valuable reassurance to buyers, especially when the age or condition of covered home systems and appliances are in question.

When home inspection reports are disappointing, it’s important for clients to see their agent responding calmly and deliberately. They will always remember the valuable, professional, and steady guidance that you offer during a critical time.

For more helpful tips from our partners at American Home Shield, check out their blog!

Home Buyers | Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

What’s On Your Must Have List? 2020 Home Buyers

Some Highlights

  • The word “home” is taking on a whole new meaning this year, and buyers are starting to look for new features as they re-think their needs and what’s truly possible.
  • From more outdoor space to virtual classrooms for their children, buyers have a growing list of what they’d like to see in their homes.
  • Let’s connect today if your needs have changed and your wish list is expanding too.

Virtual Classroom |Homes Sold By Jessica Harless |NextHome Realty Center

Some Highlights

  • With remote learning sweeping the nation this academic year, organized spaces with enough room for kids to learn effectively are high on buyer wish lists.
  • If you’re trying to make room for your family’s growing needs, multi-purpose rooms and dedicated workspaces may be features to consider in your next home.
  • Let’s connect today so you can find a home where your kids feel confident and comfortable too.
Home Buyers | Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

What’s On Your Must Have List? 2020 Home Buyers copy

Some Highlights

  • The word “home” is taking on a whole new meaning this year, and buyers are starting to look for new features as they re-think their needs and what’s truly possible.
  • From more outdoor space to virtual classrooms for their children, buyers have a growing list of what they’d like to see in their homes.
  • Let’s connect today if your needs have changed and your wish list is expanding too.

Virtual Classroom |Homes Sold By Jessica Harless |NextHome Realty Center

Some Highlights

  • With remote learning sweeping the nation this academic year, organized spaces with enough room for kids to learn effectively are high on buyer wish lists.
  • If you’re trying to make room for your family’s growing needs, multi-purpose rooms and dedicated workspaces may be features to consider in your next home.
  • Let’s connect today so you can find a home where your kids feel confident and comfortable too.
Group of  paper airplanes, orange one is the first place, can be used leadership/individuality concepts. ( 3d render )

Why Is It so Important to Be Pre-Approved in the Homebuying Process?

You may have heard that pre-approval is a great first step in the homebuying process. But why is it so important? When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. So, before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and ultimately how much money you can borrow for your loan. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do this.

According to a recent survey from realtor.com, many buyers are making the mistake of skipping the pre-approval step in the homebuying process:

“Of over 2,000 active home shoppers who plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months, only 52% obtained a pre-approval letter before beginning their home search, which means nearly half of home buyers are missing this crucial piece of paperwork.

This paperwork (the pre-approval letter) shows sellers you’re a qualified buyer, something that can really help you stand out from the crowd in the current ultra-competitive market.

How competitive is today’s market? Extremely – especially among buyers.

With limited inventory, there are many more buyers than sellers right now, and that’s fueling the competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are receiving an average of 2.9 offers for sellers to negotiate, so bidding wars are heating up.

Pre-approval shows homeowners you’re a serious buyer. It helps you stand out from the crowd if you get into a multiple-offer scenario, and these days, it’s likely. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy the home, you’re in a better position to potentially win the bidding war and land the home of your dreams.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com notes:

“For ‘a buyer in a competitive market, it’s typically essential to have pre-approval done in order to submit an offer, so getting it done before you even look at homes is a smart move that will enable a buyer to move fast to put an offer in on the right home.’”

In addition, today’s housing market is also changing from moment to moment. Interest rates are low, prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals (a loan officer and a real estate agent) making sure you take the right steps along the way and can show your qualifications as a buyer at the time you find a home to purchase.

Bottom Line

In a competitive market with low inventory, a pre-approval letter is a game-changing piece of the homebuying process. If you’re ready to buy this year, let’s connect before you start searching for a home.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome RealtyCenter

How Is Remote Work Changing Homebuyer Needs?

With more companies figuring out how to efficiently and effectively enable their employees to work remotely (and for longer than most of us initially expected), homeowners throughout the country are re-evaluating their needs. Do I still need to live close to my company’s office building? Do I need a larger home with more office space? Would making a move to the suburbs make more sense for my family? All of these questions are on the table for many Americans as we ride the wave of the current health crisis and consider evolving homeownership needs.

According to George RatiuSenior Economist for realtor.com:

“The ability to work remotely is expanding home shoppers’ geographic options and driving their motivation to buy, even if it means a longer commute, at least in the short term…Although it’s too early to tell what long-term impact the COVID-era of remote work will have on housing, it’s clear that the pandemic is shaping how people live and work under the same roof.” 

Working remotely is definitely changing how Americans spend their time at home, and also how they use their available square footage. Homeowners aren’t just looking for a room for a home office, either. The desire to have a home gym, an updated kitchen, and more space in general – indoor and outdoor – are all key factors motivating some buyers to change their home search parameters.

A recent realtor.com-HarrisX survey indicates:

“In a June poll of 2,000 potential home shoppers who indicated plans to make a purchase in the next year, 63% of those currently working from home stated their potential purchase was a result of their ability to work remotely, while nearly 40% [of] that number expected to purchase a home within four to six months and 13% said changes related to pandemic fueled their interest in buying a new home.

Clearly, Americans are thinking differently about homeownership today, and through a new lens. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) notes:

“New single-family home sales jumped in June, as housing demand was supported by low interest rates, a renewed consumer focus on the importance of housing, and rising demand in lower-density markets like suburbs and exurbs.”

Through these challenging times, you may have found your home becoming your office, your children’s classroom, your workout facility, and your family’s safe haven. This has quickly shifted what home truly means to many American families. More than ever, having a place to focus on professional productivity while many competing priorities (and distractions!) are knocking on your door is challenging homeowners to get creative, use space wisely, and ultimately find a place where all of these essential needs can realistically be met. In many cases, a new home is the best option.

In today’s real estate market, making a move while mortgage rates are hovering at historic lows may enable you to purchase more home for your money, just when you and your family need it most.

Bottom Line

If your personal and professional needs have changed and you’re ready to accommodate all of your family’s competing priorities, let’s connect today. Making a move into a larger home may be exactly what you need to set your family up for optimal long-term success.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | Next Home Realty Center

The Cost of Buying a Home – What Buyers Need to Know

Most buyers come into the home buying process with a budget already in mind. But if they match their home price to their available budget, they may end up in hot water come closing time. That’s why it’s so important to make sure as buyer,  you properly prepare for the hidden costs you’ll encounter on the road to homeownership. Here are a few expenses to be sure you are aware of.

Closing costs — Many of the closing costs are negotiable, but it’s common for buyers to pay most of them, particularly in a seller’s market. Mortgage fees, title insurance, recording fees, and appraisal fees are some of the small numbers that will add up to be the closing costs, which can vary and depends on the purchase price.
Moving costs — Once the closing is over and the home belongs to you, you’ll still have to shoulder the expenses of moving in. These numbers can vary depending on how far you’re moving and much of the moving labor you’re willing to do yourself, but you should know the answer to these questions before buying a home.

Utilities — While you may be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments, it’s important that you also consider the utility costs at your new home. Depending on their previous living situation, you may not think to consider the costs that come with water, electric, trash, and other necessary monthly utilities.

HOA Fees — If the property being considered is under the restrictions of a homeowner’s association, you could be looking at another few hundred a month in fees. Many HOAs provide services that you may find useful and worth the expense, but you may also want to look into what the HOA provides and make sure you feel comfortable signing on for the fees in exchange for whatever the service provides.

Property taxes — These are calculated based on the value of the property, as well as state and city regulations. This means that different properties even in the same city could come with different property taxes.

Insurance — Homeowners with a mortgage are almost always required to get homeowner’s insurance, so this is a non-negotiable expense for most buyers. The cost will depend on location and other factors, but you can expect their annual premium to be around a thousand dollars.

Once you have a complete understanding of the full financial picture of a home purchase, you may find that your budget has shifted. By getting this out of the way early, you will be looking at homes in your correct price range and will ultimately end up in a house that suits your needs and your budget.

Info courtesy of Russell Rhodes, SWBC Mortgage
Homes SoldBy Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Looking For?

There’s great opportunity for today’s homeowners to sell their houses and make a move, yet due to the impact of the ongoing health crisis, some sellers are taking their time coming back to the market. According to Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com:

“Sellers continue returning to the market at a cautious pace and further improvement could be constrained by lingering coronavirus concerns, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest.”

For homeowners who need a little nudge of motivation to get back in the game, it’s good to know that buyers are ready to purchase this season. After spending several months at home and re-evaluating what they truly want and need in their space, buyers are ready and they’re in the market now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

“A number of potential buyers noted stalled plans due to the pandemic and that has led to more urgency and a pent-up demand to buy…After being home for months on end – in a home they already wanted to leave – buyers are reminded how much their current home may lack certain desired features or amenities.”

The latest Market Recovery Survey from NAR shares some of the features and amenities buyers are looking for, especially since the health crisis has shifted many buyer priorities. The most common home features cited as increasingly important are home offices and space to accommodate family members new to the residence (See graph below):Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Looking For? | MyKCMThe survey results also show that among buyers who indicate they would now like to live in a different area due to COVID-19, 47% have an interest in purchasing in the suburbs, 39% cite rural areas, and 25% indicate a desire to be in small towns.

As we can see, buyers are eager to find a new home, but there’s a big challenge in the market: a lack of homes available to purchase. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains:

“The realtor.com June Housing Trends Report showed that buyers still outnumber sellers which is causing the gap in time on market to shrink, prices to grow at a faster pace than pre-COVID, and the number of homes available for sale to decrease by more than last month. These trends play out similarly in the most recent week’s data with the change in time on market being most notable. In the most recent week homes sat on the market just 7 days longer than last year whereas the rest of June saw homes sit 2 weeks or more longer than last year.”

In essence, home sales are picking up speed and buyers are purchasing them at a faster rate than they’re coming to the market. Hale continues to say:

“The housing market has plenty of buyers who would benefit from a few more sellers. If the virus can be contained and home prices continue to grow, this may help bring sellers back to the housing market.”

Bottom Line
If you’re considering selling and your current house has some of the features today’s buyers are looking for, let’s connect. You’ll likely be able to sell at the best price, in the least amount of time, and will be able to take advantage of the low interest rates available right now when buying your new home.

« Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows for Three Consecutive WeeksMortgage Rates Fall Below 3% [INFOGRAPHIC] »

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Homes Sold By jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Latest Unemployment Report: Great News…for the Most Part

From Keeping Current Matters
Monday July 6th, 2020 For Buyers, For Sellers, Housing Market Updates
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest Employment Situation Summary last Thursday, and it again beat analysts’ expectations in a big way. The consensus was for 3,074,000 jobs to be added in June. The report revealed that 4,800,000 jobs were added. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3% last month. Again, excellent news as the unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month. However, there’s still a long way to go before the economy fully recovers as 17.8 million Americans remain unemployed.

Here are two interesting insights on the report:

What about a supposed misclassification?
The BLS addressed this at length in a blog post last week, and concluded by saying:

“Regardless of the assumptions we might make about misclassification, the trend in the unemployment rate over the period in question is the same; the rate increased in March & April and eased in May.”

They specifically noted the issue in the latest report by explaining that if they adjusted the rate for the potential miscalculation, it would increase from 11.1% to 12.1% (which is lower than the adjusted rate of 16.4% last month). They went on to say:

“However, this represents the upper bound of our estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size of the misclassification error.”

Does the shutdown of parts of the economy skew the unemployment numbers?
Because the uniqueness of 2020 impacts the employment situation in so many ways, each jobs report is now examined with a microscope to make sure the headlines generated by the report accurately convey what’s happening in the job market.

One such analysis is done by Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Indeed. He believes the extraordinary number of people in the “temporary” unemployed category confuses the broader issue of how many people have permanently lost their job. He adjusts for this when calculating his “core unemployment rate” (which subtracts temporary layoffs and adds unemployed who didn’t search for a job recently).

The bad news is that his analysis reveals that the number of permanently unemployed is still rising (from 4.6% in April to 5.9% last month). The good news, however, is when you use his methodology to look back at the Great Recession, today’s “core unemployment rate” is significantly lower (5.9% versus 10.5% in April 2010).

Bottom Line
Last week’s jobs report was much better than most expected. However, we should remain cautious in our optimism. As the Wall Street Journal explained in their analysis of the jobs report:

“U.S. job growth surged last month, underscoring the economy’s capacity for a quick rebound if businesses continue to reopen and consumers regain confidence. A recent coronavirus spike, however, could undermine trends captured in the latest jobs report.”

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Should We Be Looking at Unemployment Numbers Differently?

Should We Be Looking at Unemployment Numbers Differently?

The New York Times recently ran an article regarding unemployment titled: Don’t Cheer Too Soon. Keep an Eye on the Core Jobless Rate. The piece suggests we should look at unemployment numbers somewhat differently. The author of the article, Jed Kolko, is a well-respected economist who is currently the Chief Economist at Indeed, the world’s largest online jobs site. Previously, he was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia, the online real estate site.

Kolko suggests “the coronavirus pandemic has broken most economic charts and models, and all the numbers we regularly watch need a closer look.” He goes on to explain that the decline in the unemployment number reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earlier this month was driven by a drop in temporary layoffs. If we strip those out, we’re left with what Kolko calls the core unemployment rate. Many economists have struggled with how to deal with the vast number of temporary layoffs, as a complete shutdown of the economy has never happened before. As the article states, in the last unemployment report:

“73 percent of all unemployed people said they were temporarily unemployed, which means they had a return-to-work date or they expected to return to work in six months. Before the pandemic, temporary unemployment was never more than one-quarter of total unemployment.”

The core unemployment rate handles this issue and also deals with another concern economists have discussed for years: the exclusion of the marginally attached. These are people who are available and want to work, but count as out of the labor force rather than unemployed because they haven’t searched for work in the past four weeks.

Kolko’s core rate does three things:

  1. Takes out temporary unemployment
  2. Retains the rest of the standard unemployment definition: permanent job losers, job leavers, and people returning to or entering the labor force
  3. Adds in the marginally attached

Removing the temporarily unemployed makes sense according to the article:

“Initial pandemic relief efforts focused on money for people to manage a temporary loss of income and funds to keep businesses afloat until they could bring their workers back. The hope and the goal is for the temporarily unemployed to return to their old jobs, rather than have them lose their jobs and have to search for new ones when jobs have become scarcer.”

The Bad News and the Good News

Clearly, the adjustments Kolko makes dramatically impact the way we look at unemployment. The bad news is, using his core rate, there was an increase in unemployment from April to May. The conventional rate reported by the BLS showed a decrease in unemployment.

The good news is that the core rate compares more favorably to the last recession in 2008. Here’s the breakdown:Should We Be Looking at Unemployment Numbers Differently? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The unemployment rate is a key indicator of how the economy is doing. Heading into a highly contested election this November, the BLS report releasing next week will be scrutinized like no other by members on both sides of the aisle. Mr. Kolko’s take is just one additional way to evaluate how unemployment is impacting American families.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Thinking of Selling Your Home?

Selling a home can be a process, even in a hot seller’s market.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center
By prepping your home a few months in advance, you can reduce your stress and increase the odds of finding a buyer quickly after listing. Take a look at this handy checklist I’ve created to ensure you know all the important steps that go into selling your home.

If at any time, you’d like to discuss the home selling process, don’t hesitate to reach out! My specialty is getting homeowners the best possible price for their home.

Download Your copy of The checklist

20200529-MEM (1)

Top Reasons to Own Your Home

Top Reasons to Own Your Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM
Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Some Highlights

June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

 All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary.

Some may question that assertion as they look back on the last recession in 2008 when housing was the anchor to the economy – holding it back from sailing forward. But even then, the overall economy did not begin to recover until the real estate market started to regain its strength. This time, the housing market was in great shape when the virus hit.

As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First Americanrecently explained:

“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”

Fleming is not the only economist who believes this. Last week, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, (@DrFrankNothaft) tweeted:

“For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.”

And, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an economic update last week explained:

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”

Bottom Line

Every time a home is sold it has a tremendous financial impact on local economies. As the real estate market continues its recovery, it will act as a strong tailwind to the overall national economy.

reprint KCM.com
Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020?

With the housing market staggered to some degree by the health crisis the country is currently facing, some potential purchasers are questioning whether home values will be impacted. The price of any item is determined by supply as well as the market’s demand for that item.

Each month the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for the REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand) during this pandemic.

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020? | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey shows that in 34 of the 50 U.S. states, buyer demand is now ‘strong’ and 16 of the 50 states have a ‘stable’ demand.

Seller Supply

The index also asks: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020? | MyKCMAs the map above indicates, 46 states and Washington, D.C. reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 3 states reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 1 state reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the needs of buyers looking for homes right now.

With demand still stronger than supply, home values should not depreciate.

What are the experts saying?

Here are the thoughts of three industry experts on the subject:

Ivy Zelman:

“We note that inventory as a percent of households sits at the lowest level ever, something we believe will limit the overall degree of home price pressure through the year.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American:

“Housing supply remains at historically low levels, so house price growth is likely to slow, but it’s not likely to go negative.”

Freddie Mac:

“Two forces prevent a collapse in house prices. First, as we indicated in our earlier research report, U.S. housing markets face a large supply deficit. Second, population growth and pent up household formations provide a tailwind to housing demand.”

Bottom Line

Looking at these maps and listening to the experts, it seems that prices will remain stable throughout 2020. If you’re thinking about listing your home, let’s connect to discuss how you can capitalize on the somewhat surprising demand in the market now.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Why Home Equity Is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market

Given how we have seen more unemployment claims than ever before over the past several weeks, fear is spreading widely. Some good news, however, shows that more than 4 million initial unemployment filers have likely already found a new job, especially as industries such as health care, food and grocery stores, retail, delivery, and more increase their employment opportunities. Breaking down what unemployment means for homeownership, and understanding the significant equity Americans hold today, are important parts of seeing the picture clearly when sorting through this uncertainty.

One of the biggest questions right now is whether this historic unemployment rate will initiate a new surge of foreclosures in the market. It’s a very real fear. Despite the staggering number of claims, there are actually many reasons why we won’t see a significant number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash twelve years ago. The amount of equity homeowners have today is a leading differentiator in the current market.

Today, according to John Burns Consulting58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity. That number is drastically different than it was in 2008 when the housing bubble burst. The last recession was painful, and when prices dipped, many found themselves owing more on their mortgage than what their homes were worth. Homeowners simply walked away at that point. Now, 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear. Those homes are not at risk for foreclosure (see graph below):Why Home Equity is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market | Simplifying The MarketIn addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity mortgaged homes have today is $177,000. That’s a significant amount that homeowners won’t be stepping away from, even in today’s economy (see chart below):Why Home Equity is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market | Simplifying The MarketIn essence, the amount of equity homeowners have today positions them to be in a much better place than they were in 2008.

Bottom Line 

The fear and uncertainty we feel right now are very real, and this is not going to be easy. We can, however, see strength in our current market through homeowner equity that was not been there in the past. That may be a bright spark to help us make it through.

 Keeping Current Matters – 5/6/2020
Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Virtual Home Buying

BY KEITH ROBINSON | APRIL 24, 2020

How in the heck am I supposed to buy a house while I am sheltering in place?? I hardly know what day it is without checking right now. Is it actually possible for me to find a house, evaluate it, write an offer, get it accepted, and close on it? Not to mention moving… is that even legal right now?

Trust me, we hear you. It is always complicated, stressful, and a little emotional buying a house. Maybe even a little more so in this “new normal” (nothing normal about this) of COVID-19. To start with, the answer to all of the above questions is “it depends.” Super helpful, right? The thing is, every state (heck, every county) is approaching this differently. In some states it’s kind of business as nearly normal – just add in vats of hand sanitizer, masks, and 6-feet-away hellos. Others are in lockdown but real estate is deemed essential so you can still transact. And in a few, it’s been deemed non-essential and it’s literally not even possible to close on a home, not to mention see one. So… it depends.

If you are in one of the states (counties) with the first two options, there are some real opportunities out there for buyers right now. We’ve had an inventory shortage in this country for a while now and that is only going to continue with builders slowing down building and more and more millennials entering “household formation” years (a fancy way of saying they can now afford to buy a house). For the buyer with a little creativity and willingness to take action – and the right real estate professional – this could be the time. That being said, it is stressful and a person deciding to hold off to let the dust settle could make sense. The rest of this is for the creative and willing buyer.

Step 1: virtual buyer consultation.  It could be over Facetime, a Zoom meeting, or some other virtual conference room software. We’ve been doing things remote at NextHome since we started our company over five years ago. It’s not quite as good as meeting face-to-face but it’s really close to the same thing. I mean, if virtual happy hours are popping up around the U.S., then we can set up a virtual buyer consultation to have all your questions answered.

Step 2: virtual property search. Now you’ve already been digging through Zillow like a detective looking for the one clue to make your case. Now you’ve got someone to send them to so you can get more information. And you’ve got a partner in detective work who will be doing some digging with you and sending you properties that fit your criteria. Think of it as your virtual property concierge who is there to assist, and sometimes lead, the property finding process. Thank the technology gods that more and more have been developed to help you know a lot about a house before you see it. I know, I know, you’re already wondering what happens when you find your dream house online for that, it’s step 3.

Step 3: video home tours. We’ve all got a camera in our pocket (along with a calculator, take that my 6th-grade math teacher who said I wouldn’t always have one handy)and it’s as easy as ever to “see” a property at a distance. Your agent can get access to the property, fire up that Facetime, Facebook video chat, Google Duo, etc. and walk you through every inch of your future home.

Step 4: electronically sign things. Ok, we like it, no, we love it. Now what? It’s offer writing time. The ability to sign documents at distance has been around for years on the real estate side (come on mortgage side, step your game up, because not everything can be signed digitally there). We have all the real estate contracts, addendums, forms, and such available digitally and can email them to you. Then you would need to lean forward towards the computer screen to read the small print and smush a few mouse clicks –  you’re now in offer, counteroffer, negations, and starting the closing process. You will probably have to go somewhere to sign loan documents (see above about mortgage) but in most areas, they have changed their process to allow for safe signing. Some even have a mobile notary and closing specialist who can come to you to sign everything. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (it’s actually hard hard lemon hard but our trained real estate professionals are there to help you every step of the way).

Step 5: inspections. Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. There are lots and lots of inspections you can have done. And each of them can be completed, then the reports sent to you via email. We can even set up a virtual conference room to review the report with the inspector and the agent so you can get all your questions answered.

Step 6: transfer funds by wire. Yup, that’s right. You can move money around like a high-powered hedge fund manager. You feel pretty dang cool when you tell the closing facilitator, “I’ll have my people wire the money over.” Trust me. You do.

Step 7: keys, please! As an agent, this was always my favorite part of closing with a buyer.  Giving them their keys. As a real estate agent, there isn’t much more rewarding than seeing the people you’ve helped get the keys to “their home.”  It’s amazing. Now we just do it over a screen instead of in person. There are key delivery services that can have the keys brought right to you. You’ll just have to Facetime when you do it because I know your agent is going to want to see your smiling face when you get them.

Do I write this with the thoughts that someone will buy a house without ever seeing it. No, of course not. What’s important right now is we all stay safe and we can limit the contact as much as we need to for everyone to feel safe. And we’re fully set up to take care of as much of the process virtually as we can. For some buyers, this is the right time to get bold, take action, and go find their house. And for others, they might want to hold off a few months. For both sets of buyers, we’re here to help you whenever you’re ready.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

What If I Need to Sell My Home Now? What Can I Do?

Every day that passes, people have a need to buy and sell homes. That doesn’t stop during the current pandemic. If you’ve had a major life change recently, whether with your job or your family situation, you may be in a position where you need to sell your home – and fast. While you probably feel like timing with the current pandemic isn’t on your side, making a move is still possible. Rest assured, with technology at your side and fewer sellers on the market in most areas, you can list your house and make it happen safely and effectively, especially when following the current COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You may have a new baby, a new employment situation, a parent who moved in with you, you just built a home that’s finally ready to move into, or some other major part of your life that has changed in recent weeks. Buyers have those needs too, so rest assured that someone is likely looking for a home just like yours.

According to the NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse taken April 5 – 6, real estate agents indicate, not surprisingly, that there’s a noticeable decline in current homebuyer interest. That said, 10% of agents said in the same survey that they saw no change or even an increase in buyer activity. So, while buyer interest is low compared to normal spring markets, there are still buyers in the market. Don’t forget, you only need one buyer – the right one for your home.

Here’s the other thing – people are spending a lot of time on the Internet right now, given the stay-at-home orders implemented across the country. Buyers are actively looking at homes for sale online. Some of them are reaching out to real estate professionals for virtual tours and getting ready to make offers too. Homes are being sold in many markets.

There Is Less Competition Right Now

The same survey indicates that 56% of NAR members said sellers are removing their homes from the market right now. This can definitely work in your favor. If other sellers are removing their listings, your home has a better chance of rising to the top of a buyer’s search list and being seen. Keep in mind, listings will pick up again soon, as 57% of the respondents note that sellers are only planning to delay the process by a couple of months. If you need to sell right now, don’t wait for the competition to get back into the market again.

This year, delayed listings from the typically busy spring season will push into the summer months, so more competition will be coming to the market as the pandemic passes. Getting ahead of that wave now might be your biggest opportunity.

Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor Can Help

Real estate agents are working hard every single day under untraditional circumstances, utilizing technology to help both buyers and sellers who need to continue with their plans. We’re using virtual tours to show homes currently on the market, staying connected with the buyers and sellers through video chats, and leveraging resources to complete transactions electronically. We’re making sure the families we support remain safe and can keep their real estate needs on track, especially as life is changing so rapidly.

Bottom Line

Homes are still being bought and sold in the midst of this pandemic. If you need to sell your house and would like to know the current status in our local market, let’s work together to create a safe and effective plan that works for you and your family.

Homes Listed by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

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2020 Homebuying Checklist

Some Highlights:Homes Listed and Sold by Jessica Harless | nextHome Realty Center

  • If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval.
  • Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step.
  • Make sure to work with a trusted real estate professional along the way, to help guide you through the homebuying steps specific to your area.
Real Estate Trends - Covid Recovery

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Expert insights are painting a bright future for housing when the economy bounces back – and it will.
  • We may be facing challenging economic times today, but the housing market is poised to help the economy recover, not drag it down.
  • Let’s connect to make sure you’re informed and ready when it’s time to make your move.
Homes Sold By Jessica Harless -| NextHome Realty Center

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home.

The good news is, it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your needs.

According to the latest Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, prices have appreciated 3.5% year-over-year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports inventory has dropped 4.3% from one year ago.Have You Outgrown Your Home? | Simplifying The MarketThese two statistics are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up.

This is great news if you own a home and are thinking about selling. The equity in your house has likely risen as prices have increased. Even better is the fact that there’s a large pool of buyers out there searching for the American dream, and your home may be high on their wish list.

Bottom Line

If you think you’ve outgrown your home, let’s get together to discuss local market conditions and determine if now is the best time for you to sell.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Planning on Buying a Home? Be Sure You Know Your Options.

When you’re ready to buy, you’ll need to determine if you prefer the charm of an existing home or the look and feel of a newer build. With limited existing home inventory available today, especially in the starter and middle-level markets, many buyers are considering a new home that’s recently been constructed, or they’re building the home of their dreams.

According to Robert Dietz, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB),

“The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by the gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months.”

This is great news for homebuyers because it means there is additional inventory coming to the market, giving buyers more choices. The most recent data from NAHB shows,

“The inventory of new homes for sale was 321,000 in September, representing a 5.5 months’ supply. The median sales price was $299,400. The median price of a new home sale a year earlier was $328,300.”

Another added bonus is that builders are very aware of buyer demand in this segment, so they’re now building in a price range where there are more interested buyers ($299,400 instead of $328,300). With a reduced sales price and low-interest rates, today’s buyers have strong purchasing power.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you may want to consider a new build to meet your family’s needs. Let’s get together to discuss the process and review what’s available in our area.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

What to Expect from Your Home Inspection

You made an offer and it was accepted. Your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents often recommend you make your offer contingent upon a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you offered for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or in some cases, walk away if challenges arise. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors they’ve worked with in the past to recommend to you. HGTV suggests you consider the following five areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

1. Qualifications – Find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.

2. Sample Reports – Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. In most cases, the more detailed the report,
the better.

3. References – Do your homework. Ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to discuss their experiences.

4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations does, however, often mean continued training and education are required.

5. Errors and Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human, after all, and it is possible they might miss something they should see.

Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, so they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, fireplace and chimney, foundation, and so much more.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

With the current uncertainty about the economy triggered by a potential trade war, some people are waiting to purchase their first home or move-up to their dream house because they think or hope home prices will drop over the next few years. However, the experts disagree with this perspective.

Here is a table showing the predicted levels of appreciation from six major housing sources:What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink? | Simplifying The MarketAs we can see, every source believes home prices will continue to appreciate (albeit at lower levels than we have seen over the last several years). But, not one source is calling for residential real estate values to depreciate.

Additionally, ARCH Mortgage Insurance Company in their current Housing and Mortgage Market Review revealed their latest ARCH Risk Index, which estimates the probability of home prices being lower in two years. There was not one state that even had a moderate probability of home prices lowering. In fact, 34 of the 50 states had a minimal probability.

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Those waiting for prices to fall before purchasing a home should realize that the probability of that happening anytime soon is very low. With mortgage rates already at near historic lows, now may be the time to act.

Homes Sold by JessicaHarless | NextHome Realty Center

Out of the 86 CFISD campuses that received ratings, 32 earned an A, 44 earned a B, nine earned a C and one earned a D. ⁠

Elementary schools⁠: Middle schools: ⁠ High schools⁠:
  • Adam—80 (B)
  • Andre—82 (B)
  • Ault—86 (B)⁠
  • Bane—69 (D)
  • Bang—88 (B)
  • Birkes—93 (A)⁠
  • Black—93 (A)
  • Copeland—92 (A)
  • Danish—90 (A)⁠
  • Duryea—82 (B)
  • Emery—80 (B)
  • Emmott—75 (C)⁠
  • Farney—92 (A)
  • Fiest—83 (B)
  • Francone—72 (C)⁠
  • Frazier—78 (C)
  • Gleason—81 (B)
  • Hairgrove—92 (A)⁠
  • Hamilton—91 (A)
  • Hancock—83 (B)
  • Hemmenway—78 (C)⁠
  • Holbrook—89 (B)
  • Holmsley—80 (B)
  • Hoover—81 (B)⁠
  • Horne—81 (B)
  • Jowell—81(B)
  • Keith—91 (A)⁠
  • Kirk—80 (B)
  • Lamkin—85 (B)
  • Lee—88 (B)⁠
  • Lieder—82 (B)
  • Lowery—83 (B)
  • Matzke—76 (C)⁠
  • McFee—85 (B)
  • Metcalf—81 (B)
  • Millsap—85 (B)⁠
  • Moore—91 (A)
  • Owens—78 (C)
  • Pope—97 (A)⁠
  • Post—84 (B) P
  • ostma—90 (A)
  • Reed—82 (B)⁠
  • Rennell—91 (A)
  • M. Robinson—79 (C)
  • A. Robison—90 (A)⁠
  • Sampson—97 (A)
  • Sheridan—78 (C)
  • Swenke—95 (A)⁠
  • Tipps—85 (B)
  • Walker—81 (B)
  • Warner—95 (A)⁠
  • Wells—93 (A)
  • Willbern—86 (B)
  • Wilson—78 (C)⁠
  • Woodard—90 (A)
  • Yeager—81 (B) ⁠ ⁠
  • Anthony—87 (B)
  • Aragon—91 (A)
  • Arnold—90 (A)⁠
  • Bleyl—97 (A)
  • Campbell—83 (B)
  • Cook—93 (A)⁠
  • Dean—83 (B)
  • Goodson—93 (A)
  • Hamilton—95 (A)⁠
  • Hopper—82 (B)
  • Kahla—84 (B)
  • Labay—90 (A)⁠
  • Salyards—92 (A)
  • Smith—96 (A)
  • Spillane—95 (A)⁠
  • Thornton—82 (B)
  • Truitt—87 (B)
  • Watkins—83 (B)⁠ ⁠
  • Bridgeland—95 (A)
  • Cy-Fair—90 (A)
  • Cypress Creek—89 (B)⁠
  • Cypress Falls—87 (B)
  • Cypress Lakes—86 (B) ⁠
  • Cypress Park—86 (B)
  • Cypress Ranch—93 (A)⁠
  • Cypress Ridge—88 (B)
  • Cypress Springs—83 (B)⁠
  • Cypress Woods—94 (A)
  • Jersey Village—86 (B)⁠
  • Langham Creek—90 (A)

#CypressTX #CFISD ⁠

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

CFISD – Back to School Expo 8/10/2019 @ The Berry Center

CFISD – Back to School Expo – in its seventh edition, the annual CFISD Back-to-School Expo is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress Road). The Expo provides a number of helpful resources to incoming students, parents and prospective employees, allowing for a smooth transition into the school district. (note no -Pre-K registration at the expo)⁠

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Cypress, TX – Food Trucks – Rolling Delicousness!

The popularity of Food Trucks in Cypress keeps growing and growing…⁠ They circle the wagons at the Rosehill Beer Garden and Bridgeland’s Friday Nite Bites as well as a number of local bars and breweries.⁠ ⁠

Here are some favorites: ⁠

  • Krab Kingz Cypress – (832) 797-0530⁠ 11323 Barker Cypress Rd⁠
  • Andy’s Kitchen – (832) 653-3802⁠ 15202 Mason Rd⁠
  • Craft Burger Food Truck – (832) 995-6056⁠ Serving Cypress and the Surrounding Area⁠
  • Lonestar BBQ (281) 581-8072⁠ 14307 Telge Rd⁠
  • Tacos Y Tortas La Balita – (346) 370-2375⁠ Serving Cypress and the Surrounding Area⁠
  • Brooks’ Place – (832) 893-1682⁠ 18020 Fm 529⁠
  • Filipin Tex – (832) 622-9022⁠ Serving Houston and the Surrounding Area⁠
  • Desi Bites – (832) 806-2483⁠ Serving Cypress and the Surrounding Area⁠
  • Toron Food Truck – (832) 273-9437⁠ 12925 Spring Cypress Rd⁠
  • Pitas Bites – 713) 410-0991⁠ Serving Cypress and the Surrounding Area ⁠
  • The Rolling Crawfish – (832) 867-6087⁠ 7202 Fry Rd⁠ ⁠
Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Cypress, TX – Coffee Shops

No matter what you call it… ⁠ “coffee; cuppa; java; joe; brew; café; café au lait; café noir; cappuccino; decaf; demitasse; espresso; ink; jamocha; mocha; mud; perk; battery acid; forty weight; hot stuff; or varnish remover”⁠ you are sure to find a great cup at one of these Cypress Hangouts…⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠

#CypressTX #CypressCoffee #Coffee⁠ #LandofaThousandHills #PlumCoffeeShop⁠ #L3CraftCoffee #Fusion36Degree #CityBrewCoffee ⁠ #TheDailyBrew #CremaEspressoStand #Starbucks⁠ #PJsCoffee #KoalaKolache #CrescentMoonCoffeeBar ⁠ #Dunkin #Starbucks #HanansCafe #TheKaffeSpot⁠ #NestleTollHouseCafeByChip #CypressFood #CypressLifeStyle #NextHomeRealtyCenter

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Local Table – A New Place to Wine and Dine in Cypress, TX

We’ve got a super new place to wine and dine in Brdgleand – Local Table has arrived. Yummy quesadillas are a family favorite so far… Locally sourced produce on your table and a lively suburban family vibe! – Check it out and let me know your favorites! ⠀ Lakeland Village Center at 10535 Fry Road in Cypress.⠀ ⠀ ⠀

#CypressTX #CypressTexas #PlacestoEat #Bridgeland⠀ #BlackhorseRanch #CypressCreekLakes #TowneLake ⠀ #CypressFood #Restaurants #CypressLife #LocalProduce #CypressLifestyle #CypressFoodie #CypressHomes ⠀ #CypressLifestyle #NextHome #NextHomeRealtyCenter #globalcuisine⠀

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Cypress Area Place of Steak!

While it may be your own backyard – Houstonia Magazine says these are the tops when it comes to steak – the Harless family loves Pappas Bros Steakhouse!⠀
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse – Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille -⠀
Mastro’s Steakhouse – Doris Metropolitan -⠀
Killen’s Steakhouse – Taste of Texas – Steak 48 -⠀
B&B Butchers & Restaurant – Killen’s STQ⠀
Mastro’s Steakhouse – Doris Metropolitan -⠀
Killen’s Steakhouse – what’s your favorite?

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | nextHome Realty Center

2019 Real Trends 500 – NextHome Realty Center

Hard Work and a great team of agents (we call ourselves Homies) earned NextHomeRealtyCenter national recognition! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️And we’re growing – the sky’s the limit…🏡🏆

Three NextHome franchises were recently recognized in the 2019 REAL Trends Five Hundred Up-and-Comers list – a supplemental list to the top 500 firms representing the industry’s rising firms that closed a minimum of 500 transaction sides in 2018. The featured franchises included NextHome Experience (Worthington, Ohio), NextHome Experience (Bangor, Maine) and NextHome Realty Center (Cypress, Texas).

For 31 years, REAL Trends has been the leader in ranking the top-performing residential real estate brokerages firms. This year, over 1,250 firms qualified for the Up-and-Comers list by closing a minimum of 500 transaction sides. The 2018 Up-and-Comers list included three NextHome franchisees:

  • NextHome Experience – Worthington, Ohio closing 837 transactions
  • NextHome Realty Center – Cypress, Texas closing 634 transactions
  • NextHome Experience – Bangor, Maine closing 508 transactions

“Having three of our NextHome franchisees highlighted by the REAL Trends Up-and-Comers list is a remarkable recognition,” stated James Dwiggins, CEO of NextHome. “This accomplishment places our real estate brokerages among the industry’s elite. We are not only honored to be named, but we are beyond grateful for the hard work and dedication our NextHome franchisees are putting forth in this highly competitive industry.”

Congratulations to our NextHome offices who made this year’s list! We are honored to be in business with you today and in the future, supporting your goals any way we can!

Preparing Your Home for Sale = Jessica Harless

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • When you list with me, my professional stager,  Jennifer Ross, will meet with you and prepare a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market,
  • I can also assist you in finding local contractors who can help!
CFISD - Jessica Harless

CFISD Attendance Boundaries 2019 – 2020

After having no attendance boundary changes in the 2018-19 school year, the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees voted Feb. 11 to approve changes that will affect more than 700 students in 2019-20.

The changes—which affect seven elementary schools and two middle schools—are intended to rezone students from several over-capacity schools to campuses that are underutilized, officials said at a Jan. 14 board work session.

Post Elementary School, which was built to accommodate 1,092 students but had about 1,127 students living in its boundaries in the fall semester, will move students to Lee and Gleason elementary schools—both of which are under capacity with about 815 and 857 students, respectively.

About 252 students living in the Blackhorse Ranch and Stone Ridge neighborhoods will move from Warner Elementary School to Pope Elementary School.

Truitt Middle School will take about 226 students from Dean Middle School to balance out enrollment numbers at both schools.

The district tallies each school’s enrollment on the last Friday of every October. CFISD Director of General Administration Kristi Giron said officials compare that number to projections from Population and Survey Analysts demographers and to enrollment snapshots from previous years.

“We look at every single school to see if they are growing or declining in enrollment,” she said. “Using these numbers, we then look at building capacities, and with the help of PASA we check on future growth in the area.”

Throughout the planning process, officials considered several factors including enrollment projections, school capacities, the campus feeder system, geographical proximity of students to schools, community input and keeping changes minimal, Giron said.

“We don’t like to move students just to move them,” Giron said.

Reprint from Community Impact Cy-Fair

smart Home - Jessica Harless

TOP SMART HOME TRENDS FOR 2019

If there is one thing we know about the future, it’s that smart technology will increasingly be an everyday part of our lives. And the public is ready. Each year, sales increase on voice recognition products such as Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Apple’s HomeKit. Currently, 60 percent of customers have one or more of these items in their homes, and each year the IoT category (Internet of Things – devices that communicates together wirelessly) increases, resulting in more smart products that would make George Jetson feel right at home.

2019 brings us even more products and advancements that show how smart tech is smarter. Here’s a look at what we’ll see during 2019.

INCREASED HOME SECURITY AND SAFETY

Home video surveillance has been a success and you will see much more of it. Updated products from doorbell companies such as Nest and Ring provide detailed video of your front door, and neighboring cameras will coordinate to allow for additional views (with your neighbor’s permission). Along with a slew of video doorbell and camera products, there are also updated smart locks that give you automatic locking capability and easy access automatically via your app or voice technology.

Additional safety features on the rise include warnings of water leaks and fires, allowing you to catch issues sooner.

CLEANING

There are continued advances with vacuum robots and this year brings us to the next level. One ongoing issue with these products is the need for constant emptying, but the iRobot Roomba i7 automatically cleans itself, reducing the frequency of manual emptying.

Vacuum robots are growing in popularity each year. They clean automatically at your schedule, avoiding stairs and ledges and attacking dirtier areas through the help of laser sight technology. And their ability to automatically leave and return to a charging station means you don’t have to lift a finger.

Other advances in the cleaning category are new self-cleaning toilets and stoves as well as wifi controlling capability for washers, dryers, stoves, and dishwashers.

HOME FRAGRANCE

Fragrances are perhaps the biggest extension of the beauty tech category. Products from companies like Kompoz and Moodo become your personalized home fragrance concierge. They use a jukebox-style system for creating ambient scents to suit your mood or occasion. Moodo’s product called MoodoGo also offers this tech for your car.

BATHROOMS

The biggest news in this category has been in smart toilets. They are now motion activated, lighting when you approach. You can talk to your AI devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant, listen to music, and even activate a light show for ambiance. Not only do these toilets provide our favorite benefits of Japanese-style features such as seat warning and bidet technology, but they are also now self-cleaning. The Kohler Numi even has a foot warmer.

Other areas of the bathroom are seeing advancements as well. There are voice-activated shower and tub controls and increased tech with mirrors that allow you to check the weather, order replacement toiletries via Amazon Replenishment, and get beauty tips from the ever-expanding line of beauty tech.

KITCHENS

There is an increased focus on AI interaction on products throughout the kitchen such as coffee makers and Instapots and even faucets. With the limitations of voice technology, there is a need for more involved smart screens that provide more information and interaction, so we are seeing interactive screens on refrigerators and stoves. Refrigerators such as the Samsung Family Hub series of refrigerators have a built-in screen that functions much like a tablet. You can download recipes off the web or download apps that specialize in all things food-related, including delivery company apps for easy ordering. You can check your calendar, create a shopping list, let your kid’s hand draw notes, and enjoy favorite TV shows and music. These screens are also handy controllers for smart home devices including doorbells, lighting, and other smart kitchen devices, communicating with AI devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Similar features are appearing on ovens, with additional benefits such as touch screen doors for easy-to-use controls and technology that automatically senses how long to cook an item. You can even watch your food cook on your smart device thanks to onboard cameras. You can control functions remotely and make sure it’s off when you’re not at home.

SMART TVS

For TV’s in 2019, the biggest news is they are getting larger, more detailed, and some models even fold like a roller shade such as the LG Display 65” TV. This rollaway design may make a TV’s constant presence in your living room a thing of the past. With smart tech, we are seeing a continued focus on voice recognition, allowing you to ask Alexa and other devices to start your favorite shows and adjust volume controls or pause it without a need to stare at your controller.

BABY TECH

New smart tech in baby care is working hard to make parenting easier. You can track your baby’s breathing, vital signs, and movement as well as record video and more accurately hear and speak. One surprising addition is Nanit’s creation of Breathing Wear – a swaddling blanket that works with its camera devices to provide breathing monitoring without the need for a cumbersome and uncomfortable hand or foot band.

PET TECH

It’s the dawn of a new day for pets. We are undergoing the refinement of “digital daycare,” allowing you to care for your furry friends while you are away, avoiding the cost and hassle of pet daycare. More advanced microchip technology will track your pet’s whereabouts and communicate wirelessly with pet doors, allowing your pet in and other intruders out.

There is more focus on devices that monitor, track, and report your pet’s every move using more advanced HD cameras, LCD displays, and monitor detectors. Pets can also call you, and I assure you they will. In between their calls, they will have more activities to keep them busy. They can enjoy puzzle games that provide treats, play with automatic ball launchers such as iFetch, and play specially designed game consoles with special touchpads.

There is also an increased focus on automatic feeders and waste disposals such as self-cleaning litterboxes and even a new smart toilet for dogs called InuBox.

WATCH FOR INCREASING SMART TECH IN THE FUTURE

The continued focus on smart technology means we will expect much more in the way of convenience. They will gladly take on the tasks you hate, making home life easier and more fun. It’s hard to argue with that.

reprint from luxury home marketing…

 

Affordability - Jessica Harless

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

 

Headlines spotlight the fact that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in more than a decade. Those headlines are accurate.

Understandably, buying a home is more expensive now than immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history. Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many that this lowered the prices of non-distressed homes in the same neighborhoods. As a result, mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Prices have since recovered. Mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has impacted housing affordability. However, it’s necessary to give historical context to the subject of affordability.

Two weeks ago, CoreLogic reported on what they call the “typical mortgage payment”. As they explain:

“One way to measure the impact of inflation, mortgage rates and home prices on affordability over time is to use what we call the ‘typical mortgage payment.’ It’s a mortgage-rate-adjusted monthly payment based on each month’s U.S. median home sale price. It is calculated using Freddie Mac’s average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment…

The typical mortgage payment is a good proxy for affordability because it shows the monthly amount that a borrower would have to qualify for to get a mortgage to buy the median-priced U.S. home…

When adjusted for inflation, the typical mortgage payment puts homebuyers’ current costs in the proper historical context.”

Here is a graph showing the results of CoreLogic’s research:

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability | MyKCM

As the graph indicates, the most recent calculation remained 28% below the all-time peak of $1,275 in June 2006. That’s because the average mortgage rate at that time was 6.68%. As seen in the graph, both today’s typical payment and CoreLogic’sprojection for the end of the year are less than it was in January 2000.

Bottom Line

Even though home prices are appreciating at a slower rate, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is an unattainable goal in most markets. It is still less expensive today than it was prior to the housing bubble and crash.

courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Tidying Up - Hessica Harless

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale

One of the biggest challenges sellers face when listing their house is decluttering. Cleaning out some of the more personal decorating choices allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Those planning to sell soon are in luck! Marie Kondo, the inventor of the KonMari Method of Tidying Up, has gained popularity with her new Netflix series. She gives some great tips for sorting through years of accumulated possessions that we all collect in our homes.

“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”

When you subjectively look at all of your belongings, you can sort through the ones that mean the most to you. Not only will you increase space for more joy-bringing items in your new home, but you will also have a much easier time packing remaining belongings!

“Remember, tidying up isn’t about getting rid of stuff. It is about creating an environment that sparks joy and improves your quality of life.”

When selling your house, first impressions matter! Before you or your agent schedule a photographer to take photos for your listing, make sure to tour your home with fresh eyes. Look for any imperfections that a buyer might notice.

When you sort through your more sentimental items, consider packing them away to ensure that you know where they all are. That way, they are safe during open houses and showing appointments. This will also cut down on the amount of packing you need to do right before you move!

Bottom Line
Whether you are selling your house to move up to a larger one, downsizing, or moving in with family, only bring the items that truly spark joy for you. This will not only help cut down on the items you move but also ensures that you’re off to a great start in your new home!

reprint from Keeping Current Matters

Homes Listed and Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Renting vs Buying – Is now the time?

Renting vs. buying a home: Which is right for you?

Weighing the rent-versus-buy decision? Both have upsides and drawbacks. Ultimately, the answer depends on multiple factors, including your finances, your long-term plans and the real estate market in your area. Here are five questions to ask when deciding to rent or buy a home:

  1. What can you afford and how much savings do you have?
  2. How long do you plan to stay in the home?
  3. Do you want stability or flexibility to move around?
  4. Do you want to be responsible for repairs/maintenance?
  5. What are your financial, career and family goals?

Renting vs. buying a home: Calculating the costs

The first consideration in the rent vs. buy decision is often how much each will cost. If you rent a home, your monthly costs are generally fixed for the term of the lease. Your monthly rent may or may not include utilities such as electric, gas, cable or internet. Most leases require the first month’s rent, last month’s rent and a security deposit equal to one month’s rent in advance. For an apartment that costs $1,000 per month, you’d typically need $3,000 up front. Keep in mind, though, that landlords can in most places increase the rent as much as they like when the lease ends or sell the property you’re renting, so you may have to move a few times.
The good news: When you’re a tenant, your landlord is generally responsible for fixing any issues with the property, whether it’s a leaky roof, a cranky furnace or a burst pipe.
You can use Bankrate’s rent vs. buy calculator to help you crunch numbers and determine whether renting or buying option is better for you.

How much house can I afford?

When buying a home, most mortgage lenders require a down payment between 3 percent and 20 percent of the home’s price. Some loans may have a lower threshold, but down payments below 20 percent will mean paying for private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which is an additional monthly expense. You’ll also pay closing costs, which average 2 percent to 4 percent of the home’s price. A mortgage calculator can give you a rough estimate of your monthly payments, including your interest and principal, outlays and other expenses such as property taxes, homeowners insurance and, in some cases, homeowners association dues. A housing affordability calculator can help you determine how much house you can afford. But our financial responsibility doesn’t end with your monthly mortgage payment. You’ll also need to pay for utilities, maintenance, and repairs, whether it’s a few bucks to fix a leaky faucet or thousands to replace a roof.

With a strong local lender and an experienced REALTOR® at your side – together we can find your NextHome.

home Styles - Architectural Styles - Jessica Harless

The Ultimate Guide to Popular Architectural Styles: From Mid-Century Modern to Mediterranean

By  | Sep 3, 2018

One of the first things that capture a home shopper’s attention is the architectural style of a house. Like price and square footage, the design of a house is one of the major factors that go into their decision to tour—and maybe even buy—a home.

In the United States, a plethora of architectural designs exist from coast to coast. Some styles are region-specific, while others can be found in neighborhoods all around the country.

Whether you’re trying to identify a particular style or determine which one suits your taste the best, the list of popular architectural styles below will help you sort it all out.

Mid-Century Modern

An Eichler home in San Rafael, CA

An Eichler home in San Rafael, CA

If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Mad Men,” you’re already familiar with Mid-Century Modern design. Although this style is characteristic of the ’50s and ’60s aesthetic, these homes began springing up in the mid-1940s—right after World War II—and continued to spread through the 1980s. It has enjoyed a surge of new popularity in recent years.

This design is known for its simplicity. Homes and buildings constructed in this architectural style typically include flat planes, geometric lines, large windows, walls of glass, open floor plans, and varied elevations throughout. This style emphasized the idea of integrating homes with their natural surroundings and bringing the outdoors in.

Some Mid-Century Modern homes have become closely identified with their architects or developers and their trademark styles. Joseph Eichler, for example, was a pioneering developer of residential suburbs in California and built more than 11,000 homes, many of which are highly sought-after today.

Earthship

An earthship home in Taos, NM

An earthship home in Taos, NM

If getting in touch with Mother Nature sounds enticing, an earthship home could be the perfect living arrangement for you.

These eco-friendly residences, found mostly in sun-baked areas like New Mexico and Arizona, are primarily built from recycled automobile tires filled with compacted earth or compressed soil. Natural and recycled materials such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and cardboard are also used in the building process. Because earthship homes are designed to collect and store their own energy, they heat and cool themselves without electric heat or burning fossil fuels or wood. That translates into big savings on your electric bill.

Colonial

A traditional Colonial house in Saint Louis, MO

A traditional Colonial house in Saint Louis, MO

Best known for their symmetry, Colonial-style houses evolved from their origins in the 13 U.S. Colonies of the 1700s. Common characteristics include a square floor plan, chimney, medium-pitched roof, and a door located in the center first floor of the facade. Typically, the same number of windows are situated on the left and right sides of the front door.

Across the country, the Colonial blueprint has evolved considerably to meet the needs and tastes of specific regions. These variations include the Georgian Colonial, Dutch Colonial, French Colonial, and Southern Colonial houses.

Cape Cod

The steep roofs of a Cape Cod-style house

The steep roofs of a Cape Cod-style house

Cape Cod homes do, in fact, get their name from the vacation destination off the coast of Massachusetts. Originally designed to withstand the region’s harsh winters, these homes are known for their steep, slanted roofs, which allow snow to melt off, and a central hall with equal space on either side. Traditional Cape Cod homes rarely have built-out porches or other exterior ornamentation.

Carriage

Carriage house in Clinton, CT

Carriage house in Clinton, CT

Long before the existence of cars and trucks, the original two-story carriage houses were popular in the northeastern United States. They served dual purposes: Horses and their gear were housed downstairs while their caretaker resided on the upper floor.

Many dwellings that were once carriage houses have since been converted into garages with the residential area sitting above it. Others have been modernized to include an adjacent building for extra living space, a workshop, or office.

Patio

A row of patio homes

A row of patio homes

patio home is an attached dwelling that typically has a shared wall with at least one other unit. Architecturally, these homes look very similar to townhomes and condos. Patio homes typically max out at one or 1.5 stories.

They are a relatively recent addition to the housing landscape, coming into fashion in the 1970s as gated and shared communities sprang up around the United States.

A patio home would be ideal for those who don’t want the maintenance typically associated with owning a home with a large yard.

Mediterranean

Mediterranean architecture in Orlando, FL

Mediterranean architecture in Orlando, FL

If you romanticize about setting foot in Spain, France, or Italy, a Mediterranean-style home might be right up your alley. Found primarily in warm-weather states such as Florida, California, and Arizona, these homes are generally one or two stores and vary in size. This style’s most distinctive feature is a low-pitched, terra-cotta-tile roof. Other common characteristics of Mediterranean homes include big windows, a stucco exterior, arched openings, columns, and ornamental designs, verandas, and courtyards.

Storybook

A quaint storybook home in Mount Perry, OH

A quaint storybook home in Mount Perry, OH

It may look like this style came straight out of a fairy tale, but you won’t find Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, or seven dwarves here. Often referred to as “Hansel and Gretel” or “fairy-tale” homes, storybook homes were inspired by Hollywood film studios in the 1920s.

Most storybook cottages are asymmetrical, contain one to two stories, and feature arched or half-round doors, decorative fireplaces, stucco siding, cross-gabled roofs, decorative chimneys, turrets, towers, half-round or ached doors, and tiny windows.

Cape Dutch

This Southport, CT, home is one of only two Cape Dutch–style homes for sale in the United States.

This Southport, CT, home is one of only two Cape Dutch–style homes for sale in the United States.

Originating in the Western Cape of South Africa, the Cape Dutch style first became popular during the 17th century, when Dutch settlers colonized the area. Today in the U.S., only two true original Cape Dutch–style homes are available for sale.

These homes are often H-, T-, or U-shaped. Distinctive features of this style are a thatched roof and central, rounded gable prominently displayed on the exterior. These homes also feature large wooden sash cottage panes, external wooden shutters, and green detailing.

Nikki Gaskins is an Emmy-nominated journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in broadcast journalism.
Reeal Estate Market - Jessica Harlesss

Top 3 Myths About Today’s Real Estate Market

There are many conflicting headlines when it comes to describing today’s real estate market. Some are making comparisons to the market we experienced 10 years ago and are starting to believe that we may be doomed to repeat ourselves. Others are just plain wrong when it comes to what it takes to qualify for a mortgage.

Today, we want to try and clear the air by shedding some light on what’s causing some of these headlines, as well as what’s truly going on.

Myth #1: We Are Headed for Another Housing Bubble

Home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 straight months. Many areas of the country are at or near their peak prices achieved before the last housing bubble burst. This has many worried that we are headed towards another housing bubble.

Reality: The biggest challenge facing today’s real estate market is a lack of homes for sale! Demand is strong, as many renters have come off the fence and are searching for their dream homes.

Historically, a normal market requires a 6-month supply of inventory in order for prices to rise with the rate of inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is currently a 4.3-month supply of inventory.

The US housing market hasn’t had 6-months inventory since August 2012! The concept of supply and demand is what is driving home prices up!

Myth #2: The Rumored Recession Will Lead to Another Housing Market Crash

Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. When this happens, they also know that a recession can’t be too far off. But what is a recession?

Merriam-Webster defines a recession as “a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two consecutive quarters.”

Reality: Recession DOES NOT equal housing crisis. Many people associate these two terms with one another because the last time we had a recession it was caused by a housing crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, over the last 40 years, there have been six recessions. In each of the previous five recessions, home values appreciated.

Myth #3: There is an Affordability Crisis Looming

Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home.

There are many different affordability indexes supported by different organizations that all measure different data. For this reason, there is a lot of confusion about what “affordable” actually means.

The monthly cost of a home is determined by the home’s price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates have risen from 3.95% in January to 4.59% just last week.

Reality: As we mentioned earlier, home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 months, largely driven by high demand and low supply.

According to a recent study by Zillow, the percentage of median income necessary to buy a home in today’s market (17.1%) is well below the mark reached in 1985 – 2000 (21%), as well as the mark reached in 2006 (25.4)! Interest rates would have to increase to 6% before buying a home would be less affordable than historical norms.

The starter-home market has appreciated at higher levels (9.4% year-over-year) than any other market. One reason for this is the fact that many of the first-time buyers who have flocked to the starter-home market are being met with high competition. For some hopeful buyers, it may take more than a good offer to stand out from the crowd!

Bottom Line

There is a lot of confusion in today’s real estate market. If your future plans include buying or selling, make sure you have a trusted advisor and market expert by your side to help guide you to the best decision for you and your family.

CFISD _ Jessica Harless NextHome Realty Center

and The School Year Begins

Where does the time go?  All at once it seems I am the mother of 2 young ladies in middle school and a boisterous lad in second grade!

I am very pleased that my family lives in the master-planned community of Bridgeland in Cypress, Texas, where we have an amazing school district.

If you are looking to make that all important move, always consider the school district and the attendance zone.  Keep in mind if you are moving to a subdivision with lots of new construction, new schools or attendance zone changes are inevitable.  If you are past the age where schools seem unimportant in your decision making; remember good schools improve a home’s resale value.

CFISD information is available online at https://www.cfisd.net/en/ – on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cyfairisd/  or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CyFairISD or Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cyfairisd/ and finally there is an app you can download to your phone from the app store.

CFISD Facts and Stats:

  • 117,758* = student enrollment on Sept. 17, 2018
  • 17,155 = new students over the last 10 years
  • 5,365 = projected student enrollment increase in the next five year
  • 91 campuses (56 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, 12 high schools, 5 special program facilities)
  • 42 new schools built since 2000 (26 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 6 high schools, 2 special program facilities)
  • 23rd largest district in the nation (Niche.com 2018)
  • 3rd largest district in Texas
  • 2nd largest district in Region 4
  • 49 campuses at least 20 years old
  • 16,231 first-time students in 2017-2018 (8,205 in grades 1-12; 8,026 in kindergarten, pre-kindergarten & early education)

You can download the complete State of the District Fact Sheet at https://www.cfisd.net/download_file/view/27437/488/

 

 

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Luxury Trends - Jessica Harless

A Look At Luxury Design Trends

Here are 4 Luxury Home Trends dominating in 2018. 

TREND 1: WALLPAPER IS BACK

With digitally printed paper being produced by small boutique wallpaper companies, gone are the days of wallpaper being something only found in your grandmother’s guest bedroom. Wallpaper is back, and it is better and bolder than ever!

What’s even better is with all the new wallpaper options available to today’s consumer, you never have to be stuck with just one style. Thanks to options such as vinyl, strip-able or peelable wallpaper, it’s easier than ever to mix things up when you get bit by the design bug.

Some of our favorite wallpaper trends right now include a marble pattern on one wall for an elegant and classy focal point or a wallpaper with a metallic sheen or pattern to it to really open up a room.

If a patterned wall isn’t your thing, consider using wallpaper as an accent to a cubby or the back of a bookshelf.

TREND 2: LET YOUR LIGHTS SHINE!

Don’t be afraid to be creative with your lighting! Designers have always held a certain fascination with a unique lighting solution, and nothing has changed on that front! A well-placed lamp could make a room, and the current lighting trend is leaning a little more vintage.

With Edison and exposed bulbs making a comeback in recent years, they have become a near necessity in any rustic or modern design.

According to Elizabeth Mayhew, the Today Show Style Expert and Designer, retro lighting not only can add interest to your home but often vintage lighting was better made.

TREND 3: WOOD WASHES

Cerused wood is a type of wood wash, where a white pigment is used to fill in and really highlight the grain lines of woods, such as heavily grained oak. The technique used today uses nontoxic waxes which have a whitening effect on the woods.

Another popular wood washing trend, whitewashed shiplap, has steadily been on the rise from its continued use by Fixer Upper star, Joanna Gaines. Though shiplap has traditionally been found on the outside of homes, today it is being brought inside to create a bright and airy, luxurious rustic feel.

TREND 4: FANTASTIC FLORALS

The infamous Miranda Priestly once said, “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking,” and while it may seem obvious given the warm days outside, florals are really where it’s at right now! Whether it be bold floral prints or abstract floral patterns in wall art or furniture patterns, florals make the perfect accent to any room.

“When used as curtains or on walls, this bold-scale pattern doesn’t shy away from making a statement,” said Birgit Kline of Birgit Kline Interiors, “the risk is worth the reward.”

repost from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing

real etstate technology - Jessica Harless

3 WAYS TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING REAL ESTATE

From digital open houses to Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to bitcoin cryptocurrency, new technologies are taking over the real estate industry by storm and accelerating the pace of business. With tech-savvy Millennials and Generation Y representing the largest group of homebuyers, it is important to power up your career by staying on top of these swiftly evolving trends and learning how new tech can work for you.

Over 70% of customers look for homes online and more than half of house tours are booked through a website. Now more than ever, keeping up with the latest tech can help you differentiate yourself from your competition. Learn how to leverage the real estate tech revolution with these three emerging trends:

1. Artificial Intelligence can be an intimidating and even threatening idea to some. Science fiction has conditioned us to view it as something that will ultimately overpower human intelligence and bring about our demise. But, today’s AI solutions do not dream of electric sheep yet and are used to meet a growing need for convenience and efficiency. Real estate AI platforms can range from robots giving house tours to immersive virtual tours offered from the comfort of your client’s couch. Beyond its consumer-centric approach, AI can streamline processes for agents by automating repetitive tasks, like answering questions in real-time with chatbots, and use predictive analytics to sift through large amounts of data to target hot leads.

2. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) offer a unique try-before-you-buy model in real estate. Thanks to aerial footage obtained from drones and 3D technology, your clients can now “step into” a space and have an immersive virtual experience while you assist another client. Agents may soon no longer need to spend time and money staging a space, because clients are able to personalize it with virtual furniture. Many international investors already use VR before considering a real estate purchase, and this trend will increase as the VR experience becomes more immersive and sophisticated. Allowing your clients to evaluate a space will help speed up their decision-making process and is more likely to put you in touch with an interested buyer.

3. Blockchain Technology. While Blockchain Technology is still in its infancy, it has already demonstrated its vast potential with the recent use of bitcoin currency in luxury real estate sales. Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency created by blockchain technology, is essentially a decentralized electronic money used for transactions worldwide. The appeal of this peer-to-peer currency is that it is borderless, not controlled by a monetary authority and has created a wave of new digital wealth valued at about $200 billion — in less than a decade. Despite bitcoin’s potential tax implications and tech bubble “feel”, sellers are willing to accept the currency for large-scale projects fueling speculations that bitcoins may be revolutionizing the financial sector next.

It is important for real estate professionals to adjust to these technological advances and diversify their strategies, as new tech will continue to accelerate the pace of business. Consumers will increasingly seek centralized experiences that integrate all facets of a real estate transaction. One way you can diversify your strategy is by offering an AHS® Home Warranty along with your listing. This can help save your clients’ time and reassure them that their budget is protected from unexpected covered breakdowns.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

Cocoa Plants for Haiti - Jessica Harless

Cocoa Plants for Haiti

Houston Food Bank Jessica Harless

Community Service

Volunteering at the Houston Food Bank with Carmen and the Cypress Gems.  That’s 2000 lbs of rice for us to bag, and we had a lot of fun doing it today. Love the hairnets!

The Houston Food Bank, powered by our donors and working in partnership with 600 food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other agencies. Learn more about the Houston Food Bank Get Houston Food Bank FAQ at https://www.houstonfoodbank.org/about-us/faq/

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Interest Rates - Jeessica Harless - One 2 Sell

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
Bridgeland Cypress TX

Bridgeland Featured Listing: 18919 Cove Bend Lane, Cypress, TX

[nectar_gradient_text heading_tag=”h4″ color=”extra-color-gradient-2″ gradient_direction=”horizontal” text=”Stunning Bridgeland Home”][nectar_gradient_text heading_tag=”h4″ color=”extra-color-gradient-2″ gradient_direction=”horizontal” text=”WATERVIEW, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and a 3-car tandem garage”]

You will want to make this your Next Home!

Tucked away from the main living area is a guest bedroom with a full bath that would work well as a “mother-in-law suite” or nursery.Convenient to The Grand Parkway and HWY290, CFISD Schools, nearby shops, and amenities.

Look for Luke on the Lawn!

Real Estate When to Sell - Jessica Harless - One 2 Sell

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases. This leads us to the main reason to sell before spring. Spring being the time when the market traditionally heats up.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2017:

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring | MyKCM

Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.

Client Appreciation Party - Jessica Harless - One 2 Sell

Friends and Family Photo Shoot

My annual Friends and Family photo shot – lot’s of fun for all!

Friends and Family Santa Hedgehog - Jessica Harless - One2 Sell

 

Friends and Faimily - Cy Hope Gifts - Jessica Harless - One 2 SellGreat Sunday afternoon, Santa got to hold his first hedgehog! gifts for Cy-Hope to put a smile on some special faces.. and thanks to Great American Title for their support and McCurdy Media for their great pictures!
And of course a big Ho! Ho! Ho! to our secret Santa…

This Pre-Christmas gathering gives everyone a chance to beat the long lines at the mall for those cherished pictures.

I can’t wait to do this again next year!!!

Viewing Homes - Jessica Harless

What To Look For When Viewing A home

Whenever you view a home for the first time (or the second)…

Walk through the entire house to get a feel for the layout.

  • Will you be able to live happily in the home as-is?
  • Are there major changes you will want to do? Be sure to consider their cost.
  • Is there adequate closet and storage space?

Check the condition of the floors.

  • Will the carpet need to be changed or removed? Check for hardwood under carpet
  • Will the hardwood refinished?.
  • If possible, check under rugs for stains or faded flooring.

Look for evidence of water.

  • take a close look at the ceilings and under windows for wet spots or water stains. Remember to check under sinks, too. In older homes with stone foundations, you are likely to find some moisture in the basement. A small amount is fine and to be expected in these homes, but a large amount of water in the basement is an issue. While you’re down there, check for mold, foundation cracks and the condition of the floor joists, if visible.

Locate the furnace, boiler, hot water heater, A/C unit, etc. You might be able to find a tag or sticker on these items with a date on it – this will give you an idea of its age. Your inspector will be able to tell you its remaining useful life.

Check out any appliances that may be staying in the home. Feel free to turn them on to make sure they work. Double check that the water line has been hooked up to the fridge, if necessary for filtered water or an ice maker.

Take a walk around the property for exterior issues. This is a good time to check for foundation issues and caulk around windows, doors, and siding.

Don’t stress yourself out about missing something – you’ll have an in-depth inspection once the property is under contract.

Selling Your Home - Jessica Harless

Thinking of Selling your Home? Competition is Coming

How will this impact buyers?

More inventory means more options. Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s Chief Economistexplained this is good news for the housing market – especially for those looking to buy:

“It’s not spectacular construction growth, but it’s slow and steady in the right direction. Eventually, the pickup in single-family home construction will mean [buyers] will have more options. Especially with the limited number of sales right now, more options are really needed.”

How will this impact sellers?

More inventory means more competition. Today, because of the tremendous lack of inventory, a seller can expect:

  1. A great price on their home as buyers outbid each other for it
  2. A quick sale as buyers have so little to choose from
  3. Fewer hassles as buyers don’t want to “rock the boat” on the deal

With an increase in competition, the seller may not enjoy these same benefits. As Hale said:

“As new construction continues to increase, home shoppers will eventually have more [choices] and a bit more time to make purchase decisions compared to today’s quick-moving housing market.”

Bottom Line

If you are considering the sale of your home, it might make sense to beat this new construction competition to the market.

Harvey Debris - Jessica Harless - one 2 Sell

After the Storm – Helpful Information

RENTING AFTER HARVEY

https://www.click2houston.com/news/renting-after-harvey-what-you-need-to-know-to-protect-yourself
 
https://txrealtors.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/what-are-tenants-and-landlords-rights-for-terminating-a-lease-due-to-harvey-storm-damage/

from Mike Mengden at Terra Residential Property Management:

Landlords and Tenants and floods. I have been talking to a lot of people in the last few days and thought I’d put something here because the questions are flying now. As an FYI, I am a long time property manager, run a residential property management office, teach leasing and property management to REALTORS, and I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. These comments are just from my experience and knowledge.

First of all, agents getting contacted. Please know that your responsibility and fiduciary duty ended when the lease was signed, but we are all helpful people and like to do so, just don’t get yourself sued. There will be lots of tense times ahead on both sides, some bad information going around, and it should be cleared up somewhat. I have lived through more disasters than I can remember and the first thing I will say is that everyone needs to be reasonable. We are dealing with maybe the Landlord’s entire retirement fund, and the tenant’s home with all their possessions.

Tenants – please contact your Landlord, even if just to tell them that you are OK and the property is fine.

Landlords – same, contact the tenant to see if they are OK and if the property is OK. If not, there are rules and options.

Tenants – if you don’t have renters insurance for your stuff – you are out of luck. The Landlord is not responsible for your possessions. That is what renters insurance is for and only if it covers floods.

Landlords – if the property is flooded and it is serious, then both parties have rights, options, etc. to properly terminate the lease and allow the tenant to move and get their deposit back. However, they can’t abandon everything because the roof leaked in a closet.

Landlords, be reasonable – you can’t make a tenant stay in a house no longer habitable.

The issues and the lawsuits come up when the 2 parties can’t agree on how bad or how long the repairs might take. Tenants, understand that the Landlord may not have flood insurance, most won’t in this storm, and even if they do, most that I have ever seen do not pay lost rents, meaning if you move out, the Landlord has no rent coming in while repairs are being made. So be reasonable and have the conversation soon. Also, repairs won’t be made overnight. This is the worst disaster in Houston history, and the worst I have experienced before took months and months to have claims filed estimates done, even qualified contractors to show up. The 2 winter storms we had in the 90’s that caused massive frozen pipe breaks had plumbers from around the country descending on Houston and they still took months to get around to all the homes flooded with water from broken pipes. (Hint: In these cases, with the time frames involved, until those pipes are fixed, the water was off, the sheetrock could have been growing mold, and those homes were uninhabitable). Hurricane Ike took us 6 months to get some roofs replaced as there simply weren’t enough tarps and adjusters and roofers to fix it all timely. So everyone please be reasonable and try to get through this disaster without suing everyone.

One last thing – Tenants – you owe rent until you move. Withholding rent while you are arguing can get you evicted. I have seen a lot of well meaning and troubled tenants evicted from slumlords when they didn’t follow the rules. Follow the rules. Get assistance if needed. But don’t bully.

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PICTURES – RESTORE THEM

http://www.fujifilm.com/support/photo_cleaning/

RETAIN PROOF OF YOUR FLOODING BEYOND PICTURES / KEEP A FEW ITEMS IN CONJUNCTION WITH PICTURES AND VIDEO FOR ADJUSTER

http://www.chron.com/business/bizfeed/article/Don-t-throw-out-carpets-appliances-sofas-just-12067183.php
 

WASHING CLOTHES AFTER FLOOD

https://www.click2houston.com/news/how-to-clean-clothes-after-a-flood

FLOODED HOMES CAN BE FIXED BUT DO NOT DIY THE PROCESS

Many homes are being demo’ed right now that flooded 2016 and/or 2015 and mold is being found growing behind the walls. This did not occur from the Harvey Hurricane flood YET but from the prior years and not properly remediating the home.
http://www.iicrc.org/five-steps-prevent-mold-growth-after-flood-a-99.html
http://www.concrobium.com/products/mold-control-spray/
http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/08/30/flooded-homes-can-be-fixed#.WacDjc2zswA.facebook
 

MOLD INSPECTORS STATE OF TEXAS:

Search by County
https://vo.ras.dshs.state.tx.us/datamart/selLicTypeTXRAS.do?type=county
searching for other names you want to look under Mold Assessment Technician

FILE NOW FOR FEMA CLAIMS

https://www.click2houston.com/news/harvey-how-to-file-now-for-help-from-fema

WHAT IS COVERED ON MY FLOOD INSURANCE

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1432130966606-ec9a9793a03f4a4b5655de0db708a256/Fact_Sheet_What_is_Covered-508.pdf

TRANSITIONAL HOUSING

https://www.fema.gov/transitional-shelter-assistance

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1502303598195-3dc608049769c5e1e928cbbb5c3077af/FACTSHEETDisasterUnemployment.pdf
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DEBRIS REMOVAL IN HARRIS COUNTY

RESIDENTIAL DEBRIS AND DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

For Immediate Release

HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS—The Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline is now open to assist Harris County residents living in unincorporated areas of the County with recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.

Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline – 713-274-3880

The Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline staff is available to help residents answer questions about the following list of services:

Debris separation and removal from public roads and residential subdivisions.
Residential/Commercial Permits for repairing or replacing a damaged structure.
Phone numbers for other general recovery resources related to other basic needs.
The major goal of the Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline is to ensure that public roads and other infrastructure do not pose an immediate threat to public safety. Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment teams are currently working to conduct safety and damage assessments while clearing debris from public roads in areas where flood waters have receded. If you are in the process of clean-up and debris removal from your property, please take precautions to prevent disaster-related casualties and fatalities.

Be aware of damaged water, gas, and electric lines.
Be aware of damaged building and construction materials.
Do not attempt to conduct major tree work or reconstruction without proper equipment, permits, and training.
Be aware of household hazardous waste and contaminants.
Report any hazardous materials spills to: Harris County Pollution Control Services Department at 713-920-2831.

DEBRIS REMOVAL FORT BEND:

DEBRIS REMOVAL MONTGOMERY COUNTY:

DEBRIS IN WALLER COUNTY:

No Information has been updated on the county websites at the time of this email. The link below is where you might check for information on Debris Removal in Waller County will be found once they update it. At the very least it contains the contact information for Waller County OEM.
 Fema - Jessica Harless - One 2 Sell
Home Renovation ROi - Jessica Harless One 2 Sell

Maximizing Your ROI

Whether you are planning complete home renovation or a room remodel, don’t let your emotions take your focus off maximizing your ROI…

CFISD MAP - Jessica Harless

CFISD – District Map – 2017

CFISD – District Map – 2017 – Interactive

NextHome - Jessica Harless

THE NEXTHOME FRANCHISE ANNOUNCES 200TH FRANCHISED LOCATION

Pleasanton, CA— August 9, 2017—Real estate franchisor NextHome proudly announces the opening of their 200th office location – Palm Harbor, Florida.

The company’s growth has been unlike anything seen in the real estate industry. NextHome began franchising in January of 2015 and since launching, the company has expanded nationally into 41 states.

“To be able to grow our company from zero to 200 offices in less than 30 months has been an incredible ride,” said NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer, James Dwiggins. “It has been a humbling journey and still having the family feel while building a national network of NextHome agents and brokers has been inspiring.”

“We are looking forward to what the next 30 months has in store for our company,” added Dwiggins.

Key to the expansion has been the work of the sales team, led by NextHome’s Vice President of Sales, Charis Moreno.

“I’m excited about our company’s expansion and how quickly we have grown,” said Moreno. “But what truly impresses me is the quality of the NextHome agents and brokers that have become a part of our company. The best companies are driven by the quality of the people in it.”

Based in Pleasanton, California, NextHome’s headquarters features nearly 20 staff members dedicated to serving more than 1,600 NextHome members nationally. The team, led by NextHome’s Chief Operating Officer, Tei Baishiki, handles more than 8,500 member services inquiries per month.

With NextHome’s highly automated Intranet system, the Member Services team can focus on highly personalized, first-class interactivity with members who are in need of real estate assistance.

New additions to NextHome’s technology platform has substantially increased broker interest in franchising with the company. NextHome’s Chief Strategy Officer, Keith Robinson, focuses on identifying and implementing new products to the NextHome suite of tools. These tools include the integration and connectivity of real estate technology products such as: SmartZip, Ylopo, BombBomb, RealScout, Homespotter, and Spacio.

Once these programs have been added to the franchise’s platform, members are shown the benefits of NextHome services through various live in-person trainings, as well as online webinars. These courses, taught by NextHome’s Franchise Development Director, Mackenzie Baishiki, allow a flexible, yet interactive experience that caters to today’s REALTOR®.

With NextHome’s goal of having offices in all 50 states by mid-2018, the company looks to grow not only in total offices, but also in agent count.

“Our company has seen a pretty significant increase in agent count over the past year,” said NextHome’s Vice President of Business Development, Imran Poladi. “As our brokers get more comfortable and confident in what their NextHome brokerage has to offer, their ability to add talented agents has been exceptional.”

“I remember being in a room just three years ago with a dedicated corporate team who wanted to change the industry. And here we are, just 30 months into our journey and I’m so proud to see our company growing with productive, career-oriented REALTORS®,” added Poladi.

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Bridgeland Cypress TX - Jessica Harless

17514 Broad Bend Bridgeland Cypress TX 77433

This stunning home should be #1 on your “Must See“ list!.”

17514 Broad Bend

is a One-Story home with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 4,222 sq ft of living space.

Marvelous entry with 13-ft ceilings opens to an office/study through double French doors and leads to a formal living room. A gourmet island kitchen makes meal prep a breeze. There’s a cozy family room off the kitchen for relaxing morning coffee or reading a best seller. The architectural features of the formal dining room are stunning.
The unique split floor plan affords privacy for the master suite. 3 good-sized secondary bedrooms. Nice backyard patio provides the perfect spot for outdoor entertaining and there are no back neighbors.
You will love the amenities of this master planned community. Students attend excellent CFISD Schools. Nearby retail centers, medical facilities, churches and easy access to HWY 290 and the Grand Parkway are a definite plus.
Nest Home Realty Center - Jessica harless

Change is Good

NEXTHOME OPENS THREE OFFICES IN HOUSTON WITH THE LAUNCH OF NEXTHOME REALTY CENTER

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NextHome Realty Center

Gayla Skates and Stacie Schafer

Gayla Skates and Stacie Schafer

Pleasanton, CA— November 3, 2016 — NextHome is proud to announce our latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Realty Center. The brokerage will feature three locations in the city of Cypress, Texas – Telge, Mueschke, and Fry.

The three offices will provide sales services in residential, luxury, farm and ranch, land, new construction, commercial and leases to the greater Houston Metro area that is home to over 6.3 million residents.

The brokerage will be owned and operated by 24-year real estate veteran broker, Gayla Skates, and her daughter, Stacie Schafer. Schafer will serve as the Director of Business Development for the offices.

After a decade of successful real estate sales under the RE/MAX franchise brand, Skates and Schafer are moving their highly successful brokerage to the NextHome franchise. With over 1,300 transactions annually, NextHome Realty Center positions the firm as one of the most productive real estate companies in the state of Texas.

Skates started her real estate career in 1992 with RE/MAX Preferred in Georgia. Skates quickly built her business and was recognized as the Rookie of the Year for the Northwest Georgia Association of REALTORS®. In the mid-2000s, Skates and her husband relocated to Cypress, Texas due to a job transfer and this is where she furthered her real estate success.

In November 2006, Skates fully made the commitment to helping other agents when she opened her own brokerage under the RE/MAX franchise model. In just under one year, Skates grew the company to over 30 producing real estate professionals

“As a broker, I have been very fortunate to attract some of the most experienced REALTORS® to create a brokerage that prides itself on customer service, integrity, and teamwork,”  said Skates. “We are excited that many of our agents have decided to join us on this new journey with us.” Through this culture, the office has grown to three locations in the greater Cypress Area; serving Northwest Houston, Katy, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands, and other surrounding communities.”

With over 16 years in the mortgage industry, Schafer joined the company in June of 2015 to assist in the growth of the company. As the company recruiter, Schafer brought on board 26 agents in less than six months.

As the Director of Business Development, Schafer is set to oversee the progressive changes to the office under the NextHome brand. With an increased focus on consistency in training, agent recognition, branding, office production, and family time for the agents, Skates, and Schafer pride themselves in focusing on their agents.

“We focus on the success of each and every one of our agents,” said Schafer. “We know that by focusing on agent’s productivity, success, and overall happiness, the brokerage will be successful as well.”

NextHome Realty Center offices feature significant resources for agents such as live classes in their 1,400 square foot training facility, full access to first-class technology, and accountability and coaching by the leadership team.

Please join us in welcoming Gayla, Stacie, and the rest of the team at NextHome Realty Center to the NextHome family!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.