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Residential Real Estate


Metrostudy sees positive outlook for Texas
The Greater Houston Builder Association (GHBA) held it’s mid-year forecast luncheon with Mike Inselmann of Metrostudy presenting 2008 and 2009’s outlook of the housing markets in Texas. Metrostudy is a nationwide provider of real estate housing market information as well as related industries. Mr. Inselmann projects that 2009 we will see an increase in home starts and a move toward a progressive real estate market rebound. Where will this happen? Texas, of course...
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Commercial Real Estate


Mortgage Fraud
There is hardly a more pervasive problem in lending today than of mortgage fraud. It always involves a conspiracy between a loan originator and an appraiser. Additional conspirators can include a buyer’s broker (who may also be the mortgage broker), a title company, and the seller’s real estate agent.
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Real Estate News
Good news for Texas home sellers is that Texas home prices are holding steady. In a July 2008 article written for the magazine Tierra Grande, Jim Gaines, Ph.D., research economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, stated the following about Texas home prices:

"The good news for Texas so far is that home prices continue to appreciate, unlike in other areas of the country. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the national median home price in 2007 declined for the first time since the 1960s, when they began tracking the data. By contrast, Texas’ median home price in-creased by 3.1 percent. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) reported an annual increase of 2.5 percent for Texas in first quarter 2008 versus a 3.1 percent national decline in its purchase-only housing index.

Maintaining home values throughout the state has been critical in minimizing the impact of mortgage loan defaults and foreclosures. Other areas of the country with significant home price declines are, not surprisingly, leading the country in foreclo-sures. In Texas, borrowers who experience financial difficulties at least have some chance of refinancing the loan or selling the house before foreclosure rather than finding themselves "upside down" on the value relative to the loan."




The Next Generation

Those born between the early 1990’s and the early 2000’s have a common name and common thread, the Internet. Generation Z also known as Generation Net have become the most recent generation. The earliest birth year for a Gen Z is commonly agreed at 1991. These people were born at the dawn of the World Wide Web.

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The InterNet Generation

The Generation between 18 and 34 are inclusive of the Generation Y group. This younger Y Group has been referred to as the entitlement generation as they have a sense of entitlement to anything that is technology related. This means entitled to any new upgrade, product, tool, communication devices. The “Net Generation” is overwhelmingly deserving of another term, the C Generation for the Connection Generation since they are constantly connected. This group accounts for 23% of the U.S. population but accounts for 39% of smartphone users. Again, this is the Y Generation and or Net Generation.

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QR code = Quick Response Code

From Wikipedia: a QR code abbreviated from Quick Response code is a specific matrix barcode or two dimensional code that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is the one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. The QR code was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

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The Business Cycle That Will Take Us to the Next Level Is Right around the Corner

Top Ten Reasons the Cycle Has to Move in an Upwards Trend

  1. Companies are moving to Texas from all over the US due to our being a "less taxing State"
  2. Affordability for employees – Texas homes are the most affordable in the country
  3. More homes in more price ranges to choose from than anywhere in the country

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How Leadership is Changing

It is the time of year to plan our objectives for the coming year. Here are just a few suggestions for anyone supervising a team of professionals.

The ongoing objective of any leader in real estate, mortgage is to recruit and decruit. The hiring of new agents into your office is an ongoing skill that requires dedicated hours every week if not every day in order to satisfy the net income for your business.

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Federal Fair Housing and Anti-Discrimination

Some 42 years ago, under the direction of then President Lyndon B. Johnson and just days after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., the Federal Fair Housing Act was passed by Congress. The act was, in many ways, a tool to be used to help diversify communities and ensure the freedom of equality for all seeking housing in the United States. Unfortunately, many, both in the real estate industry and in the general public, remain ignorant of what the actual act entails.

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Hold The Listings, Rule The Market

Those who hold the listings rule the marketplace; our marketplace is beginning to change dramatically. Those companies who are following the good news by economists, researchers and soothsayers are encouraging their sales force to concentrate on listings.

When we are in a demand market the broker and agent who own the listing inventory rule the territory. If your territory is not one in a price range that is robustly selling, add another territory to your target market. If your territory is not turning over as quickly as a neighboring territory, change your focus to the turnover neighborhood. Be sure and investigate the newer production home and custom home neighborhoods that are completely built-out. These homeowners are generally not committed to a resale agent. They probably connected with the on-site new home representative when they purchased and have no connection with an agent.

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Green is the New Gold

Last fall the city council of Austin passed a mandatory energy audit on houses 10 years and older. The mandatory audit is to disclose the energy efficiency of the property. The effective date is July 2009 and the expense will be approximately $100 for the audit. This is the first of what we are told will be the norm of every city and community in the very near future.

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Calming the Nervous Buyer with Facts

5- 10 years from now when the financial crisis has ended and housing prices are up once more, we will look in the rear view mirror and realize that we missed the golden age for buying the dream home or being the "first time home buyer".
Smart people say, that moment of knowing we have hit rock bottom is only indicated by the time when everyone is the most pessimistic. That moment is certainly getting closer.

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Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. It occurs when someone steals your personal information, which can include your social security, driver's license and credit card numbers and so on. Entities that have had their databases compromised include the Department of Veteran's Affairs and University of Texas School of Business. The common fear among victims is that these thieves will use their personal data to access bank accounts, open new credit cards, obtain long distance calling accounts or take out loans.

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Getting Past the Mortgage Crisis

Compliance is now the buzzword when it comes to the mortgage lending industry. The industry, after the huge fall-out, is now going back to the way it used to do business. Proof of income, proof of assets and good to excellent credit scores are once again the benchmarks by which consumers are able to obtain loans. Gone are the days where you just had to have a pulse (in some states a pulse was not even needed) to qualify for a loan. 560 credit scores, stated income, stated assets and 100% financing are no longer viable. People who never should have qualified to begin with will no longer qualify. The market needed a correction and lenders have tightened their purse strings. The sub-prime market is gone and dead….for now.

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Rita Santamaria named one of the TOP 25 most influential women in Real Estate Leadership.

What started out as a blog post on ActiveRain, by Stefan Swanepoel, asking readers to nominate women they thought were influential in the real estate industry quickly turned into a hot topic that attracted over 11,000 views and spilled over into other real estate networks such as RealTown and Inman Community.

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Sandra Hunt named Women's Council of Realtors Texas State President

The Texas State Chapter of Women's Council of Realtors held their annual installation in San Antonio, Texas at the Hyatt Regency on September 7, 2008. Sandra Hunt, long time Champions School of Real Estate Instructor, was installed as the new 2009 Texas WCR State President at this event. The Women’s Council of Realtors is a network of successful REALTORS® empowering women to exercise their potential as entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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Career Advice


Thinking about a Career in Real Estate?
Now is the perfect time to get a career started in the real estate industry. The four largest cities in Texas have all been recognized as recession proof with unemployment rates dropping in all four and job growth increasing in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Remove the guesswork from trying to figure out how to get a real estate license and follow these easy steps to become licensed. For as little as $700 you can get all the education needed to become licensed...
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Texas Real Estate License

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