connie vallone

Economist Says Summer May Be the Hottest Season to Buy and Sell

In Buying a new home, Contract Terms, Home Buying, Home Loan Financing, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Value Reports, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Pricing your home, Sellers, Selling Your Home on June 15, 2016 at 7:38 am

While spring is traditionally the busiest time for real estate sales, this summer could prove to be the hottest time for buying or selling a home, according to a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University.

“From a buyer’s perspective you have more choice, but you’re also competing against far more buyers,” says Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a professor of finance and associate dean at FAU’s College of Business, who also has sold hundreds of homes as a real estate broker. “Sellers are also looking to sell over the summer, particularly if they have children and want to get a deal done before school starts again.”

U.S. new home sales posted their strongest month in more than eight years in April, while existing home sales rose for the second straight month, spurred by steady job growth and historically low interest rates. Johnson doesn’t see the strong demand for housing slowing anytime soon.

“In some cities, especially in the Midwest, prices have plenty of room to go up,” says Johnson, co-author of the quarterly Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index. “Real estate is still a really good buy in places like Cincinnati, Chicago and Cleveland.”

While he has some concern about some cities such as Dallas, Denver and Houston, where the real estate market has been particularly hot, Johnson doesn’t foresee a dramatic downturn in prices for most of the country. In South Florida, where Johnson lives, fundamental factors supporting the housing market such as rising personal incomes, appear to be strong.

However, prices are probably too high for those looking to buy real estate as an investment right now, especially in certain markets, said Johnson, noting the difficulty buyers will have in finding a good deal right now.

“In markets like South Florida, Seattle and Portland, you may find you’re going to start to see lower probabilities that you’ll be able to successfully market your property,” he says. “But while you may see extended marketing time and prices going flat, there’s no reason to believe there’s going to be a big dent in prices in these cities.”

Johnson urges buyers to get prequalified for a mortgage before they start shopping. He also discourages buyers from making the purchase contingent on the sale of their own home or asking to take possession of the home before closing. That’s a prescription for disaster, he said.

“Be up front. Disclose pertinent information,” he says. “Do not ask the seller to take on risk that might seem trivial to you. You have to think about the other party.”

Sellers should make themselves and their home available to be shown by real estate agents and make sure it’s as pristine as possible, Johnson said. Make necessary improvements such as new paint, fixtures and flooring. But don’t go too far, Johnson warned.

“Be careful,” he says. “What you think is a nice improvement is another man’s gold shag carpeting.”

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Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are looking for Classic Real Estate Services from concept to closing, please contact Connie Vallone by phone (713) 249-4177, email or visit my website at or .

Renovating? The Type of Project Matters

In Curb appeal, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Inspections, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Marketing your home, Pricing your home, Sellers, Selling Your Home, Tax credits, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on June 7, 2016 at 11:13 am

Homeowners undertaking a renovation may either reap rewards come resale, or regrettably find themselves in the red. The latter, says Scott Robinson, president of the Appraisal Institute, is more likely—somewhat.

“Home improvement projects are not necessarily investments in which a homeowner should expect a dollar-for-dollar return,” explains Robinson, who oversees the nation’s largest association of real estate appraisers. “Rather, these projects can increase the likelihood of a sale, or that a property will be comparable to other properties in a neighborhood.”

Robinson advises renovators to consider if the improvement is in keeping within what’s standard in the community.

“Projects that take a home significantly beyond community norms are often not worth the cost when the owner sells the home,” Robinson says. “If the improvements don’t match what’s standard in a community, they’ll be considered excessive.”

Robinson notes renovators may find it best to hold off on large-scale projects if they’re unsure of how long they’ll be in their home. Generally, the longer a homeowner stays in a home, the greater the opportunity for a return on investment.

A real estate appraiser can conduct a feasibility study, which offers an unbiased analysis of what the home would be worth before and after a project. During the study, the appraiser will analyze the property, weigh the cost of rehabilitation, and provide an estimate of the property’s value before and after the improvement.

Currently, the projects with the highest expected return on investment (ROI) are attic insulation, manufactured stone veneer and a garage door replacement, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. Other projects with potential payoffs are an entry door replacement and a minor kitchen remodel.

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Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are looking for Classic Real Estate Services from concept to closing, please contact Connie Vallone by phone (713) 249-4177, email or visit my website at or .

NEW LISTING! 21306 Beacon Springs Lane, Katy, TX 77449 – MLS# 78828196

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Houston Real Estate, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on May 31, 2016 at 9:57 am

NEW LISTING! 21306 Beacon Springs Lane, Katy, TX 77449 – MLS# 78828196

21306 Beacon Springs LaneBeautiful home with tons of upgrades. Huge family room with new wood floors opens to tiled dining a kitchen with granite tops and upgraded high ceiling cabinets that opens to amazing big yard with cabana covered patio for plenty of shade – no backyard neighbors! Tons of windows bring in natural light. Three bedrooms and three full baths plus a nice big game room and study upstairs. Spacious master retreat with garden tub, separate shower and big walk in closet. One full bedroom and bathroom are downstairs. Hurry won’t last long.

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If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177  or visit  or .


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