connie vallone

How Do You Choose a Good Condo?

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Houston Real Estate, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on July 30, 2015 at 7:29 am

Seek ownership in a well-maintained building, and pay special attention to the financial health of the condo association. Lax maintenance may be a sign of financial trouble, which could result in higher maintenance fees and problems trying to resale the property later.

Things to consider:

  • Get a copy of the latest financial statement from the condo association.
  • Ask the board of directors – which is elected by the unit owners from among themselves – if major repairs or improvements are imminent.  If so, find out how much they will cost and whether there is enough money in the reserve to cover them.
  • Check the by-laws, rules and the covenants, codes and restrictions (CC&Rs). You may find, among other things, that they prohibit or restrict pets and the renting of units.  Some may require that the board have the right of first refusal on the sale of any unit.
  • Learn everything you can about the homeowners association, including legal disputes and conflicts.  Start by reading the minutes of the association meetings.
  • Find out the owner-to-tenant ratio.  Because many condominiums are often purchased as investments, there could be a high percentage of tenants in the building.

Are you or someone you know looking for a condo? If so, contact Connie Vallone at

713-249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com .

 

 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Outdoor Spaces: 5 Trends to Watch

In Buying a new home, Curb appeal, Home buying in West Houston, Home Design Trends, Home Improvement, Home Staging, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on July 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

According to a recent Garden Media Group report, homeowners desire low-maintenance, high-quality outdoor upgrades that create both a tranquil sanctuary and an entertainment-ready space. But you don’t have to break the bank to make your outdoor space perfect for you, says Joe Raboine of Belgard Design Studio.

“Even small updates to an outdoor living space can make a big difference, and this season’s trends are versatile and adaptable for every style,” says Raboine.

If you’re not sure where to start, Raboine suggests seeking inspiration from these summer trends:

• Bringing the Indoors Out: Outdoor space can be adapted as a comfortable and functional addition to the home’s indoor rooms by varying paving stones to mimic a faux rug or creating the illusion of separate rooms by using different pavers for different areas.

• Lighting It Up: Get-togethers don’t have to stop when the sun goes down; implementing lighting fixtures into hardscape designs can highlight gardens, pools, walkways and more.

• Cooking to Perfection: Warm weather means it’s time to grill. No longer just for food enthusiasts, a plethora of options are available when it comes to creating an outdoor kitchen for all degrees of foodie with wood-fired brick ovens, matching woodboxes, grill islands and more.

• Stepping It Up (or Down): If it seems like nothing can add dimension to a large, expansive patio, consider staggering levels with paved retaining walls and steps or a sunken seating area, pool or fire pit.

• Letting It Flow: Water features are a great design piece for many spaces, and using permeable hardscapes to build a water display or fountain play area combines function and fun. 

Source: Belgard.com/Home

Please contact Connie Vallone at 713-249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com for your real estate needs.

THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET FLEXES ITS MUSCLE IN JUNE

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Selling, Home Value Reports, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Pricing your home, Relocate to Texas, Sellers, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate on July 17, 2015 at 8:36 am

HOUSTON — (July 15, 2015) — The Houston real estate market’s see-saw ride continued following May’s sales dip, with June sales volume up 4.1 percent and home prices setting new record highs. Only homes priced below $150,000 experienced a sales decline.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), June single-family home sales totaled 7,935 units—the highest one-month volume ever— compared to 7,621 a year earlier. The time it took to sell the average home reached a record low of 43 days.

Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, increased to a 3.2-months supply versus 2.9 months last June. That is the greatest supply since September 2013, but remains well below the current national supply of 5.1 months of inventory.

Home prices achieved historic highs, with the average price of a single-family home up 6.6 percent year-over-year to $302,942. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 4.9 percent to $225,000.

June sales of all property types amounted to a record-setting 9,480 units, an increase of 3.3 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume rose 9.5 percent to $2.7 billion.

“I think it speaks very well for the health of our real estate market when you have a month in which sales are up, rentals are up, inventory is growing, and you’re comparing it all to the record year of 2014,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. “We still expect normalization in the marketplace later this year, and that may well mean these alternating up and down sales months, but the bottom line appears to be that there is no lack of interest in housing in Houston, Texas.”

 

June Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market enjoyed across-the-board gains in the June 2015 versus June 2014 analysis, with single-family home sales, total property sales, and total dollar volume all up, and prices reaching the highest levels of all time. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,063, a 10.0 percent increase compared to a year earlier.

Houston’s housing inventory expanded in June to a 3.2-months supply versus the 2.9-months supply of one year earlier. That matches the inventory level of September 2013, but is well below the current national supply of homes which stands at a 5.3-months supply, according to the National Association of Realtors.

CATEGORIES JUNE 2014 JUNE 2015 CHANGE
Total property sales 9,177 9,480 3.3%
Total dollar volume $2,477,752,487 $2,712,021,860 9.5%
Total active listings 29,513 31,963 8.3%
Single-family home sales 7,621 7,935 4.1%
Single-family average sales price $284,289 $302,942 6.6%
Single-family median sales price $214,500 $225,000 4.9%
Single-family months inventory* 2.9 3.2 10.9%
Single-family pending sales** 7,331 8,063 10.0%

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.
** Effective May 2015, in an effort to be consistent with industry standards, the Houston MLS is now including all categories of pending sales in its reporting. Previously, the Houston MLS did not include “option pending” and “pending continue to show” listings in its reporting of pending sales. The new methodology is now all-inclusive for listings that went under contract during the month.

 

Single-Family Homes Update

 

Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 7,935 in June, up 4.1 percent from June 2014. Home prices reached the highest levels of all time in Houston. The single-family average price jumped 6.6 percent from last year to $302,942 and the median price climbed 4.9 percent year-over-year to $225,000. The average number of days it took to sell a home, or Days on Market (DOM), reached a record low of 43 in June, down from the DOM of 47 a year earlier.

Single-family home sales tracked on a year-to-date basis were flat in June at 35,632.

Broken out by housing segment, June sales performed as follows:

 

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 23.0 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 16.7 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 16.8 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 10.6 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 14.9 percent

 

Single Family Average Home Price

 

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 6,887 in June. That is a 5.1 percent increase over the same month last year. The average sales price rose 6.5 percent year-over-year to $286,441 while the median sales price gained 7.1 percent to $210,000.

The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 29,000 REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com.

Connie Vallone 713-249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com

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