Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Not All Bad News

All the bad news today seems aimed at making people more cautious in their spending.

But let’s cut through that for a second. It’s actually a really good time to buy a house in Houston.

This is an emerging trend nationwide. CNN Money posted an article today that begins, “For the first time in years, buying a home may beat renting.”

And Houston is on the up-and-up. We are a migratory city. We have people moving into this city  and a large percentage of them are coming here for careers. Texas encourages business, and that’s why we haven’t suffered nearly as much as other regions during the recession.

An increased number of white-collar workers are moving here. With the Internet making satellite offices redundant, many companies are moving managers and executives out of the outposts and into their main office.

This is happening in a big way in the oil business, which has kept the Memorial home market strong. These executives have children and they want the best schools for their kids; since many private schools have long waiting lists, SBISD comprises the schools du jour.
If you want to take advantage of this demand and sell your home, know that buyers these days are looking for updated homes. I would venture to say 50% of home buyers have been transferred to Houston for work, and they do not want to come into a new city and remodel. No way! They’ll pay top dollar to avoid this.  There is virtually no new construction in the city, so a home that is in move-in condition with great schools sells fast.

Homeowners worry that home prices will decrease even further. I disagree. First of all, Houston is a cheap place to live, even with $4 gas (but let’s hope that that stops sometime soon). These transferred executives will stay in Houston till they retire, and only some will go back to their previous city. People who move here will fall in love with the climate; once they learn to stay indoors during those months of 100-degree heat, they’ll enjoy never ever having to be snowed in!

But most importantly, as few new homes are being built, the demand will soon outpace the supply, bringing us closer to the years of price stability and safe investments that we all loved so well!

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