The Freund Group Real Estate Blog

Welcome to The Freund Group's blog spot! We are a real estate group with a combined total of over 50 years of experience helping buyers and sellers in all aspects of residential, commercial, as well as, investors, foreclosures and short sale transactions.  Whether you are thinking of buying or selling a home, our helpful resources and tips will help you through the process.

Our blog spot will feature stories of events around the Houston area, the housing market trends and the benefits of investing in Houston real estate. Please feel free to ask questions or voice a concern in the comment section. 

Oct. 13, 2017

Kemah Wine Fest

 

 Kemah Wine Fest

 

The Kemah Wine Fest is taking place on October 14th from 2-5pm at the Kemah Boardwalk. There will be 25 wineries sampling over 72 wines.

 

Tickets are $59.95 on site the day of the event or you can purchase tickets for $54.95 here. Military discount it $49.95 and if you are a Landry’s Select Club Member your entry will also be $49.95.

 

The ticketed wristband included 72 wine samples, appetizers from 8 restaurants- Landry’s Seafood, Cadillac Bar, Red Sushi, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Flying Dutchman, Saltgrass Steak House, Aquarium and the Lighthouse Buffet. There will be giveaways from vendors and Landry’s Select Club Members earn points for this event. Be sure to bring your ID!

 

Live Entertainment will include The Slags from 12-5PM and then from 6PM-10PM enjoy Midnight Release. Wine and food tents will be located in the Main Event Plaza and Bradford Plaza.

 

If you want to make a night of it be sure to check out the Wine Fest Hotel Package. This package will give you premium accommodations at Boardwalk Inn- 1 night stay, and It includes two tickets to Wine Fest. Book your Wine Fest Hotel Package online at kemahboardwalkinn.com and enter the promo code: WF17

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Oct. 2, 2017

Boo on The Boardwalk Kemah TX

Boo on The Boardwalk, Kemah TX

 

It’s that time of the year again when Kemah does it big for Halloween. Bring your little ghosts and goblins for trick or treating and so much more! There is fun for the adults and fun for the little ones as well. Make it a date night and enjoy a fun evening with your significant other.

 

October is filled with so much fun on the Boardwalk.

 

October 6-31st Boo on the Boardwalk. Pumpkin decorating, trick or treating, costume contests, fun activities and more ghoulish fun on Freaky Fridays, Spooky Saturdays and Scary Sundays!

Little Boo Haunted Fun House and Dungeon of Doom Haunted house are open as well.

OCTOBER 14TH 2-5pm  Kemah Wine Festival- $59.95 per person or purchase a head of time for $54.95. Sample over 72 wines!

October 21st Zombie Night Party. There will be a costume contest, ride discounts and more!

October 21st and October 28th Halloween Costume Contest. Dress up the kiddos in their spooky best for a chance to win great prizes. (12 and under)

October 28th AHA Bay Area Heart walk. This is a charity walk benefiting the American Heart Association. 

October 29th Day of Dead Celebration Authentic Dia los Muertos celebration with fire dancers, mariachi bands and much more! 

The Dungeon of Doom haunted house is located on the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, TX , The Dungeon of Doom is sure to frighten you and all your gobbling friends. The Dungeon of Doom is located in the breezeway under the Boardwalk Inn in Kemah. Check out our blog with information about other spooky haunted houses in and around the Houston area.Check out our blog for more great haunted houses in and around Houston.

 

 

 

 

About The Freund Group

 

With 86 years of combined Real Estate experience, The Freund Group consists of a team of six knowledgeable and experienced agents, a listing and marketing coordinator and a transaction coordinator.

We view real estate as not just a monetary investment, we view it as piece of a larger life puzzle. The Freund Group makes it a priority to understand your goals, not just in the short term but also in the years to follow. This allows us help our clients visualize their goals and understand their options and make the best possible decisions.

Our mission is to provide our clients with the most innovative approach to Real Estate services available. We want to assure that each of our clients receive a quality of service exceeding their expectations. The Freund Group maintains the highest standards of honesty and integrity to develop long term professional relationships with each of our clients.

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Oct. 2, 2017

Haunted Houses in and around Houston,TX

Haunted Houses in and around Houston 

It’s that time of the year again and Houston is not disappointing when it comes to scary haunted houses to enjoy. Each year October is filled with pumpkin spice everything and haunted house galore. Whether you live in the city limits or outside neighboring communities you are sure to find a haunted house near you. Check out some of the spookiest houses around.

 

Houston Scream Fest

You will most definitely scream in fear at this haunted festival. Not only is there a spooky haunted house, they have 10 attractions including live converts, a horror movie stage, a dance floor, and a zombie paintball shoot. Police, Firemen, and Active Duty Military get into the festival for free. General admission is $40 per person and a weekend park pass is $50. Scream Fest is just down the road from League City near Hobby Airport. Address: 1500 Elton St, Houston, TX 77034 Phone: 713-946-2266

 

Nightmare on the Bayou

Nightmare on the Bayou is open Thursdays through Sundays the entire week of Halloween. Go through two Extreme Haunts at Nightmare on the Bayou Ghost House and Bayou Cemetery. Go through both for $35 or one for $22. Police, Firemen, and Active Duty Military get into the festival for free. Address1515 Studemont St, Houston, TX 77007 Phone: (713) 868-3344  

 

Phobia

A Houston legendary Haunted House, Phobia features three houses and each last 15 minutes. Voted Texas’ scariest haunted house attraction. Go inside one for $15, two for $30 or visit all three for $40. There is an online coupon for $5 two for $25 or all three at $35. Address5250 S Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, TX 77048 Phone(713) 526-3323

 

Kingwood Asylum

If you aren’t scared just by the website itself, take a plunge into the asylum and become a new patient! The admission is $30 for standard and VIP is $50. The last ride is $5. The asylum only accepts cash. Address1963 Northpark Dr, Kingwood, TX 77339 Phone(832) 640-8367

 

The Haunted Trails

Who needs a house when a trail through the woods is just as scary! There are two attractions at the trails, the Pyscho Hollow 3D, a forest with twisted clowns and freaks, and The Haunted Trails. General admission is $25 and a speed pass is $10 more. Address11500 Antoine Dr, Houston, TX 77066

Phone(713) 618-3323

 

Galveston’s Haunted Ghost Tours

Galveston is known for its haunted tours and many are open year-round. Visitors explore the rich Galveston history with a haunted twist. The most popular tours are: Ghost Tours Texas and Dash Beardsley Ghost Tours. AddressStrand Street, Galveston, TX 77550 Phone(832) 892-7419

 

Scream World

If one attraction doesn’t cut it for you then 5 will surely suffice! Scream World has 5 attractions and they are all included in the ticket price. General admission is $32 cash only at the door but you can save a few dollars by purchasing online. A fast pass will cost $42 at the door. Address2225 North Sam Houston Pkwy W, Houston, TX 77038 Phone(713) 914-1313

 

Houston Terror Dome

This year the dome has been improved with new rooms, new effects and new characters to surely give you nightmares. New for 2017 is “The Sacrifice and “Sicko and Freako’s 3D Fun House.”  Full terror tickets are $20 + $2 courtesy fee. VIP Terror is $30 + $3 courtesy fee. . Police, Firemen, and Active Duty Military get into the festival for free. Address16030 East Fwy, Channelview, TX 77530 Phone(281) 864-9686

 

Dungeon of Doom

Located on the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, TX , The Dungeon of Doom is sure to frighten you and all your gobbling friends. The Dungeon of Doom is located in the breezeway under the Boardwalk Inn in Kemah. There is an early exit for those who just can’t finish the terrifying haunted house. Tickets are $15 per person, $20 for Dungeon Fast Pass and $34.99 for the Scream Combo Pass which includes: an all day boardwalk ride pass and a Dungeon of Doom ticket. Address#8 Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah, TX 77565

Phone(281) 535-8100

 

Make this Halloween a season to remember with scary haunted houses the whole month of October. If one doesn’t do it for you are there are plenty more to choose from. 

____________________________________________________________________________

  

 

About The Freund Group

 

With 86 years of combined Real Estate experience, The Freund Group consists of a team of six knowledgeable and experienced agents, a listing and marketing coordinator and a transaction coordinator.

We view real estate as not just a monetary investment, we view it as piece of a larger life puzzle. The Freund Group makes it a priority to understand your goals, not just in the short term but also in the years to follow. This allows us help our clients visualize their goals and understand their options and make the best possible decisions.

Our mission is to provide our clients with the most innovative approach to Real Estate services available. We want to assure that each of our clients receive a quality of service exceeding their expectations. The Freund Group maintains the highest standards of honesty and integrity to develop long term professional relationships with each of our clients.

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Sept. 28, 2017

Post Harvey Real Estate topics.

What to do if you flooded during Harvey?

If your home flooded there are many options to consider when deciding on how to proceed.

If you had flood insurance, the most obvious choice would be to repair to previous condition or better using the insurance proceeds.

Another path would be to accept insurance proceeds and sell the home as-is if there is enough equity. Use money that is left from insurance and the sale of the home to move to the next property.

If you did not have flood insurance

Accept any assistance offered from FEMA. This will likely not be enough to repair the home to its pre-disaster condition. FEMA's goal is to make your home safe and habitable.

Other grants may come available at a later date, but government moves slow, so it could be many months and possibly years before homeowners actually receive any additional grant money, if any.

Consider refinancing using an FHA 203K loan which will allow you to roll repair expenses in.

Loan Programs for Disaster Victims

Whether you flooded or not, several mortgage products are available for owners and renters to help buy another home or repair your current home.

 

FHA 203H

This program is designed to assist owners or renters whose primary residence is uninhabitable due to the disaster. It provides 100% financing of single family homes or FHA approved condos so there is no down payment required. There will be some expense for closing costs and prepaid items such as insurance policies and to set up the buyer's escrow account for taxes and insurance. The seller is allowed to contribute to these expenses if they are willing and some lenders are waiving some of their fees. Out of pocket should be comparable to, or less than the deposits and 1st month’s rent on a rental property.

The 203H program allows for flexible credit and income requirements, and late payments after the disaster may not affect the borrower's ability to be approved. If the borrower is still obligated to a mortgage on an affected property the payment will not be calculated in the qualifying ratios as long as the borrower can provide evidence that they are working with their mortgage company and their losses were insured.

This product will be available until 9/1/2018. To qualify, the buyer must prove that they were in a disaster area and their residence was damaged to extent that it is uninhabitable.

FHA 203K

In the past this program has been used mostly to purchase properties needing work that prevented the property from being purchased with the standard FHA 203B loan. The 203K loan can also be used to refinance a primary residence the borrower currently owns that needs repairs. The loan amount is based on the value of the home after the repairs are performed. A licensed and bonded contractor must be retained to do the work and they must provide a detailed estimate prior to the appraisal as this is what the appraiser will base his opinion of post-repair value on. Another option is to retain an inspector that is certified by FHA to do these estimates. Contact us if you need a list of qualified inspectors.

The money for repairs is held in an escrow account by the mortgage company and disbursed to the contractor at certain stages of the repair process after an FHA inspector reviews the work to ensure it is up to FHA standards. The contractor has 30 days to begin work with a maximum time frame of 6 months to complete and close out the 203K.

FNMA Homestyle Renovation Mortgage

The Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation is a single-close loan that enables borrowers to purchase a home that needs repairs, or refinance the mortgage on their existing home and include the necessary funds for renovation in the loan balance. The loan amount is based on the "as-completed" value of the home not the present value.

Unlike FHA loan products this can be used with investment properties and second homes. The maximum allowable loan-to-value ratios are lower on these types of properties than when using the Renovation Mortgage on a principal residence.

The borrower must have a contract with a contractor to perform the work and the lender must review the contractor to determine if they are qualified. Plans and specifications must be provided and need to be prepared by a licensed general contractor or architect.

Renovation costs are limited to 50% of the "as-completed" value of the home.

SETH 5 Star Freddie Mac Advantage Down Payment Assistance

This program is for primary residences only but unlike the FHA 203H, the buyer does not have to have been on a previous mortgage or lease. Southeast Texas Housing Authority (SETH) provides a grant to cover the 3% down payment and some closing costs. Additional closing costs can be paid by the seller, if they agree. 640 minimum credit scores are required for this program and there are normally income ceilings that cannot be exceeded but until 2/28/2018 the income ceilings are being waived.

This is an overview of these programs and is not intended to be a comprehensive report. If you are interested in finding out which may be best for you and your situation, let us know and we can connect you with one of our preferred lenders. Some of these lenders are temporarily waiving some of their fees in order to help the community.

How will values be affected?

The value of homes flooded during Harvey may take a while to fully recover, but we do not think that we will see a huge long term drop in value for restored homes that did flood, especially if the only time a home has flooded is during Harvey, which was a historic event. In fact after hurricane Ike in 2008 some older neighborhoods benefited because many homes received needed updates.

We have heard from buyers that have expressed concerns that the price of homes that are available will skyrocket. Unlike commodities like fuel, etc. that typically see a spike after major events, home prices are somewhat protected in the sense that the majority of homes sold will have to appraise for the amount of the sales price in order the buyer to be able to obtain financing. Appraisers must use recent comparable sales and follow guidelines that will serve to regulate the speed at which sales prices increase. If you plan on buying a home at some point, waiting will likely cost you more. Home prices have already been increasing the past several years. In fact the median price of a single-family home that sold last year was $221,500, 4.5 percent higher than 2015 and up 43 percent from 2011 according to information from the Houston Association of Realtors.

 I want to sell, should I wait?

If your home flooded and you have insurance to cover it and you are thinking about selling, you may need to wait to get started until find out how much damage the adjuster estimates your home to have. Otherwise, the sooner the better in order to get a jump on the market before too many of these homes are listed. In any case, you don't need to wait to contact us for a no-cost estimate of what it could sell for in its current condition, versus in restored condition.

Investors

Many investors will be out trying to buy flood damaged homes and this could be your best option and we do have investors that are actively buying properties right now. However, keep in mind that investors will be paying less than market value because they will want to make a property after acquisition, rehab, and holding costs as well as expenses to sell the home. Don't agree to sell to an investor before contacting us or your real estate agent to help analyze your options. 

Is it a good time to buy?

While inventory levels will probably tighten up again, with perseverance you can still find some great affordable homes. The availability of several great financing options, reduced fees from lenders and continued low interest combine to make it a great time to buy. You do not have to be a homeowner with a damaged home to take advantage of some of these programs.

 

We want to help as may homeowners as we can make the best possible decision in how to move forward. If you had damage and regardless whether or not you are a past client or choose not to use our services, we would be pleased to provide information about the value of your home in its current condition versus what we feel the value would be repaired. Just give us a call at 281-479-6683 or send an email to clientcare@freundgroup.com !

I hope this has been valuable information, thanks for watching Real Estate Insights from The Freund Group, Your Friends In Real Estate!

 

 

Sept. 19, 2017

City of League City, Texas

 

Where is League City, Texas?

League City is in Galveston County and lies on the edge of Harris County. It is located on the Interstate 45 corridor between Houston and Galveston. League City was named as the fastest growing small city in the country for 2016 by WalletHub.

View More
Aug. 16, 2017

2514 Horseshoe Bend New listing in Deer Park

Wonderful New Listing in Deer Park

 


2514 Horseshoe Bend

Great open concept floor plan in a wonderful community. Spacious island Kitchen. Window seat in breakfast. Both formals. High ceilings and Vinyl Plank flooring in Den and formals, new carpet in bedrooms 8/2017. Master bath features jetted garden tub and separate shower. Come see why this beautiful home would make a great choice!

 

 

For more information about this property including photos please click here.

 

 

 

Aug. 3, 2017

Great New Listing in Park Meadows

 

1402 Hoover Dr 

 

  

Gorgeous corner lot in a well-established neighborhood in desirable Deer Park! Spacious living room with high ceilings, cozy fireplace, and tons of natural light, covered back patio; huge lot with massive backyard. Stainless steel appliances, tiled kitchen counter tops. Relaxing garden tub in master bathroom. Hardwood floors throughout the house, no carpet! Great school district. Easy access to Hwy 225, Beltway 8 and Hwy 146.

 

For more information about this property including photos please click here.

 

Click below to schedule an appointment or phone call:

https://calendly.com/kelly-43

 

July 27, 2017

How to sell a house in the Houston area

If you are looking to sell a home, here is a complete guide to help you have a successful selling experience. From pricing your home right to attracting buyers, this blog has everything you will need to know.

How to sell a House for the Most Money 

Currently we are experiencing a hot seller’s market in the Houston Area. In many cases we receive multiple offers on homes just days after being on the market. It is a sellers’ market and sellers do have the upper hand. Buyers are struggling with lack of inventory which is appreciating property values. These tips are relevant in today’s market or in a slower market.

Read more here

 

Be sure to read The Freund Group’s  tips for making your home market ready. 

Also, PICKED FOR YOU, Decluttering for your mind and well being.

 -------------------------------------------------------  

How to Sell a House Before You Buy One

In an ideal world, you’d buy a new home and deal with selling your old home after you get moved. But for most people, that is not a realistic scenario. Not only will it cost you more, especially if you are still making payments on the first house, you will also have to qualify for two house payments. Here is some information on how to sell a house before you buy one.

Read more here

 ------------------------------------------------------- 

How to Sell a Home in Need of Repair

If you have a home you would like to sell, but are worried that the home needs too many repairs, you do have several options to help get your home sold. Be sure to keep in mind that many homes on the market have issues, and even if yours needs many repairs, you do have options to help get your home sold for the most money.

Read more here

 ------------------------------------------------------- 
 

How to Sell a Home With a Tenant

 Selling a home with a tenant currently living in the home seems impossible but it is workable. If you are selling a rental home and you currently have a tenant in the home it can get sticky if the tenant doesn’t want to cooperate with the sale of the home. An uncooperative tenant can hold up the sale of a property by not allowing showings, leaving messes when showings are scheduled, and by just being difficult all around.

Read more here 

 

Posted in Tips for Sellers
July 26, 2017

Houston Area Real Estate Market Update for July 2017

Houston Area Real Estate Market Update for July 2017

 

Fueled by growing inventory and continued strong demand in the Houston Real Estate Market, record home sales numbers recorded in 2016 were broken in June. Sales of homes priced from $750000 and above posted a 13% increase from the same month in 2016, making this the 8th consecutive month of rising sales for the luxury market. Sales of homes priced from $500,000 to $749999 were up 6.9%, those selling from $250,000 to $499999 gained 11.5%. The $150,000 to 250,000 segment increased by 12.2%, while sales of homes priced $150,000 and less fell by 10% to 12%, likely because of very little inventory in this price range. Overall property sales dollar volume was up by 10.4%.  

A Look At The Housing Stats

View More
July 26, 2017

Houston Area Real Estate Market Report- This Month 2017

 

Houston Area Real Estate Market- This Month 2017 

 

Sales Numbers

Fueled by growing inventory and continued strong demand in the Houston Real Estate Market, record home sales numbers recorded in 2016 were broken in June. Sales of homes priced from $750000 and above posted a 13% increase from the same month in 2016, making this the 8th consecutive month of rising sales for the luxury market. Sales of homes priced from $500,000 to $749999 were up 6.9%, those selling from $250,000 to $499999 gained 11.5%. The $150,000 to 250,000 segment increased by 12.2%, while sales of homes priced $150,000 and less fell by 10% to 12%, likely because of very little inventory in this price range. Overall property sales dollar volume was up by 10.4%.  

A Look At The Housing Stats

Single family home sales volume and prices both rose, with an all-time record 8414 units sold city-wide compared to 7771 in May of 2016. Inventory levels increased to 4.4 months from a 3.9 month supply 12 months prior. This is the highest level of inventory seen since October 2012. Months of Inventory is a measure of how long all the existing homes on the market would last assuming no more listings are added, and the remainder of the inventory sells at the current rate of sales. Housing inventory across the U.S. is at about a 4.2 month supply according to The National Association of Realtors. Lower inventory levels indicate a stronger seller’s market. A balanced market is usually considered to be around 6 months.

The Houston area housing market continues to experience low inventory levels, increasing prices and record-setting sales each month. Even with job growth slowing due to lingering low oil prices the market here remains strong. There does not appear to be an end in sight to our extraordinary market because of many contributing factors.  

The population of the Greater Houston Area was 649,0180 as of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2010 estimates and Houston continues to experience strong population growth from many sources.

View More