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. 

July 16, 2019

Home Price Appreciation Forecast

Home Price Appreciation Forecast

Home Price Appreciation Forecast | MyKCM

Questions continue to come up about where home prices will head throughout the rest of this year, as well as where they may be going over the few years beyond.

We’ve gathered current data from the industry’s most reliable sources to help answer these questions:

The Home Price Expectation Survey – A survey of over 100 market analysts, real estate experts, and economists conducted by Pulsenomics each quarter.

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.

Zelman & Associates – The firm leverages unparalleled housing market expertise, extensive surveys of industry executives, and rigorous financial analysis to deliver proprietary research and advice to leading global institutional investors and senior-level company executives.

Freddie Mac – An organization whose mission is to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) – The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.

Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets.

Here’s the home price appreciation these experts are projecting over the next few years:

Home Price Appreciation Forecast | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Every source sees home prices continuing to appreciate, which is great news for the strength of the market. The increase is steepest throughout the rest of 2019, and prices should continue to rise as we move through 2020 and beyond.

Posted in Real Estate News
July 12, 2019

Is Your First Home Now Within Your Grasp?

Is Your First Home Now Within Your Grasp? 

Is Your First Home Now Within Your Grasp? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • According to the US Census Bureau, “millennials” are defined as 18-36-year-olds.
  • According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.
  • More and more “old millennials” (25-36) are realizing that homeownership is within their grasp now!
Posted in Tips For Buyers
July 9, 2019

Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell?

Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell?

 

Your children have finally moved out and you and your spouse now live alone in a four-bedroom colonial (or a similar type of house). You have two choices to make:

1. Remodel your house to fit your current lifestyle and needs

2. Sell your house and purchase the perfect home

Based on the record of dollars spent on remodeling and renovations, it appears that many homeowners are deciding on number one. But, is that the best long-term solution?

If you currently live in a three- to four-bedroom home, you probably bought it at a time when your children were the major consideration in determining family housing needs. Along with a large home, you more than likely also considered school district, the size of the property and the makeup of other families living in the neighborhood (example: you wanted a block with other kids your children could play with and a backyard large enough to accommodate that).

 Remodeling your home to meet your current needs might mean combining two bedrooms to make one beautiful master suite and changing another bedroom into the massive walk-in closet you always wanted. However, if you live in a neighborhood that historically attracts young families, you may be dramatically undermining the value of your house by cutting down the number of bedrooms and making it less desirable to the typical family moving onto your block.

Research shows you will recoup only 64.4% of a remodeling project’s investment dollars if you sell in the future.

 Your home is probably at its highest value as it stands right now. Instead of remodeling your house, it may make better financial sense to sell your current home and purchase a home that was built specifically to meet your current lifestyle and desires.

In many cases, this well-designed home will give you exactly what you want in less square footage (read: less real estate taxes!) than your current home. Bottom Line If you are living in a house that no longer fits your needs, at least consider checking out other homes in your area that would meet your lifestyle needs before taking on the cost and hassle of remodeling your current house.

For more information about Real Estate, Tips and Advice and Local Real Estate News check out our Facebook page! 

Posted in Tips for Sellers
July 9, 2019

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent | MyKCM

Owning a home has great financial benefits.

In a recent research paper, Homeownership and the American Dream, Laurie S. Goodman and Christopher Mayer of the Urban Land Institute explained:

“Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing wealth in a variety of ways, with tax advantages, greater financial flexibility due to secured borrowing, built-in ‘default’ savings with mortgage amortization and nominally fixed payments, and the potential to lower home maintenance costs through sweat equity.”

Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership:

1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available

Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. A 20% down payment results in a leverage factor of five, meaning every percentage point rise in the value of your home is a 5% return on your equity. If you put down 10%, your leverage factor is 10.

Example: Let’s assume you purchased a $300,000 home and put down $60,000 (20%). If the house appreciates by $30,000, that is only a 10% increase in value but a 50% increase in equity.

2. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent

Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of property taxes and home repairs. Every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs (property taxes, repairs, insurance, etc.) are baked into the rent payment already – along with a profit margin!!

3. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”

Studies have shown that homeowners have a net worth that is 44X greater than that of a renter. As a matter of fact, it was recently estimated that a family buying an average priced home this past January could build more than $42,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Owning is a hedge against inflation

House values and rents tend to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation. When you own, your home’s value will protect you from that inflation.

5. There are still substantial tax benefits to owning

We know that the new tax reform bill puts limits on some deductions on certain homes. However, in the research paper referenced above, the authors explain:

“...the mortgage interest deduction is not the main source of these gains; even if it were removed, homeowners would continue to benefit from a lack of taxation of imputed rent and capital gains.”

Bottom Line

From a financial standpoint, owning a home has always been and will always be better than renting.

For more information about Real Estate, Tips and Advice and Local Real Estate News check out our Facebook page! 

Posted in Tips For Buyers
July 5, 2019

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT FSBO

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT FSBO

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT FSBO | MyKCM

Rising home prices coupled with a lack of inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their home on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

The top 5 reasons are listed below:

1. Online Strategy for Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 95% of buyers search online for a home. In comparison, only 13% use print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 50% on the Internet
  • 7% from a yard sign
  • 28% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by putting up a sign and listing it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become Increasingly Difficult

The paperwork involved in the process has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 7% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, they may actually cost themselves more. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is:

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance of a bidding war for the property. The study found the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6%.

Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent without additional cost?

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house on your own, let’s get together to discuss your needs.

For more information about Real Estate, Tips and Advice and Local Real Estate News check out our Facebook page! 

Posted in Tips for Sellers
July 5, 2019

10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer

10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer

10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • If you are thinking of buying a home, you may not know where to start.
  • Here is a simple list of 10 steps that you will go through to purchase a home.
  • Make sure to ask your agent for details about each step and what else may be required in your area!

For more information about Real Estate, Tips and Advice and Local Real Estate News check out our Facebook page! 

Posted in Tips For Buyers
July 1, 2019

4th of July Celebrations in and around Bay Area Houston

 

4th of July Celebrations in and around Bay Area Houston

 

If you are looking for something fun to do with family and friends this 4th of July holiday and want to keep it local, check out the events being held in and around the Bay Area. The Freund Group has you covered with details below:

·         League City will be hosting the annual 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza this Wednesday at 6pm-10pm. The event will be held at Chester L. Davis Sportsplex.

 

·      This family-friendly event is free and open to the public and includes a fireworks display, live music, inflatables vendors and food trucks. Be sure to bring your won lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy an evening with family and friends as part of your Independence Day celebration. Fireworks begin at sundown.

·         Kemah will celebrate the 4th with live music and a Patriotic firework show over Galveston Bay at 9:30.

 

·         Galveston will be holding its 180th City of Galveston Celebration Independence Day Parade and Fireworks. Starting at 7pm at 37th Street and Seawall Blvd. The event will kick off with a parade featuring a procession of floats, decorated military vehicles and performers. The parade will kick off at 7pm and will start on the Seawall at 59th Street and end at 25th Street.  After the parade the island will host 20-minute fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico at 9:15 near 37th Street and Seawall Blvd.

 

     The City of Pasadena Parks & Recreation Department’s 4thFest is an annual event that has something for everyone: live music, kids’ games, food vendors and LOTS of fireworks! Admission is absolutely FREE. 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM with Kevin Fowler performing at 7:30 PM.

·        

·         Deer Park is celebrating the Fourth of July at Jimmy Birke Activity Center, 500 W 13th St, Deer Park, TX 77536. Indoor attractions will be held 5-8:30 pm. Enjoy games, arts & crafts, attractions and concessions. Rides and attractions- 5-9:00 PM. Arts & Crafts for kids 5-8, concessions 5-9 and face painting for kids 5-9pm. There will also be a sandcastle building contest, construction is from 6-8, judging is at 8. Fireworks will begin at 9:15pm.

 For more information about Real Estate, Tips and Advice and Local Real Estate News check out our Facebook page! 

 

 

 

Posted in Local Events
June 25, 2019

Let's get you pre-approved already!!

Stop Wondering What Your Budget Is & Get Pre-Approved!

Stop Wondering What Your Budget Is & Get Pre-Approved! | MyKCM

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so today

For more information about Real Estate, Tips and Advice and Local Real Estate News check out our Facebook page! 

Posted in Tips For Buyers
June 25, 2019

Dickinson Real Estate Market Report for May 2018 - May 2019

Speak Visually. Create an infographic with Visme

June 25, 2019

La Porte Real Estate Market Report for May 2018 - May 2019

Speak Visually. Create an infographic with Visme