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. 

Dec. 30, 2019

When a House Becomes a Happy Home

When a House Becomes a Happy Home

When a House Becomes a Happy Home | MyKCM

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.

No matter the size or shape of a living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why

1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family

From the best neighborhoods to the top school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home they purchase.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that’s just what we need to feel re-charged and truly content.

3. You have more space for you and your family

Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home, so the space truly works for you.

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you’ve been hoping for. Who’s to say you can’t do all of these things in your own home?

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a happy home.

Posted in Tips For Buyers
Dec. 17, 2019

December 2019: The Buyer Stakes Are High Because Inventory Is Low

December 2019: The Buyer Stakes Are High Because Inventory Is Low

December 2019: The Buyer Stakes Are High Because Inventory Is Low | MyKCM

The reality of what we’re seeing this month is that homes are selling fast. In today’s strong seller’s market, bidding wars are common and expected with starter or entry-level homes.

In most areas of the country, first-time buyers have been met with fierce competition throughout their homebuying experience. Some have been out-bid multiple times before finally going into contract on a home to call their own.

Right now, inventory is the big challenge. Here’s what we know today:

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there is currently a 3.9-month supply of homes for sale, which can drive this kind of hefty buyer competition. Remember, anything less than 6 months of inventory is a seller’s market.

Even though the month’s supply of inventory is not increasing, ironically, the number of homes for sale is. This means homes are coming up for sale, but they’re being sold quickly. The graph below shows the year-over-year change in inventory over the last 12 months.December 2019: The Buyer Stakes Are High Because Inventory Is Low | MyKCMAs depicted above, the percentage of available inventory has fallen for four consecutive months when compared to the previous year.

So, what does this mean? If you’re a buyer, be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage and be ready to make a competitive offer, so you can move quickly. Chances are, homes high on your wish list are likely going to go fast.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying a home, make sure you’re taking the right steps at the beginning of the process, so you’re a top contender if you ultimately find yourself in a bidding war. Let’s get together to discuss what you need to do to make your move toward homeownership.

Posted in Tips For Buyers
Dec. 3, 2019

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter | MyKCM

Below are five compelling reasons to list your house this winter.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase, and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple of years, for fear they would not find a home to move into. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. Buyers Are Serious at This Time of Year

Traditionally, homeowners think about spring as a great time to list their homes, when more buyer traffic may be out there actively searching. In the winter, however, the buyers who are seeking a home – whether for relocation or otherwise – are serious ones. They’re ready to make offers and they’re eager to move, often quickly. Your house may be exactly what they’re looking for, so listing when other potential sellers are holding off may be your best opportunity to shine.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into the premium or luxury market, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you're planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that now. Demand for your entry-level home is high, and inventory in the luxury or premium market is too.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and in your mortgage) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move On With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it’s worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Are you ready to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market this winter. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Posted in Tips for Sellers
Nov. 20, 2019

League City Holiday in the Park

It’s that time of the year again! Beautiful League City is kicking off the Holiday season with a fun-filled weekend. This year’s theme for Holiday in The Park is, “Hats Off To Frosty.” The event will be happening the first weekend in December 6-8th.

Holiday in the Park is one of the most celebrated traditions in League City. This three day , family-friendly holiday event takes place in League Park and features, holiday shopping, food vendors, entertainment, and three parades. The theme of this year is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the classic cartoon of Frosty the Snowman.

Friday, December 6th vendors will open their booths at 5pm. At 6pm Mrs. Claus reads “The Night Before Christmas” to the audience in the League Park Plaza. At 7pm it’s time to snuggle up and watch Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns on the big screen.

Saturday, December 7th vendors open their booths at 9am. At 10 am the Children’s Parade marches from Butler’s Courtyard into League Park to join Santa in the gazebo. Kids of all ages are invited to join and there is no registration required. 10am-6pm enjoy entertainment in the plaza for the whole family. At 6pm the Grand Night Parade begins from Texas Avenue to Park Street.

Sunday, December 8th 12-5pm. Vendors open at 12:00. The pet parade begins at 1pm. From 2-3:30 there will be entertainment in the plaza.  At 3:30 the Grand Night Parade awards will be announced.

Parking

Spectators are encouraged to get to the area early as police will shut down FM 518/Main Street at 5:15 pm in both directions. There is parking available in the shopping center on 518 and Hwy 3.

 

Posted in Local Events
Nov. 19, 2019

Seabrook, Texas is named Best City to Live in Texas

According to Moneyinc.com Seabrook, Texas is named Best City to Live in Texas. Seabrook received livability awards that rank it as the number one city in Texas. Seabrook is a small city on Galveston Bay with about 12,000 residents.

Seabrook is loaded with amenities and opportunities for shopping, entertainment, dining and recreation. Seabrook offers ample recreational activities including boating, fishing and more.

Home prices in Seabrook range from $91,000-up to $1.4 million. There have been 161 home sold in the last 6 months. Seabrook has become a sought-out area for home buyers.

Seabrook students attend Clear Creek ISD. CCISD is one of the most sought-after school districts in the area.  Few schools in this school district are in nearby Clear Lake City.  However, there are great schools in the community itself, such as Clear Creek High School, Clear Falls High School, and Clear Springs High School.  A smaller area in League City is the Dickinson School District, the fastest growing district in Galveston County.  In addition to public schools, there are private schools for families who are interested in that type of education experience. 

If you are interested in owning real estate in the MoneyInc.com rated best city to live in Texas, Seabrook, give us a call we would love to help with your home buying dreams! 281-479-6683

 

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 5, 2019

La Porte Fun Facts #2

La Porte Fun Facts #2

Did you know that during the 1920s & 1930’s La Porte’s Sylvan Beach became a nationally recognized destination featuring beauty contests, celebrations and regular performances by famous bands?

In the 1930s the park was revamped including a large boardwalk, amusement rides, and many other attractions. Erosion began in 1928 due to the wakes of shipping traffic and by the later 20th-century erosion had completely eliminated the beach.

Sylvan Beach is now a spot for many celebrations throughout the year including the Sylvan Beach Festival. Visitors can enjoy the beach made of fine sand a no seaweed and smaller waves allow for more enjoyable swimming. There is also fishing, a boat ramp, and air-conditioned pavilion.

La Porte’s Sylvan Beach is the perfect spot for a family fun day. Bring a picnic lunch and stay for the day!

For more interesting facts about La Porte tune into to our “Did you know……” on our facebook business page.

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

 

Posted in Did you know?
Nov. 4, 2019

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process | MyKCM

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from the real estate market because they’re uncertain about the buying process – particularly when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! 

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need a down payment (the average down payment on all loans last year was 5%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income, and a good credit history.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps Freddie Mac suggests to follow:

  1. Find out your current credit history and credit score– Even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO Score® for all closed loans in September was 737, according to Ellie Mae.
  2. Start gathering all of your documentation– This includes income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  3. Contact a professional– Your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer who can help you develop a spending plan, as well as help you determine how much home you can afford.
  4. Consult with your lender– He or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals in order to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval– A pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change) and demonstrates to home sellers that you’re serious about buying.

Bottom Line

Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure you’re ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

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

Posted in Tips For Buyers
Oct. 28, 2019

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall | MyKCM

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report shows that home prices have appreciated by 3.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.8% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase Next Year

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have recently hovered just above 3.5%. This is great news for buyers in the market right now, because low interest rates increase your purchasing power – but don’t wait! Most experts predict rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact your monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is needed to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage 

There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you’re living rent-free with your parents, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or that of your landlord.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing costs to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you’re buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over custom renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

Bottom Line

Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Let’s get together to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you and your family this fall.

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

Posted in Tips For Buyers
Oct. 16, 2019

La Porte Fun Facts #1

La Porte Fun Facts #1

La Porte is rich in history. The San Jacinto Monument is a 570 foot tall column monument (one of the tallest in the World) dedicated to the “Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas.”  The monument is topped with a 34-foot star. The decisive Battle of San Jacinto resulted in Texas’ independence from Mexico.

Located at the San Jacinto Monument is the San Jacinto Museum of history. The Museum boasts with Texas early history. The San Jacinto Battleground is located on 1,200-acre park includes the towering San Jacinto Monument and the San Jacinto Museum of History. Visitors can ride to the top of the monument to take in a bird’s-eye view of where Texas’s independence was won.

For more interesting facts about La Porte tune into to our “Did you know……” on our facebook business page.

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

Oct. 14, 2019

Existing-Home Sales Report Indicates Now Is a Great Time to Sell

Existing-Home Sales Report Indicates Now Is a Great Time to Sell

Existing-Home Sales Report Indicates Now Is a Great Time to Sell | MyKCM

The best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high and the supply of that item is limited. The latest Existing-Home Sales Report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reveals that demand for housing continues to be strong, but the supply is struggling to keep pace. With this trend likely continuing throughout 2020, now is a great time to sell your house.

THE EXISTING-HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in this report was not actually sales. In reality, it was the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory at the end of August decreased 2.6% to 1.86 million homes available for sale.
  • Unsold inventory is lower than the 4.3-month figure recorded in August 2018.
  • This represents a 1-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR,

“Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up
home prices.”

In real estate, there is a simple guideline that often applies here. Essentially, when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see greater appreciation. Between a 6 to 7-month supply is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and can expect depreciation in home values (see below):Existing-Home Sales Report Indicates Now Is a Great Time to Sell | MyKCMAs we mentioned before, there is currently a 4.1-month supply of homes on the market, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report also shows that 49% of properties were on the market for less than a month when they were sold. In August, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 31 days. As Yun notes, this should continue,

“As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current rates…The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market.” 

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market, and supply will fail to catch up with demand if a sizable supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers who are out there searching for your house to become their dream home.

Posted in Tips for Sellers