If you’d like to buy a home but you’re not sure when to actually start the process, our KW Memorial real estate team is here to tell you that now is the best time to do so! Mortgage rates and home prices have both been increasing this year, and they are expected to continue increasing. The longer you wait, the more you might have to pay for a home in the Houston real estate market.

Mortgage rates matter when it comes to buying. This is true for first-time buyers and for move-up buyers looking for a bigger or better home than they’re in now. What makes mortgage rates so impactful is this: Home prices are their greatest now than any time in history. However, it is more affordable to own a home today than it has been in the past! That is thanks to mortgage rates.

Mortgage interest rates are the difference between price and cost. The price of a home is the dollar amount you see in a listing. The cost of the home is what you will pay each month.

Today, interest rates are hovering around 4.40 percent. In 1988, the average mortgage rate was 10.34 percent! So even though home prices were lower, rates were much higher, and wages were lower. All in all, it’s cheaper for you to own a home now than it was for your parent’s generation to own.

Zillow did a study to see how much of a person’s median income would be necessary to purchase a home, based on mortgage rates, home prices and average wages. Historically, it has been 20 percent of median income necessary to buy a median priced home. Today, it’s 15.7 percent. At a 5 percent mortgage rate, it’ll be 18.3 percent. If rates go up to 7 percent, it’ll be 22.7 percent.

Rates are not predicted to decrease any time soon, but many experts predict that they will continue to increase. That means that the cheapest time to buy a home is now! Rates have already increase from 3.95 percent in January to 4.40 percent in April.

For now, as this KCM Crew chart shows, rates have begun to level off for the spring market. That is great news for Houston homebuyers! With more listings coming onto the Houston real estate market, now is the best time to buy. Experts predict rates may increase to 4.48 percent by June, and 4.73 percent by the end of the year. Now is not the time to wait!

If you want to buy, contact our team at Keller Williams Memorial. We’ll match you up with an agent, answer all your questions, and begin you on the process of buying a home. Our experienced, professional team will be by your side the entire time! Let’s get you the house you deserve, so you can start investing in your future, and living the life you’ve dreamed of.

 

Are you wanting to buy a home and are curious who your competition is? Are you wanting to sell your home and are wondering who your buyers might be? Allow our KW Memorial real estate team to help fill you in on who is currently buying in the Houston real estate market!

Millennials are the biggest group of buyers right now. In last year’s Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, millennials made up 34 percent of buyers, in comparison to 30 percent of baby boomers. Research done by the National Association of Homebuilders found that 90 percent of millennials want to buy a house someday.

Millennial buyers tend to be more financially savvy than people think. They have budgets and plan on sticking to them. Many of them tend to skip the starter home and buy a forever home, since they’re buying later than other generations. Others are looking for starters or fixer uppers because of a tight budget. Bedroom quantity and outdoor space is important to them. Ninety percent of them work with real estate agents, and most start the home search online. Millennials will negotiate longer than both those in generation X and baby boomers.

However, a recent report from RentCafe found that millennials spend more on rent than any other generation has. Between the ages of 22 and 29, millennials spent $92,600 on rent, on average. This compares to $82,200 from Gen Xers and $71,000 from baby boomers. Gen Z, the generation after millennials, is expected to spend an estimated $102,000 within that age range.

This, combined with student loan debt, is causing homeownership to be hard for millennials to pull off. They have a hard time saving up for a down payment, and now prices and mortgage rates are on the rise. This accounts to why they tend to buy later in life compared to other generations. We’ll see how this plays out in the future! But millennials who want to buy a Houston home should act sooner than later to save money.

It’s worth noting that Gen X and baby boomers still have a decent amount of buyers. Gen Xers are buying first homes and move-up homes. Baby boomers are downsizing and relocating.

Another group of buyers to watch for is boomerang buyers. These are homeowners who had to foreclose and/or claim bankruptcy during the Great Recession. Many have rebuilt their credit is as little as 2-3 years rather than the 7-10 years it used to take, a study by Lending Tree found.

So, we’ve got plenty of eager buyers in the Houston real estate market, but not enough sellers! Inventory is still below average, making for a competitive market. If you want to sell, now is the ideal time! Contact our Keller Williams Memorial team this spring season, we are here and ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

 

With spring here and summer on the way, you might be brainstorming ways to spruce up your home’s front porch! If you’re lucky enough to have a front porch, you should take advantage. This is a great place to start your day with a cup of coffee, or unwind from your day with a book. It’s also a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal when you go to sell in the Houston real estate market.

As your Keller Williams Memorial real estate team, we’re here to offer you some suggestions:

1. Hang art outside. Art doesn’t have to be just for the walls in your interior! Artwork, especially derived or made to look like nature, is perfect for hanging on your exterior, under a front porch. Just be sure to choose a wall that will remain a dry, weather-proofed space.

2. Set up a table. If there is space on your front porch, you don’t have to just keep it to random chairs or benches. Set up a bistro, cocktail or side table with some chairs, and make it a great place to entertain guests with a game of cards or an after-dinner cocktail.

3. Create a porch fire pit. Table fire features are growing in popularity and are a great elegant feature to add to your front porch. They are also pretty safe, and will keep you warm and cozy in the colder months!

4. Hang fun lighting. Flush-mount lighting is not your only lighting option when it comes to the front porch. Try modern options, like a chic pendant light or lanterns, or hang strings of bistro lights to give it a fun ambiance.

5. Brighten with paint. You can spruce the front porch space up with paint! You could paint the ceiling or the ground, or even the siding inside the front porch area for a burst of color. A striking color that accentuates nature, like a sky blue, helps increase depth and highlights architectural features.

6. Add wooden beams. Though these won’t work for all front porches, wooden beams add a rustic vibe to your front porch space. If worried about water damage, there are faux wooden beam options as well. They are better for keeping pests away, and don’t rot, but still give the look of wood!

For more front porch ideas, check out this realtor.com article. This is a great time of year for spending time on your front porch in Houston, so have fun and get creative on how to make your porch a more enjoyable place to hang out!

When ready to sell your home, when ready to buy, or when ready to do both simultaneously, contact our Keller Williams Memorial team. We’re here and ready to answer any questions you may have about the current Houston real estate market, and to guide you through the entire process, until your real estate goals become a reality! Give us a call today!

 

If you would like to sell your home in the Houston real estate market this spring or summer season, now is the time to figure out the value of your home! There are some super affordable ways to increase your home’s value before listing, and as your KW Memorial real estate team, we’re here to share some of those with you today.

If you’ve done research, you’ve undoubtedly found some ideas for how to increase your resale value. However, many of these suggestions are expensive or time consuming. We understand that not everyone has a huge chunk of money to spend before a home sale! Here are some more budget-friendly options that will still help improve your home’s value:

1. Replaces doors and windows. This is a great upgrade to make, because it impacts the outside and inside of your home. New doors and windows can increase your exterior curb appeal, your interior aesthetics, and also the energy efficiency of your home! Opt for energy-efficient options, such as steel or fiberglass doors and double-pane windows, which help keep energy costs down. They also improve security!

2. Add space. If you can’t afford a major renovation, like building square footage onto your home, you can still add space in other ways. If you don’t currently have an outdoor space for entertaining or relaxing, add a deck or patio. If you have a basement used for storage, consider partially or fully finishing it. You could also finish a garage, an attic, or add a shed to the backyard. If you have a bonus room already, add a closet to make it another bedroom.

3. Modernize plumbing. The plumbing of a home is often overlooked by buyers, until the inspection. But little leaks and plumbing issues can cost you a lot of money over time, and it will impact your home value after an inspection. Hire a professional to change out old plumbing fixtures, and same with your water heater. These are big expenses that no homeowner wants to deal with down the road, especially if damage is done before repairs.

4. Paint wisely. Fresh paint is always an affordable, smart option for increasing home value and attracting buyers! Just be sure to choose neutral colors for the walls if you’re gearing up to sell. Paint can also make a big difference on kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Give them a nice sanding, priming and painting. It sure beats the cost of replacing them!

For more tips and details, check out this RISMedia article. When ready to sell your home, or if you have questions about the Houston real estate market, contact us! Our Keller Williams Memorial real estate team is here and ready to help make your real estate dreams a reality.

 

As we transition into the spring season here in Houston, that means that now is the perfect time to spring clean not only the inside of your house, but also the outside! Houston homeowners tend to forget about cleaning the outside, hoping that spring rain will do the job. As your Keller Williams Memorial real estate team, we’re here to tell you that there are lots of benefits to cleaning your home’s exterior!

It could make your home safer, raise the value, prevent issues down the road, increase your curb appeal, and impress homebuyers when you go to sell. After all, the outside is the first thing they see! Here’s a checklist of exterior spring cleaning projects to consider:

1. Clean the gutters. Debris tends to collect in the gutters over the winter season, but come spring, you need those gutters to do their job with the rain! There’s really no easier way to clean your gutters than to climb up onto a ladder and get your hands dirty. If this isn’t your thing, hire a professional! You can’t see your dirty gutters from the sidewalk, but it’s important for home safety and value.

2. Power wash the siding. The rain helps, sure, but it could also cause dirt streaks if your siding is especially dirty or dusty. Pull out the power washer and clean off your siding. Just make sure you stand at the correct distance from your house, and use the right setting, so it doesn’t pull the paint off with its power! When done, use it on walkways and your driveway.

3. Touch up the paint. If your power washer does strip some of the paint on your siding, or the paint could just use a touch-up, go around and paint over faded or stripped paint patches. Consider a whole painting overhaul if necessary. Touching up paint could also be helpful on your address numbers, mailbox, garage door, front door, etc. Take a good look at your house and determine what could use a refresher!

4. Conquer the lawn. Winter is a drab season. Bring your lawn back to life by giving your grass a good cut if need be, and then fertilizing. Do some weeding and mulching in your gardens, or if you don’t have perennials, start planning and purchasing the plants and flowers you’d like to display in your annual gardens this year. If you don’t have gardens, consider adding some potted plants for a burst of color!

Be sure to clean the windows, inside and out, so you can see your beautiful property after it’s all cleaned up! Once you get through these steps, you can spend some time enjoying your front porch or patio.

If you want to sell your home, cleaning up the exterior will help you attract buyers. Curb appeal is key! If you have home-selling or home-buying questions for our Keller Williams Memorial team, or if you’re ready to get started on the buying or selling process in the Houston real estate market, contact us! We’re here and ready to help!

 

If you plan to sell your home this spring or summer, you might be wondering how you can increase the value of your home last minute. If your home is outdated and needs some improvements before you list it in the Houston real estate market, there are certain value-raising tactics that work better than others. As your Keller Williams Memorial real estate team, we’re here to fill you in on the best ones!

1. Basic Repairs – As a seller, it’s up to you if you want to have a pre-listing inspection done. This can be helpful to see what repairs are needed and what issues will arise when a buyer has an inspection done. Either way, there are simple repairs and upgrades you can do to make your home look and function better. Replace any rotting wood or leaks, get rid of mold, paint with a fresh coat of paint, power wash the exterior, sand and stain the deck, etc. Pay attention to the eyesores of your home, or annoying noises or smells, and work toward fixing them.

2. Kitchen Remodel – If you have an outdated home, but you can’t afford to upgrade the whole house, the kitchen might be the smartest room to update. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular rooms in a home, and the ones that buyers are most interested in. This doesn’t mean you have to do an entire kitchen overhaul. If fact, the return on investment is better for a basic kitchen remodel than a full blown one. Set a budget and see what you can do within that budget. Ideas include adding a backsplash, upgrade outdated appliances, paint your kitchen cabinets, or update the lighting fixtures.

3. Outdoor Space – Buyers are really into their outdoor space, especially somewhere like Houston, where temperatures are warm for most of the year! If yours could use some work, consider investing your time and funds into that space. Update your landscaping, fertilize your lawn, build a nice outdoor seating area, add a deck, or just clean up your space for ample curb appeal.

4. Energy Efficiency – A smart rule of thumb to follow with upgrades is to ensure that your upgrades are energy efficient, as all buyers are interested in saving money on energy bills! If replacing appliances, choose Energy Star options. Pay attention to insulation options, lighting, replacement windows, etc. that can save energy in the long term.

Every Houston home seller wants to get the most money possible for their home, so these ideas are a great place to start. Just remember, not all home upgrades are created equal when it comes to return on investment, so choose wisely!

If you have questions, or if you would like to get started on the home-selling process in the Houston real estate market, contact us! Our Keller Williams Memorial real estate team is here and ready to help!

 

Now that we’ve sprung ahead with our clocks, you probably have the spring season on your mind! If you’ve been waiting until spring to sell your home, now is the time to do it. Our Keller Williams Memorial real estate team is here to answer any questions you may have and to help you through the entire home-selling process.

In the past, the Houston real estate market, along with the rest of the country’s real estate, used to hibernate during the winter months and then come back to life in the spring and summer months. While it’s still true that many sellers wait until spring, that isn’t true of buyers right now.

Houston homebuyers have been out, active and eager to buy! With rising mortgage rates and home prices, they’re in a hurry to lock down a rate and price before they pass their affordability point. Historically, mortgage rates are still low, but they are predicted to continue increasing this year, along with home prices. Buyers want to buy soon, so they can save!

The National Association of Realtors reported the top 10 dates that sellers listed their homes in 2017, and they all fell in April, May and June. What does this mean? It means that if you list your home today, you’ll beat the competition of other home sellers! Since buyers are out and eager, you may experience a fast sale, more negotiation power and a satisfying selling price.

Aside from strong buyer demand and less competition from other sellers, there are other great reasons to sell now, too. If you’re looking to move up to a bigger or more expensive home after you sell, you shouldn’t wait either! The sooner you buy, the more you could save on a mortgage interest rate and a home sale price. Our team at KW Memorial can help you sell and buy simultaneously and seamlessly this spring season.

Also, consider the reasons you want to sell your home. Is it to move up to a bigger or better home, to grow your family, or to move closer to work, better schools or aging parents? Do you want to sell so you can downsize and simplify your life going into retirement? No matter what your reasons are for selling, why wait? Move on with your life and your goals by accomplishing the first step!

If you have home-selling questions, or you’re ready to get going with the process of listing your home in the Houston real estate market, contact us. The Keller Williams Memorial real estate team is gearing up for a busy spring season, but you don’t have to wait until April! List now, beat the crowds and competition, and enjoy a fast sale. By the time April hits, you could already have a sold sign in your yard!

 

It’s March now, which means spring is just around the corner! If you’ve got spring cleaning on the mind for your home, our Keller Williams Memorial real estate team is here to fill you in on some tips to help you succeed in your spring cleaning, and if possible, to make it more fun! Get a head start and enjoy a cleaner, more organized home this spring/summer.

  • Set the scene – Whatever this means for you, do it! If it means getting rid of distractions, like your phone or computer, leave those in a separate room. Set up a playdate for your kids. Blast your favorite playlist of music to get you pumped up. Put on your cleaning clothes. Do whatever you need to do to get into cleaning mode.
  • Enlist help – Easier said than done, but it’s always more fun and faster to clean with company! If you have a roommate, plan a cleaning day. Get your significant other involved. Get your kids involved. Throw a cleaning party for friends, with drinks and food! No one should have to clean alone, unless you live alone, or you prefer cleaning solo.
  • Have a plan – Start by designating rooms to certain people involved. If you like things a particular way in one specific room, you take that room. Have boxes or bags ready for recycle, trash, donate, reorganize, etc. After you clean, be sure to organize and get rid of anything you no longer care about. Cleaning is pointless if you’re just going to put all the clutter back!
  • Take short breaks – It’s important to eat, rehydrate and take a breather. However, the longer your breaks, the more motivation you’ll lose. Don’t get too comfy with a TV show or book. Keep at it until the job is done, or the day is over, and you’ll start up the next day. Go room by room, so if it takes longer than a day, not all your rooms are dismantled at once.
  • Keep the end in mind – Remember what your home looked like beforehand, and envision what you’d like it to look like in the end, and keep these visions in mind to motivate you. Also, have a plan in mind for when you finish. Host a game night or potluck, draw a bath, snuggle with your significant other on the clean couch, order takeout, go out for ice cream. Do whatever you consider a satisfying celebration!

For more spring cleaning tips, check out this RISMedia article. When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Houston real estate market, contact us, your Keller Williams Memorial real estate team. Selling after a deep cleaning of your home is perfect timing! But no matter what your real estate goals are, we are here to help make them happen.

 

If you’re feeling emotionally drained from keeping up with the latest news, or stressed from day-to-day responsibilities, you should have a happy space to come home to! Your home should feel like a peaceful save haven for unwinding, relaxing and creating happy memories. Your Keller Williams Memorial real estate team is here to fill you in on how you can make your home feel happier.

Backed by science, there are certain colors, scents and accessories that can make you feel happier at home. Here are the best options, according to study results shared by House Beautiful:

  • Green and yellow – While these aren’t quite the neutral tones we often talk about, green and yellow hues evoke feelings of happiness the most. These colors would make for great accent walls in your home!
  • Fresh flowers – We all love when someone we love brings home a bouquet of flowers for us. But these don’t have to only be for special occasions! The presence of real flowers were found to trigger happy emotions and feelings of life satisfaction. These are great for staging a home to sell as well.
  • Sentimental photos – Looking through old photos often results in positive feelings and a sense of calmness. If you don’t have too many personal photos hanging up or displayed on your tables or shelves, now is the time to invest in some frames! Just remove them when it comes time to sell.
  • Vanilla candles – Lighting any candle after a hard day creates a feeling of relaxing, but vanilla scented candles might be one of your best options. The scent of vanilla has been found to be uplifting. But go with the scent that makes you happiest!
  • Furry friends – We probably don’t need to tell you this, but yes, research has shown that pet owners feel like they have more meaning to their life and feel less isolated or alone!
  • Floral scents – Scent receptors in your brain are connected to your emotions, so aromas in the house can really affect your mood. Studies have found that floral scents boost feelings of happiness! This could be those fresh flowers we discussed, or a floral-scented air freshener.
  • A made bed – We can’t make this stuff up. Studies have shown that making your bed helps you start your day on the right foot, helping you feel happier and more accomplished right out of the gate.
  • Minimalism – Studies have found a link between clutter and cortisol, the stress hormone. Many homeowners associate a messy home with failure, often subconsciously. Keep your clutter to a minimum and you may feel calmer and happier.
  • A journal – We’re not therapists, but studies have found that writing in a journal can ease your stress, and rereading past entries can bring on a sense of joy. So, happy writing!

For more details, check out the House Beautiful article, with links to each scientific study. If you have another way of making your home feel happy, share with a comment!

When you’re ready to accomplish your real estate market goals, our Keller Williams Memorial team is here to help. Contact us when ready!

 

Whether you are gearing up to sell your home in the Houston real estate market, or you’re just looking to have a more organized, soothing bathroom to relax and unwind in, or get ready for the day in, we’ve got tips for you! As your Keller Williams Memorial real estate team, we’re here to share some of the latest tips for creating a more soothing and organized bathrooms space.

Here are a few that HouseLogic recently recommended:

  • Bright, white and open bathrooms help to make the space feel more cheerful and inviting. Space can be tight in the bathroom, but a bright and white color scheme can make the space feel more spacious, too.
  • Open shelving is another great way to make your bathroom feel larger. You are using your space, but at the same time, you can still see every inch of your space. Plus, it might help you collect less clutter, when you can see every item!
  • Baskets and bins are a godsend for under-sink clutter. Clear containers with drawers will allow you to see what’s in them and to pull certain items out without having to take the whole container out.
  • Find unused space in your bathroom to store extra items. Is there a hidey-hole under the basin of your sink, between the sink and cabinets? Is there space under your cabinets? Find a way to use it all!
  • If you’ve got shallow cabinets in your bathroom closet, consider hanging wire baskets or shelves on the inside of the cabinet door, if there is still room for the door to close. This creates more handy storage!
  • Sort bathroom items into smaller storage bins rather than using one giant tub or basket to store all of your spare bathroom products. You’ll find things faster if you have separate bins for medicine, hair products, bath products, makeup, etc.
  • Invest in built-in shelves for your shower. There is nothing worse than having shampoo bottles falling on your feet or head while showering. Built-in shower shelving may be worth your investment!
  • Create symmetry with your bathroom décor. It makes the bathroom feel calmer and more satisfying, and it’ll help a buyer appreciate the space as well. Consider matching towels or a neat row of candles.

For more tips and example images, check out this HouseLogic article. We think these are great ideas for making your bathroom a clutter-free calming zone, and for making it look appealing to potential buyers.

When ready to accomplish your Houston real estate market goals this season, contact our Keller Williams Memorial team! We are here and ready to help you achieve your home-buying and home-selling goals, to answer any questions you may have, and to guide you through the entire process. Give us a call!