Houston Texas Home Sales Stay Strong in January In Spite Of Oil News

Houston Texas Home Sales

There’s no denying that Houston Texas Home Sales had one of their strongest years ever in 2015 but with the start of this year the Real Estate market was rocked by oil news as the price of oil rapidly fell to $25 per barrel.

In spite of the “doom and gloom” predictions some analysts are making regarding Houston Texas Home Sales the reality is that the market has stayed strong in January in spite of what’s been happening with the oil market.

Only 2 Percent off The Record for January

As some Realtors® and analysts were predicting the death of the Houston Texas real estate market in January we actually had one of the strongest January’s on record and thanks to the latest statistics from the Houston Association of Realtors we know that home sales were only about 2% off the record for the month of January and homes that were priced between $150,000and $250,000 saw year-over-year increases.

In January 2016 there were 4,024 homes sold in the Houston Texas Real Estate Market compared to over 4,100 home sales in 2015. Although some experts might express shock at this news, it’s not really a bad thing considering the fact that inventory actually grew in January and now we have about 3.5 months-worth of inventory.

Right now Houston Texas real estate market can be described as strong considering the fact that there is still a demand for properties across Houston but, in a recent interview where he discussed the Houston taxes real estate market Mario Arriaga, HAR Chairman, said:

“The most noticeable impact has been declines in the luxury market, but mid-range housing actually saw a healthy sales volume in January and inventory levels grew. HAR will continue to closely monitor the economic climate.”

Source – har.com

Market Comparison

How do Houston Texas Home sales in January 2016 compare to the same time last year? When we look at home sales on a year-over-year basis we can see that single-family home sales are actually up by 9.1% compared to the same time last year and total active listings at the end of January also rose by 15.8%.

There hasn’t been housing inventory above 3.5 month’s supply since the end of May 2015 and this is actually a good thing because, it means that with more people moving to Houston individuals who are searching for properties in the area will have more homes to choose from and a better chance of getting the Houston Texas Home Sales that they really want without having to compete in multiple offer situations.

Learn More about Houston Texas Homes for Sale

To learn more about Houston Texas homes for sale, or to view the latest homes available on the real estate market, contact me, Julie Woodward, Realtor® with Red Door Realty & Associates by calling me at (832) 868-9920 or click here to connect with me online.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved: What Mortgage Shoppers Need to Know

pre-approval vs. pre-qualification
Photo Credit – Tim Pierce

If you’re planning on buying a home this year your friends, family members and business associates all may have told you to get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage loan but few people really know what either of these terms means.

In this post we will break down pre-qualification vs. pre-approval so this process is understandable and makes sense for every home buyer.

Getting To Know Pre-Approval Vs. Pre-Qualification

Getting approval on a mortgage is a process with no shortage of moving parts.

That’s why residential mortgage consumers need to leave no stone unturned in figuring out where tripwires lie on the mortgage-approval landscape.

No question, the stakes are high, particularly given the lackluster U.S. economy.

Before the Great Recession, mortgage approvals were like ice cream flavors at Baskin-Robbins—numerous and easy to get. But in the last five years mortgage lenders have significantly restricted their offerings, and borrowers need to be prepared for the tougher requirements or risk being turned down by banks and other lenders.

One area where home buyers run into problems is failing to make the proper distinction between being qualified for a mortgage and being approved for one.

In short, just because you are pre-qualified for a mortgage doesn’t mean you will get one. But when you are pre-approved your chances for a green light from a lender are greatly increased.

What’s the difference between the two and how will it affect your hunt for the perfect mortgage?

Realtor.com® reached out to several mortgage experts to clear the air:

The Definition

“In general, a lender who prequalifies a buyer discusses a buyer’s credit, income and assets with them,” said Michael Minervini, a real estate agent for Re/Max in Red Bank, N.J. “A lender who preapproves a buyer runs their actual credit and verifies their income and assets. That’s a major difference since agents and sellers view a preapproval as a more firm start to the home-buying process.”

Cal Haupt, president and chief executive officer at Southeast Mortgage, explained what the preapproval process means to homebuyers once it starts rolling.

“Your loan would be submitted for preliminary underwriting, which normally takes no longer than 24 hours,” Haupt  said. “Your mortgage consultant would then provide you with a preapproval letter that defines the loan amount you are approved to receive.”

“Preapprovals are normally good for a 120-day period, so it’s important to begin your home search with your real estate professional as soon as possible after receiving your preapproval letter,” he said.

The Distinction

According to David Hall, president of Michigan-based Shore Mortgage, a mortgage prequalification is an initial assessment of a potential buyer, and often it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

But a preapproval goes deeper and involves a more thorough look into your income and expenses, including a look at your credit score.

“Let’s think in terms of the view from a plane,” Hall said. “The prequalification is a 250,000-foot view, and a preapproval is a closer-up, 30,000-foot assessment of the eligibility of a client to secure a loan.”

To help you land your dream home, try a pre-approval service like the one featured on the realtor.com® individual listings pages. By checking the box that says, “I want to get pre-approved by a lender”, you’ll be connected with up to three lenders right away.

The Driver for Mortgage Borrowers

There’s no harm in getting pre qualified – it’s a good gateway to buying a home. But to lock down that home, focus on getting preapproved, Minervini said.

“Buyers should always get preapproved only,” he said, “And here’s why: First, a buyer can confirm the sample monthly payment that they may own when they close, and they can get an idea of the home’s price range. Then, they can determine if there are any potential unknown credit issues that may need to be addressed prior to purchasing.”

The Domino Effect

Getting square on prequalified versus preapproved streamlines the entire home-purchase process.

“If all parties involved are aware of the distinction, it helps everyone play their role to the best of their ability,” said Ted Rood, a senior mortgage consultant with Wintrust Mortgageand a contributor to Mortgage News Daily. “The listing agent who calls the mortgage originator to ask if the buyer’s income and asset docs have been examined clearly understands the differences between prequalifications and preapprovals.”

On the other hand, the mortgage loan originator who deals with the real estate agent has a better grip on the entire process, by providing clarity on the firm’s prequalification or preapproval process, he said.

Even homebuyers can leverage the distinction between the two processes to help their own cause.

“Clients armed with this information can request a thorough preapproval rather than a cursory prequalification, and play a role in ensuring the best possible handling of their transaction,” Rood said.

The Deal

The takeaway for homebuyers? Know the difference between being prequalified and pre approved, and focus your energy on accepting the former, but aggressively seeking the latter.

Do that and you’ve taken a huge step in buying the home of your dreams.

Source – Realtor.com 

Buy A Houston Texas Home

To get started with buying a Houston Texas Home contact me, Julie Woodward, Realtor(R) with Red Door Realty & Associates by calling me at (832) 868-9920 or click here to connect with me online.

Houston Texas Real Estate – Mortgage Interest Rates Fall Along With Stocks

Houston Texas Homes For Sale

2016 is shaping up to be a wild year for Houston Texas Homes For Sale.

Besides the slumping oil market we’ve also seen huge dips in the stock market as well but the good thing is that the volatile stock market hasn’t exactly hurt the stock market. 

Indeed, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.98% from 4.05%, according to Bankrate’s Jan. 20 survey of large lenders.

“When there’s stock market instability, sometimes bond rates are better,” said Mortgage Broker Francine Silberman DiSesa, president of Asset Center Mortgage in Armonk, New York. “By and large, the perception is that … bond activities are the greatest influence on mortgage rates.”

According to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) survey, most consumers believe mortgage rates have hit a bottom, and are poised to climb. However, according to The Mortgage Reports website, consumers are traditionally wrong when it comes to predicting the direction of mortgage interest rates.

Here are the most common myths about mortgage rates – and the realities.


Rising interest rates means rising mortgage rates.

According to many lenders and realtors, when home buyers hear that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, it can send shivers of horror down their borrowing spines.

“They all think there is a direct correlation between federal monetary policy and mortgage rates,” said DiSesa. “And there isn’t.”


When the stock market is down, mortgage rates go up.

“People influence the market by fear,” DiSesa continued. “Stocks are taking a massive pummeling and people think its tied to the mortgage rate, and that it will go up, but that’s not the case. … People think they can predict mortgage-rate policy — that what happened in the past will happen in the future. But mortgage-rate pricing has no trending.”


Borrowers can get the best rates from their home banks.

“The biggest myth is that their home banks will honor them,” said Robert Cabral of Charles Rutenberg Realty based in Long Island, New York. Many of the first-time, working-middle-class home buyers that he works with, he said, “put their trust in their personal banks. I try to make my clients aware that they have choices. An aware client has more advantages.”


Mortgage rates are set in stone.

Consumers see mortgage rates advertised at their banks and on TV, or go to an online calculator and assume the rate posted is the rate they will get. Not so, say the experts.

Factors that can effect a home buyer’s mortgage rate include the size of the loan, the amount of risk buyers and lenders are willing to take, credit scores, available cash, credit history, loan term, points and more.

“It’s not one-size-fits-all,” said DiSesa. “Understanding the dynamic and gestalt of pricing a loan–no one understands it until it is shown to them.”

Cabral agrees. “Most people don’t understand mortgage rates at all,” he said. “They understand interest rates but not the APR and the long-term realities of a 20- or 30-year loan. … They don’t understand the technicalities. … Mortgage rates are fluid, and the knowledgeable sometimes get better deals.”

Source – Fox Business

Search For Houston Texas Homes For Sale

Get started for Houston Texas Homes For Sale by contacting me, Julie Woodward, Realtor(R) with Red Door Realty and associates by calling me at (281) 852-3667 or click here to connect with me online. 

3 things to do before searching for Houston Texas Homes For Sale

Houston Texas Homes For Sale

Are you searching for Houston Texas Real Estate For Sale? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

2016 is going to be a great year for searching for homes in Houston Texas but sadly many home buyers will be unprepared for their home search.

Thankfully you can avoid the heartbreak and disappointment of losing the home you really want by getting prepared for your home search and following these simple tips.

Tip #1 – Get Your Finances In Order

Can you afford to make a down payment of at least 20% on a home?

Will you be able to make your house payment and regular bills after you’ve purchased a home?

Sit down with your spouse or “significant other” before searching for Houston Texas Real Estate For Sale and confirm how much of a mortgage payment you can really afford.

You should also prepare all of your financial documentation including bank statements, W2’s and paycheck stubs because your lender will want to make sure that you have the ability to repay your mortgage loan.

Tip #2 – Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage Loan

Consult with your mortgage lender now to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan because this will help you to lock in a low mortgage interest rate and it will also help your chances of having your offer accepted when searching for Houston Texas Real Estate For Sale because sellers like to work with buyers who have locked in financing.

Tip #3 – Hire A Great Houston Realtor(R)

Last of all, but most important, hire a great Houston Texas Realtor(R) to help you find the Houston Texas Real Estate.

Before choosing just any Real Estate Agent make sure that they specialize in buying and selling Houston properties plus you also want to confirm that they have verifiable skills to serve you at every stage of your Real Estate transaction.

Search For Houston Texas Real Estate

Get started with searching for Houston Texas Real Estate by contacting Julie Woodward, Realtor(R) with Red Door Realty and Associates today by calling her at (832) 868-9920.