8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

endofyearrealtorSummer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.

Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.

The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:

1. Tax savings

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Motivated sellers

Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.

3. Builder incentives

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.

4. Available movers

Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. Paying toward something you own

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.

6. Consistent payments

Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.

7. Freedom to renovate

Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures orreplace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gaining equity

In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.

via Realtor.com

Next Stop for Median Home Prices $200,000

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CORPUS CHRISTI – The cost of an average home in Corpus Christi will exceed $200,000 before the end of the year, economic and housing industry experts say.

The average single-family home in the city fetched $199,300 in July, according to the most updated figures provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Jim Lee doesn’t expect the price tag to stay there.

In fact, it’ll likely inch further up before Christmas, he said.

“We’ve been seeing appreciation for months, but ($200,000) is a benchmark we’re going to hit soon,” said Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “This is a head up for next year’s tax bill. It’s going to go up.”

He credited the upswing to a fierce surge in demand for homes, which he attributed to growth from the Eagle Ford Shale energy play.

The average price for a home in Corpus Christi spiked to a record $202,700 in May, but dropped to $197,000 the next month, according to the most updated figures provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. It was at $199,300 in July. Lee said prices could climb as much as 10 percent by the end of the year. And that likely will mean property taxes also will increase.

“As (home) prices go up, so too do the taxes,” Lee said. “Another 10 percent … will be a burden on homeowners. They need to be ready for it.”

In an interview Wednesday with the Caller-Times, Lee described today’s housing landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the 2004-05 home-buying market, which ended in a downturn. The difference then was the Corpus Christi housing market more closely followed the national housing trend, and was not being guided by a fertile-and-booming oil market.

Scores more residents have descended on Corpus Christi in the past two years, lured by the prospect of energy-related jobs and a cost-of-living cheaper than anything in the metropolitan areas. Economists believe as many as 10,000 jobs will spring from it during the next five to seven years.

Statewide, 81,000 single-family homes were sold in Texas in the second quarter of 2014, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, issued by the Texas Association of Realtors. That represents a 1.1 percent increase from the same quarter of 2013.

A total of 2,728 homes in Corpus Christi were sold between January and July, according to the Real Estate Center, which estimated average home prices would hit $194,100 this year.

Homes also are staying on the market half the time they did three years ago. Corpus Christi’s home inventory in July was such that a home will remain on the market for 4.8 months, compared with 10 months in July 2011.

Warren Andrich, president/CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, expected more people to take advantage of first-time homebuyers assistance programs in the coming year, even for homes below $200,000. Andrich said the market may be advantageous to homeowners looking to upgrade, but may also present greater challenges for lower- and middle-income homebuyers, who are finding it increasingly hard to purchase.

There are 1,800 to 1,900 houses available in the city, compared with 7,300 homes on the market three years ago. Homes that are considered affordable — because they are listed for a selling price between $125,000 and $160,000 — are scarce in Corpus Christi; there are roughly 200 of them available.

Lee said homeowners had to do a lot of soul searching during the 2004-05 housing downturn. At issue was whether to dump their homes ahead of what would become a major national housing crisis and a global economic recession.

His advice for those tempted to sell while the price tag climbs?

“It’s definitely a seller’s market. Definitely,” Lee said. “But if you sell, where are you going to go? No one knows how long the oil boom will last.”

via Caller Times

It’s a new year, but what’s in? New vs. Existing Homes

North Padre Island (Upper Padre Island)

….started developing in the 70’s, and with Schlitterbahn on the horizon, the island is becoming more and more desirable to purchase. It seems like building your dream home has been on the upward trend. But what are the advantages of an existing home? A buyer has one of two options: Embrace the new or embrace the existing. Here are some variables that outline the pros of each!

Character and Uniqueness

New: Build the character that you want! Do you like the bay windows of a Victorian, the half-timbering of a Tudor, and a central chimney of a Colonial home? You have the liberty to mix and match!

Existing: You get true history, vintage hardware, and maybe a hidden crawl space! Personality shines through, as this house is less likely to look like your neighbors.

Bang for your buck

New: If you’re building, you can choose which materials to splurge on, and where to cut costs. Go for brick on the exterior, but laminate floors on the interior. If a huge crystal chandelier in your entry reigns supreme, consider offsetting your must-haves with less expensive detailing in other areas.

Existing: You can often get a larger, older home for less per square foot than you might pay in a new home. Looking to gain a little profit? Flip it!

Quality Craftsmanship

New: Builders have fine-tuned their skills and in a timely manner! The average 3-bedroom house can go up in about 3 months. Here, you can get efficiency, and have it done quickly.

Existing: In years past, craftsmanship was an art and materials are more likely to be the real deal: Brick, hardwood floors, custom molding.

Desirable Location

New: You have options! There are lots to buy, or houses to renovate or demolish. With the right vision and plan, you can have the location of your dreams.

Existing: More times than not, the fabulous locations were snatched up a long time ago. Location, location, location. You’ve heard it a thousand times. But that’s because it’s important! Here on Padre, the first homes built probably have the best views and biggest lots.

Test of Time

New: You don’t have to wonder how previous owners treated the property. If you maintain your home and property, it is probably going to last you a very long time. The ball is in your courtyard!

Existing: If the home is still standing, something was done right! This goes hand in hand with the craftsmanship. If properly built, that house will last to see many generations play capture the flag and to host decades of turkey dinners.

Landscaping

New: You have a blank canvas! Plant the trees, bushes, and flowers that you want to see grow over the years. Prefer the maintenance free kind of yard? Rock out with a rock garden.

Existing: Mature landscaping can be a huge advantage to buyers and sellers. It takes many years for trees to grow big! The older the home, the bigger the trees.They provide privacy, shade, curb appeal, and heck, they can even increase the value of the home!

Grandfather Clauses

New: Your home will be up-to-date with all the most recent requirements.

Existing: When a new zoning ordinance or code comes into effect, these older homes will likely be granted a grandfather clause, meaning they are not in violation of the law. For instance, you may be given a grandfathered rate of flood insurance in a place where the risk of flood has since increased. Always ask about grandfather clauses on an older property – you may be pleasantly surprised by what advantages you have over your neighbors!

There is so much to consider, and lots of options awaiting you on Padre Island. Best of luck in your adventures!

Corpus Christi Real Estate Market Rebounds Since 2007 Slump!

CORPUS CHRISTI REAL ESTATE PRICES

Gains in existing home sales and median prices during the past three months have lifted the Coastal Bend’s housing market to its highest levels since the local housing slump began in 2007.
Sales closed between April and June numbered 1,172 units, or about a 19 percent increase compared to the same time in 2011, according to figures from the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.

The median sales price also has risen by more than 8 percent compared with 2011 to $145,367, figures show.

Housing inventory — measured as the amount of time it would take to sell all available existing homes — has dropped almost by half to 5.6 months in June compared with 10 months in June 2011.

There was a monthly average of about 2,200 homes for resale on the area’s housing market during the period, figures show.

The increased buying activity spans all price ranges, said Char Atnip, a residential Realtor and chairman of the realtors association board.

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“There’s a lot more people who are looking simply because interest rates are so low and prices have not skyrocketed, and it’s a great time to buy a home,” Atnip said.

New home construction activity has also increased compared to 2011.

In Corpus Christi, data from the city’s Development Services department shows there have been 449 permits issued this year for new residential construction through June, up 61 percent from the first six months of 2011.

The permits have an associated project cost of more than $82 million, figures show.

All but one of those permits is for single-family homes, with one being issued for an eight-unit building.

In all of 2011, the city logged 660 new construction permits for projects totaling more than $118 million

The local figures are similar to momentum building in many areas of the country, with builders beginning to respond to growing buyer interest.

U.S. builders broke ground on the most homes in nearly four years in June, The Associated Press reported this week.

MARKET OUTLOOK

The housing inventory of less than six months is approaching the five-month mark, which is what the area experienced during the housing boom between 2004 and 2006, said Jim Lee, economics professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

A normal inventory for the Corpus Christi market is about seven months.

Low inventories typically trigger increased prices as supply dips and demand increases.

Home building can also increase, which is good for local economies, because it generates activity that isn’t exported to other areas, Lee said.

During the area’s most recent housing boom period, construction outpaced the area’s growth rate, which contributed to the slump, Lee said.

Source: Corpus Christi Association of Realtors via Caller Times. Read the original at housing market or housing or home sales, – Google News.

OFFICIAL COUNT OF NEW PROPERTIES UNDER CONSTRUCTION

New Home UPDATE as of 7/19/2012:  As of this week there are a good number of new homes under construction going up here on North Padre Island!  New Developments relating to Schlitterbahn and the Proposed New Park Rd 22 Bridge are creating such an exciting atmosphere to be in. It’s been nearly 5 years since we have seen new construction like this!!

New Construction count is as following:

WATERFRONT HOMES – 8

WATERACCESS HOMES – 55

MULTI-FAMILY PROPERTIES – 2

Dry lots are selling selling on the Island. 18 have closed since June 1, 2012: Selling between $18,500 – $28,900

Padre Island’s real estate market is recovering and now bringing a new wave of buyers.

Now’s the time. Don’t Wait to Buy, Buy and Wait!!

Let Coastline Properties show you the BEST the Island has to offer – put our expertise and experience to work for you!!

Check us out!   Cheri Sperling, Coastline Properties

Padre Island Real Estate Facts – Did You Know??

corpus christi real estate facts 2012We have had many people ask for this information over the past 90 days, so we thought it would be very helpful for all to see how Padre Island is growing by leaps and bounds.  The Island is getting set for another major expansion, are you ready to take advantage of all of the great investment opportunities out there?
 
 
 

Padre Island Facts as of 6/28/2012:

197 vacant single family waterfront lots remaining – – 1,805 have homes on them

1065 vacant single family water access/dry lots remaining – – 1,399 have homes on them

99 vacant multifamily waterfront lots remaining – – 145 have been built on

151 vacant multifamily water access/dry lots remaining – – 75 have been built on

18 vacant duplex waterfront lots remaining – – 78 have been built on

39 vacant duplex water access/dry lots remaining – 65 have been built on

Give Us a Call Today, so we can talk with you about the incredible Real Estate Opportunities Available on Padre Island, TX.