Archive Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Changing Face of Texas – Population Forecast

texas migration map

A portion of our Texas Real Estate License dues goes toward funding the Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. The Real Estate Center provides agents with press releases we are allowed to share. Below is the latest, which discusses the demographic shifts and population growth of Texas, both past future.

At the bottom is a link to the full article. It’s interesting stuff. If you don’t have time to read the entire post and the accompanying article, the takeaway is this:

Higher net migration (more people moving to Texas than moving out of the state) and the younger average age of Texas’ population should prove positive for real estate professionals. Both mean that more and more people will be looking for housing. The metro areas should continue to grow, while agricultural counties may continue to lose population.

Here is the write-up from the Real Estate Center, reposted with permission.

The Changing Face of Texas
By David S. Jones, Senior Editor, Real Estate Center
Release No. 23-0710

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) — One word will have a significant effect on the future of Texas real estate – population.

More people are moving to Texas than are moving out. These new adult Texans need housing the day they arrive. That is more good news for a real estate industry that has already fared better most states during the latest economic downturn.

“Forty years ago, the Texas population was largely rural and Anglo,” said Gary Maler, director of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Forty years from now, Texas will be largely urban and Hispanic.

“The state’s demographics will shift dramatically during the next several decades, and with change comes opportunity.”

In times past, Texas depended on “natural” increases for most citizens. That is, most Texans were born here. In the 1950s, 94 percent of the state’s population growth was of the natural variety. By the 1990s, just half of new citizens entered the state that way.

“The real estate implications are significant,” said Dr. Harold Hunt, a Center research economist. “Population primarily from net inmigration means there are more adults and more would-be homebuyers.”

While newly arriving households require housing, that can quickly become a negative should the state economy worsen and jobs be lost. Adults that migrate to Texas can just as quickly depart.
Read more …

Posted by Steve
6 years ago

The Joys of Downsizing to a Smaller, Better Located Austin Home

Downsizing

The Crossland Family has Super-Down-Sized from our nice, big, 2-year old custom home in Oak Hill to a crappy old 1970s house in Westlake. Now Me, Sylvia and our two teenagers are “crammed in” to an 1859 sqft rancher compared to the former 3316 sqft home, and 3701 sqft in the home prior to that.

This new house has a bad sewer line (and slow flushing commodes), aluminum wiring, former slab repairs, cracked sidewalk leading to the front door, termites, small secondary bedrooms, a giant dead tree in back, leaking sprinkler system, old worn out carpet (layered on top, believe it or not, of an older worn out carpet underneath), and a punch list of needed repairs and fix-up things at least 20 items long and growing daily. I’ve had a parade of vendors in and out of the house since we moved in two weeks ago and more on the way. This place was a rental home for 20+ years. I couldn’t move a renter into a house like this without hearing an earful of complaints, but we did it ourselves. And we couldn’t be happier with our new home. We absolutely love it.

Why are we so elated about our move into this dump? Location, first and foremost. More on that in a minute. But, also, we’ve grown weary of maintaining nice big houses on acreage and the accompanying expenses of that lifestyle. I mowed my own lawn 2 days ago for the first time since 1999 after me and my new neighbor spent an hour working on the old mower, taking apart and cleaning the carburetor, and getting it running.

I don’t need lawn service once a week anymore. We don’t need maids to come keep everything clean and shiny every 2 weeks. We don’t need a professional window washer to clean gigantic picture windows twice a year. This new house has 1 A/C filter to keep changed, the old one had 5 filters and I needed a 10ft step ladder to get to them all because of the nice high ceilings we had. The old house had high-end fussy appliances that were expensive to repair. This house has Plain Jane appliances that work surprisingly well, especially the black dishwasher that doesn’t match our white gas range and stainless fridge, all tucked nicely underneath a fabulously 70s seven foot two inch kitchen ceiling with yellowing plastic covers over the fluorescent lights. The new house has 32 light bulbs, the old house had over 100 light bulbs. You get the point. To sum up the lifestyle change in one word, I’d have say I feel “unburdened“.

But our primary motivation in leaving our beloved Oak Hill was location, getting closer back in to the core of Austin and living in a home from which we can walk places and better enjoy the Austin lifestyle.
Read more …

Posted by Steve
6 years ago

Sellers – You Don’t Have to Read Your Buyer’s Inspection Report

Home Inspection

As the seller of a home, do you have to read the buyer’s inspection report if the buyer presents it to you? No, you don’t.

And if you are a seller represented by the Crossland Team, we advise that you don’t look at or read a buyer’s inspection report because we don’t want you getting stuck with someone else’s inspection report, produced by an inspector you don’t know and didn’t hire, and which you’ll then have to staple to the back of your Seller’s Disclosure notice if that buyer flakes out and terminates the deal. Then all your future prospective buyers will read that report, for better or worse, and it’s best to not let that happen.

Not all Realtors subscribe to this “I don’t want to see it” philosophy. We sometimes catch flak for this from buyer agents who want to leverage inspection report items to gain price reductions during inspection periods, and they sometimes become angry when we inform them that our seller doesn’t need to see or want to see buyer’s inspection report.

Why not just look at the report?

Section 7 of the commonly used TAR Seller’s Disclosure Notice asks sellers:

Within the last 4 years, have you (Seller) received any written inspection reports from persons who regularly provide inspections and who are either licensed inspectors or otherwise permitted by law to perform inspections? lf yes, attach copies and complete the following:

Most Seller’s Disclosures say “No” on Section 7. Once you receive your buyer’s inspection report, and if the deal craters, you have to change section 7 to “Yes” and attach the report you received, whether you agree with the findings or not, and no matter what mis-characterizations and false assumptions the report might contain. This opens a huge can of worms and can affect the answers you must provide in other parts of the Seller Disclosure.

Additionally, you are already under contract for an agreed price, as-is, and there is nothing in your Texas sales contract that requires you to make repairs (unless specifically written in the initial contract) or look at buyer’s inspection. Buyer has an Option Period, usually 7 to 10 days, to examine the property and conduct whatever other due diligence buyer deems appropriate. During this Option Period, the ball is entirely in the buyer’s court. If the buyer does not terminate prior to the end of the Option Period, the deal continues unchanged.

In almost every deal, however, buyers come back and seek a price adjustment based on conditions that were not factored into the agreed contract price. These range from small and reasonable adjustments to hysterical and ridiculous demands. It is the manner and style in which these adjustments are calculated, communicated and resolved that reveal huge differences in real estate agents and how we advise clients and conduct negotiations. Is there a “right” way and a “wrong” way to go about this? I believe there is.

Read more …

Posted by Steve
6 years ago