Buyers, Buyers everywhere with little-to-nothing to buy.

February 11, 2013

It is déjà vu… All over again.

2013 is starting to look and feel a bit like 2007. Try to remember back to a time when buyers were abundant, inventory was scarce, interest rates were very good and lending requirements were forgiving.

2007 was a perfect example of a market that was totally skewed to one side, creating a true seller’s market, thereby limiting buyer choices and actions. There were very few new homes available and resale properties were flying off the shelves, often times with multiple offers just days or mere minutes after hitting the market. This naturally (or un-naturally) drove sales prices up, up, up so that our average annual appreciation rate of 4 percent shot upwards to 10 and 12 %.

Good news for sellers; bad news for buyers, right? In 2007, it was. But not so today, as we experience valuation problems with the remnants of the HVCC legislation leading to low appraisals (read more about HVCC).

So what is a seller to do? Price competitively but realize that even though you may receive many offers that push the sales price above your initial asking or list price, today’s appraisal process might not allow for the overage. Your Realtor should prepare an appraisal packet including information about any and all updates, valid comparable properties in the immediate area and details of the multiple offer situation. This is still no guarantee that the appraiser will review or consider the data, but it goes a long way to helping your property make value. Sometimes the other terms offered by buyers are more important than taking the highest price. Financing terms are crucial and often the type of financing being used by a buyer can be indicative of future potential appraisal problems. If presented with a cash offer, make sure to negotiate what will happen if buyer seeks an independent appraisal (not required with cash) and the property does not make value.

Yes, a seller’s market is exciting and good for neighboring homeowners’ property values. The only downside, other than potential low appraisals, is an inventory level so low that future buyers stay put because they have nowhere to move and nothing to purchase.

This means everyone is waiting for the next guy or gal to list. That would be such a pity when interest rates on a 30 year fixed are below 3.5 as of today. So go on, jump in the market… The water is warm and inviting.


Advice for Women Seeking Marriage

October 1, 2011

by Christi Borden   

Author Unknown but shared by Pattie Huey

If you want someone who will eat whatever you put in front of him and never say it’s not quite as good as his mother’s…

Then…Adopt a dog.

 

If you want someone always willing to go out, at any hour, for as long and wherever you want…

 Then…Adopt a dog.

 

If you want someone who will never touch the remote, doesn’t care about football, and can sit next to you as you watch romantic movies…

 Then…Adopt a dog.

.

If you want someone who is content to get on your bed just to warm your feet and whom you can push off if he snores…

 Then…Adopt a dog.

 

If you want someone who never criticizes what you do, doesn’t care if you are pretty or ugly, fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to, and loves you unconditionally, perpetually….

 Then…Adopt a dog.

.

BUT, on the other hand, if you want someone who will never come when you call, ignores you totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place, walks all over you, runs around all night and only comes home to eat and sleep, and acts as if your entire existence is solely to ensure his happiness….  

 

 

Then…Adopt a cat!

(And you thought I was going to say… marry a man, didn’t you?)


Found Dog in Katy, TX

September 28, 2011

I love helping our Katy TX residents find lost pets. This was sent to me by Lisa, who posts lost pets in Grand Lakes and surrounding areas.

This cute little dog was found in Cinco Ranch, the Katy Creek Ranch subdivision.  No collar or micro-chip.  Please contact Jamie if you know this little one, 469-360-2642.


Found Dogs in Katy, TX – Two Schnauzers!

September 8, 2011

by Christi Borden

Found Two Schnauzer in Katy TX!

These two adorable Schnauzer have been found near the intersection of Coffee Bend and Westheimer Parkway…near Parkway Oaks Subdivision in Katy, TX. They’re clearly someone’s pets, and were taken to the vet by the wonderful person that found them (Karen Edmunson). They had no chips and no tags. The vet is kenneling them for the night, but we MUST find the owners ASAP!


Lost Dogs in Katy – Pit Bulls – Bena and Boomer!

September 8, 2011

by Christi Borden

I am often contacted by loving pet owners who are missing their pets. Please help this family… from Bonnie Vargo.

Lost dogs in Katy, TX - Bena and Boomer

“MISSING PIT BULLS:  The white one is male. He is Boomer. The tan one is Bena (short for Solabena). She is the mother. Both of them have tags.  Alex rescued them from a man who was using Bena as a baby maker. They were so scared in the beginning when Alex took them in. Now they are so sweet and trusting.

We had them for 7 years and I think someone stole them. We have put up flyers and have searched all over for them. The neighbor was watching them while we were in Corpus Christi this past weekend. They both came up missing on Saturday. We are all heartbroken. I pray that they are not being harmed. Thanks for your help.”

If you have seen these pets, please post here or let me know at christi@chrisitiborden.comso that I can help their owner find them. Thank you.

 

Houston Area Water Restrictions – Updated 8/16/11

August 16, 2011

by Christi Borden

 

Municipality Lawns Address Times Allowed Days Allowed Pools Restricted
           
City of Houston Yes Even 8p-10a Su, Th No
City of Houston Yes Odd 8p-10a Sa, Weds No
           
Galveston Yes All None None Yes
           
The Woodlands Yes Even 8p-4a Even No
The Woodlands Yes Odd 8p-4a Odd No
           
League City Yes All None None Yes
           
San Leon Yes All None None Yes
           
Bacliff Yes All None None Yes
           
Kemah Yes All None None Yes
           
Clear Lake Shores Yes All None None Yes
           
Jamaica Beach Yes All None None Yes
           
Bayou Vista Yes All None None Yes
           
Omega Bay Yes All None None Yes

 

City of Houston

Residents at even-numbered street addresses can water their lawns on Sundays and Thursdays, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. Residents with odd-numbered addresses can water on Saturdays and Wednesdays, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Any detectable water leaks would have to be repaired within 72 hours.

Failure to comply with the restrictions could result in hundreds of dollars in fines.

The Woodlands

The Woodlands went from a Stage 1 to a Stage 3 drought contingency plan on Thursday. James Stinson, General Manager for the MUDs said, “Lawn watering restrictions are now mandatory.” Residents with a programmable water controller can water no more than twice a week and cycles must be complete by 4:00 a.m.”

Homes with even address are allowed to water only on even calendar days and odd addresses are allowed to water on odd days, and then only twice a week.

Galveston

The city of Galveston has banned all lawn watering and car washing. Those wishing to wash their motor vehicles can do so on designated days before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. The designated days for areas east of 103rd Street are Mondays and Thursdays. For residents who live west of 103rd Street, their designated days are Wednesdays and Saturdays.

League City

League City enacted Stage 5 of the city’s drought contingency plan on Friday, implementing arguably the strictest of mandatory water restrictions in the Houston area. Residents in League City are banned from watering lawns, washing their vehicles and refilling their pools. The city has gone as far as prohibiting restaurants from serving water, unless requested. Residents caught violating the restrictions could be given up to a $500 fine.

Texas City

Irrigation of landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems shall be limited to designated watering days and hours. However, irrigation of landscaped areas is permitted at anytime if it is by means of a hand-held hose, a faucet filled bucket or watering can of five gallons or less, or a drip irrigation system.

Even number addresses can water on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Odd number addresses can water on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

MUD 12, San Leon MUD and Bacliff MUD

No outdoor watering including for landscaping or car washing.

 

 

Galveston County — Other

Besides League City and Galveston, other cities in the county are also under mandatory water bans. Instituting the bans are Jamaica Beach, Texas City, the San Leon Municipal Utility District, the Bacliff Municipal Utility District, the Water Control and Improvement District 12, which covers Kemah and Clear Lake Shores and Municipal Utility District 12, which serves Bayou Vista, Omega Bay and old Bayou Vista. MUD 12 had not set a start date for the restrictions, which will ban all outdoor water use, according to a phone alert sent by the district.

 

 


Lunch with The Girls Through the Ages!

July 22, 2011

by Christi Borden

Unknown Author….

A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.
Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Ocean View restaurant because they had only $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the cute boy in Social Studies, lived on that street.

10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer was cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute guys.

10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn’t be too many whiny little kids.

10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the martinis were big and the waiters had tight pants and nice buns.

10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant had windows that opened (in case of a hot flashes), and fish is good for cholesterol.

10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the lighting was good and the restaurant had an early bird special.

10 years later, the group of 75-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped-accessible.

10 years later, the group of 85-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before.


Lost Pet in Katy… Preston, the Chihuahua

June 26, 2011

Preston, Chihuahua missing in Katy/Cypress Area!

As a service to our community, I post lost pets and received this note sent to me by an anxious pet owner:

I thank you for your help. I need assistance finding my beloved Chihuahua. I have posted every where I can think of now I am using the net to further my search your assistance would be appreciated!

 REWARD for HELP, LOST PET
Please help us find PRESTON
Black and Tan Chihuahua
MALE
6 years old
about 5 lbs.
He is NOT neutered

He was last seen on Garden Meadow, in the Cypress Meadow subdivision (Near Windstone) and has been missing since 6/20/2011′ There is a REWARD for anyone who helps us find him. He is a beloved family pet!

Thank you and God Bless, Ebony Johnson


Lost Pet in Katy, TX – Jack Russell Missing!

June 26, 2011

Peanut... Male Jack Russell missing from Cinco Ranch Greenway Village 6/26/11!

As a service to our community, I often post lost or found pets in our area.

Today, Katy residents, Stacie and James, who live in Cinco Ranch Greenway Village at the corner of The Grand Parkway (99) and Highland Knolls are searching for their sweet Jack Russell named Peanut, who was discovered missing this morning.  Somehow he must have pushed open their back gate and they noticed him missing since about 7:00 am on 06/26/2011.  Their oldest daughter heard him barking at midnight so they know he was there then.  He usually doesn’t go far…typically they would find him at Fielder Elementary if he got out, which is just a few houses down. However, no luck today!

They ran across my website and have asked to post a picture of him to help find him.  His family misses him very much! If you have seen Peanut or know of someone who might live in the area he was lost, please forward this to them and share with your friends. Help us find him!


Public Open House Etiquette by a Realtor!

June 24, 2011

by Christi Borden, Realtor

Who doesn’t love to visit an Open House? Come on, you know you do. Go ahead … admit it. You love to see the decorations, to peek inside your neighbor’s home (who never invited you over the entire time they lived there), to learn more about what homes are going for in your area, or to check it out before giving your Realtor a call.

Either way, there are a few bits of advice I can give while visiting a Public Open House.

1. Follow House Rules: Seller may wish for you to remove shoes prior to entering. This may be due to nasty weather, new flooring or a cultural preference. Just ask the Realtor or Host on duty if removing shoes is expected.

2. Monitor Your Kids: Homeowners really expect parents to stay with their children at all times and to make sure nothing is touched or damaged. I have seen many visitors arrive and while the parents are involved with viewing the home, their kids are all over the place – totally unsupervised. The Realtor or Host cannot be expected to babysit or to monitor visiting kids. Please, please keep them with you as the home could experience damage that you quite possibly could be held liable for.

3. Go Before You Arrive: I am often amazed at visitors asking to use the Seller’s bathroom. The Seller’s home is a private residence and as such, unless vacant and only with permission from the Realtor or Host on duty, should you assume that it is okay to use the facilities. Seller’s have prepared the home for viewing… not using.

4. Have a Realtor? Tell Us: You will be asked by the Realtor or Host on duty for your contact information. Sometimes our clients request this information, as they want to know who has visited their home. And many times, the Realtor on Duty would like to contact you to send you more information and to try to develop a future relationship with you. This is not a bad thing and can be very helpful for visitors that are not currently under a written representation agreement with another Realtor. But if you already have such a relationship with a Realtor, simply let us know who it is. We are happy to send them more information about the property you have visited. We all want to honor your relationship with your Realtor but cannot do so if we do not know about it. This is actually a Code of Ethics issue with the National Association of Realtors, which all Realtors must follow.

5. Tell Us What You Think: Don’t be shy… Are we priced right? Do we show well? Are you considering this home? If not, is there anything that our Sellers can do to make your short list? By providing such valuable feedback, you are helping us help our Seller know exactly what the public thinks about the home. And feel free to ask us questions. If we do not know the answer, we will do our best to find it. If answering your questions will help sell the property, we are more than happy to help.

As a Realtor, we love having you visit our Open Houses. In fact, that is why we give up our valuable family time on weekends… just for you. Help us make it pleasant for you and for our Sellers. Happy house hunting and support your local hardworking Realtor by visiting an Open House today!!!