The Dowdy Team
Real Estate Newsletter
Volume: 1 - 2008
Notes Single Family Home Sales 2nd Best Ever
With all the volatility in the stock The Houston Association of an increase of 13% in inventory
market, investors have been moving Realtors just released year end since December 31, 2006.
their investments into bonds and as MLS stats for 2007 and results December was the fourth month
many of you know, mortgage rates were positive for the year! in a row of declining numbers
tend to follow bond yields. A large Despite total sales and dollar compared to corresponding
percentage of the money for volume being down for the year months in 2006. In Harris
mortgages comes from bond sales to compared to 2006, 2007 marks County the January foreclosure
investors. When the demand for the second best year on record postings increased to over 3200
for the Houston market as sales properties, compared to right at 20920 Kuykendahl, Ste. E
bonds is high, investors pay a Spring, TX 77379
premium for bonds (a price above prices continued to rise slightly 2000 in December. It is quite
the face value of the bond) and this and marketing time was well evident that we are seeing of rental homes in many
in turn lowers the interest yield on below the national average. increasing softness in the suburban neighborhoods that
the bonds. Lower bond yields then Houston market, especially in have seen a lot of investor
Single family home sales in homes valued under $200,000. activity the past few years. We
lead to lower mortgage rates. As of
December 2007 were 18.3% However, if the inventory of can expect rental rates to
today, Jan 23rd, I’m seeing thirty year
below last December with 4,976 homes does not continue gradually increase and leasing
fixed mortgage rates as low as 5%
properties selling. Dollar volume increasing and unemployment times to decrease.
(without any points included) and
was also down 14% compared to stays under 4.5%, overall home
fifteen year fixed rates of 4.5%. If
a year ago. The number of days values should remain stable in Although we expect the first half
your have a mortgage with an
it took for a home to sell the Houston area. I believe we of 2008 to follow somewhat in
interest rate of 6% or above and plan
increased to 85 in December and can expect to see some home the path of the rest of our nation,
to stay in your home at least a year
that is the highest number of values declining in the price we are optimistic that our vibrant
then it may be in your best interest to
days the average home took to ranges below $200,000, where job market and healthy energy
refinance your home. Even if you
sell since Feb 2006. During the majority of the mortgage industry base will keep us from
have less than 20% equity in your
December the average seller had delinquencies exist and many seeing the large declines in
home and have to have private
to negotiate 4.3% off their asking buyers are unable to qualify for volume and prices expected to be
mortgage insurance, IRS rules have
price to get their home sold and financing with the much stricter experienced by the rest of our
changed and now allow a deduction
that is the highest negotiating financing guidelines. These country. Steady or moderate
for the PMI premium.
percentage we’ve seen in recent stricter guidelines for financing appreciation rates are expected to
If you think you are a prime years. Pending sales on do have a positive influence on continue and overall market
candidate to refinance your home December 31st stood at 3,230, a the rental market as many conditions are predicted to
give me a call and I will be glad to 9% decrease from December 31, families are forced to rent and improve the latter part of the
run a scenario to see if it makes 2006. Active single family home the increased number of renters year as long as our employment
sense. I have twelve years listings were up to 33,926 homes will help absorb an oversupply base remains solid.
experience in lending to go along
with my 30+ years residential real
estate experience. I do not solicit
mortgage loans from the public; just
offer them to my customers, family,
The Dowdy Team
friends, and personal referrals.
Tom Dowdy Jennifer Cook
If your middle credit score, as
reported by the three major credit Broker Associate Realtor Associate
reporting agencies, is under 680 you CRP – Certified Relocation Professional ABR –Accredited Buyer
may find some hurdles to refinancing CRS – Certified Residential Specialist Representative
RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award
at lower rates with the stricter Jennifer has been selling the
RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award
lending guidelines we are seeing. RE/MAX Platinum Award Montgomery County area and
Also, stated income loans are The Woodlands since January
difficult to place in the present Tom has sold homes in Northwest 2002. She has been working with
environment. Loans above $417,000 Houston and The Woodlands since Tom since Jan. 2005 and has a
have higher rates than smaller loans. 1977. He has closed over 1,500 home strong following of happy
sales during his career. customers.
Page 2 Volume I - 2008
How to avoid your home listing expiring unsold
Expired listings are those properties listing becomes an expired listing rather get your property the necessary buyer
that did not sell within the contractual than a sold listing is: 1. price, 2. condition, traffic, but what buyers see when they
agreement between the owner and and 3, marketing. Over pricing is most walk through your home is up to you. In
listing agent. For many agents often the number one reason because you a nut shell, your home should smell
including us, expired listings are a set the asking price based on your value good, look good, and feel good. Fresh
good source of potential business, as and your agent’ advice, but it is ultimately neutral paint, appealing flooring, &
who better to market to than people the buyer who determines its value by what updated kitchens are the biggies!
who have shown a sincere interest in they are willing to pay. In a competitive Your agent also plays a big role in
selling their property, but were market, such as one we have here, when getting your home sold by the amount
unsuccessful. Getting this potential you overprice your property and test the and type of marketing they do. Today’s
business requires an agent to educate a market, you are only making it easier for buyers are going to the internet first.
seller on the reasons why their your competition to sell. Today’s buyers Therefore, your property’s internet
property did not sell the first time. are value shoppers and if they see a better presence must outshine your
This can sometimes be difficult as value down the road, they will jump on it. competition. High quality photos,
most sellers only want to hear good So price your property consistent with virtual tours, podcasts, and distribution
things about their property, but what similar properties have been selling to multiple websites are key to gaining
unfortunately, sometimes the best for but keep in mind current market online exposure. Once you’ve captured
approach to earning someone’s trust conditions that may affect your sale and the online viewer, detailed information
and their business is to be straight adjust accordingly. on the benefits your home offers and
forward and honest. If you are not Condition is probably the #2 reason a competitive pricing will get you
aware, the most common reasons a home does not sell. Most good agents will showings, then it’s about the appeal!
Showing Instructions – The easier, the better!
When a homeowner decides to by buyers and you will essentially assist to schedule a second showing. Many
market their property for sale, one in selling your neighbor’s home. agents & buyers will not give a home a
crucial element in marketing your home second chance if they cannot view it
effectively is the details of your showing For starters, your home should be while in the area viewing other homes.
instructions. These instructions dictate available for showings between around
to a buyer and the showing agent when 9am and 8pm, 7 days a week. Evenings You will also need to decide how you
and how you wish your home to be are likely to be busy times for showings like to be notified when a showing is
shown. If showing instructions are as many buyers can only view homes scheduled. What number
difficult and restrictive, it will likely after they get off of work. For most More traffic is best to call, will there
have a negative impact on your home of you, this will require your agent results in need to be verbal approval
sale. Sellers must come to understand to install a lockbox on your home
quicker & to scheduled the showing,
that when you decide to offer your home giving the showing agent access when or will a courtesy call be
for sale, it will be inconvenient and you are not available to provide access. higher sales! acceptable? Either way,
greatly interfere with your normal life, Excuse yourself during showings. the bottom line is this, the easier and
so learn to expect it! If you don’t, you Changing your showing instructions more convenient you make showing the
risk having your property bypassed often makes it hard on agents who wish home the more likely you are to sell it!
Yummy Baby Ruth Dessert!
Ingredients: 2 large eggs granulated sugar, butter and peanut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract butter in large mixer bowl until creamy.
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour 6 (2.1 oz ea.) Nestle Baby Ruth Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
1 teaspoon baking soda bars, coarsely chopped Gradually beat in flour mixture. Spread
½ teaspoon salt dough evenly into prepared pan.
¾ cup packed brown sugar Directions: Sprinkle with Baby Ruth & press lightly.
¾ cup granulated sugar Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden
½ cup butter OR margarine Preheat oven to 375 degrees. brown. Cool completely in pan on wire
(softened) Mouth Grease 15x10 inch jelly roll pan. rack. Cut into bars & enjoy. Makes 36
½ cup creamy OR chunky watering good! Combine flour, baking soda & salt servings.
peanut butter in a small bowl. Beat brown sugar, Recipe provided by: CooksRecipes.com
Volume I – 2008 Page 3
Guaranteed Sales Program
The Dowdy Team offers a Guaranteed that you don’t have to worry if your sal and the competitive market analysis.
Sales Program for certain sellers who home will be sold and you will know the
want to build a new home and are minimum amount of equity you have to While this program is not typically for
concerned if their present home will sell work with in closing on the new home. the homeowner who has owned their
in time to close on the new home when it If you follow the required marketing home for a short period of time, it is
is finished. Following the guidelines of guidelines in the Guaranteed Sales appealing to a lot of sellers who have
the program in marketing their homes Program it is not likely you will have to owned their homes for a long period of
nine out of ten will sell before triggering accept the guaranteed price. The price time and have built up equity through
the sales guarantee. The sales guarantee guarantee is based on an appraisal by an appreciation. The Guaranteed Sales
varies between 92% and 95% of fair independent appraiser and a competitive Program allows a seller to capitalize on a
market value as the carrying costs, while market analysis completed by Tom builder’s temporary discount that has a
reselling the home, are factored into the Dowdy. To qualify for the guaranteed deadline attached to it, or to be able to
price guarantee from Tom Dowdy. Tom sale your home must be inspected and take advantage of lower interest rates in
works with investors who buy homes to deficiencies that would be of concern to a market where rates are expected to rise
hold as long term investments and if the a future buyer must be corrected. The over a five to six month period of time.
home meets an investors criteria then the home must be in proper condition to sell Once the program is explained, some
higher guaranteed price is available. and turned over to either Tom Dowdy or sellers feel it is worth taking the chance
his investor in move-in condition. The of a discounted sales price just to lessen
The advantages of using a guaranteed home must be initially priced no more the stress of selling a home and the
sales program in building a new home is than 2% above the average of the apprai- unknowns that accompany that process.
Rental Home Ownership
Ever thought about buying a rental home whether the floor plan will be appealing ownership as one bad tenant can easily
for an investment? Most people that buy to most prospective tenants. You must cost you $10,000, between repairing
rental homes wind up frustrated with give consideration to the location of the damages and carrying costs until you
dealing with tenant issues, small home within the neighborhood and what find another good tenant. Once you have
contractors, and disappointed in their impact that will have in securing a a good tenant you need to treat that
investment. Owning profitable rental tenant, as well as how easy the home tenant as a valuable asset and hope to
property requires a lot of knowledge or a will be to sell later. You must be able to keep the tenant for at least two years. If
lot of good luck. The important accurately estimate make ready costs in you turn over tenants every year then
considerations in approaching the getting the home ready to lease. You vacancies, carrying costs, and make
purchase of an investment property are must have an idea of how long it will ready costs will possibly eat up your
numerous. You must consider the take to get the home leased and at what potential profits.
neighborhood and its trends to have an rental rate. You must be able to estimate
idea of how much the home might what the carrying costs of the home will The bottom line is you should work with
appreciate, as well as what type tenants be during the leasing period. The a professional with lots of experience in
the neighborhood is likely to attract. selection of the tenant is one of the most rental property ownership when
You must take into consideration critical factors in assuring a profitable considering buying a rental property.
whether the floor plan of the home is one
“No Sales Hype, Just Straight Forward Advice”
Have you wondered what our slogan giving any advice that would influence a though that often means we loose a sale
really means to you, the customer? It client to make an incorrect decision just or have to wait months for that customer
means we do not use “closing so we can earn a commission. Think of to do another transaction. We find that
techniques” to try and sell a client real it this way….one ill advised customer treating people as we would want to be
estate. The Dowdy Team believes in will tell everyone he or she knows about treated earns the trust and respect of our
doing thorough research on market the bad experience, while a satisfied clients and they in turn refer other
trends, neighborhoods, marketing customer may not think about referring customers to us. So if you are ever in a
techniques, and the advice we give is another customer even though the position to refer us a customer please
based on that research and our combined experience with Tom or Jennifer was consider doing so and we will treat them
36 years experience in the industry. very good. We can’t afford to have bad with respect and work hard for them.
Tom also has twelve years experience as references in today’s highly competitive Over 82% of our business is repeat
a loan officer that his clients have the real estate field. We believe in being customers or referred customers and that
added benefit of. We do not believe in brutally honest with our customers even is the backbone of our success.
The Dowdy Team
Texas Home Group, Realtors
20920 Kuykendahl Rd., Ste. E
Spring, TX 77379
Tom: 281-645-6290 Direct
Jennifer: 281-645-6758 Direct
Dowdy Team listings have sold in an average
of 51 days and for 98.8% of the asking price
Spring Landing Beauty – 3/2/2 with recent updates
to flooring, lighting, & fixtures. Great location in Klein
ISD! Just reduced and ready for a new owner! $132,000
for the past 10 years!
Now is a good time to sell and buy a larger home
While a lot of people are thinking it is your standard of living and has a loss your home and buy a larger home when
not a good time to be a move-up buyer, it protection plan to guarantee you won’t the market is on the upswing, then
actually is a good time in most instances. take a loss on the replacement home if interest rates will likely be increasing as
For example you feel like you need to they transfer you again. In the Houston well. Lets use the same examples of the
sell your home for $150,000 to make a area, where homes below $200,000 are home being sold for $145,000, instead of
move and the market data indicates you showing signs that values may come the $150,000 you would like to get. If
might have to sell for $145,000. The down a bit this year, the homes above you are financing $200,000 on the
home you want to buy as a replacement $200,000 have continued to appreciate replacement home, a 1% increase in
is worth $225,000. Which home do you gradually. This is all the more reason to interest rates will cost you $123.10 per
think will gain more appreciation dollars buy now if you are selling a home under month in higher payments, plus $7,758
when the real estate market strengthens $200,000. You should consider selling more in price differential. Now does
again? The more expensive home will. before the inventory grows more and taking $5,000 less for the current home
While you are waiting for a $5,000 prices are likely to decline a bit. Keep in seem to make sense? You bet it does!
increase in value on your home the home mind the Houston unemployment rate is
you want goes up $7,758, assuming just over 4% and mortgage rates are very If you are considering selling and buying
appreciation rates are the same for both low so families in the mid to higher price another home you need to be pre-
homes. This assumption will hold true if ranges are not experiencing the same approved for financing before you start
market conditions are the same in both financial difficulties as families with less the process just to be sure you are not
locations. However, if you are stable jobs and income. That means the going to run into challenges securing
considering a move to a high cost area in higher priced homes aren’t as exposed to financing for the replacement home.
another location in the US, where values declining values, unless the economic Loan underwriting guidelines have
are expected to continue declining for a picture changes in Houston. That is not changed dramatically in recent months
while, then it may not be a good time to expected at this time. and some programs are no longer being
make a move to a more expensive home. offered. However, if you work for a
The exception to that would be if you are Another big factor in considering if this salary and have credit scores above 680
transferred by your employer, who will is a good time to be a move-up buyer is you should not experience difficulties
give you a cost of living raise to protect the low interest rates. If you wait to sell with finding financing.