Fort Bend County, TX Real Estate News

By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Some Highlights When you rent, you build your landlords wealth, your monthly payment depends on ever-rising rents, and you don't benefit from home price appreciation. On the other hand, when you own your home, you build your own wealth, your monthly payment is locked in, and you benefit directly from home price appreciation. If you're feeling the challenges of a competitive market, remember that homeownership is a long-term game. Persevering today will lead to financial rewards in the future.   
Comments 0
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
When stay-at-home mandates were enforced last year, many households realized their homes didn't really fulfill their new lifestyle needs. An office (in some cases two), a media room, space for children to learn, a gym, and a large yard are all examples of amenities that became highly desirable almost overnight.Zelman & Associates recently reported that sales of primary residences grew by 9% in 2020. That increase in demand was met by the lowest supply of homes for sale in history. High demand and low supply caused prices to skyrocket over the past twelve months. Here are three home price indexes released most recently that show how home values have risen: FHFA Agency House Price Index shows a 13.9% increase CoreLogic Home Price Insights Report shows an 11.3% increase S&P Case-Shiller U....
Comments 2
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
To get this out there, there’s very little chance that you don’t know what a bug zapper is. There’s also at least a chance that you’ve never actually used one in real life and have just seen them used in a cartoon, movie, or TV show. Bug zappers have all but become a part of pop culture, usually indicating that a character lives in a very rural setting and more often than not comes from the poorer side of the tracks. So let’s get rid of that mental image right off the bat, because bug zappers are actually very useful tools that can make your home and yard a bit more comfortable as bugs that bite are out looking for a nibble in the heat of summer. How Bug Zappers Work While the “zap” in the name gives away a large part of how bug zappers work, the system is a bit more complex than just t...
Comments 2
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
With some credit report errors not getting fixed by either the credit reporting bureau or credit card companies, at least you have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in your corner.When you find an error in your credit report and send the credit bureau proof that your creditor was wrong when it said you paid late, didnt pay at all, or, worse yet, are deceased, you expect the bureau and your creditor to do the right thing. Like acknowledge the error and correct your credit report to show you paid on time, paid off your debts, or are still alive.And yet, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently had to tell the credit bureaus (and the companies that report your payment record to the bureaus) to pay attention to your complaints and take more care investigating your dis...
Comments 1
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Paint, paint, glorious paint! It’s one of the least expensive materials you can buy for your house that delivers one of the biggest visual punches. It also fixes a myriad of problems. Got a tired exterior? Paint. The interior of your home feels like it’s closing in on you? Paint. Bought a couch that you love, but clashes with everything else? PAINT.In all seriousness, paint is a great way to brighten, enliven, and give your home a serious face lift – inside and out. But once you’ve picked a color, what comes next? How do you choose the right paint and actually buy the right amount for your project?Choosing Your Perfect Paint Choosing paint can be overwhelming. There are always a variety of grades and characteristics to choose among, leaving a lot of people very confused and frustrated. ...
Comments 5
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Our homes are so much more than the houses we live in. For many, they've also become our workplaces, schools for our children, and safe harbors in which we've weathered the toughest moments of a global pandemic. Today, 65.6% of Americans call their homes their own, a rate that has risen to its highest point in 8 years.As National Homeownership Month kicks off this June, homeowners have every reason to celebrate. A survey by Gallup just ranked real estate as the best investment you can make for the eighth year in a row. However, unlike other investment options, the benefits of owning a home aren't purely financial. Here are the top ways Americans are winning by owning a home.Non-Financial Benefits:1. Civic Participation: Owning a home is owning a part of your neighborhood. Homeowners hav...
Comments 3
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
This year, Americans are moving for a variety of reasons. The health crisis has truly reshaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending so much more time in our current homes has driven many people to reconsider what homeownership means and what they find most valuable in their living spaces.According to the 2020 Annual National Movers Study:For customers who cited COVID-19 as an influence on their move in 2020, the top reasons associated with COVID-19 were concerns for personal and family health and wellbeing (60%); desires to be closer to family (59%); 57% moved due to changes in employment status or work arrangement (including the ability to work remotely); and 53% desired a lifestyle change or improvement of quality of life.With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the...
Comments 1
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Do you ever ponder your floor joists? Or give serious considerations to the cladding under your siding? Of course not! There are parts of your home that just work, and you never have to really do anything about them. Although ductwork seems like one of those out of sight, out of mind things, it’s actually one that you should look into now and again. Dirty Ducts Spew Dirt Cheap Sure, you change your furnace filter religiously, as you should, but that doesn’t mean that the dust in your house is taken care of. Over time, ductwork collects dirt too, especially when your vents are on the floor. The filter can only catch the dirt that goes into it; it can’t do much for dirt that settles in ductwork through open vents. Over time your ductwork can get pretty dirty, despite your best efforts. Wh...
Comments 6
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Are you clamoring for extra rooms or a more functional floorplan in your house? Maybe its time to make a move. If you'll be able to work remotely for the long-term or your overall needs have simply changed, its a great time to sell your house and move up. Why? With mortgage rates in their favor and higher-priced home sales powering more moves across the country, sellers in todays market are finding the space they need (and have always dreamed of) by purchasing a home in the upper end of the housing market.With so few homes available for sale and high demand from todays homebuyers, sellers are profiting in major ways this season. Bidding wars are gaining traction, driving up the sale price of more and more homes throughout the country. This means sellers are able to leverage extra cash f...
Comments 5
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Todays housing market is full of unprecedented opportunities. High buyer demand paired with record-low housing inventory is creating the ultimate sellers market, which means its a fantastic time to sell your house. However, that doesn't mean sellers are guaranteed success no matter what. There are still some key things to know so you can avoid costly mistakes and win big when you make a move.1. Price Your House RightWhen inventory is low, like it is in the current market, its common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask when setting a listing price. Believe it or not, that's not always true. Even in a sellers market, listing your house for the right price will maximize the number of buyers that see your house. This creates the best environment for bidding wars, which in turn are more...
Comments 2
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
As we enter the middle of 2021, many are wondering if well see big changes in the housing market during the second half of this year. Here's a look at what some experts have to say about key factors that will drive the industry and the economy forward in the months to come.realtor.com. . . homes continue to sell quickly in what's normally the fastest-moving time of the year. This is in contrast with 2020 when homes sold slower in the spring and fastest in September and October. While we expect fall to be competitive, this years seasonal pattern is likely to be more normal, with homes selling fastest from roughly now until mid-summer.National Association of Realtors (NAR)Sellers who have been hesitant to list homes as part of their personal health safety precautions may be more encourage...
Comments 2
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
As the heat of summer approaches, having ways to stay cool at home is especially important. Installing new air conditioners or HVAC units can be expensive and may add significantly to your ongoing cooling costs as well. In many cases, a major cooling system upgrade isn’t even needed; simple things like the right curtains and ceiling fans in your rooms can go a long way towards keeping things cool even in the heat of summer. You just need to make sure that you’ve got the right fan for the space you’ve installed it in. How Big Your Fan Should Be To get the most out of a ceiling fan, it’s important that you choose a fan that is the right size for the room it’s going to be used in. If you’re underwhelmed by the effect that a ceiling fan has in one of your rooms, most of the time the problem...
Comments 3
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
The last year has put emphasis on the importance of ones home. As a result, some renters are making the jump into homeownership while some homeowners are re-evaluating their current house and considering a move to one that better fits their current lifestyle. Understanding how housing affordability works and the main market factors that impact it may help those who are ready to buy a home narrow down the optimal window of time in which to make a purchase.There are three main factors that go into determining how affordable homes are for buyers: Mortgage Rates Mortgage Payments as a Percentage of Income Home Prices The National Association of Realtors (NAR) produces a Housing Affordability Index. It takes these three factors into account and determines an overall affordability score for h...
Comments 3
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Summer is wonderful. The weather is lovely, and there’s so much extra daylight that you have plenty of time for all kinds of outdoor activities. It’s almost too perfect. Well, that is until summer pests come along to ruin your lovely outdoor gatherings. But don’t worry, it’s still possible to have a perfectly pleasant time without having to fight off the bugs at your picnic. Insects are Everywhere! It’s inevitable that you’re going to run face-first into some kind of insects if you’re spending a lot of time in your own personal outdoor oasis, but it doesn’t mean that you have to like it. Even though there are way more of them than there are of us, only a few really have serious potential to ruin a party at any given moment. Let’s take a look at keeping those bugs under control all summe...
Comments 5
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
There's a lot of discussion about affordability as home prices continue to appreciate rapidly. Even though the most recent index on affordability from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows homes are more affordable today than the historical average, some still have concerns about whether or not its truly affordable to buy a home right now.When addressing this topic, there are various measures of affordability to consider. However, very few of the indexes compare the affordability of owning a home to renting one. In a paper just published by the Urban Institute, Homeownership Is Affordable Housing, author Mike Loftin examines whether its more affordable to buy or rent. Here are some of the highlights included.1. Renters pay a higher percentage of their income toward their rent...
Comments 3
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
When buying a home, its important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.What Are Closing Costs?According to Trulia:When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.For example, for someone buying a 300,000 home, they could potentially have between 6,000 and 15,000 in closing fees. If you're in the market for a home above this price range, your closing costs could be greater. As mentioned above, closing costs are typically...
Comments 3
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Keeping your home cool during the hot summer months can be an expensive prospect. This is especially true if you have large windows or rooms that have multiple windows that let sunlight in. While it’s great to have natural light during the day, it can work against your AC by heating up the air in those rooms at the same time you’re pumping cool air throughout the house. This can lead to your air conditioning running almost constantly throughout the day, and in some cases may even prompt an expensive HVAC upgrade if your current unit can’t keep up with the summer heat to your liking.There’s some good news, though: It’s likely possible to cut your cooling costs during the summer without having to spend potentially thousands of dollars on a more powerful air conditioning solution. Through ...
Comments 3
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Last month, in a post on the Liberty Street Economics blog, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted that Americans believe buying a home is definitely or probably a better investment than buying stocks. Last week, a Gallup Poll reaffirmed those findings.In an article on the current real estate market, Gallup reports:Gallup usually finds that Americans regard real estate as the best long-term investment among several options — seeing it as superior to stocks, gold, savings accounts and bonds. This year, 41% choose real estate as the best investment, up from 35% a year ago, with stocks a distant second.Here's the breakdown:The article goes on to say:The 41% choosing real estate is the highest selecting any of the five investment options in the 11 years Gallup has asked this question.Is...
Comments 2
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
One of the biggest questions in real estate today is, When will sellers return to the housing market? An ongoing shortage of home supply has created a hyper-competitive environment for hopeful buyers, leading to the ultimate sellers market. However, as the economy continues to improve and more people get vaccinated, more sellers may finally be in sight.The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae recently noted the percentage of consumer respondents who say its a good time to sell a home increased from 61% to 67%. Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, indicates:Consumer positivity regarding home-selling conditions nearly matched its all-time high. (See graph below):Fannie Mae isn't the only expert group noticing a rise in the percentage of peopl...
Comments 5
By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(Champion Real Estate Group)
Ponds are increasingly popular water features for homeowners. Having a small decorative pond in your yard can help you unwind, provide a unique ecosystem for certain animals, and just generally add some beauty to your property. With that said, it’s important to realize that installing a yard pond is a bigger task than just digging a hole and adding some water. Before diving into a pond project, it’s important that you stop to consider everything that’s involved with the installation, as well as some of the things you’ll need for upkeep once the pond is finished. This isn’t meant to discourage you, just to make you sure that you’re aware of all of this before you get too far into your planning.Installing a Yard Pond Yard ponds can range in size between a small 550-gallon pond to one that...
Comments 7