August 2011

August 2011

Large companies continue to relocate their headquarters and call Houston home. It is now national headquarters for Equipment Depot, one of the nation’s largest providers of material-handling equipment. The company sells, rents and services industrial and construction products such as forklifts and boom lifts.

The company chose Houston as its base because “the economy in Texas is very strong,” Schermer said, “and Houston seemed to be the most vibrant and healthy city in the state.” Houston’s oil and gas and other types of industry also were factors, he said, noting that Texas generates 50 percent of the company’s sales.

Relocating its headquarters to Houston’s Memorial City Mall area will bring more than 20 corporate jobs here, Schermer said. The company’s Texas regional headquarters had been in Waco.

Featured in this month’s newsletter :
  1. Important Dates in August
  2. Is it the Right Time to Buy a Vacation Home?
  3. Weekend Get Aways – “Fiesta Noches del Rio” San Antonio, Texas
  4. New Residential Sales Decline during June
  5. From the Broker’s Office
  6. The Gourmet Corner

Texas Sage Properties

Important Dates in August

August 4 – US Coast Guard Day
August 5 – Sister’s Day
August 5 – International Forgiveness Day
August 7 – National Lighthouse Day
August 8 – Senior Citizens Day
August 11 – Son’s and Daughter’s Day
August 13 – Left-Hander’s Day
August 14 – V.J. Day
August 15 – Relaxation Day
August 15 – Assumption Day
August 19 – National Aviation Day
August 21 – Hawaii Day
August 22 – Be An Angel Day
August 22 – Tooth Fairy Day
August 23 – Ride The Wind Day

(*Denotes Holidays with dates that change annually)

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August Birth Flower: Gladiolas – Flower of the Gladiators. Strength of character, sincerity, generosity, are traits symbolized in the Gladiolus.

Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword), sometimes called the sword lily, is a genus of flowering plants, iris family (Iridaceae).

August Birthstone: Peridot – Peridot is associated – love, truth, faithfulness and loyalty.

Texas Sage Properties

Is it the Right Time to Buy a Vacation Home?
Courtesy – Realty Times, By Phoebe Chongchua

Housing prices are more affordable than ever and that’s not just for a primary home. Today, the second-home luxury market is loaded with deals. Second-homes that once were out of the price range for many are now viable options, according to The Wall Street Journal.

That means that homes that once were $1,000,000+ are now being offered for significantly less. For instance, a Hilton Head Island property in South Carolina sold for $1.2 million back in June 2006. However, by April 2011, the same three-bedroom home sold for $750,000.

Price cuts like these are causing buyers to take note. Reports in The Wall Street Journal indicate that the second-home housing market won’t stay soft forever. Right now some vacation markets are starting to stabilize and prices are even beginning to creep up in, for instance, luxury markets in California and Colorado.

However, hot spots exist for those interested in a vacation home in Miami, Florida, Martha’s Vineyard, or Vail. In these areas foreclosures are helping to keep prices from rising.

Here are some hot spot markets for vacation homes as reported in The Wall Street Journal.

  1. Santa Barbara, California: Today’s median home price: $695,000 as compared to five years ago: $1,000,000. Certainly prices are still high in this California market but lower than they were several years ago. It appears this market is stabilizing and may see increases in the future.
  2. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts: Today’s median home price: $403,000, but five years ago it was: $638,000.
  3. Vail, Colorado: Today’s median home price is $385,000, but five years ago it was $562,000.
  4. Miami, Florida: The median home price is now $130,000, but five years ago it was $302,000. In Palm Beach, the median price there today is $254,000, but five years ago it was $758,000.

Earlier this year, the vacation communities saw increases in prices that reached levels equivalent to the days before the housing boom. Analysts attribute the increase to steep discounts and cash purchases.

Homes in prime locations, like those near the water or ski slopes, are selling well. Real estate experts say that foot traffic has increased in some areas by about 30 percent.

Of course, on the lending side, banks are still cautious about making second-home mortgages, especially if they’re jumbo loans (higher than federally guaranteed limits). Many banks have implemented stricter standards for second-home loans.

But for many second-home buyers, getting a loan isn’t a big concern. Many of these buyers pay all cash and skip the entire mortgage process. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 80 percent of second-home buyers bought their homes not for investment purposes but instead simply for enjoyment and a place to live. Last year 36 percent of the vacation-home sales were all-cash transactions. That’s increased from 2009 when the figure was just under 30 percent.

If a second-home is on your wish list, this may be the best time to shop and find a bargain!

Texas Sage Properties

Weekend Get Aways -“Fiesta Noche del Rio” San Antonio, Texas
Courtesy – Alamo-Kiwanis

Dates: August 5,6 and 12,13

Fiesta Noche del Rio is one of San Antonio’s most famous Latin cultural events. The event is held in La Villita, San Antonio’s first neighborhood, and is one of the many art districts in the city. The Fiesta Noche del Rio offers seasonal events that feature outdoor performances with songs and dances from Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Texas. Fiesta Noche del Rio is the oldest and longest-lasting outdoor performance event in the United States. The first performance was in 1958 and the operation has delivered 52 events since its inception. The Fiesta Noche del Rio consists of seven acts. Act one begins with the Fiesta Noche del Rio theme song. Acts two and three provide musical performances from Spain and Argentina. During act four the crowd is wooed with Romantic Latin Music. Acts five through seven are a combination of songs and dances from Mexico and a final performance that is considered the Fiesta Finale.

The performance is based at the Arneson River Theater in the San Antonio River Walk. The Arneson River Theater is a historic theatre with beautiful grassy seating. The tranquil river divides the stage from the seating and creates great acoustics for the performances it holds. The audience can enjoy the performances of the acts overlooking the San Antonio River. Performances are conducted on the stage beyond the river and immediately in front of the seating area near the audience side of the river. Because the artists are so close to the audience it is common for the artists to speak with the crowd after the performances.

The current director and choreographer of the seven act flamenco and folkloric performance is Elizabeth Sanchez-Lopez, who was the dance coordinator for the 1993 Olympics festival. Many of the dancers and performers at the Fiesta Noche del Rio are well seasoned. The performances held at the celebration are all beautifully and professional done.

For a quarter of a century, Fiesta Noche del Rio has been an integral part of San Antonio’s entertainment. The Spanish culture in San Antonio heavily permeates the entire city and Fiesta Noche del Rio is no exception. Demographic experts in San Antonio estimate that more than sixty percent of the residents in San Antonio have some type of Hispanic heritage. The celebration contributes to the Spanish San Antonio vibe by commemorating Latin legacy. The Fiesta Noche del Rio is not only a fun and entertaining event but is also educational, teaching the public about the Spanish heritage of various Latin countries. Fiesta Noche del Rio exposes the heart of Spanish dance to those unfamiliar with the cultural background.

The Fiesta Noche del Rio normally starts in the evening at 7PM and performances begin an hour and a half later. The celebration lasts into the bright summer night and is a relaxing and enlightening way to spend an evening. There is a fee to enter the celebration. Adults are required to purchase a ticket for $15 and children between the ages of 6-14 and senior citizens can attend the celebration for $12.

http://www.city-data.com/city/San-Antonio-Texas.html

Texas Sage Properties

New Residential Sales Decline during June
Courtesy – Houston Real Estate Observer

According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, new residential sales were up throughout the country during June.Overall, sales of new single-family homes settled at a seasonally adjusted rate of 312,000 during the month, according to the agency’s estimates. This total rate is 1 percent lower than the revised rate recorded in May of 315,000 units, but 1.6 percent higher than the estimate for June 2010, which was 307,000.

The lower number of sales during the month came as a surprise to many economists, many of whom point to the wavering confidence of homebuilders, as they continue to compete with the low prices of foreclosed properties on the market.

“You’re still dealing with a supply-demand imbalance that suggests home prices will remain under pressure,” Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, who forecast June sales at a 310,000 pace, told Bloomberg. “As unemployment stays high, it will be difficult to generate meaningful gains in home sales.”

Median sales prices for these new units settled at $235,200, while the average sales price was $269,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of June totaled 164,000, which represents a supply of 6.3 months at the current sales rate. This level of supply is the lowest on record, according to Bloomberg.

The Houston real estate market has remained successful of the region’s steady job market. A recent report from the Houston Association of Realtors revealed continued increases in sales activity during June.
Texas Sage Properties

From the Broker’s Office

In this month’s From the Broker’s Office – A question many home sellers ask themselves. “Should I spend the money on a real estate commission or save that money by selling my home without the support and advice of a real estate professional?Today, I want to discuss why it is crucial to have a true professional guide you through the minefield of challenges that exist in the current real estate market. The housing market today is more challenging than it has ever been and it appears that is is becoming more difficult each day. What impact are foreclosures having on prices? Which loan products are current and still available? How do I convince perspective purchasers to pull the trigger on an offer when everyone is telling them that they should continue to see many more houses before they make a decision? These are tough question a trained, experienced professional deals with daily. Especially in today’s real estate environment a lay person would find it almost impossible to keep abreast of this rapidly evolving industry.Here are seven important reasons that I feel you should consider using a real estate professional:

  1. Pricing Is Difficult
    Just a few years ago, you didn’t have to worry about overpricing your home. If it was too high, all you needed to do was wait as historic appreciation was taking place. The situation is quite different today. With experts calling for another drop in home values, overpricing your property will cost you time. In this market, time costs you money. A professional real estate agent will discuss your current properties value and how increasing inventory could dramatically impact its value in the months to come. They will help you try to set the right price for today’s market.
  2. Negotiating Ability Is Crucial
    Buyers today have an almost unlimited supply of homes from which to choose. They realize that puts them in a great negotiating position. Many buyers are now being represented by an agent(yes, even when buying the for sale buyer owner property). Sellers need to also be represented by a professional expert trained to negotiate real estate transactions.
  3. Mortgaging Is Key to the Deal
    The biggest impact of the housing market collapse is that lending standards are much stricter today than they were a few short years ago. Rules are constantly changing. Even FHA has gone through a guidelines overhaul in the last several months. You need a real estate expert who has teamed up with a knowledgeable mortgage professional to make sure that the buyer in the deal is in fact capable of obtaining a mortgage. Losing time with an unqualified buyer costs you money in a market where prices are falling.
  4. Your Family’s Safety
    We have always found it puzzling that the same person that will lock every door and window and set the alarm today will then allow total strangers into their house tomorrow. The real estate industry trains its practitioners to take steps to protect themselves and their clients. Take advantage of putting a person between you and the person calling on an ad or yard sign.
  5. Exposure to Potential Purchasers
    When sellers think of getting exposure for their home, they immediately think of print advertising. Certain print media might still have a place in marketing a niche property (luxury, equestrian, waterfront, etc.). However, we want our readers to know that, though print advertising has traditionally been the way homes had been introduced to the buying public in the past, the medium has been losing its impact over the last several years. Personally, I think print advertising in your local mediums has lost all it’s impact. Recent studies have shown that less than 3% of buyers nationally find their home through newspaper advertising today. At the same time, over 80% are shopping for their new home through the internet.Let’s take a look at how real estate experts market listings today. Multiple Listing Systems (MLS) Once you list your property with a member of the local MLS, every other member of the system is alerted that your house is now available for purchase. In a matter of hours, hundreds or thousands of real estate professionals have the ability to easily share the specifics of your home with each of their buyers. There is nothing an individual seller can do to come close to this immediate exposure to thousands of potential buyers.Internet Sites
    Almost every real estate company and many agents have their own websites promoting their homes for sale. Many companies also have standing relationships with national listing sites.At Texas Sage Properties, we use www.Realtor.com , www.homeseekers.com , www.trulia.com/, www.realestate.aol.com/, www.houston.oodle.com/housing/sale , www.zillow.com/ , www.har.com , www.realestate.yahoo.com/ , www.homes.com , www.houseandhome.msn.com/, www.homesandland.com , www.cyberhomes.com/, www.TexasSageProperties.com , www.frontdoor.com , www.craiglist.com , www.backpage.com , www.google.com , www.vast.com , www.usamls.com , www.CLRSearch.com , www.propertyqube.com , www.walmartclassifieds.com , www.walmartclassifieds.com , www.efind.com , www.winday.com , www.myspaceclassifieds.com , www.info.com and www.sweetwatermortgage.com . It would be very difficult for a seller to get the width of exposure the real estate agent has at his/her fingertips.

    Social Media
    More and more industry professionals are learning the power of social media when promoting real estate. We have created a community of followers looking for information about the region or neighborhood they work in. Of course, a percentage of those followers will be interested in what is taking place with the real estate market within that area. A new venture, which has yet been fully utilized, social media is beginning to play a larger role in the marketing of an area and the homes in that area. We use FACEBOOK (Texas Sage Properties). In addition we email your homes flyer to local brokers to promote YOUR home.

  6. You Probably Have More Important Things to Do
    Selling a home could turn into a full time job. Learning the necessary disclosures, coordinating the dates of your closings, dealing with a challenge regarding your appraisal and negotiating the results of the engineer’s report are just a few of the concerns you may face. You would probably be better of spending that time with the items important to you and your family and leaving the challenges to your agent.
  7. You can’t BOTH Save the Same Dollar
    What does that mean? As a seller, you don’t hire an agent for one reason really, to save the commission. A buyer shops the FSBO because they KNOW you aren’t paying a commission, so they offer you less for the house than they would have if it was listed with an agent! SO, you may end up with the same or LESS money than if you used an agent, AND you have all the work, time and headaches associated with keeping a deal together (if you can).

Since 2003, people have trusted the Texas Sage Properties name when buying or selling a home or commercial property. Texas Sage Properties professionals have over 600 successful transactions closed and that gives us the experience we need to KEEP YOUR SALE TOGETHER right to the closing table. Bottom Line – To make sure the sale of your home is handled professionally – hire trained, full time and experienced professionals. Call one of the Texas Sage Properties’ Realtors. In the long run, you will wind-up with more money in your pocket and have less challenges with the move.

Texas Sage Properties

The Gourmet Corner

 Courtesy – tasteofhome.com

Grilled Pork and Poblano Peppers Recipe

Ingredients

      • 4 large poblano peppers
      • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
      • 4-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
      • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
      • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
      • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/8 teaspoon aniseed, ground
      • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)

 


Directions

Cut the top off each pepper and set tops aside. Remove seeds. Stuff peppers with cheese. Replace tops and secure with toothpicks; set aside.

Combine the seasonings; rub over pork. Grill, covered, over medium-hot heat for 18 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Place peppers over indirect heat; heat for 10 minutes or until browned. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 195 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 265 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 19 g protein.

 

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