Sales down, growing inventory of new construction, homes taking longer to sell—it all means more work for agents. One gloom-and-doom local reporter believes Texas is the caboose on the national real estate train and predicts a crash. What we are seeing now, says my source, are the first rumblings. Local prognosticators don’t agree; our overheated market, they say, is just getting back to normal.
“Besides, when a train jumps the track, the caboose usually stays on,” says appraiser D.W. Skelton, who thinks there are no indications Dallas is in trouble.
When the market is correcting, it’s all about price, says Scott Carlson of Scott Carlson Real Estate Inc. Your entry-level price is most important, so do your homework. While he sees the market cooling, he’s still turning over properties quickly. “A lot of this is about Realtors overpricing [homes],” he says. “But there’s no bubble bursting.”
But builders may be getting nervous about excess inventory. Claude A. Choate with Winans GMAC Realty says some builders in the northern burbs are offering maid service and/or pool cleaning as buying incentives.
As prices dip, marketing creativity will bubble up and savvy buyers who have held back will get out their checkbooks. That may be why Dave Perry-Miller at Prudential Texas Properties is adding on 2,500 square feet of office space. “Even if the market seems a little soft, sellers need to realize we’re still in a very strong market,” Perry-Miller says. Soft or not, he crossed $100 million in sales by the end of August. Doris Jacobs at Allie Beth Allman is enjoying one of her busiest years ever, as well.
Is there a doctor in the house?
Reneé M. Winter has joined Ellen Terry Realtors; Cindy Carter has joined Briggs Freeman. What do these two gals have in common? Both are married to Baylor physicians.
|Courtesy of Hill Country Harbor|
POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE
Just a little more than two hours outside of Dallas, you’ll find the Hill Country Harbor private lakeside development. You’ll know you’re there when you drive past the manned security gate and over the low water crossings. Residence options include log cabins (five plans ranging from 1,680 to 3,070 square feet), all along creek ways, lakes, or other waterways. We love the expansive porches on each model nestled amongst the native trees. One plan includes a private courtyard off the master bath with a tanning area, fire pit, and outdoor shower, and most home sites offer a short walk to lakefront amenities (boating, fishing, hiking, nature-watching). Equestrian center, indoor arena, gourmet restaurant, spa and wellness center, three pool options, and full concierge service are also planned. Hill Country Harbor Sales Office. 1-800-886 1451. www.hillcountryharbor.com.
|Illustration by Getty|
Ritz-y Guest Baths
Once upon a time, when company stayed over, they shared the family’s bathroom and slept on the davenport. Then came the guestroom and the maxim that hell would freeze over if every bedroom did not have its own bathroom. Now it can no longer be just a bathroom: What every guest suite needs is a bath with separate shower and jetted tub, double vanity, commode and bidet, marble, granite, and maybe a steam shower.
We can thank builders such as Mickey Munir of Sharif and Munir Uncustomary Custom Homes for this trend. “I got the idea when my wife and I were staying at the Ritz in Hawaii, and we really liked our bathroom,” Munir says. “Plus, when two people share a room, they really need a ‘master’ bath, even if they are house guests.”
Sharif and Munir has made the tricked-out guest room bath de rigueur in all their homes, which means other builders are sure to follow suit.