DALLAS RAINCAMP 2010 – RICH WITH INFORMATION!

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Activerain’s RainCamp in Dallas was RICH with information! Dallas RainCamp offered new information on blogging, technical tools, Twitter, Facebook, Activerain, Google, websites, Zillow,  and lead conversion.  I know that I will be able to incorporate information provided to help me market Houston and Bellaire real estate in new and exciting ways.

Of course, often when you attend events like this you get so excited about all that you’ve heard.  However, you drive or fly back home . . .only to have to go back to work immediately . . .and then you tend to forget so much.  Well, I did something different this time.  I had my hotel room until noon the next day.  So, after our evening networking mixer I went back to the room and studied what I had learned at Dallas RainCamp until 2:00 in the morning.  Then I got up about 8:00 and went  through all the helpful websites that Brad Andersohn presented. I checked out at noon, but continued studying in the hotel lobby until 2:00.  It really made a difference in my retention of the information. The only reason I really stopped was because I was hungry. So I left, ate lunch and headed out on my 4 hour drive back to Houston.  During that time I thought about what the speakers said and emphasized.  I made a plan to incorporate information to use in marketing homes for sale in Houston, Bellaire and a resort I love, Artesian Lakes which is near Cleveland, Texas.

This was a great seminar for me!!

Brad Andersohn shared over 30 FREE websites that will benefit me in marketing and blogging about Houston and Bellaire real estate.

My TOP 10 FREE WEBSITES ( not in any particular order) that I’m going to add to my real estate business are:

  1. picnik.com – take any picture. change it’s size, etc.
  2. OneTrueMedia.com – mix photos & videos to create something “WOW”
  3. FillanyPDF.com – great for online signatures
  4. eventbrite.com – publish customised event to website or blog
  5. Retagger.com – single real estate source for all your social networking, blogs & websites
  6. Freeconferencecall.com – self explanatory
  7. AVG.com -anti-virus & spam
  8. collecta.com – gets anything from twitter
  9. walkscore.com – type in address, it brings up grocery stores, restaurants, parks,etc. Promote listings.
  10. wix.com – create custom “Flashy” web pages in minutes

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN WITH THESE SITES . . .OR IF IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME TO LOOK AT THESE . . .GIVE ME YOUR OPINION ON HOW THEY CAN BE USED IN THE BEST WAY FOR YOU!!  I look forward to hearing what ya’ll have to say about these technology tools.

If you have a chance, please take the opportunity to attend RainCamp when it’s offered in any city that may be close to you.You can’t help to learn from the experience.  It is information packed!!  I am so thankful that Ben Kinney, Bob Stewart, Brad Andersohn, the great panel and John took their time to share and teach. 

Right now it’s time for me to go  implement some ideas.  I want to do the best I can for my clients and customers when I help them buy real estate in Houston, Bellaire and Artesian Lakes.  It’s another great day!!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Business Concerns

LOG CABIN PICTURES – ARTESIAN LAKES

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I hope you enjoy the pictures of our log cabin which is located in Artesian Lakes, Romayor, TX. It’s 18 miles ENE of Cleveland, Texas. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/album.php?aid=94559&id=722768915&ref=mf

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HOUSTON SIGN ORDINANCE

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HAR is reminding agents about the sign ordinance in Houston. I am forwarding their message to all.

SIGN ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT

ALIVE AND WELL

After some period of relative calm, Houston Sign Ordinance enforcement is back in the news. Recent reports indicate “open house” signs photographed by city sign inspectors were later confiscated and fines levied against the listing agent (as much as $432 per sign per day) for violation of the Houston Sign Code. Some of the violating signs had been placed in the roadway medians which are definitely off-limits.

While signs provide some quick and direct advertising for real estate sales, signs placed in the wrong place can mean extra costs to your business. Brokers and their agents must be familiar with the Houston Sign Ordinances to avoid costly fines. Here are the critical provisions:

Sec. 4608 (c)(3) of the Houston Sign Code in part states: any unlawful sign found within public right-of-way shall be seized and removed. This includes the area by the side of the road and medians.

Section 28-39 of the Code of Ordinances in part states: It shall be unlawful for any person to place or cause to be placed any advertising matter of any kind whatsoever located in the public streets, public sidewalks alleyways, easements, public property or any other public place.

Section 40-7 of the Code of Ordinances in part states: It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, place, build, construct or maintain….sign or other obstruction upon any public street…..but the same shall be construed to prohibit and forbid every type and kind of obstruction….

Citations carry a minimum fine of $300.00 with a maximum of $500.00 per day per sign. For more information, please visit the City of Houston’s Sign Administration/Permits Webpage.

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Houston Makes Another Forbes Best of List

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This doesn’t surprise me, Forbes.com has once again recognized Houston by placing our city at position number 4 for  “Cities Where Your Nest Egg Goes Farthest“. Also named to the list was our sister city of Dallas, Texas. In case you may have forgotten, Houston also made the Forbes list for “Best Place to Buy a Home” too. The Forbes web site gives their reasons why Houston made their list for a great place to retire. I’ll list those plus offer a few more reasons why I think retirement life in Houston will help you stretch your retirement dollars. After what has happened with everyone’s 401K, it’s more important now than ever before!

8 Terrific Reasons Why Boomers Should Consider Relocating to Houston

From the Forbes.com’s list:

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Montrose Market Condition Report – Houston, TX May 2008

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Market Conditions for Montrose in Houston, Texas

Reported by Meg & Jim Zoller and Susi McCauley of The Zoller Group of Keller Williams Realty, REALTORS

May 2008.

 

Montrose Real Estate Activity

Based on information provided by The Houston Association of Realtors we saw the following activity in Montrose last month: There were 10 single family homes sold in April in the Montrose market area with prices ranging from $296,500 to $592,000; averaging $175.86 per square foot. There were 21 town house/condos sold in the Montrose market area during this same period with prices ranging from $72,000 to $540,000 for an average of $148.78 per square foot.

Currently there are 57 active available single family homes for sale in Montrose with list prices ranging from $254,000 to $2,199,000 and 18 properties option pending, pending continue to show and pending sale.

There are 100 active available town house/condos in the Montrose market area with prices ranging from $79,900 to $779,900 and there are 20 properties option pending, pending continue to show and pending sale.

Montrose Residents Continue to Enjoy Stable Property Values

Montrose market area residents continue to enjoy stable property values as reflected in the following data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors. There were 9 single family homes sold in March 2008 with prices ranging from $235,000 to $920,000; averaging $186.80 per square foot. There were 20 town house/condos sold in the Montrose market area during this same period with prices ranging from $62,000 to $451,000 for an average of $139.69 per square foot.

According to data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors, there were 121 single family homes sold in 2007 with prices ranging from $105,000 to $890,000; averaging $171.51 per square foot. There were 167 town house/condos sold in the Montrose market area during this same period with prices ranging from $43,000 to $646,000 for an average of $135.77 per square foot.

ZIP Codes: 77002, 77006, 77007, 77019, 77098

Approximate Location Boundaries – Montrose Area of Houston

Montrose subdivision is generally bound by Highway 59 to the south, Allen Parkway to the north, Bagby Street to the east and Shepherd to the west; Montrose market area boundaries expand beyond the subdivision.

 

Montrose Location Characteristics

Originally pronounced as if it were two words, that is, “Mont Rose”, Montrose is generally bound by Highway 59 to the south, Allen Parkway to the north, Bagby Street on the east and Shepherd to the west. The Museum District is located in the southern part of Montrose and many bars & restaurants, thrift/vintage/second-hand shops, eclectic boutiques and small galleries maintain the unique flavor of this part of the city.
Initially envisioned as a planned community and/or streetcar suburb and dating back to the early 20th Century, Montrose comes with the most distinctive character of eccentricity and diversity in Houston. It is one of the prettiest areas with renovated mansions, bungalows with wide porches and cozy cottages lining shady boulevards where people can walk and cycle easily. There is even a small pocket of homes called Courtland Place where all of the houses are listed in the National Historic Registry. Other surrounding neighborhoods include Westmoreland, Avondale and Cherryhurst, all generating a Southern, cozy atmosphere. Townhouse/Condos and Lofts are very prevalent in the Montrose area as well.

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    Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

    Meyerland, Houston,TX Market Conditions Report – May 2008

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    Market Conditions for Meyerland in Houston, Texas

    Reported by Meg & Jim Zoller and Susi McCauley of The Zoller Group of Keller Williams Realty, REALTORS

    May 2008

    Meyerland Homeowners See Good Trend

    2006 was a good year for homeowners in Meyerland as we saw 109 properties sold ranging in price from$197,000 up to $1,150,000 with an average sales price of $368,966 or $133.73 per square foot showing a definite upward trend. These figures are based on data collected from the Houston Association of Realtors.

    There were 89 single family homes sold in 2007 with prices ranging from $200,000 to $1,000,000 averaging $144.73 per square foot.

    Meyerland residents continue to enjoy increased property values as reflected in the following data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors. There were 7 single family homes sold in March 2008 with prices ranging from $292,000 to $899,000 averaging $172.59 per square foot. The wide range reflects the new construction; however the majority of homes are 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2 baths between 2000 and 3000 sq. ft.

    Homes Continue to Sell Well in Meyerland in April 2008

    Based on information provided by The Houston Association of Realtors we saw the following activity in Meyerland last month: 8 single family homes sold in April with prices ranging from $302,000 to $760,000 averaging $147.95 per square foot. The wide range reflects the new construction; however the majority of homes are 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2 baths between 2000 and 3000 sq. ft. There was also one property sold during this period for lot value at $282,000.

    Currently there are 55 active available homes for sale in Meyerland with list prices ranging from $225,000 to $1,100,000 and there are 18 properties in option pending, pending continue to show and pending stages.

    ZIP Code: 77096


    Approximate Location Boundaries for Meyerland in Houston, TX

    South of Beechnut, North of Bellfort, West of S Post Oak, East of Chimney Rock

     

    Meyerland Location Characteristics

    Meyerland is a residential area situated on the banks of the Brays Bayou at the outer southwest corner of Loop 610, just south of Bellaire. Just a 15-minute drive (or less) to downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center, the Galleria, and the Reliant Park complex, the Meyerland community boasts excellent accessibility, beautiful parks, and strong community leaders. Homes range in price from the mid $100,000’s (usually lot value) to the $1,000,000’s and while some of the homes are the original 1950s bungalows, others are new construction from homeowners who like Meyerland’s ease and convenience.

    Meyerland is the concept of three generations of the Meyer family. In the late 1800’s, Joseph F. Meyer started buying land in the southwest part of the area surrounding Houston, eventually accumulating 6,000 acres of which he paid less than $5 per acre. In the mid-1950’s Joseph’s son, George, saw the possibilities of a prestigious subdivision and after his father’s death, son George took the 1,200 acres he inherited and created Meyerland with 2,700 lots and an 80-acre reserve for a shopping center. George Meyer proceeded to develop homes that were affordable enough to attract middle America. Look magazine called Meyerland a “state-of-the-art neighborhood” while House and Home magazine claimed it was the “ideal plan for a subdivision.” Meyerland might be termed Houston’s first “planned community” in that Meyer held to stringent deed restrictions and strong architectural controls for its development. Characteristic of Meyerland are brick, contemporary styled homes, three and four bedrooms with two baths, an uncommon feature when built.

    Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center

    Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center was opened in 1957 as Houston’s second regional mall and was managed by George Meyer’s oldest daughter, Leota Meyer Hess. The third generation of the Meyer family sold the center in 1984. After years of neglect, in the mid-90s it was purchased and renovated by a new owner. The revival of Meyerland Plaza brought 927,000 square feet of new shopping space to Meyerland and the plaza now includes a variety of 50 shops and restaurants, several of which opened spring 2005.Meyerland Schools and Library

    Meyerland has numerous Houston Independent School District Exemplary schools and is zoned to nationally acclaimed Bellaire High School. Zoned neighborhood elementary schools include Kolter Elementary School and Lovett Elementary School, both located in Meyerland. The neighborhood is also served by Johnston Middle School (located in Meyerland), Pershing Middle School (located in Braeswood Place), and Pin Oak Middle School in the city of Bellaire (pupils zoned to Johnston have the option to attend Pin Oak), and Bellaire High School located in the city of Bellaire.

    The Houston Public Library system operates the Meyer Branch Library at 5005 W. Bellfort, which serves the Meyerland community.

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    Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

    Knollwood Village of Houston Market Condition Report – May 2008

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    Market Conditions for Knollwood Village in Houston, Texas

    Reported by Meg & Jim Zoller and Susi McCauley of The Zoller Group, REALTORS

    May 2008

     

    Knollwood Village – Old vs. New Construction

    Knollwood Village consists of older and new construction homes. The older homes, many of which have been remodeled, range from around 1300-2000 sq. ft., were built on slabs, and most have hardwood floors. The older homes in poor condition are often sold to builders who are usually building two story, 3500-5000 sq. ft. brick, stucco and stone exterior structures. The price range for older homes is generally $250,000-$400,000 and $600,000-$850,000 for new construction.

    Solds and Pending Contracts – Knollwood Village in Houston, TX

    As of 5/21/2008, there are 9 single family homes for sale in Knollwood Village ranging from a home on a 7770 sq. ft. lot being sold for lot value to a new construction, 4395 sq. ft.,4 bed/ 4 bath home on a 9330 sq. ft. lot priced at $848,589. The average list price per average square foot of living space is $181.43. Four additional homes are under contract and pending sale.

    Knollwood Village Sold Properties in March & April 2008

    In March 2008, 2 homes sold for $325,000 and $345,000.The average sales price per sq. ft. for both homes was $208.46/ sq. ft.

    In April 2008, 1 new construction home sold for $749,900. It was a 4 bed/ 3.5 bath, 4024 sq. ft. home on a 7800 sq. ft. lot. The average sales price per sq. ft. was 186.36.

    ZIP Code: 77025

    Approximate Location Boundaries of Knollwood Village

    Inside 610 Loop, south of S Braeswood , Buffalo Speedway area


    Knollwood Village Location Characteristics in central Houston Area

    Knollwood Village is a Houston inner loop, deed restricted, residential subdivision consisting of around 600 single family homes. It is close to the Texas Medical Center, downtown Houston, the Musuem District, Reliant Stadium and the Galleria. Originally developed in the 1950s, the last few years have seen new construction in the neighborhood. The subdivision is zoned to Longfellow Elementary, Pershing Middle School, and Bellaire High School although one should always check with HISD for boundary changes. Other subdivions in the immediate area are Braes Terrace, Westridge, Linkwood and Woodside.

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    Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

    Houston Heights Market Condition Report – May 2008

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    Market Conditions for Houston Heights in Houston, Texas

    Reported by Meg & Jim Zoller and Susi McCauley of The Zoller Group of Keller Williams Realty, REALTORS

    May 2008

     

    Houston Heights Single Family Home Sales

    There are approximately 3500 single family homes in the Houston Heights with an average sales price per sq. ft. of $175 in 2007. Since 1994, this figure has increased every year. The values were $164/sq ft. in 2006, $156/sq ft.in 2005 and $150/ sq ft. in 2004. These figures were obtained from the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, as are the others cited in this article.

    There are currently 143 single family homes for sale in the Houston Heights ranging from a 3 bed/ 1 bath, 2034 sq. ft. home in need of repairs on a 6550 sq. ft. lot listed for $129,900 to a new construction, 4 bed/ 3 bath, 4080 sq. ft. home on a 6600 sq. ft lot and priced at $1,490,000. The average list price per sq. ft. is $193.01. Many of the homes for sale are new construction ones on small lots but there are a good selection of older homes.  Another 55 homes are under contract as of 5/21/2008 but haven’t closed yet.

    Homes Sold in Houston Heights March 2008

    In March 2008 there were 18 single family homes sold at prices ranging from $125,000 to $693,000 with an overall average sales price per sq. ft. value of $175.98.

    Houston Heights Sales April 2008

    In April 2008, 22 single family homes sold at prices from a low of $157,000 for a 3 bed/ 2 bath,1424 sq. ft. home in need of repairs on a 6550 sq. ft. lot to a high of $720,000 for a recent construction, 3334 sq. ft., 4 bed/ 3 bath Victorian style home on a 6600 sq. ft. lot. The overall average sales price per sq. ft. was $163.21.

    ZIP Code: 77008

    Approximate Houston Heights Location Boundaries

    Downtown Houston, Memorial Park, Oak Forest

    Houston Heights Location Characteristics

    This historical neighborhood, with a mixture of bungalow, Victorian homes, and new construction (as well as some industrial and commercial property) was originally established as a planned community in the late 1890s. The location was partially chosen because it was 23 feet higher than downtown Houston, located 4 miles away. In 1918, Houston Heights residents voted for annexation by the city of Houston.

    The single family home market in the Houston Heights consists of older Victorian era homes, older bungalows, and new construction. Many of the older homes have been remodeled and over 100 Houston Heights structures are registered in the National Register of Historical Places. The newer construction consists of everything from contemporary designs to Victorian looking homes.

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    Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

    Braes Heights, Houston, TX Market Condition Report May 2008

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    Market Conditions for Braes Heights in Houston, Texas

    Reported by Meg & Jim Zoller and Susi McCauley of The Zoller Group of Keller Williams Realty, REALTORS

    May 2008

    May 2008

     

    Home Sales in Houston’s Braes Heights

    Sales in this subdivision can be largely broken down as follows: 1)Older homes with few if any updates which are mainly worth lot value 2)Older homes which have been remodeled 3) New or recent construction.

    According to information that I reviewed on Houston Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service, there are currently 15 single family residential homes on the market priced from $410,000 for a “lot value” home on a 9375 sq. ft. lot to an under construction 5 bed/4 full-2 half bath, 5203 sq. ft. home on a 7654 sq. ft. lot, priced at $1,395,000. The average asking price per square foot is $230.78. As of 5/21/2008, there are 10 homes under contract pending sale.

    In April 2008, 11 homes sold at an average of $207.54 per sq. ft. The lowest sale of $368,000 was for a home on a 7631 sq. ft. lot being sold for the land value. The highest sale was a 2003 built, 6 bed/ 4.5 bath, 5520 sq. ft. home on a 7613 sq. ft. lot sold for $1,000,000.

    ZIP Code: 77025

    Location Characteristics of Braes Heights in Houston, TX

    Braes Heights is a Houston, Texas subdivision of mostly single family homes located inside the 610 Loop, west of the Texas Medical Center and south of West University and Southside Place. It’s street boundaries are roughly Holcombe to the north, North Braeswood to the south, Stella Link to the west and Buffalo Speedway to the east. It is part of Braeswood Place which is composed of seven subdivisions: Ayshire, Braes Heights, Braes Oaks, Braes Manor, Braes Terrace,Emerald Forest, and Southern Oaks. It was built in the 1950s and is now mainly composed of the older ranch style homes and new construction homes. There has been much new construction in the last 10 years-mostly 2 story homes from 3200 to 5500 sq. ft.

    Recent developments are a library, YMCA, Sheltering Arms senior citizens facility headquarters, McGovern Park ballfields for children, Helen’s Park and Beal Park. Braes Heights is zoned to Mark Twain Elementary (recently built), Pershing Middle School(recently built) and Lamar High School. Children in Braes Heights are placed in the West University Little League. Braes Heights is part of the Braeswood Place Homeowners Association.

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    Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

    Afton Oaks, Houston, TX Market Condition Report – May 2008

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    Market Conditions for Afton Oaks in Houston, Texas

    Reported by Meg & Jim Zoller and Susi McCauley of The Zoller Group of Keller Williams Realty, REALTORS

    May 2008

     

    Homes For Sale in Afton Oaks, Houston, TX

    Currently there are 25 active available homes for sale in the Afton Oaks subdivision with list prices ranging from $349,900 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2114 sq. ft. home built in 1950 to $2,799,000 for a 4 bedroom, 4/2 bath, 7201 sq.ft. home built in 2008. There are 7 properties in various stages of pending. The wide range in price reflects the new construction; however there are still older homes available, some of which have been remodeled and updated.

     

    Single Family Homes Sold in Afton Oaks April 2008


    For the month of April 2008 there were 5 homes sold in Afton Oaks with prices ranging from $395,000 to $2,150,000 averaging $287.00 per square foot.

     

    Older Homes Sold in Afton Oaks March 2008


    For the month of March 2008 there were 2 homes sold in Afton Oaks with prices ranging from $450,000 to $625,000 or $196.53 per square foot. Both of these homes were older homes, built in 1960 and 1955 respectively.

    These figures are based on data collected from the Houston Association of Realtors.

    ZIP Code: 77027

    Afton Oaks Location Boudaries

    Bounded approximately on the north by Westheimer Rd., on the east by Union Pacific railroad tracks, on the south by U.S. 59, and on the west by IH-610.

     

    Location Characteristics of Afton Oaks

     Afton Oaks is an approximately 50 year old deed-restricted residential community of over 500 single family homes. The neighborhood is bounded on the north by Westheimer Rd., on the east by Union Pacific railroad tracks, on the south by U.S. 59, and on the west by IH-610.
    Afton Oaks contains many homes built in the 1950s along with many recently-built homes listed for well over $1,000,000.

    Afton Oaks Schools are in Houston Independent School District(HISD)

     
    Afton Oaks is zoned to Houston Independent School District. Prior to spring 2006, Afton Oaks was zoned to Will Rogers Elementary School. Will Rogers was closed after spring 2006 and Afton Oaks was re-zoned to St. George Place Elementary School. Afton Oaks pupils are also zoned to Lanier Middle School in Montrose and Lamar High School in Upper Kirby.

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    Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

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