Real Estate Update May 2010

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Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
May 2010

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you!”
Copyright 2010 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.

Fixed-Rates Stable

In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.06 percent for the week ending April 29, 2010 – down slightly from the previous week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.78 percent.
“Mortgage rates on 30-year fixed loans have averaged about 5% over the first four months of this year, staying within a band of roughly

Mortgage Rates

Source: Realty Times

U.S. averages as of April 29, 2010:

30 yr. fixed: 5.06%
15 yr. fixed: 4.39%
1 yr. adj: 4.25%

a quarter percentage point and virtually matching 2009’s annual average,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

Costly Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make

Five common and costly mistakes that novice home buyers make:
Ignoring the costs of having a low credit score. Lower-score borrowers pay thousands of dollars in increased interest rates over the life of the loan.
Shopping for other things before closing. Lenders continue to check credit scores right up until closing. Too much shopping could cause the lender to take back the loan.
Scrimping on an inspection. Being surprised by the need for expensive repairs can be financially devastating.
Buying without contingencies. Buyers should give themselves an out if the inspection turns up problems or the bank raises rates.
Insurance can be surprisingly pricey. Buyers who don’t budget for it can face a nasty surprise.

The Cost Between Renting and Owning Narrows

The cost difference between buying and renting is as narrow as it has been since 1993, according to a study on home ownership by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services for the Associated Press.
The study examined rent and home prices in 45 metropolitan areas and concluded that gap between a payment on a median-priced home and median rent on a similar property is on average only $256.
Marcus & Millichap calculated the number using median home prices for the last three months of 2009, assuming a 10 percent down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 5.07 percent.
It factored in mortgage insurance, but didn’t include either repair costs or tax benefits.

Use Your Tax
Return for Good

Tax season can be a challenging time of the year. Some people wait until the last minute to file their taxes, while others file and received their funds before the mid April deadline. If if you are one of the lucky ones who get a tax return, what will you do with those long awaited greenbacks? A popular choice amongst consumers is to pay off credit card debt; another is buying something extravagant. But why not consider how your tax return can help maximize your mortgage product and your financial situation in the long run?
Consider refinancing if you have an ARM or a high interest rate loan. Refinancing into a fixed rate and/or a lower interest rate can save you money in the long run. Why not do it now when rates are at all time lows? You can use your tax return for closing costs.
If you are happy with your mortgage product and rate, why not use your tax return to help add the gourmet kitchen you’ve always wanted? Not only can you have that extra bedroom or outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted, but you may also be increasing the value of your home and get more money when you are ready to sell. Let your tax return help increase the value of your home by using it to help fund a rehab loan.
Perhaps you want to upgrade to a new home for your growing family. Your tax return can come in handy with closing costs.

Equal Housing
Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
Meg: 713.875.4844; Jim: 713.545.6338
Toll Free : 1-800-808-6153

Keller Williams Realty – Metropolitan
Direct: 713.661.0884
550 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 350
Houston, TX 77027

Categories: Newsletter


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


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

Bellaire, TX Market Conditions Report – May 2008

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Market Conditions for Bellaire, Texas

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

May  2008.

According to information that I reviewed on Houston Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service, there are currently 164 single family residential homes on the market priced from $215,000 for a 1065 sq. ft., 3 bed/1 bath home on a 7345 sq. ft. lot priced mainly for the land to a high of $2,899,000 for a 9662 sq. ft., 5 bedroom/ 5 full, 2 half bath, 3 car garage home on a 18,450 sq. ft. lot built in 2004. The average list price per sq ft is $243.78. Fifty four homes are for sale for over $1,000,000 and 22 homes are priced at $400,000 or less. As of 5/20/2008 there are an additional 41 homes pending under contract priced from $229,000 to $2,295,000.

March Single Family Home Sales – Bellaire

During the month of March 2008, 21 single family homes closed with sale prices ranging from $227,500 to $1,250,000. The average sales price per average sq. ft. was $206.69/ sq. ft.

Single Family Home Sales – Bellaire – April

In April 2008, 21 sales closed with an average sales price per average sq. ft. of $213.84. The low sales price was $199,500 for a 2 bed/ 1 bath, 1130 sq. ft. home on a 5125 sq. ft. lot near the railroad tracks. The highest reported sales price was $1,710,000 for a 5 bed/6 full 2 half bath, 6700 sq. ft., new construction home on a 15,990 sq. ft. lot.


There are presently reported to be 6 townhomes actively on the market, priced from $176,950 to $310,000. The average list price per sq ft is $145.36.Three sold in April 2008 for an average of $142.20 per sq. ft.

Bellaire New Construction

New construction in Bellaire is still strong and the prices are increasing due to rising building costs and lot prices. For the most part, construction in Bellaire originated in the late 40’s and 50’s. Many of these original homes have been and are being purchased at lot value with the old homes being replaced with larger, new construction homes.

ZIP Code: 77401

Bellaire Texas Location and Characteristics

 Bellaire, Texas, located on both sides of Interstate Loop 610 West, is surrounded by Houston and many subdivisions including West University Place, Southside Place, Meyerland, Willow Meadows, and Afton Oaks. It’s a very short distance to the Galleria, Reliant Stadium, downtown Houston, the Theater District, and the Medical Center.

Bellaire is zoned for residential, commercial, and light industrial sections. The city is well known as a residential city. The city is well-liked for its police and fire protection, parks and recreation facilities, library, public works department, and recycling center.

For More Information:


Categories: Market Reports, Neighborhoods

26th Annual Bellaire Home Tour . . . Benefitting the Nature Discovery Center

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The 26th annual Bellaire Home Tour which benefits the Nature Discovery Center at Russ Pittman Park takes place this Saturday and Sunday, April 5th and 6th, 2008, from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.each day.  Six Bellaire, Texas homeowners have graciously offered to allow the public to view their homes. 

The homes vary from older construction to newer construction . . . traditional to contemporary architecture.  Tourists will enjoy the uniqueness of each home.


$12.00 in advance– picked up at Nature Discovery Center, Magpies, Teas Nursery amd Whole Foods.

$15.00 on day of tour – available at each house


  • 4911 Holt
  • 4815 Locust
  • 4533 Bellaire Blvd.
  • 114 Marrakech Court
  • 4401 Cynthia
  • 4336 Lafayette


4911 Holt - Bellaire, TX 77401

4911 HOLT –

This charming, roomy and traditional two story stucco home was built in 1995.  Homeowners, Bert and Karen Durel, designed their own home.  Features in this home include a wrought iron staircase and slate floors that extend to the sparkling pool area in the large back yard.

4815 Locust - Bellaire, TX 77401

4815 LOCUST –

Acting as their own architects, Charlie Yoa and his wife Shelby Song designed their own Mediterranean style home.  The builder was Jeffrey Harrington Homes.  This unique home has an extra layer of engineering in each room.  You’ll enjoy viewing the two-and-a-half story turret, the grand entryway, three living areas and two kitchens (one is for caterers).  A Master Feng Shui consultant recommended the 56 arches inside this lovely Bellaire home.


4553 Bellaire Blvd. - Bellaire, TX 77401


Offered for viewing by home owners and architect Kelly Larkin and Bubba Beasley . . . and built by Richard Price Custom Homes in 2005, this magnificent Mediterranean style mansion is “fully loaded”.  The four bedroom six bath home offers computer automated lighting, a security HVAC system and a whole home audio.   Among many other features you will discover distinctive inlaid wood floors and tile walls.  This stucco and stone home is topped by a dome, towering chimney stack and Spanish style tile roof.  A relaxing pool and summer kitchen are found in the back yard.


114 Marrakech - Bellaire, TX 77401


Designed by owner/architect John W. Gabriel, this modern contemporary three bedroom, two bath home was constructed in 1993.  It’s privately “tucked away” on one of Bellaire’s cul-de-sac streets. The open design was inspired by neoclassical architecture.  You’ll especially enjoy viewing the kitchen in this home that was built for comfortable living.  One of the surprise features of this home is that it backs up to the Nature Discovery Center and Russ Pitman Park.


4401 Cynthia - Bellaire, TX 77401


Mike and Mary Beth Destefano are excited to have you tour their two-and-a-half story traditional red brick, classic colonial family home which was built by V.J. Vallone of Teal Creek Homes in 1992.  Situated on one of the smaller Bellaire corner lots, this 4152 square foot four bedroom home offers formals divided by a dual sided fireplace, open family room, large game room and two additional rooms on the third floor.  Oak and walnut floors reflect the gold tones of the walls.  Take note of the octagonal areas found in this home cherished by it’s family.


4336 Lafayette - Bellaire, TX 77401

4336 Lafayette –

Architect Victor Perez designed and built his modern contemporary home for his wife Karen and their two children in 1999.  Interesting features of this home include the fact that the home itself was built on the left hand half of the lot, the court yard is on the right half of the lot, the garage doors are glass, the sleeping quarters are downstairs, the open living area is upstairs . . . and many more that you’ll just have to see during the tour.  The children especially enjoy the playground across the street in Lafayette Park.


The Nature Discovery Center appreciates your participation in this event.  The proceeds will greatly benefit the center and its various programs offered to the public.


Categories: Events, Neighborhoods, Open Houses

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