In This Issue:

Market Tips Toward Buyers' Favor 

Buying Tip: Best Properties Go to "Most Ready" Buyers 

Comparing Low Interest Rates to Economic Predictions 

Hot Houston Neighborhoods 

Recovering from September 11, 2001 

Suzanne Page-Pryde

Real Estate Broker/Owner

Page-Pryde Properties
1829 Bering Drive #16
Houston, TX 77057-3139
(713) 789-2777
(888) 531-2775

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Q: How can I know what things can increase and decrease the value of my property?

A: Your Realtor will help you identify external factors on a property that may cause it to appreciate or depreciate in future. For example, if road construction is underway to make your neighorbood more accessible to major employers, the decrease in drive times may improve your property values. If an undesirable neighbor such as a power plant moves in next door, values may likely decrease.


Tip of the Month

Homeowners have to set aside an emergency reserve for surprise housing expenses. Unlike renters, they never know when a leaky roof or air conditioning repair call might surface as an expense. Keep between three to six months of your expenses on hand in reserve funds to be prepared for turbulent times and surprises.

October 2001 Volume 1 No. 2
Tips for Buying & Selling
Market Tips Toward Buyers' Favor

Though still a moderate seller’s market, real estate in Houston is beginning to tip in the favor of buyers as the available inventory grows and average number of days on market slows down. Single-family home sales in September 2001 dropped 5% to 3,553 from 3,752 in September last year.

Median prices haven’t reflected the slow-down yet, however. The median sales price of a single-family home in Houston reached $123,000 in September 2001, up 3% from $119,900 a year earlier.

Even as the national economy’s slow-down begins to affect Houston, home purchasing and refinancing will continue to be a wise investment for many residents. With reduced interest rates and a local economy that has been largely protected from national downturns, many buyers will find good opportunities for investing in the real estate market during the months ahead.

Buying Tip: Best Properties Go to "Most Ready" Buyers

When shopping in the fast-paced markets of recent years, buyers interested in highly desirable properties needed to be prepared to make offers within days, or even hours, of them being listed for sale. As the frenzy eases, however, buyers won’t find as many situations in which a property draws multiple offers in its first few days on the market.

To avoid heartbreak, however, smart buyers will still want to become pre-qualified for a mortgage before beginning a serious home search. Even in a less hectic real estate market, the buyer who is most prepared to move forward to closing will beat out others to the best properties.
If you are ready to look for properties, ask your Realtor what steps to take in order to be ready to move quickly if the “home of your dreams” becomes available.

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Protecting Your Investment
Comparing Low Interest Rates to Economic Predictions

With mortgage rates as low as 6% and lower, many potential buyers who have waited for a change in the market or economy will find appealing mortgage products available now. With no “crystal ball” on the economy, however, some buyers may worry about the future value of their investment if the economy turns sharply downward.

According to David Seiders, Chief Economist of the National Association of Home Builders, the real estate market showed only minimal softening due to the recent terrorist attacks. In a released statement, he said "prospects for housing and the economy in 2002 still look quite good, barring further terrorist attacks or lack of success on the military front. Indeed, the economic takeoff promises to be quick and strong enough to put some upward pressure on market interest rates and cause the Fed to reverse course by the second quarter of next year, if not before."

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Location, Location, Location
Hot Houston Neighborhoods

Houston's Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the organization that tracks and reports all Realtor-listed sales and leases for any given month. The MLS breaks down the Greater Houston area and its surrounding counties into more than 50 MLS areas. Monthly MLS reports also identify a "hotness" factor for each MLS area, as a percentage of pending sales compared to number of active listings in the area. A high "hotness" factor for an area would indicate that houses for sale in the area are more likely to have contracts pending than those in areas with lower "hotness" factors. The MLS identified the following as the top 10 "hot" areas in descending order for September 2001:

Southeast (Area 3)

Bellaire West (Area 21)

Aldine-Westfield (Area 34)

Near North (Area 11)

Alief (Area 28)

Bear Creek (Area 8)

Pasadena (Area 6)

Clear Lake (Area 7)

East (Area 2)

North (Area 12)

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Market News
Recovering from September 11, 2001

Like all Americans, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. May we find strength and comfort in each other through these difficult times.

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