Home Prices Dropping ? Not In Texas !

By
Real Estate Agent with New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

This evening I read another one of those panic articles on real estate.  The headline of course blared on and on about home prices dropping "all across the United States."

The article was from the Reuters News Wire.  It even had a nice pretty map along with the article.

As I read the cities from the nice, pretty map... I saw Los Angeles with a decline of 11.9 %, San Diego with a 13.4 % decline, Las Vegas with a 13.2 % decline, San Francisco with an 8.6 % decline, Denver with a 3.1 % decline, Chicago with a 3.9 % decline, New York declined 4.8 %, Boston declined 3.0 %, and Miami declined 15.1 %.

That was it.  That was what Reuters was blowing their trumpet about.  Texas was untouched.  No declines, no bad news, no weeping and gnashing of teeth, no end-of-the-world.

So why then... are so many buyers afraid of the market ?

It's that doggone broad paint brush that the national media paints this negativity with.   Maybe more like a paint roller.  Nah... it's really more like they are using a power paint sprayer.

Why wasn't there any news about the markets across the country that are HOT ?  I guess HOT markets are bad for TV ratings.  Perhaps HOT market news is bad for selling newspapers ?

Well... all you folks at MSNBC, you guys at FOX, you clowns at CNN, you know-it-alls at CNBC.  Texas is FINE !  Texas is ALIVE !  And... Texas is KICKING !

Please... all you national media types.  Take your silly negative news paint brush and go somewhere else and play !

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Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Jason:  Yes... I cannot remember seeing a negative article about anywhere in Texas.  We have a lot of bloggers in the major cities here... and we need to make an effort to churn out as much positive signs as possible.  And... in Texas... those positive articles are not pin-in-the-sky... they are true !
Feb 17, 2008 11:48 PM #23
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Eric:  Well said !  Absurdly uneven.  Things are in no way uniformly bad.  There are so many good markets, and so many fair to middlin' markets.  The major negative markets are mostly where there has been double-digit price increase because their markets have been so hot over the last five of six years.  If this were the stock market... the papers and the pundits would be referring to it as a "market correction."
Feb 17, 2008 11:51 PM #24
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Carol:  I think that is already happening.  Print media advertising has been decreasing for the past few years... as the usage of the internet has become more widespread.  I don't think that is a good club to hold over them.  Perhaps boycotting sponsors of Fox Noise and MSNBC and CNN until they start putting forth an effort to report on ALL the markets... not just those experiencing "price corrections."
Feb 17, 2008 11:54 PM #25
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Shirley:  Horton and the rest of the builders in Fort Worth have really cut back on their specs, too.  That, in turn, has really helped the resale market start to bubble again, because it no longer has to compete as heavily with all the builder giveaways.  I'm glad your market in San Antonio is doing decently.  Keep the faith, Shirley !
Feb 17, 2008 11:56 PM #26
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Joan:  Lousy news is going to continue to sell until the public... Realtors included... let them know that we won't put up with it anymore.  Perhaps a sponsor boycott might be in order.  Something needs to be done.  I have a funny feeling that things may not turn around until mid-November... hopefully when a major change takes place in Washington.  We need some "new hope" from our so-called leaders.

Feb 18, 2008 12:00 AM #27
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Bill:  I am sure the Dallas market... with a little help from your vast genteel abilities... will keep on bubbling along.  In Town and Uptown seem to be bubbling away, and I have not heard any negatives out of your Park Cities areas.  You must be doing something right !  Yay Bill.  Keep up the great work.  PS... love your posts !  You're a great story-teller.
Feb 18, 2008 12:03 AM #28
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Rich:  I went to the blog link to Rebecca's post.  Great Post !  I think I'm going to have to give this idea a bit more thought, and see what I can do with it.  Rich, I am glad the market in Atlanta is going decently well for you.  Thanks so much for the links.  Keep the faith !
Feb 18, 2008 12:14 AM #29
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
I am glad for you and all Denver-ites that the market there has been turning around.  The Denver area is so beautiful.  I really think the phrase "market correction" makes so much more sense.  It has been working for the Stock Market for decades... and somehow... the market just keeps ticking and ticking.
Feb 18, 2008 12:17 AM #30
Rainmaker
811,646
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Karen:

Keep blogging the good word. It is true things are good here and we need to spread the word. You are a bright light in the heart of Texas. Ha.

Feb 18, 2008 05:31 PM #31
Rainer
17,123
Michael Veri
Realty Executives Mid Florida - The Villages, FL

Great news for investors!

Michael Veri

Realty Executives Ocala

www.BuyOcalaHomes.com

352.502.4661

Feb 18, 2008 05:33 PM #32
Anonymous
Anonymous
Karen Anne, You are right.  Texas is doing okay in the real estate industry.
Feb 19, 2008 06:06 PM #33
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Kay:  We just have to keep on writing about all the wonderful things our Texas cities have to offer... and keep all the positive news alive that the networks don't seem to either know about, or care about, or both.
Feb 19, 2008 08:02 PM #34
Anonymous
Ryan
I don't agree that Texas is doing well.  We are currently buying a home in Plano, zip 75075, and the appraiser flagged it as Declining Market, so our lender (who is backed by Fannie Mae) is requiring 5% more for a down payment to close with the rate we have!  Or, we can pay the same down payment but purchase a different loan product, and our rate will go up .76%.
Feb 25, 2008 04:23 PM #35
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Dear Ryan:  I am sorry that the area your home is in has been flagged by your appraiser.  Real Estate is very local.  Some say "city by city."  It is even more local than that.  Remember the phrase "Location, Location, Location."  What this means is that obviously, the most important thing about a home, and about determining it's value, is it's location. 

I do not know exactly where your home is, other than 75075, but there must be something about it's location that, in the appraiser's opinion, is not good.  Now, it might be the exact street, the area right around it... a couple of blocks... or that subdivision, or perhaps the builder of the home has a poor reputation, or perhaps it is in an area where the soil is unstable, and there is a lot of foundation problems in many of the homes on that street.  It could be anything.

If you are using a Realtor to purchase your home, perhaps she can help you by making some suggestions.  If you do not have a Realtor, perhaps I might be able to help, or at least make a further suggestion... or point you in a different direction for help... but I can only do that if I had more information.

Another reason your home might be deemed in a "Declining Market" might be if it is in a subdivision where the New Home Builder is still active.  If your home was built just a year or two ago, and the builder is still selling brand new homes there... over the last 12 months many builders overbuilt, and then were stuck with too many homes just "sitting."  So, they had to either drop prices... sometimes by quite a bit... or wheel and deal, give lots of free stuff with the home, pay for stuff for the buyer, or even give Realtors big bonuses to bring them buyers.  If that is the case, the builder has an advantage that a re-sale home does not.  When that is the case, sometimes a home that is one or two years old, and the builder is still there, and the builder is doing the stuff I mentioned above, sometimes that home drops in value until the builder leaves, and then the value jumps up again... mostly because you don't have the really tough competition from the builder any longer.

Again, I am at a disadvantage in helping you, because I don't know your full story.

If your loan is a Fannie Mae loan, that probably means it is a conventional loan.  Many conventional lenders are very nervous right now.  Many of them have made some really dumb loans in the last year or 18 months, and they have been burned.  So... they are really skitzy right now... and may only want to make loans in the absolute BEST neighborhoods where they have every possible thing going for them. 

If your loan IS a conventional loan, perhaps you could switch to an FHA loan... if the price of your home, and the loan you want, is under the top amount allowable for an FHA loan.

I am just rambling away here... trying to hit any type of information that may help you.  Please email me back, and give me an email address if I can be of any further help to you.  Take care... and best of luck to you and your family.  Karen Anne Stone  (817) 929-3400

Feb 26, 2008 11:05 PM #36
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Ok Ryan:  I looked up the zip code 75075.  That is in west Plano, just a bit west of Collin Creek Mall.  Mapquest puts the middle of 75075 right at Custer and W. 15th St, or Custer and W. Park Blvd.  That used to be considered a very good area of Plano, but now there are many newer areas that are more "in demand."  The value of homes, in many ways, is very much determined by demand.  With the homes in that area being perhaps 25 to 35 years old, perhaps older, it may be very nice, but it also is "older", and many Plano-ites want new, new new.  That can have a very noticeable effect on value.  Again, I am just groping around in the dark, but at least this is a little more information for you. 

Now also, I might guess that the price of this home is lower than homes of similar size but in "newer" neighborhoods.  This may be more of a positive for you, because you can get a larger home for a lesser price, but it may be that very fact that is causing the lender to be a little nervous... because that home is worth less than newer homes of similar size... in newer neighborhoods.  So... what is good for you, price-wise, also is somewhat of  negative for the mortgage company.  Take care... if I can help further... email me.  Best of luck to you.

Ryan... perhaps another Loan Officer could help you.  I know a great mortgage loan person... Tom Burris.  He is awesome... very good at what he does.  Call him... he may be able to help.  His number is (214) 763-4629.  Tell him Karen Anne Stone suggested that you call.  He will be glad to help you if he can.

Feb 26, 2008 11:21 PM #37
Rainmaker
336,270
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Dallas, TX
Texas Mortgage Dallas Mortgage FHA

Ryan/Karen

When the appraiser checks off that the home is in a declining market, then the 5% applies.

If you feel that this is in error, maybe get a second opinion from another appraiser. Because a few foreclosures in the area do not make an area 'declining;. So the appraiser could have made a mistake.

Regardless, if the appraiser does NOT deem it declining, the lender still can using alternate valuation tools.

Karen, good idea on flipping this to FHA.
Ryan, ask your loan officer about this. Otherwise, you may have to get a second opinion from another lender. Said lender can ask the new appraiser up front whether this is deemed a declining market.
I seriously doubt that it is. I know that area. Unless that whole neighborhood is owned by investors and they are all rentals, values should hold there.

Good Luck!!

Let me know if I can help in any way!

Feb 27, 2008 08:39 AM #38
Anonymous
Ryan

Thanks for the comments.  My realtor and I did our own research that showed the area is not declining, and the lender agreed.  They went back to the appraiser and asked him to change the designation, which he didn't do.  The lender then ordered a new appraisal and agreed to pay for it, so I'm not out the extra money there.  If the new appraisal comes back as flagged in a declining market, then I already have a different lender lined up...

-Ryan

Feb 27, 2008 04:56 PM #39
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Ryan: I am glad things seem to be working out for you.  I hope some of my suggestions were of some help to you.  Plano is a great city.  I lived there for awhile when I first moved to Texas.  Take care...
Feb 27, 2008 05:29 PM #40
Rainer
15,208
Joe Davis
Indiana Commercial Realty - Crown Point, IN
Everything is bigger in Texas..... including house prices!  Good for you!
Feb 27, 2008 05:37 PM #41
Rainmaker
997,090
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Joe:  One of the great things about Texas is... although our prices are somewhere between steady to having gradual growth... perhaps averaging from 2% to 5% a year, our home prices are very reasonable.  A family can still get a nice-sized home... and still not be "house poor."
Feb 27, 2008 05:49 PM #42
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