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Hi, I am Kim Buish (pronounced Bush). I may not be related to former President Bush, but I CAN help you whether you want to buy a WHITE HOUSE, a blue house or a yellow house! Please check back often for IMPORTANT and HELPFUL Real Estate information.
FEB
10

By Kim Buish

HOUSTON, TX. – Buying a Houston Texas home is an exciting and life changing experience especially if you’ve been renting for a long time but even though you may think that all of your home buying costs involve your down payment, and how much you’re going to pay for your mortgage over the course of 15 or 30 years, the reality is that you will have additional home buying costs that many people are not ready for.

In this post I will cover some of the unexpected home buying costs so you will be more prepared when it comes time for you to buy a home in Houston Texas or elsewhere in the area.

#1 – Home Inspections

Once your offer on a Houston Texas Home is accepted the first step is to have all home inspections completed including a general inspection and termite inspection.

Inspections are important even if you’re buying a new home because not every builder uses the same finishes and it’s important for you to know what to expect from a home before you move in there.

Home inspections can between $800 to $1,000 so it’s best to do your research and connect with an experienced home inspector before you put an offer on a home.

#2 – Closing Costs

Another common unexpected cost that’s associated with buying a Houston Texas Home that many buyers are unprepared to pay is closing costs.

Closing costs can total up to 5% of the homes purchase price so if you’re buying home that costs roughly $200,000 you could potentially pay closing costs that total $10,000.

#3 – Ongoing Costs

Besides closing and inspection costs some of the other unexpected costs that many buyers are not prepared to pay especially when they own a home are ongoing homeownership costs including: property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance and home maintenance costs.

All of these costs can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year so it’s best to write your budget down now before you start house hunting just to make sure that you can really afford the long term costs of buying a Houston Texas Home.

Buy a Houston Texas Home

To learn more about the long term costs of owning a Houston Texas Home, or to view homes for sale in Houston, contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor® with Red Door Realty and Associates by clicking here to connect with me online or by calling me at (713) 819-1642. 

FEB
2

By Kim Buish

HOUSTON – 2016 is already in full swing and with January out of the way many people are thinking about selling their Houston Home.

In this post we will share with you my 3 best kept secrets for selling your Houston Home so you can sell your home quickly, efficiently, and for the most money.

Tip #1 – Price Your Home Right!

This is by far the most important tip for you to sell your Houston Home because if you overprice your home it’s possible for your house to sit on the market for longer than you expected and you may even be forced to sell your for less than what it’s worth.

Tip - Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

Source – hgtv.com

Tip #2 – Keep Your Closets Half Empty

Although most home stagers will tell you to remove all large and bulk items from your home you shouldn’t remove everything from the closets in your home because most buyers will “snoop” or want to see in the closets of your home so leaving some items in each closet will give buyers a good idea about what the storage space in your home can offer them.

Tip #3 – Use Plenty of Light While Your Home

It doesn’t matter if your home is 100 years old or not you should make sure that when it comes time to list it for sale you should have a well-lit home because homes that are dark inside are hard to see and actually turn offer home buyers.
To light up the inside of your home for buyers you should consider doing the following:


•    Remove curtains and window treatments.
•    Increase the wattage of light bulbs.
•    Cut back bushes and trees from the home.
•    Change lampshades.

Bonus Selling Secrets

Play the agent field

a secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.

Conceal the critters

you might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Don’t over-upgrade

Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

Take the home out of your house

One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

The kitchen comes first

You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Source – hgtv.com

Sell Your Houston Home

To get started with selling your Houston Home contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor® with Red Door Realty & Associates by calling me at (713) 819-1642 or emailing me here.

JAN
28

By Kim Buish

Are you a first time home buyer and are thinking about buying a Houston Texas Home if so, you’re not alone.

2016 is certainly shaping up to be another busy year in the local Real Estate market, especially for first time home buyers, and you can give yourself the advantage if you know exactly how much money you need to put down on a home.

20% Vs. 3% Down

Although most people will tell you that in order for you to buy your first Houston Texas Home you have to put down at least 20%, the reality is that you can buy a home in 2016 for as little as 3% down or even in some cases you can buy a home by putting no money down

Keep in mind that the less money you put down when buying a home in Houston Texas means that you will ultimately pay more for your monthly mortgage payment so if you can wait to save a little more money it will only pay off in the long run.

If a family member, friend or relative decides to gift you the money that you need to put down 20% on a home make sure that you have proper documentation of those gifts because your lender will want to see documentation of income just so they will know that you have the ability to repay your mortgage loan.

Private Mortgage Insurance

The most important tip to keep in mind from this article is that if you put down a smaller down payment on a home you will also have to pay more for your Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) each month so this could amount to an additional $100 or more per month that you will need to add to your monthly mortgage payment.

Buy a Houston Texas Home

To get started with buying a Houston Texas Home, or to view homes for sale contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor® with Red Door Realty & Associates by calling me at (713) 819-1642 or click here to connect with me online.

JAN
19

By Kim Buish

One of the most important benefits of buying a Houston Texas Home is the tax benefits that come with home ownership.

If you haven’t filed your 2015 taxes yet here are the most important tax breaks you should know:

Tax Break #1 – Mortgage Payment Interest Deduction

Did you know that one of the most important tax breaks you will enjoy as a Houston Texas home owner is the mortgage payment interest deduction? This deduction will cover any interest that you’ve paid on your home on up to $1 million dollars-worth of your loans and this deduction is very beneficial for new homeowners because they will traditionally pay more in interest towards their mortgage loans than long time homeowners.

Tax Break #2 – Mortgage Credit Certification

Another awesome deduction you will enjoy as a first time Houston Texas Home Owner is the mortgage credit certification. With this tax credit you will be able to lower your taxable income and ultimately lower the tax bill that you will end up owing.

Tax Break #3 – Home Improvements

Let’s say that you got a home improvement loan after buying your Houston Texas Home, you will be able to qualify for the same mortgage interest deductions that you would enjoy with your main mortgage.

Tax Break #4 – Mortgage Points Deduction

Last of all, but most important, is the mortgage points deduction. With this deduction you will be able to deduct any points that you purchased to lower your mortgage loan payment and since those points are prepaid you will be able to enjoy a lower mortgage interest rate over the lifetime of your mortgage loan.

Search for Houston Texas Homes

To learn more about the tax deductions you will enjoy after purchasing a Houston Texas Home, or to search for homes for sale, contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor® with Red Door Realty and Associates by calling me at (713) 819-1642 or click here to connect with me online. 

JAN
12

By Kim Buish

HOUSTON – One of the biggest questions on the minds of many people is will we still need a Realtor® in 2016 to find Houston Texas homes for sale? And the answer to this question is yes.

In this post I will provide you with three reasons why you will still need a Realtor® in 2016 to find Houston Texas Homes for Sale and how a qualified Real Estate agent will help you with all of your Real Estate needs.

#1 – Realtors® Have Local Experience

Even though the Internet is full of online resources like Zillow and Trulia that you can use to find a home in 2016 the reality is that the data you will find on many of these websites is either inaccurate or outdated.

When you hire a Realtor® to find Houston Texas Homes for Sale you will benefit from having an agent who works in the field on a daily basis and they will many times know of properties before they come to market and are listed online.

Working with a Realtor® will give you the competitive advantage over another buyer who is relying on online data for buying the right home.

#2 – A Realtor® Will Know the Finer Details about a Home

Although a Real Estate website may provide you with the aesthetic details about Houston Texas Homes For Sale the reality is that an online search can only go so far because a computer can’t tell you if a home was built with potentially hazardous materials or has details that you will want to change when you move in to improve the safety and security of your home.

#3 – An Experienced Realtor Will Advise You on Offering the Right Price

Last of all, but most important, an experienced Real Estate Agent will advise you on the right price to submit on Houston Texas Homes For Sale rather than just relying on online data which can be off by as much as 40 percent or up to 12 months old.

Search for Houston Texas Homes for Sale

Save time and money when searching for Houston Texas Homes for Sale by working with an experienced Real Estate Agent.

Contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor® with Red Door Realty and Associates today, connect with me online or call me at (713) 819-1642.

DEC
18

Over the years one of the most common questions that I’ve been asked by home buyers is how much of a Houston Texas home can I really afford?

The answer to this question really depends on who you ask and although one common recommendation that Realtors will make is to use a mortgage calculator to determine how much of the monthly payment you can afford for a Houston Texas home the reality is that it’s always better to consult with a mortgage lender first before making any assumptions regarding the size of the home that you can buy or how much you can really afford.

Before Meeting With a Mortgage Lender Do This

Although it’s important for you to meet with a mortgage lender as soon as possible before you start your home search, the reality is that your credit score is one of the most important factors that will determine how much of a mortgage loan you can really qualify for .

The best way to find out exactly what your credit score is right now is to pull copy of your three in one credit report online so that you can get a good idea of what your credit score is with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.

Your three one credit report will cost about $30 but the expense is well worth it because, if you pull your credit report at least three months in advance before you decide buy a home this will give you plenty of time to resolve any negative items that may be on your credit report which might include: unpaid bills or debts that do not belong to you.

To resolve inaccuracies with your credit report you should contact the credit bureaus in writing immediately and ask them to remove each of that inaccurate or invalidated items on your credit report because, it will take at least 30 days or possibly longer for the credit bureaus to investigate one or more items on your credit report before following up with you in writing or removing those items altogether.

Get Your Financial Life in Order

Once you’ve decided to pull copy of your credit report the next thing that you should do is spend some serious time organizing your finances including your financial paperwork like documentation of income, expenses and all sources of income that you have received in the last year including financial gifts from relatives, family members or friends because, your mortgage lender will want to have a clear picture of your total income since they want to have confidence that you will have the ability to repay your mortgage loan.

What You Will Learn From Your Mortgage Lender

Meeting with a mortgage lender right now will also enable you to get your finances in order because, many lenders will also be able to make recommendations including which debts you should pay down to lower your debt to income ratio or certain credit cards that you should pay off. 

Do You Have Questions Or Comments? If So, Contact Me

Are you planning on buying a Houston Texas Home in 2016 and have questions? If so, please contact me anytime by calling (713) 819-1642.

 

DEC
8

By Kim Buish

As a long time Realtor® one of the most common Real Estate questions that I’ve been asked over the years is “can I still buy a Houston Texas Home even if I have student loan debt?” and the answer to this question is yes but it also depends on your personal circumstances.

Debt-To-Income Ratio

According to many experts your debt-to-income ratio should not be more than 33%, although some lenders are willing to approve mortgage loans for individuals with a debt to income ratio that’s as high as 45%.

How do you figure out what your debt to income ratio is? Let’s say that your monthly income is around $6,000 per month, while your total debt payments equal about $2,000 per month, this is mean that your debt to income ratio would be about 33%.

FICO Score

Regardless of your current student loan debt, one of the most basic things that lenders are typically looking for before they approve mortgage loans is a good FICO score of at least 700 or higher although in the last two years it’s been more common for home buyers to get preapproved for mortgage loans with FICO scores as low as 620 especially if they applied for HUD or FHA loan.

Stable Payment History

Another important criteria that mortgage lenders are looking for when they determining if they should approve a buyer for a mortgage or not is a stable payment history meaning that you consistently make your payments on time over the last 12 to 24 months.

Stable Employment Record

Last of all, but most important mortgage lenders want to see that you have a stable employment record meaning that you worked in the same job for the last 12 months and you don’t plan on changing jobs anytime in the near future.

3 Ways to Tame Student Loan Debt

There are three ways to overcome a DTI difficulty: Reduce debt, increase income or decrease the target mortgage payment.

Reduce debt. Some lenders will remove an installment or closed-end loan, such as a car payment, from DTI if the loan will be paid off within 10 or fewer payments. Dacey says if a buyer pays off enough of a loan to reduce the balance to 10 or fewer payments, the DTI can benefit.

Reducing or paying off credit card debt can help, too, although the 10-month rule doesn't apply because a credit card is revolving or open-ended debt.

Another DTI improvement strategy is to pay off the student loans with a private loan, perhaps from a family member, at a lower interest rate or with a longer repayment term. The private loan must be disclosed to the lender.

Source-  Bankrate.com

Mortgage Lenders Can Get Creative with Debt

Thankfully one of the main benefits of the current economy is that mortgage lenders have been able to loosen up their lending requirements and that’s made it easier for them to approve many people for mortgage loans.

If you currently do you have student loan debt some mortgage lenders may also be able to get creative with your student loan debt by encouraging you to do the following:

  • Defer your student loan payments for 12 months – Some lenders may suggest this because deferring your student loan payments may view them as debt.
  • Refinance your mortgage loan – If you have been in an auto loan the last 12 months or longer your mortgage lender you may advise you to refinance your auto loan in your spouse or significant other’s name, especially if they are not working because, this will help you to have a lower your debt to income ratio when you apply for a mortgage loan.

How to Fix or Improve Your Credit Score

One way to do this, on top of paying your bills on time, is to keep your credit card balances at or below the 30% threshold of the max available credit.  This can potentially save a buyer thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Higher credit scores would typically give you better interest rates.

Avoid quick fixes. Do not close existing credit accounts if you do not use them.  Also, do not pay all of your card balances to zero at once, unless you can do this every month; any change can be viewed as a quick fix.  (In general, you do not want to change the way you utilize your credit.) Quick fixes can negatively impair your credit.  In the months leading up to a home purchase, keep paying your bills as you usually do; do not close any old credit lines and try to avoid opening up any new ones.

Maintain Healthy Debt – If you don’t have a substantial credit history, lenders might not have enough data to approve you for a loan. Maintaining healthy debt and being a responsible borrower can help you avoid being labeled as a “thin file”.

To obtain your credit score, you can request a FREE Annual Credit Report here. Make sure your credit report is accurate and up-to-date. If you have suspicious or dated transactions listed on your credit report, one option is to hire a credit repair agency to send legal verification letters on your behalf.

Source – Studentloanhero.com

Get Your Financial House in Order

Before applying for a mortgage loan to buy Houston Texas home make sure you do the following:

  • Compile at least two years-worth of income tax returns, bank statements, paycheck stubs and other financial documentation to show your income.
  • Keep accurate records of financial gifts and other sources of income because, every mortgage lender will want to scrutinize your sources of income to confirm that you really will have a have the ability to pay back your mortgage loan.
  • Pay down your credit cards and other debts but don’t close those accounts because, keeping your credit or debit accounts open actually helps you to maintain a good credit score while closing them does not
  • Avoid making any major purchases before during or shortly after buying a home because, buying big-ticket items like a car, RV or boat will only increase your debt to income ratio and could possibly ruin your pre-approval status when you are applying for mortgage loan.

Search for a Houston Texas Home

To get started with searching for a Houston Texas home contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor® with Red Door Realty and Associates by calling me at (713) 819-1642 or connect with me online.

About Me

I may not be related to former President Bush, but I CAN help you whether you want to buy a WHITE HOUSE, a blue house or a yellow house. I live in Atascocita and have two children ages 26 and 20 and two beautiful grandaughters. I am very family oriented and believe that your home is one of the biggest investments you and your family will make. I want to be there to help you find the perfect home and get the most money for your current home! My areas of expertise are Atascocita, Humble, Kingwood, Huffman, and Crosby, but I am willing and able to help you buy or sell your home anywhere in Houston and the surrounding areas. I have been in Real Estate since 2004 and my first full year as a Realtor, I was awarded Texas/Louisiana Rookie of the Year. Since then I have received Top Producer awards each year 2005-2014. In 2011, I was selected by NextGen Realty Group as one of the Top 20 under 40 agents in HAR. I have received Top Production Realtor for 4th qtr 2011, 2nd qtr 2012 in HAR. Most recently I was listed as #12 Producing Agent in HAR for 2013 and #17 for 2014 out of over 24K agents in Houston. Check out the June 2015 edition of Texas Monthly Magazine where they announced the 5 Star Professionals in Texas where I won for the 3rd year in a row. 

DEC
2

It's December and even though we are going through the holiday season it's still a great time to buy a home especially for first time Houston Homebuyers.

Although buying a home for the first time may seem complicated it's really not if you follow these tips.

Check your credit
The homebuyer's credit score is among the most important factors when it comes to qualifying for a loan these days.

View today's lowest mortgage rates

"In addition, the standards are higher in terms of what score you need and how it affects the cost of the loan," says Mike Winesburg, formerly a mortgage planner with McKinley Carter Wealth Services in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Scour the reports for mistakes, unpaid accounts or collection accounts.

Just because you pay everything on time every month doesn't mean your credit is stellar, however. The amount of credit you're using relative to your available credit limit, or your credit utilization ratio, can sink a credit score.

The lower the utilization rate, the higher your score will be. Ideally, first-time homebuyers would have a lot of credit available, with less than a third of it used.

Repairing damaged credit takes time -- and money, if you owe more than lenders would prefer to see relative to your income. Begin the process at least six months before shopping for a home.

Evaluate assets and liabilities
So you don't owe too much money and your payments are up to date. But how do you spend your money? Do you have piles of money left over every month, or are you on a shoestring budget?

A first-time homebuyer should have a good idea of what is owed and what is coming in.

You should understand a little bit about monthly cash flow," says Winesburg.

Source - Bankrate.com

Helping Houston First Time Homebuyers

To learn more about the Houston Real Estate market or to get help with buying your first home contact me today by calling (713) 819-1642 or click here to connect with me online.

NOV
12

By Kim Buish 

One of the most common things we’ve seen people experience over the years when they buy Houston Texas Real Estate is sticker shock once they realize the total costs they need to pay for a home.

In today’s post we will share with you some of the costs you will be expected to pay so you can avoid that moment of sticker shock after searching for Houston Texas Homes for Sale and ultimately finding the home of your dreams, only to realize the real costs associated with buying a home.

Appraisal Fees

These fees will be charged by your lender so they can hire an appraiser to estimate the value of the Houston Texas Real Estate you want to buy.

A typical lender will want to lend money that is less than the value of the home or land you want to purchase because if the amount of the mortgage loan is less than the value of the property this means less risk for the lender if you default on your mortgage loan and are unable to pay it back.

Credit Report Fee

During the loan application process your lender will want to run your credit report and ultimately charge you for that fee.

Most credit reports cost about $35 but they give the lender the ability to see what all three of the major credit bureaus are saying about your credit score

Discount Points

These pints are charged by most lenders so they can lower the interest rate you will pay for your mortgage loan. The good news about this fee is that it’s entirely optional so you don’t have to pay it if it won’t fit within your budget as you are buying Houston Texas Real Estate but one thing to keep in mind is that this fee is tax deductible so you will be write it off the next time you pay taxes.

Document Preparation Fee

This fee will be charged to you so your lender can prepare all of your mortgage loan documents.

Endorsement Fee

An endorsement fee is an additional coverage that’s going to be added to your Title Insurance policy.

Escrow Holdback

This is the amount of money which will be held in an escrow account. These funds are typically used when there’s work to be done on the property and the seller agrees to get the work done before you release the final amount of money to them.

Flood Certification Fee

After paying this fee you will know if your Houston Texas Real Estate is located in a flood zone and if you will be required to pay for flood insurance when buying the home or not.

Homeowners Insurance

One of the most common fees that homeowners have to pay is homeowners insurance because this fee covers your home from loss and damages.

Buy Houston Texas Real Estate 

To get started with buying Houston Texas Real Estate, or to view Houston Texas Homes for Sale, contact me, Kim Buish, Realtor(R) with Red Door Realty and Associates by calling me at (281) 852-3667 or click here to contact me online. 

NOV
12

You’re searching for Houston Texas Real Estate and are excited about buying a home because it's your first home but one of the biggest mistakes you want to avoid as a home buyer is falling into the trap of buyers remorse. 

Regardless of the reason why you are buying a home it’s important for you to take the steps NOW to avoid buyers remorse because buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever make and you won't be able to take that back.

Here are some simple tips you can use to avoid buyers remorse:

Step 1 – Make Sure You Can Really Afford a Home

Before you even commit to buying a home you should sit down with your spouse or significant other and determine if you can afford to buy a home especially considering the long term costs like Private Mortgage Insurance if you put down less than 20%, property taxes, insurance and the long term costs of maintaining a home.

If you are unable to buy a home it might be worth waiting a little while longer so you can save more money for your down payment or pay off some debts so you can lower your debt-to-income ratio.

Step 2 – Confirm That You’re Ready to Stay in One Spot

When you buy a primary residence you’re not just committing to the concept of homeownership you’re also committing to settling down in one area for at least the next 10 years because if you are serious about realizing all of the financial advantages homeownership it’s recommended that homeowners hold their properties for 10 years or longer before moving onto their next homes.

Step 3 – Think about Where You Really Want To Live

As you are searching for a Houston Texas Home For Sale you should also make sure that you’re searching the location and or near the shops, stores, restaurants and amenities you want to have in your life because choosing a great home in the wrong location could mean that you have to commute longer to work every day or drive a little farther to the things that you love.

Step 4 – Get a Great Mortgage Loan

One of the most frequent causes of buyer’s remorse is because a buyer rushed the process of buying a home and they didn’t get the best mortgage interest rate.

To insure that you qualify for the best mortgage interest rate you should do your “due diligence” by compiling all of the financial paperwork that’s required of you to insure that there’s no questions about your credit or finances.

Step 5 – Hire an Awesome Realtor®

Last of all, but most important you should hire a great Realtor® who is experienced with helping their clients find the very best Houston Texas Real Estate.

Buy Houston Texas Real Estate  

Get started with buying Houston Texas Real Estate by caling me, Kim Buish, Realtor(R) with Red Door Realty & Associates today at (713) 819-1642 or click here to connect with us through our website. 

 
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