Joyce Godwin - Houston Real Estate & Relocation

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(281) 381-0846

Helping Buyers BUY and Sellers SELL for Over 20 Years
RE/MAX REALTY CENTER
        EMAIL ME        12810 Telge Road, Cypress, TX 77429     Phone: (281) 213-6200     Fax: (866) 374-4500
Welcome to Joyce Godwin’s Houston Real Estate Blog. I specialize in working with buyers and sellers in North, West and Northwest HOUSTON - including the surrounding areas of Cypress, Kingwood, Magnolia, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands and Waller. I would love to assist you if you are buying or selling your FIRST HOME or your NEXT HOME. If you are facing the possibility of foreclosure, call me -- in many cases, there are options and alternatives, including the possibility of keeping your home.
MAY
14

BlackHorse Ranch and Blackhorse Ranch South in Cypress, TX

 

BlackHorse Ranch, is a popular golf course community located in Cypress, TX and is located in Cyfair ISD.  Students residing in the BlackHorse Ranch / BlackHorse Ranch South community currently attend Warner Elementary, Smith Middle School and Cy-Ranch High School -- among the favorites of Cyfair parents and students.     BlackHorse Ranch and BlackHorse Ranch South are located off of Fry Rd., just south of Highway 290 (also known as Northwest Freeway).

If living in a resort-style community is something that interests you, the BlackHorse Ranch / BlackHorse Ranch South community is one to consider.  Subdivision amenities include trails throughout the community, lakes, swimming pools, splash pad, playground and covered picnic area for BlackHorse residents.

Shopping:  Major grocery stores, department stores, malls, hardware stores and many wonderful restaurants are only minutes away.  Memorial City Mall is just minutes to the south and Houston's Premium Outlet is just minutes to the northwest.    There are many, many restaurants, banks, specialty stores, department stores, hardware stores and, of course, WalMart and Target, just up on Hwy. 290, within minutes of the BlackHorse community.

Restaurants:  A few nearby favorites include Luby's, Alicia's Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Spring Creek Bar-B-Que, Cypress Station (family style restaurant), McAllisters, and many more.

Many churches, hospitals, day care facilities are also nearby as are several community colleges, including Lone Star College Cyfair.

FEB
26
The rumor that continues to circulate via the Internet and email inboxes is that there is a 3.8% federal tax on all home sales effective January 1, 2013.

However, the fact is that a 3.8% tax will be placed on some home sales, effective January 1, 2013, but not all home sales.

The tax will not affect individuals making less than $200,000 per year, nor married couples making less than $250,000 per year.

For more details and examples regarding the 3.8% tax on real estate sales, read the brochure published by the National Association of Realtors.

Source:  National Association of Realtors
FEB
5
According to Peg Barcelo-Jackson the Flufftastic Stager from Edmonton, AB, two popular colors for 2012 will be iced teal and tangerine.  Other trends include bling, horses, circles and stick screens.  I love the light, fun and energetic feel of teal and tangerine by themselves or together.  

Read more of the fun details at 5 New Trends For 2012! Straight From the Las Vegas Design Market!
JAN
9

  Preparing for an Appraisal

There are some things you can do to prepare for an appraisal and to help ensure that your home appraisal goes as smoothly as possible, including:
Make a list of improvements and the cost of each to give to the appraiser.

All rooms, including the garage and attic, should be accessible.

Remove or crate all pets.

Be sure your home is the most inviting it has ever been – inside and out.  Clean and spruce as if your most important house guest or most important buyer is coming to visit.

Important: Leave the appraiser alone to do his job.  Give him or her the list of improvements and then vanish!   The appraiser can’t concentrate on the value of your home if you are talking to him/her and doesn’t like agents or owners trying to influence them in any way - even if you are just trying to be helpful.  If you engage in unnecessary conversation, the appraiser could actually overlook something of value.  He or she knows what they are looking for, so it's best to leave them to it.

See The Top 10 Things to do to Prepare for an Appraisal by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser.

AUG
23

Houston is ranked as the No. 1 best place for new college graduates to find a job based on cost of living, pay and the best mix of job openings, according to Businessweek.com.

Since January 2010, over 31,000 jobs have been created, said Jeff Moseley, president of the Greater Houston Partnership. 

Go to
www.HAR.com/joycegodwin to check out how affordable housing is in Houston and surrounding areas, including Cypress, Kingwood, Magnolia, Spring, Tomball and The Woodlands.

AUG
22
This property has been SOLD * * If interested in similar investment properties or properties that need updating so you can personalize them way you want, please call. * * This was a 4 or 5 Bedroom Home in Golf Course Community ** Almost 1/3 Acre ** Beautiful Mature Trees! ** 3 Living Areas: Living Room, Den, Huge Game Room ** MASTER DOWN / 3 Large Bedrooms Up ** Game Room Could Be Large 5th Bedroom or Two Separate Rooms ** Double Closets Plus Built-In Drawers in Master Bath ** Hollywood Bath Up**Built-In Shelves in Den**Double Oven**Large Windows in Den Overlook Shaded Back Yard**Tree-Lined Street **Needs a Little TLC - Great Opportunity!! Hot Water Heater Replaced Aug 2010 ** Highly Acclaimed KLEIN ISD**

Homes in Northampton range from the mid $100's to almost $1 million.  At the time of this post, 6407 Meadowtrace is the least expensive home available over 2,500 sq.ft. in Northampton.  It is apprx. $55 per sq. ft.  The average price of homes in this section of Northampton is approx. $63 per sq. ft.  Most of the homes in this popular wooded subdivision are on lots that are well over 10,000 sq. ft.  

6407 Meadowtrace is located in Spring, TX just minutes from The Woodlands and/or I-45. 

Toward the back of this beautiful subdivision is Willow Creek Golf Club, which for several years has been recognized by the South Texas PGA as one of the "Twenty Best" golf courses in South Texas.

  

Search the MLS Like a Realtor

 

AUG
22
* * Off the market * * WOW! GREAT OPPORTUNITY for SOMEONE! Large Corner Lot with Mature Shade Trees *Tree-Lined Cul-de-sac Street* Over 1/2 Acre (per HCAD) * One-Story, 4-Bedroom Brick Home ** Large Den with High Ceiling, Fireplace and Wall of Windows Overlooking 10 x 16 Patio and Large Backyard ** Per Owner: 2009 Roof; Septic approx. 6 Yrs Old ** Ceiling Fans ** No MUD taxes ** Tomball ISD **Home Needs Some Work - Priced Accordingly ** Being Sold As Is but Will Be Beautiful with Some TLC **1st American Home Warranty.  Seller will help with Buyer closing costs.

This home is located in the small Tomball community, where homes are on 1/2 acre to 1 acre wooded lots.  It is only minutes to Hwy. 249 to the east or Hwy. 290 to the west.
AUG
19
Former President George Bush and his wife, Laura, showed up last week in a surprise visit to join friends and family of 145 soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as they walked through the double doors in Terminal D at DFW Airport for two weeks of R&R.

Bert Brady, who helps coordinate the welcome home project to our troops coming home for furlough at Dallas Fort Worth airport took an amazing video of President Bush welcoming the troops home.

Isn't it awesome to see how pro-American and patriotic our former Commander-in-Chief is?

JUL
28
Not into yard work?  Too hot or just don't have time or just don't enjoy it?  A splash of color will work wonders!  Hopefully, you at least have some greenery or schrubs that line your front flowerbeds.  If so, you may be able to get by with just putting seasonal, flowering plants in an urn or clay pot.  It will become the focal point and add that splash of color.  Whether you are selling your home or plan to stay there, if you keep up the front of your home,  it will help add value to your neighborhood!  If you are, in fact, moving, you can take the potted plant with you whereas you are supposed to leave plants that are planted in the flowerbeds.

                                       Search the MLS Like a Realtor
JUL
26

Curb appeal has always been important for homesellers. With the vast majority of today’s homebuyers starting their search on the Internet, the appearance of your property is more critical than ever. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention as they scroll through listings online to get them to stop and take a closer look.

But the role of curb appeal goes beyond just making a good first impression. The way your house looks from the street can impact its value. It can also shorten the time it takes to sell your house.

We asked real estate agents, appraisers, home stagers, landscape designers, and home inspectors which curb appeal projects offer the most value when your house is on the market, both in terms of its marketability and dollars. Here is what they told us:

1. Paint the house.

Hands down, the most commonly offered curb appeal advice from our real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job.  Buyers will instantly notice it and appraisers will note it on the valuation.

“Paint is probably the number one thing inside and out,” says Frank Lucco, managing partner of Houston-based IRR-Residential Appraisers and Consultants. “I’d give additional value for that. If you’re under two years remaining life (on the paint job), paint the exterior because it tends to show wear badly.” 

Just make sure you stay within the range of accepted colors for your market. A house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition will be marked down in value by appraisers.

2. Have the house washed.

Before you make the investment in a paint job, though, take a good look at the house. If it’s got mildew or general grunge, just washing the house could make a world of difference.

Pressure-washing—a job that should be left to professionals. Pressure washing makes the house look crisp and clean.  The cost to have a professional cleaning should be a few hundred dollars—a fraction of the cost of having the house painted.

3. Trim the shrubs and green up the yard.

Consider cutting down overgrown bushes and replacing them with leafy plants and annuals mulched with black or brown bark.  It shouldn't cost more than $40 or $50 and will you get a return on your money? Absolutely. It's like the icing on a cake.

You also don’t want bare spots. Take the timeo fertilize the yard.  Add some sod if needed.

4. Add a splash of color.

It could be a flower bed of annuals by the mailbox, a paint job for the front door, or a brightly colored bench or an Adirondack chair. You can probably get a cute little bench at Home Depot or Lowe's for $99 or less.  Or pick one up at a garage sale and spray paint it black, brown, red or whatever fits in with the exterior of your home.
 
It’s not a bad idea, but don’t plan on getting extra points from an appraiser for a red bench, says John Bredemeyer, president of Realcorp in Omaha. “It’s difficult to quantify, but it does make a home sell more quickly,” Bredemeyer says. “Maybe yours sold a couple weeks faster than the house down the street. That’s the best way to look at these things.”

5. Add a fancy mailbox and house numbers.

An upscale mail box and architectural house numbers or an address plaque can give your house a distinctive look that stands out from everyone else on the block.

6. Repair or clean the roof.

Springfield, Va.-based home inspector and former builder Reggie Marston saysthe roof is one of the first things he looks at in assessing the condition of a home. He’ll look at other houses in the neighborhood to see if there are a lot of replaced roofs and see if the subject house has one as well. If not, he’ll look for curls in the shingles or missing shingles. “I’m looking at the roof for end-of-life expectancy,” he says.

Stains and plant matter, such as moss, can be handled with cleaning. It’s a job that can often be done in a day, and makes the roof look like new. It’s not a DIY project; call a professional with the right tools to clean it without damaging it.

7. Put up a fence.

A fence is an asset.   A fence hasmore impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community in most instances and appraisers will give extra value for one, as long as it’s in good condition. 

8.  Perform routine maintenance and cleaning.

Nothing sets off subconscious alarms like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or lawn tools rusting in the bushes. It makes even the professionals question what else hasn’t been taken care of.

A house is perceived as being worth less if the maintenance isn’t done. Llittle things can add up and be a very big detractor when a buyer is getting ready to make an offer.

Taken from Pat Curry's 8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home 
Georgia-based freelance writer Pat Curry has covered housing and real estate for consumer and trade publications for more than a decade, including covering new home sales and marketing for BUILDER, the magazine of the National Association of Home Builders.

           Search the MLS Like a Realtor

JUL
6
From the Houston Association of Realtors Newsletter - July 1, 2010

Mortgage Interest Rates Fall to Another All-Time Low

On another bright note, Freddie Mac announced this morning that the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate fell to a record low of 4.58%. In the prior week, the average was 4.69%. The year-ago average was 5.32%. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also reached a new record low, averaging 4.04%, down from 4.13% in the prior week.

 



Click here to:  Search the MLS Like a Realtor
JUL
6

 

The Animal Rescue Site
MAY
22

Just listened to a Texas Realtor pod about password security.    It said that adding just one character to a password will greatly increase your password security - for instance, between letters, use a sign or symbol such as an @, #, &, etc.! 

Also, it was suggested to make your password eight characters instead of seven when possible, as well as using upper and lower case letters plus numbers, not just all lower case letters.  


Using all lower case letters could take a hacker approx. 2.25 hours to figure out, versus possibly well over a year (and much, much longer) if the above tips are used
.


MAY
6
MAY
3

NEWS RELEASE

April 27, 2010

Fannie Mae Extends 3.5 Percent Seller Assistance on its Real Estate Owned Properties

Incentive for HomePath® Properties Complements Ongoing Efforts to Stabilize Neighborhoods Across the Country

WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) today announced the extension of its seller assistance incentive on all Fannie Mae-owned HomePath properties. Buyers will receive 3.5 percent of the final sales price to be used toward closing cost assistance or their choice of selected appliances. The offer is available to any owner-occupant who closes on the purchase of a property listed on www.HomePath.com by June 30, 2010.

"We are happy with the results of the program, which has helped us to sell properties quickly, thereby stabilizing neighborhoods and property values," said Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management.

Source:  Fannie Mae Resource Center

APR
26
COMPARE TO NEW HOMES!  Established Neighborhood, Mature Trees, Already Landscaped and Ready for Move-in  *   Brick and Stone Exterior * Tile Flooring * 2009 Hand-Scraped Wood Flooring * Decorative Iron Railing * Granite Countertops *4  Large Bedrooms * Large Gameroom Up * Study Down * 10 x 14 Bonus Room Down (Media room, Computer Room, Playroom or Extra Storage) * Open Den with Wall of Windows Overlooking Backyard  * 10 x 18 Covered Back Porch (with ceiling fan) Plus Backyd Shade Arbor * Great Setup for Outdoor Entertaining! *  2010 WASHER / DRYER / Stainless Steel REFRIGERATOR / 50-inch HDTV -- all barely used!!!  Highly acclaimed Humble ISD!  Seller is flexible -- Can close quick if needed.
MAR
20
Happy first day of Spring 2010!  Today -- Saturday, March 20, 2010-- is the first day of Spring and most of us are ready for it!  Flowers and trees are starting to bud out and the wildflowers are starting to break ground. 

Click here to see State flowers from all the states:   http://www.jacquielawson.com/viewcard.asp?code=1221321706636&source=jl999 

Seems like Springtime motivates buyers to start looking, so smart sellers will be spiffing up their homes and getting them ready to put on the market -- starting with the yard and landscaping, which is like icing on the cake!  If you are planning to put your home on the market soon, try to do so in time for buyers to write a contract on your home and get it
under contract before April 30 -- the deadline for eligible buyers to take advantage of the $6,500 or $8,000 tax credit.  If it is under contract by then, it has until June 30 to close

If you are planning to buy a home soon, call me for details on the tax credit if you are interested!  There are many Great Houston Homes to choose from!
FEB
21
It's that time again!  Time for Houston's 2010 Livestock Show & Rodeo -- the world's largest rodeo.  Attendance for 2009 was over 1 million rodeo fans.

March 2 thru March 21, 2010 -This year's entertainers include:

Alan Jackson
Dierks Bentley
Kenny Chesney
Mary J. Blige
Jason Aldean
Jonas Brothers with special guest, Demi Lovato
Tim McGraw
Darius Rucker
Rascal Flats
Brad Paisley
Toby Keith
Blake Shelton
Presado & El Trono De Mexico
Lady Antebellum
Keith Urban
Gary Allen
Black Eyed Peas
Eli Young Band
Brooks & Dunn (last rodeo tour)
Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber

Official site -- Entertainer Lineup and Dates, Buy Tickets, more info, photos, history, etc.:  http://www.rodeohouston.com

Visitors are encouraged to take METRORail public transportation to  Reliant Park.  Most fans feel like it's a lot easier than fighting the traffic to get in and take a chance on missing half of the performance!

FEB
21

Joyce Godwin,    RE/MAX Realty Center

(281) 381-0846 Cell

(281) 213-6281 Ofc.

 

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

 

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator.  However, don’t clean with Pine-O-Pine or Chlorox just before the potential buyers arrive! Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help – but keep it light!

5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms (paying attention to the maximum recommended wattage though).  Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, a dripping faucet, or running toilets may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

 

9. Add a touch of color in the living room.  A colored throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.  Look at some decorator magazines or just your regular home and garden magazines to get ideas.


10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.


11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers. Again, check out magazines.

 

12. Set the scene.  Consider setting the table with fancy dishes and candles.

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.


14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight.

 

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them, and let real estate agents know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

 

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

 

18. Leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there. 

 


Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.  Copyright 2008. All rights reserved
.



 

 

 
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