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(832) 429-5117

By Mark Gonzales, Realtor Magazine's 30 Under 30 Award Recipient
TROTWOOD REALTY
        EMAIL ME        6823 Northampton Way, Houston, TX 77055     Phone: (713) 222-7400     Fax: (281) 822-0155
Showcasing my love for Houston; it's culture, cuisine, real estate, and lifestyle scene. Presenting data, statistics, and relevant news in an easy-to-understand-interesting-to-read kinda way.
JUL
29

I just listed this home for sale on Friday, July 26th and held my first open house on Saturday.  In the four hours I held it open over 40 people came to see this beautiful home.  More importantly I opened my e-mail on Monday morning to multiple offers!  Needless to say my client is very happy that she followed my marketing, pricing, and presentation recommendations.  She's looking forward to setting a new precedent for the highest price per sq. foot sold in the area!! Come see this home before it’s gone. Showings available daily from 10:30am-8pm until 08/01.  Deadline for offer submission will be 12pm on August 1, 2013.  Please contact me if you’d like a private showing or would like to discuss how I can do the same for the sale and marketing of your home too!

Click here for more information about this beautiful, highly desirable home.

Talk about location, location, location! Convenient to I- 59, Hwy 6, First Colony Mall, and Sugar Land Town Center.   This upgraded and well designed home is situated on a corner lot just across the street from the lake with bridges and green belts.  Be wowed by the impressive great room adjacent to the spacious kitchen remodeled  with Silestone countertops, redone cabinetry, walk-in pantry and stainless steel appliances.  First floor master suite with spacious bath remodeled 9 mos and closets galore!  5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths with a study that could be converted into a 6 bedroom.  So many possibilities in an excellent, highly desirable neighborhood.

MAY
24
 Open House this Saturday May 25th from 1-5 pm!! Serving green smoothies at 2511 Rose Bay Drive, Pearland, TX 77584. Experience lakeside living in one of the most beautiful locations within Shadow Creek Ranch. Enter through the front door and be impressed by a dramatic rotunda foyer with custom mosaic stone floors and an imported avant-garde chandelier soaring above you. Spacious bedrooms and living areas include a 1st floor master suite with large walk in closet and a wall of windows showcasing the lake views. Over 4,400 sq ft of luxurious living space with 4-5 bedrooms, 4 baths on an over 10,000 square foot lot. Create memories in the formal living and dining areas, great room, den (can  be converted into 5th bedroom), covered outdoor living area to enjoy lakeside entertaining and a media/theater room. Enjoy this lifestyle for yourself and contact Mark Gonzales, National Realtor at his Houston office at (832) 429-5117or e-mail at marksellshtown@gmail.com
FEB
20
Houston we have a problem. The number of homes, townhomes, and condominiums for sale are decreasing as buyers continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates that making purchasing a home in Houston more affordable than ever. This coupled with a healthy job market enticing more people to relocate to our booming city are adding to the demand for homes.  Include out of state and foreign investors to mix and we now have an environment that is very competitive, placing sellers in the driver's seat having an advantage in negotiation power. In fact many properties for sale in the most desirable parts of Houston are attracting multiple offers fueling continued price gains.  Even in areas where new communities are being built such as Cinco Ranch, people are on wait lists for lots to purchase prior to release.

As a Realtor who is familiar with this environment selling in more competitive environments such as Los Angeles, it is important that Buyers educate themselves prior to actively entering the market by meeting with their Realtors to learn about the dynamic market conditions that will affect the homebuying process. Buyers must get pre-approved for financing so that they are taken seriously by sellers, especially since multiple offers will be more common as inventory decreases. It may also not be enough to be pre-approved for financing as in some situations Buyers who are purchasing homes with cash will win the deal.  Sellers on the other hand should require that Buyers present with their offers proof of financing and funds to ensure that the offer they choose to accept has a higher chance of closing. Buyers should also make sure that their Realtor can build a good rapport with listing agents as this also plays a factor in getting their offer accepted. This is the new reality of our Houston real estate market.

These conditions were evident in several properties my Buyer clients were interested in. One property sat over one year on the market. You would think that such a property would have room negotiate and have no other interested parties. However, due to decreasing inventory levels, this property had two other offers. Fortunately, with my negotiation strategy, counseling along with the strong financial position my client was in, we got their offer accepted. In another client's case, they weren't as lucky, by the time they were ready to see properties they were interested in, over half had accepted offers. These properties had only been sitting on the market for 7-10 days. Moral of the story is that Buyers should be willing to act fast to submit offers. This may be scary especially for the first time homebuyer, however their fear should be eased as Buyers in Texas typically negotiate an option period of 7-12 days where they can have the unrestricted right to cancel the contract and receive a refund of their deposit.

As a Realtor who provides his opinion based not only on experience, but most importantly facts and statistics it is my duty to provide my clients with the latest information pertaining to the local real estate market. Below are some of the highlights from the Houston Association of Realtors MLS Report for January 2013. To read the entire article and watch a video from our Chairman, Danny Frank please CLICK HERE.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in January
  • Single-family home sales increased 28.3 percent year-over-year, accounting for the market’s 20th consecutive monthly increase;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 25.9 percent, increasing from $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion on a year-over-year basis;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 33.6 percent, increasing from $680 million to $908 million on a year-over-year basis;
  • At $200,296, the single-family home average price reached the highest level for a January in Houston;
  • At $150,000, the single-family home median price also reached an historic high for a January in Houston;
  • 3.6 months inventory of single-family homes is the lowest level since December 1999 and is lower than the national average of 4.4 months;
  • Sales of townhouses/condominiums rose 20.3 percent year-over-year with average price increasing 23.5 percent.

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    FEB
    1
    I can't reiterate enough how cool it is to see Houston gain momentum as a destination city for the arts, culture and cuisine.  Add the NBA's All-Star Weekend to the mix and you've got a host of sports and entertainment celebrities exploring and enjoying all the wonderful attractions that Houston has to offer.  I predict that this year's All-Star Weekend will have people buzzing about the incredible change Houston has experienced in the last few year and will continue the momentum that Houston is experiencing as destination city.  In fact NY Times places Houston on the list as #7 of places to visit this year in the world (click here to read more about that).

    One celebrity, talented lyricist, mc, and actor, Yasiin Bey more famouly known as Mos Def will definitely be in town to showcase his DJ skills at The Classroom in Rice Village on Friday February 15, 2013 from 6-10pm.  My family and good friends, Jon "Cabby" Cabellero, Paolo Sagullo, Alan Javillonar, and Asif Razvi who own The Classroom confirmed this today via their Facebook invite to their PF Flyers POP SHOP.  Here's what the invite stated:

    "Join us for an All-Star Weekend Kick Off Party brought to you by the PF Flyers POP SHOP. 

    Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, will be performing a special DJ set during the party, along with Elroy Boogie.

    Other special guests include Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette; Ouigi Theodore aka The Bearded Man and Gabe "The Great" Garcia of The Brooklyn Circus; and Alyasha Owerka-Moore, aka Stack Aly. 

    Bernie's Burger Bus will be parked outside providing food service, and complimentary cocktails will be served in-store."

    This surely is an event not to miss.  Groove to beats spun by Mos Def, enjoy some of the best tasting whiskeys, cocktails, and libations while shopping for upscale and modern men's streetwear brands only found at this hip event at The Classroom.  To reserve for the event please go to their Facebook page by clicking hereHope to see y'all there!

    And who ever said Houston wasn't cool???

     
    JAN
    29

    I have to say since moving here I’m thoroughly impressed with the number of social events that are held to promote culture, philanthropy, and business; values which Houstonians hold dearly.  With the local economy booming Houstonians are giving more to charity, holding lavish galas and parties to spur fundraising to record levels.  In addition, we have seen many new establishments opening around town.  I had the opportunity of attending the Tiger Ball Kick Off Party at Hotel Zaza and the latter part of the opening of Edward Sanchez’s Vanity Lounge at West Ave. in River Oaks.  Shelby Hodge from CultureMap Houston covered both events and my good friend Crystal Heydari attended as my guest.

    The Asia Society reached a milestone last year with the opening of their Texas Center in the museum district, designed by acclaimed Japanese Architect, Yoshio Taniguchi.  Last year’s Tiger Ball had over 1,000 guests; showcasing some of Houston’s wealthiest multi-cultural philanthropists.  The gala fundraised over $1.4 million dollars to help further the promotion and understanding Asian culture throughout the world.  This year will be no different in terms of raising money as Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia the chairs of the gala and have accepted the mission of raising over $1 million dollars.  Guests were treated to champagne, exclusive Tiger Kick-Off cocktails, and an array of hor’s duerves from different cultures.  The classical quartet playing renditions of current pop songs set the mood for an elegant, sophisticated and modern time.

    According the Shelby Hodge at CultureMap.com  “Getting their party mode on were Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, Carolyn and Jimmy Robertson, Marie and Vijay Goradia, Divya and Chris Brown, Monjula and Ravi Chidambaram, Jo and Jim Furr and Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy.”  Leela Krishnamurthy and I met in the car valet and I learned that she devotes her time to philanthropic cultural causes and sits on the Advisory Board for Southwest Regional Chapter of the United States Fund for UNICEF. She was an absolute pleasure connect with.

    After the Tiger Ball Kick Off party Crystal and I headed over to West Ave. in River Oaks where Edward Sanchez held his grand opening launch party for his Vanity Lounge.  They offer a number of beauty and “skin perfection” packages for men and women.  It’s no surprise that Edward opened up the Vanity Lounge being that he has a long history of high society and high profile clients. According Melodika.net ,, "he has been in the makeup industry for over 20 years. He began his career in make-up at Neiman Marcus and was transitioned into the salon and spa world by famed hair designer Jose Eber. Edward's clientele has included Joann King Herring, Lynn Wyatt, Diane Lokey Farb, Lindsey Love and several local newscasters and celebrity clients such as Janet Jackson, Joan Rivers, Queen Noor of Jordan, Betty White and George Clooney.”   I had the opportunity to meet Edward and congratulate him on his launch.  It is no wonder why this talented guy is successful as he has the warm, welcoming and kind personality that is so evident in the people of Houston.

    Edward and his business partner, Diane Caplan hosted the hip crowd treating them to a D.J. spinning beats and bites served by Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse which will soon open in West Ave. as well. The expected 150 guests but according to Shelby Hodge “the party moved next door to Katsuya and another 500 revelers arrived were Erica Rose, Deborah Elias, Tama Lundquist with Jack Scalia, Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu, Diane Lokey Farb, Karina Barbieri, Peter Brown, Franci Willis, Chloe Dao, Miya Shay and Diane Caplan's proud husband, Michael Caplan.”   My friends from Ligne Rose showcased their French chic and modern furniture in the outdoor lounge.  I also happen to bump into Chloe Dao  before entering as I have met her before at her store Lot 8 when my wardrobe stylist friend from Los Angeles, Jackie Kahn visited her store, Lot 8 which is also next door to my good friends and family’s menswear boutique, The Classroom in Rice Village.

    Other familiar faces from Asia Society and Houston’s social scene were Hoteliers Naushir & Sneha Merchant, and Henri Merceron (whom I keep bumping into lol). Click here to read the re-cap from CultureMap Houston.

    JAN
    24

    This is Part II of Important Data You Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Home in Houston.  Please click here to read part one which provides relevant housing market data for Houston and buyer home purchasing tips. 

    As mentioned in my last blog post the inventory levels are very low at the moment.  Sellers are seeing that their properties if priced and marketed well sell faster than expected; especially in the most desirable parts of Houston such as the Inner Loop, Memorial, and Energy Corridor.  While it may seem easy to sell a home these days, Sellers need to ensure they take the necessary steps in hiring the right Realtor to devise a marketing and price strategy that will capitalize on the market and increase demand even more through creating impactful advertising that utilizes the latest technologies.  Also with all the development happening in Houston, public and private development projects such as public parks & spaces, retail and office  should be marketed to buyers as those amenities bring value to a community.  Your Realtor should be familiar with the developments affecting your community.

    According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of homebuyers use the internet in some way to purchase their homes.  Therefore it is important that your home’s internet presence captures buyer attention and motivates them to see your home in person.  Photos, videos, floor plans, and well written descriptions selling the lifestyle that your home and neighborhood provides will help engage buyers to get emotionally attached to your home if done correctly.  Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are now becoming tools for Realtors to market their listings to their own sphere of influence and outside of their influence through Facebook & LinkedIn Ads.  I actually provide analytics reports to my clients that show how many people have seen an ad for their home. 

    To address these needs I use all the latest tools in internet and social media marketing to maximize and enhance the exposure of properties that I list and represent. According to Klout.com the measurement for social media influence, my influence spans over 30k people throughout the world. Through this network I can help anyone with real estate needs in all 51 states. Clients benefit from my vast network, receiving excellent, highly skilled service.  In fact I won the 30 Under 30 Award in 2009 for being an innovator in using internet and social media technology in real estate sales and continue to create new techniques and methods to further advance my marketing strategies for my clients. 

    If you are interested in selling your home and would like to see and hear for yourself the techniques and strategies I use to get my listings sold, please call me at (832) 429-5117 or e-mail me at marksellshtown@gmail.com.

     

    JAN
    23
    Having a vast network across the country and the world, I'm often asked by my wonderful clients to help them market and sell their homes by connecting them to my awesome real estate associates whom I work with closely to sell the homes we list for the highest price possible in the quickest amount of time.  Through the use of technology and social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram I'm able to maximize exposure of the home I market and sell to over 30,000 targeted users who are interested in the lifestyle and features that a specific home offers. 

    Such is the case with this new listing taken by our Austin, TX Realtor-Associate, Jay Jay Tolentino of Keller Williams, Austin.  Located at 2306 Founders Circle in Spicewood, Texas i
    t is an excellent value and opportunity to own a wonderful 1-story garden home in the luxurious, exclusive,  24 hour, guard-gated Barton Creek Lakeside community.  It has lots of curb appeal through the attractive design by popular architect Dick Clark. For you golfers the home is conveniently nestled across from world renowned, award-winning, championship Arnold Palmer Golf Course. The home has a huge garage for 2 cars and golf cart. Large oak trees in back of property on shared greenbelt space for great shade, Many, many neighborhood amenities, like pool and fitness center.  Features 2 bedrooms, a study/office, 2 baths with approximately 1,967 sq. ft. of living space.  Click here to get more info and view the virtual tour.

    Because this home is in a golf-course and lake community we have targeted our marketing through social media to avid golfers, 2nd homebuyers, vacationers, and people interested in Barton Creek Lakeside and the surrounding communities and amenities.  Utilizing analytics and ad-response tracking we are able to show our sellers through our marketing reports how many users saw our marketing ads, how many clicks, and the demographics of all users exposed to the marketing. 

    It is these innovative marketing techniques that get homes we list sold.  If you are interested in learning how you can benefit by using us to sell your home please call 832.429.5117 or e-mail and
    marksellshtown@gmail.com.
    JAN
    21

    I divided this post into 2 posts.  This post provides information on the current state of Houston's housing market and how buyers can effectively compete and purchase homes.  The next blog post will be for sellers addressing how they can maximize the exposure their home gets when marketing to ensure the highest price and quickest marketing time possible.

    So you're looking to buy a home in one of Houston's various neighborhoods and communities. You consult with a Realtor (hopefully it's me!) and they assess your needs and develop a plan to help you find that special home. You start viewing properties and fall in love with a home, write an offer, submit it and then you are told you’ve been outbid by due to multiple offers and either lose the home or have to come up in price to be competitive with the other. Then as you start looking again properties you wanted to see go under contract before you can even see it. As time goes by you start to see a smaller number of homes come on the market that fit your needs. Frustration sets in and you become weary of the home buying process.

    It's a story that is fairly new to Houstonians looking to purchase a home in today's market. Gone are the days where housing inventory listed for sale was plentiful and home listings languished on the market.  Today is a different market.  Houston’s real estate market possesses the lowest level of inventory since 1999 at 3.7 months (see data in above table from HAR.com or click here).  What does 3.7 months of inventory mean you might ask?  Months of inventory measures the approximate number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market, according to HAR.com.”  A balanced market where neither a seller or buyer has an advantage is at an inventory level of 6 months.  Anything below this amount would be consider a seller’s market (where they have the advantage i.e. less negotiating power for the buyer) and anything above 6 months gives the buyer an advantage.  It really comes down to economics 101, supply and demand:  less supply and higher demand, price of a good goes up and the opposite is true when vice versa, more supply and less demand, the price of a good goes down.

    In taking into account the data showcased in the table above we can see the supply is represented by month of inventory and demand is represented by number of property sales and pending sales (properties under contract, escrow not closed yet).  You can see in the chart both have gone up as well as the average price rising year over year.  This trend is estimated to continue unless we experience a local recession, losing tons of jobs in Houston decreasing the buying power of the average buyer here.  In addition, if interest rates were to dramatically increase we could see softening of the market. However, Houston continues to create well-paying jobs that it may compensate for the increase interest rates (if it were to happen) keeping the buying power of buyers the same level since more jobs are being created.  Click here to access the economic data for Houston from the Greater Houston Partnership

    Ok, so now you know why properties are selling so fast and why there aren’t as many homes to look at.  It may seem like buying a home is not so easy, but have no fear, Mark G. is here!  I’m very experienced working in a limited inventory environment as my team and I in Los Angeles have been representing buyers and sellers for years in a limited inventory environment where levels are at 1-2 months. I have a strategy that will help you stand out from the rest and put you in a position to negotiate and get your offer accepted.  I also create custom websites for my buyer clients where they will receive the latest listings as soon as they hit the market so that we can see your desired home within 24 hour notice.  There are many steps to my home buying plan and I present the details of the process at my buyer consultations.  If you’d like a free consultation please feel free to e-mail me at marksellshtown@gmail.com or call my Houston direct line (832) 429-5117.

     

    JAN
    18
     
    Never before has Houston experienced an exciting and dynamic time such as now. Construction is everywhere. New establishments are opening every day. People are migrating here in droves. The landscape is changing and now the secret is out. Houston is leading the world in industry and commerce. Houston is the American dream.
    Recognizing Houston’s explosive economic growth and foreseeing the continued prosperity of the city I take pride in selling the various lifestyles that Houston provides. From large affordable new homes in the suburbs to condos, townhomes and multi-million dollar estates in the prestigious Inner Loop to commercial and investment properties, my team and I can help you facilitate the purchase, sale, or lease of any property.
    Since selling real estate has greatly change due to technology and the demands of consumers, I use all the latest tools in internet and social media marketing to maximize and enhance the exposure of properties that I list and represent. According to Klout.com the measurement for social media influence, my influence spans over 30k people throughout the world. Through this network I can help anyone with real estate needs in all 51 states. Clients benefit from my vast network, receiving excellent, highly skilled service.
    It is my belief that people don’t just buy and sell homes. People buy into a community for the lifestyle it provides, the amenities, sharing similar values as their neighbors and friends. It is this type of approach to selling real estate that creates buzz, draws emotional appeal, and as a result maximizes the price that homes I list sell for.
    When I’m not selling real estate, I spend my time enjoying Houston. I live in Montrose and enjoy the diversity and all the hip & cool things to do here. Love jogging the trails of Buffalo Bayou and Terry Hirschey Park. I enjoy exploring all the cultural exhibitions and restaurants that Houston has to offer. I also donate my time and fundraise for LIVESTRONG, The Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Asia Society, and The Women’s Home of Houston.
    Just “Google” me by entering “Mark Gonzales Realtor” to see what I’m about. Then contact me to see how you can benefit by having me as your Realtor.
    Awards and Experience
    - National Association of Realtors 30 Under 30, 2009
    - Bachelor's in Business Administration, Real Estate
    - Licensed in TX and CA
    - Commercial and Real Estate Investments
    - Top 15% of Realtors in the US 2008-2012
     
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