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Lee Hudman ABR CNE Clhms's Advice

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Lee Hudman ABR CNE Clhms wrote:

where are new townhomes in greater houston

Answer
The vast majority of new townhomes are in the inner-loop: 77006,77007,77019,77098,77018,77008,77009
June 03
(0)

Yes or no ?

Answer
Depends.  Are you buying to live in or rent? If you want to live there, is the bad neighborhood an issue for you?   If you want to rent it out, what are other similar units renting for, and how long does it take to rent units? What will it cost to rehab?  I assume 12% interest rate is your mortgage rate, which is VERY high. If  $250 is HOA,  what does that include - any utilities?, exterior maintenance?, building insurance? How stable are the financials for the HOA?  Is 13 years the time left on an existing mortgage?????  Is this an assumption of an existing mortgage???? Can the existing mortgage be assumed or is this a wrap?If a wrap, can you be sure the current mortgage hold will pay the mortgage when you pay them?  How easy would the unit be to resell if needed in the future? If there are a lot of rented units, then any buyer in the future would have to mostly likely be a cash buyer.   If you are going to rent it, how many months can you afford with no tenant in the place?  There are too many unanswered and not very clear issues to give a better answer.  My gut tells me that if you are not a knowledgeable investor, know up front what costs to expect, have good rehab contractors that you know well and can depend on, and cannot afford to take a hit when the unit is not rented, then this might not be in your best interest to pursue.  
May 22
(1)

BURGLAR BAR ON YOUR RENTAL PROPERTIES.... GOOD OR BAD??

Answer
Bad. It scares potential renters, and improperly installed bars (no way to easily open from the inside) are dangerous. Some insures will not insure a home that have these old type of bars   Same goes for homes for sale, because bars hurt the property value.  I live in, and most of my business is in, the inner city.  There is a lot of petty crimes, and most are crimes of opportunity.  Good outdoor lighting, trimming landscaping for less places to hide,something simple as an alarm sign (whether you have one or not), and plain old common sense (don't put a big empty new TV box out on the street for the garbage workers to pick up), work well.  The perps will move on to easier pickings.   Why anyone would feel safe living in a cage is beyond my comprehension.
April 20
(1)

How can I confirm who the owner of an advertised rental property actually is?

Answer
You are being SCAMMED!  I've had one of my own property lease listing photos taken, reposted as a new lease listing at a bargain rate. The property was listed in a general area of the city, instead of a specific neighborhood, so it was nearly impossible for me to find it.    The "owner" could only be contacted by email, was "out of the country and forgot to leave keys with a neighbor", and required money be sent by Western Union for keys in return, and was looking for a "good person" to "take care" of their property. The emails used the name of the owner taken directly from the tax rolls, and this person was DECEASED!  The person being scammed drove by the property and saw my for lease sign out front and finally got a clue that they were being scammed and called me.
March 27
(0)

Do you think you are being scammed on a rental property in the Houston area?

Answer
I had this happen on one of my rental listings on Craigslist.  The perps took my property photo and info, and relisted it at a very low price in a generic area, instead of a specific neighborhood, and no address. This made the fake listing very hard for me to find without going through every single lease listing.  I found out about it when a potential renter drove by the property and saw my sign out front.  The "owner" had been "transferred" to Africa and had "forgotten" to leave the keys with anyone in the states.  They were looking for "great tenants" that would love they property as much as they did.  They wanted the tenants to send them money and they would send them the keys.  The "owner" responded via email, and used the name of the owner from the tax rolls - which happened to be a deceased person.  The current owner had only bought the property a few months before, so the tax rolls still had the previous owners name listed.  I've not run into this problem on Zillow or Trulia, but I have had a problem with those sites overlaying a home for lease on top of a home that was also for sale, so people thought that they could buy the property at the lease price, and they would get VERY angry at me when they called and I explained that the problem was with the third party site overlaying the lease on top of the for sale listing.
January 08
(0)

Should the Seller accept an offer without a Pre-Qualification Letter from the Buyer's Lender?

Answer
Any serious buyer should have at least a pre-qual. letter. That can be done over the phone with a lender.  A truly serious buyer will have a pre-approval.  I won't even let a buyer into my car without at least a pre-qual. Accepting an offer without any buyer financials (whether a pre-qual. or a pre-approval) and marking the property as pending puts the seller at risk of losing other potential buyers that  have done their due diligence up front.  Probably the easiest thing to do is to simply tell the potential buyer that you appreciate the offer, want to make the offer work as a win/win, and make getting the pre-approval a requirement as part of the negotiations on the terms and conditions.  That will buy you some time and remove the risk of losing other potential offers.
December 14 2013
(0)

Why isn't Zillow current and thorough on sold properties?

Answer
Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com and other such third party sites are mostly fed from the local MLS boards (in my case Houston, TX is  www.har.com), and manually by agents and sometimes the public.   All of these third party sites are notorious for being out of date, incomplete, and inaccurate. The sites often overlay homes that are for sale and for rent at the same time as well, thus causing even more confusion and inaccuracies.  Texas is a non-disclosure state as well.  I always recommend to my clients that use these sites to be aware of this, and to take any home listing, or value estimates with a grain of salt. In the areas that most of my own business is in, pricing is very difficult due to no two properties being alike (inner-city), and most value estimates are always 20-30% off (mostly too low) of true market value.
December 10 2013
(0)

Who pays for title policy? Should the Seller pay for it, or should the Buyer pay for it?

Answer
I've been an agent in Houston for 23 years. Who pays is definitely negotiable, but 99.999% of the time the buyer pays for it on new construction, and the seller pays for it on resale homes.  
December 08 2013
(1)

Why do property taxes in Houston vary so much on a single property?

Answer
The rate is the same, it's the value on HCAD that changes. It is very confusing.  I've never quite figured out why HCAD displays the tax assessment % the way that it does. Note that  West U and Bellaire and other cities within Houston proper have different rates.  As a general rule of thumb, always use the worse case scenario to estimate taxes, which is 2.9% of sales price (or if not purchasing then HCAD value) without exemptions.
September 09 2013
(0)

Recent College Graduate: Looking to get into the real estate industry.

Answer
I've been a full time agent for over 21 years, and I can tell you that I've seen lots and lots of agents cycle in and out of the industry. There is a huge turnover.  It is definitely not for everyone.  Be prepared to be on a roller-coaster ride most of the time.  The industry, and your income, is affected by so many things that are not under your control.  This is not a 9-5 job.  Be prepared to work at least some every day. Be prepared to pay for everything out of your pocket.   Getting relo business is difficult on your own because most big companies use firms that specialize in relo, and the agents involved pay a big chunk of $$ for those referrals. Getting your license is the easy part.  Learning the business is the hard part.  People are asking you to help them with the largest financial transaction in their lives, so you need to  know what you are doing.   I would recommend at least a full years needed income be saved up front.  Six months is not enough. You might want to be an agents assistant first to see how you like it.   I think that the biggest mistake that I see is the "I love working with people!" so all that I have to do is sit here and wait for the phone to ring and I'll make 3% of the sale.  It does not work that way.  There is a LOT of competition out there.  Like many industries, 20% of the people make 80% of the sales.
August 31 2013
(1)