Real Estate Information Archive


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July 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month’s feature video will discusses the difference between an FHA and a Conventional loan. The federal housing administration or the FHA provides a loan guarantee program in lieu of private mortgage insurance so qualified borrows can secure a mortgage loan with a low down payment. The FHA doesn't lend you the money, it guarantees the loan so that the lender doesn't take on a financial risk by extending you credit.

The USA Department of Housing and Urban Development's website can help you locate HUDS approved counselors in your area who can answer questions about FHA loans. The most popular FHA loan has a minimum down payment of 3% but allows 100% of the money needed at closing to be a gift from a relative, a nonprofit organization or government agency.

FHA loans are assumable, that means you can transfer your loans to the new owner if you sell your home. To assume the loan the buyer has to meet to credit standard for the loan, this feature can make it easier to sell your home. This provision isn't found in the conventional mortgage form. Under a conventional loan the sale of the subject property triggers a due on sale clause. The biggest disadvantage to FHA loans is the mortgage insurance premium, although conventional loans with less than a 20% down payment also require mortgage insurance coverage.

Consumers need to shop rates when looking for FHA mortgages just as they would a conventional loan because the rates are established by the lender not the government. FHA loan interest rates are typically higher than conventional or non-government guaranteed loan rates but shouldn't be significantly higher unless you have credit problems. The current state of our economy and the housing market in general have made FHA loans much more viable and popular.

There is a lot to know about owning a home. A realtor is always your best source of information for all your real estate needs.

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The June 2013 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

How to Negotiate the Best Real Estate Deal

Should You Buy a Used Home Instead of a New Home?

Home Owner Misperceptions About Flood Insurance

Tips for Staging Kitchens and Bathrooms When Selling 

Moving Day Guide and Checklist

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

What Gives?

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

"God is in the details." 
~ Mies van der Rohe, architect
"The devil is in the details." 
~ Unattributed
People often characterize themselves as either "big picture" or as "detail oriented." Truth be told, we need to be a little of both. 
Accounting for the details often brings images of sweating over the small stuff. If we've got a good view of the big picture, why fret the details? Whether in an architectural rendering, or for a dinner party, or in a contract, details definitely help transform an idea into a full-blown reality. Just as importantly, the very thought that goes into those details gives us the opportunity to be creative in our actions. Our attention to “the little things” shows our craft with tools, our skill with clients, or our ability with language. 
Some confuse detail with flash, but even the simplest home can still illustrate its detailing in how well it is constructed and how gracefully it uses space. A good manager understands how environment, scheduling, praise and celebration can increase morale and productivity. 
By not letting the little things slip by us, we are able to gain a much deeper understanding of another person, a job at hand, and even ourselves. Such attention to detail is beneficial to everyone involved, and that's the point. 
Forget those details and that’s when the devil appears! The Big Picture is an absolute necessity, yes. You’ve got to be able to visualize your goals. Just don't forget to plan for and paint in not only the necessary details, but also those that that reflect your personality through their beauty, art, and skill. If you can just work it through, you’ll find that sometimes your devils are really angels in disguise!

Turn On The Light!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

"No matter where you go, there you are." 
~ Unknown
Ever felt crippled by fear? Perhaps you dread that unwanted phone call, that knock on the door, or the return of pain. What makes it worse is your imagination. Your mind conjures up all sorts of imaginary shadows on the wall or things that go bump in the night.
Remember when you were just a kid? You saw those shadows on the wall and cried out in fear. Your mom or dad came in, turned on the light, and "Voila!" - no more shadows on the wall. Simply by exposing your fear to light you learned to overcome your fear.
Now you're an adult and your fears are different, more complex, yet most are still conjured up by your imagination. Fear of the unknown holds you in its grip. Where is the light that used to save you?
The light is still there - with one difference. Now, as the adult that you are, you must be the one to turn on the light. It is up to you to expose the fear for what it usually is - a figment of your imagination. Fear is most easily overcome through exposure. Take time alone to examine your fears, determine their origin, and overcome their crippling effect on you.
If you suffer from a health problem, get a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan. If creditors are calling, face them, and then determine how you allowed yourself into the present situation. If sales are down, adjust your marketing approach.
It takes faith on your part to know you have the power to overcome your fears. Hence another quote: "Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there."

Spectacular Golf Course Property located in The Woodlands TX

by Lorna Calder

~ Luxury | LifeStyle | Location ~

What an incredible home! I just can't say enough great things about this Luxury Home in The Woodlands...


If you or anyone you know is in the market for a house of their dreams, this one could be the one. Please contact me for more information or view the details of this property here.

Tough Love!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

"The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children." 
~ Clarence Darrow  
Of course we all love our children, but who doesn't chuckle when he reads this quote? Perhaps we have all secretly begrudged the behavior of our kids, whether they're five years old, fifteen years old, or even fifty! We try so hard to teach them the lessons our parents tried so hard to teach us, and then we're actually surprised when they toss out all our advice and decide to make their own mistakes (just like we did?).
Sometimes our love for our children drives us to blindly support or overprotect them. And sometimes we are driven to give them so much that we have little (time, money, energy) left for ourselves. Al Bernstein said, "If you want to recapture your youth, just cut off his allowance." That is, sometimes the best answer for your child (and yourself) is "No."
They may not like this answer, and it may be even more difficult for you than for them. How can any loving and reasonable parent refuse their son's or daughter's request for help, be it monetary or otherwise? Because sometimes the hardest lessons cannot be learned from sage advice or throwing money at a problem.
As a parent, it may be one of the most difficult questions we'll ever have to answer. Where do we draw the line for satisfying their needs while putting ours aside? Of course, that answer will vary from parent to parent, child to child, situation to situation. I'm not trying to put on Dr. Dobson's hat, but at some time in our lives, many of us may reach that point where it's time for our children to take responsibility for their actions and grow into strong and independent adults. Just like us, right?

Have What It Takes To Be Happy?

by Lorna Calder

  Monday Morning Coffee

"Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to personal peace." 
~ G. Weatherly 
You've been hearing about this sort of thing on the news lately - people who have suffered a terrible loss at the hands of violent criminals, but still find it in their hearts and minds to forgive those who have trespassed against them. Their interviewers pose questions like, "How in the world can you forgive the man who killed your daughter?" or "How do you find the strength to pardon someone who has wronged you so horribly?" 
These people are often guided by their faith, but they sometimes surprisingly answer that their anger and hatred would simply kill them if they did not find a way to get rid of their negative emotions. Before they find a means of forgiveness, they develop ulcers, grey hair, migraine headaches, digestive disorders, and so on. 
These people end up realizing that the only way back to health - both mental and physical - is to come to peace with the tragic events that have affected them. They come to realize that they have no control over these events, and they even discover a way to erase any of their own guilt associated with the events. Anger, accusation, guilt, hatred - we all know the mental toll that these emotions take, but all these emotions eventually manifest themselves physically as well. 
Hopefully you haven't experienced the kind of loss that these people have, but you can try to learn their difficult lesson. Let go of negative emotions associated with things that are out of your control. You can find personal peace and well-being in the satisfying feeling of forgiveness. It may not even be a specific person that you are forgiving, but maybe just a set of unhappy circumstances. 
Take steps this week to identify something or someone that you feel negatively about. Search your heart and your mind for a way to understand that the longer you feel so badly, the worse it will continue to make you feel. Take back the control you've relinquished to people and circumstances around you. You can rise above the negativity around you and create something positive and inspiring. 

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




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