Presently there are 12 homes and lots on the market for sale in Venetian Estates. Prices range from $595,000 to $1,995,000. We have two homes pending sale.
Signs of Inventory
Many of you have commented on the number of “For Sale” signs in VE. There are myriad reasons for the high inventory, but I can highlight a few. The Houston Realtor Magazine in August headlined with Housing Inventory Reaches Highest Level in Nearly Five years. I have always said that Venetian Estates does not follow the trends: at times when the market has been “hot” our homes have taken a little longer to sell and at other times when the general market has been extremely slow our VE market has been “hot!” However, Venetian Estates is not alone in experiencing higher-than-usual inventory and time on the market. Two Realtors I spoke with recently may have said it best. A Realtor from the Katy area said her clients are asking why their homes are not showing or selling and this Realtor said that for the first time in her 20+ year career she simply said to one client, “I DON’T KNOW; I SIMPLY DON’T KNOW!” Another Realtor who specializes in the Heights and Montrose areas said her million-dollar plus listings are not showing or selling. She said she is unsure whether it is related to the political climate or possibly the oil industry – but she said laughingly that prospects seem to be just plain flakey right now.
Specifically considering Venetian Estates, it’s important to remember that our prices have increased rapidly over the past few years. Land values have continued to rise because this neighborhood is exceptional in that it cannot be duplicated: large lots on recreational lakes, easy access and proximity to Highway 90, I-69 and Highway 6, and only minutes away from the Houston Galleria, Greenway Plaza and the Medical Center. It is very difficult for a prospective buyer to purchase a home and ‘make it their own’ (remodel/update) and still be under a $1 million budget. By the same token. it is almost impossible to purchase a lot in Venetian and build and remain under $1.5 million. With these price points the competition is fierce—buyers have a tremendous number of choices. Of course, we, as VE residents, would say there is no comparison between our neighborhood and any other place on earth! I do encounter prospects who fall in love with our neighborhood, but for the size home they need or want they must go to one of the master planned developments to stay within their budget.
The bottom line: we do have more homes on the market than is typical for our neighborhood. But just watch those signs disappear as the weather cools. We are working with several good prospects now and expect a great “end-of-year” market in VE!
Kelly Ferguson and I will host an open house at 203 Savoy on November 2 from 1 to 6 pm. Drop by after lunch for dessert or a little later for a glass of wine while you view this spectacular home! Please bring friends who have always wanted to live in VE or live elsewhere and don’t know what they’re missing! They will fall in love with this gorgeous 5-bedroom (4 of them downstairs!) home, complete with exquisite finishes, private guest quarters and beautiful lake view.
Warning to boaters…if you see a strange-looking object hovering above or following you around the lake do not panic! Kelly and I are having an informational video made with drone photography to showcase our lakes and point out all the wonderful attributes of Venetian Estates. We will be using this video to market our listings in Venetian Estates.
We recently negotiated leases on two of the highly sought one-story townhomes in Imperial. One was a long-term corporate lease. We also just closed on the sale of an Imperial patio home. Please call us if you’re interested in the area.
Apprised on Appraisals
Many of you know that the Dodd Frank Act created challenging new regulations for lenders. One of the major impacts fell on real estate appraisers, who must have an “arms’-length” relationship with lenders and Realtors. This is not problematic for homes in large or master-planned subdivisions (think Sugar Creek, Riverstone or First Colony), where there are ample sales and similar properties. However, the inability of lenders to handpick appraisers (who have experience with particular neighborhoods) can be devastating for a sale in a smaller, varied neighborhood such as Belknap Brookside, VE or Alkire, where there are many facets and “intricacies” that determine value.
FBRE has repeatedly provided value to clients by sharing “unrecorded” information with appraisers to help them understand and achieve appropriate values. We recently represented a buyer in Belknap-Brookside. The home was on the high side for the neighborhood, however, was priced fairly based on updates and improvements. Long story short: the appraisal came in $65,000 low on this $400k-price-range home! The home needed to appraise at value for the buyer to obtain the desired loan. We immediately suggested an alternative lender and Kelly Ferguson prepared a compelling appraisal package with pertinent information regarding the property and the area. It is extremely difficult to get an appraisal increase of$65,000 on a property in this price range – but we never give up and we got it done!