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Everything posted by rbarz

  1. I am not sure what a "crapload" is but I am guessing that if you looked at a map of Houston you would notice that a "crapload" of it is located in the floodplain. Check out the TSARP Map I would guess that 25% or less of Timbergrove is in the 100 yr or 500 yr floodplain. While areas like Bellaire are closer to 75%.
  2. I would say more often than not you can negotiate it out of the price, but there are many times you cannot. It is much easier to do with individual sellers. I had the same problem and it was enough to make me become a Realtor. The creative way around the 3% rule is to bill for your time as an attorney and amazingly come out to 3%! At least! You also might have to put down more money. And if it is a condo and considered "non-warrantable" then you're probably going to have to pay cash, because slews of banks have stopped lending all together on those units. ("non-warrantable" condos are those that have a certain percentage of non owner occupied units. It use to be 50% to 60% owner occupied units made the complex warrantable now the few banks that will loan on them want it to be something like 80% owner occupied!)
  3. Did you bid on 5510 Crooms? It was a house in Rice Military listed for sale for $220,000 and had many offers on it. I put one in for $237k, but someone paid $410,000 for it! It was by far the craziest bid I have ever heard of. I would bet money they were $100,000 more than the next highest bid. I was going to put a modest amount of upgrades in and put it back up for $399,000, $11,000 less than what some maniac paid for it as is! To answer the question, I have always heard of multiple bids, and as I understand it, there were plenty of them in the 80s... But as flipper says they are almost always on low priced bank owned properties. Although that is not always the case. Some really popular neighborhoods routinely have multiple bids for correctly priced homes.
  4. One of the cardinal rules of remodeling is to never show the house until it is complete. No mater what the buyers or your ill informed agent tells you, the buyers will not like it and will never come back to see it again. When I first started in this business I would break this rule for whatever reason I could come up with... the house is almost done, the buyers would beg me, the house is in such a desirable neighborhood with a lot of interest, etc. It always produced the same results and reinforced the rule over and over. I do think that feedback should be constructive, it really misses the point if it isn't. As a Realtor, I would personally monitor the feedback for my client and not just blindly forward everything to them.
  5. Not everyone likes to entertain so I could see this appealing to some people. Plus the view might only be from the third floor and I think a view is wasted more from the bedrooms than the living room and kitchen. I hope they installed a dumb waiter to get your groceries up to the third floor! I always thought it was crazy to have the master on the third floor... what happens when you do things like forget your keys? Jog up two flights and come back down... of course I am in the group that doesn't like the three floor townhouses. These look horribly ugly and I couldn't imagine them selling, but I am surprised all of the time!
  6. Why not have it all? I think the best value inside the loop is in Timbergrove. Nice sized ranch style homes on large wooded lots, many with the same price tag as a townhouse or condo in Rice Military.
  7. The ultimate example is 6040 Glencove... The listing agent was the owner and he would sometimes change the price daily. It varied between a sale price of $1.4M and $3M and a lease price of $5,800 and $65,000. I counted the number of times it was changed once and it was close to 70. Within a few months the price changes went like this: $1.895, $1.95, $3M, $2.95, $1.95, $1.895, $1.9. And that was only during the first half of 2004. I had a client offer $2M and he said something about how he needed to know the people? The house was up for sale and lease almost continuously from 2003, until David Mincberg bought it, wanted to tear it down, lost the election, and put it back up for sale for $2.695M. I can only come up with one reason for the price changes on that home...
  8. ABC news had a story on this. The bank decided it was cheaper to demolish the homes than complete them in a declining market. Most of them didn't even have dry wall up yet.
  9. Why would someone pay $399,000 for a home today, that had "an opening bid of $358,000" over 5 months ago?
  10. wow that sounds extremely expensive for what must take 3 or 4 guys and 1 day
  11. If your going to do it do it NOW so it doesn't develop into something worse... They were going to charge $5k to $7k just to get it dry right? Were they going to replace all the sheet rock and baseboards that were torn out?
  12. Who voted you #1? Which entity?
  13. Maybe you have a cracked sewer line and rain water is draining into it? Is that possible? I actually have the same problem when it rains... and I do not know what causes it.
  14. You have gotten to the bottom of it. You have an HOA that does not exist! The documents outlining the function and process of the HOA don't exist, which means that someone has to draw them up with the rules and regulations (with the help of an attorney), but EVERY ONE of the Deed holders has to sign them for it to be valid. There is no way for anyone to form one by themselves or with the developer and proclaim themselves King of your subdivision.
  15. You don't need to go to the Texas Property Code just yet. You need to find out if you actually have an HOA. It does not matter if you have never formed a board or collected dues, the HOA can still be in place. From what you are saying, It sounds like you do not have one since you are suppose to receive the deed restrictions at closing (or in the mail out with all of your closing documents). However, the title company might not have included it when it should have been. The only way I know to find it for sure is to go the downtown and search the property records. The easiest chain to follow is looking your sale up, then looking the plat up, and then the deed restrictions that will be attached to or referenced by the plat. The deed restrictions will have to say something about the HOA for there to be one. (The neighborhood that surrounds your redevelopment in all likelihood has nothing to do with your new subdivision) Many small developers in the past have not messed with the time and cost to form an HOA, even though you are eventually going to need one. What happens if the shared drive is cracked and needs repair or replacement? If there is an HOA then it should layout how a decision is made in your subdivision. It will tell you if everyone has to agree or just a majority, it would state who the original president/board is (the developer) and how to elect a new one, it would state if there are dues and how to collect them. If you do not have one then there is NO way (legally) for anyone to put up a gate without everyone's signed permission. There is NO way for any owner to force another to agree or force place an HOA.
  16. OSB works fine as long as it doesn't sit out in the weather for a long time. There are some recent conflicting reports on the vapor barrier issue... there has never been a lot of research for our climate and the new research suggests different techniques than are normally used for the vapor barrier. I wish I could elaborate... I'll try to find the link for the research. But, traditionally it is Siding, Vapor Barrier (Tyvek), OSB, Studs w/ insulation between...
  17. I remember looking at two homes on Tree Frog Ln... One of them was "flipped" and I remember being shocked that a re-modeler would attempt to sell something for $500k in that area. I believe it sold for something in the low $400s which makes it much less than this house per sf because that home was well over 5000 SF and sat on almost 3 acres. Regardless, Tree Frog LN is in the Black JR subdivision which is a really cool little pocket--it's like you entered a different town when you drive down that bumpy one lane street.
  18. I wouldn't consider Bonham Acres to be in the Meyerland market... Anything west of Hillcroft is pushing it and this is west of Fondern. It is by far the most expensive home on the market in the subdivision and if it sold at list price would be the most expensive ever sold in the subdivision. However, it is a really cool looking ranch (minus the kitchen) on a nice sized lot. Bonham Acres is a nice pocket in the area...
  19. "This Old House" did a show on that last year... try searching their website. www.ThisOldHouse.com But it sounds like you need to add weather stripping between the frame and window. You could have added spring balances instead of replacing the weights...
  20. The last foundation I did on a home needed a lift also. The house was 3400 SF on slab and was about 6" lower in the back. I hired the same foundation company I always use and they leveled and raised the home 9" (so a total of 15" at the rear of the home). They pumped a concrete and soil mix under the house for three days after fixing all of the plumbing. I don't think it is that big a deal, you just need more jacks and more men. Of course with a slab, the plumbing is toast, but with a pier and beam house you should be able to add extensions and there is no time consuming labor intensive fill to add under the home. I would give you the number to the company I use but they only do slabs. If I were you I would call regular foundation companies and ask if they can raise the home to your desired height and make sure you tell them you want everything raised at the same time, no piece meal, because ever sheet of drywall in the house will crack if they don't. You will still have cracks just not as many and certainly not as severe. I know Olshan and Atlas would do it, but they probably want about a billion dollars for it... last I heard they were charging like $425 a pier just for leveling (the going rate is around $115-$155). Let us know what people are bidding it at, I am curious... I would guess a decent rate would be around Olshan's leveling price (for everything - plumbing included).
  21. Too much water will also kill the grass. What kind of grass are you growing? The dead area is in full sun? St. Augustine just came out of dormancy a few days to a few weeks ago so it will still take a few months to fill in the dead areas. Pick up a few pieces of sod to help it out. You are also suppose to fertilize in April with a fertilizer that has a 3:1:2 ratio (which for some reason is difficult to find - especially at the Big Box stores - but is the best for our region) There are also a host of other problems your lawn could have... why don't you post a picture or two?
  22. How high do you need it lifted? I would have never paid the plumber more than his first estimate... How tough is it to come out from underneath the house and let you know that the first estimate was wrong?
  23. Scam. $5000 up front fee. The first time you visit the showroom is the "only time you will ever be allowed to join". They actually have people that pretend they are joining while you are there to entice you to join also. The Bonus is that you don't save any money compared to shopping around.
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