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Northwest Houston Real Estate Blog

Kufre 'Robert' Udoh

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 40

Our 7 Client Rule: Happy Clients

by Estela Pena

In any organization, club or business, one always thinks of acquisition of numbers, and we think we have failed if the numbers are low.However, I & my partner's measurement of success is how meaningful are our relationships with our clients.

 

We have a schedule for every activity in our Real Estate office, and we also have rules that govern our activities. Our primary rule is: THE SEVEN CLIENT RULE.  

 

In spite of the fact that we get distracted and excited about our present, past and future clients, we endeavor to keep it simple: We work with only 7 'active' clients at any given point in time. We dedicate all our time and efforts to seven special clients. This enables us to communicate, communicate, communicate at all times.

 

One of the main complaints that we hear from people is that they never hear from their agent in spite of the fact that they have left several messages. It is so frustrating to talk to cold and insensitive machines who talk to you and give you orders. Here is a message you may enjoy: 

"Hello, if this is the electric company calling, I don't owe you any money" "If you are a friend, you probably owe me money" "If you are one of my parents, please send me money". Well, most messages are not this amusing.

 

The best response is when you get a human voice on the other end of the line. We hope you are one of these SPECIAL SEVEN that captures all of our attention. Let's start this relationship today or no later than tomorrow. 
 

Buying , Selling or Renting a Northwest Houston Home - Call Robert Udoh at REMAX Professional Group (713) 305-8007 and become of the Seven
Written by Estela Malouf

 

 

 

Renting versus Buying in Northwest Houston

by Estela Pena & Robert Udoh

Renting Versus Buying in Northwest Houston

The age old question continues. Should I buy? Should I rent?
It will depend on your unique situation, however NOW should be the time you act. 
It’s decision making time for buying or selling a home. 
Buyers seeking a Northwest Houston home need to act as opposed to waiting because it seems home prices are still on the rise and interest rates are very likely headed higher. How they could get any lower?
Sellers; many sellers are cashing in on their equity. Homes typically appreciate at a rate of about 5% annually. Over the last 3 years we have seen incredible double digit year over year appreciation in many Northwest Houston neighborhoods. This has presently led to a slight increase in the number homes for sale. We expect this trend to continue. Sell now, if you’re selling is our recommendation, BEFORE you have more competitors.

We are presently in the process of helping a dear friend of ours move out of her 2 bedroom apartment and into a lovely 3 bedroom patio home in a gated community. Get this; her rent in the apartment is $1300 a month whilst her mortgage with the aid of a down payment assistance program will be $1,109. Although she’ll need an initial down payment investment of $4,400 to get into the home, this is offset by the fact that each year she lives in her home she is building equity. The low annual 4% interest will go a long way in ensuring she builds equity rapidly.
Conclusion: Buy now if you’re buying!!! 


Tierra Grande Magazine states,
“Housing affordability rests on the relationship between home prices and household incomes, both of which have risen over the past two decades. Since the Great Recession, however, home prices have increased but incomes have not kept pace, casting uncertainty on future Texas home affordability”

Call us & Buy Now if you’re buying OR sell now if you’re selling

Perfect Time to Own a Northwest Houston Home

by Estela Pena & Robert Udoh

Hello Friends. Estela found this article written by Erin Carlyle in Forbes Magazine (Jan 2015). We deemed it to be newsworthy.
Did you know our city of Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States? Owning property in this great city is a wonderful asset.
The article said,
‘Thanks in large part to the boom in horizontal drilling and fracking, which has helped the Houston Metro area add a whopping 667,800 new jobs since 2005, the energy city is an economic powerhouse: it’s 4.5% year-over-year job growth rate is the nation’s fastest.”
Furthermore Forbes adds “since 2009 the area has welcomed some 1,500 corporate relocations or expansions...”  Read the whole Forbes article here
Exxon’s move to the Woodlands created a huge buzz in our office. 
The amazing fact is that despite this incredible fast growth and strong economy, you still get a lot of house for your money.  Couple this with a relatively low cost of living, we couldn’t have chosen a better place to practice real estate if we wrote the script ourselves.  When I look at homes in other large cities, and compare them to homes Northwest Houston, Houston provides the best value by far.
Rapid residential and commercial developments in Cypress, Spring, Tomball and other beautiful areas In the Northwest have boosted the economy even further.
Northwest Houston is a wonderful and culturally diverse area.  The best place in our humble estimation to own your piece of the American dream!!
 

Should I take MY money?

by Robert Udoh & Estela Pena

The equity in my home has jumped!!!!


In the last 2 weeks I’ve received calls from a friend and a client who have a wonderful problem
Homes they bought for $125,000 and $127,600 respectively three years ago are now worth over $200,000. Nice predicament!!! Their question to me was “What do we do?”

Both homes are located in Cypress. I love the Northwest Houston real estate market. I’m so glad to be part of these exciting times.

I shared with my friends that every situation is unique. Here are some of the things we talked about.


•    Should I sell?
This is a fully loaded question, and the answer depends on several factors.  What is the present trend in the market? Up, down or will it level out? I have my OWN opinion on this and shared it with them. However, I helped them formulate and understand their own opinion.
Questions like, why did I buy the home in the first place? Where would I live after I sell my home? What do I plan to do with your this sudden windfall?  Would I regret it if I passed up the opportunity to cash out now and the market takes a sudden downturn? Should I take advantage of the still low interest rates to acquire a bigger house or should I be frugal, downsize, and save my money for a rainy day?  Should I take out a home equity loan, payoff some debt and improve the home?

We addressed all these and much more in detail. I’ve dealt with a lot of real estate challenges for my clients. This one was particularly sweet.

•    Conclusion
As I’m sure it’s now most evident to you, there is no “one size fits all answer”.  
However I know one thing.  I’m the REALTOR you want by your side, guiding you through your choices.
P.S.  Click here.  Know what your home is worth. Maybe you have the same problem as my friends

How to find your Northwest Houston Home

by Estela Pena & Robert Udoh

Hi and welcome to Estela's Corner of Northwest Houston 

This first blog of mine will be to aid you in finding your Northwest Houston Home.

I've owned several houses, helped my daughter, son and other family members get their homes and now I am working  with Robert Udoh at REMAX serving clients in Northwest Houston. I primarily help our clients find and select homes suitable to their personality and needs.

Your home is an extension of you. It must meet YOUR criteria. Budget, Size, Year, Location, Floor plan and Design are just a few of the elements you need to take into consideration.

Other factors of extreme importance, particularly in the present market is how informed, prepared, educated and responsive you are. We employ a 7 client rule specifically to ensure you are not lacking in any of these areas.

Our 7 client rule ensures we communicate with all our clients promptly.

We recently started using an application that helps our clients cover everything mentioned in this article. From Budget, Lifestyle, Mortgages, timing and closing procedures. Everything is covered. 
Join us in the search for your Northwest Houston Home here

Planning to get your dream home in Northwest Houston. Start your plans HERE  or call Estela with REMAX Professional Group 713-890-2731

Tips on Selling your Northwest Houston Home

by Robert Udoh - REALTOR

What’s Your Home’s Emotional IQ?

When it comes to selling your Northwest Houston home, the first attributes that will bring in prospective buyers will be found in your listing description: size, location, and all the details that either match prospects’ wish lists (or don’t). Price is in there, too. Next comes curb appeal, which can turn on or turn off prospective buyers. Although it is often the second “at bat” you get when you are selling your Northwest Houston home, it’s not usually decisive. The third attribute can be just that—a bunch of factors that can hook your ultimate buyers. 
Call it your home’s “emotional IQ.”  Everything else is important, but emotion plays a powerful role in selling your home. That’s because home is, well, home—where people hang their hats, raise their kids, and spend their precious downtime. When potential buyers come to your house, they may think they are checking out four walls and a roof, but they are much more likely to be seeking a place that tugs at their emotions. 
All very well and good, but how do you up your home’s emotional IQ (and snag the sale in the process)? Look objectively at your home, and then think about the emotional plays that will get them where it counts—through their senses. Give your home a quick sensory scan, looking for things that cue all five: 
Sight: Is your home clean? Is it decorated and staged (not so much that potential buyers can’t imagine themselves in it)? Make sure your home is as spotless as possible, and warm but not personal. When room entrances are arranged to feel open, they look welcoming: a strong way to please the eye. 
Sound: Does your home sound like a home? There’s nothing less emotionally pleasing than doing a walkthrough of a perfectly empty shell of a house. Attractive floor coverings (rugs and throws) can eliminate the unbroken echo of footsteps—and make your home feel more inviting; less clinical. And don’t forget a drop or two of 3-in-1 oil or WD40 for squeaking doors!
Smell: The nose is a powerful emotive factor. Aromas can evoke nostalgia, bringing on the feeling of well-being that comes with familiarity—but it can also sound alarm bells. Make sure the air doesn’t carry strong chemical or perfume smells. Better to throw a few cookies into the oven before walkthroughs arrive. It makes it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living, working, eating, and enjoying time in your home. 
Touch. Look for surfaces potential buyers may touch, and make them clean and inviting. Importantly, door latches and light switches should feel sound and serviceable. 
Taste: No—nobody can really taste a home, but selling your house may come down to leaving your personal taste at the door. It’s risky to forget to focus on the most tasteful place of all—the kitchen. The old real estate agent trope that gorgeous kitchens sell houses is more true than not, so if yours is hopeless, you may do well to spend your upgrade dollars in a modern, open kitchen space. 
How does your home’s emotional IQ add up? If you’re lacking in just one area, congratulations. You know what to fix, and a few subtle tweaks will help a lot. If you’re lacking in many areas, give me a call! I may be able to recommend some quick fixes, or point to a home staging professional. Don’t forget: Whether buying or selling your house, things can get emotional. Take a deep breath, remember the real purpose of a home, and be ready to move! 

Relocating From Northwest Houston

by Robert Udoh - REALTOR

Relocating from Northwest Houston is at Hand, Identifying the ‘Where’

Once you're mentally prepared for the relocating experience (to self: “it’s definitely the right move”), where is the first order of business. Perhaps you've outgrown your Northwest Houston home anyway—the family simply needs more space. Perhaps relocating is necessary for work reasons; or now that the kids have moved out, you're ready to downsize. No matter what the reason for relocating from Northwest Houston, thoroughly evaluating the possible destination communities before deciding to buy couldn’t be more important. 
While your real estate agent can be an invaluable resource in guiding you to the right home within your target area, the original question—designating the search perimeter—is pretty much in your wheelhouse. If you are not already committed to an area because friends or family make it an easy decision, one way to think about narrowing your choices is to recognize and prioritize the elements most important in your day to day living:
If you have kids, the quality of the school districts will play a major role in relocating. The web offers a number of rating and comparison sites (to find them, just search for ‘school district ratings’). How you winnow the field will be different depending on the age of your children and your own priorities. Once you’ve narrowed the field, you can get an inside look at where your kids might be studying if you include tours of potential schools in your house hunting forays. See if you can seek out parents of current students to get their take on the school's performance: it’s the bottom line. 
It may not be a major concern in all neighborhoods here in Northwest Houston, but remember that safety is paramount—so you want to choose a community that is comfortable for you. Again, the web makes this research much easier than in years past. Many police department websites include crime maps where you can find both nonviolent and violent crime statistics organized by zip code. Before relocating—in fact, even before you begin your property search—make sure the target areas are safe!
You might not be a resident of the new community just yet, but you can act like one during your research phase. Hang out at a local park; take a stroll through the neighborhood. Have a family dinner at a nice restaurant, and breakfast at the local diner (be sure to pick up any flyers that are laid out on the counter). Look for community events, like fairs or festivals. These simple experiences will give you a sense of the community—one that should make your move less intimidating. Just a little time spent in the neighborhood can help you decide whether the area feels right to you.
Population densities and traffic profiles can differ widely from what you are used to here. Some are pedestrian-friendly, others in a nearly permanent state of gridlock. Picture your daily commutes, whether you're heading to work, taking the kids to school, or both. How close are grocery stores, restaurants, and retailers? Are doctors' offices, salons, and other services handy—or a painful 25 minutes away? Looking beyond the house and at the community as a whole can make relocating the success you hope it will be.
If you have to leave Northwest Houston, the most fundamental stress-reducer is the one that comes first: the expert handling of the sale of your Northwest Houston home. Do give me a call: after all, that’s where I come in! 

Northwest Houston Foreclosures

by Robert Udoh - REALTOR


A Foreclosure in Northwest Houston —New Situation, Familiar Details


The Northwest Houston foreclosure situation is a good deal different from what we were discussing a few years ago when the tidal wave of 7.3 million foreclosures and short sales swept the nation. When The New York Times “Dealbook” recently pronounced that the supply of cheap foreclosed homes in America is dwindling, it came as news to…well, no one. 
Let’s face it: Northwest Houston investors wouldn’t need to look up the latest statistics to guess that number of offerings would be down. The continuing rebound in home values, slow but steady improvement in the overall economic picture, and even just the passage of time has to mean that the glut of subprime-crisis-era foreclosures would have worked their way through the system.  
But there are always new foreclosures, and for anyone hoping to make a bargain buy in today’s Northwest Houston foreclosure market, the same qualities that brought post-crisis success still apply today:
•    Knowledge of (or willingness to research) comparable neighborhood values
•    Realistic appreciation of rehabilitation costs
•    Decisiveness (willingness to act swiftly)
•    Ready access to investment capital
The principal difference in today’s Northwest Houston foreclosure milieu is that far fewer are available, and the difference between market value and listing price has narrowed. There may be fewer competitors to worry about, but some are still out there, as always. Today sees fewer institutional investors—in fact, some are leaving the market altogether, taking their profits and selling out to groups more committed to long-term property management.  
Aside from the qualities described, there is still no blanket formula for landing the best Northwest Houston foreclosure deal. But among other observations, there are two that are worth considering.
First, despite the lessening of the impact institutional investors previously had on the market, it may still be necessary to prepare to offer more than the listed price. The dwindling number of foreclosed homes tends to create an imbalance between supply and demand. If other buyers are offering higher amounts than the asking price, it can easily result in a bidding war situation. As always, by researching underlying values, the best investors avoid foreclosure buys that wind up being little more than break-even propositions.
Another wrinkle to be aware of is the possibility of future cost increases. For instance, it can transpire that an investor succeeds in purchasing a property significantly below its true value, only to find that a reassessment by taxing authorities raises its property tax bill through the roof! Canny investors prevent this surprise by finding out how the local Assessor’s office sets rates and schedules appraisals.
The Northwest Houston foreclosure picture changes constantly. If you are interested in the investment possibilities—or are looking for a buy on your next home—don’t hesitate to give me a call to discuss the latest offerings!

Men and Women Shop for their Northwest Houston Home

by Robert Udoh - REALTOR

Male, Female Northwest Houston House Hunters Score Different Priorities 

Last week, The Wall Street Journal made it official: they had a slow news day. It was February 11 (that was Wednesday) when they ran the feature story, “A Gender Gap in Real Estate.”
This was something Northwest Houston house hunters (not to mention those hoping to attract their attention) could certainly appreciate: an article about what men and women consider “very important” when it comes to features in homes. Author Adam Bonislawski based his story on National Association of REALTORS® survey information; the results pointed to some dissimilarity between what women and men look for. 
Now, I’ve had a good deal of experience helping both men and women house hunters in Northwest Houston, so it didn’t come as a complete surprise that their priorities differ. For instance, I was not at all surprised about the contrasting emphasis the two put on the importance of having a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The only surprise was that it was the men who found it much more important (38%-29%)! 
What about house hunters’ feelings about the importance of kitchen appliances being new? Same phenomenon: men 38%, women 29% (possibly because appliances are gadgets, and men like the newest gadgets). How important is it that a home be single level? The sexes reverse: Male house hunters think it is very important 18% of the time; women, 31%. I’d bet that within the 18% that are masculine we’d find a disproportionate number of stay-at-home dads.
House hunters registered a big gap when it comes to rating 9-foot or higher ceilings as very important. A miniscule 8% of females agreed, while nearly three times that many of their male counterparts thought so (21%). 
One harder to guess feature would have been the desirability of a kitchen island. Nineteen percent of male house hunters found it very important, versus just 8% of the females. Does this mean women are tired of entertaining? Do they no longer consider their masculine counterparts capable of sous chef action? Or is it that more men are taking over the cooking duties?
I’d have to admit, I’m less than certain that these national averages are 100% reflective of what house hunters in Northwest Houston prefer. Yes,  men certainly value attics (13%) more than the ladies (7%)—they do tend to spend more time up there (but neither are terribly committed to that form of high living). 
Being that these findings are sort of interesting (not fascinating, perhaps, but at least sort of interesting), you might be wondering why at the beginning I thought it was evidence that the WSJ was having a slow news day. It’s because of some tiny print at the bottom of a graph, which gave the date of the NAR survey—all the way back in 2013! More up-to-date is what we find unfolding for today’s Northwest Houston house hunters: give me a call to get the latest!

Marketing Your Northwest Houston Home

by Robert Udoh - REALTOR

Today’s Brave New World of Northwest Houston Real Estate Marketing

In Northwest Houston real estate as in many other businesses, successfully drawing the public’s attention, then communicating value, are what separate can-do practitioners from the pack. It’s pigeonholed under “marketing” instead of “selling” because the latter sounds more like a one-on-one activity, whereas “marketing” depicts the kind of effort that goes out to the world at large.
The past couple of decades have produced several changes in the way Northwest Houston real estate brokers and agents need to approach their marketing. It’s not just the way all the advertising and communications media have been transformed; it’s also the expectations of the people they are intended to reach—the buyers. When a homeowner intends to put his home up for sale, one way to insure success is to be aware of the elements that make up any marketing plan designed to take advantage of today’s 2015 Northwest Houston real estate marketplace. 
•    Technology is at the forefront of good marketing, and today’s REALTORs® can choose to put it to their clients’ advantage. A responsive website, striking visuals, good content, and specific details to accompany their business cards, brochures, and other traditional marketing materials build more than their own brand—they launch every client’s Northwest Houston real estate listing across the virtual Universe!
•    Today’s real estate market rewards creativity more than was hitherto the norm. Because the web has made so much information so accessible, having a knack for standing apart from the crowd is more important than ever. Using techniques to attract attention is the first step in guaranteeing marketing success, so understanding search engine optimization (and using that knowledge regularly) is vital. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I make sure to post this blog regularly!
•    A social media presence is a must for anyone conducting real estate in Northwest Houston —and it just so happens that it’s the perfect venue for REALTORs® to shine. It’s a very personal (well, not quite an in-the-flesh handshake—but as personal as electronics allow!) way to expand networks and engage people in a diverse cross section of prospective audiences.
•    Using electronic and social media is part of the story, but monitoring their effectiveness (“the metrics”) is a necessity to track how well they are working. By tracking this information and using the results to take advantage of what works best, every real estate client shares in maximizing their listing’s exposure.
Effective real estate marketing uses ongoing research—and the strategy and energetic tactics that reach out to take advantage of the whole spectrum of today’s communication resources. If you are thinking of listing your own home, I hope you’ll give me a call to see all that I can do for you!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 40

Contact Information

Photo of Robert Udoh Real Estate
Robert Udoh
RE/MAX Professional Group
10547 Fry Road
Cypress TX 77433
Direct: (713)305-8007
Office: (281)894-1000
Fax: (281)897-2729