Viewpoints: Kathy Tirey, Realtor, Wayne Stone Properties, Houston

by Houston Agent


Kathy Tirey is a Realtor with Wayne Stone Properties in Houston.

Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.

This week, we talked to Kathy Tirey, a Realtor with Wayne Stone Properties in Houston who has been involved in real estate since 1986.

Houston Agent (HA): Our coverage of the Ben Milam hotel implosion generated quite a bit of attention among our readers. Are you seeing much of a pickup in new construction in your area of Houston, or do we still have a couple years to go for that market to gain traction?

Kathy Tirey (KT): Having come from Florida, I was amazed when I arrived and actually saw new home construction, and not just one area – it was everywhere. Florida, the area where I had come from, had seen no new construction since 2006; the market began to actually feel and see the already collapsed market. New construction here, though, is amazing! More like an explosion! I visit builders regularly.

HA: Houston’s real estate market has received national attention for its 2012 performance; how does your business this year compare to that of 2011, and what are your predictions for 2013?

KT: My sales volume in 2012 has increased steadily each month compared to 2011. The Houston market has gotten stronger each month over the last year for me, and I feel absolutely positive that I can expect 2013 to be triple, or at a minimum, double what have done in sales this year! I have noticed less negotiating from sellers on my last several deals, and the buyers have moved forward in spite of the lack of price reductions or refusal to do repairs. The sellers are also sticking steadfast, even when appraisals are lower than purchase price. These are all indicators of a shift in the market; we are moving back towards a seller’s market.

HA: Finally, though housing is certainly on the path to recovery, there do remain homeowners in negative equity. What kind of advice to you give to prospective clients who are underwater on their current mortgage, but are interested in buying?

KT: Negative equity is not a rarity any longer. Even clients who you would think could never have problems are sharing difficult their times with Realtors. It has touched everyone.  I was in the first class ever offered for dealing with distressed property. I met agents at that time from California to Maine. There were stories during the class about people committing suicide, because they were losing the family home. Some  had owned it for 30 years, but because they had recently financed, within a few years, they were now in trouble. It was a sad time. Now, there are options: short sales (a whole book can be written on this!); deed in lieu of foreclosure; or even an assistance amount given to move out so you can start over.

With prices so low today, and interest rates even lower, a seller could still be at an advantage if they can afford to take a loss on their current home.  They can buy even bigger and better in today’s market for less.  Most can’t, but there are, slowly but surely, new ways to save your credit and still be able experience the American Dream. In our current mortgage situation, for many, that means being able to stay in your own home. If the home is underwater it no longer has to be the kiss of death. Things are improving daily!

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