Categories Cash Offer

Top 4 reasons to sell your home TODAY!

Top 4 Reasons To Sell Your Home TODAY

Some people wait for specific events to occur until they are forced out to sell their home.  Whether it be a natural disaster, divorce, or another unforeseen circumstance. However, we are here to help inform you that selling your home in a state of panic can be a very emotional and challenging experience. Sadly, the market may not be supportive of your decision at that specific time. That is why we want to share with you why NOW is a good time to sell your home.

1. It Is Currently a Seller’s Market

First and foremost, let’s address the current market for people selling their homes: IT IS A SELLER’S MARKET. What does this mean? This indicates low inventory, high selling prices, low interest rates, and motivated buyers. With all of these factors in play, it makes it the perfect equation for a potential seller. If you are thinking about selling your home, do it now before the market shifts.

Let’s take a look at the Baytown Market to better understand HOW and what factors make it a seller’s market.

Low Inventory. Compared to July 2017, there are 10% LESS available homes on the market in July 2018.

High selling prices. Over the last five years, there has been a consistent upwards trend in home values in Baytown, TX. Average annual increase ranges from 5% – 10%. Recent economic reports identify an anticipated downshift in this trend however.

Motivated buyers. Millennials are HERE and ready to buy a home. FORBES estimates that 80% of millennials are seeking the opportunity to own a home because there is a sense of freedom in investing in real estate. A trend that is leading them out of their parents basements and into the home buying market.

Low Interest Rates. This is not unique to Baytown, but well addressed in the media nationwide. Interest rates are rising! Currently lingering at 4%, if interest rates rise, the buyer pool will decline. This means less buyers for you and a lower selling price!

2. Get Out of Debt

Sell your home, get the cash, and get out of debt! It is time to stop playing the mouse and cat game with your finances. Selling your home can provide capital to assist in paying off those pending debts. Americans have $3.898 trillion in debt currently, according to the Federal Reserve. This debt is a combination of credit card debt, auto loans, and school loans.

Accruing continuous debt can have significant impacts on your credit score and your potential for a secure financial future. Selling your asset can provide you with the capital to get out of debt and invest in a lower cost opportunity at reduced interest rates.

Once you get out of debt, the next most important thing you can do is reduce your expenses. Selling your home can provide the opportunity to:

● Downsize: Find a home that requires less maintenance costs and less time.

● Reduce property taxes: Research surrounding areas to see if you can save on your annual tax bill.

● Find a property that better suits your needs!

3. Change Your Investment Strategy

If you have owned your home for some time, you may be comfortable where you are and lack the motivation to move. However, ignoring the opportunities could be losing you money. Since it is a seller’s market, and you are sitting on equity, there may be an opportunity to improve your financial situation by changing your investment strategy.

Selling your home and transitioning into a duplex could provide you with the opportunity to become an investor and a homeowner. Many individuals are transitioning their capital to an income producing property. This option means that you can live in one unit and rent out the other, possibly providing coverage for your mortgage payment.

4. Follow Your Dreams

Owning a home and staying in one place was considered the “1950’s dream.” However, is it your dream? Thousands of Americans are taking the leap and moving abroad in hopes to learn about cultures around the world and try something new.

Although your dream may not be as drastic as moving to another country, obtaining the cash may provide you with the opportunity to get out of your rut and make a move towards a life you dreamt of living.

We here at Gulf State Homebuyers are supportive of all of our clients no matter what reason they having for deciding to sell their home. We provide honest assessments of their homes values and make offers that are comparable to on the market deals. If you are seeking a change, whether it is to improve your financial position or follow your dreams, we are here to help.

Just contact us and we can share with you stories about how we helped our clients make the change they were fearful to do. We can also provide a FREE consultation on whether this is the right time for you to make a move.

Categories Tips

10 Tips To Increase Your Home’s Value

10 Tips To Increase Your Home’s Value


Thinking of selling? If the answer is YES, consider the following tips to help improve the market value of your home.

1. Invest in the Small Improvements

Chances are, your walls are sporting a few dents, and not all of your pipes are exactly free of leaks. They’re easy to ignore, but seemingly insignificant issues like these can actually drastically decrease the value of your home. Fixing them has myriad benefits – it both increases the front-end listing price and reduces the number of “negotiating tools” a potential buyer might try to leverage. “Negotiating tools” refers to any minor repairs that a buyer could frame as a weekend project – repairs that they utilize to justify a reduced offer on the basis that they’d be taking on an additional burden.

2. Try Low-cost and Low-maintenance Landscaping

You’ve probably heard that “first impressions are lasting!” The adage holds true, especially for home buyers. When a potential buyer walks onto a new lot, they instinctively place the home into one of two categories: “Buy It” or “DON’T”. A visually appealing entrance and manicured yard can both increase value and ensure buyers’ recognition of the property by setting your property out from the crown. A few simple tips to improve your landscaping include:

● Plant drought-resistant plants
● Clean up hedges
● Prune shrubs and small trees
● And mow the lawn!

3. Get Your Home Inspected

Save the buyer the hassle, and do it yourself. You are now conveying to a potential buyer that you are serious about selling, which once again diminishes their repertoire of “negotiating tools.” Furthermore, you can address all issues that may have been found in the escrow process, reducing your risks of a buyer backing out of a deal.

4. Replace Your Bathroom Faucet

Bathroom faucets are easy to replace and add significant value to the overall aesthetic of you bathroom. Pick a clean and versatile look that will pair with any style or decor. Adding a small, simple update can give the buyer the illusion that the home has recently been remodeled. While making improvements in the bathroom, try caulking around the bathtub and installing a low-flow toilet as well. These small additional upgrades can go a long way.

5. Paint Your Home

Get rid of the old school colors and go neutral. Everybody has different preferences, and as a seller, you want to provide your buyer with the opportunity to imagine the home of their dreams. Painting the interior of the house in neutral tones enables a potential buyer to more easily imagine adding their own touch to the home. Research indicates that neutral color schemes score as the top-selling interior colors – their timeless appeal transcends the tastes of generations.

6. Cut Energy Costs – Go Green

Going Green” is the newest trend, and it can save homeowners thousands in the end. Try these simple improvements and market your property as a “green” living space.

● Purchase a new water heater
● Assess your air HVAC system
● Replace the windows with high-efficiency windows
● Replace old bulbs with LED Lights
● Install solar panels

7. Keep It Clean

Trash and dirty, unkempt spaces are likely to scare away potential buyers. In their minds, a dirty home is indicative of poor maintenance practices and a general lack of upkeep. Buyers need to feel confident that mold and other unsightly grime hasn’t been building up in the corners and under the baseboards to start haunting there nostrils with the arrival of the year’s first heat wave. Additionally, a messy previous home owner is less likely to notice more serious or permanent damage caused to the cosmetic appearance of doors, windows, railings, and other upgrades.

8. Open The Space

If you are planning on selling soon, clear out the clutter! New home buyers want to see an open space so that they can imagine their belongings in the home. If you have a little more time, open the space further…knock out those unnecessary non-structural walls, for example, and create an atmosphere of possibility and invitation. Opening the space creates a flow in the house, especially for younger buyers who are seeking an open concept home.

9. Fix or Replace Flooring

Depending on the condition of the flooring, it may be beneficial to make a change. If you are stuck in the 1970’s with rag carpet, try installing hardwood floors. If you have a squeaky floor or broken tile, fix it! The floor is also a tool for opening up space and provides opportunity for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in the home. Everyone knows that this repair can be timely, so remove that future burden from a potential buyer.

10. Upgrade The Kitchen

While this upgrade can be one of the costliest, it has the potential to increase your home’s value up to 7%! If you pursue a modern aesthetic, you increase your buyer’s pool; try installing stainless steel appliances or quartz countertops. You do not need to rip everything out, but merely facilitate the illusion that the home is brand new.

At The End Of The Day…

Remember that all of the time and money you invest in the home only helps increase the selling price. However, in the end…ALWAYS weigh the benefits of investing your time and energy versus selling now.

Selling as-is creates an opportunity to get out without all of the work! Many individuals are not in a place to invest money, or they simply do not have the time to make these repairs – if that is the case for you, that’s okay! Remodeling is not for everyone.

Our suggestion: get your house evaluated BEFORE making the investments. You may be sitting on a gold mine you were unaware of. We here at Gulf State Homebuyers would be happy to provide you with a free assessment to help you determine what the next best option is for you!

Categories Landlord

The Ugly Truth Behind Renting Out Unwanted Property

The Ugly Truth Behind Renting Out Unwanted Property


When you hear of real estate investments, what comes to mind?

Most individuals in today’s society have a vague understanding of the benefits of becoming a real estate property owner – it can provide a passive income, create financial opportunity and wealth, and protect individuals against losing capital through inflation. Therefore, when people acquire properties, they often believe that renting the unit or units is the best option. However, renting properties is not an easy task and unless you are 100% committed, it may be damaging to your well-being, including emotionally, physically, and financially.

Emotionally. Managing a rental property can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. You may be dealing with troublesome tenants or unexpected neighborhood changes. You must always be knowledgeable of the market and up to date with current trends.

The challenges associated with maintaining the property can have adverse effects on your relationships – especially if you are resentful of the concept that you must manage the asset you have acquired. The increased stress level can create short tempers, aggravation, and mental fatigue.

Physically. Emotional stress can take a burden on you physically, creating unexpected exhaustion – it sets off a series of reactions in your body that affects your sympathetic nervous system. Continued stress without proper care can slow or shut down your digestive system, increase cardiac output, and increase blood sugar. The effect on your body is that it places your body in “flight” mode.

Furthermore, managing a property often takes a physical strain to complete any maintenance. Depending on the help that you have, you may be responsible for maintenance issues such as fixing roofing and reflooring a unit. This work is physically exhausting and can cause sudden and unexpected pains throughout your body.

Financially. Investment properties do not guarantee an income – especially unwanted properties. There is specific knowledge and expertise that must be practiced at all times to ensure the financial benefits of the unit.

Can you afford the cost of maintenance? Can you pay the taxes? Can you balance a profit and loss statement? Can you risk having vacancies and poor tenants? These are all questions to consider when analyzing the pros and cons of managing an unwanted property. When examining the profit and loss statement, consider the following:

● Repairs can be expensive
● You will be responsible for taxes
● Vacancies can create negative cash flow
● Marketing vacancies will cost money
Laws protect tenants – even bad ones
● Owning real estate can have unexpected legal issues arise
● Real estate owners are responsible for liability insurance

It may be time to assess if renting out your property is the best-suited option. This is especially important to consider if you obtained the property unexpectedly, whether through a divorce or inheritance.

Is Selling A Better Option?

It may seem irrational to sell a property when there is a potential to get income. However, knowing the risks can not only save you money in the long run but also protect your health. If you inherit an unwanted property, there are options you have if you sell the asset.

● Sell your property and find a property that interests you. Success in real estate requires attention and passion. If you have the opportunity to capitalize on an inherited property to purchase a unit that you would enjoy managing, go for the chance. For example, if you inherit a property two hours away from your home, consider selling and purchasing a rental home nearby. This simple move can provide you the same advantages of owning the original, but also save you time and money from reduced commute time.

● Use the equity from the house to pay off your debt – then invest in real estate. If you wanted to utilize the income to get ahead, try getting extra funding built up and then using those funds for investing in other ventures and types of profitable transactions. This method provides you with more risk availability when you are managing an asset – for example, holding out on renting a vacant unit for a better tenant will not be as much of a risk if your entire livelihood doesn’t depend on the income.

● Invest elsewhere – maybe real estate is not for you, and that is okay! There is a multitude of ways to invest your money, whether it be in stocks or bonds. All investment options have the potential for wealth growth, so indulge in the one that interests you.

If you are looking to sell, you have two options – sell on the market or find an off the market buyer. Selling on the market takes time and energy. Selling off the market, however, can provide ease to the transactions and reduce the time frame.

If you are interested in exploring your options, contact us at Gulf State Homebuyers and we can get started with a FREE consultation.

Categories Inherited

What To Do With An Inherited Property

What To Do With An Inherited Property

Most individuals who inherit a property are not prepared for what comes next. Due to the emotional distress of losing a loved one, the logistics associated with managing a newly inherited property are often overwhelming and are the last thing anyone wants to deal with. We’re here to make that process a little easier by outlining the basics of what you can do with an inherited property and the details associated with each option.

Before deciding what to do, you must first identify who has the right to make the final decision. If there are joint inheritors, for example, you all must agree on your course of action – if there are challenges in that process, the dispute will need to be placed into legal hands. However, if you are the sole inheritor, there is no need to worry about sharing the decision.

To get started, it is important that you first understand the laws associated with inheriting a property in the state of Texas. This information can help you make a final decision on what to do with the property:

● There is no state inheritance or estate tax for Texas properties. There may be federal estate tax due only if the property value exceeds $11.18 million.

● A child under the age of 18 cannot legally inherit a property. They may, however, be named beneficiary to a trust, and the trustee can manage the future of the property.

● Following someone’s death, their assets typically enter into probate – probate is the official way that an estate gets settled under the supervision of the court and is implemented to prevent fraud. However, the state of Texas treats small estate rulings differently by removing the necessity for formal court hearings to determine the actions for the estate. If an estate is valued below the “small estates” limit ($50,000 or less), then the inheritors can settle the future of the estate with an affidavit.

Once you have reviewed the basic laws, it is time to look at your options and determine your next step:

Keep the Property

You can keep the property to live in yourself or rent it out as an investment property. If you live in it yourself, there are a few things you will need to consider before packing your belongings.

Does the property have any debts, or are there any taxes due on it? If there is a mortgage on the property, or if there are taxes due (either back taxes or annual taxes), you will now be responsible for the payments. Before keeping the asset, consider whether or not you can afford these additional expenses! The last thing you want is to overlook this detail and have the home repossessed.

What is the condition of the property? Was the interior and foundation kept up? If the answer is no, then ask yourself: do you have the finances and time to repair the house? Rehabbing a property can be costly and time consuming – is this something you want to do? In order to gain a full understanding of the financial burden this could have on you, have the home inspected and assessed by a professional.

As an investment property, ask yourself the same questions. Then ask yourself – are you in the market to manage a real estate asset? Although this can be a great source of income, it can also require much time. Additionally, if you decide to utilize the asset as an investment property, remember you will now also be responsible for paying income tax on the profit you earn from the renters.

Sell the Property

If you decide not to keep the property, whether it is due to familial or financial issues, then you can sell the unit. You can either utilize a real estate broker or find an off-the-market buyer.

If you are looking to list the property, you would take similar steps as if you were listing any other asset. First, you would hire a real estate agent to list the property on the market. Then, the agent would be responsible for marketing and negotiating with potential buyers, fighting for the best deal on the property. Once a buyer was identified, the property would go into escrow and close according to the contingencies negotiated.

Keep in mind that selling with a real estate agent can be time consuming, especially considering the added burden of having suffered a loss. Most individuals who inherit a property are taking on an unexpected responsibility and do not want to go through the hassle of hiring, marketing, and negotiating a deal on the home. Therefore, selling to an off-the-market investor can be the best option.

Choosing to sell to an established investor can often be the lowest-hassle opportunity for individuals experiencing emotional tumult. All-cash investors can provide the capital for families to pay off back taxes or past due mortgages, or they can create an easy resolution to joint inheritors who are locked in a dispute on what to do with the property. Settling for an all-cash offer also provides some closure and allows individuals to shut the door on a painful chapter of their lives.

The Next Step

No matter what you are debating on doing, it is always recommended to seek a professional opinion. Emotions run high in a time of loss, and individuals’ thinking may be unclear. We here at Gulf State Homebuyers specialize in working with inherited property and would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Our goal is to help you identify what the best options are for you and your family as you begin to heal.

Categories divorce

Selling Your Home After A Divorce

Steps to Selling YOUR Home After A Divorce…in Texas

Generally speaking, divorce is not a pleasant event in anyone’s life. Regardless of whether it is amicable or contentious, it is never easy. To make things more challenging, beyond the emotional havoc brought on by separation, there is the splitting of assets to be dealt with.

Couples who have divorced and own a home together have to decide what the future of the property is…will they sell it, or will they keep it?

Couples that choose to keep the home generally do so to assist their children with the transition. When one spouse maintains the home however, it can be challenging for the assets to be split equally. An alternative is for the court to place a lien on the property, which allows for the spouse who is moving out to receive compensation when the house is sold or refinanced. However, the challenges associated with this process often necessitate selling the home anyway.

In this article, we will look at the various aspects to consider when selling your home after a divorce.

Consider Legal Matters

Texas is a Community Property State, which means that all property and assets acquired during a marriage are assumed by both spouses or are community property. Therefore, there are two options when proceeding with selling community property in a divorce: transfer the title of the property to one spouse or sell the property together and split the proceeds.

Pros of Transferring The Property to One Spouse

● Separate ties – selling a home can be a long, tedious process and will keep you intertwined with your ex for longer than many wish to stay connected. Assigning one spouse the responsibility allows for discontinued communication pertaining to the property.

Cons of Transferring The Property to One Spouse

● It requires some front-end efforts if there is a mortgage on the house – typically the process to transition the title into one name includes one spouse taking ownership of and refinancing the property. This removes the other spouse from the debt.

● If the property cannot be refinanced, you have wasted a good deal of time. Why would one be unable to refinance the property? Because it can be challenging for a single spouse to qualify.

Pros of Selling Together and Splitting the Proceeds

● Neither party will feel that they were not financially provided for – all proceeds will be split evenly in the end.

● Both parties will have a say in the final selling price – emotional connections to the house can create a need to sell at market value.

Cons of Selling Together and Splitting the Proceeds

● Additional tension: If the parties disagree on the selling price, the home could sit on the market.

● Loss of buyers: Some buyers do not want to buy from individuals selling due to a divorce. There are too many risk factors associated, including one party changing their mind or even the couple rekindling their relationship.

Additional Potential Challenge – The Market

Unfortunately, one can never predict how the real estate market is going to look when they are going through a divorce. Realistically, nothing can be predicted. With the fluctuations in the market, you may be in a position where the house has a lower value than you believed. To identify the potential of your home during your divorce, take one extra step and have your property assessed by a real estate agent or broker. This consultation is typically free with the right person.

An Easy Solution

For a quick and easy sell, couples have the alternative option to sell the house in an all-cash deal to an identified investor. This provides a solution to the issues related to selling a house through a real estate agent.

If the divorce is hostile, an all-cash offer can help create a quick separation. Once the couple has identified a final agreeable selling price, they can scout for the appropriate agencies that can provide them with their requests. The additional benefit to this process is that the house will sell quickly and quietly, creating no need for added tension.

Additionally, selling the house for upfront cash can allow for the house to be sold as-is – no need for modifications or staging. Anyone experiencing the emotional turmoil of a divorce does not want the hassle of revamping a home. It is well known that your home’s first impression can make or break the sale, so having a house that is not well put together can extend the selling process. An all-cash offer from the right investor can help avoid these issues.

At the end of the day, always consult with your divorce attorney before making any decision. Due to the emotional aspect of a divorce, some individuals make rash decisions in spite of their spouse. Be sure that whatever you chose to do, you are making the best decision to support your future.