Categories Tips

What to Do When Your Home Isn’t Selling


Although analysts continue to publicize the notion that we are currently in a seller’s market, this does not always mean that a homeowner’s home will sell fast. Any number of factors can affect whether your home is selling, and overlooking these factors can keep your home on the market longer than anticipated. In this article, we will review what you can do if your home is not selling.

  1. Re-Evaluate the Asking Price

Occasionally, listing agents and sellers will aggressively market a property, hoping that they will be able to take advantage of the seller’s market. After all, less inventory means higher prices for sellers. However, often times this can backfire, resulting in minimal offers on the property and many below the asking price. If this is the case for your home, it may be time to have the home re-evaluated so you can ensure you are asking for a fair market price.

Should you find that your home is accurately valued, you may want to consider listing the home below market value. Although this is not any seller’s favorite option, lowering the price may often drive more buyers to make an offer.

  1. Change Your Real Estate Agent

Marketing a property comes down to how you sell, and if you do not have an effective real estate agent, then your property may be sitting on the market unnoticed. With the abundance of platforms now available to agents, there can often be an overwhelming number of opportunities for buyers. Therefore, it is imperative that the agent be pro-active – that includes email marketing, cold calls, and implementing other marketing tools to make your home the best available option for buyers.

To better understand whether your real estate agent is effectively marketing your property, here are a few questions you can ask them:

  • Where are you marketing the property?
  • What does your marketing material look like?
  • What is your email marketing campaign?

Each of these questions can provide you with further insight on whether you hired the right person for the job.

  1. Wait to Sell

Depending on your situation, you may have the opportunity to wait to sell. If you are listing in the fall and winter there tends to be fewer buyers. Maybe your local economy is struggling and unemployment rates are rising. If this is the case, the buying pool may just not exist. Therefore, waiting to sell may be your best option.

  1. Upgrade Your Home

Many buyers are seeking upgraded homes. Especially in the Baytown area, due to increased development of homes from recent flood years, new homes are in higher supply. Therefore, your potential buyer may be ruling out your home because it does not compare to the others on the market. Renovations may cost time and money upfront, but in the long run, they can make your home more competitive on the market and even increase your home’s value.

  1. Offer Seller Financing

Many buyers, especially in economically struggling markets such as Baytown, do not have adequate buyers – in other words, the buyers do not have the capital to put down, or they do not have the appropriate credit score to get a loan. In these cases, sellers have the option of offering seller financing or a rent-to-buy option. What does this mean? This means the buyer will move in under your terms, rather than those of a lender. The length of the contract will be determined by what you both agree on. Other variables in this contract can provide you benefits as well: you can make more money, gain passive income, and increase your pool of potential buyers.

Now, You Choose…

Each of these options can help boost the chance of you selling your home. Depending on the issues related to the sell, each offers both pros and cons. The time and capital you have to invest into getting the highest offer bears a major impact on how you can improve the statistics for selling your home.

However, if you are looking for a simple solution that requires NO marketing, NO real estate agent, NO seller financing, NO upgrades, and NO waiting, then look no further. We here at Gulf State Homebuyers provide clients, just like yourself, with competitive offers on the home. We also offer the ability to close in as quickly as 5 business days. If you would like more information, don’t wait – contact us today and we can get started on your free home assessment. And if the option doesn’t seem right for you, at least you will get that re-evaluation mentioned in option one!

Categories Tips

To Rent or To Buy? When in Doubt, Check the Numbers


Finding the perfect housing can be tricky – it requires a strategic look into your financials, an understanding of the local real estate market, and an assessment of your opportunities. In this article, we are going to review that second factor: the local real estate market. More specifically, we’ll examine the cost differences between owning and renting in the Baytown area.

Before we assess the numbers, it is important that you understand the kind of financial commitment that each option demands.

For the purpose of this article, we will pull statistics from Baytown, TX. The median home value in Baytown is $210K, while the median household income in the city is $49,930; it is recommended that your rent dominate no more than 25% of your income; therefore, we will operate under the assumption that rent costs $1,040.

The Cost to Buy

Purchasing a home is a long term financial investment that, should the opportunity arise, is the best choice for most consumers. The challenge, however, is that purchasing a home brings a heavy dose of upfront costs, which many individuals do not have the capital to handle. Let’s take a look at the costs associated with buying a home from start to finish:

  • Down Payment: Depending on the loan that you qualify for, your down payment can vary, but it is necessary to earn your first home. If you qualify for an FHA loan, then you will need to put down 3.5%; however, if you need a conventional loan, you will need to put down 5% – 20%. For a home that costs $210K, an FHA loan will require a down payment of $7,350, while a conventional loan will require a down payment of $10,500+.
  • Closing Costs: As the buyer of a property, you will be responsible for a portion of the closing costs, generally 2% – 5%. For a home that costs $210K, you will be responsible for a minimum of $4,200.

Just to purchase a $210K dollar home, a homebuyer will need a minimum of $11,550. Once you have purchased the home, there are additional monthly costs to consider.

  • Did you qualify for an FHA loan? If the answer is yes, then you will need to pay monthly mortgage insurance – the cost of this can range. This fee is typically 0.5% – 1% of the entire loan amount. If your FHA loan is $202,650, you will be paying $2,027 annually, or $169 monthly for your mortgage insurance.
  • Monthly Mortgage. You will be responsible for paying off your loan, plus interest, to your lender.
  • Property Taxes. As a homeowner, you will be responsible for paying these annually. The average property tax rate in Harris County (including Baytown) is 2.259%. For a $210K home, this is equal to $4,744 annually, or $395 monthly.

When crunching the numbers on your potential home buying costs, don’t forget that there is a handful of variables that influence the values, especially when considering the loan calculations. Your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, recent payment history, housing history, investment statements, and proof of income can all affect your loan terms. For example, if you have poor credit, you should expect a higher interest rate, and therefore a higher monthly payment.

Lastly, if you are considering buying a home, don’t forget to factor in the cost of maintenance. There is no estimated amount we can provide for this – it all depends on the quality of the home. But remember: all maintenance work will be your responsibility.

The Cost to Rent

This one is much simpler than buying a home. The upfront costs to renting a home typically consist of first month’s and last month’s rent. Therefore, if you are paying $1,040/month, you will need $2,080 to move-in.

After your move in, you will only be responsible for the rent. If you move into a home managed by a responsible landlord, then your landlord should be responsible for all maintenance. The only additional fees you should expect to acquire include pet rent, parking rent, and renter’s insurance, should you choose to purchase these add-ons.

Should You Rent or Buy in Baytown?

At the end of the day, buying is always the best option. It offers individuals the chance to build equity, develop a more stable long term financial plan, and reduce tax costs. It also provides the homeowner a sense of pride. However, to really benefit, one must be in the correct financial position to own. This not only includes potential homeowners, but also current homeowners. What do we mean? If you are a homeowner, you may be overpaying on your mortgage and therefore drowning in debt. If this is the case for you, then it may be time to re-assess your position and identify alternative options so that being a homeowner is not only a benefit to your finances but also a benefit to your lifestyle! If you want a more in-depth review of this opportunity, contact us today. We may be able to help you transition into a more affordable home.

Categories Tips, Uncategorized

Don’t Miss Out on Houston Sports this Fall!


As summer ends, we transition into the new phase of our year – SPORTS SEASON! Houston is a world class city when it comes to professional sporting events. It has several teams that boast a long list of titles and championships. This coupled with their fiercely loyal fan base will keep you on your toes and excited for each and every game! From Soccer and Basketball, to Football and Golf, the downtown area has a unique and lively stadium district that hosts it all! The Astros Minute Maid Park, the Rockets Toyota Center, and the only dedicated MLS Soccer arena in a city center – the Dynamos BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston is the premier place this season to get involved in the local activities.

Don’t Miss Your Shot to See the Dynamo

Soccer fans decked out in orange, known as the Texan Army, mob BBVA Compass Stadium to see the two-time MLS Cup Champion Dynamos play in downtowns trendy EaDo neighborhood. The Dynamo have had 7 winning seasons since being formed in 2006. The fans are just as entertaining as the action on the field with their loud and enthusiastic, chanting, drumming, and waving flags. Check them out this upcoming Saturday as they play the LA Galaxy.

Here We Go, Houston Rockets

Don’t miss your chance to catch a game at the Toyota Center and support the Houston Rockets! Boasting two NBA championship wins, as well as four Western Conference Championships, this team is looking like a sure thing as we come into this new season. After last year, dominating the season at 65-17, they are expected to maintain a strong trajectory especially after the off seasons acquisitions.  You can find available tickets to the next Rockets game here.  #RunAsOne

The All-American TEXANS

In Texas, football is king, and the Texans have made Houston their home since 2002. Even a quick visit to the city will show that football is everything in this town. With Texan flags, jerseys and bumper stickers everywhere, this team is an important part of Houston’s identity.

Right now, the Texans are taking lead in the AFS South division with a 4-3 record. This was a shocker to fans as they started the season with three straight losses. But the turnaround is promising, giving Texans the hope they need for the season!

Don’t Forget, College Football.

Since Texans can’t get enough football, you can count on fans to look for more. Thankfully, University of Houston’s very own Cougars play right downtown on campus at TDECU Stadium. The Cougars have a long-standing history with eleven conference championships and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware. Since the Cougars are currently leading their division, this season is sure to deliver.  Tickets to homes games here!

Let’s Go ASTROS!

Root for one of baseball’s most famous teams…Houston’s World Series Champions, the Astros! Houston’s home baseball team plays in Minute Maid Park in the middle of downtown, which incorporates historic Houston Union Station in its architecture. Every time the Astros hit a home run, fireworks shoot from the outfield and a vintage train rolls its way closer to the old Union Station. Unfortunately, the season just ended for the Astros as they lost their chance at the world series to the Red Sox. However, you can stay connected and keep up-to-date on their post-season schedule at

Get Active!

Fall sports aren’t just for the professionals. It is also a great time for residents to get out and get active! The community offers a variety of activities for all ages, including golf tournaments, flag football leagues, and softball leagues. Living in Houston is about playing sports and watching sports, so don’t miss out on either! Get out and take full advantage of Houston’s sports centered culture.

Don’t Forget About Golf…

Whether you are experienced or a beginner, learning about golf in the Houston area can not only give you a chance to become part of the community, but can also help you get out and get active. With over 35 golf courses in the Houston area, there are a variety of opportunities for you to participate, including playing at the 4th Annual Houston Brew-Am and Keg Classic Golf Tournament.

The overall sports culture in Houston year-round adds endless opportunity for entertainment in the city. If you are a resident, get ready for a continuously excited season of sports! If you are looking for a place to move that can give you a community sense related to sports, look no further – you have found home!

We too are Houston fans! As representative of the community, we support each team locally. If you are interested in moving to the Houston area, call us today and we can assist.

Categories testimonial

See what Timothy and Barri had to say about selling their home!

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”28568″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”28575″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We love to hear what our sellers have to say about selling their home to us.  Check out what Timothy and Barri Daniel had to say about selling their home fast!

“Lots of life happened in our home, both good and bad. However, we were glad to finally be able to let it go. This home was purchased when we were very young, as a project home, with hopes that we would be able to build it up to what we wanted. Unfortunately, we ended up being in way over our heads with this and needed out. We had previously spoken with other home buyers, but it always ended up being the wrong time for us or they were unable to give us anywhere close to what we had in mind like these guys did! Gulf State Homebuyers, not only caught us at the perfect time but, was able to come in & truly save us! They took care of everything that needed to be done and had no problem answering any questions we ever had. We went to their office to sign all the papers and it was all explained very thoroughly. Everything was super easy and fast like they said it would be! They were very nice & gave us a great offer! I recommend 110%!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories testimonial

We bought April and Kenny Bundy’s house in a week!

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We love our sellers!  Check out what April and Kenny Bundy had to say about selling their home to us here at Gulf State Homebuyers.

“Our family was expanding and we needed a larger home so we spoke with Kelly with Gulf State Homebuyers.  Camila and Kelly came out to do an evaluation of our home and they made us a cash offer that same day. They were able to give us what we needed in order to move into a new home and welcome our new arrival! We weren’t quite yet ready to move since the baby wasn’t due yet and Gulf State didn’t have an issue with that at all. They said we could move at our own pace so they waited for us to give them the word. Once we were ready, things moved very fast and we closed within the week. The process was smooth, they were easy to work with and everything was very nice.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]