Categories Baytown

How to Enjoy Fall in Baytown!


The weather is cooling, and the tourists are returning home as we enter into one of the most blissful times of year in Baytown, TX. All around the area, visitors and residents of the community will find endless activities for the whole family. If you are not sure where to start, take a look at a few our suggestions to consider this fall!

Have Fun with Oktoberfest

In neighboring Houston, there are plenty of festivities surrounding the celebration of Oktoberfest – an ancient royal holiday that originated in Munich, where Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildurboughausen. The beginning of October brings all the celebrations – including food, fun, and dancing.

Get Local

Fall in Baytown specifically brings about the local farmers market. Hosted in the Town Square on the third Saturday of each month, this is the chance to truly get a taste of the local flavor. The market is a great opportunity to support Baytown’s farmers, artists, and entrepreneurs – an interconnected community is a strong one. Additionally, the market is a perfect event for the whole family with activities to support and entertain everyone.

Get Your Speed on with LEGAL Street Racing

Got a need for speed? You aren’t alone – come participate every Friday in Houston Raceway Park Legal Street Racing at the Houston Raceway in Baytown. This is the perfect opportunity to race your friends or try to beat the famous times – remember though, you must participate at the Royal Purple Raceway (not legal on all streets!)

For the Nature Lovers

Are you a nature lover interested in wildlife? If yes, this fall the Audubon Bird Survey could be the perfect event for you. On the third Thursday of every month, the Houston Audubon partners with the Baytown Nature Center in the monthly count of the birds at the nature center. This event offers participants a view of the 300+ species habiting in this area.

Give Back to the Community

On October 27th of this year, the Connect Church of Christ Ladies’ and Men’s Ministries will host the Hats & Bow Ties Cancer Awareness Tea Party – an opportunity for participants to “express love and honor to survivors of cancer, celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed on, and educate family and friends on ways to stay healthy and bring awareness to the disease.” This event provides donations to cancer research and is a perfect reflection of how the Baytown community gives back.

How About Some History?

October 20th in Galveston is not an event to miss – enjoy beer on the historic 1877 ELISSA, an iron-hulled ship built in Aderbeen, Scotland that spent 90 years carrying cargo to ports around the world (and is still functioning today!). The Galveston is the Official Tall Ship of Texas, and its birthday month is October. On this day, attendees can honor its birth while enjoying drafts – featuring brews from Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

Get in the Water

Fall doesn’t necessarily bring cold weather to the community – which is great for those who love to be outside. With tourist season winding down, there is more room for locals to get out and enjoy the community. Head out to Trinity Bay and pick your poison – the local water sports stores offer kayaks, canoes, boat rentals, and jet skis! The weather is in the 70’s, so be sure to bring something warm for after your water fun.

Fun for the Family: Observe Animals and Celebrate

Heading back to Houston in November? This is a great chance to attend the Houston Zoo’s 13th animal, food, beer, and wine celebration. With musical guest Everclear, this event is great fun for the whole family!

Catch a Flick

All fall long in Downtown Houston, families come together to watch films under the stars.  Whether you’re visiting Discovery Green or Market Square Park, each venue offers the perfect opportunity to get together, bring food and blankets, and enjoy a unique evening in the breezy evening of Houston.

Interested in the Area?

Baytown is a great place for all, bringing community back to life. We here at Gulf State Homebuyers are proud of the community we work in and are happy to announce that we too participate in community development through our local programs.

If you are interested in learning more about the Baytown area, the events occurring, or what the community is like as a whole, we would be happy to assist! Just give us a call and we can start a conversation.

Categories Baytown

Saving Strategies for Homebuyers in Baytown


Are you interested in purchasing a home? Are you overwhelmed by the concept of saving for your next down payment? Are you feeling defeated by continuously hearing that it is a seller’s market? IF you answered YES to any of these questions, we may be able to provide you some direction and tips on how to save for your next home.

Most of our clients who are first time homebuyers acutely feel the pressure of their purchase. Buying a home is a life-altering decision that can place major financial strain on your family. That is why we have created a list of saving strategies that can help you prepare for your home purchase.

First and foremost, it’s crucial that you understand how much you should save up for your down payment. Until you have settled on a home, you will not have a precise answer – but a good estimate is enough to get you started. If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for an FHA loan (or Federal Housing Administration loan). This means that you will only need to put down 3.5% on your home purchase – so if you are purchasing a home at $500,000, you will need to put $17,500 down. However, if you do not qualify for an FHA loan and you require a conventional loan, you may need to save 20%. The purchase price will depend on what the lender allows you to qualify for. Try getting a pre-approval from a lender before moving forward. Understanding your pre-qualification will give you the best idea of your purchase price and of how much you will need to save.

Next, it is time to start saving! Here are a few tips to saving for your down payment:

  1. Review your current bills and slash your expenses. Yes, this can be challenging, as it requires changes in lifestyle; however, after buying your first home, you will be grateful you made this sacrifice. Some examples of slashing bills includes: cutting cable, reducing entertainment costs, cooking food at home, and becoming a mindful spender.
  2. Boost your income wherever possible. Whether this is taking on additional overtime or finding a part time job, the extra income can help expedite the process. Once again, when taking on additional work, remember the long-term goal: extra time and energy now can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
  3. Consider borrowing from your retirement fund! That’s right – if you are a first time homebuyer, you may qualify to borrow from your retirements accounts, which may mean taking up to $10,0000 out of your individual account, avoiding the 10% early withdrawal fee, and borrowing cash from your 401(k) without tax or penalty.

Now that you have saved a little more money and are ready to start looking for your next home, it is time to look at how you can save on your purchase.

  1. Identify and research your market. The area where you are looking to purchase can drastically affect the price point of the residential market. If you are looking in a highly sought-out area, prices may be higher. However, if you are looking in an up-and-coming area, prices may be lower. Understanding your desired neighborhood can provide you insight into the size of home you may qualify for.
  2. Make your homebuyer checklist: this includes identifying your “Must Haves,” “Wants” and “Do Not Needs” of your future home. By always having this list prepared during your home search, you will more easily be able to compare various homes. At the end of the day, you should not find yourself paying extra for homes that have too many features on your “Do Not Need” list. Some examples include looking at the number of bedrooms, quality of the interior and exterior of the home, HOA fees, etc.
  3. Identify whether you want a home that is “Ready for Renovation” or “Ready for Move-In.” If you are open to renovating a home, you may get more bang for your buck. However, a home requires work to renovate – time and energy you may not be willing to put in. Assess the pros and cons of each option and determine if you are ready to save through investing in DIY projects.

In the end, purchasing a home is a multi-step process. Working with professionals can help you save money while getting the most for your dollar. If you are interested in purchasing your first home or learning more about the real estate market, contact us and we would be happy to discuss it further. We have years of experiencing selling and purchasing homes in the Baytown area, and would be happy to help you with your next move. Contact us today and we can get started.

Categories Baytown

Prices Are Rising in the Baytown Market…. It Is Time to Sell Your Home!


We are coming to the end of the third quarter, and over the last year, the residential real estate market has seen a shift in home values. In Baytown, TX, the housing market has actually seen quite a drastic shift, with housing prices increasing 6.1% in the last 12 months. The current median home value as of September 2018 was $145,200; the prediction is in – housing prices are anticipated to rise another 3.8% within the next year.

The question remains: what is causing this increase in home values? What does it indicate for homeowners’ futures?

What Is Causing the Increase in Home Values in Baytown?

Before we delve deeper into this question, it is important to note that the US economy has supported low interest rates over the last 12 years, spurring buyers to enter the market now rather than later. Years of low rates and enthusiasm in the market have impacted every facet of the industry – take a look at some of the far-reaching effects below:

  •  Since the 1950s, Baytown has witnessed continuous annual population growth. Despite Hurricane Harvey, which economists anticipated would have had a negative effect on a community like Baytown, the town is experiencing population growth. More residents means higher demand for housing – and with low interest rates, people are motivated to buy rather than rent.
  •  The Baytown unemployment rate is 35% higher than that of the United States. However, over the last year, Baytown has seen an increase in the job market by 0.8%, which has translated into higher incomes for residents. Higher income ultimately results in more buyers as well.
  •  Demand is still outweighing supply. Following Hurricane Harvey, many homes were destroyed – and unfortunately, many still have not recovered. The economic challenges that the residents of Baytown inherited following the hurricane made recovery difficult. Many individuals did not have the insurance policy to completely cover the damages, while others were financially strapped and stuck without a solution. Many of those who had the proper insurance did not want to take on the responsibility of fixing a new home – so they have opted for buying one instead.

The continuous increase in housing prices may in turn trigger a seller to hold off – they may believe that although it is a seller’s market now, that they should wait to sell at a higher price. However, a higher price does not always indicate a seller’s market.

Risks of Waiting to Sell:

1. Interest Rates Are Rising: With rising interest rates, buyers tend to lose motivation to purchase – essentially, the community tends to be pushed towards renting. Higher interest rates not only make it challenging for affordable monthly mortgages, but they also make it more challenging for individuals to qualify for the lenders.

2. The Drop is Coming. The future of the real estate market is impossible to predict; although analysts expect a continued increase in home values, there is always uncertainty. With lower interest rates and a hot market, sellers are guaranteed to get top dollar for their property right now. Nonetheless, waiting in hopes of a higher return can be risky. If the economy has a sudden shift, sellers could lose all potential.

3. Housing Prices Rise above Inflation Rates. Inflation rates in the US are generally between 2-3%, averaging at 2.7% as of August 2018. The increase in housing prices was a drastic 6.1% in Baytown – this means that housing prices are increasing double the expected amount. Overall, this decreases the number of viable buyers – unless an individual’s salary matches this 6.7% increase, they may find it challenging to obtain a loan for the home values, creating a shift toward renting.

The Baytown Market

Generally speaking, this market is a challenging one to read. Home prices are increasing, job growth is rising, and unemployment is declining – to some, this may indicate a continued seller’s market. Still, rates are shifting so significantly that the economy may not keep up with the housing market. If the trend continues, sellers may stop losing the advantage and ultimately lose profit on their homes.

If you are a seller, this may be the most profitable time to sell – especially since interest rates are anticipated to see two more bumps before the end of 2018. With uncertainty on the rise, it is time to get your home evaluated.

We here at Gulf State Homebuyers would like to provide you with a free home evaluation. We offer competitive prices, quick closes, and a friendly staff. To get started, just contact us, and we will set you up with a qualified representative.

Categories Baytown

How Our Programs Help The Community


A successful business is not one that purely focuses on financial gain, but one that is also dedicated to the growth and development of its community. We here at Gulf State Homebuyers do just that – through our referral and mentorship programs, we provide our community alternative opportunities to gain financial wealth and become educated in the real estate industry.

Who We Are

We are an all cash home buying company located in Baytown, Texas. We specialize in purchasing homes from all over Houston and in the surrounding areas. With our all cash offers, we provide our clients the opportunity to close on their homes quickly – no need to hassle with hiring a real estate agent, marketing your home, or worrying about closing fees. With no obligation and no unexpected fees, we provide residents in the area with a free home evaluation so that they can determine if selling their home is the best option for them. Not only do we purchase homes in good condition, but we also purchase damaged and inherited homes as well. Over the last 12 years, we have continued to build our services in hopes that we may best serve our community. Through the years, we have identified two additional ways we could bring potential to our community, so we implemented new programs within our company:

Our Referral Program

The real estate industry is all about making connections and building trust. With these skills, agents are able to make a profit off of assisting both home buyers and sellers. But why does this opportunity for income need to be restricted to real estate professionals? We don’t believe it does.

This is why we offer our community a simple referral program – a way to gain income just by referring a friend to us. We understand that an individual’s network is a web of opportunity – and we don’t want you to miss one! As real estate agents, we are firm believers in assisting clients as they build for their futures, whether or not they personally have a home to sell.

If you know someone who may be interested in selling their home, you may have a chance to make some extra money. Remember, we buy all types of homes – inherited, wind or rain damaged, foreclosed, and many more. Don’t just take our word for it, but listen how our other clients earned from our referral program:

  • Jane Porterfield: Jane sold us her home. Following the process, she was very happy with our services, so she referred a friend. After her first check for selling her house, she received a second check just for telling her friend about us!
  • Katie Hargraves: Katie heard how great out customer service was, so she referred a friend – not long after, she received a check!
  • Larry Barnes: Larry profits from referring properties to us that he sees while he is driving. He identifies a vacant home, and if they sell to us, he gets a check!

These are only three of our recent customers. If you want to get in on the benefits of our referral program, it’s simple. Just follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Log onto our website referral page here
  2. Fill out the referral sheet: Include your full name, email, and phone number, as well as the property address you are referring
  3. Wait for us to evaluate the property
  4. If the homeowner sells, you’ll receive a check in the mail!

Our Mentorship Program

Not only do we provide our community with the chance to build wealth through referrals, but we also provide individuals with education and expertise.

President of Gulf State Homebuyers, Dwayne White, has a passion for and dedication to helping other succeed. Through mentorship, he has assisted individuals in becoming the top real estate investors in the Houston area. Dwayne himself is from the local area, so who better to mentor individuals seeking business in the Baytown/Houston area than a successful native? Dwayne has changed lives through his mentoring and continues to build his own business along the way too.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get into the real estate industry, or more specifically, are looking for a mentor, we are here to help.

Gulf State Homebuyers

We are dedicated to providing clients with top notch services. If you live in the Baytown area and are interested in selling your home, referring a friend and/acquaintance, and/or entering into our mentorship program, call or email us today. We will get you set up with a professional who can help change your future.

Categories Baytown

Baytown After Hurricane Harvey


On August 27, 2017, one of the costliest hurricanes in United States history hit Texas – this was Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane itself was a category 4, with a diameter of 280 miles and winds up to 130 MPH during its first landfall. In parts of Texas, Harvey dumped upwards of 51 inches of precipitation, covering the state with 27 trillion gallons of rain. The initial shock of Harvey was devastating – the damage included unprecedented flooding and left more than 30,000 people displaced from their homes. Reports following the hurricane estimated that Harvey inflicted over $125 billion in damages.

The months following Harvey brought ongoing challenges – many individuals found themselves homeless and without their possessions. In the worst case scenarios, loved ones were lost. It has now been a year since the tragic disaster, and the real estate market seems to be turning around. What were the challenges that homeowners in Baytown were confronted with? What is the status of the market today? In this article, we will review both.

Lost Homes and Damaged Homes

Almost all homes in the Baytown market were affected by Harvey – Given the combination of water damage and wind destruction, individuals were lucky if their homes were still habitable after the hurricane. One unfortunate incident related to this disaster was the lack of homeowners insurance – many owners lacked coverage on their assets. In the state of Texas, homeowners insurance does not typically cover the damages such as those seen in natural disasters, and additional policies must be purchased for protection (for more information, visit “A Beginners Guide To Ensure Every Homeowner”).

If the homeowner had insurance, the process to renovating the home was still long and tiresome – especially in the midst of emotional havoc. To receive an assessment from an insurance company generally took 2-3 months and was followed by months of renovations. In certain areas, certain neighborhoods were wiped out, requiring homeowners to start from scratch, which meant they had to purchase a new home and new interiors. Due to the lost memorabilia, this process has been challenging for many.

Impact on The Market

With the damages came changes to the local real estate market. But what were these changes that the market experienced?

  1. Rent for apartments has increased. Due to families relocating during renovations, demand for rental units increased. With high demand came an increase in prices. Another factor that affects this is the expectation that those with insurance will be covered while they are out of the home – motivating investors to increase rental rates and take advantage of the insurance companies.
  2. Current buyers are only looking for homes that did not flood. New homeowners do not want to buy a home that experienced severe damage – this creates an uneasy energy surrounding the home. Homeowners are looking for newly developed residential homes that were built in the last year. With these homes in high demand, the value of new construction is driven up and that of older homes is driven down.
  3. Homes that were flooded or have experienced a flood in the past have dropped significantly in value. If this was a home’s second time weathering a storm, the homeowner can almost be guaranteed to be losing money on the home. Not only are homebuyers deterred from purchasing these homes, but insurance companies are weary about coverage. In general, these homes are at the end of their lifespan. One way around this, however, is to do a complete renovation – unfortunately, this is an expensive process that is not generally covered by an insurance company. Also, it takes much capital on the front end to complete.
  4. Flood insurance skyrocketed. Insurance companies are businesses, and at the end of the day, they are looking to make a profit. With natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, they are looking to protect themselves for the future. Insurance companies are raising prices on policies, especially for those homes located in coastal markets.
  5. Residential lot prices dropped. With homes that were completed ruined, insurance companies were providing checks for homeowners to rebuild. However, this process is long and requires the time of a dedicated individual –many of those who went through the disaster are still not in a state of mind to pursue the task of rebuilding a home. With such a lack of motivation, and the influx in available residential lots, the price per square foot is dropping.

Continued Effects

Following such a devastating disaster, communities can take years to recover. Not only are people left with an emotional hole, but homeowners are also left with unwanted responsibilities. If you are a homeowner who has experienced the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and are looking for a solution to your home problems, contact us; we can help.

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