The Booming North Texas Real Estate Market in 2015

In January of this year, the Dallas Morning News stated that the North Texas real estate market was on fire last year. Although there were some concerns regarding the slow recovery from 2008’s Great Recession as well as the sinking oil prices, home sales were booming all over the state, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The paper cited the soaring job gains and rocketing real estate values were the main factors for such strong gains. Although Texas towns have their fair share of post-recession hardship such as foreclosures and real estate development plans that were put on hold, those times quickly faded.

There were findings that showed that by the end of 2015, there was a construction of around 9 million square feet of office space in the bustling North Texas area. That’s equivalent to around 40 percent more compared to the extremely high pre-2007 time frame. It is also not all about the commercial space. The construction starts in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro has 38,000 apartment units, which is 80 percent better compared to the pre-recession rate.

The North Texas market is on its way to completing over 15 million square feet of warehouse and industrial space, on the back of a strong economy and exploding job growth. This represents one of the top industrial building volumes in the country, which is enough to push warehouse development past the preceding cycle peak. The retail construction sector has also been slower compared to the others in recent months.

Of these, the most notable activity is in the single-family housing market, with existing home sales of over 90,000 that broke records last 2015 in North Texas. Another positive news is that the median home sales prices for the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area hit $200,000, which is their highest level yet and 20 percent above the peak seen in 2007.

As we are heading to the end of the year, it is exciting to see whether the North Texas housing can perform better as it did in 2015.


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New Plano rental community will offer artist lofts

A new Plano housing community will be constructing in a few months near North Central Expressway. The housing community will offer both apartments and artist lofts. There will be 224 units built on the vacant block to provide affordable housing in the rapidly growing community of Plano.

According to Plano Housing Corp. the 5.6-acre project will mostly be a community of mixed-income individuals; although, over half of the units will be within the budget of a resident based on their monthly income. Also, the development is transit-oriented because the housing community is just less than half a mile from the 15th Street DART station.

Half a dozen apartment buildings will be constructed at the project’s location at G Avenue and 14th Street east of Central. The apartment building will be surrounded by an open space along with public art plazas. A community center and swimming pool will also be constructed along with the apartment buildings. Artist lofts will be located downstairs of the units. Developers plan to install roll-up doors along the street front of the buildings to better accommodate art shows.

The starting rent for the smallest unit (about 800 square feet) in the rental community is less than $500 a month. The rate was set in a manner that the unit will be affordable for working families. Housing intended for working families is a bit scarce not only in Plano but the whole of North Texas in general. With this need, Plano Housing Corp. is simultaneously working on their second development near City Hall.

True to its commitment to expanding affordable housing in the community Plano Housing Corp. will start building 21 townhouses which will be up for sale with seven units for low and moderate income residents. Though the company admits this isn’t much, but seven units is a big achievement towards their goal of expanding housing options for low and middle income working families in Plano and Collin County.

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Texas real estate to see an influx of Chinese buyers

The economic instability in China is driving Chinese buyers, investors and owner occupants alike to look to the U.S. for affordable housing. Texas, in particular, is seeing an influx as demands for U.S. property is increasing amongst the Chinese buyers. The Chinese are the top buyers in US real estate registering about $28.6 billion last year. This figure is more than double the second most active buyers in U.S. real estate, which are the Canadians.

When it comes to states that the Chinese people prefer in the U.S., the top three are California, Florida and Texas. But high prices in California seem to cut the demand. Texas is now the best option for these buyers because of the state’s strong employment and education opportunities. Texas registered about 31 percent sales from Chinese buyers last year second to Latin American and Mexican buyers.

The volatility of Chinese stock market caused them to find refuge in the U.S., not only for their money’s sake but also for better living conditions for them and their family. They seek employment in the U.S. and education for their children. These conditions make the Chinese buyers willing to spend more than the average home buyers. They spend about four times the national median home price amounting to about $831,800.

Texas is tops new home construction in the United States, which Chinese buyers prefer rather than purchasing existing homes. Although California also has massive new home construction development, Texas still outnumbers them in production by twice as many new homes constructed.

Due to this influx of Chinese buyers, U.S. homebuilders are taking into consideration conditions that will be suitable for them. They are looking into building multigenerational homes to attract more immigrant families. They are also considering adopting Feng Shui floor plans to attract Asia clients and boost the real estate industry.

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Cost Savings For Your Business Through Safety

Establishing a health and safety program in place will reduce costs. Having a program will reduce accidents and will lead to lower company worker’s comp premiums; further business insurance companies prefer their customers to have health and safety programs. These insurance companies might even discount the premium if a program can be proved to exist. The average cost of an accident is $72,500. Direct costs in accidents such as worker’s comp and fines levied can close a business. Indirect costs such as low morale of employees, legal fees, and retraining can be as costly if not more.

A working program will:

  1. Improve employee morale – Shows care in their well being
  2. Reduce revenue loses – Fewer accidents keeps all employees at work
  3. Give a boost to the customer – Makes sure business is operating optimally

Understanding that small businesses with a voluntary health and safety program in place have fifty percent less accidents and reported insurance claims than that of their counterparts according to OHSA stats. Most small businesses fall below the legal requirements for having a formal health and safety program in place due to number of employees on staff. Sixty eight percent of reported accidents are in the service industry which shows even businesses such as retail establishments are not free of accidents.

A health and safety program can be started by drafting a health and safety policy and having it officially implemented. This health and safety policy is simply the stated values that a company wishes to convey in its work processes. Secondly, is how communication between all employees and owners will function. And lastly, put procedures in place to ensure safe practices.

To find unseen hazards and unsafe practices, an audit needs to take place. Take a hard look at the workplace and record all factors that may lead to injury. Even things as simple as the door locks needs to be considered. Hazards might be dangerous chemicals or as simple as a letter opener. Identifying these hazards will lead to procedures to controlling them. Controls such as “Don’t run with scissors in your hands” are effective. Write all procedures in a manual.

Implementing these health and safety procedures will be done with behavioral change. Some programs become weak and non effective because of:

  1. No definition of safety practices – No written processes
  2. No teamwork – Safety is communication from the top to bottom and vice versa. A well written plan will describe what roles everyone plays in safety policies.
  3. No effective goals – The “accident free days” poster will come as a result of sound safety processes.
  4. Wrong incentives – Money as a reward does not work well. Health and safety should be fun and worth employees effort. The right incentive plan can be cost effective and have obtainable goals. Incentive plans can include movie passes or simply “free coffee on the boss.” The insurance industry reports for a dollar spent on health and safety yields four to six dollars in savings.

Once all of the hard work of developing and implementing the health and safety program is done, set aside some time each month to review the workplace. Record what is found; this is a good practice to see dangerous trends that might occur such as a fire exit constantly being blocked. On the quarters of the year post a meeting with employees. These meetings are a great way to get vital feed-back from employees and keep them involved. At least once a year, do an audit to make sure your health and safety program is current with present business operations. And when an employee is dismissed, especially under adversarial conditions, be sure to have the business locks rekeyed if the employee had possesion of door keys.

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Commercial Real Estate Programs

Commercial Real Estate ProgramsI was researching for some commercial real estate programs a few weeks ago, and I came across a review for Austin Davis and his commercial real estate program. I had been searching for some time when I found the review of his program but when I did locate it, it had some pretty good things to say about him. Ive found a good deal of reviews on his programs and others are giving him a good review for the most part as well.

Based on the reviews, I bought it and have been using it. Like most system programs, I found it helpful. At $97 the program was way under priced compared to the other $500 and some up to $3,000 programs out there. I was mainly interested in finding contacts for funding on my deals. A few weeks after I bought his program I was sent a email from his staff with a invite to his real estate mastermind group for $99 a month.

I decided to try it since it advertised some pretty impressive perks and benefits to the club. I have now been in the club for a month and have applied for funding to get started and have been told I was approved. I should be getting the paperwork next week for it.

One of the most impressive things about his setup is his staff. They are quick to reply to emails and they explain things in easily understand detail. For a more in depth review of his program you can check out the squidoo review page on Austin Davis’s commercial real estate program.

So to review:  if you are looking for a commercial real estate program that makes it easy to get unsecured funds to get started on deals, this is the program you want and the price is lower than most.

One big benefit to the program is the low credit requirements to get started. There is also no income, job or asset requirements to get strated in his program which will be good for many people in this economy.

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