More GREAT News for Houston!

Did you know that Economic Modeling Specialists International research shows that the Houston Area Self-Employed have increased by over 12% in the past 4 years! Houston is one of the top cities in the United States for Self Employment Growth! The Houston area boasts countless economic opportunities for entrepreneurs. The changes in the energy industry have also helped to maintain a healthy increase in the area of self employment for our Houston business men and women.

Luxury Event with Keller Williams Premier and Homes By David Powers

Our Luxury Division, at Keller Williams Premier Realty, will be hosting our 1st Luxury Tour Luncheon out at Lakes of Bella Terra in Richmond on Wednesday, June 30th! We’ll be showcasing one of the area’s top custom home builders, Homes By David Powers! Lakes of Bella Terra is one of Katy/Richmond’s most sought after communities. If you need more information on this tour please let me know. This is definitely going to be an event to remember!

Bringing Luxury Home to our Richmond, TX, community!

North Easterners Just Love Us TEXANS

Yee Haw! Texas Exceeds Expectations in Job Growth
This information comes from NewGeography, and the statistics were compiled by their executive editor Joel Kotkin. He was quoted to say, “Even the dullest minds on the East Coast are beginning to realize that Texas is doing something right, as much as they hate to say it.”
Now for the summary of the report:
Once again TEXAS CITES ranks among the strongest in the country when it comes to job growth! And YES, the Houston area is one of those TOP cities!

2012 Tax Help for 2011 Fire Victims

Did you know that there will be tax breaks coming for residence that live in Bastrop who lost their homes in the wildfires of 2011? It’s being reported that County officials feel that it would be difficult to reappraise each home affected by this tragedy. For 2011 taxes, homeowners will be charged 100% of the property tax value, but there will be help for 2012 taxes. Below, is a list of adjustments promised by the Bastrop County Tax Appraisal District for 2012.

• All houses destroyed in the fire will be removed from the appraisal roll for 2012.
• All remaining slabs will carry a zero value.
• FEMA trailers will be exempt from taxation per the Texas Property Tax Code.
• Utility packages will be assessed only if new construction was started before Jan. 1 or a FEMA trailer/mobile home has been moved onto the site.
• Land values within the affected area will be reduced 25 percent based on market activity within the fire boundary area.
• Any construction started before Jan. 1 will be put on the appraisal roll at the percentage completed as of assessment date.
• Modular and mobile homes will be placed on the roll at full market value if they’re on the property before Jan. 1.
• All out buildings that survived the fire will remain on the roll.

I Need Your Help Katy Texas!

I am pleased to announce our 4th Annual RED Day on May 10, 2012. RED Day is a companywide Keller Williams Realty volunteer effort dedicated to improving our local communities as We Give Where We Live. All across North America and Canada, Keller Williams agents commit to a Day of Service where the focus is Renewing, Energizing and Donating. This year we have challenged ourselves to complete a host of projects at The Brookwood Community in Brookshire, Texas.

Our RED Day Vision (10 on 10) includes 10 Major Projects that we hope to accomplish:
• Project 1 – Power Washing Campus Buildings & Group Home Porches
• Project 2 – Painting (2) Brookwood Transportation Vehicles
• Project 3 – Donating (8) New tires for Brookwood Transportation Vehicles
• Project 4 – Landscaping (8) Brookwood Community Group Homes
• Project 5 – Kitchen/Bathroom Renovations and Interior Makeovers for 2 Brookwood Staff Homes
• Project 6 – Washing and Cleaning 16 Brookwood Vans
• Project 7 – Providing RED Day Goodies and a Special RED Day Celebration for the Brookwood Citizens and Staff
• Project 8 – Providing Personalized Frames for each resident’s room
• Project 9 – Providing (4) New Tables and (24) New Chairs for Group Homes
• Project 10 – Providing 50-100 New Workshop Chairs

The successful completion of our projects is directly related to our fundraising efforts. Our project expenses call for a budget of $10,000 and that’s where you can help. The attached Sponsorship Opportunities Menu outlines the available sponsorship levels. Additionally, we welcome in-kind donations for the renovation projects as we will need paint supplies, interior and exterior paint, major kitchen appliances, flooring, garage door openers, bathroom fixtures, blinds, kitchen countertops, landscaping materials and ceiling fans.

If you’ve never personally experienced Brookwood, please check out the attached brochure and their website at www.brookwoodcommunity.org We are honored to serve this special place on RED Day and we hope you will join us in our efforts. Your assistance goes beyond networking with our agents because RED Day changes lives.

Finally, we need Sponsorship Commitments by April 6th and all monies are due by April 16th. The sooner we confirm our sponsors, the sooner we can finalize our projects and the respective purchases needed to make our RED Day 10 on 10 Vision a Reality. If you have any questions regarding RED Day 2012, please do not hesitate to contact me at 281-682-2555.

Thank You,

Candice Skoby

Houston and San Antonio…Top Metro Areas in the United States

Did you know that there’s only two Metro Areas in the United States that home values showed an increase from 2007? If you are keeping track of yearly home value statistics, 2007 marked the peak of the housing market. Both HOUSTON AND SAN ANTONIO received this honor with Houston reporting a 4.8% increase and San Antonio reporting and increase in home values of 2.7%

Last Month it was 7 and now it’s 8 for the Houston/Katy Area!

The statistics are out! January marked the 8th consecutive month of increased existing home sales in our area. When you compare the statistics from January, 2011 and then look at our numbers for this January, sales of single-family homes have increased 9.2 % according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

Now That I Have A NEW Home….What Do I Do Next?

There’s general maintenance that a homeowner should do every year to keep their home in the best condition possible. Here is a checklist that we give to our buyers.
1. Caulk windows and trim.
2. If your home is built with Pier and Beam Foundation inspect your crawl space for water.
3. Check Wooden Decks for Moisture.
4. Inspect and Touch Up Paint.
5. Service and Clean the HVAC System.
6. Get the Chimney Swept and Inspected.
7. Check Bathtub Caulk.
8. Periodically Run Water through Drains of Plumbing that is not Used Regularly.
9. Check the Toilet Seal.
10. Clean out the Gutters.
11. Clean Your Roof’s Valleys.
12. Switch Ceiling Fans to Run Clockwise in the Winter and Counterclockwise in the Summer.
13. Make sure to maintain the Finish on your Front Door.
14. Two or Three Times a Year put some Vinegar Ice Cubes down the Disposal.
15. Check A/C Filters
16. Clean Dryer Vent Duct
17. Clean Glass Shower Doors

If you would like more information on how to maintain your home after you buy it, just let me know. I work with a great home inspector, Blake Salcetti, the head of Texas Certified Inspections, who makes it a point to make sure our buyers and sellers have the best possible information when it comes to keeping your home in top condition.

Are You a Buyer? Here is Something to Think About….

If you are a buyer, have you ever given a thought to which title company you are planning to use? Probablly not, you might even be planning on on the seller choosing the Title company and letting the seller pay for the policy. It will save you some money….Right?

You might want to reconsider.

Below are some top reasons a Buyer Should Choose their Title Company:
1. The Buyer is the Covered Party.
2. The Buyers Lender is Covered.
3. The policy costs the same, no matter which company you choose.
4. The Buyer’s heirs are covered.
5. What if the Seller’s company fails or goes out of business?
6. What do you do if your claim is denied?
7. It can avoid lawsuits……