This post was written by Michelle Sandlin and originally appeared on Chron.com.
It is always interesting to look at developing trends to stay up-to-date on what is happening both in the Houston market and in terms of relocation to the area.
The most obvious current trend in Houston real estate has to do with the inventory shortage of available properties and the resulting multiple offers as competing parties vie for contract acceptance. While there has been a lot of emphasis on these situations as they relate to homes that are available for sale, there is also an inventory shortage on properties and apartments available for lease.
Meanwhile, there has been a greater influx of relocation renters moving to the Houston area.
Pattie Huey is director, Relocation and Business Development, for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, and she calls the current market “unique.”
She said her company is seeing a lot of renters who will ultimately become buyers, but in the meantime, they must find acceptable rental properties.
“Although it’s been a little bit unique for the relocation world, it’s not a negative. It’s good for us in terms of real estate and the future of real estate,” Huey said.
Another trend that Huey is seeing with her relocation clients is multiple home-finding trips. She said that while this is common for relocation buyers, that it is also becoming the norm for relocation renters.
Huey said that many of the relocation renters are people who have never rented an apartment before, but are now choosing to do so. Huey said this can in part be attributed to the fact that some of these new renters have moved to Houston from other areas of the country where the market for selling their home was not as favorable. Thus, renting in Houston is their best or only option.
“We also have a lot of very young people and young employees moving to Houston. It is one of the most exciting things. We have a whole new generation of transferees,” she said.
Huey says that this younger group of relocation renters really likes to do their research before they get here.
“The people coming out of college right now definitely have the buyer mentality, but because they are the Internet generation, they are used to doing a lot of research, so they are going to come live in the area first, and choose their community before they are going to buy,” she said.
Renting affords these young employees the ability to experience life in Houston and become a more educated buyer when they are ready to consider making a purchase.
Huey said many apartment complexes are being built with the younger renter in mind, and include amenities that are designed to appeal to the young people moving to the Houston area. She said the younger transferees continue to be drawn to an urban environment.
Huey points out that it is not just the younger generation of employees who are opting to rent. She said baby boomers have also added to the increase in relocation renters.
“We have a lot of our transferees who are willing to move for short periods of time before they retire. These relocation transferees are also choosing to rent, because they want to go back home for their retirement,” she said.
The other group that is adding a lot of relocation renters into the mix, are expats, who generally rent as opposed to purchasing since their move to Houston may be on a more temporary basis.
Due to the fast pace of the Houston real estate market, Huey advises her relocation clients of what they need to do before arriving in Houston, and what they need to be prepared to do as they begin to look at properties with their agent.
Huey said that the clients need to have cleared up any credit issues that may exist before they arrive in Houston, and that they need to have their checkbook in hand and ready be to write a lease on the spot.
She stresses the importance to her clients of being ready to move forward the moment they decide on a property.
Michelle Sandlin has been involved in the relocation industry since 2000. She serves as Vice President/President-Elect for Houston Relocation Professionals and is Vice President/Director of Communication & Marketing for Chicago Title. Send questions/comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with Michelle on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoustonRelocation and on Twitter: @MichelleSandlin. Also visit “On the Move – Exploring Houston Relocation with Michelle Sandlin” at blog.chron.com/onthemove.
If you have something to share or contribute, please send an email to email@example.com. Please look for another Michelle Sandlin “On the Move” relocation article in today’s Jobs section.
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