We were doing some statistical analysis, as we typically do this time of year, and found some interesting information by comparing sales in the Historic Districts against sales outside of these districts in The Heights. The Greater Heights area includes seven historic districts, each with slightly different characteristics. All seven have limitations on what can be done to a Contributing Structure.
Details on what criteria and what constitutes a contributing structure can be found at the City of Houston’s Historic Preservation Manual website.
Note the relationship between the size of home inside and outside of a Historic district.
We found that values were very similar between historic and non-historic residences. The average price and median price inside and outside the historic district were statistically identical. There was one very distinct difference. The size of the properties inside a historic district were 10-15% smaller on average than those outside the districts. Basically, the values in the districts were higher while the home sizes were smaller. This size difference could be used to make the argument that homes inside the districts are worth more because they will have a 10-15% higher value per square foot of living space than outside the districts.
New Construction on a Large Lot on Usener
This can also be attributed to the abundant new construction outside of historic districts that can take place and tends to be built substantially larger than the original homes. A historic district will typically impose limitations on the size of a home based on the lot size and amount of livable square feet known as the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and Maximum Lot Coverage. Many of the definitions and guidelines can be found in the City of Houston Planning Department’s Project Potential Design Tools.
Finally, it is important to know that whether a property is inside or outside a Historic District, it can still have restrictions. There are deed restrictions based on the neighborhood the property is in, which may have size requirements and height restrictions. There are also city ordinances that can help people control development on a block by block basis. The Minimum Lot Size and Minimum Building Line ordinances for the city of Houston are tools that homeowners can use to vote to control the other homes on their block. Click here for an interactive map where you can look up properties and the neighborhoods where homeowners have decided to self-impose these restrictions.
This is just another reason to know and trust this industry leader in Houston. Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate (LRE®) just announced this award to Beth Wolff Realtors Real Living for their history of exemplifying leadership and enduring accomplishments in the real estate industry.
For over 40 years, Beth Wolff Realtors Real Living has been synonymous with expertise and concierge service in Houston’s residential real estate marketplace. We provide clientele with notable neighborhood knowledge, extensive global access, insightful answers to financial inquiries and superlative personalized service. Beth Wolff Realtors Real Living is also very well connected and involved in community organizations and charities; the company was recognized in 2019 with the LRE® Extraordinary Philanthropy Award.
This distinguished award came from a worldwide collection of top brokers representing the finest luxury properties across the globe, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate has been leading the real estate industry since 1986. This hand-selected group of more than 125,000 professionals with properties in more than 62 countries collectively sells over $240 billion of real estate annually, making it the most elite and comprehensive luxury real estate network in the world.
“We feel honored and privileged to be given this award. We would like to take a moment to thank the Board of Regents Luxury Real Estate worldwide collection of top brokers for this vote of confidence in our company that has grown with this great city of Houston.” — Beth Wolff
The current market is as interesting as everything else in 2020. The impact of COVID 19 has been on the number of properties available for sale more than on the number of buyers in the market. As you will see below, the data shows that listings are down substantially from last year at this time and yet the number of properties under contract is up. The shortage of good available properties has kept prices stable. All of this information is relative to the value. The majority of sales (70+%) are between $200,000-$400,000. This does not mean that we are not selling homes above this value. Over 1,150 homes sold above $500,000 in August.
Go ziplining at Wimberley Zipline Adventures with ten different ziplines at speeds of up to 30 mph, the views of canyons and meadows are amazing. With a friendly staff, even first-timers are instructed and welcome. wimberleyzipline.com
The Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center has over 300 species of flowers and plants. An amazing effort to return the gardens to their former state from the Harvey disaster, this is something not to miss. shangrilagardens.org
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION DEADLINE FOR OWNERSHIP
DECEMBER 31, 2019
If you are currently looking for a new home, you may not have considered the impact that closing before the year end can have. The homestead exemption helps you save on taxes on your home. In addition, you may be eligible for other exemptions, such as age 65+. In order to benefit from the applicable tax exemptions on owner-occupied residential property, one must occupy that residence on January 1st.
Real estate taxes, exemptions (if any), and tax rates are based upon location and appraised value. They are determined by the County Appraisal district.
There is still time for qualified buyers to purchase your new residence and received this substantial benefit!
Contact Us for more information or visit your local appraisal district website for more information! See a list of some of the local County Appraisal District websites below.
Harris County Appraisal District – HCAD.org
Brazoria County Appraisal District – Brazoriacad.org
Chambers County Appraisal District – Chamberscad.org
Fort Bend County Appraisal District – FCAD.org
Galveston County Appraisal District – Galvestoncad.org
Liberty County Appraisal District – Libertycad.org
Montgomery County Appraisal District – Mcad-tx.org
Waller County Appraisal District – Waller-cad.org
In our 41st year as a real estate brokerage in Houston, Texas and in my 26th year of selling or managing the sale of real estate in Houston, Texas, the one thing I have learned is that I will never live long enough to have “Seen It All.” Every transaction and every client is different and the needs or requirements of each have unique situations that we encounter and deal with based on those circumstances. The benefit of the experiences we have had is that we can recognize potential issues and recall solutions from similar situations to resolve these issues before they occur.
The purchase and sale of real property is the largest investment most people make in their lives. Aside from the protection of this major aspect, it is also the place where families are raised, pets come and go, neighbors become friends and a sense of home is created for all who reside there. This is why we take our responsibilities so seriously. In a world where papers are signed with the click of a button and decisions are being made in nanoseconds, we have to step back and make sure that the things our clients are not thinking about or asking come to the forefront.
It is not the answers to the questions you ask that are most important, it is the questions you never knew to ask that matter most.
I hope this blog will provide insight and answers and sometimes entertaining anecdotes about the world of real estate in Houston and sometimes beyond. I look forward to sharing more with you and am eager to hear what you think.
Thank you for your interest and engagement.