Investing Architect explores DFW

Over the years, I've been asked by several long time clients about investing in the Dallas Fort-Worth market. At the time, the main reason for their interest was location diversification. While I always thought it a good idea to diversify holdings over markets with different characteristics, I thought there wasn't a significant difference in location characteristics to achieve any meaningful diversification. Then oil prices dropped in the $40s and calls about investing in DFW became more … [Read more...]

Why did oil prices drop in 2014

Last year, on the morning of June 12, the market price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil was $107.12. When the ball dropped to announce the arrival of 2015, the price of oil did a spot-on impression and dropped 51% (to $53.45). As I write this article, the price sits even lower at $44.80. As you read through those numbers, you are probably asking yourself two critical questions: Why did oil prices drop in 2014? How will the drop in oil prices impact the real estate … [Read more...]

Houston Economy strength in numbers: GHP Report for 2013

Every year, the Greater Houston Partnership publishes a detailed report on the Houston economy which is a great chance for a numbers geek like me to sink my teeth on an ungodly amount of data. Below are a few highlights from the report. As of November 2013: Unemployment rate: 5.6% (vs. 7.0% national unemployment rate) Employment: 2.8% Job growth - Greater Houston area added 86,200 jobs during the previous 12 months (Number #1  in the State of Texas). During 2014, the GHP predicts … [Read more...]

In the path of growth: Exxon’s mammoth campus under construction in North Houston

During the acquisition phase of your Blueprint real estate investing strategy, the temptation is to focus exclusively on well established neighborhoods. But as a neighborhood becomes more and more established, home prices rise and returns drop. So how can you get better returns without sacrificing quality? You buy properties in the path of growth. That well established neighborhood of today was at one point not so well established. Needless to say, investors that purchased properties in … [Read more...]

The fiscal cliff: How will it impact the real estate market and investors?

These days you can't turn on your TV or radio without hearing something about Armageddon the impending fiscal cliff. And in hearing these pundits and newscasters and their lame, over stretched metaphors you would swear that the cliff must've been what the Mayans were talking about - they just missed it by a week and a half. But recently, some of our clients have called and asked me about the potential impact of the fiscal cliff on the real estate market as a whole and real estate investing in … [Read more...]

The driving force behind Houston’s strong rental market

It's no secret that the rental market in Houston has been outstanding, boosted by ever increasing demand by prospective tenants. Since 2005, I've seen rents increase almost 20% as properties get re-leased for higher and higher amounts each turnover. For example, a North Katy home that would fetch $1100-1150/mo six or seven years ago, consistently rents for $1350-1400 these days. Great, so what's behind this strong demand for rental properties that's driving up rental rates in Houston? And most … [Read more...]

The next three years

 Last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the central bank will likely keep the fed funds rate near zero until late 2014. This piece of news is likely to be greeted by a standing ovation in the real estate investing community as a whole. So far, Fed's downward pressure on the fed funds rate has resulted in never before seen 4.75% interest rates on 30 Year fixed investment property mortgages! This latest announcement means rates will probably stay put through 2014. As a long term … [Read more...]