Whether you’re searching for an ideal home for your children’s promising future or a prospective place to run an investment business – Houston is the city to consider.
The fourth-largest city in the US is predicted to lead the nation’s population growth for the second consecutive decade. Houston’s booming job market, thriving industries such as energy, aerospace and aviation, distribution, manufacturing, and medicine, together with inexpensive living costs and reliable, beautiful weather year-round are only some of the reasons why people flock to the famous “Space City”.
Houston offers excellent prospects to real estate investors due to its wide selection of reasonably priced housing. The city’s suburbs are mainly developing, so houses available on the market are often spacious with ample yard space.
So, now that we’ve established that Houston is a worthy real estate consideration, let’s take a look at some tips for buying a luxury property in Houston the smart way.
Determine Your Needs, Then Choose Neighborhood
The 610 highway is Houston’s most important geographical marker. The interstate freeway delineates Houston into the so-called inner and outer loop.
The Inner Loop is home to downtown Houston – the city’s most densely populated area and the epicenter of the city’s social activities.
If we talk about housing – the area within the loop is reserved for apartments and townhomes, whereas the outer part offers single-family, capacious homes.
Contrarily, in case you’re searching for a business space, downtown Houston is presumably a more suitable option, unless you’re specifically targeting suburbians as your clients.
Both suburbs and downtown Houston have their fair share of luxury properties. If you’re looking to settle your home or business within the city, neighborhoods such as the Heights and River Oaks might be the best choice.
The Heights is an Inner Loop neighborhood known for being one of Houston’s posher neighborhoods, whereas River Oaks enjoys the reputation of being one of Houston’s most high-end neighborhoods inside the loop and the home to mansions and large estates.
For those targeting the suburbs, neighborhoods such as The Woodlands, Katy, Cypress, and Bay Area could be interesting.
The Woodlands, as its name suggests, holds an abundance of nature and green space, which is the prime reason behind the costly property costs. Katy sees a rise in company headquarters, but this neighborhood is still more affordable compared to the Woodlands, for housing. Cypress is currently one of the hottest markets in Houston with growing industry development. Last but not least, the Bay Area is seeing some major regrowth and reopening after being severely hit by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Houston’s loose zoning laws create a blur between business and residential districts, so it is not uncommon for offices and businesses to be in close proximity to residential buildings.
Work With an Experienced Realtor
Houston is still a developing real estate market, characterized by urban sprawl – i.e., plenty of space available for residential property construction. Many neighborhoods still have abandoned or vacant lots, which makes investing in Houston real estate a perfect idea due to the variety of properties available to investors. Good business infrastructure and low building costs provide an advantage to prospective investors.
When buying a luxury property, it is crucial to have an experienced agent familiar with the Houston area. Partnering with a realtor who knows ins and outs of the Houston real estate scene can gain access to high-end properties and the opportunity to make appointments outside open house hours.
Another reason why going with a renowned local realtor is that many luxury homes go unlisted. Often, the only way to discover Houston luxury properties is through the real estate agent’s personal connections.
Do a Thorough Research
Large properties oftentimes are not photogenic, as their spaciousness cannot be accurately presented in the pictures. Therefore, do not dismiss properties based on their photos – rather take time to see them in person.
Another piece of advice when buying a luxury property is to do research of the property’s vicinity – both on Google Earth but also city’s building records. Ensure you know what is planned to be built around you.
Preplanning is important when purchasing a luxury property in Houston. The city is located on a flat plain with no natural boundaries such as mountains, oceans, lakes, and river boundaries.
Thus, expansion has always been an option for Houstonians to build properties “further out”, and an extensive freeway system helps get around cheaply and easily. Yet, this unlimited building area might land you a factory as a close neighbor.
Some Houston neighborhoods are prone to flooding risk. So, if you plan on relocating to Houston, team up with a well-versed realtor who knows the city’s flood zones.
Moreover, some of Houston areas with the most beautiful views are predisposed to hurricanes, so consult your realtor and consider whether you are comfortable navigating hurricane weather from time to time.
Double-Check Your Math
In the high-end real estate market financial documentation is critical. So, during your investment process in Houston hire a manager or an accountant who’ll keep track of your finances.
Furthermore, with insurance prices increasing, a relatively high property tax, and a sales tax of over 8%, your luxury Houston home might end up with a heftier price tag than expected.
Include your bank statements in the equation. Sort out between the pre-approval letter and the prequalification letter, and make sure you and your bank advisor are on the same page.
Consider Your Property’s Use
Whether it is a luxury home or a business office space, choose a property that truly fits its purpose. If you plan to purchase a corporate office, disregard what you are passionate about and choose a property in accordance with its usage.
Before finalizing the purchase, find out what you can do with the property. In case you want to make any changes, start this process early on to assure these alterations will be possible. You don’t want to invest in a home that you later cannot make your own.