Moving outward: A new real estate trend for Tomball, Magnolia homebuyers

Tomball and Magnolia real estate agents are seeing more people look for homes with yards and dedicated workspaces. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tomball and Magnolia real estate agents are seeing more people look for homes with yards and dedicated workspaces. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tomball and Magnolia real estate agents are seeing more people look for homes with yards and dedicated workspaces. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Residential real estate trends have been slightly altered as the coronavirus pandemic creates a new normal life environment, local real estate agents said.

According to Ray Wade, a broker and the owner of Legacy Texas Properties, local homeowners are looking to get out of the more densely populated areas by moving farther outside of Houston.

“There is a trend for people to want bigger yards to be a little farther away from each other,” he said. “The Magnolia area seems very popular right now; people are moving away from crowded suburban environments.”

As a consequence of COVID-19 forcing places of work and schools to close this year, Wade also said some people have been looking for houses that can better accommodate working from home and at-home learning for children.

“People [are] wanting to move to a house that better accommodates a lot of people being home,” he said.



More affordable houses have also been selling very well currently, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

As houses continue to sell despite the ongoing pandemic, Jeff Anderson, sales manager at Guild Mortgage in Tomball, said business has not slowed.

“We have been busier in the last four months [than we had been] year over year. We are up 30%,” he said.

Anderson said with interest rates being so low, many people have recently been encouraged to buy or refinance their mortgages.

“Refinances are very attractive, particularly for people who bought a home in 2017 or 2018, when interest rates were higher,” he said.

The Federal Reserve is artificially keeping interest rates low, according to Anderson, and he said they will continue to stay low through 2021.

Anderson said this has resulted in potential homebuyers making multiple offers over listing prices on houses worth $300,000-$400,000—something Anderson said is unusual for the area.

Anderson added while the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Mortgage Forbearance is complex, real estate agents and homeowners have become more acclimated to it in recent weeks.

“When it first came out it was extremely confusing for all of us; [now that we have had some refinement from the agencies] more people are comfortable using it,” he said.

In the future, Anderson said increased foreclosures are a possibility; however, he said he does not believe there will be a spike due to COVID-19.

“I see where people who have been out of work and weren’t eligible for the CARES Act, maybe because they were self-employed, where it could hurt that classification of borrower,” he said. “We are going to see an increase in foreclosures, but it is not going to be a spike.”

Although real estate agents and mortgage brokers are staying busy, LaRae Whorley, a broker and the owner of LaRae Whorley Realty Group, said while the economy is currently in a recession, it is an event-driven recession rather than a truly economic-driven recession.

“I think we will bounce back, and it might take a year to see a full normal real estate market.” she said.

Whorley said this also depends on the real estate markets in the Houston area, as some markets are struggling more than others.

With the current housing shortage, Renee Leslie-Buckhoff, a broker and the owner of RE/MAX Elite Properties, said the need for housing has not lessened throughout the pandemic.

“Even though the sales volume is a little less, the prices have not gone down,” she said.

Leslie-Buckhoff said families with school-age children should look at how school districts have responded throughout the pandemic to determine if it matches their children's needs.

However, Leslie-Buckhoff said some sellers are still hesitant to put their homes on the market right now.

“I had some people that were planning to sell and move back into town [from Tomball], but with the virus they said they were staying put,” she said.

Compared to other markets, Leslie-Buckhoff said Houston responds better when situations like this occur.

“One of the greatest things about Houston and our market is that we respond modestly to price increases,” she said. “Rarely do we see a spike that is going to drive the market up and then a crash right after.”



MOST RECENT

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 has begun construction on the first of three phases for its new 43-acre, state-of-the-art campus located in Spring, according to a May 7 news release. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 begins construction on new 43-acre campus

The campus will house ESD No. 11's new ambulance service, which is scheduled to launch Sept. 4 when the district's contract with current service provider, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, expires.

Tomball Star Academy will celebrate its senior class May 27 with a graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Event Center, according to district information. Students will graduate virtually from LSC-Tomball on May 13, according to LSCS information. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'They’ve created the legacy:' Inaugural class to graduate May 27 from Tomball ISD's early college high school program

The inaugural class of 95 students has been instrumental in paving the way for the students yet to finish the program, said Kelly Marchiando, the principal of Tomball Star Academy since January.

The Texas Department of State Health Services projects a significant shortage of nurses by 2032. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Why Texas faces a growing nursing shortage and what can be done to address it

In 2018, the state health department estimated about 11% of the demand for nurses was not able to be met, and that number is expected to rise to 16.3% by 2032.

HTV
Houston, Harris County annual addresses no longer hosted by Greater Houston Partnership over Texas voter bill dispute

Local leaders criticized the area chamber of commerce for not taking a definitive stance on two voting access bills currently being deliberated in the Texas Legislature.

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle opens in Magnolia; get a sneak peek of new Houston aquarium and more metro news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The annual event begins at noon May 6. (Courtesy city of Tomball)
Tomball to host National Day of Prayer event May 6

The annual event begins at noon May 6.

The business specializes in customized in-home consultations during which families will receive a fire safety plan specific to their house's floor plan and an age-appropriate, individualized plan for each family member. (Courtesy Fire Smart, LLC)
Fire Smart, LLC celebrates one year of providing fire safety education across Greater Houston area

The business specializes in customized in-home consultations during which families will receive a fire safety plan specific to their house's floor plan and an age-appropriate, individualized plan for each family member.

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle opens on FM 1488 in Magnolia

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia.

A groundbreaking was held April 22 for The Medical Center of Tomball. (Courtesy Arch-Con Construction)
Medical Center of Tomball breaks ground

A ground breaking was held April 22 for Phase 1 of the The Medical Center of Tomball.

Harris County ESD 11 plans to hire 150 individuals to staff its new ambulance services. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 aims to hire 150 staff to launch new EMS

The district launched its hiring effort in late April and held a virtual job fair April 29-30 to attract candidates.