Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

Aug. 9, 2008

Best City to Earn a Living? Houston!

Houston Jobs MarketThe Houston jobs market is one of the best in the nation.  In fact, we have just been name the Best City to Earn a Living by Forbes.com.  Here is what they said...

August 8, 2008

"Houston is recognized here for its dynamic business environment, low unemployment and high wages relative to cost of living. These factors make Houston the best city to earn a living by our calculations..."

By Matt Woolsey, Forbes.com

We real estate professionals have known this all along - we watch people move to Houston on a daily basis.  But it is nice to have this confirmed by the national press.  To read the full article, click here.

Roger Martin

July 15, 2008

Houston - Best City to Buy a Home

Forbes.com has ranked Houston the Best City to Buy a Home

Houston frequently ranks well on the "best of" type of lists, and a recent post by Forbes.com is no exception.  Houston has been named the best city to buy a home...

"Houston, we don't have a housing problem.

"The city's $152,500 median home sale price is up 6.6% from 2005.  It boasts a low vacancy rate and an oil-rich economy. Throw in a bubbling entrepreneurial tech scene, and you've got four factors that put Houston on the top of our list of best places to buy a home..."

By Maurna Desmond, Forbes.com, July 14, 2008

To read the full article, click here.

So call us if you want to live here, in the "Best City to Buy a Home".

Roger Martin

 

June 1, 2008

Update on the Houston Economy

Houston Economic Update - Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has posted this update on the Houston economy...

"... Tighter lending standards are the chief culprit in pushing down home sales in Houston every month since the subprime mortgage market blew up last August. The June existing home sales, for example, were down 15 percent from 12 months ago. Although local job growth has slowed, continued economic expansion has been a key element in stabilizing prices and in the orderly transition to a lower sales path..."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas - June 2008

And yes.  The tighter lending standards are making it more difficult to close our real estate transactions, inspite of a relatively strong Houston economy.

Roger Martin

May 25, 2008

Roger Martin Makes Office Bike-Friendly

Roger Martin MS 150

Local Broker Making His Life, Office Bike-Friendly

May 25, 2008

"Instead of putting the pedal to the metal in his Lincoln Navigator on the way to work, real estate broker Roger Martin is pedaling his bike to Roger Martin Properties to improve his health and promote better stamina in his daily routine.

"While attending The University of Texas in Austin, Martin used to bicycle all around the campus and the city.

"Through the years he continued to ride bicycles during varoius intervals in his life and participated in two MS 150 bike rides from Houston to Austin.

"His incentive to get into better shape was inspired by his son who started taking tennis lesson at the City Club in Greenway Plaza, which resulted in Martin beginning a workout regimen in the club's gym. Aware of the campaign 'Ride Your Bike to Work' spurred Martin into dusting off his bicycle a couple of months ago.

"His home and office are in West University and there is not a long commute, which is good when it comes to bicycling back to his home to get the Navigator so he can drive his clients to preview properties in West University and areas thoroughout greater Houston.

"'I had one client a couple of years ago who wanted to ride a bicycle to preview houses and we rode our bikes through West University looking at different homes on the market. I found out that besides the health benefit you can see a neighborhood a lot better while riding a bike,' said Martin, who established Roger Martin Properties in West University in 1989.

"'Recently, I started riding my bike to the City Club and the West University Rotary meetings,' he said.

"'Now I'm planning to make my office bicycle friendly by installing bike racks in an area to park in front of the sidewalk and I am going to install an air pump so people can inflate their tires.'"

By Jude Patronella, the Houston Chronicle

I did indeed install the bike rack outside my office, where it sees frequent use by visitors to the Edloe Deli.  And of course, it is still there whenever I ride to work!

Roger Martin

April 20, 2008

Storytellers Spin Yarns for Fun-Filled Evening Out

Storyteller Entertains Roger Martin PropertiesThe Storytellers Guild?  Liars Contest?  Not our usual venue, certainly.  But at Roger Martin Properties, we stop from time-to-time and get away from the daily grind.  We try to gather together socially once a quarter with our agents, staff and their families.  The Houston Chronicle published this story about one such get-together...

"Always on the lookout for good entertainment for their real estate company's quarterly meetings, Roger and Ann Martin of Roger Martin Properties celebrated the first quarter of 2008 at a fun-filled evening with the Houston Storytellers Guild.

"They began the evening with dinner at Pappas Seafod House and then traveled to the Houston Baptist College campus, where the Houston Storytellers Guild's 20th annual Liars Contest was held.

"Ann said the guild's gatherings are for sharing stories, promoting storytelling and having fun. She said one lady told an elaborate fib about how she helped the author of "Gone With the Wind" name the characters in the novel. Another person, wearing leather gloves and a hardhat, spun a yarn about how to bathe a cat..."

By Jude Patronella, the Houston Chronicle, April 20,2008

And hey -- don't think that we were at the Storytellers Guild picking up helpful hints!  We real estate professionals are trained to disclose, disclose and disclose truthfully once again!

Roger Martin

March 4, 2008

Houston Technology Center makes Houston a Top 10 Tech City

Houston Top Ten Technology CityHouston has been named one of the Top Ten Up-and Coming Tech Cities by Forbes.com, based on the work of the Houston Technology Center.  Here is an excerpt from the recent article...

... Houston hasn't exactly earned a reputation as a city teeming with techies.  But that's changing. 'Fifteen years ago, we had all the assets, but we weren't really developing them,' says Walter Ulrich, chief executive of the Houston Technology Center, the state's largest technology incubator. 'So all the leaders of Houston got together and recognized that the city needed to diversify its economy. There's been this tremendous transition.'

Houston's strategy: Smash different discoveries together. To wit: Houston's itRobotics, founded in 2002, has developed new cost-cutting robots that inspect a variety of boilers and energy pipelines for structural flaws.

Other Houston start-ups are commercializing technologies originally developed at local research institutions. Nanospectra Biosciences, a local drug delivery company, is working on a nano-scale particle (pioneered at Rice Univerisyt) that destroys cancerous tumors. The particles are injected in the bloodstream and accumulate inside cancerous tumors. When the tumor is exposed to a laser, the particles absorb the near-infrared light and convert it into thermal energy, destroying the tumor...

William Pentland, Forbes.com, March 10, 2008

The Houston Technology Center is based in the Woodlands, and (according to their website) "provides education, insight, and access to capital that entrepreneurs need to move towards the path to commercialization."

To read the entire Forbes article, click here.  To learn more about the Houston Technology Center, click here.

Roger Martin

Feb. 26, 2008

Housing Market Deemed Strong in Inner City

 Inner City Real Estate MarketI was recently interviewed by the ExaminerNews.com, who compared our local housing market to the national real estate conditions.  Here is an excerpt...

Houston’s inner city housing market continues to be robust despite recent reports of a decline in overall sales and an increase in the number of days on the market, experts said….

'The sharp downturns in the housing market detailed in the media are national,' said Roger Martin of Roger Martin Properties, which deals with property in West University Place. He agreed that the growth in the housing market is based on a good economy, and that the market is ‘not growing insanely.’

By Leslie Contreras, www.ExaminerNews.com, February 26, 2008

Thanks for the vote of confidence in our local housing market!

Roger Martin

Feb. 13, 2008

West University Named Blue-Chip Neighborhood

West U is Blue Chip Neighborhood West University has just been named a Blue-Chip Neighborhood by Forbes.com.  The Examiner.com published and article in response, citing the Forbes article and quoting me.  Here is an excerpt...

Forbes magazine has named West University Place one of the premier blue-chip real estate investment areas in the nation.

The magazine defined blue-chip markets by examining home appreciation values and median house values since 1990 and choosing properties that have held on to and increased in value over the last 17 years.

Based on data from NeighborhoodScout.com, a real estate firm that tracks home appreciation information, West University Place posted a price [increase] of 194 percent since 1990, with the median home value at $663,740.

The city placed among Forbes’ list of 'well-established spots' with Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, University Park in Dallas and communities in Chicago and New York.

The pegging of the neighborhood among the elite was no surprise to longtime real estate agent Roger Martin, of Roger Martin Properties.

'The steady growth is based on a 'good, solid economy in Houston,' he said, including strong industries in the Medical Center, the port of Houston, and the oil sector.  Also, he said, the limited amount of property available – roughly about 6,200 homes total – is a fundamental factor in making the market strong.

But most of all, he said, it is the city itself that draws buyers.  'We have a good city, we have good schools within our area,' Martin said.  'It’s a pleasant place to live.  All these things go to make a solid investment...'"

Leslie Contreras,  West University Examiner, www.examiner.com, February 13, 2008

Thank you Leslie, for expanding on the Forbes article.  We really are a Blue-Chip Neighborhood -- and a great place to live!

Feb. 7, 2008

Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters

Forbes.com names Houston Best City for Bargain House HuntersHouston has just been named one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by Forbes.com.  Here's a quote from the recent article...

"... Compared to housing prices in other cities, Houston real estate has always been a bargain, which is part of why the population has expanded so much since 2000.  Jobs are being added to the books at the sixth fastest rate of cities measured, and while the city has had more than a few foreclosures, especially in Harris County, it hasn’t taken a huge overall hit.  Based on inventory levels and construction projects in the works, buyers still have good standing to negotiate price..."

From "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, February 7, 2008

While we Houstonians sometime bemoan our lack of scenery, our flat topography has allowed the city to expand and grow without barriers.  That factor, together with a strong economy, has kept housing prices reasonable.  So thank you, Forbes, for naming us one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters"!

Roger Martin

Feb. 1, 2008

Update on the Houston Economy

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports that the Houston economy is beginning to feel the effects of the national housing crisis.  New construction is down and foreclosures are up...

"Is Houston feeling the strain of the U.S. slowdown? It is not apparent yet in the employment data, but the clearest effect is spillover from the U.S. housing downturn. Both the number of single-family permits and existing home sales are down sharply, and foreclosures are rising...

"The bottom rungs of the Houston housing market continue to lag, with overall permits for new single-family construction down 27 percent from January 2007, and existing homes sales down 14 percent. The bust in the subprime market and loss of those potential customers triggered the local slowdown last summer, and year-to-date foreclosures were up 16 percent in the first two month of 2008 compared with last year..."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, February 2008

The Houston economy has been lucky to avoid these real estate woes so far, but our housing market has definitely slowed recently, particularly for entry-level homes on the edges of the city.

Roger Martin