Roger Martin and Life in the Loop


Feb. 7, 2008

Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters names Houston Best City for Bargain House HuntersHouston has just been named one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by  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,, 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

Jan. 19, 2008

Radio Interview with Roger Martin

Roger's Radio InterviewJanuary 19, 2008

Here I am, discussing Houston real estate live on the radio with Steve Levine of Houston Real Estate Today on CNN 650. The other guest was my friend Tom Laurenzo, VP of urbanFINANCIAL. Tom is my go-to guy when I need a Spanish-speaking loan officer.

To see a video of the interview, click here.

Roger Martin


Jan. 7, 2008

Jo Anna Ide - Realtor of the Week

JoAnna Ide, Broker Associate with Roger Martin Properties

Congratulations to Jo Anna Ide, who has been named REALTOR OF THE WEEK by the Houston Chronicle.  The article is included below...

Education foundation of Realtor’s career     

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

Having made her mark as an educator who became principal of West University Elementary School, Jo Anna Ide went on to immerse herself in another career as a real estate broker in association with Roger Martin Properties.

“I have loved houses since I was a little girl. I can remember getting my mother to take me out to look at homes for sale,” said Ide, a native Texan from Texarkana who moved to the Bayou City to attend the University of Houston – where she was a cheerleader, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, and a doctorate in business administration.

While she was principal, Ide would go out into the community to talk with people about activities and plans for the school, generating a lot of interest from business owners in support of the school. Through the effort she got to know Roger Martin, the broker/owner of Roger Martin Properties, who worked as a community partner for West University Elementary and often donated computers and other necessities for students.

After working on numerous projects with Ide for a number of years, Martin witnessed the manner in which she interacted with people, and recognized her potential for becoming a successful Realtor. He suggested that someday she should consider a real estate career.

Eventually, Ide followed through with his advice and became licensed as a Texas real estate agent eight years ago. She went on to become a leading Realtor with Roger Martin Properties and attained a real estate broker’s license and the Graduate Realtor Institute and Accredited Buyer Representative designations.

“It was very hard leaving my job as a principal, but I had done it a long time. However, the transition was easy because my experience of working with parents and teachers proved to be beneficial in my new career,” Ide said, who quickly built a large real estate practice with referrals from people she previously worked with and has known through various associations.

Ide also developed a successful practice by offering the best of service she could provide. Realizing that whatever she does, Ide wanted to be knowledgeable as possible and for that reason, she pursued an advanced continuing education in real estate . . . “for a better understanding of my profession, especially the legal aspects for both buyer and seller clients.”

Being an educator, Ide feels it is very important to stay up to date with everything going on in real estate. In line with that motivation, Ide’s business has flourished, earning her recognition as a top producing Realtor in residential sales from Roger Martin Properties, the Houston Chronicle’s Sold On Your Realtor contest and the Houston Association of Realtors.

In addition to staying abreast of the real estate industry, Ide keeps a close watch on trends and values in the great Houston housing market. She promotes listings in the city’s close-in residential communities, including River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Bellaire, Southampton and the Rice/Medical Center area.

Ide also works with buyers in any area they choose to live, having sold homes in Kemah, Pearland, Clear Lake and other outlying areas.

Ide markets her listings through the advertising programs available at Roger Martin Properties, which covers publications, brochures, mail-outs and Internet Web sites. She also conducts Realtor and public open houses, and has met and sold numerous homes to people who have stopped by to view a property she has listed and held open for the public.

“I go through every single aspect in real estate transactions with my clients, from the beginning to the end. I have helped them with attaining or cancelling service from utility companies, insurance and repair referrals, and anything else they need. I’ve also watered my clients’ lawns, and taken care of their children, dogs and cats because I enjoy helping in any way possible,” Ide said.

Well done, Jo Anna Ide!

Roger Martin

Dec. 7, 2007

Best Blue Chip Real Estate - West University Place

West U is Blue Chip Real has just named West University Place one of the "Best Blue Chip Real Estate Investments"!

West University Place

Median Home Sale Price:  $663,740

Price Growth Since 1990:  194%

… West University Place, a smaller city within Houston, originally chose to remain separate from the big city for tax purposes, and has its own city council, postal system and school system.  West U is effectively an urban suburb, and has the feel of a place outside the city limits.  In other words, a very desirable place to live.  Texas is home to some of the nation’s most affordable markets, yet West U has experienced extremely potent price growth since 1990.

Matt Woolsey,, December 7, 2007

To read the full article, click here.

Thank you Forbes, for confirming what we Realtors have known all along!  West University Place is a great neighborhood with strong appreciation in real estate values... making us one of the "Best Blue Chip Real Estate Investments" in the country!

Nov. 14, 2007

Best Places to Retire - by has ranked Houston as one of the best places to retire

Houston has been ranked as one of the best places to retire by

"Houston has eclipsed stalwarts such as Miami, Tucson, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in its ability to attract older residents. The cheap cost of living and lower-than-average tax burden have something to do with it, but so does the city's arts and leisure facilities, which ranked No. 18 in the country."

Matt Woolsey,, November 13, 2007

To read the full article, click here.

Nov. 7, 2007

Houston - Most Affordable Place to Live Well -- by has named Houston the Most Affordable Place to Live has ranked Houston the Most Affordable Place to Live Well in the entire United States.  Check out this article...

November 6, 2007

One of the country's fastest-growing cities, Houston has added nearly 1 million new people since 2000.  Housing affordability and a strong job market seem enought ot lure people from all over the country. The city has invested millions over the last five years in expanding infrastructure by adding trains, bolstering the downtown business district and funding the arts, whihc has helped to centralize -- to an extent--the city, which has always been more famous for sprawl and oil  It also helps that on an everyday cost basis, among the cities we studied, Houston is the cheapest place to live."

By Matt Woolsey,

Houston has many sterling qualities, and it is nice to be recognized for them!  To read the full article, click here.

Roger Martin

Nov. 1, 2007

Houston Economy - Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe strength of the Houston economy has kept us going for a year after the rest of the nation slipped into recession.  However, while real estate is local, lending is not.  And it is becoming increasingly difficult to finance home sales in Houston.  Here is what the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has to say...

November 2007

"Houston never experienced the excessive price appreciation that marked the national housing downturn’s early stages. But not even surging job growth has held off the loss of subprime and other high-interest rate lending. Existing-home sales fell 8.6 percent in October compared with October 2006, after a September tumble of 16.7 percent. New home sales were off 41 percent in September, with traffic off 18 percent. Builders have reacted quickly, and new home inventories are now below last year’s levels..."

Our hope remains that, without the hyper-inflated real estate markets seen elsewhere in the country, the Houston economy will weather this storm as well.

Roger Martin

Oct. 21, 2007

Roger Martin Trains Youngest Associate

Roger Martin Trains Youngest AssociateAs a real estate professional, training is always ongoing.  Most of the time, I train a staff of agents.  But recently, I found myself training a young neighborhood boy, as described in the following article from the Houston Chronicle....

October 21, 2007

"Having had a successful career in the Houston real estate industry, Roger Martin, broker/owner of Roger Martin Properties, feels that it is good training to start working in the industry at an early age, and recently guided a young boy in that direction.

"Such a situation occurred when Martin listed a vacant home for lease in a Houston suburb far from his office in West University.

"He installed a lock box so other Realtors could show the property, but because of traveling time it was difficult for him to keep the flier box filed with information about the home.

"So Martin decided to hire a neighborhood kid to keep the box filled with fliers.

"At his first open house Martin met Noah, age 5, and his mom, who lived next door to the listing.

"The three of them held a long discussion of what was require (Noah was to practice his counting skills and put five fliers in the box when it was empty) and a serious discussion of what was forbidden, which was not talking to other Realtors – they were officially “strangers” and besides, that was Martin’s job.

"They settled on $5 a week in wages.  Martin provided Noah with a stack of fliers.  The big thrill was a bundle of official Roger Martin Properties business cards that listed Noah’s job title as 'Marketing Assistant.'

"Happily, Noah performed his job to perfection.  The house was leased, the real estate signs came down, and the new neighbors moved in.  This was a time of transition for Noah.  He lost his first job, but the 'termination' occurred on his first day of kindergarten, so he has been busy furthering his educational goals ever since.'"

By Jude Patronella, the Houston Chronicle

Thank you, Noah!  Math skills and a good work ethic will take you far!

Roger Martin


Posted in Roger Martin
Oct. 8, 2007

Roger Martin - Realtor of the Week

Roger Martin, of Roger Martin PropertiesMany thanks to the Houston Chronicle, who named me REALTOR OF THE WEEK.  The article is quoted below...

Building firm in West U good move for Martin

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

Two years after settling into the city of West University Place with his wife and their young son, Roger Martin knew that it definitely was the “small town in Texas” he wanted to live in and develop a full-service boutique real estate company.

He proceeded to establish Roger Martin Properties in 1989 and has kept the company located in West University. His company has become a well-known real estate firm in the community and in surrounding areas of Houston.

Martin’s affinity for West University began with the decision to move there from the suburbs of Houston because he and his wife considered it “one of the most kid-friendly neighborhoods” to raise their son, who was 18 months in 1987.

He already was familiar with the home-buying process, having been a Realtor since 1974 and successfully worked in an Austin and Houston real estate practice helping people buy and sell residential properties. Also, he was licensed as a Texas real estate broker in 1976.

“I was destined to work in real estate. My first real job when I was a teenager was working for a Realtor, mowing yards in Midland… and while attending college I was very involved in the housing co-op movement,” said Martin, who began his real estate career in Austin after graduating from the University of Texas with a bachelors of arts degree. Martin moved to Houston in 1982 and married Anne Ayers, a geologist.

Several years ago, she joined Roger Martin Properties and serves as office manager for the company, which now includes eight agents and four staff members.

“We have a high ratio of staff members in relation to the number of agents associated with the firm so we can offer our clients excellent service. Our staff includes an in-house technical adviser and photographer. We do our own virtual tours and photographs for each listing,” Martin said.

“Also, we maintain a high-speed print shop so we can produce our brochures and mail-out information. If pertinent facts in the listing of a property changes, we immediately alter our printed material, which is much quicker than going to a print to have it done.”

In addition to working in West University, the agents at Roger Martin Properties specialize in many Houston neighborhoods, including Southside Place, Bellaire, the Rice University area, the Texas Medical Center, Southhampton, River Oaks, Southgate, Tanglewood and the Memorial Villages. Martin said his company will help people sell and buy homes in all areas of greater Houston.

“We will do whatever it takes to assist people with their residential needs,” said Martin, who has physically helped people move their belongings and given them rides to and from the airport.

“Over the years we have grown with our customers and become good friends with them. Many have repeated business and referred new clients because they know we are dependable in our service and an excellent source of information.”

I appreciate the excellent article.  Thanks!

Roger Martin