Allie Culwell is top-producing realtor, and the Owner/Broker of Apple Realty in Fort Worth, Texas. In this article, Culwell discusses the rising prices of real estate in and around Dallas/Fort Worth and how the average consumer might best deal with this situation.
Allie Culwell began her most-impressive career in real estate 25 years ago when she worked for a professional builder. “In 1991, I became a licensed Realtor.” Culwell recalls, “In 2007, I began Apple Realty Inc. and we’ve been growing steadily ever since.”
When asked what is currently happening in and around the Fort Worth real estate market, Culwell had a great deal to say. “Among the biggest challenges I see is the lack of affordable housing options at the entry level.” She adds, “We must do more for first time buyers who are competing with cash investors for a limited supply of affordable homes. Lending restrictions are making it more difficult to qualify and closing costs are on the upswing.”
Culwell is quick to point out that this lack of affordable housing doesn’t only apply to resale homes, but new homes as well. “There are fewer homebuilders focusing on the entry buyer either because of land costs and/or reduced profit. We all have a part to play in making the American dream of homeownership a reality for families,” she adds adamantly. “As the economic markets continue to get stronger, we need to keep in mind that the entry buyer of today ultimately becomes the move-up buyer of tomorrow.”
Though it does seem like a daunting situation for potential home buyers, Culwell insists that there are solutions, “Change in government policies is the first step. It has become far too difficult for applicants to get loans following the housing crises of 2008.” Culwell continues, “What keeps many entry buyers from purchasing a home is the simple fact that today’s college graduate is earning less and is riddled with massive student debt. We must pass legislation that can ease this financial stress and we need to make learning institutions more affordable for all families.”
Culwell doesn’t stop there, however. “If higher land costs are making it more difficult to build large affordable residential developments, why not just turn our efforts into creating safe, strong communities throughout the many neglected and underperforming neighborhoods in Tarrant County.” She explains, “By providing good schools and good after school programs, these affordable neighborhoods are transformed. The community as a whole begins to take more pride, which in turn stabilizes housing prices and results in buyer confidence.”
These are certainly great solutions over the long term but there are buyers that must deal with the current situation right now. For those buyers, Culwell offers this advice. “You need to know what you can afford and the real costs associated with purchasing and maintaining a home. A good lender and a good Realtor are invaluable tools in helping you reach your goal whether you are purchasing your home now or in the near future.” She goes on, “Understand that there is more competition for homes in the entry market and that there are fewer sellers providing closing costs assistance to buyers, so having all your money and an approval from a reputable lender is a good start.”
Culwell adds some more very sound advice, “Get with a professional who understands the market. This may sound easy, but not all homes for sale hit the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). In a seller’s market, you will see more For Sale By Owners hitting the market and more homes sold without ever officially being on the market.”
With such short supply of affordable housing, this market is definitely not for the less experienced or part-time realtor. “Your realtor has to be committed, creative, and on ‘top of her game’ if you are to be satisfied with your home buying experience,” Culwell exclaims. “Above all, understand that buying a home may take time. It can be frustrating waiting for the right home, but in the long run it will be worth it.”
Excellent advice from a professional who is definitely at “the top of her game” and has been for a long time. Anyone wishing to learn more about Allie Culwell and her services is encouraged to visit: http://www.applerealtytexas.com where they have a good deal of information related to the buying process. She can also be reached via phone at (817) 714-7652.