The real estate market in Huntsville is about to heat up. January to June are the busiest months of the year for real estate in Houston and surrounding areas, due to the desirable weather and movement of jobs over the summertime.
The most popular single family homes that sold in 2018 were in the $160,000-$200,000 price range. This is due to the median income in Huntsville being $41,000 per year.
161 country homes/ acreages sold in Walker County at an average price of $243,000. Many buyers for these properties are from outside areas including other states and the Houston area. One of their main desires is to have more space. Buyers also tend to mention getting away from the larger populations and traffic.
In Huntsville, a large portion of homes valued in the affordable price range are currently owned by investors who have multiple single-family homes as rentals. The investors were able to rent them for an average of $960 per month in 2018. In fact, 290 units were rented last year.
An interesting fact about Huntsville homes is that many of them have not been updated in the last 20 years. Most buyers are looking for a home that is modern and move-in ready. The available houses that meet these criterion typically have multiple buyer offers as soon as they are listed for sale. In contrast to other listed homes that need cosmetic updates, which sit on the market for many months waiting for a buyer willing to purchase a fixer upper. It’s also fascinating that the flippers in Houston and surrounding areas have not really caught on to the market in Huntsville yet. Many Walker County investors are unwilling to sell because they are able to collect high rents in Huntsville, with the least amount of maintenance necessary on their dilapidated rentals. Not all investors are that way. College students and local government employees have no choice but to live in the most affordable and available rental on the market at the time that they are looking.
The highest priced single-family home that sold in Walker County last year, sold in the $700k - $800k price range. The average price of a single-family home was $200k. About 100 homes sold in the $200k -$300k price range. The highest number of buyers purchased properties in the $50k - $160k price range.
A few new homes in the Huntsville area are being built for under $200,000 in the Waterwood golf course subdivision and in the Wildwood Shores Lake Conroe subdivision.
A multitude of buyers from Houston have purchased 1-acre or larger lots in the Texas Grand Ranch subdivision, located close to New Waverly. There are restrictions for the community which require that all of the homes built be a minimum of 2,000 square feet. Currently 71 lots that were purchased from the developer are listed for sale on the Houston Area Multiple Listing Service. They are priced from $69,900 for 2 acres to $339,900 for 8 acres. At this point in time, about 35 homes have been built in Texas Grand Ranch.
The subdivision in Walker County that has the most activity and appeals to various buyers is the Elkins Lake Subdivision. It requires a $1600 transfer fee when a property is purchased, but this fee allows owners to use the Elkins Lake golf course as often as they would like. The Elkins Lake golf course has the least expensive green fees on this side of Texas. Elkins Lake also offers many groups and activities for retired residents as well as families with children. Two lakes, playgrounds, pools, a restaurant and special holiday events appeal to a large population of Huntsville residents.
There are currently quite a few homes available in Walker County in the $200k-$300k price range. Anything under $200k is much harder to find and there is a lot of competition for buyers. If you’re an investor and tired of the rental game, now is a great time to put your well-maintained rentals on the market. A multitude of buyers can afford these properties and they will sell quickly. In general, this is the best time of year to contact your realtor, get a price valuation and put your home on the market.
Daiquiri Beebe is a realtor with Abby Realty in Huntsville.