Washington Corridor Newsletter July 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

I will definitely check out this new wing spot. Being from New Braunfels I naturally want to support any and all Hill Country businesses.

Popular Austin-based wing bar Pluckers coming to Houston

chron0613A lease has been signed for the first Pluckers Wing Bar in Houston at 1400 Shepherd.

Pluckers Wing Bar has 15 locations in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Louisiana.

Pluckers features chicken wings with 16 different sauces includng Buffalo Hot and Dr. Pepper, and other dishes.

Last year USA Today named Pluckers one of the top 10 wing restaurants in America and also that year ESPN named it one of the top 5 sports bars in North America.

Pluckers was started by two University of Texas freshmen in a dorm room. They opened their first location in Austin in 1995.

Jason Baker of Baker Katz, a commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in retail, represented the tenant and Greg Stackhouse of New Regional Planning represented the landlord.

Article By: Nancy Sarnoff and the Houston Chronicle real estate team.
– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
118HickoryRidge
118 HICKORY RIDGE DR
1704Stuart
1704 STUART A
619Rutland
619 RUTLAND
Classic Dutch Colonial on over an acre!! Great Opportunity for New Construction in Bunker Hill! Property being marketed pre-construction, so it’s not too late to customize and upgrade!!
Freestanding 2 Story, 2-car garage home designed to be architectural and exquisite, inside and out, appealing to buyers who want to live in a modern, unique residence that will provide an elegant lifestyle. Three-story masterpiece by Fisher Homes boast a 6ft wrought iron fence & manicured lawn. The second floor showcases 12 foot ceilings, wood floors & a large luxurious kitchen/ living/Dining rooms.
For Sale: $3,303,555
MLS# 66725408
For Sale From: $374,900
MLS# 84057984
For Sale: $425,000
MLS# 38665344
– Real Estate News

Security National Mortgage Company
Marketing Minute Monday!
07.01.2013

GEM (Green Energy Money): GEM provides tools, data, and methods that help homeowners, realtors, builders, lenders and appraisers realize the economic and environmental benefits of high performance, energy-efficient buildings. GEM’s primary purpose is to help property owners save money by going green on existing and new construction projects. We provide the tools to make upfront key economic decisions regarding investing in green energy property upgrades. The GEM tools have been developed to simplify the process and to provide practical and easily-implemented economic solutions.

If you’re like most property owners today, you want to save money and make good investment decisions for your future. GEM will show you how to save and invest with energy-efficient upgrades, ensuring your future from rising utility, building and interest costs. The fundamental principle of “greening up” is getting ahead of increases in energy costs in the near future by investing in upgrades now.

We will help you make upfront decisions without having to spend a lot of your time and resources. The tools and resources GEM offers will take the guess work out of a complex process and make it a whole lot easier to evaluate your green project and upgrades. GEM offers:

  • Free calculators to evaluate payments, accelerated paybacks and more.
  • The GEM Book – a complete economic overview for residential property owners
  • Free and Paid reports to estimate upgrade costs, return on investments, and quantified methods to improve property values.

GEM certification processes and quantification methods facilitate a “green appraisal” process that maximizes the value of your investment in high-performance measures. GEM makes it possible for appraisers to fully recognize the lower maintenance costs and reduced operating expenses of an energy-efficient home.

Security National Mortgage Company (SNMC): GEM has partnered with Security National Mortgage Company, offering a diverse line of new high performance home financing solutions to give you the freedom to select the most cutting-edge, energy-efficient home improvements available anywhere on the market. SNMC recognizes the value of green, and makes it easy for you to finance upgrades to a purchase, an existing property or a new construction project.
securitymortgage

  • Residential loans up to $5m
  • Construction– one-time close
  • Home improvement loans
  • Commercial, development loans
  • Multi-family rehabs—up to 100%
  • SBA green renewable energy retrofits up to 90%; owner occupied
  • Land financing; farms, ranches, solar, farm incentivized programs

For more information on tools, laws, and GEM/SNMC case studies: GEM WEBSITE

Washington Corridor Newsletter June 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

2800-washington-sonicFinally a place to grab a quick snack on the East end of Washington Ave. Article below has been confirmed and I am sure all inner loopers are excited to know they can grab a Slush or Tots when there just isn’t enough time to sit down and eat.

What’s That New Drive-Thru on Washington Ave?

A pair of Swamplot readers, employees at Hughes Hangar across the street and Kwik Lube next door, and the Facebook page of late-night weekend jitney service Houston Wave all have heard that this building going up on Washington Ave will be a new Sonic. But a rep from the company can’t confirm the location, saying yesterday that there is nothing to add about “the specific possibility” of a Sonic here at 2720 Washington, and there doesn’t appear to be any tell-tale signage up yet.

If you do some serious Googling, you’ll come across what appears to be construction specs and code details for a 1,344-sq.-ft. Sonic at 2720 Washington — described there as Store #6360 — but it’s unclear how current they are. We’ll update this story with more details when we have them.

Article from Swamplot
Photos: Swamplot inbox

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
118HickoryRidge
118 HICKORY RIDGE DR
1704Stuart
1704 STUART A & B
1610Holly
1610 & 1612 HOLLY
Classic Dutch Colonial on over an acre!! Great Opportunity for New Construction in Bunker Hill! Property being marketed pre-construction, so it’s not too late to customize and upgrade!!
Freestanding 2 Story, 2-car garage home designed to be architectural and exquisite, inside and out, appealing to buyers who want to live in a modern, unique residence that will provide an elegant lifestyle. Sawyer Heights Contemporary freestanding home with an open floor plan by Infinite Group Development, 2-storys with great views of the Houston downtown Skyline.
For Sale: $3,303,555
MLS# 66725408
For Sale From: $349,000
MLS# 84057984
MLS# 84102500
For Sale: $349,000
MLS# 97997394
MLS# 48181146
– Real Estate News

McMansions are making a comeback

By Les Christie @CNNMoney June 4, 2013: 7:53 AM ET

As the economy recovers, America’s love affair with the oversized McMansion has been reignited.

mcmansionDuring the past three years, the average size of new homes has grown significantly, according to a Census Bureau report released Monday. In 2012, the median home in the U.S. hit an all-time record of 2,306 square feet, up 8% from 2009.

During the recession, Americans downsized and the average new home shrunk in size by 6% over two years to 2,135 square feet. At the time, many industry experts said the days of the McMansion were over.

The shrinkage was supposed to indicate that a new era had begun, with young buyers seeking to live closer to urban cores and settling for smaller places and baby boomers downsizing after their kids had flown the nest.

But it wasn’t that consumers wanted less space, many just couldn’t afford more, said Jeffry Roos, a regional president for home builder Lennar. And now that the economy is improving, they’re demanding bigger homes again, he said.

In 2012, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey of homebuyer preferences and found that people preferred a median home size of 2,226 square feet, just shy of the Census Bureau’s recently reported median size.

And the homes seem to be getting even bigger this year, according to builders. Marcie DePlaza, a division president for GL Homes, said so far this year her company is selling homes that average about 7% larger than during the first five months of 2012.

Rose Quint, an assistant vice president for survey research with NAHB, said the trend toward larger homes might be less pronounced if mortgages were easier to get for low- and middle-income borrowers. With tough underwriting standards in place, the buyers who land mortgages tend to be more affluent and able to afford bigger houses.

“It has to do with who has access to credit,” she said. “The mix of homebuyers is different. When lending returns to normal, home size will go down again.”

So far that trend has yet to emerge. Even though loan underwriting has gotten a bit easier lately, according to a Federal Reserve survey, home sizes continue to grow.

It may be that people are simply programmed to want bigger living spaces. While shopping around, buyers almost always end up seeking bigger, not smaller, homes than they had originally planned, according to Fred Cooper, a spokesman for Toll Brothers, the nation’s biggest luxury home developer.

“In the downturns, in upturns, whenever, our customers typically added another 18% to 20% of floor space onto what already was a very nice house to begin with,” said Cooper.

A similar thing happens at GL Homes. It has a model available in a three-bedroom, or a larger four-bedroom version. “The four bedroom outsells the three bedroom all day long,” said DePlaza. “I don’t know if we’ve ever sold a three-bedroom one.”

Many families have also doubled up, with three generations or more living under one roof. Lennar has a line of homes, called Next Gen, that come with a separate suite, suitable for a mother-in-law or for college grads who are saving money before setting out on their own or those who haven’t been able to find jobs. Naturally, these homes are bigger than Lennar’s average offering and have become increasingly popular.

But it’s hard not to see the increase in home size as a sign that the economy is recovering, said DePlaza. “People weren’t buying SUVs [during the recession] either and they are again,” she said.

As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter May 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

Recently, I met Diane Morin, one of the founders of a local cultural arts organization located in our area. I attended a luncheon she invited me to and was wonderfully surprised by this 35-year community- based nonprofit organization. The services provided to the underserved youth in the 6th Ward are often life changing.

Arts Education Programming

MecaMembers of the Old Sixth Ward community founded MECA in 1977 to provide arts activities and cultural opportunities as alternatives for the underserved youth in Houston’s inner-city neighborhoods. MECA continues such efforts to promote the cognitive, social, cultural and academic benefits of the arts. Today, MECA delivers services to hundreds of youth annually, many of whom would not have access to such life-changing programs without the center. MECA also serves adult arts studies.

MECA’s Mission

MECA is a community-based nonprofit organization committed to the healthy development of underserved youth and adults through arts and cultural programming, academic excellence, support services and community building.

Support Services

MECA support services include tutoring, counseling, referrals, mentoring, crisis intervention, life-skills training SAT preparation, scholarships and assistance with college applications.

All MECA students are offered Support Services as needed at no additional cost. Community members are also invited to receive support services as needed. As a United Way agency, MECA collaborates with other service organizations to provide referrals, life-skills classes, parenting workshops and school advocacy.

MECA also offers sophomore and junior high school students the opportunity to travel abroad through The Experiment In International Living program which offers a challenging three to five week summer abroad program.

Support Services staff includes Tutors, a certified community health worker and a volunteer Social Worker.

Meca2The Classes

Adult Fitness
African Dance and Drumming
Ballet
Button Accordion
Choir
Classical Guitar
Classical Violin
Contemporary Dance
Hip-Hop Dance
Musical Improvisation*
Mariachi
Mexican Ballet Folklorico
Modem Dance
Mosaic Art
Oil Painting
Plano
Suzuki Violin
Visual Art

*Sponsored by Nameless Sound

 

MECA Alumn is named Houston’s First Poet Laureate

GwendolynZepedaMayor Annise D. Parker and Houston Public Library (HPL) Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson today announced that award-winning author and poet Gwendolyn Zepeda has been selected as Houston’s first Poet Laureate. Zepeda will represent the city by creating excitement about poetry through outreach programs, teaching, and written work.

Zepeda is a Houston-based author who is best-known for her works of fiction, including “Growing Up Tamales,” “Houston, We Have a Problema,” “Lone Star Legend,” and “Better with You Here”. However, Zepeda is also an accomplished poet. She has several chapbooks and published poems to her name, with a book of poetry due out in 2014: “It’s Zepeda Not Zapata.”
HOUSTON CHRONICLE APRIL 9, 2013

Contact us for current classes and additional information.

1900 Kane MecaLogoSmallStreet
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 802-9370
Fax: (713) 802-9304

info@meca-houston.org

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
15419StableStarCircle
15419 STABLE STAR CIRCLE
1817ElginA
1817 ELGIN
0Holly
HOLLY A, B, C, D, E, F
Amazing, MASSIVE Curb Appeal on oversized corner lot 12,691 sq.ft. on Private culdesac street! Backyard Oasis w Sparkling Pool & Rock Waterfall!
Freestanding home designed to be architectural and exquisite, inside and out, appealing to buyers who want to live in a modern, unique residence that will provide an elegant lifestyle. Hot off the press! This is the first rendering of the floor plan and the roof plan. This is a great layout with no wasted space and will have beautiful finishes when the great home is completed
For Sale: $429,900
MLS# 79082134
For Sale From: $399,000
MLS# 47971485
For Sale: $340,000
MLS# 91444285
– Real Estate News

How to Use Light to Increase a Home’s Value

johnfrelsmay13aIf you are getting ready to stage your home for selling you’re probably already thinking of ways to maximize the value of your home and make it as appealing as possible to your potential buyers. Making effective use of light fixtures and lighting schemes will help you reach that goal.

The easiest way to use light in your home is to take advantage of natural sunlight. Rooms with big windows and a lot of sun exposure lend themselves to this easiest of all.

The case may be, however, that not every room in your home is easily illuminated with sunlight. If this is the case, then open windows and doors fully to allow sunlight to reach greater depth in your home.

Carefully placed mirrors also can help in redirecting sunlight throughout the home.

When staging your home you want to highlight the best features of your home and your décor while simultaneously downplaying the negative.

Using a targeted lighting scheme is a perfect way to highlight your favorite décor accents. Track lighting is ideal for this task as they can easily be directed to focus their light on a particular part of your room.

If your budget allows for it, consider updating the lighting designs in some of your house’s rooms, such as in your kitchen.

JohnFrelsMay13bRecessed lighting installed under-cabinet is a popular trend in contemporary kitchen design. The installation is fairly simple and gives a sleek and professional look to your kitchen.

In your living room and dining room consider changing out an old hanging lamp and replacing it with an elegant looking chandelier. Remember to choose one that helps to accent your room and doesn’t overpower it.

When preparing your home, don’t overlook the simple advantages that light can bring to your home. Accent the positive with lights and downplay the negative by taking the focus away from it. Show off what made you fall in love with your home and you’ll hopefully help a buyer find that same attachment.

Article By: By Ross Donald, LightingSale.com

As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter April 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

Get Ready Houston…

Have you been waiting to list your home until the market provided you with the return you were expecting?

Now is the time to sell… Call me today to receive a free CMA (Comparable Market Analysis).

Read below for more info on our amazing market!

A real estate agent’s dream…

Sticker shock? Houston home prices hit record levels and another big jump’s expected

Houston home sales in 2012 were up 16 percent over 2011, as home prices hit record highs and inventories dipped to the lowest level in more than a decade.

The housing market is headed for another strong year in 2013. Home prices are expected to rise significantly.

“I expect us to have a great year in 2013,” said Texas Association of Realtors chairman Shad Bogany, a Houston agent with Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene. “As long as the job market continues to do well, the housing market will continue to do well.”

Story0413aMortgage rates have been available at less than four percent, the lowest rates in more than 50 years. But rates are expected to drift upward and that may dampen the market’s strength somewhat, Bogany said.

Low mortgage rates and exceptional job growth have made Houston one of the strongest housing markets in the nation over the last year.

Houston’s average single family home price was $243,797 in December, the highest ever recorded, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

The association reported 62,229 single-family homes were sold in 2012, up 16 percent from the 53,592 sold in the Houston area in 2011.

Last year was one of the best on record for home sales. Counting townhomes, condos, lots and other residential property, a total of 73,994 properties were sold in 2012. That was one of the best years ever, although it failed to match the all-time record set in 2006 when more than 87,000 properties were sold.

For the year, the average single-family home price was up 5.4 percent in 2012, over the previous year.

Prices are expected to climb because the inventory of homes for sale is exceptionally low. Only 33,554 homes were listed for sale at year-end, down 20 percent from the listings at year-end 2011.

At year-end, the inventory was down to a 3.7 months supply, the lowest since December 1999. The real estate industry generally considers a six-month inventory to be a balanced market. When the inventory is smaller, the sellers generally have the upper hand in what’s called a “sellers market” and pricing moves upward.

Story0413b“Market conditions have created excellent opportunities to sell a home in many parts of town, with some sellers receiving multiple offers. With less than four months of inventory on the market and continued demand, we could see further pressure on pricing until inventory levels pick up,” said HAR chairman Danny Frank, who is with Prudential Anderson Properties.

The Houston housing market was strong in virtually all segments. Townhome sales, high-rise condos, and single-family leasing all surged at the end of 2012, the Realtors association said.

December was hot for upscale houses. There was a 39 percent increase in sales of homes priced at $500,000 and up, compared to December in 2011, the association reported.

The association’s registry of pending sales, meaning houses that have been put under contract in recent weeks, are up. That points to a healthy start to 2013, at least for January. But some economists are saying Houston’s job growth, largely fueled by the energy industry, may not be quite as good in 2013, following the huge job growth boom in 2012.

Although it may not match the huge numbers of 2012, the year ahead will be a good one for Houston realty.

By Ralph Bivins from Culturemap Houston

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
2520Robinhood
2520 ROBINHOOD 1609
1610HollyHcad
1610 HOLLY
4306Floyd
4306 FLOYD ST
Penthouse level 2 bedroom condo in Rice Village. Pristine oak hardwood floors with oak curved staircase. Spacious study. Slate balcony. Beautiful slab granite kitchen countertops and floors.
Gorgeous New Construction! Sought after and hard to find gorgeous TWO (2) stories! And a good sized back yard! This open floor plan is impressive with a breathtaking kitchen that boasts a huge island area! Immaculate home located in the heart of the city, walking distance to 1st-rate dining, parks, jog & bike trails. Live now in desirable area & build later!
For Sale: $419,900
MLS# 47807664
For Sale From: $325,000
MLS# 97997394
For Sale: $365,000
MLS# 7856872
– Real Estate News

Why you might need to move quickly to get the house you want (and how to do it)

JohnFrels0413You may have to act fast if you don’t want to miss out on the best houses these days. Houston, Dallas, and Austin recently were ranked near the top of a list of cities where homes are being sold in less than a day. Most other Texas locales also have strong seller’s markets … meaning that good properties go under contract quickly.

The good news: You can take steps to prepare yourself for a successful purchase even when you don’t have weeks … or even days … to ponder your decision. I know. Several years ago, during a crazy seller’s market, my wife and I put a successful offer on a house the morning it hit the MLS.

Here are three things that helped us tremendously that you should consider:

Get your financing in order. Preapproval from a lender puts you in a strong position (stronger than prequalification) and gives you confidence that you can afford the price range you’re considering. It also shows the seller you’re a serious buyer.

Figure out what you want. The better you define your criteria, the easier the decision-making. Consider the style of house, features, size, neighborhood, and condition. It also helps to know which of those factors are the most important to you.

Make sure you have a Texas REALTOR® on your side. If you browse websites or drive through neighborhoods in search of for sale signs, you may be a step behind buyers who already found out about those properties from their agents. Also, your Texas REALTOR® is a professional who does this all the time. He or she knows exactly what other steps you need to take succeed in a seller’s market.

Marty Kramer | Consumer columnist

As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter March 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

LUXURY townhouse lifestyle now available in the Washington Corridor Area!

Who could pass up…

  • Buffalo Bayou as their backyard?
  • Wonderful restaurants and fantastic parks within walking distance?
  • Location! Just minutes from downtown?

Now that the renovations are nearly completed, it is the right time to take advantage of the opportunity to live in this unbeatable location.

MemorialWindsorSlate

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
303W6th
303 W 6TH
1610HollyHcad
1610 HOLLY
Eureka
6602-6634 EUREKA
Great opportunity in Houston Heights location! Lot is 40ft. x 50ft.
Gorgeous New Construction! Sought after and hard to find gorgeous TWO (2) stories! And a good sized back yard! This open floor plan is impressive with a breathtaking kitchen that boasts a huge island area! GREAT opportunity for Developer/ Builder/ Investor!! Property consists of five consecutive lots with new development all around the area. Addresses are as follows: 6602, 6608, 6630, 6632 and 6634 Eureka.
For Sale: $75,000
MLS# 38998884
For Sale From: $325,000
MLS# 97997394
For Sale: $875,000
MLS# 61318544
– Real Estate News

Is now the time to refinance?

30-year mortgage interest rates remain notably low

Mortgage rates are still low. The earliest numbers from 2013 have remained lower than they were this time last year, leading a number of homeowners to consider (and re-consider) their options.

On Jan. 17, interest rates on 30-year FRMs dropped to 3.38%. This is down 0.5 percent from a year ago at this time. Many have already taken advantage; the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 15.2% increase in mortgage loan applications last week, while refinancing saw a 15% bump from the previous week. In fact, 82 percent of all applications were attempts to refinance.

With interest rates down across the board, it’s easy to see why homeowners rates still so low: Freddie Mac is reporting 15-year FRMs are down to 2.66 percent, while 5/1-year ARMs and 1-year ARMs were down to 2.67 percent. A year ago, the rates were 3.17 percent, 2.82 percent, and 2.76 percent respectively.2,3

Keep your eye on the big picture. While it might seem to your advantage to take your interest rate down a few percentage points, you need to know the answers to these three questions: One, how much will you really save per month? Two, what are the lender points and fees? Three, how long will you be living in your current home?

For example: Knocking off a hundred dollars or more from your monthly payment might seem like a great idea, but how long are you planning to stay in your current home? As part of your agreement, your mortgage company could add a lender point (potentially thousands of dollars) and hundreds more in fees, making a refi short-sighted if there’s a new house on your horizon.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on staying in your home for several years, a refinance has the potential for big savings. If you’re moving to a 15-year loan from your 30-year loan (or vice-versa) or from an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate, a long-term homeowner has a different scenario to consider.

Rates won’t stay low forever. There’s no way to tell how long the trend will continue. An April 2010 headline in the New York Times proclaimed “Interest Rates Have Nowhere to Go but Up.” At that time, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.31 percent. By the end of January 2012, the rate had fallen to 3.98 percent.2,4

Where advantageous rates are concerned, what comes down usually goes up. While you do have time to get on board with these low rates, nobody knows when they might take off again.

Consider your next move carefully. Refinancing may be an option, but it’s always a good idea to be fully informed before making such an important financial decision. Work with a qualified mortgage specialist to determine your options for refinancing, and then speak to your financial consultant for the big picture on how such a move might affect your financial future.
QUESTIONS?

Article from Sillwater Gazette by Todd Knockelman


As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter February 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

As a Real Estate Broker my opinion should count so trust me when I tell you that this Property nicked named OPP or professionally known as One Park Place offers beautiful breath-taking views, wonderful residents, great staff and is by far the best full service high-rise in Houston, Texas.

OneParkPlaceVideo

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
1700Spring
1700 SPRING A
kiamhomes
5336 & 5339 KIAM
1043VaultedOak
1043 VAULTED OAK ST
3 bedroom / 3 full and 1 half bathroom
Great opportunity for New Construction. Beautiful Finishings and Fixtures! OPEN Floor Plan! BACK YARD! Not too late to customize! Three stunning Units to Choose from!.
Inspired by the simplicity of Italian architecture, Kiam Villas are beautiful freestanding homes with large backyards and private driveways. Nestled between the Heights and Washington Corridor, Kiam Villas is minutes away from Downtown, Memorial Park and the Galleria. 5 bedroom / 3 full and 1 half bathroom
Gourmet kitchen with double ovens, enormous island kitchen, gameroom/media room, super sized master suite, covered patio area, designer finishes and paint throughout.
For Sale: $326,000
MLS# 92616045
For Sale From: $339,900
MLS# 49212716
MLS# 67683494
For Sale: $429,900
MLS# 82592113
– Real Estate News

Home offers increased in January

The Federal Savings Bank found that January home offers increase year over year in January.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) February 09, 2013

The Federal Savings Bank found that the number of customers who wrote offers in January rose 70 percent this January compared to a 50 percent increase in January 2012. The company suggest that while the pickings may be slim, buyers are finding options and giving offers on homes. Further home tours also increased for the month of January. According to a release from Refin, tours rose to 58 percent compared to 52 percent from 2012.

The release also suggested that an increase in homebuyer demand in January, when coupled with the inventory shortage, created a seller’s market heading into the spring.

A sellers market is good news for veterans who are seeking to purchase a home. Qualified veterans may receive a VA home loan to purchase a new home after following steps required to receive eligibility. When receiving a VA loan for purchase of a new home, veterans receive a guaranty to protect lenders from loss if the borrower does not pay back the loan. This guaranty will increase the likeliness that lenders approve a mortgage application. With home offers on the rise, and mortgage rates and historical lows, The Federal Savings Bank encourages first-time home-buyers and veterans alike to apply for a mortgage.

Article from Chron.com


As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter January 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

THE HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET ENDS 2012 WITH A BANG

Continued positive home sales in December give 2012 a 23 percent boost in dollar volume over 2011 and plunge inventory to pre-millennial levels

HOUSTON — (January 15, 2013) — Sales of homes throughout the greater Houston area never let up in 2012, driven by a combination of strong local jobs numbers and historically low interest rates. December marked the 19th straight month that sales were in the black, and it was another month in which housing inventory shrunk and prices rose. In fact, both median and average home prices achieved historic highs as the year came to a close.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), December single-family home sales increased 11.4 percent versus December 2011. Contracts closed on 5,039 homes, driving inventory down to 3.7 months, the lowest level since December 1999.

All housing segments saw gains in December except for the low end of the market—those homes priced at $80,000 and below. Homes priced from $500,000 and above registered the highest sales volume and accounted for another hike in prices.

“2012 was a phenomenal year for the Houston housing market, thanks to the addition of more than 85,000 new jobs locally as well as continued low interest rates,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “Market conditions have created excellent opportunities to sell a home in many parts of town, with some sellers receiving multiple offers. With less than four months of inventory on the market and continued demand, we could see further pressure on pricing until inventory levels pick up.”

The single-family home average price jumped 11.3 percent year-over-year to $243,797 while the median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 7.8 percent to $172,500. Both figures represent historic highs for Houston.

Sales of foreclosure properties continue to diminish, falling 24.0 percent compared to December 2011, according to the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Foreclosures currently make up 14.2 percent of all property sales reported through the MLS, half the share they comprised at the beginning of 2012. The median price of December foreclosures edged up 2.1 percent to $84,200.

December sales of all property types in Houston totaled 6,055, a 12.5 percent increase over the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in December soared 25.9 percent to $1.4 billion versus $1.1 billion a year earlier

2012 Annual Market Comparison
The Houston housing market concluded calendar year 2012 with strong gains in sales volume and pricing versus 2011. The heaviest one-month sales volume of the year was recorded in August, with 6,447 closings. By contrast, the lightest one-month sales volume of the year took place in January, with 3,039 closings. October marked the greatest year-over-year percentage sales increase, with a 30.3 percent gain over October 2011.

Single-family home sales rose 16.1 percent for the year and sales of all property types experienced a comparable increase of 16.3 percent. On a year-to-date basis, the average price climbed 5.4 percent to $225,330 while the median price increased 6.1 percent to $164,500. Total dollar volume for full-year 2012 jumped 23.3 percent to $16 billion compared to full-year 2011.

Continue Reading…

Article from: HAR

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
1304DartE
1304 DART ST E
4611inker
4611 INKER ST
2414GraySt
2414 GRAY ST
3 bedroom / 2 full and 1 half bathroom
Beautiful and spacious 3 story town home in Houston’s Art District. Unobstructed views of downtown from both balconies. Gourmet kitchen loaded with upgrades, Amana SS stove top w/ down draft fan.
3 Bedroom / 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom
Beautiful mediterranean style single family with courtyard entrance. Open floor plan w/ elegant curved staircase. Gourmet kitchen opens to spacious living room with private balcony.
3 Great lots for builders in a Transitioning Area! Total 49,200 SF. Consists of several lots on BLK 427 Frontage on Gray St, Dowling St, Webster, and St Charles St.
For Sale: $299,000
MLS# 19183104
For Sale: $450,000
MLS# 53364484
For Sale: $750,000
MLS# 88080847
– Real Estate News

jan2013mortgageHome Equity Lines of Credit and Your Credit Score

What You Need to Know and Do
Now more than ever, you need to make sure you understand what’s on your credit report – and you need to know what steps you can take to improve your score. For example, did you know that a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can impact your credit score quite dramatically – and sometimes unfairly – depending on how it is reported?

Here’s What You Need to Know… and Do!
First, you need to know that HELOC’s are commonly reported by the three credit bureaus as revolving accounts. In reality however, they do not fall under the typical revolving terms, even though they are set up in the same way as a revolving account. That’s because HELOC’s are secured by an asset.

Here’s the Good News…
The Fair Credit Reporting act requires reporting agencies to report true and accurate information. So when a HELOC is reported as a revolving account, you can actually send a letter to the three credit bureaus asking them to change the type of account from “Revolving” to “Line of Credit” or “Other.” This way, the account will not be rated by the scoring system using the “Balance to Limit” ratio scenario – which can drop a credit score by as much as 75 points if the HELOC is maxed out to the limit of the available credit line.

A Final Word of Advice
If you do decide to send a letter, you should send it as a Certified Letter, along with a copy of the HELOC agreement. You may have to send the letters more than once, but persistence is the key to accomplishing a positive result with the bureaus.

This article was adapted from information provided by national credit expert Linda Ferrari, author of “THE BIG SCORE: Getting It and Keeping It, Buying Power for Life.” Learn more and check out her credit resources at www.lindaferrari.com.


As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter December 2012 Edition

– What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

Houston Business Journal reports that Houston is one of Trulia’s top 10 healthiest housing markets. Go Texas!

truliahomesgalleryHouston named healthiest housing market for 2013

Houston’s housing market continues to beat its own records every month, and one real estate industry tracking website expects it to beat all other major metros next year.

The Houston area tops Trulia’s list of the 10 healthiest housing markets for 2013.

Four of the markets are in Texas, two are on the West Coast, two are northeastern suburbs, and the final two are in the middle of the country.

Click through the slideshow at right to see Trulia’s list of the top 10 healthiest housing markets in 2013.

All the markets have strong fundamentals, such as fast job growth, low vacancy rates and low foreclosure inventories, San Francisco-based Trulia said.

However, year-over-year price gains did not factor into the ranking because “many of the markets with the largest price gains in 2012 were rebounding from huge price declines during the bust, but they still have weak fundamentals,” Trulia said. Such markets include Las Vegas, Phoenix and Detroit.

Houston Business Journal by Olivia Pulsinelli, Web producer
Olivia Pulsinelli is the web producer for the Houston Business Journal’s award-winning website.

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!
852Kuhlman
852 KUHLMAN RD
1320Beachton
1320 BEACHTON
1416Holly
1416 HOLLY
4 bedroom / 4 full bath
Hunters Creek Classic Contemporary home w/walls of glass on the northern exposure inviting view of the lush landscaping into this peaceful home on a private secluded lane
3 Bedroom / 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom
Great Opportunity for New Construction in the heart of Washington Corridor/Downtown!!
Three Stunning Units to Choose From! Impeccable Build Quality! Set up a meeting TODAY!
3 Bedroom / 2 Full and 1 Half Bathroom
Fabulous free-standing open floorplan home
Luxurious interior with hardwood floors, Granite counter tops, Crown moldings and Stainless Steel Appliances
For Sale: $1,697,000
MLS# 45943984
For Sale: $300,000
MLS# 88859563
For Sale: $325,000
MLS# 16910301
– Real Estate News

The Top 5 Home Renovations for Winter

Top5RenovationsforWinterYou’ve been in this scenario before — it’s the middle of winter, you’re cold and don’t want to go outside, so you’re looking for something to do indoors. Why not some interior home renovations? Here’s a list of four renovations you can make this winter.

All of them will occupy your time, modernize your home, and in some cases, save you big money in the long run:

1. Replace your interior doors

Chances are you’ve put a fresh coat of paint on your exterior doors, but you’ve probably neglected the doors inside your home. Many homes were originally outfitted with standard, hollow, wood doors inside that are white and not very stylish. Yours may be dented, damaged, or have fingerprint stains on them. You could paint them, but why not replace them instead? There are many different styles and colors available at your local home improvement stores, including some that have a glass element inside the door. For example, consider putting a door with frosted glass panels at the entrance to your home office or dining room. This will allow extra light to come into the room even when the lights are off.

2. Replace your windows

I know what you’re thinking. “Why would I replace the windows of my house during the winter?” It actually doesn’t take a contractor very long at all, and there are some benefits to doing this renovation during the winter. First, you’ll be able to make an appointment with a professional much easier in the winter because fewer people ask for their services this time of year. Second, the windows will be cheaper because building supply companies slash prices on windows in the winter in hopes of boosting sales. And third, and perhaps most importantly, newer windows will let in less cold air, meaning your heating bills will be lower!

3. Install a programmable thermostat

Speaking of saving money on your utilities, there’s a way to do so that you may have not considered. If you install a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature for different times of the day. By having the heat programmed to go on when you get up in the morning, then off when you leave for work and the kids head to school for the day, then coming back on when you arrive home, you can keep the temperature of your home constant. Sounds expensive, right? Think again. All it takes is a few voltage wires that you can pick up at the home improvement store for about $25. Plus, if you have any questions, their employees can talk you through it before you install the product.

4. Painting

This is probably the most obvious indoor renovation that can be done in the winter months. It’s amazing how much a fresh coat of paint can brighten up a room. Or, you can change the color of the paint, and completely transform the feel of the room. And, with new environmentally-friendly paints that have low volatile organic compounds, you can paint indoors without dealing with the fumes that come along with traditional paints. So, you can paint during the winter, and not have to open up outside doors for ventilation.

Author: Daniel Torelli
November 10, 2012


As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter November 2012 Edition

– What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

Tiffanie Purvis

“Success is a will-driven event. Luck is great to have, but it’s drive and determination that make good things happen.”

To any one that knows her, drive and determination are not things Tiffanie Purvis lacks. While hosting a networking event, she saw her opportunity to break into commercial real estate. “As I spoke with one of the gentlemen, I quickly learned he was a partner in a commercial development firm. I would hate to say I strong-armed him and his partner for a subsequent interview, but I am not sure how else to describe it,” mused Purvis. She got the job and a head start in the male-dominated world of commercial real estate. “They gave me a shot and really helped me learn the ropes. It was a tremendous experience.

She went on to form her own real estate brokerage firm and commercial construction firm-all before age 30. Today, she has 50 plus agents, remains a player in development deals and has recently begun restoring a landmark building on Washington to its former glory, with a decidedly Art Deco touch. “That was Chuck’s idea,” Tiffanie said referring to her fiancé, Chuck Watson. He just has a sense of style, and his vision helped transform the building.

As accomplished as she is at business, she still maintains a quality home life raising Annelise, her and Chuck’s three year old, and enjoying weekends at their equestrian farm in Waller County. Among their respective successes, she and Chuck believe Annelise is their crowning achievement. They were both thrilled when she was recently accepted to The Fay School and both feel deeply blessed to have such a wonderful child to complete their family.

HAIR AND MAKEUP SERVICES PROVIDED BY:
DANIEL GULLEN

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!

2225 RIVERSIDE DR
6634, 6632, 6630, 6608 & 6602 EUREKA ST 4511 NOLDA B
3/5 bedroom and 2 full bath Remodeled in 2007! Total Roof Replacement 2006! Close to Rice, Medical Center, Midtown, Museums, Universities, Downtown, and Reliant!! GREAT opportunity for Developer/ Builder/ Investor!! Property consists of five consecutive lots. Total of 35,025 SF LOT. Owner may subdivide. 3 Bedroom / 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom NEW CONSTRUCTION! No Shared Walls with your neighbors! Free-standing HOUSE (not a townhouse) in the Washington Corridor/Upper west end.
For Sale or Lease: $339,900
MLS# 24448436
For Sale: $700,000
MLS# 55403890
For Sale: $289,900
MLS# 22742809
– Real Estate News

The Federal Reserve and Mortgage Rates
Understanding What Causes Interest Rate Movement

Consumers are often misled when it comes to the subject of the Federal Reserve and how it affects mortgage interest rates. Often the media is the culprit causing the confusion. Many times, the Fed has taken action that caused mortgage interest rates to move in a direction other than what consumers expected, because the media provided weak reporting on the subject.

The Federal Reserve affects short-term interest rate maturities, the Fed Funds rate, and the Overnight Lending rate. These factors have a direct impact on the Prime rate. If you took only this into consideration, you may mistakenly conclude that changes made by the Fed will cause a similar movement in mortgage interest rates. However, mortgage interest rates are dictated by the trading of mortgage-backed securities, which trade on a daily basis. The real dynamic at the heart of interest rate movement is the relationship between stocks and bonds.

Stocks and bonds compete for the same investment dollar on a daily basis. There is literally only so much money to be invested. When the Federal Reserve feels that interest rates need to be decreased in an effort to stimulate the economy, this reduction in rates can often cause a stock market rally. When the market becomes bullish, the money to invest in stocks comes from the selling of mortgage-backed securities.

Unfortunately, selling mortgage-backed securities to fuel stock market rallies causes interest rates to go up, not down.

Historically, there have been many times when the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates. Stocks then sell off in fear that the increase will affect corporate profit margins, and the liquidated stock assets need a place to park until the next rally comes along. The safe haven is found in mortgage-backed securities which cause mortgage rates to drop.

The daily ebb and flow of money is what matters most when it comes to the movement of mortgage interest rates. I make it a point to continuosly monitor interest rates for my clients, and advise them of opportunities to manage their mortgage debt at a better rate. This is the foundation of my business model as a Trusted Advisor.

Let’s discuss how we can better educate our clients on the largest purchase they’ll ever make!


As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

Washington Corridor Newsletter October 2012 Edition

– What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

Houston makes Forbes Magazine Coolest Place. Go Houston and on that note … Go Texans! Way to Go … 5-1.

Houston Tops Our List Of America’s Coolest Cities

Houston is known for many things: Oil, NASA, urban sprawl and business-friendly policies. But the Texas city deserves to be known for something else: coolness.

The Bayou City may not be the first place you associate with being hip or trendy. But Houston has something many other major cities don’t: jobs. With the local economy humming through the recession, Houston enjoyed 2.6% job growth last year and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked there in response — particularly young professionals. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33.

The result? Over the past decade, the dreary corporate cityscape has been quietly transforming. Stylish housing developments have popped up downtown, restaurants have taken up residence in former factories and art galleries like the Station Museum have been inhabiting warehouses.

Combine that with a strong theater scene, world-class museums and a multicultural, zoning-free mashup of a streetscape and you have the recipe for the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Coolest Cities To Live.

Behind the Numbers

“Cool” is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “very good; fashionable.” Of course what, exactly, is good and fashionable is very much in the eye of the beholder. We sought to quantify it in terms of cities, ranking the 65 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions (areas that include cities and their surrounding suburbs that are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget) based on seven data points weighted evenly.

Sperling’s Best Places helped us calculate the number of entertainment options per capita in each metro area. We also ranked the cities based on other recreational opportunities, including the amount of green space, the cost and number of outdoor activities like golfing and skiing available, and the number of pro and college sports teams.

List: America’s Coolest Cities To Live

With the help of Sperling’s we tallied restaurants and bars per capita, weeding out chain establishments – Applebee’s has less sizzle than a local chef’s bistro.

We also looked at each city’s cultural composition using Sperling’s Diversity Index. It measures the likelihood of meeting another person of a different race or ethnicity. Increased diversity tends to lead to a larger assortment of interesting shops, restaurants and events.

Using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we factored in median age, favoring places with a large young adult population.

We ranked the cities based on net migration (the number of people who relocated there in 2011) and also on unemployment rates, since a city’s offerings are only as good as the amount of people who want and can to afford to enjoy them. (No one likes to hang out in an empty bar, right?) We culled this data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Moody’s Analytics.

Houston is joined in our top 20 by four other Lone Star metro areas: Dallas ranked fourth; San Antonio, 11th; Fort Worth, 13th; and Austin, 19th. They all boast strong economies, large young adult populations and relatively high levels of cultural diversity.

Second on our list is Washington, D.C. With federal spending strong, the nation’s capital sailed through the recession with low unemployment and an influx of newcomers. Many of those newcomers have, like Houston, been young adults. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, residents in their 20s and early 30s make up about a third of the metro area’s population – 23% more than in 2000.

Washington also scored high thanks to its melting pot of a population, a large selection of local eateries and watering holes, and a host of activities that range from Smithsonian museums to music concerts. Washington reportedly hosts more festivals and events than any other U.S. city, according to Destination DC.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many of America’s priciest cities also made the cut: Los Angeles ranked third, San Francisco came in ninth and New York took 10th. “Established places like New York … have a built-in cool crowd,” says Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s Best Places. “They are like adult playgrounds and people go there for good food and interesting events.”

List: America’s Coolest Cities To Live

In general the cities on our list fall into one of two categories: established (typically wealthier) cities (like New York, Los Angeles, even D.C.) and up-and-coming places whose low costs of living and/or strong economies have been attracting artists and young adults who can’t afford to live in the former. Up-and-coming metro areas that made our list include D.C.’s neighbor to the north, Baltimore (No. 14), and New York’s neighbor to the southwest, Philadelphia (No. 15).

“Baltimore is in transition because it has been down and out for a long time but it’s beginning to come back because it’s affordable,” says Sperling. “[And] Philadelphia had been forgotten, but now it’s being referred to as the Sixth Borough.”

Article from Forbes Magazine
Morgan Brennan, Forbes Staff

– YOUR Inner Loop Real Estate Team FEATURED LISTING!!!!

2225 RIVERSIDE DR

1416 HOLLY A, B, C

4511 NOLDA B
3/5 bedroom and 2 full bath
Remodeled in 2007! Total Roof Replacement 2006! Close to Rice, Medical Center, Midtown, Museums, Universities, Downtown, and Reliant!!
3 bedrooms, 2 full & 1 half bath
Luxurious interior with hardwood floors, Granite counter tops, Crown moldings, Stainless Steel Appliances..
3 bedrooms, 3 full & 1 half bath
NEW CONSTRUCTION! Free-standing HOUSE (not a townhouse) in the Washington Corridor/Upper west end.
For Sale: $349,900
MLS# 24448436
For Sale: $325,000
MLS# 16910301
MLS# 11922442
MLS# 75968847
For Sale: $289,900
MLS# 22742809
– Real Estate News

Bad News Can Be Good for Home Loan Rates

It may seem odd that negative economic news can actually be good for home loan rates, but there’s a pretty simple explanation for this phenomenon.

First, we need to remember that big money managers who are in search of higher returns avoid holding onto cash by investing in both Stocks and Bonds.

Second, we need to dispel the myth about how home loan rates are determined. Despite what it may sound like in news stories covering the Federal Reserve’s meeting, home loan rates are based on the performance of mortgage-backed securities – which are a type of Bond.

When we put those two points together, we see that whenever the economy is on fire and there are good economic news reports, investors tend to put more money into Stocks.

That’s because Stocks offer higher returns, even though they are generally more risky. To put money into Stocks, however, investors must remove some of their money from less-risky Bonds. The result is a decreased demand in Bonds that causes Bond prices to worsen, which causes home loan rates to go higher.

Inversely, when the economy is sluggish and economic reports are negative, money managers tend to take money out of higher-risk Stocks to put it into less-risky Bonds. As demand for Bonds increase, Bond pricing improves and home loan rates go down.

So while it may seem odd that home loan rates improve when economic news is sluggish, it actually makes sense when you look at the big picture.


As dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals, our goal is to assist as many homeowners as possible reach their dream of home ownership. Our company…ENVOY doesn’t simply offer some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry; we provide impeccable LOCAL service from start to close. We also provide borrowers with a hassle-free experience via the most technologically-advanced tools available, including electronic signatures (eSign by Envoy), digital documents, an online application process, secure online loan status updates (24/7), a fully electronic closing and most importantly, around the clock attention to your loan.

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