Friday, April 30, 2021

Market Watch - 30 April 2021

Since last week New Listings and Properties Under Contract are flat while Pending properties went down and Sold properties increased again.

Meanwhile, Lease Listings, Pending and written Leases are all flat while inventory is low.

Both residential resale and lease markets remain upside down by hundreds of properties each week. Fewer houses enter the market as more homes leave which means sellers are at a distinct advantage when it comes to condition, location and timing of sales. These advantages will evaporate when the CAREs Act eviction and foreclosure moratoriums are lifted.

Evictions and foreclosures should resume on 1 July 2021 and begin to release houses for sale and lease.

If you plan to sell, now is the perfect time. Buyers are prepared to pay well over asking with concessions that were previously impossible to get. However, there’s a deadline. Please call, text or email me NOW to sell your property for top dollar before a glut of rental properties hit the market for liquidation.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified

#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #SellNow #SellersMarket #HousingShortage #HousingCrisis #LeaseShortage #MortgageMoratorium #EvictionMoratorium

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Severe Weather Damage Help

William L. Snyder II, owner of B&B Enterprises,
sweeps the sidewalk outside his auto business
after Hurricane Rita. He owns several businesses
in Orange, Texas and was not fully insured.
Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise

Safety First!
Find a low location with protection. Ideally it is a designated safe area with reinforced cement or cinder-block walls. At the minimum, it should be on the ground floor and surrounded by interior walls with no windows or glass doors.
During the storm, stay away from windows, broken glass, loose objects such as firewood or lumber.

• Account for everyone in the household – including all pets.

Protect yourself. During wind damage events, nails and other sharp objects are often scattered throughout neighborhoods. Wear proper shoes, work gloves, and step carefully to avoid puncture wounds. Wear long pants to avoid insulation and chemical burns.

Make photos of the cause (hail, flood, etc.) and effects (actual damage) of the weather event. If it was hail damage, try to locate a few larger hail stones. All cell phones and digital cameras automatically record the date the photo was made. This will be important for insurance claims.

Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise

• Depending on damage, turn off all power at the main breaker. If there is a plumbing break, turn off the water supply to the house. Ask for help with gas leaks.

• Let someone outside of the disaster area know your immediate emergency needs. Let them know you are safe or explain what specific help you need. Communications are often spotty after a disaster. Contact one person who can let others know your status and how to help.

• Hopefully, all insurance and warranty information documents are in one location inside waterproof/fireproof bags. Collect those and place them somewhere safe.

• Collect short-term belongings: all personal identification, small valuables, medicine, glasses, clothes for a few days, credit cards, insurance and warranty documents, pet food, tax and income documents (for insurance claims), etc...

• Secure waterproof tarps over windows and holes in the structure to prevent additional water and wind damage. If no tarps are available, use plastic painter drop cloths or tape trash bags over the holes if it’s the only option. Only make temporary repairs. Don’t make permanent repairs until after the insurance adjusters have seen the damage. Make photos of your damage prevention attempts.

Anita Murchison, owner of The Frame & Art Co. in Bridge
City (right) and her daughter Kim Long (left) dig through the
wreckage at the shop in Bridge City after Hurricane Rita tore
through Southeast Texas in 2005.
Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise
• When it is safe, photograph both the interior and exterior. Include photos of damage to outside objects such as air conditioner units, roof, fences, siding, autos, damaged lawn furniture, paint damage, destroyed shrubs and other plants, pool damage, cement damage (driveways, decks, etc.) and more.

• Contact your insurance agent. Get in line fast because there will be plenty of claims.

• Contact the Red Cross for overnight shelter assistance. They have funds and prearrangements with hotels for this specific need.
Insurance companies often will not pay for hotel rooms if the property is habitable but doesn’t have electricity or water. Insurance policies often will pay hotel fees if the house is inhabitable but pays on receipt at settlement rather than in advance. Call your agent for specifics.

Chris Grantham with A-1 Tree Service of Memphis, Tenn.
eats a beef enchilada MRE at a campground in Vidor in 2005.
Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise
• Make a photo of the refrigerator and freezer contents. Most residential insurance policies pay up to $500 or more for spoiled food resulting from power outages. Often, there is not a deductible if this is the only claim.

• If the damage was too large for you to fix, hire a competent contractor for short term “emergent” situations. Fraud is common after natural disasters. Don’t hire “storm chasers” or anyone with a truck who knocks on your door. Here are some reliable construction options:

• If the house is not in an emergency condition, contact reliable vendors quickly to be at the front of the line. I've collected a list of reliable vendors on one of my blogs at
Here are some roofers (, window repair professionals ( and general construction contractors ( Most reputable roofing companies provide free inspections and estimates.
If there is flooding or fire damage, hire restoration specialist quickly ( If trees have fallen, hire a tree service that includes haul away ( However, the haul away often isn’t covered by the insurance company.

• Determine the deductible. An insurance claim often has a high deductible and will raise the insurance rate on a home. If the repair cost is less than the deductible and insurance difference for a year, it may be best to absorb the repair cost.

A mobile home remains crushed under a tree after
Hurricane Rita hit in Vidor.
Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise

• If the repair cost is significant, file a claim with the insurance company. In Texas, the insurance company must acknowledge a claim within 15 business days of receiving the claim. They must then accept or reject the claim within 15 business more days (about 38-day maximum time from initial claim).
Arrange for any chosen contractors to have a representative there while the appraiser is on property. This ensures they come to an agreement on the expected cost to get your property back up to standard at current market expenses.

• Keep all receipts. Primarily, this is preventative measures and actual repairs, but this sometimes includes any hotels, fuel and food away from the house. It’s better to have the receipts and not need them.

• Call the car insurance company if it is different than the house.

A sport utility vehicle with Louisiana license plates remains
 crushed under a sign in Beaumont after Hurricane Rita.
Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise

• Make photos of all car damage – yes, each scratch, chipped window and hail strike that needs to be repaired.

• If the homeowner has a wind damage policy, fences should be covered. However, expect the company to deduct depreciation.

• Once you agree to a settlement amount, the insurance company has five business days to pay the claim. If the house has a mortgage, the insurance company often sends the check to the mortgage company. The homeowner must then cooperate with the mortgage company to get the money released for repairs. The house must be repaired with the proceeds. Don’t attempt to sell a house with an insurance payout that was not completed. It will be far more expensive.

• The mortgage company has 10 business days to contact the homeowner after they get the insurance check. After the mortgage company’s requirements are met, they have 10 additional business days to send a check to the homeowner for the repairs.

• For additional specific questions about insurance coverage, please read “FAQ: Homeowners Insurance and Disaster Claims” ( by the Texas Department of Insurance or call 800-252-3439.

Crews pile tree debris on a stack at an airport in Beaumont.
Trees, limbs and other organic material disposal is an
environmental problem after natural disasters.
Mark M. Hancock / The Beaumont Enterprise

• File for FEMA aid. FEMA may cover items not covered by traditional homeowners, wind or flood insurance. If there is a significant loss, it’s worth a try.

• If the final check is less than expected or less than required, don’t sign it. Some insurance companies consider the claim “settled” once the check is endorsed and deposited.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified

#DFWmark #REALTOR #HailDamage #TornadoDamage #HomeInsurance #InsuranceClaim #SevereWeather #TornadoSeason #StormDamage #help

Friday, April 23, 2021

Market Watch - 23 April 2021

Since last week New Listings and Properties Under Contract have decreased while Pending and Sold properties have increased again.

Meanwhile, new Lease Listings and Leases have decreased while Pending lease properties had a modest improvement.
Both residential resale and lease markets remain upside down. The trend continues to show fewer houses enter the market as more homes leave while the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums are in place.

Unless the CARES Act moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is extended again, those actions should resume on 1 July 2021 and begin to free houses for sale and lease. To learn how the market got to this point and where it could go, please read my blog post from earlier this week (link).

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified

#DFWmark #REALTOR #MarketWatch #HousingShortage #HousingCrisis #LeaseShortage #SellNow #MortgageMoratorium #EvictionMoratorium #SellersMarket

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Unwinding the Pandemic Market

COVID Pandemic Market trend.
8/Please click on image to enlarge.
8/27/21 UPDATE:
U.S. Supreme Court ends CDC eviction moratorium.
8/3/21 UPDATE:
  The CDC Eviction Moratorium expired on July 31, 2021. Congress didn't impose a new moratorium.
  However, the CDC issued a "new" moratorium today. They stated this is not an extension of the previous moratorium that the Supreme Court ruled against. Instead, this is a "new moratorium" that only affects "Areas of Substantial and High Transmission" of COVID-19 - which is about 90 percent of the USA.
  Alabama and Georgia associations of REALTORS were joined by the national association in lawsuits to stop this action.

6/30/21 UPDATE:
However, the court declined to lift the current moratorium. Therefore, the eviction moratorium remains until July 31.

6/28/21 UPDATE:
Action has kicked the can another month. Expect historic housing shortages to continue until around the time school starts. 

5/5/21 UPDATE:

NBC reports, “The judge noted that while Congress had ratified earlier extensions of the moratorium order, it had not done so for the latest extension. 
It's unclear what the immediate impact of the ruling will be.”

Since the state of Texas lifted the mask mandate and allowed 100 percent capacity at all businesses and facilities, it’s time to unwind the pandemic.

The federal government initiated eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through the CARES Act on 27 March 2020. It has been extended a few times but is currently set to expire at the end of July. This situation means homes should get the highest sale and lease income until about mid-July unless the mandates are extended again.

If a homeowner plans to sell or lease a house, it's ideal to do it before the middle of July to take advantage of the historic housing shortage. I have many resources on this blog to help get your house "show ready." The seller section explains everything in detail.

I'm certified to help homeowners navigate a buy-before-you-sell program that can also include a small loan to fix up the current house to get it “market ready” for top dollar.

Now is also a great time because rates are again near historic lows, which allows buyers to get more for their money.

However, building materials are in short supply. This has caused monthly increases in new construction since last May. Therefore, prices are unlikely to stop increasing until housing inventory and building material supplies increase.

Educating my clients on the home buying process is a hallmark of my business. If you want to know the entire process, follow this link to a free Home Buyer Guide (link) that I wrote.

The guide explains both preowned and new build purchases. It should answer every question you have, and some you haven't considered yet. You can read it a little at a time or understand everything from the beginning. You're welcome to share it with your friends and associates.

Housing shortages began with the Covid-19
pandemic and associated CARES Act eviction
and foreclosure moratoriums on 27 March 2020.
Current “Housing Crisis”

All markets are temporary. So is this one. It exists due to artificial controls of the government stopping the regular free trade of an open market.

For health reasons, the government placed eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on the market. Some folks fell into desperate situations while others merely took advantage of the situation. Either way, there is ZERO motivation for a person living for no cost (rent or mortgage) in a 5-bed, 4-bath house with a swimming pool, etc... to move a family into a small apartment at inflated rent.

This situation is the current housing crisis. The normal cleansing mechanisms (eviction and foreclosure) are clogged.

Unless the government extends the moratoriums again, they are set to expire on the last day of July. This means the evictions start on July 1 while the foreclosures start a 6-month countdown to their expected final date of 31 Dec. 2021.

Rental Market
If the rental properties aren't destroyed by current tenants (many are), those owners will likely sell many to residential buyers to get huge profits from "challenged" properties before the eventual market correction.

This should relieve some of the housing pressure and stabilize the market through the end of the summer. Most families with school-age kids settle in August or early September - both rental and purchase.

Other landlords will fix the properties to take advantage of the lease shortage. They'll also scrutinize future applicants harder than ever because demand will remain high while a wave of recently evicted tenants flood the market.

Nonetheless, rent should continue to rise because the rental market has not only mirrored the regular market it has been supercharged. For many weeks listed-to-leased has been at a 3:4 ratio when there should always be more properties coming onto the market than leased.

In a normal market, failure to lease causes many homes to go onto the residential market for liquidation. That threat doesn't exist now. The only control is price, which can be easily adjusted.

Residential Market
With the release of rental houses for liquidation (sale), there should also be some relief in the residential market through the end of the summer. Buyers should be wary of houses that were formerly rental properties during this time. Expect many investor-grade "flip" homes to come on the market with a fresh coat of paint and not much else.

Meanwhile, homeowners with equity in their properties that can't arrange financial extensions, will need to liquidate their homes. The smart ones will strike fast to get the most money. Others will drag it out a few months because they don't want to move to a lease property or can't move because their credit is destroyed. Nonetheless, they should all eventually sell to claim the equity rather than hand it over to the bank.

Those sellers in the second group are most likely to experience the back-to-school slow down. They may also require a short sale (sell the house for less than is owed to the bank). The bank would need to agree to the short sale. These issues will seriously slow down the transaction and put a drag on the market. While the remainder of the market is speeding along, these homes will artificially increase the average days on market and lower the average price. Expect two lanes of traffic during this phase of the market.

Unless the government steps in, the final group should arrive on New Year’s Day 2022. These are the foreclosure homes.

Most of these homes will probably be in horrible condition. They have been occupied for many months – possibly more than a year - by someone who knew they would lose the house. There was no motivation to maintain the property. Even worse, they may have become angry about the circumstances and taken it out on the property with a sledgehammer or something worse.

Contractors love these “projects” because they can get them for a relatively low price and make up the difference with “sweat equity” and skills. Most folks don’t have those skills, or the spare cash needed to get the property up to lease or resale shape quickly.

Pre-foreclosures and short sales can have additional baggage that doesn’t appear until the final steps. There may be tax liens or other problems with the property itself that might kill the deal after months of negotiations and related costs.

Because the market should still lean toward the seller side, don't expect too much of a foreclosure discount - if any.

While there are a few amazing opportunities in this sphere, many turn out to be money pits. I strongly advise my clients to avoid foreclosures unless they know the property’s history and hopefully its former owner. These houses are often purchased without access to the inside of the property before it is bought.

New houses are in various phases of
construction at Cambridge Crossing in Celina.
New Build

Most new build properties in southern Collin and Denton counties currently have two-year waiting lists. Some have completely stopped taking new orders because the material costs are outpacing expectations.

The pace of construction is slow due to material shortages, but also a lack of city employees - specifically related to code enforcement and building permits. The shortage is compounded by the pandemic.

The new build waiting lists should dwindle as more buyers find preowned homes that will meet their needs after the moratoriums are lifted. As building materials and capacity increase (mostly due to businesses reopening after the pandemic), new-build price increases should slow or stabilize. As buyers evaporate, inventory homes should return and may come with discounts if material prices have dipped along with demand.

There's no way to tell when this will happen because there are 24-month waiting lists across town. It could start to appear as soon as mid-September or may take until sometime in 2022. However, expect some bargain inventory homes after 15 Dec. 2021 because the builders don't want to pay those taxes. 

The Bottom Line
If the government doesn't extend the moratoriums again, sellers and landlords should make the most money between now and July 1. I expect sweet spots for buyers and leases around the end of July and in mid-September through early October. However, there won’t be any “bargains” because most houses have equity and there is plenty of pent-up demand.

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified

Friday, April 16, 2021

Market Watch - 16 April 2021


Vacation & Staycation Fun!

After more than a year of isolation, Texas is open for business again! Face covers are still encouraged but not mandated.

For many, it’s time for a vacation or “staycation” in DFW. If you just moved here, have guests visiting or just want to explore, these are some great DFW entertainment options. Short URLs must include capital letters.

This month’s Information of Value is also available as a hyperlinked PDF for viewing or download on my Google Drive (Link). Feel free to share this information with your family, friends and associates.

                     Collin/Denton counties     Texas Motor Speedway                The Star at Frisco           National Soccer Hall of Fame                            National Video Game Museum                                Dr. Pepper Ballpark                    Museum of American Railroad               Southfork Ranch                                 iFly Indoor Skydiving                                 Andretti Indoor Karting & Games           Frisco Fresh Market        Black Mustang Ranch                                 Canyons Rock Climbing                                  Urban Air Trampoline Park          KidZania                                 Monster Mini Golf                               Top Golf

                                  Dallas County                          Dallas World Aquarium                                  American Airlines Center                       Dallas Zoo       Dallas Farmers Market              Mesquite Championship Rodeo              Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden                                George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum                                    6th Floor Museum                  Perot Museum of Nature and Science                 Reunion Tower            Trinity River Kayak                                 Dallas Museum of Art                           Fair Park museums & more            Klyde Warren Park             Truck Yard

                               Tarrant County        Fort Worth Stockyards                             Fort Worth Championship Rodeo                     AT&T Stadium                             Globe Life Field              Billy Bob’s Texas                                Six Flags                            Hurricane Harbor                   Fort Worth Zoo                               Fort Worth Botanical Gardens                       Fort Worth Cultural District                  Lone Star Park                       The Theatre at Grand Prairie            Sundance Square Entertainment Dist.                                Fort Worth Water Gardens

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Build certified
214-862-7212 (call or text)

#DFWmark #REALTOR #vacation #staycation #InformationOfValue #IOV #entertainment #activities #DFW #Metroplex

Welcome to the DFWmark Blog!

Welcome to the DFWmark Blog! This is a collection of content by Mark M. Hancock, a REALTOR with Keller Williams North County in Celina...