When it comes to Houston investors, Agent Jodi Gauthier believes that the phrase “Everything is Bigger in Texas” can be applied to their real estate portfolios: higher capital gains, higher returns and higher rental income.
But the climate in Houston is hot in several ways. An influx of buyers in the area means working with a knowledgeable, high performing local agent is more important than ever. With over two decades of experience and investor-focused know-how, Gauthier has the know-how to do business in the face of increasing competition.
Here she shares in her own words some of the pros and cons of investing in Houston.
Real estate background
I have been an active agent for almost 22 years. I began my real estate career in San Diego, California in 2000, but quickly made my way back to Texas. I’ve been in my current market since 2005.
What Makes the Houston Real Estate Market Unique?
I think the Houston real estate market is unique in its resilience. As a community, not only have we withstood the global pandemic, we are successful in it. Home sales hit an all-time high with over 100,000 homes sold in 2020. We have overcome numerous adverse weather conditions over the past year and still have record numbers of new arrivals in droves to our great state.
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What numbers can Houston investors expect?
The Houston rental market is holding up well. Average rents rose to around $ 1.25 per square meter over the past year. The supply is growing, with over 4,000 permits issued last month. Low occupancy and high demand make Houston a prime investment area.
How competitive is your market right now?
The housing market in Houston is extremely competitive right now. In fact, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Properties receive multiple offers within hours of being listed. In many cases, buyers make an offer without actually viewing the property in person. They also forego assessments and option / review periods.
What kind of rental demand are you currently experiencing in your market?
Rental demand is high in our market; the stock is low. The median rent for single-family homes rose 11% to $ 1,960, while the median rent for townhouses and condos rose 8% to $ 1,688.
Which neighborhoods in Houston are you looking forward to the most?
Houston has so many nice, eclectic neighborhoods that are on the rise. EaDo (East Downtown), Garden Oaks and Rice / Museum District each recorded double-digit growth rates last year. I’m also very excited about the new Boardwalk project in West Houston / Katy, which recently broke ground.
What type of investment properties do you think investors should consider?
With a lot of people working from home these days, I think short term rentals, rural real estate, and coworking / mixed-use office space are good niches to keep an eye on for years to come.
Which strategies are most successful in your market?
The BRRRR method seems like a solid acquisition strategy in our local housing market. With increasing rates of appreciation, it doesn’t take much to benefit from a little bit of instant equity. When you are ready to invest the Sweat Equity, you can expect very favorable results given our current market conditions.
What do most Houston homeowners do for a living?
The predominant professions in Houston are oil and gas, and medicine and healthcare. Memorial Hermann Health Systems employs over 26,000 people in our local market. Shell, Schlumberger, ExxonMobil and Halliburton all have multiple locations in our region.
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Are there any industries moving into or out of the region?
There has been some news lately about big business moving to Texas. Low housing costs, lower tax rates and fewer regulations are driving the wave of businesses that are now calling Texas home.
HP recently decided to relocate its home base from San Jose, California to Houston. The Woodlands campus is scheduled to open in early 2022.
Large wholesalers / manufacturing companies (Rooms to Go, Goya) and distribution centers (Amazon, FedEx) are moving to the west of the city as transport is easily possible via our ever-growing Interstate 10.
What do you personally love about Houston?
Houston’s vibrant, bustling culture is in large part due to its diversity. 145 languages are spoken in Houston alone, and the state as a whole is the second richest state in the nation.
I love the wealth and integration that diversity brings to our wonderful state. I think our culture really appeals to anyone who decides to move here and that is a big factor in our strong real estate market.
What kind of professional network do you offer your customers after the closing?
We are a one stop shop when it comes to all of your real estate investment needs. My team offers staging, property management and in-house design and renovation services (from The Katy Times two years in a row).
As investors in our own right, we have long-standing relationships with some of the leading companies in the industry in our local market. From investor-friendly title agents to lenders offering a variety of credit products, we can help investors make the connections that will add to their portfolios.