Short of a reality television show about homebuyers (I think there actually was one on cable TV for awhile, but it was set in California), have you ever wondered what their habits are like here?
A recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors® and commissioned by the Texas Association of Realtors®, reveals a lot about Texas homebuyers and sellers. For starters, unlike in California, you don't have to be a millionaire to own a home in Texas.
What types of homes do Texans buy?
The vast majority (86 percent) of homes purchased in Texas are detached single-family homes. The typical buyer purchases a home within 18 miles of his previous residence. Other findings:
· Median Texas purchase price: $156,000, compared to $214,000 nationally.
· Typical size of a Texas home: 2,089 square feet.
Conclusion: Texas home prices compare favorably with those in other states.
The demographics of Texas homebuyers
The median age of homebuyers in Texas is 41; among first-time buyers, it's 33. The median household income is $75,000, compared to $71,800 nationwide. Fifty-six percent of Texas buyers reported having no children under 18 residing in the home. Other findings about Texas buyers:
· 68 percent are married couples, 20 percent single women, five percent single men and five percent unmarried couples.
· First-time buyers account for 35 percent of all homes purchased; 53 percent of first-timers are between the ages of 25 and 34.
· The median income of first-time buyers in Texas is $62,700, compared to $58,300 among all first-time buyers nationally.
· Texas homebuyers plan to live in their home a median of eight years.
Conclusion: Buyers' incomes in Texas compare favorably to the rest of the U.S.
How do Texans find their next home?
Texas homebuyers search for a home for a median of eight weeks and see a median 11 homes. Eight-seven percent of Texas homebuyers use a real estate professional during their home search. Sixty-two percent use the Internet frequently to search for homes. The typical Internet home-searcher in Texas is 39 years old and views information about a median 12 homes online. The typical homebuyer who does not use the Internet in her search is 49 years old and sees a median of eight homes. Other findings:
· 30 percent of Texas buyers first learn of their new home from a real estate professional; 25 percent first learn about their new home while searching online.
· 75 percent of buyers view the Internet as a useful tool in their home search; 69 percent rate real estate agents as a very useful source.
Conclusion: Many buyers do their initial home search online - and are able to rule out some properties without ever physically visiting them. However, nearly 90 percent of all buyers, whether or not they use the Internet as a research tool, still retain the services of a real estate professional to help them through the process.
How do Texans pay for these homes?
Ninety-nine percent of all Texas homebuyers finance their purchase; 100 percent of first-time buyers finance, compared to 98 percent of repeat buyers. Other findings:
· 81 percent of first-time buyers use savings for the down payment.
· 57 percent of repeat buyers use proceeds from the sale of their primary or previous residence for the down payment; 49 percent rely on savings for part of the down payment.
· 48 percent of all Texas buyers believe that their home purchase is a better financial investment than stocks.
Conclusion: The American Dream of owning your own home is alive and well in Texas.
Information for buyers, sellers and current owners
Whether you're interested in buying your first home, your next home, or just want to know more about homeownership in general, I encourage you to check out a couple of great online resources: http://www.texasrealestate.com/ or http://www.har.com/ and for all of your Pearland TX and Northern Brazoria and Galveston County real estate needs, please visit my site at http://www.danfrankrealty.com. All of these sites offer tons of useful, real estate-related information geared specifically for Texans.
Danny Frank is a local Pearland TX Real Estate expert.
This column was published in the 15June08 edition of the Galveston County Daily News