Between April 2010 and July 2019, Houston grew by 10.7 percent — that’s a whopping 1,284,268 new residents. In 2020 alone, Houston grew another 2.02 percent, and in the next decade, Houston is expected to see a population surge of 1.2 million more residents. 

Natasha Carroll

So, what’s happening in Houston? Great home values, a diverse culture, more space, and big metro areas with top restaurants and entertainments spots. We could go on, but why not listen to the advice of Natasha Carroll, Houston’s relocation specialist and owner of Natasha Carroll Realty?

A real estate agent and an investor, Carroll knows the housing market from both the buyer and seller perspectives. This, combined with her extensive knowledge about Houston, makes her the go-to expert in relocating to Houston. Here’s her take on why Houston is the place to move to in 2021.

Quality over quantity

Texas homeowners are enjoying a median home value anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 — creating a big bang in the real estate market. “We’re seeing many people buying up homes at a low value to either flip or create a side hustle via Airbnb,” Carroll said.

Above all, you want to know that your new investment will be equity-rich. “While it can be tempting with home values like these to swoop in and buy up the first deal you see, you want to be extra careful about bad investments in such a housing hotbed,” Carroll warned.

Becoming a niche professional makes you more desirable as an agent to potential homebuyers, especially if they are from out of state. Give them access to “insider tips,” like which neighborhoods have the highest home values and which areas are the fastest growing. They could spend months researching, but honestly, they might still miss critical information that a relocation expert like yourself can provide.

‘The Loop’

Interstate 610, or as locals call it, “The Loop,” is your map to navigating Houston. Where a home is located around The Loop is key to understanding what your clients will have access to, how long their commute could be and what neighborhood they will fit into. This 42-mile urban freeway also makes navigating Houston easy because it encapsulates all of the inner workings of this metropolitan area.

Carroll told us that, “The Loop is what makes Houston Houston. Here you can find over 20 educational institutes, several of the city’s major employment centers, our nation’s largest medical center, major sports teams, plenty of culture (like the renowned Houston Opera House), and a wide array of ethnic diversity.”

Not only does The Loop give you access to navigating the social scenes of Houston, but it also delineates neighborhood values.

“Houses within the Loop are significantly higher in value,” Carroll said. “To live comfortably within the loop, your expected salary needs to be around $80,000 because of upscale neighborhoods like River Oaks and trendier neighborhoods like Montrose.” 

Also, it’s important to note the differences between buyers of different generations. Younger homebuyers — for example, Generation Z is buying and selling within the Houston market — have different priorities than baby boomers or even millennials. Guiding younger buyers through the relocation process means pointing out details they might otherwise miss.

And it’s not just Houston — most major cities have their own “Loop” to pitch to your clients. Remember, as always in real estate, you aren’t just selling a home, you’re selling a location.

Bigger is better

Another reason people are flocking to Houston is for the space. The city is roughly 665 square miles, making it the largest city in the South and the fourth largest city in the U.S. by population. It’s also poised for accelerated growth in the next decade. When a city sees such rapid development, the culture explodes. 

Culture does not just mean professional sports teams or the best bars either. Houston also has some of the largest school districts in America. The larger the school district, the more access students have to the tools they need to succeed.

And with around 30 institutions of higher learning — from premier technical/trade schools to prestigious liberal arts colleges such as Rice — it attracts many of this country’s top minds. Plus, state schools offer generous scholarships to in-state residents. 

When creating a diverse portfolio of investments, Carroll said, “you want to seek diversity within the surrounding area. What does your property have to offer to a renter, a tourist or a future homeowner?” She elaborated by saying, “You want to be able to let your client know they have access to the best when they decide to buy with you and relocate.”

Do you live for your market?

What makes Carroll so successful is that she knows there is an integrity to her work that allows her clients to connect with her. She understands that she represents Houston, and her passion for the city bleeds into her work.

When you see your work as an agent as more than selling homes, that’s when the real magic happens. And as we all know well, the money is in the detailsDon’t just sell in your city, live for it!  

Victoria Kennedy is CEO of Atman Real Estate. Connect with her via email.

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