Oklahoma City Real Estate News

Keeping your home ready for showings can feel like a difficult task for some, but there are many things you can do before your home is listed to get ready! Here are just a few ways to make your life easier and to keep your home looking like a model home for potential buyers.

1. De-Clutter - We all have clutter, junk drawers, and extra accessories we do not need on the foyer table. Go through your home and clean out all of your Kitchen and Bathroom drawers and make them look organized. Also, take down any excess home decor and family photos. You don't want to make your home look stark, but you want it to seem clean and organized to potential buyers.
2. Clean out Closets - This is an easy way to make your home look like you have storage galore, especially if you are lacking in closet space. Take this time to clean out your wardrobe and get rid of clothes that have not seen daylight in years. Also, neatly fold any items in your closet and organize your shoes, belts, bags or anything else that is in there.
3. Landscape - First impressions are everything when your home is on the market, so curb appeal is important. Make sure the yard is green and always mowed if it is Spring or Summer. Also, make sure to add color to your flowerbeds with flowers of some sort. Even if you do not have a green thumb, just give it a try and ask the people at Lowe's for the easiest plants to take care of.
4. Clean, Clean, Clean - Making sure your home is spic and span. Just deep clean your home like there is no tomorrow. Grout, blinds, ceiling fans, light fixtures, hit it all!
5. Making a clean getaway - Running out the door before a showing can be stressful. There are some easy ways to eliminate this if you have a game plan. Make a list of what you know needs to be put up before showings such as dog bowls, kids toys, bills that maybe on the kitchen counter. Have a place for all of these things ahead of time so when your Realtor contacts you for a showing, you can put those things in their designated place and go on your way.

We hope these few tips help with making your home "show ready" for the public to view and for the new home owner to fall in love with your home.
Posted in:General
Posted by Chris Morris on July 20th, 2016 11:24 AM
Back before 2008 home ownership was approaching 70% and expected to go higher. But after the recession many people lost their homes and many other were discouraged from purchasing by the fear of the recession and the difficulty of getting a loan even if you wanted one. In Oklahoma City real estate we didn't suffer as much as others, but in general, home ownership has dropped and seems to be still going lower. Just two years ago home ownership was at 66% and now it is estimated to be 64%. There are some predicting that it may drop as low as 60%. Will we ever get back to the highs?

Maybe real estate in stable markets like Oklahoma City may not hit 60% because of affordability but even here I doubt it will approach the highs. I see three major factors in keeping ownership down: The first is a rise in interest rates. Yes I known that they haven't gone up but once in 7 years, but inflation is on the horizon and at only 2% inflation rate that is a Fed target for a .25% rise, and overtime rates rise it takes some potential owners off the market. The second is the millennial generation, they are saddled with an iffy job market with no wage rises as well as a high degree of debt, mostly from student loans. This is delaying household formation and home ownership. The third is the downsizing trend of the Boomers. Not only are they downsizing, but they are also going to rental adult declared communities and banking the equity of the home they sold as a hedge against, well old age and the troubles that can come with it. 

This doesn't mean that home ownership is dead, but my question is, will the millennial generation view home ownership the way I viewed it when I bought my first home in the 1970's. For me, owning a home was a sign I had arrived as well as a recognition that I was truly an adult. It was also something I valued as an investment where the deductions for interest and property taxes as well as appreciation that could later be a part of my long term wealth. Many younger people don't see the investment side of real estate and it is up to REALTORS® as well as financial advisors to convince those who will be responsible home owners of the value of making that step. 

When i started in Oklahoma City real estate in 1989 I never thought i would write the above thoughts, but the housing bubble that burst in late 2007 has changed the real estate landscape maybe for good. This is just a prediction not an absolute certainty, at least I hope it changes. One thing is certain is change, so maybe how we own property may be unlike anything I have experienced in my life before I became a REALTOR® and until a retire. There may be more sharing of property in groups, the tiny house movement may become huge. I know that rental will never stop because ownership is not for everyone, and for some who need mobility it may never be. The next five years will by exciting none the less, and being able to adapt will be crucial for those of us in the industry and for those who will value home ownership whatever form it takes.
Posted by Joe Pryor on July 17th, 2016 3:05 PM
As a monthly contributor for the Kansas City Federal Reserve Beige Bank, I use Oklahoma City real estate market statistics to help detail economic market conditions in the KC Feds territory. Yesterday, Esther George, the president of the KC fed and member of the Federal Open market Committee spoke in Oklahoma City at a luncheon for business leaders. This is a semi-annual meeting I attend to hear reports that affect interest rates and Oklahoma City real estate market conditions.

At the heart of the speech was information on the national economy and how this might affect fed policy on rates going forward. After a weak jobs report for May, the Fed was concerned that the economy might be softening, but last months roaring job increase of 287,000 as well as more people entering back into job hunting put the thinking back to the continuing modest recovery since the 2008 recession. The question was, is this a sign that the Fed may tighten and raise rates? The answer was a definite maybe.

Certain sectors of the economy including housing have come back to life and causing a bit of inflation including rising rental rates. other sectors like energy have dampened inflation, but the fed takes out volatile sectors like this and looks at core inflation which has risen modestly. The fed set a 2% inflation rate as a key factor for rate increases, and the consensus among the FOMC is that we are reaching that target but not there yet. Certain international factors like Brexit and the devaluation of the Yuan in China have put the brakes on, but that recent economic news in China points to stabilization.

Understand that The Fed holds its rate hike cards close to the vest, but Ms. George was signaling that a rate hike is not far off. If I had a crystal ball to interpret her words is that sustained job growth and the beginning of wage increases would case the Fed to raise rates this year, but one point of emphasis is that the fed will be cautious on rate hikes and take it slowing. Early last year Dr Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® forcers the possibility of rates going to 5% by the end of 2016. Because of international economic events and the lack of wage increases we have seen historic low rates instead. However, one should remember that the Fed thought that we had conquered market cycles when Alan Greenspan was chairman and then 2007-2008 hit.

The bottom line for Oklahoma City home buyers and sellers is that now is the time. The possibility of rates going below historic lows is a small percentage possibility but the greater probability is a small increase before the end of the year. Foreign flight to quality into treasuries and mortgage backed securities doesn't go on forever and in my opinion, not worth the risk of waiting. Speaking personally. I will be putting another rental property into my portfolio next week, and I am looking for more. I never quite understood the adage, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth", but with rates like this, buying homes makes good horse sense. 


Posted by Joe Pryor on July 15th, 2016 1:37 PM
Just last week I had a California investor wanting to buy 2 rental homes in the Oklahoma City area, both were around $150,000 and he was using a Los Angeles based Wells Fargo loan originator who I work with frequently. He was wanting a breakdown of what the cash flow would be so I email Richard to see what current rates were doing. To my amazement he quoted a 30 year fixed investor loan at 4.5% for 20% down, and 4.25% for 25% down. Investors typically pay up to a percentage point higher than an owner occupant so I was thrilled at the help this gives the positive cash flow because it put it above $400 a month after all expenses. What has driven the interest rates lower, and why is the prediction that rates will stay like this low like this into 2017?

The first answer is the Brexit vote to leave the European Union by Britain. This roiled the financial markets and may cause other coin tries to drop out and this affects the worldwide economy. When this happens you have what is called a flight to quality which is US Treasuries and mortgage backed securities like Fannie Mae. The more that is invested the lower the rates go both long term and short term. This also pushed the Federal Reserve in their meeting before the vote to hold off on a decision whether to raise rates. The end result of this is the Fed sees a potential weakening to our economy and want to keep low rates driving activity.

The second reason for rates to stay low is China. China is having some economic turmoil and it is the second largest economy in the world so it can hurt the world when this happens. The Chinese currency is no longer tied to the dollar so recently China has been devaluing the Yuan significantly to counteract the bubbles bursting there like in real estate so this has caused deflationary pressures in the US economy also. With inflation virtually non-existent then long term rates have no reason to rise and the Fed will continue to do its job of stimulating a tepid comeback rather than taming inflation.

Speaking of inflation pressures in the US, we have not seen much of this either. The job market came back to life in June adding 287,000 jobs but what has been lagging is rises in wages. Wage inflation is one indicator the Fed takes very seriously and until we see it, the pressure to raise rates is also affected by that not happening. The good news for real estate is that this increases a buyers affordability and helps sellers sell their homes. Of course not everyone benefits from low rates, those on Social Security wanting a price of living increase aren't seeing that and fixed income people do suffer. There is no perfect world where everyone benefits but as so so often learn, the market changes and at some time rates will rise, but unless something extraordinary happens, we won't see that until next year.

Bottom line, if you are on the fence on buying home, the second half of 2016 will be one of the best times you will have to make deal on a home at a payment you can afford. If you are a seller on the fence, get off it. Even in the last quarter which is historically slower, exceptionally low rates brings buyers out of their normal Spring/Summer sequence. If you are an investor and you can lock in the above rates, what are you waiting for?

Posted by Joe Pryor on July 9th, 2016 2:57 PM

If you are looking for a convenient and charming community in the Edmond School district with easy access to shopping and highways, look no further!

 

Glen Eagles is an established community with homes built in the 1980’s, 1990’s and early 2000’s. Homes in this community typically range from approximately 2500 to close to 5000 square feet.

 

Prices in this community typically range from anywhere in the low 300’s to the 600’s.

 

The Glen Eagles community is extremely beautiful featuring a gorgeous pond, winding streets and meticulously maintained homes.  

 

For more information on the homes for sale in this community or similar communities, contact us! 

Posted by Chris Morris on May 17th, 2016 1:53 PM

Valencia is one of Oklahoma City’s largest Master Planned communities. Located in NW OKC, Valencia features a wide variety of homes to choose from, located in the Edmond and Deer Creek School districts.

 

Valencia is located close to everything you need. The Quail Springs Mall and Memorial shopping corridor are located less than 10 minutes from the community. Also, within close distance are many schools, churches and smaller shopping enclaves.

 

Prices of homes range from the $130’s to the $400’s.

 

This community features walking trails, splash pads, parks and the east side of the community features a pool.

 

Homes in this community are built primarily by Oklahoma’s long time home builder, Ideal Homes. Ideal Homes has a long time reputation in Oklahoma for building energy efficient homes that are also affordable for the public.

 

For more information regarding homes in the Oklahoma City Metro, contact us at The Virtual Real Estate Team.

Posted by Chris Morris on May 5th, 2016 8:42 AM

Edmond is one of Oklahoma City’s fastest growing suburbs. Homes and new businesses are sprouting up all over the place in this vibrant suburb. Known for its top notch school system, and historic downtown area, Edmond is a great place to settle down and raise a family.

 

Here are a few fun facts, courtesy of the Edmond Newcomers Guide.

 

  • Edmond is located 13 miles north of downtown Oklahoma City
  • Population within the city limits is 89,182
  • Population with in Edmond zip codes is 141,852
  • Population in the Oklahoma City metro is 1.3 million
  • Edmond Public Schools encompasses 133 square miles
  • There are 34,439 households in Edmond
  • The average existing home sales price is $280,205
  • The average new construction home price is $339,797
  • Average household income is $103,237
  • Average commute is 20 minutes

 

These are just a few facts about the thriving suburb of Edmond Oklahoma! If you are looking to make a move, or have any questions regarding real estate in Edmond, or any area in the OKC metro, contact us!

Posted by Chris Morris on May 2nd, 2016 12:16 PM
Oklahoma City real estate has been fortunate to be in an era of diversified job creation that has offset the fall of energy prices. Oklahoma has long been association with the oil and gas business that when we experienced a downturn of the proportions of 1982 instead of going into a recession, the unemployment level stayed fixed at 3.3%. There were layoffs in the energy sector in Oklahoma City but the job creation of high paying jobs kept real estate especially humming. If you look at the overall inventory of homes for sale here and compute an absorption rate, the overall time it would take to sell all the homes for sale is about 4 months, a sellers market with 6 months being neutral. If you take homes below $200,000 then the absorption rate goes down to 2 months which is extremely seller biased.

With this in mind, the recent recovery of energy prices is welcome. With oil now at almost $44 a barrel, our drilling in Oklahoma again becomes profitable. Are the profits obscene above $40 a barrel? That would be no, but if predictions come true then oil could be $50 to $60 a barrel by the end of the year and that creates employment and the market becomes even better and more seller oriented.

I always like to mention that I owned retail stores in the old oil boom days and I stay amazed at the progress we have made, and the great decisions we voted for in revitalizing the city, and it makes me very proud. Oklahoma City has for many years been a wonderful place to live with affordable housing available and the low cost of living. It is now a go to place for business in energy, medical research, transportation, and technology among others. It has not been a real estate market of wild swings, in fact after the 2008 real estate bubble we held onto our value of homes and land. Having the security of rock solid home values and now with the return of higher energy prices, Oklahoma City is poised to have record years for 2016 and 2017 real estate sales. I believe you can buy with confidence.
Posted by Joe Pryor on April 23rd, 2016 5:56 PM

This weeks featured listing is a fantastic home in the sought after Nichols Hills community. This home features space for the entire family. Large remodeled Kitchen open to the Breakfast nook and Formal Dining. Two living areas in this home are perfect for places for everyone to have a hangout spot. All bedrooms are large. Third bathroom has brand new shower. Master Suite features backyard access, tray ceiling and remodeled bathroom. Large backyard with rear entry garage. Driveway is gated. 

Schedule your private showing of this amazing home today, and check out photos and more information on our listings page on the website. 

Posted by Chris Morris on April 6th, 2016 4:05 PM
I always like to share the good news first about the Oklahoma real estate market. It is alive and well, and continues to have sales outpace the total number of homes for sale. Although Oklahoma City real estate has never been about high highs or low lows, it has been about remains steady and this is supported by our diversified economy.

It is important to have a diversified economy because the energy sector has taken a hit in the last year. Currently oil prices are at around $32 a barrel and have been lower so layoffs have been ongoing as our private energy companies deal with the reality of lower rig counts. Still, for the most part our larger companies have the diversity of interest as well as strong cash positions to withstand the price drop, and if oil recovers to at least $45 we are in fine shape. 

The even better news is that with a diversified economy we have tremendous job strength that is holding our unemployment rate at 3.3%. Currently Boeing is in the process of adding 1800 jobs, and the Air Force is adding 1321 private contractors for a new tanker plane stationed at Tinker AFB. If you add medical research, technology, trucking and all transportation companies, and even a bit of manufacturing we are unlike the 1982 energy bubble bursting where we had an over reliance on oil.

In the meantime, existing homes sales are showing continuing increase in the median sales price, and new construction is still under the market demand numbers and has a big upside at prices below $500,000. With interest rates continuing to stay low because of lack of inflation pressures, and some worldwide economic downturns, we can expect that with low rates and high affordability, 2016 should continue the strong gains we saw in 2014 and 2015. If you are interested in Oklahoma City real estate as an owner-occupant or investor we invite you to contact us at joe@joepryor.com.

Posted by Joe Pryor on February 21st, 2016 5:23 PM
When I speak at seminars or do videos about Oklahoma City real estate investment, a question I am asked often is, can you get me 1% on rents and if you do I will buy from you. In other words, can you get me $1500 a month on a $150,000 purchase? The problem is, this is a gross oversimplification of what makes for a good investment with a solid return. When making the right choice on real estate for rental, you have to dig down into the details, so let's explore how this 1% rule works or does not work.

Let's start with taxes and how they affect your return. In states like Texas or Florida they have no state income tax, so they have to raise money from property taxes. So if taxes are two to three times higher than Oklahoma City, and of course the rental rates are the same, then a 1% in those states may create less cash flow than Oklahoma City. This means those rental rates have to be higher to absorb the extra expense.

The same goes for insurance. I have looked at buying rental property in Florida close to the coast lines but not one them. Insurance because of hurricanes makes Florida much higher, and if you waive hurricane coverage you also lose any wind damage coverage with it. In Oklahoma we have tornados of course but with less frequency in Oklahoma City versus the rural areas, it does not affect insurance. Again, you need to evaluate cost versus the rental rate.

Home Owners Associations also make a big difference. In condos for instance, they tend to be much higher. We looked at a condo in Florida and the monthly was $390. It did cover the exterior of the building, but interior coverage was still higher than a single family home here. In some cases you may have maintenance included like lawn mowing, or a gated community withy private streets. In those cases even single family homes may be an issue on getting the cash flow you want. 

What can happen if you do get the 1% with low operating expenses and the return is great. You also need to check to see if it is a one time lucky break. You can do this by having the property manager run a neighborhood analysis of what similar homes have rented for as well as the percentage of rental homes to the total number of homes. This can give you the idea of whether the 1% rule rent of $1500 a month on a $150,000 buy will be sustainable.

I am not telling you that you shouldn't buy a 1% rent rule property, what I am saying is that the devil is in the details, and due diligence will help you make the right decision for the long term, not just one year. We are happy to share all the information we have if you'd decide to invest in Oklahoma City real estate. We want to make sure you are getting it right for the long term, and that the experience you have is so good that you want to come back for more. To consult with us, please email me at joe@joepryor.com.
Posted by Joe Pryor on February 6th, 2016 6:42 PM
I just got off a call with a potential investor from Denver who is looking for a new market to invest in. For him Colorado has become to expensive and the rents don't justify the price. In looking at a market like Dallas, the prices again are too high and the property taxes are more than double with comparable rents. Fo the long term hold investor, the number of stable markets with affordable prices and excellent cash flow are diminishing in an improving market. Let's explore the reasons why investors are consistently buying rental property in Oklahoma City.

Population Growth: In order to have a strong rental market you need demand above supply. Oklahoma City is the 9th fastest growing metro are in the U.S. with population over one million people. Relocation builds a rental market as people tend to rent before they buy.

Rent to ownership ratio: The national average of home owners is usually around 65% to 68%. It has taken a hit since the recession that started in 2008. Oklahoma City has a home ownership percentage of 60% compared to the 40% for renters. This with population growth is driving the rental prices to stay stable or increase, again supply and demand.

Affordability: Oklahoma City has not had since 2000 a big run up in appreciation. At the same time we did not lose much value in 2007-2008. If you look at housing prices in Oklahoma City since 2000 you will see a steady line with a bending down and a slight upward increase all the way through 2015. 

Low Taxes and Insurance: The typical tax rate for Oklahoma except in some small areas is about 1.12%, so a $150,000 may have up to $1800 in annual property tax. The insurance rate especially on new or newer houses on our rental homes we sell are mostly between the range of $750 to $1000 a year. This takes off a lot of pressure in commanding higher rents for a good return.

We put together a great team: I have been selling investment real estate almost exclusively for 26 years. My wife and real estate partner has also specialized and was a rehab and resell person for many years. We have two first class property managers to refer to you, numerous quality lenders who understand investors, and builders who build especially for investors. This also extends to insurance agents, inspectors, and general contractors. It takes a team, not just a REALTOR®.

Low Cost of Living: On this Oklahoma City is a dream with cost of living about 9% below the national average. The city is clean, vibrant, crisscrossed with a great road system, moderate weather, so a great place to live, and even those skeptical people who come here for the first time marvel at it. 

Your Opportunity: We want to tailor an Oklahoma City real estate portfolio to your needs, and one that allows you to sleep at nights. We also offer new construction as low as $130,000 for a 1406SF home, or a 1817 SF 4 bedroom with deluxe features for $176,120. We also look very carefully an existing construction and often we can get you one with a renter already in the home.The important thing for us is to make sure you are a long term Oklahoma City real estate investor that we make the extra effort for in building your wealth. For a consultation please contact me at joe@joepryor.com.

Posted by Joe Pryor on February 3rd, 2016 5:53 PM
I just got off a call with a potential investor from Denver who is looking for a new market to invest in. For him Colorado has become to expensive and the rents don't justify the price. In looking at a market like Dallas, the prices again are too high and the property taxes are more than double with comparable rents. Fo the long term hold investor, the number of stable markets with affordable prices and excellent cash flow are diminishing in an improving market. Let's explore the reasons why investors are consistently buying rental property in Oklahoma City.

Population Growth: In order to have a strong rental market you need demand above supply. Oklahoma City is the 9th fastest growing metro are in the U.S. with population over one million people. Relocation builds a rental market as people tend to rent before they buy.

Rent to ownership ratio: The national average of home owners is usually around 65% to 68%. It has taken a hit since the recession that started in 2008. Oklahoma City has a home ownership percentage of 60% compared to the 40% for renters. This with population growth is driving the rental prices to stay stable or increase, again supply and demand.

Affordability: Oklahoma City has not had since 2000 a big run up in appreciation. At the same time we did not lose much value in 2007-2008. If you look at housing prices in Oklahoma City since 2000 you will see a steady line with a bending down and a slight upward increase all the way through 2015. 

Low Taxes and Insurance: The typical tax rate for Oklahoma except in some small areas is about 1.12%, so a $150,000 may have up to $1800 in annual property tax. The insurance rate especially on new or newer houses on our rental homes we sell are mostly between the range of $750 to $1000 a year. This takes off a lot of pressure in commanding higher rents for a good return.

We put together a great team: I have been selling investment real estate almost exclusively for 26 years. My wife and real estate partner has also specialized and was a rehab and resell person for many years. We have two first class property managers to refer to you, numerous quality lenders who understand investors, and builders who build especially for investors. This also extends to insurance agents, inspectors, and general contractors. It takes a team, not just a REALTOR®.

Low Cost of Living: On this Oklahoma City is a dream with cost of living about 9% below the national average. The city is clean, vibrant, crisscrossed with a great road system, moderate weather, so a great place to live, and even those skeptical people who come here for the first time marvel at it. 

Your Opportunity: We want to tailor an Oklahoma City real estate portfolio to your needs, and one that allows you to sleep at nights. We also offer new construction as low as $130,000 for a 1406SF home, or a 1817 SF 4 bedroom with deluxe features for $176,120. We also look very carefully an existing construction and often we can get you one with a renter already in the home.The important thing for us is to make sure you are a long term Oklahoma City real estate investor that we make the extra effort for in building your wealth. For a consultation please contact me at joe@joepryor.com.

Posted by Joe Pryor on February 3rd, 2016 5:52 PM
With all the worries about the low oil prices Oklahoma and specifically Oklahoma City has weathered the storm very well. Recent statistics show the the overall unemployment rate for the state is 4.1% and in Oklahoma City it has held steady at 3.75%. Yes there has been job losses in energy but this has mostly hurt some of the drilling areas and many of these workers are not permanent employees, rather that are traveling private contractors, so what hurts is sales tax revenue in those cities.

In Oklahoma City the reason our unemployment stays low is the robust job creation that will actually take down the unemployment level for 2016. Since the independent energy companies in Oklahoma City are diversified in transportation, pipelines, and real estate for instance, they are better able to hold steady in a downturn. It should also be noted that these companies have sold much of their production based on futures so some of the oil is being sold above $50 a barrel with previous financial commitments. This of course will change this year, but the hope is for a worldwide recovery, especially China will bring prices back by the end of the year.

For Oklahoma City real estate, it has also remained steady with inventory coming up about 10% in the last few months but sales also showing increases. I remember 1982 when we were heavily weighted in energy when that bust came, but this time around the traffic is still heavy, the malls are full, name companies like Trader Joe's are coming into the city, and confidence is still high with home ownership still a major priority. When oil prices get back to $60 a barrel as predicted in the next year, this will only add to Oklahoma City as a city on the move. We have worked hard for this since 1982, and I am glad for our citizens that the transformation of the economy and the increased energy and purpose of the city keeps growing. 
Posted by Joe Pryor on February 1st, 2016 6:34 PM
Today oil went to another low, West Texas Intermediate went close to breaking the $30 a barrel price and go lower, and it still may do that. This creates worry for our state economy and for Oklahoma City where major independent energy companies have their headquarters, and these are some of the largest in the world. Let's break down the impact and try to predict the future:

Oil sold on futures: Most of the big companies like Devon Energy hedges their energy position by selling oil futures. The good news is that through most of 2016 this means guaranteed sales of up to $50 a barrel. This give our companies the ability to weather the storm through 2016 with 2017 projected to be upward insane and price.

The Cost of drilling in Oklahoma: South of Oklahoma City is an area called The Scoop, discovered by Continental Resources, the Oklahoma City company that found the baked Shale in North Dakota. Drilling is as low as $14 a barrel due to it being early on and easy extraction, as well as technological advances that has lowered cost. Even without extraction, the companies are drilling because once drilled they can sell when the market rises.

The Change in the business: Back in 1982 it was a wildcatter business with no thought of being an organized and diversified corporation. Now companies like Devon and Continental are highly diversified with drilling, pipelines, transportation, and real estate that gives them the ability to have hedges against the drop in prices. They also broker deals between entities, so most of our companies are well positioned to weather this storm.

The cost of drilling elsewhere: Other areas suffer more thanes. Canadian tar sands, off shore drilling, older shale fields all have higher cost of extraction. Also strong companies more often own the land they drill on and not just lease which raises the cost. As long as we need energy, the cheapest is what survives and that is us.

Who Suffers? The drop in prices is not without pain. The lower revenues means less money for public sector governments and that means a loss of services for our citizens. On that the good news is that the pain is temporary but pain nonetheless. Where it has the most pain in employment in the rural areas where the drilling occurs. Most of these people are private contractors but there loss means less tax money in sales tax and income taxes. We are lucky in Oklahoma City not to see a huge drop in employment but that doesn't make it better for the smaller cities are the public employees that may lose their jobs.

What about the future? First, oil is a commodity so it will always have some ups and downs. We know that not only the excess in oil is a worldwide problem, we know major economies like China, the world's second largest, is having a retraction, and this has an impact on energy usage. We also know that China is a dynamic economy and that they will work tirelessly to bring it back. We also know that the US has allowed for energy exports for the first time in years which also helps. The Oklahoma City economy is a diversified economy with Tinker Air Force base attracting major employment gains with Boeing among others. We have the state capitol which is a major employer. We have a major trucking energy with Oklahoma City the crossroads of two connecting interstates, I-35 north and south, and I-40 east and west. We also have a growing medical and medical research community that includes a major and growing cancer center that gives people hope and treatment. All in all, we are a resilient economy, a resilient people, and an economy that is still growing despite lower energy cost. Once energy is back the it is the time for a great boom. I couldn't think of a better time to buy Oklahoma City real estate than now with enormous growth headed your way for the future. Let us know if we can help in any way and contact us at joe@joepryor.com.
Posted by Joe Pryor on January 12th, 2016 9:34 PM
It would be easy to say that you should always choose me as your Oklahoma City REALTOR®, but no REALTOR® is the expert on every facet of a real estate purchase or sale. Working in a metro area of over 1.3 million people, and having thousands of agents to choose from the choice is not obvious, and so often the public does not know what constitutes the best person for the job. After 26 years of real estate experience as well as local, state, and national leadership, I think I can give you a few tips on what can help you. After all, what you need is for someone to really take care of you and get you everything you desire.

Find a Specialist: In small communities this is typically not possible, but in Oklahoma City it is. For instance, at this point in my career I only work with investment real estate and not all types, so I guess I am a sub-specialist. A specialist in any field is passionate about what they do, and they don't spread themselves out to thin. It is more prevalent in medicine but we are seeing more of this in Oklahoma City real estate. 

It isn't about the money: This is the paradox, an industry that puts no limits on how much you make is also an industry where the best REALTORS® are not about the dollars, or at least the dollars first. Oklahoma City REALTORS® with a core value system put values like empathy at the top of their list. In fact, you should ask any REALTOR® what are the core values, and that is not professionalism and ethics, that should be a given. If they don't name money or being admired and respected by the peers you are onto something. Yes, top REALTORS® in Oklahoma make a lot of money but not because that is what they worship or define themselves by.

Experienced or Not? I remember how hard it was for me in 1989 to gain trust despite a 16 year career as an electronic stores owner. Many time experienced REALTORS will tell you only use them and I think that is overstating experience. I can tell you that in the last few years I have had more problems with REALTORS® who say I have done it this way for the last 20 years and I'm not changing that can create the biggest problems in a transaction where two agents are involved. I am not down rating experience but for instance, I have a 28 year old working for me and he is outstanding and a very caring person. he is also someone who discusses everything with me so my experience and his unbridled enthusiasm as well as his thirst for knowledge will make him great told real with for many years so ask a lot of questions about whether they have a mentor or not.

Continuing education: In Oklahoma we have to renew our license every 3 years and have educational requirements. Some agents look at it as an obligation and "phone it in". Others look for what is new and challenging. This industry has changed quickly over my 26 years and the pace of change is accelerating. How I did business starting out is much different now. Of course some things should not change like valuing integrity, but legally it changes, technologically it changes, and structurally it changes also.

So what about experience? Ok, this is where I do talk a bit about myself. In 26 years I have average about 100 sales a year and that's a lot of different situations and challenges. I have done it on the listing side, the buyers side, with distressed properties for foreclosures and short sales, and everything in between. Having dealt with so many different challenges it can really help you if those issues arise. it is my experiences that help the agents who work for my agency and it is experiences that I try to bring up to help the new REALTORS® in Oklahoma City.

How about testimonials? There is nothing like someone else praising you versus you praying yourself. One suggestion for you is that you can ask to speak to or get an email address for someone the REALTOR® has worked with. That way you can find out from them what the communication was like, or if it was a pleasant experience or maybe drudgery, after all buying or selling a home should not give you heart problems.

You can cut and run: Oklahoma law dictates that all REALTORS® work for the transaction. This means if you service is poor or the advice you get seems a little crazy, you are not obligated to stay with that agent. You should stay with them as long as they are giving you exceptional service, but for instance if someone advised you to do something illegal or unethical, or they are doing that, then you should cut and run.

Make sure that the REALTOR® makes the hard look easy: I know that was a long lead in, but at the very least there are 186 definable things and as much as about 400 separate actions we do in starting and completing a real estate transaction. Most of this you never see and that is the point. However as an industry we don't do a good job of explaining the complexity of the transaction, but that is because we don't want to burden you with every little detail because besides the real estate interest you have a life. If you ever want to have a cup of coffee and have some free time on your hands I can give you all the details. Most important, have your REALTOR® always do the right thing so you can do the right thing. There should be no losers in a real estate transaction and that is when you know you have made the right choice.

If you are interested in Oklahoma City real estate investing, or you are needing to buy a home or sell a home, we have team members to take care of you. Let us know what your needs are and if we can't take care of you we will recommend someone who can. Please contact me at joe@joepryor.com.


Posted by Joe Pryor on September 24th, 2015 5:09 PM
It would be easy to say that you should always choose me as your Oklahoma City REALTOR®, but no REALTOR® is the expert on every facet of a real estate purchase or sale. Working in a metro area of over 1.3 million people, and having thousands of agents to choose from the choice is not obvious, and so often the public does not know what constitutes the best person for the job. After 26 years of real estate experience as well as local, state, and national leadership, I think I can give you a few tips on what can help you. After all, what you need is for someone to really take care of you and get you everything you desire.

Find a Specialist: In small communities this is typically not possible, but in Oklahoma City it is. For instance, at this point in my career I only work with investment real estate and not all types, so I guess I am a sub-specialist. A specialist in any field is passionate about what they do, and they don't spread themselves out to thin. It is more prevalent in medicine but we are seeing more of this in Oklahoma City real estate. 

It isn't about the money: This is the paradox, an industry that puts no limits on how much you make is also an industry where the best REALTORS® are not about the dollars, or at least the dollars first. Oklahoma City REALTORS® with a core value system put values like empathy at the top of their list. In fact, you should ask any REALTOR® what are the core values, and that is not professionalism and ethics, that should be a given. If they don't name money or being admired and respected by the peers you are onto something. Yes, top REALTORS® in Oklahoma make a lot of money but not because that is what they worship or define themselves by.

Experienced or Not? I remember how hard it was for me in 1989 to gain trust despite a 16 year career as an electronic stores owner. Many time experienced REALTORS will tell you only use them and I think that is overstating experience. I can tell you that in the last few years I have had more problems with REALTORS® who say I have done it this way for the last 20 years and I'm not changing that can create the biggest problems in a transaction where two agents are involved. I am not down rating experience but for instance, I have a 28 year old working for me and he is outstanding and a very caring person. he is also someone who discusses everything with me so my experience and his unbridled enthusiasm as well as his thirst for knowledge will make him great told real with for many years so ask a lot of questions about whether they have a mentor or not.

Continuing education: In Oklahoma we have to renew our license every 3 years and have educational requirements. Some agents look at it as an obligation and "phone it in". Others look for what is new and challenging. This industry has changed quickly over my 26 years and the pace of change is accelerating. How I did business starting out is much different now. Of course some things should not change like valuing integrity, but legally it changes, technologically it changes, and structurally it changes also.

So what about experience? Ok, this is where I do talk a bit about myself. In 26 years I have average about 100 sales a year and that's a lot of different situations and challenges. I have done it on the listing side, the buyers side, with distressed properties for foreclosures and short sales, and everything in between. Having dealt with so many different challenges it can really help you if those issues arise. it is my experiences that help the agents who work for my agency and it is experiences that I try to bring up to help the new REALTORS® in Oklahoma City.

How about testimonials? There is nothing like someone else praising you versus you praying yourself. One suggestion for you is that you can ask to speak to or get an email address for someone the REALTOR® has worked with. That way you can find out from them what the communication was like, or if it was a pleasant experience or maybe drudgery, after all buying or selling a home should not give you heart problems.

You can cut and run: Oklahoma law dictates that all REALTORS® work for the transaction. This means if you service is poor or the advice you get seems a little crazy, you are not obligated to stay with that agent. You should stay with them as long as they are giving you exceptional service, but for instance if someone advised you to do something illegal or unethical, or they are doing that, then you should cut and run.

Make sure that the REALTOR® makes the hard look easy: I know that was a long lead in, but at the very least there are 186 definable things and as much as about 400 separate actions we do in starting and completing a real estate transaction. Most of this you never see and that is the point. However as an industry we don't do a good job of explaining the complexity of the transaction, but that is because we don't want to burden you with every little detail because besides the real estate interest you have a life. If you ever want to have a cup of coffee and have some free time on your hands I can give you all the details. Most important, have your REALTOR® always do the right thing so you can do the right thing. There should be no losers in a real estate transaction and that is when you know you have made the right choice.

If you are interested in Oklahoma City real estate investing, or you are needing to buy a home or sell a home, we have team members to take care of you. Let us know what your needs are and if we can't take care of you we will recommend someone who can. Please contact me at joe@joepryor.com.


Posted by Joe Pryor on September 24th, 2015 5:09 PM
The Federal Reserves recent decision to keep rates as they are was great news for some but not for others, but if you are wanting to either buy or sell a home, then you are a cheerleader for the Fed's decision. It would be helpful to go into the reason for this and what it means for the fourth quarter and next year.

The economy has been recovering and some positive signs gave the Fed some reasons for raising rates. First, unemployment rates have approached 5% which is close to what is considered full employment, and unemployment claims dropped to the Fed's target for a hike. However, wage growth still looks tepid so the employment numbers were deceiving. Many people have stopped looking for work, and many are still underemployed, and this made a difference.

The other target for the Fed is the inflation rate and currently it is not approaching 2% which would also be a reason for the Fed to raise rates, but that is not happening and the threat of disinflation which has been an economic plague for countries like Japan for decades is the greater threat. Until we see more robust economic recovery and a degree of wage inflation rates will stay at these levels. We also live in a worldwide linked economy so the issue of a Greece default, or the current bursting of a stock and real estate bubble in China makes a rate move all the more dangerous to America.

When the Fed makes any decision there are always winners and losers. If you are a person on a fixed income like Social Security or a pension tied to inflation you are not a winner. Despite the fact that how the fed measures inflation is different from your rising cost of living is of no consequence to the Fed but matters greatly to you. You are in for another rough year it seems.

The winners are home owners and prospective home buyers. If you are a home owner in Oklahoma Cit for instance, you don't have to adjust your price for a .5% to 1% increase in borrowing cost to meet the budget of a buyer who now has to pay at least $50 more per month for even an affordable house. By all means put your house on the market if you need to sell and don't wait for the Spring. The 4th quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2016 will be good for you since low rates have people buying our of the normal Spring/Summer sequence.

If you are a home buyer it may be a bit of mixed news. The sellers out there will keep their prices up but have a qualified REALTOR® who understands finance show you that higher rates of borrowing are a lot worse than a seller holding onto the list price of the home for sale. It also means that your search may be more extensive with more homes to look at. That is never a bad idea regardless of the interest rate climate. However, historically the 4th quarter is a great time to buy because fewer buyers are in the market, so it can be a good idea to act now, not later.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on. The United States has done a great job, maybe inspire of the political turmoil and rancor, in recovering for the biggest recession of all time. It has been slower than maybe we would like but faster than most economist predicted. American home ownership is at an all time low since those statistics have been recorded, now at about 63.5%. I can't think of a better time for Oklahoma City home buyers to lock in a fixed 30 year mortgage below 4% because we may never see these historically low rates again once we past the Fed's reluctance to raise rates, and it will come sooner than you think. The good news is that it's getting better and now it's time for you to build equity and wealth through owning a home, and remember, a little inflation can be good for you.



Posted by Joe Pryor on September 21st, 2015 5:35 PM
One of the most contentious clauses in Oklahoma City homes for sale contracts is the home inspection provisions. In Oklahoma contracts we require a time reference date by which homes inspections should be completed and written reports given to the sellers REALTOR®. It also specifies an amount asked for if repairs are found and becomes a contingency. For instance if $1000 is put as a repair cap in the contract and the repairs are $2000 in actuality, then the contract is null and void unless an agreement can be reached, and an addendum sign by both parties is done.

The next issue is about what an inspector looks for and can require that someone who need a license to do the repairs verifies the problem. The typical inspection is about the improvements of the house and that would be plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and foundation. However, if the inspectors sees something like a foundation issue they can only say consult a structural engineer. An inspector is typically at most licensed in only one field and often in none. They have a working knowledge of all parts of home building in order to be licensed by the state to do real estate inspections, but they can be wrong on something and that is why we bring in someone who specializes. I should add the if you have sprinkler system or a pool that those can be put in the contract to inspect also.

Finally, what about code? Very simply, if a licensed inspector required that a home be brought up to current code that the vast majority of homes would never be sold. Code is constantly changing and often has nothing to dow with safety. For instance when I had a home built in Edmond in 2005 the code required that the controls for the sprinkler be above ground. Two years later the code changed to below ground. In home built 60 years ago, each individual electrical outlet is not grounded, but an electrical system has to have a ground to work and were typically done at the box. To try to do individual grounds may not be possible or may be so expensive that it is not worth doing, so no, and inspection is not for code. One way code could come into play is if something like a hot water tank was not properly installed according to when it was put in which means either a licensed person did not do it right to save money and/or did not pull a permit. Sometimes an inspector may site something as a clear and present danger and that can be negotiated between buyer and seller.

Some other thoughts is that FHA and VA appraisers can also set appraisal requirements for work to be done and code violations sometimes are involved. This post was not to try to scare anyone but to inform that as REALTORS® this is a place where expertise, negotiating skills, common sense, and understanding the rules are crucial. Just like any profession there are inspectors I would cringe at if they were coming to my sellers home. I would promise you this, if they acted unprofessionally or without competence, they can be subject to complaints that can result in fines or loss of license.

When I work with buyers I want the best inspector possible, however I also don't want to recommend just one. The last thing any competent REALTOR® wants to do is require that a buyer work with who i say to work with. In all cases I make it a multiple choice for the buyer with at least three recommendations. This way a buyer knows that I have no secret agreement with anyone of them since they are free to choose. I will also recommend those with a reputation of quality as well as fairness so no one is a loser. Believe this, our job is a very complex one and you may not see that, in fact that is the point, to make the very difficult look easy. After all, being a home should be The American Dream, not The American Nightmare.

If you are a prospective home buyer or seller and you want experienced help who has thousands of sales behind him and want fair and honest representation with expertise and ethics of the highest quality we would love to be at your service. For a consultation email me at joe@joepryor.com and let our team work in your best interest.
Posted by Joe Pryor on August 1st, 2015 3:49 PM
I recently commented on a blog on the Active Rain network that wanted to say that there is no issue with selling your own home by yourself. After all their are websites for this, you can get a sign to put in the yard and save on paying any commission. I mentioned that statistically I understood that more for sale by owner listings end up in lawsuits that with REALTORS®. I was accused of promoting industry propaganda so I though for Oklahoma City homeowners considering this or any homeowner, why fewer home sales end up in court using REALTORS® than doing it yourself.

Oklahoma State Law: In Oklahoma we are governed by sate law. Previously common law based on lawsuits determined how we do our job and who we represent. Most of America has gone to statue law and that means more defined responsibilities and legal obligations. For Sale By Owner has no governance so lots of shades of gray.

State Board Certified Contracts: The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission in conjunction with real estate attorneys have created a legal contract that again is approved by state law. In it are automatic contingencies that protect buyer and seller, established timelines where all responsibilities, inspections, appraisals, and financing documents have been well vetted out. Having a common contract that is updated as necessary gives you protection.

State Required Seller Disclosure: Since 1995 Oklahoma has required that a seller fill out a full disclosure of condition of property that all sellers represented by a REALTOR® have to fill out. If intentional misrepresentations like say foundation issues that a seller knows about and fails to disclose can be possibly considered fraud. It also means that a seller could be liable for all court cost. But it also means that a frivolous lawsuit on the part of a buyer can result in court cost paid by that buyer. if gives both parties pause before filing. FYI, a for sale by owner does not have to fill this out so the courts are the only option for redress.

Required Mediation: Unlike an Oklahoma home for sale by owner, our state certified contracts require that both parties agree to mediation before filing a suit. A judge who sees that a party files a real estate suit will not hear the suit and send it back to mediation. Mediation does not require that both parties have to agree but it is another step before filing a suit to resolve issues.

The Code of Ethics: For over one hundred years, all REALTORS® who are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, also known as NAR, have a higher standard to follow with penalties if we do not follow the Code. The Public can ask for a hearing in real estate commissions against an unethical REALTOR®, as well as boards and associations that can have grievance hearings for bad behavior. This again is a sanction that is serious and in either case can be a loss of license to practice real estate.

Continuing Education: In Oklahoma we are required to get continuing education every three years in order to maintain our license including required education like The Code of Ethics, Fair Housing, and Broker relations which is state law of representation to the public. As a REALTOR® in my 26 year I have been doing this since 1989 and exceed the required hours every period. I can't guaranty that all REALTORS® take this as serious as I do but most do. You don't stay in this business for a long time if you are constantly in trouble.

In Conclusion: I chose to use common sense rather that statistics to make this point. For certain, if I got out of real state now and sold my house in the next year my thousands of homes sold would mean i could sell it myself but I probably wouldn't. One more important thing, ask any attorney about how much they learned about real estate in school and they will say almost nothing. yes they take contracts but the reality is, there is no big money in real estate law. It is difficult to find a real estate attorney specialist and if you do it is because they chose to do on the job training and research and they are few and far between. For them going to court is money and for REALTORS® it is money also but money out not in. When in doubt use a REALTOR® who knows the market, heavily trained, and with incredible backup that you see above. Don't make the biggest purchase or sale be the most miserable and risk the lawsuit that is more possible not less. 
Posted by Joe Pryor on July 21st, 2015 9:16 PM
By now everyone has heard the phrase, the law of attraction. I am not talking about the metaphysical stuff from the Oprah network, but more about how we wanted to be treated, and what out core value are. At The Virtual Real Estate Team, we have a written cultural statement and we also have written cores values for accountability. When we engage clients for Oklahoma City real estate needs, regardless of what your interest is, I believe that it is important to know what we stand for. Sometimes in sales, the sales person is all about what they expect you to do and to perform, but our thoughts are performance and actions start with us. For us it is important that you know what you can expect from our team, so here are our five core values with a bit of explanation.

Gratitude: We are always grateful that people put their trust in us. We appreciate your desire to work with us because we know that you can work with a lot of people. We hope that you will also be grateful for the expertise and service we give. We don't demand it but we would love to have it, and our values are based on it.

Reliance: There is a big difference between reliance and dependence. It you rely on someone they you are co-equal and your needs, desires, and satisfaction matters, and you are working together. We make sure that you are totally informed and educated so you know what decisions you are making and why you are making them. If we keep you in the dark then you have to depend on someone to be honest with you. You can rely on us toe explain everything.

Empathy: Empathy is when you put yourself in someone else's shoes. Our empathy and its importance is that this is not about what we think is best for your needs, it is listening and asking questions to make sure that it is about you. Sometimes things don't go smoothly in a transaction, and rather than doing a knew jerk reaction it is better to say why is this happening. it could be simple anxiety over the biggest purchase you make. Whatever it is we need to walk a mile in your shoes.

Attitude: Trust me, we are not everything is beautiful in its own way type people, that would be a bit naive. But having a positive attitude, visualizing a great result for you, and then working backwards to make sure every step is included for success creates the great result. We want to spend time with you about knowing your dreams, and then making the dream come true.

Trust: This doesn't come easy and always in the same way. For us it about being trustworthy first for you. Whatever it takes for us to gain your trust is what we are going to do. This may be like love at first site, but it also may take some time. As long as we are open with each other and will ask each other the tough questions then we can gain rust in each other. By the way, the first four of these values will often lead to trust, and are also essential for it.

If I was going to summarize our give core values in a short phrase it would be this: Do The Right Thing. As long as our team is focused on do the right thing then we will fulfill your Oklahoma City real estate needs and dreams. After 26 years of practice, and 16 years before that taking care of people in my retail stores, doing the right thing is the only way to transact business. I hope you get a chance to work with us because we want the chance to work with you. If working with people that hold strong core values and also hold themselves accountable, then pleas contact us so we can show you this in practice. You can email me at joe@joepryor.com.



Posted by Joe Pryor on June 27th, 2015 5:31 PM
The 2015 Oklahoma City real estate trend of more homes being sold than new listings has continued with March sales. In January and February 2015 we saw a 10% rise in new home listings over 2014 but we also saw a 16% increase in pending sales. In March 2015 we saw an equal number of homes listed for sale versus last year but instead of a 16% increase in pending sales we saw a 22.75% increase. Again, we have more buyers than sellers and in homes priced under $175,000 it is more common to see multiple offers even the first day instead of homes sitting unsold. The extra proof that this is a sellers market was that days on market decreased to an average of 37 days on the market before contract which was a 12% decrease over last year. To prove that multiple offers are the norm the sale price to listed price ratio was 99% which means some homes sold over the listed price. 

When inventory levels of active homes decrease 16.27% Oklahoma City residents who want to buy a home need to know that they must act quickly when a home that is priced right comes on the market. They also need to know that the list price may be the sale price and to keep trying for deep discounts may be that definition of insanity thinking that the next time will work, and it doesn't. If you add in that interest rates are still at historic lows, your buying power is immense. The mistake I see people make is waiting to long, then when interest rates goes up and the market slows, any discount on a home will be more than offset by what the interest rates does to your payment. In other words, now is the time to buy.

If you are a seller sitting on the fence about selling your home, please don't wait. The old marketing adage was to wait until Spring when there are more buyers. With interest rates this low it doesn't matter what month this is or the season. Homes have been selling in large numbers in the Oklahoma City real estate market in the first three months and when April sales statistics come out it will be the same story. In my 25 years of real estate I have never seen anything like this. When the bubble was growing before 2007 we didn't even see it then since we weren't a bubble oriented market of overpriced homes. What I am seeing now is pure economics of a city that is rising at every level.

I will be updating market conditions every month but if you think that lower oil prices are going to reduce Oklahoma City real estate market values, they aren't. In fact if oil gets back to even $63 a barrel by this time last year that will just add to the economic good times we are experiencing now in spite of falling energy prices. We would like to help you whether you are looking for a personal home, an investment home, or wanting to put your home on the market for sale. We have a lot of information about the market on this site and even more we would like to personally relate to you. It has been my pleasure to assist people buy and sell Oklahoma City real estate for over 25 years and with all the ups and downs at various times I again think that this is the best I have ever experienced in Oklahoma City real estate market conditions being sharply positive. You can contact us through me email at joe@joepryor.com.

Posted by Joe Pryor on April 15th, 2015 6:06 PM
As an Oklahoma City real estate investment specialist I have always read about "sexy" investment cities. Those tend to rotate so one year it is Las Vegas, the next year it's Phoenix, and so on. They tend to quote solid things like growth, being in the sunbelt, but most often it is the flavor of the year. That is a problem because one year does not constitute a trend, nor does it say whether the market is consistent in cash flow, or whether since it is flying above the radar, too many people come in thinking of getting rich quick and over saturating the market with too many rental properties.

Oklahoma City real estate is now just a hair bit above the radar but fortunately for us it is not the new sexy investment city to buy real estate in. You see I have different ways to define sexy and maybe that may be boring to some but to me real estate investing in a long term game and while spikes are nice, dips are not. I also believe that with education which we are happy to give any novice investor they can see why my idea of real estate sex is different that the publications touting the next big thing.

Safe is good: Ask yourself, if investing in real estate is like skydiving, how often would you worry about the chute opening for you? Some investors are like players at the crap tables, you either get rich or lose it. My preference is to go for the safe and long term gains even though I may not have bragging rights with my friends. I believe a bit of risk is ok but it should be apportioned to a small amount and bedrock investments that are safe and constantly giving you a return is what Oklahoma City real estate investing does for you.

Cash flow is sexy to me: I recently came back from an investment seminar in California with multiple markets presenting investment opportunities. Cities like Houston, Orlando, and Jacksonville were there all saying they were the best. My definition of the best is who gives the most cash flow. Cash flow is predictable and appreciation is not. S9 when I saw these cities talking about $125 to $230 per month positive cash flow I compared it to my presentation. My lowest cash flow was $330 and the highest was $515 per month. Also my properties were brand new not needing rehab and theirs were existing. What is sexy to me is money in the bank and that is what Oklahoma City real estate investing does for you.

Lack of vacancy is sexy: Of all the presentations mine was the only one talking about vacancy rate and showing why. I can put a return on investment on paper and I can make it look fantastic, but with real estate you are not investing in paper, you are investing in the real world. With 1% to 3% provable vacancy rate depending on the time of the year, what you see on paper is what you get with Oklahoma City real estate rental property. Vacancy rate can kill any investment if it is large and remember, every month you have outgo but you need income to offset it, that is what we provide you.

OK, appreciation is sexy: I like it when my values go up but we just hate it when it goes down? If I go back to Oklahoma City investments after the housing meltdown, and I looked at the loss of value in 2009 and it was only 5% compared to Las Vegas at 80% and orlando at 80%, phoenix at 60%. So if you held there on a property you bought at $233,000 before the meltdown, you may be back to $150,000 by now, still under despite appreciation. If you bought in Oklahoma City at the same time and stated at $150,000 your investment is more like a $182,000 value today. That appreciation looks great until you take the looses into account so which market is best? Oklahoma City with the most cash flow and improving on pre-meltdown values, to those still trying to catch up?

Dealing with an experienced investment REALTOR® is sexy: For the sake of full disclosure I am happily married and I am drawing Social Security so this isn't personal. What it is, is two things. First, experience is a great teacher along with education and I have both. Second, I want for you what I have. By that I mean I have enough investment property to not have to work another day of my life, pay any bills, and take vacations. I work because I love to work and I am passionate about creating wealth for others just like I have. Having choice like this is a freeing experience, being able to pay for a child's college education with Oklahoma City real estate investing is wonderful. Having security in your old age is the best sexy, take it from me.

Conclusion: We want to prove to you that what we say is true. We have a team of investment experts in financing, insurance, LLC set up, and property management. We have builders who give deals on new construction and love investors, and we will show you the metrics about how we honor supply and demand so we can get you rental appreciation because that is important too. For more information or to schedule a call with me, please email me at joe@joepryor.com.

Posted by Joe Pryor on March 12th, 2015 5:04 PM

On February 26th the FCC will make a decision that as an Internet user and also a buyer or seller of real estate will have a major impact on you and that is the ruling to insure net neutrality. First of all a definition of what that is would be helpful; it is the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Of course this has to be within the law but a free and open Internet has created more efficiency and wealth then just about any innovation in the last one hundred years. Every day you get on wired and wireless services you are experiencing the joy of net neutrality.

 

The idea that we all have free and unfettered services sounds like a hard argument to make for not having it but large service providers have done exactly that. While almost 100% of grass roots communications to the FCC have been for net neutrality and also the largest percentage ever where people did this individually rather than on a template call to action, the large providers have spent over $238 million to lobby against it and it is easy to see why. Without a free and open Internet providers could effectively censor your access to certain sites and charge you for that access. They would become the gatekeepers of content even to the point of deciding what they like and don't like and forbidding that content. They can also create a fast land and a slow lane access and only those with huge bucks could afford the fast lane, more about that later.

 

Now here is the controversy. In January 2014 a large telecommunications provider in a lawsuit opened the possibility that they and others could disregard any FCC ruling and do what they want. In effect this means that the FCC would be powerless to stop blocking and/or “unreasonable discrimination” of Internet traffic. I put that in parentheses because you can see how open ended that is. So the FCC proposes changing the definition of current broadband from the classification of an information service to a telecommunication service in response in order to insure net neutrality. This is where the government as evil comes in because many people don’t want any regulations at the Federal level. Now we have strange bedfellows with large corporate interest aligning with government is always to big individuals and groups. The contradiction here is these same people could be the ones that are relegated to slower speeds, lower bandwidth access, and censorship, but that is the crazy current world we live in.

 

So what does this mean for you and me when it comes to real estate? For one it means my prices go up dramatically to promote you to the 92% of all people who start on the web to get what they want in housing. It can also mean that anything either you or I put on a site if we are allowed there can have banner ads that someone else pays for. It means that we put ourselves into the hands of gatekeepers who not only can charge extra but also have proprietary access to information so we have to pay multiple providers. Yes these providers will complain about all the money they spent on infrastructure but check out the profits on Wall Street they are making, they aren’t hurting. I am not against them making money it is just that nothing has existed in my lifetime that connects us in a wholly and pure democratic way like the web. FYI, if you disagree with me and are typing a response on a phone, tablet, or computer, you can thank the federal government for it. During WW II, just about every think tank on college campuses who created the modern computer and the World Wide Web were paid in full by the Feds. It started out as a way to evaluate ordinance, but those creative minds didn’t stop there.

 

So please pay attention to what happens on February 26th, and also beyond, because the providers are gearing up with big money to challenge the ruling. Please understand that capitalism and democracy are not the same thing, it just happens that our country for hundreds of years has been able to meld these two in harmony despite the constant give and take. Quite simply I can say this with certainty. My ability to have success in real estate and your ability to reach buyers for your home instantly, or as a buyer find the content you need to buy a home is threatened. Your cost and my cost will go up significantly but even more, our freedom of access is at stake and I for one don’t want to sacrifice it on the altar of corporate greed.

 

 

 

Posted in:Web marketing and tagged: Net neutrality
Posted by Joe Pryor on February 16th, 2015 12:17 PM
When it comes to oil prices and how it will affect the Oklahoma economy it goes from the end of the world to nothing to worry about but the truth is always something in between. While oil at $100 a barrel is a thing of the past what is the state of the Oklahoma City economy with oil at $52 a barrel? Even more what does this do to the Oklahoma City real estate market? 

First, of course we would rather see higher oil prices but even if we go between $55 to $65 a barrel it is many people take that we are fine. Now not everyone is a winner at those prices. Canadian tar sand oil needs $100 a barrel, and deep drilling in the gulf is not going to make it at those prices either. Older shale finds in Texas like around Midland/Odessa are also in free fall. But on that there is good news because this halt to drilling is helping reduce supply so with low prices at the pump and reduced supply we have seen a rise in prices. However, any company that is highly leverage regardless of home location including Oklahoma City is also in for a rough ride.

One interesting development that is coming from this is a net employment gain of people like engineers in Oklahoma City. Our big non-leveraged companies like Devon are bringing in their top young people from places like Houston or Odessa because once you lose these folks you don't get them back. San Ridge which is one of the medium size companies here just laid off over 500 workers in Midland/Odessa but are bringing some of these people into the Oklahoma City office. These well diversified energy companies don't just do drilling and they know that prices for a commodity is cyclical so they can send them back out in the field. So far the net result has been good here.

Now onto real estate and Oklahoma City has not dropped stitch in the selling of new and existing homes. In fact January saw the biggest number of new permits pulled in the last eight years. Our economy is diversified, and new hirings like the Air Force about to bring in 1300 more private contractors to Tinker AFB is a stimulus both for owner occupant sales and leased homes. I am not trying to be overly optimistic because prices can still fall and even if they don't we may see a drop in revenues going to the state with any reduction of drilling here. Most importantly I want to say there is no cause for panic, this isn't like the bad old days when in 1982 we had a false economy heavily weighted on energy and also a lack of a corporate structure to the business as well have now. 

Folks, I have recently read over 200 articles about the future of the energy industry short term and long term. I have called every contact i know in the energy business to get their crystal ball analysis for the future. Bottom line is we are in for volatility, a fast moving energy scenario, and I am sure some surprised await. In the meantime, steady as she goes, I will keep updating conditions, but I still tell people to buy or sell with confidence until proven otherwise. For more thought please contact me at joe@joepryor.com.


Posted by Joe Pryor on February 7th, 2015 4:27 PM
2014 was a great year for Oklahoma City home sales, in fact it was one of the biggest increases in value that I have seen in my 25 years of real estate. Our market which didn't suffer that mortgage meltdown has steadily improved every year since 2009 and last years we saw as much as 8% appreciation in some market segments. That is the good news but there is also a bit of bad news built into those statistics. When prices go up this much affordable housing becomes a problem especially with new construction. For instance in Edmond because of rising land costs and construction costs, building a single family home under $180,000 is getting almost impossible. There is an answer for this and it is a strategy that I knew about and employed back the early 1990's and is coming back strong which is building a duplex.

A duplex has advantages in two important ways: First, it divides the land cost in half for a normal sized single family lot that that can mean at least a $15,000 or more savings on the land. Secondly, it becomes a more efficient build since it is essentially a 2700SF home instead of two separate 1350SF homes which have less external work like landscaping and also when a framer comes in they frame one property instead of two so building is more efficient. The net of this is that this is the key to affordable housing where the duplex I just described becomes $125,000 a side instead of two home at $150,000 each. But now let me add the secret sauce to this strategy:

FHA, VA, and Fannie Mae will let you buy a two unit duplex as an owner-occupant, in fact you can do this up to a four-plex. So know you ask the question about what you do with the other side and I am glad you asked. Since I am an investment specialist and I work with top flight property managers we work to get it rented before you ever close, and maybe since we will be building some of these spec we will rent a side anyway and you may be able to walk into a rental. The good news is that if rent is estimated at $1100 for one side even if it is not rented by the time you close the lender allows you to count 75% of estimated rent either as income or if you have mostly payments to offset for qualifying you can use that against those back end ratios. Now that was the good news and now for the great news!

Lets say you decided to do a 5% conventional down payment loan or an FHA loan at 3.55 down and with principle, interest, insurance, taxes, and mortgage insurance that you mean an estimated payment of $1636 a month, that sounds like a lot but wait! there's more! Now we take that $1100 a month lease next door and reduce your overall payment to $536 a month estimated. You know have a $250,000 asset and only a monthly payment of around $536. This is affordable housing. Now you can also pouches just half od a duplex if you don't want to become a landlord and keep your monthly payments low. Either way you get new, the square footage you want, and a payment that allows you to live well and save some money for that rainy day.

We are in the process of building duplexes and in markets like Edmond, Oklahoma where prices have risen the most this is a good way to go. We have duplexes coming that are larger and will be priced over $300,000 but we plan those $250,000 duplexes also. If this is something that makes since to you I suggest you contact us so we can talk to you about the opportunity to get either a half duplex at an affordable price, or the whole duplex with a renter in on one side. Contact us for details at joe@joepryor.com.
Posted by Joe Pryor on January 24th, 2015 4:41 PM
Today, I was reading an article purporting that we are on the verge of another real estate bubble. The context was nationwide and certainly Oklahoma City is a part of this nation, but of course statistics and opinions about values cannot bye equally applied to every location and city. For the purpose of this article I want to dress this first from a national point of view because no one is entitled to their own facts. Let me also try to define what my definition of a bubble is regardless of the product: A bubble is when an asset class has been cynically manipulated in value in order to boost profits artificially in an attempt to defy the law of supply and demand. Got that? Ultimately we let the market set values and sometimes those values will vary and be volatile, but a bubble is a way off the charts version of supply and demand value.

Much of what these articles are about is the low inventory levels in most major cities for homes for sale. For instance, Oklahoma City in prime areas saw an increase of 5% to 8% in median price sale last year, and that is about as high as I have seen in 25 years of Oklahoma City real estate practice. Neatly if there are at least two buyers for every one home prices go up instead of having 2 homes for every one buyer. However, that is not the situation that is being talked about. What is being said is that major corporations and Wall Street Hedge Funds have been on a buying splurge for US Single Family homes since 2008. In fact, The Blackstone Group is supposed to have bought but the end of 2014 over 50,000 single family homes that they have kept for rent. So as this line of thinking goes, this is why prices are up so much and why they will crash especially if the corporate buyers decide to dump, what they see as a nightmare scenario. Yeah maybe, and monkeys may fly out my butt too. What is lost is that the majority of these properties were bought at less than 50% of bubble peak and even 80% off in some cases, which makes these buys below the cost of building. Now let's reset on what this means.

The Blackstone Group is sitting on a ton of equity and chose this route because housing, especially rental housing, is the best investment going, even better than GE stock. Not only did they buy at huge discounts, they are seeing rising rents, and are issuing bonds based on the rental income. What this means is that they not only have what may be as high as $5 Billion in an equity position, they are have a huge cap rate when you consider both the cash flow and the bonds. With housing stabilized in the US, this means that although we are seeing a slowdown in equity growth there is still equity growth being added, and remember this is all about return on investment. We also have these corporations to thank for having the cash to absorb excess distressed inventory that would have dragged the market further down, and slowed greatly the housing recovery. If you own your own home in a bubble market you should be thanking them.

So in essence, the corporate buyers are holding for long term, have tremendous equity and are not stupid enough to try to dump all of it at once. That is how they had surplus cash in the first place to buy up foreclosures. But what about Oklahoma City, will we participate in housing value drops? Since we didn't meltdown in 2007, that is off the table since we had the lowest amount of underwater mortgages and sub-prime loans in the country. recently we have seen a 50% or greater drop in oil prices and we are an energy state. In 1982 when oil dropped like this it was a disaster with not only panic spreading, but also energy companies and banks going out of business like wind spreads a grass fire. Today no company nor bank is in panic or in danger of closing, it is just that we are diversified, the oil business has changed from 1982, and housing marches on. In fact, the last 6 months have seen the greatest increase in "McMansion" sales over $1 million and this coincides with oil prices dropping.

Can prices still go down? of course they can, if this last bubble teaches us anything is that market cycles have not gone out of existence, and a city, a company, or an family needs to plan for the future and hedge their bets. One good thin about the conservatism in Oklahoma is a healthy scepticism about seeing something that is too good to be true and realizing that it is indeed to good to be true. My hope is that as we go into the second quarter of 2015 we will see an increase in both new and existing homes for sale, we have the buyers for them. We know that we will catch up on development this year so new homes will come on the market in greater numbers. We can only speculate about sellers wanting to sell their homes, or interest rates staying at 2014 levels. If rates stay down and so far that seems to be the directions, and if more people decide it is better to buy a new home rather than refinance their old one then appreciation will slow down but not go negative because nothing is on the immediate horizon to cause a dip here. What I am talking about is real supply and demand effects, and not a bubble. Stay tuned for February and we will update this post. In the meantime if you are a seller wanting to sell, don't wait. if you are a buyer we can help you find that good deal even if it takes twice the time to do it. Either way, we are at your service.   
Posted by Joe Pryor on January 10th, 2015 1:50 PM
Oil prices have plunged down over 50% and Russia's economy is in a panic with the ruble crashing, interest rates soaring, and the price for being an economic banana republic based on a single resource, oil and gas, is reaping the financial whirlwind. This reminds me a lot of an event in 1982 and how it changed Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's economy from about 1979 to 1982 was going through the roof. Fresh millionaires were being minted daily because of oil but we were about to learn the difference between being rich on paper and being rich in reality. OPEC had been propping up oil prices and trying to stave the west of energy because they wanted us to change from our Pro-Israeli policy and favor the Palestinians. When this didn't work by 1982 and so OPEC turned the oil spigot back on and let it gush. Soon prices were collapsing and so was the Oklahoma oil economy. We learned a terrible lesson in not being diversified and thinking that prices only go up and it wasn't until the late 1990's that we saw the beginnings of a recovery.

Fast forward to 2014 and oil again is crashing in price and OPEC is keeping the spigots running full blast especially Saudi Arabia just like 1982. The Russian economy is in free fall so what is happening in Oklahoma? Oil companies here have lost stock value, drilling will slow down, but the economy seems to be humming along. What the heck? Why shouldn't we be crashing too since it happened before?

First of all, energy companies are not independent wildcatters taking crazy risk as well as being totally dependent on what is coming out of the ground. Now energy companies are big, they have tremendous cash reserves, and they do more than drill. They buy and sell real estate leases one rilling, they build or finance pipelines, they trade and sell energy, and much more. They came to understand economies of scale and also realized that if they didn't diversify then they were like a banana republic.

The other big change in not having an economic meltdown was diversifying our economy especially in Oklahoma City. Now less than 4% of employment here is directly related to an energy company. Medical and medical research, government and military, tourism, trucking, construction, and also being one of the top cities for lowest cost of start ups and business associated cost has made a difference.

In short, consumer spending is high, government revenues are strong, and we are growing at a 2.6% yearly clip which is the 7th highest in the US for metros over 1 million in population. Finally will low oil prices have an effect on the economy that is noticeable? You wouldn't believe me if I said no and I wouldn't either. What one Halliburton executive told me is what I think will happen. They like other companies have ramped up employment especially in light of new shale oil and gas finds in Oklahoma which are large, but at this time there is a hiring freeze while they wait to see what happens. Without going into the politics of oil but staying on what is truly is, a commodity, we know that prices fluctuate. The only question is how long will oil stay below $60 a barrel? Even Saudi Arabia needs cash flow so even if this stays like this for a year, energy companies drilling in Oklahoma are at around $42 a barrel drilling breakeven. This doesn't mean that they will drill baby drill, but is does mean the rigs will keep being put in.

In the meantime we have done the necessary work to be a class economy that is diversified enough that a crash cannot happen just because of one factor. Because of this I can truly say it is great to be in Oklahoma.
Posted by Joe Pryor on December 31st, 2014 4:17 PM
Posted by Joe Pryor on December 18th, 2014 5:40 PM
Posted by Joe Pryor on December 16th, 2014 4:58 PM

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