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  • Keller Williams Realty Northeast - The Michael O'Neal Group Blog

    Wednesday, May 29, 2019   /   by Michael O'Neal

    Single-family home sales achieve the biggest increase of 2019

    HOUSTON — (May 8, 2019) — Lower mortgage interest rates, improving oil prices, steady economic growth and a more plentiful supply of housing translated to a strong month for home sales throughout greater Houston in April. Luxury homes (priced at $750,000 and above) drew the greatest volume of sales followed closely by homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. Housing inventory grew to its highest level since last September, keeping up with consumer demand midway through the spring buying season.
    According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of single-family homes increased 7.8 percent in April, with 7,586 homes sold compared to 7,035 in April 2018. That marks the third straight month of positive sales and the biggest volume gain of 2019. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 2.2 percent ahead of last year’s record pace.
    Single-family homes prices reached record highs for an April. The median price (the figure at w ...

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    Friday, February 22, 2019   /   by Michael O'Neal

    What Is Escrow? How It Keeps Home Buyers and Sellers Safe

    What is escrow? In real estate, an escrow account is a secure holding area where important items (e.g., the earnest money check and contracts) are kept safe by an escrow company until the deal is closed and the house officially changes hands.
    Escrow is also a contractual arrangement in which a third party—usually the escrow officer—maintains money and documents until the deal is done.
    How escrow works
    The escrow agent is a third party—perhaps someone from the real estate closing company, an attorney, or a title company agent (customs vary by state), says Andy Prasky, a real estate professional.

    The third party is there to make sure everything during the transaction proceeds smoothly, including the transfers of money and documents. Escrow protects all the relevant parties in a real estate transaction by ensuring that no funds from your lender and property change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met.
    Along the wa ...

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