HomeVestors of America (HVA) – a company that purchases houses below market price, rehabilitates, then sells them for a profit – lists four cities in Texas among its choices for the best opportunities in this field.
Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio were named among other worthy cities such as Denver, Colorado, and Kansas City, Kansas, on its “Top 10 Cities for Real Estate Investing” list for the second quarter of 2008. Dallas ranked number one in the country, followed closely by number two Houston. Fort Worth came in at number five and San Antonio ranked in the number six spot. The rankings are based on HVA’s own franchisee data and reflects how many homes the franchisees were able to purchase in April, May, and June of 2008.
The business is becoming popular, unfortunately, as homeowners find themselves in financial hardship brought on by divorce, layoffs, serious illness or threatened with foreclosure and turn to a company such as HVA for relief. Demand for services such as HVA has risen to record heights. “And,” says president and CEO of HVA, John Hayes, “despite changes in the market, real estate investing continues to grow.” A growing investment market is a positive position for the country.
Mark Hagen, vice president of HVA, cites four characteristics common to a market ripe for real estate investments. One is home prices that are steady but moderate when compared to the national average, and haven’t seen the wide fluctuation that most markets experienced during the recent boom and bust years. Another is a solid local economy, new jobs being created, new businesses moving into town, in spite of the nation wide economic slowdown. A third is a strong demand for single-family homes for rent and former renters looking for a first time purchase. And lastly, rental rates that would generate positive cash flow for the investor. Texas’ major cities have all these ‘rational market’ qualifications, and more.
Dallas has seen house prices rise slowly but steadily, maintaining an average of 3.8 percent between the first quarter of 2007 and 2008. Since 2003, the cumulative appreciation for real estate in the Dallas area was 16.5 percent. Both Houston and Fort Worth enjoy similar gains and continue to enjoy a slow and steady gain in spite of the national situation.
The company, HVA, known for its “We Buy Ugly Houses” billboards scattered throughout the United States, has bought over 35,000 houses over the past 12 years. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and has been franchised since 1996. They now boast over 230 franchises in 35 states. HomeVestors vision and mission statements reflect their desire to continuously improve the neighborhoods they service: Transforming the Real Estate industry so that everyone we touch wins; HomeVestors of America provides world class products, services, and training to our franchisees, empowering them to transform the Real Estate industry. They are essentially a recycling and reusing service: buy a house, fix it up, pass it on to the next owner or tenant.
Makes perfect sense.