Home Buying in 78418>Question Details

Cindy Smith, Home Buyer in 98363

How do you determine what to offer on a home? We are going to buy in North Padre Island within the next few months.

Asked by Cindy Smith, 98363 Sat Apr 3, 2010

Is the Nueces County property tax website a good indicator? Because the market values listed on there are considerably less than the asking prices. Or is there an average range per square foot that houses are being sold for? I'm just concerned because we aren't that familiar with the area and I don't want to overpay. The realtors we've spoken with have not been too helpful with this so far, so I was hoping someone on here could give me a little more insight. Thanks in advance!

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Cindy, this is exactly why you work with a local real estate agent. Guiding clients on evaluating pricing, and assisting with the negotiations is so central to what we do. The township appraisal may be one reference point but the right way to determine market value is with a well constructed pricing analysis based on current comparable data.

A good agent - no, make that a GREAT agent - is what you need. Trulia is a great place to start your search for homes - and agents. Good luck to you!

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
Your agent should go over specific sold comparable properties with you and determine what the market value of the property is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
Offer what you can afford, if the seller doesn't accept then you don't need the house unless you can rework your budget.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
Hey Cindy,

I have to agree with " Just look befo..." . My wife and I have been coming down to Padre Island for several years prior to our move, and we had some adjusting to undertake, to understand the Island. We lived in a highly restrictive HOA in Fort Worth TX. The romance of Island living made it my wife's number one choice. I wanted to look at the south side of Corpus, because is was close to what we left in Ft. Worth. If you are stuck on the strong HOA type of lifestlye. then don't move to the Island. Yes, the insurance is higher and your only 10 aboove the water line......But it's an Island. If you want to live in a wonderful Island location with people who are some of the nicest people you would ever meet, then consider the Island. I have had 2 years of living on the Island, and yes there are things I don't like, but there are so many wonderful things about living on one of the few remaining Islands in the U.S. that offer such a relaxed / remote feel, it's well worth the trade off. And, I'm OK with not having the busy boddies ridding around in the HOA golf cart complainig and writing nasty notes about how long my trash can has been out. I have found living on the Island a breath of fresh air in my life. I'm enjoying driving down the beach watching the fantastic wildlife, interacting with the some very nice Island residents and enjoying a lifestyle that most coastal areas lost about 30 years ago. You will find the same kind warm feriends you had where you moved from, or you will find the same kind of people you can't stand to be around....That is somthing you will decide. For me, and my wife, we have found the best of places to call home.

If you would like to ask me any questions please feel free to call me my number is 361-904-4353 or you can email me at PadreHomes @yahoo.com

Steve Trubatisky
Coildwell Banker Pacesetter Steel Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
Also, as we are not from texas please keep in mind that this is REALLY REALLY south, The Laws, or everything you know from where you are living NOW, will NOT be the same...... I'm sorry but it is TRUE. We are from the north... I see you are from the west. I am telling you it is DIFFERENT. If I knew this before I purchased I would have Never. We come down to Texas (apx 1900 miles) once n a while to visit now But Like I stated PLEASE look/listen/check, at least 1 month or longer You may find that texas is not a place you may want to be. Sorry texas, but thats what we have seen, and were treated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
I'm not from texas and bought a home on north padre, WONT do that again! I really suggest that you rent a hotel/or somewhere for at least a month and find out if you REALLY want to live there. As a visitor, we were treated nicely, as a home owner we found out ALOT about the island and put our home up for sale with in 4 months of buying it. Just really LOOK, and investigate, the island,people,etc. It is wonderful to visit in a hotel, but REALLY take some time and look/listen. also Just an FYI, NO walking ramp from the Island to the main land! Traffic jam in an emergancy? YOU WILL SWIM as thats the ONLY way OFF if there is a problem, also check into HOW many FEET above sea level padre is and that alone may change your mind. Think about a large wave. (padre is gone)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
Hi, Cindy,

There is no web substitute for professional knowledge and wisdom. The various website price estimates are usually WAY OFF in Texas, precisely because of disclosure opf sale price is not legally required. Even the Sold prices listed in Multiple Listing Service don't include Seller concessions unless you look for them. Many of us actually call the selling agent on recently sold properties to get all the details before jumping to conclusions about sales prices. That's why choosing the right REALTOR® to represent you is your most important task.

When preparing a Comparitive Market Analysis, a good agent will take into consideration ALL the factors that affect value, including looking for Seller motivation, real NET sale prices on similar properties, condition and upgrades of each, days on the market, balance owed by the seller (yes, you can estimate that in most cases), neighborhood differences, differences in Builders, etc. There is no way that all that information can be automated. The Tax Appraisal Value is usually unreliable as a guide.

Your REALTOR should know all those things and will know what a reasonable offer will be. Your REALTOR works for you, not for the Seller. Your REALTOR's job is to help you find the right property, negotiate the best possible price and terms, make sure the property is sound, navigate through all the issues that can disrupt a transaction, and get it closed with the least amount of hassle possible. Most of us also help you to coordinate your move-in, so that it goes smoothly. Some of us even introduce you to your new neighbors.

So, spend you time looking for a great REALTOR, and let them help you with the rest. If you need a referral, ask someone you respect to help you. Most seasoned agents know how to find a quality agent in another market.

Best regards,

Doc Stephens, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty
San Antonio, TX
Web Reference: http://TellEllen.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
Hi Cindy,
I have found the best way to get a good price on a home is to know what other homes are selling for in the same area. Then, we compare the features of each property to the homes your considering. In my 16 years of working with home buyers I have one rule that always hold true. "You make money on Real Estate when you buy, you cash out when you sell". With the market conditions on north Padre Island we should be able to find you a great deal. One other thing to consider is what type of home you are looking for. Waterfront homes are a very good value now. Interior lot homes (non water front) homes have held their value pretty well. Mainly due to the strong rental market in the area. Also, the condition of the house and how much work the home needs is also a consideration when making an offer.

So, here's how I sum up all of the above. Let's find a home you like, in as good a condition as possible, check home sales in the area, and go in 10 to 20% under their asking price, and see what happens. The seller may get mad and say "no way", but the seller may say YES. Then you win!

Call or email me if you want me send you a list of homes or if you have any questions.

My email is PadreHomes@yahoo.com, Phone 361-904-4353

Steve Trubatisky
Coldwell Banker Pacesetter-Steel Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
All of the answers below are very good and the last one is very definitive so I won't be redundant in my response. As a Realtor in the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors (40+ yrs), North Padre Island is a great place to live and/or visit. I will be glad to work with you in determining the values of properties on N Padre Island. The Nueces County website is posting tax assessed valuations for taxing purposes only, so the CMA referenced below is critical to your decision making results. Texas is a non-disclosure state therefore you need to hire a Realtor to be able to see the actual sold prices of properties in the state. Non-disclosure means that actual sales prices are not available through public records, but only through a member of the multiple listing service of the local association of Realtors in any given area. Let me know what I can do to make your future purchase a positive experience.
Web Reference: http://www.MargieMyers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 4, 2010
Is the Nueces County property tax website a good indicator?

No. It's no indicator at all. Tax assessments have no relationship to a property's value.

Because the market values listed on there are considerably less than the asking prices.

And some may be higher. Again, there's no relationship at all.

Or is there an average range per square foot that houses are being sold for?

Yes. But that's worthless, too. Or nearly worthless. Price per square foot might be helpful to figure out how much it'd cost to rebuild. But price per square foot doesn't take a few important factors into consideration: Number of bedrooms. Number of baths. Age of home. Condition of home. Lot size. Presence or absence of a basement. Presence or absence of a garage or car port. Presence or absence of a swimming pool. Carpeting versus hardwood floors. Laminate versus granite countertops. Landscaping. Whether the home is underneath an airport flight path or next to an 8-lane superhighway. Quality of schools. Proximity to shopping. Amount of condo or HOA fees.

I'm just concerned because we aren't that familiar with the area and I don't want to overpay.

That's fair.

The realtors we've spoken with have not been too helpful with this so far.

Here's the answer. You say to a Realtor: "Please run a 'CMA' on the property located at ________________." Use those exact words. What the Realtor will do is an analysis of the value of the property based on recent sold properties that are comparable to the one you're interested in. The Realtor probably will also look at what's currently on the market, and will look for market trends. You'll get a number. It's not an appraisal, but it is in some ways similar. That tells you, within a very narrow range, what the property is worth.

That only takes you halfway there.

How do you determine what to offer on a home?

Once you know how much the house is worth (from the CMA), then you use strategy to determine what to offer. Never, ever pay more than the house is worth. Usually offer less. How much less? A good Realtor can advise you on strategy. There's no set figure, such as "5% under the list price." Or even "5% under the CMA." Each situation is different.

Finally, if a Realtor can't explain this process in simple, straightforward terms--the way I hopefully did--then keep looking for another Realtor. There are plenty of very good ones out there who can help you.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
When buying any property in oder to make a determination on a fair offer, you need to be aware of recently sold similar properties in the immediate area--review the data and see what it suggests--any local agent can provide you with comps--don't rely on tax websites, they are not useful in determining market value and some may not be updated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Tax appraisals have little to no relationship to market value. Do not use tax records as a guide to market value. Get a local realtor to give you list of homes that have sold in the area. When you zero in on a property and wish to make an offer have your realtor perfom a Comparative Market Analysis. This will give you a good idea of the market value. I don't work the North Padre area, but I did grow up down that way and I would be happy to refer you a good realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
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