What’s this? Near the intersection of W. Gray and Milam, a for-sale sign has popped up on the Central Square Plaza buildings on a 1-acre lot in Midtown. We’re hoping to get more details soon. The fate of the 12- and 14-story offices and parking garage at 2100 Travis has been tied up in court for years; Swamplot reported last summer that owner Alfred J. Antonini won a skirmish in a ongoing battle against the city, which had in 2011 ordered him to make “a bunch of repairs” to the buildings, vacant now for a real long time.
Photo: Swamplot inbox (sign); LoopNet
This Lucian Hood-designed Midcentury Mod across the street from the Braeburn Country Club in Braeburn Valley hasn’t exactly been listed for sale anywhere yet — well okay, the owner has shown it off on HAIF. But Jason Jones says he’d be willing to part with it for, oh, $298,000. After he finishes patching and painting and getting it all ready for sale, that is. Over the last 5 years, Jones says, he’s done a bit of foundation work and put in a new 3-phase AC system and a new roof, but the home is still sporting the same 3 bedrooms and 2 baths it started out with in 1956.
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Worried that all those big-money real-estate investors have turned the Texas landscape into an unending sprawl of soulless shopping centers populated by the same boring chain stores?
Well, worry no longer! That’s right: Now even small investors can get in on the act!
As of this month, a new company called Nexregen will let even grumpy, middle-income sprawl curmudgeons put their money where their mouth is—by investing in shopping centers, strip malls, and other commercial real estate with as little as $2500.
For now, the options are limited: Nexregen is for Texas investors only, and there’s only one property available so far: the 14.5-acre, 148,870-square-foot Firewheel Village Shopping Center in the sprawling Dallas satellite of Garland, Texas, pictured above.
Yes, it’s a REIT, but you’re investing in a single property at a time. And that’s a pretty small minimum investment. If you think Houstonians aren’t proud enough of their commercial strips—or that there aren’t enough of them—just wait until Nexregen sells property here!
If you’re trying to sell your home without an agent, how do you get your listing onto MLS? Sure, there’s Craigslist and an assortment of FSBO online catalogs you can get on easily, but most Houston homebuyers do their searching exclusively in the difficult-to-navigate MLS listings at HAR.com. If you’re not with an agent, how do you get buyers to find you online?
As of today, a whopping five Houston homesellers have discovered a secret way to sneak into MLS—by using a new free service out of Florida called Iggys House. The five listings show up when you search the Iggys House site for Houston properties. More important, though, they also show up in HAR searches. Pay no attention to the weird Florida broker listing above the property. They’re in.
What’s in it for Iggy? In Texas, nothing yet—but just wait. In five other states, a sister company called BuySide Realty serves as an agent that passes onto the buyer 75 percent of the commissions it receives. Presumably, if a buyer buys a $400,000 house using BuySide, and the seller is paying a six-percent commission (with $12K to each agent), the buyer will end up with a new house and an extra $9,000. It appears to work for 1031 exchanges, too.
The free listings, then, are just a way of trolling for potential BuySide buyers. And it means that BuySide may be operating in Texas soon.