From the Twitter feed of KHOU reporter Alex Sanz, Swamplot hears news that Houston’s city council has postponed a vote on a proposal to sell the former Compaq Center at 3700 Southwest Fwy. in Greenway Plaza to Lakewood Church, for an-appraised-but way-below-assessed-value price of $7.5 million. As Swamplot explained yesterday, the church has more than 20 years left on a prepaid lease for the property and an option to extend the lease for an additional 30 years after that for a little more than $22 million — both of which significantly affect the present value of the property to the city.
Is the postponement of the sale a setback for Lakewood? Why should it be!? Followers of church pastor Joel Osteen, who’s now written 3 books filled with real-estate investment advice, know that he advocates patience — especially in complicated sale or purchase situations. Why wouldn’t he want councilmembers to feel entirely comfortable with the decision they come to?
Here’s how Osteen explains it in a relevant passage from his latest book, It’s Your Time:
* * *
A young couple from our church told me about the challenges they had while trying to sell their house. They had only a few prospects in the first few weeks. They weren’t having much luck.
The market was tough. Realtors told them it may take six months, a year, maybe even two years to sell. But this couple had an attitude of faith. They were prisoners of hope. And even though it didn’t look good, they kept reminding themselves, “We are closer than we think. It could happen any day.”
This one couple came back to look at the house a second time. They wanted to spend a couple of hours really studying it to see if it was right for their family. The owners were okay with that. But they debated whether they should take down their personal pictures of themselves and their children, just so they could remain more private. After they thought about it, they felt good about leaving those pictures where they were.
The potential buyers came to look at the house, and the owners left so they could take their time. A few hours later, they received a call from the real estate agent saying the couple definitely wanted to purchase the house. The buyers told my friends that they’d been torn between their house and another one. But during that last visit, they’d seen something that convinced them to buy my friends’ house.
“We saw a picture of you and your pastor, and we thought: ‘These people love God. They go to Lakewood. This must be the house for us!”
My friend told me: “Joel, you helped me sell my house.”
I told him that was great: “Now let’s talk about my commission.”
- The Houston City Council has postponed the sale of seven acres of city-owned land to Lakewood Church. [Twitter]
- Previously on Swamplot: Real Estate Lessons from Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church: It Is Better To Lease, Then To Buy, Your Best Deal Now: Will Lakewood Buy Its Own Church?, Joel Osteen on Real Estate: Enlarge Your House by Enlarging Your Vision, Joel Osteen Townhome Sales Technique: Give and Ye Shall Receive Full Asking Price, Joel Osteen, Deed Restrictions, and the House Flip from Heaven
Photo of Lakewood Church: Flickr user viajero28