West Texas News!!

Texas is experiencing a growth spurt!  U.S. Census Bureau data shows the fastest growing cities in Texas are currently New Braunfels, Frisco, and Pflugerville.  City populations are rising as well with San Antonio experiencing the quickest population gain of 24,208 in a 12 month period, an equivalent to 66 people per day.  Houston now ranks as the 4th most populous city in America behind New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth also ranked within the top 15 populous cities in America.

How does this impact West Texas?  As more people move into Texas cities, we see many migrating to smaller towns to escape the increased populations and heavy traffic.  In 2017, our real estate closings consisted of approx. 40% buyers moving away from large Texas cities.  The #1 reason for people looking for property in 2017 and 2018 (besides relocation for a job) was to avoid the rat race that cities are known for.  West Texas provides a simpler way of life and a slower pace.  West Texas offers the mountains and climate that many people long for.  The quality of life is better with the small town geography, little traffic, tons of wildlife, beautiful scenery, and small town friendliness.

Posted in:Texas and tagged: AlpineReal EstateTexas
Posted by Ginger Turner on October 1st, 2018 10:00 AM

We had an incident in 2013 when a man walked into our office and demanded to see some property in Marathon.  He continued to describe the property with much enthusiasm and his interest in real estate.  As the conversation carried on, he became irritated and angry and began discussing the recent Boston Marathon bombing and how he knew about bombs and wouldn’t mind blowing up a few people.  Our Agent became very concerned with his tone and behavior and the subject of the conversation and his threats.  We called the local Sheriff department and they waited outside for our queue if the threat became more serious.  Luckily, he ended up leaving, but still agitated.  The Sheriff stopped and questioned him and found out he had been released from a mental hospital.  That is just one bizarre story, of many, that our office can share. 

Working as a Realtor can be a fun and exciting job.  We have the opportunity to meet hundreds of people and hear amazing stories of life changes and adventures from all over the world.  It is so gratifying when we can help a buyer find the perfect home and be part of their life and dreams. 

Unfortunately, the world has become a pretty scary place and working with strangers day-after-day allows Realtors to mix company with people they don’t know anything about.  Lindsay Buziak was a Realtor in British Columbia who was murdered in 2008 during a showing with a client.  Beverly Carter was attacked, kidnapped, and murdered at a showing in Arkansas in 2014.  Crystal McDowell was another successful Realtor murdered in Baytown, Texas in 2017. 

These cases are just a few of the stories where Realtors were targeted and murdered because of their community image, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or were simply targeted based on their looks and charm.  As a result of these attacks, the National Association of Realtors has advised Brokers to incorporate safety measures for their Agents to abide by as additional protection when showing property. 

Real estate is considered a high-risk profession.  At Mtn. View Properties, we have policies and procedures in place to protect our Agents and insure they are aware of their surroundings and the clients they work with.  We not only have to be aware of people, but wild animals, dogs, and unsafe conditions can be a threat as well.  We do not enter a home where we have not become friends with a dog.  We do not enter a foreclosure without caution of animals or squatters.  We have rules and steps to follow when showing property to strangers to protect ourselves.  I believe it is important for every company or industry to have procedures if they are meeting with people outside the office or in the field.  You never know when your life can depend on it. 

Posted by Ginger Turner on March 22nd, 2018 9:54 PM

One of the top New Years Resolutions people make involves their home.  It can be as simple as organizing the home to buying a new home in the new year.  If you are considering switching from a renter/tenant position to a homeowner, make sure you know what you’re getting involved in before you take the leap. 

Buying a home is usually a 1:1 ratio compared to renting.  That means that you can find a home and make a mortgage payment that is equal to the monthly rent you were paying before.  However, we don’t want to sugar coat things too much.  There are a few things to know so you are prepared to be a homeowner.  First, you will need to get pre-approved to consider buying a home.  You need to call a lender and discuss your situation and see what your monthly payment and down payment requirements will be.  Once they issue this magical pre-approval letter then you are free to call a Realtor to help you shop.  One of the best things about buying your own home is that it belongs to you.  You can change the color, make changes to the kitchen or have a dog and no one will tell you no.  The drawback is that you become your maintenance man.  You can no longer make a phone call to have someone fix your clogged drain or broken air conditioner without paying for their services.  This leads to the next suggestion of having an emergency fund.  This is your home and it will require maintenance and things do break.  So be prepared and have at least $500-1000 set aside for when those breaks occur.  Do you research and make sure you are changing the necessary filters and insulating pipes and doing the right routine maintenance to avoid certain seasonal problems.  Lastly, your neighbors are forever.  You can no longer eagerly wait for your lease to end and move if you become annoyed with your neighbor or their barking dog.  Make sure when you are shopping for the right house to buy that you like the area and the neighbors.  Buying a home is the largest investment you will make in your lifetime so make sure you invest wisely.  Call Mtn. View Properties and we will gladly hold your hand through the process and provide the necessary advice along the way.   

Posted by Ginger Turner on February 2nd, 2018 12:43 PM

Believe it or not, there is an etiquette to buying and selling a home, some unwritten rules that we would love to share with you to make the process easier for all involved.



Money - do you know how you intend on buying this property?  If you have not spoken to a lender yet or gathered all the money under your mattress, please do not look for a house.  You need to make sure you have what it takes to purchase real estate.  We can recommend a lender to you and it's a quick process that will not slow you down.


Time - Realtors and Sellers do not have all the time in the world so please show up on time for your scheduled showing or call us at least an hour ahead of time if you are going to be late.  We usually have other appointments to get to and the owners would love to return to their home as soon as they can.  Do not linger through rooms and study family pictures.  Take a quick look and see if this is a house that can stay on your short list to return to for a 2nd showing.


Children - kids are very excited to look at homes and explore and investigate but owners do not like returning to their homes with beds out of order and things moved around on dressers. Please do not let your children terrorize the cat or pull the fish out the tank and please keep them close to you during the showing.


Just Looking? - Again, Realtors are very busy and always go, go, go.  It is very upsetting to tell an owner that the person they just spent 8 hours cleaning their house for is only looking or not planning on buying for a few years.  Please know your plans and be courteous when scheduling a showing to see a house.


More Photos? - Realtors usually take pictures of every room for their advertising online and some owners get very uneasy when a prospect starts taking pictures of their home or belongings.  Please ask the Realtor for permission before snapping more photos of the property.



Disclosure - Too much information is appreciated!  We want to know about the leak in the roof or the toilet that doesn't flush.  We want to know that you are 6 months behind on your payments.  When you list the property, please tell us everything about your life in the home and experiences you have had with repairs and mortgage payments and neighbors.  We don't want any surprises when the inspection takes place.


Honesty - Be honest with us on your plans.  We have had sellers back out of a contract at the last minute because they decided to stay in the house.  Make sure that you want to sell before we spend the time to advertise and market the property and offer it to buyers.


What Stays? - Make sure to tell us about a light fixture that doesn't stay or the curtains and blinds.  Anything attached to the property is supposed to stay upon closing so we need to know your plans before we start showing the property.

Posted in:General and tagged: AlpineBuyerSeller
Posted by Ginger Turner on August 1st, 2017 4:13 PM
Join us this Saturday for the Heart for Alpine walk/run in Alpine, TX.  Half Marathon to start at 7:30 and 10k/5k/1 mile to start at 8:30 at Jackson Field.  All proceeds go towards three non-profit organizations in Alpine:  Frontier CASA, Alpine Public Library, and Family Crisis Center.

Register for race at www.EventBrite.com.

Posted in:Events and tagged: Alpine
Posted by Ginger Turner on March 30th, 2017 11:44 AM

One of the most common misconceptions we see as Realtors is the idea that a Tax Assessed Value is the same as the appraised value, also known as the Fair Market Value.  This is not the case and often affects the offers we receive on listings.  The truth is, the county assesses values on property based on a neighborhood or concentrated area and not an individual property.  They also do not assess the value every year, but rather every 2-5 years because of the size of the area and the available team to make such assessments.  Brewster County, for example, is the largest county in Texas and covers a wide range of territory.  The option for the county appraiser to reach every single property to assess a value each year would be impossible.  Most of the time, the properties are assessed at 80-90% of the Fair Market Value.  Realtors and Licensed Appraisers actually visit the properties when they determine the Fair Market Value.  After measuring the square footage and comparing the home to other sales and listings in the immediate area, a Fair Market Value is determined.  This is the true value of a property because it is more specific.  When buyers make an offer, instead of looking at the county’s assessed value, they should be asking their Realtor for comparable sales in the area of similar properties and make their offer based on that.  It is very frustrating in our jobs when we have buyers telling us the value of the home is too low because the county has it $30,000 less than the list price.  The facts are usually that the county hasn’t probably assessed the value in a few years, has never seen the inside of the home, they don’t know about improvements to the property or the neighborhood, and they do not have access to sales information since Texas is not a disclosure state.  Sales in our area, and the state, are not reported to counties or taxing entities.  Our advice is to ask for the comparables for nearby sales of similar property before making your offer.  It’s like comparing apples to oranges.  Do not rely on the county assessment.      

Posted by Ginger Turner on February 18th, 2017 12:41 PM
The applications for our B.K.D. Memorial Scholarship are now available below!  Please have any high school senior in Alpine or Fort Davis complete and submit to Ginger Turner by March 15, 2017 to ginger@mtnviewproperties.com.  Scholarships will be awarded in May to one senior in each community of Alpine and Fort Davis of $1,000 each.  

If you would like to contribute more funds to the BKD Memorial Scholarship, you can visit the GoFundMe link at https://www.gofundme.com/bkdmemorial.  $10, $20, anything helps!!!!!  Please help make a difference in these students' lives.

Posted in:Alpine, Fort Davis and tagged: Scholarship
Posted by Ginger Turner on February 1st, 2017 12:43 PM
The Big Bend area has experienced a lot of publicity lately with oil drillers, pipeline digging, and solar farm installation.  One of the popular questions we have recently from prospective buyers & sellers and locals in the area is whether the pipeline running through Alpine has effected our real estate market.  The answer is NOT YET.  Seeing as how Pumpco has already dug and buried the pipeline going across FM 1703 that runs close to Sunny Glen and we have pending sales in Sunny Glen for this month, we have plenty of buyers who are not concerned with the change.  We were told in the beginning that the work force would increase and housing prices would increase but we have not experienced that sensation yet.  We have buyers ask about the pipeline but their question is hardly concerning and it has not prevented them from continuing to look for property in the area.  On another note, we understand that the solar field going in on Highway 67 towards Fort Stockton will bring in 250+ new jobs and those employees will need housing.  I don't expect they will buy in the Alpine market because they are only going to be here a very short period of time, but it may be a reason for investors to buy homes as rental property which can improve our real estate market with sales.  We already have a shortage of rental property with Sul Ross and Border Patrol and now with 250+ more jobs it will become a bigger fight for a place to live.
Posted in:General and tagged: West Texas Pipeline
Posted by Ginger Turner on October 25th, 2016 12:44 PM

It's that time of the year when chaos overwhelms a lot of us with last minute school shopping for clothes and school supplies, learning bus schedules, creating lunch menus, and getting into the routine of school and after-school activities.  My daughters are attending the public school for the first time this year after being homeschooled for 3 years and private school prior to that.  This is a new ballgame for us!  I was embarrassed asking the school secretary this week during registration if I could go inside the school on the first day to walk the girls to class.  All of the new security measures had me feeling uncertain about the procedures.  But Monday is the big day and I will have the feeling of both loss and excitement as all three of my children attend school for the first time.  Wow!  

So, with a lot of us experiencing the same or similar chaos, as a Realtor things actually slow down for awhile.  For the last 10 years, August and September have been our slowest months of the year.  People stop focusing on moving and refocus on settling and establishing their routines.  It isn't until October that showings start to increase again and buyers get back in gear to shop for a house.  This gives us Realtors time to revisit marketing ideas and business plans for the next year and all of the great things we do to make our business better and clients happier.  Remember, we never stop working!!

But please don't let this stop you from checking out our website or Facebook page and sharing our new listings.  We have many new listings on the horizon and still many buyers who are hoping to find that perfect home.  We are ready to meet with sellers and help them list their property.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Posted in:General and tagged: West TexasCommunity
Posted by Ginger Turner on August 21st, 2016 10:03 PM

Spring has finally arrived here in west Texas after a hard winter of ice storms and cold weather.  Flowers are in full bloom and trees are leafing out.  The sweet smell of the agarita bushes in my yard fill the air each morning.  Big Bend, Terlingua, and Study Butte have never been greener.  Some parts along highway 118 look like a golf course with patches of bright yellow flowers and bluebonnets lining the road and fence lines.  It's a great time of year to visit the area!






Posted by Ginger Turner on April 1st, 2015 7:56 AM


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