Will you be covered?

August 9th, 2013

waves on the beachIf you live in Galveston County, Brazoria County and parts of Harris County (East of Hwy 146) you will want to make sure you know the changes and requirements that could affect your current residence or a future purchase.  With the new changes in flood maps and flood requirements, you will to make sure you are covered and be aware of any rate increase.  If words like WPI-8, windstorm certified, elevation certificates, TWIA, flood zones, firm date vs. post-firm sound more like a foreign language to you,  you are not alone.

Most changes will happen in 2014 with some changes and guidelines regarding windstorm being in place. In certain areas the increase in insurance premiums will be significant.

John Valdes with Farmer’s Insurance can answer your questions. If you would be interested in attending an over view seminar, please email me. John will be glad to do a presentation and educate you on the changes and the effect it may have your pocket book.  You can visit the Texas Windstorm site for additional information.

You can reach John Valdes at 281-335-7772 or email at John@InsuredByJohn.com.  Call me at 832-768-2019 with any real estate questions or if you are interested in a short seminar on the new changes. You can also reach  me by email at Alana@AlanaCroker.com.

why isn’t my property moving?

July 5th, 2012


I’ve compiled a short little checklist for those that have properties that just aren’t selling.  I have seen a lot of houses come and go throughout my career and those that have the most difficulty in moving often have similar traits.

Cleanliness is usually a common starting point.  Whenever your property is being shown, it needs be in a pristine condition.  Prospective buyers will want to envision themselves living there.  And nobody wants to live in a messy home!  The cleaner, model-quality homes tend to move much quicker than those that aren’t as well kept up.

Price is the next dastardly culprit.  Homeowners have a tendency to overvalue their properties.  While memories and effort are important, they don’t equate to dollar signs.  You have to be able to step back, assess the market and the market value and govern yourself accordingly.  If your property isn’t seen as good value, it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles it has, it’s just not going to sell.

Location rounds out the list.  Unfortunately this is completely out of your control.  Sometimes a bad location can really hamper your ability to sell your property.  If your neighbors have let their properties go downhill, then chances are prospective buyers won’t want to move into the neighborhood.  Try to maintain a neighborhood standard and sometimes these problems can be avoided.

Please give me a call if you’re interested in selling your property. I’d love to help.


moving up?

July 3rd, 2012

Hello everybody!

As Bob Dylan once famously said, the times they are a changing!

We’re all well aware of the real estate slump that we’ve endured for the last couple of years.  I can honestly say that things appear to be settling and leveling themselves out in the market.  Houses are starting to move more frequently, ground is being broken on new construction and those ole bankers are loosening their grip on their resources.

In a long about way what I’m trying to say is that this is probably a good time as any to get back out there in the market, especially if you’re interested in selling your home.  The key to a good deal in real estate is being able to time the market perfectly and this could very well be the right moment in the cycle for you to list your home.

Why?  It’s because I’m seeing a boom period on the horizon.  And the best time to jump on it is as the ride is just going up, not when it’s coming back down!

If you are interested in selling home, give me a ring and let’s move your property at a price you’d be happy about.


A big mistake I see

June 29th, 2012

Hey all,

One of the biggest mistakes that I see every single day is people giving up.  Something bad happens in a deal and they think the world is coming to an end.  Or a term isn’t exactly the way they want it to be and the sky must be falling.  Sometimes in these situations you need to just back up, take a breath and let things pass by.

There’s plenty of deals out there and just putting your eggs in the basket for one will never end up well.  Spread your interest out, spread your home search out and have back up-plans.  You can’t give up either.  That’s what seperates a novice from someone whose well informed.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call!


Tax sales

June 28th, 2012


I was sitting at home last night and trying to think of things that could better help those that read my blog when I remembered that there’s another way to acquire property that some people either don’t know about or know too little about!

Tax sales.

Tax sales are when the local county acquires a property when the homeowner refuses to pay their taxes.  Think of it as another form of foreclosure.  Then these properties are sold at an auction to the highest bidder.  Sometimes really big deals can be had.  I’ve taken the time to find out most of these law firms that handle these matters in Texas.

Linebarger Goggan Blair Graham & Sampson LLP: http://www.publicans.com/home.htm

Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott LLP: http://www.pbfcm.com

Ray Wood & Bonilla LLP: http://www.rwblaw.net

McCreary Veselka Bragg & Allen: http://www.mvbalaw.com

Happy hunting!  Remember; call me if you have any questions whatsoever.


Why isn’t my home selling?

June 27th, 2012

Hey everybody,

I get this question a lot in today’s market; Alana, why isn’t my home selling?

I think the biggest mistake sellers make today is being a little too unrealistic about the value of their homes due to their emotional attachment and belief that a dollar-for-dollar system exists when it comes to upgrades.  Just because you may like it, it doesn’t mean a prospective buyer will.  You have to approach it objectively and remember that it’s still a business transaction.

My advice to a seller wanting to move their property as quickly as possible is that your home needs to be in a pristine condition.  Today’s market is a buyer’s market and so sellers need to keep that in mind as well.  I’m not saying you should just take any number for your property, but keeping the market status in perspective will only help you in negotiations.

Next time I’m going to be talking about a super cool promotional thing I’m going to be doing.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call!



June 26th, 2012

Adversity is something I’m asked about a lot.

Let me tell you guys, everybody has to deal with challenges and problems in this life.  It isn’t all sunshine all the time.  It’s no different with me or any successful individual out there.  It’s not about how big the challenge is or how many times it knocks you down, it’s about the moments you get back up and try it again.

Not every real estate deal you do is going to be a grandslam.  Sometimes there’s going to be hurdles and little challenges for you to overcome.  The most successful people are those that don’t shy away from the challenges and owns up to their responsibilities.  I know that it’s not easy at times, but nothing in life worth having comes easy.  If you’re just looking for a new home, it takes work to find the right home for you and your family.  If you’re an investor, it takes even more work.  What are you willing to give?

The answer to that question is usually the deciding factor to what you get.

Give me a call and let’s see if we can help you find something you’ll be proud of.



June 25th, 2012


The thing about real estate is that it’s a competitive market with lots, lots of opportunity for entry.  It just depends on how deep you’ll dig to find the right deal.  Anybody can do the basic steps, but to go the extra mile and actually investigate every possible deal is what separates the savvy investor from the not so savvy one.

A lot of people have asked me if I have any real investments myself and I do.  And the few investments that I have do make me steady income.  That’s why people want to invest, right?  Trust me when I say; if I can do it, you definitely can do it.  Real estate is great in the regard that there’s so many opportunities, but a little risky because the price involved is usually substantial.  It depends on the individual and your own personal appetite for risk.  But those that don’t get in the race never have a chance to win either. =)

Give me a call if you want to pursue this as I can definitely help you.


Which path will you take?

June 22nd, 2012

Hey everybody!

I’m feeling really energetic today.  I think my assistant put some red bull in my coffee!  It got me thinking that a lot of people, and I’m guilty of this too at times, have a tendency to go through life in a mundane manner.  It’s so easy to let life drag us instead of the other way around.

I would challenge you to keep your head up and do everything you do with sincere enthusiasm.  The times I’ve been most successful in life is when I was energetic and enthusiastic about a deal, not when I was worrisome or lethargic about it.

While the real estate market is nowhere near a peak, I would say that it’s beginning to level itself out and another potential incline could definitely be on the way.  This isn’t the time to sit on the sidelines and let these amazing deals go by.  Are you going to be energetic or lethargic about it?  It’s up to you!

As always, give me or call or send me a message if you have any questions.  I’m here to help no matter what.


How to start your search.

June 21st, 2012

Hello again!

Today I want to briefly talk about how you go about finding deals. A lot of people think the most productive thing is to type real estate in a search engine (Google anyone?), but that can’t be further than the truth.  You can save yourself a lot of time by going to these industry used and respected websites.




Those are good starting places to start your home search.  However it’s always good to have the assistance of a real estate professional to help guide, schedule showings and just give you the heads up on market trends.  Any agent can tell you what’s for sale in the area, but only the good agents will help you find the best things for sale.  And I pride myself on being a good agent.

As always please don’t hesitate to give me a call or stop by the office if you have any questions!