Residential Living in Midland TX
As Midland’s economy continues to evolve, so does the city. Thousands of people have moved into the area and growth is not expected to slow down any time soon. Understandably, one of the areas experiencing the greatest growing pains is the housing market.
Rents are high and housing inventory is low, with an average of only about 250 houses for sale at any one time. Community leaders and businesses know they must come together to find solutions.
One such group is the Permian Basin Board of Realtors (PBBOR). This collective of licensed Realtors and property experts helps develop and train real estate professionals in the Permian Basin. PBBOR also sponsors and maintains the local MLS listings website to provide a real-time resource for Realtors and home buyers.
PBBOR 2015 Past President Cameron Willmann said that the last few years have been strong in sales. In 2017, local Realtors sold about 2,400 homes in Midland County with the average sale price of $294,000. In 2018, the average sale price was in the low $300,000s.
“What we have now is a continuously busy market, what we call a very aggressive market, with low inventory and lots of buyers,” Willmann said.
Training the best Realtors to help buyers find a home and get the best deal possible is one of the ways PBBOR is trying to help prospective homeowners, Willmann said.
Willmann is an active Broker Associate Realtor serving residential, commercial, property management, development and new construction clientele in the Midland-Odessa area. His experience has allowed him to see the housing market challenges from many different angles. “As practitioners, Realtors understand the hurdles clients face in this market and want to help find a solution,” he said.
HNB Mortgage consultant Matthew Dunnam is a lifelong Midlander and has worked in mortgage lending for almost a decade. He said Midland’s tight housing market has a bright side. Housing prices and rents are higher, but so are incomes.
“This is the most competitive market I have ever seen,” Dunnam said. “House prices are on the rise, but people’s purchasing power is also higher. People are generally making more money than in previous years and they seem to be saving more as well.”
Both Dunnam and Willmann said prospective homeowners need to understand that when they get ready to buy a house in West Texas, they need to bring their ‘A’ game and expect a multiple-offer situation.
“Buyers have to be prepared. Assemble your dream team before you begin house hunting. Find a local lender, a local Realtor, even a local insurance company. Lean on the pros that understand the market and your situation. This area has a lot of really wonderful Realtors, and I always recommend interviewing your agents to find your best fit,” Willmann advised.
Dunnam agreed. When choosing your mortgage company, choose a company that focuses on service and pricing.
“Look for clear communication of the process, the best available rates and terms for their loan and what company has the best local reputation.”
Buyers should also be ready to make a same-day offer if they find their dream home. The best way to do that is to secure financing before looking at houses.
“Being pre-approved for a mortgage is the most important thing you can do,” Dunnam said. “In a multiple offer situation, the seller is much more likely to choose a buyer who has already secured financing through a local lender. The pre-qualification process takes less than a business day and is not property specific.”
Another bright spot in Midland’s housing market are the new commercial and residential developments in progress. “One of the biggest benefits of Midland’s economic growth can be seen in amenities,” Willmann said.
“Midland is poised for a handful of things in commercial development including multi-family apartments, hotels and retail developments with the infrastructure to provide eateries and open air retail shopping. The next five years are going to be very big, with even more things to do and more places to live in Midland.” ’
Willmann added that property developers are also embracing the opportunity to develop master-planned communities with big city appeal. In short, builders such as Betenbough Homes, Mark Payne Homes and others are embracing the kind of master-planned communities usually seen in Dallas and Houston suburbs. Health and fitness options are being included with trails, parks and soccer fields inside the subdivision as well as large pools with family-friendly splashpads.
“A lot of work is already being done on new subdivisions that will be offering homes below and above $300,000,” Willmann said.
Midlanders can expect amenities in those new communities soon, too. ’
“There will be several new developments in Greenwood up and running within the next year,” Willmann said. “We will also see new apartments, multi-use office space, retail space, a new gated community west of Faudree Road and two to three new phases of existing housing developments. New homes are on the way to help with the inventory in many price ranges of the Permian Basin.”
For those that don’t want to own a home, Midland has a variety of apartment communities at all price points. The average apartment rent in Midland is about $1,500 but luxury units can go for more than $3,000 per month. Amenities can include granite, wood floor, surround sound, on-site
fitness clubs and garage parking. Wall Street Lofts is Midland’s newest downtown midrise dwelling. Embracing a modern rustic aesthetic, the lofts provide easy access to restaurants and hotspots as well as a short walk to work.
But not all Midlanders can afford the current rental climate.
David Diaz heads the Midland Community Development Corporation (MCDC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to ’ providing financing and education to small businesses and first-time home buyers in the low-to-moderate-income areas of Midland.
He said employees working in ancillary businesses are being hit hard by the housing shortage. Restaurant workers, teachers, office employees and many others are finding the cost of living hard to manage.
For this reason, MCDC has dedicated itself to being part of the housing solution. In years past, it has served as the catalyst to build affordable housing in several of Midland’s re-development areas. Past projects even included two apartment complexes, one for families and one for senior citizens.
Diaz said their two new housing developments will put nearly 50 families in new homes of their own. MCDC is building 34 single-family homes on the 1200 block of Elm Street and 11 more homes are expected to be completed next year at Cuthbert Avenue and Elm Street.
Diaz hopes that the new homes will help ease the tight housing market for Midland families.
“Midland has a supply and demand issue, and collectively we just need to generate more rooftops to catch up to the demand. When we can satisfy the demand, it will keep prices at a level that more families can afford,” he said. “That’s the great thing about Midland. We come together, and we try to solve our challenges.”
There are several other Midland organizations working to develop housing solutions for families in crisis.
One of those is Family Promise, a Midland nonprofit working to end homelessness for families in Midland. The Midland Independent School District reports that it serves at least 500 homeless students. Some of those students are new to the area and can’t find a place to live, others are families that have been evicted because they can’t afford rising rent costs.
These families are turning to Family Promise to help get back on their feet. Family Promise currently has three duplexes and has launched a $4 million capital campaign that would be used to build five additional duplexes, storage units and a playground.
Family Promise Executive Director Tom Miller also believes cooperation and partnership between public and private entities will be the solution to Midland’s housing needs. In fact, United Way of ’ Midland recently helped purchase some available land for Family Promise. Miller said he is thankful for all of the help he has received from charitable foundations and oil and gas producers.
“So many of our leaders recognize the crucial need for additional housing and are willing to help,” he said. “Oil companies especially see what a positive impact the Permian Basin has had on their companies, and are open to sharing those rewards to make the community a better place for all. I believe Midland is one of the top philanthropic cities in this country.”
Documents typically needed when applying for a mortgage:
- Loan application (provided by the mortgage company)
- Two most recent paystubs or offer letter from new employer
- Two most recent bank statements showing your money for down payment and closing costs
- Two most recent filed tax returns and two most recent W2s.
**Supporting documents are not required to apply, but the more information the mortgage company has, the stronger the pre-qualification letter will be.
To find a Realtor or see properties that are for sale, visit: www.usamls.net/permianbasin/
To find out more about the MCDC or their housing communities, visit: www.midlandcdc.org
To find out more about Family Promise, visit: https://familypromiseofmidland.com/