By Danielle Anthony
Between incoming students and first time home buyers, Bryan College Station is rapidly growing. Many people have expectations about the B/CS housing market, but there are many aspects of B/CS real estate that buyers do not know about. So, whether you are looking for a new house or not, here are five things you might not know about B/CS real estate.
1. Small Builders
Although many people move into the area wanting tract housing (identical houses built in a subdivision), the new home market in
B/CS is almost exclusively a local market with small and medium custom builders, according to Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. There are few subdivisions in B/CS that have tract housing, but these homes are built by local builders. The B/CS area is not big enough to attract publicly listed builders, so the builders in the B/CS area are considered small or medium by national and state standards.
2. Seller’s Market
“We are currently in a seller’s market, which means the time it takes to sell a home is less than 6 months. If it was more than 6 months it would be a buyer’s market,” says Cherry Ruffino, broker and owner of Cherry Ruffino Realtors. B/CS is in extreme need of affordable housing for first time buyers ranging from $120,000 to $220,000. This shortage of affordable housing drives up the price of homes and many often receive multiple offers, which makes it more difficult for first time home buyers to purchase a home.
3. Competitive Market
“People come into Bryan and College Station expecting to get a bargain, but that generally doesn’t happen here,” says Lynn Roelke, realtor with RE/MAX 20|20. Because of the competitive market, the sales price on a home is generally close to 99 percent of the asking price. Buyers have to be ready to see the house that day and make an offer. “It is best to talk to a lender before going to see any houses,” suggests Roelke.
4. Distinct Market
There is a distinct market between Bryan and College Station. “Although we are twin cities and slap right up against each other, there is a distinctive feel between the two,” says Dr. Gaines. Between the current housing and the new housing that is being developed, the distinction between the neighborhoods in Bryan and the neighborhoods in College Station is quite clear. Many people still view College Station as a college town, while Bryan is viewed as a much more established regional town.
5. Metropolitan Area
“Bryan and College Station as a collective are rapidly losing the concept, market, and feeling of a small town,” says Dr. Gaines. With more than a quarter of a million people living here, the two cities have evolved into a small metropolitan area. Many people come to the area looking for the small town feel that is just not there anymore, according to Dr. Gaines. Although the area is still relatively small compared to Houston or Dallas, with the traffic and population, B/CS has lost the small-town feel.
Here are some hot spots to watch out for: