May 2008 East Texas Real Estate

By: Naomi Frances

To listen to the nightly news, our country's in a recession and everyone's losing their home! Then why in East Texas do Realtor signs read 'Congratulations-Our market is booming' and my latest Property Owner letter from the county appraisal district says Texas has not shown the volatility being experienced elsewhere in our nation? Is it perhaps people are coming home, and they've discovered it's here...in East Texas?

Let me share more from my East Texas county appraisal district letter dated April 2008: '...property values ...have in some instances shown appreciable growth over the past few years. Land values in particular are on the rise. For this reason, there will be upward adjustments for some of the properties....Though there is speculation as to the future direction of our real estate market, we have not seen or been able to measure any significant decline in value at this time.'

Why East Texas though? Because it's the best bargain in the nation right now. And it's a great place to call home. And it's a fantastic place for a 2nd home (cabin in the woods anyone?) if you're still stuck in the city but need a close escape within 75 miles to get away from it all. And it's an excellent place for real estate investment now to justify that cabin in the woods!. And it's even more fun with 21st century conveniences like a top five regional airport and high speed internet available and some of the finest and most advanced medical facilities anywhere. And because there are excellent schools both public and private, and some universities too. Have you tried Tyler Airport? You can eat off the floor it's so clean. I find this home town wholesomeness refreshing since it's now the rare aberration, not the norm.

Restaurants and Fine Dining? I challenge anybody to find a better pastry case than I've personally tested too many times than the one at Edom Grill. Edom does the food at Tyler Airport as well. French food? Can anyone say Currents in Tyler? And if you're on a budget and need the kids eat free night, Luby's in Tyler has more than one location and the kids get that free meal with an adult meal more than 1 night a week. If you're flush with capital, Rick's on the Square, Dakota's and Bernard's are in Tyler and Kiepersol Estates is just down the road. Homemade custard anyone? Andy's on Broadway cannot be beat. C'est c'est bon appetite pardner, boy howdy all the way around. You can fine dine til the cows come home and there are plenty of gyms, parks and golf courses to work off the calories.

But you don't have an ocean. You don't have mountains. You're right-and we don't have the transient traffic that chokes these areas either. When you look out your kitchen window in the morning sippin your coffee, you see the same neighbor you saw yesterday afternoon, not today's tourist. After living in high profile resort areas such as beach and mountain locales, my hard won opinion is it's best to be the tourist at these spots, then head home where it's comfy, cozy and off the fast track of vacationeers. I can hop a plane at Tyler Regional Airport to Houston, and be eating lunch in Cozumel ready for an afternoon dive that day. There's my ocean and the water's warm. Same with skiing. Then I get to come home where my heart is and the traffic's not that crazy and the folks are neighbors with real names and faces and that coziness we relish as in 'we're home' now. And street worthy pajamas - my neighbor and I were discussing where to get these as this is what we've discovered we're being caught in outside more and more.

The air's still fine, the water's still flowing, and it's not so populated out here as to choke your lifestyle or your lungs. We have happy seniors retiring here as well as seniors from high schools all over relocating to East Texas to take advantage of the economics (ie, you can still afford it!) of such fine institutions as Tyler Junior College, University of Texas at Tyler and Trinity Valley at Athens. There are more golf courses per capita than anywhere and you don't go bankrupt playing often. You can get a large bucket of golf balls and drive to your heart's delight for an hour or more at Peachtree Golf Club for five dollars. A large bucket and that's without a membership people. Lakes? We've got many. State park? Yup. Camping, hiking, biking and more. Cool weekend destinations? Edom for art and fine dining and how 'bout that little Rusk to Palestine, Palestine to Rusk day trip on the old fashioned steam train? And so many more wacky fun things to do!

If you're tired of the rat race, looking to get to a place with all of the modern conveniences but with the elbow room to have a garden home or a big ranch, or anything in between, check out East Texas. If you need a job, we have plenty. If you need to learn skills, we have schools that won't bankrupt you to get these skills. We have the jobs and need people to fill them! People are still friendly here, the cost of living is better than average, and looking over the past 25 years of steady remarkable growth in value with a pretty solid base, backsliding doesn't appear to be looming on the horizon. Guess that old county appraisal district is right. C'mon out for a visit, the door's open.

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