Articles by

Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a freelance writer and Dallas native who lives in Plano with her husband, their toddler, his teenage daughter, and a neurotic-but-sweet dog. In her sixth-grade yearbook, she listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for and

10/16/17 9:52am

Find Stellar Location at this North Hill Park Home with Over 4,000 Square Feet

Find Location Beyond Belief at North Hill Park Home with Over 4,000 Square Feet |

North Hill Park is one of the best neighborhoods in Midland and we’ve found a clean slate of a home right in the middle of it.

The house at 1400 Country Club Dr. has location beyond belief, near West Gold Course Road and North Garfield Street. North Hill Park is in Old Midland near University Annex, Grafaland, and Westover Place, other desirable areas in the city. This home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, one half bath, and 4,163 square feet on two stories, built in 2001. Let’s take a look.


05/23/16 10:34am

midland housing prices

Things look grim for the real estate market in Midland over the next 12 months, as home values are forecast to decrease by 5 percent over the next 12 months. In the second and third year, prices are forecast to decrease 2 percent and remain unchanged, respectively, according to new reports from Local Market Monitor.

In Odessa, home values are predicted to increase by 2 percent over the next 12 months. In the second and third year, prices are forecast to increase 1 percent and 2 percent. Nationally, prices are forecast to increase by 4.9 percent.

Most worrying, the reports have called investment in Midland real estate “dangerous,” giving it a -1.7 score, on a 1 to 10 scale. In Odessa, the rating is a 1.3, putting that city in the “speculative” category.

This is a marked changed from the market of three years ago, when the investment risk for both cities was in the “low risk” category.


02/14/16 7:53am

Shale Slump Continues to Affect Midland, Odessa Housing Market, Home Values

oil prices west texas

New numbers are in for the January real estate market in Midland, and the experts say the drop in oil prices are continuing to affect housing prices.

In Midland, the Local Market Monitor Report analysts predict a 1 percent decrease in home values over the next 12 months. Nationally, prices are forecast to increase by 4.4 percent.

In the last year, the price of West Texas Intermediate futures contracts has fallen almost 20 percent. Friday at the close of markets, it was $29.44 a barrel.

Many analysts say the worst isn’t over yet, and recently the CEO of ConocoPhillips Ryan Lance told investors the oil downturn could stretch into 2017.

“We believe this downturn could last a while longer,” Lance told the Houston Chronicle. “Just a few months ago, we thought the market would rebalance by the second half of 2016.”

But the Local Market Monitor reports predict an upturn in Midland before that: they’re forecasting a 3 percent increase in home values in the second year, and a 5 percent increase in the third.

They’re also saying home values for Odessa will increase by 4 percent over the next 12 months, and in the second and third years, prices will increase 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively.


01/13/16 10:27pm

midland home values

The December housing numbers from Local Market Monitor Report are not painting a rosy picture of the real estate market in Midland, and home values are forecast to decrease over the next 12 months.

Since their peak in the first quarter of 2015, home prices in Midland have fallen by 3 percent. The average home price in this market is currently $179,091.

Over the past two years, the real estate market in Midland has gone from relentlessly enthusiastic, to more reserved, as the slump in the crude oil market drags on. On Monday, oil prices fell to their lowest level in 12 years, and futures of West Texas intermediate crude for February delivery came in at $31.41 a barrel, a 5.3 percent decrease.

“In June 2014, you had to shell out $110 to buy a barrel of Brent crude. By early 2015, that had plunged to $60,” writes Brad Plumer in his piece today for Vox Energy & Environment. “Today, it costs just $30 to buy a barrel of oil — a level not seen since 2004. It’s a staggering decline.”


12/09/15 8:56am

midland odessa real estate marketFourth quarter numbers from Local Market Monitor Report are in for the Midland and Odessa real estate markets and the enthusiasm is being dialed back for both markets.

Notably, they have lowered the investment score for Midland to 2.7, making is speculative. Odessa’s number is now 4.9, making it medium risk. Reports earlier this year had both markets much higher.

midland odessa real estate market

The reports note in both Midland and Odessa, economic growth has been good since the recession because of the development of shale oil deposits and the large energy sector currently dominates the economy. Overall, job growth was good in recent months, but in Midland, growth in the energy sector was poor. In Odessa, job growth was good in recent months, and growth in the energy sector was fair.

Total housing permits in October in Midland were down 16 percent from last year. Single family permits were down 16 percent. In Odessa, total housing permits in October were down 23
percent from last year. Single family permits were down 23 percent.


11/06/15 8:45pm

Chinese Company to Buy West Texas Oil Fields in $1.3 Billion Deal

Chinese investment firm Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. is spending $1.3 billion to buy massive oil fields in the Permian Basin area of Texas. Photo: Paul Lowry via Creative Commons

Chinese investment firm Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. is spending $1.3 billion to buy massive oil fields in the Permian Basin area of Texas. Photo: Paul Lowry via Creative Commons

A Chinese investment firm has its sights set on West Texas as they declare their intent to spend $1.3 billion (8.3 billion yuan) to buy massive oil fields in Howard and Borden counties. This purchase is part of a trend of Chinese interest in U.S. energy resources.

Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. has signed a letter of intent to the Shanghai Stock Exchange to acquire oil fields in the West Texas Permian Basin area, now owned by Tall City Exploration LLC and Plymouth Petroleum LLC, two Nevada-based companies with Midland offices. According to the stock exchange filing from Saturday, Oct. 31, this deal is part of a limited liability partnership in which Yantai Xinchao will also acquire Ningbo Dingliang Huitong Equity Investment Center.

The purchase has been approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, part of the Treasury Department, the filing said.


Real Estate Story
10/02/15 5:35pm

7 Tips to Winterize Your Home on a Budget

In Texas, anything below 80 degrees is practically long-sleeve weather. So this week’s lows in the 50s have us thinking about winter. (Fall is actually the best time to do home winterizing because temperatures are comfortably and you’re not rushed.)

Winterizing your home doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here are 7 tips that are free or low-cost. They’ll save you a bundle on your home heating bill and get your house ready for the coming months.


09/23/15 7:17pm

3 Midland Open Houses You Don’t Want to Miss This Weekend

midland open houses

The custom kitchen at 5017 Mira Vista Cir. is sure to be one of its selling features.

This weekend in Midland, three open houses have caught our attention. These upscale properties offer amenities like soaring ceilings, open floorplans, dog runs, beautiful landscaping, and outdoor living areas with their own kitchens and guest casitas.

Jump to read about these three homes and get the details for the open houses.