Susan Hilton College Station Real Estate

Realtor & Vice President of Sales of Bryan College Station Real Estate

Wife, Mother, REO Team Leader & Sales Manager for the BEST REAL ESTATE AGENTS in Bryan/College Station! Century 21 Beal, Inc. continues to provide the highest quality training and service in the Brazos Valley and it is an honor to be affiliated with this company!

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Susan Hilton College Station Real Estate

Realtor & Vice President of Sales of Bryan College Station Real Estate

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Online Cyber Attacks are a Growing Threat to American Businesses

Movies like Live Free or Die Hard 3 have the tendency of portraying cyber attacks as nationally threatening terrorisms that could quite easily compromise the security of an entire nation. These depictions tend to be a little dramatic, with fired FBI agents and super computer hackers running the antagonist incentive: but they don’t necessarily overplay the ubiquitous threat of online hacking and identity theft. Does this really happen in Bryan College Station too?

A company called “LinkedIn” found itself as one of the more recent prime examples of the threat of cyber attacks and the consequences that generally follow. An attack on their system resulted in the leaking of passwords for over 6.5 million users. So discreet and advanced was the attack that hours after the allege assault that LinkedIn tweeted how their “team continues to investigate, but at this time we’re unable to confirm that any security breach has occurred.” The breach had occurred, and the attack had compromised the security and privacy of 6.5 million LinkedIn users.

In the weeks to come, LinkedIn was criticized for Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: No Comments »

A Market in Recovery: Statistics up to July 2012 Suggest Real Estate Growth

The statistics are in and real estate in the Bryan-College Station area is, in many ways, much improved. There are far too many factors, however, to blatantly claim that the economy is back afloat and real estate will return in full to how it was before the market collapse. But it is safe to say that things are looking a bit better, and if things continue to improve at this rate, they just might.

What am I talking about, though? Well, real estate statistics from residential homes to recreational townhouses have been calculated and documented in every category by month for the year of 2012 by the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. These statistics, and comparisons with the statistics of the past three years, show a few promising results.

Total real estate sales, for example, have been increasing steadily from the beginning of the year. In January, the total sale amount was just 2.6 million. It increased consistently, however, climbing to 26.6 million in March, then 51.7 million in May, ending at 52.9 million at the end of July.

This extreme climb unfortunately represents an overall yearly trend, so that it is not likely for the total sales of real estate to continue climbing at such a rate for the next several months. The trend in real estate sales consistently peaks over the summer months, usually in June, and then begins to fall back down starting in July. But even despite this tendency, recent yearly statistics show that overall sales are climbing yearly.

For instance, the total monthly sales for all real estate Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Home Construction and Copper Theft in Bryan College Station

If you’re building a home in the Bryan/College Station area, or anywhere in the United States for that matter, there are most likely an innumerable number of concerns providing stress for the said production. And though you might have thought up every last possible gimmick and fluke that could hinder the progress of your future home’s production, there’s at least one recent development which you have likely overlooked: copper theft.

That is correct. You might have thought that metal hasn’t been valuable enough to hijacking since the middle ages, when vagrants took to robbing steel from ancient monuments like the Coliseum. But in today’s world, with the rising costs of copper for its many uses, metal is back on the black market. Copper has become a major article for theft in recent years, and along with vacant buildings, sub-stations, and cell towers, construction sites are also a frequently targeted subject for the thievery of copper.  And that includes your potential future home.

Copper’s rising popularity, apart from its artistic properties, is due mostly to its excellent performance as a conductor of electricity. With the consistent use of electricity in buildings throughout the nation, copper has become essentially ubiquitous. And with the widespread use of copper comes the increased value. And with increased value, copper has become a major target for theft. A recent estimation from the Electrical Safety Foundation International claims upwards of 50,000 copper thefts occur every year. And despite new laws making copper theft a felony in any state, the statistics are rising.

Considering all the fuss about copper theft, the value of copper theft is not surprisingly high. The average scrap metal dealer will buy about 40 pounds of copper for anywhere from $50-100. While that might seem hardly worth the hassle, 40 pounds is the average amount of copper wiring that can be removed from a commercial air-conditioning unit (the most popular target for copper theft). And as easy as it is to hack away to obtain $100 worth of copper, the cost for repairs can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, the theft of copper (which only recently was a minor nuisance for home builders and businesses) is quickly becoming a major issue, costing over a billion dollars of a year.

Major businesses throughout Texas are being continually plagued by copper thieves, who break into abandoned complexes or construction sites, ripping copper tubing out of commercial air-conditioning units. Multiple businesses are actually being targeted multiple times. And according to the US Department of Energy, the cost of repairing and replacing the theft of copper wires, pipes, cables, and gutters that are being torn from walls and buildings every year is steadily increasing.

Other popular marks for copper thieves are substations: units that provide expensive high-voltage transmission lines to homes all over the US. These are particularly attractive targets for copper thieves because of the high value equipment and the mass quantities of copper used to conduct electricity underground. Yet, the risk for thieves is actually life threatening. Should they sever the wrong cords or touch the wrong conductors, the amount of voltage they expose themselves to is assuredly fatal. And the costs of the mess resulting afterwards can cost over three times the cost of the actual equipment and copper stolen.

So, with copper thievery solidifying itself as an immediate and serious threat to home and business owners (as well as the government as a whole), it is important to know how to prevent these attacks: perhaps the most simple of which is to increase awareness of copper theft. If residents are aware of the threat of copper theft in neighborhoods where construction is active, they would be more prone to report any suspicious activity and catch the perpetrators in the act. Diligence in this area could save home builders and owners from thousands of dollars of repair costs.

Another important measure that co-ops have initiated is the growing use of copper-clad steel in replacing the vulnerable copper wiring. This type of wiring is perfectly capable of the same electricity efficiency as copper, but has a much lower scrap value. It is also just as malleable, but can’t be cut with normal tools (even hydraulic bolt cutters!). This new measure is providing a major deterrent for copper thefts.

While copper theft is a growing felony that is affecting homeowners across the globe, it will not endure for long so long as the appropriate measures are taken. If the cheaper, less susceptible wiring of copper-clad steel is used in greater abundance, and residents across the nation are made at least partially aware of the threat of copper theft, the appeal for such a dangerous, low-reward act of thievery would drop drastically. So if you are building a home in the College Station/Bryan area, or anywhere across the nation, it is important to take the appropriate measures in preventing the devastating effects of copper theft on your home.

PS – Susan Hilton is Bryan College Station, Texas’ real estate specialist in foreclosure sales and real estate agent career building so if you need help – CALL!             979-219-3970

Insurance Tips for College Station Homeowners

Metal Theft in Bryan

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: 5 Comments »

Meeting Energy Demands During a Texas Summer in College Station

Texas summers are hot. And, for those of us willing to face the statistics, it only looks like they’re getting hotter. But that’s fine, so long as we have a roof over our heads with well ventilated air-conditioning, and a car with enough antifreeze to get us to and from work without having to succumb to the overbearing outside heat. Right?

Meeting the energy demands of the State of Texas hasn’t been any real issue for many years. But after the overpowering heat of last year’s summer, and the extended heat waves that threatened to bring an entire energy industry crashing down, people are beginning to wonder. For the first time in a long time, people are beginning to have real concerns as to whether the state of Texas is ready to meet their energy needs. And whether you live in Dallas, San Antonio, or Bryan-College Station, if the state isn’t ready to meet our demands for energy consumption, you are going to feel it.

So why the sudden overwhelming demand? Texas has managed to meet energy needs for decades, so why is the state in a sudden crunch? Some might say the effects of global warming are causing our homes to struggle resisting the climbing heat; and last year’s record breaking weather could hardly be offered as a rebuttal. But there are numerous other factors, the most prominent of which is the climbing growth of Texas’ population and economy.

In the last decade alone, Texas’ population has grown by over 4.2 million residents. Texas House Speaker, Joe Straus himself, claims that Texas has “by far the largest electric usage of any state—roughly equivalent to Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi combined.” That is a lot of electricity. It helps that Texas is also one of the largest states in the Nation, and quite consistently the hottest. But there is no getting around the fact that Texas’ economy is growing rapidly, and this economic prosperity is driving up electric demands at a rate that would put many other nations across the globe in a back-breaking position.

So, as a Bryan or College Station home owner, the next obvious question is: will Texas manage to meet the energy requirements for the Summer of 2012, and the several, if not innumerable summers following? The answer is yes. Texas will meet the energy demands of the state. Why? Because it has to.

To offer a (perhaps) more credible answer to the above question, Governor Rick Perry confidently proclaims that “based on current weather expectations, Texas has the capacity to meet consumer needs over the 2012 summer months.” Even Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, referring to the record hot summer of 2011, claims that “since then, the Legislature has worked closely with state agencies and generators across Texas to ensure we are prepared for 2012.”

All this political talk vaguely ensures that everything will be okay and whatnot. But the real question is how are they going to ensure we will meet the energy demands of 2012. Governor Rick Perry has this to say:

“To prepare for this summer the Public Utility Commission and ERCOT have taken some specific steps. The PUC is working with transmission and distribution companies to make better use of demand-response programs, which were created as part of their energy-efficiency requirement. ERCOT is continuing to expand its interruptible load programs, which allow large industrial and commercial users to voluntarily reduce consumption during periods of peak usage.”

So in laymen’s terms, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT) are taking measures to ensure better energy efficiency requirements throughout the state, and to work on their response programs to unexpected/sudden increased consumer demands (from extended heat waves, etc.).

Efficiency and reliability are all good and great, but another matter, probably the most important matter, is the development of new, affordable, and reusable energy sources. These solve all the problems and are the solutions to long-term energy demands. So what is Texas doing about this?

In Lt. Governor David Dewhurst’s report on future energy demands, he claims that “Texas’ energy resources are as diverse and abundant as our booming population.” Believe it or not, this is almost an understatement. Texas has remained at the forefront of the nation’s energy industry, and through the use and gradual growth of diverse, renewable energy sources, Texas is actually paving the way for the entire Nation’s future energy policy. Texas is currently invested in Wind Energy, Hydropower, Ocean Power, Hydrogen, and all of the non-renewable fuels, from Nuclear to oil to natural gases. In fact, Texas’ growing use of wind turbines has lead the nation in the amount and percentage of energy produced, reaching over 3% of the states’ energy production in 2007, and climbing steadily ever since. Texas is also ranked first in the nation for solar resource potential, having a virtually unlimited solar energy supply.

All statistics aside, the irrefutable reason that Texas is pushing and leading the nation in the direction of new, innovative energy sources is because of the high demand in our state. Texas needs more energy to match the growing population, industry, and rising heat. And, as humans, we respond well to necessity. Texas will meet the energy requirements for 2012, and as the population grows and the summers remain hot as ever, Texas will continue to meet the energy requirements due to the growing investments and discoveries in the energy industry. So residents of Bryan and College Station, rest assured: this summer shouldn’t get too hot, so long as you stay indoors.

PS – Susan Hilton is Bryan College Station, Texas’ real estate specialist in foreclosure sales and real estate agent career building so if you need help – CALL! 979-219-3970

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: 3 Comments »

College Station Rental Scam Alert

Scams, even in Bryan & College Station,  are unfortunately becoming more prevalent and more and more individuals are finding themselves victims to all types of fraud, especially due to the internet. What feels like a completely safe and isolated environment actually serves as a means for deception all too often. This deception ofen reaches out to include real estate leasing.

All over the nation, tenants are losing money from sending Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: 13 Comments »

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