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Looped In

From urban renewal to suburban sprawl, Houston’s real estate market is going through one of its most dynamic times in decades. Join real estate and development reporter Nancy Sarnoff as she meets the city’s developers, deal makers and dreamers and dishes with colleagues on all things Houston real estate.
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Looped In
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Now displaying: Page 1
Mar 19, 2020

Listen to the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board's impassioned plea to Houstonians coping with the coronavirus -- "Stay home!" -- as expressed by editorial board member Monica Rohr.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/coronavirus/

Mar 17, 2020
Mar 14, 2020

iBuyers are gaining market share, but are they making money? And John Daugherty has been a fixture in Houston’s high-end housing market. His real estate company is now in bankruptcy. Nancy and Rebecca explain.

Mar 7, 2020

Houston Chronicle retail reporter, Paul Takahashi, is moving on to cover the energy industry. But first, he is covering how the coronavirus is impacting retailers, from pharmacies to grocery stores. He also discusses the major trends he has seen in the retail industry, from experience-based shopping to what’s up with Houston malls.

Feb 19, 2020

The embrace of online shipping has driven a rush of warehouse space and logistics services. One Houston Chronicle employee ordered upwards of 800 packages in 2019 alone. But one link of the e-commerce supply chain remains in short supply: temperature-controlled warehouses, known as cold storage, necessary for storing and shipping groceries, meal prep kits, cold-pressed juice cleanses, dog stem cells — the list goes on.

Feb 7, 2020

Ding ding ding! The votes have been tallied and the winners are in! For Looped In's third-annual Loopie Awards for the best and worst of Houston real estate, the Chronicle's real estate editor reveals his picks for eight categories, including "Trendiest Development Trend," "Saddest Demise" and "Highest Gentrification Threat." The episode is part game show, part Rotten Tomatoes review. Listen along and congrats to all the winners!

Jan 31, 2020

The Houston Housing Authority’s new approach to affordable housing involves building complexes with units reserved for families of different incomes.

These new apartments aim to both attract those who can afford the rising costs of living and protect low-earners in danger of being pushed out of their longtime neighborhoods, while also providing space for people who earn something in between. However, not everyone is on board, especially as many fear affordable housing could strain their neighborhood’s infrastructure and discourage investment in the neighborhood.

Erin Douglas, who reports on the economy for the Houston Chronicle, joins real estate reporters R.A. Schuetz and Nancy Sarnoff to discuss mixed-use housing planned for the Fifth Ward, East End and Near Northside.

 

Jan 21, 2020

A new study from the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University reveals how development and land use patterns have changed over time in neighborhoods near transit centers, park and ride lots and light rail stations. Kyle Shelton, the report's author, joins Nancy and Rebecca to talk about the benefits and the challenges of transit-oriented growth and the tools that could help prevent unintended consequences.

Jan 3, 2020

Everything's bigger in Texas. Even tiny homes. Texas is the top market in the nation for a type of tiny home known as a park model RV, and developers are building communities specifically for these dwellings outside of Houston.

Dec 10, 2019

Tony Buzbee, who's headed to a runoff Saturday in the 2019 race for Houston mayor, sat down with Nancy Sarnoff and Chronicle City Hall reporter Jasper Scherer to talk about his rise from small-town kid to millionaire lawyer and mayoral hopeful. This a one of two episodes featuring the candidates for mayor.

Dec 10, 2019

Mayor Sylvester Turner decided what he wanted his future to look like after watching the Kennedy/Nixon debate in 1960. That determination propelled him through school, where he graduated as valedictorian, all the way through Harvard Law, which was not his first choice. Turner sat down with Nancy Sarnoff and Chronicle City Hall reporter Jasper Scherer to reflect on his life in politics and the struggles he faced along the way. This is one of two episodes featuring the candidates for mayor.

Nov 20, 2019

NAR’s new policy on pocket listings is expected to result in a more transparent housing market, but there are loopholes, Nancy and Rebecca explain. They also talk about a recent luxury real estate event where agents learned about condo amenities for the ultra-rich.

Nov 14, 2019

For a long time, the phrase "man camp" evoked images of tents and mobile homes, but many have received a makeover. Large energy companies clamoring for safe housing — where their employees can get food and rest without any of the late-night carousing that can lead to trouble in the oil fields the next morning — has led companies like The Woodlands-based Target Hospitality to specialize in temporary housing. Perks include pools, basketball courts, fresh-squeezed orange juice and wood-fired pizzas.

 

 

Nov 6, 2019

Matt Zeve delivers a lot of bad news as deputy executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District. In the coming years, he'll be delivering a lot more. Potentially thousands of Harris County homeowners have fences, sheds and even swimming pools that encroach onto land the district owns or has the right to access. With the district now embarking on hundreds of flood mitigation projects, Zeve and his staff have started enforcing the encroachments. Nancy and Rebecca talk to Zeve about how the enforcement process works and what can happen when a property owner doesn’t comply.

Oct 25, 2019

After Harvey came the crisis investors, who bought hundreds of homes to flip. In places, they snapped up entire blocks. What do those communities look like two years later? Vacant and abandoned homes, as well as impromptu rentals, dot the landscape. Real estate agent Ace Tejada and home appraiser Mike Taylor take Looped In on a tour.

Read the story:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Investors-promised-revival-after-Harvey-It-14473105.php

Oct 9, 2019

In Independence Heights, developers are tearing down the original bungalows and replacing them with skinny townhomes with six-foot fences. Whole Foods, often a harbinger of gentrification, has opened a store there. Like in other neighborhoods under a similar threat, there's been a growing movement toward preserving what's left -- even if it's just memories. The Chronicle's Sarah Smith joins Nancy and Rebecca to talk about her recent reporting on the community and what residents are doing to retain its historical character.

 

Sep 18, 2019

Late billionaire George Mitchell was a Galveston-born wildcatter who became widely known for being the father of the modern process of fracking. Yet as a young executive, Mitchell became fixated with the idea of creating a healthy, sustainable community at a time when many American cities were experiencing urban decay. Author and former Chronicle Business Columnist Loren Steffy explores Mitchell's paradoxical life in a new book titled “George P. Mitchell: Fracking, Sustainability and an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet.” He joins Nancy to talk about the legendary Houstonian.

Sep 11, 2019

The number of craft breweries in Houston has grown by more than 250 percent since 2013 when there were only 18. The industry explosion (there are now 64) helped pave the way for new legislation that allows breweries to sell beer to go. Beer aficionado Ronnie Crocker and Chronicle business reporter Paul Takahashi join Nancy to talk about what the new law means for Houston's brewers and how the rise of craft breweries has come at the expense of the home brew market and the small retailers that cater to it.

Aug 29, 2019

A ceremony celebrating the life of the late Ed Wulfe revealed a different side to the gregarious real estate developer and civic leader.

For almost two hours, family members and friends, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner shared stories highlighting Wulfe's civic involvement and work ethic. His grandchildren told of his affinity for inspirational sayings and practical jokes. All their stories elicited more laughter than tears.

After attending the service, Nancy recounts some of the memorable moments.

Aug 13, 2019

New lawsuits challenging how real estate commissions are structured could lead to a number of possible outcomes, including changes in how much home sellers pay in fees and how agents who represent buyers are compensated. Plaintiffs in the case want to see more transparency in the real estate transaction. The defendants, including the National Association of Realtors, warn of potential dangers to the consumer if the system is drastically altered. The Chronicle's Rebecca Schuetz recently spoke on a panel with NAR's legal counsel and a lawyer/real estate broker from Washington at the annual Inman Connect conference. On the newest episode of Looped In, Schuetz discusses potential outcomes should the case be settled or even go to trial.

Aug 2, 2019

In a fancy white tent in the parking lot of the former Sears department store in Midtown, officials from the city, county and Rice University hosted a groundbreaking ceremony and press conference for the new Ion innovation hub.

Across the street, Rice students held a press conference of their own. Worried about gentrification and a host of other issues, they stood outside with a microphone and a speaker urging Rice to be a force for good in the neighborhood.

Nancy and Chronicle technology reporter Andrea Leinfelder recap the events.

Jul 17, 2019


L.A.-based Architect James Richards was living in Houston in 2015 when he heard the Astrodome was going to be open to the public for a 50th anniversary celebration. He figured it would draw a small crowd of nerdy architect and engineer types, so he decided to go. That experience was the inspiration for what Richards and his collaborator, Ben Olschner, have spent the past several years on: a proposal to turn the dome into an active urban park. Their project would strip the exterior skin off the domed structure, exposing the steel beneath it. It would be programmed with activities and eventually have a two-mile spiral track that gradually slopes from the ground level to the top of the dome. On the newest episode of Looped In, Richards describes his vision and how he thinks A-Dome Park could become a reality one day.

Jul 2, 2019

Is it “Montrose” or “the Montrose?” What’s “the 44?” And where in the world are the falls in Cypress? On the newest episode of Looped In, we explore the origins Houston neighborhoods names and highlight examples of real estate developments that have appropriated the names of their fancier, hipper neighbors. (with James Glassman, the “Houstorian”)

Jun 21, 2019

A mile from Houston’s bustling business district, the historic Glenwood Cemetery is a respite from the bars, townhomes and apartment buildings that surround it. With gently rolling hills, wildlife and all manner of vegetation, the 19th century park-style cemetery holds as much Houston history as it does beauty. Looped In hits the road again to tour the property with Dick Ambrus, its longtime executive director, and Jim Parsons of Preservation Houston.

Jun 7, 2019

A lawsuit filed in Illinois earlier this year was the latest attempt to upend the current system of how real estate commissions are structured. The case argues that if not for rules put in place by the National Association of Realtors, consumers would pay far less in commissions and that the system would look more like it does in the United Kingdom, where listing agents earn a much smaller commission and buyers’ agents are rare.

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