WACO, TX — Ronald Benson has lived in the same home for 35 years. Choosing to become a homeowner, he says, is one of the best decisions he's ever made.
"We just love the neighbors, the community, and the area," Benson said.
He's a do-it-yourself kind of man and loves that with homeowning comes personalization.
"If you have a dream of what you want it to look like, you have the opportunity to make it look like that. You don't have to go ask anybody," Benson said.
According to a study from RentCafe, using numbers from the U.S. Census, Waco is the only city in Texas that has switched from a renter market to homeowner dominant market.
Realtor Daniel Tagle has been working in the Waco-area since 2007 and says the increase in home ownership makes sense due to the city's location and many other factors.
"You've got a lot of companies moving into this area. We have the space to grow," Tagle said.
The idea of home buying shifted in the pandemic, but in a better way than you may think. Tagle says even with adjusting how realtors show properties, the pandemic hasn't slowed the market.
"If anything, it has increased. People want their own spot, safe spot, and it's just this innate thing in us that we need a roof over our head," Tagle said.
Over the last 10 years, more than 8,000 homebuyers chose Waco as their place to settle, increasing it's share up 50%. Comparing just last year, sales are up 25%.
"And we are 43% down in listing inventory, so I mean there's a higher demand for listings right now," Tagle said.
In a seller's market currently, Tagle predicts only good things to come out of the home buying and selling market.
Things might have looked a little different in 1985 when Benson purchased his home, but he still has advice for those searching today.
"You move in that neighborhood. You become part of that neighborhood. You got to know your neighbors and not feel like you're a stranger," Benson said.