When Tu Casa Realty opened the doors of its Pech Road offices on February 27 for a party to celebrate 25 years of serving Spring Branch families, Armando Valdes was quick to point out he’d been involved in real estate long before that.
“I opened a real estate office 40 years ago in Mexico City,” said Valdes, who was born there “Then in 1980, I opened my first real estate operation as a property management company.” That was VAP Enterprises, located in Houston. The rest of his family moved to Houston in 1982.
In 1988, Valdes decided to open Tu Casa as a separate enterprise, focusing on real estate brokerage. Today, both VAP and Tu Casa are family-owned and operated companies with a completely bilingual staff serving a specialized niche market.
“What we have been doing, as a bilingual company, is targeting the Hispanic humanity because when they do a real estate transaction, it’s a major financial transaction, and they need to be helped,” he said. Over 25 years, Valdes estimates his company has closed more than 1,000 home sales.
“We close around 40 to 50 homes a year, he said. “What we also have is the property management company (VAP) that oversees more than 200 companies all over the city.”
VAP handles tenant relations, contract management, property maintenance, utility payments and rent collection, while Tu Casa provides single-family property research, credit and financial orientation, closing and title insurance orientation, and special financing programs for foreign-born nationals.
Because it is a family business, Valdes said he is grooming his son, Mauricio Valdes, to take over the reins.
“I am trying to go spend my children’s inheritance traveling all over the world,” Valdes Sr. said. “I won’t be retiring because I will always be involved somewhat, but we are trying to let them shine.”
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