Rentsucks

Houston-area online resource launches to help new homebuyers purchase a home

A Houston real estate expert has launched a new resource for first-time homebuyers as rates of house sales soars. Getty Images

Between the expiration of a federal evictions moratorium and the coronavirus crisis, the housing market in Houston has launched into uncharted territory — jumping in June after two straight months of decline.

Houstonian and broker-and-owner of RE/MAX Top Realty, Freddy Rodriguez, launched an online resource and consulting website called Rentsucks.com to demystify the home buying process for first-time buyers who perhaps are not sure of where to start. The online resource educates and guides new buyers into a plan that works for them.

"I've been on both sides of the homebuying transaction with my experience in the mortgage industry and as a real estate agent," says Rodriguez. "I want to be a trusted resource for people who have dreams of owning their own home and need guidance and advice."

Potential buyers can use the tool to assess their options with the help of experts provided by the online consulting service. Renksucks.com touts a free no-obligation consultation that matches them with a loan officer and a local realtor, guiding them through the process from start to finish.

Rodriguez says that his inspiration for the project ignited after seeing the instability of the last few months as Houstonians struggle financially to make ends meet and pay rent.

"I saw how tough the situation is for some people, losing their jobs and not being able to pay their rent," says Rodriguez. "When I heard that I thought, 'rent sucks,' if someone has ownership of a home, they could use their equity to refinance and pull out some cash in case they need it but when you're renting you can't do that."

According to Rodriguez, most first-time buyers think you need to 20 percent downpayment to buy a home, but that's not always the case, with many first-time homebuyers eligible to pay just 3 percent of downpayment.

"I want to be able to provide brand new buyers with help on financial issues," says Rodriguez. "I want to be able to provide them with the best experts and connections using our network to link them with a realtor in their local market that has a proven track record of looking out for the best interest of buyers."

To start the process, potential buyers can apply online through the website where they will be matched with local homebuying experts with the goal to guide them into the best way of achieving their dream of a home purchase.

Rentsucks.com will also help them save money and cut down on closing costs, through a credit from the lender and a closing contribution from the realtor.

"Everyone needs a roof over their head," says Rodriguez. "While you can't change your financial situation drastically, you can build credit and make a plan to get where you want to be in a few years. Rentsucks.com is going to save you a lot of time by providing you correct information and advice, even if the best deal is with another lender or realtor."

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From software and IoT to decarbonization and nanotech, here's what 10 energy tech startups you should look out for. Photo via Getty Images

This week, energy startups pitched virtually for venture capitalists — as well as over 1,000 attendees — as a part of Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship's 18th annual Energy and Clean Tech Venture Forum.

At the close of the three-day event, Rice Alliance announced its 10 most-promising energy tech companies. Here's which companies stood out from the rest.

W7energy

Based in Delaware, W7energy has created a zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicle technology supported by PiperION polymers. The startup's founders aim to provide a more reliable green energy that is 33 percent cheaper to make.

"With ion exchange polymer, we can achieve high ionic conductivity while maintaining mechanical strength," the company's website reads. "Because of the platform nature of the chemistry, the chemical and physical properties of the polymer membranes can be tuned to the desired application."

Modumetal

Modumetal, which has its HQ in Washington and an office locally as well, is a nanotechnology company focused on improving industrial materials. The company was founded in 2006 by Christina Lomasney and John Whitaker and developed a patented electrochemical process to produce nanolaminated metal alloys, according to Modumetal's website.

Tri-D Dynamics

San Francisco-based Tri-D Dynamics has developed a suite of smart metal products. The company's Bytepipe product claims to be the world's first smart casing that can collect key information — such as leak detection, temperatures, and diagnostic indicators — from underground and deliver it to workers.

SeekOps

A drone company based in Austin, SeekOps can quickly retrieve and deliver emissions data for its clients with its advance sensor technology. The company, founded in 2017, uses its drone and sensor pairing can help reduce emissions at a low cost.

Akselos

Switzerland-based Akselos has been using digital twin technology since its founding in 2012 to help energy companies analyze their optimization within their infrastructure.

Osperity

Osperity, based in Houston's Galleria area, is a software company that uses artificial intelligence to analyze and monitor industrial operations to translate the observations into strategic intelligence. The technology allows for cost-effective remote monitoring for its clients.

DroneDeploy

DroneDeploy — based in San Francisco and founded in 2013 — has raised over $92 million (according to Crunchbase) for its cloud-based drone mapping and analytics platform. According to the website, DroneDeploy has over 5,000 clients worldwide across oil and gas, construction, and other industries.

HEBI Robotics

Pittsburgh-based HEBI Robotics gives its clients the tools to build custom robotics. Founded 2014, HEBI has clients — such as NASA, Siemens, Ericsson — across industries.

CarbonFree Chemicals

CarbonFree Chemicals, based in San Antonio and founded in 2016, has created a technology to turn carbon emissions to useable solid carbonates.

SensorUp

Canadian Internet of Things company, SensorUp Inc. is a location intelligence platform founded in 2011. The technology specializes in real-time analysis of industrial operations.

"Whether you are working with legacy systems or new sensors, we provide an innovative platform that brings your IoT together for automated operations and processes," the company's website reads.

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