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Real Estate Blog

curbappeal_strip

If you were a homebuyer, how would you feel about this house?

In my personal opinion, this house is a perfect example of curb appeal. The lawn is neatly kept and empty of clutter, and the house itself is in pristine condition. The front of the home is the first thing that potential buyers will see so why not make it look good? If you've spent any time searching for a house to buy, you have no doubt encountered a house that you immediately discount, without having seen the inside. This demonstrates just how important curb appeal can be.

I am not saying that sellers need to spend a lot of money on lush landscaping, but at least mow and clean up the lawn, take the kids’ toys inside, move the plastic pool and at the very least, park the quad in the

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writting on a clipboardEveryone has heard a story about how a deal fell apart because of a low appraisal. Whether you are selling your home or refinancing, you are going to have to face that moment of truth when the appraiser tells you what the bank thinks your home is worth.

Fortunately for us here in Austin our market is smoking hot and lots of homes are trading at good prices, but even this can sometimes be a problem when the prices are going up faster than the comps are collecting. And sometimes you get bidding wars and end up with a sales price that outstrips the loan capacity.

That’s why you need to be ready for the appraiser when the time comes. In the end, the appraiser is going to make a decision on what your home is worth based on what it has, how it looks and how

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Businessman Using LaptopIf you have been thinking about buying your own home here in Austin then you are on the right track, but what is your plan to get it done?

Austin was once again named the Fastest Growing City in America by Forbes, and for good reason.

People are pouring into our fair city and the competition is still ramping up, rental rates are going through the roof with occupancy rates pushing the upper 90 percentile and it seems that they just can’t build new apartments fast enough.

This has people looking for the sanctity of the 30 year fixed rate mortgage, which fortunately for you buyers are still funding at rates so low financing costs are almost negligible.

The bad news is that as we head into the Spring and Summer selling seasons there is going to be a lot of

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Color is a way to express yourself and a way to make a space your own.  So when listing a property for sale, what should we do with our perfectly selected shade of red?  Should it stay or should it go?  Here’s some quick guidelines on how to address color when listing a property. When readying a property for resale, I always recommend that the sellers remove as much of their personal property from view as possible.  This includes minimizing furniture, removing art from walls, storing personal items, and keeping all counters clear.   The fact is, potential buyers aren’t interested in seeing your stuff, they want to see your property.  So with that in mind, ask yourself, “Does the color I selected accent the furniture, or the architecture?”  If you picked a

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downtown austin at night

Have you ever wondered what part of Austin you would enjoy living in the most? The task of finding an answer can be daunting for sure. One of Austin's most appealing features is that it offers something to do for any personality type you can imagine. Luckily every neighborhood in Austin has pretty unique characteristics, so finding the right spot for you is super easy! Below is a quick breakdown of some of the most popular neighborhoods.

South Congress - one of the most unique and walkable areas of Austin

  • Local restaurants and food trailers galore
  • Artsy boutiques, live music clubs, bars, and the famous Lucy in Disguise costume shop
  • Monthly events like First Thursday add to the fun, unique energy of the area

Hyde Park - historic

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bar graph showing upward trend in home pricesAccording to the Austin Board of REALTORS, December 2012 marked the 19th straight month of increasing home sales in the Austin Area. There were also more home sales in December 2012 than any other December since 2006. Sales volume and total dollar volume increased by 17percent and 35 percent respectively from the same month in 2011. 2012 was the strongest year for the Austin Real Estate Market since 2006. The median sales price for homes in Austin for December 2012 was $210,000 which is an 11 percent increase from December 2011.

In 2012 total home sales were 19 percent higher than 2011, the median home price increased by 6 percent. Homes also spent an average of 15 fewer days on the market in 2012 than they did in 2011. Total dollar volume of sales

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austin gorilla run logoIt's that time of year again. The time when downtown gets flooded with people in gorilla costumes ready for a run. Out of town visitors probably get a nice shock, as it is a quite a sight to see hundreds of "gorillas" stampeding down Caesar Chavez or enjoying some fine dining after the race. In their moment of shock, they probably wonder why a city would have such an event. Austinites know it's just another day in a city that loves to keep things weird.

The Gorilla Run is an annual 5K race held in Austin to benefit mountain gorillas. Participants don full gorilla costumes for the race and even get to keep them after they complete the race. It is yet another fun event that represents Austin's spirit for enjoying life while doing something beneficial for

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arrow representing increase in home valuesOctober homes sales in the Austin area were stronger than expected, even for this already strong market. This was the largest monthly increase in sales since October of 2009. The 2009 increase was due mostly to the expiring tax credit and there was nothing of this sort to drive the most recent increase, leading me to believe that we are likely to see more of this trend in coming months.

There was a 37% increase in the number of homes sold compared to the same month last year and a 51% increase in the total dollar volume in sales. With the median sales price increasing by nearly $10,000 during a slower part of the year, it is not hard to believe that once spring comes around we can expect to see even higher prices. Fortunately, the interest rates are

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two story brown brick homeNow is the time to make that move from renter to home owner. The Austin market is one of the hottest in the nation and all indicators point to continued growth for the foreseeable future. Let’s face it, we all moved to this town because we believe in it, so why not own part of it. Rental rates have exploded over the past few years, this is because there are so many other people with the same great idea, get to Austin Now. This has sent the occupancy rates for rental properties up to 96% and more, which in turn has been driving the rental rates through the roof.

Buying your own home, whether it is a house or condo, is your best insulation  against these trends and can now offer the advantage of tax breaks, equity build up and who doesn’t want to be part

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new blue glass south austin apartments

Because of Austin’s apartment boom, new apartment developments are starting to pop up all over Austin.   Here is what to expect in S. Austin alone!



Six apartment projects are currently being planned or are under construction adding nearly 1,700 apartments in the next few years. Areas where apartment complexes being planned include:

  • Post Lamar  - Post South Lamar is a mixed-use development consisting of 298 units with 8,500 square feet of retail in 4 and 5-story buildings. Amenities include a pool, fitness center, business center, and convenient access to parking garage and fabulous views to Downtown Austin.
  • Tree -  350 + luxury apartments on S 1st st.  One and Two bedroom units, homes will include granite countertops, stainless
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