Residential Real Estate

There are currently 17 blog entries related to this category.

There is no questioning that Austin’s property prices have become quite expensive. However, there is reason to question whether or not those in the market for homes should find this so upsetting. When investors and homebuyers can get beyond the sticker-shock and take a look at the reasons behind the higher cost of real estate, those prices can become much more reassuring than disconcerting.

Over the past several years, Austin’s many thriving industries have resulted in major population growth, and therefore, real estate demand. Just last year, Austin's population exceeded the two million mark and is projected to go as high as 3.2 million by the year 2030. According to The Chamber's monthly Economic Indicators report, Austin is experiencing a 4.0% job

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As previously discussed, valuation services like Zillow (or Redfin, Trulia, etc.) are an unreliable source of home value information. To summarize: these services rely on AVMs, mathematical models that generate estimates mostly from comparable sales data. Limitations in the model and data—especially in non-disclosure states like Texas, where sales prices are not reported—compromise the accuracy of those assessments. With a variable and sometimes extreme margin of error, such services should not be the basis for significant financial decisions. In states that do provide such disclosures, this is not an issue, but if you’re looking in Austin, it is. Make sure to check your states provisions.

Inaccurate AVMs are prevalent and easily accessible, often the

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I moved to Austin over 15 years ago, and I have never once regretted that decision. I’m certainly not alone in my love for the city, over the past ten years Austin has seen steady growth, but 2015 was a particularly special year.

According to the US Census Bureau, Austin is home to a few of the fastest growing counties in the country. Travis County, for instance, was ranked 105 out of 3,143 counties in 2015. As mentioned, Austin has been experiencing stable growth for the past ten years, but Travis County's population has increased by 13 percent in the past five alone. Even more excitingly, this type of growth isn’t exclusive to just Travis County. The entire city has continued to grow at a rapid pace and the demand for property has followed suit.

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The climate at the fifth annual housing forecast event held by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and the Austin Board of Realtors was positive and forward-thinking. I liked what I heard on January 8, and I like what the numbers indicate for real estate investing in 2013. Here's what the experts have to say.

- Low interest rates are here to stay, likely through 2015. We may see a little bobble up or down, but there shouldn't be any major changes.

- Home prices are going up steadily, a fact which can in itself further fuel the recovery, because rising prices move some waffling buyers off the fence. Climbing prices motivate buyers by making them think, "I better move now, before I have to pay more."

Now, put these factors together and

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If you have any doubts about the health of the real estate market in Austin take a look at the article, "Multiple Offers Make a Comeback" by Autumn Rhea Carpenter in the September/October issue of Austin Realtor. The piece includes the story of one realtor whose clients submitted an offer on a house only to be faced with stiff competition -- 12 offers on the same property in 24 hours! If you get in a situation like that on a property you really want, is how do you make yourself stand out?

The most important thing is to illustrate that you're serious about showing up for the closing. You're there to do business and you're interested in making that happen. First and foremost, make sure all realtors concerned are really communicating. Buyer's and seller's

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It probably won't surprise real estate investors to hear that Austin is the number four city in the nation for gentrification projects. Of these, the one I'm personally most excited about is the Mueller Development that has no less than 11 major projects in the works to completely transform the area, which is three miles from downtown and the Capitol and two miles from the University of Texas.

If there's any place that screams, "Location, location, location" more than that, I don't know what it would be! Let's look at what's going on down there:

●      A 112-room, four-story Residence Inn by Marriott will go up at the southwest corner of 51st Street and Lancaster. With one and two-bedroom suites and studios, the Inn will be built for those who need

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At his annual economic forecast event held on Thursday February 23 at the Austin Convention Center, Angelos Angelou pointed to a number of really positive indicators for Austin in the coming months. In fact, he used the phrase "fantastic news," which is just exactly what real estate investors want to hear. For instance:

●      Job growth at the rate of 19,000 new positions this year and at least 20,000 in 2013. Why does that look so good? We only picked up 13,000 last year. In fact, we've gained back all the jobs that were lost during the recession and Angelou thinks the local unemployment rate, which is roughly 6 percent right now is headed below 5 percent. Granted, these are not likely to be high-paying jobs, but employment puts purchasing power in…
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Just recently I was asked to explain to some potential clients why Texas has one of the best business and investment climates in the nation. It wasn't an issue of finding something to talk about, but figuring out when to stop talking. This is the kind of information real estate investors need to have at their fingertips to negotiate conversations with financiers and potential partners.

First, and I especially like this statistic, Texans are entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activities is a measure of entrepreneurs per 100,000 adults in a certain area. Nationally, the number is 340. In Texas, it's 400. We have a large and growing economy, and we are actively seizing the opportunity to leverage that into an even more diversified

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Homework time, friends. On January 1, 2013 a new 3.8 percent tax will take effect on some investment income including real estate transactions. It's going to be important for you to clearly understand this tax, which is -- shock of shocks - complicated, which is why advise you to have a pow-wow with you own tax advisor.

I don't know about you, but I'm the kind of person who does better with real life examples. The National Association of REALTORS has put together a terrific brochure that outlines some scenarios in which the new tax will come into play. The link to the material is at the bottom of this post, but there are a few general things you'll want to keep in mind as you read.

First, where did this thing come from? It was passed by Congress in

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On Wednesday, July 20, Shonda Novak wrote a piece for the Austin American-Statesman some of you might have seen, "Central Texas Existing Home Sales up 9 Percent in June; Median Price Still at $205,000." I think I've made it clear I'm a big proponent of education for real estate investors, which includes scanning the relevant news. (Seriously, if you haven't looked into a news reader for your smartphone, take the time to do it.)

While the headline on this piece pretty much says it all, there are some things from the text that are worth pointing out. We are bucking the national trend here in Central Texas and Austin specifically. Now, that's not to say the market is completely out of danger, but Austin is a big draw city -- for retirees, as we pointed

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