If we had been having this conversation 3 or 4 years ago, I'd have said run -- don't walk -- but do whatever you have to do to stay away from all of the new subdivisions exploding in and around the Austin Area. I've changed my mind and I'm sorry to say that change is based on other people's misfortunes.

Subdivision foreclosures and short sales have created a gold mine for real estate investors.

During those "gold rush" years of the Austin real estate boom, new subdivisions were springing up all around the outskirts of the central part of the city and anyone who could fog a mirror was able to purchase them. There was a flood of new construction. Builders were putting up billboards saying "Why Rent, When You Can Own" and of course they were right.…

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More good news for the Austin investment real estate market. The 2010 Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities Index is out and we're number 2 on the list. Basically this is an index that tries to measure how well a metropolitan economy is growing while creating and sustaining jobs. They look at a mixture of job/wage/salary data with heavy emphasis on technological growth. (The data is also taken as an excellent indicator of overall regional economic stability.)

Here are some of the highlights of what they have to say about Austin:

- Unemployment in Austin peaked at 7.3 percent, approximately three percent under the national average.

- Austin exhibits a number of positive and inter-related qualities: low cost of doing business favorable…

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So, if Central Austin is "the" hot spot for real estate investment, but you can't find something in your price point there, where do you go next? What looks good in comparison to all that downtown energy we talked about last time? Well, savvy real estate investors always follow the tenant base.

Let's say you have a couple of young professionals, newly married, renting near downtown. That's where everything is happening. There's nightlife. There's entertainment. There's excitement. That's the place to be.

And then, life changes. There's a new baby. Suddenly all the priorities change. The nightlife and entertainment get pushed aside in favor of a bigger home in a family-oriented area near good schools. Where does our couple go?

North Austin.…

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Central Austin is "the" hot spot for investment property. If I can have my pick for places to put my own money or a client's money, this is where I head. Around the capital, the areas adjacent to the University of Texas, the Mueller redevelopment, Town Lake, Zilker Park. That's where you get that downtown energy. That's where everything is happening.

The reasons I like Central Austin for investment opportunities are pretty simple and straightforward:

- desirability,
- good demographics (more on this in a sec),
- and rents that appreciate.

Demographics. You're going to be getting young professionals and students; middle-age professionals who are downsizing from a family home and up-scaling in terms of location (the so-called "empty nesters"), and a…

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Apologies for being a day late. Don't we all have weeks that get away from us? This was one for me, but only because the real estate climate in Austin is crackling with activity. At some point early in the week, I took the time to read Bobby Longoria and Tiffany Young's October 1 report from Community Impact, "City Offers Public Choice of Growth Patterns." (Due to a design flaw, in order to reach the link to the article I just mentioned, please open the blog post fully.) I recommend you take the time to read it s well. What they have to say about the city's efforts to develop its new comprehensive growth and development plan, Imagine Austin, is important.

The plan will likely be at the heart of real estate investing in our city for the next 30 years.…

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