Buying a Home amid COVID-19

I hope you and your families are in good health and good spirits as we collectively fight COVID-19. I have already connected with some of you and will continue to do so. Please reach out to me as well if you want to talk about real estate, are on the lookout for a supply you can’t find, looking for a new show to stream or are just bored and want someone different to talk to. Working from home can be very isolating, trust me I get it. I can certainly provide some tricks and tips to help you schedule your day a bit.

Austin Homes Sales are Strong

The Austin real estate market is strong, and that includes all of Central Texas. Yes, we have changed some business practices, but new homes are still coming on the market daily, houses are still being shown (with some precautions) and sold. Closings still happening virtually, with limited attendance and even taking place outside. Continue reading

January Home Sales Rise as Inventory Continues to Decline

The law of supply and demand continues to ring true in central Texas, as the greater Austin area prices are still on the rise.  The first Central Texas Housing Market Report of the year shows steady gains in both home sales and prices across the five-county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR).

Austin – Round Rock Real Estate Market Statistics for January 2020

In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, residential home sales in January rose 8.5% to 1,947 home sales, with a 9.6% sales dollar volume increase to $726,157,216. During the same period, new listings decreased 14.3% to 2,723 listings, and active listings decreased 24.1% to 4,889 listings. However, pending sales jumped 13.1% to 2,956 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory declined 0.6 months year over year to 1.6 months of inventory. Continue reading

What makes a home a condo?

Lately, my clients have taken me from Kyle to Dripping Springs to central and south Austin. I have been showing various types of condominium regimes and neighborhoods comprised of fee simple single family homes. Think you can tell a fee simple house from a condo? Think again. The perception is that you can tell a single-family house or duplex from a condo just by looking at it. Truth be told, there is nothing about the style of a house that dictates its classification. Continue reading

The Difference Between a House and a Home

The difference between a house and a home is you.  The memories, the pictures, the furniture, even the paint color combine to create a unique blend that reflects your own personality and style.  Improvements and accessories personalize, improve and/or allow for added functionality that a house may not have had before.  Consider them enhancements when it is time to sell an Austin home because they add appeal whether monetary or simply enhance the functionality of a room. Continue reading

Navigating Downtown Austin

Central Library

Last week I spent a bit of time downtown for work and play. For work, I showed some condos in the Posada Del Rey condominium community at 505 W 7th Street. If you haven’t heard of this community, that is partially due to its small size and has units available for lease more frequently than for purchase. While searching for parking, I circumnavigated the old Extended Stay Hotel, which will be the home of the new 6 X Guadalupe tower at 400 W 6th Street. This will be a mixed-use tower comprised of office spaces, 349 residences and ground floor retail. After driving around in a circle for a bit, realizing my parking karma wasn’t with me that day – I settled on a parking garage. Continue reading

Pool Time in Austin

Akoya AustinSwimming pools are an instant source for entertainment, relaxation and exercise. They provide a backyard retreat, a tranquil view and a luxury marker some buyers dream about having. For those Austin home buyers who want a pool, houses with them are much easier to sell. Forget the condition of the house– that oasis in the backyard, especially on a hot day kind of sells itself, doesn’t it?

Pools can often be a hindrance more than a help when selling. Not everyone wants a pool. In fact, I would say 70% of people don’t. Pools cost money and time to maintain. In addition, there are safety concerns for people with small children and pets. They can also take up a lot of yard space.

Swimming Pool Tips for both Buyers and Sellers:

Swimming Pool Owners and Future Sellers

•Maintain and update your pool. Nobody wants to buy a money pit (literally).
•If you can afford to switch to saline – it is a selling feature.
•If you own in a subdivision where most homes have a private pool…buyers will be comparing your ‘pool’ appeal.
•Make sure the pool area looks clean, maintained and inviting.

Buying a Home with a Pool

•A general inspector will not inspect a pool, but many pool companies do. Have a pool inspection – they can be costly to fix.
•If you want to know how much it costs to maintain a pool including chemicals, electric and water, the answer is: you don’t want a pool! They can be costly, and if you are already watching your budget — a pool is going to blow it.
•Remember, pools limit your potential number of buyers, so they can take longer to sell when the time comes.

Community Pools in Austin

Austin Texas has a variety of options for people who want to enjoy a pool, but don’t want to maintain one. Many planned single family home communities in Austin have pools that are included with HOA fees or may require a nominal additional fee. Condominium communities in Austin often have a private pool as well for residents. An automated home search can be customized to only include properties with pools and/or community pools.

Public Pools and Swimming Holes in Austin

There are many public pools in Austin as well. There are 29 neighborhood pools and 6 municipal pools in total. The most well known pool is Barton Springs, located in Zilker Park. Centrally located in the neighborhood of Barton Hills, Barton Springs Pool is spring fed, just over 900 feet long and maintains a consistent temperature of 68 degrees year round. Hamilton Pool Preserve is a unique, historic swimming hole located just outside of Austin in Dripping Springs. The canyon, grotto and waterfall provide a picturesque and popular summer attraction within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

Moving to Austin Texas

austonianMoving to Austin Texas? Pay Austin a visit even if you are moving back or have vacationed here in the past, especially if the plan is to buy a home. Buying a house in Austin Texas,  requires a bit of a refresher course. Austin has changed greatly over the last decade and is continuing to evolve. The skyline alone has expanded quite a bit with skyscrapers now eclipsing the Frost Bank.

The landscape, population and job growth in Austin Texas are taking turns outpacing one another for the last five years. Growth lends itself to convenience in some ways, adding greater variety in local eateries, retail stores and entertainment venues. The inconvenience comes with the reality that it is going to take you longer to get from point A to point B. Yes, Austin is experiencing growing pains, and its residents along with it.

Tips on Moving to Austin Texas

The new Austin has small town charm with an urban twist. The mindset of thinking local used to just apply to Austin based businesses, but now it is also about neighborhood convenience. The Austin Real Estate market is seeing an increase in both residential and commercial development to meet local needs.  The mixed-use concept has paved the way for neighborhoods to be self-contained. Neighborhood amenities have become a more desirable and more of a necessity. In a way, the bigger Austin gets, the more intimate it has become. Residents are interacting more within their community not only through local websites like Nextdoor, but also by shopping closer to home because traffic has increased.  Residents are opting for smaller flight paths when and where they can.

Moving Back to Austin Texas

The advice I give clients who have left Austin and plan to move back is to explore it like you have never lived here before. Moving back is more like moving to Austin for the first time. The old watering hole may have moved locations or you may discover a new favorite. Influences moving to Austin Texas from both coasts like Shake Shack and In-N-Out Burger offer a taste home for some. Others may discover a location that was once not on the short list, has now become trendy, sought after, part of town. The joy of moving to Austin is in the discovery just like it was the first time.