Make a New Home List and Check it Twice

The holiday season is all about lists. We make them, check them twice, and then because it is 2020, we throw them away and start new ones. Austin made Santa proud this year by making Wallethub’s Best Cities for Christmas list. If we have learned anything this year, it is to be more adaptable. We all think we are flexible and able to bend, but that was challenged this year (and I don’t mean with yoga). Life truly can change at any moment. For introverts and fans of dystopian drama, like me, adapting to staying indoors away from the social scene has been relatively easy. I think I was more prepared for zombies, but I feel like we leaned a little closer to the Hunger Games. Continue reading

Austin has plenty of real estate news

Austin is a bustling hot spot these days. The influx of new buyers and businesses moving to Austin has cast a wider net for housing development. To the east, the new Tesla gigafactory has propelled new construction near the area. Whisper Valley, a unique eco-community, is starting to pre-sell Phase 2 called Whisper Highlands and includes five different builders to date. To the west, sales and residential construction in the Westlake and Lake Travis areas are strong. The farther reaching development is partially a byproduct of the pandemic as buyers seek less dense areas and more personal space. Continue reading

A Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing a Home While Sheltering in Place

People who want to stay safe and shelter in place, but also want to buy a home, may be a bit confused about what their next steps should be. That’s great news because there is so much you should be doing and can be doing – from home. I tell buyers all of the time that looking at homes in person, is really the only fun part of the home buying process. Some people might disagree, but really if you consider the steps – you will probably agree. Some people stress about spending money. Not everyone enjoys a new time-consuming task to fit into an already filled day. I have also yet to meet someone who enjoys filling out paperwork.

There is paperwork aplenty. Back in the day, we printed everything and I used to include myself as one of those tree killers. Nowadays, so much of what I do is online, there is no guilt anymore. My buyers can buy a home completely paperless if they choose, but the paperwork still exists, now as online forms, and there is plenty of it. There are many forms that are required to be filled out in order to buy a home. All of that can take place on-line. All of it takes time. All of it can be done from the comfort of your own couch. Continue reading

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

Put Your Smart Phone to Work When Moving

Schools are back in session and traffic is back to normal which can be helpful when trying to estimate how long it takes to get from point A to point B. If you are looking for a home in a new area, I always recommend using the navigation app on your smart phone.

Real Time Data

Type the proposed area of your new home to your work address, at the time you leave for work. Reverse the search again at the end of the day. Doing this a few times will help you start tracking drive times to and from the area you are considering moving to. Continue reading

Austin Home Buyer Style Guide

They say you are what you eat. What kind of home you purchase can say something about you as well. Austin is known for being weird. The eclectic mix of art, music and culture are as unique as the architecture, landscaping and aesthetic designs of Austinites who call this city home. There is quite a buffet of homes styles in Austin to choose from.

Homes for Sale in Austin offer a unique blend of vintage and modern designs. In Austin, you can turn a corner and be in a different neighborhood with a completely different vibe. I’ve had clients in the past who refer to master planned communities as ‘Disney Word’, because all of the homes conform to the same aesthetic tone. Other neighborhoods in Austin look like something out of storybook with bungalow style homes and lemonade porches.

Bungalow homes for traditional buyers in Austin

I have found, more often than not, that who you are, as a buyer, has a lot to do with what type of home you pick. Buyers who like antiques, nostalgia or tend to like structure in their lives, tend to like colonial and bungalow style homes. These buyers don’t care if the floors creek, have no finish and are original from the 1940’s. To them, the floors as real wood and they appreciate the history and authenticity they represent. These traditional buyers also like defined rooms. They like a formal dining room, separate from the kitchen and other rooms, because to them every room has a unique purpose and therefore should have a unique identity.

Dated homes ready for a remodel attract creative types in Austin.

Unlike traditional personalities, progressive buyers roll with the times. In my experience these buyers tend to be creative, artist types who don’t always look at a house for what it is… but rather what it could be. These buyers are deciding what walls they are knocking down and how to expand the kitchen. These are the dreamers who know very well they may never get to every project they envision, but see the potential and possibility.

Modern homes in Austin for buyers who think out of the box.

Modern buyers are similar to progressive type, but have a flare for drama. These buyers are drawn to open floor plans and like mid-century, contemporary and trend setting designs. They feel boxed in with too many walls. They like vaulted ceilings with a uniform tone between living areas. To some people, these homes look like office buildings, but to modern home buyers, they are dramatic and unique – a work of art in their own right.

The funny thing is that you typically don’t like what you grew up with. For example, I grew up in a mid-century modern single story home, but my brother, sister and I have always lived in 2-story traditional homes. I find this to be the case with more of my buyers than not. Maybe it’s the rebel in us or simply that we know deep down change is good.