Austin, TX Real Estate News

APRIL 14, 2007 In an industry that continues to do less for you, we're doing more- as you can see by looking around the site; SPR Online has given its clients and customers an even fresher, cleaner, and faster site to peruse with more updated content and even more state of the art features to boot!  We've listened to our customers and added some handy tools to help them along the way.  For example, by loading the Featured Listings page and registering as a customer, buyers can now build a portfolio!  They can pick and choose the homes that most interest them and this portfolio can be accessed by their SPR agent later when they sit down to visit or by phone!  This is helpful to the agent because your they can begin to learn more about your taste, your likes and dislikes and offer even mo...
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By Austin Realty
(Single Pointe Realty)
 MARCH 19, 2007I personally do not know whether Horton's sales will suck or not, one can only speculate.  But I can tell you this- THE TIME TO BUY A NEW HOME IS RIGHT NOW! With Horton building 8 of 10 homes sold in America, believe me, they're going to keep it that way!While it is true that home prices have increased slightly and incentives have been reduced a bit, the reality is that there are still plenty of reasons to buy right now.  A prime example is Cedar Park Town Center- the price of the same floorplan may have increased over two years ago, but the options in the home at purchase have also increased, giving buyers even more for their hard earned buck and other builders are following their lead.All in all, Austin has been hot, but never overheated.  Steady growth has ruled the da...
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I am writing this speaking to Austin first home buyers, but there is a tip later for the move-up buyer, so there is something here for all.First of all, first home buyers must understand that when we ask you to pre-qualify, it's not always just about your credit rating.  It is well believed that a serious buyer will not only know their credit standing, but also how much home they qualify for.  So, basically, you could be out looking for a simple starter home, not even realizing that you could actually qualify for a notch above or maybe even a nicer subdivision with more opulent amenities!  Everyone loves a pool, but ooh la la- a water slide?! Maybe you could live a little closer to your work because a qualified loan officer has weighed your debts versus your income and sees the potentia...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
It seems that year over year that home sales have slightly increased in Austin. But nonetheless increased. At the same time unemployment in Texas is around 4.3% and in Austin about 3.7%. I'd say this is a good combo to have.   http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/04/16/daily35.html?b=1176696000^1450927http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/04/16/daily36.html?b=1176696000^1450930  A New Mexico company has purchased 6,700 acres of the famous Stiener Ranch in Bastrop Texas. So expect to see about 4,000 new homes built in the future in Bastrop. Bastrop is know as the lost pines. Because of the many pine trees in anarea of texas you would not expect them.  http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/04/23/story1.html      dsmith93@AvalarAREA.com 
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
Back in the 90's the apartment market in Austin was at it's peak averaging probably around (95%-98%) occupancy. The rents were at a all time high and you could bet your paycheck that your rent was going to go up every year! Then around 2000 or so there were several apartment projects started, thus freeing up thousands of apartment spaces for renters. This squeezed the already existing market and the rents went down and occupancy was around 85% causing rents to go down. There was a surge of older apartments being sold to investors with hopes that the market would swing back and they could enjoy higher rents for their investment. Well that time has perhaps come. It has been announced that the Austin ApartmentMarket is the strongest in the entire state of Texas. occupancy rates are once ag...
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By Austin Realty
(Single Pointe Realty)
Leading economists, and of course myself have already told Austinites that the state of the Austin housing economy is booming- what one has to wonder is if it is getting through that the time to buy is right now.  Waiting around for the "national" housing bubble to pop is not what Austin buyers should be doing.  You simply take the national report and know that it can happen here.  Let me translate this into regular speak- you know the streetlight is going to turn red, but that does not mean you stop at a green light or even a yellow.  You tap the brake and you look cautiously as you enter the intersection, but you proceed forward now before the light does turn red.  There, that was easy to get, right?  So now what do you do with this newly found information (the practical application)?...
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By Robert Rees - Austin Real Estate
(Robert Rees Realty, Inc)
            New home construction has been hot for years and years. After all, who doesn't want new? Many people that shy away from "New Homes" do so because they assume it's much more expensive.              However Spec Home builders offer homes at prices close to what the current market value of resale homes are. In fact much of the resale market prices are driven by the Home Builder's Construction prices. Spec Home builders are those such as DR Horton, Lennar, KB, Gehan, Main Street, Drees, Meritage...you know, the ones with all of the advertising in the BIG TEXAS neighborhoods! Yeah! Those!              Custom Builders are those will build just about any home, with just about any plan changes you desire. They may have some plans already, or they'll let you find your own plans. The...
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By Austin Realty
(Single Pointe Realty)
Okay, so the last episode was mostly about cleaning the inside stuffed parts of your life, so this week I thought I would speak more about what you may or may not be doing in the yard, landscape, or the patio. So here goes:You're going to need to stage certain parts of your home this fall when you go on the market, so here are some things to consider-Austin may be weird, but yeah... your home shouldn't be- unless it is the neighborhood standard.  REMOVE THE LAWN ORNAMENTS!  I cannot say this enough, so incase you missed it the first time- REMOVE THE LAWN ORNAMENTS! And yes, this includes the statues in the landscape.  It may be cute to you, but one man's cute is another man's grandma- just in case, if you have plastic on the sofa, lose that too! The patio or deck: Get rid of the clutter...
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By Sam Chapman
Hey folks, I went out yesterday to take photos around the Austin area.  It was a perfect day and many shots came out well.  I just did an Austin Photo Tour page on my website so visitors cound get an idea of some of the highlites around the area.  Here are a few samples:This is the view looking south over Lake Austin from Mt. Bonnell.This is a waterfall on Bull Creek on the Bull Creek Greenbelt.  The greenbelt is in nortn, central Austin and is a true paradise surrounded by the city. 
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
Many of you may not know but in the Central Texas - Austin Area there are 7 lakes in succession along the Colorado River (Another Story) They are called the Highland Lakes. They were all built in the late 30's all the way up to 1960 by the Army Corp. of Engineers. The late President Lyndon Baines Johnson had a lot to do with the passing of legislature necessary to appropriate funds to build them. The purpose was flood control as the Colorado had a history of flooding. The lakes are owned and maintained by the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority.) Lake Buchanan: The construction on the 70 year old Buchanan Damwas completed in 1937. It is the longest Multiple Arched Dam in the nation. It was built primarily to contain water and provide Hydroelectricity. It is 145' tall, 215' thick, and 1...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
In the past 6 years Austin has been among the 20 fastest growing metropolitan areas in the united states. Job growth is averagin around 26,000 jobs per year and unemployment is down around 3.8%. Along with low home prices an a high quality of life this is driving people from across the nation into Austin to live and seek employment. Austin has grown from April 2000 to June 2006 around 21% to about 1.5 million people!  http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/04/09/daily37.html?b=1176091200^1447471Texas Real EstatePlanes, Trains, and Automobiles - Lead to AustinWant to Know about Austin Texas?Austin real estate market remains strongRetail development could make Hutto next hotspotFrom Farmland to Future, Hutto is on the riseAustin Capital of Texas - It's Also the Texas Capital of...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
Economists are saying Realtors in Texas are better off than Realtors in some areas of the country. With the down turn in sales and the implosion of the Subprime market some areas of the country are experiancing dismal results in sales and higher levels of inventory due to short sales and foreclosures. But mainly because of the population growth Real Estate sales in Texas are reaching higher levels year over year. Inventory of homes are at a modest level of 3.2 months of inventory making it one of the tightest markets in the united states..... http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/04/09/daily32.html?b=1176091200^1446741http://recenter.tamu.edu/news/13-0407.html                                                                                                                    d...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
The Backyard..ahhh the great American escape. A place where at the end of the day we a go to relax. Our back yards give us sanctuary from the rest of the world. The one private place where our children can play, we can have Barbecue's, invite our closest friend over to. We can place pools in them, plays-capes, we can fence them with a variety of fences or simply leave them open to enjoy the view. This is an area where the Homeowner can customize things to fit their green thumb or lack of one. He can make it as lush as he wants or make it as arid as he wants. But..it is his Backyard!                                             But....In Austin Texas there is another kind of Backyard!            The Backyard in Austin Texas located at 13101 Highway 71 West, Austin, Texas 78738. This Backy...
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By Sam Chapman
 Looking at the barbed-wire fence, if you can make it out, you might think I took this on a ranch or out in the country.This is actually just behind my office building in the city of Lakeway, TX.  These Texas "weeds" brought some really nice color to the area.Texas is noted for its wildflowers in the spring and this is a good example.
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
121 Years ago, in a time when Cattle Barons ruled the state of Texas to 4 Diamonds Today!             WELCOME to the Driskill a 4 Diamond Hotel in Downtown Austin Texas!                                                                                                                                 The Famous Driskill built in 1886 for an estimated $400,000 sits on the corner at 6th & Brazos Street. A Historical Landmark with a Rich appreciation of the past and Elegant vision of the future. This Ornate hotel at one time was sold in 1893 for a California Ranch, a vineyard and $14,000 in cash. Through the 121 years the grand Hotel was sold several times. In 1995 Great American Life purchased the hotel and Spent $30,000,000 restoring it to its splendor.The Driskill boasts the 5 star Driskill...
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By Sam Chapman
----------The Week in Review:  April 1 - April 7, 2007 (compared to the same week in 2006)New listings down 32.24%.Pendings up 3.02% Solds up 10.60%.As for Average Prices: April 1 - April 7, 2007 (compared to the same week in 2006)"New Listings" average list price is up 7.63% to $317,004.  Sold average sales price decreased by less than 1% to $256,923.In 2006 it was $259,379 during the same week.The Month in Review:  March 2007New listings were down by 14.37%.Solds increased by 7.80%.  As for Average Prices:"New Listings" average list price is up 19.42% to 316,402.Sold average sales prices increased 9.13% to $239,496 compared to $219,451 in 2006.Did You Know...?That we had 8,631 active listings during the same week in 2006?  Today there are 8,629 active listings!  Austin real estate mar...
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Downtown Austin is growing faster than ever.  Well, maybe not ever, but more than in the last 14 years I have lived here.  The city council and the community in gereral is pushing for growing the downtown into a live-work area with high density, shops downstairs, and living upstairs.  The term is "multi-use" and it is pretty much pretty much the montra for Austin real estate.  There are 10+ condo projects going up in the next couple years that cater to the different appeals of living in downtown Austin.A couple condos are situated at the turn of the river in downtown Austin, taking advantage of views down the river.  The first time I saw the views, I was pretty surprised.  You can see all the way down the river from the Congress bridge, past the Lamar Bridge, and past downtown.  One nic...
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It looks like we're seeing one effect of the subprime lending market collapse.  New home starts in the Austin area are way down compared to the same time last year.  More specifically, the lower end home starts are down.  New home starts in Austin for the first quarter of 2007 were down almost 30%.  With lenders having tightened their loan requirements for people with poor credit, a weak employment history, no money to put down or any combination of these, many lower income home buyers can't qualify for mortgages.  As a result, the number of homes started in the first quarter in Austin under $150,000 dropped dramatically.  Builders who start in higher price ranges, specifically $250,000 and up, generally are dealing with buyers who can qualify for the "A" paper loans.  These are loans f...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
The Texas Chili Parlor has been located at the same Establishment since 1974. It is about 1 1/2 blocks from the Texas State Capital Bldg. It is also about 2 miles from the campus of Texas University. It has long been a favorite of Texas Legislators and University Students. Located at 1409 Lavaca Street, Austin Texas.http://www.cactushill.com/TCP/        Although there are many various dishes on the menu..obviously Chili is the main one. At the Texas Chili Parlor one can get Chili as follow.X MildXX SpicyXXX HOT, HOT, HOTMy personal favorite is Habanero & Pinto Bean Chili! Don't know if you realize it? But the Habanero is the hottest pepper known to man! You can get either a taste, a small bowl or a large bowl! When the weather changes to brisk or cold I always head downtown to the Texas...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
oink, Oink, OINK! This weekend it the 29th SPAMARAMA in Waterloo Park, Austin Texas! this is a festival that has been going on now for 29 years. Two guys got to gather and decided instead of a chili cook-off or Barbecue cook-off they would make it more challenging by creating dishes , games, etc. with SPAM. You read that right..SPAM.                               This is a big event in Keeping Austin Weird! The Smithsonian Institute will be there filming, the Guinness world record keepers will be there! There will be a cook-off of exotic dishes made from Spam...last year I think the winner was Stuffed Spam Scallops, there will be Spam burger eating contest, a Spam Can Relay, a Spam Disc Shoot. and other events. The music will be by the SowPremes, The Mother Truckers, and The Uranium Sav...
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