Austin, TX Real Estate News

By Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
(Austin Texas Homes, LLC)
http://www.kvue.com/news/top/stories/021207kvuecondos-bkm.7988bfad.html It's been amazing to watch the growth in downtown Austin since I moved here in 1988.  There are approximately 1200 new condo units that are coming online in the next 2-3 years.  When I was a kid, we used to drive through Austin from Dallas on the way to see my grandmother, who lived in Corpus Christi.  I remember looking over and seeing the state Capitol building, which was by far the tallest structure at the time.  Now, it is dwarfed by several buildings, and they are only getting taller.  The Frost Bank building is currently the tallest at 33 stories, but there are plans now to build a 44 story AND a 55 story building, both of which are primarily residential.
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
Well it's almost that time of year again when the wildflowers of Central & South Texas will be blooming!   Last year they were sparse because of the little rain we received in the winter. But this year we received a considerable amount of rain in Dec. and then again in Jan. This usually means the wildflowers are going to be outstanding! There are actually rural roads that we travel each year just to see the wildflowers not only in the fields but alongside the roads. I've attached some views for you I hope you all enjoy a little of what we see each year in the spring!                
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
We are purchasing some acreage lots in Oak Hill, and I just found out that other buyers on my street don't like the name of the street on which our lots are located and have requested the developer to change the name. The street name is ‘Sisquoc', which I think is a cool name. Sisquoc is a Chumash Indian (from California) name that loosely means "stopping place". There is a Sisquoc River in California. The developer told me other buyers thought it was too hard to say and spell. Jeez, give me a break! The street is now in the process of being renamed to "San Lucas".Anyway, this started me thinking about street names in Austin, and the fact that plenty of streets have names far more undesireable than Sisquoc. For example, the Shady Hollow subdivision in South Austin has streets with names...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
This article below is from the Austin Business Journal today. It's a recurring scenario for Austin, where those who don't like the local Austin laws or ordinances passed by Austin Lawmakers take their case to the State Legislature and push for laws that supersede or nullify local Austin laws. The Texas Legislature is forbidden by the Texas Constitution from passing laws that target specific cities, but somehow they wiggle around that by passing State Laws which in fact accomplish the same thing. Now, they are going after Austin's so-called McMansion Ordinance, which was approved last June 2006, and which limits the sizes of homes that can be built in certain areas.I'm neither for or against the Austin McMansion Ordinance. It's one of those issues where I can clearly see both the pros an...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I was reading the news short posted below, regarding falling Luxury Home prices in California, and noting that the "average" prices of "Luxury Homes" in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego range between $2M and $3M (see article below)What is considered a Luxury Home in Austin? $750,000 and above if you talk to agents such as our fellow Keller Williams agent Dee Shultz who specializes in Luxury Homes in Austin. $750K would get you a "move-up" tract home in many parts of California and would not be considered a Luxury Home. But in Austin, $750K will put you in a fairly impressive home. Builders I've talked to recently confirm the $750K mark. That's about the price-point where you start seeing tiled roofs and the type of expensive custom finish-outs and details that separate a custom...
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By Loren Kirkpatrick
(Texas Realty Partners, LLC)
There are a total of 83 properties currently on the market or pending.  The average asking price of these residential lofts and houses are $402 per square foot at an average size of 1,367 square feet. Analysis of For Sale and Pending as of 2/26/2007:Total Properties for sale listed price of $43,168,000 for 109,147 total square feet or approximately $395 per square foot.  This demonstrates the marked increase in prices for units, and more shows the arrival of newer higher quality projects coming online.  Avenue Lofts - 2 Listings - $312 Asking per square foot  Five Fifty Five Condominium  (Hilton Hotel & Condominiums) - 15 Listings - $555 Asking per square foot Milago Condominium - 31 Listings - $368 Asking per square foot Plaza Lofts - 4 Listings - $407 Asking per square foot Railyard -...
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By Loren Kirkpatrick
(Texas Realty Partners, LLC)
I created a list of properties for sale in various zip codes for review purposes.  Since 1/01/2006 there are approximately 167 transactions that sold through today, and the listing were on the market an average 65 days.  Of the transactions that are sold or pending, there were a total of $54,193,027 in sales revenue for 208,733 square feet or approximately $260 PSF.  The largest transaction was an approx. $1.2 million transaction at the Westgate Condominium for $331/SF.  The smallest transaction was $95,000 for 608 SF at the Greenwood Towers at 1800 Lavaca.  Analysis of Sold Data 1/1/2006 to 2/26/2007Avenue Lofts - 10 transactions - $295 per square foot Five Fifty Five Condominium  (Hilton Hotel & Condominiums) - 6 transactions - $426 per square foot Milago Condominium - 15 Transactions...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
                                         Danny Smith Greater Austin's Premier Real Estate Agent!                                 "QUALIFIED, CARING, INTERESTED IN YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS" "AVALAR REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATES - "The next generation of real estate. Your path to the best real estate  experience through real people providing real service." Let Danny use his knowledge of Real Estate to help you Invest, Build or find a New Home in the Greater Austin Area. Form a lasting Friendship and Business relationship with Austin 's Premier Real Estate Agent!  
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By Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense
(Bradfield Properties)
Now there's another place to check!  The Austin Circle of Theaters, a nonprofit performing arts service organization, has launched Now Playing Austin, Austin's Ultimate Guide to Arts and Culture, a website that offers not only who's performing what where and when, but also information on classes, workshops, jobs, auditions, organizations, venues, public art, exhibits, individual artists, and more (even sports), all in one convenient place.  If art is your thing, this is clearly the place to be!More information on the launch and the software behind it can be found in the Austin Business Journal article about the new website.
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
When it comes to house repairs, nothing is more frustrating than a problem which can't be remedied. One of our Buyers made a request for the Sellers to "have a licensed Plumber locate and cure leak at Master tub exterior wall as noted on inspection report". This was a leak that was showing up outside the home, leaking from the top of the slab where the Master Tub is located. The day we were there with the inspector, the area in question was wet. We assumed it had to be a small supply line leak or a drain leak. The Sellers had no idea such a condition existed and readily agreed to have this taken care of prior to closing. Yesterday, a day before closing, we got the documentation of the repair work from the listing agent, which included invoices from two plumbers stating that no leak coul...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
The Average Sales Price for single family homes in Austin was up 4.8% from the year before, to $246,595. The number of homes sold sales was down 5.4% from January a year ago, probably due at least in part to freezing weather that shut the city down for several days, and otherwise cold weather in general. Our Median Sales Price for Jan is up 3% to $176,305 and the average price per square foot of homes sold is up 5.4% to $118. I haven't had time to get the area breakdowns done. I may start doing those quarterly.From an anecdotal standpoint, Sylvia and I are busier than we've been since last summer. Seems like once the cold weather broke, activity literally spiked overnight and we're on pace for a personal record month - in February of all months, with many of our Buyer deals encountering...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
My oldest daughter and I were out running errands a few days ago and decided to stop and eat dinner at the Green Mesquite restaurant in Oak Hill, near our home in Austin. Green Mesquite has always been a good place to grab a quick meal, and we've eaten there as a family many times over the years, often with friends and their kids too. It's a kid-friendly place, and the food is consistently mediocre, which is good enough for us. We've always liked the causal atmosphere and good friendly service.We've gone less frequently though since a new owner took over the Oak Hill location earlier this year and installed TVs that are on all the time. We choose to limit media in our household and our kids don't even watch TV. It's become harder to go out and eat in Austin (or to the doctor, or to get ...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I made 3 trips to the South Austin dump today, helping a dear friend clear junk in preparation for a move. It's one of the obligations of being a truck owner - helping friends with no truck get things done which require a truck. I have a confession to make. I have a charge account at the dump. I've had one since 1995, when Sylvia and I were remodeling a fixer-upper that required over twenty 16ft trailer loads of junk and debris to be hauled from the home, the rear part of which we demolished and tore down. I opened the commercial charge account for convenience back then, but it's been handy to have ever since. I just drive in and park on the scales, walk to the window and give my name, then stop on the scales on the way out. The bill comes at the end of the month. I used to joke that h...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
Last week at the Keller Williams Family Reunion in Las Vegas the Austin Southwest Market Center was again named the Number One Real Estate office in the WORLD for Closed Units! That is for all real estate offices in the WORLD, not just Keller Williams! Sylvia and I are proud to work out of the Southwest Market Center at Keller Williams in Austin. Other independent agents and Brokers we’ve know for years in Austin wondered why we went from being Crossland Real Estate, a small Mom-and-Pop Property Management and Sales company, to the other end of the spectrum in joining the single biggest real estate office in the world. “Why would you want to share your commissions when you’ve already proven you can make it as an independent Broker?” is a common question we’ve heard. Well, let’s look at ...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
No Gloom here! Things look Brighter than ever in Austin.Unemployment 4.1% (3.7% Nov)Job growth 2005-2006 3.2% Over 22,000 new jobs. Growth comparison National 1.4%Average Wage growth 2005-2006 5.7%Job Forecast 2007 (24,400) 2008 (26,100)Population Forecast 2007 (41,500) 2008 (42,000) Below is the 2007-2008 Economic & Technology Forecast, Austin Presentation by Angelos Angelou, January 25, 2007. Angelos Angelou is well known in Economics across the country and does forecasts for severalareas besides the Austin Area.http://www.angeloueconomics.com/documents/2007-08ForecastFinal.pdf Danny Smith REALTOR®
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Recently there was an article about Austin in The New York Times. It speaks of all the cranes dotting the Austin Skyline. It speaks of how "Austin has become a Boomtown." Personally I believe Austin is experiencing the same type Boom Growth that Houston did in the early 60's. Is Austin to become the next Houston? One only has to visit Austin to see whats going on and realize it's experaincing phenomenal growth.Austin has several things going for it during this growth. Popularity, Quality of Life, Low price Housing,Geographical locationWeatherJobsEducationAll I can say is "Hold on to your Horses" this is going to be one heck of a ride!http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/14/realestate/commercial/14austin.html 
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I belong to a couple of email lists for professional property managers. One is local to Austin. The other is National and includes over 140 owners of Property Management companies from across the U.S. These forums provide a resource where Property Managers can ask questions, share advice, trade business ideas, etc. The egroups raise the level of professionalism and knowledge of all participants. No matter how long any of us have been managing rental homes, we all eventually encounter a situation for the first time, and we may need to seek advice or help from collegues. Below I'm sharing a recent posting from the email list, then I will comment on it.I have a tenant who is in the hospital after being beaten by her significant other. Her significant other is in jail, and their dog is stil...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I was talking with another Realtor recently who had been the listing agent on a home sold to Buyers I had represented. I was shocked to learn today that his Sellers thought he did a lousy job on that deal. The reason for their unhappiness - the home sold too fast.When I did the market analysis for my Buyers on this listing, my price came out exactly the same as the list price, so I felt comfortable advising the Buyers to offer full price. "They have it priced right" I told my Buyers. Offering less than market value ran the risk that another offer would come in that looked better while we negotiated below the asking price. It was right before a summer weekend; the home had only been on the market for two days and was located in an area where sales were very strong. It wasn't worth trying...
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By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
Sylvia and I were on a small South Austin property tour yesterday with about 10 other Realtors. In one of the homes there was a prime example of the sort of thing that ought to be put away when trying to sell your home. As we entered the home, and looked into the study off the main entrance, there greeting us was a 3ft tall elfin looking creature, very life-like in appearance, staring at us all. "Is that Gollum?", one of the other agents said. "No", I said, "that's Dobby the House Elf, from Harry Potter". "Eeewww", said one of the women, "that's creepy". Others laughed and kept admiring/staring in wonderment at the figure. "It looks so real". So, there we all were. Instead of walking through the home admiring it's features and collecting mental images of the finer points of the home, w...
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By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
I'm originally from New Mexico where my family homesteaded a 3,000 acre Ranch in the mountains of Capitan. I have very fond memories of that state! But I love the GREAT State of TEXAS! Texas is where I'll live and die. I think most of us do love the states we are from, or at least we should. Here in Texas we are probably the most boastful of that fact and truly founded on many different facts and reason. But I'll be the first to step forward and say that we have 50 GREAT states and one Blessed Wonderful country to live in! Some of us in recent years have forgotten these facts and disrespected the various reasons these 50 GREAT states and Wonderful country were founded on.Sometimes states get into squabbles or competition with one another. There's bragging rights, there's boundary issues...
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