Austin, TX Real Estate News

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...
Comments 26
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...
Comments 3
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...
Comments 6
By Sam Chapman
OK, that title got your attention.  What I am really talking about is the number of high-rise buildings planned for the downtown Austin area.  They literally will go higher into the sky than anything we have on the ground now.  Over 20 new buildings have been announced, including one that will rise 55 stories.  The tallest building in Austin now is the Frost Bank tower, which is 34 stories tall.  In addition ot the 55-story tower, there is one planned with 36 stories, one with 44 and another with 47 stories.  City leaders have wanted to take downtown Austin in the same direction of other major cities.  They've wanted to get a greater population density downtown and developers have jumped all over this.  My big question is whether or not all of these projects will come to fruition and wh...
Comments 5
By Sam Chapman
I was told yesterday by a friend who works for a builder that a Lake Travis waterfront house built in 1969 was just sold for around $800,000.  The view is much like what you see in the photo to the left which shows Lake Travis last Spring.  Oh, if you like the photo, take a look at some more Lake Travis photos.That is a lot of money to spend for a lot, especially when you consider that you have to tear down the existing house and rip up the foundation before you can put a new home on it.  I know of another Lake Travis waterfront house that sold about 18 months ago that was also a tear-down.  It went for around $600,000.By the way, both of the houses I just talked about are in Lakeway - of should I say were in Lakeway!This is absolute proof that Lake Travis real estate with lake frontage...
Comments 0
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I found this post on the web while doing some research on an investment club someone mentioned to me. The story was posted by an investor who apparently joined one of these investor groups that has the entire process all laid out via a pre-established "network". They tell you where to go, what to buy, which realtors and lenders to use, which builders to buy from, etc. And the network gets kickbacks (legal I suppose) from all of these people in exchange for bringing in busloads of buyers.As I read it, I thought to myself "this is exactly why we try to keep our Austin TX investor clients away from these new starter home neighborhoods in the Austin outskirts."Here is the investors story:"I bought a new house in {City Removed}. I trusted everyone they assigned to close the deal (title compa...
Comments 21
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
Now that the holidays are behind us and a new year has begun, the phones are starting to ring again and the email inquiries are coming in again from prospective investors who are considering purchasing investment property in Austin. The most common question we hear is, "can I buy a rental house in Austin that will provide positive cash flow with 10 or 20 percent down?". My answer is always, "yes you can, and those are not the houses you want to buy".As tempting as it is to chase better cash flow, it's not a good idea to do so in Austin in my opinion. Smart investors in Austin are looking for properties with appreciation potential first and foremost.I'll use a recent investment opportunity I had as an example.An owner contacted me desperate to sell. They had drained their savings keeping...
Comments 8
By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
Brackenridge Hospital and Brackenridge Professional Building601 East 15th St., 324-7000, http://www.seton.net/Regional trauma center, featuring 24-hour emergency center, including the only children�s emergency center in Central Texas and STARFlight medical helicopter services.Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC)1301 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, (512) 353-8979Acute care hospital housing more that 30 medical service departments and includes a 24-hour emergency care facility.Children�s Hospital of Austin601 East 15th Street, 324-8000, http://www.seton.net/Features a regional pediatric cardiology program; the Park at Children�s Hospital, a childhood cancer and blood disorder center; children�s surgery center; a specialty care center providing long-term care and case management for childre...
Comments 0
By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
 February 10 - May 06America Starts Here Art ExhibitAustin Museum of ArtWork on display - Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler AMOG-Downtown, 823 Congress Ave Admission: Members Free, Adults $5, Seniors/Students $4, Under 12 Free, Tuesday $1, First Saturday Pay What You Wish Parking: Convenient garage parking at 9th and Brazos. $2.50 with AMOA validation, two-hour limit. Meter parking free on the weekends. www.amog.org February 14Valentines Feast! Harold & MaudeAlamo Drafthouse - W Anderson LaneMovie & Dinner - $75 per person Movie: Harold & Maude, rated PG, 7pm & 9:45 pm Menu: Beet,Fennel and Green Apple Napoleon with Goat Cheese Coulis Organic Green and Herb Salad with Pickled Tomatoes, Baby Carrot with Aged Sherry-Mustard Vinaigrette Stilton and Caramelized Shallot Galette with Prosciutto and ...
Comments 0
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
We have a listing with an odor problem at the front porch. The seller assumed it was the neighbor's cats coming around and spraying her front porch, and she's been putting up with it for years. We've taken steps to mitigate the smell, but when I showed up this morning to open the home for a Keller Williams Realtor tour, it reeked at the front entry. "Darn" I thought. "Those blasted cats are back again".With no time to do anything about it, I made the best of it and hoped the smell would not overshadow the fact that the home is spic and span, staged well, and ready for move-in. Sure enough though, one of the agents walked in and said "pew! It smells like cat pee out there!" Another responded with, "that's not cat odor, it's the boxwoods". Huh? She took me out and showed me the nice hedge...
Comments 1
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I came across a listing tonight that has "Hurry! Won't Last!" typed into the listing remarks. The listing has been on the market 299 Days. Wow, you'd think after a couple of months the agent would remove the comment, since the market has rendered it false. This made me curious.Do comments like these help homes sell faster or motivate other agents to hurry over to preview or show a listing? I can speak only for myself in saying, no. I decided to see what the data says though, so I did a quick test search to see if listings that have comments such as "hurry" or "won't last" and "priced to sell" typed into the Realtor Remarks section actually do sell faster. What do you think I found?I searched single-family homes that are at least 3/2/2 in size, in all Austin MLS areas which sold in the y...
Comments 0
By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
This is a "Last Minute Blogg"  , You know Kind of like a 3 minute Egg! Or a Perhaps like A last minute Thought,    Or, hhmmmm like the Chicken crossing the Road!    BUT, Alas!  It is shaped like a Blogg!  Blogg, Blogg, Blogg, Blogg, Blogg, Blogg,50 words, 50 words, 50 words! There! Good night All! Later..will pick up Sometime tomorrow where I left off.        
Comments 2
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
Suppose you were a renter interested in a house I own. In fact, it's a brand new home I just finished building. I tell you that I'll let you move in for no money down, but you're going to be paying a monthly amount of $200 to $400 more than the market rent value of the home, and you also have to pay for all repairs and maintenance not covered by the warranty. You also have to install the grass in the back yard and pay for any other improvements you'd like, such as new ceiling fans or window coverings. And you have to pay my HOA fee too. Also, you have to remain in the house for 3 to 5 years. If you decide to move before then, you have to come up with $10,000 to $30,000 out of your pocket as a "move-out" fee. If you don't have the cash, your credit gets hosed and you get to pay inflated ...
Comments 0
By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
Where are your buyers now and in the future going?Have you sat and studied what kind of plan you need to fit future Market trends? Will your business thrive or dive? Will you be prepared?Currently the "Great Generation" has basically worked it's way completely through the housing cycle. With the exception of a few they are completely settled and now their heirs are waiting on the properties to pass on through inheritance. I think that I've read somewhere that around 1.5 trillion dollars worth of real estate will transfer on to the baby boomer's. Etc.Etc to generation X & Y.The following is generally how the housing cycle works with the average consumer from generation to generation. If you apply the housing cycle to the boomer's, X'ers, and the Y generation to predict future trends you ...
Comments 5
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
The Austin Rental market keeps chugging along, not burning up any records, but a slow march back toward the better rental rates Austin landlords once enjoyed. Below are the rental stats for January 2007. Since we're at the start of the year, I'm not doing a Year-to-Day, as obviously that would just be January anyway, but I've included the 2005/2006 full year comparisons further below, from my year-end Austin Rental Market Summary summary last month. Also below is the Austin rental rate trend graph from 1999 through 2006.Austin Leasing Stats Jan 2007Previous Month and Year Comparison All MLS Areas - Houses Only Dec 2006Jan 2007Jan 2006 Yr % Change # Leased 5385945792.6%Avg List Price $1248$1239$11824.8%Median List Price $1150$1150$11004.5%Avg Leased Price $1238$1235$11735.3%Med Leased Pr...
Comments 2
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
I had an interesting call today from a Coldwell Banker Realtor in Florida. He spoke to Sylvia yesterday and told her that he has a group of Florida investor buyers that want to come out to Austin and buy a bunch of rental homes. He's trying to get them set up with a good buyer's agent in Austin who knows a lot about rentals and investment property in Austin. He told me today that he's done a lot of research, talked to different agents, and thinks we would be the best ones to help his buyers. That may or may not be true, but we're flattered nonetheless. Just one problem - we don't pay the amount of referral fee he wants. We pay agents who refer clients to us referral fee of 20% of the gross commission we earn, and he wants more. He wanted to know if I would consider paying a higher refer...
Comments 16
By Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense
(Bradfield Properties)
According to Unique Homes' list of 25 markets to watch in luxury real estate, Austin, Texas, due to such factors as last year's record home sales gains, the University of Texas, two lakes, and the bragging rights to the "music capitol of the world", is number five on the list, behind Annapolis, MD, Asheville, N.C., Aspen, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia (San Antonio, Texas, came in 19th; Provence, France, and Puerto Vallarto, Mexico, came in 17th and 18th, respectively).  With its unique blend of casual and elegant (for decades now, those waiting for tables at Jeffrey's, a gourmet food-lovers heaven, could be seen in blue jeans or evening gowns), its fine restaurants both high-brow and low, its music at every corner, the rivers and lakes, Zilker Park,  its high tech economy, and so much ...
Comments 2
By Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate
(Crossland Real Estate)
We have a new listing, and it's not yet in the MLS. Why not? We don't enter a listing into the MLS until it is 100% ready to go. For us, 100% ready means the home is ready and staged, the yard mowed, walls painted, carpet cleaned, house is professionally makeready cleaned, maintenance items handled, all photos taken, the virtual tour completed and online, flyers ready, and the sign and lockbox are up. On this one, we don't yet have the photos, flyers and Virtual Tour, which we're having done today.Why not enter the listing when it's "almost" ready, perhaps with one photo of the front of the house? Because first impressions matter. Not only do they matter, they matter A LOT.Every buyer we work with has an online portal with automatic notification of new listings that match their search c...
Comments 17
By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
 I'm currently working with a listing where the owner has legally changed their name since they 1st bought the house. Although they have a new legal name the listing is in their former name because the Title was never changed. The Title company will have to earn their money on this one! Also I've been contemplating on giving a certain individual I've know for years rights to "Life-Estate" on some property I have. So all this got me to thinking about the most common ways of holding Title to a property. I've listed those below.  http://www.austinhomes-for-sale.com/bin/web/real_estate/AR180180/TIP/DISPLAY/BS6/LIDI1337/AR1055/Homeowner+Information/1169440686.html___________________________________________________________________________________________Common Methods of Holding Title SOLE OW...
Comments 1
By Danny Smith
(DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES)
               The Heart of Downtown Austin is in the phase of changing in the near term. Whether your a professional wanting to live close to work, wanting to walk to fine dining or entertainment at night. Condos and Lofts with concrete and wood floors are soon to be available. The skyline of Austin will soon be changed forever.To paraphrase the Jefferson's" Well were moving on up, to the East, To a Deluxe Apartment in the Sky, Movin' on up to the Eastside, We finally got a piece of the Pie."Residential 360 -- Residential, Retail/Restaurant -- 360 Web Site 404 Rio Grande -- Residential -- 404 Rio Grande Web Site 5 Fifty Five Web Site - Ninety-eight condominium residences atop the new 31-story Hilton Austin Downtown. AMLI Downtown (Block 20) -- Residential, Retail, Restaurants -- AMLI D...
Comments 3
Explore Austin, TX
Austin, TX Real Estate Professionals