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Home Affordability as Interest Rates Plunge - 08/27/10 04:06 PM
I was at a Lake Travis property tour this morning at Rough Hollow. One of the home builder's reps was handing out graphs showing the change in home buying power at different mortgage interest rates. What the graph showed was the difference in how much house a buyer could buy now versus when interest rates were higher. What she showed is that with rates as low as they are today, a buyer could qualify for a home $27,000 more expensive than when rates were at just under 7%. In her example it looked the rates she was comparing were around 6.7% (0 comments)
Austin and Central Texas Growth - 08/25/10 10:19 AM
I have watched Austin grow in population over the years and have also observed other areas in Central Texas as well. Last weekend I drove a route I have not driven in a long time and was amazed at the number of subdivisions and homes along the way. The trip would take me from Boerne, north of San Antonio, west on Hwy 46 to Interstate 35 and then north to Austin. Boerne has been steadily gaining new homes and people over the last 10+ years. The same has been true of Bulverde, which is at 46 and Hwy 281. The 281 (0 comments)
Belterra Home Appraisal - 08/23/10 02:37 PM
I have a new home in Belterra closing late this week and the appraisal just came in $275 below the amount of the contract. That is .0883% low. How can an appraiser not make that number work if it is so very close to the contract price? Any appraisers reading this care to comment? Belterra is a master-planned community in Dripping Springs, just west of Austin, and there are still a lot of new Belterra homes under construction. And yes, there actually are dripping springs in Dripping Springs, TX. (0 comments)
Real Estate in Austin Looking Pretty Good - 08/23/10 01:23 PM
I know that I just posted about there being a lot of homes on the market in Austin, but I did more homework after that. Compared to most parts of the country, the Austin real estate market is looking pretty good. What do I mean by that? I just checked the Alamo Title site for stats and this is what I found: Through June, 2910, the average price of a single-family residence sold in Austin is up by over $16,000. That is a 1% increase. Our area has also seen over 1,360 more units sell this year than last year. Days (0 comments)
China and U.S. Mortgage Interest Rates - 08/23/10 11:39 AM
Several years ago China was buying U.S. Treasuries like mad. They had accumulated so much paper the thought was that they would stop buying unless rates went up. That caused many people, including me, to predict last year that current rates would be around 6%. We sure had that wrong. Quite recently China lost confidence in U.S. securities and started selling rather than buying. They have been buying Japanese and German securities instead of ours. The reduced demand in our paper is causing interest rates to drop even more. The sad thing is that with so much inventory in so many (0 comments)
2010 Looking Worse for Real Estate Than 2009 - 08/23/10 11:22 AM
At the beginning of this year I had more great home buyer prospects than I knew what to do with. It was looking like 2010 would turn into the best year I have ever had in real estate. I could not have been more wrong. So who were the prospects and what were they looking to buy? I had 2 couples looking to relocate and one was to relocate his business from New Jersey as well. Another couple wanted a Lake Travis waterfront home and another wanted a lake view home on as a second home for now and to retire (7 comments)
The Hill Country of Central is made up primarily of limestone. Limestone erodes as water passes over it. In some places, caves are made. In others, interesting formations are made - like the noses seen above. Granted, the eye over the one in the middle was probably drawn by a kid with chalk, but these really are pretty fun to look at. (3 comments)
Austin Foreclosures Dropping - 08/17/10 08:27 AM
Although the foreclosure rate in the country increased 4% from last month, the number of foreclosures in Austin has dropped. States with the highest rate of foreclosures are California, Florida and Illinois. Texas has just one in 818 homes at some stage in the foreclosure process. The rate in Austin is one in 730. That is 126th among metro markets in the country. This isn't to say that the real estate market in Austin and Texas are completely healthy, but we are far better off than other cities and states. Our job market is stronger, our cost of living is lower (2 comments)
Lake Travis Waterfront Real Estate Update 8/16/2010 - 08/16/10 05:10 PM
Lake Travis is a very large lakes and there are several regions in which to find waterfront homes. For this update I will use just the Lake South (LS) Area of the Austin MLS. LS tends to be the most expensive place to own waterfront real estate and fairly good barometer for the lake as a whole. Over the last 90 days, 14 Lake Travis waterfront homes have sold and there are currently 8 under contract. I am not including condos, just single-family homes. Most of the homes that have sold are smaller and older and therefore, not very expensive for (0 comments)
Austin Neighborhood Apache Shores Real Estate Update 8/16/2010 - 08/16/10 04:17 PM
Apache Shores is an eclectic neighborhood in the northwest Austin area. Not in the city, deed restrictions are somewhat minimal. The community has a pool, childrens park, greenbelt, basketball and tennis courts and a nice waterfront park on Lake Austin. So how is the real estate market in Apache Shores compared to last summer? Lot sales in Apache Shores are pretty dead. There is currently one under contract and 2 have sold in the last 30 days. Seven lots sold during the same time frame last year. There are currently 68 Apache Shores lots on the market. Regarding single-family Apache Shores (0 comments)
Purple Sage and Austin Rain Update - 08/16/10 03:44 PM
Last week I did a post about the Purple Sage's ability to predict rain. It had been blooming in my neighborhood for a week and the very day after I wrote the post it absolutely poured. My house picked up over an inch of rain in less than an hour. The local weather forecasters had not called for a chance of rain until that morning. All week it was to be nothing but hot and dry conditions. Just goes to show that a plant besSmarter than a meteorologist.
Carbonite and Star Wars - I made the Connection - 08/16/10 03:16 PM
I have used Carbonite, the online back-up service, for several years and never thought about the name until yesterday. Flipping through TV channels I saw Star Wars Return of the Jedi. It was the part when Leia was unfreezing Han Solo from the Carbonite that he was encased in for delivery to Jabba the Hutt. Suddenly, I made the connection. Jabba had encased Solo. That is sort of like Carbonite backing up files. He was safe, like your files are when backed up, and was able to be restored, like Carbonite restores files. Coming out of the Carbonite freeze gave Solo (2 comments)
Austin Hotels - 08/11/10 05:46 PM
I just added a resource to my website that will help people visiting Austin find and book a hotel online. I get asked about hotels a lot by buyers who are coming in from out of state. I can recommend a few, especially in the Lakeway area, but I don't know enough about most Austin hotels to make a good recommendation. So I am happy to just have added an Austin hotels page on my Austin real estate website. There is a link on the page that will let people browse Austin hotels and book rooms. I hope people find it (0 comments)
Moving to Austin? - 08/11/10 01:39 PM
If you are and you don't know much about the area, you can visit my Austin real estate website to search for homes and learn about the area. There is information on the site about schools, recreation and even how to register your car in Texas. I have a page specifically dedicated to people who are moving to Austin. One thing people need to know about Austin is that it doesn't fit the image of what most people think when they think of Texas. Many think of the huge and flat cities of Dallas and Houston. Others think of cowboys, cattle (0 comments)
Lakeway Real Estate Update 8/11/2010 - 08/11/10 01:27 PM
Summer is coming to an end and home sales are slowing, but how have sales of Lakeway homes been? To begin with, there are currently 193 single-family homes listed for sale in the Austin MLS. Over the last 30 days, Lakeway has seen 18 homes sold and another 18 are under contract. The average sold price was $402,689. The numbers from the same time period in 2009 saw 16 Lakeway homes sold. The average sold price was $362,406. Of the Active listings, 76 are listed for over $500,000. Of those, 12 are listed for sale at $1 million or higher. The (0 comments)
Most Expensive Homes For Sale in Austin - 08/10/10 05:09 PM
I was curious today about what the most expensive Austin homes are that are listed for sale at the moment. So I got into the MLS and did a search for anything listed for over $10 million. Five properties were returned, but one was near Fredericksburg so I left it out.
No, this isn't one of the homes, but it shows a huge home overlooking Lake Travis. This place is probably over 20,000 square feet in size. As one might expect, 3 of the 4 in and near Austin are lake properties. They are all quite large and have all (4 comments)
Weather and Sage Update - 08/10/10 03:04 PM
I just caught the Austin weather on Channel 8 and saw the model for a tropical disturbance near Florida has changed. It looks to be heading to Texas. The sage has been blooming for several days, not sure how many. So perhaps it has been predicting a little precipitation from this system. I know we can use the rain. We can use cooler temperatures too. The grass in my Apache Shores home is looking pretty thirsty. (0 comments)
The Purple Sage is in Bloom - 08/10/10 02:02 PM
The heat has really been on lately in Central Texas and in many other parts of the country. The forecast isn't calling for rain, but the purple sages are blooming. They usually do this around 8-10 days before it rains. So do they know something that we don't?
I did a post last year on my Austin real estate blog about this very subject when Hurricane Edward was headed in our direction. We got little rain in Austin, but some of the surrounding area did see a few drops. Might we see rain next week? I look at an Austin (2 comments)
The Heat is On and Showing Property is Uncomfortable - 08/10/10 01:52 PM
The Austin area was blessed early in the year with rain and this did several things. It helped Lake Travis return to a normal level and it kept temperatures down. But August has been a different story. What I am hearing from several sources is that we may be heading back into a drought situation.
Last summer was one of the hottest on record. We had 64 days on which the temperature topped 100 degrees. That seems to be the pattern right now and for at least the short-term future. The good news is that within around 30-45 days, it (1 comments)
But Will it Appraise? - 08/10/10 11:46 AM
There are many Austin home buyers in the market for a home, but there are a lot more sellers. A lot of buyers are looking at a relatively low price point and that is where competition is strongest in the Austin real estate market. Many of the homes listed for sale are homes that people bought in the last 5 years. And many of these were financed with little or no money down. As such, sellers will not have much room to come down in price. As a result, offers need to be fairly strong. I have seen buyers looking at (2 comments)
Austin Real Estate Market States Update 8/10/2010 - 08/10/10 11:30 AM
Austin real estate market states courtesy of Alamo Title Co.: Units for Sale: (compared to July 2009) New listings are down 1.97%. Pendings are down 20.30%. Solds decreased by 25.80% As for Average Prices: The "New Listings" average list price is down 1.80% to $294,500. In July 2009 the average list price was $299,883. Sold average sales prices increased 17.30% to $284,443. For July 2009 it was $242,498. These numbers support what I posted earlier about now being a good time to buy an Austin home. By the way, don't get too excited about the average sold price seeing such an increase. (0 comments)
Austin Home Buyers - Why Buy Now? - 08/10/10 10:51 AM
Now just might be a great time to buy a home in Austin. There are just under 12,000 single-family homes on the market in the Austin MLS at this time. This number does not include condos, townhomes or mobile homes. If it did, that number would be closer to 14,000. That leaves buyers a lot to choose from. So why buy now? Home sales peaked prior to the end of the tax credit. Many Austin real estate agents thought our area would see a slow-down in sales after the tax credit and that has happened. We are also in the time (1 comments)
As Lake Travis drops during this normal hot month of August, the Sometimes Islands are starting to appear again. The first to appear usually breaks through the surface of the water when the elevation of Lake Travis hits around 672 feet above sea level. It can barely bee seen at the point of the arrow in the middle of the above photo. The second island appears under the point of the arrow on the left a bit later. Lake Travis is a flood control lake and it also provides water for farmers and municipalities. As such, without rain and with evaporation during (1 comments)
Belterra, Buffington and an iPad - 08/08/10 10:26 AM
I sold a new home in Belterra, a master-planned community around 30 minutes west of downtown Austin. Buffington is the builder and they are giving me either a new iPhone of iPad as a bonus. Which is a better freebie? (2 comments)
Sunday Morning in Apache Shores - 08/08/10 10:10 AM
I was a little restless this morning and drove to the Apache Shores waterfront park on Lake Austin. It was just after 7:30 and I was surprised to see the number of people that I saw. There were 2 ladies with 2 dogs at the boat launch. They were tossing something into the water that the dogs would eagerly go out and fetch. There was a dad and his son by the day docks. They wre fishing and looking for crayfish. There was a guy behind a boat preparing to slalom. He gave the OK and the girl in the boat (2 comments)
2012 or 2013 Austin Parade of Homes - 08/03/10 02:41 PM
The 2008 Austin Parade of Homes was in Rough Hollow, which is on Lake Travis in Lakeway. The 2010 Parade will also be in Rough Hollow this Octover. The developer will open another part of Rough Hollow fairly soon and hopes to have the 2012 Parade there, but it might not be ready until 2013. This new section will be across from the esixting amenities center in Rough Hollow and will be on a small peninsula on Lake Travis. Lake Travis waterfront home sites are expected to be priced from around $850,000 to just under $2 million from what I hear. Interior (0 comments)
2010 Austin Parade of Homes Update - 08/02/10 11:01 AM
Back in October of last year I posted information about the 2010 Austin Parade of Homes. There have been changes since that time. Now seeing 7 Parade homes under construction, I can post updated and more accurate information. The 2010 Parade of Homes will take place on the last 3 weekends of October. To begin with, the 2010 Austin Parade of Homes will be in Rough Hollow, a new community in Lakeway. Rough Hollow is a great community with Lake Travis frontage. Amenities in Rough Hollow include a wonderful marina, fitness center with a trainer, restaurant, covered pavilion and miles of hike and (1 comments)
Information and observations on the Austin real estate market including market stats and developments in and around Austin that affect residential real estate conditions. Perhaps a few other odds & ends as well!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.