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Austin TX Home Owners - Short Sale Process to Avoid Foreclosure - 09/28/10 10:46 AM
Short Sales in the Austin TX market are not abundant. In many neighborhoods, they are scarce. In others, they are more prevalent. It's mostly price range driven, with most in the lower, first time home buyer price range. Here are some great Austin TX Short Sale stats I posted.Even though Short Sales as well as Foreclosures are not as common in Austin TX as they are in other markets, it's still good to know what they are and how to accomplish one timely in case you end up in this situation.What's a Short Sale? A Short Sale, in general terms, is (5 comments)
AARP is Already Trying to Recruit Me - Do I Look 50? - 09/27/10 03:22 PM
I know I had a birthday a couple of months ago which always means you're getting older, but did AARP really need to send me an email for a membership today? Aren't they a couple of decades too early?
Are they hurting for membership that much that they're signing people up early so they're locked in at today's rate instead of paying their rates in 15+ years? I think I feel a little insulted right now... do I look anywhere near 50? **Graphic courtesy of the email I received. **Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comaDonna@DonnaHomes.com (14 comments)
Last month, Alyssa made some art for her baby brother's room. I felt it fair that she could make some art for her own room as well. Almost 4 hours later, we have our masterpieces... All four images are made with her hand prints.
She painted the sky and the grass, and did her prints. Of course, I did have to help with the necks and legs of the flamingos, as well as the sand on the bottom. She picked the colors of the flamingos, and they turned out great.
Again, Alyssa painted the sky and the grass. (16 comments)
Austin TX Makes Another Forbes Magazine Llist - 10 Markets Most Likely to Appreciate - 09/24/10 10:10 AM
Austin TX makes another Forbes magazine list for 10 Markets Most Likely to Appreciate. Though we didn't top the list, Austin TX real estate came in third! A real estate research firm, Local Market Monitor, looked at a mix of jobs and growth industries, in addition to markets that were seeing a large influx of population growth prior to the down turn, in which Austin TX saw a 16% population growth in the prior five years. The article was quick to point out that they aren't trying to predict what markets will have a massive jump in home prices. They're just (3 comments)
The Lender Wants MY Social Security Number... What Do I Have to Do With My Buyer's Loan? - 09/23/10 11:27 AM
Why are banks and PMI companies trying so hard to make people jump through their hoops? I have a closing that was supposed to happen yesterday, but since it's a foreclosure, docs were supposed to be turned in by last Friday. It's a week later and they're still twiddling their thumbs.These buyers have great credit and are putting down 20%. Model borrowers.Wanna know what they want today?? They want MY social security number!! Yes, Mine! What do I have to do with this transaction??Apparently, "Donna Harris" appears on the GSA list. What's GSA? When you Google it, you get lots of (173 comments)
Wordless Wednesday - A Girls' Best Friend - 09/22/10 12:14 PM
These were taken back when Alyssa and Oscar were friends... Now, Alyssa wants nothing to do with Oscar and screams every time he licks her or tries to play with her. Granted, he has a huge, nasty tongue with bad breath, but I'm not sure why she screams bloody murder when he licks her.
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comaDonna@DonnaHomes.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. (9 comments)
Austin TX Sellers - Your Pricing Strategy Can Make or Break Your Net - 09/20/10 08:22 PM
Austin TX Real Estate Pricing Strategy can make or break your selling experience. You can end up staying on the market longer than you should, and also making you net less than you probably would have if you don't think about your strategy in advance. I have two examples...One Austin TX Seller got an unofficial appraisal of his home for $750k. But you don't have the report? No, says Mr. Seller. The appraiser came over and looked around and such and told me a number. Oh great... It comes time to list it. He thinks his house is worth $750k because (4 comments)
Alyssa made cookies for the very first time... and my first time in over 10+ years! She had fun mixing all the ingredients and watching the mixer spin, but I think eating the batter was her favorite part of it all!
She was very patient watching the first batch cook... but not so patient the rest of the batches as she didn't understand why I had to keep checking on them and making more.
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comaDonna@DonnaHomes.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake (9 comments)
Does Death in a Home have to be Disclosed? - 09/18/10 05:28 PM
Does a death or suicide need to be disclosed by a seller or a listing agent? I haven't been asked many times over the years, but it comes up every so often. What's Texas law? Texas law states, in summary, that disclosure is only needed if the house caused the death. What does that mean? The biggest example always used is say a house was a known drug house. Someone got mad and did a drive-by shooting and someone died. Upon resale, the death would need to be disclosed because if word does not spread around the drug community that the (60 comments)
It's a lizard of course! They're all over the place. It's a known fact that having lizards around your house brings good luck. She loves pointing them out, so this time I took a picture of it!
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comaDonna@DonnaHomes.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every (5 comments)
Austin TX Real Estate - Foreclosures and Short Sales in the Market Part 2 - 09/16/10 12:32 PM
Yesterday, I posted information about Austin TX Foreclosure and Short Sale Listings being a small part of the Austin TX overall real estate market. Today, I wanted to put more of those numbers into perspective for you.You can read the Austin TX MLS numbers in this post, but it basically boiled down to a mere 7.56% of 6335 listings currently on the market are either in the Foreclosure status or trying to be sold as a Short Sale prior to going into a foreclosure. Some people still think it's realistic to focus on only these 479 listings, but here's some more (7 comments)
Austin TX Real Estate - Foreclosures and Short Sales are a Small Part of the Market - 09/15/10 09:39 AM
Austin TX real estate is low on Foreclosure and Short Sale Listings compared to the rest of the country. I get calls and emails all the time from prospective buyers wanting to buy a foreclosure or short sale property because they can get a "better deal."Really? What exactly is a better deal? And what happens if what you're looking for can't be found in a foreclosure or a short sale that we look at?"But Donna, there are so many to choose from, and this is what I'm looking for..."Really? So many to choose from? Is that because you saw it on (8 comments)
Austin TX Ranks at the Top of the Newest Survey by Mens Health - Can you Guess? - 09/14/10 11:05 AM
As you know, Austin TX ranks high on many many surveys that have been done in the past. Surveys about Best Place to Raise a Family and Best in Recession Recovery and Lowest Unemployment Rate, to name a few...Here's a survey just released by Men's Health magazine that puts Austin TX at the top of another list, and you won't believe it... Austin TX is the Capital of Copulation. Yes, Austin TX has been named the most sexually active city in the country with Dallas right behind as #2.You might be thinking, Huh? How could they possibly know something like this?According (5 comments)
Would you Operate on Yourself? - Austin TX Home Sellers - 09/13/10 12:48 PM
Would you operate on yourself?? No?? Why not?? What if you read enough things online or watched enough TV to know what you think you need to do? One of the greatest myths in real estate is that REALTORS®/ real estate agents sell homes. That is the farthest thing from the actual truth. Homes sell themselves, but also the home owners sell homes, not real estate agents. Let me explain in generalities, though I know there are exceptions...A house is what it is. You can't change the location. If a buyer doesn't like the location, I, as the agent, cannot force (23 comments)
Falconhead West - Bee Cave - Austin TX - Snake in the Pond - 09/12/10 09:06 PM
I'm getting some anxiety about having a boy... today, I met with an old friend I've known since Junior High. We lost touch through college and recently got back in contact. She brought her 10 year old boy and 6 year old daughter over to go to the park this afternoon. At 10 years old, this boy doesn't know what "gross" is!! He was in the muddy pond water up to his tush! He found a snake and brought it up to us. GROSS! Alyssa thought it was cool and watched it awhile as it slithered in his hands and on (7 comments)
The Blog Mojo Has Come Back - 09/11/10 04:37 PM
For my regular followers, I'm not sure you've noticed or not, but I've been more regular with my postings the last couple of weeks. If you're actually a regular follower, you noticed I was slacking a little bit for a couple of months. I'm not sure what's happened, but my brain has been working more and the wheels of ideas have started to flow again. Just stopping in today to acknowledge that I know I was bad at posting content for a few months, but I'm back, and if you have any ideas you want me to post my opinion about, (11 comments)
City of Lakeway TX - Market Report - 09/09/10 03:39 PM
The City of Lakeway TX is holding its own in the current market. The below sales chart are the SOLDs from just the first two months of the third quarter.
As you can see, Lakeway TX has home prices that fit almost everyone's budget, from the low $200's well past the $600's... there are million dollar properties in Lakeway TX, but none that have sold this quarter yet... Look at that blue line... YIKES! Some are well above the chart, which is not good! Here's another view of Days on Market (DOM) broken down to the properties that have sold. (4 comments)
Austin TX Unemployment Rate - Job, like Real Estate, are Local and Not National - 09/08/10 10:09 AM
Why are so many people relocating to Texas and specifically, why are they coming to Austin TX? Look at the unemployment history below... Austin Texas Unemployment History Just like Real Estate is local and not national, the job situation is also local and not national. I hear a lot, "Housing is down because of jobs." Really? Austin TX doesn't seem to be doing too badly. According to the chart above, there are approximately only 67k people unemployed (in the city of Austin, not suburbs) with a population just under 1M. I wish I knew what went into that 67k number. (6 comments)
Senna Hills - Austin TX - Homes for Sale Market Report - 09/07/10 11:34 AM
Senna Hills Austin TX is having a somewhat slow third quarter thus far. There have only been five sales in compared to Senna Hills' second quarter's ten sales, however, we still have September to go, plus there are currently three properties that are pending. What interesting trend are we seeing at the moment? Take a look at the below chart.
Of the 5 that have already closed, 4 of them weren't on the market very long at all. The three immediately to the left, which are the pending properties, are also showing a very low number of days on the (2 comments)
Decorations Made Easy - 09/06/10 09:10 PM
When wanting to add a little personality and pizazz to a child's room, sometimes it takes multiple paint colors, painter's tape, stencils, and actual idea samples which can add up to a pretty penny when it's all said and done... OR... You can buy these neat sticker decals that go on the wall and don't remove the paint, and I did it all for under $20!! Alyssa helped, but I'm starting to regret that. I went to put her to bed this evening, and noticed the ones around her dresser mirror were moved. She climbed up there by herself and moved (14 comments)
Speechless Sunday - More Austin TX Creatures - 09/05/10 06:59 PM
This spider has been making its rounds around our house. It started on our master bedroom window. Then is was on the back porch. I guess there weren't enough insects, so she moved to the kitchen window... and her last stop thus far is the side garage door. Why do I call her a "she"? According to the internet, the females get to be just over two inches whereas the males are barely 3/4 inches. This one is HUGE!
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comaDonna@DonnaHomes.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, (15 comments)
Alyssa's Artwork from Michaels Arts and Crafts - 09/04/10 03:59 PM
Michaels Arts and Crafts held a very cool demo workshop today. It was Big Sister and Big Brother art class to make a project to welcome home the new baby. We made two canvases with our hand prints as fish. Alyssa had a blast! It looked like so much fun, I decided to make one with a big mommy fish and we'll put the pictures on the wall like a two piece mural.
Michaels had projects all week as it was Baby Week, but I didn't know until yesterday so we missed out on a lot of cool projects. Did (11 comments)
Lake Pointe - Bee Cave Austin TX - Market Report - 09/03/10 12:56 PM
Lake Pointe - Austin Bee Cave TX - Third quarter sales are holding pretty well. Below are three different charts for the visual person. This first chart is showing you the currently active properties on the market and how long they've been on the market. Third quarter alone has seen 11 listings become active (Red + Yellow). What's going on with those 120+ day listings? Yikes! I think some sellers need to evaluate their asking prices before they end up still on the market during the winter months!
This next chart shows you the break down of all properties (3 comments)
Real Estate - Austin TX - How Can You Avoid Foreclosure? Is a Short Sale for You? - 09/03/10 10:18 AM
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure? The easy answer? PAY YOUR MORTGAGE!!I'm sorry, was that too blunt and honest? Seriously though, paying your mortgage is the best option...If you can't pay your mortgage, take a look at yourself and your situation. You need to assess what you want to do. If you can't afford your mortgage, what makes you think that you can afford it if you got a loan modification from the lender? That might be an immediate fix, but what about 6 months from now? a year from now? Are you in the same situation again?Is a short sale the (0 comments)
Austin TX - Short Sale - Avoid Foreclosure with the Mortgage Foregiveness Debt Relief Act HR 3648 - 09/02/10 11:39 AM
The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act H.R.3648 is helping many home owners avoid Foreclosure. Let me help you through this new program. Are you at least 30 days behind on your mortgage? Then your mortgage company is probably willing to consider forgiving a significant portion of your mortgage debt, after you jump through some of their hoops of course.Many people ask, "Will I be taxed on the remainder as income?" No, not anymore. The forgiven debt is no longer counted as personal income and CANNOT be taxed by the Federal Government. This new law is to help rescue as many home (0 comments)
Real Estate - Austin TX - How Long Does it Take to Buy a House? It Depends on You... - 09/01/10 11:09 AM
I get asked a lot, "How long does it take to buy a house?" My response? "That depends on you!"I usually get strange looks or silence if they're on the phone...In the past year, I had some buyers that took 8 months to find a house. Yes, 8 months! Yet, I had buyers that took a week... you never know until you start the process.These buyers contacted me on a Friday, we scheduled to look at houses on the next Tuesday, and we submitted an offer on Thursday. From contact to contract was less than a week!!The 8 month buyers... He (19 comments)
This blog is to help educate Buyers, Sellers and even other Realtors across the country. Each market is different and the way Real Estate is done is different. Austin Real Estate is completely different than Dallas, California and Florida and everywhere else in between. Some times there will be other things besides real estate as I like to rant and rave as much as the next!! Come back often!
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