austin real estate: Volente Beach Water Park - 08/29/10 05:01 PM
Even though it's nearly December, it's never too early to think about summer time fun. Volente Beach Water Park is just a hop, skip and splash away from Austin, in Cedar Park. It's located on FM 2769 right on the beach of beautiful Lake Travis.

The park has water rides and slides for every person in the family, young or old. From rides like the `Texas Twister' that take you on a plunge that twists and turns, or how about `The Sidewinder' that takes you and a friend down a slope and up the other side, all why you … (0 comments)

austin real estate: The Fed's Role in Crisis and Recovery - 08/18/10 05:06 PM
Despite its apolitical mandate, the Federal Reserve remains one of the most politically sensitive institutions in the world, as evidenced by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's opinion column on November 29th. In the piece, Bernanke criticized proposed legislation before the Senate that would seek to curtail powers given to the Fed over its near-century of existence. With approval of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency comes a new regulatory regime that may also threaten the dominant paradigm, changing the way business at the top is done for decades to come. What will the Federal Reserve's role be in this new financial landscape, and … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Dove Springs-A Quaint, Family-Oriented Community - 08/18/10 04:59 PM
A quaint, tree-lined rural community exists in Southeast Austin called Dove Springs, and it has a unique charm and many opportunities for recreation, housing, entertainment and access to the central city area. Dove Springs can be found by exiting I.H. 35 and traveling east on Stassney, among other routes, and the neighborhood's proximity to the freeway is another advantage to residents.

Most of the street names include the word Dove, such as Dove Meadow, Dove Hill, Dove Wood and others. These streets are tree-lined, quiet, meandering, residential streets, with inexpensive to moderately priced homes and duplexes, as well as numerous … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Future of the Housing Market - 08/06/10 05:10 PM
Home prices increased from April to May of this year by 1.3 percent, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. The credit for this largely goes to the government's home buyer tax credit, which expired at the end of April.

The general thought out there seems to be that the housing market has been bolstered by the tax credit--which was the point--and now will come tumbling down again. Maybe not, says University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan. Even the home price index report points out that May is historically a strong month for home sales.

The … (2 comments)

austin real estate: The Jolly Area of Jollyville Road - 08/06/10 05:04 PM
Jollyville Road has recently become a mecca for shoppers, business people, and residents, due to its varied character, which is a combination of high tech businesses, shopping venues, and nice but fairly reasonably priced homes with big, shady yards.

The relatively recent addition of the Arboretum and the nearby Domain make the area a shopper's paradise, and there are numerous strip centers, restaurants, fast food establishments, and grocery stores, among other businesses. In addition, Great Hills Baptist Church is in the center of the neighborhood, and it is one of the largest and most active churches in Austin with numerous … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Find a Good Deal on an East Coast Vacation Home - 08/06/10 05:01 PM
Whether you're looking for a condominium, multi-family unit or a single-family home, you'll find an abundance available in the housing market in almost every major city in the U.S.

Florida's slumping home market has targeted this state for some sweet deals on real estate. You'll even find beach front property at astounding prices. Check out Cutler Bay, Fisher Island or Homestead, all in Miami-Dade County.

Nassau County has some great offerings, too, on Amelia Island. Right now you can get a beautiful condominium on Sea Marsh Road right next to Oak Marsh Golf Course listed at $100,000. It's … (2 comments)

austin real estate: The Town of Georgetown in Texas - 08/06/10 04:35 PM
If there is one Central Texas town that has grown significantly in the last 10 years, it would be Georgetown. The Williamson County seat is a picture-perfect small town, with its town square surrounding the historic courthouse. The town was founded in 1848, the same year Williamson County was established. The charming Victorian style limestone buildings surrounding the domed courthouse reflect Georgetown's early prosperity as a commerce center.

Built near the banks of the San Gabriel River, with fertile farmlands to the east and wide-ranging ranch lands to the west, Georgetown had no problem attracting settlers. The addition of a … (1 comments)

austin real estate: The Town of Wimberley - 08/06/10 04:33 PM
Head west, between Austin and San Marcos, across the seemingly endless Texas Hill Country vistas dotted by quaint towns and you will find the old mill town of Wimberley. The town was first settled in the 1840s, after Texas became a state. Mills powered by Cypress Creek kept the town growing, and changing names, for decades. Each new mill owner gave the settlement a new name, until it officially became Wimberley in 1880 after then mill owner Pleasant Wimberley.

Perhaps the best known spot in Wimberley is Blue Hole. Shaded by Cypress trees, this spring-fed swimming hole is always inviting. … (1 comments)

austin real estate: Escape to Fabulous Fredericksburg - 07/17/10 06:52 PM
In the 1800s, many German immigrants made their way to Texas having heard there were great opportunities to be had. They created settlements throughout central Texas with uniquely German traditions. In 1846 a group of settlers left New Braunfels, TX and headed up the Pedernales River to what would become Fredericksburg. Through a generous treaty with Native Americans in the region, the German settlers of Fredericksburg were able to not only persevere, but also thrive.

It is an area rich in history, a microcosm of the struggles of European settlers and the adventures of the Old West. Just a … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Interested in a Condominium? Get a FHA-Insured Loan - 07/17/10 06:44 PM
Mortgage Insurance for Condominium Units (Section 234(c)) program assists potential homeowners in purchasing a home in a condominium development. The prospective condominium must be the potential homeowner's primary residence.

The intent of this federal program managed under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to insure the loan of a borrower who buys a unit in a condominium property. HUD does not directly provide loans to borrowers. Instead, HUD insures loans through FHA-approved lenders. Some of those who take advantage of the program are low- to moderate-income renters who want to buy their unit in order to … (1 comments)

austin real estate: Neighborhood Amenities - 07/05/10 07:08 PM
When searching for a new home, there are the usual considerations of location, price, and layout. Often, hopeful homeowners are so focused on the number of bedrooms or the quality of the schools that considerations like neighborhood amenities are pushed aside. But these seemingly inconsequential neighborhood perks can have a significant impact on quality of life.

If there is one thing Austin offers in plentitude, it is places to enjoy the outdoors. There are the well known venues, like Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs and Zilker Park, but many of the outlying and city neighborhoods have gems of their own.

austin real estate: Advantages and Disadvantages of Reverse Mortgages - 07/05/10 06:58 PM
Reverse mortgages are a relatively recent product on the lending scene. The approval process is somewhat abbreviated compared to a traditional home loan, but there are some conditions and requirements that make a reverse mortgage unique to other home loans.

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

It is a home loan that enables the homeowner access to the equity built up in the home. Some borrowers prefer a lump sum when taking out a reverse mortgage. Others choose to receive monthly payments. No payment is required on the reverse mortgage until the homeowner dies, sells the home or vacates the … (3 comments)

austin real estate: The Perks of a Yard Sale - 06/26/10 08:39 PM
There is something about the change of seasons that makes people want to get organized. With the holidays in the not so distant future, it may be time to get rid of all the junk that has been accumulating in the guest room or make space in the garage. A yard sale can be a good way to get unwanted stuff out of the house and make a little money.

A yard sale or garage sale does require some work before, during and after, but having more space and some spending money makes it worth it. Several websites giving yard … (7 comments)

austin real estate: Jobs in the Mortgage Industry - 06/26/10 08:35 PM
Foreclosures and short sales dominate the real estate market in many U.S. cities; although, the numbers seem to be evening out in certain areas. It takes manpower to process the increased workload for the mortgage industry and many companies are hiring. Not only does the lending industry need people to handle the new workload, there are various levels of employment required to run companies in the mortgage industry.

It is impressive how many different types of businesses are involved in the mortgage trade. Several related venues include banking and finance, mortgage and lending, credit unions, escrow companies and real estate … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Newlyweds -- Merge Mortgage With Refi - 06/26/10 08:28 PM
Couples who decide to get married have many decisions ahead of them as to how they will live their lives after they are married. Merging finances is typically one of the first things worked out. If both own homes, that issue should fall at the top of the list. One decision might be to keep both homes - live in one and rent the other out, and then do a mortgage refinance on both. Another might to sell one, live in the other and do a mortgage refinance.

How to Determine Which House to Sell

There are several … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Community Reinvestment Act - Impact to Housing Loans - 06/05/10 10:04 PM
Many of those in the media feel that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is the culprit for the recent real estate market bust. Politicians have even echoed this sentiment from the Congressional podium. What is the Community Reinvestment Act, though, and did it actually contribute to or cause the U.S. housing market demise?

First, it is good to understand the origination of the Act, the planned purpose of the Act and its intended benefits. The CRA followed three other enacted laws that addressed housing discrimination and equal opportunities for housing for all peoples; however, the CRA took it a step … (2 comments)

austin real estate: Bargain Markets for Homebuyers and Investors - 06/05/10 09:58 PM
Since 2007, foreclosures and short sales have littered the real estate market and drove down the price of property and home values. The upside to the down housing market is that homebuyers and investors can find sweet deals in some of the nation's most sought after cities.

If cities like Milwaukee, Memphis, Baltimore and the Big D interest you, then you'll find a honey of a home in any of these metro areas. Though the initial listing price may begin at what properties are currently valued, they are often reduced from 26 to 33 percent. The top ten U.S. … (1 comments)

austin real estate: Lessons from Greece - 05/26/10 07:28 PM
Greece, one of the oldest countries on the planet, suffers from one of the oldest problems on the planet: debt. The Greek debt debacle is playing significant havoc on the world's financial markets. As Carmen M. Reinhart, author of a book on 800 years of world debt crises said on The New York Times Economix blog recently, "Greece casts a long shadow on the European continent because 15 other countries share a common currency with it, the euro."

What does the euro and Greece's debt problems have to with the American economy? Far more than we would like, as was … (3 comments)

austin real estate: Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Crackdown - 05/26/10 07:03 PM
Every aspect of the real estate industry has experienced fraud at one time or another. From homeowners, homebuyers and real estate professionals to lenders, appraisers and title companies, every step of the home buying process has been tainted by fraudulent activity. A greater abundance of it came to light more recently due to the housing market bust. Most once booming markets either diminished significantly or came to a screeching halt as foreclosures began to overshadow the home sales scene.

Subsequently, the flowing streams of wealth enjoyed by many during the housing bubble slowed to a trickle or dried up … (2 comments)

austin real estate: Five Bad Home Improvement Ideas - 05/15/10 08:28 PM
When considering adding value to a home, you consistently hear from the real estate industry that updated bathrooms and quality kitchens stand out in a home sale. Those are proven sale closers. There are certain other improvements you can make to your home that will beautify it or create convenience for your family. When it comes time to selling, however, those improvements may do nothing to increase the value of the property and may even turn off potential homebuyers.

Over-the-Top Renovations

Au contraire mon frère, not all renovations will raise the value of your home. Just `cause it's … (5 comments)