Archive | August, 2011

How to Stay COOL in Austin Texas!

26 Aug
According to weather.com the temperatures in Austin over the next 5 days will range from 104  to 110 degrees! 
To help you survive the heat, here are some fun ways to stay cool in Austin!
Cool Locations in Austin…
  • Step inside the beer cooler at Whole Foods on 6th and Lamar or the refreshingly cold walk in beer cooler at Twin Liquors near the Hill Country Galleria.
  • Visit the fruit and vegetable coolers at Costco and Sams Club 
  • Surround yourself with ice at a local skating rink:  check out Chaparral Ice at http://www.chaparralice.com/
  • Pick out some flowers in the flower cooler at Austin Flowers on 35th
  • Swim Barton Springs or Deep Eddie Pool
  • Dive into Lake Austin just below Mansfield Dam
  • Eat Ice Cream at Amy’s Ice Creams
  • Tour a local cave!  Inner  Space Caverns http://www.myinnerspacecavern.com/tours.php has a year round temperature of 72 degrees!
  • Go bowling! Check out Austin area bowling alleys at http://austin.citysearch.com/listings/austin/bowling_alleys/71207_
Fun Tips on Staying Cool…
  • Dress lighter and wear lighter colors. Cotton clothes allow for air circulation, while most nylons and polyester materials dont. Wearing colors such as white, khaki, light blue, pink, tan and lavender will help you stay cool this summer by reflecting sunlight; dark colors soak up the heat.
  • You can find all types of “cooling clothing” on the Internet at sites like www.coolsport.net.
  • Eat Hot Peppers!  Yes, eating hot and spicy foods can actually cool you off! Scientists have argued for years over why this is the case, but the most likely reason is that spicy foods make you sweat without actually raising body temperature. Chalk it up to capsaicin , a chemical found in things like hot peppers. Once your skin is damp, you’ll feel cooled by its evaporation.
  • For a cool and lazy afternoon, sit in front of a big fan eating popsicles and listening to favorite tunes on your iPod.  Popsicles come in a yummy variety of flavors, and many are guiltlessly low in calories.  Get some homemade popsicle recipes here:  http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=popsicles
  • Freeze seedless grapes for refreshing mini bites of coolness!
  • Don’t forget the pets!  Hot weather tips for pets from the ASPCA  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/hot-weather-tips.aspx
  • For additional safety information on extreme temperatures visit:http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp
  • Search for real estate in Austin, Texas from your home computer…OK that was a shameless plug 😛  But seriously, have a safe, fun, and cool weekend!

Attention Longhorn Parents: Don’t Throw Away Money on Rent at UT Austin!

22 Aug

Everyone knows that rents are sky-high, particularly in the West Campus and North Campus areas of the University of Texas at Austin.

Instead of letting the rents get you down, why not turn it around and profit from it? 

Have you ever considered purchasing Austin Real Estate near the University of Texas at Austin Campus? 

How about this one?

Parents of Current or Future Longhorns:

If you have a child or multiple children who are going to live near campus and drain your bank account renting junky properties, why not buy and:

1. Invest the money that would have gone toward rent toward a hard asset to add to your portfolio.

2. Rent out any extra rooms your kids are not occupying to their friends and allow them to subsidize your note on the property or provide you with some cash flow.

3. Continue to hold onto the asset even after your kids are gone.  Hire out a management company if you chose, but let that property sit and appreciate.  You can’t get a much better location than the University of Texas campus area!

4. Sell one day, go to Fiji, and retire…ahh that sounds nice.

My real estate career started in the University of Texas at Austin Campus Real Estate Market, and I am a UT TexasEX.  Please let me help you navigate your campus investment search!

Price Your Lakeway, TX Home Right, and Get it Sold!

19 Aug

Lakeway, TX Home Priced to SellPrice is KING…period. 

Even though Austin, TX real estate and its surrounding real estate markets have stayed quite strong compared to the national averages, it is still overall a buyer’s market.  Now there are pockets, where that is not the case, so you need to ask your Realtor to be certain; however, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pricing your home to sell!

Let’s take a look at this recent Lakeway listing of mine:

 

This home is pristine, clean, staged well, and ready to sell, right?!  And believe me, it knocks its competition out of the water in the looks department!

So that should mean we can put an over-inflated price tag on the house since it so special, right?

Wrong…Big Mistake!

Instead of tickling the Seller’s ears and telling him what he ‘wants’ to hear,  a good Realtor helps the Seller analyze recent sales of comparable homes as well as the market trends for that specific area, and then price the home according to where it will SELL not just get SHOWN…see the difference?

We want offers, not people messing up our carpet!

Instead of having a few showings, eventually lowering the price, and leaving even more money on the table once a listing is stale, a better strategy is to look great and price right day 1.

In doing so,  a mini-market is created, and I don’t mean Wag-A-Bag.  That is, you have so many showings that everyone is in a frenzy and puts forth their best offer the second week its on the market.

Let’s just say we’re set to close early September on this home, and I have seen this strategy work time and time again!

Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Austin, TX Home Through Gardening

16 Aug
Austin Real Estate Curb Appeal Through Gardening

From rwhitesi37's photostream

I know it is so stinking hot in Austin, TX right now, but believe it or not, Fall is around the corner, and as all good gardeners know, Fall is the time to plant!

If you have no plans of moving, great, take some of these Fall Gardening Tips, and make your home an oasis that you are excited to look at as you pull up into your driveway.

If on the other hand, you do have visions of moving in the near future, remember that the foundation you lay this Fall in your garden will repay you with a vibrant landscape that will attract buyers to your home when it comes time to list in the Spring.

Either way, I hope you use these month-by-month Fall Gardening Tips to improve your home’s curb appeal today!

Austin’s City Wide Real Estate Statistics

15 Aug

Hot Off the Press…

July 2011 City Wide Austin Real Estate Statistics  courtesy of Keller Williams Realty.

If this looks like Greek to you, and you want to know how this information affects you and your Austin home or dreams to buy one, let’s chat about it!

Happy Friday…Printable 2011 Big 12 Football Schedule!

12 Aug
Big 12 Football Schedule
Created by ElvertBarnes

Hey Folks,

I know my people in Austin, TX love them some Big 12 Football!

One of my title reps sent me this 2011 Big 12 Football Schedule that I thought you might find useful, as football season approaches!

Using Zillow to Price Your Home or Develop an Offer Price

10 Aug

The internet is a great tool and provides folks in the real estate market with a myriad of resources which were not available even just a decade ago.

As a Realtor in Austin, TX, my clients regularly share with me, ‘So I was looking on Zillow….’

While  I find that Zillow is a useful tool that Buyers and Sellers may use when they are early in the process or researching and getting a ‘ballpark’ feel for pricing in neighborhoods, it is not a good substitute for a good Real Estate Agent and a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

Why is a Realtor with a CMA Better than Relying on Zillow?

The main reason that you need a Real Estate Professional when determining the sales price of your home or developing an offer price on a particular home as opposed to relying solely on Zillow is because Zillow and the Real Estate Market use two different sets of data.

That is, using Zillow to develop your list price or offer price is like studying from your Geometry Book to prepare for your Calculus Final; while there might be some mathematical overlap, it’s just not going to give you the most efficient and accurate way to prepare for your sale or purchase.

So How Do Zillow and Market Data Differ?

Zillow uses public information, like tax records, while Realtors use Market Data.  Public information can be quite different from Market Data, and I’ll explain more  later.

For now, know that using Market Data allows your Realtor to see exactly the prices at which homes have been selling similar to the one you’re considering selling or purchasing, which gives you the best chance of marketing your home properly and getting it sold or offering a price that is going to get you that home!

Can You Help Me Price or Develop an Offer Price on My Austin, TX Property?

Yes!…And just like Carl’s Jr. touts their chicken is made by people and not robots, all of my Comparative Market Analysis work is performed by me and not a system. Pricing homes is largely science and part art, and you need a human to process the information, take into consideration unique aspects of the home and current market trends, as well as interpret the market’s response to the home.

If you would like me to work a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your home in the Austin Real Estate Market and surrounding areas, please contact me, today!