April 22, 2014

Searching for your New Home in Austin? Are you SURE you aren’t Missing Something?

If you’re like most people, you enjoy browsing homes for sale online. Whether you’re just curious to see what the neighbor’s house is on the market for, or you’re actively house hunting, you probably have your favorite website to use to check for Austin real estate.

Well, on April 30th, the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) will implement a policy change that will impact the amount of homes displayed on many popular websites.  Previously, ABOR had allowed syndication of the information about local homes for sale to number of other websites, which have in turn, shared the data with other websites. This made it a challenge to ensure the data was accurate. So on April 30th, the practice will change, and homes for sale will no longer be sent automatically, or syndicated, to these non-Realtor website.

There will still be plenty of homes to see on websites like Zillow and Trulia, because some individual real estate brokers will still choose to post their listings to them, but these sites won’t have ALL of the homes in the greater Austin area. And when inventory is as low as it is in Austin, you don’t want to run the risk of missing a home the first day it comes on the market in the neighborhood you have your heart set on.  

So how can Austin-area home buyers (or home browsers) ensure they are viewing the most accurate and comprehensive data in the Austin area?  The following websites will continue to have direct feeds from the MLS:

  • AustinHomeSearch.com
  • TexasRealEsate.com
  • Realtor.com
  • And websites for real estate brokerages such as:  KeepAustinWeirdHomes.com  

And when you are ready to take your home search off the computer and make it a reality, give Theresa a call at 512-297-3442. She’ll make sure you don’t miss anything.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?

I want to sell my Austin, TX property

I’d like to Search for Austin Real Estate

I’d like to speak to someone from Keep Austin Weird Homes

Posted in Austin Real Estate
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April 22, 2014

Theresa Bastian Sells Austin Luxury Home

 

On Feb 21, 2014, KVUE news produced a news story about the market for Austin luxury homes. There were 555 homes sold over $1,000,000 last year in Austin. One of the properties showcased in the news story was a contemporary home just off Lake Austin in the Cuernevaca area.  

“My clients were extremely impressed with the view and the privacy this property offered them. The one thing on their wish list that it was missing was a pool, but they intend to design one upon moving in”, stated Bastian. Her clients closed on the property last month.

With over 15 years of real estate experience, Bastian is able to provide the attention to detail that clients in the Austin luxury home market demand. Information about the history of the property, the nearby private and public schools, plans for future development, and connections with contractors are all details that a well-connected agent will provide to her clients.

It’s also important to have a strong network in the real estate community, since transactions in these price ranges are often handled through word of mouth. “Before they decided on this property, I was able to show my clients several homes that were not on the open market. This allowed them to be sure they had seen everything that might fit their needs when they made an offer on this home”, explained Bastian.   

If you are in the market to purchase or sell an Austin luxury home, please contact Bastian directly at 512-297-3442 or visit www.KeepAustinWeirdHomes.com

About Theresa Bastian

Theresa Bastian is the broker and co-owner of Keep Austin Weird Homes. She and her partner, Rodney Campbell, formed Keep Austin Weird Homes to help people buy, sell and invest in real estate skillfully, while keeping it local and fun.

- By Theresa Bastian 
Posted in Austin Real Estate
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April 20, 2014

Keep Austin Weird Homes Partners with MakerSpace at Gorzycki Middle School


Gorzycki Middle School will be opening a MakerSpace where students will be able to use their creativity to make things related to technology and arts/crafts. This program provides students with the opportunity to use their critical thinking skills and natural curiosity.  MakerSpaces have been shown to develop student interest and achievement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related subjects and careers.  To learn more about MakerSpace, click here.  

 We are seeking donations of materials to be used in the MakerSpace. We need to use things that are quiet and will not ruin library carpets and furniture.  We are looking for items that will be easy for our students to use, so most items, with the exception of computers, need to be in good working order.  

In addition to supplies, we are looking for volunteers who might be able to donate an hour or two of their time to mentor students as they work.  We're especially hoping to engage those of you who work in the computer industry or other technological and engineering industries who would be interested in sharing your knowledge and skills with our students.

Some of the needed items are:

  • Old computers (ones that can be taken apart and put back together)
  • Old monitors that still work
  • Computer Mouse (mice?)
  • Digital cameras
  • SD cards
  • Electronic/computer components and tools
  • 9V batteries
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Arduino Uno
  • Arduino Mega
  • Arduino Lilypad
  • USB thumb drives
  • USB cables
  • Sensors (light sound, distance, tilt, temperature) for Lego robotics and Arduinos
  • Squishy circuits
  • Conductive tape/paint/thread/fabric
  • Duct tape – all colors
  • Small soldering iron and solder
  • Super glue
  • Robotics kits – Lego robotics
  • Extension cords
  • Power strips
  • Legos (the small ones for older children)
  • Modeling clay (Claytoon brand – not Play-Doh) and supplies
  • Origami paper
  • Quilting materials
  • Quarter rounds and other large pieces of 100% cotton fabric
  • Needles
  • Cutting mats
  • Quilting thread – any color
  • Sewing Machine and supplies (bobbins, etc.)          
  • Crochet/Knitting needles and supplies Thread – any color
  • Cross-stitch thread, kits and fabric
  • Fabric shears/rotary shears
  • Pins and pincushions
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • White glue
  • Craft paper
  • Ribbon (spools, not small pieces)
  • Cloth tape measure
  • Seam ripper
  • Steam iron
  • Ironing board

Gorzycki is very proud of their library and the opportunities they’ve made available to our students. This will be the first MakerSpace in AISD, and we’d like to help make it a model for other libraries to follow. If the MakerSpace mission of encouraging creativity in a shared environment speaks to you, as it does to us at Keep Austin Weird Homes, please call Theresa at 512-297-3442 to discuss volunteer opportunities or arrange a donation pickup.

 Keep Austin Weird Homes

Theresa Bastian and Rodney Campbell run an Austin, TX real estate brokerage right here in Circle C established with the intention of doing good business with good people.  As Austin real estate market experts, Theresa and Rodney can help you buy, sell, lease or invest in real estate in and around Austin, TX.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?

I want to sell my Austin, TX property

I’d like to Search for Austin Real Estate

I’d like to speak to someone from Keep Austin Weird Homes

 

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April 17, 2014

Affordable East Austin – Large Home on a Double Lot - $160k!!!

512-740-6486 – http://KeepAustinWeirdHomes.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists. 

Keep Austin Weird Homes is pleased to feature our listing at 715 Vargas Road. Where else in Austin can you live so affordably while your real estate investment appreciates? 

715 Vargas Rd

Listen to the wind blow through the leaves of the 5 majestic oaks on this Affordable East Austin property. Two lots totaling .36 acres give you many opportunities in this area, which is poised for future redevelopment. Imagine the value of your land appreciating as Austin’s growth nears this neighborhood and you prepare to convert your property to modern duplexes or townhomes.

 

The home features 3 bedrooms plus an office, which is currently being used as a 4th bedroom. The kitchen provides plenty of counter space plus a walk in pantry and breakfast bar. Enjoy privacy in the master bedroom, with its full bath and walk in closet. It’s so spacious you will forget it’s a manufactured home.

What will YOU use the custom structure in the backyard for?  Yoga, art studio, playhouse, workshop, storage, or man cave? It does have electricity, so the options are virtually unlimited!

This affordable East Austin home is served by Allison Elementary, Martin Middle School and Eastside Memorial High School.

Located less than 5 minutes from IH-35, Highway 183, Highway 71, and the airport, you can easily commute anywhere in Austin or the surrounding towns from this home. 

View FULL DETAILS and PHOTOS here:  Affordable East Austin Home for Sale

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: Although this property was available at the time of this ad creation, it is very possible that an offer has been submitted or even accepted since that time. This ad was created with the intent to sell THIS property. If you are interested in this property, Please call 512-740-6486 to check on its current availability.

Search the MLS like a Realtor and never miss the newest listings or the latest price changes. Search using criteria used by Realtors and brokers with multiple photos, satellite images, FULL MLS Descriptions and more. It’s easier than the MLS!  Search Austin and the surrounding areas in Central Texas.

 - By Theresa Bastian 

Posted in Austin Real Estate
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April 15, 2014

$188,000 for this cute home in Buda at 536 Torrington!

Close to beautiful parks, ponds and Cabela's!  http://www.keepaustinweirdhomes.com/blog/room-grow-buda-tx-home-sale/

 

                       Photo

 

Posted in Austin Real Estate
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April 4, 2014

Multiple Offer Negotiations: Guidelines for the HOT Austin Market

Multiple Offer Negotiations: Guidelines for the HOT Austin Market

Perhaps no situation facing buyers and sellers in the hot Austin real estate market is more frustrating, or fraught with the potential for misunderstanding or missed opportunity, than presenting and negotiating multiple, competing offers to purchase the same property. Consider the following dynamics:

  • Sellers want to get the highest price and best terms for their property

  • Buyers want to buy at the lowest price and on the most favorable terms

  • Listing brokers - acting on behalf of sellers - represent sellers’ interests

  • Buyer representatives represent the interests of buyer clients.

Will a seller disclosing information about one buyer’s offer make a second buyer more likely to make a full price offer? Or will that second buyer decide to pursue a different property?

Will a seller telling several buyers that each is being given the chance to make their ‘best offer’ result in spirited competition for the property? Or will it result in the buyers looking elsewhere?

Knowledgeable buyers and sellers realize there are rarely simple answers to complex situations. But some fundamental principles can make negotiating multiple offers in the hot Austin real estate market a little simpler.

Sellers have several ways to deal with multiple offers.

  • A seller can accept the “best” offer

  • A seller can inform all potential purchasers that other offers are on the table and give them all the chance to strengthen their offers;

  • A seller can counter one offer while waiting to respond to the other offers

  • A seller can counter one offer and reject the others

While the listing broker can offer suggestions and advice, decisions about how the offers will be presented - and dealt with - are made by the seller, not by the listing broker.

Purchase offers are not generally confidential. In some cases, sellers may make other buyers aware that your offer is in hand, or even disclose details about your offer to another buyer in hopes of encouraging that buyer to make a “better” offer.

Buyers and sellers need to appreciate that in multiple offer situations only one offer will result in a sale, and the other buyers will often be disappointed that their offers were not accepted. While little can be done to prevent that disappointment, fair and honest treatment throughout the negotiation process, couple with prompt, ongoing and open communication, can enhance the chance that all buyers - successful or not - will feel they were treated fairly and honestly.

- by Theresa Bastian

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April 1, 2014

Austin Home Buying 101 - Your Loan Process

Austin Home Buying 101 - Your Loan Process

In order to have a successful experience buying your Austin home, it is critical to have your financing in place. Most people require a mortgage to purchase their home, and as we all know, lending criteria have become more stringent over the last few years. Here’s an overview of the loan process that we will navigate together to assist you in buying your Austin home.

1. Contact a mortgage professional. We recommend using a mortgage broker rather than going into your neighborhood bank branch because mortgage brokers can match your situation with a wide variety of loan programs, and banks are limited to the programs within their company. If you would like a referral to a reputable Austin area lender, please call Theresa at 512-297-3442.

2. Loan Application. Most lenders will allow you to complete this over the phone, in person, or on their websites. You need some basic financial information such as your income and debt amounts.

3. Credit History. At this step, the lender will pull your credit and the credit of anyone else who is going to be on the loan, even if you have a copy of your current credit report. They will use the middle of the 3 credit bureau scores.

4. Collect Requested Items. Based on your loan application, the lender will request a list of items to verify the information. This can range from tax returns to proof of child support income. It is extremely important to get them whatever they ask for as quickly as you can.

5. Review the Loan Programs. Once the lender has verified all of your information, he or she can advise you on the different loan programs you qualify for, and help you make a great decision on which one to select. It’s important to let us know what you’ve chosen, since the terms of the loan program (such as the amount down, etc) will impact how we write the offer on the home you select.

6. Get a Pre-Approval Letter.Pre-Approved This shows that a loan officer has actually reviewed the necessary documentation, put your loan package through an automated underwriting engine, and you have been pre-approved.  This is what a seller expects to see with an offer in a competitive market like Austin’s.

7. Find a Home. This is the fun part!!!  

8. Write a Contract. Again, the team at Keep Austin Weird Homes will have you covered here.

9. Conduct a Home Inspection. We believe it is imperative to have a home inspection in almost every situation. A ballpark price for the Austin area is $450, and we have several extremely thorough inspector’s we can recommend.

10. Order the Appraisal. Once the home has been inspected and you are through your option period, the lender will order the appraisal. An average fee for the Austin area is about $500. Your lender will make these arrangements.

11. Order Title and Survey. Our office, along with the title company, will assist with these items to make sure the property is free of any liens or boundary issues before it transfers to you.

12. Lock Your Loan. Once you have found a property, your lender will contact you to discuss locking your loan. You can do this anytime after a contract has been executed, up to 10 days prior to closing. Once your loan is locked, your rates won’t go up, even if interest rates do in general.

13. Submit to Underwriting. The underwriter will review all the items that have been requested from you as well as the specifics of the property and your loan.

14. Loan Approval...with Conditions. After the underwriter reviews the file, it will either be approved or approved with Mort Loan Approvalconditions the underwriter would like to see more detail on. If any additional items are requested from you at this stage, it is critically important for you to provide them in a timely fashion.

 16. Documents Sent to Title / Closing Statement (HUD) Prepared. Now the loan documents can be prepared and sent to the title company for the final closing statement to be prepared. Once the closing statement is prepared it will be sent to your lender and Realtor for review.15. Clear Conditions. Once the underwriter has reviewed and removed any conditions that were preventing full loan approval, your file can be moved to the closing department.

17. Review Loan Details Prior to Closing. You should speak to your lender immediately before closing to make sure you know exactly what to expect when you go to the title company to sign your papers. You will want to confirm your interest rate, how much cash you need to bring to purchase your home, and any additional items you might need.

-By Theresa Bastian

Posted in Austin Real Estate
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March 31, 2014

Birds of a feather? Now is your time to flock together!

Interested in raising poultry as part of your backyard food system?     Come join one of the many events celebrating raising and growing your food at the April 19th Coop Tour! See the line up on their website, which is also listed on the Austin and Central Texas Backyard Poultry Meetup

 Chicken

With the HUGE interest in raising poultry as part of a backyard food system, this is a great opportunity to see some yards with their twist on raising chickens!  Happy touring from Keep Austin Weird Homes.

http://austincooptour.org/

 

- Submitted by Theresa Bastian

Posted in Austin News
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March 28, 2014

TEXAS HOMES FOR HEROES PROGRAM

Many buyers don’t realize that there are several programs available through the state of Texas that provide significant benefits for home buyers. Most people are familiar with the fact that veterans can purchase homes with no down payment. There are other professions that the Texas Homes for Heroes Program grants similar benefits to. If you meet any of the criteria outlined below, you will be able to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage and receive up to 5% from the state of Texas in the form of a non repayable grant that can be used for your down payment and closing costs. That’s right, in effect the Texas Homes for Heroes Program program allows you to purchase a home with no down payment and minimal closing costs.

                                        Homes For Heroes Logo

If you’d like more information about the Texas Homes for Heroes Program, or other ways to purchase a home with little or no down payment, please contact us at 512-200-2BUY or email theresa@keepaustinweirdhomes.com. We are experienced in helping people navigate programs that make home affordable, and it would be our pleasure to work with you.

ELIGIBILITY

Allied Health Faculty Member - a full-time member of the faculty of an undergraduate or graduate allied health program of a public or private institution of higher education in the state of Texas.

Corrections Officer - all full-time employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) who receive hazardous duty pay. Must have a VOE through TDCJ. Call 800-367-5690 to verify.

Emergency Medical Services Personnel - has the meaning assigned by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code. Emergency medical services personnel means full-time emergency care attendant, medical technicians intermediate or paramedic, or licensed paramedics.

Fire Fighter - a member of a fire department who performs a function listed in Section 419.021.(3)(c), Government Code. Permanent full-time fire department employees who are assigned duties as fire suppression, fire inspection, fire and arson investigation, marine firefighting, aircraft rescue and firefighting, fire training, fire education, and fire administration.

Juvenile Corrections Officer - all full-time employees of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) who receive hazardous duty pay. Must have a VOE through the TJDD. Call 512-490-7130 to verify.

Nursing Faculty Member - a full-time member of either an undergraduate or graduate professional nursing program.

Peace Officer - a person elected, employed, or appointed as a full-time peace officer under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 51.212 or 51.214, Education Code, or other law. Peace officers are licensed through Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE). Call 512-936-7700 to verify.

Professional Educator - means a full-time, public classroom teacher, teacher aide, school librarian, school nurse, or school counselor certified under Subchapter B, Chapter 21, Education Code.

Public Security Officer - a person employed or appointed full-time as an armed security officer by this state or a political subdivision of this state. Public security officers are license through TCLEOSE. Call 512-936-7700.

Veteran - a person who served no fewer than 90 cumulative days on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or US Public Health Service OR who have enlisted or received an appointment in the National Guard or a reserve component of one of the branches listed above OR have completed 20 years in a reserve component as to be eligible for retirement. Must be a bona fide resident of Texas, and not dishonorably discharged. The unmarried, surviving spouse of a Texas veteran who is missing in action or who died in the line of duty or from a service-connected cause may be eligible to participate in the programs.

-By Theresa Bastian

Posted in Austin Real Estate
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March 25, 2014

Austin Rental Market and Rates

With the number of people moving to Austin increasing daily - a recent Forbes article noted that our population growth of 2.5% last year was the highest of any area in the United States. In fact, city demographer Ryan Robinson reported last month that 110 people are moving to Austin each day.

Many of these new Austinites will decide to lease - not purchase - their residences upon arrival. Some because they are looking for work and don’t want to commit to a specific area of town, others because their incomes don’t yet align with a home purchase. Whatever the reason, the Austin rental market, like all aspects of the housing market, is very strong in 2014.  (For a map of what constitutes north vs south Austin and current price comparisons, see the map below)

At Keep Austin Weird Homes, we consult regularly with Austin residents who want to take advantage of the strong Austin rental market and purchase an investment property. Attached is a map we recently created for a client so she could familiarize herself with the general rental rates in different areas of Austin. The pre-printed markings (NW, 1N, 8E, etc) correspond to the areas in our Austin Board of Realtors’ system.

                                                                                                                                 

We pulled the stats for the properties that had leased in the last 90 days in each area and divided the properties into two types, using a different color ink to note each one: in red are houses, and in purple are condos/townhomes, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes. For each area we noted how many units had leased and what the average rental rate is running.

Based on this information, which covers from 12/20/14 - 3/20/14, you can see that the average rents vary a great deal, typically based on how central an area is to downtown. Two “sweet spots” in the Austin Rental Market we’d like to point out are RRW - or Round Rock West - and 10S - the area between S. Mopac and I35 from William Cannon to Slaughter Lane. Both of these areas have high volume of leasing activity, and strong prices as well, with homes leasing for $1,658 per month in RRW and $1,547 in 10S.

Obviously the data can be sliced and diced many different ways, so let us know if you would like to drill down farther on anything. We also offer complimentary consultations with potential investors to assess whether investing in real estate would be a match for your specific financial goals and situation.

To schedule your investor consultation, click here.

- by Theresa Bastian

Theresa Bastian is a member of the Austin Board of Realtors and a real estate broker with over 14 years of experience helping people buy, sell and invest in real estate. She loves crunching numbers and helping people understand how to best take advantage of the statistics and trends in a particular neighborhood to build wealth through real estate. If you’d like a professional real estate consultation, click here to schedule an appointment or call 512-297-3442.

    

 

 

 

Posted in Austin Real Estate
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