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Experience Austin

National REthink Council

We're looking for applicants! The National REthink Council's vision is to be the premier member-driven think tank in the real estate industry focused on sustainable success for current and future real estate agents.

Are you or someone you know a good fit for the Council? Please review the REthink charter and complete the application by Nov. 28 to:  rethink@HSFranchise.com.

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We provide all of our agents with an array of the most dynamic technology and marketing tools available. Visited over 100,000 times each month, BHHSTXREALTY.COM is one of the most widely used home search websites in Austin.

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Austin Insights


Tips for the First-Time Home Seller


There is a lot of attention paid to first-time homebuyers. Most real estate agents and lenders have some kind of guide to help first-time homebuyers navigate their first home purchase, but what about the first-time seller?


Selling your home for the first time can be just as confusing as a home purchase, so here are a few things to remember as you navigate your home sale.


Before that first showing, it’s important to prepare. This involves not only cleaning, decluttering, and staging the home, but also learning about your local real estate market and finding the best agent for your needs.


Interview more than one agent and ask lots of questions. Learn about the...Read more




Teaching your child about money by giving them a piggy bank or having them earn an allowance by doing household chores is a great start to learning about how to earn and save money.


Spending wisely, however, is another lesson. And it will probably come away from home and without adult supervision.


A debit card—usually linked to a parent’s checking account—or a prepaid debit card can help children learn how to manage money jointly with their parents. Their spending can be monitored, such as through a phone app from their bank in a joint account that the parent puts money into only for this purpose.


Before giving their child a debit card, here are some things parents should know and discuss wit...Read more




If you’re a first-time homeowner, the odds are good you will soon be ready for the fun and responsibility of owning your first dog.


If you’re looking for a pet that suits you and your lifestyle, the pooch experts at Petbreeds.com suggest breeds that are low maintenance, shed minimally, are easily trainable, and get along well with kids and other dogs:




Labrador retriever. There’s a reason these dogs are among the most popular breeds in the country. Known to be loyal, intelligent, obedient, and easy to train, they are deservedly a top choice, especially if you have, or plan to have children.


German short-haired pointer. These favorites are also low maintenance dogs that are easy to train. Howev...Read more




5 Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid


Mortgage interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in years and perhaps you’re wondering if it’s time to refinance your loan. Lenders advertising their refinancing services make it sound as easy as filling out a form and paying less each month. While refinancing does not need to be complicated, here are 5 common mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars over the course of the loan. Refinancing can be a great experience if you can avoid making these mistakes.


1. Not Shopping Around – Not all loans are structured the same. It’s important to compare your options. Even loans with the same interest rate can have different costs, fees, and terms.


2. Shopping...Read more




 


Having bad credit can be worse than having no credit at all. A lousy credit score can lead to a steeper credit hole to climb out of, and can take years to fix.


All is not lost. Borrowers with bad credit scores can still get approved for a new credit card, though they’ll have to jump through a few more financial hoops than other people.


If you’re trying to qualify for an unsecured card because you have bad credit, here are some things you’ll need to provide:


Proof of IncomeThe Credit Card Act of 2009 requires that borrowers be checked that they have an “ability to pay” to have credit extended to them. That can include proof of your annual income, as well as your partner’s.


The credit card issu...Read more




Weekend Project – Organize Your Kitchen Pantry


The kitchen pantry is one of those areas that can quickly become a mess. Older cans and boxes keep getting pushed to the back and forgotten. How many of us have found cans of green beans dating back a decade or two during a spring cleaning? Or a box of crackers that went stale because you forgot (or didn’t know) it was opened?


If you have a free weekend and are looking for a satisfying project, consider a pantry clean-out and reorganization. It’ll eliminate some stress if you can actually see the groceries and supplies you have, and make sure they’re fresh Here are a few quick ways to bring order to your food pantry.


1. Use Clear Storage Containe...Read more




How medical debt and other collection items are tallied in a credit score is changing, potentially increasing the credit scores of millions of people.


Called the FICO 9, the new credit score changes how medical collections are treated from non-medical changes, such as credit cards. A medical debt will now damage a credit score less than paying a credit card bill on time, for example.


FICO 9 came out in 2014, but the improved credit scores could just now be coming to fruition for many consumers because it can take a few years for banks and other lenders to implement the new system.


The new FICO 9 score should give responsible borrowers better access to credit and lower rates on existing credit...Read more




Heated Flooring – Is It Worth the Cost?


It seems like everybody is remodeling these days. With everyone spending more time at home, not only are the dated features of our properties more obvious, but we also have the time and flexibility to meet contractors and supervise changes. New flooring is always a popular upgrade and heated floors are one option worth considering.


Heated floors involve adding heating elements under the flooring materials. Many people love a heated tile floor in the bathroom, or heated laminate in a chilly basement. Today’s radiant heating systems are more durable and energy-efficient than ever before and, with proper maintenance, can last over 30 years.


While more expe...Read more




 









Saving money can be difficult, and sometimes your frame of mind can hold you back. Here are some negative thoughts to overcome:

I Don’t Make Enough Money to SaveYou are more than likely wrong about this one. Sometimes it’s about writing down your numbers and determining what you can cut and save on.

With the improving economy, it’s becoming even easier. Household incomes have been increasing and the unemployment rate has been falling the past few years, giving more people a chance to save. And many are doing it. The personal savings rate in the U.S. rose to 5.9 percent in March after rising steadily since 2013. But there’s room for improvement. The personal savings rate averaged 8.29 percen...Read more

Winter is Time for Homestead Exemptions, Big Jobs, Gutters, & HVACs [[+]] Austin Area Housing Market Continues to Soar Headed Into 2021: Chuck Farr’s December 2020 “Talking Real Estate” ENewsletter


Happy Holidays, homeowners, tenants, prospective buyers, and real-estate investors. If you bought a home this year and will start living there on January 1, make a note to file your homestead exemption in January 2021 (also check on disability and over 65 exemptions if applicable) at your local county tax office to save money on property taxes.


Also in the news: “Austin’s housing market activity is stronger than it’s been in several years” headed into 2021 (check the [[“Talking Real Estate” Mo...Read more

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It's no secret that Austin is among the most desirable cities in America. The diverse culture, balanced economy, and booming job market has led to a hot real estate market, with many new residents looking for a new home in the trendiest neighborhoods.


Of course, this high housing demand has led to the discovery—or in the case of some long-time Austin residents, the re-discovery—of many wonderful local communities. These up-and-coming Austin communities have become increasingly popular for a range of reasons, such as the quality of homes, parks, and shops, as well as proximity to the cities top amenities, affordability, and general attractiveness of the community in general.


Here ar...

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It should go without saying that buying a home is a huge step in anyone's life and it requires plenty of planning. The problem is that many first-time buyers don't know how to make sure they're ready when it comes time to buy, which could mean that you're missing out on amazing homes. This is particularly important in the hot Austin real estate market, where most homes don't stay on the market long and sellers won't wait for buyers who don't have all their ducks in a row.


But even though preparing to buy a home may seem a bit daunting to inexperienced buyers, having a clearly defined list of thing you need to do before buying your first Austin home will make things much easier. That's why we'...

Read more

As we talked about last time, interest rates have gone up a bit. So what does that mean for the buyer? Should you wait? Well, since rates are predicted to continue to go up, the answer is no, you should not wait. As this article points out, yes, the record low rates are gone, for now at least. Who knows what the future will hold. Most economist are saying that the next five years will see an increase in rates. So certainly waiting is only going to make your house more expensive. Sure, you could wait for the rates lower than 4% to come back. But you may be waiting a long time. The odds point to us getting back to 6-8% in the next few years, long, long before we get back to the sub 4% rates ag...

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the five most expensive austin homes currently on the market


There's no question about it. Austin is booming. Aside from being consistently voted among the most livable cities in the entire country, the Austin real estate market is also on fire!


It shouldn't be a surprise either. Austin enjoys a temperate climate, a great jobs market and a justified reputation for being one of the liveliest cities in Texas! Whether it's live music that you love, a world-class, gourmet culinary scene or the city's laid-back culture that's drawn you. Austin is where it's at.


Many of the below properties may be out of the reach for the average resident, but its fun to see how the other half lives. Prepared to be a...

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