Austin Diaries



Looking for a home so cozy you almost want to cuddle with it? The following design elements can create a comforting, warm space that you will never want to leave.

Warm colors. Add warm colors to your walls, accents, linens window hangings and more to create a cozy vibe inside. Deep orange, rusty reds, buttery yellows and soft off-white colors can all add a “stay at home” vibe to your space.

Plush textures. From fleecy blankets thrown over every chair, to faux-fur pillows and rugs, having textures you want to lounge on will seriously up the cozy factor in your living space.

Soft lighting. Nothing derails a cozy home faster than harsh lighting. Add dimmers to your overheads and add ample acce...Read more

November is time for Gutters, Leaves, Lawns & HVACs [[+]] Central Texas Housing Market Continues Strong Sales Growth Headed Into 2021: Chuck Farr’s November 2020 “Talking Real Estate” ENewsletter


Hello again, sports fans, homeowners, tenants, prospective buyers, and real-estate investors. The Austin area housing market continues strong sales growth headed into 2021 (check the [[“Talking Real Estate” Monthly Enewsletter]] for details). This month’s homeowner task list is the same as October. Fall is here and has its own home maintenance checklist in Central Texas. Here are a few items to consider during November:

      Outdoor Tasks:

o   Plant and fertilize. Fall is a great time to lay do...Read more



Millennials are applying for credit cards more than most age groups, but they’re not qualifying for them, according to consumer behavior data by ID Analytics, a consumer risk management firm.

One in five people ages 23-27 have been declined for credit multiple times in a year, and it’s not because they don’t have a high enough income. A lack of credit history or low credit scores are leading to the denials, despite the applicants often having an ability to repay.

Being declined for credit makes millennials less likely to apply again for credit cards, with more than six out of 10 who are declined not applying again for at least 12 months, researchers found. Only 10 percent re-apply to the s...Read more

The comparison market analysis, otherwise known as a CMA, is an analytics tool real estate professionals use to help sellers learn what homes similar to theirs in size, age, and features have sold for, and buyers learn how close to asking price homes have sold for so they have a better idea how much to offer.

A CMA can provide quantifiable commodity details – such as age, square footage, lot size, and location, and number of bedrooms, living areas, and baths. But it can’t tell you the subjective details that make one house more attractive than another similar home, such as how well it’s been updated, landscaped, or maintained.

And that’s where your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network pro...Read more

Some mortgage terms can be confusing, none more so than the similarities and differences between prequalification and preapproval. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they mean very different things to lenders, real estate professionals and home sellers.

Prequalifying is a rough-idea process that tells you how much money you’ll likely be able to borrow to buy a home. You can prequalify yourself on any banking or real estate-related website simply by putting your salary, type of loan you want, down payment amount and a ballpark home price into a mortgage calculator. You can talk with a lender, who will also give you a ballpark amount without a credit check.

When you apply for a ...Read more

With major employers now stating that their employees will be working from home for the foreseeable future, many homebuyers have adjusted their list of desirables in their next home. Some not only need to plan for a home office space, but also need to accommodate the homeschooling or distance learning needs of their children as well.

This is impacting the way homes are marketed and the type of features that have become important to buyers at all price points. Of course, homebuyers with larger budgets have the luxury of seeking homes with extra bedrooms or offices and dens already included. But many buyers are not as fortunate and need to find the needed space in more creative ways.

The easie...Read more

September is Time for Leaves, Lawns, Gardens & HVACs + Austin Housing Market Continues Undeterred: Chuck Farr’s September 2020 “Talking Real Estate” eNewsletter

Hello again to all of you homeowners, tenants, prospective buyers/sellers, and real-estate investors. The Austin area housing market continues bouncing back in the era of COVID-19 (check the “Talking Real Estate” monthly enewsletter for details). Fall is here--and has its own home maintenance checklist in Central Texas. Here are a few items to consider during September:

      Outdoor Tasks:

o   Plant and fertilize. Fall is a great time to lay down some good fertilizer on the lawn, plant trees, bushes, and perennials; they will tha...Read more

Plot twist.

Californians moving to Austin, Texas should not be a blanket statement for the over 145 people moving to Austin, Texas everyday in 2019.  Yet, it almost seem like being a Californian is a derogatory term living in Austin, Texas.  We're moving here and driving up the home prices, said another fellow Austinite.  That cannot be further from the truth.  

With the number of people moving to Austin, Texas, 6 are from California.  That means everyone else that moves here are from somewhere else.  I'll give you a hint, it's the rest of Texas.  More than half of the people moving here are from Texas alone.  Texans from other metro cities that enjoys the Austin laid back lifestyle.  So, th...Read more

July is Time for Yards, Watering, and HEAT Management: Chuck Farr’s July 2020 “Talking Real Estate” eNewsletter

 Hello again to all of you homeowners, tenants, investors, prospective buyers, and real-estate moguls. Before you check the “Talking Real Estate” monthly enewsletter, Summer blazes onward and has its own home maintenance checklist in Central Texas. Here are a few items to consider during July (pretty much like June; please send in the rain):

      Set your mower on the highest setting so you do not cut the grass too short and expose it to drought and weeds.

      Make sure your foliage gets plenty of water during hot summer days. Water early in the day, but not necessarily every day...Read more

It's reward enough to find a home for someone, but when they leave a fantastic review that is icing on the cake

Thank you Kamia

From Zillow:"Barbra was very responsive to my questions when I sought help in securing a home to rent. I really appreciated how she dealt with the other realtor and property management company, quickly resolving issues that arose. Barbra was prepared when showing properties knowledgeable, very friendly and easy to work with. I will most definitely keep in contact with Barbra and enlist her expertise when purchasing a home next year."
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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'...

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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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