Austin Diaries





Buying or selling a home can be stressful, even in normal times. Right now, when the housing market is moving at a frenetic pace, both buyers and sellers are making quick decisions and are feeling extreme pressure. As the tension rises, it can be easy to overlook the end goal; right-sized home, relocation, dream home, etc. Try not to lose focus


Buyer Challenges


Facing a very tight inventory of available properties, buyers have limited time to arrange to tour homes and knowing they must make a quick decision once they have. Buyers do not have the luxury of a second look or hesitation and often are competing against multiple offers, adding to the pressure.


Seller Challenges


Sellers are also fe...Read more




We are spending more time at home than ever before. This impacts how we view and use our homes. If your home no longer fits your needs in this new environment, you may be considering a right-size move. The open floorplans and great room layouts that have been so popular over the past few years may not allow for the various workspaces your family needs now. Separate and private areas for work and school needs may require more rooms or nooks, causing you to wonder if a larger home makes sense.


The fact is, before you buy a larger home, consider your long-term needs. Will the kids be returning to the classroom? Will you need extra rooms in the future? Most people need to stay in a home for 5-7...Read more




Summer is here and you’re spending more time outdoors. For most of us, this still means primarily in our own backyards. Personal outdoor space has never been more popular and if yours could use a little sprucing up, here are the hottest trends for 2021.


• Outdoor Kitchens – This trend is going nowhere. Ever since the first built-in BBQ showed up, homeowners have loved cooking outdoors. Choose from a simple pizza oven to a full chef’s set-up with multiple ovens, refrigerators, cooking spaces, and bar.


• Edible Gardens – While home gardeners have enjoyed seasonal tomatoes and herb pots for decades, the rise of sustainability trends have increased the attention on home-grown, organic fruits and...Read more




Everything old is new again, and that goes for decorating with color. While the last decade in home décor has largely been defined by white and varying shades of beige and gray, today’s designers are harking back to yesteryear with paint colors, furniture and even kitchen appliances.


Part art deco, part ‘50s suburban and part ‘60s mod, these awesome retro colors are fresh and refreshed to fit today’s tastes, say the color mavens at Sherwin Williams, whose wall color faves this year include shades of pink, aqua and pale or mustard yellows with accents of slate or peppery coral—great ways to set off the stark white of baseboards, crown moldings and door frames.


Big Chill, a retro appliance com...Read more




Home sellers assume they must make some upgrades before putting their home on the market. While any deferred maintenance or extreme wear-and-tear issues should be addressed, major upgrades or updates may not net more money when you sell; especially with millennial buyers, who are looking for their first home in droves.


6 Common Upgrades Millennial Buyers Won’t Pay Extra For – and 1 They Will


1. Professional Landscaping – Although a nicely maintained yard is attractive to all buyers, over-the-top landscaping with special hardscapes or fountains will not appeal to millennials.


2. Upgraded Utilities – You may appreciate the new plumbing, but buyers will not pay more for copper or PEX pipes or th...Read more




Retiring early is a great idea if you can afford it.


Unfortunately, few people plan for retirement as well as they should. A common rule of thumb is to save 10 times your final salary to retire by age 67. For someone with an annual salary of $50,000, that would mean having $500,000 saved in retirement funds.


If you want to retire early, you probably already know you need to have a good chunk of money saved. But there are some other things you can do too:


Check Federal BenefitsThe Social Security Administration has rules for when benefits can start to be collected. The longer you put them off, the more money you can get. To receive the full amount of benefits, you must reach full retirement ag...Read more






What Is a Negotiated Debt Settlement?






If you’re buried by credit card debt, a negotiated debt settlement with your creditor may be worth checking into. Negotiated debt settlement is a general term for discharging debt in a way that appeals to the credit card holder and the card’s issuer.


It’s best to negotiate from a position of strength by not having submitted late payments or having missed them, which can cause a credit score to fall. If that happens, cardholders will likely have a harder time getting concessions in a negotiated debt settlement. Instead, they should start talking to their creditor soon after realizing they’re having trouble repaying their debts.


ForbearanceThere are a few t...Read more




How to Add Interest to your Garden


We’ve all seen the wrong way to add “art” to a yard; pink flamingos, cement deer, and colorful gnomes are all examples of what NOT to do. Yet adding interesting sculptures, fountains, pots, or art is a great way to add detail and enhance your garden. By following a few tips, you can easily bring these elements into your yard.


• Location – Place your art carefully, considering how it will look from all sides and areas of the yard.


• Neighborhood – Consider any possible violations of your homeowner’s association rules.


• Prune – Make sure your art is always on display by pruning plants away from the piece.


• Lighting – Add some special lighting to show off the a...Read more

 





According to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996, Pew Research) and also known as Gen Y and Echo Boomers, are the largest homebuying segment at thirty-seven percent. While millennials have been the largest share of homebuyers since 2014, the survey also found that they are most likely to be first-time homebuyers.


The lingering economic impacts of the Great Recession and the pandemic have caused millennials to delay homeownership. They’ve lived with parents, relatives or friends for longer than any other modern generation, saving enough for a down payment on a home of their own.


The economy and pandemic have also impacted a larger n...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'...

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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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