Real Estate Blog

 AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – Central Texas' new-home market might be bottoming out, according to Residential Strategies Inc. and its third-quarter starts and closings figures, released Thursday.

Third quarter home starts were down 5.4 percent from the same quarter last year to 2,239 but up 17 percent from second quarter 2009.

"This is a positive sign and perhaps a signal that the successive quarterly decline in activity may be coming to an end," said Ted Wilson, a partner with Residential Stategies.

 

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Restaurant Savings

My grandmother used to say, "The food always tastes better when someone else is cooking it." Maybe that's why I love my grandmother's cooking so much.

 

I'm guessing that's also why so many of us like to eat out. Between work and family obligations, deciding what to make for dinner seems more like a chore some days. It is the reason we decided to tackle tonight's subject of ways to save money and still eat out.

Great way to save $$$ on Dining Out in Austin

Check out www.Restaurant.com 

There is a great selection of restaurants where you can buy $25 certificates for $10.  That means that you can enjoy a $75 dinner out for just $30.  What a deal!  I'm so happy that I found it.

Bon appetit!

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The Cash for Clunkers program just ended, but may get a chance to take advantage of another round of rebates this fall--this time by replacing your old appliances.

Part of the stimulus package Congress approved earlier this year included $300 million for the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate program.

By buying a new energy efficient appliance you could get a rebate worth between $50 to $200. Here's a list of the appliance categories that will qualify:

· central air conditioners

· heat pumps (air source and geothermal)

· boilers

· furnaces (oil and gas)

· room air conditioners

· clothes washers

· dishwashers

· freezers

· refrigerators

• water heaters.

 

The program is expected to take effect sometime in November.

Remember Austin Energy

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Austin area home sales level out By Shonda Novak | Thursday, August 20, 2009, 11:22 AM Existing home sales in Central Texas were flat last month, the first time in more than two years that they were not lower than the same month a year earlier. The Austin Board of Realtors reported that there were 2,069 sales last month, and 2,068 in July 2008. In a sign of a stabilizing market, the year-over-year percentage decline had been shrinking in recent months, after a string of double-digit percentage drops. Pending sales were down 2 percent, while the number of listings was down 8 percent from a year ago. Homes are taking longer to sell, an average of 75 days, up 17 percent from a year ago. July’s median home price was $191,500, down 2 percent from July 2008.…
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With the $8,000 tax credit scheduled to end Nov. 30, the number of home buyers looking to take advantage of the credit (as well as the historically low prices and low interest rates) could possibly increase as the year winds down, especially as we start seeing glimmers of an economic upturn for the real estate market. If you’ve been waiting for the right window of opportunity to put your home on the market, this might be the time. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to call me or email me any time. For more information on the Tax Credit, visit http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php.
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I know that when we as realtors first learned that our sellers would have to get a home energy audit before they could sell their homes, we were worried about the price.  How much would this costs our sellers?  I have been pleasantly surprised that the cost is typically less than $400.  I have recently had a great experience Quality Home Inspections - Joey Biddle.  Their prices and quick scheduling have been wonderful.  You can reach them at 512.894-0404
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It sure is nice to have the new Hill Country Galleria close by on a nice summer evening.  The outdoor shopping mall is home to some nice outdoor cafes and all sorts of hip boutiques and typical mall stores.  There is even a movie theater located in the middle of it all.  I went out for a nice dinner tonight, sat outdoors at the Iron Cactus, then walked up and down the promenade  to burn off the dinner before going to see The Proposal.  I was just thinking to myself how lucky we are to have such a nice place to enjoy ourselves so close to the neighborhoods in West & SW Austin.  There was music playing from a little bar next to the theater that made the stroll even more enjoyable.  The movie was really funny by way - I would HIGHLY recommend it! 

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I have been noticing more and more buyers out looking at homes lately.  As I am out showing properties in South and Southwest Austin, more often than not I am experiencing realtors and their clients waiting in line to see the same homes.  The really nice homes are not lasting long on the market.   If you do not write up an offer as soon as you see them they are usually under contract within a few days.  Multiple offer situations are happening quite often in the under 400k price range.  First time home buyers are all looking to purchase a home before the December 1st deadline so that they can receive the $8,000 tax credit.  This is creating a sellers market in many parts of Austin. 
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