RESIDENT REALTY REAL ESTATE BLOG

Dec. 11, 2018

2019 Real Estate Predictions: Looking into the Crystal Ball

As one year comes to a close and the doors open to the next, we peek inside the crystal ball to predict what the new year has in store. What can you expect from the 2019 housing market? Here’s a look three real estate predictions every current and future homeowner should know for 2019: 

 

 

Affordability will remain a concern

Buyers have had it rough in recent years and it doesn’t look like that will end in 2019. Next year, expect home prices to increase by around 2.2 percent and mortgage rates to average 5.3 percent throughout the year and hit 5.5 percent by year’s end.

 

Home inventory will continue to increase – especially in the high-end market

Inventory hit its lowest level on record in the winter of 2017. But, in 2018, those levels began to recover. Expect that growth to continue into next year as experts are predicting inventory increase to remain moderate – less than 7 percent. While this is good news for buyers, it does mean there will be more competition for homeowners looking to sell. But, don’t let that fool you; the 2019 market will still be a good year for sellers. Just not as good as 2017 or 2018. In other words, if you are thinking about selling your home in 2019, you may need to adjust your expectations and know your home will not sell as quickly as it would of the past two years.

 

Meanwhile, high-priced markets will buck the inventory trend with double-digit gains. These double-digit gains will likely be seen in high-end homes in the metro areas of San Jose, Seattle, Boston, Nashville and more.

 

Millennials will dominate the home buying market

Millennials are now the biggest generational group of home buyers and are expected to account for 45 percent of mortgages in 2019, as compared to the 17 percent for Baby Boomers. Within this generation, there is some disparity as the dream of homeownership will remain tough for first-time Millennial buyers, whereas the slightly older move-up Millennial buyers will reap the benefits of both their home equity and the increased choices on the market.

 

No matter the age, Millennials will remain more price-conscious than any generation. In fact, you will see these buyers compromising on distance from an urban center and forgoing certain amenities and space to achieve homeownership.

 

 

How will the Austin market fare in 2019? According to Realtor.com, the Austin-Round Rock area will experience a 4 percent decline in home sales and a 3.7 percent increase in home price.

 

Do you have any questions about the Austin-area real estate market? Do you have any questions about these predictions? Give our team a call. We are happy to talk to you about the Austin-area and national housing market.

Posted in homeowners
Dec. 5, 2018

Austin Home Sales Set Record in October 2018

The fourth quarter showed an early demand for single-family homes around the Austin-area. This demand led to a record-breaking month for homes sales and sales dollar volume. In fact, according to the October 2018 Central Texas Housing Market report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS®, both home sales and sales dollar volume were the highest on record for any October. While there continues to be an increased demand for single-family homes across Austin, there also is a lack of inventory - indicating the Austin-area market is still prime for sellers. What should you know as a resident of the area? Here's a look at the details:

 

 

Austin-Round Rock MSA

·      2,347 home sales - a 4.3 percent increase from October 2017 AND the highest number of sales for any October

·      $900 million in sales dollar volume – a 8.8 percent increase year-over-year

·      $308,355 median home sales price - a 7.5 percent increase from October 2017

·      2,871 new listings – 3.7 percent increase year-over-year

·      7,434 active listings – an 8.2 percent increase year-over-year

·      2,444 pending sales – 2.8 percent increase from October 2017

·      2.9 months of inventory

 City of Austin

·      735 home sales – a 7.8 percent increase year-over-year

·      $343 million in sales dollar volume – an 11.9 percent increase from October 2017

·      $377,000 median home sales price – a 3.7 percent increase from October 2017

·      878 new listings – a 5 percent increase year-over-year

·      1,643 active listings – a 5.4 percent decrease year-over-year

·      711 pending sales – a 2.2 percent decrease from October 2017

·      2.1 months of inventory

Travis County

·      1,176 home sales – a 6.2 percent increase year-over-year

·      $537 million in sales dollar volume – a 10.9 percent increase from October 2017

·      $358,540 median home sales price – a 5.5 percent increase year-over-year

·      1,417 new listings – a 5.1 percent increase year-over-year

·      3,374 active listings – a 1.2 percent increase from October 2017

·      1,198 pending sales – a 3.3 percent increase year-over-year

·      2.6 months of inventory

Hays County

·      280 home sales – an 8 percent increase year-over-year

·      $93 million in sales dollar volume – a 9 percent increase from October 2017

·      $250,000 median home sales price – a 2 percent decrease year-over-year

·      370 new listings – a 26 percent increase year-over-year

·      1,039 active listings – a 19 percent increase from October 2017

·      291 pending sales – a 4 percent increase year-over-year

·      3.5 months of inventory

 

Click here for additional information about our local real estate market.

 

The lack of inventory and rising home prices make NOW the ideal time to sell! Are you thinking about selling? Contact Resident Realty today! We have the team of professional that’ll get your home SOLD – no matter the season!

Nov. 14, 2018

The Ultimate Austin-Area Holiday Season Bucket List

With the holiday season in full swing, NOW is the perfect time to start enjoying all the holidays have to offer. What activities will help you enjoy the season to the fullest? Here's a look at some of the best Christmas activities – plus a few events and Christmas tree farms in the Austin-area: 

  • Enjoy a holiday light display
  • Attend a classic holiday production
  • Pick the perfect Christmas tree
  • Go holiday shopping at a local market
  • Catch your favorite holiday movies on the big screen
  • Visit a classic Austin hotel and enjoy their holiday activities
    • The Driskill Hotel Grand Lobby Tree Lighting – November 27 
      • The lighting is accompanied by holiday music and caroling
    • The Gingerbread Village in the Four Seasons Hotel Austin lobby
      • Enjoy complimentary hot apple cider, holiday cookies and take a picture with Santa 
    • Hotel Van Zandt evening festivities throughout December
      • Movie and holiday trivia nights, pictures with Santa Paws, live music and more!
  • Whip up an eggnog cocktail
  • Celebrate the season with a Polar Express train ride
  • Throw on your favorite tacky Christmas sweater and host/attend an ugly holiday sweater party
  • Help your kids mail a letter to Santa or write one yourself!
  • Hang mistletoe in every doorway
  • Find a fun way to display holiday cards
  • Make your own holiday tree trimmings
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Host a holiday cookie-baking party
  • Make a DIY gift for a family member. After all, it’s the thought that counts!
  • Sip on homemade hot cocoa
  • Roast marshmallows in the fireplace and make homemade s’mores
  • Deliver homemade holiday treats to your neighbors or a nursing home
  • Write a holiday greeting to someone in the armed forces
  • Donate a toy to a local drive
  • Read a holiday classic like “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve
  • Serve a meal at a local homeless shelter
  • Open one small gift on Christmas Eve
  • Take a family drive to see the neighborhood holiday light displays
  • Ring in the New Year with an epic fireworks extravaganza

We wish you and your loved ones a festive holiday season in the Austin-area! 

Do you have any questions about the Austin-area? As longtime residents, we know the area well and would be happy to help you in any way we can! Give us a call today.

Posted in Austin
Nov. 13, 2018

How to Build Your Credit History from Scratch

Building a solid credit history is essential if you ever plan to buy a house. How long does it take to build your credit history from scratch? As it turns out; if you do it right, it can take as little as six months. If done wrong, it could take several years. Here's some advice to speed-up the credit-building process so you'll be well on your way to buying your first home:

If you have no credit history, start by opening at least one credit card in your name. Then, start making purchases with that card. Once you have done this, make sure you always do the following:

  • Use your credit card reasonably - don't spend so much you can't make the payments
  • Make payments on time - or early, if possible
  • Think about setting up automatic payments
  • Try to keep your balance below 30 percent of your credit limit
  • Pay your credit statement in full each month

Making a couple of payments on time is great, but years of on-time payments is even more important. The longer you show good behavior, the higher your credit score will climb. 

Now that you’ve started building a credit history, you may be wondering what credit score you need to qualify for a mortgage. While this can differ from one mortgage lender to another, many will accept a fair credit score. What are the credit score ranges? Here’s a look: 

  • Bad: 550 and below
  • Poor: 550 to 649
  • Fair: 650 to 699
  • Good: 700 to 759
  • Excellent: 760 and above

It is important to note that even though you may qualify for a mortgage with a fair credit score, you will not qualify for the best mortgage available – in terms of interest rate. In general; the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. 

Do you have questions about building your credit? Curious if your current credit score qualifies for a mortgage? Contact our team today! We would be happy to set you up with a trusted mortgage professional in the Austin-area. 

Posted in Buyers
Oct. 18, 2018

Austin-Area Holiday Season Turkey Trots and Fun Runs

The holiday season can be hard on your waistline! Are you searching for ways to keep the weight off while still enjoying everything the holidays have to offer? Head out to one of these turkey trots around the Austin-area. They are active and fun! 

November

  • ThunderCould Subs Turkey Trot
    • Nov. 22
    • Registration fees: $22 for the untimed 5-mile, $27 for the timed 5-mile, $20 for the 1-mile and $10 for the Kids K
    • Long Center for the Performing Arts - 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
  • Round Rock Turkey Trot
    • Nov. 22
    • Registration fees start at $15
    • Old Settlers Park - 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock
  • Drippin' with Thanks 5K
    • Nov. 22
    • Registration fees start at $10
    • Highpointe Amenity Center - 410 Cool Springs Way, Austin
  • Pfeathered Pfun Run
    • Nov. 22
    • Registration fees: $25 for kids, $40 for 5K/10K runners and $50 for virtual participants
    • Lake Pflugerville - 18216 Weiss Lane, Pflugerville
  • Cedar Park Turkey Day 5K
    • Nov. 22
    • Registration fees: $17 for the 1-mile course, $26 for the untimed 5K and $27 for the chip-timed 5K
    • John Gupton Stadium - 200 Gupton Way Drive, Cedar Park

December

  • Old Town Rudolph Run
    • Dec. 1
    • Registration fees start at $20
    • 100 Brushy Street, Leander
  • Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run
    • Dec. 1
    • Registration fees: $29 for adults and $15 for children under 11
    • Zilker Park - 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin
  • Austin Jingle Bell 5K
    • Dec. 9
    • Registration fees: $35 for adults, $15 for youth ages 12-17 and $10 for children under 12
    • The Domain - 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin
  • Jingle Bell Run
    • Dec. 16
    • Registration fees start at $30
    • Camp Mabry - 200 W. 35th Street, Austin

We wish you a fun and active holiday season in the Austin-area!

Who do you know thinking about buying or selling? Send them our way. We are always here to lend a helping hand. 

Posted in Austin
Oct. 16, 2018

Tips to Help You Sell Your Home This Fall

Cooling temperatures don't necessarily translate to a cooling housing market. In fact, homeowners looking to sell their home will be happy to hear the Austin-area market is still prime for sellers. However, the clock is ticking for those hoping to close by year’s end. Add in the holidays and the upcoming winter weather and that timeline gets cut in half. To increase your chances of selling your home this fall, consider these tips: 

 

 

Price competitively

The fall real estate season is far shorter than that of the spring and summer. That coupled with fewer buyers perusing the market can make it difficult to get your home sold. However, by pricing competitively you should be able to attract the limited buyer pool to your property. 

 

Focus on landscaping

Unlike spring, fall is a difficult time to keep your front yard looking great thanks to all the falling leaves. However, curb appeal is essential. With that in mind, keep the lawn raked and mowed and add some seasonal fall accents and flowers - mums and pumpkins should do the trick!

 

Be flexible and ready to move

Buyers out-and-about this time of year typically want to be in their new home in time for the holidays. As the seller, you should be flexible and ready to move in short notice. It could be the difference between the sale going through or not. 

 

Offer incentives

An incentive may help your home sell even faster. Consider helping the buyers pay for a certain amount of the lender-approved expenses or ask your REALTOR® what they recommend. Adding an incentive could make your home more appealing than others on the market.

Are you considering selling this fall? We are here to help you sell your home and move on to the next chapter in your life! Give our team a call.

Posted in Sellers
Sept. 17, 2018

Austin-Area Events & Festivals: Fall 2018 Edition

From Austin City Limits to college football and Oktoberfest, fall is a great time of year in the Austin-area. While ACL is the biggie, there are tons of other events worth adding to your calendar! Here’s a look at the best Austin-area events and festivals this fall:

 

SEPTEMBER 2018

9/22-23
Fall Pecan Street Festival 
Sixth Street Austin 

9/23
Austin Museum Day 
Museums Across Austin 

9/28-29
PBR 25th: Unleash the Beast Winstar World Casino & Resort Invitational 
Frank Erwin Center 

9/29
Texas Craft Brewers Festival 
Fiesta Gardens 

9/29
Austin Oktoberfest
Scholz Garten

9/29-30
FIA World Rallycross
Circuit of The Americas

OCTOBER 2018

10/1-31
Texas Wine Month Trail
Texas Hill Country

10/4-7
Gruene Music & Wine Festival
New Braunfels

10/5-7 - 10/12-14
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Zilker Park

10/6
Texas Teen Book Festival
St. Edward's University

10/6-7
Fall Texas Wine & Art Festival
Austin

10/13
Marble Falls Music Fest
Marble Falls 

10/13
Liga MX Friendly: Chivas V Tigres
Dell Diamond

10/13
Oktoberfest
German Free School
 

10/14
Wine & Dine Showcase
Fredericksburg

10/18-20
Banger's Oktoberfest
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

10/19-21
FORMULA 1 United States Grand Prix
Circuit of The Americas

10/25 - 11/1
Austin Film Festival
Paramount Theatre & Various Locations

10/27
Austin Area Jazz Festival
Rosewood Park

10/27
Viva La Vida Festival & Parade
Downtown Austin

10/27
Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival
Fredericksburg

10/27
Halloween Mystery Dinner at Kerrville Hill Winery
Kerrville

10/27-28
Texas Book Festival
Texas State Capitol Building

10/28
The United Estates of Texas Wine Festival
Florence

10/28
Austin Symphony Orchestra Presents: Halloween Children's Concert
The Long Center for the Performing Arts

10/31
Texas Fireworks Dia de los Muertos Celebration
Kreig Baseball Field
 

NOVEMBER 2018

11/1-4
U.S. Vintage National Championships
Circuit of The Americas

11/1-7
Christmas at the Caswell House
The Caswell House
 

11/2
Tango of the Vines
San Antonio

11/2-4
UTOPiAfest Down in the Oaks
Burnet, TX

11/2-11
Wurstfest
New Braunfels, Texas

11/3
Austin Powwow
Travis County Expo Center

11/3-4
Austin Celtic Festival
Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms

11/3-4
Fossil Fest
Old Settler's Heritage Association

11/3-4
Texas Monthly BBQ Festival
City Terrace at The Long Center

11/10-11& 11/17-18
East Austin Studio Tour
Various Locations
 

11/14-18
A Christmas Affair
Palmer Events Center

11/17
Rockdale UnCorked Wine Tasting
Rockdale

11/18
Wine & Swine
Austin

11/22
Turkey Trot
The Long Center

Want to know more about the Austin-area? Give our team a call. We know tons about the area and would be happy to share our knowledge with you!

Posted in Austin
Sept. 6, 2018

7 Tips for Home Remodeling

With the kids back in school, things are finally starting to cool down – well everything but the weather in Texas. Are there some things you would like updated within your home? If so, fall, the lull between summer vacation and the holidays, is the perfect time. Ready to get started? Take a look at these seven tips for home remodeling projects before you get started:

 

 

Kitchen

Upgrading the kitchen is one of the most common home improvement projects. While completely gutting the kitchen and starting from scratch is an option, there are some other ways to up the appearance of your kitchen – if you like the layout, of course. For a quick and inexpensive remodel of your kitchen, consider painting the cabinets, adding some cabinet hardware, installing a new backsplash, replacing the light fixtures, etc. These projects will upgrade your kitchen without up-ending your life.

 

Cabinets

Cabinets are often one of the priciest aspects of a home remodel project. With that in mind, be sure to stick to something that is timeless. Shaker style or flat front cabinets are a great option. If you don’t have a color in mind, stick to white paint, natural stain, or, if you want your cabinets to stand out, grays and blues.

 

Flooring

The cost of flooring adds up fast, especially when it comes to real hardwood floors. However, other options may work better. Porcelain tile that looks like wood or marble is just as appealing, plus it is easy to clean and tough.   

 

Paint Color

Changing the paint color throughout the home is the easiest and most inexpensive way to make a significant change in your home's overall appeal. Neutral colors like gray and taupe are always a great option. But, if you want to go bold, consider choosing just painting an accent wall. Too much of a bold color can overpower a room.

 

Powder Bathrooms

The powder room is where you can have a little fun. Consider trying some fun light fixtures and maybe some wallpaper with fun designs.

 

Landscaping

Don't forget the outside! Prune and trim the bushes, mow the lawn, add some seasonal plants, replace the old house numbers and more. A welcoming front yard and a comfortable and appealing backyard will delight any visitors.

 

Security

Safety is of the utmost of importance as a homeowner. While you’re improving your home’s appearance, also upgrade its safety by adding some security cameras. Controlled by your smartphone, these cameras will come in handy when you are home and away.

 

Are you searching for a contractor in the Austin-area to help with some of these projects? Give us a call. We would be happy to connect you with a trusted professional.

Posted in homeowners
Aug. 21, 2018

Texas Education Agency Releases School District Ratings

 

The Texas Education Agency recently released the first set of school district accountability ratings with the new A-F system. Developed for two primary reasons - to inform parents about how their schools are performing and to provide information to help district and campus leaders -  this new method aims to provide information about school districts and to identify possible areas for improvement. Previously, the TEA only rated schools on a pass or fail basis. Here's a look at the ratings for schools around the Austin-area: 


A: Lake Travis ISD (Travis), Eanes ISD (Travis), Round Rock ISD (Williamson), Liberty Hill ISD (Williamson), Dripping Springs ISD (Hays), Wimberley ISD (Hays), Texas Preparatory School (Hays), NYOS Charter School (Travis), University of Texas University Charter (Travis)

B: Austin ISD (Travis), Pflugerville ISD (Travis), Lago Vista ISD (Travis), Leander ISD (Williamson), Georgetown ISD (Williamson), Thrall ISD (Williamson), McDade ISD (Bastrop), Harmony Science Academy (Travis), Cedars International Academy (Travis), Kipp Austin Public Schools Inc (Travis)

C: Taylor ISD (Williamson), Jarrell ISD (Williamson), Hutto ISD (Williamson), Florence ISD (Williamson), San Marcos CISD (Hays), Hays CISD (Hays), Lockhart ISD (Caldwell), Bastop ISD (Bastrop), Elgin ISD (Bastrop), Smithville ISD (Bastrop), Texas Empowerment Academy (Travis)

D: Manor ISD (Travis), Del Valle ISD (Travis), Promesa Public Schools (Travis), Wayside Schools (Travis), Luling ISD (Caldwell)

F: The Excel Center (Travis)

Click here for a detailed look at the rankings. 

 

The new A-F grade system ranks school districts in the following areas: 

·      Student Achievement - Measures how much students know and end-of-year performance

·      School Progress - Looks at student performance over time compared with other schools

·      Closing the Gap - Examines how different populations of students are performing in the district

 

Are you searching for a home in one of Austin's top school districts? Give our team a call. We would be happy to help you find a home in a school district where your kids can thrive!

Posted in Austin
Aug. 19, 2018

Thinking of Moving? Here are 5 Signs It’s Time

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, ten years is the average amount of time a homeowner stays in a house. Does that seem long? Or way too short? The truth is, the time frame is drastically different for every individual. And, so is the reason. How do you know when you are ready to sell your home? Here are five signs it’s time to make a move:

 

 

You want to get in on the seller’s market
Ready to make a profit on your property? NOW is the time as the Austin market is prime for sellers. To see what you can get, take a look at online listings in your neighborhood and see what other homes are selling for. Or, contact our team today for your complimentary market analysis. If the number looks appealing, selling may not be a bad option.

 

You’re feeling financially stressed
As home prices increase in the Austin-area, so too do property taxes. Are you struggling to make your monthly mortgage payments? If so, it may be the time to downsize to a smaller home. Easing your financial burden will relieve the stress in your life. To live comfortably, make sure your monthly housing costs don’t exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income.

 

Your family has outgrown your home
A starter home is perfect when you just get married. However, it may not be practical when you have children. As your family grows, so should your home. Then, once your children fly the coop, consider downsizing. Too big of a home is hard to clean and more expensive in property taxes. The bottom line? Make sure your home works for your family.

 

You’re sick of high maintenance
On average, a homeowner spends $2,000 a year for maintenance services. And, as a general rule, the longer you have the home, the more likely parts will need maintenance or replacing. Are these costs getting too expensive? To avoid the high maintenance costs, consider buying a low-maintenance condo or a new-build home.

 

You’ve had the home more than five years
There is such a thing as selling your house too soon. How long should you stay? At least five years. At this point, most homeowners have built up equity beyond that of the down payment and selling is feasible. Urgent circumstances come up, but, if you can help it, you should plan to stay for more than five years. Oh, and remember, selling isn’t free. You have to pay for the costs associated with hiring a real estate agent, closing and buying a new home.

 

Of course, there is no guarantee that selling will work out better for you. Think about it and do what you think will work best in the long run.

 

Have questions about selling? We are here to help you get more for your move. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in Sellers