Monthly Archives: November 2015

Sell your Home in a Shifting Market

If you pay any attention to the Real Estate market in the Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs area you will notice some interesting things.

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First, homes are taking longer to sell than they have this entire year.  New home builders are discounting homes and offering incentives to agents to bring buyers.  Butler Ranch, Harrison Hills and Caliterra have all been offering incentives and discounts from most of the builders represented there.  That is notable because many of these subdivisions are new and only barely started.  Are the builders worried about competition from the other subdivisions or a potential lack of buyers?  Only time will tell but it may be a good time for a buyer to get a price break on a new home.  For resale homes the longer selling times means getting the price right.  If you have padded your listing price right now then all  you are doing is helping the guy down the street sell his home.  Sharpen your pencil and get he price right!

Secondly, resale homes are seeing significant price reductions across the board.  I am seeing initial reductions of as much as 10% in the first couple of weeks.  These sellers get it and know price is key.  All the staging and professional pictures wont make a difference if the price is too high.  Smart sellers will review the numbers with their agent on a regular basis and adjust as needed.

Thirdly,  homes with issues are not selling unless bargain priced.  If the house has a carpet allowance, needs paint, or repairs sellers are being low-balled.  Right now buyers are king and they expect pristine houses for the money.  This is not applicable to certain areas in Austin like Circle C, Shady Hollow, Tarrytown, Western Oaks and Legend Oaks.   The high demand for those areas allows sellers to get more money.

Fourth, and most important, the market is a shifting market from a solid sellers market to a buyers market again.  The one concrete fact of Real Estate sales is that the market is constantly in flux.  What is working today may not work tomorrow.  When you are looking to buy or sell you need to pay attention to the market conditions and react accordingly.  If you base your buys and sells on static market conditions you will not get the returns you want.  Remember the golden rule “You make money when you buy real estate, not when you sell it.”

Steve Mallett

Broker-Mallett Integrity Team and Keller Williams Realty- Selling Real Estate in Austin since 2003

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Is Austin is one of the worst places in America to own a home?

It’s one of the best towns for real estate investors but a new report boldly states that Austin is one of the worst places to own a home.

Porch.com recently released a list of the best places to own a home in America. Porch.com surveyed U.S. homeowners on a range of topics (from safety to taxes) and gathered insight from real estate agents to determine the rankings.

Austin ranks No. 48 out of the 67 cities studied. The overall ranking comprises 10 category ratings of which Austin has two positive showings. We rank No. 4 for economic opportunity and No. 15 for tax fairness. However, Austin lands at a dismal No. 63 for commute, No. 62 for real estate confidence, and No. 59 for walkability.

The Capital City bottoms out with the worst ranking in the state. Houston, which ranks No. 1 for economic opportunity, sneaks in ahead of Austin at No. 40. Dallas fares best at No. 21; San Antonio follows at No. 28.

The happiest homeowners, it seems, are living it up in Denver, Colorado. Other top places to own a home are Grand Rapids, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Rochester, New York.

Don’t tell the locals though.  Almost everyone living in Austin loves it here.

I wonder sometimes if these reports have an agenda to keep our city from getting more and more crowded.  As new development spreads from Austin, out to the east into Bastrop and west into Dripping Springs, more and more locals talk about “the good old days”.  At some point the growth will slow and Austin will always have that small town feel even when it’s a bustling city.  We support more food trucks and local businesses than just about any other city in the country.  Keep the faith Austin!  We still are one of the best places in the country to live!

What Effect Will 4500 New Homes Have on Dripping Springs?

Caliterra, Headwaters, Founders Ridge, Arrowhead Ranch, Harrison Hills, Butler Ranch, Final Phase of Belterra.  If you add all of these up they total almost 4500 homes in some stage of development or construction for the Dripping Springs area.

What is that going to mean?  Of course that means more children coming to our highly rated Dripping Springs Independent School District.  That will raise more tax revenue which will be needed to build new or improve the school campuses.  Currently there are 2 new campuses under construction on Sawyer Ranch Road.  A Middle and an Elementary school.

It also means traffic and that is one of the big unknowns.  How will the city of DS and Tex Dot handle the extra traffic?  Expect to see a lot of road improvement and construction around Drippin’ in the coming years.  No matter what the after school traffic congestion won’t go away until there is a loop around the center of town.

What will the impact of all of those homes have on real estate.  More than likely resale home prices will see downward pressure as resale homes compete with new home sellers for the buyers coming into the area.  Would you buy a resale if you could buy a brand new home for the same price?  We expect to see resale home prices fall back some as more new homes hit the ground.  Now may be the best time to sell a resale in DS before to many more homes come on the market.

Dripping Springs is going to get talked about a lot more in the media.  New home sellers like free publicity so expect to see news stories about grand openings, special events or activities being offered in town.

Our town is going to change.  Some for the better and some for the worse.  Expect waits at restaurants to be longer, HEB to be more crowded, Drive Thru’s lines to be longer, and possibly tempers to be shorter. Dripping Springs will still be a sleepy town compared to the rest of the Austin area but we’ll all need to work on being better neighbors and friends to the new folks attracted to our special town.

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