April 19 to April 26 is “Givin’ Where I’m Livin'” Fundraiser Week!
This weekend *April 24th & 25th* from 12 noon-4pm Terra Scena will donate $5 to Hays Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC) for every adult who comes for a tour of our community and, recently completed, all rainwater-sourced home!
Terra Scena is one of Dripping Springs’ newest residential developments, and offers a unique community of 15 homesites for custom eco-friendly homes.
Last year, HCWC provided face-to-face services to 46 residents of Dripping Springs who were victims of family violence, child abuse or sexual assault at a cost of around $46,000. HCWC supplies temporary shelter, education and support services for those whose homes are not safe.
Check out 210 Trinity Hills, the most recent listing in Belterra from the Mallett Integrity Team! This fantastic 2988 square foot home just went on the market today and it is impressive! We love this beautiful 5 bedroom home with a rare 2nd master suite upstairs. Well-kept landscaping outside leads to a covered front porch where you can sit outside and enjoy the Spring in Central Texas. Walk in through the large foyer to a great open layout floor plan with soaring ceilings, stone fireplace, plenty of natural light and wood and stained concrete floors! The island kitchen with breakfast area feature gas cooking, granite counters and plenty of cabinet space. Take a step outside the back door and enjoy the Incredible outdoor living space with built-in fireplace and outdoor kitchen! As part of Belterra, one of the most popular and desirable subdivision in the area, owners of this home can also take advantage of the wonderful Belterra amenities including, walking/jogging trails, community swimming pool, fitness center, sports courts, and more! Not to mention this property is locating in the highly rated Dripping Springs Independent School District. Don’t miss this great property – contact us today to set up a showing and make this house your home!
Belterra is a master planned community located in South West Austin just past the Y in Oakhill (Hwy 71 and Hwy 290 intersection) between Nutty Brown Road and Sawyer Ranch Road. Belterra is still within Austin city limits and consists of 2,000 home sites on over 1600 acres in the Texas Hill Country. Community amenities include walking/jogging trails, playground, community pool, exercise facilities, and welcome center. Belterra is also only about 10 minutes from Dripping Springs, a short commute to downtown Austin, and served by the highly rated Dripping Springs school district.
Have you had a chance to meet the newest additions to the Mallett Integrity Team? 2015 is bringing some exciting changes to the Mallett Integrity Team. We’re very excited to welcome two new Realtors to our team, John McKain & Jenna Moore. Read more about these talented agents, their background, and how they can help you with your real estate needs here!
John McKain has been a licensed Real Estate Agent since 2006 and holds a multi-state license in both California and Texas. At his previous firm he was consistently Ranked in the Top 20% of all agents, and is experienced in representing Sellers & Buyers with Single Family Homes, Residential 1-4 units, Foreclosures, Short Sales, Probates, Investments, Leasing, Property Management, Finance, VA Loans. John is also a Certified Relocation Specialist and has represented several of the largest corporate relocation companies in the U.S. John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management & Mass Communications and lives with his family in Dripping Springs. Contact John at 512-829-4805.
Jenna Marie Moore joined the Mallett Integrity Team in 2015. Graduating from Texas A&M University in 2008 with a degree in Animal Science, Jenna brings a unique combination of skills to our team. Using her strong background in sales, marketing and Ranch Management, she offers a large range of expertise to her clients. Jenna lives on a ranch outside Dripping Springs with her husband and son. She is an avid horsewoman and animal lover. In 2013 she qualified and competed at the Ram Texas Circuit Finals achieving a lifelong goal. Jenna approaches each endeavor with determination, business sense and an innovative mindset.
This week, we’re featuring a highly desirable neighborhood in Dripping Springs/SW Austin, West Cave Estates. Our team has consistently listed homes in this area and we love helping people buy and sell their homes in this great neighborhood!
One of the Mallett Integrity Team’s most recent listings in West Cave Estates
West Cave Estates is located between Bee Cave and Dripping Springs on Hamilton Pool Road made up of 318 lots in three sections. Most lots in West Cave Estates are approximately 1-1.5 acres, but some are as 4 acres with homeowners owning multiple lots. As part of the HOA, the social committee of West Cave Estates provides the community with lots of community events throughout the year. Opportunities to experience the outdoors about in this area as well. There’s also a large, one acre park for residents to enjoy, and just a few miles down Hamilton Pool Rd you can experience one of the areas most well known natural beauties, Hamilton Pool, or visit West Cave Preserve for hiking & watching wildlife.
Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX
For those that are interested in shopping and city life, you’re only about 5 minutes to the Bee Cave Galleria and many other shops and restaurants, and just 20 minutes from Austin.
Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave hosts several free concerts throughout the year
Since this community straddles the Hays & Travis County line, some students in West Cave Estates attend Lake Travis ISD schools, and others attend Dripping Springs ISD schools. Both schools are highly rated, making this area a popular option for home buyers.
Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home buying process
Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)
Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees
Consider utilities and monthly bills, such as homeowner’s assessments
2) Find a Real Estate Professional
Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search realtor.com® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements
Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms
Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with
3) Find the Right Property
Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment
4) Finance the Property
Contact your mortgage broker or lender
The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title
Make sure you understand the financing terms—ask the lender for clarification, if needed
5) Make an Offer
Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
Acquire title insurance
Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance
Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions
Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing
Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted
6) Closing and Life After the Big Purchase
Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire
Weatherproof your new home
Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)
Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files
Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring
Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends
Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
If you’re happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family
Ready to buy a home in the Dripping Springs or Southwest Austin area? The Mallett Integrity Team specializes in this area, is connected to the community, knows the market here, and we even live here ourselves! Don’t trust one of your biggest investments to just anyone – contact us and see how we can help you!
Earlier this year, it was anticipated that rates would be higher now than they are. However, despite a slight increase in rates over the summer, the current rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.19 percent according to Freddie Mac.
What is the mystery behind these historically low rates and what does this mean if you’re looking to buy or sell now?
The aha: Don’t Wait to Buy or Sell. Rates Are Expected to Rise
Mortgage rates are more than just the interest rate on a homeowner’s mortgage. Understanding how they are determined and what affects them can help your clients make more informed real estate decisions. Many people think mortgage rates are controlled by the Federal Reserve and can be arbitrarily turned up or down at any given time. While the Fed affects the rates, it does not act alone. Here are the five main factors that affect mortgage rates:
1. Federal Reserve Policy. There are two actions the Fed can take that affect interest rates. First, the Federal Reserve canchange the Federal Funds Rate by altering short-term treasury securities investment levels. When the Fed purchases more bonds, mortgage rates tend to go down and vice versa. When the Fed talks about raising interest rates, they are talking about the Federal Funds Rate, which is the rate banks charge each other to borrow money (known more commonly as interbank lending). Currently the Federal Funds Rate is practically at zero percent and has been there for a while. The Fed has stated that this rate is likely to rise within the next year.
The second action the Fed takes that affects interest rates is the purchasing of assets, such as long-term treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities, which historically has not been part of monetary policy. However, the Fed has been slowly reducing its purchases of these types of assets and has stated it will cease all purchase activities next month.
2. Bond and Treasury Investments. Bond purchases are not exclusive to the Federal Reserve. Private investors can also purchase bonds. When more bonds are purchased, prices rise and the yield (the amount of return an investor will realize on a bond) goes down. This matters because mortgages are essentially bonds and their rates compete with the rates of other investments. If the interest rate on bonds decreases, that downward pressure is applied to mortgagerates and they fall as well. Recent increased purchases of these short-term investments are likely due in part to the volatility in foreign markets, which is driving funds into U.S. treasuries, thus lowering the yield. As global affairs stabilize, money is likely to move out of U.S. markets and drive interest rates up.
3. Mortgage-Backed Securities. A mortgage-backed security is an investment tied to mortgages. Private banks sell mortgages to Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), which then bundle multiple loans and sell them to investors as mortgage-backed securities. These long-term investments affect the market because as demand increases, banks have incentive to create more supply, which puts downward pressure on interest rates.
4. Housing Market Activity. When the housing market is strong, there is more demand for home loans and banks can charge higher rates. This is a classic example of supply and demand. The current housing market is balanced and healthy with indicators pointing toward more development in the future.
5. Current U.S. Economic Climate. When the economy is strong, people have more money to spend. Slow economic activity at the beginning of 2014 coupled with the fact that inflation levels remain below the target of 2 percent, have likely had some downward effect on mortgage rates by boosting the real return of given nominal rates. The economy is expected to continue a steady pace for the remainder of 2014.
Although it may be tempting to wait for rates to fall, there is no guarantee they will. Historically, rates have been much higher and most indicators suggest they will rise soon. Compared with the average 30-year rate from 1990-2004 of 6.7 percent, 4.1 percent doesn’t look bad. Although there are no guarantees, evaluating and understanding the five factors above will allow you to provide an informed prediction as to which way interest rates will shift.
Looking for a home with lots of community amenities, outside of the city, with a quick commute in to Austin? Considering Dripping Springs ISD? Want to see some great homes in one of the most desirable subdivisions in Southwest Austin? We have a great opportunity for you to tour not one, but 22 beautiful homes at this community-wide open house event in Belterra on Sunday 9/28 from 1-4pm!
Belterra is a master planned community located in South West Austin just past the Y in Oakhill (Hwy 71 and Hwy 290 intersection) between Nutty Brown Road and Sawyer Ranch Road. Belterra is still within Austin city limits and consists of 2,000 home sites on over 1600 acres in the Texas Hill Country. Community amenities include walking/jogging trails, playground, community pool, exercise facilities, and welcome center. Belterra is also only about 10 minutes from downtown Dripping Springs, a short commute to downtown Austin, and served by the highly rated Dripping Springs school district – what more do you need!?
The Mallett Integrity Team will have two great listings open this weekend:
511 Manchester Ln – 4 bedroom/2.5 bath + office with custom details throughout. Open living/kitchen/dining areas. Granite counters in kitchen. Stone FP with custom mesquite mantle. Breakfast area & formal dining room. Upgraded flooring in main living areas & master bedroom, carpet & tile in rest of home. Garden tub, separate shower & walk-in closet in master bath. Back patio deck and good-sized backyard. Well-kept landscaping.
380 Harris Dr – Exceptional, single story rock home sits on an over-sized cul-de-sac lot and is ready for move-in. You will enjoy beautiful sunrises in the peaceful back yard that backs up to a large greenbelt with only one neighboring home. Easy walk to school, sport courts or community pool. Have the neighbors over and entertain in the open floor plan with lots of windows and beautiful granite counters in the kitchen. Spacious 3 car garage with space for a workshop that includes a sink and additional door to back yard.
See below for an additional list of all the homes available to see this weekend and a map to plan your route. See you there!
Don’t let the rainy weather keep you from seeing these two, great Belterra Homes this weekend! We have TWO opportunities for you to see these fantastic homes in one of the most desirable areas in Dripping Springs! Great schools, short commute to Austin, wonderful community amenities, what more could you want!? Here’s a little more information on these open houses and homes.
220 Harris Dr, Dripping Springs TX – Open House Sat. 9/20, 1-4pm
MLS#9054272 – 3,239 sqft
Offered at $359,900 this 4 bdrm, 3.5 bath home sits on a greenbelt lot for great backyard views, features 3 living areas & two dining areas, a spacious master suite on main level, & open kitchen/living room layout with fireplace in living area. Granite counters in kitchen, stainless steel appliances. Tile/carpeted floors. Dripping Springs ISD.
511 Manchester Ln – Open House Sun. 9/21 1-4pm
MLS#4833155 – 2,602 sqft
4 bedroom/2.5 bath + office on a corner lot with custom details throughout. Open living/kitchen/dining areas. Granite counters in kitchen. Stone FP with custom mesquite mantle. Breakfast area & formal dining room. Upgraded flooring in main living areas & master bedroom, carpet & tile in rest of home. Garden tub, separate shower & walk-in closet in master bath. Back patio deck and good-sized backyard. Well-kept landscaping and exterior. Dripping Springs ISD and wonderful Belterra amenities!
These area all great questions, and ones we’re happy to answer! The answers to many of these questions can actually be found on the TerraScena website, but, because the idea of a Resource Conscious community is a new one for our area, we want to provide you with as much information as possible, especially if you’re considering purchasing a homesite. As with anything new, a good understanding of all the information is key.
Plans for the front elevation of one of our homes in progress!
Some of the main questions we get are, “How is TerraScena different from other communities or homes in the area?” or “What sort of features make this community “green” or resource conscious?” To that end, we wanted to provide you with a Comparison between homes and TerraScena and Average homes so you can see the difference for yourself!
One of the great features of TerraScena and how this project is being developed, is that builders who want to build in this community must to be approved by the developer and meet these high quality & resource conscious building standards.
Living room plans for one of the homes in progress
We know your home is probably one of your biggest investments, which is why we are excited to work with TerraScena to offer Dripping Springs homeowners a chance to own a high quality home while minimizing impact on the environment. Owning a home that conserves energy and water usage can also add up to BIG savings on utilities down the road.