Austin Real Estate Blog - Austin Housing Market Blog

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent When Buying or Selling a HomeWhether buying a new home or selling the current one, all prospective buyers should work with an experienced real estate agent. Having an agent is the best way for a buyer or seller to help themselves get the best deal regarding their home as well as make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible. However, it can be difficult for buyers and sellers to know what to look for in an agent, especially if they’ve never bought or sold a home before, so here are some of the different things...

Why More Homeowners Are Going with Solar

Real Benefits of Residential Solar Power for Homeowners and CommunitiesThe majority of homeowners will face increasing energy bills from traditional utility companies in the years to come. The additional costs may not be offset by steps to improve a home's envelope, address drafts or reduce energy consumption. Rather, many have made the decision to find alternative sources of clean energy to supplement and even replace traditional sources, with more than 1.4 million homeowners who have decided to lease or buy residential...

5 Essential Packing Tips For Moving To a New Home

5 Essential Packing Tips For Moving To a New HomeMoving is a big job that takes a lot of effort, and it can easily seem overwhelming to homeowners who aren’t ready for it. But just how does someone get all of their possessions ready to move to a new home without getting stressed out? Having a plan of attack can be extremely helpful to have in mind when getting ready to move, so here are five essential steps all homeowners should use when packing up for the big move.

1. Start Packing Before the Home is Sold

While it might seem a little premature to start packing ...

8 Tips for Designing the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Designing The Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Designing an outdoor kitchen will not only provide homeowners with a lovely area to spend their time, but it will also enrich their overall home experience. Furthermore, owing to its popularity in the world of design, a stunning outdoor kitchen may even increase the value of a home at the time of sale. If a homeowner has decided to create their own cooking area for al fresco dining and entertainment,...

Five Ways Buying a Condo Can Change the Way You Live

Five Perks of the Condominium LifestyleWhile some may call condominiums ‘overpriced apartments' or not consider them to be as ‘good' as a single-family dwelling, there are actually quite a few perks of condo living. In fact, there are a number of solid reasons to buy a condo, ranging from the quality of community life and amenities to their convenient location and potential as investments. Here are five condominium pros to think about before eliminating these types of homes as a potential option.

For informational...

Are You Ready to Buy? A Guide for Renters

How Can You Tell If You're Ready to Buy A Home? Buying a home is a big commitment. Many renters find it difficult to judge whether they have time and money to buy a home. Only by talking to a broker, inspecting the local real estate market, budgeting carefully and evaluating lifestyle factors can renters decide whether it's time to buy a home. These tips will help renters decide whether or not the time is right to buy a home.

Know Your Financial Readiness

When purchasing a home, buyers must have money up front for the down payment and for closing costs as well. The amount of money required for a down payment depends on the type of mortgage...

Try This, Not That: Making Home Showings Great

4 Ways to Make Your Home Showings GreatWhen selling a home, the most important thing the homeowner can do to help their chances of finding the right buyer is to make sure the home gives a great first impression during the showing. However, there are a number of pitfalls that homeowners may accidentally stumble into that they may not realize can be harmful to their home’s chances of selling. Here are some of those mistakes and how homeowners can make sure they don’t happen.

Stage the Home Instead of Leaving It Empty

Some homeowners think that removing the furniture from a home will help buyers be able to see just the home and not be distracted by any...

How to Apply for a USDA Home Loan

How to Apply for A USDA Home LoanUSDA loans are special loans offered by the government for people who want to move out of the city and into the more rural towns and communities across the US. They're notorious for providing extreme financial incentives for families who may be struggling. Ultimately, the government wants to revitalize communities by tempting people to live in the great wide open. For those who don't mind living outside the city limits, it may be time to find out what it takes to secure one of these loans.

Minimum Requirements

There is no down payment required when it comes to a USDA loan because the government is backing the loan in case of...

5 Best Budget-Friendly Flooring Options

“Cost

When it comes time to replace a home’s flooring, there are a multitude of different options that can suit all needs and preferences. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by high prices. For those who are working with a budget or just want to be budget-conscious, here are five affordable flooring options to spruce up any home to renovate or sell.

Installing Linoleum Flooring

For homeowners who want a floor that isn’t going to require special cleaning to keep it looking it best, linoleum may be a good choice. It’s sturdy and low maintenance, and it can even come in just about any style...

What You Need to Know About the 203k Loan

Homebuyer's Guide to 203k Home LoansFor those who see the potential behind a home rather than what's in front of them, the 203k loan is available to make those dreams into a reality. This loan technically falls under the FHA umbrella, but it's structured to help buyers fix up a home that may be in need of more than standard repairs. A 203k loan, however, can get complicated quickly, so learn more about this kind of available home financing option.

The Basics

A typical FHA loan requires a lower credit score of 580, but a 203k loan will ask a little more of the borrower....

5 Devices To Make Your Home Smart

5 Devices That Can Make Any Home SmartThese days, it’s impossible to walk into any sort of store that sells electronics without seeing some sort of smart device for the home. From thermostats to refrigerators, if there’s a way to connect it to a smart phone, it can be found and purchased. For those who have trouble keeping up with technology as it moves forward at the speed of life, here are five essential smart devices for homeowners who may be looking to add value to their home or even improve their home's energy efficiency not know where to start.

Smart Thermostats

Everyone...

Everything Home Buyers Need to Know About VA Loans

What Is A VA Home Loan?Are you one of many who have proudly served your country during wartime or are a reservist? In such cases, you may be eligible for a special type of loan that makes homeownership more accessible and affordable for those making a small down payment. Military personnel and their spouses may find VA loans a useful pathway to owning their first home. Understand more about the VA loan, down payments, and eligibility requirements today.

Who May Qualify for a VA Loan?

Many of those individuals who have served their country may be eligible for a VA loan. Individuals who have served honorably for at least 90 days during a period of war or for a minimum of ...

Homebuyer's Guide to FHA Home Loan Essentials

FHA Home Loan GuideAn FHA loan helps home buyers who want to purchase property but who cannot qualify for a standard loan. FHA loans are one of the most popular types of loans available to home buyers. Knowing the benefits of an FHA loan and what you can do to apply for an FHA loan can help you get the mortgage that will allow you to purchase the property you want.

FHA Loan Benefits

Many first time home buyers are attracted to FHA loans because they require a relatively low down payment. For home buyers with a credit score of 580 or above, the down payment for an FHA loan is only 3.5%. Another benefit...

What You Need to Know About Making a Down Payment on a Home

Learn the Basics of Making a Down Payment on a HomeA down payment on a home is money given to a mortgage or other lending company by someone wanting to purchase a Buda home. The purpose of a down payment is to reduce the amount borrowed by the home buyer from the lending company and to potentially decrease monthly mortgage payments. Down payments are always expressed as a percentage of what needs to be borrowed to buy a home.

Down Payments Explained

For example, if a couple wants to buy a home costing $100,000 and they have $3000 available to use as down payment, they will need to borrow $97,000 from a mortgage company,...

What You Need to Know About Conventional Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Conventional MortgagesGetting a conventional mortgage may sound simple enough, but there are more than a few twists in turns that home buyers should be aware of. Conventional loans aren't backed by the federal government, meaning if a buyer defaults on the loan, it's the lender's responsibility to pick up the slack. Because of this, lenders have a few more stipulations than they would for secured loans. Learn about the most recent changes for loans, what buyers need before applying for a loan, and what lenders are looking for in potential candidates.

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How to Manage Capital Gains During a Home Sale

How to Use Capital Gains During a Home SaleMaking a profit in real estate is usually every homeowner's hope, even if it's not their sole goal. When it comes to the market, these profits are called capital gains. If a homeowner purchases a home for $100,000 and sells it 10 years later for $200,000, this sale would be classified as a capital gain for a home seller. This term is normally used for stocks, but it applies to practically any security—including a home. Learn more about both the basics and the complexities of how capital gains work in the real world.

The Basics of Capital Gains

Capital gains (or losses) only occur ...

5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

Fixer Upper Home Buying MistakesFixer-upper homes may need special attention that move-in ready homes don’t, but for some buyers, that’s what makes them perfect. However, all buyers interested in a fixer-upper home should be aware of common mistakes other buyers have made. Here are five easy mistakes to make when buying a fixer-upper home and how to avoid them.

1. Paying Too Much

A large part of the appeal of fixer-upper homes is that they cost far less than move-in ready homes. However, that discount is necessary because fixer-upper homes require so much work to bring them up to date and make them livable. So why would a buyer pay the same amount of money for a fixer-upper as they would...

6 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

Landscaping Mistakes Some Homeowners MakeWhen people see a home, its exterior and landscaping are its first impression. Curb appeal is essential for attracting potential buyers, but many homeowners make mistakes when preparing their home's exterior. Here are some of the most common mistakes homeowners make regarding their home's landscaping and curb appeal and how to avoid them.

1. Too Much Work

While the home's gardens may be the homeowner's pride and joy, it may seem overwhelming to a buyer who doesn't do a lot of gardening. Many people ...

Impress Any Buyer With These Low-Budget Home Staging Tips

Impress Buyers With Affordable Home Staging

When looking at homes for sale, prospective buyers often make relatively fast decisions on which homes they find attractive and which ones they see as lacking in appeal. Since many of these decisions are based solely on how the home looks in marketing photos and during the buyer's visit to view the home, sellers who want to get the best possible purchase offers are wise to make sure that their homes are clean, attractive, and well-organized before putting them on the market. But even the cleanest, most well-prepared homes may not compete as well as hoped, especially if they are vacant during the showing process or fail to stand out in competitive markets like Kyle. For these and other...

How to Paint a Room: A Beginner's Guide

How to Paint a Home for BeginnersWhen it comes to painting a room, there are two options: hire someone to do it, or do it yourself. For many people, painting can seem like an intimidating project. However, painting can be a very straightforward process for any homeowner. Follow these easy steps to achieve a new look in any room in your Georgetown home.

Picking Paint

When it comes to paint, there are dozens of different types. For the average interior room, latex-based paint with an eggshell finish is a good choice. It provides just a little bit of shine and is easier to work with than oil-based paints...