Selling Your Home This Spring? Here’s What You Need to Know

The start of spring brings real estate’s HOTTEST selling season. Is your home ready for the market? Get ahead of the competition by following these tips to prepare your home to sell in Austin:

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  1. Have your home inspected and fix the small things.
  2. Get rid of oversized and excess furniture.
  3. Clear out the clutter and, if you have a lot, consider renting a storage unit while your home is on the market.
  4. Depersonalize so potential buyers can picture their belongings in your home.
  5. Deep clean the entire house: clean out the closets, wash all the windows, wipe down the baseboards and walls, have the carpets steam-cleaned and more. Click here for a complete list.  https://www.mollymaid.com/cleaning-institute/schedules-charts-checklists/deep-cleaning-checklist.aspx
  6. Update and freshen your decor to match the season. Bright throw pillows and flowers are great for a spring sale.
  7. Focus on curb appeal by adding some potted flowers to the front porch, a wreath to the front door, door mat, etc.
  8. Repaint your home in neutral colors: white, gray, beige or greige.
  9. Remove bad odors from pets, tobacco, etc.

 

Now that your home is ready for the market, let’s take a look at the prime time to list your home. When is that? For years, Zillow has found the best time is the first two weeks in May – the 1st through the 15th. However, it seems that most Texas buyers prefer midsummer or earlier spring. When is the best time for Austin-area residents? For those in Texas’ Capital City, Zillow found listing from May 16-31 can net you $1,400 more and move homes off the market a little over a week faster than the rest of the year. Even more, it is best to list your home on a Saturday.

If you’re considering a spring sale, we’re here to help! Contact us today to learn how we can put a SOLD sign in your front yard!

 

 

Creative Ways to Display Artwork in Your Home

Artwork can create a depth to your home that plainly painted walls cannot. It is also an easier approach to home decor that just requires a little creativity. Below are unique ways to display your favorite art pieces:

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Floating

Use floating shelves on your wall to display a collection of art framed in the matting (versus an actual frame). Have fun choosing different sizes and different arrangements and simply lean the photos against the wall on the shelves.
Kid’s Play

Take your children’s (or nieces, nephews, etc.) art pieces, frame them and add a little fun to the wall. A cute drawing or school project in a beautiful frame can bring out the colorful/playful side of any room.
Gallery Style

Using all white frames of differing sizes, choose a variety of artwork and collect them into one area of a wall. The consistent color will pull the pieces together while still showing off unique art pieces.

 

Statement Piece

A large and colorful piece of artwork can really anchor a space. If you have a  piece of art you absolutely love, feature it in a prominent spot such as the entryway, living room or dining room.

 

Lineup

Lining up multiple photos over the top of your bedroom headboard can create an eye-catching display. Do ensure the colors complement the others within the room.

 

Bookshelf Portraits   

Framed pictures can add a personal touch to your bookshelves and built-ins. Sprinkle them in with the vases and books to create interest.

 

Over the Mantle

While the spot over the fireplace mantle is usually meant as the location for a TV, it doesn’t have to be. Jazz up this prime space with a bold and colorful work of art.

 

Implement some of these artwork display ideas to add color and personality to your home.

 

 

Do you have any questions about how to position artwork in your home? Contact us today. We would be happy to provide guidance.

 

Austin’s Hottest Neighborhoods for 2019

Written by The Bucher Group

The Austin-area is by far one of the HOTTEST real estate markets in the country. But, what neighborhoods are the hottest in Austin? Here’s a look at the three of the most desirable Austin neighborhoods – as found on Culture Map Austin’s Hottest Neighborhoods of 2019.

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Rosedale

Nestled just north of downtown Austin, east of MoPac highway, Rosedale is a highly-desirable spot to put down roots. Coming in as the priciest Austin neighborhood on the list, Rosedale’s median sale price is $675,000. Homes in this area sit on the market a median of 35 days and sell 8.3 percent above list price.

Riverside

Riverside, just south of the city on Lady Bird Lake, offers much lower prices than that of Rosedale. Homes in the neighborhood have a median sale price of $406,500, sit on the market for around 43 days and sell for around seven percent above list price.

Northwest Austin

It is no surprise that home prices decrease as you venture further away from downtown. Coming in as the most affordable Austin neighborhood on the list is Northwest Austin. As defined by Redfin, this area is situated from around the Arboretum to RM620 to the west and almost Parmer lane to the north. In this hot neighborhood, homes sell for around $325,550, are on the market for a short 29 days and sell 22 percent above asking price.

According to Redfin, these neighborhoods are poised to become “some of the most desirable places in the country.”

How do these neighborhoods stack up to the entire Austin-area? Let’s take a look at the recent real estate market statistics to find out:

  • 2,370 home sales – an 11 percent decrease
  • $884 million in sales dollar volume – an 11 percent decrease
  • $305,000 median home sales price – a one percent decrease
  • 1,684 new listings – a two percent increase
  • 5,813 active listings – a 12 percent increase
  • 1,955 pending sales – a three percent increase
  • 2.3 months of inventory indicates we are still in a seller’s market

Statistics courtesy of the December 2018 Market Report from the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Each of these neighborhoods are well over the median home sales price for the Austin-area. But, as a desirable neighborhood, that is expected.

Are you searching for a home in one of these areas? We’re here to help. Contact us today!

New Year, New Home – 7 Things You Must Know Before Starting a Home Search

Written by The Bucher Group

Once you’ve decided a new home is in your future, it is only natural to jump online and check out the listings. However, this can be a mistake – emotionally and financially. So, before you inevitably hit the internet, please take a moment to do these seven things:

  1. Get your credit in order
    • Your credit score is essential to qualifying for a home loan. Before you even visit a mortgage lender, be sure your credit is in order.
  2. Get pre-approved
    • Visit a lender to get pre-approved for a loan. Not only does this letter show you how much house you can afford, but it is also appealing to a seller. It shows them you are good for the money!
  3. Make a list of your must-haves
    • Sit down and make a list of what you want in a home. Open layout? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Pool? Etc. This list will come in handy when the time comes to begin searching for homes.
  4. Review a residential purchase agreement
    • Take a look at a sample residential purchase agreement with your agent before you even start looking for homes. Going into the process with open eyes is the key to a stress-free transaction.
  5. Prepare to be flexible
    • While you may want all the options on your wish list, you may have to decide what you can’t live without. Also, be open to alternatives to the criteria originally set forth – you never know, it could be the perfect fit!
  6. Explore all of your loan options
    • Talk to a mortgage lender to find the loan option that works best for you!
  7. Fill your cash reserves
    • Keep in mind; you need to pay for more than just the down payment. Have an emergency fun that amounts to several months of what the mortgage payment would be. That way, if something happens, you are prepared!

Is a new home your real estate goal for 2019? Contact our team today to learn more about our comprehensive seller services and strategy to find you your dream home!

2019 National Housing Market Forecast

Written by The Bucher Group

As we transition from one year to the next, we peek inside the crystal ball to predict what the future may hold. What can you expect from the national housing market in 2019? According to Realtor.com, here’s a look at the national housing market forecast every current and future homeowner should know:

2019 National Housing Market Forecast

  • Home price growth will continue to slow, with a forecasted increase of 2.2 percent
  • Inventory increases will remain moderate with less than a 7 percent increase
  • High-priced markets will buck the trend, with double-digit inventory gains
  • Millennials will account for 45 percent of mortgages in 2019 vs. 17 percent for Boomers
  • New tax plan will be good for renters, mixed for homeowners
  • Mortgage rates will average 5.3 percent throughout the year and reach 5.5 percent by year end
  • Single-family home housing starts will increase by around 8 percent

Buyer forecast
With higher interest rates and home prices forecasted for the new year, buying a home is only going to get costlier in 2019. In specific, first-time buyers should think about what they are willing to give up…distance to downtown? Certain amenities? Smaller home? By compromising and giving up certain items on their wish list, first-time homebuyers will be able to find a home within their budget.

Seller forecast
A seller’s market looks to continue in 2019. However, sellers do need to keep in mind that the rising inventory will increase their competition. With that in mind, sellers should know their home will likely sit on the market longer and receive fewer offers than it would have in 2018. This is especially true for buyers in the higher-end market as that is where inventory is supposed to increase the most.

Austin market forecast
Forecasters predict 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 housing market? Are you thinking about buying or selling in 2019? Call us today to discuss your real estate goals for the new year!

The Most Talked About Austin Restaurants of 2018

Written by The Bucher Group

Austin’s restaurant scene is constantly evolving. With restaurants opening and closing on nearly a daily basis, it is often hard to keep up. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the most talked about Austin restaurants of 2018:

Anthem
Location: 91 Rainey Street, Austin
Hours: Open every day from 11 a.m. to close

The Brewer’s Table
Location: 4715 E. 5th Street, Austin
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Suerte
Location: 1800 E. 6th Street, Austin
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.

Better Half Coffee + Cocktails
Location: 406 Walsh Street, Austin

She’s Not Here
Location: 440 W. 2nd Street, Austin
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum
Location: 1203 W. 6th Street, Austin
Hours:

Sunday
Dim Sum Brunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m.

Monday – Thursday
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m.

Friday
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Saturday
Dinner: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Bird Bird Biscuit
Location: 2701 Manor Road, Austin
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed on Mondays

Sour Duck Market
Location: 1241, 1814 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Arlo Grey
Location: The LINE Hotel Austin
Hours: Open daily for breakfast (7 to 11 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and dinner (5 to 10 p.m.)

Ciclo
Location: Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.

Searching for additional restaurant recommendations around the Austin-area? Contact us for other options, plus any questions you have about the local real estate market!

5 Tips to Improve the Chances of Selling Your Home During the Winter

Written by The Bucher Group

Spring and summer are known as the best months to sell your home. However, it isn’t always possible to wait. Sometimes you may find that you have to move quickly. With that in mind, here are some tips to improve the chances of selling your home during the winter:

Make sure your home is winter-ready
Texas winters are usually more temperate than the rest of the United States. But, even though we won’t get tons of snow (if any), it is still essential to ensure your home is ready. First, hire a professional to inspect your HVAC system and ensure it is in good working order – contact us if you need recommendations. Also, make sure the air filter is new and the humidifier has a new pad. Other important items include winterizing exterior hose bibs, cleaning out the gutters, inspecting the roof and caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows. Click here for a complete list to prepare your home for the winter.

Ensure your landscaping looks great
Even during the winter, landscaping is important to potential buyers. Make sure you clean up any fallen leaves in the yard and add a fresh coat of paint to the exterior. Peeling paint never looks good!

Brighten up inside
The cold and damp weather shouldn’t follow you inside. In other words, ensure the inside of your home is warm and inviting by turning on all the lights, lighting a fire and incorporating throw pillows and blankets.

Don’t over decorate
Who doesn’t love holiday decorations? We know we do. However, don’t go overboard. Think minimal and appealing: lights on the house, Christmas tree, garland, wreath on the front door, etc. You don’t want the holiday decorations to overpower the house.

Be flexible
Negotiate with an open mind as many buyers will want to be in their new home before the start of the year. Being flexible on timing can go a long way with buyers.

While we can’t guarantee these tips will sell your home, we can say they will definitely improve your chances!

Are you considering a home sale this winter? Give our team a call. We are always available to help.