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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Austin home's Appraisal for 2008

Today's Austin American-Statesman (dated 4/24/2008) stated that Appraisals for 2008 will rise. Worse yet, 5 school districts will see double-digit increases. Ouch! Amongst the 5 Travis County School District who will find increases in their property valuations are:

Eanes Independent Schools - rise up to 15.52%
Round Rock - rise up to 12.47%
Austin - rise up to 12.22%
Lago Vista - rise up to 12.14% and
Lake Travis 10.90%

The paper mentions that depending on the valuations of each school district which determines how much the taxes should increase doesn't mean that there will be an increase in property tax. Other taxing authorities include cities and counties and these tax rates will not be set until fall.

I want to point out that if you currently have a Homestead exemption on your home, state law caps the rate at which most home can increase in taxable value, which is no more than 10% annually. If you haven't turned in your Homestead exemption form yet, April 30th is the deadline.

The new tax appraisals will surely be controversial because your home's market value surely did not increase 10.90% in the past year, if you live within the Lake Travis School District. If anything, probably lower. Unfortunately, the appraisal district determines the property values based on the previous year. If the real estate market has started to cool in 2008, the paper mentions that the appraised values will stabilize or cool down in 2009.

Here is the complete story from the Austin Statesman.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Saturday, April 5, 2008

March Central Texas Real Estate Statistics

I am probably writing this post prematurely since it is only the 5th day of April. But I surely hope that these statistics for March are wrong because it isn't looking too good.

In Central Texas, residential sales are down 25% in March compared to last March, or 24% compared to March 2006.

In Lakeway/Hudson Bend/Spicewood/etc., the entire area which covers all of Lake Travis ISD, residential sales are down 31% compared to last March. If you are looking for statistics for a specific neighborhood, give me a call and I can get that report to you.
Last week at our Keller Williams meeting, the preferred mortgage lender, announced that 100% financing is leaving and that banks will require buyers to put some amount down. I am wondering if this has an impact on the current sales or if the lay off announcements in companies such as Dell have impacted the sales. Spring is now here, which is the season for sellers to put their home in the market. We have seen an increase of inventory everywhere which usually means an increase in transaction activity. Stay tuned for April's statistics. Let's hope for better results.
NOTE: The information herein has been obtained from ABoR and have not been verified.

April 10-13 is Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival

If you knew me, you'd ask why I'd be posting this event on my blog. I am not a winer (though I have been called a whiner) but I love to EAT. Who doesn't? After all 100 restaurants are participating in this event. To the wine drinkers, 60 wineries are participating! I think you better bring a designated driver. THAT is alot of wine to taste test.

The 23rd annual Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival is actually held in several locations around Austin. Some are held in vineyards (Becker, Fall Creek, Flat Creek, Spicewood, Barton Creek, San Gabriel Park) but most events are held downtown.

For a schedule of events, purchase tickets and to locate events, you better go to the website. VIP passes costs as much as $500 which entitles you to some major events.