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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Did your high school make the grade? Eanes' Westlake High School did

How does your high school rank in the nation’s public schools? released the 2008 List of top 1,300 public high schools in the country. Are you surprised that Westlake High School ranked #52 (in 2007 they ranked # 97 ), while Lake Travis ranked #603? Round Rock’s Westwood High School made it in the top 100 ranking #78! James Bowie in South Austin just made the top 1000, ranking #996.

Other Texas winners are Talented and Gifted school ranked #2, Science and Engineering Magnet school #4, Highland Park #15, these schools are located in Dallas.

To view how your school ranked and to read the complete story on how Newsweek ranked these schools, read the article.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How Texas measures up to other states

The Austin American Statesman, reported on Sunday, 2/15/2008 how our state's economy compares to other parts of the country.

Housing: New home starts are down 33% in 2008 compared to 2007. Nationally, it is down 41%. 37 other states are in worse positions. For resales, sales are down 16%, compare that to the national rate of 13% drop.

Foreclosures: One in every 971 mortgages in December was in foreclosure; Nevada is 1 in 71, California is 1 in 147 while Arizona 1 in 163. 7% of these mortgages were sub prime in October, nationally 9%.

Unemployment: 6% unemployment was reported in December, supposedly the 36th lowest rate. The worse is Michigan at 10.6%, California is 4th at 9.5%.

The Source of Austin American Statesman information are: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Standard & Poor's, National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, Texas comptroller's office, First American CoreLogic, US Commerce Department, the Conference Board.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recipe to a successful Short Sale transaction

Many agents run away from a short sale property (both on the buy and sell side) for many reasons, one of which is the difficult and the lengthy process involved. As a listing agent, a short sale is not exactly financially rewarding primarily because the first thing the short sale lender does is discount our commission (on both sides). That and the tremendous amount of time on the phone with the lender on top of the paperwork involved, pretty much amounts to alot less commission compared to a normal sale transaction. Why do I take short sale listings? Because the fact that I am able to save a homeowner from foreclosure is absolutely priceless.

Once you have an experienced short sale agent who brings you a reasonably clean offer on my listing comes along, the process is just as smooth as a newly starched cotton shirt. That and a patient buyer who is willing to wait at least two months added with a loan officer who is quick as a pin, plus an escrow officer who is on top of every detail, wholla, resulting a smooth transaction. Ain't that a WIN WIN for all parties? A win for the short sale lender who has a reasonable net return and not have to pay a highly paid lawyer for the foreclosure process; a win for the buyer who is happy as a clam since they have instant equity ($$) on a beautiful home they absolutely love; and most of all a win for the seller who can actually move on forward to the new chapter of their life, then purchase another home once they have their credit repaired and saved enough downpayment.

To buyers out there, yes short sales are absolutely worth it! It is instant equity for many since the listing agent needs to price the home at less than market value in order for the home to sell fast. But beware as not all buyer's agents know how to write a clean short sale offer! To sellers out there, yes short sale may be your solution, but does your listing agent know how to handle it? Is your listing agent organized enough, ready to tackle the mounds of paperwork and knows that it is a lengthy process? A short sale can take 60-90 days to close from the time the offer was taken, if the short sale lender approves.

My advice to you is to make sure your real estate professional knows how to handle short sales (on either sides) once you decide to consider a short sale. Give me a call at (512)786-SELL / 786-7355 to discuss how I can help you with your short sale.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Austin's Real Estate Statistics for December 2008

Sorry I took to long to post the December 2008 real estate statistics. Alamo Title has reported that December residential sales are down 3.86% compared to last December. On a brighter note, pending sales are up 35.10%. New listings are also down 47.01%.
Looking at the graph, in the past years, February marks the beginning in the uprise of sales, continues until spring and dips in the fall. With the lower interest rates, we have seen an increase in pending sales, we sure hope that this is a good sign for Austin's real estate. Keep an eye out for January 2009's statistics.
NOTE: This information has been retrieved from Alamo Title of Austin. The accuracy of this report has not been verified and neither I or Keller Williams Realty guarantees and is responsible for its accuracy.

To My Twitter Followers

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