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Friday, September 27, 2013

Unofficial Press Release, I've been invited to help with a book!

I received an invitation from Local Einsteins Book to write a chapter on an area in Austin.  This is for their book titled "What to Know Before Buying and Selling in Austin",  Local Einsteins have already release book in others areas such as San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia,  Phoenix, Washington D.C., Sacramento, Berkeley, and more.  I am thrilled to help out. The book is supposed to be published this winter. The book will be available in, iTunes, Barnes and Noble and more. Thank you for this opportunity!!!

Here's the unofficial press release that was sent to me:

Austin—Local Einsteins has just released the essential resource for local homebuyers and home-sellers entitled, What to Know Before Buying and Selling in Austin. This guide (featured in Amazon’s Top 100 Real Estate Books) allows readers to get insider information on pricing, negotiating strategies, local weather, local schools and financing from multiple Austin expert sources.


Expert realtors featured in the book include:

Jason Heffron, Realtor, Juice Homes, LLC
Krystle Copulos McCarley, Co-Owner, Platinum Realty

Chuma Jerome, Realtor, Private Label Realty Co.

ReneƩ Giroux Nix, Realtor, Prudential Texas Realty

Kent Redding, Realtor, The Kent Redding Group

Lora Kaasch, Realtor, Good Life Team Real Estate

Terri Romere, Broker Associate, The Romere Team

Stephanie Nick, Realtor, Sotheby’s International Realty

Cheryl Crawford, Realtor, Crawford Realty, Inc.

Sandy Cary, Realtor, Sotheby’s International Realty

Pearl Jones, Broker Associate, Keller Williams Realty


With insights on every town in Austin – including Round Rock, Downtown, Avery Ranch, Bee Cave, Hudson Bend, Lakeway, Cedar Park, Leander and more, Local Einsteins Austin is guaranteed to give readers the intelligence and confidence they need before making one of the biggest financial decisions of their life.


The management team of Local Einsteins Books has collectively been in publishing for over 100 years and been a part of publishing over 1,750 books, 450 eBooks, 2,200 webinars and numerous other print and digital publications. Our CEO, Jonathan Aspatore, built one of the five largest business book-publishing houses in only a 10-year period as founder and CEO of Aspatore Books. After selling Aspatore Books, and devoting much of his time to buying and selling properties, he decided to follow his passion for real estate and start Local Einsteins as a way to provide better resources for homebuyers and home-sellers.


For More Information Contact:

Chris Beaver

(415) 419-8128 ext. 125

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Trader Joes opens tomorrow

Trader Joes in Westlake will be opening their doors for their first time, tomorrow, Friday, 9/20 at 8 am. I know alot of Austinites have been waiting for these news. Hooray for Austin. The location is on Bee Caves road just West of Mopac.

Monday, September 16, 2013

August 2013 Statistics for Austin, TX

More great news for Austin, Real Estate.  Sales in August 2013 were up 23%!  The dark line below shows the current year and look, we have surpassed sales in the past 4 years.  This is so awesome.
Finally waiting to sell?  Do you think now is the time?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

May 2013 Austin Real Estate Statistics

Another great news for Austin's real estate.  The sales have continued to rise.  Look at where we are now compared to the past 4 years!  We have surpassed our number of units sold.  I am looking forward to our peak season, June, to see where this puts us. 

Why is this happening?  As people continue to move to Austin, we have a shortage of inventory.  Not only is the sales inventory low but lease inventory is low too.

So if you are thinking of buying or selling, give me a call at (512)786-7355 to give you the 411 on our real estate. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting rid of Gnats

With all the rain we have been getting, I have never seen a gnat issue in our house!  I guess the soggy grass around the house is attracting them and somehow getting in the house.  Gnats, gnats every where and a fly swatter doesn't seem to work on these annoying pesty bugs.  I don't even have any fruits laying around.

I read online how to safely get rid of them.  So I took out six small bowls, put in apple cider vinegar and dish soap (I have Dawn) and in minutes, it caught 3!  About a hundred more to go!  The sweetness in the apple cider vinegar attract them and the dish soap kills them.  When I wake up tomorrow, I hope that all the gnats have drowned.  I really like this idea because it's DIY and very safe without using pesticides.

Buyers Myth regarding using Banks for Lending

At a recent team meeting, a mortgage lender brought up an issue regarding using a
bank versus a mortgage company when purchasing a property. This topic lit a light bulb, hence, today's blog.

Since I work with alot of short sales, I am asked the following two questions  often:
Who is the lienholder and will the process get quicker if I use the lienholder for my loan?  The answer to the second question is NO.  The lienholder (the bank associated with the sellers note) does not care what bank the buyer is using. As long as the buyer has the funds and has obtained a prequalification, that is all that matters to them.

Ever here of the saying, "the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing"?  Same goes with banks, their departments are separate, lending department vs short sale department, which means that these 2 departments never ever work together in harmony. 

At a past transaction where my buyer purchased a Bank of Z foreclosure (Bank of Z is a fictional name of a bank for the purpose of this blog).  My clients decided that since they bank with Bank of Z, that it would be best of their interest that they would obtain a loan with Bank of Z during the purchase.  Lo and Behold, when it was time to close, Bank of Z has not completed my client's loan approval, which meant, I had to get a closing extension from the listing agent.  The listing agent required a letter from the Bank of Z's letterhead that the loan was not ready and the reasons.  Well, since Bank of Z was such a large bank, they do not release such letters.  But it is your foreclosure department that is requiring this letter.  Are you serious?  So as you can see, it was a nightmare to try to get the extension.  Bank of Z's lending department tried to contact the foreclosure department to let them know what's going on and they could not get hold of anyone.

If you want a smooth non stressful closing, go with a lender of your choice that knows they can close the deal on time and get preapproved!  If you are really thinking of going with Bank of Z, seriously reconsider it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pearl Jones makes it as Platinum Top 50 Realtor's Finalist

I made it to Platinum Top 50 Realtor's Finalist for 2013.  Yahoo!  To become a Platinum Top 50 Realtor, the organization uses a program who uses a point system and the more weight on the following categories, the higher the points.  25% sales production, 25% sales sides, 25% Education and industry involvement and 25% community involvement which means, a Realtor who is well rounded.  The awards occurred early December 2012 and below was my certificate.

To read more, go to

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

December 2012 Real Estate Statistics

December real estate statistics are out and they are very exciting for Austin.  In December 2012, residential unit sales were up 16% compared to December 2011.   In Lake Travis ISD area, residential unit sales were up 24% compared to last December.

Alamo Title reports the following on January 7th:

Units for Sale: (compared to the same week in 2012)
For December 30, 2012 - January 5, 2013
New listings are down this week 24.85%.
Pendings are down this week 11.52%
Solds are up 48.53% 

As for Average Prices:  (compared to the same week in 2012) 
For December 30, 2012 - January 5, 2013
Sold average sales prices increased 1.12% to $271,466 from $268,446 in 2012. 

Current pendings = 2,722 pendings with an average list price of $255,927.  That is a 31.31% increase in the number of pending listings and a 8.30% increase over the average price of pendings over the same week in 2012(2,073 & $236,311).

This is exciting news since December has always been a low sale time of the year.  Thinking of selling?  Now is the time.  Call me at (512)786-7355 for a FREE market analysis.  Look how low the inventory is!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why pricing to sell is important, it's stressful!

Ok, you finally decided you are going to put your house in the market.  You ponder about the price you want to sell it.  You have a bit of time to sell so you decide to price it a little higher that what your realtor tells you it will sell for, I say, bad idea! Why?

Let me tell you something, I know what's it's like to sell a home! Yes,  I am finally in the shoes of a home seller!  I am THE seller, I have listed my home and if I don't get an offer in 5 minutes, I think I am going to lose my head! Ha!  Sounds familiar?  Let me tell you what it's like to sell a 3,900 sq ft home with a husband, 2 teens, a teen to be and a dog, during the holiday season! Yes! You read that right, Christmas!  Double nuts, hurray, you got me right.

First of all why Christmas?  Historically, the fall and the winter months is least popular time to sell as sales always dip low during the cold season.  That is why we always advice Spring is the time to sell, the flowers are in bloom, the trees and grass look so green with the new growth, people want to get set settled in the summer and be ready for the next school year. Also, who wants to move when it's cold?  The great thing about Austin is that people who have to move to Austin, will need housing. In addition, inventory is down in the winter months.  People who are going to look for housing are serious buyers.  Heck, most people need to holiday shop and decorate their trees.  Showing my own home is a bit challenging I must say.  Example, I bake a ton of Christmas cookies every year as my gift to my past and current clients and gifts to friends.  To bake a batch of cookies in between showings, make a ton of mess and clean up every 15 minutes was a bit of a drag.  I am a messy baker, you see.  Then what do you do when you are shopping at Barton Creek mall, 25 minutes away, in the middle of a line after you just waited 20 minutes and looked for that gift another 30 minutes, you get a call, then you have to run home get the dog out, do the 10 minute tidy thing, only to find out they were in the home faster than Superman can leap the tallest building.  Sorry, they didn't like the neighborhood or there was no curb appeal (seriously, it's winter? even the White House has no curb appeal this time of the year), or there was no view (it's overcast outside and you can't see past the deck silly).  After you bring home all those presents, what do you do with them?  If you shove them in the closet, the kids and the buyers will find them, and if you wrap them, there's the clutter around the house, oh my!  You just can't win with the holiday presents, can't you?  Also, who has time to shop when I have to be within 2 miles all the time for a call in a moments notice while the kids are home for the holidays. The 2 hour notice before showings is just enough time to wake up the kids and tidy the kitchen.  Gotta round up the kids, the dog and straighten up the office mess.  Oh the teens!  I have heard every excuse!  "The showing is at what time? That early? Noon?  When am I suppossed to get some sleep?". "I'll get up ten minutes before they get here, I promise, the room will be clean."  "What's wrong with my dirty laundry in my laundry basket? Why does it have to be empty? It's the laundry basket." "My room is clean, they won't look under the bed or in my closet, right?"

Then there's the noon showings, and when they are back to back, it's all good when I only have to clean once, but what do we do for 3 hours?  So we go get lunch, cha-ching, 25 bucks later at Panera Bread and 1-1/2 hours to kill, then we will go to Barnes and Noble to browse, oh cha-ching, there's Starbucks there, another 15 bucks after Grande mochas and hot co-cos.  We haven't had a dinner showing yet, but for sure, it will be at least a $50 showing, should that happen. Then we trek back to the house and not a moment later, when we arrive in 3 separate cars, (yap, the hubby goes somewhere, the teen goes somewhere with the dog, and I with the other 2 kids), the hubby looks at me,  "any feedback yet?"  Then the teen treks in, "Did the buyer like the house?"  "Honey, can you give me a chance to get some feedback and let the realtor finish up their showings for the day?"  Then the hubby asks, "well don't you know the agent?"  "Not all 8,000 agents in Austin, SWEETHEART!"  I answer under my breath plus an "urgh".  The only one around the household who is happy about the showings is Wilson, my 4 year old golden doodle, who thinks going on a car ride is a treat or a reward for doing something good.  So yes, he has no idea why he goes out on a car ride 2-3 times a day when all he has done is nap and his naps have been disturbed which means he needs to nap longer when he gets back. Wilson is also wondering why he is getting bathe more frequently, it's cold mom as he looks back at me everytime I drop him off at Petsmart.

So on hand, I have a handful of receipts of all our food expenses everytime we leave the house, gas receipts for the 3 cars that leave the garage and driveway, other receipts for things we buy to pass time, groomer receipts so the dog smells clean and his smell does not linger in the house.  Don't forget the additional electric bills cuz all the lights have to be turned on from the time we leave till we return, the gas bill so that the temperature will be warm and cozy for the buyer, the printing bill for the flyers (outside flyers got wet from the rain), the housekeeping bill (deep cleaning needs to be more often than usual).  And other expenses that I have not accounted for.

So the point being is that, unless you like to spend a ton of money while you are out of the house during a showing, love cleaning and enjoy the stress of getting the house ready at a moment's notice, list the house at the price to sell.  So for me, after a week in the market, I am waiting patiently for that offer!  Come on bring it on!