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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Austin suffers flooding and tornado warnings over Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day for Austinites was rainy, windy, scarry and gloomy. It all started on Saturday around 6pm when the rain came. The problem was it just kept coming. Then came the wind. We received two close calls, 2 tornado watches. Our phones and tv screens beeped and our power shut down. I bolted into the closet under the stairs with the dog until the wind died down. 
My son on his way back to San Antonio got stuck in between two quickly rising low water crossings by Blanco River. He had to wait it out for 4 hours.  Wimberley was severely flooded leaving people homeless and families unfound.

Sunday gave us a break but the rain was on and off. Monday was another repeat with another 2 tornado warnings with a real close call of a funnell cloud above us. A few tornadoes touched down all around Austin but not in Austin.  Finally, our Lake Travis has increased 30 ft in the past 30 days, hurray but the damages and loss of lives are huge. It is day 2 and the City is still recovering and still getting more rain. June is going to be another wet month they say. Can we sustain more damages?
I know we need the rain but not all at once please.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Foreign Sellers Need to Know

This is important information for non United Citizens who are selling their property here in United States, or for the reason of this blog, in Texas.  Debra Holloway of Gracy Title was our guest speaker at Keller Williams Realty today.

Debra says that if the property is 300,000 or over, Gracy Title needs to withhold 10% of the sales price and send this amount to the IRS on behalf of the Seller.   The Seller needs to settle with the IRS if they owe more money or get part of this money back.  In addition, there are IRS forms that need to be completed at closing.  If the property is under 300,000, the 10% is withheld and given to the Buyer.  The Buyer is responsible for sending the money to the IRS and complete some IRS forms.  This part becomes sticky as what Buyer in their right mind would want to take responsibility of this kind of money?  An attorney needs to be involved.

If you are Foreign Seller, make sure you let your agent know and do your research before selling your property.  If you are a Buyer, make sure your agent inquires to make sure that the Seller is a US Citizen so the Buyer is not put in this similar situation.

Otherwise, Happy Selling and Happy Buying in Austin, Texas.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Keller Williams Red Day 2015 - Meet Lonnie

Every year, Keller Williams Realty celebrates RED DAY,  a day all agents in the entire country stop working and give back to the community.  This year, my office, Lake Travis, had a food drive benefitting Lake Travis Crisis Ministries; a book drive benefitting West Cypress Hill Elementary; and  Pet Items for Wags Hope and Healing Pet Rescue.  After the drive, my 2 older teens and I ventured out to Austin to find 2 recipients of $100 cash envelopes.  My eldest, Ryan, writes the following:

Today, my mom and I set out to make some acts of kindness for random people.  Meet Lonnie (top) and Will (bottom).  Both were individuals we came across in the streets of Austin.  When we approached them they told us of their troublesome living situations.  Lonnie had just finished panhandling and Will was walking home from work , his bike broke down and could not afford to repair it.  We gave them each $100 to help them make ends meet.  The way these men responded was more than what we expected.  Will kept asking “Are you serious?” and left, palms to the sky.  Lonnie dropped his belongings, stepped away and got to his knees for a silent moment and then returned with hugs for each of us.  When asked what he would do with the money, he said a portion would go to buying his friends shoes.  I couldn’t believe that despite being homeless, he still put his friends in front of himself.  Our experience with these men was so refreshing, and serves as an example of why we should make acts of kindness as much as we can in our community.  You never know how much you can turn someone’s day around until you try.

Here's the video of Lonnie's story:


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Search for Waterfront Homes in Austin

Many are asking me, how do I search for waterfront single family homes in Austin, TX?  Easy, use my site.  Here's the link to search for waterfront homes.  Currently, the most expensive waterfront property for sale is just under 6 Million. 
The above link is live and collects information from my MLS.  It only includes Active properties  currently in the market.  Happy viewing!
If you are serious about purchasing one of these properties, please contact me so that I can represent you with your purchase.  Complete the form at the bottom of the property's detail page to reach me.


I just listed this beautiful one story home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage, 1,600 sq ft (per HCAD) in Kyle, TX.  This home's location in Post Oak is one of a kind as it backs to green space and is walking distance to the amenity center which includes the pool, sport court and playground. The seller has done such a great job getting this property on the market.  I priced it accordingly at $159,000.
Within a few hours, we were at multiple offer.  I commend the sellers for their cooperation in working with me to get this done. Part of my job is also to assist in staging.   Here is the link to the property.   Congratulations to my sellers.
If you are thinking of selling your property anywhere in Austin, please call me.  I would like the opportunity to earn your business.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Say No to Insurance Fraud

About 2 weeks ago, West Austin sustained damages from a ten minute hail storm.  Most of the roofs in the area are totaled.  The streets have been littered by door knockers, storm chasers or roofers giving free service to assess if you need a new roof.

One thing that you need to beware. When a roofer or contractor says "I'll make sure your deductible is covered", run away. The vendor usually inflates the price to cover the out of pocket deductible. Example the cost to replace the roof is 10k. You have a 3k deductible. Hence,  the roofer tells your insurance company the cost is 13k. But the real cost to you is 10k. That's fraudulent.  If you are caught involved in this, there are consequences.  So do yourself a favor, don't work with these vendors. Beware.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Funny Real Estate Sign

I absolutely love this sign posted on Facebook by El Arroyo Mexican Restaurant on 5th street. It made me chuckle. Its partly correct as housing prices are increasing but to refer it to local resident, Willie is hilarious. Thanks El Arroyo for the funny sign.
Photo Credit: El Arroyo