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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

August Real Estate Statistics

In Lake Travis ISD, UNITS SOLD were up 6% in August, compared to last August. This is encouraging as July's UNITS SOLD were down a whopping 10% compared to last July. In the entire Austin area, UNITS SOLD were down 1% compared to last August (15% down in July). Thinking of buying or selling? Find out if its a good time to buy or sell. Call my SELL Phone (512)786-SELL (7355), Pearl Jones, Real Estate Broker with Home Stars of Texas Realty.

Landlord and Tenant Applications

Any landlords or investors out there? If you are, how many days do you need to provide an answer to a perspective tenant once you have received their rental application? Some landlords wait and delay responding to the perspective tenant with the hope of getting another or better applicant. TAR Legal Staff states that once a completed application is received by the landlord, they have 7 days to make a decision. If the landlord does not make a decision, that is equivalent to a rejection and the app fee is to be refunded. If an application form was not provided by the perspective tenant but a deposit was provided and the landlord accepts it, the landlord has has 7 days from when the deposit was received to provide a decision. In addition, when an application form is provided to the tenant, the tenant criteria must also be provided. TAR states that if the landlord fails to provide the criteria and the applicant is rejected, then the application fee and deposit must be refunded.

The points above are very interesting.  If you are thinking of leasing your property, its best that you hire a property manager to take care of these for you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Frustrated Home Seller

Once again, I am on one side of a transaction, this time a HOME SELLER, in WA State.  After 12 years of being a landlord across the country, it is time to Sell.

First of all, I want to stress how lucky we, as a property Seller in TX, our promulgated TREC contracts are a lot stricter and more protective of the Seller comparable to WA State contracts.  Here are some differences:

The Option Period in TX ends at a specific # of days from contract date.  Repairs are to be negotiated within this Option Period. In WA, there is no option period but the Buyer is entitled to inspections within 10 days. During the period, Buyer can request repairs and the Seller has 3 days to respond.  If Seller counters, the Buyer has 3 days to respond and this can go back and forth giving each party 3 days, hence, extending the option period until both parties agree.

The Financing Contingency expiration is also specific in TX.  Once this period expires, the Seller can breathe and make moving plans.  In WA, the contingency expires at closing! The Seller has anxiety attacks all the way to the closing table!  The Buyer has right to the earnest money for financing reasons all the way to closing date.

Since the selling season is not over in WA State, the lenders are having difficulty finding Appraisers and getting Appraisals done on time.  In my case, the buyer’s lender could not arrange appraisal until 10 days before closing, due to the lender 7 days before closing.  We have arrived to closing day and the Appraisal is overdue and has not been submitted to the lender which means the Buyer is in need of an extension to closing, an additional 14 days! The other frustrating issue is the lack of communication from the Buyer’s Agent (who has supposedly been out of the country since contract date) and lack of communication from the lender who assumed that we were getting updates from the Buyer’s Agent.  This 2 alone is a recipe for STRESS!   My Listing Agent has been trying daily to get hold of someone to no success.
As a Realtor/Broker and a Seller, I truly understand when a transaction goes sideways, there’s a lot of tension and stress involved.  We try our best to get to closing on time but many times we have no control of the other parties or situations that may arise.  We can only communicate to our clients what we know and when we know nothing, then we cannot communicate anything.
What can you do?  Put yourself in the shoes of the Buyer, if you were a Buyer, make sure you find a trustworthy lender and one who is highly recommended.  If there are Appraisal issues or lending changes, or other market related issues, find out what those are.  Secondly, make sure you have good representation, one that is going to have coverage when the agent goes on vacation, one that is always available for their client and good at communicating.  This particular buyer’s agent moved to Seattle from Portland just before the buyers hired him.  The agent did not even show them the property, my Listing Agent did.
Whether you are buying or selling, know that I will always give you my 120% towards your transaction! Please call Pearl Jones on your next real estate transaction.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

JUST SOLD/CLOSED 3508 Mocha Trail

JUST SOLD/CLOSED 3508 Mocha Trail in Wells Branch area. This property received multiple offer and closed way above asking price.

Here is a testimonial I received today from the seller. Thank you Green! It was great helping you sell your home!"

"Pearl is fantastic! The best relator that I have ever worked with. From the moment we started working together, she was easy to work with, quick, on top of it and very knowledgeable. She helped stage my house and navigate me through the process of selling, making the entire process smooth easy. We even had an offer on the house less than a day after it was on MLS! When searching for a place to lease, she was quick to point out concerns and helped narrow down the types of places we'd be interested in. In a few years, I will be searching for a new house. When I do, I will definitely give her a call."

June 2016 Austin Real Estate Statistics

In Austin, units solds for Single Family Homes did not change compared to last June.  In Lake Travis ISD, units sold were up 20% compared to last June.

It is still a good time to sell your property!

Monday, June 27, 2016

SOLD in Ladera: 4221 Gandara Bend

I just recently SOLD this beauty outside MLS.  Its amazing how popular this community is in Bee Cave because of its location and low property taxes.

4221 Gandara is a one story home with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3 car garage.  It is beautifully decorated (contemporary) style with designer paint tones, light cabinets and tiles.  It has a front and back patio with hill country views.  Located on a corner lot near the entrance of Ladera, this home surely is a beauty and did not last.

Interested in viewing other properties for sale in Ladera?  Check out this link.

Frustrated Buyer

Recently, I had the miserable experience of being a buyer.  Not a home buyer BUT a used car buyer.  I must say this was not a pleasant experience but an experience that must be shared.

My college son’s Mazda 3 whom he loves more than the dog (if that’s even possible) was totaled due to the hail storm that hit San Antonio a few weeks ago.  We have not settled with the insurance company yet but since my son was home for the weekend, we decided to jump on the opportunity to shop around. 

On a miserable pouring Saturday afternoon, we visited several used car dealers and my son decided on another Mazda 3 vehicle.  We specified 2 things to the car sales person, #1 our “out the door budget” and #2 a Mazda 3.  2 cars met this criteria, both above our budget but the sales person assured that it met our budget.  My son test drove the first car, it was love at first sight.  The 2nd car was not in the lot but was due to arrive in 2 days which we wanted to wait and see it since we were still waiting for the insurance decision.  The following day, we received several calls from the sales manager of the dealer to confirm we were returning to see the 2nd car.  We hurriedly accepted the insurance company’s offer, released the car to the collision repair company and overnighted the title with all the instructions by the insurance company.  A few hours later, we were back at the same dealer to see the 2nd car.  An hour later, we sat down with the manager to discuss other details including the price.  At that point, the manager told us that the car was way above our price and that the sales person was not here for him to discuss what he told us.  My husband and I left in disgust.
The following day, I was in No Austin and my husband points out another Mazda for sale at a nearby dealership.  I stopped at the dealer to see the car and realized it was not a fit.  On the way out, the sales person says, he has a Corolla that would fit our budget. I took a look at it, sent photos to my son whom was drooling.  We went back inside to discuss the bottom price.  Then he tells me that he cannot give me the car at my budget. This is BTW after I told him my terrible experience with another dealer.
In many ways, this car buying experience is similar to home buying.  Yes, it is a frustrating process but this could be avoided by asking, listening and providing the expected results.
3 main questions to ask home vs car buyers:
1) What is your price range? VS What is your car budget?
2) Do you need to sell a home before you purchase? VS Do you have a vehicle to trade in or do you need to sell your car on your own before purchasing?
3) Are you going to finance or pay cash? (Same question to car buyers)
At this point a good sales person would listen to all the answers and deliver! IT’S SIMPLE but perhaps not EASY (if the inventory is limited or the criteria is too specific, etc).  Why would I show homes above my buyer’s budget?  It’s a total waste of time for me and my buyers; it gives them false hope that they can afford the property; and misleads the seller thinking I have a qualified buyer for their property.
As an experienced Realtor, my aim is to earn each of my client’s referrals by having a stress free transaction.  So please tell me, how do these car dealerships make money and get repeat business?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

RECENTLY SOLD in Ridge at Alta Vista

3 homes recently SOLD in Ridge at Alta Vista in Lakeway in May and June 2016.  If you are thinking of buying or selling in Ridge at Alta Vista, call me FIRST!

I would like to share with you this wonderful testimonial, a Seller wrote about me:

“Pearl was everything we could ask for in an excellent real estate agent.  She was patient with our requirements to limit showing times to better fit our multi-generational family schedules. She helped guide us through the listing / sales process and was always there when we needed her. Yes, Pearl was everything we could ask for in a topnotch real estate agent as well as a trusted friend!” ~Roger and Patt

3508 Mocha Trail in Wells Branch Area. Austin

Multiple offers accepted in this property in this popular neighborhood in Wells Branch Area.  This property was lightly staged by me to prepare the home for selling and it worked! If you are thinking of selling and would like similar results, call me.

FOR SALE: 208 Varco, Ridge at Alta Vista, Lakeway

208 Varco is a luxury One and a Half story home with breath taking hill country views.  Here are the highlights:

· Built in 2008; 3,889 sq ft per TCAD; 3 car garage

· 4 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths all on first floor

· Wood floors in Formal Living and Formal Dining Rooms with floor to ceiling windows

· Gameroom on second floor with built in desk and cabinets

· Family room and rear porch pre-wired for speakers

· Kitchen with upgraded granite countertops and expanded bar height counters, island and double ovens, cherry cabinets (some cabinets with glass doors)

· Master Bedroom with hill country views

· Master bath with luxury package which includes clear glass shower, spacious double vanities with marble countertops and large walk in closet

· Completely fenced, lush landscaping and vegetable garden with sprinklers on side of property

· Large covered patio with outdoor “Trex” deck with storage

· Motorized shades in the family room with window tinting or window treatments throughout

· Security system with 3 Cameras and DVR

· New roof, gutters and garage doors in 2015

· Enjoy amenities such as gated community, Jr size Olympic pool with water feature, fitness center, playground, tennis and basketball courts, and clubhouse

· Conveniently located near Lake Travis High School and Lakeway Medical Center and a short drive to Hill Country Galleria and Oaks at Lakeway

SOLD: 105 Hensley Circle in Ridge at Alta Vista

Another property was SOLD, too fast I did not get a chance to blog about it.  Here are some highlights about the property:

· Built in 2006,  3,620 sq ft per TCAD; 2 car garage

· 4 Bedrooms plus study and 3.5 Baths

· Located in a unique circle cul-de-sac

· Wood floors in formal living, office and Master Bedroom

· Two story family room with fireplace is  open to kitchen

· Kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel, cooktop can be interchanged between burner and griddle, bar height counters

· Master down with California Closet type organizers

· Upgraded luxury Master bath with jetted tub, double vanity and double showers (seamless glass)

· Completely fenced, lush landscaping with fire pit

· Plantation shutters or blinds throughout

· Elegant lighting throughout

· New roof installed in 2015

· Approx. 20X20 unfinished storage room above garage can be finished

· Enjoy amenities such as gated community, Jr size Olympic pool with water feature, fitness center, playground, tennis and basketball courts, and clubhouse for a monthly HOA fee of $95 (current fees)

· Located near Lake Travis High School and Lakeway Medical Center, Hill Country Galleria and new Oaks at Lakeway

· Offered for $499,000