Subscribe Now: standard

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review from 113 Sebastians Run Seller

I recently SOLD 113 Sebastians Run, in Lakeway.  This home was absolutely stunning and the views were breathtaking. 

Here is the review from the seller:  Thank you Kate and John, it was a pleasure working for you!

"Pearl was great to work with. She was always positive and addressed all of our concerns and worries with such professionalism. Selling our home after 12 years was such an emotional roller coaster for us. She was so calm, insightful and trustworthy. It made the selling so much smoother. She really is an expert at selling homes. We are so thankful we choose her to sell our home."
Kate and John

JUST SOLD 103 Whitley, Testimonial from Sellers

Another happy clients recently sold 103 Whitley in Ridge at Alta Vista.  Buyers from Oakland, California moved in as soon as they closed. 

Here is what my clients/sellers have to say, Thank you for allowing me to help you!

"Pearl, thank you so much for your support.  You have not missed a beat in any step of the processing of selling our house.  From the very beginning of getting the house in shape to list it, all the way through getting past the option period to lock in the contract.  My wife and I had no doubt that you are great at what you do, but it was still impressive to actually see you in action.  When I am ready to sell my next place, you will be first in line to get the listing."


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mortgage Forbearance for Harvey and Irma Victims

I just received an email from my mortgage company asking if I was affected by the recent storms.  I wanted to share this information to all.  If you were affected by  Hurricane Harvey or Irma and you are unable to make your monthly mortgage payments, your lender/mortgage company may have a forbearance program which allows a temporary suspension of your mortgage loan payments without late fees for 3 months.  Contact your mortgage company ASAP to inquire if this applies to you.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

JUST LISTED 103 Whitley, Lakeway, TX 78734

Beautiful one story home in gated luxury community of Ridge at Alta Vista in  Lakeway.  4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, study, formal dining room, large family room with fireplace and high ceilings, 3 car garage, 3,254 sq ft per TCAD.  Home has cork floors, some tile, window treatments, high security window film, security cameras and an awesome salt water pool, backyard firepit with covered patio.  103 Whitley is available for 549K.  Please call Pearl Jones at (512)786-7355, Broker, Home Stars of Texas Realty for your showing,

Can Harvey affect Austin's Real Estate?

A natural disaster or a catastrophe, isn’t exactly my favorite topic but we all know that these certainly affect real estate.

As we know, Hurricane Harvey affected at least 60 counties in Texas alone, at least 100,000 homes, and an estimated over one million people were displaced due to the flooding and high winds.  Here in Austin, we immediately felt a gas crisis.  Several gas stations ran out of fuel by Monday after the storm, as news spread about refineries in Houston, shutting down.  The gas shortage caused chaos as people dashed to the pumps in panic. I agree, I was one of those people that paid a premium, and watched gas stations increase (regular unleaded) prices from 2.09 to 2.69 (in 4 days).

Katrina (2005), displaced about 400,000 people.  After the hurricane, about 90,000 people left New Orleans, 50,000 of those relocated to Houston, and the rest, relocated to Austin, Florida, etc. 

Let’s talk about Houston.  It is a concrete jungle where water can only go to the sewers, once the sewers are full, they overflow to the roads.  Second, the topography is flat, and where there is dirt, it is limestone just like in Austin, where the water stays on top and does not seep into the ground.  Based on the ratio between Harvey and Katrina, Harvey affecting 250 times more than Katrina, or estimating about 225,000 people are likely to relocate. 

After Katrina, the real estate in the areas affected in New Orleans felt a 22% loss in the values of their homes.  It’s too soon to determine how Harvey will affect South Texas’ real estate.

Here are my personal thoughts.  This information is just based on my research and my many years in real estate, I am not an economist.

People are most likely to move out of South Texas due to: 

1) Those from Houston whom have seen way too many hurricanes (prior Hurricane is Rita, but endured a chaotic evacuation), and possibly Irma;

2) Those who cannot rebuild their properties because they do not have flood insurance, will most likely walk away;

3) Those who receive a settlement from their insurance may walk away instead of rebuilding;

4) Those who are currently in shelters outside of Houston and are not able to find affordable temporary housing due to increased rent and lack of hotel vacancies are pushed out of Houston;

5) Other reasons

The main point is, where would these 225,000 people most likely to relocate to?  They are more likely to stay in Texas.  Even if 100,000 people moved to Austin, that would be about 25,000 properties to be rented or sold,  a surge in a small period.  Just in comparison to 2016, 33,000 properties listed on MLS SOLD in Austin, per ABOR.  Due to the unfortunate loss, this certainly would be good for Austin’ real estate.

Here are more interesting information I received today:

Hurricane Harvey is expected to cause rents in Houston to increase as much as 10%. Home prices are also expected to jump due to even lower inventory.

Hurricane Harvey has caused jobless claims this week to rise to a 2-year high. The weekly increase of 62,000 was the largest since November 2012.


August 2017 Real Estate Statistics

It is September and August statistics are in.  In Austin, Units solds in Austin are down 3% compared to last August.  In Lake Travis ISD, units sold are down 12% compared to last August.  See graph below for further illustration compared to the past years.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

April Real Estate Statistics

In April, Units solds in Austin, is 5% lower than last April. In LTISD, units sold are 15% lower compared to last April. In March, LTISD units sold were 12% lower compared to last March. These numbers were taken from the MLS on 5/8/2017.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

JUST LISTED 113 Sebastians Run, Lakeway

Contemporary luxury home with sweeping hill country views in Gated Community in Lakeway.  Charm and style awaits you in this 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath with 3 car garage home. Designer kitchen, with glass and carrera marble backsplash, soft grey cabinets, and stainless appliances.  Downstairs office has glass french doors with plantation shutters.  Enjoy sunset views from the first floor master bedroom, situated for privacy with large picture windows overlooking the hill country. Luxury bath retreat includes double vanity, large walk through double shower, jacuzzi tub and walk in closet with custom built ins. Two upstairs bedrooms share a jack and jill bathroom with private vanities.  The third bedroom with an en suite bath has a private entry from hallway or from median room, the perfect guest room.  Large media room with vaulted ceilings is prewired for surround sound.  Enjoy cool summer evenings in either your front or back porches.  Enjoy breathtaking sunsets from the back porch while enjoying the privacy of your green belt views.  Amenities include a Jr. size Olympic pool, clubhouse, playground, tennis and basketball courts, and fitness center covered by HOA dues currently at $95 a month.  Call to make an appointment today. 113 Sebastians Run is currently asking for $664,000.

March Real Estate Statistics

Austin Real Estate Statistics are in. In March, UNIT SALES are down 1% in the entire Austin MLS compared to last March. In Lake Travis ISD, sales are down 13% compared to last March. Looking at the Lake Travis ISD Stats, Feb. and March statistics, the sales have been considerably lower than the previous year.

Thinking of buying or selling? Find out what the market is doing in your area before you list with an agent.  This information is provided to you during my listing presentation.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thinking of Flipping? Know this!

You just finished watching a few episodes of house flipping on HGTV.  Who doesn’t want to be just like Chip and Joanna Gaines? Are you ready to do your own flip? Here are some things you need to know before you invest on a property to flip.

1) Decide if you are going to pay CASH or take out a loan.  If you are going to take out a loan, speak to your loan representative to get pre qualified.  Since you are not going to live in the property, this will be considered an investment, which means your interest rate will be slightly higher than if you are purchasing a primary home or homestead.  You will also be required to put at least 20% down payment on an investment property.  Your monthly payments to a bank is a consideration since this will eat up your profits.

2) Decide on location. Ever heard of “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION”? These are words that my parents (real estate investors) have engrained in my brain.   A desirable area or neighborhood is best because you know it will sell at the highest reasonable price in less time.

3)  Find the Property.  You want to be able to find the best deal (lower than market rate) in order to yield higher profits on your flip. First, you don’t want to flip a property that does not need any work. The best flips are the ones that’s structurally sound, decent roof, newer windows, an HVAC system that is less than 10 years old, as well as modern electrical and plumbing. Also, you want one which needs only cosmetic changes such as new cabinets, countertops, flooring and paint.  Check with the city or hoa if permits or architectural approval are necessary before purchasing the property.  Applying for permits/approval can cause delays.  See if there are any REO’s, Foreclosures and Short sales in your desired location.   Here are 2 sites to get you started in your search:

4)  Decide how much to pay once a property has been identified.  Note this formula to determine if a property is a good flip.  Take your ARV (After Repair Value), multiply it by .7 and subtract your repair cost estimate.  This is the maximum amount you should be paying for a property in able to obtain a good profit margin. 

    Example, the market value of the property after you have completed the repairs is $300,000.  Multiply this by .7 or 210,000.  Subtract this by amount you estimate it will cost you to put it in top shape, example 20,000.  210,000-20,000, the formula suggests that you do not pay more than 190,000 for the property.

5) Time your flip.  Once you have completed the repairs and ready to sell, you wouldn’t want your property to be sitting in the market.  Time it so that you are listing it in the Spring, preferably in March when the buyers are out.  This also means that you would want to purchase your flip in the winter time, when there are less buyers purchasing and you are most likely not be in a bidding bar with another buyer.

6) Get to know your contractors/vendors/real estate broker/lender.  You want to do business with professionals that you trust to help you succeed.  Pearl Jones is here to assist you in your first FLIP!

Are you over 65?

Did you recently purchase a new home which is your new homestead and you are currently over 65 years old?  You do not have to wait until the following January 1st to claim your Over 65 Exemption in order to reap the benefits of your property tax savings.  After the deed on the new property is filed, you can go the County Tax Appraisal website, download and complete the form, attach your new driver’s license (showing the new property) and file the form with your Appraisal District.  You can begin your property tax savings on the date you moved into the property. Say SWEET!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Austin Real Estate Statistics for January 2017

The real estate statistics for January look good.  It's a good time to Sell!  If you need more information about real estate in your area, please give me a call at (512)786-7355.

PRICE ADJUSTMENT: One Bedroom Downtown Condominium, 603 Davis St., Unit 1105

This beautiful condominium close to Lady Bird Lake has been reduced to $340K.  Located in the heart of downtown Austin, across Rainey Street. Access to newly  completed Hotel Van Zandt provide convenient dining and social options. Has been slightly lived in, just a few weekend visits for UT football games. Condo faces east, providing amazing morning and sunrise views; includes extension of the bar surface to provide seating space, full-length retractable blinds, wood floors and decorative lighting; 1 parking spot in the garage, as well as access to the fitness center and pool.


JUST LISTED: 102 Aria Ridge, Lakeway, Rare One Story Home with Amazing Views

RARE One Story condo in Luxury Gated Community in Lakeway w/ panoramic hill country views! Located near Lake Travis HS, Baylor Scott White Medical Center, Oaks at Lakeway & Hill Country Galleria. 3 beds/3 baths w 2 car garage. Wood floors in master bedroom and 3rd bed (or use as study). Plantation shutters throughout; Built in wood entertainment center. Patio with flagstone & incredible views all the way to Mansfield Dam! Amenities includes pool, fitness center, playground, tennis, basketball & clubhouse.  #102Aria #EnclaveAtAltaVista

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

SOLD 4212 Tambre Bend, Bee Cave in Ladera

This one story, over 2,000 sq ft home was recently SOLD while in Coming Soon Status.  Property has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage plus an office.  Asking price was $415,000.  Here is a list of a few of the upgrades the new owners will enjoy:
Custom electrical option for Interactive Home Plus system
Inspiration Appliance Package Upgrade, includes 5 burner cooktop, upgraded hood, oven, microwave and dishwasher
Full Gutters including in patio and master bay window
Custom Interior 5-1/4” baseboards
16’X 7’ Cedar Clad garage door
Gas line to dryer
Gas line on back patio for grill
2 extra outdoor hose bibs
Wood flooring (Pompeii Birch 7” wide planks) in Entry, Family room, hallway, kitchen and breakfast area, master bedroom and master closet
2” Plantation Shutters throughout
Alder kitchen cabinets with additional pull out drawers and pull out for trash can, framed glass upper cabinet doors, Lazy Susan,
Recessed lighting in bedrooms and family room
Under Cabinet lighting in kitchen
Mini Pendant lighting in kitchen
Additional TV plug in back patio
Home Theatre Pre-Wire 5.1
LyriQAudio Zone incudes keypad and ceiling speakers
Upgraded Master Bath Shower
Upgraded Framed Mirror in both baths
Upgraded carpet; upgraded bath wall, backsplash and floor tiles
Cantera Front Door with oil rubbed bronze
Water filter in kitchen          
Stained back patio and front sidewalk