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Your Austin real estate blog

Thank you for visiting Homeowner Herald, the official blog of AustinHomeSearch.com, providing valuable information for both home buyers and sellers. Follow us on Twitter or check in each week for new posts on topics ranging from holiday decorating to the economy to moving into your new home. This blog is maintained by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. If you’d like to suggest a blog topic, contact the ABoR Marketing Department.

Austin Life topics

Austin real estate blog
What "green" means for you
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2010

You’ve probably heard the term "green" used to describe everything from grocery bags and cars to buildings and cities. But what does "green" mean for Austin, and what does it mean for you?

While "green" can refer to practices that promote healthy living and aid in resource conservation, it’s often used in reference to practices that reduce one’s carbon footprint, boost sustainability and increase energy efficiency.

Austin consistently ranks high on lists of America's greenest cities, largely in part to its Climate Protection Program, which puts Austin on track to become carbon neutral by 2020. Austin is also among cities leading the nation in the number of Energy Star qualified homes available to homebuyers. These homes meet strict energy efficient standards in regard to insulations systems, windows, construction and appliances.

Because Austin takes seriously its mission to "go green," Central Texans are buying more energy efficient homes, saving money through reduced energy costs and living in a city on track to become "the most livable city in the country."

So, what does "green" mean for Austin homeowners? In short: lower energy costs, a more sustainable standard of living and, of course, bragging rights.

To learn more about Austin’s Climate Protection program and how it affects Austin homeowners, read our November 11 post on "Understanding’s Austin’s energy efficiency ordinance."

Austin real estate blog
Understanding Austin’s energy efficiency ordinance
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2009

If you’re in the market to buy or sell Austin real estate, you may have heard of Austin’s energy efficiency ordinance, officially known as the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance.

Under the ECAD Ordinance, some Austin homeowners are required to have an energy audit performed on their home prior to selling it and share that audit report with potential buyers. In most cases, an audit is required for homes lying within the Austin city limits that are older than 10 years and serviced by Austin Energy. (Exceptions apply, so talk to your REALTOR® about whether the ordinance will affect you.)

Though the ECAD ordinance took effect June 1, 2009, the city’s effort to “go green” and stop manufacturing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) dates back much further.

In 2007, 70% of the city’s electricity was being used by homes and commercial buildings, with the average home generating twice the greenhouse-gas emissions as the average car (roughly 11,450 pounds of CO2 yearly, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).

With this in mind, the Austin City Council established the Austin Climate Protection Plan (ACPP) with the goal of making Austin “the most livable city in the country” and a carbon-neutral city by 2020.

As the ACPP consists of five components, each with their own specific initiatives, the ECAD Ordinance was created to address but a single part of the puzzle: how to pursue energy efficient upgrades for existing buildings. The ECAD Ordinance seeks to educate homeowners on potential for energy savings within their home in hopes that they will voluntarily opt for cost-effective upgrades.

Energy audits are good for 10 years, so consider having an audit performed on your home now to prevent a last-minute scramble and begin benefiting from the audit findings today. For more information on the ECAD Ordinance, talk to your Central Texas REALTOR®.

Austin real estate blog
Good news about Austin’s housing market
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2009

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in Austin, Texas? That’s fantastic!

As history has proven, Texas survives. That’s why we are ranked as the top state for business and jobs in the current economy, the second largest cyber state and fourth best tax free haven.

And located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin has been recognized among the top 10 best cities to live.

So what does this mean for Austin’s housing market?

Undeniably, effects of the national economic crisis have trickled into nearly every city in the nation. However, because of its location, diverse economy, and business opportunities Austin has been named the city best poised for recession recovery by Forbes, with its economy projected to grow by $5 billion by 2010.

Though Austin has taken its lumps by way of decreased sales volume along with everyone else, “the bloom is back in Austin’s yellow rose” according to Boyce Thompson of Builder, which ranked Austin the second healthiest housing market for 2009 based on its location, pricing and population trends, number of building permits and local job growth.

Austin real estate has proven a strong investment. Those who purchased a home at Austin’s median price six years ago would find that it has increased in value by 20 percent. The city continues to “hold the line” on home value because Central Texas real estate prices have not experienced periods of rapid inflation or deflation.

AustinHomeSearch.com is one of the most trusted and comprehensive online resources available to find a REALTOR®, browse properties and learn more about Austin real estate. Why not begin your Austin home search today?

Austin real estate blog
Welcome to Austin!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2009

Whether you’ve just moved to Austin or have lived here your entire life, there’s always something new to learn about the capital of Texas, a city constantly buzzing with music, business, technology, outdoor adventure and family fun.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Austin as the third best place to live, based on its economy, affordability and fun things to do—and that comes as no surprise to native Austinites or the thousands of people who find jobs, buy real estate and first experience the social scene in Austin every year.

Officially recognized as the "Live Music Capital of the World" since 1991, Austin is stage to a wide variety of popular and up-and-coming artists. Well-known music festivals including Austin City Limits and SXSW (South by Southwest) attract music lovers from around the world, and live music can be heard in Austin every day of the week.

Relocating to Austin? Good choice. Austin has been named the best city for a "fresh start" and the region best poised for recession recovery. In addition, Austin maintains its status as a fit city, boasting low levels of chronic health conditions and offering a wide variety of outdoor and indoor fitness activities.

With so many entertainment, business and real estate opportunities in Austin, it can be hard to know where to begin. AustinHomeSearch.com is your source for community and Austin real estate information. Visit the "Find a Property" and "Find a REALTOR®" sections to begin your Austin real estate search today!


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