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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.

Home selling topics

Austin real estate blog
ConsumerVue: Austin Home Sales Season Heats Up
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012

As part of their ConsumerVue segments, KVUE News showcases REALTOR® expertise each month to update their viewers on the latest happenings in the Austin real estate market. Leonard Guerrero, chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, appeared recently on ConsumerVue to provide some insight into the current Austin real estate market as the busy months of spring and summer approach.

The summer months are traditionally a hot time for buying and selling homes. This summer, sellers are happy to find that Austin homes are being sold at prices well over the national average, and potential home buyers are continuing to benefit from low interest rates.

Whether you are a considering buying, selling or both, discuss your specific situation with your Central Texas REALTOR®. Watch Leonard’s interview on KVUE.com for additional information.

Austin real estate blog
Create Curb Appeal Across the Seasons
FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

Right now the evenings are still getting cool in Central Texas, yards are green and newly-planted flowers are blooming. If you are looking to sell a home in Austin, curb appeal is happening pretty naturally. Come June, however, lawns won’t be looking quite so fresh without some careful pruning and planning. The most important thing to remember when looking to spruce up that first-impression is to make whatever you do intentional. Whether that means intentionally paying a professional to landscape your front yard, or intentionally filling those empty flower beds with fresh mulch, being purposeful looks a lot more polished than attempting something grand and leaving it half-finished.

One of the easiest ways to maintain a clean look for your home throughout the drought is by implementing some xeriscape elements. Texas A&M explains xeriscape as a landscaping style that saves water and protects the environment. As a bonus: It also requires minimal maintenance. Xeriscaping incorporates seven basic principles:

  • Planning and design
  • Soil analysis
  • Practical turf areas
  • Appropriate plant selection
  • Efficient irrigation
  • Use of mulches
  • Appropriate maintenance

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are other ways to add curb appeal to your property. Pay attention to these hot spots as you are staging your home’s façade.

  • The front porch: Ensure the area outside your front door is well-lit and swept clean. Replace burned-out bulbs and outdated fixtures with pieces that match your home’s era and aesthetic.
  • The front door: Sand and paint your front door in an afternoon and see how it immediately adds to your home’s appeal.
  • House numbers: Replace house numbers with fresh ones that are easily seen from the street.
  • The garage door: Clean the outside of the garage door. This is an often overlooked element that can make a house look old and dirty.
  • The driveway: Pull those stubborn weeds in and around the driveway.

Choose the projects that suit your time, skill-set and the style of your home and you’ll be amazed at what a difference some attention given to your home’s exterior can make. Talk with your Central Texas REALTOR® about ways to increase the curb appeal of your home for sale.

Austin real estate blog
ConsumerVue Report: Stay Safe as Home Sales Season Heats Up
FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2012

As part of their ConsumerVue segments, KVUE News showcases REALTOR® expertise each month to update their viewers on the latest happenings in the Austin real estate market. Diane Kennedy, past chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, appeared last week on ConsumerVue to provide some safety tips for Austin home sellers to keep in mind as the busy selling season draws near. With the rising temperatures comes a spike in the number of open houses in Austin. During this exciting time, be sure to keep yourself safe and your belongings secure. Remove valuables and other items that may be attractive to strangers perusing your home. Stay aware, and discuss your specific situation with your Central Texas REALTOR®. Watch Diane’s interview on KVUE.com for additional safety tips.

Austin real estate blog

Austin housing forecast: Skies continue to clear in 2012
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin hosted the annual Housing Forecast on January 12, welcoming a crowd of 750 interested Austin residents and real estate professionals. The overarching message from industry experts was hopeful: “For 2012, Metrostudy expects new home production in the Austin region to increase for the second straight year,” said Director of the Austin Market for Metrostudy, Eldon Rude. New home starts are up from last year, and the job market in Austin is improving. Our growing population paired with a shrinking low-cost rental supply all point to a growing housing market in Central Texas.

Industry experts are not naïve; they shared some logical concerns, and issues to be aware of. Dr. Greg Hallman from The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business could not gloss over the economic crisis in Europe, stating that while European leaders have avoided disaster to date, investors world-wide remain cautious. KXAN’s Chief Weathercaster Jim Spencer brought the continuing Central Texas drought into perspective for the audience. “Even during the drought of record, there were several rainy periods, and it is expected this extended drought will be no different, even if it lasts for years. In short, the adage, ‘if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes’ really can still apply.”

Overall the 2012 Housing Forecast had encouraging news for Austin homeowners. Compared to national and global markets, the Austin area continues to remain a bright spot on the map, with job and housing markets expected to continue their positive trends in the coming year. Though current drought conditions continue to impact homeowners, home builders and truly all those living in Central Texans, we are reminded that Texas weather conditions can change in an instant and one day of intense rainfall could wipe out the rain deficit, as has happened in the past. Without a doubt, Austin is ‘poised for greatness’ in 2012.

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