Austin Real Estate Blog - Austin Housing Market Blog

How to Get Ahead of Peers With Real Estate Investing

How to Get Ahead of Your Peers With Real EstateBuying a home seems like such a common act, that it may not seem obvious what a good investment real estate can be. Everyone needs some form of housing, which means that access to affordable real estate will always be in some sort of demand. The benefits of homeownership are many, and people who tap into real estate investment when they are young adults have the opportunity to build great wealth, often without a ton of maintenance to keep the investment going. Investors who can make the monetary investment and buy properties with growth potential may...

5 Great Reasons to Add an Outdoor Deck

View an Outdoor Deck as Added Living Space & Personalize ItTwo of the best ways to boost a home's value are to add usable living space and to make the backyard landscape more attractive. Adding a deck delivers on both counts. But a deck can offer a number of additional advantages. Here are 5 reasons to consider adding a deck to your home:

A Deck Is Multi-functional

By its very nature, a deck can serve many functions by tying different spaces together in new ways. A deck can be the location for a secluded spa, a children's sandbox, an outdoor...

Tax Tips to Save More of What You Earn

Tax Tips for Saving the Money You EarnIt's often said that corporations don't pay anywhere near as much in taxes as individuals, and that the rich often have access to tax shelters that the working and middle classes can only dream of. How is this even possible? With the complications and intricacies of the United States tax code, there are many ways that high earners can reduce their tax liability and keep more of their income each year. These tips make it easier for people with moderate or higher incomes to maximize their tax deductions and find ways to get ahead financially.

Planning...

Common Steps in the Mortgage Process

Common Steps in the Mortgage ProcessApplying for and receiving a mortgage is a complicated process with many steps behind the scenes, but it can help you get ahead of your peers using real estate for financial security. With a better knowledge of what to expect, buyers can understand why this process takes time, and make individual stages run more smoothly.

The benefits of homeownership for millennials are vast, but a better understanding of the process is critical before starting.

Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval

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Where Are the Best Dinner Spots in Austin, TX?

Where Are the Best Dinner Spots in Austin, TX?There are many things that one may think of when someone says "Austin" - perhaps Austin City Limits or South by Southwest. While those are accurate, one of Austin's many claims to fame is its food scene. As a verified city of foodies, Austin has countless delicious options, many of whom also source ingredients locally. Here are a few of the best dinners spots in Austin to get you started on your food journey.

Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ

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Don't Become House Poor! Buying a Home Within Your Means

How to Buy a Home Within Your MeansNo matter how much you absolutely love a home or particular style of the house, there are criteria that will go a long way in defining how happy you will be in it—starting with being able to comfortably afford it.  

What’s really important in determining if you’re ready to buy a home is that you budget not just for a home, but for all your priorities. This means taking into account more than your current debt structure and the costs of a loan ...

The Hidden Costs of Buying and Owning a Home

The Hidden Costs of Buying a HomeResearch data and industry general agreement is that Americans pay, on the average, about $9,000 a year in extra home ownership costs. These costs run the gamut from initial closing costs to yearly insurance, taxes, home maintenance and various utility bills. 

This article is intended to help you determine if you’re ready to buy a home, estimate what the real costs of buying and living in your new home will be, and to share some...

7 Signs You're Ready to Buy a Home

Signs You're Ready to Buy a HomeHave you found yourself checking out all the “For Sale” signs on properties in neighborhoods you like and fantasizing about the possibility of homeownership? Or every month wondering why you continue to pay rent when buying a home seems more logical?  

Buying a home can be an intimidating process so finding a good real estate agent is important. You need to trust your agent to help make major decisions – so talk to more than one.  Along with finding a real estate professional you trust and are comfortable with, talk to a financial advisor. ...

A Breakdown of the Monthly Mortgage Payment

Breaking Down the Monthly Mortgage PaymentWhen the possibility of homeownership comes up, it’s natural to want to know more about the home buying and mortgage processes. Your mortgage payment is made up of four very distinct and separate parts. The loan principal and interest; property taxes; home owners insurance, and mortgage insurance. This article is intended to be a short guide into what comprises a mortgage and how to understand what lenders are saying.

What Exactly is a Mortgage?

Briefly explained, a mortgage is a long-term loan designed to allow the borrower to purchase a home. By taking...

Options For Paying A Reduced Down Payment

How to Pay a Reduced Down Payment When Buying a HomeA huge part of the difficulty in realizing the possibility of buying a home is coming up with the requisite down payment. Did you know there are actually more than 2,400 programs nationally that can help?  Finding them, determining which ones are applicable to you, and then understanding these programs parameters can be a challenge. This article is intended to discuss the major programs; share some insight into the lesser known programs; suggest sources to find highly specific programs you might be eligible for, and to give you the core elements into the most...

Don't Think You Can Own a Home? Homeownership is a Possibility for Everyone

Do You Have the Possibility of Owning a Home?Are you ready to buy a home? You might not be right now, but you can be with some work on your finances. Financial troubles can be rectified and you can own a home. By taking the necessary steps, your dream will become a reality. It might take some time and considerable effort, but achieving the financial security that comes with being ready to buy a home is worth it. In reality, even if you decide not to buy, you will be in a much better financial situation - before the application...

How to Manage Your Finances as a Married Couple

How to Tackle Your Finances as a Married CoupleOnce the anxiety of wedding planning starts to fade into memory, a new possible source of conflict arises: finances as a married couple. Fortunately, by taking charge at the very beginning, couples can minimize a lot of the difficulties that can come when people have to make joint decisions about their financial future. The investment of time and plenty of communication over the years can help married people to build a financial arrangement that will suit them both.

Get Comfortable Talking About Money

For a lot of people, trying to gain a little familiarity with another's financial situation can feel like they are prying...

The Problems Americans Face in Building Long-Term Wealth and Ways to Solve Them

How to Build Long-Term WealthThere's an internal struggle in the upcoming generation poised to take control of the financial world within the next couple of decades. People who are currently in their 20s and 30s have a lot of income potential and are highly educated, but they have many reasons to hesitate before their opportunities for financial growth. If they can harness their skills and the technology around them to create a financial lifestyle that works best for them, they will be better able to build wealth and a future that is worth having.

Problem: Insufficient Financial Education

It should come as no surprise that people who are skilled at money management will...

How Can You Plan for Making Larger Purchases?

How to Plan for Making a Larger PurchaseFor most Americans, developing a budget to plan for large purchases is an inevitable part of life in the U.S. Having a home is a fundamental necessity. In many areas, having reliable transportation is essential, and this often means purchasing a car. While a car is more feasible in terms of paying cash to purchase the asset outright, buying a home translates into obtaining a mortgage and providing a down payment (unless you have $300,000 or more laying around somewhere).

But large purchases aren’t limited to homes and cars. You’ll need to first consider the necessity of the item. Indeed,...

Can My Savings Lose Value? A Lesson on Inflation

Can Your Savings Lose Value?When you work hard to develop and adhere to a budget so you can put aside money, you don’t want to discover that it’s lost value. Is that a risk for your savings?

The simple answer is yes: your savings can lose value over time due to inflation. As it stands now, savings accounts, even the high-yielding accounts, have such low percentage rates that inflation is more likely to impact your savings when compared to other appreciable assets and investments. So, what is inflation exactly? 

Basically, inflation is how much your money can...

How to Become an Experienced Investor: Advanced Investing Strategies to Adopt

How to Practice Advanced Investing StrategiesDipping a toe into the world of investing can feel like the start of something big. While it is big, it takes a while to get there. Several months or a year after starting an investment strategy, the game might better be called, "Hurry Up and Wait." However, this viewpoint is precisely the one that usually works best for long-term investors to build wealth and manage the jumps and dips that investment offers over the years. With a cool eye and a confident hand, any investor can move beyond basic budgeting and ride out the temporary anxieties...

Investing & Saving for Retirement on a Budget

How to Save for Retirement on a BudgetYes, it really is possible to stash away a bit of cash for your future – even when you feel as if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. The sad reality is that the payday-to-payday syndrome is now the norm, but there really are ways to break free without compromising your budget.

If you are under 30, reaching retirement age is almost unfathomable. And if you have a family, retirement seems not only some vague concept that applies to others but also an impossibility. The reality is 20 or 30 years can go by faster than you think, so it just makes sense to plan as much as possible for that day.

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What is Equity? How to Empower Yourself By Building Equity

How to Build EquityEquity is the measurement that results from subtracting a person’s or enterprise’s assets from their liabilities when they make investments. Essentially, equity is the value left over after you’ve paid all of your debts, with liability representing debt, and assets being classified as those things you own (e.g., cash, cars, homes, and other items that can be liquidated to exchange for cash).

With regard to home ownership, equity is the value left over once you subtract the balance of your mortgage from the fair market value of your home. When someone says they are “upside down” in terms of home...

Thinking Ahead About Retirement: Here's What You Need to Know

How to Plan For Your RetirementWith the idea of retirement decades away, it might be too easy to put off building a retirement fund until finances improve, the budget isn’t as tight, and there’s more room for discretionary spending. The truth is that an earlier start to investing usually leads to a bigger payoff. Some people might decide to work past retirement age, but with the right funding approach, they may not have to do so. In fact, advanced thinking about retirement may even allow people to retire early.

When to Stop Working

Although the decision to retire is...

IRA, 401k, 403b: Which Retirement Plan is Right for Me?

Understanding Different Retirement PlansAs people start to delve into the world of investment, they may be inundated by the alphabet soup that is retirement plan acronyms. It can be difficult to distinguish between an IRA, 401k, and 403b. Plus, a lot of the information changes yearly. This guide distinguishes the common types of retirement plans, and shows how to decide which one is most appropriate for individual needs when you’re planning a budget for your daily life or saving for retirement on a budget.

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