Austin Real Estate Blog - Austin Housing Market Blog

5 Best Budget-Friendly Flooring Options

“Cost

When it comes time to replace a home’s flooring, there are a multitude of different options that can suit all needs and preferences. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by high prices. For those who are working with a budget or just want to be budget-conscious, here are five affordable flooring options to spruce up any home to renovate or sell.

Installing Linoleum Flooring

For homeowners who want a floor that isn’t going to require special cleaning to keep it looking it best, linoleum may be a good choice. It’s sturdy and low maintenance, and it can even come...

Definitive Guide to Private Mortgage Insurance

PMI Guide for HomebuyersHomebuyers who make down payments less than 20 percent on a home often must purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) before lenders will approve a home mortgage loan. PMI protects lenders from losing thousands of dollars if borrowers fail to make house payments and foreclose on their homes. Private Mortgage Insurance is also required if borrowers refinance mortgages that have less the 20 percent equity.

How Much Does Private Mortgage Insurance Cost?

Annual fees vary for PMIs from 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent of original loans. PMI costs also ...

5 Devices To Make Your Home Smart

5 Devices That Can Make Any Home SmartThese days, it’s impossible to walk into any sort of store that sells electronics without seeing some sort of smart device for the home. From thermostats to refrigerators, if there’s a way to connect it to a smart phone, it can be found and purchased. For those who have trouble keeping up with technology as it moves forward at the speed of life, here are five essential smart devices for homeowners who may be looking to add value to their home or even improve their home's energy efficiency not know where to start.

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How to Use the 203k Loan to Your Advantage

Understanding the 203k FHA LoanA 203k loan is a way for home buyers to both buy a home and fix it up without being subjected to outrageous interest rates. This is a specific type of FHA loan created to stimulate homeownership rates and bring attention to some of the nation's more decrepit neighborhoods. It takes a lot of gumption to buy a home in need of repairs, and the government would like to see more of that go-getter attitude. See how to use the 203k loan to your advantage, so you can end up in the home (and the block) of your dreams.

How 203k Loans Work

A 203k loan isn't the same as a typical FHA loan, although they...

What You Need to Know About Making a Down Payment on a Home

Learn the Basics of Making a Down Payment on a HomeA down payment on a home is money given to a mortgage or other lending company by someone wanting to purchase a Buda home. The purpose of a down payment is to reduce the amount borrowed by the home buyer from the lending company and to potentially decrease monthly mortgage payments. Down payments are always expressed as a percentage of what needs to be borrowed to buy a home.

Down Payments Explained

For example, if a couple wants to buy a home costing $100,000 and they have $3000 available to use as down payment, they will need to...

Understanding VA Loans: A Guide to Alternative Home Financing for Military and Veterans

Understanding VA LoansVA loans are perfect for those in the US military who want to purchase a home without breaking the bank. These loans don't require the potential home buyer to make a major down payment, which is usually the biggest hurdle in purchasing a home. VA loans may be made through private lenders, but they're backed (up to a certain amount) by the VA, provided the applicant meet all of the requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are available to any active or formerly active member of the military. Certain spouses of deceased military members are also eligible, if their spouse passed...

FHA Home Loan Basics: What Homebuyers Should Know About the FHA Loan

FHA Home Loan BasicsIt can be hard to come up with a 20 percent down payment. However, this does not mean that prospective homeowners need to delay getting into a first home. Lenders do prefer a larger down payment but will approve a home mortgage with a smaller down payment.

Homeowners can put as little as 3.5 percent and step into their first home. Learn more about FHA home loans and how you may qualify today.

Own Your First Home

FHA loans make it more affordable for individuals to own their first Buda new home...

What You Need to Know About Conventional Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Conventional MortgagesGetting a conventional mortgage may sound simple enough, but there are more than a few twists in turns that home buyers should be aware of. Conventional loans aren't backed by the federal government, meaning if a buyer defaults on the loan, it's the lender's responsibility to pick up the slack. Because of this, lenders have a few more stipulations than they would for secured loans. Learn about the most recent changes for loans, what buyers need before applying for a loan, and what lenders are looking...

High ROI Home Improvements For Home Sellers

High ROI Home Improvements For Home SellersWhen you're trying to sell your home, strategic home improvement projects can help boost your home's resale value. Home improvement projects can also help make your home stand out among the competition in your area. Knowing what to upgrade and which projects deliver the highest ROI can help you get started.

Deck Addition

Deck additions are relatively low in cost but they have a high ROI, which makes this type of home improvement a favorite among home sellers. With over 80 percent ROI, deck additions ...

Real Estate SEO: 5 Critical Steps to Building a Real Estate Website

solid real estate SEO

No matter what Google and other experts say, the real estate SEO world remains obsessed with backlinks, and too often, how to take shortcuts. The hope of quick organic rankings is oh-so-tempting - and unfortunately, memories are short. I have to wonder how many real estate SEO’s who first suffered the effects of Penguin, have re-focused their efforts towards creating and promoting great content in the past 2 years. Certainly Penguin’s favorite playmate “Panda” is not forgotten… is it?

Building a well-structured...

Capital Gains Tax and the Sale of Your Home

Homeowners interested in selling a primary residence may want to know more about the capital gains tax and applicable exclusions to avoid handing over a chunk of the profits to Uncle Sam. Whether a seller is able to qualify for a full or partial exclusion, either translates to less money given to the IRS.

Learn more about capital gains tax and full and partial exemptions on the sale of a home today.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

This is a tax on the profit from the sale of a home or other major asset. If a homeowner has owned their home for over one year, any profit would be a “long term” capital gains and the rate of taxation would depend on the seller's tax bracket. Significant exemptions exist for those selling a primary residence....

5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

Fixer Upper Home Buying MistakesFixer-upper homes may need special attention that move-in ready homes don’t, but for some buyers, that’s what makes them perfect. However, all buyers interested in a fixer-upper home should be aware of common mistakes other buyers have made. Here are five easy mistakes to make when buying a fixer-upper home and how to avoid them.

1. Paying Too Much

A large part of the appeal of fixer-upper homes is that they cost far less than move-in ready homes. However, that discount is necessary because fixer-upper homes require so much work to bring them up to date and make them livable. So why would a buyer pay the same amount of money for a fixer-upper...

Eco-Friendly Strategies for a Green Home

Green energy is the way of the future: now more than ever, homeowners are becoming conscious of the environment and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are different strategies homeowners can use to help make their home environmentally friendly and use less energy.

Use LED Lightbulbs

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lightbulbs have been around for a while now, but they are a tried and true method for making a home just a little bit greener. Not only do LED bulbs use less energy than their CFL counterparts, but they also have a smaller impact on the environment when they’ve been disposed of. LED lightbulbs also use less electricity than normal CFL bubs and last much longer, meaning homeowners get to save money on replacement bulbs...

Is Home Staging Worth It?

When selling a home, how it looks is key. Both inside and out, everything from how the furniture is arranged to the color of the paint impact what buyers think of the home. For homeowners who want to help give their home an edge on the housing market, staging is an option that can help homeowners make their home as appealing as possible to buyers. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of home staging homeowners should keep in mind when planning to stage their home or hire someone to stage their home.

Disadvantages of Home Staging

One of the biggest disadvantages home staging has is that it can potentially cost a lot of money and be time consuming. Home stagers will charge just to meet with potential clients, and that can cost anywhere from $150-400. If the homeowner decides to work with the stager, they will then have to cover the cost of furniture, which will vary depending on how much furniture is...

6 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

Landscaping Mistakes Some Homeowners MakeWhen people see a home, its exterior and landscaping are its first impression. Curb appeal is essential for attracting potential buyers, but many homeowners make mistakes when preparing their home's exterior. Here are some of the most common mistakes homeowners make regarding their home's landscaping and curb appeal and how to avoid them.

1. Too Much Work

While the home's gardens may be the homeowner's pride and joy, it may seem overwhelming to a buyer who doesn't do a lot of gardening. Many people ...

Dreaming of a Home Out in the Country? Using a USDA Loan to Finance Your Home Purchase

Whether your dream home is a refurbished Joanna Gaines style farmhouse or a modern home out in the country, a USDA loan may help you make your dream a reality. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) single-family loan program assists qualified homebuyers by guaranteeing mortgages or making direct loans for the purchase of homes and land.

Types of USDA Loans

While the USDA has a number of loan products available, the organization's Section 502 Direct Loan Program and Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program are available to US citizens and other legal residents who wish to purchase a single-family residence. Unlike other government loan programs, like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, the home must be located in a designated rural area like homes or land in Liberty Hill in order...

Impress Any Buyer With These Low-Budget Home Staging Tips

Impress Buyers With Affordable Home Staging

When looking at homes for sale, prospective buyers often make relatively fast decisions on which homes they find attractive and which ones they see as lacking in appeal. Since many of these decisions are based solely on how the home looks in marketing photos and during the buyer's visit to view the home, sellers who want to get the best possible purchase offers are wise to make sure that their homes are clean, attractive, and well-organized before putting them on the market. But even the cleanest, most well-prepared homes may not compete as well as hoped, especially if they are vacant during the showing process or fail to stand out in competitive markets like Kyle. For these and other...

How to Paint a Room: A Beginner's Guide

How to Paint a Home for BeginnersWhen it comes to painting a room, there are two options: hire someone to do it, or do it yourself. For many people, painting can seem like an intimidating project. However, painting can be a very straightforward process for any homeowner. Follow these easy steps to achieve a new look in any room in your Georgetown home.

Picking Paint

When it comes to paint, there are dozens of different types. For the average interior room, latex-based paint with an eggshell finish is a good choice. It provides just a little bit of shine and is easier to work with than oil-based paints, especially for...

What are Home Inspectors Looking For?

Even brand new homes should undergo a home inspection. After all, a home is the one of the largest financial (and emotional) investments a person will make. Therefore, home inspections are necessary, and it's wise to have a professional home inspector do the job.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

Generally, home inspections are included as part of the buyer's contingency requests to protect them from buying a home with hidden issues. Depending upon the agreement, sellers are responsible for having the requisite inspection completed in their Bee Cave home. However, the exact specifications...

Georgetown Real Estate Roundup: 3 Noteworthy Market Trends

Located about 30 miles outside of Austin, the city of Georgetown has been enjoying a trickle-down population boom as a result of the Austin's immense popularity. Since the start of the decade, the population has increased by more than 25,000 people, and it seems that growth will continue into the near future. This has caused an increase in home prices, as buyers are searching for gorgeous homes in the suburbs that are located close enough to where nearly everyone works. Currently, the median sales price in Georgetown is about $370,000, and home values are expected to continue to rise.

So, with this in mind, it's important to recognize the different trends that are influencing the local market conditions. Here's a few that we think you should know about:

The Population in the County Continues to Grow

Williamson County has enjoyed significant population growth during the last decade, and that growth is not expected to slow down anytime soon. In fact, according to the chief economist...

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