Update on WILCO

Excerpt from Austin Business Journal about Williamson County. Wilco is considered an excellent place to live and is home to many fine neighborhoods such as Avery Ranch, Crystal Falls, Forest Creek, Teravista and Cimarron Hills. If you or anyone you know is looking to move there, contact me at bryfair@kw.com or call me direct at (512) 468-9791.

Bryan
www.BryanSellsAustin.com

Where to Buy? How About Williamson County?
Increasingly, institutional investors have been taking a bigger share of the single family home rental market across the U.S., but would-be mom-and-pop investors might take heed to a new report from RealtyTrac Inc. The national real estate research firm identifies Williamson County — that includes Round Rock, Cedar Park and Leander — as one of the 25 hidden gems for individual investors.

Only 4.7 percent of total single family home sales originate with investors. The median sale price is $158,000 with a median rent rate of $1,403 a month. That translates into an average gross return of 10.7 percent.

Posted in For Buyers, For Sellers, Listings, Marketing Reports | Leave a comment

5 To Do Items – Sell Your Home For Top Dollar!

Hello friends,

I have listed 5 items that if you did all 5 that would spruce up and give your home the true WOW that could help sell your home quick and get you top dollar.
Contact me if you are looking to sell your home, buy a new home, or invest in real estate.
Bryan Faircloth
bryfair@kw.com

New Baseboards
New 6-inch baseboards throughout the home will really give your rooms a designer touch! It is a simple process and will not break the bank. It gives the home a fresh and updated feel immediately as you walk in the door.

New Custom Backsplash
This is really a neat touch to any kitchen, bathroom or both. Typically a backsplash with a touch of color in the kitchen to border the countertops adds a personalized touch and is very popular. In the bathrooms do a granite backsplash to match the counter top or a tile backsplash similar to that of the kitchen. Either combination is very affordable, and offers an immediate updated feel, even if you have older cabinets and counter tops.

New Stainless Steel Appliances
An appliance package including a dishwasher, microwave and oven/range combo is another added bonus for potential buyers. It is so nice to walk into a home with fresh new appliances knowing you will be the first one to use them. Buyers love this! You don’t have to splurge for the most expensive appliances unless you are selling your home in a multi-million dollar price range, and many stainless appliance packages can cost you around $1,500 for a new range, dishwasher, and microwave.

Accent Walls
Accent walls in the home add that custom designer touch and are very affordable. A great place for Accent walls is the Master Bedroom, dining room, or living room.

Fresh Flowers and Mulch
As they say the first impression is the most important. Would you rather pull up to a house with weeds and dead grass or some freshly laid sod and a few planted flowers for a burst of color? Easy answer right!? Landscape is the first thing most buyers see as they pull up to your house and it does make a huge difference in the overall feel of the house. You don’t have to go overboard on this either. Green grass, a few planted flowers and some new mulch can add just enough color to make your home stand out from the others.

Bryan Faircloth – BryanSellsAustin.com
Also, AustinAreaBuilderDeals.com
BryanSellsAveryRanch.com

@bryfair on twitter.

Posted in For Buyers, For Sellers, Listings, Marketing Reports | Leave a comment

Why Realtor Representation is Important when buying a builder home.

This is a reprint from an agent in Florida about working with builders. I do think there are some good points. Contact me if you are looking to build. Our local builders are very professional and also appreciate when a buyer has realtor representation in a transaction.
Bryan Faircloth
bryfair@kw.com

1. If you don’t have an agent – Builder makes more money

As you ride around new neighborhoods looking at homes you stop and go into a model home. There to greet you is a sales person there who works for the builder. Now here is the secret – the builder has budgeted for there to be both a commission for their agent and an agent to represent the buyer. Now if you work directly with the company agent then the Builder makes more money because they didn’t have to pay an additional Realtor fee. So the truth is if you allow me to represent you, it cost you nothing since the Builder has in their budget my fees.

2. Price is Negotiable

I know you look in a window in a model home and there is a floor plan and a price. Most people assume that is the price. But the secret is that just like existing homes for sale this is a negotiable price also. Granted there won’t be as much bargaining room, but the home is for sale and the Builder wants to sell it. One thing to remember is that Builders are in the business and understand they can’t over price homes. But, the answer is always NO until you ask.

3. They will include Options

New Homes now have larger windows and more of them. But, they don’t have blinds. Many lawns front and rear have sprinkler systems. But, they don’t have privacy fences. Kitchens are now more upscale with better appliances and granite counters. But, you will need a refrigerator. However, builders often will give you some or all of these if you pay the stated price. Why? They need to maintain the values since they will build more homes and have to sell them for the same or a slightly increased price. Window treatments, fences and refrigerators don’t show up in the price on the settlement statement. If you have a good Realtor representing you they should know what options the builder is offering and the total amount offered.

4. They will pay some or all of your Closing Cost

Almost daily I get emails from Builder Reps stating that if I bring them buyers they will pay much of your closing cost. However, if you are just riding around and enter a model home you don’t know this and may not know to ask. Builders know which Realtors bring the most buyers to them and keep them informed of special pricing, feature options and closing cost offered. Many of them have preferred finance companies that offer them additional fees paid for the buyer. Some of the time this is mentioned, but again the answer is NO unless you ask.

5. The Longer a Home is in the Inventory – The More Discounts

A builders favorite kind of buyer is one who selects a lot and a model to be built on that lot. Then the builder has a firm contract for price and terms and knows that when a home is completed there is a closing. The builder gets their money and the buyer gets their home. However, in today’s market this is far more rare. Most of the time the builder constructs several Spec homes (homes for sale but with not contract to close). As time goes on and these homes don’t sale they cost the builder more and more money. Also, most builders are like you and your credit cards. You have a limit they will allow you not to go over. Builders are similar. Their lenders will only allow them to borrow so much money for spec homes. Then they have to sell some to allow more money to be released. This is when the most discounts, options and closing cost are offered. Every week I get emails with the list of homes offering the best homes to select for the most savings.

Here is the REAL SECRET. If you select me to be your Realtor for a new home it cost you nothing. The builder has budget to pay me already. And, you get my knowledge of location, pricing and homes available for the most savings.

Leave a comment

March 2014 update – Pearson Place and Northwoods at Avery Ranch

Hello friends and clients,
More info available at www.BryanSellsAveryRanch.com – bryfair@kw.com

One of my favorite areas of NW Austin consists of the 78717 zip code. This would include Avery Ranch, Davis Springs, and now Avery Station and Pearson Place. Avery Station is another new community to be built in the sought after Avery Ranch subdivision. The homes in Avery Station will be built by Grand Haven Homes, who is also building the newest Avery Ranch neighborhood, Pearson Place. Other builders going into Avery Station include Drees and Standard Pacific. Pulte and Streetman Homes are also included in Pearson Place along with Grand Haven. David Weekley will also commence building in 2014. In addition, D.R. Horton continues to build in the western part of the development and has really opened up their latest section with newly released lots. Oh yeah, there is also a pretty good golf course right there as well.

To decide what builder is best for you, choose ME as your buyer representative and get your best deal possible.

Bryan

Leave a comment

Feb 2014 Austin Area Real Estate Statistics

Hello friends and clients,
The Austin Market remains strong. Contact me if you are looking to buy a home, sell your home, or invest in Austin area real estate!
bryfair@kw.com

Austin-area home sales, prices hit record high for the month of February

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases real estate statistics for February 2014

AUSTIN, Texas – March 20, 2014 – Austin-area home sales and home prices hit an all-time high in February, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. In February 2014, 1,761 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area, which is nine percent more than one year prior, and the median price for Austin-area homes was $230,530, an 11 percent gain from February 2013. Bill Evans, 2014 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, explained, “The Austin-area housing market continues to be strong and home buyers remain aggressive. Sales are increasing year-over-year and rising home starts have begun to offset Austin’s shrinking housing inventory. These factors taken together make it look like we will have a great real estate year in 2014.” A recent report from Metrostudy showed that Austin-area home starts hit a six-year high in 2013 and are on pace to exceed 2013 levels this year, which could replenish Austin’s housing stock with much-needed new homes. In February 2014, inventory remained at a historically low level of 2.0 months, compared to 2.6 months of inventory in February 2013. Austin-area homes also continued to sell at an accelerated rate, spending an average of 55 days on the market in February 2014 and 16 days fewer than in 2013. The market also featured one percent fewer new listings, eight percent fewer active listings and five percent fewer pending sales in February 2014 compared to the prior year. As Austin-area inventory remained unchanged and new and active listings decreased, home prices continued to rise. Average price also saw a double-digit increase, increasing 12 percent from February 2013 to $293,746. The total dollar volume in February 2014 was $517,286,706, a 21 percent increase from February 2013. Evans concluded, “Austin needs to be aggressive in the promotion of housing development policies that contribute to a consistent, healthy increase of housing stock for all members of our community. Home starts are strong and the outlook for Austin-area home sales continues to be positive, and we need to provide safe, affordable housing options quickly in order to keep up with Austin’s continuing demand.”

February 2014 Statistics
•1,761 – Single-family homes sold, nine percent more than February 2013.

•$230,530 – Median price for single-family homes, 11 percent more than February 2013.

•$293,746 – Average price for single-family homes, 12 percent more than February 2013.

•55 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, 16 days fewer than February 2013.

•2,544 – New single-family home listings on the market, one percent fewer than February 2013.

•4,724 – Active single-family home listings on the market, eight percent fewer than February 2013.

•2,118 – Pending sales for single-family homes, five percent fewer than February 2013.

•2.0 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.6 months less than February 2013.

•$517,286,706 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 21 percent more than February 2013.
The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin real estate market.

Townhouses & Condominiums
The number of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in February 2014 was 217, which is 26 percent more than February 2013. In the same time period, the median price for condos and townhomes was $207,000, which is 11 percent more than the same month of the prior year. When compared to February 2013, these properties spent 26 percent less time on the market at an average of 50 days.

Leasing
In February 2014, a total of 1,206 properties were leased in Austin, which is five percent more than February 2013. The median price for Austin-area leases was $1,400, which is six percent more than the same month of the prior year.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is a non-profit, voluntary organization dedicated to educating and supporting Central Texas REALTORS®. ABoR proudly serves more than 9,000 members, promotes private property rights, and provides accurate, comprehensive property listing information for the Greater Austin area. Home sales statistics are released by ABoR on a monthly basis. For more information, please contact the ABoR Marketing Department at marketing@abor.com or 512-454-7636. Visit AustinHomeSearch.com, a public resource on Austin real estate, for the latest news on the local housing market.

* The inventory of homes for a market is measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Leave a comment

Consider Northwoods and Pearson Place in 2014

More info available at www.BryanSellsAveryRanch.com – bryfair@kw.com

One of my favorite areas of NW Austin consists of the 78717 zip code. This would include Avery Ranch, Davis Springs, and now Avery Station and Pearson Place. Avery Station is another new community to be built in the sought after Avery Ranch subdivision. The homes in Avery Station will be built by Grand Haven Homes, who is also building the newest Avery Ranch neighborhood, Pearson Place. Other builders going into Avery Station include Drees and Standard Pacific. Pulte and Streetman Homes are also included in Pearson Place along with Grand Haven. David Weekley will also commence building in 2014. In addition, D.R. Horton continues to build in the western part of the development and has really opened up their latest section with newly released lots. Oh yeah, there is also a pretty good golf course right there as well.

To decide what builder is best for you, choose ME as your buyer representative and get your best deal possible.

Bryan

Leave a comment

5 Major Steps to Selling Your Home in Today’s Market

Some tips when your home is on the market. Contact me to get it sold right away!
bryfair@kw.com

There has been a lot of news lately about how bad the real estate business is doing, now what people do not know is that there are actually a lot of smart buyers who are taking “advantage” of this bad season for sellers and making the most out of it, which means it is really easy to sell your house if you just know what to do.
1. Online Marketing
Yes, that’s right, online marketing has dominated today’s generation, whether it be groceries or the latest gadget, or cars to your home, marketing it online will definitely get you customers. The trick here is to post attractive pictures and information about the home you are selling. More pictures means more prospects since most homebuyers these days depend entirely on the pictures that they see online rather than pay a visit to the home itself since it saves time and effort on their part to just browse through a gallery of pictures. Make your pictures standout and make sure you get the right angles of your home and then post it up on sites that provide listing services such as Trulia.com.
2. The Price is Right
Before you post your home up for sale, make sure that you are listing it up at a reasonable price. People these days are smarter than you think and chances are, they are considering more than one option, give them a good price and the chances of you being able to close the deal quickly will definitely possible. Make sure it’s not too low either though, because people may get suspicious. So make sure you know how to sell your house at the right price.
3. Use Facebook
Facebook is the world’s largest social media site today. If you want to get the word out, using Facebook would always be a great option. You might have friends or friends of friends that would be interested to buy a home, you’d never know.
4. Video Making
Here’s something really creative. Aside from the conventional listings on real estate sites or on paper, grab your phone camera or better yet a real video camera and take a video of you giving a tour of your home and neighbourhood. Show people how much you love your home and how much you enjoy staying there, show them what your favourite spots are and share some perky and fun trivia about your home. This would definitely make a home buyer smile.
5. Make it Pretty
This should probably be step 1 in this article, but really, make your house look sale-able. It shouldn’t just be the indoors that look pretty for the pictures, the outside should also look downright attractive!

Posted in For Buyers, For Sellers, Listings | Leave a comment

Austin Area Market Statistics September 2013

Hello Friends and Clients,

Our September home sales have hit another record as being the highest September volume since September 2005, and we are seeing an average days on market of 44, which is 22 days less than the September 2012 average.

Please let me know if you are in the market to buy a home, sell your home or invest in Austin real estate, and thank you once again for your business and your referrals.

Bryan Faircloth
Keller Williams Realty
http://www.bryansellsaustin.com/
bryfair@kw.com
(512) 468-9791

http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/contracts/op-k.pdf
Texas Law requires all real estate licensees to give the above information about brokerage services.

Area Market Statistics

Austin-area home sales up 34 percent; most home sales for September since 2005

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases real estate statistics for September 2013

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 21, 2013 – According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), the volume of Austin-area home sales continued to rise in September and had the most single-family home sales for the month since 2005.

According to the report, 2,391 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area, which is 34 percent more than September 2012. On average, homes spent 44 days on the market, which is a decrease of 22 days from one year prior.

Cathy Coneway, 2013 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­® explained, “With such explosive growth in the Austin housing market, we have to plan for our community’s future needs. Proposition 1’s funding of affordable housing in Austin and Proposition 6’s funding of the state water plan are critical to maintaining the success of Austin’s housing market and our economy.”

The total dollar volume of single-family properties sold was $688,347,381, or 47 percent higher than the same month last year. The market also featured 17 percent more new listings, 12 percent fewer active listings and six percent more pending sales in September 2013 compared to the prior year.

In September 2013, the median price for Austin-area homes increased to $223,000, which is 13 percent more than the same month in 2012. Additionally, the market featured 2.7 months of inventory in September 2013, which is about 1 month less than September 2012.

Coneway concluded, “Every member of our community plays a part in ensuring the continued growth of our great city. We encourage you to go out and vote during the early voting period or on November 5 for Austin’s Proposition 1 and Texas’ Proposition 6.”

September 2013 Statistics
2,391 – Single-family homes sold, 34 percent more than September 2012.

$223,000 – Median price for single-family homes, 13 percent more than September 2012.

44 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, 22 days fewer than September 2012.

2,487– New single-family home listings on the market, 17 percent more than September 2012.

5,965 – Active single-family home listings on the market, 12 percent fewer than September 2012.

1,978 – Pending sales for single-family homes, six percent more than September 2012.

2.7 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 1 month less than September 2012.

$688,347,381 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 47 percent more than September 2012.
The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin real estate market. Townhouses & Condominiums The number of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in September 2013 was 261, which is 25 percent more than September 2012. In the same time period, the median price for condos was $202,000, which is 13 percent more than the same month of the prior year. When compared to September 2012, these properties spent 37 percent less time on the market, or an average of 43 days.Leasing In September 2013, a total of 1,409 properties were leased in Austin, which is 10 percent more than September 2012. The median price for Austin-area leases was $1,350, which is two percent more than the same month of the prior year. The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is a non-profit, voluntary organization dedicated to educating and supporting Central Texas REALTORS®. ABoR proudly serves more than 9,000 members, promotes private property rights, and provides accurate, comprehensive property listing information for the Greater Austin area. Home sales statistics are released by ABoR on a monthly basis. For more information, please contact the ABoR Marketing Department at marketing@abor.com or 512-454-7636. Visit AustinHomeSearch.com, a public resource on Austin real estate, for the latest news on the local housing market.

* The inventory of homes for a market is measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Posted in For Buyers, For Realty Professionals, For Sellers, General Information, Listings, Marketing Reports, Regional News | Leave a comment

Will Fed Slow Down Bond Buying Now?

Interesting commentary on Fed and predictions for future bond purchasing. Contact me to see about buying a home, selling your home, or investing in real estate while interest rates are at current levels!
Bryan – bryfair@kw.com
www.BryanSellsAustin.com
Fed now unlikely to slow bond buying before 2014
October 9, 2013 3:14 AM ET
By By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

Share14

Share
8
inShare
2
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve’s decision last month to maintain the size of its economic stimulus was a shocker. Just about everyone expected a pullback in its bond purchases, which have helped keep loan rates low.

And now?

Thanks to the government’s partial shutdown, many analysts don’t think the Fed will reduce its stimulus before next year. And with the White House’s choice of the like-minded Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman next year, the Fed will likely be cautious about any pullback in early 2014.

Bernanke and the Fed may also now look a bit wiser to those who questioned their stance last month. After all, a key reason Bernanke gave for maintaining the pace of the Fed’s stimulus was Washington’s budget impasse. It posed a risk to the economy and financial markets, he suggested.

Bernanke said the budget standoff would likely make it harder to know whether the economy was strong enough for the Fed to slow its stimulus.

If anything, the economic outlook is getting darker: Even if the partial shutdown ended now, a graver threat awaits: A deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit. If Congress doesn’t raise the limit by Oct. 17, the government would soon run out of cash to pay interest on its debt. Any missed payment would cause a default. Another recession would likely follow.

In hindsight, many economists think the Fed would have erred if it reduced its stimulus last month.

It almost did.

Some Fed officials have said the policy committee’s decision at the Sept. 17-18 meeting against paring the $85 billion in monthly bond purchases was a close call.

Still, one voting member of the committee, James Bullard, head of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, noted that Fed officials have stressed that any pullback in bond purchases would hinge on the strength of the economy. Some data released before the Fed’s September meeting had showed a weakening economy, Bullard noted.

On Wednesday, details about last month’s decision could emerge when the Fed issues the minutes of the September meeting. The minutes will likely show concern that the economy wasn’t growing as fast as the Fed had forecast and that some indicators, such as job growth and consumer spending, had weakened.

Even after the Fed chose last month not to slow its stimulus, some analysts said it might reduce the bond purchases at its next meeting Oct. 29-30 or at the final meeting of the year, Dec. 17-18.

Few are saying so anymore. What’s changed was the partial shutdown, which many analysts hoped would be averted, and the growing risk that Congress won’t raise the debt limit and will cause the government to default.

Now, many economists say they think the Fed will leave its support at the current high level into 2014.

“With everything that is happening with the federal budget, the Fed is going to be even more cautious about doing anything,” predicted Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University. “The best approach they can take right now is stand pat and watch.”

For one thing, the outlook for the economy will remain murky as long as the partial shutdown goes on. The shutdown has delayed the government’s release of critical economic data. The jobs report for September, for example, was due out Oct. 4 but has yet to be released.

In the meantime, the Fed will need to monitor the economic effects of both the shutdown and the possibility of a government default.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has told Congress that he likely will have exhausted all the book-keeping maneuvers he can use by Thursday of next week. By then, the government will have only about $30 billion cash on hand.

Lew has urged Congress to raise the current $16.7 trillion borrowing limit before then. President Barack Obama has repeatedly said he won’t negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt limit as he did during a previous such fight in August 2011.

The 2011 standoff was resolved at the last minute. The borrowing limit was raised before the government defaulted on its debt obligations. But the prolonged political impasse led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade long-term U.S. debt for the first time in history.

Most analysts also expect the current debt-limit standoff to be resolved before the deadline given the economic crisis that would ensue if it isn’t.

But Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said it could take the threat of further turbulence in financial markets to break the logjam.

“I think the most likely scenario is that policymakers only act when financial markets begin to sell off,” Zandi said. “It will require lower stock prices, a lower dollar and turmoil in the bond market to get Washington to move.”

Zandi is among those who think market turmoil will delay any pullback in the Fed’s bond purchases. He foresees no slowdown in the purchases until 2014.

“With each day that the lawmakers can’t get it together, the economic damage mounts, and the day the Fed starts tapering is pushed off,” he said.

It’s always possible that Congress could act faster than some expect to resolve the shutdown and the government’s borrowing limit. If so, some say the Fed might still act before year’s end to scale back its stimulus.

But Vincent Reinhart, chief economist at Morgan Stanley and a former top economist at the Fed, said he saw the likelihood of a cut in bond purchases as around 5 percent at the Fed’s October meeting and 10 percent at the December meeting.

Sohn said the Fed’s meeting in March could be the first one when it might feel the economy was strong enough to withstand a pullback in bond purchases.

If the slowdown in bond buying began in March, it would be a full six months after the September date where many had initially expected the Fed’s pullback to begin.

That’s why Sohn thinks the mid-2014 point that Bernanke had mentioned as a likely time for the bond purchases to end will likely slip until the end of 2014.

Sohn said he expects the Fed to eventually take small steps in cutting its $85 billion in monthly purchases, possibly in reductions of $10 billion to $20 billion that would end in December 2014.

“The Fed wants to take measured steps, and I don’t think they will move until Yellen feels she is in firm command,” Sohn said. “Washington’s budget craziness has made the Fed more cautious.”

Leave a comment

Why Invest Now in Austin

With this being the “in-between” days for the now two weekend ACL Fest, and F1 coming up, I wanted to re-visit a prior blog about investing in Austin.

Bryan
bryfair@kw.com
www.BryanSellsAustin.com

Interest rates and home prices remain extremely low.

Purchase activity is at an all-time high, which is no surprise given current interest rates and home prices. If you have the means, you should consider investment properties. With rents so high, you can immediately create cash flow; you can leverage your money in a way that return on investment is immediate, something which was previously impossible.

Low Interest Rates

People are getting rates as low as 4.5% on investment properties, which means they’re going to pay very little interest over time, compared with what they would have paid with the previous norm of double-digit interest rates for investment property loans. If you have the capital, and it takes a lot less than one would assume that it would, this is a great time to be in the real estate market as a buyer.

Rents are climbing.

The median price for Austin-area leases was $1,400, or eight percent higher than the same month of the prior year.

There is still inventory out there at great prices. Contact me at bryfair@kw.com to set up an appointment to discuss your investment goals and see some houses.

Posted in For Buyers, For Sellers, General Information, Listings, Marketing Reports | Leave a comment