Austin

Articles that we've written that are especially relevant to the Austin, TX area.

It’s no secret that rents are going up around the Austin area, with one bedroom apartments often renting for over $1,000 a month. Particularly in the more desirable neighborhoods near Downtown or South Austin. With over 2,056,405 residents, Austin continues to grow as an average of 159 people flock here per day.

Austin’s healthy job market, booming economy, and plethora of activities make it the perfect place to settle down – if you can afford it. Planning to live in a neighborhood that is not only desirable but falls within budget can be tricky. Rents can vary widely, depending on where you look, depending on amenities and area of town.

Our friends at EverythingAustinApartments.com accessed rental data that displayed the median rent for a one-bedroom

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Austin area housing market statistics May 2017

Single-family home sales volume experienced strong gains across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in May, while home sales dollar volume topped $1.2 billion and set an all-time high for sales dollar volume, according to the May 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released recently by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®, commented, “Housing is the backbone of our region’s economy and the heart of our communities. Housing demand continues to be at an all-time high in and around Austin, indicated by steady growth in home sales and prices, listing activity and housing inventory. The concurrent gains in listing activity and inventory, in particular, are a positive

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mowing the lawn

Texas Summers can get downright miserable, upwards of 100 degrees and humid. It’s not uncommon to see lawns suffering in the dead of summer, especially during times of drought. While we’ve been pretty lucky with the amount of rain received lately, it’s never a bad idea to begin preparing your lawn early for the harsh summer ahead. We caught up with lawn care expert Jake Hill from LawnStarter Lawn Care, who shared his tips and best practices for keeping a healthy lawn all year round. 

 

Summer lawn care begins in the spring. Jake advises that about once every other year, homeowners should aerate their lawn to alleviate soil compaction and thus allow their lawn to breathe. “Just like a person – grass needs air, food, and water to survive (and the

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home improvements that add property value

When preparing to sell your home, or simply trying to give it a facelift, it’s common to wonder what updates will provide the most return on investment. Which improvements or additions will add to your home's property value and equity? After all, if you’re going to put in the money to improve your home, you will want to know that your efforts could provide a return in the long run.

It’s smart to be thinking about the future equity of your home, and these are questions our agents here at HomeCity get asked a lot. There is no one, go to upgrade that will work in every situation and with every budget. However, here are some of our top suggestions – straight from the experts themselves!

Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms. Remodeling the kitchen and

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Written By: Katie Bassett

 homeowners association fees

Gated communities with sparkling swimming pools and band new gym equipment. Walking trails, playscapes, and community events. Amenities like these are desired by many and found in condominiums, townhomes or planned developments across the country. While services vary based on where you live, one thing will be forever present if you are looking for a community home – a homeowner association (HOA) fee. A monthly or annual payment in return for the upkeep of a property, the HOA fee might cover some of the finer things in life like an exotic landscaping, a clean pool or a new gym.

Conflicting opinions run rampant regarding HOA fees, but trends over the past decade indicate a steady incline, which is alarming to everyone

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how to make new mommy friends

Written By: Jen Glatz, Realtor®

Moving to a new area can be both overwhelming and intimidating. Throw in a kid…or four…and to some, the task might seem daunting.  If you’re a mom or dad who works outside the home, then you’re in an environment conducive to meeting like-minded people. However, it’s a whole different ballgame if you’re a work-from-home parent or stay-at-home parent. Outside of a work environment where you’re organically socializing with individuals who share a common interest, kids can be the best way to make new friends. Children are naturally friendly, curious creatures.  So, hitch your wagon to your child’s personality and get ready to meet some new friends!

That seems simple enough, and reading it might feel a little

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advice from a real estate tax expert

It’s tax time again, which means that most people are gathering their documentation and counting their deductions. However, many people, homeowners, and investment property owners especially, don’t realize that they could be saving much more money than they are currently. Property owners are afforded all sorts of tax breaks and incentives that can sometimes be overlooked by those who are not 'in the know.' In many cases, employing the help of a CPA rather than doing your taxes yourself can garner a much larger tax return. We caught up with Brandon Hall from The Real Estate CPA to learn a little bit more about homeowner tax advantages, investor tax incentives, and why employing a CPA is a smart move. 

 

Now, you might be wondering, why are there

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2016 was a roller coaster of a year, and 2017 is likely to have some surprises in store as well. There are already changes being felt since Donald Trump won the presidential election, and while this change is unlikely to alter the fundamentals of real estate in the US, we expect there will be more. 

There has already been a slight jump in mortgage rates, although many predictions don’t see them rising above five percent. Even so, that increase in percentage points could mean the difference between being able to afford a home and not – especially for millennials and first-time home buyers. Supreme Lending’s John McClellan, in his 2017 Mortgage Forecast, showed how even a couple mortgage points could add hundreds to a monthly payment.

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It’s that time of year again! Time for new homeowners to file for their homestead exemption! If you bought a home in Texas in 2016, you have until April 30th to file for a residential homestead exemption. A homestead exemption refers to exemptions from property tax that homeowners can claim. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $35,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $20,000.

As a homeowner, you may apply for a homestead exemption on your principal residence ONLY. This means the home's owner must live at the home as of January 1st of the tax year, and be an individual (not a corporation or

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As affordability becomes more of an issue in the Austin area, the city is working to make more affordable housing options. These homes are reserved for people at 80% or below the median income level and are usually just as beautiful as their fully priced counterparts. These housing and financial empowerment programs are designed to assist Austin’s moderate and low-income residents and families.

Affordable housing developments include all kinds of homes for people from all walks of life. This includes more than 1,400 new houses, condos, and apartments that are reserved specifically for those with lower incomes. The aim is to keep people's housing costs at no more than 30% of the household’s gross income. If the housing costs are kept at a

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