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January 2017

Found 12 blog entries for January 2017.

The December & Year-End 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by Austin Board of REALTORS® reported 2016 as another record-breaking year for Central Texas home sales, while also showing signs that the housing market could begin to normalize in 2017.

“The Central Texas housing market is slowly beginning to align with long-term historical trends. Homes are spending more time on the market and the pace of both home sales and price growth is slowing,” said Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®. “This normalization does not necessarily mean a weakening housing market, but a return to less aggressive market conditions.”

Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

More than 29,000 (29,569)

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People, homes, and communities are our business.

Our clients look to us for advice on making smarter decisions for green living, whether it relates to energy efficiency in a new home, greener designs or materials for a remodel, or referrals to appropriate professionals to help them meet their goals.

One of the strongest, most pervasively positive choices you can make as a consumer is the choice to spend your money with local businesses.  Local businesses contribute to the well-being of their communities in so many ways, by keeping a much higher percentage of the money you spend working in the area.  Here’s a list of six ways that spending your money with local businesses helps to build the community where you live:

1)  Economic “Reuse and

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When buying new homes, one of the most unique opportunities is buying a spec home. So what is a spec home? A spec home is when a builder speculates on a development by starting the process of building homes there. They have money sunk into the project and they hope to recoup it by having someone buy the home before it is finished. The buyer can see a lot of benefits from buying this “Spec home.” The main benefit they will see is that they will have a wide latitude in choosing the finish out of the home.    

However, if a buyer steps in to purchase the home at some time before completion they will be able to customize it in any way they see fit. For the purposes of this blog, we are talking about a real, available Milestone home South of

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Selling your home is a daunting task and not something that you do very often.  So naturally there are a lot of things that you should keep in mind if you want to sell quickly and for a good price.  Whether it is picking a real estate Agent or figuring out a great price to list your home, these decisions will determine if you get the results that you are looking for.

No matter what the market is doing now you can sell your home if you want or need to.  Central Texas has had very low inventory for months which tends to favor sellers. You may have heard about the roughly 120 people per day that move to the area.  Here are some tips that will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes in selling your home

Choose a Realtor That You Trust

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January, in my opinion, is the most "optimistic" month of the year. The majority of people are making new commitments to themselves, maybe to others, to positively change their lives. For some, the commitment is huge. Maybe it's losing weight, having a child, or finishing that degree. Others, like myself, want to make small changes.

Call me a pessimist, I like to call myself a realist. I know what I can and cannot do. I set realistic goals that I know will be attainable. In my case, it's not about being a 'new me' as much as improving the current version of myself. I know my 'new me' year will come some day... maybe more than once, but that's not this year. So I have this year's goals for myself and added a "breakout" goal. This breakout goal is a goal

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  There are multiple different methods for finding the price of a home. Some work better in certain market conditions than others. In a buyers market with lots of listings, making simple adjustments based on a home’s features works well. However in a market with lots of buyers where sellers have a strong position, listing your home in the correct price range can get you plenty of attention and offers.

Ultimately when you are selling your home, you don’t determine the value of your home. Listing agents also don’t determine the value of your home. Buyers and the market determine the value of your home. However, that doesn’t mean they have the most power in the situation. Buyers are more likely to budge and accept a price they don’t like if it is…
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What is it and what does it mean to you?

Texas Homestead Laws date back to 1839 when many families lost their homes and farms through foreclosures after the 1837 depression. In order to preserve the integrity of the family, to provide the family with a home and to keep the family from becoming a burdensome charge upon the public welfare, certain homestead protections became a part of the State constitution. In the residential context, the homestead is owned and occupied as the home and is protected from forced sale for general debts.

Only certain types of liens are valid against the homestead, and these include:

– To finance the purchase of the homestead
– To pay taxes due on the homestead
– To obtain money for work and material to

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2017 will be a year of change. 

If you are keeping an eye out for changes in the real estate market, here are a few things you can watch for:

-- Interest rates will almost certainly increase this year. Most projections are for rates to remain in the four percent range, and to top out between four and a half and four and three-quarters.  Those are still very low rates historically but remember that for homebuyers it still means a little less in terms of affordability.  It may mean that buyers who are marginally qualified may not be able to enter the buying market.   If you are planning to buy a home at any time this year, it will not pay you to wait. 

-- Appreciation will probably slow a bit, according to NAR, whose 2017 forecast projects home

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If there's one thing that lots of Stanberry agents have in common it is a love of gardening and fresh produce.  Whether we are learning about gardening, helping tend to community gardens, visiting our local farmer's markets, or simply growing a tomato plant in a pot on the back porch we love it.  Not only are these veggies fresh and organic, they are also a boon to the local economy and all of us who enjoy them.  

Johnson's Backyard CSA

This month we received a couple of boxes from Johnson's Backyard Garden filled with great locally grown vegetables. JBG is an Austin tradition at this point.  Starting out in 2004 as a backyard family farm JBG has grown to one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture operations in Texas.  The farm now has

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Yes, it's true- it's this time of year again. If you purchased a home, closed with a title company, on a home in 2016 and have not filed for the Texas Homestead exemption and are qualified to do so, you should start filling out the forms as the deadline for submission is prior to May 1st, but as we all know, time flies and the next thing you know it's April 30th 11:59 and you've not filled out the form. It's really quite simple and only take a few minutes-- so don't procrastinate.

Are you qualified for homestead exemption? Well, your primary residence must be in your name is the major qualification. For a quick rundown of the Texas Residence Homestead Tax code states an applicant is required to state that the applicant does not claim an exemption on

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