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Investing

Found 33 blog entries about Investing.

Our favorite local economist, Neil Spelce, is retiring from his post as Austin's premier economic soothsayer after 40 years of weekly newsletters and we are sad to see his tenure come to an end. Starting in 1979, the articles have consisted of a four-page report mailed out to all the subscribers week after week, 50 weeks a year. In 2000 they converted to an email distribution system while still providing printed copies for those who preferred the old way. It's incredible to think that the consistency of delivery could be maintained by one man for so long but his reliably delivered product was matched by its accuracy in detail and prognostication.  

 When the Neal Spelce Austin Letter (NSAL) first began, resources for detailed economic issues were

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For many years, the VA loan of the past had a reputation for being less desirable in the real estate marketplace, especially in consistently hot markets like we have here in Central Texas. I spoke with Chad Bowman of Veterans United Home Loans in Austin & Killeen to find out how this product has changed and how it has become a strong selling point for your Veteran property buyers.

Chad, a Veteran himself, spent the last several years teaching Veterans, REALTORS®, and the general public about how to successfully navigate the easier-than-ever VA loan. Below is our conversation:

1.  How has the VA loan experience changed over the last decade for the borrower? The Seller?

Since I started as a VA Loan Specialist 14 years ago, the VA loan has only

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(BASTROP) With a 90-day building moratorium in place as of August 14 and the Building Bastrop campaign inception, the City of Bastrop is working with Simple City Design gaining knowledge of Bastrop’s building past, appreciation of its present progress, and anticipation for the city’s future growth.

Realizing that Central Texas is one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, creating substantial opportunities and challenges for cities in the area, the Bastrop City Council approved the building moratorium, using this time to explore responsible growth solutions, focusing on outdated development codes and stormwater management.

After weeks of research and data gathering, Simple City Design presented the Bastrop DNA Analysis report and Powerpoint

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(BASTROP) Double Eagle Ranch, located in Cedar Creek, is Bastrop’s newest development offering new-home country living just 13.5  miles from Austin Bergstrom Airport. Check out www.DoubleEagleRanch.com for photos and floor plans.

 With easy access to Highway 71 and Loop 130, Double Eagle Ranch residents will have the luxury of many wooded homesites spanning near-to-slightly-over one-acre lots. Brohn Homes is the first of four home builders to offer building sites in this community.

Currently in the 70-acre Phase 1 section of Double Eagle Ranch, Brohn has 12 over-sized lots ready to build along with several inventory homes that will be ready by the end of the year.

Brohn Homes features 7 floor plans ranging from 1802-2644 square foot in a choice

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I have been following the Land Use Code update process from before it was branded CodeNext. A Land Use Code is the set of regulations a city uses about how property is used and developed. It balances landowner rights while also looking out for overall community interests. A city’s land use code is not to be confused with deed restrictions or HOA rules. A property owner’s plan must meet all these rules.

Codes do get updated (the last in Austin was in 1984) but our land use code is older than that and the principals involved were from a very car-centric frame of mind. As such, the land use code has been a contributing factor to our city's biggest complaints. We also have the problems of so many little fixes, amendments, and neighborhood plans adopted

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Have you ever wondered, “What's so hard about selling a house? I can do that myself.” According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), only 8% of homes sold per year are sold directly by the owner. There is a good reason for this; navigating the complete transaction of a home sale can be complicated. These are the questions you must ask yourself: What do I need to do in order to get the home ready for the market? Should I do any repairs/remodeling before putting it on? How will I market the home? and most importantly, At what price will I sell my home? Of course, within these questions are a hundred other questions that pop up. It can be stressful for the untrained person to consider. By not understanding the issues that can arise in a sales

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The City of Austin is no stranger to energy efficiency innovation. In fact, the sustainability program run by the local utility company, Austin Energy, became a model for the creation of the national Energy Star program back in 1992. Austin Energy's mission - to safely deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service - has been rewarded yet again as the winners of the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award.

Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, is proud to announce that it received the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership and superior contributions to ENERGY STAR. Austin Energy’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S.

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With interest rates on the rise, buyers have been asking, "How do higher interest rates really affect my monthly payment?" The answer might surprise you and it's not as much as you would think.

In this example, we're using a buyer with a 760 credit score putting 10% down on a $300,000 sales price using a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. The monthly principal and interest payment change is only $18.90 a month per .125% rise in interest rate.

Interest Rate Effects

Today's rates are still near half their historical average of over 8%. That provides continued opportunity to lock in very low rates, even if they are higher than in recent history. The days of 4% interest rates are behind us, for now, so maximizing your down payment is a vital component to keeping your payment

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A REALTOR® can save you money, time, and hassles when purchasing a newly built home. can save you money, time, and hassles when purchasing a newly built home.

Buying a newly built home can be a great option for buyers, especially when the inventory of resale homes is tight, and choices are limited.  Central Texas builders have been working for years to create enough inventory to keep up with area demand, and this can work well for you if you are planning to buy a home. 

If you decide to consider new homes as a possibility, here are some important success tips:

First and foremost, involve a Realtor.  Onsite salespeople at builder communities work directly for one builder, and as employees, their job is to get that builder the best deal they

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We talk with potential investors all the time who seem very comfortable with the loan processes involved in buying a single-family residence.  However, when the conversation changes to the possibility of financing a multifamily property potential investors will sometimes get overwhelmed and intimidated.  In this article, I am going to try to outline the different types of commercial lenders.

  

So, what exactly is a commercial loan? Simply put, a commercial loan is a loan that finances properties that are five or more units. If you are looking at a 1-4 Multifamily property that is classified as residential and is financed differently than the methods described here.

Key Differences between a Residential and Commercial loan

Commercial loans are

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