First a personal update: being a full-time agent has been great! I am grateful that I had the opportunity to “retire” early from General Motors and get a nice separation package that gave me the confidence to try this out. That said, my first couple of months have been very successful! Since my last day at GM I’ve closed a lease for a client in Brushy Creek, sold 5 acres of unimproved land in Spicewood for my friend’s mother in law, and helped some other friends purchase their dream home in Highland Park West (my biggest deal to date!). Also, by this time next month, I should be a broker and I’m excited for what’s next!
Now, on to the current real estate market. I’m mainly speaking here about the Austin area, but many of these thoughts apply nationwide. For the city of Austin in July, the median sales price was $550,000, which is down 12% YoY. Days on Market was 43, which is up 26 days YoY. And, finally, Months of Inventory was 3.9 – up by more than 1.5 months. So, prices down and inventory up, resulting in longer days on market. Moving towards a buyers’ market,...more
After a 30-year long career in IT, I've made the decision to make #realestate my full time job. I have been doing it on weekends and evenings, helping friends and family over the last 5 years, and I'm ready and I'm excited!
I'm planning to get my Broker's license this summer, which is kind of like a promotion in real estate. Brokers control and are responsible for transactions and agents. Agents represent the brokerage and their clients. As part of applying, I had to make a list of every closed transaction I've done, and I've logged 32 transactions worth nearly $16M over those 5 years, so Jimi's question: Yes. I'm experienced. I also currently work under Rose & Associates Properties, and my broker Sean has logged thousands of transactions over the last 20+ years, so if you work with me, you get him as a bonus. :-D
If you're curious what your home is worth, or you're looking for an investment/vacation home, or just want...more
The Austin real estate market has been crazy since Covid hit in spring of 2020. First, everything went deathly still... then slowly momentum started to build on the buy-side, making it an extreme sellers' market for about 2 years. There was very limited supply (builders struggled with supply chain, permitting, etc) and extraordinary demand (150 people/day moving to the area, PLUS investors got wind of the appreciation and cash flow potential in central Texas). Roughly one in four SFH bought in Austin was purchased by an investor of some sort.
More recently we've seen a fairly significant swing in the other direction. A ton of new supply (mostly new construction and folks trying to time the peak) has come on the market, and demand dipped (higher interest rates and general economic uncertainty to blame here). Now we are seeing more and more price drops - in June closed prices were lower than original list price for the first time in a LONG time. Where we had been seeing less than two weeks of inventory, we now have more than two months' worth.
Now, all that...more
Short Term Rentals, or STRs, are a very hot investment space right now. Revenue numbers can dwarf long-term rental units, if your property is in a desirable location with a strong tourism component. Yes, there are higher costs as well (property management, cleaning, etc), but in a market like Austin, the numbers are very compelling. STR is the best way to maximize your revenue.
However, investors who are familiar with Austin know that the city has made it difficult and expensive to own and operate STRs here. Restrictions include that only owner-occupied dwellings are eligible, and one must apply-for and keep current a license to operate a STR. However, by working with an experienced agent (like me) you can identify work-arounds. For example, if you have a minimum rental period of 30 days, you're not considered an STR. These rentals are very sought-after in Austin right now, and people are moving here, but want a couple of months to get the lay of the land before buying... but most apartments and SFH rentals require 12 month leases. A great niche!
What if I told you there was a way to buy a lake house (or other vacation property), and get someone else to pay for it? Seems crazy, I know, but I've done it. Twice. Let me tell you my story...
First of all, like a lot of people, I've always wished for a lake house near Austin. I've done well in my career, but not to the point that I could plunk down 20% on a decent place *and* afford two mortgages. But in 2019 I stopped wishing and asked myself how I could make it happen.
To make a long story short, my strategy involved two key things:
(1) Partnering with friends whom I enjoy hanging out with, who also have kids around my daughter's age. This cut my down payment obligation down from 20% to 5% and does the same thing for operational expenses.
(2) Putting the property into the short-term-rental pool for much of the year. Generating rental income has allowed us to not put a nickel towards paying our mortgage, insurance, etc. Our best month to date was this past July with over $21,000 in gross rent!
You can take a look at the property...more
I'm sure everyone has heard the news over the last 6 months that the Austin real estate market (and many others around the country) has been extraordinarily hot.
Stories of sellers getting 50 offers on the day they list, and stories of buyers having to offer $100,000 over asking with appraisal and inspection waived are fading into (recent) history.
It is still a sellers' market, though.
Roughly two weeks of inventory in Austin proper, and about 3 weeks in the MSA. For reference, a "balanced market" carries about 6 months of inventory. I say all of this to indicate that if you've been thinking of selling - now may be the perfect time.
The overall market has risen by 40% year-over-year, it is still very much a sellers market, and if you price accurately, you can still count on multiple offers and getting under contract within a few days.
If you've been thinking of selling and would like me to tell you what your home is worth, click the "Get in Touch" tab.
Or just want to chat? I'd be happy to buy you a coffee and meet up!
I can't tell you how many times I have had this conversation in the past few months with my friends and neighbors here in Austin: 'Man, I would love to sell my house right now, but... where would I go?". It's true! This is a fantastic time to sell - competition is fierce and you can get top dollar and amazing terms. Let me share some ideas with you all, and perhaps we can chat some more if any of these resonate with you.
Move on up: We have some friends who have wanted to move to a larger house with room for a pool for a few years. They finally felt they were ready financially, but they were worried about the problem I just mentioned: they could get top dollar, but how could they compete for a new larger home? Putting in a contingent offer certainly wouldn't be competitive with cash. Here is what they did: listed their current home with a fairly aggressive (low) price. Buyers flocked and within a day they had an offer for cash, 10% over list, appraisal waiver and lease-back for free until September. Now they have cash in the bank and 4 months to shop for a new...more
As the parents of a young daughter, my wife and I started thinking about college expenses before she was out of the womb. We have a 529 set up, and we put money in every month. We're trying to be smart about saving for college, and I hope that any of who you read this are being smart, too.
Having said that, I am still learning! I have known a couple of people who bought homes to house their college-bound children, and it seemed a smart move. After doing some digging, I can say it is a *very* smart move!
Consider this scenario... There are a lot of assumptions in here, and I can certainly walk you through them if you are curious, just email me. I compared on-campus housing through UT Austin, off-campus housing near UT Austin, and buying a condo near UT Austin. As you can see, there is a considerable difference when you have a salable asset at the end of 5 years, compared to simply writing a check to a landlord.
Now consider that you can legally utilize 529 funds to charge your child rent - up to the university says a room costs - while they are in school. See...more
There are few good things about this Global Pandemic - I'm definitely OVER IT. However, if you have a mortgage, the last few months have been the best time in history to refinance. All my mortgage broker friends have been SWAMPED (and I know some great ones - hit me up!). But Fannie & Freddie will start charging 0.5% for Refis on September 1st - see this Axios Article for why. However, if you're buying a home, the extra fee won't apply, so these historically low rates still apply to you if you're moving!
Another, possible, long-term benefit of Covid-19 may be the move towards remote work for many information workers. This opens up a world of possibilities for those who can work from anywhere. If you could live anywhere, perhaps a larger home (with TWO home offices??) would be nice? A pool? Bigger lot, lower taxes, better weather? What would make you move, and could you save big money doing it? Maybe so - hit me up if you'd...more
First of all, let me say that these are frightening times. There is a global pandemic that has sickened millions of people, killed hundreds of thousands, destroyed millions of jobs in the USA and the effects will echo around the world for years and years. I'm praying for everyone affected. We are in a recession, officially, in the USA, and with stock market volatility, interest rate confusion and even news of oil prices going negative - all leaves us shocked and confused.
The impact of all of this for Austin real estate, so far at least, has been fairly straightforward: new listings have slowed substantially and some were pulled. However, there are still folks who are looking to buy. When demand is fairly steady, but supply suddenly dips- the result is that prices are rising and "days-on-market" are going down.
If you've been thinking of listing, this is a unique time - especially in the $500K-$2M price range. If you're shopping for investment properties in the less-than $500K price range, my feeling is that prices won't be dropping for a few more months. If you have...more