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Latest News

May 4th-7th: An Other-Worldly Weekend

What A Weekend! 

What do  Luke Skywalker, The Guardians Of The Galaxy, free comic books & the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower all have in common?  They are coming together the first weekend of May for what promises to be one of the most adventurous weekends of the year!

“May The Force be with you” on May 4th. Start your weekend early celebrating Star Wars Day at one of several local Star Wars themed events. Join Other Worlds Austin at 4th Tap Brewing for special screenings of award winning Star Wars Fan Films, a costume contest and a special taproom limited release of “The Fist Of The Empire”, an imperial stout representing dark side of The Force.

Look skyward the nights of May 5th & 6th as the Eta Aquarid Meteor shower peaks. Though visibility in the US isn’t optimal, Texans can still see upwards of 20 meteors per hour just before dawn.

May 6th, is Free Comic Day! What? Free Comic Book Day! Comic book and graphic novel stores across town will be participating in family friendly events in the 16th year of this annual celebration. While we will always be partial to our friends at Austin Book & Comics, this year we are all in with Austin Toy Museum and Hops & Heroes Comics for their first ever Free Comic Book Day Event.

Nerded out enough just yet? Did you forget that Guardians Of The Galaxy II comes out this weekend, too? It’s amazing when weekends like this shape up so nicely so grab your kids, your friends, or call me if you are shy and let’s nerd out this weekend together!

Board of Realtor Stats vs MLS Data – Jan 2017

The Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) just released their report on January home sales. As we wait for all the media to report the data, I think it’s a fun exercise to check that data.

The graphic below illustrates the difference in ABOR’s data and that which you can find in Matrix (the software Realtors use to list properties and to find opportunities for prospective home buyers). The top of the graphic is ABOR’s data. The bottom shows screenshots of the MLS data found in Matrix.

Of note, demand, represented in the ABOR graphic is up 7% while Matrix shows a 4.4% increase. Supply represented in the graphic by months of inventory, is shown to be at  2 months of supply in ABOR’s graphic compared to 6 months of supply in Matrix.

Let’s pose the obvious question, which is correct? Is it the Board of Realtors tasked with managing the data and running Matrix or Matrix itself?

Stay tuned my friends and let me know if you want to take advantage of the market!

ABOR vs MLS Jan 2017

(click to expand graphic)

It’s Time For Your Annual Home Review!


Are you ready for 2017?

This is that time of year to chat with your favorite Realtor for your annual home review. As your home is likely your biggest investment,  it’s critical to consider these 5 questions every year:

  1. What changes have occurred in your life that alter your goals for the next 5 years?
  2. What properties near you have sold, and how does this impact you today?
  3. What’s happening in your neighborhood that will impact the value of your home?
  4. What’s occurring with your current mortgage and what changes could benefit you?
  5. What new tax laws give you deductions or credits on home improvements?

Message me now and let’s answer these together to make sure you get the absolute most out of 2017!

<Check out our preview of2017 and the stories we’ll be following>

Looking Ahead To The 2017 Housing Market


Looking ahead to the 2017 Housing Market

Blame it on the election cycle, the climbing interest rates or affordability, and I’ve heard it all, the central Texas housing rate of growth very clearly slowed in 2016 compared to previous years. The good news is that the Austin metro area had another record breaking year with home values and sales.

Though the housing market traditionally slows every presidential election year, I wouldn’t blame the second half of last year being slower than the previous three years solely on the election. The normalization of our market in 2016, meaning a less aggressive rate of growth, will likely continue – though check out the ‘stories to follow’ below. Let me be clear, less aggressive rates of growth in our housing market will ensure the Austin Metro Area is strong for quite some time. In fact, we’re projecting a healthy market with record breaking home sales and home values in 2017!

This year we are primed to see:

  • Interest rates continue their climb upward and will flirt with 5% for a 30-year fixed
  • Adjusted rate mortgages and second liens will come back to the marketplace
  • Creative financing causes further competition in the sub $400k market
  • Most stats will continue to climb but normalize signaling a healthier market

Stories to follow that could impact our housing market :

  • Jobs Jobs Jobs: Unemployment for our MSA continues to be the lowest in the state. Though the labor department reported a loss of 2000 jobs from November to December here locally. Texas currently ranks 10th in the nation in percentage of population growth from 2015-16 and 14th in the Tax Foundation State Business Climate Index. Competition nationwide is clear as local affordability and tax climate relative to other cities is still a concern.
  • What happens with the mortgage interest tax deduction? Though it’s not clear what will happen with the tax deduction as President Trump and House Republicans are not on the same page, what is clear is that change is coming. The National Association of Realtors is strongly opposed to any changes to the mortgage interest deduction.
  • Long-term impact of the return of creative financing (see above).
  • Other hot topics include: Water retention and distribution, the Texas Legislative Session and any changes to NAFTA.


To me, in light of all the pending change, I see opportunity across the board. If you’d like to get together and discuss the market and how you can take advantage of it, please let me know and let’s make that happen!

<read our 2016 housing market review here>

Reviewing the 2016 Housing Market

“Change in the Air”Reviewing the Housing Market


2016 proved to be another solid year for Texas home owners, sellers and buyers. Here in Central Texas, home values continued to climb to record numbers as did the total units and dollar volume sold. But with change hanging over heads all year long, it’s little surprise to see some rates of change slow to a more “normal” market, as yours truly projected last January.

This time last year the Austin Board of Realtors reported that during 2015 the metro area saw 5% growth in terms of units closed and an appreciation rate of 8%, and citing it was “primarily due to our region’s job and ongoing population growth”, Aaron Farmer -ABOR president 2015.

The Austin metro area has been fortunate for quite some time in terms of the real estate numbers we’ve seen. Year after year has been record breaking with home owners seeing aggressive appreciation and home buyers finding themselves competing to win offers on existing housing.

But now, after a crazy election cycle and a few interest rate hikes, 2017 is starting with a bit of a different feel.

“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.”   – ABOR Press Release, January 18th 2017

About that slowing pace. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M (the mecca for all things Texas Real Estate) published a report saying that Austin Metro area saw home sale growth slide from 5% to 1%  and price growth from 8% to 5.9%.

However, that’s the area as whole. Digging in a bit more may surprise you.

According to data I pulled directly from the MLS, Travis County saw the year-over-year increase in number of homes sold go from 5% in 2015 to 1.1% in 2016 and the growth in average price per home slowed from a rate 8% to 5.5%.  Austin City Limits took an even more interesting turn moving from 2.1% growth in units sold in 2015 to a 1% reduction in 2016; and the growth in average price per home dropped from 8% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2016.

Austin MSA area Market comparisons

(click graphic to expand)

To be fair, our market has been outpacing itself for quite sometime. I’ve often compared the market to car speeding at 80mph in a 55mph zone and to continue that metaphor, the metro area is still pacing at about 65mph.

Further, for the past few years most economists have agreed that the 8-10% appreciation rate we’ve seen the past few years was not sustainable and in fact, most argued that we’d like to see that drop to around 4.5. Well in 2016, it did and for the most part, that’s GREAT!

Let me be clear, the housing market in Central Texas, the local metro area and Austin looks quite healthy moving forward. If you are considering buying or selling, there is opportunity abound and I want to help you find it. Let me know if our team can be of assistance and let us help you take advantage of what is sure to be another stellar year in 2017!

<check out our 2017 preview and the stories we’ll be following>

For Buyers: Saved By The Bell


You may have heard the rumors that spring is the best time to buy a home. But if everyone is abiding by that advice, what does that mean for you? Sometimes it helps to go against the current and do things on your own timeline. Here are some compelling reasons why you may want to wait until after the school bell rings to start shopping around for a new home. Winter spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I will make sure that I find you your dream home. I look forward to working with you!

4 Reasons to Buy a Home After School Starts by Deborah Kearns. © 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A Note From Scott, October2016

A Note From Scott

Howdy, y’all! The peak home sales season may have passed but our little team of Real Estate professionals hasn’t slowed in the least. To the contrary, our buyers, and many of our homeowners for that matter, are busier than ever.

To me, the fall is the best time of year to consider all of your options as a homeowner or prospective homeowner. Regardless of your situation, we would love to visit with you to see if we can make your current situation even better!

  • Considering a move-up or relocation? We should build that plan today!
  • Ready to enter the marketplace as a first time home buyer? With today’s interest rates, inventory levels & first time buyer incentives, now is the time!
  • Have an interest rate over 4% on your existing loan? We should talk about that!
  • Considering purchasing an income producing property? Rents are at all time high in Central Texas so take advantage and build your retirement through real estate!

If any of these four scenarios sound familiar, I want to talk to you! Call me or email me and let’s get together. We’ll explore your options together and we can build a plan that puts money in your pocket!

– Scott

New To The Austin MLS: “CS” Listings

Coming Soon!
New to the Austin MLS:  “CS” listings
For a few years, local buyers have had countless reasons to be frustrated. The lack of inventory has made it difficult to win offers and often they’ve missed out on opportunities entirely as some homes contract without ever hitting the open market.

Realtors have tried countless ways to adapt creating numerous underground market portals that only fractions of the local Realtor community actually join. But now, a game changer from the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) and I think sellers and buyers will be pleased!

The Austin Board of Realtors has launched a new MLS status called Coming Soon or CS. This new status was implemented in an effort to make it easier to for buyers to see coming soon listings; a benefit for both home buyers and sellers.

If you are currently using one of our search portals to look at homes, about 30 of you right now 🙌, get ready to start seeing these “CS” listings coming direct to your inboxes starting tomorrow! If you would like to make changes to an existing search or would like to us to build one for you so you can monitor the inventory, let us know and we’ll build it immediately.

Consider This: Fall Season Is Home Buyer Season


Consider this

Fall season is buyer season! Last week we closed a first time home buyer who purchased a remodeled 3 bed, 2.5 bath home in south Austin, north of Slaughter, for only $233,500. That buyer only brought $8,000 to the table (earnest money, downpayment, inspection and appraisal) and left with a 3.5% interest rate and $1600 monthly payment.  Still think Austin isn’t affordable?


This graph shows the number of sales and the percentage of original list price sellers received by month in 2015. Consider that though the sales numbers dip in the fall, buyers very clearly have negotiation strength as sellers discount more during this time of year.

The low rates and increase in seller concessions translates to opportunity for prospective home buyers this fall. Sellers, don’t be intimidated by this message but truly, I’d be eyeballing 2017 for a listing date.

For Buyers: Fad Or Fixture


Just like with scrunchies, acid wash jeans, and neon jazzercise gear, all fads come and go. In-demand home features vary based on the year, and 2016 homebuyers have a particular expectation of what they’d like to see in their dream house. Are any of these features on your list? As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I can help you find a home that exceeds your expectations. Please let me know if you have any questions! 

7 Features Home Buyers Want Most. Copyright © 2015 Thomson Reuters.