More HOAs Foreclose on Late-Paying Owners

Condo homeowner associations are increasingly going after owners who have fallen behind on paying their HOA fees by triggering foreclosures against late owners. But some mortgage experts worry the move could have a ripple effect on other owners too in the form of higher interest rates and fees on their mortgage.

Does Starbucks Brew Higher Home Values?

The arrival of Starbucks’ coffee shops may help indicate where higher home values will soon surface, asserts a new analysis from Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries’s new book, Zillow Talk. They claim that “Starbucks equates with venti-sized home-value appreciation. Moreover, Starbucks seems to be fueling – not following these higher home values.”

So How Hot Is Your Central Texas City?

So how hot is your Central Texas city and how quick do the home fly off the shelf ... or the MLS ... where you live!

I checked the median # of days on market, by city, for all single family homes that sold in the last 30 days (these homes used were: priced $200K-$350K; 3+ beds and 2+ baths).

In the cities I sampled:
- Cedar Park came in as the hottest local city with a median time of 5 days on the market!
- Austin came in at 10 days
- Round Rock at 12 days.

Refinancing Paid Off for Homeowners in 2014

Borrowers who took advantage of near-record low mortgage rates and refinanced in 2014 were able to unlock big savings in their monthly payments, according to Freddie Mac’s fourth quarter 2014 refinance analysis.

Of the borrowers who refinanced during the fourth quarter of 2014, they were able to reduce their interest rate, on average, by about 1.3 percentage points – a savings of about 23 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s report. On a $200,000 loan that translates into saving of about $2,500 interest during the next 12 months.

Cheers! Downtown Austin tops nation for most bars per person....

Casual downtown Austin observers might have guessed there has been a whole lot of drinking going on here for South By Southwest and St. Patrick's Day earlier this week. A deep data dive drives that point home.

Need A New Water Heater ... Demolish Your Home! :o

You probably didn't know this but you may need to demolish part of your home to replace your old water heater!!!

OK, so the intro may be a bit sensationalized (al la the Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper in England) but in some homes it may be a fact!!!

7 Common Lawn Myths vs Reality

Spring is here and it's time for you to start planning your lawn and landscaping strategy. Before you start cutting and fertilizing, it's a good idea to review these common myths and myth-busting tips from lawn and landscaping professionals:

Myth #1: You can water your lawn and landscape any time of day.
Reality: Water is a valuable resource; make every drop count! Watering the lawn in the early mornings or evenings after sunset minimizes evaporation. It’s the best time for water to penetrate deep into the soil.

California investors pour millions into Austin's Honest Dollar....

Honest Dollar Inc., a tech-based financial services startup, has completed a $3 million seed financing.