Helping You Reduce Your Closing Costs

Closing costs can add a lot to home buyers’ final price, particularly depending on which lender a buyer uses, what state they live in, the price of the home, and sometimes even the day of the month the closing occurs, The Wall Street Journal reports. But comparison shopping among lenders may help buyers to reduce their closing costs.

Borrowers can reduce their closing costs in several ways:

Apartments, wet lab space next up for Highland Mall redevelopment....

Austin Community College and its development partner are set to add wet lab space — and apartments — as part of the Highland Mall redevelopment.

Austin Area Hits ‘Best Craft Breweries in America’ List – Twice!

Jester King, from Austin, and Twisted X, from Dripping Springs, both hit Thrillists’ alphabetic ‘Best Craft Beer in America’ category. (OK, I think the entrants for the letter ‘X’ probably had limited options but you’ll have to go check it out and see if it was deserved! … Do let us know!). These were the only 2 Texas breweries that hit the list out of 2,400 Craft Breweries nationwide.

BTW … last year Thrillist identified Austin Beerworks as the #2 best brewery in Texas, behind Jester King, so a special shout-out for them, too!

As Millennials Wait, Housing Bets on Boomers

While younger people increasingly delay home ownership, baby boomers are stepping in to fill the void.

For new-home builders, "everybody's best-selling projects are those catering to elder buyers," John Burns, a housing consultant, told Bloomberg News. "It's really going to happen all across the country." Austin suburbs among best places for families....

Austin suburbs Round Rock and Pflugerville have been named among the 10 best Texas cities for families, according to a new report from the rental website

The report — summarized in the San Francisco-based website's Rentonomics blog— ranked the cities by taking account of each one's crime, housing cost, school quality and percentage of population under the age of 18.

Pflugerville was ranked No. 7 on the list, with the author highlighting the city's ample parklands and recreational sites such as Lake Pflugerville.

Austin’s Unemployment Rate Breaks Under Pre-Recession Levels!

Austin’s unadjusted unemployment rate hit 3.4% in December, down 0.5% from November’s 3.9%, and at its lowest point since just before the recession.

As Austin entered the 2008 recession, unemployment went from the low to mid 3 percent range to 7.5% in less than a year!

Texas’ unemployment as a whole fell to 4.6% in December, down from 4.9% the prior month. In 2014 Texas added around 457,900 nonfarm jobs … 51 consecutive months of job growth.

More Home Buyers Lying on Loan Docs

For the third consecutive year, mortgage fraud is on the rise as more loan applications are found to contain misrepresentations, according to the latest data from LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

5 States with Highest Mortgage Fraud:
1. Florida
2. Nevada
3. New Jersey
4. Arizona
5. Illinois

High-rise student housing project breaks ground in West Campus....

Dallas-based Inland American Communitiesis building its first Austin project — a 20-story project on the site of the former University Luthera

Austin Area Residential Real Estate Forecast … Looking Good For 2015!

Home buyers will see prices rise at a slower pace than they have in recent years, said Eldon Rude, principal of 360 Real Estate Analytics, at a NW Austin Real Estate Forum. He also acknowledged that the pace of price appreciation won’t ease significantly! He sees continued construction starts up another 10% in the area, somewhere between 12,000 and 12,500.

Top Amenities Buyers Are Splurging On

"Consumers today aren't just looking for the biggest house on the block. They're looking for more efficient use of space and a greater area allocated to 'workhorse' spaces, like the kitchen," Ryan Marshall, PulteGroup's executive vice president of homebuilding operations, marketing, and sales, said about findings from a recent survey of buyer wish lists. "Home buyers want unique features and amenities and will do what it takes to find the home they truly want, even if they have to pay more for a move-in ready home."

Here are a few of the amenities home buyers say are must-haves: