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In competitive housing markets across the country, making an offer that sticks has become increasingly difficult. Ensure you don’t make the process even tougher by succumbing to one of these common mistakes.

“Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties in New York. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property altogether.” Buyers need to be ready with their paperwork, such as bank statements, a preapproval letter, and documents supporting proof of funds, from the day they begin house-hunting mode. That way they can pounce quickly with an offer when they do find a home they like.

Making an offer for their preapproved amount
Smart buyers are getting

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In Texas, talking barbecue is a cherished pastime — and it's a big business — so the latest accounting of the state's most-talented pitmasters released Monday by Texas Monthly should give fans of smoked meat something to chew on.

Aaron Franklin's east-side eatery was bumped out of the top spot, although it didn't fall far, and overall the capital city was highly lauded. A record seven Austin restaurants made the cut — up from five the last time Texas Monthly compiled the list in 2014, and the most of any city in the state. Go here to see the complete rundown and begin making plans to visit them all.

The Austin restaurants included in the list, and their rank if they made the top 10:

  • No. 2: Franklin Barbecue, led by Aaron Franklin, who Texas
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Foreclosures Plunge to Lowest Level Since 2005Foreclosure filings—which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions—are down 23 percent from a year ago and have hit their lowest level since November 2005, according to the April 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market report, released Thursday by ATTOM Data Solutions.

“Foreclosure activity continued to search for a new post-recession floor in April thanks in large part to the performance of mortgages originated in the past seven years,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

A total of 34,085 properties started the foreclosure process in April, well below the pre-recession average of more than 77,000 foreclosure starts per month between April 2005 and November 2007, according to the report.

However, “we are

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With the summer season quickly approaching, some parents are scrambling to figure out how they're going to occupy their children's time.

One option? Summer camps. And there are some reasonably priced options out there that still have openings.

Whether your child likes the outdoors, sports or the arts, we have put together a list for you:


2017 Time Travelers Youth Summer Camp

Camp Wildflower

Summer Camps for Dog Lovers


Soccer Zone: All-Star Sports

University of Texas: Sports Camps

Round Rock Express: Baseball Camp


Game On: Summer Camp

The Thinkery: Summer Camp

Moolah U: Summer Camp

Overnight camps


Rocky River Ranch


Austin School of Film: Youth Summer Camp

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Mortgage Rates in Holding PatternThe 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to hover around 4 percent for the fourth consecutive week.

“Mixed economic reports over the last week have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending May 11:
• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.05 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.02 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.57 percent.
• 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.29 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.27 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.81 percent.
• 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14

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Austin is the third-best city in the United States to launch a career, trailing only Salt Lake City and Orlando, Florida.

That's according to a new report that compared the professional opportunities of major markets versus quality of life and found that its hard to beat booming Central Texas in either category.

WalletHub examined the country's 150 largest metros to compile its "Best & Worst Cities to Start a Career" list for 2017.

Austin ranked third in the U.S. for expected population growth (the area added 159 people per day on average from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016) and fourth for average monthly starting salary, adjusted for cost of living (while Austin workers often early less than peers in bigger cities, their money goes farther in the

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6 Top Landscaping TrendsSmart technology, thoughtful -- yet simplistic -- design, and sustainability are the keywords when it comes to landscapes today.

“Savvy homeowners are seeking smart landscape solutions, which means we’re finding new ways to adapt to environmental elements, making continued advances in technology and taking outdoor living to the next level,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs at the National Association of Landscape Professionals. “At the same time, a return to simple plantings reflects that although innovation in landscaping continues to accelerate, savoring the effortless beauty of the outdoors remains a top priority.”

The National Association of Landscape Professionals released their list of the top trends to watch in landscapes this

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 When Hutto city officials purchased a 25-acre plot of land near Downtown in 2004, City Manager Odis Jones said the plan all along has been to make it an entertainment district.

Now that plan is becoming a reality.

Thursday, City Council members approved a developer to begin planning.

"We’ll have restaurants, bars, shops, an electric environment," said Jones.

Jones told KVUE the 25-acre plot of land could also include a movie theater, restaurants and even living spaces such as apartments. It will be called the "Co-Op District."

He said they want it to be a place where people can live, work and play.

"We’re excited about the environment it creates here," said Jones.

According to city officials, the average resident is 33-years-old,

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The Top Dates for Listing a Home RevealedHome listings are most likely to debut on Thursdays and Fridays, with Fridays being the most common listing day by a slight margin, according to research by the National Association of REALTORS®.

What are the most popular dates to list? Half of all new listings in 2016 were first listed between March and July, which supports that the spring season is indeed real estate’s busiest time.

The most popular month for new listings is April, followed by March, May, June, and July, according to NAR.

“While home closings exhibit a strong tendency to get done at the end of the month, listings are much steadier throughout the course of the month with a slight tendency to be posted earlier rather than later,” NAR researchers note at the Economists’ Outlook blog.


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Home Price Expectations By StateREALTORS® expect modest price gains in home values over the next year. The median expected increase in home prices across the country is 3.5 percent, according to the REALTORS® Confidence Index January 2017 survey, based on the responses of more than 3,800 REALTORS® across the country.

REALTORS® are most bullish about rising home price expectations in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. Real estate pros in those states believe they will see 4 to 5 percent increases in values over the next year. Meanwhile, oil-producing states like Alaska, North Dakota, and West Virginia had the lowest median expected price changes over the next year.

“Looking at the values over time in selected states, the median expected price change appears to be increasing again from

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