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Real Estate Blog

Technology Is Changing How Homes LookTechnology and smart devices are radically transforming the home. As your clients take control over their houses' systems via voice activation, dash buttons, and other smart-home technology, asked its Technology Council to offer up some of their predictions on how homes will evolve in the near future.

Less clutter. Information can be stored in smaller devices, which means fewer file cabinets and the like. Some owners may even opt for much smaller houses due to this trend, says Chalmers Brown with Due.

Voice-activated interfaces. The voice is expected to drive smart-home technology control over the next five to 10 years. This will make smart homes less complex to operate, says Leon Hounshell with Greenwave Systems.

Smartphones as the central

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Loans that have been modified since 2014 are redefaulting at faster rates than those that were modified in prior years, according to a new report.

Seventy-five percent of the loans that redefaulted did so within the first two years after receiving a loan modification, according to analysis of Fannie Mae loan data.

“Relative to prior years, recent trends indicate more modifications made to borrowers that have prior failed loan modifications, lower payment reductions, and lower credit scores,” says Samuel So, Fitch Ratings director.

Fitch analyzed about 700,000 loans, with cumulative unpaid principal balances of $135 billion, that had been permanently modified between 2010 and 2015.

Fitch’s study found that loans modified more recently had lower average

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More than 47,000 home fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or other household malfunction, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Homeowners sometimes discover that fires can be caused by some unexpected objects.® recently featured some of the hidden fire dangers that may lurk in a home:

Many dishwasher fires are caused by liquids that come into contact with the appliance’s wires. The average residential property loss due to a dishwasher fire was $11.2 million from 2010 to 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Any device that powers a motor, heating element, or sometimes both in the same appliance always has a higher propensity for fire—and

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Barton Springs Pool will reopen on Sunday and resume its regular operating hours, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department said Friday.

The pool will be open from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily and will be closed on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for routine cleaning.

Parks officials had closed Barton Springs Pool on Wednesday because of flooding from heavy rains earlier this week.

During the closure, Barton Springs Pool swimmers were encouraged to use Deep Eddy Pool, at 401 Deep Eddy Drive. That pool was being opened at 6 a.m. for early morning swimmers.

Earlier this year, flooding from heavy rains prompted the Parks Department to also briefly close the pool from Feb. 20 to Feb. 24.

For more information, call the Barton Springs Pool Hotline

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Billionaire and renowned investor Warren Buffett has seen mammoth appreciation for a getaway home he owns in Laguna Beach, Calif. He purchased it in 1971 for $150,000. Now Buffett is selling the six-bedroom, 6.5-bath home for $11 million.

Are there any lessons from Buffett’s savvy investment that others can draw from who are looking for high appreciation over time?® spotlights a few.

Distinguish between price and value.
Buffett first bought the home in Laguna Beach not as an investment but simply because his wife liked the home. And he still paid top dollar for it. The equivalent of $150,000 in 1971 is nearly $900,000 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator. “While the town may have been no big deal at the

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What Home Buyers Wish They'd KnownNearly half of American homeowners recently surveyed said they would do something differently if they were to go through the homebuying process again, according to the NerdWallet’s Home Buyer Reality Report, which analyzed the steps more than 2,200 Americans took to homeownership.

If you want to help prevent buyers’ remorse, the following are some things you can focus on with your clients. These are the top things consumers say they regretted:
• 20 percent wished they had saved more money before buying a home;
• 13 percent would do more research on the mortgage-lending process;
• 14 percent would have shopped around more for a mortgage;
• 13 percent would research the homebuying process more.

The majority of buyers' remorse seems to stem around the

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Demonstrating that entrepreneurial job creation happens inland, the Texas capital placed first among the country’s non-coastal entrepreneurial job creation areas.

Austin has been widely praised for its support of startups. It has led the country for the past two years in the Kauffman Foundation's influential survey of entrepreneurism in the United States, reports the ABJ.

San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle led the field but Austin was up there battling with New York and Boston, taking the 6th spot.

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Generation X Flexes Its Purchasing MusclesMillennials and baby boomers often steal the spotlight in real estate. But Generation X says it’s time for the housing market to pay more attention to them instead. Gen Xers are the only generation to purchase more homes last year than they did the previous one, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends survey.

Gen Xers, aged 37 to 51, made up 26 percent of home buyers in 2015, but grew that percentage to 28 percent in 2016.

“That group suffered the most” in the last recession, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of®. “They were entering homeownership at the peak of the housing bubble and were also the ones most likely to suffer job losses.” During the crisis, many in the generation saw

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When it comes to rent, no place is more expensive than Austin, right? Wrong. At least that's what the most recent rent report from Zumper says.

The rental website compared 30,400 active one-bedroom listings in 13 cities across the greater Austin area, and, surprisingly, Leander had the highest rent in February 2017. With a median price of $1,110 per month, the suburb was just a tad pricier than Austin ($1,080).

But the trend won't necessarily continue. Rent for a one-bedroom unit in Austin was 6.9 percent lower in February 2017 than the previous year. However, if rents in March 2017 mimic March 2016, Austin ($1,160) will surpass Leander ($1,140).

The report also details the fastest-growing rental markets in the area. Georgetown, which experienced

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Fifty-two of the 100 largest U.S. cities were majority renter in 2015, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Since 2009, 21 cities had shifted to renter-rule. Renters now dominate in both hot housing markets such as Denver and San Diego and more tame markets like Detroit and Baltimore.

The homeownership rate has fallen steadily for a decade as millions of foreclosures prompted more owners to rent. Renting likely will continue to rise through 2030, due to demographic trends like aging baby boomers who are opting to downsize to rentals, noted a 2015 report from the Urban Institute.

Also hampering the housing market in gaining the advantage: a shortage of homes for sale. That shortage is making it more difficult for renters to buy.

Many low-income families

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