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January 2017

Found 21 blog entries for January 2017.

Flying in the face of National trends, and due to a rapidly rising local residential housing market along with extremely low inventory, Austin has one of the lowest rates of house-flipping in the nation at 3.4%, versus around 6% nationally.   A lack of local home supply makes it extremely difficult to find under-priced homes and flip them to a profitable investments.   The median price of an Austin area single-family home jumped in 2016 while inventory sat at an unbalanced two months in December, according to a recent report by the Austin Board of Realtors.  
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Garage Makeovers: The Final Frontier?The garage is usually an afterthought, overstuffed with tools, seasonal supplies, and miscellaneous household goods. But more home owners are sprucing up the space, even seeking to transform it into a showpiece, according to The New York Times.

Real estate brokers say a finished garage adds value and may help improve potential buyers' impressions of the home overall. “I don’t think you have to take it to the nines, where you have heated floors,” says Libbe Pavony, a real estate professional with Houlihan Lawrence in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. “But the garage is a reflection on how you maintain your home in general. Some people take their old kitchen cabinets and attach them to the walls.” Renovations can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to up to

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A recent study ranks Austin #8 in the country for their technical employment opportunities, median tech salary, and median one-bedroom rent.

Tech salaries are increasing at an extremely fast rate with the Austin median tech salary now at $79,980. Increases are attributed to a very tight tech job market and employment in that sector accounts for a bit over 6% of the workforce.

Austin’s rank was finally determined by their wage-to-rent ratio, where the median 1 bedroom rent is about $1134 a month.   

Madison, WI was rated #1 just beating out Dallas.

For all the details check out …

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North Dakota tops a list of states poised to have the healthiest economies in 2017, followed by Oklahoma and Texas. The list was compiled by business solutions site, which culled data on housing, employment, and other trends in all 50 states. North Dakota had the highest growth in startup density of any other state, seeing an average increase of 5.56 percent in new business activity, according to the site. Its residents are also seeing the biggest growth in household incomes, with an average increase of 4.1 percent.

"There has been a huge surge in oil extraction in North Dakota, which has led to a steep rise in GDP growth and household income, which explains how they managed to take the top spot," says Bobbi Brant, an

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As Austin continues to be one of the hottest locations to host events and festivals, the city of Austin is looking at making sure the Parks Department can keep up with the wear and tear on park grounds.

On Thursday, the Austin City Council will decide whether to approve the Parkland Events Task Force’s final report, which recommends the number of events at Auditorium/Vic Mathias Shores, Zilker Park and Festival Beach be reduced. The idea, according to the report, is to “achieve a better balance between events and public access to these parks.” Currently, Auditorium Shores plays host to 12 events, Zilker Park hosts seven events and Fiesta Gardens hosts 14 events.

The task force looked at the events and how many days the events were at the particular

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Texas gained 213,500 nonagricultural jobs from December 2015 to December 2016, an annual growth rate of 1.8% higher than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.4%. The non-government sector added 173,400 jobs, an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent, higher the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.5 percent in the private sector.   Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December 2016 was 4.6 percent, the same as in December 2015. The nation’s rate decreased from 5 to 4.7 percent.   The state’s actual unemployment rate last month was 4.6 percent. Amarillo, Austin-Round Rock, and Lubbock had the lowest unemployment rate.   To check out the full report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M…
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3 New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers in 2017New Year’s resolution: Buy a home.

So, now how do you get there with your savings?

There are plenty of preparations would-be home buyers can make to put homeownership more within their reach in 2017. Here are three New Year’s resolutions to adopt to get on the path:

I will automate my down payment savings.
Buyers who are trying to save up the often-recommended 20 percent down payment will need to get savvy at saving, stat. First off, you often don’t really need 20 percent down. Here’s a way to commit: Automate your bank accounts so that you regularly set aside a small amount of your paycheck into a separate savings account dedicated as your “house fund.” “Amassing enough for a down payment takes discipline and perseverance, but setting up automatic

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The Texas unemployment rate held steady in December at 4.6 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported the statewide jobless figure was also 4.6 percent in November. The nationwide unemployment rate for December was 4.7 percent.

A TWC statement says Texas has added an estimated 210,200 seasonally adjusted jobs since December 2015, with the addition of 800 nonfarm jobs last month.

The Amarillo, Austin-Round Rock and Lubbock areas had the lowest unemployment in Texas last month at 3.2 percent. Commission officials say the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state’s highest jobless rate in December at 8.2 percent.

The state’s education and health services industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain in December

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Is the Home Office on Its Way Out?The home office is becoming less important to homeowners, even though more people are working from home now than ever before.

Homeowners are finding less need for a central space for their work, according to a recent article in Bloomberg. Developers are realizing the change and are adopting house plans to accommodate the greater desire for open spaces instead. They’re adding in workplace nooks and power stations rather than an entirely separate space to work from.

Homeowners’ needs for a dedicated office with a big computer, fax, and printer are fading. Workers are no longer tethered by a cord and are favoring laptops and mobile accessories to do their work. That allows homeowners to take their work anywhere around the home, from their kitchen and living

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Austinites are getting their first look at the designs for the new Capital Metro Downtown Rail Station.

Capital Metro has a grant for $50 million to not only expand the MetroRail line, but make the downtown stop a destination. The rail would be built on East 4th Street near Brush Square.

CapMetro says they feel the changes would enhance the historic Brush Square, and make the area more pedestrian, bike, and walking friendly. The city hopes with the expansion of the Convention Center coupled with the transit plaza, this area could one day be the Convention Center District.

You can find out more about the design at Wednesday morning’s meeting at the Austin Convention Center at 11:30 a.m.

Local transportation agencies and CapMetro also want to

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