What Rising Interest Rates Mean for Home Buyers

When it comes to buying a home, one of the biggest concerns for buyers is their interest rate on mortgages. The Federal Reserve, or “The Fed,” recently announced its decision to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25% this month. So how does this move affect your mortgage? We’ll help you understand the Fed’s decision and what it means for potential home buyers.

When the Federal Reserve talks about raising interest rates, it is referring to the federal funds rate, which is the rate at which banks borrow money from each other. The federal funds rate, along with other economic factors, affect the interest rate of a bunch of products provided by banks, including short-term loans and mortgages. When the Fed raises the federal funds rate, it’s a sign that

February 2017 Austin Market Report

Months of Texas-sized growth in the Austin area came to a halt this February. According to the latest report from the Austin Board of REALTORS®, February posted a 1% growth in home sales with 1,829 homes sold. Home prices continue to rise in the Austin area with a 7% growth last month to a median price of $287,000. Despite the slowdown in sales, Austin homes spent just 61 days on the market on average, which is four days less than last February. New and active listings, as well as pending sales, also rose by 4%, 9%, and 3%, respectively. Home sales may have slowed down, but there is still plenty of activity happening on the Austin market. Check out the latest numbers from the Austin Board of REALTORS®:

February 2016 Austin Area Market Statistics

7 Spring Break Activities in Austin

With classes on hold and warmer weather coming in, Spring Break is always a fun time for Austin area students. There are tons of activities throughout the Austin area to keep the kids entertained during their school break. Check out these seven events your family can enjoy in the Austin area:

Free Events at SXSW- You don’t have to buy tickets to enjoy the fun and creativity of South by Southwest. The festival has opened several events to the public for FREE. Check out the latest tech innovations at SXSW Create, see local artists perform live, or browse tons of unique vendors at the SXSW Marketplace. Check out this website for a schedule of free events at SXSW. For access to all the free events, sign up for a SXSW Guest Pass.

Thinkery Spring

Which Mortgage is Right for You?

If you’re planning to buy a home, you’ll most likely need a mortgage to help finance your purchase. It’s important to choose the right home loan that not only meets your financial needs but also helps to save you money and keep your payments within your budget. Not sure which mortgage is right for you? Here’s an overview of some of the most popular home loans to help you learn more about your home financing options:

Fixed Rate Mortgage - The fixed rate mortgage is the most common home loan used by buyers. As the name suggests, the interest rate is locked in throughout the life of your loan. The fixed rate mortgage is usually offered for 15 or 30-year terms. This mortgage is ideal if you plan to live in your home for a long time and want

Austin Area Golf Courses

The Austin area is home to some of the most highly rated and expertly designed golf courses in the state. Rolling hills, plentiful trees, wildlife, and scenic vistas provide an exemplary experience no matter where you choose to play. Whether you're an expert player or just starting out, Austin area courses offer challenges to all players. Check out the list below to learn a little about local Austin golf courses, as well as courses in the surrounding area. While a few clubs require memberships to play, many on our list are open to the public. If you'd like to call a golf course community home, contact us, or visit our page about Austin Golf Course Homes.

Austin

Austin Country Club- 4408 Long Champ Drive, Membership Required. Founded in 1899, the

Things to Do in Austin in March 2017

March is one of the most exciting months to call Austin home! South by Southwest and Rodeo Austin, two of the area's biggest events, are back this year with amazing performances and cool activities lined up. Head out to Zilker Park for the city's annual kite festival this month, or check out the budding beauty of the garden at the Zilker Garden Festival. Dress up your pooch and join hundreds of fellow dog owners at the Mighty Texas Dog Walk. Get your home ready for spring with tips and exhibits from the Spring Home and Garden Show. Celebrate local musicians at the Austin Music Awards and Urban Music Festival. There's something for everyone to enjoy in the Austin area this month!

Check out all the fun happening in Austin this March:

Event

10 Tips for an Energy-Efficient Home

With rising spring and summer temperatures right around the corner, many Austin homeowners are looking for ways to save on energy costs. There are tons of changes you can make around your home to help reduce your carbon footprint and lower the amount of energy used in your home. Check out our top tips to make your home more energy-efficient:

1. Programmable Thermostat- One of the simplest and inexpensive ways to control your energy costs is to install a programmable thermostat. Many models allow you to set schedules to run your HVAC system while you're at home and turn off or run less when you’re away. High-tech models like Nest can also be controlled from your smartphone. Austin Energy even offers rebates for customers who install a programmable

January 2017 Austin Market Report

The first numbers of 2017 are in, and it looks like the Austin market is already shaping up for another great year! According to the latest statistics from the Austin Board of REALTORS®, single family home sales in the Austin area were up 7% since January of last year with 1,549 homes sold. The median price of Austin area homes also continued to creep upward with a 10% increase to $279,990. January saw an 7% increase in active listings on the market and an 11% increase in pending sales. All this activity yielded a $552 million total dollar sales volume, which is 19% more than last January. We hope this positive activity continues throughout 2017. Get a detailed look of the latest numbers from the Austin Board of REALTORS®:

January 2016 Austin Area