In yet another interesting article in the Austin American Statesman, reporter Marty Toohey dug into the process by which Travis County assesses homes for taxation purposes. With 37 agents tasked with assessing the more than 379,000 properties in the county (which works out to about 41 houses per day if they each work Monday-Friday and take off two weeks vacation per year), it’s no wonder the Appraisal District might not give each home’s valuation the laser focus owners desire. That workload challenge, compounded with a lack of usable data (there is currently no disclosure requirement for sale prices in residential real estate transactions in Texas) is made worse by a shortage of adequate analytical tools. In fact, the article described the tactics

In an article in this past Sunday’s Austin American Statesman, M.B. Taboada wrote about the increase in larger country homes selling around Austin. Focusing on areas of Hays County like Buda, San Marcos and Dripping Springs, the author described a growing trend toward larger homes on larger acreage. Drawn to the idea of living with no neighbors visible from one’s windows, people are seeking out the privacy and greater contact with nature possible with Hill Country living. Doing a quick search today through our site, www.AustinHomeListings.com we found 23 listings in Travis County on lots larger than 25 acres. However, when you widen the search to lots that are five acres and above, 158 listings pop onto the screen. So, depending on your definition of

Although a lot of people progress toward the suburbs as the ultimate place to live, there is a growing push to downtown Austin living. With condo developments like the Austonian and the Four Seasons gaining steam and the continuing emphasis on urban living from Austin city planners, the inventory of downtown living space is increasing in quality and quantity. A story in this week’s Austin American Statesman announced the latest addition to both Austin’s distinctive skyline and downtown living options. In addition to 200 condos, the 21c Museum Hotel will feature 209 hotel rooms, a restaurant and, most interestingly, a museum. Modeled on the successful 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, the building should have a nice combination of amenities that make it ideal…

There are plenty of criteria for a home purchase and accessibility is one of them. If you’re thinking about buying a home in Austin, you might want to consider the areas near the proposed stops for the soon-to-be-built Austin light rail project known as Austin MetroRail.  We recently contacted Bill Lejeune, Rail Road Manager for Capital Metro, and asked for more details on the individual stops. As you browse the list below, remember that the easiest way to find homes near these locations is to use our Map based search on www.austinhomelistings.com

1)     Downtown – Convention Center: Trinity & 4th (could float one block either direction depending on results of coordination with the City of Austin)

2)     Plaza Saltillo – Comal: 5th & Comal

3)    

According to the latest information from the Commerce Department, new home sales jumped nationwide in April, increasing the most in the South. Across the country, sales of new homes leapt 16.2 percent, the highest increase in fourteen years. Whereas the Midwest experienced a four percent drop, builders in southern states enjoyed a 27.8 percent increase. Some analysts cited an accompanying drop in the median price of those same homes (an 11.1 percent decrease) as the cause for this movement in the new home market. According to their math, builders are trying to unload inventory before prices depress much further.

So, it sounds to us like, nationwide, residential real estate is growing into a strong buyer’s market, especially with builders holding

Over the past year or so we’ve seen a steady stream of news stories predicting a downturn in the economy in general and the real estate market in particular. Citing everything from rising fuel prices to the cost of wars overseas, economists have been foretelling gloom and doom with a consistency that could make the sunniest optimist retreat to their basement with a flashlight and some canned goods. Interestingly, the family down the street might not completely agree. In a recent L.A. Times survey of nearly 1,400 homeowners, researchers found that just about 1/3 of respondents expected their home values to increase and more than half were confident they’d at least hold steady.

Are they just optimists or are John & Jane Q. Public on to something? We can

West Austin real estate has long been a great investment. The terrain is beautiful, the neighborhoods are incredibly family-friendly and it can be easily reached from downtown. If there was one complaint, it was about a lack of places to shop, dine & socialize. Of course, there are legendary restaurants like Rosie’s and Spring Hill, but, overall, the pickings have been a little slim. That is all about to change.
Slated to open this fall, the Hill Country Galleria comes online with pretty much everything a person needs to get through the week. Located at the intersection of Highway 71 and Bee Caves Road, the 152 acre development will feature more than 650,000 square feet of retail space, playing host to familiar names like Dillards (the anchor tenant), Ann

Despite reports of a nationwide downturn in residential real estate, the Austin housing market was recently identified as one of a select number of U.S. cities that are still on the upswing. In a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal, Dean Treftz interpreted the results of a recent government report, praising Austin home options as “stable, low-cost and ‘homey.’” Our fair city’s steady appreciation in pricing was attributed to a rebounding tech industry, the stabilizing influence of the state government and the ongoing influx of fresh talent via the university system. Although concerns persist of a continued decline in home values nationwide, Austin looks prepared to stay on track as one of America’s best places to live.

We couldn’t agree more. As

Our third party MLS search tool provider, Mlsfinder recently uploaded a new interactive map based search to our site http://www.austinhomelistings.com/. If you’ve used the Austin Interactive Map search before you know how cool it is to see Austin homes for sale displayed on a map that you can zoom in, move left or right and even change parameters from homes to land. The new map tool is even larger and shows the different type of properties better. Check out the new map at Austin Interactive Map Search. As always, if you need help using the site or want to visit any home you find, please contact one of our Realtors at Great Austin Properties.

*Austin MLS Finder and mlsfinder Austin are tools provided by mlsfinder.com