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Posts Tagged ‘texas’

Record foreclosure filings in Texas

In Foreclosure on May 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Dallas county reports more than 5000 foreclosure filings for June 2009 auction. Since the foreclosure sales are all done at the courthouse steps with that many properties how can they possibly auction off that many homes in 1 day?

Texas transaportation industries adjusting plans to support population growth

In Economy on May 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Central Texas transportation agencies are adjusting their long-range planning strategies this year to reflect the needs of a region that has been reshaped by rapid growth and accelerated economic development. As Austin and its surrounding communities have become increasingly interconnected over the last decade, agency leaders are working to create systems that will enhance urban mobility and support an emergent commuter population.
The quick pace of growth presents challenges for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and other agencies as traffic congestion builds steadily each year, said CTRMA Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein.
The legislation covers only 19 Texas counties, including Travis County, but Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, successfully lobbied to remove Williamson County from the list.
The Texas Local Option Transportation Act outlines six possible sources for generating new tax revenue, all of which require voter approval before taking effect: a new county gas tax, mobility improvement fees, parking management fees, motor vehicle emissions fees, driver’s license renewal fees and new resident roadway impact fees.
Counties would collect the taxes and apply them toward transportation improvements, construction bonds and contractor services. If the bill is approved by the House and signed by Gov. Rick Perry, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Austin foreclosure filings up 79%!

In Foreclosure on May 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm

The Austin American Statesman recently reported that foreclosures have significantly jumped in the central Texas counties of Williamson, Travis, and Hays. Here’s the breakdown:
County Increase % Over May 2008
1. Travis +79
2. Williamson +53
3. Hays +29
4. Bastrop +33

The way of the future in advertsing Real Estate listings

In Real Estate on May 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm

In 18 years of selling homes I’ve seen many changes in the “latest and greatest” ways to market listings. The majority of us Texas veterans started with printing black and white flyers with a dot matrix printer. What ever happened to those by the way? The best part about flyers was refilling the boxes usually emptied by neighbors. It’s wasn’t their fault, if I wanted a quick way to find my home’s value, I would have taken one myself.  So to overcome this, I used to deliver them to the neighbors and introduce myself.  Maybe tell them of an up and coming open house.

Of course the newspaper ads helped years ago, until they began charging almost 10 times what a garage sale ad cost. Magazines,  billboards, TV commercials, and the internet gave us more cost effective options to reach a broader market.  As we become a more wired nation, the internet has proved to be gold!  Can YouTube virtual tours be the next great idea?

Real Estate advertising is, and always will be, evolving. Open your mind to new ideas that benefit your needs, as well as those of your clients.

For more infomration check me out at 1PercentRealtyTexas.com.

Green homes in Austin Texas

In Green Living on May 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Green Homes in Austin Texas

Green Homes in Austin Texas

The City of Austin recently passed an ordinance relating to energy conservation audit and disclosure requirements in part for residential units. It is long winded and of course there are exceptions and allowable variances, but basically this new ordinance requires a seller to have this energy audit conducted before the sale of the residential property. I am not arguing if there should or shouldn’t be an audit or ratings, or whether they are good or bad. They are here and there will be more rules and regulations concerning energy efficiency in the future. I do agree that we, as a whole population need to improve how we utilize what energy there is available. Not being an expert on energy efficiency by any means there are some questions in my mind that need clarifying. Here are a couple of thoughts running through my head. Is it the amount of energy used or the efficiency of the energy used that is important? For example, there is a family of 4 living in a 2500 sq. ft. that home maximizes all of the energy features that are available today. No expense has been spared. They have an energy audit performed and their home is as efficient as can be at this time. They live their lives as a family of 4 would. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer.

For more information on this

They are an active family, in and out of the home and not worrying about the lights, temperatures or heating and cooling. They are just living their lives on a daily basis. The cost is approximately $100.00 per month for 100 kilowatts used. Take another family of 4 living in a 2500 sq. ft. home, they can afford a few of the energy saving features that are available but the home is not as efficient as it could be so they pay closer attention to where the thermostat temperature is set. They are a little more attentive to doors opening and closing and turn off lights when not in use. Since the home is not as energy efficient as it could be they try to be more efficient. It would probably pass an energy audit but could use some improvements. Because of their efforts their cost is $100.00 for 100 kilowatts. Lastly, there is a family of 4 living in a 2500 sq. ft. home. This is an older home with very few energy saving features. The home has no central air or central heat; they utilize windows and fans for cooling in the summer and localized heating units for warmth in the colder months. They close off rooms when not in use and they turn off lights when they are not in use. They have used a few of the energy saving methods available. The home has been caulked and insulated to seal off as much air flow as possible. They are not uncomfortable and the cost to improve would not be cost effective. Because of the homes’ lack of HVAC and the families’ efforts their cost is 100.00 for 100 kilowatts. This home would never pass an energy audit. So here again is my question? If all of the homes are using the same amount of energy, does it matter if it is because of the homes energy efficiency or because of the energy saving efforts of the family living in the homes? Part of the reason we are even discussing an energy problem is because we have not been taking the time to be as energy efficient as we want our homes to be. EcoBrokers in Austin can often help people understand what to look for in an energy efficient home.

Get ready, more foreclosures to come!

In Foreclosure on May 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm

For those of you who have been thinking the housing market is bottoming out, don’t believe everything you read. FNMA has put a moratorium on evictions since October 2008, and every lender under the sun has pretty much followed suit. Come June, auctions and particularly evictions will again raise their head. The loan modification programs have had little effect and many homeowner who were able to modify their loans have begun to get behind in their payments in as fast as 90 days. Thankfully, it’s not the end of the world. Real estate will recover, prices will bottom out, and buyer’s purchase power will increase again once credit policies loosen.

If you’re in Texas be glad. According the the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, the number of real estate transactions have experienced double digit drops. However, house values over all have remained relatively flat. In fact, in some micro-markets real estate valuations have actually continued to climb.

For now, if getting  good deal by buying a foreclosure is what you’re after, “caveat emptor”.

1. Trust only agents that know how to work with foreclosed properties. Especially first time home-buyers. I’ve heard the stories and have seen the tears. Give yourself plenty of time to close; 60 days is a good idea.

2. Make sure to ask for everything upfront. Once you’ve contracted on a deal try to stick with it. If the house is really what you want then don’t loose site of what’s really important. The amount of channels, hoops and red tape that sales managers for institutional banks and asset management companies have to go through when additional consideration is requested based off a repair could jeopardize the entire deal. Some sellers are now offering their own home warranty solution in order to cover mechanical devises that break down once you move in.

3. If the house has been vacant for a while, their’s usually a reason for it. Sellers of distressed assets will typically fix the big things, like foundation. However, be careful of houses with pools. Usually they’re only boarded up. The reason, pool companies will charge 10’s of thousands of dollars to fix a pool. So the banks typically don’t even mess with fixing them.

4. Try an auction. Yes, auctions are coming back. If you remember in the late 80’s and early 90’s when you could buy a house at an auction at a great deal you may want to consider going to a few. Keep in mind, the best deals are going to be those properties that have been sitting vacant for quite some time relative to other homes in the neighborhood.

Foreclosures can be a good deal but make sure you know what you’re getting in to. You can check out foreclosure listings on my website, http://www.CharlesGalati.com.