If you know me at all, you know I’m a massive food enthusiast (different from “foodie” or “connoisseur”) Well, great city of Austin is known for its diversity, incredible music scene, and of course the University of Texas, but our close proximity to the Southern Border also means we’re home to some of the tastiest, most authentic Mexican food around. If you find yourself craving something a little spicier than your usual fare, make sure to swing by one of these fine establishments:
Fonda San Miguel. For over 40 years Fonda San Miguel has been providing Austinites with some of the most delicious Mexican cuisine around. The menu is an eclectic mix of flavors and features everything from soups and salads to enchiladas, carne asada and even fresh seafood. The prices are a little steeper than your usual sit-down establishment, but the flavors are well worth the extra dough.
El Borrego De Oro. It might not look like much from the outside, but El Borrego De Oro is hiding a host of tasty treasures within its humble walls. This popular eatery is a favorite spot for local business people and hungry students alike. In addition to a wide selection of menu items (make sure you try the tortilla soup!) the establishment is open from 7 AM to 10 PM every day which means you can satisfy your cravings at almost any time of the day or night.
La Cocina De Consuelo. If you spend any time on Yelp, you’re sure to encounter plenty of reviews similar to this one “for me, it’s all about the tacos and enchiladas. The food is incredibly fresh and the flavors are amazing!” Put simply, La Cocina De Consuelo knows a thing or two about unique flavor combinations and creative takes on classic dishes. If you go, make sure to try one of Connie’s Famous Enchilada Plates. They’re to die for!
Get out and treat yourself to a delicious meal. Austin has plenty to offer, especially in terms of authentic Mexican food. booYAH!
Selling a home can be a nerve-wracking process. It’s your baby, after all. You have been there through all the growing pains, from painting the walls your favorite shade, to upgrading the bathrooms and putting your finishing touches on the window treatments.
When you put your home on the market, however, you want your house to be home sweet home to someone else, which means making it shine for a broad base of prospective homebuyers. Here are three ways to make your home stand out in a crowd.
Keep it neutral
You may be understandably proud of your rare collection of cuckoo clocks, but this can be a serious distraction for those touring your home. At the same time, you don’t want your home to be a blank slate. Studies reveal that houses show better when they are staged with furniture, as staging helps people imagine themselves living in a particular space. Your home is a reflection of your personality, which is completely normal, but personal tastes don’t appeal to everyone. Keep decorations neutral, tasteful, and understated.
Keep it nice and tidy inside and out
Cleanliness goes a long way when it comes to making a home stand out. Before a showing, make sure your home is clean and organized by vacuuming carpets, picking up toys, and clearing any clutter. The same goes for the outside: cut the grass and clean up any landscaping beds before potential buyers stop by.
Showcase your home’s best features
You don’t need a pricey renovation or all new carpeting to get a great price for your home. If your budget is tight, focus on your home’s unique features. Play up fabulous woodwork and crown molding, or remove heavy window treatments that hide a spectacular bay window. Your real estate agent can help you determine the best way to showcase your home’s best features.
Last month, I had the ammmmmmazing opportunity to hire my brother, Zach, as my Licensed Assistant! WHAT?! Seriously, it has always been a dream of mine to provide someone with a job. So, I’m freaking pinching myself everyday getting to work with my awesome bro. He’s a super hard worker and I know he will be a mega-valuable asset to me as well as all of my fantastic clients. Actually, he’s already proven invaluable!
More news, stats, and blog posts to be shared in the coming weeks/months- but I wanted to make sure and report this awesome development for posterity. Onward!
Myth: If I price my home higher than market value, I’m leaving room for negotiations.
Truth: Buyers have no idea you’re employing this strategy and won’t understand why your price is too high. Many won’t even view your home, much less put in an offer. When your home is priced improperly, it’s more likely to sit on the market, making potential buyers think there’s something wrong it. When that happens, you’ll probably wind up with lower offers than if you had priced the home fairly at the start.
Home sellers in the Austin area are in maybe the hottest seller’s market we’ve ever seen. However, REALITY CHECK: A seller’s market doesn’t mean a stupid market! What’s really interesting about our current market is that buyers have also never been more savvy than they are now. Prospective home buyers have access to more information at their fingertips than at any other point in human history. Many buyers in the modern era know- even without the help of a Realtor- if a home is overpriced.
Even in this crazy seller’s market, overpricing is by far the most costly mistake you can make when selling your home.
Wow! It’s been a wild and crazy start to the year! I’ve been focusing (apart from normal business activities) a lot on trying to get all of my blog posts cleaned up and reformatted- starting with the oldest. After moving brokerages back in October, I also changed blogging platforms and moved all of my YouTube videos over to my personal YouTube account. Sounds easy, right? HAH! So, apologies for the scarcity in new blog posts as of late- but they’re coming!
In light of that, what better way to come back than with a 2016 year-end wrap-up! Unless you’ve been living under an enchanted rock, you know that 2016 was a nutty year in Austin real estate. You’re either feeling squeezed by rising rental rates or rising property taxes.
It’s a catch-22 really. I mean, we love Austin because it’s an amazing city to live in. Almost no one can deny that. However, because it’s such an amazing city, the number of people wanting/willing to relocate here is ever-increasing. For those of you feeling the financial squeeze of housing costs, I hate to tell you- but I think the pressure will continue for a while. The good news: I don’t think the acceleration of the intensity will be quite like it has been the past few years.
Check out the video below where I break down Austin’s most recent market numbers for the month of January. Additionally, I go over the stats for 2016 as a whole and attempt to take stock of where the heck we’re at with the housing market in this sweet town. (If the video doesn’t show up below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel!)
The Austin Board of Realtors recently released the Austin area market stats for the month of November. Check out the video at the bottom of this post for a rundown of the numbers!
I know, I know…it’s almost January! So, why are we just now seeing the numbers for November?! Well, if you think about it- these stats experts are crunching a crapload of numbers each month. Not only that- they are analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing these numbers so that we can make sense of them. And that takes a lonnnnnng time! Therefore, we will always have about a 3-4 week lag in terms of getting our hands on the most recent real estate market statistics.
In light of that, enjoy the video! My next market update will be the 2016 year end wrap-up! I can hardly wait! (I’m not kidding…) (If you don’t see the video below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel!)
The Austin Board of Realtors recently released the market statistics for the month of October. Check out the video at the bottom of this post for an update!
This month is a very basic stats update focusing solely on the city of Austin (proper). If you were to ask almost any Austin real estate agent What’s the market doing right now?, they will tell you that change is in the air. I’m not saying we need to brace ourselves for a market crash or anything- but something is changing. I’ve spoken with several listing agents in recent weeks who say things like, “We’re getting lots of showings but no offers.” or “We can’t get anyone through the dang door!” or “I’m dreading talking to my seller about a price reduction…but that’s definitely going to have to happen.”
I recently had the following exchange with an agent-friend of mine:
Agent: My listing has been on the market for months. This market is declining!
Me: I think you’re just overpriced.
Agent: But my seller thinks we’re priced correctly.
Me: Your seller is crazy. (or just delusional)
Agent: But there are lots of homes that are not selling right now.
Me: Lots of sellers are crazy.
Seriously, though, I don’t think the Austin market is in decline. We still have the same problem we’ve had for years: Significantly more people want to move here than those who want to move away. Regarding my friend’s predicament- I’m sure that if they were to reduce the price gradually each week by $10,000, they would end up selling it at a price that is about 8% more than they could have sold it for at this time last year. Instead, they are likely trying to sell the property for 25% more than they could have sold it for last year, which is insane. Our market can support moderate appreciation; it cannot support insanity.
Keep up with the blog for future market updates! (If you don’t see the video below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel!)