Posts filed under ‘Smart Buyers’

Information About Brokerage Services

Buyers in Texas have a right to representation; Realtors in Texas have a legal and ethical obligation to inform you of your right to representation.

Information About Brokerage Services

Advertisements

September 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Affordability Factor in Austin

The affordability factor is the calculation of how much home you can afford taking in to consideration current interest rates, your loan qualification and the current market.  Affordability in the US and in Austin, TX has never been lower.  Here is an easy example: 

 

1992

2013

Interest rate

8.5%

3.75%

Loan amount

$150,000

$250,000

PI payment

$1,153

$1,157

So your payment on a $250k house today would be the same as your payment on a $150k house in 1992. 

Another way to look at affordability is the impact of increasing interest rates.  I think we all can agree that interest rates will go up (hint:  they have never been lower).  For every 1% increase in interest rate, you lose 10% of your buying power.  Here is an easy example:

Interest rate

4%

5%

Loan qualification

$400,000

$360,000

PI payment

$1,909

$1,932

This information is provided as a guide.  We recommend that you contact your mortgage specialist for a thorough personalized mortgage assessment. (Don’t you love disclaimers like this?)

 

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Julie Nelson is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.  This article and other blog postings should not be construed as legal or professional advice.  Contact your favorite Austin real estate professionals in person for actual advice.  Julie can be reached at www.thenelsonproject.com.  Searching for homes?  We think this is the coolest Austin home search tool available.

March 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm 1 comment

Things I look for in an inspector

I am not a licensed inspector.  I do, however, believe I have some qualifications on house in palm w key Small this topic:  13 years as a licensed Realtor, 386 closed transactions, 4 personal investment properties, a few too many foundation issues over the years, coaching & training new agents. 

So, a few things I look for in an inspector both for myself and in making recommendations to my buyers:

  • knows what he / she is talking about
  • is objective in his / her report
  • can communicate what he / she sees in a house without scaring the buyers
    reports are accurate
  • written reports provided same day or first thing the next morning
  • is available for buyer Q & A
  • recognizes that a roofing expert is more qualified on roofs and may contradict the inspector’s findings (same with AC, foundation, plumbing etc) … and does not let ego get in the way
  • also does WDI reports
  • is on time
  • is easy to schedule
  • prices are competitive

 

Julie Nelson is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.  This and any of her blog postings should not be construed as legal or professional advice.  Contact your favorite professionals in person for actual advice.  Julie can be reached at www.thenelsonproject.com.  Searching for homes?  We think this is the coolest Austin home search tool available.

March 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Get Your Legal House in Order

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.  – Don Marquis 
(This article is a follow-up to our Shacking Up / Not Married & Owning Property in TX article.  We consider this a must-read topic for 2 non-married TX peeps buying or owning property together.)

 

It has been a month since the 11th annual legal seminar, Protecting Your Partner and Your Assets. Whether you attended or not, we are following up with the promised procrastination outreach. Hopefully the topic has generated valuable conversation with your partner and friends as to how you wish to handle your affairs.  We know, such a happy topic … death and divorce. Keep this goal in mind:  executed legal documents that protect you, your partner and your assets, in place prior to needing them.  The Nelson Project

First step is a conversation with your partner; second, an appointment with an attorney.

Per lawyers.com (http://research.lawyers.com/Texas/Estate-Planning-In-Texas.html), you can write a handwritten will – called “holographic” – take note:

  • It is entirely in your own handwriting
  • There are no typewritten additions
  • You express your intent to dispose of your property at your death, such as with the words “This is my last will and testament”

It is in your best interest to make your will bullet-proof, limiting the possibility that some estranged family member would contest the will (handwritten can be risky). A lawyer who does estate planning can explain the consequences of some of the most basic choices you must make, such as how your property and assets may or may not convey to your partner upon your death.

Remember, if you and your partner own property together and you do not have a will, you may compromise your partner’s ability to maintain the home, legally and/or financially.  For that reason, it makes sense to consult with a Texas estate planning lawyer and have him or her draft your will so that you don’t make costly mistakes or accidentally not accomplish what you intended.

We will be running another seminar on the topic this fall … stay tuned.

A note on the BUDDY SYSTEM … we recommend teaming up with 2 or 3 couples, discussing these issues and holding each other accountable for making an appointment with an attorney and getting your legal houses in order. Here is a blog article to help drive the conversation: https://smartrealestate.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/shackingup/

Here’s to a well-informed and legally-sound Austin LGBT community.

(ps … As a licensed realtor, I cannot give legal advice.  Please consult your attorney on these matters.)

February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

How Austin Property Taxes are Handled at Closing in November and December

 

If you are selling your home or purchasing a home and close in November or December, then this post is for you. The 2011 Travis County property taxes are now due and payable so they are handled differently at closing than earlier in the year. What does this mean for you?

The actual tax bills come out in October. That means when homes are closing January through mid-October, everyone is using an estimated property tax amount with an agreement to work out the difference if there is one. The estimated amount tends to be accurate but you never know the actual final amount until the bill shows up in October.Austin Property Taxes

So if you are closing in November or December, here is how your property taxes will be handled at closing: sellers will be charged for the entire tax bill at close (or provide a paid receipt). If the seller has an escrow account with their current mortgage, the amounts will be refunded after closing from the prior lender. It’s not a bad idea to check with your mortgage company to find out exactly what date they plan to pay your taxes … your title company will help with this coordination.

Your HUD-1 Settlement Statement will have a credit to the seller from the day of closing until 12-31-2011 from the buyer.

Buyers will have a new escrow account set up for 2012 (if you have a mortgage; we are currently seeing mortgage escrows set up with 2-3 month reserve). The HUD-1 Settlement Statement will have a debit from the buyers and a credit to the sellers for the remainder of the year.

So the seller pays the full bill at closing with the buyers crediting them for their portion of the year and the buyers set up their new tax escrow with their new mortgage company … all done at closing. If the sellers had / have an escrow account with their mortgage company (the one they are about to pay off at closing), then that mortgage company will mail the sellers the balance of their escrow account back to the sellers usually within 3-4 weeks; so yes, there is an overlap for the seller.

After December 31, tax prorations return to estimated amounts.

Questions? Happy to help or call your friendly Austin Realtor, lender or title company.

The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty in Austin strives to provide valuable real estate information and news through this blog and our other online resources.  Find more about The Nelson Project and search for Austin homes at www.TheNelsonProject.com.  If you like this blog, you may want to visit our totally useful Austin neighborhood portal.  We think you may also like www.tacomap.info (tacos first, real estate second).  If you really like what you see, tell your friends to call us with their Austin real estate needs.
Technorati Tags: ,,

November 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

3 Avenues of Lending Right Now (& it’s not all pretty)

We seriously encourage our buyers to use “correspondent lenders.” We HOPE the buyers buying our Austin listings use them because the alternative (going retail, big bank, for example) seriously increases the risk of running into delays and weak communication. We can back this up all day long with a simple review of any delay we’ve seen over the past 18 months.

Delays happen in real estate lending but when they do, you absolutely need good communication from the lender as to why, when and what next. One would think this would be easy, basic business, right?

Deborah Ginac, CapStar Lending in Austin, points out that there are three avenues of lending right now:

Retail: big banks as in Wells Fargo, etc.

Mortgage Broker: outsources underwriting to a big bank/investor.  They have zero control over the file once it leaves their care.  They have no relationship with underwriting and may or may not know the underwriter.  They cannot speed the process up or even anticipate what the underwriter will say.

Correspondent Lender: This lender has an in-house underwriter, knows the underwriter and controls the loan process from beginning to end.

Choose wisely.

Thanks to the talented Heather Hill, Closing Coordinator for The Nelson Project (Keller Williams in Austin, TX), for bringing this succinct outline to the table today and for her amazing ability to help buyers and sellers through the process, even when it’s not pretty.

 

January 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

What is a pocket listing and why does this matter to me?

Blank ticket Pocket listings are homes that a Realtor knows are going to be for sale but are not yet on the market or in the MLS.

This may be a home that is all signed up with a Realtor but the seller is painting the house and staging before they go into the MLS next week or next month after the estate sale or it could be a home that someone has just mentioned to the Realtor, “if you find a buyer for my home, I may be interested in selling.” It could also be a very high-end home that the owner does not want in the MLS (owner does not want attention or publicity and only wants the home marketed quietly among Realtors).

Why is this important to the consumer? Two words: inside information.

If you are a seller, you may sell your home before it even goes on the market.

If you are a buyer working with a full-time networked Realtor who knows a lot of Realtors either through a large office, large network and/or they simply have a knack for keeping their ear to the ground or the Realtor knows a particular neighborhood especially well, that Realtor may know of a home before anyone else does, before it goes on the market.

If you have the opportunity to see a home before it goes on the market, you will have less (if any) buyer competition, you may have a seller fantasizing about how easy it would be or how lucky they would be if they could sell it before even going on the market.

The seller will think their Realtor hung the moon; the buyer will think they are especially lucky; the Realtor knows their network and pre-market hustle helped move things along amazingly fast. The seller may be flexible on their price because they love that things are happening so fast or, on the other hand, they may be less motivated to adjust their price at all because they haven’t even tried the market yet; it can go either way.

For pocket listings in Austin, The Nelson Project offers this:

  • At any given time, we are working with 2-4 sellers who are getting their homes ready to go on the market.
  • We are extremely well networked in the Crestview, Northwest Hills and other central Austin neighborhoods.
  • We are purposefully associated with the largest real estate office in Austin (actually the largest in the country) with over 550 agents; we get 5-10 emails per day with other Realtors letting us know about their pocket listings and we pay attention to these emails.
  • We know what agents in our office specialize in various neighborhoods and will go directly to them with our buyer needs to inquire about their pocket listings.
  • When we get a new listing, we blast our Realtor network (emails, meetings, in person, in the office hallway, on facebook) with the coming-soon information.

When you hire a Realtor, part of what you hire is their network; hopefully they have a good one.

www.thenelsonproject.com

 

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

del.icio.us Tags: ,

August 3, 2010 at 9:52 pm 2 comments

Older Posts


Email Us

Call US
512-848-5881

Categories

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2016-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: