It is very important for first-time homebuyers to remember that most people do not buy their dream home right out of the gate. Your parents or other family members and friends likely started out by purchasing a smaller house in the Greater Austin area. As they balanced what they wanted with what they could afford, their finances played a large role in determining what they purchased. As time went on, they paid down their mortgage and gained more equity in their home through appreciation. Only then did they trade up to a larger, nicer home in the Austin area. With that home, they had to worry less about how much the home cost and could focus more on finding what they really wanted.
As a first-time homebuyer, it may be very difficult to lower your expectations a bit. Do not let those expectations keep you from missing out on a great first home and keep you from taking advantage of the still very low interest rates available! When you have built your finances and some equity in your home, you will then have the perfect opportunity to move up to your dream home!
Buying a home for the first time is a very exciting time – do not let unrealistic expectations kill that joy! If you are considering purchasing a home or would like to learn about your options drop me a note. You can also check out my other blog post – What You NEED to Know Before You Buy a Home.
The Austin Board of REALTORS recently released the housing market’s final statistics for 2013. The trend of strong growth continued last year with improvements in every key area of measurement. The number of homes sold in 2013 grew +19% over 2012, to 30,710 homes with an average sales price of $284,614 – 7.6% higher than last year. Two of the most significant metrics are average price per square foot – a better measurement of property appreciation than average sales price – and average day on market – the average amount of time homes sold for in Austin. The average price per square foot of homes sold in Austin in 2013 grew 9.4% versus 2012 to $133/sq.ft. Also, homes in Austin sold in 2013 in an average of 47 days, down 27% from 2012 the average time to sell was 65 days.
The strong 2013 housing market should see continued growth in 2014 as the demand for homes continues to rise while inventory of homes available for purchase struggles to catch up. These numbers are reflective of
the Austin area housing market as a whole and certain neighborhoods saw slightly stronger or weaker growth than the average. For specific information on your neighborhood, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to help! Considering selling this year? Check back for my upcoming post on knowing the BEST time to sell in 2014 (Can’t wait? Just give me a call…).
This month, the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) made the decision to end their agreement with List Hub at the end of their current contract next summer. List Hub is a syndication service which has distributed the home listings in ABoR’s MLS to various 3rd party websites like Trulia and Zillow. This effectively means that homes listed by Austin REALTORS will stop showing up on 3rd party websites next summer.
Why does this matter? About 95% of all home buyers begin their home search on the internet. Zillow and Trulia and 1 & 2 respectively for most visited real estate websites in the US. If you are considering listing your home for sale in the Greater Austin area any time during or after next summer, you definitely need to be asking any REALTOR you interview how they will market you home online and how they will offset this potential loss in visibility for your home.
Why did ABoR make this decision?Two major issues are driving this change – data inaccuracies on 3rd party websites & lost leads. There has been a history of data inaccuracies on the listings on most 3rd party websites and it can be very difficult and frustrating for REALTOR’s to try to fix. These errors ultimately reflect poorly on the REALTOR’s who are left to answer for the mistakes, even when they had nothing to do with them. ABoR also came to this decision because many of the home buyer leads are going to agents who pay those 3rd party websites for them, instead of the agents who hold the listings or who are trying to drive the web traffic to their own websites.
Will this affect people who list with me? NO! First of all, I am already marketing my listings on a wide variety of web platforms BEYOND what most REALTORS use that is getting exposure for my clients homes that others might never receive. Second, as a agent at Keller Williams, my listings are distributed on over 350 online search engines and 76,000 websites – ABoR’s decision will have essentially no effect on the exposure I get for my clients!
If you have more questions about this change or would like information on how I use an array of online platforms to maximize my clients homes for sale, contact me and I would be happy to help however I can!