Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Are Short Sales all they are cracked up to be?

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

First off let me answer one of the most common questions in real estate today. That is, “What is a Short Sale?” In real estate, a Short Sale, is when a property is worth less than what is owed to the bank. So this means that when a home is sold for market value the owner will still owe a debt to the bank. The lender and all other lien holders will have to approve any offer made on the property before it can be sold. A minor inconvenience for a good deal right?

Well at least in Austin, the deals are just not that great. The fact is, most of these Short Sale home owners simply overpaid for their homes and most likely have little to no equity in them. So you are basically getting a home at current market value with a lot more hassles. In most cases it takes two weeks to a month to even get a response from an initial offer with the transaction process lasting about 2 months. Plus, in my opinion banks aren’t really and more motivated to give you a great deal than most sellers.

This isn’t to say that there are no good deals on short sales, more so that there are plenty of good deals if the sellers are willing to negotiate and the buyer’s agent is skilled. On the positive side, Short Sales do benefit the seller who is trying to avoid a bankruptcy. So ultimately a short sale then can be another option to look into but only if buyer has time and patience to pursue it.

Take Advantage of Tax Credit until April 30, 2010 – Jump on it.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The federal tax credit for first time home buyers and existing home buyers has certainly propelling last minute sales. According to ABOR, there has been a 28% increase of home sales in March, 2010, compared to home sales from last March, 2009.

Last year there was an atmosphere of uncertainty regarding the real estate market that may have also contributed to this increase. Regardless, the increase is a positive sign of recovery. Home owners must have a home under contract by April 30th of this year, in order to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers, or the $6,500 tax credit for repeat buyers. ABOR indicates that Austin’s median home value has held steady at $180,000. Homes are selling faster.

Increased sales and stable home prices indicate a good economic environment here in Austin. However, the immediate future of the housing picture is unknown. Austin Centric is wondering if the tax credit is the main reason people were buying more homes throughout 2009 and early 2010. Another concern our clients have is whether the prices of homes will decrease when the subsidy is gone. We certainly welcome your thoughts and ideas.

Page 1 of 11