Tips and Advice

Staging Tip #1

Entice people to explore your entire house. By placing something at the top of the stairs that draws their attention, you can spark curiosity and keep potential buyers interested throughout your entire home tour!

Staging Tip #2

Style your dining room table. Potential buyers should be able to picture themselves having dinner parties and holidays at your home!

Selling Tip #1

Replacing the address numbers can be a small way to enhance the curb appeal of your home!

Home Decor Tip #1

All matching wood can look too perfect. Mixing woods can make a room more interesting and personal, like it took shape over time!

Staging Tip #3

Clean the clutter! It is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space!

Staging Tip #4

Don't forget about the front door! Paint it an unexpected color to help your home stand out!

Home Decor Tip #2

Resist overcrowding a room. You don't need to fill up a space with lots of furniture, instead spend more of your budget on fewer but better-quality pieces!

Staging Tip #5

 It's important to stage the exterior of your home when getting ready to sell! You can do this using: fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and even outdoor furniture!

Home Decor Tip #3

Have you fallen out of love with your home? Try rearranging your furniture! It seems simple, but the impact could be huge!

First Time Buyer Tip #1

Be sure to read your contract before you sign it. A house is probably the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract!

There are currently 18 blog entries related to this category.

 

Photo: Quicken Loans

 

As many of my readers know, buying a first home is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be pretty scary. To help ease you into the process, I have compiled common mistakes many first-time homebuyers make. Be sure to avoid these missteps and it should make the process a lot less stressful.

 

1. They forget about the other expenses. Of course, you want to make sure you’re buying a home you can actually afford. But the mortgage payment isn’t all you need to be able to afford. Make sure you factor in the other expenses, including property insurance, taxes, homeowner’s association dues, maintenance, and utilities.

 

2. They are afraid to get prequalified. Before you start searching, get your

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photo: HGTV

Picture a classic American summer. A pool, comfortable lounge chairs on the deck, the smell of grilled meats and baked beans…I can taste it already! The great thing about living in Austin is that the warm weather comes along much earlier in the year and stays around much later, so you get to enjoy that deck and pool area for a large part of the year.

If you don’t have a deck and are thinking about having one built, here are some things you’ll want to consider first:

Location: Most decks are attached to the rear or side of the house just off the kitchen or dining area, because it extends your eating and entertaining area. Some people choose to build freestanding decks in the year, but realize that it will be more difficult to

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Springtime officially begun a couple weeks ago, which means the time for outdoor barbequing and enjoying the patio or backyard is upon us! By making just a few simple, inexpensive changes to your outside area, you can really change the look and feel of the space. Here are some suggestions for sprucing up the exterior décor of your home, courtesy of House Beautiful.

 

Mix & Match Patterns

 

Combine a striped tablecloth with something like a colorful zebra print chair cover for a fresh modern look.

 

Add a Mirror or Two

Similar to the interior of a home, mirrors help make a space look larger. These large old window mirrors were placed on either side of the fireplace to give this space a fresh new look. Make sure the

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Finding a good real estate agent, especially if you are new to an area, can feel like a daunting task. A larger market like Austin is great because there are many different types of neighborhoods for any income level, but it also means you need help narrowing down your search. The truth is, no realtor can know every area of a city as large as Austin perfectly. But what is important is to know how to do research, how to work with other agents, how to get a house under contract, and get the deal done. I have been in many multiple offer situations where our offer was chosen over others, which is where my 26 years of serving the Austin real estate market has played a huge part. There are many ways to negotiate a contract and it does help to know

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Any Austinite will tell you that the Tex-Mex is better in Austin then anywhere else in the state. Regardless of if it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner there are dozens of great restaurants to serve all of your taco and enchilada cravings. The Do512 blog did a hugely comprehensive list of places to eat Tex-Mex here. While our selections are our own, the commentary belongs to Do512 because overall we could not agree more. I have one addition however, the obvious front runner for me in the food, marg, and brunch category is, of course, Maudie's. That's where you will find me on Thursday nights! Make sure to check out their entire list and let us know which one of these places are your favorite:

Taco Deli: The reigning champion of breakfast tacos in

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Everyone knows that springtime is hot for home buying and selling in the real estate market. There are lots of things you can do to prep your home long before your first viewing is scheduled. Take a few minutes to prepare in advance and avoid scrambling. CNBC has some great tips for how to get your home ready for market this spring that will help it sell quickly:

Curb appeal

First impressions matter, and this is a first date you don't want to end up paying for. Clean up the landscaping and freshen up the flowers. Take down your tacky tidbits and decorative flags, and consider some color updates. One new coat on the garage can make a difference.

Depersonalize

Nobody wants to see how you live and with whom you live. Take your babies off

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Home staging is something I focus on with all of my clients when they move to sell their homes. Everyone thinks of the interior when we talk about staging, but the importance of exterior staging cannot be understated. It’s the literal first impression a potential buyer gets when they see your home. This video by About.com has several great tips on how to get your exterior in tip top shape. Have any specific questions? Contact me today about your home’s needs and we can work together to find a solution. 

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As we all know the real estate market is ever changing and the world is full of experts offering tips on how to prepare. There is a lot of conflicting information and it is difficult to select who to listen to and who to ignore. Here’s a selection of articles from legitimate publications that I believe are work a read:

1. Why 2015 Might be the Year You Finally Sell Your House: Home price gains are slowing, credit is thawing, and more first-time buyers may be hitting the real estate market in 2015.

 Better balance in the housing sector is “in” next year, as far as trends go. That’s likely to put buyers and sellers on a more even footing.

Some prospective sellers sound especially bullish on housing. In a recent Trulia survey, the biggest

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Many of my clients early in their real estate lives worry about whether it is better to rent or buy. Thankfully my colleagues at MortageCalculator.com have come up with a digestable list of points to consider before making this important decision. There are also a lot of helpful online tools to use in calculating what you can truly afford. One of my favorites is this adjustable NYTimes tool available for free here.

Advantages Of Renting

The following are some of advantages of renting that the consumer may want to consider:

  • The initial investment to rent a home or apartment is quite low. Buyers often need to have anywhere between 5 to 10 times to move into a home than to rent an apartment.
  • Renting costs less money. The funds that would
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Relocating cities is common in today’s fast paced world. It is certainly an exciting time, but it is also fraught with many factors to consider and prepare for. Forbes.com wrote an article discussing this very topic and it is full of great tidbits like this:

“You should always think about the long-term consequences of moving before you make the decision,” Teach adds. The key is to know exactly what you’re getting into in your new job and the new city. Try to speak with as many people as possible when interviewing and ask as many questions as possible about the job itself so there are no surprises. Spend a couple of days after the interview driving around the city to get a sense of what it would be like living there. “Relocation can be a big risk,

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