Category Archives: House Remodel

To Rehab or Not….that is the question…

I for one am glad that the first 2 weeks of May are gone.  Most importantly, I didn’t miss the rapture of 2011 and for that I am thankful!  But between my oldest daughters birthday, my anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Dear Hubby’s birthday 7 days later….well, let’s just say if I don’t see another cake or sweet treat for the next two months I’ll be happy!  We obviously didn’t plan out the major events in our lives very well!

But with all the festivities, our house was turned into Grand Central Station for two weeks straight.  What does that mean you say?  Well it simply means that I spent hours with a rag in my hand cleaning anything that would stand still and griping at the kids to, “Pick That Up!”  Our silly dog spent much time under the bed barking every time the vacuum would come near.  My husband was locked out in the back yard mowing, edging, and blowing until he couldn’t hear anymore….oh wait, I think he had hearing issues before that…Whatever!

Through all of the sprucing up though I started looking at our house and all the pet “projects” we’ve got going on.  I put on my “Realtor” glasses and started thinking about what if we put our house on the market.  Once I got past the initial tremors of dread at the thought I was struck with the realization that I think I am just fine in this house until the rapture really does come!

But really, what does it take to get the most out of your investment?  Should you rip out and remodel the kitchen?  Change out the shag green carpet?  How about the avocado carpet in the bath?  Remodeling your home can turn into a time and money pit from which there is no return.  There are some good tips to follow though if you are dead set on doing away with the pink rose wall paper in the kitchen.

Speaking of kitchens, this is typically a very smart place to put your money.  Studies show you’ll get about .80-.90 back for every dollar you put in.  Remember, that’s probably better than what your stock portfolio’s look like right now!  Now I’m not talking about an over-the-top upscale remodel.  I am talking about counter-tops, fixtures, cabinets either repainted or doors replaced, moderate priced stove, and some updated tile or flooring.

Bathrooms are another great place to spend money.  Keep it simple though.  Paint, fixtures, flooring.  Put in a water saver toilet.  Green is in!  Remember, you do not need to run out and trick out your bath just to ask top dollar for your property.

But the number one area to take care of actually is siding!  Wow!  Who knew?  With all the cool, swanky, fancy stuff you can do to your kitchen and bath you’re going to get more bang for the buck putting the money into your dilapidated siding.  Or a new roof, windows, or HVAC.  No one’s going to buy your house no matter how tricked out it is if the roof leaks like a sieve and every time the A/C comes on you have to hold your pictures on the wall to keep them from rattling off.

Before you climb up on that ladder to start scraping your ceiling, call a Realtor!  A good one can tell you what trends are “in” right now and what’s best for your individual property for resale.


What Recession??

Free Real Estate Directory
People are funny about money and never so much as during a depression…er I meant recession!  Times are a little unsettling, I will admit it.  I find myself tightening up my purse strings more now than ever before.  Turning on the news or logging on to Yahoo does nothing to ease my confidence as I am blasted with bad news from everywhere!  But…there is good news for us folks in real estate here in central Texas.  Ask just about any Realtor, economist, or Austin politician and they’ll tell you that Austin survived the crisis that many other communities around our nation were subject to.  We’ve been in a cozy little bubble here and thankfully according to new stats released by ABOR it looks like we will survive the slide.

So homeowners, cheer up! I know depending on where your house is located your property value might have dropped faster than a Tiger Woods sponsor…Hang in there.  These stats are encouraging for all.  Chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, Judith Bundschuh is quoted as saying, “”Though some aspects of the real estate market have fluctuated in the last few years, one thing has remained steady for Austin and that’s price appreciation.”  Great news for those of you regarding your long-term investment right now as nothing more than an albatross around your neck!  Before you start pondering the amount of your homeowners insurance policy, take heart.  Chairman Bundschuh goes on to say, “”This degree of price stability, despite fluctuations in sales volume, indicates long-term strength in Austin’s real estate market.”

If you are one of those who found themselves outside of the bubble and without job security, there is hope for you as well.  There are many hungry investors out there who might just be able to get you what you need financially and keep you out of foreclosure.  Do your homework though!  Ask questions and get everything in writing!  Do not let anyone pressure you or use high pressure sales tactics.  Honest and ethical investors will be open with you as to what they hope to get on their return for your investment.  Our family business has done well because we’ve tried to ensure that both parties of the transaction comes away with the best possible outcome.  Be wary, there are many snake  oil salesmen (and women)  in the real estate investment business!

Protect your investment and hang in there!  I will leave you with some other interesting stats that should encourage us. Although at first look we may think otherwise, the Austin market has been able to hold its own.  Even better is that April is looking even stronger!



March 2011 Statistics

    • $396,389,773 – Total dollar volume of single–family properties sold, five percent less than March 2010.
    • $185,260 – Median price for single–family homes, two percent more than March 2010.
    • 1,597 – Single–family homes sold, 10 percent less than March 2010.
    • 96 – Days on market, 32 percent longer than March 2010.
    • 3,480– New single–family home listings on the market, 17 percent less than March 2010.
    • 9,156 – Active single–family home listings on the market, 11 percent less than March 2010.
    • 2,012 – Pending sales for single–family homes, 17 percent less than March 2010.

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