Winter Curb Appeal Checklist

How To Give Your Austin Home Winter Curb Appeal

Thanks to Austin’s very own Soledad Builders for the winter inspiration!



When fall turns to winter, its easy for homes to go into a “ho-hum” hibernation until spring emerges. But for Texas homeowners listing their homes during winter – and for buyers scouting during this time – below are my useful tips to help ensure your home is the apple of their eye and most importantly that your home commands top interest and top dollar!

Even if you aren’t making a move during the winter season these tips will help you make the most of your home’s exterior presence during winter.

Give It Color

The entryway is the gateway to a home’s soul. Simply toss a few brightly colored pillows on your porch (shown above)… Or if your door is tired and dingy, wash/clean it or give it a new coat of stain or paint. Check out this handy reference for picking the perfect front door color.
Blue Door, Austin, TexasA simple wreath is a great canvas for color and personality. It’s very easy to find a wreath that will transition from season-to-season with just a few simple changes. Here’s one of our DIY wreath projects that can bring some sizzle to your front door.

A DIY Wreath Project by Home Style Austin

A colorful, hardy plant that will last through winter and much of spring, pansies are available in white, pastel, and a myriad of jewel-toned colors that will delight young and young at heart.

Plant pansies along the ground and elevate their color by accenting them in hanging baskets or tall colorful pots. Don’t be afraid to partner tall plants, junipers, herbs or succulents with this all-time favorite.Pansy Pic Courtesy Of The Home Depot

Love gardening? Download this free gardening guide made for those living in Central Texas. It contains useful information and planting tips for the eco-wise garden. Happy gardens make happy homes!

A few bags of fresh mulch (red, cedar, or black) can give your yard a dramatic impact that will colorfully accent your flower beds whether they have flowers or not.

Keep It Clean

Fallen leaves can add to the seasonal personality of a home during October and November. But by the time December ushers in, give the lawn a good raking to tidy the lawn. One of my favorite lawn accessories is this 2-in-1 Black & Decker electric lawn tool that transitions from blower to vacuum in a snap! This blow-vac has become one of my essential lawn accessories that helps me throughout the year.
Fall Leaves In Texas
Unless we’re having an unseasonably warm winter our local grass favorites, Bermuda and St. Augustine, are likely in hibernation. If you don’t plant winter rye grass make sure and mow the grass at least once to give it a clean-cut look. Don’t forget to edge for a clean border!

Trash bins should be kept out of sight and behind the fence or in the garage. Except on trash day, of course!

Wrap-up and conceal garden hoses and keep shoes, umbrellas and assorted clutter off of the front entry.

Keep cars parked in the garage and off streets and the driveway, when possible. Keep your garage door closed. Christmas In Texas

Holiday decorations can add to a home’s personal cheer during winter. Keep decorations simple and avoid a full-on Griswold festival of lights (although this type of decor is my personal favorite). If New Year’s Day is in the rear-view mirror make sure the decorations are as well!

Give It Charm

Light it up! If you have landscape lighting leave them on in the evenings when people might be inspecting the neighborhood after hours. Light up porches and entryways so your home can be seen.

Find one signature item that you can claim as your own. A porch swing, fountain, or a rain chain will create a lasting impression for buyers… plus they are great to enjoy, too!Never heard of a rain chain? Rain chains are great ways to transform your typical gutter downspout into a work of art! Locally you can buy rain chains at Zinger Hardware or you can order custom length chains from RainChains.com. Fall and Winter are our rainiest months here in Austin. And even though rain’s a many splendored thing in these parts of Texas, a rain chain makes it all the better.

I hope these helpful tips will give you some easy pointers for how to keep your curb appeal in full bloom during winter.

If you’re curious what your home is worth, mention this post and I’ll give you a free home assessment to help you decide if it might be the right time to list your home… or if it might be the right time to refinance your mortgage.

Cheers to a prosperous 2017!

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.
JoePaul@KW.com
512-222-3302

Why Buy In Austin?

Why Buy In Austin?

[ Sidenote from Joe: The fine folks at Trulia reached out to the Home Style Austin team to collaborate on a post that addressed the home buying climate in Austin. I provided them with three Austin neighborhoods most envied and sought-after by my clients. Enjoy the findings! ]

Post by Jennifer Riner, Trulia

After years of renting, you might be inclined to allocate your savings toward a home purchase. Current high rental prices across the U.S. combined with boosting homeownership aspirations amongst many Americans create a conversation hard to ignore.

In a Trulia survey conducted by Harris Poll last December, 75 percent of Americans said they dream of owning a home one day, with 80 percent of millennials sharing the same sentiment. Nonetheless, 22 percent of Americans are concerned of potential rising mortgage rates.

Austin: A market to watch for 2016

Along with the stats, Trulia provided predictions on the 2016 housing market to assist upcoming buyers. In that, economists pointed out Austin as the third hottest housing market to watch this year, based on five factors:

  • Employment growth last year
  • Low vacancy rates
  • Affordability
  • High inbound home searches and
  • A large share of millennials molded the top ten list.

Austin stole the third spot primarily due to two elements: a high number of young residents and job expansion.

With 80 percent of millennial Americans dreaming of owning a home – a third of whom plan to buy by 2018 – and Austin being an increasingly important city for young professionals, buying a home in Austin is a hot topic. Especially as the average home price in Austin is sitting in the affordable $250,000 to $300,000 range. In addition mortgages in Austin are 3.54 on a 30-year fixed rate, slightly lower than the national 3.56 rate. But, some economists forecast a rise in the near future, as Trulia’s survey respondents anticipated, so locking down a prime rate now is key.

Choosing Austin isn’t necessarily a difficult decision, but Austin is a diverse city and neighborhood prices reflect its variety. Consider the following enviable Austin areas and their median price points, demographics, crime rankings and schools to help scope the market.

803 Kinney Avenue, Austin, TX 78704  |  List Price: $824,900

803 Kinney Avenue, Austin, TX 78704  |  List Price: $824,900

ZILKER

Zilker is a neighborhood in south central Austin best known for the Zilker Metropolitan Park, a 351-acre haven with a spring-fed pool, Botanical Gardens, Nature and Science Center, Zilker Hillside Theatre and Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. The average list price on homes for sale in Zilker is $862,671, a 9 percent week-over-week drop as of March 2016. Compared to the rest of Travis County, crime rates in Zilker are low. In Zilker, 59 percent of residents are single, with 55 percent homeowners and a median age of 35 years old. The median household income across all age groups is $78,403, and 73 percent of residents are college educated.

1516 Wildcat Hollow Austin Texas 78746 | List Price: $2,088,000

1516 Wildcat Hollow Austin Texas 78746 | List Price: $2,088,000

WEST LAKE HILLS

Also in Travis County, West Lake Hills homes are some of the most expensive in the greater Austin region. The average list price is $2,553,927 based on 25 homes for sale, and the median household income is $155,441 per year. Just 17 percent of residents are single and 89 percent are homeowners. The median age of residents in West Lake Hills is 45 years old. Schools in West Lake Hills are top-rated, with Eanes Elementary and Forest Trail Elementary scoring a 10 out of 10 on Trulia’s ranks. Valley View Elementary scored a 9 out of 10. There were 14 counts of theft, 13 counts of assault and 11 counts of burglary in West Lake Hills over the past year.

107 Laura Lane Austin TX 78746 | List Price: $1,980,000

107 Laura Lane Austin TX 78746 | List Price: $1,980,000

ROLLINGWOOD

Rollingwood is an affluent area just 15 minutes west of Downtown Austin. Home prices on real estate in Rollingwood are high with an average list price of $1,907,500 and a correspondingly elevated median household income of $155,441 per year. Just 17 percent of residents are single and 99 percent are homeowners, with a median age of 45 years old. Crime in Rollingwood is extremely low, with just two counts of arrest and one count of vandalism in the past year. Both Rollingwood and West Lake Hills overlook Red Bud Isle Park, a 13 acre recreational park flanked by the Colorado River that is popular with nature lovers who enjoy hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Red Bud Isle is also one of Austin’s 12 prized off-leash dog parks.

Red Bud Isle Park, Austin Texas

Choosing a neighborhood in Austin or the surrounding suburbs will largely depend on your budget and lifestyle, and contacting an established agent to help you in your search is part of being a smart buyer. To help find a home in Zilker, West Lake Hills, Rollingwood and beyond, contact Joe Paul Reider of Keller Williams Realty.

 

The New Keller Williams Real Estate Mobile AppFree Real Estate App: If you’re home hunting, download my free and powerful Keller Williams real estate app – it’s chock-full of features!

  • Text “KWCP11X” to 87778 to download (this is the easiest method)
  • Or visit this link with more details and to download http://bit.ly/kw-mobile-app

 

Please Note: All listing information for homes currently for sale in these neighborhoods is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Data and availability is accurate as of March 28, 2016 and subject to change.

Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate

One Of My Favorite Pictures Of The Margaret Hunt-Hill Bridge In Dallas
DFW Real Estate

As an Austin-based Realtor many of my friends are surprised to learn that I can also help them with their real estate needs in the DFW metro area as well. In fact, Dallas was my home for 20 years so my experience and connections are well-rooted throughout the Dallas area.

Joe Paul ReiderIf you or anyone you know needs assistance connecting to a reputable residential realtor in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex please let me know – I have a small, trusted handful of experts throughout the metroplex who will be delighted to help you with selling and or buying your home. And you won’t pay me a penny for the connection!

Simply call or send me an email and let me know a little more about your situation and I’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Have fun with your upcoming home adventure!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider





~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Email: JoePaul@KW.com
Mobile: 512.222.3302
Web: JoePaul.KWRealty.com

How To Challenge Your Property Taxes

Austin Then ~
An old photo from Home Style Austin archives taken from the top of  UT’s Tower shortly after it was completed in 1937.

Greetings From Austin Circa 1937 © Home Style Austin

Austin Now ~ From home to drone – a pretty aerial view of the dramatic change in Austin’s skyline in about 80 years, visually speaking to Austin’s amazing growth. 

Boomtown, Texas

It should come as no surprise that the Austin area housing market is on fire with supply sorely struggling to keep up with demand. With 110-150 new people moving to the region per day – an average of over 40,000 people each year – in 2 years the Austin metro area is projected to top 2 million strong.

With the recent KVUE.com news release that Travis County property appraisals increased 15%, I’ve been fielding questions from my clients with concerns about rising taxes and what it means to their bottom line.

While most folks want their homes to appreciate in value, this can also impact their property taxes. Many area home owners are confronting sticker shock with recent property appraisal increases that can easily equate to thousands of dollars. Williamson County residents – your appraisal assessment has risen an average of 10%.

A Challenging Question

Did you know it’s your right to protest your property taxes?

Before you challenge your county, do your due diligence and double check the tax appraiser’s assessment. Check the facts and details about your home such as size, age and condition. Compare it to other homes in your neighborhood to determine its value position on the scale with others. One way you can do this is to research online appraisal information for homes around you. Tax appraisals are made available online – Travis County residents can find theirs here and Williamson County residents here.

Another way to “save” on your expenses is to make sure you’ve filed your homestead exemption, which is a big component of tax savings! If you’ve filed a Homestead exemption, the appraisal district can not increase your assessed or taxable value more than 10% of the taxable value from the prior year.

While I read the deadline for filing property tax protests in Williamson County is June 1st (online forms are here) and in Travis County it’s June 2nd (online forms are here) I noticed the county websites suggest having your protest form postmarked by May 31st.

I hope this information is helpful!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider





~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Email: JoePaul@KW.com
Mobile: 512.222.3302
Web: JoePaul.KWRealty.com

Selling Your Austin Home

Tips For Selling Your Austin HomeYour Home’s Value

Thinking about selling your Austin-area home? You’ll want to be well-informed so you can answer the question – “What’s my home worth?”

Because of the dynamic Austin real estate market, it’s helpful to get the insight and advice of a Realtor. A good Realtor will explain the process they undertake when making the critical decision for what to price your home and when best to place it on the market.

The Facts

Sellers and buyers are often at odds with one another; sellers naturally want top dollar for their home and buyers want the best deal that they can get. My job as a seller’s agent is to identify and secure the best price possible. And one of the tools I use to help set a listing price is by performing a customized analysis of your home’s current worth.

What’s a CMA?

A “CMA,” or comparative market analysis, occurs when I research and provide timely and factual market data that helps evaluate the right price for your home. I’ll look at how the Austin market is currently performing and the conditions in your area of the city and of course specific to your neighborhood. I’ll evaluate data for comparable homes (or “comps”), including:

  • Current inventory on the market and what has sold recently
  • The price per square foot
  • The number of days the homes have been for sale
  • Changes in the Austin real estate landscape

I’ll also evaluate your home’s unique features, it’s exact location, amenities (like a canyon view), its special amenities and its overall condition. To decide and set your best price we’ll take all this information into consideration while determining your personal goals.

Tips For Selling Your Austin-Area HomeWhen The Price Is Right

To receive the highest price possible you’ll want maximum exposure within the Austin marketplace. New listings receive the most attention but if they’re priced too high, they may be disregarded by buyers or their agents. So it’s very important to price the property right the first time!

Let’s Get Started

If you’d like to start discussions about your home’s worth, I offer my Austin-area clients a personalized home analysis at no cost. To begin, just complete the form below and I’ll get started on my research which I usually complete within a few days.

Please Note: All information is kept confidential here at Home Style Austin!

The most critical decisions you’ll make is when pricing your home and when to place it on the market.

I look forward to helping you sell your home and securing your next adventure!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider





~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

If you’re leaving the Austin area, sad faces; we’re sorry to see you go and wish you the best!

If you’re moving within the Austin metroplex let me know how I can help you find and transition into your next home!

For folks moving to Austin, welcome! Make sure and explore my website and this very blog for some great tips for newcomers to the Austin area!

July 2013 Austin Housing Stats

It's So Hot In Texas - Batman and Robin CartoonWhen you hear it’s a hot real estate market in Austin, here are some useful statistics that back that up.

Check out the handy infographic below from the Austin Board Of Realtors (ABOR) that shows what a difference a year can make. For July 2013:

  • The median home price is up 8%
  • 35% more single family homes were sold (that’s huge)
  • There are fewer homes on the market and their average days on market is down

To successfully navigate a hot market like ours you need a great Realtor who’s your savvy partner. Home Style Austin founder Joe Paul Reider is a Keller-Williams Realtor® who’s ready to help you list or find your next home.

If you’re ready to make a successful move, give Joe a call at (512) 222-3302 or visit him online.

Austin July 2013 Housing Stats