Cain Realty Group Austin Real Estate Blog

5 Home Improvement No-No’s to Watch out For

There are two reasons why people pay close attention to the upkeep of their homes: they want their home to look impressive and fabulous, AND they want to add value to their home in the hopes of selling it for a higher price in the future. But what if your home improvement regimen is actually doing more harm than good? Here are 5 Home Improvement No-No’s to Watch Out For:

Overly-bright light bulbs. A well-lit home is a beautiful home, but using bulbs that exceed the wattage capacity of your light fixtures can cause damage to the circuitry. Over time, overheated wires will erode and cause a house fire. TIP: Use bulbs well within the recommended wattage of your home’s light fixtures (you can check the label of the fixture). If you want your home to appear brighter, be ready to upgrade your fixtures and your electrical circuit accordingly.

Planting trees near driveways or...

Additional Financing Options for New Buyers: The Landlord Parent

A current trend lets young adults acquire their first homes through more flexible financing schemes. Parents are now taking on the role of landlords to their adult children-- buying homes their child is interested in, and letting them pay back through low- (or, sometimes, no-) interest, flexible payment schemes.

College graduates used to have the dilemma of paying expensive rent or having difficulty saving up for a down payment for bachelor pads… but not anymore. Parents are purchasing property and renting it out to their children, and letting them pay amounts well-below market value.

What would normally cost as a $2,000/month one-bedroom rental in Upper East Side, New York City for a young professional turned out to be a $1,000/month mortgage deal for him, thanks to his parents who bought the...

Top 10 Places to Be a Real Estate Agent

A recent study by WalletHub reveals that a realtor’s success in the real estate business is heavily dependent on location. Comparing 150 metropolitan areas across 13 key metrics such as sales per agent and the annual median wags of agents, they found that the 10 best places for real estate pros to practice are the following:

  1. Denver, Colo.
  2. Irvine, Calif.
  3. Seattle, Wash.
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Aurora, Colo.
  6. Portland, Ore.
  7. Indianapolis, Ind.
  8. San Francisco, Calif.
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Boston, Mass.

However, it is important to note that the real estate business is also intensely local....

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved: The Basics for First-Timers

The process of buying a home does not begin with looking at properties for sale. In fact, the first step in home buying is to determine whether or not you are capable of securing financing for your home purchase. While the terms “pre-qualification” and “pre-approval” have been interchangeably used by most people, they do not necessarily mean the same thing. This article is a guide for first-time home buyers who are taking their first steps in buying a home. It explains the difference between getting pre-qualified and getting pre-approved, as well as how having one (or both) can help you buy your first home.

Fact 1: Getting pre-qualified does not guarantee that you will be approved for a home loan.

Getting Pre-Qualified

Getting pre-qualified is the first step in the mortgage process. No fees are involved when a bank or lender evaluates your debt,...

Tiny Home vs. Regular Home: Which is a Better Investment?

Have you heard about Tiny House Living? It’s a new trend that’s all the rage for people on a budget, students, and young professionals just starting out on their careers. While tiny homes are admittedly cheap to maintain, very cute, and easy to build, are they actually worth the effort? Here are 3 comparisons between having a tiny home and investing on a small, albeit regular home:


Most Tiny Home owners have good people letting them live on a small plot in their backyard. While that’s cool and cheap for the next 2-3 years, such an arrangement cannot guarantee you permanence. What if the owners of the lot you are living in decide to move out or they end up hating you for your blaring music? If you are hell-bent on living on a tiny home, you still have to purchase a lot to put it on to secure your shelter for the long-term. Wouldn’t it be better to buy a lot with a (small) house in it after all?

Utility Services...

5 Things that Make Your Home More Attractive to Buyers

Your house doesn’t have to look like a model home or a mansion for it to be appreciated by prospective buyers. Sometimes, all you need are a few small tweaks that will make your home look more attractive without necessarily requiring a huge investment on your part. We bring you 5 tips on how you can easily make your home look more attractive to buyers.

Use Homey Welcome Pieces in the Foyer

The first thing a buyer will see inside your home is the foyer. How welcome does the buyer feel? A sense of coziness and warmth is important to exude to the buyer if you want them to envision living in your home in comfort. Otherwise, your home will just be one of many houses they will visit over the course of their house hunting journey.

Install Simple Water Features

It doesn’t have to be a large fountain in the central courtyard or a cascading waterfall with multi-color accent lights. A simple water feature by the entrance of your home or at...

Austin’s Kimber Modern Earns Global Praise from Luxury Lodging Website

Austin’s Kimber Modern made it to the “Perfect 20” list of, a website that promotes luxury brands across the globe. The exclusive online travel company’s accolade is far from ordinary—out of 3,000 boutique high-end designer hotels worldwide, Kimber Modern is one out of ten that made it to their featured list.

While Austin is known for its several boutique hotels such as Hotel San Jose, Hotel Saint Cecilia, Heywood Hotel, and The Fairview, Kimber Modern off South Congress Avenue exudes a different appeal, thanks to its carefully-curated contemporary design.

Out of 10 hotels that made it to the Perfect 20 List, only three are in the U.S. The second hotel is the Sparrows Lodge in Palm Springs, California and the third is the Crosby Street Hotel in New York. For a complete Perfect 20 List, you can view the original article ...

Austin: Best City for Young Families in the U.S.

Are you planning on having kids soon? Or, do you already have a few active juniors and are now looking for the perfect place to raise them in? You might want to look into living in Austin, as it has been recently named “The Best City for Young Families”.

A study conducted by personal finance website ValuePenguin determined that Austin is the most family-friendly city by using 16 key metrics that fit into 5 categories. Ranking 1st out of 156 cities included in the study is truly an amazing feat.

Austin also ranks 3rd for education and environment. The city may have attained the highest individual score due to the high percentage of kids living in the city and the high rankings of its state university.

The city proves to be ideal for working parents as well. It ranks 10th for its thriving...

Curb Appeal Tweaks for less than $100

Did you know that a home design overhaul isn’t necessary to make your home look more appealing to the buyer’s eye? Sometimes, all it takes is a conscious effort to improve on what you have and highlight the strong points that are already existent in your home curb’s appeal. Inspired by an article published by the Austin Business Journal, we bring you tips on how to boost your curb appeal for less than $100:

  1. Vamp up your front door. It’s Psychology 101—grab the buyer’s attention by making your front door look welcoming and eye-catching. Paint your front door using an attractive, bold color (such as red), and entice your buyers to enter the home and see all the other things your home has in store for them.
  2. Give the mailbox some character....

Easy Feng Shui Concepts for Your Home

2016 Chinese New YearIn keeping with the Chinese New Year celebrations, we would like to share a few Feng Shui tips to those who would like to spruce up their homes to be lucky this Year of the Fire Monkey.

In the past years, Asian economies have drastically strengthened. Could it be because of their impressive business savvy? Or does it have something to do with their belief in Feng Shui? In any case, we won’t deny that Asian homes look good and feel good because of their strict adherence to Feng Shui concepts.

While we may not be experts on this Asian belief system, here are a few tips everyone could follow to benefit from the positive energy that Feng Shui brings to people’s lives and homes:

1. Create a Beautiful Garden

A beautiful garden, even...

Hopdoddy Soon to Open Fourth Location at The Triangle

Good news for all burger lovers.

The Austin Business Journal reports that the Hopdoddy Burger Bar will open its fourth Austin-area location at the Triangle, taking over Mama Fu’s former address at 4616 Triangle Avenue. Mama Fu’s, known for its Asian Fusion cuisine, will be relocating to Triangle to 4700 West Guadalupe. This is good news for all Austin burger fanatics who have grown fond of the food joint’s burgers, shakes, and lively long lines.

The first Hopdoddy store opened in South Congress in 2010. The second store opened in Allandale in 2012. Store openings in other states soon followed with branches in California, Colorado,...

Feb. 5: Last Day for Nominations for the 2016 Residential Real Estate Awards

RRE Awards 2016 Austin

Today is the last day of submission for nominations for the 2016 Residential Real Estate Awards. The Austin Business Journal will celebrate the top names in residential real estate at the Hilton Austin on Fourth Street on March 3, 2016 to acknowledge top-performing real estate agents and home builders who have played an important part in Austin’s population growth and economic success. Nominations for individuals and teams may be submitted through this link.

For those who would like to attend the awards luncheon (which is a perfect opportunity to make new connections and establish networks), ...

8 Rules that Good Home Buyers Should Follow in Showings

In a previous post, we talked about a few things home sellers should avoid doing when opening their homes for showings. Now, Cain Realty Group brings you 8 Rules that Good Home Buyers Should Follow in Showings. It is important to act your best, especially when visiting a home you are interested to purchase, if you would like to sway the sellers to bestow their home to you. Of course, making an impression that they would remember would depend on how good—or bad!—you’ve been during the showing!

Get Pre-approved before House Hunting

Sellers would take you more seriously if you know exactly how much you can afford and if you are qualified to buy their home. The sure-fire way to show that you are qualified is by having a pre-approval letter at hand. Not only will this save...

Why 2016 is the Best Year to Buy a Home

Fact 1: Interest rates for home loans are currently at a LOW 4.01%

Fact 2: Interest rates for home loans are forecasted to climb to 4.80% in 2017

--Freddie Mac and Bankrate

While a 0.80% difference may not sound much, it actually translates to an additional $67,000.00 in payments for a 30-year mortgage for a home worth $250,000.00. That’s an additional $186.20 you have to pay on top of your monthly mortgage for the next 30 years, which can alternatively be used for buying a new car or weekly dinner-out indulgence for your family to enjoy, had you decided to buy a home a year earlier.

This forecast is especially applicable to Austin where home prices are expected to soar alongside increases in interest rates, thanks to the astounding performance of Austin’s economy. And as a ...

Austin: The NEW Superlative Economy of the U.S.

It’s OFFICIAL: Forbes reports that Austin has become “the nation’s superlative economy over the past decade.”

This may come as big news to those who are expecting the title to land with any of the Three Great Cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. However, a recent study conducted over the 53 largest metropolitan cities in the U.S. that were ranked according to past, present, and future vitality metrics concluded that Texas is the new hotspot, with all four of its largest metro areas making it to the top 10, and with Austin landing the top spot.

Here are the Top 10 New America’s Boom Towns from Forbes’ recent study:

    1. Austin, TEXAS
    2. Salt Lake City, UTAH
    3. San...

First-time Home Buyers Guide Yours FREE!

Are you worried about buying your very first home because you don’t know how the home buying process works? Don’t let that fear keep you from making the best financial investment you can ever make in your life. Take the plunge and invest in your home without worry. Cain Realty Group is here to provide you professional advice on how to initiate the home buying process without worrying about fees, loads of paperwork, or bothersome appointments that will take away precious time from your family and career.

All you have to do to start the home buying process the easy way is to set an appointment with us by filling up the consultation form. We will reach out to you in the most convenient time and place and we will help you begin your amazing journey: investing in real...