Austin TX Home Value

How to Use Comparable Sales To Price Your Home

We get a lot of clients come in that want to sell for the exact price that their neighbor got, if not more. This would make sense, as long as their home was exactly like yours starting from the lot location, tile flooring, bathroom square feet, and even down to the countertops. 

Knowing how much homes similar to yours are can definitely give you a rough estimate of the estimated value of your home but there are much more definite pieces you want to find to ensure a correct estimate. 

According to HouseLogic your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. If you can’t find that, here are the other factors that count:

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Outsmart Your Thermostat For Each Season

With the ever-changing Texas seasons, it is important to fluctuate our thermostats accordingly to stay on top of our electric bill. According to a study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, nearly 90% of Americans say that they have never programmed their thermostat, simply because they don't know how.

Programming your thermostat is actually very simple and can save Americans at least 10% a year on heating and cooling costs. You can achieve that 10% by turning your thermostat back by 7-10 degrees F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day, according to the U.S Department of Energy.

The first step is to pick the right thermostat tailored to your needs. There are four types of programmable thermostats that each include a distinctive scheduling style. 

  • 7-day programming. Best for individuals or families with erratic schedules, since this is the most flexible option. It lets you program a different heating/cooling schedule for...

Expensive Mistakes Homeowners Often Make

Maintaining your home is extremely costly and there are a ton of ways to save on the smaller projects that don't need as much attention. Are you spending extra money on unnecessary upkeep?  Here are the ten most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home. 

1. Using Traditional Light Bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home you could be throwing away a lot of money on an inflated electric bill. In its lifetime, an incandescent light bulb can use about $180, whereas as a CFL light bulb will only use $41 in the same time frame. If you really want to get cost savvy, go down to a LED bulb that will go down to $30 a month. 

2. Ignoring a leaky faucet

A leaky faucet is not a minor detail that you want to put on...

Want to Know What your Home is Worth?

Here at the Cain Team, we know you have tons of questions just waiting to be answered. Want to see how homes within a five-mile radius of your home are selling? How do the actual selling prices compare to listing prices in your area? We've got answers! 

Get set up on our ...

5 Myths Sellers Believe When Pricing Their Home

Many sellers believe myths about home pricing that in reality don't match the housing market. Last week Realtor.com highlighted several of those common pricing myths, and here they are!

1. You won't always make money on the sale of a home: Home sellers shouldn't always assume they will receive profit from the sale of a home. The National Association of REALTORS reports that sellers return greatly depends on their location and how much they paid for the home when purchased prior. 

2. A high home price will net you more in the end: When selling it may be tempting to set a higher price to see if you can actually get it, in the end, you may be costing yourself the best marketing time in exchange for the remote possibility...

Eight Home Improvement Projects With A High ROI

With the cool weather coming in, this is the prime time to get all your projects in or around your home done. Many contractors and other pros often find this time of year to be a little slower, so you will have an easier time finding the right person for the job!

The National Association of Realtors has come up with these eight projects that are designed to add value to your home, easily and without breaking the bank! Check out these eight easy steps to maximize your ROI for when the time comes to sell.

1. Fix Window Leaks

Air gap around your windows could be driving your air conditioning bill up higher...

Monthly Market Updates With Ricky!

The housing market has changed exponentially since this time last year, and Ricky is here to explain why! Get the scoop with our Monthly Market Updates with Ricky! 

 

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New Statistics Prove Home Staging Pays Off When Selling a Property

Home staging gains traction among real estate agents as a secret weapon in the selling process, with 62 percent of Realtors® saying they believe home staging helps decrease the amount of time a property stays on the market according to the 2017 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of Realtors. 

More than Decluttering

The NAR survey found that 93-percent of agents recommend that sellers declutter their home before putting it on the market, which all home stagers would agree is a crucial step in the process, but there is more to home staging than just decluttering. Preparing a home for sale means staying on top of cleaning and decluttering tasks. Plus, seeing what updates...

Boost Your Home’s Value with These Tips and Tricks

Buying a home is likely the biggest investment you make in your lifetime. Whether you are looking to sell it or enjoy it for the long haul, it is important to take care of your investment. The upkeep of your home is what makes it truly your space, as well as making or breaking you in the selling process.  

The first thing people notice about your home is the exterior, therefore, having a strong “curb appeal’ is exceptionally important. In order to easily update and upkeep your home, here are a few tips and tricks to boost your home’s value!

 1.       Landscaping is key

In 2007, Homegain.com conducted a survey of 2,000 brokers indicating that well-planned landscaping can potentially quadruple an investment of $400-$500. Focusing on creating a healthy lawn, filling in dead...

Typical Mortgage Taken Out by Americans in Recent Years Have Been the Largest on Record

The continuous increase of home prices in the past few years was mainly caused by an unbalanced housing market. There was just too many people looking to buy a home but not enough homes available to keep up with the demand. As a result, Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on whatever homes they can find.

A recent analysis of data conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association confirmed this trend, as survey data reveals that spending on homes in 2016 and early 2017 have been the highest on record since 1990.

Higher prices have a few different effects on the market. Buyers have to make tradeoffs on the kinds of homes they can afford, or may be shut out of ownership altogether.

They may also adjust their borrowing. Larger mortgage sizes may reflect not just more expensive properties, but also more leveraged ones.

The 20% down payment is a relic: the ...

Tax Tactics That Only Rich People Know

Do you ever feel like the rich just keep getting richer? Well, allow us to let you in on a little secret: Part of the reason they keep on raking in dough is that they take advantage of real estate tax strategies that many ordinary homeowners have no clue even exist. So what are they, exactly—and can we ordinary mortals take advantage of them, too?

For starters, most of these strategies involve investment properties—in other words, not your primary residence. So if you have a cabin in the woods or a beach house that sits empty most of the year, you might be in luck. Read on to follow in the well-heeled footsteps of the wealthy and maximize your tax savings this year.

Strategy No. 1: Take advantage of ‘safe harbors’

Smart investors don’t let second homes lie vacant, but rent them out, says Crystal Stranger, president of 1st Tax and author of “The Small Business Tax Guide.”

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Tax Deduction Checklist: Things You Should Know

Who says paying taxes isn't fun? Well, it isn't, but it is our solemn duty to do our part, right? In any case, there are certain loopholes that make it legal for you to minimize the amount of tax you have to pay without getting in trouble with the IRS. This is especially the case if you are a homeowner, as you are privileged to enjoy certain tax deductions. Familiarize yourself with the most common tax breaks and see how far you can go at minimizing your taxes. Here they are:

Mortgage interest

The interest you pay on your mortgage is tax-deductible for loans of up to $1 million. Be prepared to itemize your deductions to take it, but it's worth it especially if you just bought a home. Most mortgages are structured with payments paying off the interest first, so if you bought a $300,000 home with a fixed-rate 30-year loan @ 4% interest, that's $10,920 in deductions!

Private mortgage insurance

Buyers who weren't able...

The Real Score Between Renting and Buying

There’s about $13.1 trillion stashed away in the United States, in plain sight. Where? In our homes!

Do we have your attention yet?

That’s the total value of the equity held by over 75 million U.S. homeowners, according to the latest estimates from the Federal Reserve Board. And that works out to almost $175,000 per owning household.

This is unmistakable evidence that homeownership is a critical building block of household wealth. Owning a home is a key reason why the median net worth of a homeowner is almost $200,000 while the median net worth of a renting household is just over $5,000.

Sure, part of that is because owners were able to pony up a chunk of money to put down on a house, and to qualify for a mortgage....

Housing Shortage Will Make Homes More Expensive this 2017

A growing concern among real estate analysts is that young buyers might be getting shut out of the market as home prices rise to an all-time high in nearly two decades due to a severe shortage in homes available for sale.

In a recent report compiled by the National Association of Realtors, it was found that there is an 89% increase in the median sales price of existing single-family homes in key metropolitan cities in the U.S. in the 4th quarter (as compared to last year's data). The previous quarter before that showed an 87% increase compared to last year's figures. Over half of 178 markets included in the report have reached or surpassed previous sales price peaks in their respective areas.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, explains that, "the...

Home Insurance Types that Buyers Don't Really Need

While it is natural for homeowners to desire protecting their largest investment by purchasing as much home insurance as they can, there are some product types out there that simply aren't worth the purchase. Here are some insurance types that you can make do without if you are hellbent on cutting down on insurance payments:

Private mortgage insurance - Private mortgage insurance is mandatory for home purchases with less than 20% down. However, if you can pay 20% DP or more, then you have the option to avoid the PMI. This mortgage insurance only benefits the lender, so it is best to get rid of it at the soonest possible time. You have the option to use lender-paid PMI, single-payment PMI, or piggyback loans to help you avoid this additional insurance cost.

Mortgage protection life insurance- This insurance type protects your family when it comes to paying your mortgage in case of your unexpected, early demise. However, insurance...

Why Smart Homes are Safe (and Easy to Sell)

Recent technological upgrades have given homeowners access to the coolest innovations that improve home safety. And because of this, home buyers tend to prefer looking at homes with smart security features installed. Here are the most common smart home safety features you should have installed before selling in order to attract a lot of buyers:
  • Smart door locks and keyless entry systems- provides secure and exclusive access only to authorized personnel and property owners. Access to the property is controlled, even if the home owner is not in the premises. Some products also have a recording feature to monitor traffic at home. 
  • Video doorbells- entry systems that allow homeowners to remotely converse with whoever is at the other side of the door without actually having to be in the premises. Video is streamed to your phone, and you can...

Higher Mortgage Rates are Making Buyers Hesitate

Experts have observed a decline in mortgage applications, thanks to rising mortgage rates and slower demand for refinancing from home buyers. A report by the Mortgage Bankers Association indicates a 7.3% decrease in total mortgage application volume compared to last week's data, which covers refinancings and home purchases. The most significant factor in the fall of rates is the refinancing aspect of home purchase, with applications dropping by 8%. As a result, refinance applications are at a new low compared to last June's data, but are still significantly higher by 26% from the same month last year.

“Mortgage rates increased to their highest level since June last week as comments by some Fed officials made it appear that...

The Perfect Time for Real Estate Investment

MarketWatch recently reported that now is the best time to invest in real estate. Jeff Reeves, a MarketWatch columnist, dispels the rumor that  another housing crisis is looming overhead. He believes that home buyers are more responsible with their home loans, thereby preempting another housing crisis from taking place. 

Reeves, also an editor of InvestorPlace.com, writes, “...whether it’s stricter lending standards, a shift in attitudes among borrowers or simply the nation getting wiser about the risks of real estate, we’re hardly seeing irresponsible buying in 2016.” Reeves believes that the housing market is healthy and that it will continue to "steadily and organically appreciate."

Therefore, with...

Botched Home DIY Projects that Can Affect Your Home Value

Are you an avid DIYer? There is nothing wrong with working on basic home projects-- as long as your hard work will not compromise your safety and home value. Here are the most common DIY project fails listed by Realtor.com that can hurt your home worth, especially when home inspectors are coming over while you are in the process of selling your home:

Unstable Decks- poorly attached railings and irregularly sized posts can lead to unstable decks. If your deck is moving, then there's something wrong. Adeck should be sturdy enough to support your weight without wobbling AND it should not be too reliant on your home for support. Fasteners need to be correctly installed and maintained, as they cause this problem in the long run. 

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