Berkshire Broadcast

July is Time for Yards, Watering, and HEAT Management [[+]] Austin Area Real Estate Market Begins Return to Pre-Pandemic Activity: Chuck Farr’s July 2022 “Talking Real Estate” ENewsletter

 

Hello again, homeowners, tenants, prospective buyers, and real-estate investors! In the news,the Austin Board of Realtors says that in June, “residential home sales declined 20.3% year over year to 3,441 closed sales as the median price rose 13%, setting a record of $537,475 for the month of June. Sales dollar volume dropped 9.9% to $2,301,865,479 while new listings jumped 19.6% to 6,160 listings. The number of homes on the market skyrocketed 217.8% to 7,090 active listings, causing housing inventory to jump to 2.1 months of inventory, up 1.5 months from last

352 Views, 0 Comments

In 2020, Americans spent $420 billion remodeling their homes, according to a new report by The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI.) They remodeled to upgrade outdated worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials (30%), add features and improve livability (20%), and just enjoy a change (16%.)   While most consumers (83% of those surveyed) said they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic, most found that they were happy with the results (57%), satisfied (39%), and felt a sense of accomplishment (69%).  

Homeowners reported that the best results from remodeling were better functionality and livability (35%), durability (22%), and beauty (14%). A whopping 84% of homeowners said

52 Views, 0 Comments

Do you need a home inspection when you buy a condominium or a co-op? According to BrickUnderground.com, home inspections are common for single-family homes, but they’re also increasingly being requested by urban homebuyers of condos and co-ops. Condo and co-op owners share common spaces such as elevators, lobbies, parking, and grounds, but where they differ is who’s responsible for maintenance and what the inspection can cover.   

Condos are privately-owned units within a community of other privately-owned units, explains Bankrate.com. Owners share common areas, but inside their apartments, they own the air space and interior walls of their units plus the structural components of the exterior walls. Condos are managed by a homeowner’s association

341 Views, 0 Comments

If you’re a homebuyer without a home to buy, the ongoing housing shortage is making housing to buy less affordable by the day. Certain factors should change with time, which should provide you with a better chance to buy a home in mid-to-late 2022.

One factor that helped fuel the current housing market boom was record low interest rates. According to the latest weekly Mortgage Bankers Association survey, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) under $647,200 was 5.20% with 0.63 points. That’s a quick rise from the record low recorded by Freddie Mac in December 2020 of 2.68% for the same FRM loan.  As a borrower you could ask your lender about a hybrid mortgage that gives you a lower adjustable rate for a fixed

77 Views, 0 Comments

Buying a home can be a financial stretch. With soaring home values and rising interest rates, many potential first time home buyers find saving for a down payment increasingly difficult. For many people, the main source of savings is in the form of a 401k and tapping into this resource for a home purchase is one way to find the down payment necessary to finance a new home; but should you use your 401k to buy a home? Experts are conflicted.

A 401k is a retirement savings plan offered by employers which takes pre-tax earnings and deposits it into an investment account for use in retirement. The money in a 401k account can be accessed by either taking out a loan against the balance or by a straight withdrawal. A withdrawal before the age of 59.5 is

78 Views, 0 Comments

According to EyeonHousing.com, half of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980. That could be just one of many reasons why many homebuyers and homeowners are going more “retro” in their decorating styles. Retro pieces of furniture, art, and accessories, whether antique, reproduction or derivative, can bring unique personality to any home.

TheSpruce.com explains that home décor has always mixed the old with the new. Retro is widely thought to mean Mid-century design, but it can also include nods from other eras, including Art Deco and Modernism from the 1920s to the 1940s. Both post-war, these modernistic motifs reflect large lifestyle changes, and are based in the joys of progress and optimism for the future.

Art Deco décor: The 1920s was a

73 Views, 0 Comments

 

You read that right. Should you “prep” an empty house? This is not about adding furniture or plants to a vacant home, but it’s about looking at the empty home and making it more appealing to buyers.

Not all homes need furniture to sell for top dollar, but even a vacant home needs attention before it’s ready for showing. The key is to remove anything that would distract from a buyer seeing the home in its best light and highlight its best features.

What Should You Remove from a Vacant House?

· Anything that isn’t clean – Remove dirt from ceiling fans, baseboards, sink, dishwasher, windows, shelves, etc.

· Leftover Items – Hangers in closets, old batteries from drawers.

· Cable and Cords – Neaten walls and floors by removing or

105 Views, 0 Comments

Most sellers spend a long time considering whether they should sell their home. These same people who have considered all the financial and personal pros and cons of moving hire the first real estate agent they like. While certainly it’s important to find an agent you can communicate with, the right agent brings more than a pleasant demeanor to the transaction and it’s critical to choose the right one.

Before signing with the nice agent who stopped by the community garage sale, interview a few local options. Ask friends and neighbors if they have any recommendations and arrange a sit-down visit with the agents. Ask questions, such as:

· How many homes have you listed and sold in the past year?

· How do you handle the marketing of the home?

520 Views, 0 Comments

One of the most exciting parts of expecting a baby is decorating the nursery. Today’s young parents are shunning the traditional pink and blue for more contemporary styles that blend with the rest of the home. With themes ranging from boho to Mid-Century Modern, there are options for all styles and budgets.

5 Nursery Design Trends to Try in 2022

1. Sophisticated Colors – The nursery should blend with the style of the home. Gone are the jarring pastels that graced former baby rooms.

2. Multi-Purpose Furniture – Even if space is not a concern, multi-function furniture prevents a cluttered look. Daybeds or sofa beds can provide for guests as well as offer seating.

3. Accent Walls – An accent wall makes a great statement, especially in a small

243 Views, 0 Comments

One of the most important financial considerations of buying a new home is the interest rate paid on the mortgage. Over time, a higher interest rate can add thousands of dollars to the true cost of buying the home. When interest rates are low or steady buyers have greater confidence that they will get a favorable rate when they go to secure the loan, but in our current environment of rising interest rates, many lenders are suggesting a rate lock at the time of pre-approval.

What is a Mortgage Rate Lock?

A rate lock freezes the interest rate on a mortgage for a period of time before the close of the loan. Typically lasting for 30-60 days, the lender guarantees the rate will not change during this period for a fee that is paid when you agree to

207 Views, 0 Comments