Playing Catch Up

Real Estate and Lifestyle

November has flown by so far, and with Thanksgiving this week, the month will be over before we know it! Well my friends, it’s been a crazy month! I know I left you high and dry for a spell, so let me catch you up on what’s been going on in my absence.

Unfortunately, the first week in November I came down with the flu. I was out of commission for an entire seven days. Let me tell you, it felt amazing to just function like a normal person again! Needless to say, the world kept turning, and I spent every second of the next week attempting to catch up on what I missed while out.

Between working with great new buyers, preparing for the upcoming holidays, and nailing down a new place to live, I have literally been on the move—constantly.

Historically, home sales tend to slow during this time of year, but here in Austin, we are busy!  With the Texas economy setting a record for the third consecutive month in October for jobs added, the unemployment rate for the greater Austin area dropped to just 4% (down from 5.2% in October of 2013). These people need homes, and they need them ASAP, despite what time of year it is! Austin’s October home sales remained consistent with September, and overall, the number of sales and values are up from last year, according to the latest data from the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR). Additionally, we’ve seen an increase in inventory, which was desperately needed.

Greetings from Austin! I shot the photo of this iconic mural several months ago for the revamp of our team website!

Greetings from Austin! I shot the photo of this iconic mural several months ago for the revamp of our team website.

This is good news of course, but with the average sales price for last month climbing to over $311,000, affordability issues are still very much at hand. According to a November 20th article by the Austin Business Journal, ABOR’s 2014 President, Bill Evans, is still lobbying for policies that encourage more affordable housing options in the city.

“This additional housing inventory is encouraging, but we’ve got a long way to go before homeownership options and availability meet demand in our city,” Evans said in a written statement. “To get us there we need a regulatory environment that supports all types of affordable housing options.”

Exactly what kind of options is he discussing? I am putting together some research on my end for a post on the topic in the near future as this is a very prevalent issue in our current market.

Moving on, let’s talk some fun before signing off for the day. First of all, when did winter become wedding season?! Don’t get me wrong, I am very honored to be invited to celebrate the love of so many wonderful people, but my schedule is busy! December looks like this: three weddings, lots of Christmas parties, my birthday, a visit from my Seattle-residing sister AND moving into a new place among long hours at work. Whew! That much fun shouldn’t be allowed in one month!

In between all of these festivities, I am looking forward to bringing happy buyers and sellers together during this wonderful time of year! I don’t know about you, but it seems that the busier I am, the more my capacity for production grows. The adrenaline of constantly moving from one thing to another just seems to keeps me on my toes, and I LOVE it!

Speaking of celebrations, the last few weeks saw wedding anniversaries for two wonderful couples. The first was the 28th Anniversary of my amazing parents. I apologize if you’ve heard their story before, but it never gets old in my opinion. These two lovebirds met on a blind date and eloped three short weeks later. I’ve never met two people so in love, and the example they’ve set for my siblings and I is absolutely incredible.

A semi-recent family photo. We are all looking forward to being reunited for the holidays!

A semi-recent family photo. We are all looking forward to being reunited for the holidays!

My friends Jessica and Ellis also just celebrated a special anniversary—their first. I remember their wedding and the surrounding festivities vividly as they were gracious enough to let me invade their lives for a few weeks for a photo project.  Here are a few photos from their wedding weekend:

Jessica and Paul right before he walked her down the aisle!

Jessica and Paul right before he walked her down the aisle!

Jessica's beautiful ring!

Jessica’s beautiful ring!

The week before their anniversary this year, Ellis called to get me in on a sweet surprise for Jessica—a downtown photo shoot for their first wedding anniversary! It was funny. I met them at the train station downtown, camera in hand, and Jessica was like, “Whoa! What are you doing here?!” The shoot was impromptu, but lots of fun. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

Love

Pure love.

Jessica & Ellis with downtown Austin's iconic Frost Tower in the background.

Jessica & Ellis with downtown Austin’s iconic Frost Tower in the background.

What an adorable couple! Jess & Ellis with Sixth Street in the background!

What an adorable couple! Jess & Ellis with Sixth Street in the background.

With so much love and happiness in the air this time of year, I can’t help but to wake up every morning feeling thankful.  But, that’s an entirely separate blog, coming soon to a screen near you!

Love & light,

H

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