Real Estate Love

Real Estate, Real Estate and Lifestyle, Uncategorized

WalletHub recently ranked 2016’s Best & Worst Cities to be in Real Estate, and guess who’s coming in strong at the number four best city in the nation for the profession?

That’s right. Austin, Texas.

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SXSW 2014 :: HopeLivesAustin Photos

As many of you know, I essentially grew up in the world of Real Estate, worked in the industry as an assistant through college, and actually began my career before I  graduated from UT. I have clients ask me regularly, you look so young to be in real estate! How old are you?!

If you’re wondering, I’m 28.  I’ve been licensed for over 5 years, and while there have been some growing pains, they’ve been the most rewarding five years of my life.

Me, Mom and Dad REMAX

My parents and I at the RE/MAX State Convention 2013

Yes, I will agree with WalletHub, Austin is a fantastic city for the profession, but while I’m sure most people immediately think $$$, I have my own reasons.

To begin with, I LOVE working with relocation buyers. While it can be a sometimes daunting task to try to find the ‘perfect’ house in the ‘perfect’ location at an under budget price, their energies are always so full excitement! Plus, a large part of my job is to manage expectations for new buyers anyway, to listen to their wants and needs and to educate them on an otherwise overwhelming and vast sea of options–  at the end of the day, I always tell them, I’m your options girl.

Hope and Camille

My Team Leader and I at the Platinum Top 50 Blue Party in 2014

That excited energy is so contagious! After all, Austin is an exciting place to be, but hands down, the most rewarding part of it all is helping people live and fulfill their own American dreams. There are no words to fully express how much I love meeting with people, hearing their stories, getting to know them and their families and then helping them through what can be one of the most emotional transactions of a lifetime.

Real Estate is a relationship based business, and I treasure the relationships I’ve had the pleasure of building through these last several years. Often, post closing, I sincerely miss getting to see and visit with my clients regularly, though we do try to keep in touch across our busy schedules with an occasional lunch, dinner or quick coffee date.

Client Dinner

Post closing(s) dinner with some of my wonderful clients in January!

As cheesy as it may sound, my team and I sincerely care about our clients. We love what we do, and we truly work from the heart. I believe that comes across clearly to our clients as well.

Plus, who doesn’t like touring homes, exploring different architectures and admiring all of the lovely finishes? ūüėČ

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Downtown Austin across Lady Bird Lake

There are many aspects of this job that I absolutely love, but to bring it full circle, I believe that what my clients say post transaction about my services speaks volumes as to how much I truly love what I do. Below is my latest client review from the Francis’ family who just closed on an incredible waterfront house on Lake Travis:

My wife and I were scrambling for help when our experience with another realtor wasn’t going well. A friend referred us to Hope, and she was a life-saver. We had limited time in Texas, and she made excellent use of it. She was amazingly responsive, personable, and able to filter out the “noise” to help us quickly find the house we truly wanted. We weren’t initially interested in the house we selected, but Hope provided excellent counsel and insisted we take a closer look. We’re so happy she did! She was also great at providing unbiased recommendations for lenders and inspectors. Her network is fantastic! 5 stars across the board…she found us the perfect house and under budget!”

And please feel free to read through my other reviews from my gracious clients on my Zillow profile.

Until next time,

Hope

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Austin Lovin’ in the New Year

Lifestyle, Real Estate, Real Estate and Lifestyle

The New Year began with a bang here in beautiful Austin, Texas as the moving trucks continue to roll in with home values on the rise.

Reflecting back on 2015, home prices and the number of home sales set all-time high records, and with job and population growth expected to continue at strong pace, 2016 is projected to be a rosy year in the Austin area market.

Pedernales Lot (5 of 7)

I suppose that when you’re negotiating multiple offers on a waterfront house on Lake Travis on Christmas Eve, then writing two more offers your first week back in the office post holidays, its a sure sign of growth and economic strength in this magical city.

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North Shore of Lake Travis while out previewing homes for a client :: December 2015

If you haven’t spent much time enjoying the beautiful landscape of Lake Travis, do yourself a favor and get out there! The rolling hills, expansive green space and the 228 days of sunshine that Austin reportedly gets per year make for an incredible, breathtaking landscape!

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Lake Travis Sunset from Lucy’s Fried Chicken :: December 2015

There are a few good places to enjoy the view on the South Shore, and Lucy’s Fried Chicken is a good stop to make. They have plenty of outdoor seating, live music, a nice selection of cocktails and of course, chicken. The panoramic views from this spot are indescribable, especially at sunset.

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Lake Travis Sunset from Lucy’s :: December 2015

Lake Travis’ North Shore is equally as beautiful, but if you’re traveling from Austin, the drive is a bit longer. On either side of the lake there are great nature trails to hike, gorgeous photos to be taken and many opportunities to immerse yourself in the true beauty of our wonderful city.

Until next time,

Hope

Market Snapshot + Austin Summer Fun

Real Estate and Lifestyle

Despite the constant rain, it  has been an incredibly busy selling season here in Austin. Both April and May set new records for median and average home prices, and the average time on market per home is only two days!

Sculpture Falls via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail System

Sculpture Falls via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail System

According to the Austin Board of Realtors’ May housing report, the median price for Austin-area single-family homes increased nine percent year-over-year to $271,000 in May 2015, while average price increased seven percent to $348,201.

While it is an exciting time to be investing in Austin real estate, buyers are facing major frustrations. In many cases, when a house hits the market in your target area and price range, you need to be there that very same day or it is an opportunity lost. And if you like it, you need to be prepared to bid against the other 50 people who like it, too!

Blues on the Green with Jimmie Vaughn :: Summer 2015

Blues on the Green with Jimmie Vaughn :: Summer 2015

With only 25 percent of single family housing options in Central Texas below $200,000, affordability is still a growing problem in our market.

Difficult as it may be, there is a bright side for shoppers in that corner of the market. Local real estate and financial analyst, Mark Sprague, shared a glimmer of excitement for  buyers in that price range in an economic forecast he delivered in April. Sprague explained how buyers under $300k will see the greatest and fastest appreciation of any price point over the next several years, as it will serve as an entry point in our market for first time home buyers and the like.

Campbell's Hole :: June 2015

Campbell’s Hole :: June 2015

In the midst of my crazy real estate driven life, I try take advantage of every opportunity I have to explore and experience my beautiful city. After all, Austin is¬†SO¬†much fun in the summer! Of the minimal sunny days we’ve had, I managed to make it out to Sculpture Falls via the Hill of Life trail entrance one Saturday, and to Campbell’s Hole via Barton Skyway the next.

I love Austin swimming holes!! And with all of this rain, the water is amazing on a warm day. The energy is always vibrant with live music, laughter and a shared sense of appreciation for the natural beauty surrounding us all. I can’t get enough!

If you want to know how to access a particular spot, or if you just have general questions, give me a shout!

xo,

Hope

Pecan Street Festival Recap + A Fab Austin Boutique

Uncategorized

Festivals abound here in the great city of Austin, Texas! And I try to make it my business to soak up as much of this fun and culture as possible! Last weekend, our infamous Sixth Street (historically known as Old Pecan Street) hosted the annual Pecan Street Festival.

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Known as one of the largest and longest-running arts, crafts and music festivals in the nation, the Pecan Street Festival is, essentially, a street fair of sorts with tons of vendors selling specialized products. You can walk the streets, drink in hand, shopping the entire time with live music as the day’s sound track! And guys, no worries. There are goods for you too, and you can grab a beer while you, too, shop the streets.

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

One of my favorite aspects of this festival is that so much of it is LOCAL— and I am all about supporting local commerce. Handmade jewelry, beautiful watercolors & other artwork, organic soaps, yummy treats and so much more really speak to our dynamic culture and to the collective talent of Austinites.

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Mana Culture’s Booth :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

This year, I attended the festival with my beautiful red-headed friend, and inherently the subject of many of my photos, Kaylee. It was a glorious, sunny afternoon in downtown Austin as we browsed the various booths and popped in and out of Easy Tiger for craft beer breaks.

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

I hate to be partial, because I loved so many of the vendors and their products, but I have to say that the Mana Culture booth won me completely over for the day. Not only was their selection fabulous, but their attentiveness to customer’s likes, wants and needs was refreshing.

Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

I made a few purchases here– for myself and for others, and I am still ecstatic about my buys!  I purchased two necklaces for myself– and at great prices! Check them out:

My purchases from Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

My purchases from Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Mana Culture has a full boutique in a fantastic central location, right off of South First Street, and a second location on East 11th. Ladies, I highly suggest checking them out soon– or check them out online here!

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

I also bought some amazing organic, locally made soaps and a few other goodies at this historic street festival. My friends, life is good here in Austin, Texas!

Before I let you go, I have a very exciting announcement to make to you all! I’ll give you the back story and details next week, but I have partnered with a local artist for an awesome giveaway for three lucky followers in the next few weeks!! More details to come!

xoxo,

Hope

Market Update

Real Estate

Well friends, I can sum this post up for you very succinctly:

This market is just plain crazy!

Frost Tower photo I grabbed while at SXSW.

Frost Tower photo I grabbed while at SXSW.

The dirty details??

Well, for the fourth consecutive month, both the average and median home prices in the greater Austin area rose, closing out March with an average over $336k and median at almost $256k. Homes are moving very fast, too! The average time on market was less than 15 days for single family residences, and in total, March saw 2,300 home sales close!

A Sixth Street shot I took last spring.

A Sixth Street shot taken last spring.

While we are seeing many new listings enter the market with the Spring season in full swing, demand is also growing so inventory levels remain low.

Job growth in the area is still strong, and Austin was recently listed as the number one tech city in the U.S. by Savills Plc, a consulting firm based in London. An article in the Austin Business Journal sums it up here:

“Using five metrics such as property prices, talent pool and quality of life, Austin beat out tech hotbed San Francisco and rated No. 1 in the overall ranking of 12 cities, the Wall Street Journal reported.¬†”

Live music at Austin's Barton Creek Resort & Spa shot last Spring.

Live music at Austin’s Barton Creek Resort & Spa shot last Spring.

Austin is rocking and rolling– and in more than one sense of this phrase that currently seems to epitomize the World’s Live Music Capital in so many ways.

The real estate market is beginning to drive me a bit crazy though. I’m writing several offers a week– almost always at least a few thousand over the asking, and it is still a challenge. Lately, the work never seems to end.

Fortunately, there is an adrenaline that accompanies this craziness. So my friends, until next time, I’ll be running around like a little chicken– meeting myself coming and going. Oh, and trying to catch some of Austin’s Fashion Week!

XO,

Hope