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RPT Blog

Wednesday, April 14, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

How Congressional Proposals happening now MIGHT IMPACT YOU & YOUR REAL ESTATE

Do you intend to leave your home to your kids or loved ones? Current proposals in Congress are something you need to be aware of. And with rising property values locally, you may want to make your voice heard.

First, understand "Estate Tax."

Many people might look at their home and think "I'll never live in a million dollar place..." but the reality is that there are parts of the country where a million bucks doesn't buy you much. I have a friend whose brother is trying to buy in the Bay Area and he can spend up to $900k and I'm told the only homes he can afford are in high crime areas, the home is not in great shape, and it's very small. With Austin's rapid appreciation, you might find that you own a million dollar home at some point in the future.

Estate tax law in the USA currently exempts the first $11m from a person's net worth at the time of their death. This keeps most Americans from paying estate taxes (up to 55% rate) on things they bought with AFTER-TAX money in ...

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

Let's Talk About Your Property Tax Protest!

Did you nearly swallow your tongue when you saw your property value from the tax office recently?   There ARE things you can do about it.  
I put this video together to give you a quick overview of the process and some tips and tricks I've used successfully before.  

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

Austin Real Estate is H-O-T! What factors are contributing to this? Is this a Real Estate Bubble?

Why is the real estate market SO HOT locally?  Are we in a BUBBLE?
I have lived in/around Austin most all of my life AND I grew up in a "real estate family."  In other words, I had a parent AND a step parent whose jobs were centered around real estate.  
Because of this, I was aware of markets even when I was a high school kid here.  In the 1980's, we had a BOOM and life was good...and then we had a BUST when oil took a dive and tax law changed real estate investment fundamentally.  Because of the severity of the bust that lasted into the 1990's...I have always had an eye out for markets that I believe could be a threat.  With that background, let's talk about the local market today. 
Holy moly.  You may have noticed that there's very few homes to buy and the ones that do hit the market seem to be gobbled up with multiple offers almost instantly.  Is this another time when "irrational exuberance" is a term we should be thinking about; ...

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

Will Fannie Mae's recent actions make things easier if you're trying to buy your next home? Maybe.

There's so much buyer demand out there right now...and not enough housing supply.  So you know what that means... Properties selling fast and often in bidding wars.  
New action from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac may help ease the situation.  At least we hope.  They have decided that Non-Owner Occupant loans should be no more than 7% of their business.  So, standards for investors and second homes are getting increased.
See, in today's world, most loans are sold after closing.  Often they are packaged up and sold to Fannie Mae...which means that while the loan officer qualifies you, you have to fit ("conform") to Fannie Mae standards.   
If you're an investor buying a home that you won't occupy, interest rates just went up, and so did down payment requirements. 
How might this help other buyers?  Simply put, it should take SOME investors out of the buyer's market and maybe that will ease up on the demand a bit. 
A HUGE part of ! ...

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Friday, May 8, 2020   /   by Russ Phillips

Real Estate is waking up, learn how to protest your property taxes, & what the economics folks are saying

I miss hugs.  I'll admit it.  How about you?  How are things with you and your family? 


I once showed a luxury home that had grey concrete floors and every wall and cabinet was white.  The asking price was well north of a million dollars but the decor prompted my clients to comment "This house was designed by someone that never got enough hugs...."   I am pretty sure my dentist's office offered more warmth and "homey feelings."   Doing my job with a mask, not shaking hands, and all the other COVID related behaviors reminded me of that story. 

So, really...how are you?  Everyone has a story, and I'm interested to hear yours.  Reply back with the good, the bad, the prayer requests, the victories and the challenges.  We'd love to hear from you. 

I was very thankful for all the responses to my last email.  Though it was meant to encourage everyone I know, I found myself greatly encouraged by the responses ...

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