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RPT Blog

Thursday, March 23, 2023   /   by Kathryn Jones

Silicon Valley Bank Failure, Interest Rates & Why I Bought Another Horse

Russ is here to check in with our community! Keep reading to get his rundown on the Silicon Valley Bank Failure, Interest Rates, and more:
I bought a horse last weekend. Even though I have 4 other ones already. More on that and how it relates to today's topics later.
So, I have begun to REALLY LIMIT my "news intake." Not because I want to be out of touch....but because I want to be out of touch with "agenda driven news." In fact, so much of it is not really news, it's op-ed, crafted to look like broadcast news. People in suits, behind desks, with endless talking points about how "that other side" is out to ruin the country. I think politics ruins EVERYTHING it touches.
That said, there are some news items that ARE important to watch and so I have limited myself to reading the WALL STREET JOURNAL and to a podcast I enjoy called "The World and Everything In it." I recommend both.
I also listen to people smarter than me in their fields of expertise. This blog is about some of what ...

  real estate, market update, economy

Tuesday, January 17, 2023   /   by Kathryn Jones

How To File For Homestead Exemption In 2023

It's that time of year to start thinking about taxes once more. Tax season may not be your favorite time of year, but for homeowners who purchased a home in Texas the previous year, it might provide some pretty sweet benefits.

Every homeowner has the chance to apply for the Residential Homestead Exemption from January 1st to April 30th of the tax year. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about filing an exemption, as well as all the tools you'll need to get started right away!

What Is a Homestead Exemption?

The Homestead Exemption is essentially a property tax exemption that homeowners can claim on their primary dwelling. It lowers your taxes by exempting a portion of your home's worth from taxation. If your home is valued at $300,000 and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption, for example, you will pay taxes on it as if it were only worth $275,000.

The only property that qualifies for the Homestead Exemption is your primary residence. . ...

Sunday, November 13, 2022   /   by Kathryn Jones

Timing The Real Estate Market

There are SO MANY "Chicken Littles" out there pushing DOOMSDAY headlines about inflation and interest rates, as it pertains to the real estate market. For the last 4 months or so, since the "INFLATION IS AT A 40 YEAR HIGH" news broke, all the news has been bad.  Then about a month ago I was introduced to a video.  It's an interview of a guy that is highly respected in the finance industry, named Barry Habib.  You should Google him.  I've learned that about every loan officer I know listens to him and even my financial planning firm (big company, nationwide) does too. 
While I must clarify that the Russ Phillips Team is not in possession of a crystal ball on economics, we DO have very interesting information to share with you as you consider your next steps in real estate. 
This has been a confusing time in my industry.  We keep hearing the Austin job market is amazing, there's more jobs than workers, not enough homes are being built, an ...

Monday, August 29, 2022   /   by Kathryn Jones

Real Estate Opportunity Not Seen In Over 2 Years!

Man, 2022 has been interesting.  Thanks to you and your referrals, we've been flourishing...but I wonder if you know what is happening out there.  Crazy things afoot!  In real estate AND personally.  (I'll save the personal thing for last.) 

I'm sure all of you know if you read my updates that 2021 was a crazy awesome year for sellers.  Our buyer clients saw us HIGHLY CAFFEINATED all year long (and well into 2022), as we rushed to be the first to look at new listings, get offers written, contracts secured, and help folks get where they wanted to go.   Then...it happened. 

First, my wife entered her 5th decade.  I know you're not supposed to tell a woman's age, but I just did, so now I'll try and recover and tell you there's some sort of "dog years" math at work there, because we've been married 27 years now and she looks 26.  Math is hard.

ANYWAY....right about the time she had a birthday, the news exploded: 

"Infl ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2022   /   by Kathryn Jones

How To Select The Best Homeowners Insurance

As many of you know, there is so much research, time, and energy that is put into purchasing a home, from both you and your realtor. Because of the list of to do's surrounding your closing, buying a homeowners insurance policy is too often almost an afterthought - although required by all lenders. Selecting the ideal homeowner's insurance plan can be challenging. Homeowners must evaluate their risks and living conditions while also comparing insurance companies' pricing, customer support, and claim reimbursement effectiveness objectively. In honor of National Insurance Awareness Day, we pulled our top industry tips for selecting the best homeowners insurance policy for your family. Keep reading to get our tips...
1. Understand What Homeowner Insurance Is & What It Covers
In the event that your home or its contents are damaged by a fire, smoke, water, theft, vandalism, storm, or any occurrence specified in the policy, your home insurance policy will pay to restore or replac ...