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Russ Phillips | RPT Blog

Monday, August 16, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

Realtors Are Saying the Market is Slowing - But I thought it was HOT? What's going on?

GroupThink.  What is it?  
According to VeryWellMind.com, here's a definitiion: 
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. The term was first used in 1972 by social psychologist Irving L. Janis.
People who are opposed to the decisions or overriding opinion of the group as a whole frequently remain quiet, preferring to keep the peace rather than disrupt the uniformity of the crowd. The phenomenon can be problematic, but even well-intentioned people are prone to making irrational decisions in the face of overwhelming pressure from the group.
Q: So how does this apply to Real Estate?   
A: Markets move in a "herd mentality." 
So, I'll bet that instinctively you know this, but think about the big stock market crash of 1929...or stories of a run on banks.   What happens ...

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Monday, August 16, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

Long Term Austin Outlook....Real Estate here could be a GREAT hedge against inflation.

There are two places I like to point to when talking about long term economic forecasts and how they might impact the local real estate market: 

People smarter than me
Data

In the video embedded below, you'll find the latest update from David Tandy, CEO of Texas National Title.  It's a little over an hour, but it's a great listen.  
Despite the market seeming to slow or "normalize" currently, it appears the long term future for Austin is quite rosy.  And that appears to include a shortage in housing, which should mean property will continue to appreciate here. 
Also, see a few previews of the slides below that David discusses in the video. 

The Job Market in Austin is hot.  Companies are hiring and the unemployment rate is low here. 


Also in the video, David takes a "deep dive" into why companies are relocating to Texas with the most obvious example being the "California versus Texas" discussion referenced in the slide belo ...

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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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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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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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