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RPT Blog

Friday, February 25, 2022   /   by Kathryn Jones

A Note From Russ On His 20th Real Estate Anniversary: Inflation, Supply vs. Demand, Beating of War Drums & More

I'll bet you didn't know this, but I am officially an Endangered Species. I am a native Austinite that is over 40 years old. I was here before hipsters, Starbucks, and skinny jeans. According to statistics I made up last Wednesday, I am one of only FOUR native Austinites at this age or older that you are destined to meet in your lifetime.  

Why should you care? (My kids ask this too....just silently with an eye roll....) 

Well, I grew up in a Real Estate family here watching and learning as we navigated the last significant inflation the news keeps referring to. I remember the Carter Administration. I remember the Miracle on Ice at the Lake Placid Olympics (which I watched in shorts because hey...I was in Austin). I remember when mortgage rates were flirting with reaching 20%. I remember that we had not one, but TWO boom and bust cycles in Texas Real Estate in the 1980s. The second one was particularly challenging to my family's sphere of influence, and I remembe ...

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  seller, buyer, buying vs. selling, economy, market update, real estate

Wednesday, January 19, 2022   /   by Kathryn Jones

Homestead Exemption In Texas: Everything You Need To Know For 2022

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 ...

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Thursday, January 13, 2022   /   by Kathryn Jones

A Note From Russ On Today's Inflation, Interests Rates, Home Prices & More

Today’s headline is a kickstart if you are thinking about real estate.  Why?
 
Well if you were not around for the 1970’s and 80’s, you may not be familiar with the fact that federal policy to slow inflation impacts interest rates.  For the last 25-30 years we have seen declining rates and I think we have taken it for granted. 
 
When I bought a home in 1999, I danced a happy dance to lock my interest rate in at 7.75%…with a credit score of 800.  Today that would be a loan shark/hard money rate. 
 
In my 20 year career, I have been hesitant to play “chicken little” with interest rates and bark to the world “the sky is about to fall.”  I’ve never wanted to be “that guy.”  So why am I saying this now?
 
Because the analysts, the talking heads, and people who deal with this sort of thing are talking like it’s unavoidable, and pondering how much rates wi ...

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Saturday, January 1, 2022   /   by Meagan Henry

Before You List: Home Renovations That Sell

Put down that sledgehammer! If you’re preparing to undertake major home renovations in order to sell your home, stop for just a minute and reassess. Any avid HGTV fan can tell you just how frequently the channel’s professionals suggest sizable renovations as a way to increase home values before putting the property on the market. But where is the line between renovations that increase your property’s value and those that won’t earn you much extra equity? If you’re not a professional home flipper or real estate guru, that can be a hard line to find. Before you dive into home renovations and selling real estate in Georgetown, take a moment to ensure the renovations you’re thinking about will actually help your home.
 
Is It Necessary?
Before you dive into painting, replacing counters, or any more aesthetically-based projects around your home, it’s important to ensure your home is in good repair. It may not be the most exciting way to s! ...

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  home renovations, seller

Thursday, October 14, 2021   /   by Russ Phillips

Why it's hard to find starter homes & the EVER IMPORTANT need to have an agent that pays attention

In our local market, it's become challenging to buy your first home.  Even though we've seen interest rates below 3% in the last year, and even though we enjoy a thriving job market here locally...the inventory remains scarce in the price point.   
It used to be we'd consider a starter home as something below $200-225k.  Now, if you see a listing in that price point, you'd better run to it, and be prepared for an auction.  For example, earlier this year the Russ Phillips Team listed a home at $275k and we received 22 offers the first weekend, driving the price up to $350k.  
In addition to very strong economic growth, the Austin area is being targeted by institutional money.  The article states that only 15% of the market share is being eaten up by institutional money, but when you combine that with people moving from all over to enjoy our local job market, lifestyle, and business-friendly economics...it's a huge part of the equation. 
He; ...

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