August is the month it really hit me that 2020 is almost over.
When COVID news first started coming out, 2020 was still a brand new year. There was part of me that thought “2020 will start when this is all over.” For a while, it felt like time didn’t matter. Future plans for trips, weddings, conferences, and speaking engagements evaporated. Who cared what month it was, really, if tomorrow was so uncertain? Besides, there was nowhere to be.
And yet, time marched on as it always does. It just felt different. Somehow this has been the shortest and the longest year of my life so far. And August was the month I finally realized “We’re not waiting for 2020 to start. It’s almost over. This WAS 2020.” Luckily, it hasn’t been all bad.
I’m 21 weeks pregnant as I write this and just had my first appointment at OBGYN North. I decided to switch practices because the more I read and talked to other women, the less appealing a hospital delivery sounded to me, and the more I was drawn to a birthing center option. OBGYN North is the only practice in Austin that I am aware of that has midwives on staff, delivers through their own birthing center, Natural Beginning, and can easily transfer to St. David’s in case of complications.
One big bonus today was Chris finally got to attend an appointment with me. At my prior OBGYN they were not allowing partners to attend due to COVID precautions. While I understand the logic, I know Chris was missing out. As he put it, he felt like it didn’t “feel real” yet and that maybe he’d feel differently if he had seen ultrasounds in person. We fixed that today.
It still probably doesn’t feel real, honestly. He doesn’t have the physical symptoms I’ve had, obviously, that have made this all VERY REAL for me. But I’ve heard men generally don’t really “get it” until they hold the baby. So I’m not concerned. Chris has been as attentive, involved, curious and supportive as I could possibly hope for.
There are two books I’ve read during pregnancy that have helped me feel much more educated about something that was a mystery to me prior to this.
As soon as I got pregnant, I learned that the list of mandates about what to do and not to do was mind-boggling. Eat this, don’t eat that. Exercise, but not too much. Eat enough, but don’t gain too much weight. No hot tubs, gardening, cleaning cat litter boxes, sleeping on your back, sushi, sprouts, lunch meat… Add into that, the list of options: genetic testing, cord blood banking, doulas, midwives, home births… oh and would you like to eat the placenta? I was immediately confused and found myself thinking “How does any woman navigate this effectively?”
Most of these mandates and options are presented with very little context. What are the relative risks, for example, of sleeping on your back versus coffee consumption versus lunch meat? In her book Expecting Better, Emily Oster expressed the same frustration I had, and tackles issues one by one using the data. As an economist, she’s trained in evaluating research data, so she tackles the major topics, simplifies the research that’s available and empowers women to make their own informed decisions.
A pregnant friend of mine sent me this book along with the disclaimer that it’s “a little out there and hippy-dippy.” I told her that’s also a fair description of me, so no worries. I absolutely loved this book. It’s written by a midwife and the basic premise is this: women’s bodies are designed for childbirth. Labor and delivery are natural, and can even be a spiritual, ecstatic experience. We over-use medical intervention in labor and delivery to the detriment of mothers and babies.
I come from a medical family. I have the utmost respect for doctors and nurses. If I ultimately need medical intervention, such as a C-Section, to keep me and my baby safe, I will gratefully accept it. And yet, I hope to have a natural delivery. And this book helped me understand that it’s possible, the pain is manageable (unless you’re induced) and that my chances are way better in a birthing center than they are in a hospital.
Jordan’s Gender Reveal at Lake of the Ozarks
In August, Chris and I traveled to see my friend Jordan, fellow 30 Under 30, who was having her gender reveal party.
Jordan is an agent in Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Sabrina is an agent in the Chicago area. And I, obviously, am in Austin. The three of us have been holding a small mastermind together for the last year over zoom. We met at the 30 Under 30 event in Charleston last year, and hit it off. Over several dinners, we talked about how we were each considering starting a family, perhaps in 2020. The big question was, how in the world do we have children and run our businesses at the same time? Jordan proposed we schedule regular calls to mastermind that topic, and call it “Real Estate and Pregnant.” “Like 16 and Pregnant,” she explained, “but… real estate.”
So we’ve been doing that every other month since last summer. We’ve discussed topics like tracking our numbers (Jordan’s expertise), staying in touch effectively with past clients using “home anniversary” market updates (Sabrina’s expertise, and something several of you have seen from me in past months) and self care while running a business (my expertise). We’ve exchanged best practices, talked about our team structures, encouraged each other through brokerage switches, team restructuring, and more.
So it was so fun to see them both in person, and watch our husbands get to know each other, over that weekend. Plus, Jordan threw an awesome gender reveal party, complete with a full fireworks show, ending in a blaze of pink fireworks to “reveal” that they were having a girl. Congrats, Jordan, and thank you for hosting us!
Inventory is low, low, low. We have about half of the homes for sale that we did last year at this time, and it just keeps getting tighter. You probably know that Austin has been a seller’s market for years. This is next level. We’ve got the same number of buyers buying, more or less, but HALF as many homes for sale. So as a buyer right now if you’re looking at homes that are less than 2 weeks on the market, you can pretty much bet you’re going to be competing with multiple offers.
This is driving prices up since multiple offers usually mean offers over asking. So demand from buyers keeps setting new high watermarks. We just experienced this with our listing at Alf which received multiple offers it’s the first weekend on the market.
This is a great time to be a seller. If you want to understand more about how to take advantage of the demand from buyers right now, check out my video here on making best and final offers: https://www.facebook.com/WIREAustinTeam/videos/332320011472400
Contracts and Closings
We are excited to be partnering with Urban ATX for some new developments in Austin.
HYPOINT is a new residential community located in East Austin, minutes from downtown, HWY 183, and the bustling Mueller area.
Designed by Davey McEathron Architecture and built by master builders Urban ATX, HYPOINT promises to be the premier residence on Austin’s Eastside. With 23 total units, this is a unique opportunity to own a property that feel of a custom-built home without the custom-built price.
HYPOINT gives you the option of selecting between two unique unit design layouts. These two units are named The Ashby and The Chelsea.
- The Ashby is 5b/4ba property with 2580 SF of living space. Starting $580K
- The Chelsea is 3b/2.5b property with 1595 SF of living space. Starting $425K
To learn more, check out https://urban-atx.com/hypoint-1.
FIRST LOOK | 1811 Ashby
Take a look at this beautiful new home going live on MLS tomorrow.
- 4 bed, 3.5 bath
- 3200 SF
To receive exclusive updates on this home, sign up for our first look listings.
4603 Alf Ave
Early congratulations to Athan and AnneMarie, who accepted a contract after multiple offers their first weekend on the market. This is our third transaction with Athan and AnneMarie and it’s been a pleasure working with them again. I absolutely love multiple offer situations for my seller clients. It is truly the best negotiating position a seller can possibly be in.
If you’re curious to understand more about negotiation strategy when there are multiple offers, see these videos on handling best and offers.
Congratulations to Aubrey, Jasmine, Quinn, Lindsay and Andrew, our four sets of buyers who are all currently under contract in Central Austin. Each of them has had to navigate multiple offers and a competitive market for buyers. We’re looking forward to helping you guys get to closing.
4320 Attra St.
We had the pleasure of helping Alyse sell her Mueller home. This was the first home we’ve sold under the Mueller Affordable Housing program.
If you have any questions about Mueller Affordable, we’re happy to help.