In this issue, backpacking in Italy, an Austin market update, and some great listings.
Backpacking through Italy
Chris and I just returned from a three-week trip through Italy. We decided at the beginning of the year to work like crazy, and reward ourselves with a really epic trip. Knowing that we had it on the horizon got me through a lot of long days when I otherwise would have wanted to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. Instead I thought “you can get through this. In September, there’s Europe.”
So in September, we grabbed two backpacks and hopped on a plane, with no hotels booked and no plans except “do what we want, and have fun.” And that’s what we did.
Luckily, we have good help on our team and great clients who support us, so we were able to keep business running smoothly while we were there.
During the trip we visited Naples, Capri, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre and Paris. We absolutely fell in love with Florence, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Naples, which is pretty much just New Jersey in Italy. Very loud, very crazy, a bit seedy, with the best pizza you’ll ever eat in your life. And beneath the graffiti and grime, there are all kinds of amazing things to do and see, including the Catacombes of San Gennaro.
For more photos from our trip, check out my Facebook photo album here.
The Market-Higher Prices Means More Condos
Austin continues to appreciate, and that’s not news. It’s been happening so consistently for so long, it’s easy to lose track of just how remarkable our market is. The median price for Travis County is up to $337,926 for August 2017, which is $37,926 higher than January of 2017 and $12,926 higher than August 2016.
The Texas A&M Real Estate Center is the source I use for broad market data. (Sorry, UT, but A&M puts out great stats and reports.) You can see a bunch of numbers here, but if you like it when other people make sense of them for you, check out the August Housing Report here.
The August Housing Report puts our year-over-year appreciation at 4.96% for the Austin-Round Rock market area. I’m proud to say this pretty much aligns with my predictions from last year, when I guessed that we would continue to see appreciation, but probably more like 5% or 6%, as we were unlikely to keep up 8% or 9% per year. It’s fun to be right ever once in awhile. And I just want to note that 5% is still very strong appreciation. Most markets hope to see 2% or 3% per year.
One factoid I found interesting: the volume of condo and townhouse sales are up more than the volume of single family home sales. In other words, we’re building and selling more and more condos and townhouses. This only makes sense. As prices go up, there is pressure to fit more housing on less land in order to keep prices affordable. I know that much of the development we’re working on at the moment is A/B unit or “big house/small house” construction in central Austin. Simply put, you put two houses on one lot, and establish a two-unit condo regime. Between the price of land, and the restrictions placed on development by the city of Austin, this type of construction just makes the most economic sense.
Meal of the Month-Cooking in Tuscany
Chris and I ate a ton of amazing food in Italy and France, but our favorite meal was the one we cooked ourselves. After eating three meals a day in restaurants, it’s nice to cook yourself for once. So while we were in Florence, we signed up for cooking class, and learned to make ravioli. A bonus was that the class was held in a villa built in the 1200s. Everything in Europe is so old that people act like this isn’t even a big deal.
We’ve tried our hand at ravioli before, and never gotten it quite right. Then, we met Alberto, who showed us how it’s done. Now we’re pros, and if you’re lucky maybe we’ll make some ravioli for you some day!
If you’re interested in where we booked our class, it was through this site.
Featured Listing-804 W Oltorf, A and B
New construction in 78704! These two units at Oltorf and Oak Crest (between South 1st and South Lamar) are part of a 4-unit development. The prices are very affordable for new construction in central Austin.
804 W. Oltorf, Unit A
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, 1429 SF
804 W. Oltorf Unit B
2 bedrooms, 2 bath, 849 SF
Do you know anyone who wants to be in 78704 at an affordable price? These brand new homes offers a great location in 78704, separate driveways, low-maintenance landscaping and private yards.
Attention buyer’s agents: This property is offering a commission bonus to buyer’s agents. Just ask me!
Email me at email@example.com for details and showings.
Back on Market
This Hyde Park condo lives like a home with a front porch, ground floor entrance, private yard and two car garage.
It is recently back on market for reasons that have nothing to do with the property itself. The buyers failed to get credit approval right before closing.
Check out the walk through video here.
4014 Duval Street, Unit 2A
Austin, TX, 78751
For sale at $554,000, making it one of the most affordable options in a neighborhood where homes over a million are not uncommon.
3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,035 SF
This two story home is in the desirable Hyde Park neighborhood of central Austin, a quick bike ride to a dozen classic Austin eateries and very convenient to UT and Downtown.
Built new in 2002, this low maintenance home is in a condo regime, so landscaping, pest control and exterior maintenance are all handled by the HOA. Ideal for anyone who wants a low maintenance home in one of the most desirable pockets of Austin.
-Clean and well maintained
-Lots of windows for natural light
-Low maintenance landscaping
-Private yard and covered back porch
-2 car garage parking
-Open kitchen-living layout
For more information, you can contact me at 973.432.7026 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.