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Texas Real Estate Blog & Market News

The U.S. may still be struggling its way out of a recession and real estate lull, but many investors from all over the world are snatching up U.S. properties at bargain-basement prices. Although most parts of the country are not appealing to foreign investors, there are a number of large markets that are quite appealing and plenty of real estate that’s incredibly attractive. This usually means tourist areas, where sun and fun and beautiful beaches can be found.

The San Diego-based real estate data analysis company, DataQuick, has identified the top 10 markets where foreign homebuyers are buying U.S. properties:

1. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.

2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

3. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.

4. North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota,

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Home Buyer CashWith today’s historic-low interest rates and real estate more affordable than it has been in years, now may be the time to consider whether it makes sense to rent anymore.

In fact, according to data collected by Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy Index, which gathers information on asking prices for rental units and homes across the country, it is now more affordable to buy than rent in a whopping 98 out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country. Even the largest markets of New York, Los Angeles and Boston are kinder to home buyers than renters.

Homeownership is More Affordable than Ever

Rent prices continue to rise across the country or, at the very least, remain stagnant, while homeownership is becoming more affordable than ever. Although this

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When selling your home, you may begin to wonder what exactly will catch the eye of potential home buyers. Although, of course, this may differ from buyer to buyer, there is one area of the home that you simply can’t go wrong remodeling or sprucing up for sale. And that’s the kitchen.

Kitchens today are where the family gathers. It is, in fact, the heart of the home and it has the ability, time and time again, to sell a house.

Today’s kitchens must represent today’s buyer, and they must have the wow factor. They must be a place to entertain, to unwind, and to spend a family meal together. They must have superb finishes, high-quality appliances, and plenty of cabinetry. They often play just as big of a role as the family room or great room, and many

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Austin Texas Home buyersLoosening credit standards may be coming to the rescue for home buyers everywhere. Most economists agree that the one overriding factor why home sales haven’t rebounded in many parts of the country is because lenders are still making it too difficult for many homeowners to secure home loans.

Although the average credit score needed to secure a home loan currently hovers around 700, which is where it has been for some time, more banks are loosening up their standards in other areas, such as how much money they will lend borrowers. Banks, in fact, are lending amounts of up to three and a half times the salary to borrowers (for example, if you make $50,000, you can expect to be approved for a loan of up to $175,000, although this amount may vary depending

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Austin Statisics - real estate market 2012

Austin real estate market continues to show momentum with 9th month of year-over-year increases in sales volume Austin Board of REALTORS® releases February 2012 real estate statistics AUSTIN, Texas – March 20, 2012 – According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®, 1,283 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in February 2012, which is 16 percent more than February 2011. During the same time period, the median price for Austin-area homes was $195,000, three percent more than the same month of the prior year.

Leonard Guerrero, Chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, commented, “For nine months in a row, Austin has seen year-over-year increases in sales volume. In addition, we also

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VIP Realty - home valuesYou’ve taken the appropriate steps, did all your research, and spruced up your home until it sparkles. Think you’re done preparing for the sale of your home? Well, you are, provided you’ve found a realtor who is Internet savvy. In fact, an Internet savvy may just be your dream realtor. And here’s why:

  • An Internet savvy will get your property in front of buyers – Because the predominant trend with today’s buyers is their move toward the Internet, it is now more important than ever to make sure your realtor – and the real estate firm for which he or she works – is Internet savvy. In short, when buyers search for homes on the Internet, an Internet savvy realtor will make sure your property pops up every time.
  • An Internet savvy realtor will save you
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VIP Realty - Real Estate ClientsHome buying is a stressful experience. And this statement is often repeated, ad nauseam, by home sellers everywhere. So, what can you do to ease the stress when selling your home? The short answer is: by hiring a great realtor.

Here are just a few of the ways a great realtor can reduce stress during your home selling process:

A great realtor will have a deep understanding of your goals (and a strategy for meeting these goals).

A seller’s realtor should ask questions and listen carefully when discussing a home seller’s goals. Selling a home isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and an experienced realtor will understand this. As such, your realtor should come to the table with a personalized marketing strategy for your home, based upon a number of

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There are plenty of Austin areas to watch in 2012 and plenty of reasons why Austin continues to be popular destination for Texas families.

In addition to its strong housing market and increasing job market, Austin has become a highly desirable area in which to reside. But Austin has become desirable not only for its real estate, but for its bountiful supply of outdoor beauty and recreational activities.

Here are some of our favorites:

Austin Nature and Science Center Located within Zilker Park, the Austin Nature and Science Center is where Austin visitors and residents can explore all things natural. The Austin Nature and Science Center, which was established in 1960, has provided everything from nature exhibits to education programs for adults

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mortgagesAs a first-time home buyer, you may be quite overwhelmed at the thought of obtaining a mortgage. There seems to be so many options, and the process of finding a home loan program and applying for it leaves you feeling nervous and more than stressed out! However, the mortgage process is not so intimidating if you take it one step at a time:

  1. Consider how much money you can spend on a new home – Before you even look at your first property, consider how much of a home you can afford. It simply doesn’t make sense to waste your time and build up your hopes, only to learn that you cannot afford as much of a house as your first thought. In addition to considering a monthly housing expense, add in the cost of taxes, as well as utilities and the cost of
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If you must weave and dodge your way through your home to get from one room to another, it may be time to de-clutter it before selling.

Your home could be the prettiest four-bedroom colonial on the block, but if it is dirty or cluttered, buyers will have a difficult time appreciating your home. Cleaning and de-cluttering, although it requires a substantial amount of elbow grease and time, will pay off in the long run because buyers will have a better appreciation for your property. Plus, it will prepare you for the move by ridding your home of unwanted stuff! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Clear out all unnecessary clutter – From the stack of magazines beside your bed to the piles of unused toys in the corner of the family room, it is time to
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