Stone House Vineyard: Yoga & Champagne Brunch

Sunday, April 5th, at 10 am, Stone House Vineyard is offering a Yoga and Champagne Brunch.  Taught by Leaping for Life Fitness Studio, the one-hour long outdoor yoga session is followed by a champagne brunch on the vineyard’s terrace.  Relax, take in the scenery, and enjoy a peaceful beginning your day.  Cost: $35.

Stone House Vineyard
24350 Haynie Flat Road
Spicewood, TX 78669
512-264-3630
www.stonehousevineyard.com
Reservations: rita@stonehousevineyard.com

For more Austin area events, check out Austin Tidbits.

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New FHA Appraisal Rules

Revised federal guidelines require that all FHA appraisals done after April 1, 2009 provide:
1. The Market Conditions Addendum (Fannie Form 1004MC/Freddie Form 71).
2. At least 2 comparable sales within 90 days of appraisal date.
3. A minimum of 2 active listings or pending sales in addition to the 3 closed comparables.
4. Bracketed listings using both dwelling size and sales price when possible.
5. Adjust active listings to reflect the List To Sales Price Ratio.
6. Adjust pending sales to reflect contract sales price when possible.
7. Include original list price and any revised list prices.
8. Reconciliation of adjusted values of active or pending sales with adjusted values of closed comparable sales.
9. Absorption Rate Analysis.
10. Known or reported sales concessions on active and pending sales

FHA also is restating its warning that “Direct Endorsement Lenders are reminded that if the appraiser they selected provides a poor or fraudulent appraisal that leads FHA to insure a mortgage at an inflated amount, the lender is held responsible equally with the appraiser for the integrity, accuracy and thoroughness of an appraisal submitted to FHA.”

Since this will require additional work by appraisers, it is likely to lead to higher fees.

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Increase in Austin Area Foreclosures

The Austin American Statesmen reported 610 homes up for auction in Travis County (up 79% from April 2008) and 377 in Williamson County (up 103%).  In fact Travis’ have exceeded 400 for the past 8 months and Williamson’s have exceeded 200 for that past 12 months.  Despite these statistics, homes to be foreclosed on in Travis County represent only 0.25 percent of the county’s market, while Williamson foreclosures represent 0.32 percent. 

Our business at Solis has increased significantly over the past month as have the transactions for many of the agents regularly we speak with.  Perhaps this is a reflection of the buyer’s market we are in – low interest rates and sellers willing to negotiate.

Economist’s Predictions for 2009

Economist Dr. Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University gives a comprehensive look at where the economy, construction, employment, population, and housing is headed in this video 2009 and Beyond. The data is stagering and certainly leaves Texan’s feeling a bit lucky. Dr. Gaines covers a mountain of research in this 52-minute video in a manner that is clear and concise. Definitely a must-see for all Texas real estate agents. Here are a few tidbits:

Texas Outlook 2009
*Texas job growth is predicted to be 1.5-2%.
*Housing market expected to be relatively strong but “spotty”.
*Reduction in overall residential demanded related to tighter credit, less investment buying, and less second home purchases.

Research includes insight into what lead to this housing crisis and why Texas is fairing much better than most of the nation. It feels good to finally put the numbers and graphs to what we as Austin real estate agents have been experiencing, and the extrapolation of this data is invaluable to future business planning.

Dr. Jim Gaines, Real Estate Center, 2009 and Beyond

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41 Largest Landowners Reside in Texas

Forty-One of the country’s 100 largest landowners, in terms of number of acres, live in Texas according to The Land Report. Of the top 20, 9 are in Texas including the heirs of the King Ranch who rank sixth with 851,642 acres. View the Land Report’s 100

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Agents: Texas Affordable Housing Specialist certification for $10

Members of the Austin Board of Realtors can receive their Texas Affordable Housing Specialist certification and 12 hours of MCE for only $10. The class is Tuesday, June 23 from 8:30 am to 4 pm and Wednesday, June 24 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Read More

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Texas Top in Job Growth

A recent study by bizjournal.com ranked job growth of US cities for 2008. Texas took five of the top ten spots.

1. Houston – added 57,300 jobs
2. Dallas-Fort Worth – added 43,300 jobs
3. San Antonio – added 14,900 jobs
5. Austin – added 9,600 jobs
9. El Paso – added 5,300 jobs

Bizjournal Article

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Austin Market Status Feb 09

According to Austin Metro Study 4th Quarter Briefing, Austin’s market is flat though still ahead of the national real estate market. In regards to month-of-supply of new homes, Austin is healthy at 5.3 months versus the national average of 11.5 months. In addition, though job creation is expected to decline in 2009, Texas remains #1 in job growth.

Free PDF Software

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Get free PDF software at www.cutepdf.com. Not sure why you would need it? People convert files to PDFs so they can send documents to others and maintain the original formatting such as special fonts they may have used. This is particularly useful if you email any branded material such as net sheets, cma’s, flyers, etc.

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Are You Teaching Your Contacts To Refer You?

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Referrals are what real estate businesses are built upon. Don’t leave it to chance that your sphere knows the best ways to refer you. Instead create a list of ideas on how people can spread the word. We print ours on the back of our menu of services and preface it by saying “Sometimes people who believe in our services ask us how they can help us grow our business. If you are one of those people, then thank you! The following information is for you.”

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