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May, 2010

Austin Skyline

Okay, we’ll admit it. We Austinites adore our city, and we always have. After all, what’s not to love? We’re the capital of the Great State of Texas, home of the world-famous University of Texas Longhorns, the Live Music Capital of the World… I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. There’s pretty much something for everyone here.

Of course, knowing your city is great and having the rest of the country confirm it are two totally different things. And lately, it seems the rest of the nation has been confirming it for us an awful lot. If you don’t believe me, check out the latest evidence of Austin’s awesomeness for yourself.

If taking the number one spot for Kiplinger’s “The 10 Best Cities of the Next Decade” wasn’t good enough, here’s a list of some of the various distinctions Austin has been awarded in widely-read publications this year alone (courtesy of PSW Real Estate). Pretty impressive, huh? All I can say is, if this doesn’t make you want to relocate, I don’t know what will!

Want to find out more about all the things our fabulous city has to offer? Check out Austin City Connection and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Take care of yourselves and each other, and remember…

NOW you have options!

P.S. Here’s a fun fact about Austin I bet you didn’t know: Austin’s first skyscraper was built back in 1910, when E. M. Scarbrough built the Scarbrough building at Sixth and Congress. That intersection continues to be one of the busiest in the city today!

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When I put my house up for sale, I was lucky to hire Patt Griffin as my agent.  She was very persistent, and now I feel lucky that I hired Patt and nobody else. In the past I used the service of other agents, so I can compare her work with others and I can say absolutely confidently that she is an absolute professional in what she is doing.   

It was great working with Patt. She did all the work and took all the headache from me. Also, she completed the deal within the timeframe she identified earlier, and thus met ideally all the expectations. 

I would recommend anybody to work with Patt if you want the perfect agent and no headache.   

Thank you, Patt, for all the work you have done for me and being so professional and pleasant.  

Best Wishes, 

Tatyana Boland

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I must say that if you are going to be buying or selling a home anytime soon, I wouldn’t even consider doing so without Patt Griffin on my side. My family and I had another agent before we had Patt, and let’s just say there is absolutely no comparison. The following are just a few of the reasons I wouldn’t use anyone else:

  • She is the best at marketing your home or finding the perfect home for you to buy. (Her photos of your property will not be beat.)
  • She writes an unbelievable contract that will back you in any situation.
  • She doesn’t take no for an answer; whether you’re buying or selling, she works for you.
  • She is, without a doubt, the best as far as understanding those of us who have real estate in the country with livestock. (It’s of utmost importance to us that someone know how to close a gate, not interrupt feeding, etc.)
  • She always has time to answer any questions that you may have, no matter how trivial you may think it is, she always makes you feel that it was of the utmost importance.

So, with all of that said, my family and I have completed two transactions with Patt to date, one we bought and the other sold. We also have another property listed with her to sell, and at the rate she’s going, that will be done rather quickly. I’m going to be excited that the property is sold, but sad that once the transaction is complete we won’t be talking as much. She’s become a part of our family through our business together. So, before you sign with anyone else, I would highly recommend that you give the good old country girl the first shot. There’s just not many like her left in the world.

Sincerely,

Dawn Sizemore

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j0232904

Ask 10 different people what they think about Craiglist, and you’re sure to get 10 distinctly different answers. For a college student hoping to cheaply furnish a first apartment, it can be a lifesaver. For a recently laid-off software engineer, it can be a fresh, new approach to finding work, especially when compared to wandering the often dreary  job fair circuit. For a working mom with multiple mouths to feed, it can be the perfect way to organize a garage sale that will generate some quick cash.

Unfortunately, it can also be a source of danger. For all the good it does for millions of people every day, it seems hardly a day goes by without the publication of at least one news story describing a Craigslist scam. One of the most recent warnings came from the Texas Association of Realtors.

In a press release issued on April 1st, TREC’s Standards and Enforcement Division warned the public about recent reports involving real estate brokerage scams in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In these reports, victims claimed that a group of individuals and companies represented themselves as licensed real estate agents and brokers when they were not. They allegedly also performed property management services, such as accepting deposits and rent from tenants, yet withheld these funds from the property owners.

Other victims claim they were unknowingly employed by these same individuals and performed brokerage services on their behalf. Interestingly, these “employees” reported that they were hired through Craigslist as well.

In layman’s terms, this whole affair amounts to some scary, messy stuff. Even if you live in Alaska, it’s enough to give you goosebumps. Of course, if you live in the Lone Star State like we do, it hits a little bit closer to home. It’s the kind of scenario that could make you want to swear off Craigslist altogether.

Not so fast, though. The Craigslist Monster may be big and hairy and have sharp teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide under your bed. Remember what Mom always did when you were a kid to make the monsters go away? Sometimes turning on the light is all you need to make a dark room a lot less scary.

Let’s try it, shall we? Here are a few tips to help take some of the bite out of that big, bad Craigslist Monster:

  • Be sure to use a real estate agent who is licensed with TREC (check the “Search licensee info/education” link on the home page of the TREC website to verify). Any such agent is required to follow the regulations outlined in The Real Estate License Act and the Rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Other states have similar organizations with laws that protect consumers as well.
  • Check out the “Avoid Scams and Fraud” link on Craigslist before you make contact with anyone you see on the website. Some very good information is provided there, including red flags for scams, examples of fraudulent ads and who to notify if you recognize a scam attempt.
  • If you suspect an agent has acted unethically and would like to file a complaint, visit the “Complaints/Consumer Info” link on the TREC website and follow the appropriate instructions.

I’d like to leave you with a German proverb I came across recently: “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” Think about it.

Take care of yourselves and each other, and remember…

NOW you have options!

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There are many homes for sale Austin. One option that you may want to consider is the owner financed homes in Austin, Texas.  These are homes that are financed by the owner which is one way for those who want to buy a home but who may not be able to get a mortgage from the bank.  Getting a new mortgage can be difficult for those who are just starting out or who may have had trouble in the past. For those who are thinking of relocating, it can be tough to get a new mortgage. But with owner financing, it is much easier.  If you want to buy a home, think about using this sort of financing in order to obtain what you want.

There are many different Austin homes from which a person can choose.  The type of home that you get will depend upon your budget, how much you have to spend on the home.  You should also look at the owner financed homes in Austin, Texas in order to find what you are looking for as they have many that offer attractive financing options.  Going online and taking a look at the listings is one step in this direction and something that can get someone to understand what they can afford and what to expect when they are in Austin.  A lot of people from all over the country are moving to states like Texas where taxes are low and there is plenty of real estate.

It is always a good thing to work with a real estate agent when looking for homes.  They can help guide you in the right direction and also help you with the owner financing. They will be able to explain to you just how the financing works.  It is a good thing to know how financing works for a home because this allows you to understand what you will have to put forth in order to secure the home, such as the down payment, and will also let you see how much you will have to pay towards the mortgage every month.

You also have to take a look at the taxes that are out there. One of the best aspects about living in Texas is that the real estate taxes are low. This will come as a shock to anyone who may be coming from the east coast or even other areas like the Midwest.  Those who come to Texas from California will be shocked to see how much house they can get for their money in Texas compared to California.

All over the country, people are complaining about jobs as well as the higher taxes. States like Illinois and Florida and California are in bad financial shape and also have a problem with the homes that are on the market.  The taxes are so high that many do not want to invest in these areas even with the low prices of homes.  If you want a new start and are also looking for a home, take a look at a site online that lists the homes in Austin and surrounding areas.

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j0342058Hello, world! All Casablanca references aside, I’m glad you’re here. Albert Camus, a famous French novelist, essayist and playwright, once said, “Life is a sum of all your choices.” Well, here at EXIT Options Realty, we’re all about helping you make the choices that work best for you.

Whether you’re looking for your dream home, need someone to manage it, or you just want to educate yourself about the real estate game in general, we have the resources to assist you every step of the way. And of course, if you’re looking for a qualified real estate agent who knows how to put you first, we’ve got the best in the business here at your disposal!

Believe it or not, this blog is focused on offering you the best of all worlds as well. After all, blog readers are much like home buyers; their online reading preferences are as varied and unique as the features a buyer desires in a home. Here are some of the fantastic features you can expect to see every week here at the EXIT Options Realty blog:

  • Newsworthy Information: Get great advice from folks who know the Austin market best, as well as links to articles, videos and more. 
  • Great Entertainment: Life is too short to be serious all the time, so I’ll sprinkle in bits of humor and wit to keep you laughing while you learn.
  • A Little Something to Lift Your Spirits: Let’s face it, we all could use a little more positivity in our day. Whether it’s an unusual quote or a little-known proverb, I’ll always leave you with a tiny dose of inspiration to help you smile and make you think. 

Even the most experienced and accomplished home builder can’t finish the job without a solid foundation, and that’s what today’s post is all about. Consider this your “introductory” post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. The best is yet to come!

Take care of yourselves and each other, and remember…

NOW you have options!

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Southwest Office
(512) 656 3281
North Office
(512) 250 9882
North Office – Fax
(512) 250 0799

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rose.optionsrealty@gmail.com

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Effective June 16th:
6101 W. Courtyard Dr.
Building 2, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78730

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