January 2015

Found 10 blog entries for January 2015.

Why You Should Have A Realtor When Building A New HomeMost people are surprised when I tell them their choice of a mortgage company can be the deciding factor in whether or not their offer is accepted in a multiple offer situation. The truth is the Austin real estate market is so competitive the mortgage company and the type of loan can make or break an offer.

I’ll often hear advice given that a buyer should write a letter to the seller to gain an emotional advantage. In reality a strong pre-approval letter is much more important than showing a picture of your family and telling the seller how much you love the home.

  1. The Mortgage Companies Reputation Among Realtors Is Important
    1. Make sure the lender has a great reputation with Austin real estate agents. Real estate agents talk to each other
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So you’ve found a home you love, now the big question is what should you offer? Do you offer asking price? Take 5% off, 10% off? There is no set formula. You need to look at several things before deciding on an offer price.

Find similar homes that have sold recently.

Compare them to the property you want to buy. Find homes in the same area, of similar size with the same upgrades. Is this home priced much higher than other homes that sold recently? In today’s market sellers are trying to take advantage of higher prices. You need to compare those prices to recent sales determine you offer and not just rely on their list price.

Look at the homes that are under contract.

Especially in an appreciating market like we’re in right now you can’t rely

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78745 Coming Soon Listing

Now is your chance to own a home in this charming, highly desirable neighborhood! Great close-in location near Central Market, Westgate Shopping Center and just minutes to downtown. This 2/1 home with adorable curb appeal sits in the heart of the south Austin’s 78745 zip code. Built in 1949 you will fall in love with this home’s hardwood floors, fresh paint and screened in covered patio. The oversized 2 car garage with upgraded electric service is insulated and climate controlled to be used as a workshop. Extra space behind the garage is also insulated and climate controlled, great for a wine fridge or extra storage.

The 1,026 sq ft house sits on a pier and beam foundation recently repaired by Douglas Foundation Repair. The

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Austin real estate is moving fast. What if I told you using one of the national websites for your Austin real estate search might keep you from finding the perfect home until it’s already sold? A recent study by WAV group showed the best way to find up to date real estate listing information is to search with the local real estate websites and not Zillow or Trulia.

Previously, we talked about sellers not relying on Zillow for market values. In the WAV group study they talk about how using national websites like Zillow and Trulia buyers may not find timely or accurate information to help them in their home search.

Here's what the WAV group report found:

1. Local real estate websites display new listings 7-9 days earlier before national sites.

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Great news for FHA borrowers in the Austin area including Travis, Williamson and Hays counties. FHA loan limits have been increased for 2015 to $331,200 for single family homes and $424,000 for duplexes.

This would allow a borrower to purchase a $344,000 single family home with a 3.5% down payment.

FHA loans are a great option for many borrowers, particularly for those borrowers whose credit scores are not high enough to qualify for a conventional loan or who need a non-occupying co-borrower. Recently President Obama announced that the mortgage insurance fee for FHA loans would be reduced significantly. That will make a big difference in lowering the monthly mortgage payment for FHA borrowers. FHA loans have become less popular because of their

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The Austin and surrounding area real estate market is trending up and that can create problems with low appraisals. Many sellers are aware of the risk of receiving a low appraisal. Sometimes sellers have already spoken with another listing agent before they choose to work with me. When I ask the seller what other listing agent suggested they can do more often that not the seller says the other agent just shrugged her shoulders and said

“There’s nothing we can do about a low appraisal. We’ll have to hope for the best.”

Not true! There are some procedures we can do to help prevent a low appraisal from killing your sale. My background in mortgage lending and working with appraisers gives me extra insight into how they establish value. If you follow

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Are you worried about contacting a REALTOR because you're afraid of being pressured into signing a contract with someone you've only know for a few minutes? I would be too! That isn’t the way I like to be treated and that isn’t the way I will treat you.

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or planning to move up to a bigger home let’s talk about your situation in a no pressure environment. We can meet in my office, a coffee shop or even Skype if you are out of town.

You won’t be required to sign anything. What you will get are more details and information about what you are tying to do so you can make more informed decisions.

For a FREE, no obligation consultation call me at (512) 791-7473 or simply send me a message about when is a good

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Happy New Year! I am looking forward to 2015 because I am happy to announce that I have left the large real estate brokerage I had been working with to start my own real estate company, Kopa Real Estate. I thought I’d take a moment to give you a few reasons why.

  1. Excitement – I am excited about the opportunity to build something of my own. Running my own business is something that gets me excited to get out of bed in the morning.
  2. Better advice – Previously when I needed advice what I received came from the standpoint of what is best for the brokerage. I want to be able to look at a situation and give advice based on what’s best for the customer.
  3. Better technology – A large brokerage can’t supply cutting edge technology because too many
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Most of my clients don’t know that up until 2010 I also worked as a mortgage broker. My background gives me a unique ability to as a real estate broker to also advise my clients about which mortgage loan and which mortgage company is right for them.

Often being introduced to a mortgage company that is the best fit for a client can be the difference between getting an offer accepted or being able to find a loan program that better meets the client’s needs.

This morning I received this email…

“Thanks for replying, I wanted some information/ direction on purchasing a home for the first time. What is the credit score criteria and income requirements? I currently sit at 600 and know that it has to be worked on before I can qualify. However, I

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The popular statistic of the day is Austin’s population is growing at 110 people every day.

Brian Kelsey, the founder of Civic Analytics, a company in Austin that researches and analyzes data spoke at the 2014 Austin Board of Realtors Realty Round Up. Analyzing federal income tax returns Mr. Kelsey determined there are actually 201 people moving to the Austin metroplex each day. But, the 147 people who move out of our area every day offset that number. That leaves us with a net population growth of around 54 people every day.

The Austin area is still growing fast but perhaps not quite as fast as some of the statistics would lead you to believe.

If you are planning to be one of the 201 moving here in the future please call or text me at

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