Tag Archives: new construction

Here are the Trending Colors for 2018 Home Design!

Spring is only a few weeks away and as a home owner, you may be thinking of ways to freshen up your home. Picking out new colors and using them in fun ways can make you happier with your home. You may want a change a dramatic bedroom color or an updated neutral in the hallway. You can make it fun! Paint your front door another color or create an accent wall inside.  As a Texas Real Estate Broker, I’ve had the opportunity to see color combinations in play in hundreds of homes.

The design industry looks to the emotional climate of the nation and the issues facing people in selecting their colors of the year. In 2018, with the historic election and an uncertain future, the industry selected colors designed to ease our stress and give us hope for the future

In the words of one industry spokesperson, “The color combinations we’re searching for in home design in 2018 can be the equivalent to the classic comfort food of macaroni and cheese.” Interestingly, after the 9/11 attack in New York City, the color blue surged in popularity. Blue is a comfortable, soothing color associated with dependability, constancy, and peace — qualities Americans seek during unstable times. Now almost every product in the design industry still uses some shade of blue.

The Impact of Color on Real Estate

Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room and feeling uncomfortable? Your reaction is typically due to a combination of things, in large part color.  Color plays a significant part in a home’s selling price. I recently discovered a Zillow survey which found that homes using greige (a combination of grey and beige) as an exterior color sold for $3,496 more than comparable homes using darker colors. Simply put, outdated or abrasive color palettes negatively impact buyers.  For example, Avocado Green and Harvest Gold were important colors (especially in appliances) in 1979. Considered outdated today, those colors can affect a buyer’s offering price.

The Colors of the Year

I’d recommend that if you’re planning to stay in your home for three years or more, go ahead and personalize your home with colors that you love. If you don’t think you’ll be in your home over three years, using a neutral wall color can help you have it ready for the market without having to repaint. As any good home stager will tell you, depersonalize your space so that you can command a good sales price.

Behr Paints: “In The Moment” – a cool, tranquil, spruce blue inspired by nature. It’s a combination of blue, grey and green and designed to evoke a sense of sanctuary and relaxation amid our busy lives.

Sherman Williams: “Oceanside” –  a combination of rich blue with jewel-toned green using both blues and greens.

Benjamin-Moore: “Caliente”- a vibrant deep red symbolizing strength and vitality.

Dutch Boy Paints: “Sandstone Tint” – a neutral described as a color balanced between warm and cool incorporating both grey and beige. Personally, I think this is a wonderful color to use throughout your home. By the way, last year’s, the trending neutral was grey.

Black is the New Black in 2018

According to a common design rule, every space should incorporate black in some way. Black is said to create feelings of privacy, silence, and tranquility to help with relaxation in an information-heavy world.  Glidden, Olympic, and PPG created a version of black as their color of the year.

Glidden Paint “Deep Onyx” – a classic, deep rich black which pairs well with any color.

Olympic Paints & Stains “Black Magic” – a color that compliments greys, blush pinks, and warm whites.

PPG Paint “Black Flame” – a blend of black and navy, two classic hues.

How to Use the New Colors

You can incorporate color in many ways. For example, create a statement wall with just one wall in a room painted a bold color.  Or apply a designer’s touch by updating the color of kitchen cabinets, interior and exterior doors, window trim and exposed shelving. Add pops of color with pillows, lamps, rugs, and artwork. Take a look at the paint color booklets found in paint stores, home improvement stores or online.

In Conclusion: When working with me as your BROKER/REALTOR®, you can expect the most up-to-date information on color trends, the climate of the market and more so you can get the best outcome for your Real Estate needs.


Leave a comment

Filed under Austin, Austin Real Estate Market, Decorating Your Home, Paint Colors for 2018

My Tips for Buying a Lot and Building a New Home

Are you thinking about building a new home? For many home buyers, building a new home from the ground up is appealing. Understandably so. You’re able to get what you want rather than live with choices the previous owners made. You have control over paint colors, flooring, energy-efficiency and more. In fact, you’ll be able to have a home that completely reflects your lifestyle.

First off, to ensure a great experience building your dream home. take the time to do your homework.  As a Texas REALTOR®, I want to share the following tips to save you time and money.

Determine Your Budget

Before you purchase land, it’s wise to investigate the cost of building on it. Based on my experience, a good rule of thumb is to plan to spend up to 30 percent of your budget on a lot and 70 percent on your actual home. For example, if your budget is:

  • $500K = You should spend up to $150K or less on the land.
  • $1M = You should spend $300K or less on the land.
  • $1.5M = You should spend $450K or less on the land.

The market conditions, the location of the lot and the school district are among the variables that come in to play in deciding whether a lot is right for you. It’s a good time to buy in Austin because of its current and projected growth. You can find out more about Austin here: Austin Stats

Talk to a Realtor®

Find an experienced REALTOR® that knows the area well. A good REALTOR® knows information about the type of soil you’ll find in different areas of the city, the comparable prices of other homes in the neighborhood and the current market conditions. Moreover, they can be a good resource to help you choose a reliable builder.

Vet Your Builder

People frequently get into trouble because they find out too late that the builder they hired is falling short of what was promised. Even though you may pay more, hiring a builder with a strong reputation and references is worth it. Knowing that your builder is responsive to your questions and concerns goes a long way to alleviating stress. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your calls go unanswered when you need information!

Read what happened to a couple who didn’t vet their builder. Home Building Horror Story

Manage your Expectations

Overall, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Custom homes usually take between 6 months to 18 months to build. Why? Because the lot may require additional site work that’s not apparent until the building begins or suppliers run behind or the weather isn’t cooperating. Not to mention easements, zoning laws, property line restrictions and the architecture guidelines and review processes. Moreover, if you’re building a home with your significant other, don’t understand the amount of stress (and joy) this process may create. Keep the end goal forefront in your mind.

In conclusion building a custom home is limited only by your imagination and your budget. With lots of forethought, you’ll make the process an easy one. I’d like to help! Here are my lots for sale My Lots for Sale – and I can show you many more not listed here.



Leave a comment

Filed under Austin Homes, Austin Real Estate Market, Buying a Lot, Real Estate

Foundation Warranty Considerations

img_2239One of the biggest concerns buyers have when buying a home is how well the home was built from the foundation up.  Probably the most expensive repair you can have is the foundation if it fails, so buyers want to know they are buying a home with a strong foundation.  When homes are built, they often come with a 10-year warranty.  But I’ve recently learned that not all builders provide that 10-year warranty anymore.  The only builder I’ve come across that doesn’t is Taylor Morrison, who in a recent email to me stated they are “America’s Most Trusted Home Builder 2016”.  Why doesn’t America’s most trusted home builder provide a 10-year foundation warranty on their new homes?  And why would they ever balk at fixing a foundation that has obvious cracks and issues?  Well, that’s what I have been asking myself for weeks now… as my client is trying to work with Taylor Morrison to fix the foundation that has led to cracks including the one pictured here.

So, if you are a home buyer, please ask up front, before falling in love with a community or home, does it come with a 10-year foundation warranty.  If you are a REALTOR, do the same and make your clients aware that it is no longer required by law that a builder provide a 10-year warranty.

Leave a comment

Filed under Austin Homes, Real Estate

Highmark Townhomes – South Austin, 78745

Today I was out looking at some townhomes and condos in South Austin.  This new community along South Congress caught my eye, so I stopped in.  The community, Highmark, is so new that there are only the two models that are complete so far, but they have started framing several more homes and poured the foundation of some others. When complete, there will be 50 townhomes in all.  There are 4 different floorplans and range from roughly 1800-2200 square feet. Prices are from $309K-$334K.  The community will be gated and is located South of William Cannon, not far from Southpark Meadows.  A good number of the units will back up to a greenbelt area with some nice tall trees there currently. I like the floor plans – both have good-sized kitchens that are open to the living/family room.  The models of course have many upgrades and show very well. Meritage has a number of energy efficient features they put in their homes. I think this will make another nice lock-and-leave community for South Austin.

1 Comment

Filed under Austin Homes, Real Estate

Sweetwater – Austin, 78738

Not that long ago, Sweetwater seemed to be a long way out and isolated.  Now when I drive to the neighborhood, I am envious of the recently expanded Hwy 71.  Two lanes each direction and a turn lane when you come to the entrance of Sweetwater or other neighborhoods up and down the road.  And what beautiful views as you drive out Hwy 71. The neighborhood has some nice views, too, and great amenities and schools. Like many new neighborhoods, it takes a little time for it to become popular, but the time has come for this neighborhood.  With all the shopping you can desire just 10 minutes away at the Hill Country Galleria, Sweetwater is no longer isolated. The homes are spacious and well laid out with open floor plans and high ceilings, spacious kitchens and bedrooms, and tastefully decorated.  A home I’m selling right now is 5517 Brady Bayou Cv, priced at $438,000 and 2999 sq ft.  Builders in the neighborhood include David Weekely, Chesmar, Perry, Coventry, Ashton Woods, M/I, River Oaks and Drees.  Prices range from $325K on up to nearly $1M. There are a number of homes to choose from – both new construction and recently built. Overall, this is a great community that will continue to grow in popularity as the population of Austin continues to grow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Austin Homes, Real Estate

Hip, New South Austin Homes in 78745

1601 StassneyI recently showed some homes in the new South Austin neighborhood of “1601 Stassney” which can be slightly confusing, because the home addresses are not on Stassney, though the entrance to the neighborhood is. This little pocket neighborhood is located West of IH35 just off Stassney near Crockett High School and ACC (Austin Community College). The developer did a very nice job with the entryway, which is a winding road with trees and nice landscaping, a very welcoming entrance. The homes are close together – as in a garden home community. When finished, the neighborhood will be comprised of about 100 detached condos. The community is impressive, and the homes range from $320K-$380K. The front doors are very contemporary looking with 6 horizontal windows surrounded by mahogany. The model homes feature color schemes in grays, the “in” color of 2015 and still lingering. Homes have the “Nest” thermostat, 2-car garages, basket weave privacy fences, and a choice of finishes for the flooring, lighting and fixtures. Overall, this is a nice community not far from downtown with just a few homes and lots still available.

1 Comment

Filed under Real Estate

New Construction and Mature Trees – A Great Mix!

2116 Turtle Mountain-croppedToday I viewed a beautiful new home in the Bridges of Bear Creek – and the unusual feature of this home is the great landscaping including 3 mature oaks trees around the home.  It’s not often you find a brand new home with established oaks in the yard.  Not only that, the builder planted a row of trees along the back fenceline to help screen the yard from the road behind.  So, yes, it does back to Brodie Lane, which is not a great feature, but with the trees and everything else the house has to offer, that shouldn’t be a deal breaker for the right buyer.  In fact, I sold a home a few doors down in 2012, and like this home, it was priced lower than other comparable homes in the neighborhood.  This home pictured is 2451 sq ft, has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths an office and a gameroom.  The kitchen has granite counters and a gas cooktop.  The builder is Buffington Homes, and the house looks even better in person than it does in the photos!

Leave a comment

Filed under Austin Homes