Tag Archives: real estate investment

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 Simply put, outdated or abrasive color palettes negatively impact buyers.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 Considered outdated today, those colors can affect a buyer’s offering price.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

Great Potential in this small Shady Hollow home, SW Austin!

This home is priced at $155K, which is really low for Shady Hollow, so chances are good it will sell fast, despite the condition.  Yes, you have to look past the pink paint on the outside and the tornado-effect on the inside (unwanted items strewn around and left behind by homeowners).  But, after a good deep cleaning, a bit of kitchen and bathroom updating, this could be a marvelous home.  It is probably the smallest floor plan in Shady Hollow, but quite nice for an individual or two who don’t require a lot of space.  One big plus is that it backs to green space with a huge tree behind the fence providing some good privacy and greenery to look at.  I am almost tempted to buy it myself and fix it up…

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

Tired of Being a Landlord?

Owning residential real estate as an investment can be profitable if handled correctly, but can also be time-consuming and stressfull if not.  Landlords who manage their own properties have to be prepared for all kinds of situations, from a tenant who stops paying rent without notice, to frozen pipes, to calls from neighbors about noise.  There are so many situations that can cause stress, that many landlords choose to hire a property manager.  Now the stress of day-to-day issues is transferred to the property manager.

Over the last year I’ve viewed many investment properties and have spoken to many tenants in those properties.  Tenants’ biggest complaint is the slow or inadequate response to repair issues.  As an example, in one fourplex I was helping a client to buy, a tenant called prior to closing and said their toilet was leaking into the downstairs unit.  I explained that the ownership hadn’t change just yet, so she would have to call the current owner with her complaint.  However, I was glad she had called me, because I knew to check up on the repair prior to my client signing the closing papers.  As it turned out, the maintenance guy didn’t properly fix the toilet, and so it started leaking again.  Many property managers will have a maintenance guy on contract to make all kinds of repairs, but typically that person isn’t a licensed plumber or electrician or HVAC repairman, and yet he makes repairs to those systems.

As a landlord, you need to have a list of contractors you can trust, whether its a property manager or licensed repairmen for all the different systems.  In case of emergencies, you need to have more than one repairman on your list.  You may need immediate assistance and your first-in-line contractor can be busy or out-of-town.  Or, as happened to me recently, the main contractor retired! 

Another thing you need as a landlord is a big dose of patience.  Tenants can be high maintenance, and can often make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Handling frantic phone calls isn’t easy, so having patience and the ability to diffuse a situation is a needed quality. 

Finally, a landlord who hires a property manager should still be reviewing the accounts on a monthly basis.  Your manager should send you all invoices and an accounting of all income and expenses on a monthly basis.  You should also either sign or at least review all lease agreements, and have regular communications with the manager.  Without oversight, managers can become sloppy, and in some cases, may be taking advantage of the situation.  I’ve talked to tenants who said they were paying rent of $650/month, while the property manager had said their rent was $500.  It makes me wonder if $150/mo. was getting pocketed by the manager…

If the work involved in owning real estate is not for you, and you currently own some real estate in Austin, you might look into switching to a different, lower maintenance type of investment (mutual funds come to mind).  If you have investment property you’d like to sell, I’d be happy to discuss the value of the property and see if selling it is wise for you.

Vikki Goodwin
Homes ATX
512-426-9090 cell

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

Is it true, can you buy a home for under $20K?

Have you heard the radio commercial advertising foreclosures going for under $20K and allowing people to buy homes for under $200/month?  I truly wish the radio station owners would refuse to allow such misleading ads to be aired on their stations.  There are no homes for sale in Austin for under $20K – not even foreclosures.  Now maybe you can find a dilapidated, foreclosed mobile home in Neiderwald for that amount, and granted the commercial doesn’t specify what you’ll get or where…  Besides, taxes and insurance alone will start at $200/mo.  On average, I find that foreclosures aren’t marked incredibly low, except in rare instances in which the remaining loan balance is very low and the bank can afford to give it away.  This mainly applies to older properties, usually in a bit of disrepair.  There are deals out there, but often you get what you pay for.  If you’re interested in finding a good deal, either as a home or an investment, just let me know.  This year I’ve purchased investment properties for myself, and I’ve helped several of my clients find good investments.  For help with investments, contact Vikki Goodwin, REALTOR®, Homes ATX, 512-426-9090.


Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

Review of 9 homes for sale in East Austin, 78723

Last week I showed homes to a client who wants to live a short distance from the LASA (Liberal Arts and Science Academy).  We have focused in on zip code 78723 which includes University Hills, Walnut Hills, Gaston Park and Delwood.  I am amazed at some of the prices – some homes are listed for $170/sq ft, even up to $199/sq ft.  The house I liked the best was 7005 Langston Drive, now under contract.  It has been beautifully remodeled, and in my opinion looks better in person than in the photos.  The investor/remodeler was originally asking $259K, but had dropped the price to $229,900 for 1660 sq ft.  I told my client that would sell fast at that price, and within a few days it was under contract.  A home that my client liked quite a bit is 3404 Lakeside Dr.  It backs to Little Walnut Creek and has a wonderful canopy of trees that make the backyard extremely private.  The biggest obstacle for that house is the steps in the master bedroom.  I’m sure most buyers are having difficulty imagining going up and down a few steps to get into and out of the bedroom (you have to take the steps up to the master bathroom).  This house also needs work done on the retaining wall which has scared off at least one buyer. 

Two other homes we saw were updated and ready for move in – 1313 Briarcliff, and 1304 Glencrest.  Briarcliff is beautifully remodeled, but it would help if it were staged.  There were a couple of corners that seemed like wasted space (in the living room and master bedroom), but with the right furniture, the space might be usable.  The kitchen is wonderful and the sunroom with it’s unique windows is truly inviting.  The remodelers did a good job turning a 1955 home into a usable floorplan for today’s homeowners.  I wasn’t as excited by the remodel job at Glencrest, but it will work for someone.  The sellers may have to come down on their price a bit, though. 

Another 5 homes we viewed all need updating – 3011 Northeast, 6905 Tulane, 7000 Bryn Mawr, 5514 Delwood and 3002 Susquehanna.  The most reasonably priced is Susquehanna at $125K.  That one is just waiting for an investor to make it beautiful!

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate