Buyers ~ Check Out These Historical Mortgage Rates

Are you on the fence about making the commitment to purchase a home in Austin, Texas?  The question you should be asking yourself is not if you should purchase however how long will low mortgage rates last?  Austin is booming, the costs of homes are rising and even faster the cost to rent is rising about 6% a year!  According to Forbes, Austin is the fastest growing city in America seeing almost 3% population growth rate in 2013. Even better the unemployment rate is only 4.9%!  With home prices on the rise and the median home sale price up $30,000 compared to last January 2012 and expected to rise another 3% in the next year according to there is no reason not to buy in Austin, Texas. Feel free to reach out to Michael Carpenter @ 512-522-6683 with any questions about finding your next! 

FHLMC Rates on 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgages Over the Years


Floor Plans Made Easy

MagicPlan, is an amazing application that makes creating a floor plan of a house so easy a kid could render professional looking floor plans in minutes!

Magic Plan is the post PC revolution for floor plan creation. If you have ever watched an architect create a floor plan it requires CAD software, a tape measure, hours of time and much more. This is the reason why floor plans are so expensive to have created with a professional.

I am a strong believer in using a professional to make big decisions.  However, have you ever just wanted to know how a couch would fit in your living room or play around with the layout without contacting a professional?  Well now you can find out how that amazing couch you have been eyeing for the past year would fit in your living room with just a few clicks!

Here at we use Magic Plan to create floor plans for all of our clients so that they can have a better understanding of the home that they are purchasing. If you would like more information on MagicPlan please contact Michael Carpenter at 512-522-6683.

YouTube Video Walk Through of MagicPlan  

Why Home Staging Still Matters?

In Austin’s current seller’s market where buyers and investors are snapping up properties sight unseen, staging is still a valuable tool for homeowners and real estate agents.

The value behind staging is through a recent report released by Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), homes sell 70 to 80 percent faster when staged.  Nationally, staged homes are on the market ONLY 29 days versus non-staged properties being on the market an alarming average of 145 days!  Staging a property has an average return on investment (ROI) of 586 percent according to the web site Home Gain! 

With the obvious stats on staging mentioned above it is a no brainer if you have a little extra cash to spare to have your home staged prior to listing with For more information on staging your home or finding a qualified stager please reach out to Michael Carpenter at 512-677-7111.

You may also find the following web sites of interest:

The American Society of Home Stagers

Real Estate Staging Association

Houzz – Remodeling Ideas on a iPhone

If you are looking through magazines, searching Google or design photos on Pinterest; you’ll love Houzz as an alternative and time saver. Houzz is a combination of “house” and “buzz” which caters to current aspiring home owners wishing to remodel their home.

If you have an iPhone or Android smart phone you can easily download the app for free through the app store.  Upon opening the app you will find an endless repository of beautiful home photos.  Included in a majority of these photos are floating price tags where you can purchase the item and info on the interior designer with the touch of your finger tip.

Are you excited yet about this new app?  Well save your pen and paper because this app also allows you to create an “idea book” and “projects” that you can share and engage others for input; saving you hours of writing and phone calls with mom and dad!

Reach out to Michael Carpenter at 512-677-7111 if you have any questions on how to use Houzz or if you want to find your next dream house that fits your Houzz idea book!

Formula 1 – The Only US Race Track

Circuit Of The Americas is a multi-purpose facility that will host the most prestigious racing events in the world, including the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S.

Built around a state-of-the-art 3.4-mile circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans and an elevation change of 133 feet, the facility is designed for any and all classes of racing – from motor power, to human power.

Circuit of The Americas is ideally situated on a 1000-acre site in southeast Austin, approximately two miles from Austin Bergstrom International Airport, with scenic views of downtown.

For more information about events, housing and tickets please reach out to Michael Carpenter @ 512-677-7111.  We look forward to seeing everyone the 15, 16 and 17th of November 2013 at the races!

Austin Votes to Make Slumlords Accountable!

The Austin City Council on September 26th, 2013 voted and passed unanimously to require multi-family and single-family rental properties to register with the city and be inspected regularly; if they are cited multiple times in one year. The goal of this proposal is to track the progress of repeat offenders of health-and-safety code violations so that they can avoid incidents like the 2012 collapse of a walkway at Wood Ridge Apartments.  Council Member Kathie Tovo also proposed a pilot program to require mandatory inspections of problem areas which was not passed and will be postponed to a later date after revisions have been made.

*Source, American-Statesman, Sarah Coppola