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real estate

The Unexpected Impact of COVID-19

By | Home Maintenance Tips, Real Estate News | No Comments

When it comes to great places to live, few places hold a candle to Austin, Texas. The vibrant culture, thriving economy, delicious food and beautiful scenery top the ongoing list of reasons we love it here. When you have a place this desirable to live, it’s inevitable that people will move to the number one city in the United States from all over the country and the world. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons our business and client base continue to grow year-over-year, even despite the 2008 recession and the current pandemic.

As we navigate this critical time in history, it seems like a great opportunity to examine the consequences of COVID-19 on the Austin real estate market. While some of these effects are more expected than others, here’s a snapshot of the things we see out in the field:

  • Houses are selling…Fast! Just as we discussed on the last episode of Under the Roof, homes in Austin and the surrounding areas are selling quickly. Mortgage rates are low, buyers are motivated, and early trends indicate people are moving to larger homes with more room to spread out, since social activities are less abundant than usual. While this is great news for sellers, it means buyers should be prepared for competition as inventory remains low.
  • People are moving out. Although sales in Austin city limits continue to soar, individuals are seeking more space, both within their home and on their property. For many buyers, this means a turn from condo-style living to single family homes on larger lots where available. For the unique cities and towns that surround Austin, this is good news.
  • Option periods are slim. The typical option period on a home purchase is seven days. During this time, the buyer has the home inspected and can cancel the contract for any reason. In other words, this is where we come in! However, due to heavy demand we are seeing option periods as narrow as three days, which creates a quick turnaround for the inspection team. At Barfield Home Inspection we are careful not to overbook, so we can give each and every home our careful attention and keep telling it like it is!
  • Purchases must be planned. Just as buyers need to be pre-approved and offer-ready, now is a good time to educate yourself on what commodities are available. Due to high retail demand and the trickle-down effects of reduced manufacturing during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, buyers may find that many items are as scarce as Clorox wipes. If, for example, your new home purchase means you will need to buy large appliances or furniture, do your homework now to find out what is available and set proper expectations for the wait.

Although the situation continues to unfold, we are grateful that Austin’s housing market continues to thrive in 2020. The Barfield Home Inspection team takes social distancing and safety precautions seriously to protect home buyers, sellers and agents at each home we visit. Stay in the know and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more details about Austin real estate and home maintenance.

Happy National Small Business Week!

By | Just for Fun | No Comments

Just as we are thankful for a healthy housing market across central Texas, we also celebrate the growth of small businesses across the nation. National Small Business Week is May 5 – 11, 2019, and we are proud to share that nearly half of all Americans own or work for a small business, including our team at Barfield Home Inspection.

Small businesses help to develop local economy and increase connections within a community. Additionally, small businesses like ours account for two out of three new jobs in the U.S. each year. That’s nothing to sneeze at! In addition to running our business, we partner with Austin-area realtors and vendors who help homeowners in the process of buying, selling and maintaining homes. Many of these partners also represent the small business population, and to them, we say hats off for a job well done.

Here are just a few of the reasons we choose to operate and work with small businesses:

  • Master of all trades. Small businesses rely on fewer people to accomplish tasks and meet deadlines. That means team members usually have expertise in a variety of areas and wear many hats.
  • Personal touch. Working with small businesses means you are more likely to develop one-on-one relationships and have a personal connection. Your business really matters to us.
  • Well managed. Small businesses understand the value of customers, and generally are quick to correspond. Additionally, smaller teams may be more flexible when it comes to timelines and budget line items than larger enterprises that are unable to negotiate.

In short, small is mighty! We value your business and are happy to serve you with honesty and integrity, just like we’ve been doing since 2003. For more tips and helpful information from our home to yours, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @barfieldhomeinspection.

 

Brunch & Learn: Keys to selling you home before it hits the market

By | Home Maintenance Tips, Just for Fun, Real Estate News | No Comments

We are teaming with Ryan Kelly with Ryan Kelly Group and Ruby Cloutier with Vazzo Spaces for an exciting event this spring! Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Join us at the Keller Williams Southwest Market Center (directions here) for breakfast tacos, coffee, and a detailed discussion on how to prepare your home for sale before it hits the market. We are bringing together the finest in the industry to talk about preparing your home for sale. Panelists include: Our own Randy Barfield, Owner of Barfield Home Inspection and expert home inspector; Ryan Kelly, Realtor with Ryan Kelly Group – Keller Williams Realty, investor, and real estate enthusiast; and Ruby Cloutier, interior designer, home staging specialist and Founder of Vazzo Spaces.

This event welcomes homebuyers, homeowners and realtors to brunch and learn. The best part is that it’s not only educational, but free to attend! We’ll share an analysis of the current real estate climate, identify buyers biggest objections and how to overcome them, why you should consider a home inspection before you list, how staging can make you more money, and more. There will also be giveaways including a Nest thermostat, staging consultation, and discounted pre-home inspection. RSVP today!

Do I really need a home inspection? The answer is yes and here’s why…

By | Real Estate News | No Comments

Buying a new home can be a stressful and overwhelming process. After all, it is one of the most important purchase you will ever make!

According to the American Home Inspectors Training Institute, “A home inspection is an all-encompassing examination of the condition of a home.” As a homebuyer, it is your responsibility to gather as many details about the property as possible before buying. A thorough home inspection identifies issues that can help you negotiate costs at closing or issues that may be deal-breakers. In the long run, a home inspection is an inexpensive precaution to avoid making a costly mistake – buying a home with major, unforeseen issues.

Buying a new home is also an emotional and exciting process. It is easy to get caught up in the appealing parts of the house especially if you are buying a daytona beach fl homes, like the fancy kitchen or built-in pool and become blind to problems. A home inspection report allows you to see the property through the eyes of a trained expert, including potential electrical, plumbing, structural, and even future issues.

Most importantly, a home inspection ensures your potential new home is safe for you and your family. Do not get in a hurry because of the housing market or because you are feeling pressure from other interested buyers. At the end of the day, a safe and secure home is worth waiting for.

Overall, hiring a professional home inspector is an education opportunity for you to learn important details about your future home. Buyers who have home inspections end up happier and more confident with their purchase. See below for a complete list of reasons to book an inspection before buying.

Why have a home inspection?

  • Identify possible deal-breakers
  • See your home through the eyes of an expert
  • Put your mind at ease
  • Ensure the property is safe for you and your family
  • Forecast future costs
  • Identify repairs to negotiate with the seller
  • See the big picture
  • Learn as many details about the property as possible before buying
  • Find areas that may be a problem down the road
  • Make a confident decision
  • Extra security
  • Experts know best

Have questions? We’re a home inspector you can trust to tell it like it is. Call us today: 512-350-0123

Where to begin your home search in Austin

By | Just for Fun, Real Estate News | No Comments

For several years now, Austin has been at the top of the list for fastest growing cities in America. Whether it’s the tacos, the pet-friendly environment, the laid-back lifestyle, job opportunities, the weather, live music, or education, Austin has something to offer for everyone!

While moving to Austin may be an easy choice, it’s difficult to figure out where to start when looking for a place to live.  Each area of Austin has something unique to offer. If you are looking for luxury Leftbank Condos living, surrounded by dining and entertainment, downtown is the place for you. If you are looking for the hipster, “keep Austin Weird” crowd, then south Austin may be a better fit.

Check out the quiz below from move-to-austin.com to help identify which Austin neighborhood fits your preferences. Taking into consideration your age, lifestyle and price range, this assessment will help you narrow your search and get one step closer to your new home in Austin.

http://www.move-to-austin.com/austin-tx-neighborhood-quiz.html

Owning a home in Austin may be more affordable than you think!

By | Real Estate News | No Comments

According to recent data from Smart Asset, a personal finance website, buying a house in Austin may be more affordable than you think. Using median home value, estimated down-payment cost, estimated length and percent interest rate of mortgage payments, and predicted annual inflation, SmartAsset calculated monthly home payments for the largest 15 cities in the country.

Monthly payments on the average home in Austin, Texas are around $1,426, making the suggested yearly salary for buying a house $47,523. While Austin is home to some of the highest property taxes, overall home value remains reasonable, making our city more affordable than big California cities.

This list from Smart Asset ranks the 15 largest cities in the U.S. by salary needed to afford a home. Austin sits at number 6, followed by Chicago, Dallas, then Houston. As Austin continues to be a popular destination to relocate, the housing inventory will decrease, which will continue to drive prices.

So, if you are looking to buy a home in Austin, now is the time! Use these monthly payment estimates to decide if Austin is affordable for you. The below image outlines the salary needed to afford home payments in the top 15 cities—Austin is No. 6.

Click here to read more insights from this in-depth study.

(Shared article from SmartAsset.com)