Austin home sales picked up 38% over 2008 (as reported by the Austin American Statesman). “Homebuyers are obviously taking advantage of builder incentives and home sellers seeking to cash out and move-up,” says Kenn Renner with www.BuyAustin.com. With the recent extension and expansion of the Federal Tax Credit, now even more homebuyers are able to take advantage of Uncle Sam’s free giveaway. Although the Austin area has been relatively sheltered from the recent economic housing downturn, there are still fantastic housing deals available to first time and move up homebuyers. Real estate broker Kenn Renner with Keller Williams Realty has been busy helping homebuyers cash in on not only the tax credit, but also builder discounts and seller concessions being offered in today’s market.
Kenn explains, “It’s a unique opportunity for homebuyers who are selling their first home and moving up to their next home. The reason being is that in the lower price ranges under $160,000 it is currently a seller’s market. A well-priced and well-staged home will sell in a relatively short period of time – sometimes at or more than asking price. Those that are selling those homes will often times purchase a move up home in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range, which currently is a buyer’s market in the Austin area. It has been my pleasure to help many clients in the last 30 days take advantage of U.S. tax credits and builder incentives.”
Kenn recently sold a house in the Round Rock community of Paloma Lake that was a builder speculative inventory home that had been on the market for almost a year. The original price was $361,500 and Kenn’s buyers were able to pick the home up for $277,000. Kenn explains, “This time of year can actually be one of the best times seasonally to purchase a home. It is normally a slower time of year because of the holidays, but also it is builder’s fiscal year end and they will often take deep discounts to get certain homes off of their books before the end of the year.” Kenn adds, “Volume home builders are large corporate entities and many times will take a deep discounts, especially on a close out or a speculative home that has been completed for a long period of time.”
“Most home buyers who try to buy direct from the builder don’t really know how builders work and often times are not capable of negotiating the super deep discounts that they could get if they had professional representation.” Home builders have high regard for solid reputable real estate brokers because of the amount of past and future business that a top producing Realtor can generate. Kenn mentions, “I tell my clients that they may only buy one home from a builder in a lifetime whereas I may sell a dozen every year with that same builder – so it’s important that the builder keeps my clients happy and keeps me happy so that I continue to bring them new clients.”
Kenn was also recently able to get a large price reduction on a home that was already under contract and already sold to his client. “The builder reduced their price point in this particular neighborhood to generate sales. My client paid $161,000 for his property that was still under contract, which was a good deal. But when the builder reduced their prices, I was able to get the builder to reduce my client’s purchase price by $18,000. Needless to say, my client was very happy to pay a substantially lower price on his first home. He put zero down and is now applying for his $8,000 tax credit which he plans to use to put in granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.”
Similar to builders, resale home sellers have also been willing to discount their prices for a quick sale. Kenn explains “At this time of year, real estate sales have a tendency to slow down because of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. People are more focused on family and holiday activities. So those home buyers that are out actually looking are pretty serious and those that need to sell in this market will usually take notice – they know it’s a slower time of year.”
Kenn recently helped a homebuyer purchase a home in the Cedar Park community of Heritage Park. It is a 2,400 square foot home that his clients were able to purchase for $150,000. It appraised at $169,000. His client was ecstatic and also appreciated the fact that the property came with a brand new roof due to the recent hailstorms.
Another home Kenn recently sold was a waterfront creekside home in the Creeks of Round Rock that was listed for $205,000. His clients were able to pick up the home for $189,000 and were able to secure a 4.75% interest rate home loan. “This has just been a fantastic time of year to purchase a home where there’s a convergence of what I call the ‘Perfect Opportunity!’ No other time in recent history have we had such low interest rates, government home buying incentives, combined with a buyer’s market. It’s unprecedented,” says Kenn.
Via EPR Network
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