S Congress Condo by Dick Clark in Austin, TX 78704

The 78704 is often called a lifestyle, not a zip code.  And the apex of that lifestyle lands up and down South Congress Ave, and the immediate homesites just off the hustle and bustle.  So place yourself righ behind the iconic Perla’s Austin in the heart of S Congress Ave and you have one of the most vibrant areas of 78704 / Austin at your doorsteps. 04 FLATS knew well enough to incorporate this popular zip code into the projects name. Add Dick Clark Architects to the team for standout building design and sophisticated, yet minimalist interiors. Unit 307 ~ what a unique opportunity to land a corner / end unit of the building, high enough above street level foot traffic and beginning of tree top views to the Austin Skyline facing North towards the Capitol.  This unit meausures approximately 1070 sq ft with natural concrete floors throughout, 1 dedicated bedroom / 1.5 baths & a flex space that has been used as a 2nd living / home office / even a 2nd bedroom with simple dividers.14′ ceilings add volume to an already spacious condo that incorporates an open kitchen (with bartop) and main living area.  Exposed metal air ducts and steel framing provide an industrial feel, which is softened by a wood plank ceiling.  The main living spaces are awash with natural light through a wall of windows facing North to Downtown.The kitchen offers ample room and spectacular views through the living area to an outside balcony.   Being a corner unit, there is an additional kitchen window and living room light not offered in other interior units.The sellers also were able to incorporate a full size stackable washer / dryer in the unit.  Be sure to ask about this unique feature for more details.  The building offers a secured interior courtyard area, you can opt for stairs or the elevator and a rooftop deck available to residents.  If you don’t feel like walking upstairs to the roof top, buyers can enjoy their own private retreat on this condos covered balcony.  Imagine starting the day with a run around Ladybird Lake, stopping at Jo’s Coffee (famous I love you wall) on your way home and reading the morning news on the balcony!  Kind of the perfect start to a regular workday or relaxing Saturday.More photos of the building and unit below. 1401 Eva St, Unit 307 Austin, TX 78704 MLS # 1160663      

Crestview Pharmacy Says Goodbye


The Crestview Pharmacy, owned and operated since 1964 by The Harper Family, has been serving the Crestview / Brentwood Neighborhoods and surrounding communities in what is now North Central (Midtown) Austin. No longer the outskirts of Austin, these 2 popular neighborhoods have seen a lot of change in the last few years.  Last year the Crestview Mini Mart traded hands, and is now Arlan’s Market .  The Little Deli still draws large lunch and dinner crowds, and you can stop in to see your favorite stylist at Crestview Barber Shop.  My family has seen the changes slowly unfold the past 15 years, but we still enjoy walking or riding our bikes to this community center.  We bid farewell and thank the Harpers for their years of service.

Austin Economic Forecast Fill January 2017


January was a month full of reflections on 2016, projections for 2017 and analysis for the future at large in Austin.  There are enough statistics and predictions to make your head spin, but the overall takeaway is Austin has a bright future.  Albeit, many folks agreed the economy is slowing a bit, especially in manufacturing, consider this little tidbit pulled from the Home Builders Association forecast:”Dr. Greg Hallman, senior lecturer of real estate finance at the University of Texas at Austin, pointed out that employment growth in Texas is much higher than in the rest of the U.S. Texas has seen a 25 percent increase in employment since 2006 compared to our nearest competitor, New York, which has seen just over a 10 percent growth over the same period. Austin alone has seen an average increase of approximately 40,000 jobs annually since 2006; contributing to an unemployment rate of just 3.5 percent.”Neal Spelce recapped a few of Ray Perryman’s thoughts in last week’s Austin Letter , who expects Austin to add another 131,400 jobs over the next five years while population growth expands by another 214,400 people.  That falls in line with many who have been projecting the Austin MSA to reach 4 million residents by 2040.  4 million!  Chew on that number a little bit next time you’re on MOPAC!Last week’s Business Innovation Summit and National Forecast at the Long Center wrapped up the month of analysis.  Much was discussed and centered around the Austin Innovation District near MLK and I-35, and heading down to Cesar Chavez.  It will be anchored by the Dell Medical School and Dell-Seton Medical Center.  UMC Brackenridge will come down later this year and RFP’s are being sent out for future development of the roughly 14acres of prime land. (Did you see the new multi-million dollar amphitheater scheduled for Waterloo Park just South of here?)Other take aways from the Summit:- Austin has been able to recruit some top talent to the area, however not everyone is Sr ___ or Director of ___. We need people who are willing to attend 2 year programs and work their way up the ladder.- While visiting other large metropolitan regions, Austin delegates were encouraged Don’t Think Too Small. We’ve grown a lot in a short period of time, but don’t let that limit our potential.- Think regionally and not just urban core or Travis County.  The 5 county region needs to operate together and offer solutions where being downtown Austin does not make sense.Are there some caution signals ahead, yes.  Is the sky falling, most say doubtful!

Brentwood / Crestview Year in Review 2016 (Austin’s Midtown)


How did the Crestview and Brentwood neighborhoods fair during the 2016 housing market?  Curious to see our 3 year market trend?  I have the detailed numbers below, with addition insight.  In broad terms, 2016 proved to be another busy year, but at a slightly more reserved pace.  In Austin we saw a 1.7% increase in home sales over 2015.  The median home price rose 5.8% to $340,000.  Heading into the new year, Austin still remains just below 2 months of available inventory which is below the benchmark of 6.5 months for a balanced market. (Source Austin Board of Realtors)Let’s break down some of the data in Brentwood / Crestview (the 3 year comparisons are below).- A total of 217 properties traded hands between the two neighborhoods, which most buyers / agents say are synonymous with each other in the Midtown market.- In Brentwood, 65 of the 110 properties topped the $400,000 mark.  7 closed above $700,000.- In Crestview, 65 of the 112 properties sold over $400,000.  5 sellers crossed the $700,000 barrier.- Both neighborhoods show a similar trend for what builders are willing to pay for ‘lot value’.  Lot value refers to the price point where the existing structure, usually in disrepair, is of no value.  The builder intends to tear down the home or relocate it elsewhere (This just happened around the corner from my family).  My experience builders will spend between $300,000 to mid $300,000’s depending on location, lot size and trees on the property (heritage trees can pose issues for new builds).So where are we headed?  Expect to see more remodels and new construction, and builders will to push the ceiling with custom single family homes. Not all of these are for profit projects.  With an increasing number of households committing to the neighborhood, some families are opting to expand their original bungalow for more space. Some are finding the cost to remodel is the same as building new….yes, you heard me correctly. Brentwood Elementary has added more portables and there is a neighborhood group looking to improve Brentwood Park. Add in easy access to Crestview Station (Airport Blvd and Lamar), and a thriving Burnet Rd corridor with walkability and/or bikeable, these 2 neighborhoods will continue to be in popular demand.Those continuing to look for that well maintained / slightly remodeled bungalow, with the original plan of 2 beds and 1 bath will see upward pressure here as well.  Stay in touch though, we have some great listings in the works for early Spring! Interested to learn more about your homes value?  Trying to figure out whether to remodel, or sell and buy something larger?  Happy to have a conversation….no pressure, just honest / professional insight.

Clemson Football Wins in Tampa ~ 2017 National Champions


What a season!  What a game!Monday night dad and I attended the rematch between Alabama and my Alma mater Clemson University in the national championship game in Tampa, FL. Heading to the game with tickets in the Bama section we agreed to deal with the possible backlash.  There were plenty of Clemson fans near by though, and minus the one apposing fan directly behind us, the Bama faithful were cordial opponents. Coach Dabo & Company slugged it out all night in what turned out to be a 4th Qtr battle with multiple lead changes.  Clemson pulled together one of the most thrilling comebacks in playoff history.  You could spend hours debating Monday’s game over the 2005 Rose Bowl between USC vs Texas, when Vince Young led a similar drive in the final minutes. Clemson Quarterback Deshaun Watson even mentioned VY in his MVP acceptance speech.  Asked if they were nervous when Bama took the lead with 2 minutes left, Deshaun responded with his usual calm nature and told his teammates let’s go be legendary!This is the Universities first football title since 1981.  Head Coach Dabo Swinney started knocking down barrier after barrier since taking the helm 8 years ago.  He’s a stand up guy, with an bottomless bag of motivational one liners (search BYOG if you don’t know what it stands for) and post game interviews.  His athletes drink the Kool-aid and buy into the program 100%.  They recognize Dabo cares more about their development as young men and life after football. Many will play after college and earn big paychecks.  Most will take their college degree and carry forward the work ethic and discipline into the work force.  I was a scholarship swimmer at Clemson, and since I wasn’t Michael Phelps caliber, my experience was a springboard for life after swimming in real estate.A video surfaced after last season where Dabo was awarding two players, originally walk-ons, scholarships who proved their worth. He spoke about preparing for your opportunity.  Opportunities you might not know will ever present themselves, “Prepare for your opportunity, even if it never comes. Better to be prepared without an opportunity than to not be prepared with one.”One of those athletes who prepared for his opportunity was Hunter Renfrow.  If that name sounds familiar, he’s the walk-on who led Clemson in receptions Monday night and caught the game winning touchdown with 1 second left on the clock.  Go prepare for your opportunity.

Open House ~ 6808 Serlio Dr Austin,TX


Open House ~ January 7th, from 1 – 3P.M.
The Circle C Neighborhood has long been a driving force in the SW Austin real estate market and Austin’s growth.  Known for it’s exceptional schools, community amenities and thriving infrastructure of local eateries, entertainment and easy access to Lady Bird Wildflower Center and the Veloway (don’t forget quick drive to the original Salt Lick).  Avaña by Standard Pacific (now CalAtlantic) is the latest extension just South of Hwy 45 with it’s own community pool (just around the corner from our Serlio Dr) and walking paths.
Completed in August 2014, these owners selected one of the most popular floor plans, The Limestone.  It checked all the boxes for this growing family ~ 4 full bedrooms / 3.5 baths, master suite downstairs, dedicated study, kitchen that accommodated the family chef and perfect for entertaining, plus a large game room upstairs.  They also enjoy evenings relaxing on the covered back patio (dedicated gas line for the grill), and being able to walk around the corner to the community pool / play ground.
The owners opted to upgrade and extend wood flooring throughout most of the main level (entry, study, main living / dining and into the master bedroom).  These floors proved to be an elegant touch and offers easy cleaning in the highest traffic areas.  They also included built-in shelving in the study which is closed off by glass front French doors.  
The heart of the home revolves around an inviting kitchen and it’s center island.  Ideal for entertaining, this is a spot to gather around the bar-top, and offers the chef views to the formal dining and main family room.  Tall white cabinets accented by small subway tile back-splash compliment a crisp and modern look with stainless appliances and a walk-in pantry.  There is convenient access to the covered patio out back for those days spent grilling!
Tucked away on the bottom floor, the master suite sits quietly on it’s own with views to the backyard and a dressing room / closet that will not disappoint.  The owners upgraded to a walk-in shower with tile flooring / walls.  A private water closet and double vanity round out the master suite…oh, and provides direct access from the closet to laundry room!
Upstairs buyers will find three well appointed bedrooms, 2 full baths and a wonderful game room escape for the kids or potential media room.  A showcase property that feels like new and has been gently lived in the last 2 years.
If you can’t make the open house, here is a full online tour click here.

Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery Austin, TX


This morning a call for help was posted on the Crestview Neighborhood Association Facebook page.  Black Star Co-op is owned by a community of more than 3,000 individuals and organizations, and they are democratically managed by their Workers’ Assembly.  They are sending out an S.O.S, noted below, and need your help to keep the doors open.  It’s cold outside and what better way to warm up this weekend!  Black Star is located along Airport Blvd in the Crestview Commons project right next to the Crestview Station (take the light rail over if you live in other areas of town and ditch the car!).  Actual address is 7020 Easy Wind Dr, Ste 100. Go Local and support Black Star this weekend!

Austin Platinum Top 50 Winner from Juice Real Estate


Austin Platinum Top 50 hosted their year end awards ceremony just before the holidays kicked into full gear.  There were 150 finalists waiting to hear if they would be announced one of the top 50 winners (keep in mind, Austin has approximately 10,000 agents now).  I’m excited to say my name was announced!Recipients are chosen for the outstanding achievements in sales, education, industry participation and civic leadership / philanthropy.  While sales volume is a significant factor, PT 50 seeks a well – rounded agent.  The PT 50 Club sponsors various events throughout the year that encourages agents to share innovative ideas, best practices and ways to collaborate towards improving our  industry at large.There are many agents I proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with, however this young lady captured with me above is my favorite PT 50 member.  Dorie Dillard is a seasoned agent with Coldwell Banker United and my mother. She was the first ever recipient of the PT 50 Life Time Achievement Award, and exemplifies professionalism, integrity, teamwork and believes in giving back to her community.  I’m fortunate to have a mentor and friend like her in my life.Juice Real Estate had 3 members from our boutique office make the Top 150 Finalist list.  Lisa Harrell and Jason Heffron joined me at the ceremony, and I’m proud of our team!  Thank you to the many friends, family and past clients who continue to support my business.  Here is to successful 2017 of helping people.

ABIA Security Line Updates Available Online


Traveling out of ABIA this holiday season?  Trying to plan out your parking situation or want to know which security checkpoint to head towards once inside the airport?  Wouldn’t it be helpful to have this information in real time?  You can!  See the following excerpt from the Austin Letter by Neal Spelce.”Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) just launched a new service.  Go online at www.abia.org, click on “Travel Tips,” or go directly to http://aus.tsa.iinside.com.  It will show you in big, bold type the line speeds starting from checkpoint entrances through passenger screening – at all three checkpoints.  This way you can pick the fastest-moving checkpoint.Checkpoint 1 is on the east end of ticketing, past the Delta counter.  Checkpoint 2 is at the center of the terminal, across from American Airlines’ ticketing.  Checkpoint 3 is on the west end, past JetBlue ticketing.  Memorize the locations, because this is the way they are labelled.Checkpoint times are updated online every 30 seconds.  Obviously the times fluctuate greatly throughout the day, especially during peak travel times (5am – 8am … 11am – 1pm … 3:30pm – 5:30pm).”You might want to look into reserving a parking spot, especially for those early morning flights.  The Park and Zoom just opened 2,000 new covered parking slots, where you can also arrange for a full car wash and/or oil change! Just let them know what you need, https://www.parkandzoom.com.

Brentwood / Crestview Market Stats ~ November 2016


Happy Holidays! We are in the final stretch of 2016 and in another week we should see things finally start to slow as people break for vacation and time with families.  I’ve seen continued activity, and been busy with a couple of buyers who are trying to lock something down before we enter Spring.  Talks of interest rate hikes seem to be fueling some added urgency in buyer’s minds as well.  While increased rates will impact buyers purchase ability, a small tick up still has us at historically low rates! I was thrilled to buy my first home around a 6.5% – 7% rateA low number of closings in November for both Brentwood and Crestview are no surprise.  ABOR (Austin Board of Realtors) has not published official data for November, but pre election nerves had some folks on the fence.  Consider Texas Football was in full swing, ACL Festival filled 2 weekends and F1 Racing all happened in October as well!  That’s a lot of distractions.I mentioned this in my last posting, current inventory in both neighborhoods is averaging about 72 days on the market.  Many listings have grown a “stale” for a variety of reason.  Some are just priced too high.  Others need significant work and don’t reflect proper pricing.  Some are not quintessential bungalows or the mid century style buyers look for and reside on peripherally streets of the neighborhood.  Good looking listings, priced accordingly are moving.  Kind of like our firm’s listing in November which had 7 offers the first weekend!Check back early next year for the year in review report. Brentwood ~ November 2016               Crestview ~ November 2016