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All Blog Entries by Karla McGillivray

Found 31 blog entries published by Karla McGillivray.

1. Property lines

Surveys can be pricey and seemingly unnecessary. But the thing about property line disputes is that they can crop up at the most inconvenient times—and you don’t want to be caught off guard when they do.

Maybe you loved the winding, tree-lined driveway. But until you had a survey done, you had no idea the driveway crossed over the neighbor’s lawn.  That means any improvements you want to make might be impossible, or you might end up in a drawn-out legal dispute with your neighbors.

2. Prior claims history

Previous owners might have ruined your chances of buying your dream home. A long history of insurance claims can render a home uninsurable, making it a risky purchase. (Or even an impossible one, depending on your lender.)

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So in case you’re harboring some heebie-jeebies, here are some of home buyers’ top concerns—tackled head on so you know what you’re really dealing with.

Fear No. 1: ‘I’m afraid I can’t afford a home’

Some house hunters are possessed by worries that their entire savings account will get sucked into a black hole if they buy. Then they’ll never be able to afford vacations, or new clothes, or food beyond beans and rice or mac ‘n cheese ever again.

The reality: Depending on what and where you’re buying, you’re not likely to drain your savings account, according to Bill Golden of RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside. “There are many loan programs out there that can help first-time home buyers with down payment assistance,” says Golden, “or that don’t require

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12 Months Out

Check your credit score. Get a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com. The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are each required to give you a free credit report once a year. Avoid last-minute bombshells by checking your score long before you’re ready to make an offer. And work diligently to correct any mistakes. 

Determine how much you can afford.  Lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 43% of your gross monthly income (called the debt-to-income ratio). This figure includes your future mortgage and any other debts, such as a car loan, student loan, or revolving credit cards.

Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. If you can swing it, do it.

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AUSTIN, Texas – August 18, 2016 – Single-family home sales volume declined in the Central Texas area for the second time in 2016, according to the July 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. Across the Central Texas region, 4,230 single-family homes were sold in July 2016, a decrease of 3.1 percent compared to July 2015.

“When it comes to sales volume, we’ve grown very used to seeing year-over-year increases every single month, but it’s important to remember that 2015 had the strongest summer selling season in the region’s history,” said Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®. “The value of Central Texas real estate has continued to increase, which is good news for homeowners, but those

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With the official start of summer comes a new report from the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) that outlines the state of our increasingly hot Austin housing market.

Released on June 21st, ABoR’s May 2016 report compared single-family home statistics year-over-year across Central Texas counties. In the Austin area, the median price for single-family homes increased 5 percent to $288,085, and over 2,900 homes were sold, a 10 percent increase from May 2015. In Austin proper, the median home price is now a whopping $355,000.

One of the more shocking statistics is the 21 percent increase in pending sales (3,297 total) for home listings on the market in Austin. Double-digit gains in pending sales were also consistent across the 18-county Central Texas

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Sky Cinemas will be the anchor tenant of the Belterra Village center at the corner of highway 290 and Nutty Brown. Crescent Communities and partner Endeavor Real Estate Group announce Belterra Village's newest anchor tenants.  The 90 acre mixed use development will bring a variety of dining, entertainment, and neighborhood retailers to the southwest corner of Hwy 290 and Nutty Brown Road.  

Belterra Village will feature the first Sky Cinemas, a 14-screen movie theater from the creators of Violet Crown Cinema.  Sky cinemas will offer fresh, local food and beverages, with an emphasis on family-friendly fare.  The wide menu includes are variety of regional beers and wines by the glass.   Refreshments can be enjoyed in the dining area, the outdoor beer

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What is a mortgage pre-approval?

In a nutshell, a mortgage pre-approval is written assurance from a lender or broker that you’re able to borrow money to purchase a home up to a certain amount. It’s based on the income, employment and asset documentation you supply at the time of application, in conjunction with your credit history.

1. It carries more weight than a “pre-qualification”. 

A pre-approval differs from a pre-qualification. With the former, the lender has actually checked your credit and verified your documentation to approve a specific loan amount (usually for a particular time period such as 30, 60 or 90 days). A pre-qualification can be useful as an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on your home, but it’s a less accurate

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Dripping Springs finds itself in the unique position of having economic development committees within both the city as well as the chamber of commerce. 

"We are fortunate in Dripping Springs to enjoy a very collaborative partnership oriented relationship between our chamber of commerce, elected officials, staff leadership and city-appointed volunteer groups like the Dripping Springs Economic Development Committee," said Patrick Rose, chair of the city's EDC.

Dave Edwards, chair of the chamber's EDC, said "The two EDC's work very well together with the city taking the lead on large infrastructure issues and the chamber on other issues.  We all sit in on each other's meetings."

The goal of both can best be summed up by the mission statement of the

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Peyton Colony, just south of Henley, was found by a former slave?  Peyton Roberts was born into slavery in Virginia in 1820 on the plantation of William Roberts.  After gaining his freedom after the Civil War, Peyton led other formerly enslaved families by wagon to the Texas Hill Country.  They built cabins on public land, which later became known as Peyton Colony.  They farmed and raised livestock.  The community built the Peyton Colony School, which was isolated from the surrounding communities by culture and race throughout its history of operation from 1877 to 1963.  The heart of the Peyton Colony was and still is Mount Horeb Baptist Church. A freedman named Jack Burch established the church in 1874.  He pitched a tent for the first meeting.  Land for

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Did you ever wonder how the town of Driftwood got its name?  As the area developed, so did civil oversight.  Boundaries for a new town called Liberty Hill were drawn up and approved by the Hays County Court of Commissioners and a county judge in 1891.  But it was soon learned that a town named Liberty Hill already existed in nearby Williamson County.  While meeting to discuss a new name, it is reported that one of the town leaders looked out a window and spotted a pile of driftwood near the proposed site of the post office, which was also to be built using driftwood.  Driftwood was plentiful in the area because of frequent flooding of Onion Creek.  The name of Driftwood was promptly suggested for the town. 

(Around Dripping Springs/L.M.Freeman)

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