51 Reasons Why Downtown Austin is Home to New Urbanism

30 03 2007

“Austin’s efforts to create a denser and more active urban core have helped it land a major conference that will draw an estimated 2,000 attendees next year to learn what the capital of Texas is doing right. Austin has been selected as the host city for the 16th annual Congress for the New Urbanism, a leading national forum dedicated to advancing the urban density model and promoting alternatives to sprawl” (Austin Business Journal).

Why did they choose Austin? Here are 51 reasons. Email me to request a copy of the latest downtown emerging projects map and information regarding downtown living [Jason.M.Groves(at)gmail.com].

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Subprime Mortgage Meltdown?

27 03 2007

Provided By: CBS

This segment details what’s become of the subprime mortgage market and explains how to avoid financial disaster before shopping for a loan.  

According to Freddie Mac, subprime loans account for 50 percent of current home foreclosures. So, what does this mean for the Texas housing market?

“Dr. Mark Dotzour, chief economist with the Real Estate Center, says the real vulnerability in the residential housing market is in the entry-level housing category in regions where a large percentage of buyers have purchased with little or no down payment.

In recent years, investor thirst for the higher yields of mortgage-backed bonds has allowed mortgage lenders to relax credit standards and issue loans that have a much higher risk of foreclosure,” Dotzour said. “It stands to reason that when you make riskier loans, you are going to have more foreclosures” (Real Estate Center | Texas A&M University, January 2007).

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Seaholm Will Fuel Downtown With a New Type of Power

15 03 2007

aerialnew.jpg

 The Austin urban landscape has been changing drastically every day so far in 2007. We’re not developing at the rate of Dubai, but my how things are changing. Most of the attention lately has been focused on two new urban villages, The Domain and Mueller Redevelopment which seemed to sprout overnight, but my attention is elsewhere.

 I had the privilege of meeting with John Rosato, managing partner for Seaholm Power, LLC earlier this week. John spoke to me and a few associates at my brokerage about a future (re)development that will be focused around my favorite architectural landmark in all of Austin, the Seaholm Power Plant.

After hearing about the effort to preserve the historic, art-deco structure in addition to creating 275,000 sqft of luxury, residential condominium space (right on Town Lake), I couldn’t help but think about the many ways I will begin saving up for a down payment in 2009 when completion is expected. After studying the plans and talking to John, I believe this site will be particularly significant to the urban core of Austin as a result of the transit oriented approach the development team is taking. 

The Seaholm Power Plant has sat dormant for nearly 20 years. I’m excited to see the site will soon be restored and functioning as a power source for community building and social capital in Austin for many years to come. (Someone please inform Robert Putnam, we’ll no longer be Bowling Alone!)

John Rosato mentioned, “The units could cost from about $450,000 for about 1,200 square feet to more than $1 million for the largest 3,000 square foot units.” So maybe I should’ve said, “Those who can afford the down payment won’t be bowling alone…” I’m hoping to get the Seaholm pioneer discount.

 

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7 Deadly Mistakes Unrepresented Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them

8 03 2007

 It’s alarming the risk consumers, me included, will take to save a buck. The most common trend is to quickly become an expert in the field by glazing over page after page online and slowly building enough confidence to pull the trigger in a buying or selling decision. 

It’s important to educate yourself no matter who is representing your interest, but even though you can go it alone, is it worth the risk?

 Some buyers and sellers think the best way to save money is by not working with a Realtor in a real estate transaction.  I submit, you could also save a chunk of change by choosing to represent yourself in a court of law… but would you do it? Are there savings? Is it worth it? Why should you work with a professional?

Jason Groves represents buyers for FREE. What a deal! However, if you are thinking about “lone-wolfing” it, here are 7 pitfalls you must know before moving forward (this is free too).

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Condos Headed to Zilker

6 03 2007

Austin Business Journal reports, City Council has approved a zoning change for a new mixed-use condo development along Barton Springs Blvd.

The project plans call for 128 condominums and aproximately 10,000 sqft of retail space across from Chuy’s, near Sturzig street. No renderings have been released.

 

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