West Austin Condo Sales Report For June 2010

We were curious how condominium sales have been in West Austin, most specifically the areas beyond Capital of Texas Hwy toward Lake Travis.  Usually condominiums are the first sales to suffer in a market downturn, but are also the first to rise during market appreciation periods.  Below is our findings from a recent MLS report we pulled for West Austin condo sales in MLS Area RN:

Property Type: Residential

Status: Sold

Number of Properties: 5

 BedsBathsSqFtListing PriceLP/SqFtSelling PriceSP/SqFtSP/LPSP/OLPDOM

How are West Austin Condos Selling?

For the month of June 2010, there were 5 condos that sold in Area RN.  Two of these five were in MonteVista Condos — a condo conversion off of 360 and 2222.

As you can see from the data, the average price per square foot is $154.53, and the median price per square foot is $135, based on June 2010’s sales comps.   There are currently 29 condos for sale in MLS Area RN, 18 of which are in MonteVista.  For those who are unfamiliar with these condos, we recently wrote a blog post titled The Great Debate About MonteVista Condos in West Austin, where we outlined whether we felt that purchasing one of these condos was a wise investment decision.

In a few days July will be over, and we will be able to compare June sales to July sales, and see just how condos sales are performing this summer in the greater West Austin area.


The Great Debate About MonteVista Condos in West Austin

There has been great discussion about whether condo conversions are a wise purchase, particularly the MonteVista condominium project in West Austin. We have had a chance to do some initial research on the MonteVista condos, and here are our findings.

MonteVista Condos Overview

Our initial reaction to MonteVista is that the location is spectacular. Being on the corner of 360 and 2222, as a resident you would be nearly equidistant to downtown Austin and Lake Travis. This would be great for a resident who worked downtown, but likes to spend their weekends on the lake. The grounds themselves are beautiful, with two resort-style pools and outdoor BBQ grills. The amenity center is complete with a private theater and a modernized fitness center. Unit finish-outs vary from basic to upscale. All units have 9 foot ceilings, and feature large balconies.

MonteVista Condos For Sale

There are currently 18 MonteVista condos on the market, 2 are pending and taking backup offers, and 5 have sold since January 1, 2010, according to recent Austin MLS data. Units that are currently for sale range from $99,900 to $229,900. Square footage ranges from 608 to 1150.

Are Condo Conversions a Wise Purchase?

In my opinion, condominium conversions are generally a poor purchase. Reason being that there are usually plenty of better alternatives in a similar price range. Any of these alternatives would generally hold their value better than a condo conversion, for a bounty of reasons.  A few that come to mind are quality of workmanship, overall quality of living, and most importantly financing challenges.  I have personally seen some condominium conversions that cannot obtain any financing at all, and most of which are not FHA approved.

MonteVista Bucks the Trend

But in the case of MonteVista condos, I think it makes sense. There are not many alternative condominiums near MonteVista that offer a similar lifestyle, and none can match the spectacular location in West Austin. And the best part, MonteVista condos are FHA APPROVED. Finding a condominium conversion in West Austin that offers FHA financing in today’s market is worth serious consideration if you are a looking for an attainable way to live in this upscale area.

Do you have an opinion about MonteVista condos?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Round Rock Community Open House on July 18, 2010

Following the success of the Teravista event, we are once-again joining up with other real estate brokers in Round Rock West, Creekmont West and Cimarron to host a community-wide open house!  Large-scale events like this are exciting, and they provide home sellers with increased exposure and traffic.  The more traffic a home gets while it’s on the market, the greater the likelihood of it selling.

There are 13 Open Houses scheduled to be on the tour, all of which are in the highly-regarded Round Rock school district.

Round Rock Open Houses – July 18, 2010

706 Riverlawn Dr
2606 Hunlac Cove
1611 Messick Loop
2013 Shadowbrook
1902 Creekview Dr
1607 Blanchard Dr
1607 Scenic Loop
1101 Aqualine Cv
1003 Crestview St
608 Lake Creek Dr
1202 Saint Williams Ave
1008 Bluff Dr
907 Blue Jay Way

Be sure to come out this weekend for a wonderful opportunity to see 12 open houses, and see a great sampling of the homes that are available in these areas.  We will have refreshments at our listing, 706 Riverlawn Dr, and I’m sure other brokers will be doing the same.  See you on Sunday from 1-4pm!

Where:  Creekmont West, Round Rock West, Cimarron

When: Sunday, July 18, 2010 from 1-4pm


New Home Construction Accelerates in Crystal Falls

Looking for a brand new home in the northern suburbs of Austin for under $500,000 that’s move-in ready? Better look quick and a good place to start might be in Crystal Falls in Leander / Cedar Park.  Hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes and right now may be the best opportunity a buyer has to snag a brand new home at a great price, big enough to spread out in and grow roots for a long time to come without having to go through the construction process or possibly even wait for a lot to come available.

Lot Inventory Shrinking

According to the Austin American Statesman article published July 6 and quoting Bill Hinckley, president of the Lookout Group Inc., a Texas-based real estate and investment company that is Crystal Falls‘ master developer, every builder he knows in the area is scrambling around looking for lots to buy.

Also quoted in the article was Terry Mitchel, a local real estate developer who said that with a 6-7 month inventory of new and existing homes for sale there is no excess housing inventory here and with 2000 lots currently available to build on in the area, inventory is being depleted faster than it can be replaced. He believes there may be evidence of a tighter housing market here as early as 2011.

Stunning Views

Right now there are 23 new homes for sale in Crystal Falls. They range in size from 2300 to over 4000 square feet and in price from $345,000 to over $700,000. With most of them having 4 or 5 bedrooms and three car garages, they’ll make a great home for any growing or large household. The amenities in Crystal Falls are excellent and many of these homes offer hill country, greenbelt and stunning panoramic views.

There are several builders in Crystal Falls including David Weekley, Perry, Mercedes, Drees and Highland Homes, so buyers have many options and floorplans to choose from. Also, Taylor Morrison Homes has just completed a purchase of 1200 lots in the Highlands at Crystal Falls. They estimate that they will begin construction in September and that their new homes will range in price from $200,000 to over $600,000.

Best Time to Buy

Buyers looking for a new home, take advantage of this opportunity to pick and choose what you want without going through the hassle of construction, get it for a comparative bargain, and secure historically low financing. There is evidence to indicate this may not last much longer.


NACA Program Helps Low to Moderate Income Families Achieve Home Ownership

In addition to loan programs like Bond 77 and USDA financing, there is yet another program that is out there for the consumer in need of assistance buying a home. NACA, a non-profit organization and consumer advocate, offers free services to the consumer. NACA offers both a Purchase Program and a Home Saver Program. Best part: it’s all free.

NACA Purchase Program

The Purchase Program is for the low to moderate income community. It offers loans with no down payment, no closing cost fees, no fees whatsoever! The NACA Purchase Program is funded with $10 billion dollars in mortgage money to loan to consumers. Interest rates are competitive, and can even be below the current market rate.  NACA works particularly well with new home builders. Since NACA loans carry no fees, require no down payment, and have no closing costs, any and all of the incentive money that builders offer can be put toward rate buydowns to even further lower the cost of home ownership.  Based on a 40 percent debt to income ratio, the mortgage company will only approve what a consumer can afford.  NACA will also approve loans with less than perfect credit.   For consumers who are really serious and want to purchase a home of their dreams, but have been stonewalled by typical buyer restrictions, this mortgage program could be just for you. 

NACA Home Saver Program

For those who fell victim to predatory loans or perhaps are caught upside-down.or are otherwise having trouble keeping up with their mortgage payments, the NACA Home Saver Program may be the solution for you.

How To Qualify for NACA Programs

If you are interested in these programs, or would like additional details regarding how to qualify, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We are here to help you achieve your homeownership goals, and to make you a more informed consumer.