Due to financial insolvency by the developer, 3 unsold homes and all remaining vacant lots in the ultra-modern East Austin community of Agave have been foreclosed. Wells Fargo, which now owns the properties, has contracted bank-owned real estate specialist Kristi Sutterfield to develop a marketing plan for the foreclosed properties. While it may be months before Wells Fargo approves and enacts a marketing plan, Ms. Sutterfield advised homeowners at a recent homeowner’s association meeting that she plans to recommend maintaining consistency of the modern style throughout Agave.
While the foreclosure has raised concern for some, our outlook on the value of the neighborhood remains positive.
Here is why:
- We anticipate that Wells Fargo will pursue a strategy of selling the vacant lots to builders who will maintain the ultra-modern style because it makes the most business sense for builders and for the bank itself. If a traditional builder were to try to build in the neighborhood, they would be challenged to sell their product next to all of the existing ultra-modern homes. Thus, the vacant lots will be more attractive to modern builders and Wells Fargo will be able to command a higher price point per lot from modern builders. The concept for Agave is unique, and that is what attracted the original homebuyers. Staying in line with the concept of modern, energy efficient, unique homes is the key to the success of future sales.
- Also, since builders have had to specifically engineer the foundations in the Agave neighborhood to perform well on the sloping lots and clay soils, it would not be feasible to build a lower-priced product on those lots. The Agave neighborhood has a higher average home value than the surrounding area, and we are sure that whoever decides to take it from here will want to build homes at the established price point.
In addition to the 3 foreclosed homes priced at $209,990 each, there are currently 8 homes on the resale market in Agave, ranging in price from $239,999 to $309,900. One is pending sale, and two have sold in the last six months at an average price of $255,000.
Austin real estate has been selling at a very high rate this summer, and there have been several reports that Austin is officially in a seller’s market — according to recent statistical data measuring home sales and inventories. The original developer for Agave may have been a bit too early to capitalize on the growth that Austin is now seeing, and it is unfortunate that they weren’t able to maintain financial solvency. We feel that is only a matter of time, however, with the tremendous growth in residents that Austin is experiencing and our robust housing market, that this development will prove to be a continued success story for current homeowners and future homebuyers.