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Austin Housing Market vs. Dallas – which is hottest?

There’s no doubt that the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market is jalapeño hot, with homes getting multiple offers on the day they hit market, many of those for far over the asking price, and many offers being cash instead of financed deals.

But for a taste of a housing market that only the strongest can stomach — call it habanero hot — head south on I-35 for about three hours to Austin, where homes are selling for more over asking price than in any major U.S. city.

Austin is being called, by some, the hottest housing market in not only the state, but the nation, depending on how you measure heat. (Is it prices, sales volume, days on market, offers received?)

For more than a decade, DFW has led the state and typically the nation in population growth and job growth, which fuel demand for new and existing homes, said Eric Fite, chief operating officer of DFW-based Century 21 Judge Fite Co. So far in 2021, however, Austin and its surrounding area has slightly surpassed DFW in population growth.

“In the very short-term, year-to-date, Austin seems to have risen to the top in terms of Texas markets, but Dallas is right behind it in terms of population growth,” Fite said. “Houston and San Antonio are also incredible markets right now. Their population growth is a little bit slower paced than what Dallas and Austin are doing, but they’re still very robust, and we’re expecting that to continue into the future.”

Austin sellers getting higher premiums

Austin homes are selling for 7 percent over asking price, the Redfin report says. An average Austin home listed at $400,000 sold for $428,000 from Feb. 14 to March 14, the period analyzed. A year ago, homes in Austin were selling about 1 percent below asking price, the report says. That worked out to the biggest year-over-year gain in any metro area Redfin examined.

Asked whether Austin’s housing market is hotter than DFW’s, Mark Wolfe, broker and owner of RE/MAX DFW Associates, didn’t hesitate.

“Austin is hotter,” he said. “Austin is that perfect city for people from the East Coast/West Coast who don’t want to live in ‘conservative’ Dallas. They like ‘liberal’ Austin. It’s actually hotter in Austin, if you can believe that.”

Excerpts from the Austin Business Journal | By Bill Hethcock  –  Senior Reporter, Dallas Business Journal

Actually Fun Things to Do in Austin This Weekend

You never know what surprises a weekend in Austin is set to bring—case in point, last Sunday’s out-of-the-ordinary, Texan snowstorm. Now that your car windshields have been completely cleared of ice and your two-inch snowmen have melted into puddles, it is time to add some surprise spice to your time off in the form of this list of weekend activities. Take in live music, eat your cares away at brunch, treat your pup, and more.

Treat your furry friends

Every Friday through Sunday
Paws on Chicon
In what is guaranteed to be the most adorable moment of your weekend (or life), treat your cat or dog to pet-friendly soft serve from East Austin pet store, Paws on Chicon. They only turn their soft-serve machine, which features flavors such as vanilla, pumpkin, or peanut butter, on from Friday to Sunday—because, hey, if you deserve a weekend cheat day, so does Fido. While there, you can also browse their great selection of pet products—but don’t forget to snap a photo of your fur baby snacking their way to frozen treat nirvana.
Cost: Soft serve starts at $3.75, and you can add toppings to the dog or cat froyo for an additional 35 cents. 

Enjoy dinner and a show at Lamberts

Saturday, January 16
Downtown restaurant Lamberts is already known for their upscale BBQ—and, especially, their side of baked mac & cheese, which has caused more than one person to swear off the Kraft version forevermore. During January, Lamberts is giving you an extra incentive to stop by for some tasty dishes by pairing them alongside live music for their “Dinner & Show Series.” This Saturday, tunes will be provided by Sir Woman, the solo project of Kelsey Wilson, a member of one of Austin’s favorite home-grown bands, Wild Child. 
Cost: Tickets start at $30, food and drink are sold separately. 

Get inspired at the Mexic-Arte Museum 

Every Sunday 
Mexic-Arte Museum
One of the city’s cultural treasures, the Mexic-Arte Museum, is located Downtown and is filled with an amazing selection of traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art. They have made the chance to be awed and educated through their collections even easier by offering Free Family Sundays—where admission to the museum is free, and complimentary tours run at 2 pm and 3 pm. Their current exhibit, “Mexico, the Border and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr. Collection,” promises beautiful pieces from the over 1,500 artworks collected by the reference librarian and subject specialist for art and Chicanx studies at The University of Texas at El Paso. 
Cost: Free 

Spend an evening with Romy, Michelle, and drag queens

Saturday, January 16
Blue Starlite Drive-In – Downtown
Pretend you are the inventor of Post-Its for a night while viewing the classic Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino comedy, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, at the Downtown location of the Blue Starlite Drive-In. As if that meticulously choreographed dance to “Time After Time” isn’t enough to make this a no-brainer, local drag queens, including Pam Dulce and Marley Bell, will be performing a show before the movie—so you are guaranteed to get a double-dose of laughs and eye-catching metallic dresses. 
Cost: One car slot/admission for two people starts at $35, and increases from there.

Grab vintage threads at a new location 

Every day 
Pavement – Guadalupe Location
Any Austin thrift aficionado will tell you that one of the best places to hit single-stitch fortune is Pavement. While their South Lamar location has already provided our city’s citizens with many Saturdays worth of digging through their bountiful racks of clothing, their new location on Guadalupe—which opened just last weekend—promises 13,000 square feet of recycled fashion for your hunting pleasure. Get ready for all your friends to compliment that pair of Levi’s you paid $15 for. 
Cost: Free to browse, prices of clothing vary. 

Commemorate Dr. King’s birthday with a double-feature 

Friday, January 15
This Friday marks the 92nd birthday of Civil Rights legend Martin Luther King Jr. Honor his legacy, his work, and acknowledge the work that still needs to be done, by joining Austin’s George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center for a virtual double-feature of films featuring Dr. King and his legacy, followed by a community chat and Q&A. The films being shown are “King in the Wilderness,” which follows the struggles Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement faced in the last years of his life, and “We Are the Dream,” about the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest, where children from pre-K through 12th grade perform speeches and poetry in a competition inspired by Dr. King’s legacy. 
Cost: Free 

Dig into dim sum brunch 

Every day 
1618 Asian Fusion 
For those who have yet to discover the magic that is Dim Sum, a Cantonese traditional breakfast or lunch of small dishes, Riverside restaurant 1618 Asian Fusion is giving you the chance to live your best dumpling life. They just introduced their dim sum brunch and, although it is available everyday, on Saturday and Sundays exclusively, you can also grab $3 Mimosas from 8 am – 12 pm. That’s in addition to chowing down on scrumptious favorites like chicken sui mai, shrimp cakes, and egg custard tarts. 
Cost: Price of brunch varies based on what is ordered. 

Get funky at The Far Out 

Friday, January 15 
The Far Out Lounge & Stage 
The weather might be getting colder, but the best way to stay warm is to get down to some good tunes at a live show. Grab your layers, bundle up, and head to The Far Out Lounge—which provides the chance to see music in a safe, socially distanced setting. Playing this Friday is local band, Viben & The Submersibles, whose brand of “scuba funk” jams are sure to bring the heat. Also providing the funk is the musical stylings of the David Thacker Band. 
Cost: Tickets are $10 per person. 

By Molly Moltzen for

Updated on 1/13/2021 at 1:09 PM

This Holiday Season…

May your heart be filled with laughter

Your soul with joy

And your home with love

this holiday season.

Merry Christmas from Jimmy Gilmore & Co.

10 Simple Upgrades that Can Transform an Outdated Home

Homesellers can spend a ton of money getting a home ready to go on the market, but they don’t necessarily have to. Here are 10 easy ways sellers can update a home’s look without spending much cash.

1. Declutter (and clean!) 

Most people have too much stuff. Your clients are moving anyway, so it’s never too early for them to start paring down kids’ toys, over-the-hill garden equipment and supplies, and a mishmash of garden ornaments and random potted plants.

They can clear out overstuffed closets and their full-to-the-rafters garage immediately. Before the property goes on the market, they can scrub everything until it shines, and the house smells as clean as it looks.

2. Amp up the house numbers

Not finding a property because the address is hiding behind overgrown shrubs and the original house numbers are two inches tall is every agent’s pet peeve. And it leaves a horrible first impression with buyers, too. So, encourage your sellers to install new high-style, high-visibility house numbers. And make sure there’s plenty of light shining on that sharp new address as well.

3. Make a great first impression 

There’s a reason “you only have one chance to make a good first impression” has achieved maxim status. Agents estimate buyers give a prospective home about 10 seconds before deciding if they love it or hate it. 

That’s why curb appeal — the appearance of the front yard and entrance — and the first impression of the interior from the entry are crucial. An afternoon spent banishing peeling spots on the wall and trim paint inside and out, refreshing the front door, and replacing fading plantings, fixtures, and accessories (like doormats) is a low-cost, high-impact move.

4. Upgrade the lighting

From the porch light to the dining room chandelier and bathroom vanity strips, if sellers haven’t replaced fixtures recently, old fixtures are making their home look dated and uninspiring — especially if they aren’t well-coordinated. 

Simply replacing builder-grade, flush-mounted ceiling lights (aka “boob” lights) with recessed LED cans and makeup-mirror type bathroom strip lights with stylish sconces is a game-changer. And an eye-catching chandelier elevates even a modest dining area. So, such changes deliver a satisfying amount of bang for the buck.

5. Install new outlet covers and switch plates

Like lighting, outlet covers and switch plates can date a home badly. But changing them out is easy and economical. So, there’s no reason to stick with builder-grade ivory plastic, paint-caked covers or outdated metal plates. 

If your sellers are having trouble selecting suitable substitutes, you or your stager can lend a hand. You’re shooting for something that’s updated yet compatible with varied design styles.

6. Nix dated window and wall treatments 

Elaborate draperies, dated blinds, faux finishes and “accent walls” rarely represent buyers’ notions of “move-in-ready” homes. Replacing fussy window coverings with the far simpler curtains and blinds favored today is a relatively easy task. 

Painting over dated finishes might take a little more time, but it’s worth it to keep prospective buyers from taking one look inside and making a run for it.

7. Think mirrors 

Baths and kitchens sell houses. So, sellers should plan to update these spaces. They can frame builder-grade bath mirrors or replace them with their more interesting hanging counterparts. 

But why have sellers stop there? Mirrors add light and sparkle to living spaces and even bedrooms. Advise your sellers to search online and at brick-and-mortar home accessory retailers to see a broad selection of styles and prices.

8. Update the hardware

Hardware finishes ebb and flow in popularity, just like other design components. So, replacing out-of-favor hardware — from curtain roads to door hinges and knobs — is a worthwhile update. Nowhere is that more true than in kitchens and baths, where door and drawer pulls — or the lack of them — can scream so last century

Replacing them is simple if sellers choose pulls that conform to the existing installation pattern, and hinges are hidden, so those don’t have to be replaced, too. But even if the seller isn’t handy and has to hire someone to tackle the job, it will be an economic update that pays significant style dividends.

9. Refresh the backsplash

Once the hardware is updated, kitchens benefit from reviving backsplashes that have seen better days. Maybe sellers will agree to install beadboard or new tile in a hip pattern. Or, they can do something as simple as cleaning and painting the backsplash in an arresting color. Whatever the chosen material, a shiny new backsplash makes a great impression when buyers first walk into a home’s kitchen.

10. Replace dated or mismatched appliances

Appliances fail at varying rates and get replaced with models in the newest “in” finish. So, it’s possible to walk into a seller’s kitchen and find the dishwasher, stove, range hood and refrigerator in varied finishes. 

They may work, but mismatched appliances do not sell houses. Replacing everything with new models in matching finishes is not inexpensive. But appliance and home improvement stores often offer package deals and free financing over generous timeframes. So, sellers who plan to go on the market relatively soon can consider this a cost of sale that gets paid off at closing.

Naturally, there are other projects sellers might decide to undertake to maximize their selling price and minimize time on the market. Replacing beat-up flooring and addressing major buyer turnoffs like tile countertops leap to mind as fixes in that category. Before undertaking major updates like that, sellers might need time to think about how to do them best — and pay for them.

But these 10 easy updates are no-brainers. Prospective buyers will appreciate them. Even if the homeowners change their minds about selling, they’ll get to live in an updated house that cost little beyond elbow grease. And, that’s a win-win no matter what happens.

November 15, 2020

Buy v. Rent?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median rent continues to rise. With today’s low mortgage rates, there’s great opportunity for current renters to make a move into homeownership that stretches each dollar a little bit further.

While the best timeline to buy a home is different for everyone, the question remains: Should I continue renting or is it time for me to buy? The answer depends on your current situation and your future plans, so here are some thoughts to help you decide if you’re ready to own a home of your own.

1. Rent Will Continue to Increase

This is one of the top reasons why renters decide to move because in most cases, rent will continue increasing each year. As noted above, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released its quarterly homeownership report, and as the graph below shows, median rent is climbing year after year. When you own a home, you’ll lock in your monthly payment for the life of your loan, creating consistency and predictability in your payments.

2. Freedom to Customize

This is a big decision-making point for many people who want to be able to paint, renovate, and make home upgrades. In many cases, landlords determine all of these selections and prefer you do not alter them as a renter. As a homeowner, you have the freedom to decorate and personalize your home to truly make it your own.

3. Privacy

When renting, your landlord has access to your space in case of an emergency. If you own your home, however, you’re the one to decide who can come inside. Given today’s health concerns around the pandemic, this may be a growing priority for you.

4. Flexibility for Relocation

If you’re renting, it may be easier to move quickly should you have a job transfer or simply decide it’s time for a change. When you’re a homeowner and need to sell your house, this might take a little more time. Today, however, with the housing market’s low inventory, this may no longer be the case. Homes are selling at a record-breaking pace, so you may have more flexibility than you think.

5. Building Equity

When you pay your rent, your landlord earns the equity the property gains. If you own your home, the benefits of your investment go directly toward your net worth. This is savings you’ll be able to use in the future for things like sending children to college, starting a new business, buying a bigger home, or simply downsizing to save for retirement.

6. Tax Advantages

When you own your home, there are additional advantages that work in your favor as well. You can deduct things like your property taxes and mortgage interest (Always make sure you check with your accountant to see which tax-deductible benefits apply to your situation). When you rent, however, the tax benefits are directed to your landlord.


It’s up to you to decide if you’d prefer to rent or buy, and it’s different for every person. If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of each, as well as resources to help you along the way, contact a local real estate professional to discuss your options. This way, you can make a confident and informed decision with a trusted expert on your side.

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