Jim Ivy moved to Austin in 1969 to attend graduate school at the University of Texas. After completing his Master's degree, Jim taught in the Austin Independent School District until 1979, when he decided to enter the real estate profession. In addition to his real estate practice, Jim is also an accomplished musician and leads "The Second Line Jazz Band".
Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get prequalified. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely.
Be ready to move.
This is especially true in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for home buyers to miss out on the first home they wish to purchase because they don’t act quickly enough. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has already purchased the house.
If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going. Those factors usually don’t change fast enough to make a difference in an individual home’s price.
Don’t ask for too many opinions.
It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be living in the home.
Accept that no house is ever perfect.
If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect,
The term “agency” is used in real estate to help determine what legal responsibilities your real estate professional owes to you and other parties in the transaction.
The buyer's representative (also known as a buyer’s agent) is hired by prospective buyers and works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction. The buyer can pay the agent directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.
The seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent) is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller, meaning this person’s job is to get the best price…
How long have you been in residential real estate? Is it your full-time job?
Like most professions, experience is no guarantee of skill. But much of real estate is learned on the job.
Do you have any designations or certifications?
Real estate professionals have to take additional specialized training in order to obtain these distinctions. Designations and certifications help define the special skills that an agent can apply to your particular real estate needs. One designation buyers should look for is the ABR®, or Accredited Buyer’s Representative.
What’s your business philosophy?
While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s…
REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:
1. Ethical treatment.
Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
2. An expert guide.
Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays…
The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of…
For Sale. Lake cabin on Eanes side of Lake Austin. 1 bedroom/1bath, boat dock. Cabin needs finish-out. Ski-boat will convey. $48,000 Call Sammy Agent: 512-345-xxxx
How long would it take you to pick up your phone? Not long I bet!
A true story: A number of years ago I was sitting in my office when another agent came in with a new listing. She began to tell me about the listing, and as she did, my ears grew to four times their normal size.
She had just completed the listing paperwork on a small lake cabin on the Westbank shore of Lake Austin. The cabin was small and it needed some work. But it did have a dock on Lake Austin and the seller was including a ski-boat in the $48,000 price!
Buying a home can be scary, especially if it will be your first home. But even if it is your fourth, fifth, or sixth home, there are still dangers and pitfalls that you need to consider. One of the primary concerns of any buyer is, "is there something wrong with the house that I do not know about?"
That question is best answered by having a complete and thorough inspection of the home by a state licensed home inspector. In Texas, home inspectors are regulated by the Texas Real Estate Commission. They must meet state standards for training and inspections have a standardized reporting procedure.
Typically when you make an offer, the offer will include an option period during which the seller agrees that you can have a licensed inspector examine
These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, you may be ready to move.
Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you’ve paid down. Usually you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains..
Has your income or financial situation changed? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. If your income has decreased, you may want to…