Archives for February 2008

More growth in Georgetown, Texas: Bourn Partners invests in our city

ar120397185543774.jpgGeorgetown, Texas is growing!

I just read an article that adds more fuel to the fire for Georgetown’s explosive population growth over the next few years. According to city planners, the population of Georgetown, Texas in November of 2007 was 46,812, and by 2015 is projected to exceed 83,000!

Bourn Partners (no relation to Jason Bourne) has purchased 185 acres in the southernmost part of Georgetown, Texas with the intent on developing it for multifamily housing, assisted living facilities, medical office, and other retail. This area is already a hotbed for recent retail, medical and educational developments. In recent years, we’ve seen the opening of the Round Rock Premium Outlets, Scott and White Hospital, Seton Medical Center and the Round Rock Higher Education Center. In the near future, this area will also be home to the Texas A&M University medical school! Hmmm, educators, medical practitioners and retail managers…they all sound like great clients to me!

Here’s the full article below:


GEORGETOWN, Texas, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Bourn Partners, a real estate development firm headquartered in Tucson, Ariz, with regional offices in Austin, today announced the acquisition of 185 acres in Georgetown on Westinghouse Road. The property is slated for a multi-use development that could include multi-family housing, assisted living facilities, medical office and research space, a corporate campus, and retail components, among others.
“This area, bordered by IH-35, Westinghouse Boulevard, FM 1460 and University Boulevard, is fast becoming the hub of Williamson County for medical, educational and retail needs,” Joe Simmons, Principal, Bourn Partners, said. “Our site is literally a stones’ throw from the Round Rock Premium Outlets, Teravista’s master planned residential development and Scott & White Hospital. We are delighted to play a part in creating this dynamic project for future growth in the region.”
The site has approximately 2,600 feet of frontage on the south side of Westinghouse Road. Developers site Texas Department of Transportation plans to widen the road by early 2009 as a further impetus for growth in the area.
Bourn Partners has begun the master site planning process for this site. Announcements on future development are forthcoming.
Joe Simmons will market the Westinghouse development for Bourn. He can be reached at (512) 328-8818.
About Bourn Partners
The Bourn Partners team is comprised of more than 80 employees with a market presence in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas and Nebraska. In 2006, the company had in excess of $450 million in gross development transactions. In addition to development activities, Bourn Partners actively manages and leases more than 2.4 million square feet of commercial product. With more than $1 billion in projects at various stages of development, Bourn Partners is a premier real estate developer throughout the Southwest. Bourn Partners’ Austin office was opened in 2004 to expand development opportunities and investment and brokerage efforts in Texas. For more information, please visit www.bournpartners.com

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog

Giving My Listings “the bird”

BirdOnRedBudTree_800.jpgRealbird.com that is. What else where you thinking?

I’ve been blogging over at a real estate networking site called Active Rain and learned about this website that you can post your listings to and increase your exposure to the market. I went over and created a quick post on one of my listings:

Cedar Park Texas Real Estate

Not bad huh? This is just one thing I do different then many of the “old timer” real estate agents out there. I maximize exposure of my listings on the Internet. Do you have a home in Georgetown, Texas and need to get it sold? Give me a call and I’ll give you 30 other reasons I have to sell your home in 90 days or less!

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog

A Really Swell Georgetown Real Estate Agent? Or Just Blowing Trumpets?

As a fairly new real estate agent in Georgetown Texas, I’m always checking out other real estate websites to get ideas on how to improve my own business. About a month ago, I saw a website that featured the agent who owned it and it had a picture of him volunteering on the construction of a home.

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Man, that looked so cool! Here was a real estate agent, getting his “hands dirty” with some good ‘ole fashioned volunteer work. What a neat way to show current and prospective clients that he wasn’t just in the business for the money, but willing to give back to his profession!

Ever since then I’ve been wanting to do the same thing. I could picture myself taking a missions trip down to Mexico and getting a nice shot of me with a hammer in my hand. I could then showcase that on my website and get some positive publicity! Maybe even show people the “more personal” side of Edward Lui.

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Well, my bible study group at Hill Country Bible Church in Georgetown, Texas has recently been studying the Sermon on the Mount. It has got to be the greatest sermon ever preached and Jesus uses it to blow the Pharisee’s interpretation of God’s law out of the water and teach us the heart of what God really wants. I started reading the lesson for next week this morning:

Be careful not to do your “acts of righteousness” before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:1-4

Woah, wait a minute here! This is exactly what I was guilty of! Jesus obviously uses hyperbole when he talks about not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, but the point is that we need to be conscious of our motives for doing “good.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with volunteering and helping out. But I think we all need a heart check once in a while to make sure that we’re doing these things for God and not for the praises of men (or clients!). Because if we do, our reward is already given. I love it how Jesus unashamedly motivates us to do good for the rewards we will get in heaven. This has nothing to do with earning your salvation, but everything to do with motivating the Christ-follower to do good.

This is a tough teaching. As a leader on my church’s Missions Team we have discussed advertising our accomplishments in Mexico to the community to generate buzz and interest in our church. Now I’m wondering if that’s the right approach. There certainly is nothing wrong with advertising an upcoming mission trip to the community to gain support, but is that the same thing as posting what we have already done? Are we just blowing our trumpets? Even if the goal is to increase membership and interest in the church, do the means justify the end?

My “pharisee tendencies” have indeed been challenged by the power of God’s Word. What about you? Am I taking this a bit over the top? I’m certainly not advocating going to your next soup kitchen with a bag over your head, but the next time you “advertise” the fact that you’ve done or are doing volunteer work, remember this verse and give yourself a heart check…and start stocking up the rewards in heaven.

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


Live a stone’s throw away from Southwestern University in Historic Georgetown, Texas

1402 Laurel Street – Downtown Georgetown – Historic Charm with Investor Appeal: Duplex one block from Southwestern University.
Priced at $189,000 $175,000 – 1800+ SF: 2 Br/3 Ba/1 car garage + separate garage apartment
Front Backyard
Rare Multifamily just 1 block from Southwestern. Step out of your front door and walk up the block for about 5 minutes and you’ll be in the heart of Southwestern University’s 700-acre campus. Surrounded by majestic pecan trees, this home is in the ideal setting for a savvy investor who recognizes the potential of downtown Georgetown real estate. This home has 3 sections: 1. A two-story with attached garage, master suite upstairs and two living areas with a second full bath on the first floor 2. An attached one-story studio 3. A detached garage with adjacent apartment. All 3 sections can be lived in independently from each other.

Single Family Potential. The beauty of this property is that it can also be easily converted to a single family home. Imagine walking past the kitchen into a former studio apartment that now has two additional bedrooms with a full bathroom, gameroom and kitchen-converted wet bar. Walk around back to the fully converted garage and use it as a full guest casita that doubles as a home office. The wood floors and original architectural characteristics of this home have been carefully preserved for even the most discriminating renovator. This is the ideal property for somebody who wants a home and future investment in a prime location.

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Garage Apartment adds additional living space to the 1800 SF: Rent this space out or stick the guests here; With a little renovation this can be converted to a full 2 car garage, an ideal detached home office or a 1 bedroom casita. Has full bath, kitchen and private yard with separate entry.

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Attached Studio retains rich authentic wood floors: Open up the double doors to your private courtyard and let a cool Texas breeze blow through your Studio located in the heart of Georgetown. This is true downtown living. Has private dining area, full kitchen and bath.

CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE:

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Bathroom 2 Laurel.jpg Panoramic Back Laurel.jpg Kitchen Laurel.jpg

Studio Bath Laurel.jpg Studio 2 Laurel.jpg Living and Dining Laurel.jpg Studio Courtyard Laurel.jpg

Disclosure.PDF

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laurel-inspection-report

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Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


How many pictures does it take to sell a home in Georgetown, Texas?

I was reading a blog by Virginia Real Estate agent Frank Borges Llosa that correlated the amount of pictures a real estate agent posts with the time it takes to sell a home. In his example, the more pictures you post, the faster that house will sell and the more it will net!

Well, after reading that I had to put the Georgetown Market to the test. Will simply posting more pictures increase the chances of selling a home quicker and for more money? Here are the findings:

In 2007, there were 1262 listings that sold in Georgetown. 736 listings had posted 8 pictures (the previous maximum) or more. The current maximum pictures is now 12. The average days on market was 71 days and they netted an average of 97.9% (none of these figures include the amount asked for closing costs).

On the other end of the spectrum, 168 listings had posted only 1 picture or less. These sold for an average of 36 days and netted 96.9% of list price. Lastly, 526 listings posted 7 pictures or less and guess what? Days on market increased to 67 average days and 97.2% of list price. So this is how it looks like:

Listings with 8 or more pictures: 71 Days; 97.9% of List Price

Listings with 7 or less pictures: 67 Days; 97.2% of List Price

Listings with just 1 picture: 36 Days; 96.9% of List Price

What gives? It seems like the less pictures that are posted, the quicker a home sells! The only number that “makes sense” is that the homes tend to net more when they have more pictures. However, the difference is only 1% between posting a maximum of 8 pictures versus taking the lazy way out and posting 1 picture. I guess this 1% can translate to a good amount of money for an expensive listing, but won’t that be offset by the amount of time it takes to get that extra 1%? The difference between listings with 8 pictures versus 1 picture is 35 days, which is a whole mortgage payment!

You can either:

a. Use this as justification to get out of a lot more picture taking, editing and posting

b. Feel good that your agent only posted 1 picture for your listing because it’s the sure-fire way to sell a home quick

c. Don’t sweat this stuff and just hire Edward to list your home
In the past 5 years, my listings have sold for 98% of list price (including the amount asked for closing costs) and took an average of 31 days. How many pictures do I post? Well, I guess you’ll have to hire me to find out:)

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the free marketing.

Bottom Line: There is no magic formula for selling a home. Don’t get razzled and dazzled by fancy marketing brochures and gimmicks. Whether your agent sells 1 home a year or 100, what really counts is how long does it take them to sell a home and for what percent of list price. Make sure your agent can PROVE to you that he/she can sell your home quickly and net you the most. The only way to do that is to look at their past performance statistics. Mine are all available upon request. So the next time the real estate agent with the slick shoes tells you they can sell your home quicker and for more money, you just look them square in the eye and say…SHOW ME THE MONEY!
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1611 Purple Sage: Ranch at Deer Creek in Cedar Park, Texas – $289,900

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Designed with the Family in mind. Much of the appeal of this home lies in the fact that you will never feel cramped for space. This home was built and designed by Morrison Homes, recently rated by industry expert John Woodland as among the top 5% of all homebuilders in the nation for customer satisfaction. The reason they’re so good: They listen to their customers. As a result, this floorplan is unique, yet remarkably usable and truly reflects family life. For example the Study is at the front of the home, reducing the amount of noise from conversations in the kitchen or children playing in the living room, which are both located towards the back. (Flier Excerpt)

Click here to download Flier: Purple Sage Flier.doc

Disclosure: Sellers Disclosure.pdf

Survey: Survey.pdf

Click on Pictures to Enlarge:

Bedroom 2.jpg Bedroom 4.jpg

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Study.jpg Dining.jpg

Open Season: Comments are now open!

open_season_ver2.jpg   I’ve closed comments on this blog for a while, thinking it would help with all of the spam. Today I checked my account after just a few days and had over 160 spam messages!

Now I have a Spam blocker plug-in that should help. Sorry if you’ve been locked out in the past. Please do comment, I love to hear what your viewpoint is and it sure makes a blog that much more interesting. This is not a personal diary, but a forum for a dialogue. So speak up!
Kevin – thanks for “forcing” your comments through to me via email, it was a reminder that I needed to fix this months ago! Check out his blog here!

Unethical, Lazy or just plain Coincidence. Which would you choose?

drevil_million_dollars.thumbnail.jpg 1.3 Millllllion Real Estate Agents exist….are you choosing the right one?

Let’s face it, it’s a tough market out there and getting found by a buyer or seller is critical to any real estate agent’s success. It’s more important then ever, that you find a real estate agent who is successful at what he/she does and is doing it honestly. I just ran across an article in RISMEDIA by Barry Hurd and he described unethical practices that real estate agents use to get their websites more noticed. One in particular caught my attention:

• Data blogs with no unique content (also known as splogs or scraper sites)

“With the creation of RSS (really simple syndication) the ability to import data into another site has become increasingly simple. Millions of spam blogs exists that have re-purposed duplicate content from hundreds of other sites, programmatically making changes to the original content to make it look slightly different. Typically these blogs give absolutely no credit to the originating author of the material and are breaking several copyright laws. Well-read online authors have this problem daily, hundreds of my articles have been stolen this way over the past two years. The primary reason for the existence of these sites is monetization through programs like Google Adsense which allows the site to profit off random traffic lured in using the stolen content.” (RISMEDIA, Jan 29, 2008 – Barry Hurd)

It’s one thing to quote somebody (which I just did), it’s another to take somebody’s work and use it as your own. Here’s an example of an article I published in February of 2007:

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Agent Educates Custom Home Buyers

Proactive real estate agent in Georgetown, Texas dedicates himself to the ever-growing market for custom homes.

Austin, TX (PRWEB) February 14, 2007 — The Georgetown, Texas real estate scene continues to heat up, drawing homebuyers from all over the country. Many of these buyers are in search of custom homes, which are widely available in the Georgetown area. This has prompted one Georgetown real estate agent to carve out his own unique niche.

Edward Lui is one of the only real estate agents in Georgetown, Texas who focuses exclusively on the custom home market. He further distinguishes himself by providing an online resource focused on the Georgetown custom home market. Through his website, Edward gives homebuyers a one-stop shop for information about custom home builders, communities and resales in Georgetown, Texas.

Georgetown is located in Central Texas, just 25 miles north of Austin. In recent years, this area has become increasingly popular among homebuyers due to a variety of factors — good schools, business opportunities, wide-open spaces, and the live music scene and nightlife of Austin.

Many Texans relocate to Georgetown for a home in the country with easy access to the city (Austin), while also enjoying one of the state’s lowest property tax and crime rates. Out-of-state buyers relocate to Georgetown, Texas because the homes are more affordable than in their own states, and they fall in love with the charm and quality of life Georgetown, Texas has to offer.

Combine this influx of homebuyers with the variety of custom builders and communities in the area, and you’ve got a booming market for custom homes in Georgetown, Texas. That’s the exact audience Edward Lui hopes to educate and connect with through his website. Among other things, Edward’s website provides:

  • Information on the most popular custom home communities around Georgetown
  • A list of custom home builders in Georgetown, Texas.
  • Custom homes that homebuyers can browse through by price range
  • A Georgetown, Texas real estate and lifestyle guide full of relevant resources
  • A forthcoming blog dedicated to the custom home market in Georgetown

“The website is just a first step,” Edward explained. “My goal is to provide a concierge level of service for anyone shopping for a custom home throughout the entire buying or building process. I want to go beyond what people would normally expect from a real estate agent, through the website as well as the services I provide.”

Learn More About Georgetown
To learn more about custom homes in Georgetown, Texas, or to contact Edward Lui, please visit http://www.GeorgetownCustomHomes.com or call Edward at 512-554-9594.

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On the 1 year anniversary of this article I run across another article that looks strangely familiar (Agent’s name has been changed – everything NOT in bold is the same as the original article):

New: Georgetown, Texas Real Website to Educate Home Buyers

The Georgetown, Texas real estate scene announces it’s newest website where buyers can get the latest information on new and used homes in Central Texas.

Georgetown, TX (PRWEB) January 21, 2008 — The Georgetown, Texas real estate scene announces it’s newest website where buyers can get the latest information on new and used homes in Central Texas.

The Georgetown, TX homes for sale scene continues to heat up, drawing Georgetown home buyers from all over the country. Many of these buyers are in search of new and used homes, which are widely available in the Georgetown area. This has prompted one Georgetown TX real estate agent to carve out his own little niche.

Tally T is one of the real estate agents in Georgetown, Texas who focuses uniquely on the new & used home market. He separates himself further by providing an online resource focused on the resources required by the Georgetown Texas real estate market. Through his website, Tally T gives Texas home buyers & owners a one-stop shop for secrets about buying great homes, finding communities, and great school locations in Georgetown, Texas.

Georgetown is located in Central Texas. In the last few years, this area has become increasingly popular among home buyers due to a many factors — great schools, solid business opportunities, , and the live music scene and nightlife comparable to Austin.

Many relocate to Georgetown for a home in the country and quick access to the city, while also enjoying one of the state’s lowest property tax and crime rates. Out-of-state citizens enjoy Georgetown because of the lower home prices, and in the end they fall in love with the magic that Georgetown, Texas has to offer.

With all of these key ingredients in place, you’ve got a booming market for Georgetown TX New and Used Homes That’s the exact audience Tally T hopes to educate and connect with through his website. Just to name a few, Tally’s website provides:

  • Information on the most popular communites around Georgetown
  • A list of critical resources for any new home buyer in Georgetown, Texas.
  • New homes with 15+ large photos that home buyers can browse through by price range
  • Used homes with 15+ large photos that home buyers can browse through by price range
  • A Georgetown, Texas real estate and lifestyle blog full of valuable tips

“The website is just the beginning,” Tally explained. “My goal is to provide a full range of services for anyone shopping for a new or used home throughout the entire buying or selling cycle. I want to go beyond what people would normally expect from a real estate agent.”

Learn More About Georgetown Texas!
To learn more about new and used homes in Georgetown, Texas, or to contact Tally T, please visit http://www.XXX.com or call Tally at 512-XXX-XXXX

Does anybody else but me see the similarities? This was kind of scary. hobased_1972_9683827.gif Either I have a Siamese twin out there or somebody is taking some shortcuts! Earlier this month, somebody requested to quote some of my material for a new book she was writing. Although it seems like a great opportunity, I wonder how many books or blogs for that matter are comprised of original thought and how much is just quoted (or copied) content? I wonder if blogs should have a widget embedded in them that would give a ratio of quoted content to original thought. Lately, I’ve been cutting and pasting a lot of articles to my blog that I think would be relevant to my readers. Am I just as guilty or lazy? At the very least, I give credit to the original author. I see it more of a time saver and a service to my readers. Some people like to read the original article and not just get my “spin.” It’s also a lot easier then clicking around to different links that pop up dozens of windows on your screen. That’s why I quote.

Bottom Line: A good real estate agent isn’t somebody that can just drive you around in their car and fill out a contract. Make sure your real estate agent competes fairly in the market and has the respect of their peers. When they write an offer to their colleagues you can be sure their reputation precedes them.

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


Sabrina Grace Lui – Born in Georgetown, Texas

Yeah, I should have posted this a little earlier…but here’s my blog official announcement: “Sabrina is Born!” Needless to say, it’s been a busy month. Special thanks to our families, church friends and Autumn’s MOPS group for all of the yummy meals, helping with chores, and many prayers! Three kids in 3 1/2 years…only by God’s grace!

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Born 2:51 AM, December 23rd, 2007 at 7lb. 8oz.

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Here’s more pictures:
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Tomi, Jeremy and Fee – Man, Sabrina makes everybody look photogenic

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Autumn’s parents and Sabrina’s cousin Kason; My mom visits for a week to hold and to spoil


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Chloe asleep in my arms; Family portrait


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Chung practicing his baby hold; Chloe and Sabrina going face to face

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