Georgetown Village Case Study: Which homes sell for the highest?

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What sells for $100/SF and higher in Georgetown Village?

Time is just FLYING by this year and I wanted to write about a series of case studies on my own neighborhood, Georgetown Village. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “How much $/SF are the homes going for in Georgetown Village?” This is simply too difficult to answer because the median $/SF would not accurately reflect the value of your own home. For example, since Jan 2007, homes in Georgetown Village have sold from as low as $78/SF to as high as $112/SF! For a home that’s 2000 SF, that is a range of $156,000 to $224,000! The best way to assess an accurate value of your home is not to use a sloppy average, but to call on your friendly neighborhood real estate man (that’s me) and to look at the top 3 or 4 recently sold homes that best match yours.

I was curious to know which homes sold for a premium ($100/SF and higher) and there were 16 that sold since Jan 07 that fit the bill:

Half of these homes are New Construction homes (surprise, surprise). New homes in Georgetown, Texas will naturally have a higher premium stuck to them.

233 Village Park 136 Westbury 1111 Cedar Elm 801 Westbury

109 Cedar Elm 387 Westbury 743 Westbury 113 Cedar Elm

The first and second home on the first row is built by Cobblestone Homes and they are no longer building in this neighborhood. The third home is built by Bowen Homes. Once they finish building on their existing lots, they won’t likely be building in the new sections. The second home on the second row with the turret is built by Rothenburg Homes. They are a smaller builder that has built only 1 other home in Georgetown Village. All of the rest are built by Perry Homes and they have plans to continue building in the newer sections.

Here are the resale homes:

301 Greendside 113 VP 107 VP 109 VP

207 VP 203 VP 130 Chestnut 108 Greenside

It’s interesting that 5 out of the 8 resales are located on Village Park Drive. What makes this street so appealing?

1. They are within excellent walking distance to the Village Elementary School. You don’t have to cross a single street!

2. All of the homes are 4 sided brick with rear entry garages. Less maintenance and nice curb appeal!

3. All of the homes face a massive park that is kept by the city. All play and no work!

4. Because they have a no-maintenance park to play in, their own yards are quite small…

5. All of the homeowners hire a landscaping company so that their own yards are also maintenance-free. Are these homeowners lazy or what?:)

This street has a lot of appeal to a family that wants a low-maintenance lifestyle, but wants something bigger than an apartment or townhome. The third home on the second row is located on Chestnut Court, which is another desirable, private street located towards the back of the neighborhood. It backs to a “greenbelt.”

All of these homes are built by David Weekley (they pulled out several years ago) with the exception of the last one in the second row which is a Lennar. You won’t see many Lennar’s go for a premium in this neighborhood…it must have been those Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors!

Bottom Line: You can’t make a resale into a brand new home, but you can make it look like one! Make sure you have your home professionally staged and you spend the $1 in repairs to get the $10 in return. Simple things like cleaning your windows, fresh paint and new carpet will help you compete against new homes and command a higher premium.

What can we learn from the resales? Well, it might be a little difficult to create a park in front of your home when there is none, or grow a greenbelt behind your home overnight. I recommend turning your bland backyard into a park-like setting and work on your landscaping. This will also help your home command a higher premium and compete against those that may be adjacent to a park or greenbelt. It will certainly help you stand out against the other homes with bland backyards.

If you’re interested in knowing how much your home is worth in Georgetown Village give me a call! I employ cutting-edge marketing techniques and will put my experience to work for you to sell your home fast and for top dollar!

Georgetown Texas Neighborhoods – Georgetown Village Series

Georgetown Village – My neighborhood…and maybe yours?

I have been wanting to write about my neighborhood, Georgetown Village, for quite some time. I live here. I buy and sell homes here. I invest in rental homes here. One day in the future, I will even shop here, once the developer starts working on the much anticipated multi-use development that many residents are waiting for. To get you a bit more familiar with my neighborhood, here are three good reasons to look at Georgetown Village if you are making a move to Georgetown, Texas:

1. This is the ONLY neighborhood in Georgetown, Texas with an on-site Elementary School. Yup, that’s right. And not only that, Village Elementary has been given the highest rating (Exemplary), making it one of the best schools in Georgetown, Texas. Now if that doesn’t give parents who send their kids to private school or who home school, a reason to switch, I don’t know what will!

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2. The developer-owned Green Builders is making an industry statement in Georgetown by building environmentally friendly homes that are also friendly to the homeowner’s utility bills. All the other builders in Georgetown, Texas can say they have ceiling fans and double-paned windows…big deal. These guys take the next step and utilize foam insulation, low-volatile organic compound paints, and other architectural details like awnings or overhangs that provide additional shade in the home. Here are a couple homes in Austin they put their brand on:

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3. Primo-location – Georgetown Village is super close to Hwy 195 (for those working in Killeen/Ft. Hood), SH130 and future Parmer Lane/Ronald Reagen Blvd (for those still stuck in their Austin jobs) and ofcourse the wonderful Interstate 35 for those who work in Temple or Round Rock. Even if you’re fortunate enough to work from your home, this makes it easier for friends and family to find you.

(“A” icon denotes location of Georgetown Village)

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


Should I sell or should I rent my home in Georgetown, Texas?

FREAK – Frequent Real Estate Asked Kuestions

D-and-T-Bargain-Center-Sign.jpg“Back in the day” when we were just starting the accumulation of toys for our children we used to go after some real bargains on Craigslist. Sometimes we would get a toy for such a great deal that when the kids got tired of playing with it, we would sell it on Craigslist again…for a profit!

Well, unfortunately, selling a home in Georgetown, Texas is not the same as selling a toy. I just received this letter today from a lady in my neighborhood:

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San-Diego-Letter.jpgHi Edward.

I believe we may have met once or twice in the village and it seems you do quite a bit of work out here.

I own a home in Georgetown Village and have just accepted an offer for a job with my company out of state. Because I’m only planning to be gone for about 2 years I am considering whether to try to rent my home rather than sell. My husband and I built this home and really like the floorplan, etc. so I’d like to hold on to it if it makes sense financially since we anticipate being back in this area in the future.

To help me make the decision of whether to rent or possibly sell I’d like to get an idea of what rentals in the village go for and how cumbersome the rental process really is – from observing the activity it seems many homes have been up for rent and appear to have people in them now. Is this something you can help me with?

Thanks,
Sarah

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freak_show.jpgWow, that’s a great question Sarah and you’re certainly not the first to ask it. That’s why I’m posting this in my new Frequent Real Estate Asked Kuestions Category. Ok, I know that’s not grammatically correct and there is maybe just one spelling error, big deal. How else could I make the acronym spell FREAK?

The thing with selling a home is…it’s EXPENSIVE! The costs you have to pay as a seller, although negotiable, are typically around 8% of your sales price! And if you plan on buying a home here in 2 years Sarah, you’ll also have to pay title fees and lender fees…adding up to an additional 2% (minimum) of fees. That means, if you decide to sell a $200,000 home and then buy it again in two years (assuming zero appreciation), you’ve already spent $20,000 just to make the two transactions happen! Good thing selling toys on Craigslist doesn’t cost this much!

Even if that $200,000 home sat vacant for 1 year and the mortgage was $1500/month, you would only be out $18,000! By the way Sarah, rents in the Village average $1200/mo. – $1600/mo.

If you make this decision for purely financial reasons, then it just seems as though keeping a home that you already love is the way to go. Two years goes by quickly. However, like Master Card says, “There are some things that money just can’t buy.” For $20,000, how would you like to:

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  1. Not having to ever worry about making two payments.
  2. Be able to pull out the equity in your home (tax free) for investments or other uses.
  3. Get out of the property management and/or landlord business
  4. Have the option of buying another home/neighborhood when you come back to Georgetown, Texas
  5. Having the freedom to stay longer and maybe never come back to Georgetown, Texas
  6. Have the best real estate agent in Georgetown, Texas help you buy and sell a home!

Wow, I really like #6! Sarah, I hope that helps. Feel free to comment on this blog or call me anytime.

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


Georgetown Village – House for Rent – $1400

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Flexible Lease Terms. Available December 1st.

Great Landlord too:) – Call 512-554-9594 if you know somebody!

Georgetown Village goes “green”

Here’s an interesting report on the Village from KVUE and my comments below:

BY TOM HARRIS, KVUE NEWS
06:35 PM CDT on Monday, October 29, 2007

Green homes appear to be the wave of the future when it comes to building houses in Central Texas. A development in Georgetown promises some of the best state-of-the-art technology for environmentally friendly houses.

Developers are building more than 2,000 green-built houses. When it’s done, Georgetown Village should be the largest development of its kind in Central Texas. Emily Thomson of GreenBuilders says they are using high tech construction as well as recycled materials. “We are using eco-cycled tiles in our homes so it is made out of recycled materials and some clay to even down to the floors we are walking on,” Thomson said. They are also using water base stains on the cabinets — which is better for the environment — along with detached garages so fumes don’t leak into the house.

Madison Wickham of GreenBuilders says the most important feature is the air-tight foam for insulation. “This particular insulation is quite a bit more expensive but pays for itself in the long run,” said Wickham. “The idea is to include a lot of different features like this insulation that in the front are more expensive, but in the long run they pay for itself.” Thomson says another advantage to an airtight home is that it helps keeps out the pollen. “What we are doing with green building is we are not only giving you an affordable home, but we are also giving you a healthier home for you and your family,” Thomson said.

CEO of GreenBuilders Clark Wilson says building green just makes sense, “It’s a smart thing to do and the right thing to do and a green built home will save you 50 to 60 percent on your energy bill, freeing up hundreds of dollars to do something else with,” Wilson said. The homes’ prices will run around $250,000. The company is also planning on two more green communities in Central Texas — one in Buda, the other in Driftwood.

tp_product_image.jpgI live just a few houses down from these environmentally friendly homes. My main concern is that with such “air-tight” precision being built into these homes, have they thought about the effects of indoor air pollution? Check out this site: www.tryfreshair.com and find the best solution…

Georgetown Village in Georgetown, TX: 122 Hickory Lane – $200,000

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Add new owners and enjoy. Welcome to a home that is completely upgraded. All you have to do is move-in, arrange your furniture and call this place yours. Not only is this home in an ideal location, close to a park and located on a quiet street, but it is one of the few homes you’ll see on the market where you can move in without already planning your next renovation!

Click here to view flier: 122 Hickory Flier

Click here to see my most recent homes for sale in Georgetown, Texas!

Georgetown Village: June 2007 Sales Report

Click here to view: June Sales Report

Georgetown Village in Georgetown, Texas: 120 Rosebud Lane

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Landscaping is an art. If you’ve ever walked by new construction homes, you’ll notice that good landscaping is hard to come by…Welcome to another David Weekley-built home located on the quiet street of Rosebud Lane. 120 Rosebud is a prime candidate for the Yard of the Month…

Click here to view flier: 120 Rosebud Flier

Click here to see my most recent homes for sale in Georgetown, Texas!

Georgetown Village: May 2007 Sales Report

Click here to view:  May Sales Report

Georgetown Village: Multi-Use Survey Results

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The results are in! There has been lots of discussion over the future commerical center in Georgetown Village and some of you might have even read the recent article in the Williamson County Sun about it. After tallying the results from 33 families in Georgetown Village, here are the results of my survey (click on image above).

Pie Chart Details.  Every resident had an opportunity to choose their top 10 establishments that they wanted in the Village.  Their top choice (#1) would be given the highest score, a score of 10.  Each successive choice would be assigned a lower point value.  For example, their #2 choice was given a score of 9, #3 choice a score of 8 and so on.  The businesses shown in the pie chart reflect the amount of points they received as a percentage of the overall points. 

Lowest Scoring Businesses.  The “Other” category represents the businesses that had 3% or less of the total scoring points. In order of popularity, they are:  Dry Cleaners, Gift Shops, Dental/Doctor’s Office, Clothing, After School Programs, Real Estate Office, Nail Saolon/Spa, Candy Store/Arcade, Bank/Mortgage Office, Dance Studio, Daycare, Florist/Nursery, Sports Bar, Insurance Office, Pet Grooming/Pet Supplies, Golf Store

Restaurant Types.  I also received specific feedback from the residents on the types of eating establishments they wanted to see here.  It seems as though most people are in agreement that they don’t want any fast food chains, but prefer, cafe’/bistro-style restaurants with outdoor eating available. 

What about the Pool?  Even though the survey never mentioned a pool, I also had suggestions for a better swimming pool situation.  Most people, including myself, would love for the developer to build a swimming pool that is owned by the neighborhood and not the city of Georgetown.  I think adding on to the current pool would be a wonderful idea.  Maybe build a simple clubhouse that people could reserve and provide 24 hour pool access via a simple keycard.  Expanding an area just for kids with slides and sprinklers and waterfalls could also help this future “town-center” be well-utilized by all families without being too overcrowded.  This would make Georgetown Village one of the first neighborhoods in Georgetown, Texas to have an extensive swim facility for kids!  There certainly is enough land to expand this area before the need for a second swimming pool arises.  Speaking from experience with my clients, when potential buyers lay eyes on a kid-friendly pool area with slides and waterfalls, etc. that goes a long way in “selling the neighborhood.”  What are your thoughts?  Feel free to comment by clicking the “comment” link below!

Why on earth am I doing this?  Nobody pays me to do this and I’m not an employee working for any of the developers or builders in Georgetown, Texas.  I spend countless hours and thousands of dollars developing and maintaining this website to provide the most accurate and helpful real estate information to you.  I started to focus on my website this year because it would be the quickest way to get the results of my research to the public. 

Because of your generosity, I can choose to allocate my marketing dollars and time to a website, instead of calling strangers, knocking on doors or publishing expensive newspaper ads to get business.  If you or a friend needs help in buying or selling a home in Georgetown, Texas, letting me put my expertise to work for you will continue justifying the resources I invest into this website.  Also, my wife will be happy to know I’m not just typing-away on the computer for nothing!  Any referral you give me is sincerely appreciated and goes a long way towards helping me, an individual real estate practitioner, cover the extensive real estate market in Georgetown, Texas. 

Many Thanks Neighbors!

~Edward Lui

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