Sendero Springs 2012 1st Quarter Newsletter

Sendero Springs in Round Rock, Texas

It’s tax season.  For some of us it means filing tax returns.  For us in Sendero Springs, it means paying our property taxes!

Looking to save money on your property taxes? It’s no secret that homeowners in Sendero Springs pay one of the highest property tax rates in all of Williamson County – close to 3%! Here’s a New Year’s resolution that should be on every homeowner’s list because it’s fast, easy, and pays you back – file for a homestead exemption. Your tax break will depend on your eligibility, but even the most modest exemptions could net you several hundred dollars annually.

You can download the form here: http://www.wcad.org/Appraisal/PublicAccess/Forms/PublicServices/HomesteadExemptionApplication.pdf

And read more about it here: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/exmptns.html.

Home prices in 2011 were at a 4-year low, but an improving 4th quarter can be an indicator that Sendero Springs prices are on the rise. The average home price increased to $90.50/sf, which is above the 2010 4th quarter price. (Remember, a $5/sf increase can mean $15,000 on a home that is 3,000 sf.) Despite the small sample size (only three homes sold from October to December), we are headed in the right direction (up!) for 2012.

Homes Sold Last 12 Mos 38
Absorption Rate (# sold/mo) 3.17
Current Active Listings 9
Months of Inventory 2.84

The absorption rate has not changed significantly. There are more homes for sale than before, which means an increase in inventory. (Absorption rate is the number of homes sold per month in the past 12 months.) Our previous inventory was two months and currently it is approaching three. Anything under 6 months is considered a seller’s market!

Last 12 Months Homes Sold Sq Ft List Price List $/SF Sold Price Sold $/SF SP/LP Ratio Days on Market
1st Qtr, ’11 13 2,966 $ 266,362 $ 89.81 $ 253,498 $ 85.47 95.17% 110
2nd Qtr, ’11 12 3,031 $ 265,842 $ 87.72 $ 258,403 $ 85.27 97.20% 41
3rd Qtr, ’11 10 2,981 $ 265,140 $ 88.93 $ 251,718 $ 84.43 94.94% 75
4th Qtr, ’11 3 3,009 $ 279,966 $ 93.04 $ 272,300 $ 90.50 97.26% 53

Looking for information on Round Rock Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Round Rock Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

1 of 3 Single-Story Homes with a Golf Course View – 1603 Greenside

Green may become your favorite color due to the golf course views spreading from left to right and beyond the horizon in front of you.  And the appropriately-named Greenside Drive won’t let you forget it.   1603 Greenside is home to Hole #1 at the Teravista Golf Course in Round Rock, Texas.  Only the beautiful wrought iron separates you from pure golf ecstasy and some of the best views when you’re not actually teeing off.

If you don't like green grass and blue skies, you're at the wrong home!

There are only 12 homes for sale that back to the golf course in Teravista, Round Rock.  Most of them are very large, 2-story homes.  In fact, 1603 Greenside is one of 3 homes for sale that is a single-story home, the only one that is under 2,000 sf, and, somehow, also priced the lowest at $225,000! This is the perfect combination for maintainable luxury.  You can enjoy all the benefits of the golf course views without worrying about high utility bills, cumbersome stairs, and rooms or square footage you’ll never use.  But make no mistake about it  – 1,849 sf is plenty of space for 4 bedrooms, formal dining, living, breakfast nook, big master bedroom and big kitchen complete with granite counters and bar.

Very big home without the usual and unnecessary high utility bills.

At night, witness the sun setting behind the fairways and the breeze rustling the tree tops in your yard while you sip your Arnold Palmer or green tea on the covered back patio.  You are protected from any type of weather, yet able to enjoy the best part of all – the sea of green grass that surrounds your home!

This home and back yard are the reason they named this street Greenside Drive.

See below for more information, pictures, and video.  Please contact us if you’d like to view this home or have questions on other homes.

 

Greenside – Upgrades
Greenside Floor Plan
Greenside Survey
Greenside Sellers Disclosure

Looking for information on Round Rock Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Round Rock Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

Sendero Springs 2011 4th Quarter Newsletter

SENDERO SPRINGS IN ROUND ROCK TEXAS –

Check out a recent article I wrote for the official Sendero Springs Newsletter – in honor of the upcoming elections, I’ll call it the State of Real Estate.  Enjoy!

How much is my home worth?  Is my home appreciating or depreciating in value?  What did the house down the street sell for?  Is our neighborhood a desirable place to live? As a real estate agent, these are some of the most common questions I get asked and naturally I’ve wondered these same things for my home so I did a little research.  Below you will find market data specific to Sendero Springs that I believe gives us a snapshot of the value and desirability of our homes.

Home values in Sendero Springs show a declining trend over the past 4 years.  The average sold price per square foot in 2011 is the lowest it has ever been.  In the most recent 3rd quarter, the average price is about $10 less than the previous 3 years.  On an average 3,000 sf home, that is a loss of $30,000!  The most common advice is to wait for the economy to improve before selling, but who knows when that will be.  In addition, some of us don’t have that luxury.  However, there is data that suggests home values should be rising.

Homes Sold Last 12 Mos 41
Absorption Rate 3.42
Current Active Listings 7
Months of Inventory 2.05

 

 

 

Buyers still perceive Sendero Springs to be a highly desirable neighborhood to live in.  We know this by using the absorption rate to determine the neighborhood inventory.  Absorption rate is the number of homes sold per month in the past 12 months. With 7 homes currently for sale in Sendero Springs, it should take approximately 2 months to sell our entire inventory.  Anything under 6 months is considered a seller’s market!

Last 12 Months Homes Sold Sq Ft List Price List $/SF Sold Price Sold $/SF SP/LP Ratio Days on Market
4th Qtr, ’10 7 2,923 $ 272,829 $ 93.35 $ 261,521 $ 89.48 95.86% 79
1st Qtr, ’11 13 2,966 $ 266,362 $ 89.81 $ 253,498 $ 85.47 95.17% 110
2nd Qtr, ’11 12 3,031 $ 265,842 $ 87.72 $ 258,403 $ 85.27 97.20% 41
3rd Qtr, ’11 9 2,946 $ 263,500 $ 89.46 $ 249,686 $ 84.77 94.76% 61

SENDERO SPRINGS HOME SELLING STRATEGY

This is positive news for all of us at Sendero Springs whether we plan on selling or not.  Having walked through all the current homes for sale and all the homes that sold in the past several months, I’ve made a short list of practical suggestions (easy to do and not too expensive) for homeowners wanting to increase the value in their homes when selling.  If we all do our small part, the home values should see an increase in value immediately.

  1. Maintain your lawn (i.e., cut grass, pull weeds, trim hedges) – this is enforced by the HOA so you can kill two birds with one stone
  2. De-clutter your home (i.e., pack your knick knacks, rent temporary storage [garage if you must], minimalize your home décor)
  3. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature for all showings
  4. If it’s vacant, get it professionally cleaned – focus on kitchen, carpets, windows, blinds, and ceiling fans
  5. Paint your walls to a neutral color and patch all holes

Looking for information on Round Rock Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Round Rock Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

November Update for Sendero Springs

Want to know what’s happening with all the real estate in Sendero Springs?  Here is a complete update for all the previously viewed homes (Gold, Silver, and Bronze).

There are currently seven homes for sale in Sendero Springs.

Gold – 0
Silver – 3
Bronze – 2
New homes (not yet reviewed) – 2

Gold Index

Gold is extinct!  The two available Gold homes have been withdrawn from the market so that leaves buyers with absolutely no opportunity to snatch up a Gold home.  See my review here for the latest Gold homes on the market – 3203 Lazada and 4307 Pasada.

Silver Index

With Gold homes being non-existent, that leaves plenty of opportunity for the Silver homes to get snatched up.  And buyers are not wasting any time.  Two homes (50% of available Silver) are currently under contract.  4004 Arbol reduced the price by $5,000 and is now pending.  3011 Luminoso also reduced the price by $5,000 and is pending.  Both of these homes were slightly overpriced so the price reduction helped them out.  However, price doesn’t solve everything.

4335 Angelico is still selling at a premium $98/sf after a $10,000 reduction.  3008 Asombra is selling at $70/sf after a $15,000 reduction!  You can see my reviews on each of those homes here and here.  Lastly, 4421 Angelico reduced the price by $5,000, didn’t sell, and has now expired.  You may remember this home as the “bed home.” (See my latest review here for the other Silver home.)

Bronze Index

Bronze homes are disappearing fast, but for all the wrong reasons!  Three homes have been withdrawn – 3002 Asombra, 3600 Luminoso, and 4400 Pasada.  That leaves 4106 Pasada as 1 of 2 Bronze homes left (See my latest review here for the other Bronze home.)  Those homes can be found here.

It’s not all bad news for Bronze homes though.  Two of them are actually pending!  You might be asking, how can Bronze homes be under contract if there are still Silver home available?  You can attribute a $15,000 price reduction for the sale of 4419 Pasada.  That puts this home at a reasonable $85/sf.  We still do not know how much they actually settled at either.  A similar $15,000 reduction helped 4303 Angelico also.

New Listings in Sendero Springs

5200 Sendero Springs – Silver

This is a very well-kept 4 BR, 2 BA home right along the main street of Sendero Springs. It’s a 1-story home with 2,470 sf, nice granite counters and stainless steel appliances. The floor plan is unique, but makes a lot of sense. It’s rare to see 4 bedrooms, a game room, and an office in a 1-story, but this has it, and it flows well. The master is in the rear, but it isn’t very big. There isn’t a dining room and the breakfast area is only big enough for a table of 4. It gets a silver rating due to the price – $260,000 @ $105/sf! That’s the price range of a new home!

4207 Angelico – Bronze

If I had a category below bronze this would be in it – a 3BR, 2 BA home that is in terrible shape. It’s got a low enough price ($225,000 @ $78.70/sf), however it has too many negatives to more than offset the price. The entire home is occupied by cats. Usually cats don’t have much of an odor and I have to inspect carefully to know they live there (I have cat allergies), but with this many cats in the house (10!), there is a very bad pet odor. The front dining room is carpeted and the landscaping needs work. Did I mention it’s a short sale? This won’t sell, and I think the owner knows it!

Silver Increase in Sendero Springs

Two more homes for sale sprang up in the Sendero Springs neighborhood in Round Rock.  Unfortunately neither of these reaches the Gold standard, but they aren’t too bad and the $/sf is very low so these can still be seen as great deals!

4421 Angelico Lane – Silver

How often do you see a 6 BR, 4 BA home come on the market for $70/sf?  This 4,700 sf home is huge and is listed at $330,000.  The master and 4 bedrooms are located on the top floor along with a 5th bedroom downstairs, separate office, and formal dining room.  The kitchen has granite counters, breakfast area is big, the backyard isn’t huge but it’s nice, and it’s located in a cul-de-sac with only one neighbor to its side and a greenbelt behind.  So why isn’t it Gold?  It’s really close to being gold, but as I previewed the home, I counted about 12 beds and three refrigerators throughout the home!  It’s in overall solid condition, but it also means the home is taking as much wear and tear as three homes combined!

3008 Asombra Lane – Silver

This 5 BR, 3 BA home has the exact same floor plan as the home three doors down from it (3002 Asombra), which has been withdrawn from the market.  This one is offered at slightly lower price of $259,900 ($74/sf), which makes it a better value.  It’s also in better condition with granite counters, and custom floor tiles and back splash.  Carpet in the entire house will be replaced and most of the walls will have a fresh coat of paint on it.  But I still can’t get past the guest bedroom and bathroom in the middle of the home.  It creates an uneven flow to the home.  I’m sure someone out there will like it, but it’s a turn off for the majority of buyers.  It’s a good $/sf, but there are smaller homes out there for less money and a more efficient and pleasant floor plan.

Gold Index:

There are now two Gold homes in Sendero Springs for sale.  3203 Lazada is one of the most expensive homes on the market at $399,900, but has tons of extras and is a very nice home with good value ($88/sf).  4307 Pasada lowered their price to $198,000 ($77/sf) and should be snatched up quickly.  There aren’t many Gold homes for sale in Sendero Springs and to find one under $200,000 makes this a great purchase.

If you’ve got a home in Sendero Springs that you want to sell, get in touch with me to make it a Gold home.  If you are in the market for real estate in Round Rock or Sendero Springs and you need a Realtor, give me a call or email and I’ll gladly help you.

A New Home, An Old Republic

My wife and I recently purchased a home in Sendero Springs in Round Rock, Texas.  This was our first resale purchase and we wanted to make sure we went with a good builder.  The builder of the home is Streetman Homes.  They build a high quality home and it speaks volumes that as other builders are going bankrupt or not able to secure construction loans, Streetman Homes continues to build new homes in a new section of Sendero Springs.  In addition to a quality builder, we wanted some home protection.  No, I’m not talking about guns!  We decided to purchase a home warranty protection from Old Republic Home Protection.  My brother has been recommending Old Republic to clients for many years and has always received positive feedback from them.  It may have been the best (and most affordable) “upgrade” to the value of our home and to our peace of mind!

As the Texas heat approaches historic records for most 100-degree days in a year, what could possibly go wrong with a three-year old home built by a quality home builder?  The air conditioning, of course!

My first call was to Old Republic.  Actually, I went to their website and did everything online – it was fast, easy, and very convenient.  I was very excited to put my warranty plan to use.  The plan charges me $60 for the service call.  I was contacted by Adams Air Care and promptly scheduled the next available appointment (two days).  The technician was very professional in assessing the situation.  He suspected a leak in the system as he refilled about two pounds of 410A.  He even poured vinegar down the drain pipe for me and hosed down my condenser in the scorching sun!  A couple of hours later, he left my home feeling cooler than it had all summer!

A couple of weeks later, the air conditioner wasn’t keeping up with my thermostat so I called Old Republic to have Adams Air Care come out again for a service recall (no charge).  The technician came back, added about four pounds of 410A and was determined to find the leak.  He said my evaporator coil needed to be replaced.  No problem.  I’ve got a warranty plan that will cover the parts and labor for this.  Upon further investigation by the technician, he would need to remove and re-install the furnace and several ducts in the attic in order to have proper access to the coil.  That would probably cost me about $2,000 and would certainly not be covered by my warranty plan.  Problem.

So I called my local Old Republic account executive and told her the mess I was in.  An hour later I got a call from an Old Republic representative telling me I had the option to get a second opinion and I could get a cash settlement from Old Republic to the tune of $953, which is what they would’ve paid Adams Air Care.  That means if it costs me $1,000, I pay $47 out of pocket.  It also means if it costs me $900, I pocket $53.  Originally, I thought having a leak in my air conditioner would make a major dent in my wallet, but after hearing this news, I couldn’t wait to shop around (my specialty) and find someone to “git-r-done.”

I contacted the original company that installed the unit.  They said it could be done and would charge a $650 flat rate to replace an evaporator coil.  Two guys spent over five hours to git-r-done.  The air conditioner is cooling like a champ and I’m about $300 wealthier.  Thanks to Old Republic, I can’t wait until something else needs fixing or replacing at my home.  Just kidding!  In all seriousness, I wish my home could be 100% problem-free, but it’s still great to have a back-up plan.

On your next real estate purchase, make sure you get a home warranty plan from a company like Old Republic.  It should give you immediate peace of mind and if anything were to happen, it just might save you some money and pay for itself.

Not For Sale By Owner

In today’s economy, people are pinching pennies any chance they get. In my line of business, that means more and more sellers trying to sell their home without the expertise or skill of a real estate agent. Central Texas has been home (no pun intended) to the most stable real estate market despite the crash the rest of the nation has experienced, yet I still see plenty of For Sale By Owner signs on yards across Georgetown, Round Rock, and Austin. No community is immune to the temptation of saving money.

Not only is the owner potentially saving thousands of dollars from paying the agent’s commission, with the internet at our fingertips, there are great websites like ForSaleByOwner.com that help owners sell on their own. So it must be pretty easy and money-wise to sell without a licensed real estate agent. Or is it?

The founder of a popular for sale by owner Web site used a real estate broker to help sell his 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom New York apartment after it lingered on the market for six months. Colby Sambrotto, the founder and former chief operating officer of ForSalebyOwner.com, tried to sell the property himself by listing it online and through classified ads, but after six months of it sitting on the market, he sought the help of a real estate broker. The condo soon attracted multiple offers and ended up closing recently for $150,000 more than the original asking price.

It’s like Dieter Zetsche (CEO of Mercedes-Benz) buying one of these for his daughter:

In other words, he got a much better product and paid less.

Contrary to popular (and unsubstantiated) belief, real estate agents can save you time and earn you more money than you realize. Contact your local REALTOR today if you are thinking about selling your home and if you don’t have one, contact your favorite HOMEboys!

Read the full story here.

Sendero Springs Update

There is a new home for sale in the Sendero Springs community of Round Rock, Texas.  Not too long ago, I previewed every home for sale in this community.  I created a system to categorize these homes in a gold, silver, or bronze group for potential home buyers looking in Sendero Springs.  [Click here to read more about gold, silver, and bronze homes for sale.]  I will continue to use this criteria for all the real estate that is for sale in the Sendero Springs neighborhood.

3011 Luminoso – Silver

This 3 BR, 2 BA home is kept in good condition with great landscaping with an asking price of $224,900 ($100/sf).  It has some nice features like wood floors in the living room, a big master bedroom, and nice landscaping in the front and back yards.  However, $100/sf is at the premium end of the spectrum and we should not expect to see an outdated kitchen (that has a center island painted a different color than the rest of the cabinets!) or a home that backs to the main road entrance (the most through traffic).

Here’s a quick update of the Sendero Springs real estate market and how it affects you as a potential buyer in this neighborhood.

4204 Cancelo (Gold) lowered its price from $285,000 to $282,000 ($98/sf) making this a steal – remember this is a brand new home!  It was under contract 10 days later.

5301 Sendero Springs (Gold) lowered its price from $249,000 to $239,000 ($80/sf) making this an even better deal than 4204 Cancelo for the resale market.  It was under contract 7 days later.

4105 Pasada (Gold) came under contract on July 22 with no price adjustment – just 6 days after I had labeled it a gold home!

This means that three out of the five homes I targeted as gold homes are now under contract.  Not a bad ratio considering there were 20 homes on the market during that initial review.  There have been no other homes under contract since then, which tells me these gold homes had something that none of the silver or bronze homes had.  This also tells me in Sendero Springs, there are currently 15 homes for sale and there are only two gold homes left – 4307 Pasada and 3203 Lazada!  So if you’re looking to purchase in this community, or are comparing to other Round Rock homes for sale, you should definitely check these homes out before making any final decisions!  Call me if you need a Realtor to assist.

Silver and Bronze Homes – Sendero Springs

Silver
Silver homes have nice interior options or upgrades, and typically have good, natural floor plans.  For the average person or real estate agent, these can be easily mistaken for Gold homes.  However, in each Silver home, there is something that doesn’t measure up to a Gold home (i.e., priced too high; old wallpaper, paint or carpet; small closets, bedrooms, or bathrooms; etc.).  These differences become obvious if you were to compare directly to a Gold home.

(In alphabetical order…)

4335 Angelico Lane

Very solid 3 BR, 3 BA home with nice upgrades including a whole house audio system for $339,900.  The current owner is a network administrator so he made sure the home is hardwired with cat 5e in every room.  The home also has a deck that faces a greenbelt and walking trail, a media room upstairs, a dedicated office downstairs, and a walk-in shower in the master bathroom.  Not bad, but at $101/sf, I’d rather buy a brand new home.

4004 Arbol Cove

This 4 BR, 2 BA home is located on a cul de sac and backs to a greenbelt and walking trail for $254,900 ($88/sf).  The home includes granite counters, built-in wine rack, water softener, covered deck, shed, and a big yard.  Here’s what’s not to like: the office is not a private office, the master bathroom lacks a separate tub, the back yard slopes making it difficult to maintain, and the walk-in closet is at best a look-in closet.  These just don’t justify the asking price or $/sf.

4101 Risa Court

This 4 BR, 2 BA home is situated on a big corner lot very close to FM 1431 (University Blvd) and priced at $267,900.  The nice upgrade includes wood floors, but there are two different types of wood.  The kitchen has lots of cabinets, but a small pantry and the entire area is covered in wall paper.  So is the master bathroom.  Even without considering the time, money, and energy needed to make this on par, $99/sf is completely over priced.

5017 Sendero Springs

This 3 BR, 2 BA home is currently in the foreclosure state and is listed at $229,900.  The options include granite counters, stainless steel appliances, game room upstairs, and a big corner lot.  However, it has a detached garage, the formal dining room has carpet, and the home needs paint, carpet, and fence repair.  In this market, the bank would be very fortunate to get close to its $86/sf asking price.

Bronze
Bronze homes usually have a standard interior.  The floor plans, decor, and “upgrades” are very subject to personal taste (I’m saying this in the nicest way I know how).  There is usually at least one major flaw that will turn off the average buyer.  In most cases, the home is priced way above market, which might actually be a positive so the buyer doesn’t waste his or her time!

4303 Angelico Lane

A 3 BR, 2 BA home with very little privacy in the rear, no powder room for guests, a small master bedroom, and small pantry.  The kitchen needs to be updated and carpet needs to be replaced.  Compare it to Gold homes and you’ll realize this home is (over) priced at $219,900 at $102/sf!

3002 Asombra Lane

This big 5 BR, 3 BA home is priced at $274,900.  Although it has a media room, corian counters, and stainless steel appliances, it had a very odd floor plan.  The guest room is located smack dab in the middle of the room, the master bedroom is small, and I think there were fleas in the house!  Make sure you call pest control if you are considering this home.

3600 Luminoso

This 4 BR, 3 BA home is one of the few in Sendero Springs with an in-ground, heated pool.  The price isn’t bad at $424,900 ($100/sf).  It does contain a media room, game room, wet bar, office with wood floors, walk-in shower, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and double oven, but the floor plan is odd.  It’s hard to tell where the center of the home is.  If you can live with that, the home is a good buy, but not a steal.

4106 Pasada Lane

This large 5 BR, 2 BA home contains a big master bedroom and closet, granite counters, and an office for $264,900 ($77/sf).  It just doesn’t have enough bathrooms!  The downstairs bedroom has no full bathroom, the home has an odd layout, and there’s a sport court in the back yard.  It takes up a large portion of the yard, is an eye sore, and really isn’t even that practical as a sport court!

4400 Pasada Lane

A 4 BR, 2 BA home that is quite plain listed at $239,000 ($96/sf).  The master bathroom is small, yet the closet is huge.  Granite counters just can’t make up the high $/sf here.

4419 Pasada Lane

A 4 BR, 2 BA home that contains a media and wet bar upstairs, big breakfast area, big living room with wood floors, and stainless steel appliances for $294,000 ($89/sf).  It has a small back yard that backs to the green belt.  The upstairs has a Jack and Jill bathroom that reminds me of a Manhattan condo (very narrow!).  If you are paying this much money, you should be able to get a lot more house for your dollar (and you can!).

[Looking for the gold homes?  Click here.]

Are you thinking about selling your home in Sendero Springs?  Don’t make the mistakes these other agents are making.  Call me today for an expert’s perspective and insight in how to get the most money for your home.

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