National Recognition for Green Builders in Georgetown Village

Hooray for the little guys! Well, I guess they’re not that little if they’re on the American stock exchange. However, Green Builders is not somebody you hear about all that frequently, yet they just got recognized by the National Association of Home Builders for being the “2008 Single Family Affordable Home of the Year” at the National Green Building Awards. Nice to know that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have something environmentally friendly eh?

Congratulations to their President and CEO, Clark Wilson, and the whole Green Builders crew. To learn more about Green Builders or to visit their homes in Georgetown or the Greater Austin area, give me a call. We’ll car pool and make it an earth friendly day as we shop for earth friendly homes. They’re literally building 2 homes down from where I live in Georgetown Village!

Full article is below:

Green Builders, Inc. Honored at NAHB National Green Building Awards


Green Builders wins award for Single Family Affordable Home of the Year

Austin, TX—May 12, 2008–Who says it’s not easy being green? Just ask the folks at Green Builders, Inc. (AMEX:GBH), a leading large-scale community developer of sustainable homes in the Austin, Texas area, who have been selected as the 2008 Single Family Affordable Home of the Year at the National Green Building Awards held by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Now in its 10th year, the National Green Building Awards recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in residential green design, construction practices and for green building programs and advocacy efforts. Competition for this award was particularly intense, but Green Builders stood out amongst the nominees for their continued innovation and advancement in the field of environmentally sustainable home building, a hot topic throughout the housing market.

“We were thrilled to be nominated. We are even more thrilled that we won. I think that this award speaks to how important environmentally sustainable home building has become nationwide. We look at this as not just a win for our company, but a win for the green movement and those in our industry who truly care about the efficient use of natural resources when building homes, “stated Clark Wilson, President and CEO of Green Builders, Inc.

Green Builders, Inc. incorporates energy efficiency, water and resource conservation, the use of sustainable and/or recycled materials, and indoor air quality control – all of which are considered when evaluating a green home. In addition, Green Builders’ homes are built to the stringent Green Building Standards set by NAHB.

Green Builders’ energy efficient and green, sustainable homes are priced from the $180,000s to $600,000s and available throughout the Austin area.
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About Green Builders, Inc.
Green Builders, Inc. (AMEX: GBH) combines the equal necessities of progress and preservation by building homes that tread lightly on the earth. Our success is measured by continued sales in a growing number of sustainable communities, which we believe to be vital to a sustainable planet. With respect for the world’s resources and for the needs of our clients, we create healthy, beautiful, long-lasting homes that people, and the earth, can afford. To learn more visit, www.greenbuildersinc.com.

I confess, I buy my own listings…can this be ethical?

I am a real estate agent. Let’s face it, when it comes to nest egg options, I doubt my broker has a 401k prepared for me. Therefore, I’m also a real estate investor. I buy homes and hold them for the long term. But what happens when these two roles collide? What should I do if, during the course of listing a home, I tell myself, “Gee, this is the exact type of home I’m looking for!” (Note: I really don’t use the word “Gee” in real life.)

Real World Situation

I just got off the phone with a nice young lady in my neighborhood, Georgetown Village, and was following up after a listing presentation I gave a few weeks ago. I was just about to finish the phone conversation when she made a comment that went something like this:

Some of my neighbors mentioned that you might not have my best interest in mind. They said that homes are selling in the $100/SF range and you list yours lower to maintain your statistics and sell your homes quicker (Note: My career average is 35 days). They also felt that there might have been a conflict of interest since you bought our neighbor’s home at a low price when you listed it, thus lowering values in our neighborhood.

I told her that it was a great question…and an honest one at that. I really respect the fact that she had the guts to confront me with this situation and give me an opportunity to respond. Whether I get this listing or not…thanks for doing the right thing! I encouraged her to call the individuals I bought the home from and get their first-hand testimonial when working with me. They would be the ones who could tell her whether I was being straight-forward and whether I tried to “pressure” them in any way. (Now I need to find their phone number!) In the meanwhile, I decided to dive deeper into the statistics of how much homes sold for in Georgetown Village….and how much I paid for my own listing.

Real World Numbers

The home I bought was built by Lennar and was 1603 SF. It was built in 2002 and although it didn’t have any significant upgrades, it was in very good condition. I paid $153,000 which comes out to $95.45/SF.

Since January of 2006, there were 10 resales that sold in the MLS that were built by Lennar and in the 1600 SF range (1603 SF – 1674 SF) and not ONE sold for $100/SF or higher. Do you want to know what the average $/SF was? $92.56/SF.

But wait, it gets better! In that same time period, there were two homes that sold in the MLS that were BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW! These homes were decked out with stainless steel appliances and upgraded hardware throughout the home…or rather, they didn’t have any ugly gold fixtures! Guess what the average $/SF was for these homes? $94.54/SF.


Yes, you read that correctly: I paid more $/SF for my home than the average comparable home that has sold in Georgetown Village for the past two years! In fact, I paid more $/SF for my home than two homes that were 5 years newer, had stainless steel appliances and were never lived in! Man, I need to quit letting my clients rip me off!

The Bottom Line: My integrity is worth far more than any investment home. Although I am self-employed, I do have a boss…he’s God. Ripping off a client is the last thing I want to do, because I am accountable for what I do and my actions reflect on the truthfulness of who I believe in. Here are a few important points to think about:

1. Did I really buy this home at a “great” price? It’s funny, but true: the home I bought was NEVER posted in the MLS and this is the FIRST time I have published it’s purchase price. So, how do people know how much (or how little) I paid for it? Neighborhood gossip is the last place to get accurate real estate information. Kudos to the lady who came straight to the source rather then rely on second-hand assumptions!

2. It seems like everybody is a real estate expert…except the real estate agents themselves! Read my most recent Georgetown Village case study to get the real scoop on what is selling for $100/SF or higher. $/SF is a good measurement for value, but if used out of context, and without supporting data, can be a dangerous and misleading catch-phrase. Get the facts! Only comparable homes that have recently sold determine the value of your house. If a real estate agent is determining the value of your home with something that hasn’t sold…run away….run away fast…..and hey, if you can multi-task , run away fast and call my number!

3. The seller is in control. It’s not just a good business practice, it’s also the law. Don’t you just hate pushy real estate agents that strong-arm you into making decisions you’re not comfortable making? Well, I do too. That’s why I always encourage my buyer AND sellers to make their own decisions when coming to a price. It’s my job to equip them with the data and inform them of pros and cons…it’s not my job to tell them what price to offer or list their home at. If you’re ever faced with a real estate agent that winks too much and has a gold tooth….or is using a high-pressured sales tactic on you, drop him like a ton of bricks.

In 2007, my homes stayed on the market for an average of 45 days (it was a tough year) versus the Georgetown average of 148 days. Don’t be fooled by real estate agents that “buy the listing” by offering to list your home for an inflated price. If a home takes 148 days to get an offer, trust me, it’s inflated…and around the 60 day mark, they’ll be coming to you for a price reduction that will mysteriously fall into my original recommended price range. So you decide: Sell it for market price now…or make some extra mortgage payments, deal with 20 extra showing appointments, and sell it for market price later.

So what do you think? Should I continue investing in my own neighborhood? Should homes be listed higher than market value so there is “room to negotiate?” Has a real estate agent ever bought your home? What was your experience? Please comment on my blog! Your comments are very much appreciated and keeps the conversation interesting!

Georgetown Village: Who’s Pool Is It Anyway?

“…and what about the pool?” the excited, but naive, 26 year old was buying his first home and he couldn’t wait to tell his fiance all about it.

“Well, that is a community pool and you can swim in it anytime you want!” mentioned Tim, the slick salesman for David Weekley. His Otis Spunkmeyer cookies were warm and freshly baked and the air conditioning inside was blasting…I couldn’t resist….he had me….I had to buy the home.

The year was 2002, and Georgetown Village was just starting to take off. After relocating from Arizona and attending Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, my next assignment lead me to Ft. Hood, Texas. I fell in love with this cute neighborhood located on the Northwest side of Georgetown, Texas and the concept of unlimited swimming in a heated pool certainly had it’s appeal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after I signed the dotted line did I find out that this was a CITY POOL and not a COMMUNITY POOL with unrestricted 24 hour access.

Now, 6 years later, the developer is making the same mistake.

So how do you know if neighborhood marketing is a little too good to be true? The residents are a good litmus test for this. On the community website, here’s one comment by a resident:

Has anyone heard the ad on the radio for Georgetown Village? It is very nice and appealing – but the line that gets me is “Swim on a whim”.

Is there a new pool that has been built that I do not know about?

Because having a pool that is only open 3 months a year, only 6 days a week and for only 6 hours each of those days – does not constitute swimming on a whim.

My friend, David, joking made the sarcastic comment to me last night, “Hey check it out, we have a community pool and community center now!”

Bottom Line: Although this promotion is great for Georgetown Village, it’s important to be diligent in accurately promoting the amenities of a neighborhood. The developer, builders and real estate agents have that obligation to the future buyers of our great community. If the developer is promoting it as a community pool, I say, buy it back from the city or build another one! Most Georgetown Village residents want it and so will future ones.

Three Great Reasons to Rent in Georgetown Village

Three Great Reasons to Rent in Georgetown Village

I just rented out two homes this week in Georgetown Village and there are only three more available! Why should you rent in Georgetown Village when you can buy? Here are three good reasons:

  1. You’re relocating to the area and want to get familiar with Georgetown, Texas before you purchase
  2. You want to build up your credit and down payment to avoid locking in to a high interest rate
  3. You aren’t certain how long your company will keep you employed in Greater Georgetown, TX

If you’re still deciding on a neighborhood, read my post about Georgetown Village!

FEATURED RENTAL PROPERTY

What makes this home so special?

1. It’s practically brand new. I closed on this home in December and the renters only stayed for 4 months.

2. Flexibility – You might be wondering why they only stayed for 4 months. If you’re moving here for reason #1 and are looking to purchase a home, I offer you the opportunity to break the lease with no penalty so long as I can represent you as a buyer’s agent. How’s that for win-win? That way you will never miss a deal and can purchase a home on YOUR TIME FRAME without worrying about being locked into a lease contract.

3. This home is located on 1105 Boxwood Loop, which is a quiet street off the main road. No smokers have lived here and the home has been kept very clean.

If you’re ready to start renting, here are some details you must be comfortable with:

Rent is $1375/month and Security Deposit is also $1375. Do you have pets? There is a $500 non-refundable pet deposit for your first pet and $250 refundable deposit for each additional pet. There is also a $40/person application fee.  AVAILABLE MAY 5th, 2008

Application can be downloaded here: lease-app-_-residential-lease-application-10-16-07

Here are additional pictures:

If you want to purchase or sell a home in Georgetown Village, I would love the opportunity to represent you. I live, work and invest in this neighborhood and would love to put my expertise to work for you! Call me at 512-554-9594 or email me at Edward@gtownrealty.com.

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