Austin Texas Mortgages Mortgage Information for Austin Texas and Beyond Mon, 15 Apr 2013 13:55:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Broker ../questions-to-ask-your-mortgage-broker/ ../questions-to-ask-your-mortgage-broker/#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 13:55:04 +0000 Mortgage Refinance Advice ../?p=178 Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Broker is a post from: Austin Texas Mortgages

Discussing mortgage conditionsThe next time you shop for a mortgage, you should be prepared to ask a lot of questions of your mortgage broker. This will make it easier to get an affordable loan that will come with favorable terms. What are the questions that you need to ask the next time that you are shopping for a mortgage?

How Long Should My Loan Be?
Borrowers can generally opt for a mortgage that lasts 10, 15 or 30 years. In some cases, you can opt for a mortgage term of 15 years. While a shorter mortgage will reduce the amount of interest paid on the loan, it will also require you to pay more each month. While a 30 year mortgage comes with a higher interest rate, you will pay less per month. Talk to to your mortgage broker to determine how long you should take to pay off your mortgage.

What Can I Do To Lower My Interest Rate?
There are several options that you have when it comes to lowering your interest rate. A few ideas include shortening the term of your mortgage, asking for a fixed rate instead of a variable rate loan and doing whatever you can to increase your credit score. These are all easy ways that could potentially lower your interest rate by several percentage points. When it comes to a home loan, a cut of even a single percentage points could save you thousands of dollars over the course of the loan.

What’s The Difference Between A Variable And A Fixed Rate Mortgage?
A fixed rate mortgage generally gives you a lower interest rate as well as the peace of mind of knowing that you will have the same payment each month. The only downside to a fixed rate loan is that it is only available to those who have good credit. Borrowers with a low credit score or who lack a long credit history will generally have to go with a variable rate mortgage. As the name suggests, your payment will vary depending on the current interest rates. The good news is that you can refinance to a fixed rate mortgage as your credit situation improves.

How Large Should My Down Payment Be?
Your down payment should be at least 20 percent of the purchase price of the home. If you can’t put that much down, you will have to buy mortgage insurance until you have paid at least 20 percent of the price of the home. However, you can get approved for certain types of mortgages with as little as 3 percent down or less. Therefore, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a large down payment when you go to apply for a home loan.

Getting a home loan is a complicated process. Make sure that you ask the right questions to help speed the process along. When you know what you are up against, it makes it easier to get approved for a mortgage without having to jump through a lot of extra hoops.

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Laura Timmons uses her freelance writing to help potential home buyers with the exciting process. That is why she always recommends Mortgage Emporium for the best Ottawa mortgage broker. They offer a variety of professional services including mortgage renewals, home purchase and refinancing options. To learn more, visit their website,

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5 Best Tips to Get the Best Auction Price for Your Property ../5-best-tips-to-get-the-best-auction-price-for-your-property/ ../5-best-tips-to-get-the-best-auction-price-for-your-property/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 14:46:47 +0000 Mortgage Refinance Advice ../?p=171 5 Best Tips to Get the Best Auction Price for Your Property is a post from: Austin Texas Mortgages

An auction can be a nerve wracking event, but it can also be the best way to generate interest in your property and encourage competition in a way that will get you the best possible price for your property.

It’s not as simple as grabbing a gavel and opening the house up for auction, there are a few vital elements that will help ensure you get your desired result at auction.

Establish an Advertising Budget

In order to generate interest and maximize exposure, you and your agent will work together on an advertising campaign that will put your house in the public eye. It’s important to discuss your advertising budget with your agent and agree upon the duration, media and marketing tactics. This budget is usually between 0.5 – 1% of the sale price of your home.

Open House Viewings

Open house viewings are essential to generate serious interest in your property. You’ll be able to work with your agent at the beginning of your advertising campaign to schedule in these viewings in a way that will maximize exposure and interest, as well as fitting in with you and your needs.

It’s vital to have your place looking its best during these viewings. Highlight your house’s best features and ensure the home is clutter free and neutrally decorated in order to best capture the imaginations of potential buyers. If you’re expecting interest from overseas or interstate, consider making a short video for those who cannot attend the open house viewings.

You can even hire professionals who can prepare your home for viewings in a way that will maximize its appeal. These are the people who make a living off creating appealing display homes and preparing interiors for photo shoots and viewings, a professional in this field may be a very worthwhile investment.

Select a Reputable Agent

Be sure to put some serious research into selecting your real estate agent before you choose, as you want to ensure you’re getting the best possible representative working toward the best possible result.

Consider their sales and auction history, their past results. Check out current and past advertising campaigns to determine whether they will suit your home, your budget and your target audience. Choose somebody who has earned themselves a reputation as an effective salesperson and has a proven record of successful auctions in your area.

Agree on an Auctioneer

Much like choosing your agent, you should carefully select your auctioneer. Having a professional and successful auctioneer can work wonders on creating a productive auction environment. An engaging auctioneer can add excitement and generate interest amongst bidders on auction day. Don’t be afraid to attend a few auctions to check out auctioneers’ style and skills.

Set a Reserve Price

Agree on a realistic reserve price. Research comparable auction sales in the area to help you choose a reserve amount that is both practical for the market and acceptable to you. Once you meet your reserve price at auction, your house is considered to be on the market, so you must be happy to let the property go at this chosen amount.

By following these five simple rules, your property will be on the fast track to generating a swell of competition and ensuring you the best possible auction result. Research and hard work, with a little professional help, is the best way to walk away on auction day with the price you’d hoped for.

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5 Real Estate Hot Spots in Australia in 2013 ../5-real-estate-hot-spots-in-australia-in-2013/ ../5-real-estate-hot-spots-in-australia-in-2013/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 23:10:15 +0000 Mortgage Refinance Advice ../?p=163 5 Real Estate Hot Spots in Australia in 2013 is a post from: Austin Texas Mortgages

If you’re considering buying in 2013 and you’re set on making your purchase a wise long-term investment, keep an eye on these real estate hot spots. Set to experience steady growth, an increase in capital and great rental potential, these areas are not to be missed for the seasoned investor and new home buyer alike.

Dubbo, NSW

Dubbo, in Central NSW, is on the up and up when it comes to housing and property investment. The local economy is going from strength to strength fronted by the community’s innovative approaches to development in the area. Housing here is affordable, with an abundance of land available and the rental market steadily on the rise, making an investment property here a wise choice.

Bendigo, VIC

A growing city of around 100,000, Bendigo is set to become an area in demand in 2013. Its proximity and accessibility to Melbourne make it a prime location, with extensive new developments contributing to the ascending real estate trends.

The $5 billion dollar regional rail link project will bring all sorts of new jobs, growth and value to the area, only strengthening its diverse economy. Bendigo is also playing host to a $630 Million dollar hospital project, which will see a multitude of new jobs stimulate this charming regional city. An investment here in 2013 is sure to set you up for success as Bendigo continues to flourish.

Toowoomba, QLD

Home to many major resources projects and rail projects, Toowoomba is known as Queensland’s nerve centre, with a thriving economy and growing population that has investor’s attention in 2013.

Real estate here remains affordable at present, making it the perfect time to buy as the market for both rentals and sales continues to trend upward. With a pleasant climate and picturesque natural surrounds, Toowoomba is a highly liveable city with much to offer, bringing people from all over QLD with its strong job market, including growth in manufacturing and healthcare.

Maddison Estate, QLD

A new master-planned development located 31km north of the tourist hotspot, Surfer’s paradise, Maddison Estate is unlike any other development. With state-of-the-art sport and recreation complexes, a multitude of parks, walking and cycling tracks and amenities for residents, its focus on healthy, active community living is attracting attention Australia-wide.

It’s perfect for commuters, only 52km south of Brisbane’s CBD, 10 min to Coomera train station and 5min to the M1 highway, making it highly accessible for all purposes. Rental potential here is undoubtable, and resale value looks set to increase through 2013 and continue to trend upward as demand increases.

Mudgee, NSW

Mudgee is definitely experiencing a boom at present, and is set to become a top buy in 2013. It’s currently home to 4 mines and 4 more have been proposed, which will mean a big increase in housing demand as more jobs are brought to the area.

As well as mining, Mudgee has a strong agricultural industry and is also home to wineries which bring tourism to the area. In 2012, rents increased by 24% and the volume of sales increased by 14%, with sale prices experiencing a 9% increase and these figures look likely to continue their growth through 2013.

So whether you’re looking for an investment property to add to your portfolio or you’re seeking a new place to live with good job prospects, sound economic growth and the promise of capital increase, you can’t go wrong with any one of these rising stars.

Written by Nathan Hanson

Nathan runs a real estate agency in Queensland, Australia. His wife owns a home building business. Nathan loves to share his expert advice to help people hunt for their dream homes.

Image courtesy of seattle_maddog

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Which Outdoor Renovations Will Add Value to My Home? ../which-outdoor-renovations-will-add-value-to-my-home/ ../which-outdoor-renovations-will-add-value-to-my-home/#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2012 20:07:48 +0000 Mortgage Refinance Advice ../?p=156 Which Outdoor Renovations Will Add Value to My Home? is a post from: Austin Texas Mortgages

Many people embark on various home improvement projects. They may want to make their home more enjoyable while they live in it or want to make it more appealing on the housing market. Either way you look at it, home improvement projects can add value to your home.

However, not all home improvement projects will enhance your home’s asking price. Some will yield very little for your investment and some projects will turn potential homebuyers away.

Which outdoor home improvement projects are good investments and which are bad? We’ll tell you!


Adding a deck to your home is a great idea. Homeowners are always looking for prime outdoor spaces. If a homebuyer appreciates your beautiful backyard, the positive feelings could flow to the indoor spaces as well.

Adding a deck is one of the few projects that will provide a good return for your money. According to Home and Garden Television, homeowners recoup 65-90% of their investment.

The cost of your deck’s construction will depend on the size and how elaborate the design. Obviously, you can do the project yourself and save a lot of money. However, deck building isn’t as easy as it looks. If you don’t have the necessary tools or skills, it is probably best to hire a contractor.

Swimming Pool

A swimming pool might be a good addition, but it comes with a stipulation. Swimming pools can sometimes add value to a property if it is located in a sunny, tropical region. Otherwise, a swimming pool is a poor investment. If you’re lucky, you might recoup 30-50% of the cost.

Many people associate swimming pools with lots of safety and maintenance issues. For families with little children, these issues are often deal breakers. And if you eliminate families from your group of potential homebuyers, you have severely limited the amount of people interested in your property.


Sunrooms are another home improvement project that could be good or bad. If you live in a region that doesn’t have temperatures that reach both extremes, a sun room could be a good investment. One of the biggest downsides of a sunroom is the fact that glass doesn’t provide insulation. Therefore, a home with a sunroom experiences high energy costs during the winter and summer.

However, there are some situations where the disadvantages of a sunroom are overlooked. For example, if you live on the beach, have an amazing city view, or gaze at beautiful mountain vistas, the high energy bills might be worth it. On average, though, a sun room will only recoup $486 for ever $1,000 spent.

Before you engage in a home improvement project, you need to consider the long-term ramifications of your investment. Will your project increase or decrease the value of your home?

Denis is a guest author from Pallspera and one of the best realtors in Vermont.

Image provided courtesy of MS Office

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Building a Sustainable and Energy Efficient Home in Texas ../building-a-sustainable-and-energy-efficient-home-in-texas/ ../building-a-sustainable-and-energy-efficient-home-in-texas/#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2012 03:47:27 +0000 Mortgage Refinance Advice ../?p=152 Building a Sustainable and Energy Efficient Home in Texas is a post from: Austin Texas Mortgages

The decision to build a home is a long and somewhat difficult process, but it can also be fun and exciting as well.  Once you have a decided where to build and have received a loan from the bank, you can then start deciding on a builder.  You know you need a builder that is reputable and will work well with you, but you might also want to take into consideration a green builder, especially if you are building in Texas.  With the rising costs of everything, it is a good idea to think about building an energy efficient home.  They are good for the environment, and they save you money.  What could be better?

Process of Building Energy Efficient Homes

-Natural Daylight: one square foot of sunlight can light up to 200 square feet of space

-Wind Ventilation: allows air to flow through; the house is built to shield from the northwest wind in the winter, and the windows are placed southwest and southeast to allow for air flow during the summer, spring and fall which cuts the cooling costs down tremendously

-Solar Heating: the building design is to allow the home to be warmed up by the sun during the winter; it is possible to allow a Texas home to be 100 percent heated by the sun in the winter without affecting the cooling process during the hot Texas summers

-Geothermal Heat Pumps: allows you to get more than two dollars of heating and cooling for every one dollar spent in utility bills

-Collecting Rainwater: tanks are installed underneath your gutters to collect the rain, and you can even purify it so that you can drink it if necessary

-“Graywater” Systems: “graywater” comes from bathing or washing clothes, so water that comes from your bathtub, bathroom sink or washer can be used to water your lawn (a bathtub can water up to 300 square yards)

-Xeriscaping: uses plants that have adapted to their environment, such as Texas

-Solar Water heating: this is clean energy and cost effective; makes it possible to reduce your utility bill by 30 percent

-Solar Electricity: photovoltaic cells are attached to your roof, so that the energy received from them can be used to power certain items in your home

-Insulation and Radiant Barrier: these are used for heating and cooling purposes to lower utility costs (look for a builder that uses insulation mice do not like)

Miss Kunze enjoys writing and covers the home building industry.  If you are looking for a good home builder in Texas, check out Dunhill Homes.

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How Do You Save Money When Building a Home? ../how-do-you-save-money-when-building-a-home/ ../how-do-you-save-money-when-building-a-home/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 22:28:41 +0000 Mortgage Refinance Advice ../?p=145 How Do You Save Money When Building a Home? is a post from: Austin Texas Mortgages

Are you thinking about building the house that you’ve been dreaming of all these years? Nothing is impossible, and with a bit of creativity and careful planning, you can save money on the main construction of your house so tha1t you’ll have more for the finishing works. Here are some ways to consider.

1. Use local materials.

If you are building a home, the first thing that you need to do is do some window shopping. See what your community offers. Remember that importing materials from other places is more expensive. Make sure that you also compare prices when visiting builders or hardware stores.

2. Consider using energy-saving materials.

By using energy-efficient materials, you’ll be able to save so much in the long run. For example, using concrete blocks is better than wood in so many ways. For one, concrete blocks offer better insulation. So, when it’s too hot or cold outside, you’ll enjoy more stable temperatures indoors. Another advantage here is that by opting to utilize concrete, you reduce the need for timber, which then aids in protecting forests from illegal logging and deforestation.

3. Opt for affordable but hard-wearing materials.

When building a house, always think long-term when considering the types of materials that you’re going to use. Are you going to build a house made of plywood in an area that’s known for termite infestations, or are you going to consider building a concrete house instead? In case you opt to use wood or wood products, think about what might happen in a few years. What if nasty termites are able to infest your home even after all the termite prevention methods you used? Well, you’ll probably need to do some repairs or replace certain parts of your house. This could be an added financial burden to you. On the other hand, if you use concrete, you’ll have a more durable home that’s safe from termites and many other pests.

4. Plan the structure carefully.

Work with your architect in coming up with a plan for your house. Choose a simple yet classic design that’s easy and cheaper to build. Keep in mind that the more intricate the design or plan is the more difficult and expensive it is to execute. Another vital point in planning is incorporating nature in the design. If you want to save power, for instance, consider having skylights or large windows that will let in more natural light. High-ceilings are also great for ventilation, while cove lighting uses less material and is more energy-efficient as well.

5. Build your home in phases.

Don’t force yourself to go over your budget. If the construction is more expensive that expected, then postpone the construction for awhile. Give yourself time to save money again. Another good idea is to finish the more important structures first, like the foundation, walls, floors and ceiling. You can postpone the finishing works.

6. Go for good quality prefabricated and recycled materials.

Many kinds of prefab materials are available for walls, ceilings, slabs, and others. You can save on labor costs when using these kinds of materials because these are easier and faster to put together. Also, using recycled materials is not only a good way to save money, but it’s also one way of helping the environment.

Claire Campbell is a freelance writer. She is also a home improvement hobbyist who writes for which is the site of a premier home builder in the northwest.

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