Austin Realty Group



Posted by Austin Realty Group on 7/27/2021

The thought of private well ownership grows increasingly attractive as the cost of municipal water skyrockets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), residential homes use upwards of 82 gallons daily at an average annual cost that may exceed $1,000.

Installing a private well typically involves an upfront cost that differs significantly from state to state. But after the well has been drilled and water flows freely through the house, maintenance and upkeep drop household expenses to a few hundred dollars per year. These attractive benefits, coupled with eliminating reliance on municipal resources, sometimes prompt property owners to leap before they look.

If you are considering drilling a private well, these are things you should know before breaking ground.

1: What are the Well-Placement Regulations?

Zoning and building code regulations typically require property owners to position a well away from roadways, abutters and septic fields, among others. A typical setback from the street may require upwards of 100 feet. That distance may also apply to the safe distance from greywater fields and sewage holding tanks. The conventional wisdom stems from avoiding drinking water contamination.

One requirement that sometimes gets skipped or passed over involves placement concerning abutting properties. Cities, towns and counties may have a hard-and-fast rule about property line distances. But one measurement that too often gets overlooked includes the distance from a neighbor's septic system. Drilling a well without accounting for safe and regulated distances could cause the project failing inspection.

2: What Do You and Abutter Put into the Soil?

It’s not uncommon for residential property owners to use a wide range of products to maintain a robust landscape. But items such as lawn fertilizer and weed killers often include toxins. When the potable water comes from underground municipal pipes, minimal risk of contamination exists. But that changes when someone gets off the local water system. The EPA ranks the following among the most common well water hazards.

  • Microorganisms
  • Nitrate & nitrite
  • Heavy Metals
  • Fluoride
  • Radionuclide
  • Organic Chemicals

Homeowners who plan to transition to private well water may want to consider taking an inventory of potentially toxic agents they leverage. Whatever goes down the drain or lands on the topsoil can end up in the drinking water.

3: What Depth Should the Well Reach?

An issue that few property owners consider involves well depth. Conventional thinking revolves around hitting sand-free water and wiring the pumping system. But a more robust and secure aquifer may reside deeper. That’s one reason property owners work with well-drilling professionals. A deeper well may prove invaluable when droughts occur.

With some due diligence, property owners can enjoy all the benefits of low-cost clean drinking water. Investing in a private well also minimizes reliance on quasi-governmental outfits.





Posted by Austin Realty Group on 7/20/2021

Everyone defines the term "quality of life" differently, but if you asked 100 people, you'd probably hear a lot of similar answers.

According to a Gallup study entitled "The State of American Well-Being," the  basis for a good quality of life includes having a sense of purpose, feeling good about what you do every day, having supportive relationships, being motivated to achieve your goals, being able to effectively manage your finances, having the energy and health to pursue your interests, and sharing a sense of community pride. Feeling safe and liking where you live were also key ingredients in the formula for a high quality of life .

The Gallup/Sharecare report focuses on several aspects of community life, such as the role local governments play in offering amenities and resources to citizens. The study concluded that "communities that invest in active living, including bike paths, parks, walkability and public transit, have residents with better health and well-being outcomes."

While factors such as the quality of school districts and low crime rates are often foremost in the minds of house hunters, there's also a lot to be said for communities that offer public recreational facilities, educational programs, cultural events, and services that promote health, safety, and a clean environment.

Advantages that can help make one community more desirable and family friendly than another can range from free outdoor concerts and public tennis courts to the availability of farmers' markets and clean, updated playgrounds. Other features which can positively impact the quality of life in a community include well-maintained roads and bridges, the availability of dog parks, community parades, and programs to encourage the proper disposal of drugs, electronics, household chemicals, and recyclable products.

At the neighborhood level, quality of life is often measured by factors like noise, the condition of nearby properties, the overall safety and security of the area, and the amount of street traffic. Clean air, mature trees, and friendly neighbors can also contribute to a wholesome living environment that can be enjoyed for generations.

While there are many advantages to designing your own home or buying new construction, one might need to make short-term sacrifices when it comes to things like noise, neighborhood aesthetics, and other temporary inconveniences. Your real estate agent or home builder can probably fill you in on things like construction timetables and project completion dates.

If you're in the market for a new home, it's always a good idea to clarify in your own mind what you and your family needs to feel comfortable, happy, and secure. Creating a priority list of needs, desires, and preferences not only helps you stay focused in your real estate search, but also increases the probability that you'll be satisfied with your new home on a long-term basis.





Posted by Austin Realty Group on 7/13/2021

Professionals bring the commercial-grade tools and years of experience to deliver the quality upgrades people desire. Although you and your contractor may work in different industries, written agreements help clarify the duties and expectations.

One of the pitfalls of enlisting a contractor comes from miscommunication. This can lead to disagreements about the scope, details, and costs. By including the following things in your home renovation contract, you can ensure everyone is on the same page.

1: Renovation Project Description

A construction contract should always include a detailed description of the project. It's also wise to note every duty the contractor agrees to perform. When the project description identifies the following items and others specific to the work, disputes can be avoided.

      • Materials: The specific materials should be identified in the agreement.
    • Products: Dimensions, brands and quality of product considerations should be indicated in writing.
    • Tasks: Each facet of the project you expect the construction company to complete should be spelled out. Don't assume the contractor will do the demolition work unless it is outlined in the contract.
    • Permitting: Building permits typically cost money. Make sure you're clear about who pays those fees and secures the permits.
    • Debris: Construction debris typically cannot be disposed of in the weekly trash pickup. Include who will handle this phase including transportation to a landfill.

    2: Payment Schedule

    Many contractors won't begin a job before you pay a deposit. That money may go toward start-up expenses or materials. It's not unusual for construction professionals to work a deal in which they charge for labor and the homeowners put materials and products on their account. This can sometimes cause confusion over total payment amounts. Make sure your contract includes these details to avoid confusion and more serious ramifications.

    3: A Clause That Waives Liens

    What happens if a worker claims they were not paid despite the fact you fulfilled your financial obligations? While uncommon, this situation can happen unless you include a "lien waiver" in your contract. This process uses invoices that indicate all crew members were paid from the previous disbursement. Once the contractor signs it, you can rest easier with this legal protection in place.

    4: Consider An Exit Strategy

    Sometimes homeowners and contractors discover they don't work well together. If this issue arises, a smartly crafted renovation contract allows the property owner to void the agreement without penalty. This section should outline how much the contractor gets paid based on completed work, materials and labor. Having an exit strategy could also prove useful if you suffer a financial shortfall and cannot afford to move forward.

    Although some people feel that contracts are based on mistrust, they are an essential part of the construction business. Honest and well-meaning people sometimes miscommunicate or make assumptions the other person might not. A well-thought-out renovation contract helps good people remain friends when the job is done.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Austin Realty Group on 7/6/2021

If you've always dreamed of owning a house, there is no need to wait to enter the real estate market. In fact, there are many reasons to kick off a house search today, and these include:

1. You can upgrade from your current residence.

If you live with family members or friends or rent an apartment, buying a home may represent an upgrade. Because when you purchase a residence, you can reap the benefits of having your very own living space.

There is no shortage of high-quality houses available in cities and towns nationwide. Regardless of whether you prefer the comfort of small town living or the hustle and bustle of city life, you can check out a broad range of houses at your convenience. Then, you can discover your dream residence, submit an offer to purchase it and move one step closer to making your homeownership dream come true.

2. Many home financing options are available.

One of the biggest issues that often prevents people from pursuing homes is a lack of financing. Fortunately, banks and credit unions offer a variety of mortgage options designed for individuals of all incomes.

Whether it's a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage, you're sure to find a mortgage option that complements your finances perfectly. Plus, banks and credit unions are ready to teach you everything you need to know about different types of mortgages. And if you are unsure about how a mortgage works or which mortgage option to choose, friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists are available to assist you.

3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.

Let's face it buying a home can be a daunting task, particularly for an individual who is entering the real estate market for the first time. The sheer volume of top-notch houses sometimes makes it tough to differentiate a good home from a great one. Meanwhile, navigating the homebuying process can be stressful, and challenges may arise that make it difficult for a homebuyer to achieve his or her desired results.

If you enter the housing market today, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. This housing market professional will offer expert insights into all aspects of the homebuying journey. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure that you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Of course, a real estate agent will help you map out a successful homebuying strategy too. He or she will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you plan accordingly. And if you have concerns or questions at any point during the property buying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them.

Launch a home search today you'll be glad you did. If you pursue your dream home with help from a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Austin Realty Group on 6/29/2021


Your real estate agent will ready your description for listing. But only you know your home the way its next owner will come to know it. Here's how to give your realtor that knowledge. 

Meet Your Buyer Through Your Home Description

Many descriptions have similar text, and could apply to a whole neighborhood. Buyers want an idea of what it's like to live in your home. What's your home's relationship to the neighborhood's best perks? For example: What grocery store is within walking distance? Can the route be enjoyably walked? 

Each home, no matter how modest, has unique traits that will endear it to the right home shopper. Sure, talk up that kitchen renovation or your new AC, if you have them. But personalize the heart of your description: 

  • Does a south-facing window stream glorious sunshine into your home every day? 
  • Does your garden attract butterflies and bees from season to season?  

You get the picture. So paint it. Let that perfect audience respond, "Wow. This sounds perfect for me." 

What Not to Say When Describing Your Home for Sale

Omit basic data from your description (footage, bedrooms, baths). Those facts already appear in the listing fields. Use your word limit to show off your home's personality instead. At the same time, avoid anything that could oversell your home's features. Be charming, yet be real!

Avoid generalizations. If a certain room is unusually spacious, point that out. Overall, though, your footage and listing price speak for themselves. Rather than announcing an "updated" kitchen or bathroom, specify the enhancement. Let your potential buyers quickly grasp the value of the work you've done.

Avoid even the appearance of exclusivity. Sellers' language, by law, must not discourage buyers on account of their of nationality, race or religion, disability, gender or family status. 

Finally, check your description for errors or overused words. Thoughtfulness is the key.

Ready to List, With a Description That Intrigues 

Remember to connect the home to its surrounding benefits. Does the property have a nearby walking and cycling trail? Is it near a wonderful park or farmers' market?

As for the interior, think of the aspects that aren't obvious in your photos. Does the new, granite countertop have ogee edges? Is the floor stone imported from Italy? Specify brand names and materials. Your realtor can tag your photos with features, engaging the visual buyer. 

What's next? Your real estate agent will handle all final edits, ready the listing, and intrigue that perfect buyer!