There is a brand new ruling whereby the 91 day wait period to flip a property also applies to USDA loans now. Up until now it only applied to FHA loans. If you are writing a contract for a buyer who is getting FHA or USDA financing be sure the seller has owned the property for at least 91 days. This time frame begins from the date of recording – not closing or funding.
The home of the future doesn’t include Jetson-style hovercraft or robotic maids — yet — but there are some key changes worth looking for if you’re a builder.
Based on responses to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), here are some ways in which builders can expect homes to change by as early as 2015:
* Single-family homes will get smaller (74 percent of respondents said).
* Homes will have more “green” features (68 percent).
* Homes will have more technology features (29 percent).
* Homes will have more universal access features (20 percent).
* Homes will have more outdoor living features, such as kitchens and fireplaces (10 percent).
* The average home size will be roughly 2,150 sf.
* Living rooms will merge with other spaces in the home (52 percent), vanish to save on square footage (30 percent), or become a parlor/retreat/library or music room (13 percent).
* If the living room doesn’t vanish, it will likely decrease in size (76 percent).
* Also downsizing are the entry foyer (66 percent) and dining room (63 percent).
* Features “very likely” to be included in a new home in 2015 include a kitchen-living room combo (“great room”), walk-in closet in master bedroom, laundry room and two-car garage.
* “Unlikely” features include three or more bathrooms, mudroom, unheated porch, dining room, skylights, three-car garage, four or more bedrooms, media room and two master bedroom suites.
* Home buyers are “somewhat likely” to want universal design features such as step-less entries, three-foot-wide doorways and four-foot-wide hallways, step-less showers that have seating, non-slip floor surfaces and grab bars in bathrooms.
* People seem likely to lavish more attention on the kitchen, ensuring that room will keep its status as the home’s social center. Survey respondents said they are “very likely” to want double sinks, recessed lighting, table space for eating and breakfast bars. They’re “somewhat likely” to want a central island, walk-in pantry, recycling center and desk/computer area.
I see the same trends in home buying.
The numbers are out for the first quarter for the top 10 spots in the nation that have experienced rent rate increases. Austin is No. 7 on the list. While this not good news for those that lease, such as our large student population, it is good news for existing landlords and those looking to invest in Austin. Read the article from the Austin Business Journal. I would have to caution my seller’s that this does not mean they can raise their asking price, it is only a 1% increase.
Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program
The state of Texas received more than $23 million in federal stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish and administer an Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program — the first of its kind in Texas. The Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program encourages consumers to replace old (but functional) appliances with new, energy efficient, ENERGY STAR® or CEE qualified models to stimulate the Texas economy and increasing energy conservation efforts in Texas.
More information will be added to the texaspowerfulsmart.org website in the coming weeks…
Texas residents with a valid Texas residential address qualify for a rebate if they follow all program rules. You must replace an older, functional appliance for a new ENERGY STAR or CEE qualified model to receive a rebate check. You can qualify for one rebate per appliance category (for instance, you may not qualify for two refrigerator rebates), two appliance rebates per household and two recycling bonus rebates per household from the eligible appliance list. Appliances must be purchased from a Texas retail location or contractor. Online purchases are not eligible. All payments will be mailed to the residential address, with no exceptions. P.O. Boxes are not accepted without a street address.
How to Request a Rebate: RESERVE & PURCHASE
RESERVATION PERIOD: Begins April 5, 2010
• Consumers will have an opportunity to RESERVE an appliance rebate by calling a toll-free number or registering online from this Web site starting on April 5, 2010. Exact start time to be announced the week of March 29, 2010.
• Texas anticipates high interest in this program, and rebate reservations will go quickly. When all of the guaranteed rebates are reserved, consumers may continue to sign up for a waiting list to request rebates. Though placement on the waitlist is not a guarantee of a rebate reservation, rebate applications from waitlist participants will be processed in the order they are received pending available funds.
• Consumers must provide their name, address and appliance category when requesting a reservation. After providing this information, you will receive a rebate application form and will immediately know whether you have a reservation or a waitlist request.
PURCHASE PERIOD: Begins April 16, 2010
Consumers should PURCHASE their appliances starting April 16, 2010. For refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers and room air conditioners, the purchase period ends April 25, 2010. Because purchases may occur at the time of installation for central air conditioners, hot water heaters and air-source heat pumps, these products should be purchased between April 16, 2010 and up to 60 days from the rebate reservation or waitlist request date. The appliance table below also provides specific purchase periods for each eligible appliance category.
All appliances MUST be installed and the rebate form(s), copy of receipt and supporting documentation must be postmarked within 60 days from the rebate reservation or waitlist request date.
NOTE: The rebate program will not apply to any purchases made prior to April 16, 2010.
Eligible Appliances, Amounts & Timelines
To learn specific requirements for each appliance category with links to qualifying models, see our detailed list of Appliance Rebate Amounts & Specifications.
*Depending on appliance type and energy efficiency of model purchased; reservation will be held for the highest amount.
The Comptroller’s State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) will be working with retailers and recycling facilities to create a system to help consumers replace functional old appliances and recycle them where available for a $75 bonus rebate.
If you are an appliance retailer or contractor who offers recycling services, please see our Retailers/Contractors section.
While consumers are awaiting additional program details, below are some helpful links.
ENERGY STAR Web site
This just off the press from RECON in Texas–
AUSTIN (Marcus & Millichap) – The prospect of a shallow economic downturn has restored developer optimism in Austin, resulting in a leap in supply this year that will hamper property operations in older assets, according to the 2010 National Retail Report by Marcus & Millichap.
Although anchors are in place at most new developments, including the 500,000-sf Domain II, lenders continue to show restraint when considering small business loans, limiting owners’ ability to fill in-line space.
“Sidelined investors with capital are poised to re-enter the retail market, although significant activity is not anticipated until mid 2010, when a pricing floor will emerge,” said J. Michael Watson, regional manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Austin office.
Some findings from the Austin Retail Research Report:
Employers will increase payrolls by 2.5 percent, or 19,100 jobs, in 2010.
Developers are projected to add 1.6 million square feet of retail space to the market this year, more than double deliveries in 2009.
After a 40 basis point rise last year, vacancy is expected to push up 50 basis points to 10 percent by year-end 2010.
In 2010, asking rents are forecast to retreat 1.3 percent to $19.68 per sf, while effective rents will slip 4.1 percent to $17.12 per sf.
Residents asked to help Austin vie for Google fiber – Austin Business Journal:. Speak up and often all Austinites. Imagine the possibilities if Google selects Austin as the test site.