We had a great turnout at the ABoR Forum: Navigating a Tough Market. Guest panelists Daniel Gonzalez (Texas Association of REALTORS®), John Schutze (Supreme Lending), and Terry Mitchell (Momark Development) gave their insights on the critical housing issues facing Central Texas today.
Moreover, they discussed how these issues are impacting REALTORS®, their clients, and consumers, and shared what REALTORS® need to know to navigate the market, offering guidance and resources so REALTORS® have what they need to provide excellent client service.
Among the topics discussed by Daniel Gonzalez, John Schutze, and Terry Mitchell on critical housing issues facing Central Texas, the following evoked the most discussion:
Austin has started to get creative with offering more affordable housing options, but we’ve only scratched the surface in trying to accommodate the area’s exponential growth. “Affordable housing” is just one option. You may have seen around Austin the increase of smaller property developments. Terry Mitchell shared how these smaller units are popping up throughout urban areas to accommodate homebuyers who may not be able to afford property in these areas otherwise. He lead a discussion on density housing design, and mentioned how Austin needs to promote a better Land Development Code to allow for alternate types of density housing.
We all know transportation is a nightmare in the Austin area. Most recently consumers have started factoring in transportation during their home search. People want to be close to work, school, and retail, and REALTORS® have started using technology and apps like INRIX DriveTime to find clients listings that have a reasonable commute times around Austin. Terry discussed how Downtown Austin has the densest amount of jobs in the Austin-area, and there’s still not enough housing to accommodate the people that want to live close to work.
Mixed-use developments are an option (especially in the downtown area) to help consumers with their commute times. They not only get to live close to work, but close to retail and entertainment as well. Momark Development is focusing on building mixed-use developments one mile from dense areas like downtown. It’s definitely something for REALTORS® to keep in mind.
Other new developments on the radar
Daniel Gonzalez announced that the SH 183/SH 71 interchange would be undergoing construction to facilitate transportation in and out of Austin from neighboring areas like Bastrop. Daniel encouraged REALTORS® to stay abreast on property developments in that corridor saying, “This area is something to look out for.”
Other tips and takeaways:
TRID – The general response to the changes in the closing process are positive. John Schutz remarked, “Clients love it.” The process is simplistic and efficient. Homebuyers are more knowledgeable more than ever before on what to expect at closing.
Appraisals – With all the changes in the mortgage industry and subsequently the appraisal industry, the impact on the real estate industry has been significant. Because of this impact, it is necessary for REALTORS® to understand appraisals front and back. ABoR helps members learn about appraisals and stay up-to-date on the latest changes to the appraisals process. Appraisal Basics is offered at ABoR several times a year at a discounted rate of $27 for members and is worth 3 CEs.
Have you already taken Appraisal Basics and want to go to the next level?
Join us on March 17 for Fight Texas Tax Appraisal and Win. Login to your account, find the class under “Browse classes”, and sign up today.
Down Payments – Consumers might be reluctant to purchase a home at this time because they don’t have the down payment. ABoR offers members a great tool for members to use to assist clients with this called Down Payment Resource (DPR). Members can search by area and see if any down payment options are available. There will be some clients that may not be interested in assistance, but it’s still important for REALTORS® to offer DPR as an option anyway.
Join us at our upcoming forums
March 23: Broker Forum: Danger Report
April 27: Fair Housing
Registration details are forthcoming. Stay tuned to the blog and ABoR communications for more information.