Shin Oak Realty is a full service Real Estate office specializing in the Central Texas Real Estate market.
Our Team: Randy O'Dell, Suzy Bates, Candice O'Dell, Bradley "BJ" O'Dell & Barbara Childers

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Loose your owners manual?

I came across this article on a Realtor website this morning, and thought I would pass it along. I will definitely be adding this website to my favorites!!

Did you lose the directions?
User's manuals can seem like overkill when you buy a new product—all those pages about complicated features you'll never try and troubleshooting tips you'll never need. Then your digital camera won't talk to your PC, and you can't find that "useless" manual. Don't tear apart your filing cabinet or desk looking for it. Go to and search among thousands of user's manuals for appliances, electronic devices, cars, and more. You can even create a free user account and save manuals for your products for easy access in the future.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Median Sales Price of Home up 7%

Cruising thur the Austin Board of REALTORS website today, I came across some intersting statistics. For the Austin area in May (Liberty Hill, Williamson Co, etc are all part of this board), the median price of home homes has increased 7% over May 2007. And although less homes sold in May '08 then May '07, the prices are increasing, and there are more homes on the market.

Also, I received an e-mail from the Williamson County Association of REALTORS with the following information:

"Median home price: +6.4% Unemployment: 3.6% (from 3.8%) Key growth: Natural resources and construction, +5.1%; leisure and hospitality, +5.3% One of the hippest cities in the country has one of the lowest unemployment rates. The Austin region is home to Dell, and many tech companies from Apple to Sun Microsystems also maintain a significant presence. One difference between "Silicon Hills," as some call Austin's tech sector, and Silicon Valley? In Austin, the median home price is still under $200,000. -Forbes "

Just thought you might like to see the story the numbers are telling. This is a great time to buy real estate. If you have ever considered purchasing a 2nd home or possibly an investment property, now is the time to do it! Let me hear from you!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tax Appraisal - did you get yours yet?

I came across this article on (Channel 42 / CBS) and thought it was worth passing along. If you have received your Williamson County Tax Appraisal for next year, and you are interested in protesting, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We will be glad to assist you with this task - all you have to do it call! Our office hours are M-F 8-5 PM. Saturdays, Sundays, and evenings by appointment. 512-515-6565

Austin - Travis County mailed its latest property appraisals, outraging some homeowners who tell us they are too high. So, property owners are flooding appraisal district offices to protest.Austin resident Ryan Hoke and his wife enjoy evening walks around their Scofield Farms neighborhood. But when the county sent them the property appraisal for their home, they didn't enjoy that."My reaction was you know this is definitely too high. You know it's a huge difference but it was enough I felt like it was worth my time to protest it," says Ryan Hoke. Hoke isn't alone. Hundreds are heading to the appraisal office demanding to meet with the review board. They say something must be wrong because the appraisals are higher than ever.Austin resident Larry Weisinger says, "Oh my goodness it was about heart failure. It was double the value of what we spent on building the home." Weisinger fought his appraisal and won. "They went up about over 400%."Patty Miller is a school teacher and paying much more in taxes would break her budget. She protested her appraisal and won. "I did a lot of looking into property that was selling in my area." Austin grew by an estimated 30,000 people last year. Travis County Chief Appraiser Patrick Brown tells CBS 42 News it's why property values are up. Brown says neighborhoods are seeing a “Mc-Plosion” of “Mc-Mansions” which is another reason."I think as long as job growth is fairly consistent and as long as we got new residents moving in the values will continue to trend up," says Brown.Nobody we talked to wants their property taxes to go up but at the same time they don't want their property value to go down.Unlike a lot of the country, property values in Austin are up, not down. For the 2008 tax year we're told you can expect to see your home value rise almost 12%.Compared to other Texas cities Brown says Austin property tax appraisals are competitive. The appraisal district says the average home price in Travis County is $285,000.
Copyright 2008, Four Points Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Summer Cooling Tips

I received this e-mail from Beverly Polynaik with Old Republic Home Warranty and thought it was worth passing on.

Summer’s here, and energy costs are rising! Here is some timely information to help you keep your cool and save money on your energy bills this summer.
Cooling Tips
· Whole–house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. They are effective when operated at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.
· Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
· Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
· Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
· Don’t place lamps or a TV set near your air–conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
· Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units without blocking the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
· Keep in mind that increasing insulation and sealing air leaks will help your energy performance in the summertime by keeping the cool air inside.
$$ Long-Term Savings Tips:
· If your air conditioner is old, consider purchasing a new, energy–efficient model. You could save up to 50% on your utility bill for cooling. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels.
· Consider installing a whole house fan or evaporative cooler if appropriate for your climate.Tips courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. For more information, please visit EERE: Energy Savers Home Page.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Williamson Co Real Estate Statistics

I got an interesting e-mail from the Williamson County Assocation of Realtors (WCAOR) a few days ago and wanted to pass along a few stats:

Number of Homes Sold (wk of 5/25): 172 (we are still waiting for the final count - this number might rise)
Number of Homes Sold (wk of 4/47): 226
Does that look like a housing slump to you? Things are selling in Williamson County!! That is the number of homes sold for that week - not the entire month!

The number of new home listings for the week of June 1st was 289, and that is with in 15 (or so) homes of the listing numbers for the 1st week of May and April.

The number of listings continues to rise - but fairly proportionate to the number of homes selling each week. We do have a great selection of homes and properties on the market - are you ready to take that next step and start looking?

Despite what we hear in the national news (and I emphisize national), the market in our area is still a strong market for Real Estate. There are new lender options coming about almost daily - they are loosening up again, and lenders are ready to work with buyers again. Now is also a great time to purchase an investment property - there are some wonderful options on the market!

OPEN HOUSE 2715 Greenlee

I am doing an open house this coming Sunday, June 22nd from 2-5 PM at an adorable home in Block House Creek, Leander. This home is just beautiful! It has designer paint colors, extensive crown molding, boxed out windows, 2" faux wood blinds, laminate wood floors. Plus it is in a nice neighborhood with 2 in-ground pools, clubhouse, hiking trails, play ground with an in-community elementary school. Close to all the "new" stuff coming to Leander - Lowe's, Kohls, 1869 Ranch (shopping development). Come by and take a look at this well kept home!