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

Friday, May 29, 2009


Shin Oak Realty is now open on Saturdays! There will be a Realtor on duty from 10 am until 3 pm each Saturday. So, if you are out in the area, please stop by!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HUD: Homebuyer Tax Credit Still on Track

News reports that the federal government is backing away from its plan to permit eligible borrowers to monetize the first-time homebuyer tax credit are off the mark, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says.

"The technical details are still being finalized and will soon be published in a mortgagee letter and posted on our Web site," Lemar Wooley, a HUD spokesperson, told REALTOR® magazine Wednesday afternoon.

Under the guidance that's under development, state agencies and other HUD-approved entities would be able to provide short-term bridge loans that households could use to help with their downpayment. The loans would be repaid with the proceeds from the households' federal tax credit.

The loans were announced on the opening day of NAR's 2009 Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., last week. In his announcement, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said guidance would be issued shortly.

When the guidance is released, it is expected to cover eligible lenders and set parameters for loan terms and repayment.

Source: REALTOR® Magazine Online

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Shin Oak Realty has a new location! We are growing and needed more space. We are now located at 2015 Loop 332. The office is situated at the southwest corner of the intersection of SH 29 and CR 200 (Loop 332) here in Liberty Hill. Just look for our new signs and the purple trim paint.

Give us a week to put everything in its place then just stop by and visit. By then we should have located the coffee pot and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Real Estate is still alive and properties are moving in Liberty Hill. Economy has affected our local real estate but it is the best that it is anywhere in the country. Sewer is complete on the north side of SH 29 and Phase 1 is well under construction. The Liberty Hill area is going to expand very quickly in a short period of time. We at Shin Oak Realty are ready to serve you. The team at Shin Oak Realty thank you for letting us help you with your real estate needs in the past and look forward to working with you in the future.

Save the date July 8th for the Shin Oak OPEN HOUSE, plan on coming by for some of the award winning Poor Boys BBQ from 6 to 8PM.

Randy O'Dell, GRI, Broker
Shin Oak Realty
2015 Loop 332, Liberty Hill, Tx 78642


AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – Property foreclosures continue to rise in Central Texas, but the majority were repeat postings by lenders who have stopped short of seizing the homes.

In Travis County, 57 percent of the 441 postings for the June 2 auction were repeats, according to Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service Inc., up from 49 percent in April and 37 percent in March.

Overall, June postings in Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties were up 52 percent from a year ago, the same percentage for the first half of the year.


AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – To encourage sellers and buyers to make their houses more energy efficient, owners of homes older than ten years will soon be required to conduct energy audits on their homes before putting them on the market.

The city ordinance, which takes effect Monday, will not require sellers to make any improvements, but it will require them to disclose the results to prospective buyers.

The ordinance also has provisions for multifamily properties and commercial buildings but does not apply to condominiums or mobile homes. Owners who have made certain improvements under Austin Energy programs in the previous ten years also can disregard the ordinance.

The audits are expected to cost $200 to $300 for a typical home of 1,800 sf or less.
The reports, which will cover issues such as how much insulation the house has and the condition of the heating and cooling equipment, must be done by auditors who are certified by the Building Performance Institute.

Violations of the ordinance will be a Class-C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Monday, May 25, 2009


LAS VEGAS (PBBI) – Texas’ four major metros were among the top five U.S. metropolitan areas most likely to experience quarterly retail sales growth for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010, according to a study by Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI).

Austin was ranked number one, showing consistent healthier growth in gross metro product, personal disposable income and a decline in personal bankruptcies.

Dallas came in third because of positive performance in all of its retail sectors. Projections say that both the drug store and value retail categories will experience comparable sales growth for the next six quarters.

PBBI ranked San Antonio fourth, predicting the city to be a top market in drug store and value retail sectors, sustained by growth in personal expenditures and consistent growth in gross metro product.

Houston was ranked fifth, thanks to strong comparative sales growth in the drug store and high-end retail sectors. PBBI projects that steady employment and gross metro product will keep Houston in a relatively good position in the value retail sector.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shin Oak Realty is moving to a new location!

Thats right!! Shin Oak Realty is moving our office to 2015 Loop 332, Liberty Hill. Basically, we are near the intersection of Hwy 29 & CR 200 - across Hwy 29 from Winkley's! Stop by for a cup of coffee, free local information or just to check out the new place!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Prime Commercial Property in Liberty Hill!

2.5 acres at the corner of Loop 332 and Carl Shipp. Road frontage on 2 sides with high visability to Hwy 29. Across from Lion's Foundation Park, Liberty Hill Public Library, Fire Department. Close to schools, local businesses and easy access to Hwy 29. Priced to sell at under $2.50 per foot - won't last long at this price!

Sports Complex Planned for Round Rock

The City of Round Rock plans to build an approximately 60,000 sq. ft. indoor sports facility to support the Convention and Visitors Bureau's tourism marketing effort to brand Round Rock the Sports Capital of Texas. The location of the sports complex could be on a tract of land near Cypress Semiconductor and McNeil Park.

-Impact More...

Transportation Update - Williamson County

Central Texas transportation agencies are adjusting their long-range planning strategies this year to reflect the needs of a region that has been reshaped by rapid growth and accelerated economic development. As Austin and its surrounding communities have become increasingly interconnected over the last decade, agency leaders are working to create systems that will enhance urban mobility and support an emergent commuter population. More...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Things are hopping in Williamson County!! Hot off the presses - the Stats for Homes sold in Williamson County last week are 156! From what I can see, that is the highest number of home sold in 1 week for atleast the last 6 months!

Buc-ees is coming to town!

Have you heard? Rumor has it that a Buc-ee's Store is coming to Liberty Hill! It will be near Hwy 29 @ Parmar / Ronald Reagan Blvd. Never been to a Buc-ee's? Well, you just have to go once it opens! They have fresh jerky, cheeze, and all the jams, jellies, and pickled items that you can imagine!! It is a neat convenience store - and I must say, typically they have the CLEANEST bathrooms in the area! If I ever go thru a town that has a Buc-ee's, you can bet I feel comfortable taking my kids there on a potty break! I can't wait!

Bringing the Dream of Homeownership Within Reach

As part of its plan to stimulate the U.S. housing market and address the economic challenges facing our nation, Congress has passed legislation that grants a tax credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers.

Here is more information about how the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit can help prospective home buyers become part of the American dream.

Who Qualifies?
First-time home buyers who purchase homes between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.
To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

Which Properties Are Eligible?
The 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

How Much Will the Credit Be?
The maximum allowable credit for home buyers is $8,000. Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by two factors:
The price of the home—the credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to $8,000.
The buyer's income—single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000—may receive the maximum tax credit.

If the Buyer(s)’ Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?
Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $75,000 and $95,000 for single buyers and between $150,000 and $170,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $95,000 for singles and over $170,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?
No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during the three-year period, the credit will be recouped on the sale.

Here is some additional information that was not included in the above article:
Please visit,,id=204671,00.html for addtional details from the IRS / Government about the Tax Credit.

Monday, May 11, 2009


SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – In a sign that the credit crisis might be beginning to thaw in Texas, JPMorgan Chase reported Wednesday that it issued more than 300,000 new loans and lines of credit totaling $6.4 billion during the first three months of 2009.
The bank awarded $2.4 billion for 12,826 home mortgages, up 24 percent from the previous quarter.

JPMorgan Chase also made $182 million worth of loans to 473 small businesses and $1.7 billion in new and renewed credit to midsized businesses, large companies and other agencies.


HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – With roughly $35 billion in sales expected this year,
Texas restaurants could lead the industry in growth, according to the National Restaurant Association.

That figure represents a 4 percent increase in sales year-over-year. That's down from 5.6 percent sales growth in 2008 but almost double the 2.5 percent nationally expected increase.
“Even in these tough economic times, it is clear that the Texas restaurant industry is the best place to do business in the nation,” said Richie Jackson, executive vice president and chief executive of the Texas Restaurant Association.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Moving to Texas?

Here is a great article from Lots of good information if you are interested in Moving to Texas . If you're thinking about moving to Texas, here's a guide to get you started. Read more

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Looking for a new home? Intersted in what Ranches are currently for sale? Have a mortage or lender question?

Visit for answers to all your Real Estate questions!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


NEW YORK ( – March pending home sales increased from February numbers and from March 2008, indicating that buyers think now is a good time to buy a house.

The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a 3.2 percent gain to 84.6 from February, when it was 82. The index stands 1.6 percent higher than a year ago.

The index is understood to be a forward indicator of home sales trends as it measures contracts signed, not completed sales. The uptick may indicate that home prices have fallen low enough for buyers to get off the fence.

"If inventory goes down — it's at just under ten months now — to below eight months, that would mean we're on the way to a sustainable recovery," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that trend may be happening. Realtors and other industry insiders are seeing rising open house attendance and multiple bids on some particularly desirable properties.

Today, buyers are more likely to bid because they perceive the market as at or near its bottom. An April Gallup Poll reported that 71 percent of Americans thought it was a good time to buy a house.

The South saw the largest gain of any region, with pending home sales jumping 8.5 percent from February to March. Pending sales were 7.7 percent higher in March compared with the same month a year ago.


HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – Thirty-year mortgage rates fell to 4.78 percent Friday, hitting their lowest level since Freddie Mac started tracking rates in 1970.

Adjustable-rate mortgages also eased, but one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages are averaging rates nearly the same as 30-year fixed rates, at 4.77 percent.

Freddie Mac officials reported borrowers who refinanced their mortgages in the first quarter reduced their combined mortgage payments by about $2.5 billion over the coming year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Ties Record Low

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Ties Record Low
Posted by PRESS ROOM 05/01/09 10:16 AM EST

(MCLEAN, VA) -- Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.78 percent with an average 0.7 point ... Read More