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Flood Changes in Austin, TX

Ever heard of Atlas 14? Probably not, but you might this fall.

Due to the increased frequency of heavy rains, storms, and flooding in the Austin area, a study called Atlas 14 was conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Atlas-14 shows a roughly 33% increase in the amount of rain that could fall in Austin within a 24-hour period. As a result, properties in close proximity to the city’s creeks are exposed to greater flood risks.

What does this mean for Austin residents?

In October, the City Council will vote on whether to implement Atlas 14’s recommendation to redraw the flood maps for Austin.

If approved, homeowners who currently own property located in a 500-year floodplain may be re-zoned to a 100-year floodplain, those in a 100-year may be re-zoned to a 25-year, and those not in a floodplain could enter one.

Flood plains are determined by the likelihood that a storm with high rainfall intensity could happen in any given year. A 25-year storm has a 4% chance of occurring each year; a 100-year storm has a 1% chance of occurring, and a 500-year storm has a 0.2% chance.

If your home is rezoned to fall in a 100-year or 25-year floodplain, your insurance provider will likely be contacting you to require that you add flood insurance to your home insurance policy. If your home is not currently in a floodplain but is rezoned to fall in one, you may want to consider purchasing flood insurance voluntarily, just to be on the safe side.

How to check if your home could be affected by rezoning:

  1. Visit this website and click the “I want to” button, followed by “explore Atlas 14 changes”
  2. Learn more by reading this article by Austin’s Community Impact magazine
  3. Read more here on austintexas.gov

 

I’d love to be your resource for all things real estate, so please contact me any time!

April 29, 2019

Buy | Resources | Sell

Interest Rates are Rising – What it Means for You

If you’re someone who reads the paper or watches the news, you’ve probably heard about Fed hikes and interest rates. If those terms don’t ring a bell, no worries! Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates at the end of September for the third time this year.

2. As a result of the rate hike, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped to 4.88%, the highest it’s been since 2011.

3. Interest rates are still historically low, but those looking to buy should think about locking in a rate soon. Financial institutions are predicting rates of 5% or higher by the end of 2019.

4. Rising interest rates means sellers may need to adjust their expectations on sale prices as buyer’s budgets decrease to compensate.

If you have questions on buying or selling a home, how interest rates affect you, or want to learn more about housing in Austin, please reach out!

October 18, 2018

Resources | Sell

Home Renovations that Pay Off

Whether selling a home, planning renovations or looking to buy, it’s smart to know which upgrades are worthwhile.

If selling, smart upgrades can be the difference between boosting the sales price a few extra thousand dollars or wasting precious pennies that could go into a new home. When house hunting, being able to spot a hidden gem that just needs some TLC can save you money while also giving you an opportunity to earn equity after closing.

If you’re in the market, here are some ways to get a higher return on your property investment.

1. Front Door Replacement

Replacing a builder grade door with a steel door not only boosts the curb appeal of your home, but also offers financial rewards. A steel door can reduce draftiness and cold spots, saving you money on electricity every month. Depending on the door you choose, it’s possible to also increase your home’s security with multi-point locking and other protection features.

2. Minor Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

For kitchens and bathrooms that lean towards the “dated” side, a minor makeover is worthwhile. New counters and flooring, stainless steel energy efficient appliances, and a mid-priced sink and faucet can go a long way.

3. Deck Addition

One of the top perks of home ownership is having private outdoor space. Adding a deck is a smart addition to gain extra living square footage. When it comes time to sell, it also helps prospective buyers visualize living in their new space.

4. Landscaping

First impressions are important, and the outside of your home is the first thing a buyer sees. Tasteful landscaping, power washing siding, and fresh paint can all help a house look more inviting.

Whether you’re selling a home or renovating for personal use, consider which improvements are necessary, and which will give you the highest return. Consult a real estate professional to find out what most buyers are looking for, and to see how your home measures up to the rest of the neighborhood.

I’d love to be your resource for all things real estate and would be happy to provide a free price estimate for your current home.

May 25, 2018

Buy | Resources | Sell

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

In Austin, rain showers bring spring flowers much sooner than April and May, and Spring is almost upon us! Homeowners should ideally follow a quarterly house care checklist to keep your property in great condition year-round. If this slipped your mind, here’s a few spring home maintenance tips to take care of before the summer.

1. Replace Roof Shingles

Yes, you read that right. Grab a ladder, or have a handyman come out to check the roof shingles in case any were lost, cracked, loose or damaged during winter storms or snow. In hotter climates, the summer sun can also damage roof shingles. Depending on the age of your home, it may be smart to start a ‘new roof’ budget for when it needs replacing.

2. Drain the Gutters

Look for any loose or leaky gutters by running a hose on the roof to check for proper drainage. Pull out any leaves and debris resting in the gutters and use caulk or epoxy to seal any leaks. If gutters are pulling away from the house, reattach them.

3. Keep a Level Foundation

Inspect concrete, masonry, and foundation walls for cracking or deterioration. If you’re able to insert a nickel into any cracks, call a professional immediately. Consider power washing and sealing slabs as necessary.

4. Pressure Wash Siding

Clean the siding of your home with a pressure washer to prevent mold form growing. Sand and apply primer to any exposed wood before re-painting. For brick exteriors, keep an eye out for moss growth by using a scrub brush or pressure wash to clean. Stone siding should also be washed annually and sealed every 5 years.

5. Walk the Yard

Rain can cause flooding in yards, which can lead to insect infestation and foundation damage. Fill any low areas with compacted soil to keep things level. Additionally, trim any overgrowth away from the home’s foundation.

6. Test Faucets and Sprinklers

Test all outdoor faucets and sprinklers for leaks, low water flow (indicates freezing) and broken spouts.

7. Inspect Window and Door Sills

Keep your home energy efficient, and your electric bills low! Inspect all exterior doors and windows. Fill any cracks, caulk the edges, and if need be purchase replacements.

8. Service the AC and Heating Unit

The last thing anyone needs in a Texas summer is a broken A/C unit. Have a licensed contractor clean and service the outside of the unit as well as the coils and interior filters. Clean units operate more efficiently and this annual service will keep your home cool and in top shape for the summer heat.

March 5, 2018