July 5, 2016

Appraisals in Austin Real Estate

512-297- 3442 – www.LetsMoveAustin.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists.


Appraisals in Austin Real Estate


One important part of the real estate transaction that is often misunderstood or

overlooked by buyers and sellers is the appraisal. This key step in the purchase

process happens virtually behind the scenes, well after the initial negotiation and

the home inspection are over, so it is somewhat understandable that both parties

are focused on the myriad of other details involved with moving. But a good

Realtor is not going to take their eyes off this very important step in the

transaction. Because if a mortgage is involved, the property must appraise at or

above the sales price in the contract in order to protect the mortgage lender’s

interest in the property.


Why Do Appraisals Come in Low in Austin so Often?


In an area with limited inventory and increasing home values such as Austin, this

can be a problem. Many buyers are willing to pay more than the asking price –

and more than anyone has ever paid before – for homes in hot neighborhoods or

starter home price ranges. But appraisers must compare a property to other

homes that have sold within the last year, not properties that are currently on the

market. It can be very frustrating to buyers and sellers alike when appraisals in

Austin real estate don’t come in at the contract price.


How Can We Prevent an Unwelcome Surprise (Low Appraisal)?


At Let’s Move Austin, we have specific strategies we employ to assist with the

appraisal process, which is so critical to our clients having a smooth transaction.

One of these things is to provide an “Appraiser’s Package” in advance and have it

available at the property for the appraiser. This package typically includes plats,

surveys, deeds, HOA documents, floor plans, detailed lists of upgrades and costs,

inspection reports, neighborhood details, and energy efficient features. This can

help the appraiser learn the features of this specific property quickly and

efficiently, and is especially useful when a property is unique in some way.


Will I Receive a Copy of the Appraisal?


Since the appraisal is paid for by the buyer, and ordered through the buyer’s

lender, the buyer will receive a copy of the appraisal. It is always a good idea for

the buyer to authorize their Realtor to see a copy of the appraisal, especially if it

doesn’t come in at value. Sellers don’t automatically receive a copy of the

appraisal, but their agents can request that the buyer share the information.


What if the Appraisal STILL Doesn’t Come in at the Contract Price?

If there are flaws with the comparable properties that the appraiser used, or there is additional information that the appraiser didn’t appear to consider, it is possible for the client to challenge the appraisal. This can be a complicated and time consuming process, and we will work with you to decide if it is the right strategy in your specific situation. Sometimes it is possible to renegotiate the purchase price based on the information in the appraisal. But if you are purchasing with an FHA or VA loan, you have additional protection per the Texas real estate contract which states that the buyer shall not be obligated to purchase the property if the appraisal doesn’t come back in at or above the contract price.



To learn even more about the details of appraisals, we are providing this “Guide to Understanding a Residential Appraisal”

Feel free to contact us if we can answer more specific questions.


Theresa Bastian and the team at Let's Move Austin are ready to help you buy, sell,

lease, or invest in real estate throughout Austin and Central Texas. Call 512-297-3442 to get started today.



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Posted in Austin Real Estate
July 5, 2016

Hunger Games:First Time Buyer in Austin

512-297- 3442 – www.LetsMoveAustin.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists.


Hunger Games: How to be a First Time Home Buyer in Austin without Becoming a Tribute


So you have decided to stop throwing away money on rent and put down roots in

our awesome town of Austin. You’ve spoken to a lender and found out what you

can afford. Maybe even talked to a parent whose going to help with the down

payment (although since most first time buyers can put down as little as 3.5% of

the home’s purchase price, you may not even have had to do this step).

Congratulations on taking this giant leap into homeownership, the most

consistent form of wealth building this country has ever experienced.

But wait! If you are a first time home buyer in Austin, TX this year the enthusiasm

can wear off pretty quickly. Because with low inventory, lots of people moving

here, and prices rising, being a first time home buyer in Austin can feel an awful

lot like being a Tribute stepping into the Arena in the Hunger Games.

You have to watch carefully for tricks, you must stay alert at all times, and you’re

going to need a team you can rely on to reach your goal.


Let’s talk about tricks: Many first time home buyers in Austin fall for the trick of

calling the agent who is listed on the sign in front of a home they like. This is a

mistake! The agent on the sign already represents a client – the seller. As a first

time buyer you are going to have a lot of questions and you need someone who is

advocating for your interests through the process. Just as the Tributes in the

Hunger Games were each assigned an escort to help them avoid mistakes and

prepare for the Arena, your buyer’s agent will help you navigate the home buying process.

At the minimum, things your buyer’s agent should do for you are to help you

analyze the prices of homes in the areas you are interested in, anticipate what

repairs/updates might be needed in properties you’re considering, explain the

details and timeline involved in a real estate contract. The best thing is, you don’t

have to pay for the buyer’s agent’s services – this person will be compensated by

the seller of the property you purchase. So it makes sense to choose someone

you feel great about working with, not blindly calling an agent from the sign or an

online ad.


Click here for a list of questions you can ask an agent to determine whether you’d

be a fit to work together.

Let’s talk about staying alert: Just as the Tributes in the Arena had to be on guard

for traps and challenges throughout the Games, first time home buyers in Austin

and their agents must constantly be on the lookout for properties coming on the

market that meet their criteria. In Austin, we have a shortage of homes in the

areas and price ranges that are most popular among first time buyers. And the

competition for these homes is fierce, with multiple offers being the norm. the

multiple offers situation, which for first time buyers can feel a lot like the

bloodbath in the onset of the Hunger Games – out of control and scary. Having an

agent who is well-connected and makes YOU a priority is key to avoiding this.

There are multiple networking groups in which Austin Realtors share “coming

soon” listings. Some of these homes never even hit the open market, because the

Realtors involved in these groups understand the value of networking with other

professionals. If a first time home buyer in Austin has an agent who can find them

one of these pre-MLS properties, it can be a very good thing.


This brings us to the team approach: In many Austin neighborhoods and price

ranges, you and your agent need to be able to drop everything to tour a home

that comes available, because it simply won’t be on the market long enough to

wait a couple days until your schedules can fit it in. At Let’s Move Austin, we work

as a team so that if one of our agents cannot be available on short notice for a

priority client, there is someone else who can step in and make sure that buyer

gets to see the property. We also have a trusted network of related professionals

such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and service providers such as

plumbers and electricians that we make available to our clients, much as the

Tributes in the Hunger Games have a whole array of Escorts and Sponsors. This

kind of expertise is especially important for first time home buyers in Austin, TX.


Theresa Bastian and the team at Let's Move Austin are ready to help you buy, sell,

lease, or invest in real estate throughout Austin and Central Texas. Call 512-297-3442 to get started today.




I want to sell my Austin, TX property

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Posted in Austin Real Estate
July 5, 2016

Single Story Homes in Austin

512-297- 3442 – www.LetsMoveAustin.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists.


Single Story Homes in Austin

Take a look at the single story homes in all the neighborhoods in Austin. Browse

by size, price, area, school attendance zone, and more. Then call 512-297- 3442 to

schedule a tour of the ones you like best.


Under $200,000     Under $300,000     Under $400,000          

Under $500,000     Under $600,000     Under $700,000    


Families who prefer single story homes in Austin can find it a bit challenging to

find the perfect ranch style house. Many home builders maximize their profit

margins by building two story homes, which means there are fewer one story

homes to choose from. But our handy guide to these areas that have a high

number of single story homes in Austin can help!


North Austin


North Austin boundaries include Round Rock and Cedar Park to the north and

Central Austin to the south. Neighborhoods in North Austin include, Copperfield,

Gracywoods, Georgian Acres, North Park Estates, Northcreek, River Oaks, River

Place, and Wells Branch. North Austin has many older communities, and retains a nostalgic charm in both

residential and some commercial structures. In addition to dozens of parks, the

North Austin area offers many shopping opportunities such as the boutique

center The Domain which houses many high end stores. Outdoor shopping can be

found at the Gateway Shopping Center and the popular Arboretum, with its 40 retailers.

Homes in North Austin are popular for their location near the many major

employers of North Austin including the Pickle Research branch of the University

of Texas, Trident Microsystems, 3M, IBM, and St. David's North Austin Medical

Center. Renovated ranch houses and other period homes are located amongst newer developments.


Central Austin


Downtown Austin is by far the most popular part of Austin. This popularity was

driven by the development of high rises downtown, which built up quickly due to

the demand to live close to the downtown entertainment. Art galleries, boutique

shops, cafes, restaurants, theaters, bars, hotels, spas, drug stores, and farmer's

markets are tucked away in every corner of Downtown Austin. The most striking

element of downtown may be its absence of any large retailers.  Austin residents

believe strongly in the value of local businesses.  Attractions in Austin are

numerous. A distinctive part of the Austin skyline, the Capitol Building is visible

from all parts of the city. Tourists and residents regularly stream in and out its

doors. Nearby is Lady Bird, or Town Lake, always dotted with people on manual

watercraft, and surrounded by bikers, joggers and walkers moving along the

surrounding ten mile path. Over the lake stretches the Congress Avenue bridge,

from under which thousands of bats emerge each night to feed on insects and

delight tourists. Stubb's BBQ is just one of Austin's many premier live music

venues.  Downtown Austin real estate is made up of largely condos and high-rises.

Modern styles are stressed and prices are in the upper levels, though the value of

living so close to so much in Downtown Austin is hard to price.


East Austin


East Austin is bordered by IH-35, the Colorado River, as well as Highway 183 and

290. East Austin areas include Cherrywood, Delwood, French Place, Rosewood and Seabrook.

East Austin has educational attractions include the George Washington Carver

Museum, and Austin Nature and Science Center as well as many art studios and

galleries including Flatbed and Coronado. East Austin is also home to Huston-

Tillotson University with a student body of 1000. The Salvage Vanguard Theater

adds to the artistic element of East Austin. The proximity to downtown and the

airport also increase the popularity of East Austin, as well as the many local

favorite restaurants such as Franklin's BBQ, Eastside Showroom, Launderette and


East Austin is popular for remodeling older homes as well as building

new constructions. Older areas such as French Place and Cherrywood sport

nostalgic charm of bungalows and other 40s and 50s-style homes. Other areas of

East Austin are in transition such as Delwood, led by the new Mueller

development, a large master-planned community on the site of the previous

Mueller Airport.


South Austin


South Austin is bordered by the Colorado River, Mopac Expressway and IH-35.

South Austin areas include Barton Hills, Barton’s Bluff-Spyglass, Battle Bend

Springs, Bouldin Creek, Cherry Creek, SoCo, South Lamar, and Travis Heights.

Considering the wealth of things to do in South Austin, real estate in the area is

hugely popular. It's extremely close to downtown, and like the rest of Austin the

area has a large variety in the types and styles of homes available, from slick

modern new construction to small refurbished bungalows and more.

South Austin is particularly family friendly, but maintains popular shopping areas

as well, such as on South Congress. A common attraction in South Austin for

tourists and residents alike is viewing the bats which hang under and fly out from

the Congress Avenue Bridge. Popular local restaurants include the Magnolia Cafe,

Hyde Park Bar & Grill and Kerby Lane Cafe. South Austin also has a thriving

outdoor activity scene, facilitated largely by Town Lake. The area is frequented by

people renting watercraft, bike riders and joggers. Another popular outdoor

location is Zilker Park. Barton Springs, a spring-fed pool, and a botanical garden

are just two of the park's many amenities.


Theresa Bastian and the team at Let's Move Austin are ready to help you buy, sell,

lease, or invest in real estate throughout Austin and Central Texas. Call 512-297-3442 to get started today.




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Posted in Austin Real Estate
June 30, 2016

Village of Western Oaks Open House

512-297-3442 – www.LetsMoveAustin.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists.  




9009 Sommerland Way – from MoPac take the Slaughter exit and follow our signs to the property.

View FULL DETAILS and additional PHOTOS here:  

See Property Details 


Recent Price Reduction in the HOT HOT HOT neighborhood of Villages of Western Oaks.  This 3 bedroom 2 bath home was built in 1999 and has extensive upgrades including wood and tile floors, granite counters, stainless appliances, and a frameless shower in the master bath,.  

Walk to exemplary schools like Mills Elementary, Dick Nichols park and pool, Starbucks, HEB the new Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, and many more shops and restaurants.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: Although this property was available at the time of this ad creation, it is very possible that an offer has been submitted or even accepted since that time. This ad was created with the intent to sell THIS property. If you are interested in this property, Please call 512-297-3442 to check on its current availability.

Search the MLS like a Realtor and never miss the newest listings or the latest price changes. Search using criteria used by Realtors and brokers with multiple photos, satellite images, FULL MLS Descriptions and more. Search Villages of Western Oaks, Southwest Austin and the surrounding areas in Central Texas.

With over 15 years of experience in real estate sales and brokerage management, Theresa is truly able to find unique solutions to unique real estate situations.  Theresa holds the Internet Marketing Specialist Designation (IMSD), ensuring that Let’s Move Austin is up to date with the most cutting edge ways of marketing properties online. She also holds the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation. Her ability to assist divorcing couples untangle their real estate holdings has been recognized by Texas Realtor Magazine. Theresa's extensive volunteer work with the PTAs at Kiker, Gorzycki and Bowie has earned her a slot as a finalist in Austin's Platinum-50 Top Realtors award program, which recognizes sales volume and community service, for two years in a row. She serves on the Policy and Governance committee at the Austin Board of Realtors. When she is not listing and selling property, she keeps busy supporting her kids’ activities and enjoying live music in South Austin. 

The team at Let’s Move Austin can help you buy, sell, lease, or invest in real estate throughout Austin and Central Texas. Call 512-297-3442 and we get started right away.


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Posted in Austin Real Estate
April 15, 2016

South Austin Magnet School-Your Input Needed

Currently, a magnet program does not exist in any of the south Austin high schools including. District data demonstrates that a large portion of the magnet school Liberal Arts and Science Academy’s (LASA) student applicants and enrollees are from southwest Austin. LASA's current location at LBJ High School has reached capacity. 


As a result of the Trustees’ discussion at the November 9, 2015 Board Work Session, the Austin ISD administration convened a planning committee to develop proposals for a magnet in south Austin to provide students greater access to magnet programming. The planning committee was tasked with reviewing available data, establishing magnet program visions and curriculum/instruction focus, identifying elements of enrollment criteria, and soliciting community feedback. 

Planning Committee's Five Program Proposals

1.     Civics and Law Magnet Program Proposal

2.     Comprehensive Advanced Academics Magnet Program Proposal

3.     Computer Science Magnet Program Proposal

4.     Enterprise and Leadership Magnet Program Proposal

5.     Health Sciences Magnet Program

Public Community Meetings  

8 to 11 a.m. April 16 at the Covington Middle School cafeteria.

4 to 7 p.m. April 28 at the Mendez Middle School cafeteria

The meetings are come-and-go meetings, allowing community members to arrive at any time during the meeting and stay as long as they would like. The meeting format will ensure all attendees receive the same information regardless of arrival time.

Community members will have the opportunity to review the program proposals and are asked to complete a survey to further inform the committee’s work.

The public will have multiple opportunities to share perspectives with the committee, tasked with establishing magnet program visions and curriculum/instruction needs for a potential new south magnet program. 

Please provide feedback on the proposals by taking the online survey in English or Spanish.




Posted in Schools
April 15, 2016

78704 Open House Saturday, April 16th

Listings to Leads - eFlyers

Open House
Cumberland Open House
Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Print Brochure My Reviews
Open Sat
1 - 3 PM
Search All Homes For Sale
124 Cumberland RD Unit#303 Austin, TX 78704
Bedrooms: 2 | Bathrooms: 3 full | List Price: $ Get Current Price | 1457 square feet

Seller Will Credit Buyer 1/2 of HOA Dues for a Year ($1,800 Back at Closing!!) Green Features (Tankless WH, Low E Windows, Energy Star HVAC), SS Appliances (Range w/Gas Cooktop, Dishwasher, Microwave, Refrigerator), Silestone Counters, Open Plan, Breakfast Bar, Double Vanity, Garden Tub & Separate Shower-Master, Deck. Great location b/w S. Congress & S. 1st! Close to Gillis Park, Torchy's Tacos, & St. Ed's! W/D Convey, LR Red Walls Painted Back Neutral Color

Listing Courtesy of Kristee Leonard/Leaders Realty, LLC

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Lets Move Austin
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Posted in Austin Real Estate
April 14, 2016

How to Protest Your Property Tax Appraisal in Travis County

The new property tax assessed values were mailed to Travis County homeowners recently, and if you are shocked at the increase in value listed for your property, don’t despair!

There is a process you can follow to protest your Property Tax Appraisal in Travis County – and the odds are fairly good that if you do protest the value, you will win a reduction.

Here’s what to do:

Read the new valuation carefully, noting the increase in the market value for “Buildings and other Structures” and for “Land”. You can build a case against the increase for each type separately. For example, if your home’s roof or other major systems are older than those on homes that have sold recently, that’s a valid issue to point out. And if your lot is larger than others, but has drainage issues or a steep slope, you could argue that negatively impacts the value as well.

Analyze the data for comparable homes to yours that sold between July 1 of last year and January 31st of this year. The appraised value listed on your report is for Jan 1st, so that’s why it’s important to consider the sales prices for the 3 months prior to and after that date. Not the homes that have sold around the time you received your notice in the mail, or the date you are preparing to file the protest.

Most homeowners end up checking the boxes on the protest form that say “Value is over market value” and “Value is unequal compared with other properties” unless after analyzing the data they realize they’re lucky to only have received the increase that they did! After all, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to protest your property tax appraisal in Travis County.

There is some strategy around WHEN you submit your protest. I recommend filing as close to May 31st as possible, without being late of course. Hearings are done in the order the protest forms are received. And if other homes’ values in your area have been successfully protested (reduced) before, those reductions in value will help your case.  Remember, you have the option to efile online or request an in person hearing. I personally prefer the efile method because it is more efficient. I’ve heard no reports that one method generates better results than the other. 

But Wait! How do I get access to this magical data that will save me money!!!???

This is a good time to call upon a relationship you have with a friendly Realtor who knows your neighborhood quite well and is good at working with data (Ahem – I don’t want to brag but…I have been doing this for 16 years and I’m pretty good at it…and I’m helpful…).You want to be sure this person is really taking the time to find the nuances that can show why your property shouldn’t follow the average undeniable increase in values our market has enjoyed, so give this person at least a week to work this favor into their schedule.

And consider rewarding them with coffee (Starbucks nonfat extra hot mocha), wine (Shiraz, please) OR best of all, a referral to a friend or colleague who is thinking about buying, selling, or investing in real estate.

Alternatively, you can hire a firm to protest your property tax appraisal in Travis County. These companies typically work on a contingency plan, where they take between 35-60% of the savings the earn you. So if they save you $1,000 in taxes, they’d collect between $350 and $600. If they don’t earn you a reduction, you don’t pay them anything. I don’t personally have a firm to recommend or warn against, so I’d suggest Googling if you want to go this direction.

Visit www.LetsMoveAustin.com for a complete list of all properties for sale in the greater Austin area. Unlike Zillow or Trulia, we promptly and automatically remove all sold and expired listings. Our database is updated every 5 minutes, every day of the year to guarantee you the most accurate list of properties to view possible.

April 8, 2016

Downtown Austin Condo-Open House Saturday April 9th

904 West Ave #211, Austin, Texas

OPEN HOUSE April 09, Saturday 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

$ Click for current price

DT Austin West End/Market District condo close to Whole Foods, W. 6th bars & restaurants, Duncan Park, Shoal Creek Trail, ACC Rio Grande Campus & more! Green Features: Solar panel (Seller has no electric bill), LED lighting, & tankless water heater. Features: Gerkin Windows, Brazilian Tigerwood Flooring, Bosch Appliances, Granite Counters, Travertine, Built-in Closet Shelving, Stackable W/D & Fridge Convey. Amenities: Pool, Central Atrium, Rooftop Landing w/DT Views

Listing Courtesy of Kristee Leonard of Leaders Realty, LLC

Posted in Austin Real Estate
April 8, 2016

Onion Creek Open House Saturday April 9th

10004 Wild Dunes, Austin, Texas

OPEN HOUSE April 09, Saturday 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

$ Click for current price

Stunning! Onion Creek home boasting formal/informal living and dining spaces, dedicated office/study, and spacious master complete with dual vanity, double walk-in shower, and large walk in close en-suite. Spend your summer days relaxing in the pool and your evenings with friends and family around the grill. 

Listing Courtesy of Jennifer Stewart/Urban Core Realty, LLC

Posted in Austin Real Estate
April 6, 2016

Theresa Bastian of Let’s Move Austin Sets A Sales Price Record in Circle C Park West!

Theresa Bastian of Let’s Move Austin Sets A Sales Price Record in Circle C Park West!

512-297-3442 – www.LetsMoveAustin.com – Austin, TX real estate and investment specialists.

Let’s Move Austin, an Austin real estate brokerage, has sold another home in Southwest Austin. This home in Circle C sold for $489,250 after just 10 days on the market. This sets a record for the highest priced home to ever sell in the gated section of Park West at Circle C.

The 2 story home at 6304 Tasajillo Trail is located in the Southwest Austin community of Park West at Circle C. The home has 4 room 3 baths, and approximately 2,944 square feet. The property has a lot size of .115 acres and was built in 2001. This house is zoned to the Austin schools of Kiker Elementary, Gorzycki Middle School and Bowie High School. It featured a gourmet kitchen and a large back deck overlooking the Circle C Metropolitan Park.

Let’s Move Austin represented the sellers of this property, who were enthusiastic at selling their investment property at top dollar. Let’s Move Austin’s VIP Sellers Program, which includes staging, professional photography, and extensive pre-MLS marketing, assisted in creating buyer demand for the property. Due to her extensive knowledge of the Southwest Austin market, Theresa Bastian was able to negotiate aggressively on her clients’ behalf throughout the transaction, saving them thousands on inspections and appraisal concessions.



A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. She now owns Let's Move Austin, and is ready to help you buy, sell, lease, or invest in real estate throughout Austin and Central Texas. Call 512-297-3442 to get started today.



I want to sell my Austin, TX property

I’d like to Search for Austin Real Estate

I’d like to speak to someone from Lets Move Austin

Posted in Austin Real Estate