We’re holding an open house at 507 Russet Valley Drive in Cedar Park, Texas. If you want to take a look at this beautiful home, head on over there from 11 am – 1 pm on Saturday, July 15! That’s tommorrow.Hermann says please like and share!
One of the many things we do when looking for houses to buy is what they call “driving for dollars” in the biz. To do this, you pick a neighborhood, drive around all the streets, and make note of any house with certain characteristics, such as:
- Obvious exterior problems
- Neglected landscape
- Appearance of being unoccupied
- Very old for sale sign, or for sale by owner
We write down the addresses and put them on a list to send letters to. If we have a phone number, we call it and chat about their needs and our services.
If you go driving for dollars on a weekend, you often have a chance to visit Open Houses. Now, these are usually houses that are in relatively good shape, with a real estate agent already hired to try to get as much money as possible for the house. In these cases, we grab the opportunity to:
- Chat with the agent (if the agent isn’t busy talking to potential retail customers and trying to earn a living)
- Let the agent know we are looking for hard-to-sell houses, and hand out our cards
- Look at the house to get ideas for future projects (paint colors, kitchen surfaces, etc.)
Anita and I were walking for dollars last weekend, and came across an open house, so I went in and checked it out. We were in a neighborhood where we normally wouldn’t buy (homes high on an Austin hill, ranging from $700K and up to multiple millions), but I figured I could get some ideas. And, I did. Wow, it has views and a really cool floor plan, but I knew I’d remove some wall-to-wall mirrors and consider new kitchen cabinets. On the other hand, who cares. It’s in such a beautiful spot, and features so many quality details that I knew it wasn’t for us. Someone is going to buy it for close to list price.
Still, I had a chat with the agent, and he knows about us, now. Fingers crossed that he runs into a house that isn’t retail-worthy and lets us know!
We also took notes on some houses further down the hill that might be more for us. We will see if we can write them letters…
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Today, since the Roadrunner house is almost finished, we are holding a special “pick your neighbor” day, where we invite the people who live around the house to come tour it, and bring along any friends or family they think might be interested in the place. We’ve enjoyed doing these in the past, and are looking forward to today.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood of 2903 Chaparral Circle in Bryan, Texas between 2 and 4 pm today (September 17), please drop by and meet our team!
But I Am Busy Today!
Don’t worry if you’re in the area but busy today. Mark your calendar for 2-4 pm NEXT Sunday, September 24! Our agent Judy Todd will be there to welcome you to the finished house. If you have friends looking for a big house, with big rooms, in a nice neighborhood, this one’s for you.
We’ll have a link to more of the professional photos and virtual tour tomorrow!
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We are happy to announce that our Lakeland project is on the market now! It’s listed at $399K. It has 4 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms, with 3298 square feet of living. There is a HUGE media room on the second floor with doors that lead to the second-floor deck. If you know Austin housing prices, you know this is a great deal.
Our team thinks it has turned out extremely well. The new carpet and finishing touches to the deck are in, and with just a bit of sod in the back yard, it will be a paradise, whether as a full-time residence or an amazing vacation/weekend home for you and your extended family. Enjoy lake access, deer, really nice neighbors, and best of all, peace and quiet within easy reach of Austin, Cedar Park, and scenic drives. Have we mentioned that the house is on TWO lots? Yep. No one will build on top of you. Got a boat? You’ll be really close to a marina!
Please visit our beautiful showcase page, which has much, much more information on the renovation, as well as information on upcoming open houses. (Warning, it plays music, so mute your computer if you’re at work.) Much credit goes to Carol, who has supervised the renovation, staged it, and is marketed it. And Russell has done a lot of the physical labor involved, himself. They have always been hands-on renovators, and it’s hard to break those habits!
This post contains just a couple of the photos from the slideshow. You just have to see the rest–the bedrooms, the kitchen, and the front, with a new fountain!
The open house is Saturday, September 3, from 11-2. 18413 Lakeland Drive, Point Venture, Texas 78645. That’s the Lago Vista area, way at the end near the golf course, restaurants, and a beautiful park.
Who needs to go to a park when you are already in a park-like setting, though! Check out the tour, and feel free to drop by either open house. One will be hosted by our team, and another by a local agent who fell in love with the house. Maybe there will be cookies in the amazing kitchen with the new window.Hermann says please like and share!
We had our first open house at the Ash House today. Sue Ann promoted it on all our media outlets for a couple of days, but because I’m not the Social Media thinker, I forgot to mention it anywhere until it was over. Sigh!
Carol and I worked it, and we had a pretty good turnout that included a lot of our neighbors. One even followed Carol from where she put out the open house sign to the house! All of our neighbors were grateful for the project and seem genuinely enthused to help us sell it. This is one case where you really can pick your neighbor.
We only had a couple of serious buyers, and one of them said the split level was a deal breaker. Even with only two steps, they were concerned about frailty and balance as they age. But they were really nice people who are looking to downsize and relocate to Temple. Carol may be able to help them with selling their home and finding the right place in Temple.
That’s one of the things I love about this business. You meet really interesting people if you take the time to learn their stories. There are so many ways to help others. Another thing is making the houses happy again. We had nothing but good comments on all of the selections. Preserving the character of this house instead of redeveloping it was the right choice. The most common comment was, “I can’t believe how beautiful it is! Did you see it before?”
We learned that there is a fault line running through the neighborhood at the bottom of the hill. The neighbors all told us that the houses on top of the hill (like the Ash House) are fine, but all of the houses farther downhill have foundation problems because of the constantly shifting soil. I will have to understand the issue better and find a solution before we take on a project in the more mobile part of the neighborhood.
Finally, we also made a couple of good contacts. One of the neighbors is a probate attorney, and another buys furniture from estate sales. We find it rewarding to help families through the hurdles of probate and selling a house.Hermann says please like and share!