Summer 2012 Newsletter

As usual, it’s been longer than we’d like since we sent out a newsletter.  It’s not that we don’t love staying in touch, but we’ve been lucky to be busy with work (thank you for those of you who have referred clients to us) and play.  We hope you’re enjoying this (relatively cooler) summer and taking advantage of all that Austin has to offer.  Although Mishell thought the Shakespeare in the Park this year was not up to its usual quality, both Moxie ladies have been enjoying concerts, friends visiting from out of town, and some awesome estate sales (we’ve been using – a great site that is not so great for our pocketbooks).

We were also honored to be included in Horizon Realty’s top producer dinner.  As we think we’ve made clear before, Moxie is proud to be part of the Horizon family and we admire and appreciate the time that our broker, Christine Choate, puts into our business.  It was truly special to be in the “top of the top” in this group, and great to be recognized for our hard work!

And, even though we posted this blog on our Facebook page (of course, feel free to like us on FB), we think that it has some very interesting information on researching your home’s history, so wanted to send it to those of you who may not be on Facebook:

Learn About YOUR Piece of the Past!

Our other big news is that we’ve gone corporate – in form, but not in spirit.  Moxie is now Moxie Realty Group LLC.  This allows us to pay ourselves and social security and all kinds of cool things not available to us when we were “self employed” realtors.  This won’t change the level of service you’ve gotten – and we promise not to get “realtor hair!”

As always, Moxie wants to hear from you – let us know if you need anything!

Warmest regards,
Justine and Mishell
The Moxie Ladies
– A referral is the highest compliment you can give us. We will take great care of anyone you send our way.

P.S. If you’ve done business with Moxie and gotten good service, please review us on Yelp – here’s a link to our page.  An online presence really helps a business grow.  Thanks!


Moxie Partners with Other Awesome Financial Professionals to Present Free Seminar

We know that finances can be intimidating for anyone, but many of Moxie’s clients are what many financial professionals would consider “nontraditional” – self-employed, small business owners, or musicians/artists. And the news tells us all the time how hard it is if you don’t fit into a particular box.  Obviously, the Moxie Ladies don’t believe that – and neither does the rest of the group we’re working with to bring you – Get Your Sh*t Together: Finance, Housing, and Taxes for Creative Types.

This free event will take place on Tuesday, August 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Dougherty Arts Center.  See the website or our Facebook Events Page for more info.  And please share this with anyone you think could benefit!

Market Update!

Austin-area homes selling faster, at higher prices in June
– Content courtesy of the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR)

According a report released this month by ABOR, the competition for Austin properties continues to increase as June 2012 became the 13th straight month of sales volume increases and the fifth straight month of price increases for Austin-area homes compared to the same month of the prior year.

Specifically, 2,593 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in June 2012, which is 23 percent more than June 2011. During the same time period, the median price for Austin-area homes was $218,350, an eight percent increase from the same month in 2011.

Leonard Guerrero, ABOR’s Chairman, commented, “2012 is on pace to be the Austin housing market’s strongest summer since the recession. A healthy housing inventory, a continued increase in home sales and a 23 percent decrease in homes’ days on the market indicate that Austin has emerged as a seller’s market.”

In June 2012, the market featured 4.4 months of inventory, which is 2.3 months less than June 2011. In addition, the market featured six percent more new listings, 20 percent fewer active listings and 15 percent more pending sales compared to the prior year. On average, homes spent 58 days on the market in June 2012, a decrease of 17 days from a year prior.

June 2012 Statistics

  • 2,593 – Single-family homes sold, 23 percent more than June 2011.
  • $218,350 – Median price for single-family homes, eight percent more than June 2011.
  • 58 – Average number of days that single-family homes spent on the market, 17 days less than June 2011.
  • 3,334 – New single-family home listings on the market, six percent more than June 2011.
  • 7,738– Active single-family home listings on the market, 20 percent less than June 2011.
  • 2,424 – Pending sales for single-family homes, 15 percent more than June 2011.
  • 4.4 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 2.4 months less than May 2011.
  • $652,520,700 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 29 percent more than June 2011.

The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin-area real estate market.

Townhouses & Condominiums
The volume of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in June 2012 was 264, which is 19 percent more than June 2011. In the same time period, the median price for condos was $190,000, or 12 percent more than the same month of the prior year. When compared to June 2011, these properties spent 31 percent less time on the market, or an average of 61 days.

In June 2012, a total of 1,655 properties were leased in Austin, which is three percent less than June 2011. The median price for Austin-area leases was $1,400, or eight percent higher than the same month of the prior year.

Are You Sharing Too Much Information?

Thirty seconds of internet research can reveal a lot about a person. If that person happens to be a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction, such a search could also reveal motivations and other personal details that you won’t find in any contract or addendum—details that could hurt your negotiating position.

For example, buyers could post photos of a listing on Facebook along with comments about how desperate they are to have their offer accepted. Sellers might tweet about how they can’t wait to move away from a certain neighbor.

If the other party in a transaction or their agent see these, your negotiating position could be weakened, costing you money or even killing a deal. So, keep your real estate transactions off social media channels (one exception – sellers, post those links to listings or open houses). It doesn’t take much effort to Google a name and there’s no telling what another person can learn.

Justine’s Tips from the Farm*

What an amazing spring and summer we have had here at Belly Acres!  The rain (lots of rain, and we’re grateful) made the wildflowers pop like we have never seen before and that made our new bees very happy (well, the ones that stuck around – more on that later). This year we relocated and planted a big new garden, and for the first time since we moved to the sticks, we have homegrown tomatoes!!!

We moved the garden from its previous shaded area to a 30×30 sunny fenced area (we do have deer out there); right now, we have four, 4’x4’ raised boxes, but are hoping to add more for fall. Lots of herbs —  lemongrass, four kinds of basil, thyme, oregano, parsley — a dozen heirloom tomatoes plants like green zebra, yellow pear and mortgage lifter, purple cauliflower, white eggplant, summer squash, muskmelon, and an heirloom watermelon called moon and stars. We went crazy with the artichokes – I think we must have twenty or so plants all over the yard, since the deer don’t eat their fuzzy leaves and they are such pretty plants – big silvery leaves. We also planted two grapes, two pomegranates, and apricot, pear, peach, and two apple trees in what we hope will be an amazing orchard in a few years.

In May, we got two packages of gentile Italian bees and installed them into their new homes, within a week one of the hives absconded after a huge storm, complete with the kind of thunder and lightning that I think was Texas, not Italian, style.  We looked and looked for them, but they we not in any nearby trees or (thankfully) in my attic.  Because it’s too hot for them to ship more bees (that’s a strange pickup at the post office!), so we will either wait for our remaining hive to outgrow its current home or order another package of bees next spring. The remaining hive is working hard building comb and filling it up, bit we probably won’t harvest any honey this fall and will wait for next year!

*Justine lives on 5 acres in a rambling old farmhouse near Driftwood.  In her column she shares the ups and downs of country life and lessons she’s learned.  Think of her as the hotter, hipper Heloise!

Gearing up to host the 2012 Formula 1™

The City of Austin has launched its Formula 1 website at with a goal to deliver access to current and timely race information.

The City’s site is aimed at residents, visitors, businesses and the media.

The site offers:

  • Event route and road closure information.
  • A parking way-finding map for the downtown area that includes pedicab, valet, taxi stand, car-share, bike corrals and bus stop location information.
  • Information on local smoking and drinking laws.
  • Permits required for special events.

While many websites offer specific information about either Austin or the event, is the first developed site to serve as a centralized place for all resource information related to or about the event.  The race will be held in Austin on Nov. 16-18, 2012 and is estimated to bring 300,000 visitors to the city.

Older Homes May be Eligible for Lead Removal

The City of Austin will evaluate approximately 180 homes for hazardous lead, and assist with removal if lead is discovered, after being awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD awarded $93 million in grants nationwide for a myriad of programs intended to protect children and families from potentially dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood.

“We want Austin residents to feel safe, and truly be safe, in their homes. With this grant, we can educate the community about the hazardous nature of lead and continue outreach to households that might be a risk,” said Betsy Spencer, Director of Neighborhood Housing and Community Development.

With the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant, the City will evaluate and remediate lead-based paint hazards in approximately 180 homes and conduct outreach and education.
To receive free assistance, the following criteria must be met:

  • Home must be built before 1978
  • Household income must be 80 percent or below median family income. For a family of four, household income must be $59,050 or less.
  • A child age 6 or younger must live in the home or visit at least six hours per week.

Residents living in homes built before 1978 should contact Coby Ramirez with the City’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office at (512) 974-3122 or


Events in and Around Austin

Some ideas for Summer fun from the Moxie Ladies:

Blues on the Green
May 30, 2012 – August 8, 2012
(Every Other Wednesday)
Zilker Park

Unplugged at the Grove
Thursday Nights
April 12 – September 20, 2012
Shady Grove Restaurant -free live music all summer long.

Zilker Summer Musical
July 6 – August 11, 2012
Zilker Hillside Theater – Zilker Park
2012 Production: The Sound of Music

Paramount Summer Film Series
May 24 – Sept 9
Paramount Theater
The summer’s best films at Austin’s only Movie Palace!

Austin Ice Cream Festival
August 4, 2012
Waterloo Park
You scream, I scream we all scream for ice cream!!

Austin Home and Garden Show
August 17-19, 2012
Austin Convention Center
The latest in products and services for your home.

Austin Hot Sauce Festival
August 26, 2012
Fiesta Gardens
If you wanna beat the heat this summer, then you gotta eat the heat!

Austin Symphony Concerts in the Park (Hartman Foundation)
June 3 – August 26, 2012
Hartman Concert Park at the Long Center
Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing.

August 25, 2012
Congress Avenue Bridge
Enjoy live music, arts and crafts, food, bat watching, and much more at the Bat Fest!