Articles

FEBRUARY 2023

Your Guide to the Central Texas
Real Estate Market 

Real Estate Market Report

The most recent headlines by the Austin Board of Realtors stated:

“AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK MSA HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES TO NORMALIZE; REALTORS® REPORT RECENT UPTICK IN ACTIVITY.  Despite price decreases and inventory gains, region needs more housing.  While prices decreased in the City of Austin, Travis County and the MSA, surrounding Central Texas areas are experiencing an uptick in median home prices.”

2021 vs 2022 Market Comparison by Zip Code

Click here to see the a comparison of average sales price, average price per square foot and days on market for all of the zip codes in the Austin area.

Have you completed your Homestead Exemption Form?

Central Texas homeowners are provided property tax relief with the allowance for home buyers to file homestead exemptions in the year when they purchased their property. Historically, prior to 2022, new homeowners had to wait until the following year to file for the exemption.  This is a great way to lower a property’s taxable value while saving property tax dollars. 
 
Click here to read about pro-rated Homestead Exemptions.

Buying a Property to Turn into a Short-Term Rental

Check Local Rules and Regulations
Many local governments require certain conditions be met and may require a permit. Ordinances and restrictive covenants related to parking, noise, occupancy limits, the total number of STRs allowed, and other rules vary, sometimes even from one neighborhood to the next.

Be Aware of Taxes
Know that only your primary residence is eligible for certain property-tax protections, such as a homestead exemption and the 10% appraisal-value cap. You might also want to consult a tax professional to determine how your short-term rental will affect your federal income taxes.

The Loan Process Works Differently
Many lenders will not finance short-term rentals or have different requirements to approve a loan. It’s important to inform the lender upfront that the property will be utilized as an STR.

Are You Covered?
A regular homeowner’s policy may not cover you for the risks associated with a short-term rental. STR listing platforms like Airbnb and VRBO provide some insurance coverage but speak with an insurance professional to determine if you have the coverage you want.

Consult an Attorney for Legal Advice and Documentation
If you are not using a listing platform like Airbnb or VRBO, it is best to hire an attorney to prepare the necessary paperwork and advise on other matters. An attorney can also advise you on what protections listing platforms provide STR owners.