Archive for January, 2012
At Sterling Custom Homes we have certain processes in motion to help us to continue building the best custom homes in Austin TX. When a client begins to build with us, we develop a draw schedule based on when certain projects during the construction of the home, i.e. pouring the slab, framing, roofing, etc., are going to be started and completed. When clients finance their home through a bank, an account is set up that we can draw out of to fund the different projects during the construction of the home. Once a draw is made, the financial institution sends out an inspector to the construction site to make sure the project that the draw was for has begun to be worked on.
That’s all well and good, but what happens when clients elect to fund their Austin custom homes with cash? It’s actually a similar process. Your custom home builder in Austin will instead transfer money directly from the client’s personal account. Since the bank’s money is not being drawn upon, no inspector is sent to the construction site to ensure that the project the money was drawn for is being worked on or has been completed. This is why it is very important to be careful to know your builder very well before you begin to build with them.
We currently have some clients who are funding their home with cash. They decided to hire a 3rd party inspector to ensure that our construction schedule and draw schedule are in sync. Two weeks ago, when an inspector began to check out our build site he was very pleasantly surprised! The inspector told Cody, our Construction Manager, that it’s rare for some builders to have the two schedules in sync, especially when clients are funding their home with cash. Needless to say, the inspector was very impressed with the way we conduct our business.
A few years ago, your friends might have called you crazy if you mentioned making your Austin custom homes more environmentally friendly. The trend of including green initiatives is on the rise and it’s no surprise since we like to “Keep Austin Weird” while we “Keep Austin Beautiful.” Recently Time Magazine produced an article about how Austin is the one of the “greenest” cities in America.
For the past decade or so Austin has become very well known for it’s growth in the Tech sector and industry while competing with Silicon Valley. This growth coupled with Austin’s devotion to preserving the environment has created a large increase in start-up companies that combine the Tech industry with green initiatives. The article in Time Magazine highlights a few of these tech start-ups. Between the Silicon Hills, the fresh young minds from The University of Texas, and the trendiness of the green lifestyle, Austin has become a leader in technological advances in the green industry.
Austin TX custom home builders are doing their part to build “greener” homes. Here at Sterling Custom Homes, it’s nearly become the standard to use spray-foam insulation that greatly decreases the amount of energy your A/C must use during the hotter months, including this month. Geez, who knew we’d be needing the A/C in January this year. I digress. We install energy efficient windows, doors, and more. The appliances we install are Energy-Star approved. There has even been talk around here about newer green technologies that we can start implementing with future homes we build.
We love being Austin TX custom home builders because when our office and construction sites close for the day, there’s such a wide variety of things to do. One event that we are getting excited about that’s coming to Bass Concert Hall is one of Broadway’s biggest blockbusters, Wicked. This musical about how The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch became the witches they were when Dorothy arrived will be playing from January 25th through February 10th. When the show was on Broadway, it received 15 awards including a Grammy® and 3 Tony® Awards.
A few tickets are still available through Wicked’s official website, but there are plenty of tickets available through third party vendors. I would jump at this opportunity while you can because who knows when Wicked will be on tour again, much less come through Austin. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, especially with my theatrical background and appreciation for the arts.
Although the construction of your custom homes in Austin might be complete, the decorating is always an ongoing process. Whether you are changing the landscaping and plants in your flowerbeds or adding a new piece to your mantle or end table, there is always room for improvements. What better way is there to get new ideas for your home décor than attending the Austin Home and Garden Show?
The Austin Home and Garden Show is back for its 14th year and it’s happening right now at the Austin Convention Center! This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday go out and find new and exciting ways to spice up different parts of your home. If you are in the planning stages of your custom home, this show will provide you with a variety of products, designs, and landscaping ideas for the home of your dreams.
The details of the event are as follows:
Friday, Jan. 13th: 2:00 – 7:00
Saturday, Jan. 14th: 10:00 – 7:00
Sunday, Jan. 15th: 11:00 – 5:00
Admission for Adults 17+ is $8, Seniors (65+) is $6 and Kids 16 and under are FREE. If you buy your tickets online you can save $1 per ticket (excludes Seniors).
As reported in the Austin American Statesman at the end of 2011, housing and real estate industry experts and analysts are predicting 2012 to be a healthier year in comparison to the last three. If you are thinking about building custom homes in Austin, we have some information that you might find interesting.
On average, the real estate market does not look too strong nationally, especially if you refer to industry indices. Take the S&P/Case-Shiller Index for example. This index shows the monthly trend of home prices in the US. The index takes into account the trends in home price among 20 different cities from around the country. Sounds great, right? Well, actually Melinda Carroll of Independence Title disagrees. Recently she pointed out that you can’t just focus on national averages since all real estate prices are locally driven. National indices, like Case-Shiller, factor in poor growth markets like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. They leave out many of the larger cities in the US, like Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio, don’t even factor in a majority of home sales throughout the country, much less the Austin area.
Austin is experiencing economic growth with a decrease in unemployment and upswing in the tech industry. Despite economic downturn on a national level in 2011, Central Texas was one of the best-performing housing markets in the nation. Gary Newman, manager at Trio Investments says, “Austin has been a quality business environment during national recession, and the job formation in 2011 bodes well for continued upswing in the homebuilding market in 2012.” President of the Austin-based real estate consulting firm, Capitol Market Research, Charles Heimsath is projecting that home starts and sales will at least remain stable across the region, but they could rise by more than 5 percent “in the most desirable areas.” Veteran real estate analyst, Mark Sprague suggests that the local real estate market turned from the bottom about 18 months ago though the turn has been slow.