Lisa Jay, All City Real Estate Blog

It's an exciting time in someones life when they've decided to buy a home, a lot of thought and preparation goes into a major life event such as this. Our blog was put together because we like to share important information about the home buying process. Many years have gone into this love of ours, it put's a smile on our faces to know that we were able to be a part of providing that "Happy Place" for such wonderful families here in Texas.

Important Information

Home Buyers

We hunt the central Texas areas, Georgetown, Temple, Belton, and surrounding communities looking for only the best value homes for our buyers. In our blog we'll post both local and national information about the condition of the industry. We like to keep this information valuable to both seasoned purchasers and new home buyers.

Home Sellers

Selling, your home doesn't always follow the same strategy. Different homes in different areas require variations to the marketing, asking price and negotiations. In this Blog we'll provide all types of insight as to what will get your home sold for the most money in the time frame allotted. 

Aug. 9, 2018

What to Look For When Buying a Home

Whether you are buying your first home or buying a home after a few years in the same house, it can be stressful to go through the process of buying and selling. If you are a first time home buyer you may not know what you are looking for, what to expect, or what should stand out as red flags to you.


Buying a home seems pretty simple, right? But there is an endless list of things that you need to be aware of as the buying process begins. If you are buying a used home, do you know what to look for to ensure the home is in good shape? Do you know how to tell if it is listed under a fair asking price? We don’t expect you to know the answers to these things, and that is why we can help.


Lisa Jay, Keller Williams Realty - We can help you with the buying and selling process of your home. We are a team of experienced and knowledgeable real estate advisors who can help you find the perfect home for you in the central Texas area of Temple/Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Austin and surrounding areas. We can help you find homes in your budget and size range, negotiate deals, and help point out the homes you should avoid. With us, buying a home is simple.


Why You Need a Realtor

You may be asking yourself why you need a realtor to buy a home. While buying a home can be done without a realtor, they can offer many benefits. We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable about the market and the neighborhoods in the areas you are searching for a home. We know where the good homes are and which areas to avoid. We know how the market works. We know how to negotiate the best deals. And we know what to look for in a home that could raise some concern. While you may be capable of going through the process of buying a home on your own, imagine moving into a home only to find out it needs a new roof, foundation repairs, and the neighbors are less than perfect. Our team can help ensure that doesn’t happen.


In this blog, we are going to give you a list of a few things to consider and to look for when buying a home.


Budget and Style

Before you start looking for a home, you will want to make a list of features you want in your home, as well as a budget. Setting a budget is a good way to ensure you don’t buy something way out of your price range. Figure out home much you can afford, what your monthly payments could be, and be sure to stick to the budget.


Then make a list of features you want in your home. How many bedrooms? How big of a home? Do you want a large kitchen? Do you want a home without stairs? Is a big backyard or garage important? Make a list of features that you need in a home and a list of features that you want. Be sure to stick more to your list of needs than your list of wants. You will also want to make a list of what you are looking for in the surrounding area, including schools, neighborhood, a quick work commute, etc.


Tour Houses

After you make a list of what you are looking for in a home, our realtors will help find homes that match that list and those features. We know how to find homes that match your requirements and your needs. We will show you a variety of homes and point out the features that the home has that match your list, as well as things to be aware of.


You will want to see a lot of homes before making a decision. This is a big life change and decision and you shouldn’t jump into it just because you think there will be nothing better. Below is a list of things to be aware of while looking at homes.

Overly Scented

If you walk into a home that is for sale and a wall of lilac and baked good scents hit you, you should not ignore it. If a home is overly scented, they may be trying to hide something. While they may just want the home to smell nice throughout an open house, this excessive scent could be used to cover up mildew, smoke, the smell of pets, or other unpleasant smells that can be hard to rid a home of.


Check the Roof

A new roof is a huge investment, if you notice the roof of a home you are looking at is sagging, the shingles are falling off, or if it just looks like it will need to be replaced, you may want to move on to the next home. However, if the roof looks new, it could be beneficial to you in more than one way. A new roof could help lower homeowners insurance! So, be sure to check out the roof during your home search.


Take Note of Any Issues

While you tour houses that could potentially become your home, you will want to make note of different issues or things you see. You will likely see a ton of homes and it will be hard to remember what you liked and disliked about different homes. After walking through a home, make a list of things you liked and disliked. This will help you distinguish between homes and help you better figure out which will be best for you. Our realtors will point out any issues that they notice as they walk through homes with you, helping you stop issues that you may not see or things that will be easy to fix.

Get an Inspection

After you find the home that works best for you and fits your needs (and wants), you will want to get an inspection. Getting a home inspection can help make or break your home decision. Home inspectors will be able to tell if there are problems with the foundation, plumbing, if there are any issues with mold, and more. They can help make the decision easier and help determine if a home is right for you.


This is just a short list of things to keep in mind when buying your first home, there are many additional things to consider as well. Our real estate experts can help you find the right home for you and will give you advice on how to find the best home for your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more!

June 5, 2018

Selling your House on your Own could COST you!

Selling Your House on Your Own Could Cost You | MyKCM

Selling Your House on Your Own Could Cost You

In this extremely hot real estate market, some homeowners might consider selling their homes on their own which is known as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). They rationalize that they don’t need a real estate agent and believe that they can save the fee for the services a real estate agent offers.

However, a study by Collateral Analytics reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)

Why would FSBOs net less money than if they had used an agent?

The study makes several suggestions:

  • “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
  • “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
  • “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.

Conclusions from the study:

  1. FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
  2. The data suggests the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

As Dave Ramsey, America’s trusted voice on money, explains:

“Research has shown that, between mistakes, lack of negotiating skills, pricing errors and general exposure on the market, you’ll cost yourself more than the real estate commission…You’ll come out slightly better and with a lot less hassle if you use a top-shelf agent.”

June 2, 2018

Access: An Important Factor in Getting Your House SOLD!

Access: An Important Factor in Getting Your House SOLD! | MyKCM

Access: An Important Factor in Getting Your House SOLD!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

With May proving to be the best month to sell your home, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

June 1, 2018

Dont Wait to Sell Your Home - Buyers are out there NOW!

Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Now | MyKCM

Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Now

Recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that now is a great time to sell your home. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item is realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high.

Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market.


It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed to sustain a normal market for over a year at this point. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from NAR revealed that there is currently only a 3.6-month supply of houses on the market.

Supply is currently very low!


A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers who are actually out looking at homes) disclosed that “foot traffic grew 10.5 points to 52.4 in March as the new season approaches.”

Demand is currently very high!

Bottom Line

Waiting to sell will only increase the competition between you and all of the other sellers putting their houses on the market later this summer. If you are debating whether or not to list your home, let’s get together to discuss the conditions in our market

May 31, 2018

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise?

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise? | MyKCM

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise?

Mortgage interest rates have increased by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year. They are projected to increase by an additional half of a point by year’s end. Because of this increase in rates, some are guessing that home prices will depreciate.

However, some prominent experts in the housing industry doubt that home values will be negatively impacted by the rise in rates.

Mark FlemingFirst American’s Chief Economist:

“Understanding the resiliency of the housing market in a rising mortgage rate environment puts the likely rise in mortgage rates into perspective – they are unlikely to materially impact the housing market…

The driving force behind the increase are healthy economic conditions…The healthy economy encourages more homeownership demand and spurs household income growth, which increases consumer house-buying power. Mortgage rates are on the rise because of a stronger economy and our housing market is well positioned to adapt.”

Terry LoebsFounder of Pulsenomics:

“Constrained home supply, persistent demand, very low unemployment, and steady economic growth have given a jolt to the near-term outlook for U.S. home prices. These conditions are overshadowing concerns that mortgage rate increases expected this year might quash the appetite of prospective home buyers.”

Laurie GoodmanCodirector of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute:

“Higher interest rates are generally positive for home prices, despite decreasing affordability…There were only three periods of prolonged higher rates in 1994, 2000, and the ‘taper tantrum’ in 2013. In each period, home price appreciation was robust.”

Industry reports are also calling for substantial home price appreciation this year. Here are three examples:

Bottom Line

As Freddie Mac reported earlier this year in their Insights Report“Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing,”

“As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

May 30, 2018

5 Reason why to sell this summer

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Summer! | MyKCM

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Summer!

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory has declined year-over-year for the last 35 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 41 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

May 17, 2018

Moving Up to Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait!

Moving Up to Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait! | MyKCM

Moving Up to Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait!

Mortgage interest rates have risen by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year, and many assume that if mortgage rates rise, home values will fall. History, however, has shown this not to be true.

Where are home values today compared to the beginning of the year?

While rates have been rising, so have home values. Here are the most recent monthly price increases reported in the Home Price Insights Report from CoreLogic:

  • January: Prices were up 0.5% over the month before.
  • February: Prices were up 1% over the month before.
  • March: Prices were up 1.4% over the month before.

Not only did prices continue to appreciate, the level of appreciation accelerated over the first quarter. CoreLogic believes that home prices will increase by 5.2% over the next twelve months.

How can prices rise while mortgage rates increase?

Freddie Mac explained in a recent Insight Report:

“In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”
Bottom Line

If you are thinking about moving up to your dream home, waiting until later this year and hoping for prices to fall may not be a good strategy.

May 1, 2018

Real Estate Market Report May 2018

April 1, 2018

Real Estate Market Report April 2018

March 1, 2018

Real Estate Market Report March 2018