• Jana Hellbusch

What is going on with residential sales in Bastrop County?

So, what is happening with real estate sales in Bastrop County? Since real estate is always localized and varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, it is difficult to generalize. However, to make it easy to understand, a quick comparison of all of Bastrop County single family residential sales (manufactured homes to mansions) for the first six months of 2011 to the past three years production reveals sold prices have more than doubled in the past ten years. Bastrop County includes parts of Paige, Elgin and Del Valle, all of Bastrop and Smithville, Red Rock, Cedar Creek and points in between. This chart gives us a general picture.

I am often asked, where are all the people coming from to Bastrop County? In my experience, buyers are generally coming from Austin, San Antonio and Houston. They are either escaping higher taxes or seeking a less hectic pace of life in a smaller community environment whether it be in downtown Bastrop, Smithville or Elgin, in one of our unique subdivisions or to fulfil their dream of someplace rural.

"Do not be concerned about where your new neighbours are coming from but rather welcome them to the community and introduce them to the things you love about living in Bastrop County. "

Help them gain the same appreciation for what has made Bastrop the most historic small town in Texas while maintaining a sense of history amidst controlled growth. Help them enjoy Smithville as the film capital of the State and their endless community events. Point out Elgin’s 14 blocks of historic commercial buildings and thriving farms on the edge of expanding Austin. We want our new neighbours to help us carry on our traditions instead of trying to change our political, educational or community makeup. “Newcomers” will learn that from you.

What do the coming months look like for you in the real estate market? If you want to sell, do it now! Historically, the best time to sell your property is in Spring and Summer. If you do not have a current survey, order it now. Surveys can take weeks and if you get a cash buyer wanting to close fast, you do not want to wait for the survey. Be totally honest on the seller’s disclosure notice, sharing the good and bad — disclosure is of utmost importance. If you want top dollar, get your property “show ready” by cleaning and painting and doing repairs in advance of listing. Make it as attractive and move-in ready as possible. Listen to suggestions by your REALTOR®.

For buyers, you either must be able to compete with cash or a “pre-approved” loan. You may need to be willing to pay the difference in an appraised value and the sales price you offered, if the property is over-priced according to the appraiser your lender hires. Not every property you see on the market is going to get into a bidding war. Don’t be afraid to offer list price. Get a home inspection to help avoid surprises that may have been covered up or even unknown by the seller. Do not overpay if you do not think the property is worth it. Be willing to wait until prices come down or you find that perfect property that meets your needs.

Whether selling or buying in Bastrop County, the best thing you can do is trust a Bastrop County REALTOR®. They know the market. They have knowledge about the endangered species Houston Toad, formerly used Defence Site Camp Swift, water districts and flood areas that agents outside the County do not even think about.

Do you want your listing agent to show up at your rural property in spike heels or flip-flops? Local agents will not. And if the property listing was put up on MLS by a non-Bastrop REALTOR® working with a non-Bastrop REALTOR® assisting the buyer, the clients on both sides can be under-represented and perhaps in jeopardy of not sharing pertinent information. The saying “shop local” extends to “list local” too.

Jana Hellbusch moved from Houston to Bastrop in 2000. She has been a REALTOR® since  2012. Her Broker is All City Real Estate, LTD. CO., the fastest growing brokerage in Texas. If you have suggestions for future real estate related articles, contact Jana through Tammy  Johnson-Finn at thebcboa@gmail.com

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