This Month's Newsletter

The Carvajal Group: Your Address, Our Passion
December 2009 Newsletter
Issue No. 5
Austin Skyline
Dear Carvajal,

We're excited to announce the launch of our new website at www.CarvajalGroup.com.  We've given the site a fresh look, improved navigation and added an abundance of content with the goal of making it easier to buy, lease, sell or manage your property. 
 
We hope you enjoy the new website and this newsletter, and we look forward to assisting you with all of your real estate needs. 

Happy Holidays!
The Carvajal Team
Austin Market Update
Austin Area Home Sales Volume Surges

October Stats

According to the Multiple Listing Service report by the Austin Board of REALTORS┬«, the volume of home sales in the Austin-area real estate market surged in October 2009.  In October 2009, 1,823 homes were sold versus 1,322 in October 2008, a 38 percent increase.  The average sales price of Austin homes in October 2009 was $238,604.
 
"Sales volume like this is similar to what we saw in 2005, which is an encouraging sign," said Jay Gohil, chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. "It's possible some of this surge in volume was related to the original deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit, so it's good for our market that the tax credit was both extended until April and expanded to include more current and prospective homeowners."
Six Steps to Selling

Our Six Steps to Selling guide will walk you through the process of marketing your home to ensure you get the highest price in the shortest amount of time. 
 
Step 1 - Set Your Goals.  The most important aspect of marketing your home effectively - besides having a great real estate agent - is pricing it right. Your agent should begin this process by conducting a Comparative Market Analysis of your area.  This comparison to other homes for sale in your area, as well as the overall market, the condition of your home and any time constraints, will help you and your agent set the right price.
 
Asking a fair price will help you generate the most activity from other agents and buyers.  Research shows that homes priced higher than just 3% of their market value take longer to sell.
 
Austin & Industry News
In This Issue
Austin Market Update
Six Steps to Selling
Austin & Industry News
Dollar Sign

Let the Government give you a gift this holiday season.  With an extension of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit - even those who co-sign on a loan with their parents - and the $6,500 tax credit available to many current home owners, now is the time to buy.  Read more about the Home Buyer Tax Credit here.

We always like to hear from our clients. Click on KUDOS above to tell us what we're doing well and what we can improve upon.
Events in Austin
What's Happening Around Town

The Nutcracker - Ballet Austin's 47th annual production December 5-23 at The Long Center. Performance times vary by day. www.balletaustin.org

Zilker Park Festivities - Watch Austin's favorite Christmas tree be lit in Zilker Park every night at dusk through December 31st, Drive through the Trail of Lights, or join in on the special Holiday Festival Event Nights December 13th-21st from 6pm -10pm.
www.ci.austin.tx.us/tol/about.htm

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar December 11-24 from 11am-11pm at the Austin Convention Center.  Fine Art, Extraordinary Gifts, Live Music. www.armadillobazaar.com

Keep Austin Bizarre -
December 18-21. This annual four-day shopping event features 100 vendors and 40 live acts plus local breweries and international food. It will be held at Fiesta Gardens this year, with heated tents. Parking and admission is free. Open Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-12 a.m. and Sun-Mon 11 a.m.-10 p.m. www.keepaustinbizarre.com

Trans-Siberian Orchestra -
Watch one of the most successful live music acts in history at the Frank Erwin Center as a part of their winter tour. Shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on December 28th.
www.trans-siberian.com

Eats in Austin
Old Favorites & New Treats

Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar - 1400 S. Congress (former Mars location).  Fresh seafood fare in a casual beach resort setting for lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch and happy hour every day. Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar was featured as one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire Magazine in 2009. www.perlasaustin.com
 
Cover 3 - 2700 W. Anderson Lane. Owners Matt Dodson and Doug Young, native Austinites, have joined their shared passion for outstanding food, exceptional service and a pure love of sports into one amazing establishment.  www.cover-3.com

Man Bites Dog - Another trailer joins the fray in the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery at 1311 S. First St.  Man Bites Dog offers 12 hot dogs, both classic and quirky.
www.manbitesdogaustin.com