The Carvajal Group: Your Address, Our Passion
  November 2009 Newsletter
Issue No. 4
Austin Skyline
Dear Carvajal,

The weather is beautiful, the Longhorns made it through their tough road stretch, the real estate market is stabilizing, the first-time home buyer tax credit was just extended through April, 2010 and interest rates are still low.  What more could we ask for? 
 
We hope you enjoy this newsletter, and we look forward to assisting you with all of your real estate needs.

Sincerely,
The Carvajal Team
www.CarvajalGroup.com
Austin Market Update
Uptick in Austin Real Estate Market

September 09 Stats

According to the September 2009 MLS report by the Austin Board of REALTORS┬«, activity in the Austin-area real estate market has shown signs of improvement from this time last year.  In September 2009, 1,780 homes were sold, a 6 percent increase from the homes sold in September 2008. The average home price in September 2009 was $242,433, slightly higher than the September 2008 average.
 
"This spur in activity compared to last year is a good sign," said Jay Gohil, chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. "It shows the Austin-area real estate market is healthy and has remained stable."
 
The September increase may have been impacted by the first-time homebuyer tax credit of $8,000, which required buyers to close by November 30, 2009.  President Barack Obama just approved an extension of that tax credit, which will now through the end of April.

In addition to the terms for first-time homebuyers, the measure offers provisions based on salary level, as well as for homebuyers who have owned their homes for a minimum of five years. They are eligible to receive a $6,500 tax credit.  Call Carvajal Group at 512.419.7770 to learn more.
Six Steps to Buying
House Sketch Looking for a condo, your first home or weekend retreat?  Our Six Steps to Buying guide will walk you through the process.
 

STEP 1: Pre-Qualifying and Prioritizing Your Requirements

Once you've decided to invest in real estate, it's a good idea to start with an idea of how much you want to spend.  If you don't know how much you can afford, most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone based on general questions about your income, debt, assets and credit history.  Then it's time to dig deeper into your requirements.  Where do you want to live - in the heart of downtown or in the hill country?  How many bedrooms and bathrooms will be ideal to prevent family feuds?  And does Fido need a big, fenced yard to run around in?  Once you've prioritized your most important criteria, you're ready for Step 2...
 
Austin & Industry News
In This Issue
Austin Market Update
Six Steps to Buying
Austin & Industry News
Tailgate Sidebar

Join Carvajal Group at MLK and Brazos across from the Bob Bullock Museum for the last two tailgate parties this season!  Bring your friends and your wristband.

NOVEMBER TAILGATES
Texas vs. UCF - November 7th
Texas vs. Kansas - November 21st

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. Your quote could be posted in our new marketing materials!
Events in Austin
What's Happening Around Town

Shop 787 - This shopping event will be held at Mosaic at Mueller from noon to 6pm on Sunday, November 8th, featuring over 50 local boutiques, designers and artists as well as food and drink vendors. The event benefits the Dell Children's Medical Center. Advance tickets are $5 through Shop787.com or tickets may be purchased for $10 at the door or $5 with the donation of a book.

Christmas at the Caswell House - an Austin Tradition opens up the doors of the Caswell Mansion from November 5th-15th with everything from holiday decor to attire to local jewelry for sale and a bake shop open to the public.  www.austinjuniorforum.com

Austin Farmer's Market downtown at Guadalupe and 4th street at Republic Park 9am-1pm Saturdays and at the Triangle from 3pm-7pm Wednesdays.
www.austinfarmersmarket.org

THANKSGIVING -
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26th. 
 

19th Annual ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot - This annual event on Thanksgiving Day benefits Caritas of Austin. There is a 5-mile run, a 1-mile walk and a kids K.  The trot begin at 9:30am in Waterloo Park and runs north around the University of Texas.  www.runtex.com

The Annual Chuy's Christmas Parade will begin at 11am on Saturday, November 28th starting at the Capital and heading south down Congress Avenue. www.chuysparade.com
Eats in Austin
Old Favorites & New Treats

Asti Trattoria in Hyde Park serving fresh traditional Italian food for lunch and dinner that won't break the bank and FINO on 29th street with great Mediterranean selections.  Information and menus for both restaurants can be viewed at www.astiaustin.com.

Eastside Showroom, located on East 6th Street next to Shangri La is a family owned restaurant and bar with full dinner menu, intimate environment and a showcase for creativity. www.eastsideshowroom.com

Phil's Icehouse at 5620 Burnet Road has become an Austin family staple with an outdoor playground for the kids and Amy's Ice Cream right next door (if you still have room after your giant burger and sweet potato fries).
www.philsicehouse.com

Gourdough's food trailer on South Lamar offers delicious, fresh-baked doughnuts in crazy combinations like the Flying Pig (bacon and maple syrup), the Funky Monkey (grilled bananas, cream cheese icing and brown sugar) and the Heavenly Hash (marshmallows and fudge icing).
www.gourdoughs.com