All Blog Entries by Mary Ann Castro

Found 237 blog entries published by Mary Ann Castro.

jbgoodwin-realtors-newsJBGoodwin REALTORS® successfully defended the rights of real estate professionals in Texas against a suit brought on by patent troll Property Disclosure Technologies (or PDT). For those unfamiliar with patent trolls or patent holding companies, they are firms who purchase patents with the sole purpose of looking for, and suing companies in violation of those patents for financial gain. They do not produce intellectual property, nor do they conduct any original research or manufacturing. Most of their suits never make it to court, as the threat of hefty legal fees cause most defendants to settle out of court.

JBGoodwin REALTORS® VS Property Disclosure Technologies

JBGoodwin REALTORS® was sued, along with 12 other real estate industry leaders on

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One of the dreaded tasks of any landlord is finding a great tenant for your rental property. Tenant screening is a critical process, and when done correctly can eliminate the majority of common bad tenant issues. Add these helpful tips to your tenant screening checklist, and find the properly qualified tenant of your dreams.

Screen over the phone

What many landlords fail to realize is that the tenant screening process starts at first contact, which is typically by phone or e-mail. Before you proceed to a showing, screen for potential red flags by getting answers to the following questions:

  • Name
  • Contact info
  • Reason for moving
  • Intended rental term
  • Total number of people renting, and their relationship to the potential renter (family
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Self-employed-mortgagesEver get the feeling that mortgages are designed for people with 9 to 5 jobs? You're not alone. Self-employment can sometimes cause potential homebuyers to hit a mortgage wall, due to a lack of steady income. Not to worry though. Self-employed folks can qualify for mortgages too! By being proactive, you too can get approved for a mortgage. These tips are designed to help you increase the odds of homeownership.

Shop for homes without HOA fees

Believe it or not, homeowner association fees are included as a part of your mortgage calculation. So make a point to look for homes without any HOA fees. It may be the difference in getting approved or rejected by a lender.

Look at your tax history

Lenders determine your monthly income by looking at your

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With every year comes new innovations in smart home technology. From smart appliances to automated home security, our homes are constantly evolving to accommodate high-tech lifestyles of the 21st Century. These smart home devices are designed to make your day to day living easier. Here are five of our favorites.

Amazon Echo

At first glance, Amazon Echo looks like your standard portable speaker, but it's so much more. Not only does it play music with exceptional sound quality, this multi-tasking device has a voice activated feature designed to answer questions. It also relays the news, weather forecasts, creates to do lists and alarms.

Since it's connected to the cloud, the power of the Internet is at your service. The cost for this handy

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austin-real-estate-newsStay connected with the latest Austin real estate news. See what's happening in Austin and stay ahead of the game in this increasingly competitive market. Courtesy of JBGoodwin REALTORS®. This month we feature stories on Austin rental rates, Hotel San Jose, and a high profile listing in The Domain.

Rents ease as thousands of new apartments come into Austin market

American Statesman

Austin renters may find some relief in 2015 when it comes to their monthly rents. Over 10,000 apartment units entered the Austin real estate market in 2014, and another 8,000 units are expected to be added in 2015. This translates into cheaper rents as supply catches up with the overwhelming demand for housing. In fact, Austin's occupancy rate was at 94 percent in the

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univeristy-of-texas-at-austinThe University of Texas at Austin has been a mainstay in the city for decades. One of the largest universities in the world, UT has over 50,000 students and employs over 24,000 faculty and staff.

In fact, much of Austin's reputation as a fun, friendly and innovative city comes from its local student body. From Longhorns football to concerts at Bates Recital Hall, there's always something going on around campus.

Here are the latest news and happenings coming out of UT.

UT Welcomes Chancellor William McRaven

Taking the reigns from former Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, Chancellor William McRaven started his service at UT earlier this month. A retired admiral of the United States Navy, McRaven bravely served his country for 37 years. His service

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Are you renting in Austin, and thinking about home ownership? You're not alone. With rising home prices in Austin, many renters feel as though they are being priced out of the market. The median home price in Austin was $238,000 in 2014, and shows no signs of easing up in the near future. First time buyers need not despair. It is still possible to find affordable Austin homes for sale.

Here's a look at what about $200,000 will get you today.

11406-Powder-Mill-Trl-Austin11406 Powder Mill Trl, Austin

Location: Austin, TX
Price: $250,000
Subdivision: Village of Anderson Mill
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3
MLS®: #6879872

If you have a growing family, you may enjoy this roomy 5 bedroom home in North Austin. For $250,000, you and your family can take advantage of this recently updated

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bathroom-trends-2015Designers are moving away from cottage inspired bathrooms and are opting for a more contemporary look in 2015. Expect an increase in popularity in zen-like bathrooms, which offer a spa-like retreat for homeowners. Think clean lines and minimalist design. Not sure where to begin? We pick our favorite bathroom trends for 2015 guaranteed to up your home's appeal.

Freestanding Bathtubs

Contemporary basins are reigning supreme with high-end bathroom remodels. Enclosed bathtubs are declining in popularity and making way for freestanding bathtubs in 2015. They offer lots of visual appeal and help set the mood for a self-indulgent soak. The curved lines of freestanding bathtubs also help to soften the overall look of the room.

Gray Tones

Beige is out

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austin-real-estate-newsStay connected with the latest Austin real estate news. See what's happening in Austin and stay ahead of the game in this increasingly competitive market. Courtesy of JBGoodwin REALTORS®. This month we feature stories on millenial homebuyers, record setting sales in November and more.

Austin one of the best cities for millennial homebuyers, CNN Money

It's official, Austin is one of the best cities for millennial buyers says an article by CNN Money. With lots of tech employers offering employment, and a job growth of 4.2%, it's no wonder why so many millennials are attracted to Austin. In fact, about 110 people are moving to Austin every day, many of which are under the age of 35. While homes in Austin aren't exactly cheap, high wages more than make

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austin-new-years-eveIt's that time again, Texas! The time of year when we celebrate the coming year with champagne, fireworks and funny hats. Where will you be when the ball drops at midnight? Here are our favorite picks for Austin New Year's Eve events this year.

Gatsby: A Roaring 20's New Year's Eve

December 31, 2014 at 8:00pm- January 1st at 2:00am
Highland Lounge
Admission: $10 at the door; Free before 10:00pm; VIP packages available

Gatsby: A Roaring 20's New Year's Eve is a fun filled night for all guys and dolls. Come dressed to impress and dance the night away at this Great Gatsby themed New Year's Ever party. The night will feature complimentary swing dance lessons at 8:00pm, live entertainment by CHICO CHICO, burlesque performances by Avant Glam Cabaret, and

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