Real Estate Appraisal Industry and News

Allandale – 78757 NW Austin Real Estate Sales Data

Allandale – 78757 – NW Austin Older Homes

Allandale is located east of Mopac/Loop 1, south of Anderson Lane, West of Burnet and north of Hancock Dr. This is an area of older homes.  Most are single-story ranch-style homes. Most streets have large old oak trees providing lots of nice shade from the hot Texas sun.

Many of the homes in this area have had the same owner for decades. That means when they come on the market they have often had minimal updating and can be a re-modelers dream.

I set out this past weekend to photograph the types of houses that are characteristic of the area and only manged to get through the little area in the northwest section of this map:

Allandale neighborhood map in northwest Austin, 78757
Allandale neighborhood map in northwest Austin, mostly 78757

Allandale Real Estate Sales Activity

For the 12 months ending 8/19/2014:

  • 98 homes sold for a median price of $455,000 (range: $277,500 to $856,250)
  • The median age was 55 years old (range: built between 1938 and 2014)
  • The median size was 1,750 sf (range: 816 sf to 3,419)

Why Live in Allandale in NW Austin?

This neighborhood has excellent proximity to Mopac/Loop1 as well as 183. At the northern edge is Anderson Lane, well known for furniture stores and a growing number of Austin-grown restaurants.

The local community fought hard against the WalMart that now sits at the old Northcross Mall location on Anderson Lane (east of Allandale). Fortunately, the dire traffic jams that were predicted haven’t materialized, and the local businesses still have a lot of patrons.

Are Prices Going Up in Allandale?

The median price of homes sold in this neighborhood between 8/20/2012 and 8/19/2013 (the 12 to 24 months before this article, and before the sales numbers shared, above) was $400,000 (100 sales, range: $240,500 to $790,000).

That means that the price of homes has gone up in this area.

Images of Homes in the NW Corner of Allandale, in Austin TX

Google Map of Allandale

For your exploring pleasure:

Certified Appraiser vs. Licensed Appraiser: The Difference in TX?

What is the Difference Between a Certified Appraiser and a Licensed Appraiser in Texas?

Short answer: the amount of real estate appraiser education and training, as defined by the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB).

Also: the types of properties the appraiser can appraise.

The table linked in from TALCB, above, provides the best summary of the differences in Texas between the licensing levels for a Certified Residential and a Licensed Appraiser (as well as for a General Appraiser, the highest-level of license that also permits the licensee to appraise commercial property.)

Certified Appraiser Licensing Requires More Experience and Education

To obtain the license level of a Certified Appraiser in Texas, a candidate needs more education (both undergraduate education and appraiser-specific education) and more documented hours of appraisal experience, over a longer period of time.

Each licensing level requires the applicant to pass an exam (the National Uniform State Appraiser Examination) specific to that level of licensing. The exams are developed by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB).

The Bottom Line on Certified vs. Licensed

If you want to join the profession: study the differences and talk to appraisers at different license levels to decide which level to pursue (hint: Certified).

One More Thing: How Much Property the Certified Appraiser Can Appraise

“May appraise 1-4 unit residential properties without regard to transaction value or
complexity of the appraisal for federally related transactions (FRT) and non-federally related transactions (Non-FRT).

May associate with a Certified General Appraiser, who must sign the report, to appraise nonresidential properties.”

(From TALCB)

Federally Related Transaction: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Federally Related Transactions (US and Texas) – Why We Need the Definition

Once upon a time, Savings and Loans (S&Ls) ran amok. FIRREA (Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (aka “Title XI”)) was passed in 1989 in response to the Savings and Loan Crisis after it bankrupted the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC).

American taxpayers footed the bill for over $75 billion (according to Mortgage News Daily).

Definition of “Federally Related Transaction”



The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Act (Section 1103.001) of the Texas Occupations Code (Chapter 1103)
define a Federally related transaction to be a real estate-related transaction that:

Requires the services of an appraiser; and

is engaged in, contracted for, or regulated by a federal financial institution regulatory agency.

What are Federal Financial Institution Regulatory Agencies?

According to Section 1103.003.6-b of the Texas Occupation Code, these are:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

The Office of the Comptroller of the

The Office of Thrift Supervision;

The National Credit Union Administration; or

The successors of any of those agencies.

Why Should You Care?

A real estate appraisal used in a federally related transaction must be performed by a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser to be considered valid.

Who Regulates Texas Appraisers?

The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) licenses, certifies and regulates real estate appraisers in Texas. Other states have similar licensing boards.

As A Homeowner, Do You Really Need to Know This?

The good news for you if you are a homeowner is this: you won’t be the one ordering the appraisal for a federally related transaction. The person ordering the appraisal is usually a mortgage broker or lending institution and the appraiser receiving the appraisal will need to certify that he or she is properly licensed by his or her state to perform the appraisal for the property in question.

Shadow Inventory: What it Means for Texas Homeowners

Shadow Inventory: Defined

Shadow inventory is a real estate term that estimates:

  • the number of properties owned by banks, PLUS
  • the number of additional homes that have been foreclosed but are not yet on the market, PLUS
  • properties where the owners are behind on their payments and will probably end up in foreclosure.
  • As real estate professionals and homeowners we care about the numbers of properties in the housing shadow inventory because it gives an idea of the amount of time it might take before the housing market returns to “normal”. I put that in quotes because we’re not convinced that there IS such a thing as a normal real estate market anymore.

    (For a detailed look at how Selma Hepp, a Research Economist for NAR, the National Association of Realtors estimated the national shadow inventory, please see the in-depth article posted on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook website, State by State Estimate of Shadow Inventory.)

    Shadow Inventory in Texas

    According to Hepp’s analysis, Texas ranks at #5 in sheer (estimated) numbers of properties in the shadow inventory, coming in behind Florida, California, Illinois and New York and slightly ahead of New Jersey and Ohio.

    Hepp’s report indicates that it may take as many as 11 months to clear Texas’ shadow inventory, compared to a high of 51 months in New Jersey down to a low of 7 months in Nevada.

    Two other interesting points to note, taken from NAR’s Mortgage Delinquencies by State Presentation (for 2010) is that in Texas, 1.9% of mortgage were in the foreclosure inventory for the 4th quarter of 2010 (below the median rate) and that 5.1% are considered to be seriously delinquent, which is also below the median.

    What does the Texas Shadow Inventory Mean to Texas Homeowners?

  • If you’re planning to sell your home, you may be competing with properties that were foreclosed that are now on the market.
  • New foreclosures may hit the market after you list your home for sale.
  • Some of these homes are being sold by the bank, and some are being sold by investors who bought them at auction, fixed them up a bit and are hoping to make a return on their investment.
  • Investor-owned homes are usually priced to sell quickly, a little below actual market value.
  • Foreclosures being sold by banks are also frequently priced below market value.
  • What Can Texas Home Sellers Do?

    For your specific situation, your best bet is to talk to one or more knowledgeable Realtors who are very familiar with your local market.

    You will want to set aside several hour-long appointments with different agents so that you have time to review the numbers with them before selecting an agent to represent you if you decide to sell.

    Some markets in Central Texas are selling very well this spring, and yours might just happen to be one of them.In other words, the shadow inventory might not make much difference to your chances of selling your home at a decent price. Or, local foreclosures might be a serious problem in your area. How do you figure out which is which?

    If you are someone who likes to know hard numbers, some questions to ask might include:

  • What do you consider to be the local market area for my home (which neighborhoods, subdivisions, areas)?
  • How are homes selling in this area (for this first quarter of 2011, compared to the last 6 months of 2010)?
  • Specifically for homes that would be considered competition for YOUR home if you were to list it for sale:

  • How many comparable homes are currently for sale?
  • How many have sold in the last couple of months (3 months, 6 months) and how does this compare with the number of homes that sell in a typical month?

    (What you’re asking about is the absorption rate and inventory. If 6 houses sold in the last 6 months and 3 are currently for sale, then your absorption rate is 1 home per month (6 in 6 months) and your area has 3 months of inventory. You care because if you want your home to be the one most likely to sell in a given month, it has to be the best one for the best price.)

  • Tell me about the foreclosures that are considered to be comparable to my property and how they might affect the ability of my house to sell quickly and for top dollar.

  • The agent you decide to work with will need to know and understand the answers to the above questions and should be able to explain the answers to you in simple terms.

    He or she should also be able to show you real numbers for how homes are selling in your area, and more specifically – homes that are similar to yours, so that you have an idea of how easily your home might sell (or not).


    Austin Condo Mortgage: Not Your Typical Home Loan

    Condo Loans and Condo Financing – Tougher to Get?


    A condo loan requires both the buyer and the condo association to qualify. Even a highly qualified buyer may not be able to purchase a condo, if the condo development is not as financially stable as a lender requires.

    Some Austin Condos Won’t Qualify

    Austin has a lot of condos, including older developments and newer ones dotting the downtown skyline. In August of 2010, the Austin Business Journal reported on the failure of the Pecan Place Condominiums near 183 and Texas 45 in Northwest Austin. Half of the 29 townhouse condos had sold but the remaining ones were in various states of completion. Other developments have also made the news, in different stages of failure or distress.

    In situations like those, even if a borrower had really really wanted to buy one of the condos, condo financing would have been impossible to obtain – the financial health of the developments was not ok.

    Other condo developments, of course, are doing just fine. Make sure you know which is which when you go shopping for a condo so your condo mortgage will be less likely to stall the deal. FHA loans for condos are also different from regular home loans, or non-FHA condo mortgages.

    Work with an Experienced Lender for Your Condo Mortgage

    Condo development in Austin TexasBecause a condominium loan is more complicated, make sure that both you real estate agent and your mortgage broker or bank are experienced in the ins and outs of condo financing.

    Qualify real estate agent and mortgage professional by asking questions like these (and take notes!):

    1. How many years have you been in this business?

    2. How many condos have you sold? (Or, how many condo loans have you done?)

    3. Are you familiar with this particular development? What can you tell me that you think I need to know?

    4. Can you describe the condo financing and condo buying process and how it is different than the home buying process?

    5. How will you make sure we have good communication about my purchase?

    6. How many units are rentals and how many are owner-occupied? Does that make a difference in whether or not I can get a condo loan?

    7. What are the fees in addition to my condo mortgage payments that I will have to pay (upfront fees, on-going or monthly fees)?

    8. If you don’t understand any of the answers, ask them to explain their answers and keep asking questions until you’re sure you understand!