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Monday, June 29 2009

Are you no longer afford to make your monthly loan payments? You may be qualified for a loan modification to make your monthly mortgage payment more affordable. Millions of borrowers who are current, but having difficulty making their payments and borrowers who have already missed one or more payments may be eligible.

First, contact your mortgage provider whether you wil be qualified for. You will need to show that you have adequate income to make a reduced payments on an ongoing basis and that modification is an appropriate option given the characteristics of your mortgage and the value of your home.

Under the Home Affordable Modification program, the target maximum amount for your mortgage payment (or mortgage debt-to-income) should be 31% of your gross (pre-tax) monthly income. In your monthly payment should include principal, interest, insurance, tax, and home owners due, if applicable. Your total gross income of all the borrowers who signed your mortgage before any taxes or other deductions are made.

You may go to for more info.

If you need  help, contact Susie Kang at 512.695.1481 or email at

Posted by: Susie Kang AT 11:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 28 2009
 The Texas economy is sliding deeper into recession. The state’s economy lost 222,400 jobs from May 2008 to May 2009, an annual job loss of 2.1 percent. Over the same period, the U.S. economy lost more than 5.5 million jobs or 4 percent of its total nonfarm jobs.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.7 percent in May 2008 to 7.1 percent in May 2009. The U.S. rate rose from 5.5 percent to 9.4 percent during the same period.

Only two Texas industries (education and health services and leisure and hospitality) and the government sector had more jobs in May 2009 than in May 2008. Nine industries experienced net job losses over the same period.

Only six Texas metro areas experienced positive employment growth rates from May 2008 to May 2009. Seventeen metros had net job losses.

Despite job losses in the oil and gas extraction industry, petroplexes Odessa and Midland ranked first and second in job creation, followed by Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood, Tyler and Austin–Round Rock.

The state’s actual unemployment rate in May 2009 was 6.9 percent. Lubbock had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Amarillo, College Station–Bryan, Abilene and Midland.

Posted by: College Station (Real Estate Center) AT 04:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 14 2009
  The Center's chief economist recently spoke at the 2009 Houston Real Estate Roundtable, where he had much to say about the future of commercial real estate in Texas and the United States.

Check out Dr. Mark Dotzour's speech in the Center's new 46-minute video, "It's Showtime!," now available online.

Posted by: Randy Birdwell in Economy AT 12:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 13 2009
  Here's our list of the 10 best places to live based on US News:

1. Albuquerque, N.M. 2. Auburn, Ala. 3. Austin, Texas 4. Boise, Idaho 5. Durham, N.C. 6. La Crosse, Wis. 7. Loveland, Colo. 8. San Luis Obispo, Calif. 9. St. Augustine, Fla. 10. Upper St. Clair, Pa.

Alburquerque, N.M

Along the banks of the Rio Grande, with the Sandia Mountains in the background, is the beautiful city of Albuquerque, N.M. The sunny climate and endless landscape have long drawn writers, poets, and artists to this spot, which includes an unconventional mix of American Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures. But it's not just freethinkers who drift to this Southwestern city of 511,000. Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, and Intel Corp. have helped develop the area into a manufacturing and research hub. They provide a stable anchor for the local economy.

Albuquerque's clear skies, calm winds, and abundant sunshine present plenty of opportunities to explore its natural splendor. Each October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta fills the sky with more than 700 colorful hot-air balloons. Fourteen area golf courses are open year-round and allow duffers to tee off against spectacular backdrops of volcanoes and mountain peaks. Meanwhile, Albuquerque's foothills and network of trails make the area a wonderful destination for biking. Still, "it's kind of undiscovered at the same time," says Will McConnell of the Albuquerque Bicycle Center.

Auburn, Alabama

For Southern charm with collegiate vigor, consider Auburn, Ala. This diamond on the eastern Alabama plains has a population of just under 50,000 and is home to Auburn University. On football Saturdays, when die-hard fans arrive in droves to cheer their beloved Tigers, Auburn swells to the state's fifth-most-populous city. And as Auburn's largest employer, the university also plays a starring role in the local economy.

With mild winters and hot summers, the city offers no shortage of outdoor recreation opportunities. Find a nice hiking trail in the 696-acre Chewacla State Park before cooling off with an afternoon swim. Take a stroll through the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, located on the Auburn University campus.

Golfers can head to nearby Grand National golf course and wend their way through the state along the beautiful Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. "Once you have been there, you just want to come back," says John Cannon, president of SunBelt Golf Corp., which manages the trail.

[See a slideshow of the 10 best places to live.]

Austin, Texas

If you're a free spirit, music junkie, or barbecue lover--or if you simply have what it takes to "keep Austin weird"--Texas's state capital is for you. Considered ground zero for live music, this city of 716,000 residents is home to legions of musicians and nearly 200 performance venues. In addition, Austin hosts the always popular South by Southwest festival. Since its inception in 1987, the event has mushroomed from a local gathering to a 1,800-band, 80-stage extravaganza of music, filmmaking, and interactive activities featuring performers from all over the world. Austin is also a high-tech hub, with companies like Dell and IBM, which employ thousands of residents.

The city's warm climate offers plenty of sunshine, while the open green spaces don't provide any excuse for staying indoors. Head over to Lions Municipal Golf Course for an inexpensive round. Wander through the 351-acre Zilker Metropolitan Park until you find Barton Springs Pool, a 3-acre water source fed by underground springs that keep its temperature around 68 degrees all year long. To escape the city, head for the nearby Hill Country. "It's rolling hills cut with lots of little creeks and streams," says Tom Beach, a sales clerk at Austin Canoe & Kayak. "It makes for a nice road trip."

Boise, Idaho

Although often overlooked, Boise, Idaho, is a terrific destination for those looking to escape out West. With a high-desert climate of sunshine, clear skies, and four distinct seasons, this city of 200,000 makes a perfect base camp for exploring southwest Idaho's dramatic panorama. Choose from the many nearby parks, which total some 2,700 acres, cast a fishing line into the Boise River, or head over to Boise State University for a Broncos football game.

High-tech companies Micron Technology and Hewlett-Packard are among the area's leading private employers. To hit the thriving local arts scene, cruise downtown. Boise's free "Alive After Five" concert series brings musicians and other entertainers to the Grove Plaza each Wednesday during the summer. "It's harder to find a parking space after 5 than it is before 5," says Paul Hiller, the executive director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. "It's one of the most vibrant downtown areas you've ever seen."

Durham, North Carolina

Once a tobacco town, Durham, N.C., has evolved into a world-class center of all things advanced. This city of 206,000, located halfway between the Atlantic coast and the Great Smoky Mountains, is called the "City of Medicine" because of its expansive healthcare industry. And although widely known as the home of prestigious Duke University, it's also a thriving technology hub. At the same time, Durham's mild climate allows residents to get out and explore the region's abundant outdoor attractions. Consider hiking one of the many distinct trails and greenways or heading over to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park for an afternoon baseball game.

La Crosse, Wisconsin

With a population of about 50,000, La Crosse, Wis., is a great staging ground for exploring the natural wonders of the upper Mississippi River area. Although winters can be bitterly cold, friendly Midwesterners and the nearby ski slopes will keep your spirits high. The spring opens an active outdoor culture of camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing that brings more than a million visitors to the area each year. Explore the mighty Mississippi on a riverboat tour, or try your luck with the northern pike in Lake Onalaska. "Great people, fun town," says Dave Lueck, a 36-year-old graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. "It's not too big, not too small." And with a 2008 median home sale price of $113,000, it's also an affordable destination.

[Learn more about our methodology in choosing the best places to live.]

Loveland, Colorado

Located just outside the breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park, Loveland, Colo., is considered the "Gateway to the Rockies." But while it has 27 public parks and nearly 16 miles of recreation trails, it's Loveland's affection for man-made beauty that sets this community of 56,000 residents apart. Thanks to its Art in Public Places program, more than 300 pieces of sculpture and two-dimensional works are on display throughout the community. And with a 2008 median home sale price of $186,000, the area's real estate market is relatively affordable.

Loveland has also achieved acclaim for its Valentine remailing program, in which 200,000 cards are sent to the city to receive a special cachet stamp. "We've got a waiting list of over 50 people that are waiting to be stampers," says Kathryn Roth of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.

San Luis Obispo, California

Tucked into California's sweeping Central Coast region is lovely San Luis Obispo, Calif. Its warm, gentle climate, with temperatures rarely surpassing 90 degrees, is perfect for hitting nearby beaches or touring local vineyards. In addition, California Polytechnic State University, which is located in town, infuses the community with intellectual energy.

Although area home prices have fallen by as much as 35 percent over the past two years, the national housing bust may have also created another reason to make San Luis Obispo your home, says John Day, a local real estate broker. "There are just plain good deals" in the current market, he says.

St. Augustine, Florida

As the nation's longest continually inhabited European-founded city, St. Augustine, Fla., considers itself the oldest city in the United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish Adm. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, this community of 13,000 residents on Florida's northeastern coast has managed to maintain its colonial charm. Take the Castillo de San Marcos, for example. This remarkable stone-and-mortar fort is located right in the heart of St. Augustine's cobblestoned historic district. And even though 300 years of violent storms and enemy firepower couldn't penetrate its walls, visitors can enter the 20.5-acre monument site today for just $6.

But St. Augustine's appeal extends beyond the history books. With a highly educated workforce, world-class golfing nearby--the immaculate TPC Sawgrass course is located just up the road--and that refreshing Atlantic breeze, this "ancient city" offers enough activities to satisfy even the most fanatical outdoor sports enthusiast. "Fishing, kayaking, boating--we have just about everything," says Donald Edwards, a clerk at the Avid Angler fishing shop. "I wouldn't live anywhere else."

Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania

For a quiet residential option, consider Upper St. Clair, Pa. This quaint town of fewer than 20,000 residents is located in the hilly woodlands outside Pittsburgh, where the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1700s was centered. The median home price of this family-oriented community was $240,000 in 2008. And its school system is superb: Ninety-eight percent of its high school graduates go on to college, and the Upper St. Clair school district currently boasts 10 federal government blue-ribbon "Excellence in Education" awards.

After the spring thaw, residents head outside to enjoy the region's abundant greenery. "Pennsylvania is a fairly robust and rich place in terms of resources, if you just look a little bit," says Ed Di Gangi, the president of the Upper St. Clair Fly Fishing Club. In addition to fishing, popular outdoor activities include hiking, cycling, golf, and bocce. And with Pittsburgh about 10 miles away, residents of this small town are never too far removed from big-city comforts. "From here to a Pirates [baseball] game or here to a Penguins [hockey] game, it's 30 minutes or less," Di Gangi says.

Posted by: US News AT 01:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 08 2009

Susie Kang was in Leadeship Program in Austin Board of Realtors (AboR) this year and she has graduated out of 19 people in 8 June 09. She is currently invovled with AboR as Education Committee and Government Affairs and will actively be involved in AboR in the near future. She is also actively involved in CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Institute as a Designation Committee and a Country Liaison for South Korea that has 1,200 CCIM  members.

Leadership Academy Graduate Member

Posted by: Joa Realty AT 04:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 07 2009

Susie Kang stays connected to the Energy Session with Dr. Morguelan on 7 June in Austin. Dr. Morguelan guided us how to get more of Energy in our life through 5,000 years Chinese technique. For more information, go to Energy for Success.

Posted by: Joa Realty AT 06:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 05 2009

Tools for Complying with the Energy Efficiency Ordinance

The City of Austin’s Energy Efficiency Ordinance, effective as of June 1, 2009, requires that energy audits be conducted and disclosed for many properties located within the Austin city limits.  Below, you’ll find resources to help you understand and comply with the City of Austin’s new Energy Efficiency Ordinance. 

Have questions about how the ordinance will affect your business?  Download our eight-page Guide to the City of Austin’s Energy Efficiency Ordinance.

 Review and print the City of Austin’s Energy Audit Disclosure form, which will allow you to append a property’s energy audit to the Seller’s Disclosure Form.  


Looking for detailed information about the ordinance?  Visit the City of Austin’s Web site for additional forms and facts.

 Find out which properties will not be affected by the ordinance by reviewing this exemption list.

 Green Real Estate Resources

ABoR is committed to the principles of energy conservation and sustainability. We strive to keep our members abreast of new technology, education and resources as they become available. As we look to the future, we know it is essential for our membership to understand the issues relating to green building and properties, as the green building movement is changing the way consumers buy and sell homes across the country.

 Studies show consumers consider energy efficiency, a key green building feature, an important factor when buying a home. While energy efficiency is not the only green building feature we will focus on, it is an important aspect when determining a consumer’s ability to afford a home. Because of the important role rising energy costs play in homeownership, ABoR supports energy conservation efforts. We also understand the gravity of protecting Austin’s unique environment.


 Consumer awareness of green building continues to rise. “Green” is defined in a variety of ways and those definitions are changing constantly. Regardless of the many ways green is classified, we are aware of its impact on the real estate industry. It is our hope that this online resource will help you identify new ways you and your clients can be a part of the movement.

 Local Resources: 

Austin Energy Approved Auditors 

Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs at Austin Energy

Austin Energy’s Loan Program 

Pedernales Green Works Program

Bluebonnet Electric’s Green Energy Rate

State Resources:

Texas State Energy Conservation Office 

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association

National Resources:

U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide

 U.S. Green Building Council

 The National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) Green Designation Program

 Certified Energy Star Appliances, Buildings and Hone Improvements

 FHA’s Energy Efficiency Mortgage Program

 Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency


Posted by: Austin Board of Realtors AT 04:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 05 2009

The Austin area had the nation's strongest job market among big cities last month, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Among the 38 metro areas with a work force of at least 750,000, only Austin gained jobs from April 2008 to April 2009, the bureau said.

It was the third month in a row Austin had earned that distinction.

Austin added 3,400 jobs in that period, a 0.4 percent gain that brought the regional job count to 781,400.

In January, Austin, Houston and San Antonio were the only large metro areas that had more jobs than a year earlier.

But Houston and San Antonio have been losing jobs since then.

Austin's job picture isn't all rosy: The area has been losing manufacturing and construction jobs at an accelerating pace, but those losses are being offset by gains in government, retailing and services fields.

Central Texas is holding up better in the recession than other technology hubs.

In April, the Silicon Valley area lost jobs at a 4.4 percent annual rate. Portland, Ore., was down 4.7 percent, Seattle was down 3.4 percent, and Raleigh, N.C., was down 3.3 percent.

Some smaller cities also racked up gains, including Midland, up 2.2 percent, and Odessa, up 2.9 percent.

Posted by: Austin Statesman AT 03:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 05 2009
The population of the Austin metro area will grow to more than 2.7 million by the year 2025, according to an analysis of government data by bizjournals.
The projected growth rate of Austin and its suburbs ranks 5th among 250 U.S. metropolitan areas studied in the report.
Bizjournals forecasts that the Austin-Round Rock area will grow nearly 87 percent from its 2005 estimated population of nearly 1.5 million to a 2025 projected population of 2.7 million, an increase of nearly 1.3 million residents.
Austin will see the most growth of any Texas city, according to the bizjournals analysis. The McAllen-Edinburg area will be the second-fastest growing metro in Texas, ranking 22nd on the list with an estimated 56 percent growth in population.
Among the major Texas cities:
§ Dallas/Fort Worth ranks 26th with a projected 50 percent population increase to 8.8 million people;
§ Houston ranks 27th with a projected 48 percent population increase to 7.9 million people;
§ San Antonio ranks 40th with a projected 41 percent population increase to 2.7 million people.
Posted by: Austin Business Journal AT 03:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

    Susie Kang, CCIM, CIPS, CRS
    Joa Realty

    800 Newman Dr.
    Austin, TX 78703
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