Tag Archives: Austin

TO DO (To Get it Done!) Fall List: Protect Your Austin Home

13 Oct

Now that you don’t feel like your skin is going to melt off every time you step outside of your property in Austin, TX, this is the perfect time to tackle a few household projects.  (Don’t forget the Importance of Maintaining Your Property.)  Here are a couple starter projects to get you on your way:

1Caulk: You know, that sealant that keeps moisture on a rainy day out, also stops air leaks that lets your heating and cooling escape. When we have had a year like this, where extreme  dry conditions pervaded it is time to “touch up” around the home. Review areas around windows, doors, and any openings that are entry or exit areas for pipes etc. In most cases, you can touch up the caulk where it has opened up or lost some adhesion. In some cases, in might be better to take a screwdriver and carefully remove any real loose caulk, and then touch up.

2Do you ever bother to look at that outside Air Conditioning condenser? Hot dry climates pack dust in the fins, which causes loss of efficiency and could lead to failure. Get the garden hose out, make up a bottle of 50% water and Vinegar, spray the fins on the condenser and let sit for a moment, then carefully spray off the fins starting at the top and working downward.  Do NOT use pressure that bends the fins; you want good pressure, but not too much!  You will be surprised at the gunk that comes out!

Don’t forget your air filters on the inside: Hot dusty climates make change out every 30 days or so a must; other factors like pet dander, or fall cleaning can kick up a lot of debris in the home as well.

One trick that I have learned from the pros, is that most HVAC units have provisions for more than one air filter. You can buy the cheap fiberglass filters 5 at a time, and a couple of those nice pleated pollen filters too. Then, take the cheaper filter and put it first in the air flow, backed up by the pleated filter, this keeps the pleated filter from catching all the big stuff and choking up.  Change the cheap filter out in 30 days or so, and then change both out 30 days from that, as it helps the more expensive filters last longer and do their job with little waste.

3. Give your trees a ‘haircut:’ Walk around the home and look at any surrounding trees.  Remember to cut branches back 6 feet from the roof if possible to keep them from damaging your roof shingle.  (With the dry conditions and brush fires which have abounded in Austin, TX we should all take a hard look at our dead branches!)

4. Paint: If areas are looking thin or exposed, time to touch up now.  Water behind the paint causes many issues.  In general,  a good coat of paint reduces wood rot and deterioration of the exterior surfaces as well.

5. Do you know where your freeze protectors are for the outside hose bibs? They are cheap this time of year, but the price goes up as the cold front comes in (yes, think back really hard, and you’ll remember those frigid nights last year in Austin), have them on hand. You may be like me, and have to buy new ones each year as for some reason the dogs thing these are “chew toys” mounted on the outside walls.

 

Do you have a great home maintenance project idea or tip?  Please share in the comments below!  We’d all love to learn from you!

 

Now, STOP reading and start DOING!

*These Great Ideas Are Courtesy of Austin Pillar to Post!

Today is PAY DAY, but How Do I Stretch My Dollar?!

7 Oct

With the unsettled nature of our economy, everyone is trying to cut back, either to save and gain a greater sense of security in our uncertain world, or just to save for special purchases, like a home.  No matter the motivation, I thought these ideas might help stretch your paycheck!

  • Bring Your Lunch to Work – The average person spends $6 when they buy their lunch (I think it’s double that in Austin!) yet only $2 when they pack it themselves. That’s a potential savings of $20 a week or $1,040 dollars a year.
  • Durable over Disposable – Using products like sponges over  paper towels, or a rechargeable razor over disposable razor can save you up to $200 per year.
  • Hold an Annual Yard Sale –Get rid of all that household clutter, make a few bucks, and get to know your neighbors (Keep your eye out for neighborhood yard sales). Whatever you don’t sell can be donated to charity and used as a tax write-off. Or have a virtual yard sale on eBay!
  • Get a Library Card – As opposed to buying a book for $20,  or paying $100+/year for a movie subscription, get it for FREE!
  • Watch Those Utilities – Changing over to energy-saving light bulbs and low flow shower heads is a great start. Also, most utility companies offer a home audit you can complete online. If not, go to http://hes.lbl.gov for a virtual inspection of your home. There is no need to throw away money on wasted energy!

Looking for Fall Fun in Austin?!

30 Sep

I love our Falls in Austin, TX!  Don’t you?!

As the weather cools down, put on your long-sleeved T-Shirts and shorts and go enjoy one of these fun events in Austin!

Festivals and Events

9/30 – 10/2
Oktoberfest
Downtown, Fredericksburg
http://www.oktoberfestinfbg.com

10/6, 3 – 7 pm
2011 North Hays County Community Expo &
Resume Drop-off

Business to Business Networking from 2-3 pm
Hays CISD Performing Arts Center, Kyle
http://www.kylechamber.org/EventCalendar
Item.php?Events_ID=398

10/7, 7:30 pm
Movies in the Park
Hoodwinked Too

Elizabeth Milburn Park, Cedar Park
http://www.cedarparktx.us/cp/pr_events_movies.aspx

10/7-8, 6 pm to midnight
Mediterranean Festival
408 E. 11th St, Austin
http://www.mediterraneanfestival.org

10/7-9
Texas Mesquite Art Festival
Marktplatz DT, Fredericksburg
http://www.texasmesquiteassn.org

10/7-8
32nd Annual Wimberley Gospel Music Festival
See Website for schedule
8400 FM 32, Fischer
http://www.wimberleygospelmusic.com

10/13, 6 – 9 pm
22nd Annual La Dolce Vita
food and wine festival

AMOA–Laguna Gloria, Austin
http://www.amoa.org

10/13-16
Kyle Fair & Music Festival
Thunderhill Raceway, Kyle
http://www.kylechamber.org/EventCalendar.php

10/15, beginning at 10 am
Kyle Founders’ Parade
Center Street, Kyle.
http://www.cityofkyle.com/recreation
/kyle-founders-parade

10/20-27
Austin Film Festival
Paramount Theater and various locations
http://www.austinfilmfestival.com

10/22, 7 – 9 pm
Concert in the Park
Don’t Tell Debbie Band

Elizabeth Milburn Park, Cedar Park
http://www.cedarparktx.us/cp/pr_events_movies.aspx

10/22-23
Buda Fine Arts Festival
On the greenbelt in Historic Downtown Buda
Visit website for schedule
http://www.budafineartsfestival.com

10/22-23
Austin Record Convention
Crockett Center, Austin
http://www.austinrecords.com

10/22, noon – 7 pm
Food & Wine Fest
Marktplatz DT, Fredericksburg
http://www.fbgfoodandwinefest.com

10/22, 2 -10 pm
Dia de los Muertos
5th Street, Austin
http://www.mexic-artemuseum.org

10/27, 6 – 8 pm
9th Annual Boo-da Halloween
Buda Public Library
http://ci.buda.tx.us/buda-events/

10/30, 12 – 4 pm
Halloween Carnival
City Square Park, Kyle
http://www.cityofkyle.com/parks/Halloween.htm

10/31
Halloween on E. 6th St.

Art and Culture

9/9 – 10/1, Fri. & Sat, 8:15 pm
The Tempest
Shakespeare
Emily Ann Theatre, Wimberley
http://www.emilyann.org

9/30 – 10/1, 8 pm – 10/2, 3 pm
The Mozart Project
Choreography by Stephen Mills
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Long Center, Austin
http://www.balletaustin.org/atb/mozartproject.php

10/2, 12 pm
John Philip Sousa
Wooldridge Square Park, Austin
http://www.austinsymphony.org

10/6, 7:30 – 9 pm
Mother Falcon
Laguna Gloria Amphitheater, Austin
http://www.amoa.org

10/14-15, 8 pm
Holst’s “The Planets”
Conspirare Women’s Chorus +
Narration and images provided by NASA
Dell Hall, Long Center, Austin
http://www.austinsymphony.org

10/13, 8 pm
AN DA UNION
Mongolian music
Bass Concert Hall, Austin
http://texasperformingarts.org

10/18, 8 pm
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Bass Concert Hall, Austin
http://texasperformingarts.org

10/21, 8 pm
Tiempo Libre
Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series

Dell Hall, Long Center, Austin
http://www.austinsymphony.org

9/23-10/16
Fri. and Sat. Evenings @ 8:00 pm
Sun. Matinees @ 2:30 pm
Arsenic & Old Lace
by Joseph Kesserling

Wimberley Playhouse, Wimberley
http://www.wimberleyplayers.org

9/23-10/23
Fri. & Sat. @ 7:30 pm and Sun. @ 2:00 pm
BEEHIVE, The 60’s Musical Sensation
The Georgetown Palace Theatre
Georgetown
http://www.georgetownpalace.com

10/23, 2 pm
Halloween Children’s Concert
Austin Symphony’s
Dell Hall, Long Center, Austin
http://www.austinsymphony.org

Music

10/01, 6:30 pm
Austin Pictures w/ Peter Bay
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/06, 6:30 pm
George Jones w/ Robert Ellis
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/6, Doors @ 8 pm / Show @ 9 pm
Jason Boland and The Stragglers
Antone’s, Austin
http://www.antones.net

10/7, 8 pm
Buckethead
La Zona Rosa, Austin
http://www.lazonarosa.com

10/08, Doors @ 8 pm / Show @ 9 pm
David Allan Coe
Antone’s, Austin
http://www.antones.net

10/9, 8 pm
B.B. King & Leon Russell
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/11, 7 pm
Joe Walsh
Bass Concert Hall, Austin
http://texasperformingarts.org

10/14, 6 pm
Dark Star Orchestra
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/17, 6:30 pm
Sara Evans w/ Gloriana
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/18, 6:30 pm
Peter Frampton
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/19, 7:30 pm
Adele
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
http://www.uterwincenter.com

10/21, 8 pm
Ne-Yo
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
http://www.uterwincenter.com

10/22, 9 pm
Slim Thug
Emo’s, East Austin
http://www.emosaustin.com

10/23, 6:00 pm
Mary Chapin Carpenter
w/ Loudon Wainwright III

ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/24, 6:30 pm
St. Vincent w/ Cate Le Bon
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/24, Doors @ 8 pm / Show @ 9 pm
Alexi Murdoch w/ Kishi Bashi
Antone’s, Austin
http://www.antones.net

10/25, Doors @ 7 pm
Mastodon w/Black Tusk & Ancient Wisdom
La Zona Rosa, Austin
http://www.lazonarosa.com

10/26, 7 pm
Taylor Swift
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
http://www.uterwincenter.com

10/26, 8 pm
Dream Theater
Bass Concert Hall, Austin
http://texasperformingarts.org

10/29, 7:30 pm
Zombie Ball
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

10/29, 7 pm
Anthrax and Testament
Emo’s, East Austin
http://www.emosaustin.com

10/30, 6:00 pm
David Cook and Gavin DeGraw
ACL Live at The Moody Theater, Austin
http://www.acl-live.com

Sports

Roller Derby, doors @ 6 pm
10/1
Playoffs
10/15
Calvello Cup Championship
Austin Convention Center
http://www.txrd.com/schedule.ph

10/2
IBM Uptown Classic, 5K & 10K
Austin
http://www.uptownclassic.com

10/22
Frankenthon Monster Marathon
Cedar Park
http://www.frankenthon.com

10/22, 6:45 am – 12 pm
Scholarship Bass Fishing Tournament
Lake Kyle
http://www.cityofkyle.com/recreation/
scholarship-bass-fishing-tournament

10/24, 7:15 pm
Monday Night RAW
Rey Mysterio, John Morrison,
The Miz, WWE Divas
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
http://www.uterwincenter.com

10/29
Chosen: Marathon for Adoption
New Braunfels
http://www.marathonforadoption.com

10/30
Gazelle Foundation Run for the Water 10-Miler,
5K and Kids K

Austin
http://gazellefoundation.com/runforthewater2011

Longhorn Football
Visit web site for schedule
http://www.mackbrown-texasfootball.com

For Running Events Calendar visit:
http://www.gracytitle.com/e-flyer/8×8/AustinRunners2011/AustinRunners2011.pdf

For Cycling Events Calendar visit:
http://www.gracytitle.com/e-flyer/8×8/AustinRoadCycling/AustinRoadCycling
_2011.pdf

Labor Day is Over…What to DO in Austin, TX?

6 Sep

I hope everyone had a FUN and SAFE Labor Day!  In case you are depressed that our last little summer holiday is over, here are some ideas that will allow you to have some mini-vacations in Austin in September!

How to Stay COOL in Austin Texas!

26 Aug
According to weather.com the temperatures in Austin over the next 5 days will range from 104  to 110 degrees! 
To help you survive the heat, here are some fun ways to stay cool in Austin!
Cool Locations in Austin…
  • Step inside the beer cooler at Whole Foods on 6th and Lamar or the refreshingly cold walk in beer cooler at Twin Liquors near the Hill Country Galleria.
  • Visit the fruit and vegetable coolers at Costco and Sams Club 
  • Surround yourself with ice at a local skating rink:  check out Chaparral Ice at http://www.chaparralice.com/
  • Pick out some flowers in the flower cooler at Austin Flowers on 35th
  • Swim Barton Springs or Deep Eddie Pool
  • Dive into Lake Austin just below Mansfield Dam
  • Eat Ice Cream at Amy’s Ice Creams
  • Tour a local cave!  Inner  Space Caverns http://www.myinnerspacecavern.com/tours.php has a year round temperature of 72 degrees!
  • Go bowling! Check out Austin area bowling alleys at http://austin.citysearch.com/listings/austin/bowling_alleys/71207_
Fun Tips on Staying Cool…
  • Dress lighter and wear lighter colors. Cotton clothes allow for air circulation, while most nylons and polyester materials dont. Wearing colors such as white, khaki, light blue, pink, tan and lavender will help you stay cool this summer by reflecting sunlight; dark colors soak up the heat.
  • You can find all types of “cooling clothing” on the Internet at sites like www.coolsport.net.
  • Eat Hot Peppers!  Yes, eating hot and spicy foods can actually cool you off! Scientists have argued for years over why this is the case, but the most likely reason is that spicy foods make you sweat without actually raising body temperature. Chalk it up to capsaicin , a chemical found in things like hot peppers. Once your skin is damp, you’ll feel cooled by its evaporation.
  • For a cool and lazy afternoon, sit in front of a big fan eating popsicles and listening to favorite tunes on your iPod.  Popsicles come in a yummy variety of flavors, and many are guiltlessly low in calories.  Get some homemade popsicle recipes here:  http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=popsicles
  • Freeze seedless grapes for refreshing mini bites of coolness!
  • Don’t forget the pets!  Hot weather tips for pets from the ASPCA  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/hot-weather-tips.aspx
  • For additional safety information on extreme temperatures visit:http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp
  • Search for real estate in Austin, Texas from your home computer…OK that was a shameless plug 😛  But seriously, have a safe, fun, and cool weekend!

Attention Longhorn Parents: Don’t Throw Away Money on Rent at UT Austin!

22 Aug

Everyone knows that rents are sky-high, particularly in the West Campus and North Campus areas of the University of Texas at Austin.

Instead of letting the rents get you down, why not turn it around and profit from it? 

Have you ever considered purchasing Austin Real Estate near the University of Texas at Austin Campus? 

How about this one?

Parents of Current or Future Longhorns:

If you have a child or multiple children who are going to live near campus and drain your bank account renting junky properties, why not buy and:

1. Invest the money that would have gone toward rent toward a hard asset to add to your portfolio.

2. Rent out any extra rooms your kids are not occupying to their friends and allow them to subsidize your note on the property or provide you with some cash flow.

3. Continue to hold onto the asset even after your kids are gone.  Hire out a management company if you chose, but let that property sit and appreciate.  You can’t get a much better location than the University of Texas campus area!

4. Sell one day, go to Fiji, and retire…ahh that sounds nice.

My real estate career started in the University of Texas at Austin Campus Real Estate Market, and I am a UT TexasEX.  Please let me help you navigate your campus investment search!

Price Your Lakeway, TX Home Right, and Get it Sold!

19 Aug

Lakeway, TX Home Priced to SellPrice is KING…period. 

Even though Austin, TX real estate and its surrounding real estate markets have stayed quite strong compared to the national averages, it is still overall a buyer’s market.  Now there are pockets, where that is not the case, so you need to ask your Realtor to be certain; however, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pricing your home to sell!

Let’s take a look at this recent Lakeway listing of mine:

 

This home is pristine, clean, staged well, and ready to sell, right?!  And believe me, it knocks its competition out of the water in the looks department!

So that should mean we can put an over-inflated price tag on the house since it so special, right?

Wrong…Big Mistake!

Instead of tickling the Seller’s ears and telling him what he ‘wants’ to hear,  a good Realtor helps the Seller analyze recent sales of comparable homes as well as the market trends for that specific area, and then price the home according to where it will SELL not just get SHOWN…see the difference?

We want offers, not people messing up our carpet!

Instead of having a few showings, eventually lowering the price, and leaving even more money on the table once a listing is stale, a better strategy is to look great and price right day 1.

In doing so,  a mini-market is created, and I don’t mean Wag-A-Bag.  That is, you have so many showings that everyone is in a frenzy and puts forth their best offer the second week its on the market.

Let’s just say we’re set to close early September on this home, and I have seen this strategy work time and time again!