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Fall Cookies - Apple Spice Harvest Cookies

APPLE SPICE HARVEST COOKIES - RECIPE FROM BETTY CROCKER

INGREDIENTS:
1⁄2 cup butter, softened
2⁄3 cup white sugar
2⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1⁄4 cup apple juice
2 1⁄4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup apple, peeled, and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts

FROSTING: 
1⁄4 cup butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons apple juice

Set oven to 375 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl cream butter and both...

Fall 2019 Real Estate Update

2019 Austin Real Estate Statistics

On September 17th, the Austin Board of REALTOR®’s reported that the median home price in the Austin-Round Rock metro area rose by 2% to $326,500. Similarly the number of homes sold in August increased 5.8% to 3,189.  Conversely, new listings and active listing decreased in August by 7.1% and 9.3% respectively.  This combination resulted in a decrease in the monthly housing inventory to 2.7 months.  What does this mean to you? Now is a great time to be a seller.  Low inventory and low interest rates are bringing buyers to the table quickly.  To get a full overview of what’s...

Fall 2019 Mortgage Update

Mortgage Rates Chart

IF YOUR MORTGAGE WAS ORIGINATED IN 2018, THEN IT MIGHT BE TIME TO CONSIDER A REFINANCE. 

According to new data, 80% of mortgages from last year carry an interest rate at least 0.75% higher than today’s prevailing rate (3.49%, according to Freddie Mac).

But 2018-borrowers aren’t the only homeowners who could benefit from today’s low-rate environment. Data from property analytics firm Black Knight shows that pre-2004 mortgagees could also save big. Nearly all of this cohort could shave 1.75% off their interest rate or more with a refinance.

In total, Black Knight says more than half of American homeowners with a mortgage have...

Top Choices for BBQ in Austin – Part 1

While Austin is known for all of the delicious food, living in Austin means that you are going to be eating barbeque on the regular. It’s actually home to some of the best BBQ in the state and even in the country. It continues to grow as more and more barbeque joints open up and the competition for the best flavors increases every year.

Right now you could easily find 20 BBQ restaurants in the city that outperform the rest and that is just narrowing it down to 20. You’ll see new restaurants and food trucks opening up regularly and it’s the favorite dish for a local Austinite.  Take a look at a few of the top choices of BBQ in Austin that you’ll want to check out and compare to find your new favorite!

Franklin Barbecue – 900 E. 11th Street, Austin

...

Winning a Bidding War When Shopping for a San Antonio Home

Are you worried about the upcoming negotiations that will take place when it’s time to buy your new home in San Antonio? Having an agent behind you that knows what they are doing is going to be a real asset to you as you not only locate a home that suits your family but also as you try to peg down that home and strike up a deal with the seller.

Bidding wars sometimes take effect when you have a seller’s market and the inventory is lower than the number of buyers that inevitably fight over the current options. When you’ve found your dream home, you don’t want to be left scrambling to try to win over a seller. Take a look at some strategies you can use that will be effective if you find yourself in a bidding war for your dream home in San Antonio.

OFFER TO PAY IN ALL CASH

Another strategy you could try is to offer to pay for the...

Real Estate Term: Seller Disclosures

When you’re preparing to buy a new home this year, you may come across some terms you haven’t heard or used before. One of these terms that may come into play is “seller disclosures.” Fortunately, your real estate agent is going to guide you through the process and will be able to explain things like these as they come up along the way.

You won’t have to worry about missing an important detail or misunderstanding anything as you would when you try to navigate this process alone. Instead, your real estate agent will be able to make sure you’ve been informed on any seller’s disclosures before you go into a home that could have a defect or problem. Take a closer look at what this term means.

What is a seller disclosure?

Seller disclosures are...

Top Pet-Friendly Patios in San Antonio, TX

When the weather’s just right and you don’t want to go out again because you’d have to leave your pups, pet-friendly patios in San Antonio are just what you need. Hit a local dog park on the way and pick up a friend for a great day out around San Antonio with both your favorite humans and favorite four-pawed friends too.

This is one of the locals favorite things to do as the weather gets nicer especially now that winter clothes are put away and swimsuits and sunscreen are out. Whether you need that hot sun for a lunch out or your favorite time to sit outside is under that summer night sky, here are the top pet-friendly patios that you’ll want to go to take it all in.

The Friendly Spot

The Friendly Spot is a great place to start for a patio experience with...

Is Interest Rate and APR the Same?

Now that you’re in the process of buying a home in San Antonio, you are likely navigating your way around new terminology and learning the ins and outs of the real estate world. While you’ll see terms you’ve heard before, there may be some areas of discussion that you don’t know as much about and that’s why having an agent along with you from the start will make it easier than ever to navigate the process.

One of the conversations you are likely going to need to be clarified is understanding the differences between APR and interest rates since these terms are often mixed up as being the same when they are actually different. When it comes to lending on a home, you’ll want to know the difference between your interest rates and your APRs.

What is the interest rate?

...

Why Texans Want to Relocate to Austin

Have you stopped to ask yourself why so many Texans are moving from their hometowns around the state to live in the ever-popular city of Austin? While the entire state of Texas is truly a United States gem, there is something drawing other Texans to move here.

Not only is it so different from the rest of the state, but its unique weirdness is what other Texans are wanting to become a part of. Along with the motto “Keep Austin Weird,” you’ll find some other reasons why Texans, and frankly people around the country, want to move here and become a part of the community. Take a look at the reasons why people are leaving areas like Houston and Dallas to become Austinites.  

Job opportunities

If you find yourself moving here for a career opportunity, it’s...

What New Developments are Coming to Austin, TX

There are many projects that were planned to be developed in Austin this year and now that we’ve reached spring, you may be wondering what is planned and how things are coming along. This is an exciting time for Austin with additions in the works such as the new Apple campus that was announced in December, the new mid-rises coming to Mueller Neighborhood, and the multiple additions coming to Downtown. Take a look at some of the developments in the works that will be coming to Austin.

RiverSouth coming to First Street

In Downtown Austin, there will be many additions coming in the future. One development coming to the area is the RiverSouth 15-story tower that will feature both office space and ground-floor retail. This will be located across from Lady Bird Lake and will include green...

Top Neighborhoods Found Near the Parmer Lane Tech Corridor

Did you recently get a new opportunity to work in Austin’s tech scene? This is going to be a wonderful location choice for your family as Austin becomes one of the country’s leaders in the tech space. In order to be close to your new office, you’re going to want to move to the area by Parmer Lane since it’s become known as the hub for tech companies here in Austin.

With the new Apple campus coming to Parmer and McNeil, it’s only inevitable that more tech companies are going to come to this are. If you are planning your move to Austin and need the perfect location to buy a home, check out these top neighborhoods below that will put you near the Parmer Lane Tech Corridor.

Hunters Chase

...

Things Only Locals Know About Austin

If you’re going to become an Austin local, you’ll want to know the inside scoop that current locals have had years to learn about. A newbie or a tourist wouldn’t know about things like the major lake life scene at Lake Travis or the best place to get a vegan meal.

People look at Austin and think they have us all figured out, from our Texan country roots to our interest in politics as the capital of the state. What they don’t see is our fit lifestyles, our amazing green spaces, our love for the water, and our love of food. Take a closer look at the things only locals to Austin know so that you can feel a part of the scene as soon as you arrive.

We love good food

One of the things that might surprise people that have never been to Austin is that we love to eat. Obviously, we have our big BBQ...

Neighborhood Spotlight: Balcones Village

The Balcones Village in Austin, Texas is an excellent neighborhood possibility for newcomers to the area. This neighborhood actually surrounds a beautiful country club called the Balcones Country Club, making it suitable for golfing families. You are likely to have a home backing up to the golf course.

The neighborhood is great for those looking for a mature, established subdivision that is different from a newer, cook-cutter type of option. Take a closer look at the Balcones Village neighborhood, what types of homes you may find here, and whether or not this is a good option for families with children.

About the neighborhood

The Balcones Village Neighborhood was first built in the 1970s making it an...

Austin's Best High Schools for 2019

In part 3 of our series, we’ll be taking a look at which schools made the cut for the best high schools in Austin for 2019. If you are moving to Austin or plan to enroll your children in high school sometime soon, this will help you to see which school ranked the highest and which ones weren’t far behind.

Austin is already known for having great schools, and this will show you options in all of the main school districts so that you can figure out which area you want to live or which schools to look for in your district. Take a look at the best high schools for 2019.

Eanes ISD

Start with Eanes ISD, you’ll have one school that made the...

Austin's Best Middle Schools for 2019

Our series continues as we now look at the top middle schools for Austin this year. The first installment looked at the best elementary schools in Austin. If you have children that will need to be enrolled in middle school soon, there are a few schools that have outperformed the rest in each district.

We’ll take a look at all of the better schools for the districts of Austin, Eanes, Round Rock, Leander, and Lake Travis, and then let you know who is scoring the highest for 2019. This may help you determine what area of town you may want to make your relocation to Austin or give you an idea of where to get the kids enrolled if you are new to the area.

Round Rock ISD

...

Austin's Best Elementary Schools for 2019

For families that are new to the Austin area, you may be eagerly preparing to enroll your little ones into school for the first time since moving here.   This means that you will likely be looking into the different options and which schools excel above the rest.

The good news is that you can follow this series of the best schools in Austin for 2019 before your move to Austin or before you enroll, in order to make sure that you are choosing schools and the school district that suits your family. Take a look first at the best elementary schools for 2019 in Austin.

Austin ISD

First, we’ll take a look at the schools found in the Austin...

How to Better Appeal to Millennial Home Buyers

What is it that gets millennial home buyers to take the dive? You may be surprised to hear that millennial home buyers are actually looking for a specific set of qualities in a home that is different than generations prior.

It’s no longer about buying a home for what it is and envisioning making it work for that family; it’s now about the proper updates and whether or not the home will serve the family properly in its current design. This means things like open floor plans and modern bathrooms are a must. Take a look at what else is going to appeal to the huge millennial home buying market right now.

Open floor plans are preferred

As mentioned, open floors plans are something millennials are seeking in a home. These create large, open spaces that allow for better communication and sense of community among the family. If there are areas where you can...

Which Cool Small Towns are Found Near Austin?

Even though you plan to move to Austin, it doesn’t mean you have to choose a home right in the center of the city. There are many great small towns just outside of Austin that gives you access to this great city.

These small towns make it easy to have the best of both worlds; a quiet and spacious piece of Texas and city life just a short drive away. While the city has a small town feel despite its growth, the population of the metro area is close to one million people. If you prefer a slower lifestyle when you’re not at work or exploring the city, check out these cool small towns close by.

Driftwood

The first neighborhood on this list to take note of near Austin is Driftwood; a neighborhood just 30 minutes away from downtown Austin. There is a huge variety of price points here starting at $200k for homes and going up to $2.4 million but on average...

Everything You Need to Know About Apple's New Austin Campus

Have you heard about the new Apple campus coming to Austin? This is big news for Williamson County as Apple made the announcement recently. This will mean more jobs and industry for Austin and specifically to the County of Williamson. This county was carefully chosen and will lead to tech jobs, tax breaks, and more. Take a look at everything you need to know about the new Apple Campus coming to Austin.

Why Williamson County?

Apple has been scoping out potential options for a new campus and they were searching privately nationwide while others may have been hearing about the public search that Amazon was doing for their campus.

Due to the high-quality schools in Williamson County which include the Round Rock ISD and the Leander ISD, this seemed like the perfect choice for Apple. In addition, Williamson agreed to some tax incentives that Apple can use to go back...

A Few Things to Know About Buying an Older Home

There are plenty of older homes for sale in San Antonio. When it's time to buy a home and you prefer something with character, it's important to hire the right real estate agent. A good agent will know what to look for when buying an older home.

Even with a good agent, you should know what to look for, as well. Here are some of the top things to look for whenever you decide to buy an older home.

The Foundation

If the foundation isn't in good shape, it could mean disaster. Many historic homes were built with stone foundations, which are very strong. Often, mortar was used between the stones, which may not be as strong. Make sure you have a thorough foundation inspection done if you plan to buy a home with a stone foundation....

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