Posted by Shawn Culhane on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 19, 2018Comment
When you move to Central Texas, it’s not uncommon to come across homes that in your search for your next home that has foundation issues. Since the clay soil here can contract or expand throughout the year depending on the current moisture levels, it places stress on the foundation that will make it settle.
If you find some cosmetic cracks that don’t affect the home’s solid structure, then this isn’t something to worry about but beware of major cracking in door jams or windows. Take a look at this guide to decide if buying a home with foundation issues is smart and how to determine if it’s just minor cosmetic cracking.
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 15, 2018Comment
Are you considering condo living in Austin? Owing a condo is a wonderful way to become a homeowner without the added responsibilities that come with a single family home. It does mean that the buying process may be a little more complicated, but knowing what to ask about in advance will make the process much simpler.
You’ll need to find out about things involving the mandatory Homeowner’s Association that comes with condo ownership. While buying a home doesn’t always happen in a neighborhood with an HOA, condominiums have one that takes care of things like building maintenance and water services. Take a look at what you should ask...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 14, 2018Comment
When you’re buying a home this year in San Antonio, it’s important to be aware of a few things that can happen during the period between having your offer accepted and waiting to close. For starters, the mortgage process will still be going on and your mortgage rate could actually expire.
Also, even though you feel the house is yours now, it really isn’t until closing day. During that waiting process when your offer has been accepted by the sellers but the closing day hasn’t arrived, these are a few of the things to be aware of during when you’re waiting to close.
The closing day is very streamlined
While you may be anticipating a stressful closing day full of questions and things to remember to do, it’s...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 11:08 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 12, 2018Comment
The 30-year fixed rate on a mortgage has risen about a half percent in the last six to eight months. But, how could these rising interest rates affect you as a property owner or property buyer looking to in Central Texas?
As the potential buyer, if you have stagnant prices and rising interest rates, the $300,000 home you are considering now has a mortgage payment of $80 to $90 more per month to pay. As the seller, meanwhile, it limits the number of buyers that potentially can afford your home because of the increased monthly payment.
Taking appreciation rates into account, they have varied over the last eight years. They were sometimes as high as 10% to 15% year over year. And, they have been at 0% to 5% year over year depending on where you are talking...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 12, 2018Comment
Before your upcoming move to Austin, you should get a feel for what the city is going to offer and what daily life is going to look like here. You’ve chosen an amazing location to relocate to and you’ll love how it offers a little bit of everything, from its beautiful outdoor oasis to its endless entertainment.
Moving to any new city can be overwhelming, but preparing ahead of time will make it feel like a seamless transition. Take a look at what you can expect for your relocation to Austin and how to prepare yourself ahead of time.
What to expect in Austin
Life in Austin will come with hot weather, a lot...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Friday, June 8, 2018 at 8:55 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 8, 2018Comment
When you enter into the sales process for your home, it will certainly keep you busy. You'll go through so many things from fixing it up (if necessary) to staging, to pricing to listing to scheduling tours. Several details could easily become overlooked.
The last thing you need is a security risk because you were distracted by something else. Home security is vital, even throughout the sales process. You'll be inviting plenty of strangers into your home and you need to be protected. Here are a few ways you can keep your home and family safe while selling your home.
Remove all your Valuables
Valuables out in the open or even behind closed doors are just inviting trouble during the sales process. Any jewelry, collectibles, expensive artwork or other valuables...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 8:45 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 6, 2018Comment
Austin, Texas is known as the capital of the world for live music and that's not by mistake. The city heats up in the summer and as the days get longer; it's time to check out the many free concerts held throughout the summer. Here's a look at some of the top summer concerts in the city.
Concerts in the Park
If you want to enjoy performances from the Austin Symphony Orchestra, this is the free concert series for you. There will be several performances ranging from light classical to pop to jazz with several film scores and so much more. Enjoy the music as you take in the views of Lady Bird Lake and the skyline. This is a great choice if you want to hear live music and enjoy a picnic with family and friends.
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 8:34 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 4, 2018Comment
The school year is coming to a close and you need to get your children signed up for summer camp. Austin, Texas is home to a number of summer camps for 2018. Here's a look at some of the top choices.
For the Younger Children (age 3 to 10)
If you have younger children, you can send them to summer camps in Austin to enjoy plenty of fun this year. There are several options for ages starting as low as three. Some of the top choices include:
Jump! Gymnastics (age 3 to 12) - A day camp filled with fun and games, Jump! offers gymnastics, arts and crafts and so much more. Each week features a new theme, such as under the sea, superheroes and the Olympics.
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 8:26 AMBy Shawn Culhane / June 1, 2018Comment
Amazon started on a search for the second destination for a second headquarters and many would expect cities to line up for the opportunity. The first headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington. While many cities did throw their hat in the ring trying to lure Amazon, San Antonio wasn't so keen on the idea. Instead, San Antonio rejected the idea of becoming the home of Amazon's HQ2.
Texas May be the State, but San Antonio isn't the City
The senators of Texas, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, believe they can lure the giant retailer to Texas. They told the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos that, “Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes our economy, our skilled workforce, and our quality of life.”
When the state put in a bid for the second headquarters, it had plenty to offer with three of the five fastest growing cities...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 1:28 PMBy Shawn Culhane / May 30, 2018Comment
It's no secret; Austin gets hot during the summer time. All those myths about frying an egg on the blacktop come true when summer hits Central Texas.
The heat doesn't have to cause you to retreat into your air-conditioned home every single day, however. The children will want to get out and play and most adults really prefer to be outside, too. Here are some of the best ways you can stay cool this summer and enjoy Central Texas.
Take a trip to the lake and enjoy some time swimming and doing other things in or on the water. Lake Travis is one of the most popular places to go during the summer and offers a number of access points including:
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / May 21, 2018Comment
When you're getting ready to sell your San Antonio home, there may be a few upgrades you can do to make the process easier. From painting to new cabinet hardware to kitchen upgrades, there are several things you can do yourself without spending a ton of money to get the job done.
If you're thinking about selling your home and you want to get the most out of it, the right upgrades could make all the difference. Here are a few of the top DIY home upgrades you can use when selling your San Antonio home.
Kitchen Cabinet Upgrades
If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape and look good, you can spruce them up without doing much more than just adding new hardware. Sometimes, this little change is just enough to make your kitchen pop.
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / May 16, 2018Comment
If your home buying budget is capped at around $400K, you need to know where you can look for a home in Austin. Maybe you want to be close to downtown, so the suburbs really aren't a true option, unless they are close enough.
There are some great options for homes selling under $400K in Austin. Here's a look at some of the best neighborhoods near downtown with homes under $400K.
Just 3.1 miles from downtown Austin, you could almost walk downtown from Dawson. While the average home price in this neighborhood comes in at $533K, there were 16 homes selling for under $410K recently. In Dawson, your budget will, on average, allow you to buy a home with:
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / May 14, 2018Comment
When you go through the process of buying a home, you will learn many new terms that may confuse you. Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI, is one of those terms. This is a term that has to do with your mortgage and will often get thrown around during the home buying process.
Defining Private Mortgage Insurance
PMI is known as an insurance policy that protects your lender if you cannot pay your mortgage payment. You pay this insurance monthly as a part of your mortgage payment and it's required if you take out a conforming, conventional loan with a down payment of less than 20% of the sales price.
Basically, PMI protect the company lending you the money to buy your home in the event you default on the loan. It does not protect you, but it is...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / May 12, 2018Comment
If you love the modern farmhouse style, you're not alone. HGTV has made it popular with plenty of home renovation and real estate shows putting elements of this style on display.
Austin is home to plenty of modern farmhouses. This style has come up quite a bit in new construction, but has also been found on the market in certain neighborhoods. If you're searching for a home with the modern farmhouse style in Austin, here are some of the top neighborhoods to check out.
Found about 12 minutes from downtown Austin, you will find a few modern farmhouses for sale in Sunridge Park. The neighborhood is served by the Del Valle ISD. The average home here tops 2,000 square feet and sells for about $450K....
This year, the city edges out Colorado Spring with a score of 7.7. Colorado Springs had a score of 7.6. However, the overall score for Austin did drop from 7.8 to 7.7 this year, but that was still high enough to take the top spot.
How the Rankings Were Figured Out
The rankings were based on a number of factors that the U.S. News looked at. These factors were...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / May 7, 2018Comment
When you're ready to start shopping for a home, one of the most important things you can do is create a needs and wants list. This list will be the guide you will use to eliminate homes that don't fit and consider homes that do fit.
Home searching in San Antonio can be a long process, especially with how competitive the market is right now. However, if you have a solid needs and wants list, the process will become a bit easier.
A solid list of the things you need in a home and the things you want helps to narrow the home search. When you can narrow the search, you'll only be looking and competing for the homes that fit your specific needs and wants the best. Here are a few tips to help you create...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 8:52 AMBy Shawn Culhane / May 5, 2018Comment
If you prefer a neighborhood in Austin near some great schools, you are going to have many great options to choose from. Austin is known for its great schools and many neighborhood options for access to them. When you want to combine this with affordability, you’ll want to look at the options in Northwest and Southwest Austin such as Olympic Heights West or Sendera. Take a look at your affordable neighborhood options that allow you to send the kids to a great school.
Avery Ranch in the Leader ISD
Located in Northwest Austin, Avery Ranch is a great option for those looking for a option in the Leander ISD and Round Rock ISD. It’s a huge, master-planned community with affordable average home prices around $342k.
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 8:00 AMBy Shawn Culhane / April 30, 2018Comment
There will be plenty of great events for those living in Austin to enjoy this May. It's still not so hot out that you can't enjoy time outside, yet the temperatures are nice enough to get outside and enjoy a few events. Here's a look at the top things to do throughout Austin for May 2018.
National Wildflower Week - May 1st to 6th
You can enjoy National Wildflower Week to get your May started off right. It will be held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin and you can enjoy all kinds of great flowers, guided walks, educational activities and so much more.
Blues on the Green - May 2nd to 23rd
If you love live music and you want to enjoy some great Blues, this is one of the best concert series you will find in Austin. Held at Zilker Park on Wednesdays...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 8:31 AMBy Shawn Culhane / April 28, 2018Comment
It's not easy to find a home for less than $200K in a big city, at least not a home needing quite a bit of work. The city is the seventh largest in the entire country and offers plenty of great things to do, places to go and restaurants for dining. It's filled with unique businesses and plenty of history for residents to enjoy.
The one quality San Antonio offers most other big cities cannot offer is the affordability. It's known for the low cost of living and attracts many middle-income families due to the lower home prices compared to other larger cities. When looking at the average cost of living across the ten largest cities, San Antonio is one of the most affordable in the entire country.
Even knowing the city is affordable doesn't mean it's easy to find homes...
Posted by Shawn Culhane on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 8:25 AMBy Shawn Culhane / April 26, 2018Comment
If you live in Austin and you want to gain access to the popular Barton Creek Greenbelt, you need to know where to go. This beautiful greenbelt offers limestone cliffs, shallow creeks and beautiful trees all throughout. It's a great place for an adventure, whether you enjoy rock climbing, swimming, kayaking, tubing, mountain biking or just hiking.
Barton Creek covers about 7.25 miles and it's found just minutes from downtown Austin. The greenbelt can be a bit confusing, especially for those new to the city. Here's a look at some of the best access points found throughout the city.
Bull Creek Access
Found at 300 Old Spicewood Spring Road, you can access the greenbelt from the Bull Creek Access point. This is a great place to enjoy hiking, the many waterfalls, limestone bluffs...