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10 Beautiful Outdoor Spaces That Will Make You Rethink Your Current Backyard

Your backyard is brimming with design opportunity—it just takes a little imagination (and inspiration) to make the most of it. "An outdoor space should feel inviting and draw people outside," says landscape architect Keith Williams of Nievera Williams. "No matter what the space is used for, it should feel comfortable and create a sense of destination."

So, how does one go about creating an ...

15 Actually Cool Things to Do in Austin During Quarantine

This year marks a springtime like no other in the city of Austin and across the globe. Governor Greg Abbott has slowly relaxed statewide measures to breathe new life into the Texas economy, but social distancing standards are still highly recommended by Mayor Steve Adler and medical experts. So what is there to do around here in between Zoom meetings while we’re all still sheltering in place? Honestly -- plenty.

Here’s a foolproof, quarantine-approved guide to Austin’s essential activities during the glorious spring season. Make sure to plan ahead and double-check website listings for last-minute closures and changes in hours due to COVID-19.

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Food & Wine names Austin chef one of country’s 10 Best New Chefs

Kevin Fink will no longer be the only chef at Emmer & Rye and Hestia who has his own specially inscribed pressed white chef’s coat framed for posterity.

Food & Wine magazine Tuesday named Emmer & Rye and Hestia chef-partner Tavel Bristol-Joseph one of the 10 Best New Chefs in America. If you’ve had the chef’s cantaloupe sorbet with salted cream at Emmer & Rye, his playful take on a s’mores at Hestia or his Monster Cookie at Henbit, you understand why.

The Guyanese chef exhibits an elegant touch with his array of desserts, and the chef-partner has expanded his roles beyond pastry. Before dining rooms were ordered...

Restaurants that plan to reopen their dining rooms

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared Monday that restaurants in Texas will be allowed to reopen Friday at 25% capacity.

Austin and Travis County had extended a coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home order until May 8; the state directive supersedes local orders, however. The governor’s office also released a checklist of “minimum standard health protocols” for restaurants that includes:

‒ Limits on seating at a table (maximum six people)

‒ Single-use disposable...

Great takeout options from Austin restaurants

The citywide shelter-in-place order that extends over the next few weeks has labeled restaurants as an essential service.

Many restaurants that had never offered takeout service before have pivoted to the new model. While many people will naturally turn to places from which they’ve always ordered takeout (burgers, pizzas, tacos and drive-thrus being the most likely), now is a good time to order from locally owned restaurants that you might not normally consider for takeout.

I understand that some people have serious concerns about takeout, and I address those in the accompanying precautions information. I am not telling you to order takeout; you should do what makes you most comfortable.

I also realize that many...

Austin Parks Foundation offers online nature activities for kids

It’s rough out there for parents. 

They are starting their third week of everyone being home from school because of the coronavirus pandemic... and last weekend the Austin Parks and Recreation Department closed playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks, pavilions, tennis courts, and exercise equipment at its parks.

The trails and green spaces remain open.

The Austin Parks Foundation is trying to help by bringing its Little Hummingbird Society program to the virtual world. You can find activity booklets, games and coloring sheets that encourage exploring nature at austinparks.org/little-hummingbird-society/.

These are all activities that you can do in...

Spring 2020 Real Estate Market Update

2020 Is Predicted to be Another Record Breaking Year

Below is an excerpt of the Austin Board of Realtors February Press Release

Compared to January 2019, residential home sales in the Austin area increased 8.5% to 1,947 sales, and the median price increased 4.8% to $308,000, setting a record for the month of January. Housing inventory–which fell to 1.6 months–was driven to critically low levels across the [area] due to drops in both new and active listings. At the same time, increases in pending sales activity in January could signal further declines in inventory in the year ahead amidst strong housing demand.

Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “We expect to see a significant increase in activity in the spring, when market activity should...

Should You Refinance? YES!

It. Is. Time. To. Refinance.

According to a report by CNBC, mortgage rates were nearing 8 year lows in late February as Coronavirus fears pushed down the stock market and the 10-year Treasury yield.  The 10-year yield is generally a driver on mortgage rates and we are seeing that prove true over the past few weeks.

As a result, refinance applications are up 165% according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. We are seeing many of our past clients take advantage of these amazing rates and taking out some equity to pay off high interest credit cards, do some home remodeling or even paying for college.

If you have been thinking “maybe I should refinance,” the answer is YES and the time is NOW.

Give a call to the good folks over at Lendplicity Mortgage at 512-387-7880 and...

The Riverfront State Park Near Austin That You’ll Want To Visit Time And Time Again

The emerald pools look like something from a classic painting 

Pack up your bags and gas up the car. A fabulous natural getaway awaits you. Full of shimmering water and colorful hiking trails, Garner State Park continually dazzles visitors. A scenic, three hour drive southwest of Austin will lead you to a tranquil oasis. You’ll want to visit this riverfront state park time and time again. 

Nearly three miles of the gorgeous Frio River runs through this land, and it was meant to be enjoyed. Visitors can wade in the crystalline waters and canoe across the streams. Avid fishers love searching for their next big catch

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Picking a paint color for a kitchen

How to pick kitchen paint colors

1. Find Color Clues: If you’re not sure what shade will stand out best, Andrea Magno, Color and Design Expert at , suggests taking a hint from palettes already in place, from countertops to backsplashes. “Look to the colors used in fixed materials such as stone (marble, granite, quartz), tiles, flooring, and even appliances,” she tells us. This can help the look come together more easily. 

2. Nod to Nature: Another great color inspiration? Mother Nature. If you’re puzzled over what colors go together best, take a gander at the great outdoors. For example, the blues, greens, sandy whites, and driftwood grays of the seashore naturally work...

The best paint colors for your home office

Choosing paint for your office

These pro-approved paint colors will help you transform any room into a more productive workspace.

Never underestimate the impact the right wall paint can have in a home office. Not only is it an easy way to refresh an outdated space, but the right paint hue could help increase productivity—after all, some paint colors are believed to have positive psychological effects. Studies even ...

Austins Tallest Building

Pretty soon Austin my have their own "Empire State Building".

The topper on Austin’s tallest building will soon add to the array of light displays illuminating the city’s skyline.

Developers are in the process of ironing out the final touches, but “in the coming weeks” residents can expect to see the crown of the “Jenga tower” like they’ve never seen it before, CultureMap Austin reports.

At 58 stories and 685 feet, the Independent, also called the “Jenga tower,” is currently Austin’s tallest building. Upon completion, the appearance of the tower’s crown was so hotly contested that one Austinite founded and led a campaign to “Fix...

Setting records in 2019

Culhane Premier Properties was proud to be part of two record setting transactions in 2019.  402 Spiller Lane is a property with some of the most amazing city views in all of Austin.  The unique West Lake Hills location allowed for 180-degree unobstructed views of the city skyline which resulted in a price per square foot record for that area.  Brad Emerson in our office represented the seller while Jeff Brown also in our office represented the buyer.

Another record-breaking view property was 8137 Lake Mountain Lane which was the highest Lake Travis...

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

INGREDIENTS: 

Cookies - 

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • ½ cu confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cu all-purpose flour

Chocolate icing - 

  • 3 oz baking chocolate
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2¾ cu powered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp half & half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Beat together 1 stick of the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the flour. Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 tablespoon, then roll the dough into balls, and place 1-inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and make a circular...

Community Support

This holiday season, Culhane Premier Properties is happy to help our dear friends at Jail to Jobs by collecting clothing for their participants.  The Jail to Jobs program empowers youthful offenders across the state through encouragement and practical tools to get them moving towards a positive future. Their job training program has placed nearly 50 participants into full time jobs so far in 2019 and they recently partnered with the city of Round Rock by contributing nearly 500 hours of work for the city.

Jail to Jobs is an amazing example of positivity in our community but they can’t succeed without the generosity of those that care.  Our clothing donation is focused on these new or gently used items:

  • Work Coats
  • Work Gloves
  • Warm Hats
  • Socks
  • Blankets
  • ...

Special Refinancing Programs for Veterans

Lendplicity Mortgage

Veterans currently in VA loans are eligible for an exclusive program designed to make refinancing as easy as possible. The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan or IRRRL takes the hassle out of the standard refinancing process making it easier to lower your rate or transition to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Key benefits of a VA IRRRL

  • No appraisal or minimum credit score required
  • No income or employment verification
  • No origination fees
  • Monthly mortgage insurance or PMI is not required

There are minimal restrictions on the VA IRRRL and rates are still extremely low so now is a great time to get started on a refinance.

Lendplicity Mortgage specializes in VA IRRRLs offering great rates, no administrative,...

Winter 2019 Real Estate Update

October 2019 was a record breaker for the Austin area according to  the Austin Board of REALTORS® latest Central Texas Housing Market Report. The report shows that an average of 100 people per day move to our area which has resulted in continued  double-digit percent increase in home sales.  The median price of a single-family home in Austin area rose 7.4% in October to $327,500 and home sales increased 16.8% while both active listings and inventory decreased year over year. To get a full overview of what’s going on in your area, contact us today for a free market evaluation.

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