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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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Austin Receives Many Accolades: Part 2

Austin ranks very well when stacked up against other cities in many categories. Part one of this two-part blog series offers a look at how Austin ranks for fun, food, and college. Here's a look at even more of the accolades Austin has received.

One of the Safest Metro Cities in America

A study from SafeWise put Austin in the 8th place for the Safest Metro Cities in America. This study looked at many of the crime statistics across the country and compared several cities with metro areas.

Austin fell below the nation's average when it came to violent crime and it's very low compared to the average for Texas. Property crime was also lower than the national average.

Best City to Live in America

...

Austin Receives Many Accolades: Part 1

Relocating to Austin means you'll be living in one of the top cities in America. The city offers plenty of things to get excited about and it has received many accolades. Here's part one of the Austin Receives Many Accolades two-part blog series.

Best College Town & City

Austin was named the Best College Town & City in American by WalletHub. The study they did used three specific factors:

  • Social Environment
  • Academic & Economic Opportunity
  • Wallet Friendliness

With so many free activities to do throughout the year, Austin scored big points when it comes to the wallet friendliness category....

Plan for These 5 Housing Costs When Buying a New Home

When it’s time for your family to buy a new home, you expect many different costs to come up. You have the initial down payment, the realtor’s fees, and the moving costs that are all pretty straightforward and expected expenses.

What about the costs that you weren’t expecting? Are there going to be things that come up that you didn’t realize were a part of the process? From new furniture to maintenance, here is a look at some unexpected expenses to be prepared for when you buy a new home.

Furniture

While you’re probably going to be moving with some furniture you already own, that furniture is not always going to work in the new home. many times the furniture doesn’t quite fit the space right or doesn’t fit the style of the home you’ve purchased....

A First-Time Homebuyers Guide in Austin: Part 2

In part of one of our series, we looked at what it would take to begin the process of home buying in Austin as a first-time homebuyer guide. Now we will look at part 2 which will dive further into what the process looks like starting at the 6-month mark of home buying through the conclusion of the process at 12 months. Take a look at how the process continues and concludes to the day of arriving in your dream home!

6 months into the process

Now that you’ve worked on the numbers, dreamt up your needs versus wants list for a home, house hunted...

A First-Time Homebuyers Guide in Austin: Part 1

Are you moving to the Austin area and will be new to the area? This is a very exciting time for you as a family finding your first home and also to get to be a part of one of the most popular parts of the country right now. This area is growing and thriving as people are flocking here for the opportunities, the weather, and the personality.

You’ll love doing life here in Austin and that can happen for you as soon as you find that first dream home and make your official move. Since this is a large process, we are here to help you figure out how to navigate it from point A to Z. Take a look at Part 1 to first-time home buying in Austin to learn how to start the process.

The first month of home buying

The assumption is that you’ll be ...

Getting Your Bathrooms Ready for an Open House

One area of your open house that you may not have put much thought into is the bathroom and what kind of impression it will give a buyer. Even though this room is smaller and may be less prevalent on your mind compared to the kitchen or master suite, you should still give every room equal attention when it comes to cleanliness and clutter.

Buyers don’t want to see a bathroom and think about the hard work it will require of them to maintain it when this is their home. Have every room, especially the bathroom, looking beautiful and appealing to buyers by using these tips.

Showers

Start with the hardest part and give your shower a good scrub down. This is the tie to replace your moldy liner and curtain if needed. You’ll also...

Will Physical Defects Keep Your Home from Selling This Year?

Are you planning on selling your home this year? You may find the process struggling if you allow any of these common physical defects to remain unchecked. Those old appliances and neglected repairs are not going to fix themselves and buyers aren’t usually looking to spend the kind of money you are asking with the house in this state.

Unless you plan to sell it as a fixer-upper, you should plan on fixing the physical defects before listing at the price you plan. Which defects need addressed and which ones are something a buyer can do someday in the future? Take a look at this guide to see which ones will keep your home from selling without being addressed.

Old appliances

While those appliances from decades ago seem to still work just fine for...

Where to Go for a Great Coffee Shop in Austin

Coffee shops in Austin are some of the best because you know you’re going to have a unique experience every time. On a cool Austin day or a boost in the morning on your way to work, these coffee shops around town will have just what you need every time.

From Bennu Coffee offering you 24/7 service to Brew & Brew which will serve both coffee and beer to please everyone in your group, here is a look at what you’ll find at the top coffee shops in Austin.

Caffe Medici

For those that appreciate an original, this is known as being Austin’s “original specialty coffee shop.” You’ll enjoy both local beans and beans from around the world here, making it perfect for those that like to branch out and try new flavors.

There...

Get Your Home Ready To List This Spring

Listing Your Home This Spring? Here Are A Couple Of Helpful Tips!

NUMBER ONE - FRESH COAT OF PAINT: Paint is the cheapest and easiest fix for most homes as they get ready to be put on the market. The first time people look at your property will probably be online, so make sure it's appealing to the eye and paint a neutral color, a clean slate, and a clean palette for any buyer to picture their life in your home.

NUMBER TWO - DECLUTTER: No one wants to walk into a house where every closet is stuffed to the brim, there's no sence of organization and is basically just a mess. Remove those things, put them in organizational tubs and let them reside in the garage. REMEMBER we want a BUYER...

Best Paths for Biking in San Antonio, TX

Taking a good bike ride with the family is one of San Antonio residents favorite hobbies. There are so many excellent bike paths that can give you a fun and free experience with loved ones or by yourself after a long day. Not only are these bike paths around San Antonio beautiful, but you’ll enjoy yourself as you get in some physical activity outside taking in the city you live in. Take a look at these recommended bike paths and where you can find them.

Missions Hike and Bike Trail

807 Mission Road, San Antonio

If you like the idea of incorporating a bit of local history into your physical activity, biking at Missions Hike and Bike Trail will give you just that. You’ll begin the 16-mile loop at Mission Concepcion and then complete the ride at Mission Espada. Here, you’ll get to enjoy culture, history, and art relating to local landmarks....

Looking Back on the 2018 Market

Well, it’s 2019: That means it’s time for us to take a look back at how the real estate market here in Central Texas fared in 2018.

Today I wanted to take a little bit to look back on how the market did in 2018, with specific attention to residential home sales.

In 2018, home sales were up. The median sales price went up to about $310,000 on average, versus $299,000 in 2017. We made a nice improvement there.

The number of sales was also up across the board by almost 1,000—there were 32,400 sales in 2018, whereas there were about 31,400 in 2017.

The number of active listings was also up year over year in eight of the 12 months in 2018.

Interestingly enough, the average days on market was also up, which most sellers would consider to be a negative trend. In 2017,...

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