Archives for December 2015

Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent

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AVOID CLOSING PROBLEMS. Pitfalls can occur towards the end of a transaction. An agent can see that the completion of the transaction is smooth right through to signing the papers as well as advise as to any contractual changes which might be necessary prior to the closing. Your real estate agent will assist to ensure that all of the professionals involved in the transaction are staying on task and on timeline.

CODE EXPERTISE. Maybe you want to buy a home near a business district and turn the front into a store or perhaps you want to add an addition or build a backyard fence. Experienced real estate agents are familiar enough with local zoning ordinances to make sure you’re buying a property where the city allows it. If a house isn’t connected to the public sewer system, the real estate agent will make sure that is disclosed by the Seller to the Buyer within the inspection period.

PRICING EXPERTISE. Agents can provide all the data on local home sales and deliver in-depth knowledge regarding your purchase that comes from years of watching transactions close in the neighborhood.

UNEMOTIONAL NEGOTIATION. An agent can write requests objectively and submit them to the seller which saves you from getting overly emotional about the transaction. An agent can take the heat in difficult negotiations in a businesslike manner, negotiating all facets of the transaction in your best interest.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING SPECIFIC? Aside from the technical aspects of a sale and the mistakes people can make in the paperwork, real estate agents know neighborhoods and houses inside and out. A real estate agent might just know exactly where to find the home you are looking for.

TACKLING THE PAPERWORK. A real estate transaction involves an extensive amount of paperwork. An Agent can properly prepare the necessary real estate purchase contract, disclosures and associated forms that are required to be fully executed by the buyer and seller. The odds of missing something, not initialing a page or failing to check a box, can substantially decrease when you’re working with a professional who knows the paperwork.

FINDING AVAILABLE HOMES. Homes for sale can be viewed on the Web. Often times, great properties are not widely publicized because Sellers have health or financial problems, divorce factors or choose not to advertise their sale during the holidays. Working with a Realtor® gives you access to homes you might otherwise miss seeing.

REQUESTING REPAIRS. Request for repairs can make or break a deal. The touchiest part of a real estate purchase often involves requesting repairs. An agent may be able to identify trouble that you may not see and recommend a good independent home inspector who can provide a detailed report on problems with the house. The agent will have a good sense of what’s reasonable to request and what’s excessive.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATION. Real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) agree to abide by a code of ethics that requires Realtors® deal with all parties of a transaction honestly.

 

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Holly Schuler
VP, Business Development
Holly.Schuler@Title365.com
512.913.9098  :  Mobile

2015 Christmas Roundup!

Back by popular demand, here is a roundup of all the 2015 Christmas happenings in Central Texas! Most of the big events are taking place this weekend so take a look at the schedules below; I’m sure you’ll find something fun happening in your area. If you know of any displays that we missed, please comment below! 

North

Fort Hood

Nature in Lights, a Holiday Tradition

Enjoy the drive through over five and a half miles of holiday-inspired scenes. Like magic, BLORA is once again transformed into a winter wonderland for all to enjoy: kids and kids at heart.

  • When: Until January 3, nightly from 5:30-11 p.m.
  • Where: Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area
  • Cost: $8 per car, mini-van, or pick-up truck, $20 per 15-passenger van, limo, or RV, $35 per 24-passenger van, and $60 per 47-passenger van or large bus

Georgetown

Christmas Stroll

Bring the family and walk through the many wonders of Whoo-Village, enjoy live entertainment, a special kids activity area, treats in the food court and browse more than 250 arts and crafts booths. Children will love the various FREE activities and rides and visiting with Santa. There’s even a parade on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If you can’t visit during the stroll, stop by any evening to see the Downtown Square lit up for the season.

  • When: Friday, December 4, from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 5, from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Where: Georgetown Square
  • Cost: Free

Harlien Family Christmas

Tune in to 94.1 while viewing 40,000 lights synchronized to 48 channels of animation. Multiple lit trees, arches, Christmas features, and Santa!!! The Harlien family is hopeful to raise $10,000 through donations to adopt 2 family wishes through Make-A-Wish foundation. To learn more about their fundraiser or to donate money, click here.

  • When: 6-10 p.m. on weekdays and 6-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Cookies and cocoa with Santa will be on the 2nd, 11th, and 18th at 6:00 pm.
  • Where: 400 Liscio Cove. (For safety reasons, all guests are asked to enter Liscio Loop from Lancaster Drive & exit Liscio Loop at Champions.)
  • Cost: Free, but a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation is encouraged.

Shady Oak Christmas Display

The show lasts about an hour if you watch the whole thing, but each song averages around 6 minutes.

  • When: Visit the Facebook page for updates.
  • Where: 107 Shady Oak Drive
  • Cost: Free

Leander

Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade

Pictures with Santa, Holiday Hayrides, Yule Fire, Choral Performances, Christmas Parade, and Tree Lighting.

  • When: Saturday, December 5th at 5 p.m.
  • Where: City Hall, 200 West Willis St.
  • Cost: Free

Cedar Park

Anna Court Light Display

This Cedar Park cul-de-sac is decked out with thousands and thousands of festive lights. Tune your radio to 89.1 to listen to the music.

  • When: Nightly until December 31st from 5:00-10:00pm
  • Where: 1323-1331 Anna Court
  • Cost: Free, but they are accepting donations for Blue Santa until mid-December and after that they are accepting donations for SafePlace.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop

Over 60,000 lights will illuminate the largest Live Oak Tree in Cedar Park. Santa’s Workshop will kick off immediately following the tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, free carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa, and arts & crafts projects. Bring the whole family for what promises to be a festive evening.

  • When: Friday, December 4th, from 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Where: Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway
  • Cost: Free

Chinati Court

  • When: See the Facebook page for updates.
  • Where: Just off Sun Chase Blvd in the Ranch at Cypress Creek. Park on Sun Chase and walk, if you can. (Map)
  • Cost: Free but the neighborhood is a collection point for Brown Santa.

Round Rock

Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour and Christmas Towne

The Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour at Old Settler’s Park is a drive-through light show that features over 2 million lights! Enjoy the sights from the comfort of your car.

  • When: November 30th – December 26th, starting at 6 p.m. (closing times vary)
  • Where: 4111 E. Old Settlers Blvd
  • Cost: $15 per family vehicle. You can find a $5 off coupon here!

Christmas Family Night

Due to the construction on Main Street, Christmas Family Night has been moved to the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond Parking lot at Christmas Towne.

This free event will be fun for the whole family. Enjoy live music, dancers, game booths, and free hot dogs, popcorn, hot chocolate and other refreshments. Frosty the Snowman and Santa will be there, too, and parents are encouraged to bring their cameras to take pictures with Santa.

  • When: Friday, December 4th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Christmas Towne
  • Cost: Free

Pflugerville

Christmas Parade and Pfestival of Lights

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department joins forces with the Knights of Columbus this year and adds activities to the annual Christmas Parade. Blending the two events makes a larger, more fun holiday celebration for the community. The city will bring a stage with live performances from local elementary schools and dancers on the stage at 200 W. Main Street. There will be FREE arts and crafts activities for children, a bonfire, the traditional tree lighting, and photos with Santa Claus at the end of the parade. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras for free pictures with Santa.

  • When: Saturday, December 5th
    • Holiday Stroll and Sidewalk Sale – Pecan Street – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    • Christmas Parade – Railroad Avenue to Main Street – 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
    • Pfestival of Lights – Main Street – 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
    • Including live music concert at 7:00 pm
  • Cost: Free

North Austin

Holidays at The Domain

There is a lot going on at the Domain this year!

Santa Photo Experience: Make an appointment online at www.Simon.NoerrSanta.com.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
Fridays & Saturday, 5:30PM-9:30PM

Holiday Light Shows
Hourly 6PM, 7PM & 8PM
Watch the holidays come to life with hourly lights show in Domain II. More than 82,000 lights and 2,200 strobes will dance to holiday music for the first 15 minutes of each hour.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, 12/5/15, 9AM-Noon
Enjoy breakfast, live music, character appearances, games, crafts and a visit from Santa.

Central Austin

Trail of lights

Preview the Trail of Lights and enjoy cocktails, food, live music and more this Friday during the 2nd annual Night Lights. Purchase tickets here. Then on Saturday you can get your fitness on at the 2015 Fun Run! The 2.1 mile run starts at the Zilker tree and ends within the Trail of Lights. Crazy costumes are encouraged. Sign up here. The Grand Opening Ceremony is at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 8th.

  • When: Preview Party on Friday, December 4th from 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm, Fun Run on Saturday, December 5th at 7:30, Official Dates: December 8-22, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m..
  • Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
  • Cost: Prices vary. Please visit the website for details.

Holiday Stroll

The fun starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season with John Aielli, host of the long-running show “Eklektikos” on KUTX 98.9. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the crowd begins the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers.

  • When: Saturday, December 5th at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue & 11th Street.
  • Cost: Free

Luminations at Wildflower Center

Enjoy Luminations, a Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center holiday tradition. Make plans to visit the lighted gardens, filled with thousands of luminarias and twinkle lights. In addition to the beautiful holiday lighting, there will be hot chocolate and food for sale, plus children’s activities and musical acts throughout both evenings. Kids can get a hug from Frosty the Snowman and make crafts in the Visitors Gallery.

  • When: Saturday and Sunday, December 12th and 13th, from 6-9 p.m.
  • Where: 4801 La Crosse Avenue
  • Cost:
    • Adults – $5
    • Seniors 65 and older – $5
    • Students with college ID – $5
    • Youth ages 5-17: $3
    • Free for members and children 4 years and under
  • They will offer a food collection for the Capital Area Food Bank. Find their most requested items here: http://www.austinfoodbank.org/how-to-help/donate-food.html 

South

Buda

Trail of Lights

Get in the holiday mood by strolling through the park and enjoying the lights! FREE shuttle parking is available at Cabela’s. No parking is permitted in the park. Walk in visitors are welcome and may bring leashed pets. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long. No pets are allowed on shuttle buses. Hot beverages and concessions will be available for purchase.

  • When: December 11-12 and 18–21, from 6 – 10 p.m
  • Where: Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main Street, Buda.
  • Cost: Free

San Marcos

Sights & Sounds of Christmas

Come out for free Santa photos, holiday performances, ice skating, enjoy festival foods, holiday gift shops, laser light show, free petting zoo, pony rides, carnival, town of Bethlehem, 5K Run, Kids 1K Run. Want to volunteer and get free entry? You can do that too!

  • When: December 2nd – 5th, from 5 – 11 p.m.
  • Where: 401 E. Hopkins Street
  • Cost: 13 and up is $5; kids 12 and under are FREE.

East

Bastrop

River of Lights

The River of Lights features 120 lighted displays and music. The trail continues all the way down the Lower Colorado River to Ferry Park, about a half mile.

  • When: Until January 1st
  • Where: Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow St.
  • Cost: Free

West

Dripping Springs

Christmas on Mercer Street

The public is invited to attend the day-long festival on Mercer Street, hosted by the City of Dripping Springs and the Dripping Springs Lions Club. The charming downtown setting of Mercer Street will be transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with lights, holiday decorations, festive music, fire pits for warmth and plenty of holiday cheer. Photos with Santa, train rides, pony rides and a variety of arts, crafts and specialty food and drink booths will be in full swing. The highlight of the evening will be the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree at the Triangle, located at Hwy. 290 and RR 12. At sunset, attendees are invited to gather for the illumination of the tree, showing off its twinkling lights, and joining in festive songs. This year features a special High Steppers performance, in addition to multiple choirs from local Dripping Springs churches and schools. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available for all to enjoy.

  • When: Saturday, December 5th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., tree lighting is at dusk.
  • Where: Mercer Street, Downtown Dripping Springs
  • Cost: Free

Wimberley

The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights

Stroll a walking path with more than 100 lighted exhibits created by local businesses, churches, organizations and families. Roast a marshmallow or a hot dog at the yule log and listen to live entertainment on most nights. Santa will be there on the 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th-23rd. There will also be some Disney princesses visiting this year! Belle on the 3rd, Ariel on the 10th, and Snow White on the 17th.

  • When: Until December 29th, from 6–9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and from 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  • Where: EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325
  • Cost: Free but donations are greatly appreciated.

Johnson City

Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style

This holiday season, bring your family to enjoy the magic and beauty of over two million LED lights spread over a mile-long drive through light display. To book a hayride through the lights for your family or group this Christmas season, or if you have any questions, call 512-955-1706.

  • When: Until January 1, from 6-11 p.m
  • Where: 1 mile outside of Johnson City, on Hwy 281.
  • Cost: Free but donations are accepted to help keep the display burning bright!

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