National Night Out 2014

Tuesday, October 7 marks the 31st annual National Night Out. Neighborhoods are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their porch lights, and gather with their neighbors and public safety personnel to show unity against criminal activity. The purpose of National Night Out is to build strong partnerships between the police and communities and to promote crime awareness programs such Neighborhood Community Watch groups. It’s also a fun way to get to know your neighbors and bond so you can look out for one another. A close-knit neighborhood is a safer neighborhood.


National Night Out is fun! It’s a great excuse to have a block party. Here are some ideas to get you started:

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o   Bring your favorite snack

o   Coffee, tea, or dessert

o   Cookie exchange

o   Fruit and cheese plates

o   Grill hotdogs

o   Ice cream/make your own sundaes

o   Lemonade and cookies

o   Potluck Group Activities

o   Create a Block Email List

o   Plan an icebreaker activity

o   Talk about area crime concerns and keeping an eye on each other’s houses

o   Ride bikes in the street

o   Scavenger Hunt

o   Show a movie using a projector


go here Contribute to Your Community

o   Beautify a common area

o   Collect for local food pantry

o   Plan a fall clean-up or bulb planting


If you’re interested in heightening drug and crime prevention by strengthening neighborhood spirit and sending a message to criminals that your neighborhood is organized and fighting back then sign up today! To register your neighborhood block party with the Police Department and have an officer attend your event, visit the NNO website here or contact:

Georgetown: Sgt. Erik Grasse (512) 930-2594 or

Round Rock: Joseph Claypool (512) 671-2871 or

Pflugerville: Cpl. Dan Griffith (512) 670-5514 or

Leander: Community Service Officer (512) 528- 2821 or

Cedar Park: Sgt. Hazen Lango (512) 260-4784

Large Retail Center Could be Coming to I-35 and Lakeway Drive

PecanBranchGeorgetown developer Randy Mongold is working on a project that could bring more than 900,000 square feet of commercial and retail space to the northwest corner of Lakeway Drive and I-35.

The Pecan Branch Georgetown project includes 110 acres for retail and commercial space that could include big box retailers and restaurants and create more than 900 jobs, he said.

“This is the only intersection that has this mass of land to do this kind of project,” Mongold said

On Sept. 17 the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp. approved beginning the process to see if the project would qualify for funding to help build a new road into the development that could be known as Pecan Center Drive and eventually connect to Aviation Drive.

“I was going to build a private road into the project, but it may be a win-win-win if the road were built through the top of the property to support future development,” Mongold said, adding that to build the road he would require funding from the city. “We recognized that that was opening the door to develop the property to the north of this project.”

Funding could also be used to improve the intersection of Lakeway Drive and Airport Road and portions of Airport Road; however, those projects could also be included in the proposed May 2015 transportation bond.

City Councilman Tommy Gonzalez, who also serves on the GTEC board, said the project would be the “premier site for entrances and exits,” referring to the site’s location, which has frontage along Airport Boulevard, Lakeway Drive and I-35.

“There is nothing about this [project], I don’t like,” Gonzalez said at the Sept. 17 GTEC meeting.

Mongold said he was still working with the city to get final approval for the project, and approximately 75 acres needs to be rezoned to Commercial C-3 and platting for the project could continue into early 2015.

If approved, construction on the project’s infrastructure including roads and utilities could begin in early 2015, and vertical construction on the commercial center’s structures could begin in mid-2015, Mongold said.

The project does not have any agreements with potential users; however, Mongold said he has received a lot of interest from several big-name retailers.

“Most [businesses] won’t give a final commitment until they see commitment on the city,” Mongold said. “That’s what we are still working on. … I really don’t see any issues with the city. They’ve been very supportive of the project, and I think part of that support is because of the spreading out of retail because the existing concentration of retail is pretty overwhelming.”

Mongold said he anticipates the development’s customer base will include Sun City residents as well as people driving in from Jarrell and farther north along I-35.

by    September 18, 2014   Community Impact Newspaper

2014 Cost vs. Value: 5 Mid-Range Remodeling Projects That Offer the Biggest Returns

Just replacing that front door may offer some of the biggest bang for a remodelers’ buck, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report. It’s one of the least expensive remodeling jobs and offers the potential of a 96.6 percent return on investment at resale – the highest of 35 remodeling projects recently analyzed. Front door replacement has topped the Cost vs. Value report since the first survey in 2009.

Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, each year takes a look at some of the most popular remodeling projects and gauges how well the projects retain their value at resale.

For mid-range projects, here are projects that retain their value by the highest rates, according to national averages:

1. Entry door replacement (steel)

Estimated job cost: $1,162

Estimated resale value: $1,122

Cost recouped: 96.6%

2. Deck addition (wood)

Estimated job cost: $9,539

Estimated resale value: $8,334

Cost recouped: 87.4%

3. Attic bedroom

Estimated job cost: $49,438

Estimated resale value: $41,656

Cost recouped: 84.3%

4. Garage door replacement

Estimated job cost: $1,534

Estimated resale value: $1,283

Cost recouped: 83.7%

5. Minor kitchen remodel

Estimated job cost: $18,856

Estimated resale value: $15,585

Cost recouped: 82.7%

By: Melissa Tracy on March 24, 2014

Texas Football!


I hope that you are all having a peaceful transition into the school year. Can you believe it’s already football season? Below you can find the schedules for several of our area high schools as well as the home games for Southwestern and UT.  

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8/29       Westwood          (Parent Night)                   GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

9/5         Hays Cons.                                                          Bob Shelton Stadium      7:30

9/12       Pflugerville         (Homecoming)                 GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

9/19       Leander                                                               GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

9/26       Cedar Park                                                          Gupton Stadium               7:30

10/03     Open

10/10     Marble Falls                                                       GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

10/17     Eastview              (EVHS is home)                 GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

10/24     Vista Ridge                                                          GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

10/31     Dripping Springs                                               Tiger Stadium                    7:30

11/07     Vandegrift                                                          GISD Athletic Complex  7:30


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8/29       Austin Travis                                                      House Park                         7:30

9/5         Waco University                                               Away                                     7:30

9/11       Austin Crockett                                                 GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

9/19       Vandegrift                                                            Monroe                                 7:30

9/26       Vista Ridge          (Homecoming)                  GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

10/03     Open

10/10     Dripping Springs                                             Away                                     7:30

10/17     Georgetown                                                      GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

10/24     Leander                                                               Bible                                      7:30

10/31     Cedar Park          (Senior Night)                    GISD Athletic Complex  7:30

11/07     Marble Falls                                                        Away                                     7:30 RRHS

8/29       Temple                                                                 Wildcat Center                  7:30

9/4         Killeen                                                                  Leo Buckley Stadium      7:00

9/12       Copperas Cove (Senior Night)                    Dragon Stadium                7:30

9/19       Stony Point                                                         Dragon Stadium                7:00

9/26       Pflugerville                                                         Kuempel Stadium            7:00

10/03     Open

10/10     Rouse                                                                   Dragon Stadium                  7:00

10/17     Cedar Ridge                                                        Dragon Stadium                 7:00

10/24     Hendrickson                                                       Hawk Stadium                    7:00

10/31     Westwood (Homecoming)                          Dragon Stadium                   7:00

11/07     McNeil                                                                  Kelly Reeves AC                 7:00


enter site LHS

8/29       Killeen                                                  Leander High School                        7:30

9/5         Pflugerville                                         Pflugerville High School                  7:30

9/12       Rouse                                                   Bible Memorial Stadium                   7:30

9/19       Georgetown                                      Georgetown High School                  7:30

9/26       Vandegrift                                          Bible Memorial Stadium                  7:30

10/03     Open

10/10     Cedar Park          (Rivalry Game)  Leander High School                      7:30

10/17     Marble Falls                                        Marble Falls High School             7:30

10/24     East View                                            Leander High School                       7:30

10/31     Vista Ridge                                          Vista Ridge High School                7:30

11/07     Dripping Springs                               Leander High School                     7:30 Southwestern University

9/6         Hardin Simmons                                                                                               7:00

9/13       Sul Ross St.                                                                                                           1:00

10/4       Austin College                                                                                                   3:00

10/11     Oklahoma Panhandle State                                                                           1:00

11/8       Trinity                   (Homecoming)                                                                  6:00


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8/30       North Texas                                                                                                       7:00

9/6         BYU                                                                                                                       6:30

10/4       Baylor                                                                                                                   TBA

10/18     Iowa State                                                                                                          7:00

11/8       West Virginia                                                                                                     TBA

11/27     TCU                                                                                                                       6:30

3 Reasons Buyers, Sellers Need a Realtor

BMO Harris Bank recently conducted a survey finding that about 47% of home owners said they could sell a home without the help of a real estate agent, and 59% said they likely could purchase a home on their own. Not surprisingly, 75% of respondents also said they ended up using a real estate professional when it came down to it. Here’s why:

Central Texas Daytrips

I hope you are enjoying your summer! Last month I shared some fun things to do around the Georgetown area, but perhaps you want to try something new. Fortunately, Central Texans are just a short drive away from many amazing places. Here are some ideas for your next Day Trip.

 Enchanted Rock

Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock

2 hour drive from Georgetown

Fredericksburg is a small city with unique German flavor. You can walk down Main Street and visit boutiques and generations-old peach orchards or drive over to Enchanted Rock, where you can hike, backpack, camp, rock climb, picnic, bird watch, geocache, or stargaze. Climb the massive pink granite dome for amazing Hill Country views.


New Braunfels and Gruene

1.5 hour drive from Georgetown

New Braunfels is home to Schlitterbahn, voted the World’s Best Waterpark for 16 years in a row. Come explore this massive water park (over seventy acres!) nestled along the beautiful banks of the Comal River. It features world-famous attractions, epic river adventures, kid’s water playgrounds, and beautiful spots to relax and share a picnic – there is truly something for everyone!

Just down the street, in the historic district, you’ll find Gruene. There is so much to do in this tiny town including shopping and wine tasting. The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar is amazing. Your trip won’t be complete until you visit Gruene Hall. Built in 1878, it is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built. The 6,000 square foot dance hall with a high pitched tin roof still has the original layout with side flaps for open air dancing, a bar in the front, a small lighted stage in the back and a huge outdoor garden.




1.5 hour drive from Georgetown

The Salt Lick in Driftwood has appeared on The Food Network, as well as The Travel Channel. The scenic drive to this legendary BBQ joint will take you through rolling hills and century-old oak trees to an open pit where they have been smoking meat since 1967. It’s BYOB and they have live music on the patio. Driftwood Estate Winery sits on a bluff from which visitors can enjoy a fine wine from a majestic perch overlooking the Driftwood Vineyards below.

I hope this gives you some good ideas and, as always, if there is anything I can do for you or someone you know please don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime.

Edwin Lui, Realtor

GRI, Certified Negotiation Expert


Keeping Your Cool This Summer

go site With temperatures already in the 90s it’s sure to be a hot summer! Here are some tips to help you keep cool in the upcoming months:


Inside your home: The average home spends hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs. But there are ways you can lower your energy bills. Cutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to reduce energy consumption while saving money. Here are some suggestions you can do at home at absolutely no cost to you.

  • Turn up your thermostat

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. Always take into account health considerations and be sure to drink plenty of fluids in warm weather.


  • Use your appliances wisely

Avoid running your appliances during peak hours, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


  • Replace air conditioner filters

Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit.


  • Plug your home’s leaks

Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.


Outside your home:  Community pools and splash pads can be a fun, kid-friendly, and cost-effective way to get out of the house and cool off.  There are plenty of community pools available where you live.



  • Georgetown

Purchase a season pass and have unlimited access to all five Georgetown pools. For more information call the Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department at 512-930-3596, visit, or go to the Rec Center located at 1003 N. Austin Ave, Georgetown, 78626.


  • Round Rock

The Quarry Splash Pad opened May 17 and admission is $2/person.  It’s also a great place to hold birthday parties, but reserve the pavilions early!


  • Pflugerville/Austin

You may have noticed the construction near the southwest corner of SH 130 and FM 685 in Pflugerville. It’s a new water park and it’s scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend!  For more information contact Hawaiian Falls Pflugerville at (972) 232-2918.

Austin Recognized for Fewest Days on Market

Austin is new to the top 10 list at just over half the national average of 102 days. With its fast growing economy, a cost of living that’s 15 percent below the national average, low crime rates, and healthy housing market, it’s no surprise that Austin, Texas is the fastest growing city in the U.S. 

If you are interested in buying a home in the Austin area and you want straightforward, intelligible information about the real estate market so you can achieve your goals, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


10 MSAs With Fewest Median Days on Market

March 2014

Denver, CO


Oakland, CA


San Jose, CA


San Francisco, CA


Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA


Boulder-Longmont, CO


Anchorage, AK


Stockton-Lodi, CA


San Diego, CA


Austin-San Marcos, TX


Source: “® Report: Higher Inventory a Welcome Sign for Spring Buyers,”®(April 17, 2014)

How Buyers Can Annoy Sellers

8404-stillwater-590x300 recently highlighted several ways that home buyers have been annoying some sellers recently, including:

  • Disrespectful house visitors: Some buyers may not be respectful when touring a home, letting their child run wild or bounce on the furniture, cranking up the heat and air conditioning, or even using the restroom. Lisa Ramsey, a real estate professional with the The Ramsey Group, says it’s up to the real estate agents to lay down some house rules when the seller isn’t there. “I tell buyers, ‘Let’s just pretend we’re walking into the White House.” She’ll also talk to her buyers “about the trend of sellers putting [microphones and] cameras in the home. … I go into every house assuming there’s a recording device in the house. We’re not going to talk money or strategy in the house.”
  • Submitting a long list of defects: Ron Phipps, principal with Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., and a former president of the National Association of REALTORS®, says that buyers are doing themselves a disservice when submitting an offer with a long list of what’s wrong with the house. It makes sellers question why the buyers would want this place. Instead, Phipps recommends a gentler approach: Submit a list of comparables with the offer as well as a personal letter where buyers introduce themselves and explain why they want the house. In the letter, they can mention two or three of the major issues with the house while keeping it neutral and referencing third-party, empirical sources.
  • Too many visits: After buyers have committed to purchase a home, they want to make lots of visits to their future home, bringing the decorators, architects as well and entire family with them, says Mike Lubin, associate broker for Brown Harris Stevens in New York. The sellers may find the constant visits disruptive, however, as they’re busy packing and possibly doing repairs to meet a deadline. Lubin says a possible compromise could be to have the buyer arrange a visit while the inspector is present as well as another visit during the final walkthrough before closing.
  • Renegotiation: Buyers may agree on the price but then repeatedly demand concessions and discounts. The home inspection can be a culprit. For example, buyers may realize the furnace has about five good years left and then make a demand for a new furnace or monetary equivalent. “A realistic buyer knows everything’s not going to be perfect,” says Matt Laricy, managing partner with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago. But signed contracts don’t often stop a buyer from trying to renegotiate, Laricy adds. Buyers may say the market has changed or that they’ve overpaid or they may even suffer from buyer’s remorse, he says. “It’s extremely awkward,” Lubin says. “It’s violating the terms of the contract, and it’s insulting.”

Source: “8 Ways that Homebuyers Annoy Sellers,” (April 2014)

April Newsletter: Farmers Markets

Spring has arrived in Central Texas! There are so many fun things to do this time of year: have your picture taken in the bluebonnets, attend the Red Poppy Festival in Georgetown, or watch a Round Rock Express game at the Dell Diamond. Another great springtime activity is visiting your local farmers market. offers several great reasons why you should consider shopping at a farmers market.


  • Farmers markets are easy to find.

Simply Google “Central Texas farmers markets” to find one near you or visit Austin Area Farmers  Market. Due to their flexible locations, some community farmers markets provide fresh, healthy foods when other sources aren’t as easily accessed.

  • SNAP and WIC cards are accepted at most farmers markets.


  • You can try a new fruit or vegetable!

Have you ever tasted gooseberries or rhubarb? Many farmers markets offer lesser known fruits and vegetables, providing a variety that can be both tasty and nutritious.

  • Farmers often have good recommendations on ways to prepare their products.


  • Farmers markets can be important anchors for vibrant communities.

Meet your local farmers, learn about foods grown in your area and catch up with friends and neighbors while stocking up with local goods. Supporting your local farmers market strengthens your community.  

  • It’s a great way to get your kids involved.

Let them pick out something new to try; it’s a great way to get kids to try new foods!

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.


  • Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend closer to your neighborhood.


  • Freshly picked ripe food is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.

Stop by your local farmers market today, learn about where your food comes from, and enjoy some delicious and nutritious food.





Red Poppy Festival

The whole family is sure to have fun on the weekend of April 26 & 27, 2014 at the Red Poppy Festival! Featuring over 100 artisans from across the nation, the Open Car Show, the Kids Zone, Live Entertainment and the Saturday Night Concert and Street Dance! Friday Night Kickoff Concert April 25 at 7pm!  Saturday Night Concert featuring The Belamy Brothers!



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