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My wife and I recently purchased a home in Sendero Springs in Round Rock, Texas. This was our first resale purchase and we wanted to make sure we went with a good builder. The builder of the home is Streetman Homes. They build a high quality home and it speaks volumes that as other builders are going bankrupt or not able to secure construction loans, Streetman Homes continues to build new homes in a new section of Sendero Springs. In addition to a quality builder, we wanted some home protection. No, I’m not talking about guns! We decided to purchase a home warranty protection from Old Republic Home Protection. My brother has been recommending Old Republic to clients for many years and has always received positive feedback from them. It may have been the best (and most affordable) “upgrade” to the value of our home and to our peace of mind!
As the Texas heat approaches historic records for most 100-degree days in a year, what could possibly go wrong with a three-year old home built by a quality home builder? The air conditioning, of course!
My first call was to Old Republic. Actually, I went to their website and did everything online – it was fast, easy, and very convenient. I was very excited to put my warranty plan to use. The plan charges me $60 for the service call. I was contacted by Adams Air Care and promptly scheduled the next available appointment (two days). The technician was very professional in assessing the situation. He suspected a leak in the system as he refilled about two pounds of 410A. He even poured vinegar down the drain pipe for me and hosed down my condenser in the scorching sun! A couple of hours later, he left my home feeling cooler than it had all summer!
A couple of weeks later, the air conditioner wasn’t keeping up with my thermostat so I called Old Republic to have Adams Air Care come out again for a service recall (no charge). The technician came back, added about four pounds of 410A and was determined to find the leak. He said my evaporator coil needed to be replaced. No problem. I’ve got a warranty plan that will cover the parts and labor for this. Upon further investigation by the technician, he would need to remove and re-install the furnace and several ducts in the attic in order to have proper access to the coil. That would probably cost me about $2,000 and would certainly not be covered by my warranty plan. Problem.
So I called my local Old Republic account executive and told her the mess I was in. An hour later I got a call from an Old Republic representative telling me I had the option to get a second opinion and I could get a cash settlement from Old Republic to the tune of $953, which is what they would’ve paid Adams Air Care. That means if it costs me $1,000, I pay $47 out of pocket. It also means if it costs me $900, I pocket $53. Originally, I thought having a leak in my air conditioner would make a major dent in my wallet, but after hearing this news, I couldn’t wait to shop around (my specialty) and find someone to “git-r-done.”
I contacted the original company that installed the unit. They said it could be done and would charge a $650 flat rate to replace an evaporator coil. Two guys spent over five hours to git-r-done. The air conditioner is cooling like a champ and I’m about $300 wealthier. Thanks to Old Republic, I can’t wait until something else needs fixing or replacing at my home. Just kidding! In all seriousness, I wish my home could be 100% problem-free, but it’s still great to have a back-up plan.
On your next real estate purchase, make sure you get a home warranty plan from a company like Old Republic. It should give you immediate peace of mind and if anything were to happen, it just might save you some money and pay for itself.
New Website for Property Management in Georgetown Texas
Now that my brother Edwin is helping me as a buyer and listing specialist I’m able to devote more time to the things I like to do….like write, build existing client relationships and grow the property management division of my company, Mars Hill Realty Group.
I just launched a new website for property management in Georgetown Texas. It’s different then other websites because it will showcase the Georgetown Texas homes for lease that we manage and highlight the lease termination dates. This is nice for potential tenants who want to look at more then the available inventory, but also what will become available months, or even years later. Rather then market the home just 30 or 60 days before the lease ends, we can now market it well in advance, reducing the likelihood a rental home sits vacant.
This website will also be a phenomenal resource for investors. For owners of rental homes in Georgetown Texas that want to sell, their homes will be marketed 24 hours a day on this website. This is great for potential investors that want to expand their portfolio with homes that may already have 1 or even 3 year leases in place!
So if you’re an investor in Georgetown, Texas or even in Greater Austin: Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Pflugerville, check out the website at www.MarsHillPropertyManagement.com. We service the entire Greater Austin area and would love to professionally manage your real estate portfolio as well.
Your Favorite HOMEboy,
I just read an article that adds more fuel to the fire for Georgetown’s explosive population growth over the next few years. According to city planners, the population of Georgetown, Texas in November of 2007 was 46,812, and by 2015 is projected to exceed 83,000!
Bourn Partners (no relation to Jason Bourne) has purchased 185 acres in the southernmost part of Georgetown, Texas with the intent on developing it for multifamily housing, assisted living facilities, medical office, and other retail. This area is already a hotbed for recent retail, medical and educational developments. In recent years, we’ve seen the opening of the Round Rock Premium Outlets, Scott and White Hospital, Seton Medical Center and the Round Rock Higher Education Center. In the near future, this area will also be home to the Texas A&M University medical school! Hmmm, educators, medical practitioners and retail managers…they all sound like great clients to me!
Here’s the full article below:
GEORGETOWN, Texas, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Bourn Partners, a real estate development firm headquartered in Tucson, Ariz, with regional offices in Austin, today announced the acquisition of 185 acres in Georgetown on Westinghouse Road. The property is slated for a multi-use development that could include multi-family housing, assisted living facilities, medical office and research space, a corporate campus, and retail components, among others.
“This area, bordered by IH-35, Westinghouse Boulevard, FM 1460 and University Boulevard, is fast becoming the hub of Williamson County for medical, educational and retail needs,” Joe Simmons, Principal, Bourn Partners, said. “Our site is literally a stones’ throw from the Round Rock Premium Outlets, Teravista’s master planned residential development and Scott & White Hospital. We are delighted to play a part in creating this dynamic project for future growth in the region.”
The site has approximately 2,600 feet of frontage on the south side of Westinghouse Road. Developers site Texas Department of Transportation plans to widen the road by early 2009 as a further impetus for growth in the area.
Bourn Partners has begun the master site planning process for this site. Announcements on future development are forthcoming.
Joe Simmons will market the Westinghouse development for Bourn. He can be reached at (512) 328-8818.
About Bourn Partners
The Bourn Partners team is comprised of more than 80 employees with a market presence in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas and Nebraska. In 2006, the company had in excess of $450 million in gross development transactions. In addition to development activities, Bourn Partners actively manages and leases more than 2.4 million square feet of commercial product. With more than $1 billion in projects at various stages of development, Bourn Partners is a premier real estate developer throughout the Southwest. Bourn Partners’ Austin office was opened in 2004 to expand development opportunities and investment and brokerage efforts in Texas. For more information, please visit www.bournpartners.com
Just read this today in the Statesman…this is a wake-up call if you are sitting on the sidelines waiting to invest in Georgetown:
By M.B. Taboada
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A new 70-acre retail development is headed for Georgetown.
Bourn Partners of Tucson, Ariz., announced Tuesday that it plans to build a major retail project on the southeast corner of Interstate 35 and Inner Loop Road, as part of Longhorn Junction, a 350-acre mixed-use, master-planned development.
Bourn plans to break ground on the retail project in 2009. It will have 800,000 to 1 million square feet, larger than the city’s biggest retail spot, Wolf Ranch Town Center, which has about 750,000 square feet of retail.
Bourn representatives introduced their plan Monday night to the Georgetown City Council at a city workshop.
Though Bourn has not landed tenants, Don Bourn, chief executive officer of Bourn Companies LLC, told council members that the project would be an upscale family destination. He also mentioned the possibilities of a hotel, a department store, live entertainment venues and a Bass Pro Shops outlet.
Bourn representatives declined to comment Tuesday. But in a news release, the company said the project will “create a dynamic, one-of-a-kind retail environment for Georgetown residents, neighboring communities and visitors to Central Texas.”
Mark Thomas, Georgetown economic development director, said the project will meet the city’s high demand for eating and drinking establishments, adding that nearly each time a new restaurant opens, the line of customers snakes out the door.
Longhorn Junction has already landed a $450 million, 250,000-square-foot Citicorp data center, which recently completed construction on the southern portion of the property. Other major Georgetown projects include:
The Summit at Rivery Park, a hotel and convention center by Central Texas-based LedgeStone Group Inc.
Three Forks Community, a 353-acre mixed-use project by developer Bob Wunsch, that fronts Airport Road and two miles of Berry Creek.
A 600-acre urban development that would include thousands of homes and retail just outside Georgetown’s city limits, by David Singleton, president of Leander-based Southwest Land Services Inc.
The Georgetown and Round Rock areas have seen a surge of retail growth, from a new IKEA store and the Round Rock Premium Outlets to Wolf Ranch in Georgetown, said David Simmonds, senior vice president in Austin with the Weitzman Group, a commercial brokerage specializing in retail properties.
“Because of the amount of retail that has come on line recently and is planned, you have a danger of oversupply,” Simmonds said. “But if they have a quality anchor kicking this off, that’s going to be a catalyst for the development, and they’ll do really well. What will suffer is the older shopping centers that don’t have as good of an anchor or no anchor at all,” and those centers can expect to see rents and occupancies decline, he said.
He will be the driving force behind a new development located in the hot area of NW Georgetown and is here to engage with anybody interested in these homes. Keep checking back to this blog for events and information related to the Oaks at Wildwood!
Shops, Stores and Multi-Family units coming to a neighborhood near you!
Imagine meeting your friends at a coffee shop that is located within your neighborhood…no streets to cross, no cars to start, and if you’re like me, by the time you get the kids buckled in that new-fangled 5 point seat belt, you might be already taking your first sip of coffee. Is this a new way of life? Well, not really. Just a few days ago, my friend David and I were reminiscing about the “good ‘ole days” when you could ride your bike to a local store and buy candy without having to face major traffic. Maybe a new way of life these days, but if you are a resident of Georgetown Village that will soon be a reality. Not just stores, but maybe even restaurants and other conveniences that could increase the value of this neighborhood. If you’re interested in giving your input to this future project, there is a meeting on Thursday, April 26th at 6:30PM at the Village Elementary Cafetorium. If you’re interested in learning more about this neighborhood that I live in, call me or visit the developer’s website here: Georgetown Village Website
So what do you think? Can this help neighborhood home values? Or could this turn into a disaster development where the only thing you see from your back window is a giant gas station?
**UPDATE** Click on the “comment” link below this blog to read the details of the meeting