Healthy Kids

It’s Back to School in Austin!  For many of our children, staying healthy throughout the school year is a challenge.  Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and with it the increase in sicknesses they encounter in the school environment.

The good news is that parents can positively impact a child’s immune system, decrease the likelihood of them becoming sick, and avoid the cycle of catching everything that is going around.  A lot can be accomplished by putting the right things into their growing bodies on a daily basis. Here are just a few tips to make it through the school year unscathed:

Reduce sugar.  According to Dr. William Sears, “eating or drinking 100 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 2 cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent.” The effect starts almost immediately and can last for up to five hours.  Eating a sugar-filled breakfast and sending kids off to school with a suppressed immune system makes their bodies more vulnerable when they are at school.

Get enough sleep.  It’s hard to get back onto a regular bedtime schedule after a long summer, but research shows this is important.  Lack of sleep has been linked to a variety of cognitive and physical health issues including a reduced ability to fight off infections.  David Katz, MD says, “Sleep is crucial to immune system function.  People underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep.”

Eat more produce.  A healthy diet rich in immune-boosting foods can help your body build infection-fighting white blood cells and repair injury to cells, protecting itself against infection and illness.  There is much research anback to school imaged evidence that the best source of antioxidants is fresh fruits and vegetables.

There are many great habits you can teach your children to do while at school, such as proper hand-washing and drinking water rather than juice or soda.  But do not underestimate the positive impact of good nutrition on building healthy bodies.  If you find it challenging to eat the recommended 9 to 13 servings of fruits and veggies, take a look at the product JuicePlus, which provides your body with nutrients from 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains.

To learn more about JuicePlus and to see if your child qualifies to receive the product for free through the Children’s Health Study, visit our partner Ginger Hobbs and mention this article.

New Standard Pacific Homes in Lakeline

standardpacific

Standard Pacific Homes will be selling in a charming and newly developed northwest Austin townhome community.  Standard Pacific is one of the premiere builders in Austin.  Here’s a great opportunity to own a townhome in one of the fastest growing areas of the beautiful Texas Hill Country!

Just off highway 183 and 45, Lakeline Center is a prime location:

  • Walking distance to Capital Metro Rail Lakeline Station
  • Major retail and resaurants
  • Popular Round Rock ISD schools
  • Close to Concordia University and Austin Community College’s Cypress Creek Campus
  • Numerous parks and trails

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about Lakeline Center in northwest Austin!

Back to School Information

It’s August and for many of us that means it’s time to start planning for the new school year! Looking for school supply lists, new student registration information, or open house dates? Follow the links below for all the information you need for the start of the 2015-2016 school year

August 24th – Classes Begin

Georgetown ISD – more information here.

Austin ISD – more information here.

Leander ISD – more information here.
August 25th – Classes Begin

Round Rock ISD – more information here.

Perhaps your children are heading off to college. If the cost of tuition, housing and books concerns you, you might want to consider refinancing your home.

Tera Gilbert with New Penn Financial suggests that if you’ve been thinking of reducing your loan term from a 30-year fixed to a 10-, 15- or 20-year loan, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and start the refinance process. But while you’re at it, pull some cash out during the process to take care of college expenses. In Texas, you can pull cash out during a refinance up to 80 percent of the current market value of your home. And that cash can be used for any purpose you choose, including college tuition.

Say you have a 30-year fixed rate at 4.875% on a $300,000 mortgage and your home is worth $550,000. You determine that refinancing that note into a 20-year loan at 3.50% will save you a considerable amount of interest over time. During this process, you decide to not just change the term and reduce your rate but you also pull out $20,000 for college. The difference in monthly payments is just over $100 per month. Where else can you leverage $20,000 at such a rate?

If you would like to talk about your options and see if this process makes sense for you, send me a message and I’d be happy to connect you.

Happy Birthday America!

This July 4th, the United States of America celebrates its 239th birthday!

Here are some fantastic places for the entire family to enjoy fireworks safely:

Please check the links for updated information and remember most fireworks are not allowed in and around Austin.  Check your local laws.  Fortunately there are plenty of places nearby where you can enjoy fireworks!

Father’s Day Ideas

Are you looking for meaningful Father’s Day ideas that will really show Dad how much you care?  These suggestions are bound to make his day especially great.  Plus, they’re simple, inexpensive, and fun for the whole family!

Spend time together.

Take him out to the ballgame. Bring your gloves and baseballs! Round Rock Express has a home game on Father’s Day. Fathers and their kids can come down to the field to play catch before the game from 5:45 – 6:15. Bonus: Gatti Land will be giving away baseballs to all kids 12 and under.

Treat him to golf! Topgolf Austin opens an hour early (8am) on Father’s Day. They also have a new brunch menu and games for all ages to enjoy.

Go to the movies. Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out will be released the Friday before Father’s Day. Older kids will enjoy taking him to see the highly anticipated Jurassic World in 3D, which will be out the week before!

Make him something.

Get Crafty.  “All About My Dad” worksheets are a fun way for kids of all ages to show Dad how much they care. You can download a worksheet for Dad or Grandpa here.

Upload a YouTube video. Record your children recounting funny Dad Stories or telling their favorite thing about him. Include special songs or inside jokes that make you think of Dad.

Bring on the praise.

Appreciate him. Tell him how much you love and need him. Show him how you feel by writing him a thank you note detailing the ways he contributes to the family, how he gives moral and emotional support, or what makes him a great parent. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on extravagant gifts; your gratitude and love are the greatest gifts you can give him this Father’s Day.

 

303 Windridge Village – Cute Charmer Made for Walking

 

17 Deck

I just had to show off the cozy rear deck first.

There are shoes made for walking, there are boots made for walking, and now there is a home made for walking.  303 Windridge Village Court is centrally located in the heart of Georgetown.  Lace up or slip on your foot covering of choice as you begin your very short journey to Downtown Georgetown’s Historic Square (voted most beautiful town square in Texas!), San Gabriel Park, or numerous restaurants, coffee shops, antique stores, or the weekly farmer’s market.  Students and professors can also stroll a few blocks to Southwestern University.

16 Deck

Easy to maintain, easy to enjoy.

At 1,084 sf, this 2 bedroom, 2 full bathroom home is a breeze to clean up.  However, the open floor plan and rear deck give you plenty of space to entertain your guests or take a break from all that walking! There are no neighbors behind you, unless you consider the massive oak trees, giving you unparalleled privacy at this price point.  The cedar patio has been re-stained and the stone patio will be strong and beautiful for many years to come.

02 Living

Dining and bar seating aplenty!

08 Living

Great space to entertain indoor and outdoor.

The lovely owner has taken great care and pride in this home for almost 10 years.  She has freshened up to the interior to the tune of new wood laminate and ceramic tile floors, new baseboards throughout, and a fresh coat of paint.  There is no carpet to snag up dust or allergens.  Need to commute to Austin during the week?  No problem.  This home has a two-car garage, which is very rare in this neighborhood.  Another extra is the indoor utility.  Really, who wants to do laundry in the dark, cold garage in the winter?  The asking price of $161,800 is a bargain when you consider the top reasons for buying real estate – location, location, location!

303 Windridge Village – Sellers Disclosure

303 Windridge Village – Survey

303 Winridge Village – Upgrades

 

 

Quiz – Buyers’ Favorite Features

What do buyers want most in a new home? The National Association of REALTORS collected responses from more than 2500 buyers who recently purchased a home. Let’s see how well you know house hunters’ priorities!

1. What single home feature do buyers say they want most in a new home?

A. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
B. Central air conditioning
C. Backyard
D. Fully finished basement

2. What was the median home size purchased in 2013?

A. 2,320 square feet
B. 1,860 square feet
C. 1.450 square feet
D. 1,000 square feet

3. Repeat buyers tend to be choosier than first-time buyers. In particular, repeat buyers place much more emphasis on these home features:

A. Fireplaces and air filtration systems
B. Bay windows and finished basements
C. Over-sized garages and master bedroom with walk-in closets
D. Backyards and proximity to entertainment

4. Within three months after buying a home, nearly half of all buyers remodeled or made improvements to which part of the house?

A. Master bedroom
B. Backyard
C. Kitchen
D. Home office

5. Which kitchen feature ranked highest among buyers?

A. New appliances
B. Eat-in kitchen
C. Kitchen Island
D. Granite countertops

6. What three features did buyers say they’d be most willing to pay extra for in a home?

A. Proximity to work, a wooded lot, and a backyard or play area
B. Whirlpool baths, proximity to schools, and a deck
C. A corner lot, a lawn sprinkler system, and high-end kitchen appliances
D. Central air-conditioning, walk-in closets, and hardwood floors

7. A home’s energy efficiency is most important to which segment of buyers?

A. Repeat buyers
B. Second-home buyers
C. New-home buyers
D. First-time buyers

8. Where do first-time home buyers tend to purchase a home?

A. Rural area
B. City or urban area
C. Suburb or subdivision
D. Small town

9. What’s the most common type of home purchased?

A. Single level
B. Split level
C. Two levels
D. Three levels

10. What did new-home buyers most wish their home had more of?

A. Storage
B. Bedrooms
C. Kitchen space
D. Bathrooms


 

Answers

1. B          2. B          3. C          4. C          5. A          6. D          7. C         8. C          9. A          10. A

 

 

900 Cactus – For Urban Preppers

01 Front

Beautiful oaks surround this charmer of a home!

At a humble 1,212 sf, 900 Cactus is set up perfectly for those who want to be close to the city, but are willing to take a step toward independence of the system with an amazingly fertile garden in the back yard.  The owners have meticulously maintained and loved this home over the past 15 years, including the garden, and it is ready for the next urban prepper to take over.  Recent major maintenance items include a new fence in 2015, roof in 2009, HVAC in 2008, and exterior vinyl siding, double pane windows, and full gutter system in 2005.

02 Living

New paint and carpets scream, “I”m ready to move in!”

04 Kitchen

Cabinets have been freshened up in this efficient-sized kitchen.

The home also comes with a huge sun room.  This is great for your indoor veggies and herbs, or if you just need extra space for your hobbies.  It includes a gorgeous 270-degree view of your back yard and garden.

17 Patio

Great space for entertaining and hosting outdoor events.

19 Garden

Fresh veggies will be ready by the time you move in. Only downside: You have to pick them yourself.

This fantastic property is priced at $165,000.  Act quickly.  This home is going to sell in the blink of an eye!  Contact me for a private showing.  More information and photos below.

900 Cactus – Upgrades

900 Cactus – Sellers Disclosure

900 Cactus – Pre-Inspection

103 Mancos – Almost New in Up and Coming Neighborhood

02 Front

Cute and charming home in an up and coming neighborhood!

103 Mancos was built just a few years ago in 2012.  Since then it’s received a very good treatment of care and upgrades by its only owner.  The exterior upgrades include extensive front and back yard landscaping, an extended back patio, an extended back/side fence, and automatic, in-ground sprinkler system.  Interior upgrades include a security system, separate camera system, water softener, window treatments on every window, ceiling fans in the bedrooms, living room, and dining room, and built-in reverse osmosis water filtration system by the sink.  These extras would cost you a fortune in a brand new home, not to mention you would need to pay for these upgrades out of pocket.  This is why buying a resale is economical. Being that the home is only 3 years old makes this a very smart buy over other resales.

03 Living

Enormous living space with natural light entering through the rear patio.

06 Kitchen

Ample counter space and storage in a kitchen overlooking the living.

13 Den

Versatile flex room can be office, play room, second dining, media, home gym, den, etc.

The spacing, floor plan, and tall ceilings of this home make it feel much larger than the listed 2,093 sf.  It’s very open where it needs to be, but all three bedrooms are tucked away nicely for peace and privacy.  In three years, the carpets still look brand new because of the low traffic from a two-person household.  Everything else is also well-maintained.

22 Rear

New trees and healthy grass are easy to maintain with the automatic sprinklers.

23 Patio

An extended patio for extended guest lists. Easy to entertain in this home.

The corner lot provides a large open yard in the back.  The owner has extended the patio, added a garden, and several fruit trees; and there is still plenty of room to throw a football back here.  With an asking price of $240,000, new homes can’t provide the same value, and similar resales cannot compare to the level of care and upgrades placed in this one.  Please contact me if you’d like a private showing.

103 Mancos – Survey

103 Mancos – Upgrades

954 Madrone – A Dreamer’s Home

01 Front

Beautiful curb appeal is only the beginning for this custom built home.

This impeccable home may be the best kept secret in Georgetown.  It may not look any different from the other homes in the neighborhood from the outside, and that’s because it isn’t.  The elevation is designed by Gehan Homes, a reputable builder in Texas, and it sits on a not-too-large, not-too-small corner lot in Georgetown Village.  But didn’t your mom ever tell you not to judge a book by its cover?  Open the door to 954 Madrone, and a magnificent story of restoration, rebuilding, and redemption comes alive.  The original home, built in 2012, met its fate in a kitchen fire soon after (no one was home during the fire – no casualties or injuries).  By 2014, it was completely rebuilt with many custom touches that you would normally find in luxury homes.  The home is laid out with a a 3,609-sf Stanford floor plan and contains 5 bedrooms (one is being used as a dedicated home theater), 3.5 luxury baths, a game or flex room, formal dining, and dedicated private office.

03 Kitchen

Beautiful granite shines among the hand-picked pendant fixtures and custom painted cabinets.

05 Kitchen

This kitchen could be featured on Food Network or HGTV!

There is absolutely no evidence of previous fire or smoke damage in this house.  Everything was torn out and thrown out so that it could be made new, exactly like this kitchen.  The gourmet kitchen opens to the living room, opens to the back patio, and has a walk through to the formal dining.  The size of the kitchen, amount of counter space, and double oven are perfect features to hosting large gatherings throughout the year and don’t even get me started on the storage space.  Every room is as gorgeous as the kitchen.

32 Pool

Heated swimming pool? Check.

33 Pool

Hot tub? Check.

34 Pool

Privacy? Check.

35 Pool

Relaxing spot by the pool? Check.

36 Pool

Designated area to grill and picnic? Check.

This home has everything you could want, including a beautiful heated swimming pool and hot tub that can be enjoyed all year long.  It’s located within walking distance to a highly rated elementary school in a neighborhood where community safety is a top priority and friendly neighbors abound.  Priced at $415,000, this home could be the one you pass down to your children one day.  See below for more information and photos, including a list of upgrades and detail shots.  Contact me if you’d like to schedule a private showing.

954 Madrone – Custom Built Home

954 Madrone – Floor Plan

954 Madrone – Pool Design

954 Madrone – Sellers Disclosue

954 Madrone – Survey

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