River Chase 1+ Acre Lots: Close-in to everything, easy to build on.

river-chase-signHere’s your chance to snag up two lots in River Chase for $75,000 a piece in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Georgetown, Texas.

What makes River Chase so popular is the convenience factor.  This is probably the closest custom home neighborhood to I35, the southern entrance to River Chase is about 1 mile away from the access road.  Yet, due to it’s hilly topography, you can barely hear any road noise from within the neighborhood.  Wait a second, aren’t hilly lots tough to build on?  Good question..

123 River Chase and 412 Mason Ranch are prime lots for this neighborhood because even though the neighborhood is hilly, these two are relatively flat and easy to build on.  That means the next buyer can spend less money on the concrete slab and pocket the savings.  Here are some approximations of the size for these lots below.  Everything in River Chase is at least 1 acre in size:

412 Mason Ranch: Notice how the owner purchased the lot that is almost entirely surrounded by trees!  It is conveniently located closest to the northern entrance of River Chase, meaning easier access and hardly any neighbors on all sides of you.

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123 River Chase: This lot is a designer’s dream.  The unique shape allows it to take full advantage of the hill country views to the North and there are no shortage of mature oak trees.  In fact, this lot IS owned by a designer and a full set of plans custom-designed for this lot can be made available to the next buyer.123-river-chase

River Chase in Georgetown Texas is also located within 5-15 minutes to the following:

Major Medical Centers:   Seton Medical Center, Scott and White Healthcare and St. Davids Georgetown Hospital

Major Shopping:  Wolf Ranch, Walmart/Home Depot, Round Rock Premium Outlets and the Ikea shopping plaza

Higher Education:  Southwestern University, Texas State University

Recreation:  Lake Georgetown, San Gabriel Park, Georgetown Recreation Center and several golf courses

Here are more pictures of 412 Mason Ranch:

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Here are more pictures of 123 River Chase:

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The only home in Georgetown, Texas with a view of Village Park, the Hill Country and the Planet Mars

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133 Village Park Drive in Georgetown Village

The neighborhood of Georgetown Village has a unique street that’s called Village Park Drive.  I know, because I live on it!  It’s the only street in Georgetown Village that is a one-way street.  It’s the only one that has a park that fronts it with a neighborhood park/playscape and a city-run heated swimming pool.  It’s also the closest park to the exemplary-rated Village Elementary school.

Well, now here’s something more unique then Village Park Drive:

133 Village Park Drive, the only home in Georgetown that has a view of this lovely park from the front and a nice view of the Texas Hill Country from the back:

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But, here’s something else that this home has:  A perfect night-time panoramic view of the skies

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This custom-built observatory has been crafted to very exacting standards so that the roof slides open and you have access to the skies above.  Imagine hanging out here with your children or grand-children on a cool summer evening looking at the constellations and gazing at the moon with a high-powered telescope.  This isn’t just an educational tool for astronomers, it’s a memory builder tool for families.  Not a fan of telescopes?  Simply turn this into a club house, or workshop complete with electricity.

The home is built by David-Weekly and has 3 bedrooms/2 baths all on one level.  The owners are meticulously clean and the trees and flowers on this property will make the next owner look like a landscaping champ.  This home has approx. 2000 SF and is priced at $210,000.

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For more pictures, check out the gallery below:

The Preserve at Lake Georgetown: Family Camping Trips Within Walking Distance

This is from my HOMEOWNER TIMES real estate column:

preservemapCamping trips are fun: Start up the grill, turn off the slave-driving cell phone, listen to the sound of crickets at night and just relax with the family while munching on s’mores.  Most people associate camping trips with lots of preparation and driving time before you can actually enjoy those benefits, but not if you live in The Preserve at Lake Georgetown in Georgetown, Texas.  Any resident of this custom home neighborhood could just walk out their front door and be on a campground within a short 30 minute, 2 mile walk.  Imagine being able to escape from the office by simply stuffing your backpack with some food and a sleeping bag, grabbing the kids and a tent, and off you go to Russell Park, just two miles away.  Don’t like to walk?  Take the car and be there in 2 minutes.  Isn’t spontaneity great?

hdr_preserveThe Preserve at Lake Georgetown is tucked away in Northwest Georgetown and is bordered by the Whitney Conservation Preserve, allowing most homeowners to enjoy panoramic views of the Texas Hill Country and maintain complete protection from anything that might obstruct those views.  Do you remember the days when all the neighbors knew each other by name and enjoyed each others company?  That dynamic is hard to find in most of the mega-neighborhoods you see today with hundreds of homes lining the streets.  However, the developer of this community only platted seventeen 1+ acre lots, creating a sense of community and exclusivity that is rare in most neighborhoods.

preserve_lotsYou’ll find only custom-caliber homes in The Preserve at Lake Georgetown with a majority of them built by the developer, Steve Klein.  Steve Klein is an experienced builder that has the type of attention to detail that would make an engineer blush.  Whether it’s a custom library, home theater, wine cellar, or a gigantic playroom for kids, Steve Klein can integrate it into your dream home to fit your lifestyle.  Speaking of kids, this home is also located in one of the best elementary school districts in Georgetown.  Ford Elementary received an exemplary rating, the highest possible ranking, by the Texas Education Agency and it is located just 5 miles away.  Besides the school, an HEB grocery store and a host of other convenient shopping is available all within a short 10 minute commute.

The Preserve at Lake Georgetown lives up to it’s name: Located in an exclusive location within walking distance to Lake Georgetown and access to some of the best schools and shopping in Georgetown, it truly preserves the type of lifestyle most people only dream of.  Only 7 lots are remaining, so be sure to reserve a spot in the preserve as soon as you can!  For additional links, more information and pictures of this neighborhood, be sure to check out the Georgetown Texas real estate blog at:  www.GeorgetownCustomHomes.com/blog or become a fan on Facebook:  www.YourFavoriteHOMEboy.com.

Here is one of the homes available now!  Click to enlarge picture:

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Premium School District without Premium Price Tag: Terraces of Woodlake in Georgetown, Texas

Ford Elementary School district is one of the most desirable in Georgetown, Texas because of its exemplary rating. Desireable, yes. Affordable? Not really.

Consider that the average price of all the homes on the market today, that feed into this school district, is just over $400,000 with an average of $143/SF. Let me introduce to you a home that breaks the trend:  4900 Woodstock Drive

4900 Woodstock is your economic stimulus home. Not only is this home one of the best values on the market today, it’s also a rare opportunity to send your kid to this exclusive elementary school for just $165,000 (~$89/SF). Here’s the best part: This home is also located closer to Ford Elementary School then most of the other homes that cost at least 3x more. You can walk to this school and not cross any major roads. In fact, you can also walk to HEB, a couple of restaurants, the UPS store, a nail store, Blockbuster and more!  That puts new meaning to “Green Home.”  Let your friends brag about their new hybrid…you get the luxury of never even having to start a car to do your errands!  The location of this home is unprecedented and the value is unmatched.

Check out the pictures below and call me to arrange a private showing today!

Looking for information on Georgetown Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

Twin Creek Farms – One of Georgetown’s Finest Equestrian Communities

Do you like horses? Well, here’s the community for you!

Located in NE Georgetown, Texas, Twin Creek Farms is one of the finest custom home communities that caters to people who love horses. Don’t ride a horse, but love looking at them? Well, then you’re welcome here too! The community is beautiful enough that some people move here just for the peaceful, rolling terrain and classic look of white fencing that lines the lot of every home in the neighborhood. Unlike golf course communities, there aren’t any budget-breaking HOA fees here. Just around $55/month will give you the benefits of a community equestrian center, dedicated horse-riding trails and a lake full of fish.

Recently, one of the best lots in this neighborhood came up for sale. The owners decided to move to a different area and they want to sell this coveted piece of property to the next lucky buyer. What makes it so special? Well, for starters, it’s at the end of a culdesac. Which means no cars passing through and safer streets for the little ones. It’s also a large 4+ acre lot that is suitable for 2 horses. The lot is relatively flat and clear so it will keep your building costs down. The best feature of this lot, however, is that it backs to a gorgeous stream that you will have commanding views of from the back windows of your home. Imagine, resting out in the backyard to the sound of soothing water and gentle breezes. Yes, all of this for just $77,000. Where else will you find land this cheap? Let alone land on a premium location with a premium view! I just sold one of the last few lots available that back to a water-feature this past week in Georgetown, so if you’re looking for a unique lot, make sure you consider this in your purchase!

Check out the gallery below and feel free to drive by the lot:

Looking for information on Georgetown Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

$135,000 for 3Br/3Ba and over 2000 SF – Georgian Place in Georgetown Texas

Here’s what I think you’ll like about this home:

Backyard
– Home faces West, so the backyard is shaded in the evening and is the perfect environment for grilling and relaxing. The owners take advantage of where the sun is and have built a private garden on the side of the home next to the walking path. Rather then an ugly slab of concrete, the owners opted for a much more natural material, using gravel to form the surface of this patio. No large 2 story directly behind this home, for a much better sense of privacy.

Floorplan – The living room has soaring ceilings (at least 12 feet) and is ideal for furniture placement. Two bedrooms are on the first floor including the Master bedroom. This is convenient for guests or if the next buyer has a small child they want to keep close. This also give you the versatility of having elderly parents live with you and not have to climb stairs. There is a dedicated full bathroom for this second bedroom. The third bedroom is on the top floor and also has access to a full bath. This third bedroom is very large and can be considered a second Master bedroom.

Gameroom – This extra living space is critical to families these days who have such a wide variety of needs. This bonus room is so large you can split it up for multiple uses like the current owner has done. They use one half for a study and the other half for a hobby room. There is even a neat alcove that can be used as a child’s homework area, a TV nook or a small library.

Check out the pictures below and call me if you want to see this home for yourself. Perfect as an investment home or residence!

4 Blocks from Historic Georgetown Texas: 404 East 8th Street


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4Br/2Ba/2Living/Bonus Building in Backyard (Scroll map to the right to see location of home)

Live Music, Market Days, Christmas Strolls, the list goes on and on….it’s what makes Historic Downtown Georgetown the heart of this city and why people from all over the world fall in love with the city of Georgetown, Texas.

However, the real “magic” of downtown Georgetown isn’t just the “special events,” it’s the unique lifestyle it offers for those who live, work and play here. Now, here’s your chance to be less than 4 blocks from “the square” and own a piece of history on 404 East 8th Street.

The Numbers:

This home is being GIVEN AWAY at $200,000 by the current owners! It’s approximately 2000 SF and that doesn’t include the bonus room that the current owners built in the backyard. If you do a little preliminary analysis, you’ll notice that $100/SF in this part of town, with this type of proximity to the square, is amazing. When the real estate market was appreciating in recent years, the part of town that experienced one of the highest percent gains was downtown Georgetown. It’s not unusual to see these older homes sell upwards of $130/sf to $150/sf.

The Delimma:

So why isn’t this sold? Currently the owners have some college students living in the home and paying rent. If you’ve been a college student before (or have college-aged kids) you know that housekeeping isn’t something they normally choose to major in. When I was at the University of Rochester my priorities were: Fulfilling my ROTC obligations, serving my college fellowship, squeaking by in school and hanging out with my future wife Autumn. Not necessarily in that order. I worried more about how I would get my next chicken wing fix, then I would about cleaning up the place. Fortunately, God blessed me with Josue Padilla, quite possibly the cleanest Puerto Rican man on earth!

The bottom line, staged homes help sell homes quicker. Messy college-boy homes take a bit longer. The other difficulty is finding a buyer who is willing to move in after the current lease is up sometime in May of 2010.

However, if you’re an investor, this is a dream. These types of homes are rarely vacant because college boys just rotate through them pretty automatically. Hold on to the home and sell it when the market peaks.

If you want to take advantage of the tax credits and interest rates, now is the perfect opportunity to snatch this up even if you are an owner-occupant.

12/21 Update: If you’re an investor looking to capitalize on the college rental market here’s a tip. Don’t just get a home with proximity to Southwestern University. Get one that is also close to the square. That way you can attract the college crowd and also have maximum potential for appreciation on your home due to the rare location. As of this date, this is the ONLY home on the market that is in the prime location I just described. There are maybe 4-5 other rental homes close to the University, but they are all about 1/2 – 1 mile from the square and are mostly located across a major street (University Avenue).

Check out the pictures below:

Building in Sun City, Texas from the East coast – Roke Testimonial

Fran and Linda Roke and their friend, Lorraine, are some great folks.  They moved to Georgetown, Texas from Connecticut and decided to build a home in Sun City, Texas right next to each other!  I had the honor of overseeing the construction of both homes and coordinating for any third party vendors to get into the home.  It’s hard enough to build a home, let alone do it from out-of-state!  We accomplished this through lots of email and phone calls and some occasional You Tube videos of the home’s progress.  Check out the video testimonial below!

Georgetown Village Flier – Door-to-Door in Georgetown, Texas

The weather is nice.

Walking is good.

Kids need to learn the value of work and earning money.

I need to do real estate marketing.

All of that adds up to our newest monthly LUI FAMILY TRADITION – Deliver real estate fliers door-to-door!

The Task: There are about 400 homes in my neighborhood in Georgetown Village and it takes my family of 5 about 1 hour/100 fliers.

The Method: I am on foot and I carry the fliers in my shoulder bag. Joshua is on the scooter, Chloe is on the bike and Autumn pushes Sabrina in anything that has wheels.  In the newer development, where houses are spread apart, we load up in the minivan.

The Loot: I pay the kids 5 cents per flier.  That’s a ton less then postage!

The Side Benefits: 1 hour of family time, walking in great Texas weather.  Teaching kids about work ethic and simple math.

Check out this month’s and last month’s flier below:

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Looking for information on Georgetown Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

Not just hype – Green building pays off

Green Building – Should you believe the hype?
hype-mfp-energy-drink-iiThere’s been a lot of hype surrounding green building practices lately.  Save energy, save the earth and feel good about yourself for making a difference for the next generation.  What’s not to love?  Especially if you can save money at the same time!  Well, last year I decided to test the waters with my own green building experience.  I decided to move into a home built by Green Builders in Georgetown Village and got my Ecobroker certification to learn more about the industry and help others through the process of “going green.”

After 12 months of living in a green home, I decided to compare my utility bills with the previous year of living in a “non-green” home and see if there was a noticeable difference.  Keep in mind that this blog post will only focus on the financial benefits, but green building also benefits the environment and the health of your family.  Before I get into the results, there are a few details I need to share with you first:

1.  My previous home was on 115 Village Park Drive (115 VP) and I only moved 5 houses down to 125 Village Park Drive (125 VP) – Location is pretty much the same (Georgetown Village), and so all the climate and home positioning factors are relatively equal.

2.  I compared the time frame of August 2007 – July 2008 for 115 VP with August 2008 – July 2009 for 125 VP – The 2008 summer was pretty dang hot….but anybody can tell you that the 2009 summer was even worse, not to mention a pretty bad drought that we’ve been having too!

3.  For utility consumption purposes, my family size stayed the same:  Just Me, my wife and 3 rascals under the age of 5.

4.  Lastly (here’s the big one); the home on 115 VP drive is a 2000 SF, SINGLE STORY and my new home on 125 VP drive is a 2800 SF, TWO STORY – a home that is 40% larger!

Comparing the Gas Bill

Gas

Both of my homes used used gas for the stove, furnace and water heater.  125 VP had a slight advantage in efficiency because the home was built in 2008 and 115 VP was built in 2002.  My home on 115 VP used a traditional water heater that would maintain the temperature at a fairly consistent temperature.  The home on 125 VP uses a tankless water heater so it heats water on demand.  I also have a 50 gallon traditional water heater that is dedicated to my 400 SF home office above my garage, but I hardly ever use hot water up there.  So despite the fact that I have 2 water heaters, 1.5 more bathrooms and 800 extra SF more in my newer home, I still ended up spending only $359 over a 12 month period compared to $521 for 115 VP.  A savings of $162/year.

Winner:  125 VP

Comparing the Electric Bill

So how did my larger 125 VP home use 20% less electricity then 115 VP?  Well, for one, all of the bulbs in that home are compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).  According to the Energy Star website, CFL’s use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.  This is an easy upgrade for any homeowner to do.  Word of warning though, you’ll notice that the cost of these bulbs are MUCH higher.  Sure, they’ll boast that the CFL lasts 7 years or longer and that might be a good justification, but as of the 12 month mark, I had 4 of my CFLs go out on me already.  I also purchased a more efficient refrigerator, and a front loading washer/dryer set for my new home.  The HVAC unit in my Green Builder home also went up in efficiency to a minimum of 14 seer.  These appliances can make a significant difference in reducing energy consumption.

Another HUGE advantage that 125 VP has is that the insulation is spray foam.  You can go up in the attic at 125 VP during a 100+ degree summer day and you won’t feel like you’re in an oven.  In fact, you might feel comfortable enough to play a game of checkers up there.  The foam does an amazing job keeping cool air in and hot air out during the summer so that my HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard.  The home’s exterior is a white Austin stone, which is better at reflecting heat then the red brick on my 115 VP home.  In order to minimize direct sunlight shining directly into the home, Green Builders constructs their windows higher up and extends the roofline over the home further out.  The result: I spent $1304 for 125 VP and $1418 for 115 VP, a savings of $114/year.

Winner:  125 VP

Comparing the Water Bill

125 VP has low-flow toilets and showerheads, a 53 gallon rain collection barrel, drought-tolerant landscaping and more efficient appliances.  115 VP has a smaller yard.  Even though my grass is looking pretty ugly over at the 125 VP home, at least I can feel satisfied that I spent less on my water bill then I did at my 115 VP home!  In fact, it was a measly $16/year less ($378 versus $394), but still a win for green building!

Winner:  125 VP

Conclusion:

Living in 125 VP saved me money and usage on all three utilities:  Gas, Electric and Water.  A total savings of almost $300/year or $25/month!  However, keep in mind the home is 40% larger and still managed a savings.  At a utility cost of $0.73/SF/year, that would mean that if I didn’t upgrade and just moved into a 2000 SF green home, my utility costs would only be $1458/year.  115 VP, a 2000 SF home, cost me $2333/year!  That’s a difference of $875/year or $73/month.

This $73/month could justify a homeowner paying $10,000 more for a green home and keep his cost of ownership (house payment and utilities) pretty much the same.  Another way to look at it is this:  If you are going to invest $10,000 to achieve a savings of $875/year, you might want to make sure you live in the home long enough to reap the financial benefits.

If you’re considering a purchase of a green home or doing energy efficient upgrades, tap into my Georgetown Texas real estate expertise and give me a call or share your experiences in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!

Looking for information on Georgetown Texas Homes For Sale? Visit my website or call me anytime!! Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

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