Top Ten Reasons to buy a home in Georgetown, Texas

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Top Ten Reasons to buy a home now.

The combination of low interest rates and decreased housing prices represents a great investment opportunity.

By Alamo Title www.alamotitle-austin.com, submitted by Ysolette Nicoson

1. Selection – Homes are available in every area and at all price ranges. The quantity of houses on the market allows you to pick and choose the qualities you want to find just the home you want. It wasn’t so long ago that buyers were jumping on new listings as soon as they came onto the market, that is no longer a concern for buyers in this economy.

2. It’s a buyer’s market – The best time to buy is when most people want to sell. If you buy now you can get a lot more house for your money, and you have a lot more negotiating power.

3. Homes are more affordable – Real estate, which was overpriced during the housing bubble, has returned to earth. That’s especially good news for first-time home buyers who were priced out of the market four or five years ago.

4. Interest rates are low – Mortgage interest rates are at their lowest point in the last several years. This means your mortgage payment takes you a lot farther than it did before. We’re not that far off of the all time lows we hit several years back. It is smart to take advantage of the low mortgage rates while they are still available.

5. Tax savings – Buying a home is one of the best ways to save money on taxes. Your mortgage interest, real estate taxes and in many cases mortgage insurance are all tax deductible. If you are a first time home buyer this means that after-tax, you can pay a lot more for a mortgage payment than you pay for rent.

6. Appreciation– This might not seem like the best reason to buy, with prices stagnating and falling in some areas, but in the long run, home prices always move up. There is a lot of pessimism in the real estate market today, but even the most pessimistic are bullish in the long run.

7. Equity build up– As you pay down your mortgage you build up equity in your home. Most people don’t even think of this because it is so gradual, but every mortgage payment (as long as it is an amortizing loan) pays a little less interest and a little more principal. In a way owning a home is a form of forced savings.

equity-management
8. Rents are rising – Buying a home means you can fix your mortgage payment, at least the principal and interest portion. Rents are projected to rise this year and over time.

9. Lots of homes are Move-In Ready – In order to sell a home in a tough buyer’s market, sellers have to put their best foot forward. This means sellers will paint, landscape, and do any necessary repairs to make their homes look the best as compared to their competition. For a buyer this means, you are getting a nice looking home with no maintenance issues to take care of.

10. Incentives – Buying in a buyer’s market gives the buyer the upper hand. As a buyer, you may ask the seller to sell you their washing machine, refrigerator or pool table. In addition to material things, you can ask the seller for a homeowner’s warranty, lawn or maid service for six months to a year, etc.

What do you think, buy or wait?  This blog is boring without reader interaction, I value your comments! 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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Georgetown Texas homes for sale in Wood Ranch

Ok, so it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. Even though the real estate market is suppossed to be slow, I’ve been pretty busy actually…and forgot about my first love: Blogging.

So here is the follow-up to my previous post on this listing in Wood Ranch.

1. First, the neighborhood:

Wood Ranch is located close to Interstate 35, so it has the convenience factor nailed. In just a few minutes you can be off and on your way in 30 minutes North or South to Ft. Hood/Killeen/Temple or Round Rock/Austin for work. See my most recent post about how easy the commute is to Temple, Killeen and Ft. Hood from Georgetown. You can also hop onto Hwy 29 and go west and hit Cedar Park/Leander within minutes.

Shopping is very convenient. For groceries, you just go North on DB Wood to the nearest HEB or you can take Hwy 29E and take Wolf Ranch Parkway North to go to Wal Mart. Wolf Ranch Shopping Center is located at the SW corner of Hwy 29 and I35. Bottom Line: Getting your shopping done is a breeze from this location!

All of the homes in Wood Ranch are custom-built which leads us to the second point.

2. The builder:

Choosing a builder in Georgetown, Texas is not the easiest thing to do. Some builders have great reputations, and then the next day you hear they’re bankrupt. Other builders may have no reputation at all, unless you’ve lived in Georgetown for the past 20 years and grew up with them. The builder of this home is Ed Wohlrab. Ed has been established in Georgetown for over 10 years and was one of the original builders for one of Georgetown’s most respected custom home communities, River Chase. Ed is known for building homes around unique and challenging environments. You can get a good idea of this on his most current homes he is building by driving around in The Falls of San Gabriel. Ed Wohlrab must have had fun with this home. He built if far off the road to give it tons of privacy and most of what you see from the front porch is just rows of trees. He positioned the home just perfect so you also have a generous backyard. Privacy in the front, privacy in the back. Perfectly achieved!

3. The home:

The home is built so that the bedrooms and living areas are larger then what you see in most homes. He kept the floorplan simple and uncluttered with lots of hallways and nooks and crannies. Just large bedrooms and living spaces that flow into each other very intuitively. Pictures speak louder than words, so this is the part of the post where I can show off my camera skills:

Front of Home and View from Front Porch

Back of Home and View from Back Porch

Interior Shots

You can read more details on Wood Ranch and search all the homes available in this custom home neighborhood at this link: Custom Homes in Georgetown Texas Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments?

Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below and don’t forget to comment on my blog, I love reader interaction!

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Berry Creek in Georgetown, Texas – What you can get for just under $400K (if you’re lucky)

I’m helping a friend of mine buy a large home and we ran across this home on 13 Sarazen Loop. This home is located in Berry Creek, a private golf course community in Georgetown, Texas that has homes ranging from the high $100’s to the $700’s and up.

One of the services that I provide my buyers is that I take pictures of the interior of the home for them and then post them on my Picassa Web Album. I forward my clients a link to the pictures so they can share them with family and friends, and “re-visit” the home conveniently through the Internet in case they forgot how something looked like.

What I’m field testing now is using video instead. This enables my client to get a better feel for how the rooms are connected, something that pictures can’t do. It also allows me the creative freedom to play around with iMovie on my Mac and still call it work:) So recently, I’ve been getting more familiar with YouTube to upload my videos. Check out my profile here

The beauty of using YouTube is that I can give my clients a better feel for the home and at the same time, I can use the videos to give the “outside” world a tour of the local Georgetown, Texas real estate market. So here’s the rookie tour…hope you don’t get motion sickness. I’m still working on technique.

You can read more details on Berry Creek Country Club and search all the homes available in Georgetown golf course communities through this page: Golf courses in Georgetown Texas

Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below and don’t forget to comment on my blog, I love reader interaction!

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog

Choosing a Fence Company in Georgetown, Texas

Finding the best fencing contractor in Georgetown, Texas

I’m trying to make some adjustments to my backyard fence to create a storage area. Currently the fence is pushed towards the back of my garage and I want to move it forward. Here are two pictures showing both sides of the fence:

Once I push this piece of fence back, I want to replace it with a gate so I can access this small grassy area for some outdoor storage. I’ll probably have to cut-off the sprinkler system on this grassy area and maybe replace the grass with crushed granite.

I decided to get three different quotes for this project:

1. Austex – This was the first company I called since they were the ones who erected the fence in the first place. They will eventually be out here adding two gates as part of my office studio project so I figured they would give it to me for a fairly good price. A week after the guy came out, I’m still waiting for the quote…

Update: Well, it’s the end of the day and after being “promised” a call today, still nothing.

2. Dave’s Fence – I always see this company off Williams Drive and see their truck driving around so I thought I’d give them a shot. The nice receptionist got the details of my project and told me Dave would call me back. I called them today, let’s hope they don’t take a week, like Austex!

Update: I was told that this was considered a “repair” job and they only do installations (even though their website claims “We build the best and repair the rest”). So I was referred to Viking Fence – Spoke with Phillip and he referred me to Jesus (not to be confused with God). So now I’m waiting for Jesus, who handles the small jobs, to give me a call.

3. Hill Country Fence – These guys were a referral to me from a fencing supply company that I called by mistake. The guy, Todd, said he would be out here today to give me a quote! Now that’s quick service! Let’s see if he follows through.

Update: Todd called back at 5PM and said it’s getting late and he would rather meet me here tomorrow morning. I appreciate that he at least called me, but I’m not too surprised.

Well, I’ll let you know what my prices are and show you pictures of the completed project in a future post. Let the games begin!

UPDATE: I ended up using DBC Fence Company, Stephen Brunson was very responsive and price was competitive.  Give him a call on your next project  at 512-966-1422!

Where to get gas in Georgetown Texas at 4am

These days you mention anything with the word “gas” and you can get all sorts of attention…so I’m cheating with this blog post to get some additional readership

If you searched for GAS PRICES, GAS STATIONS, GAS IS GOING UP, GAS IS GOING DOWN and/or GEORGETOWN, TEXAS I hope this blog comes up. Don’t worry, I will actually write something relevant:

My parents and my older sister, Jennie and her whole family, came down from Maryland to visit us a few weeks ago. It was nice, we stayed in a time share at San Antonio and then spent a few days in Georgetown, Texas. Well, since all things must come to an end, it was soon time for me to drive them back to Austin Bergstrom International Airport (just 40-50 minutes from Georgetown). I left at about 4-5 AM since it was an early flight and I needed to get gas. So I went down Williams Drive and thought I would hit the most convenient gas station I saw:

Wow, this looks like a very nice place. Lots of bright lights and existing vehicles tell me that this place is open! However, when I got here, for some reason the first pump would not accept my credit card. As a matter of fact, neither would the second pump I drove to. I tried a debit and a credit card and no luck. What was worse was that the pump started asking me all sorts of silly questions that took me forever to scroll through. WORD OF ADVICE: If you’re in a hurry, and you’re in a hot Texas summer, avoid gas stations that advertise the “TOUCHLESS CAR WASH” Why? It’s just another silly option that they offer and it can delay the whole gas filling process. What happened to the good ‘ole days when the only options you had was the type of gas you wanted. Now, they start trying to sell anything from soda, to oil additives to car washes at the pump!

Anyway, since I struck out at Valero with their non-credit card working pumps I hopped on down to the only other gas station that was open at this hour on Williams Drive:

Another nice looking gas station and gas here was actually a whole penny cheaper! Wow! So I saved about a quarter filling up here. Options were kept to a minimum (no brushless car wash system here) and the pumps actually worked!

So, the next time you come rolling into my part of town, go for the big name in gas: TEXACO. You’ll sweat less (by having less options to scroll through), pay less and be finished quicker!

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Georgetown Texas – Not just best for retirement…

…we’re also not too shabby for kids.

Texas Monthly magazine recently ranked the Creative Playscape in Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park as the best in state.  I asked my wife what she thought about it and, although she likes it, she mentioned that it was actually a little too big for our little kids and she would have a hard time keeping track of them.  Maybe a great place for the older kids…or mom’s who are a little more care-free.  Anyway, the Austin American Statesman wrote an article on it and I’ve included it below for your convenience:

Georgetown playscape ranked best in state
Texas Monthly magazine praises San Gabriel Park playscape.

By Bob Banta
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GEORGETOWN — When Raoul Perez drove into Georgetown on an errand last week from his home in Marble Falls, he ran into an unexpected delay.

“My daughter, Adrianna, looked out of the car window and saw the playscape here and just had to stop and play on it,” Perez said as he pushed his 1-year-old son, Julian, on a swing while Adrianna, 7, explored the playscape’s maze of tunnels and towers.

Adrianna’s attraction to the 15-year-old Creative Playscape in Georgetown’s San Gabriel park is not unusual. Designed by architect Robert Leathers of Ithaca, N.Y., the facility was named favorite playground for children in the April issue of Texas Monthly magazine.

“With all the places to run and hide, no game of tag will ever be the same after your kids have played here,” said the article, compiled by a team of writers.

“I’ve seen buses of school kids from as far away as Salado,” said Kimberly Garrett, director of Georgetown’s Parks and Recreation Department. “We draw people from a 30-mile radius.”

The structure, built by volunteers in 1993 and funded with $140,000 in donations, consists of walkways, tunnels and elevated wooden bridges that are stained dark brown. Pagodas loom over the assembly of swings, firefighter poles and bouncing rope bridges.

The heavy plank walls of the tunnel and corridor system are decorated with carvings of ancient buildings and log cabins, and colored tiles painted by children line square posts at the entrance to the playscape. Shade from an oak tree gives it a shadowy, brooding, Harry Potter-like atmosphere.

It’s spooky enough to satisfy older kids but not scary enough to frighten toddlers.

“They love playing hide-and-seek and running through all the different structures,” said A.J. Green, who drove from Jarrell to let his two grandsons, ages 10 and 5, run off some energy. “We come here almost once a week.”

Longtime Georgetown resident Tom Swift, a staff secretary in the health and counseling services office of Southwestern University, managed the citizens committee that raised money and helped build the playscape. “Our priorities in building it were safety, engagement and beauty. We also wanted it to be accessible to everyone,” he said.

Swift said he knew they had been successful when the mother of a boy with cerebral palsy told him shortly after the playscape opened that the high-backed swings allowed her son to enjoy the playground with other kids for the first time in the boy’s life.

“What had been a field of weeds literally turned into a field of dreams,” Swift said.

The kids and parents who play there agree.

“I like everything about the playscape,” said Joshua Peyton Mohle, 6, who visits it regularly.

His mother, Inger Peyton, said the playscape gives parents a chance “to just chill out and play with your kids.”

Bradley Green, 10, enjoys the open-air feeling.

“I like the tire swing,” he said. “And I like just being able to run and climb and have fun outside.”

Green Builders in Georgetown Village – Their newest customer

Craftsman-style home by Green Builders in Georgetown Texas

A few weeks ago, I helped one of my favorite clients, Rod and Carol, purchase a home by Green Builders in my neighborhood Georgetown Village. This was very special for me because it now meant that I have sold every major builder that has been built in this neighborhood! That would include Perry Homes, Bowen Homes and Origin Homes; which are the current builders, and also some past builders like David Weekley, Lennar and Morrison. That seems like a lot of builders for a small neighborhood of around 500 homes like Georgetown Village, but as we move forward, it seems as though only Green Builders and Perry Homes will be doing the bulk of the building.

After I showed the home to Rod and Carol I jokingly told them that I liked the floorplan so much that if they didn’t buy it, I would! The funny thing is, soon after they closed on the home, a contract on this home (pictured above) fell through and it came back on the market. It was the same exact floorplan as the one I had sold to Rod and Carol! So after a few days of negotiation, I am now the future owner of a Green Builders home! The beauty of this is that it’s just 5 houses down on my same street…so no moving truck needed:)

My wife is pretty excited because we gain an extra bedroom and lots more space. It may not look very large, but it’s 2400 SF and has 4 bedrooms, a gameroom, a study and a large studio above the garage which adds an additional 400 SF.

This studio is the main reason we’re moving. I’ve been blessed to be able to work from home, but the downside is that it’s hard to focus and concentrate with 3 kids running around in the home! Now, I can bring clients to my office without having to do the “5 minute house clean-up”, I can better focus on my work, and I’ll be better able to STAY AWAY from work when I’m with the family. I mean, what good is it to work from home yet not gain any additional quality time with the family?

So, here’s to HIGHER quality family time and LOWER energy bills!

If you have an experience with Green Builders please share them with me on this post! This blog is boring without any outside feedback and what you have to contribute can help somebody else!

Check out my home video for the tour:

My Georgetown – by Maria Dorian – Welcome Home Cleaning

My Georgetown

Did you know that Georgetown, Texas was recently rated the second best city to live and launch a business according to CNN Money?

Although I am thrilled that Georgetown is getting national media recognition, I know firsthand that Georgetown truly is a wonderful and unique city to live in and open up shop.

Hi, My name is Maria Dorian and I proudly live and own a business in Georgetown, TX. In the past 5 years I went from working part time waiting tables to owning a growing residential cleaning service.

Here’s my story:

Five years ago, I was pregnant with my third child as I waited tables in a popular restaurant in Round Rock. Soon after giving birth to a baby boy and while on maternity leave, I started to get a nagging “feeling” that I was not supposed to go back to work at the restaurant. I was not really sure why I felt this way but about two weeks before I was supposed to return to work, my boss at the restaurant called to let me know about my new schedule. I broke down crying and told her that I had every intention of going back to work but I didn’t think I was supposed to be waiting tables any more. Her response to me? “Maria, you’re postpartum, call me next week and we’ll talk.” We both shared a laugh and that was that.

So here I was, needing to work but at a loss as to what to do.

Shortly after, while at church, my then 3 week old son had a dirty diaper in the middle of service. Go figure right?! Who knew this would end up being a blessing in disquise. While in the nursery changing the diaper, I overheard a lady talk about her sister who cleaned houses. Like a ton of bricks, it hit me. There it was.it! My next thought was, “Wow-I’m supposed to be cleaning houses.” Still blows me away to this day as cleaning houses was just so…random! Needless to say that I believe that the incident was God’s way of leading me to start my own business.

Long story short, I did A LOT of research on the industry, got my first client, called myself Marvelous Maria’s Cleaning Service and off I was to clean my first house. I will never forget my thoughts walking into my first home. I was so excited and I remembering saying to myself, “Yeah! I’m here to clean this house!” Quickly followed by, “Oh, cr_p, I’m here to clean this house!” The realization that I’d never actually cleaned a house, besides my own, of course, set in. Boy did I feel the fear of the unknown. But that first cleaning went well and I ended up keeping that client for many years before they moved away. In fact, I still have many of the clients I picked up way back then and they still tease me with, “Oh, there’s Marvelous Maria!” Ha, ha.

Today, I call my company Welcome Home Cleaning Services. We have an office on Williams Drive and currently have ten employees and two managers. To date we have serviced over 6,000 cleans with most of those being right here in our very own Georgetown, Texas!.

I am honored to live and work in Georgetown. And, I’d be just as honored to help you with any cleaning needs you may have!

Maria Dorian

512-931-2095

Upcoming Blog Topic: Cleaning to Sell your home

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Lui Family Diet – Too much pork, not enough tomatoes

Eating and cooking are my passions, so you’ll find that I will be blogging about that frequently…

We had a bunch of pulled pork leftovers and have been eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past week. Suffice it to say that we were starting to gag at the thought of having to eat another pulled pork sandwich. So, me being the innovative wife thought…surely others have encountered this problem and may have a solution for us, so I started surfing the net for ideas and that was when I came across the idea of pulled pork ice cream. The author assured his audience that he was not kidding and that it (pulled pork ice cream) was truly a delicious treat. I’ve tried some interesting recipes in my lifetime, but none so radical as this. I mean I had to do a double take to make sure I was reading this correctly…and that was when I realized…no, we are not that desperate yet…what’s another pulled pork sandwich?

On a completely different note..let’s talk about tomatoes. I’ve got 3 healthy, robust (at least I think they are) heirloom tomato plants in my garden and have been anticipating a good harvest. The plants have many blossoms on them, however, much to my shagrin, the blossoms aren’t turning into fruit. Does anyone out there have any idea why this is happening and what I need to do to correct this problem? Can tomatoes be grown in Georgetown, Texas?

There is no evidence of insect infestation, since I was told that I would see holes on my leaves were that the case. I don’t have squirrels in my yard since I don’t have any trees and there aren’t very many birds nearby either. For all I know, there could be tomato aliens visiting in the evenings and snapping off my blossoms so that they don’t have a chance to fruit. If I ever meet these tomato aliens, they better be scared. Have you had any success growing tomatoes in this area? What are some tips you can offer?

~ Autumn

Editor’s Note: Balancing the proper supply of pork and tomatoes in a family’s diet can be tricky business, but not as tricky as understanding supply and demand in real estate. If you need a competent real estate agent who can help you through the in’s and out’s of the Georgetown Texas Real Estate market, make sure you call your favorite HOMEboy. If you’re lucky, I might even make you a pulled pork sandwich.

FREE MOVIES at City Lights Theatres in Georgetown, Texas

Looks like they’re bringing it back by popular demand: Free movies every Tuesday morning!

What parent wouldn’t like another free activity to take their kids to in the summer?  I know we’ll be going to some of these movies and taking the kids.  Doors open at 9AM and movies start at 9:30AM.  Better stand in line, I have a feeling there will be a good showing.  Here is the linup:

June 17 – Ice Age: Licensed to Chill

June 24 – Garfield

July 1 – Alvin and the Chipmunks

July 8 – Happy Feet

July 15 – Open Season

July 22 – Surf’s Up

July 29 – Shrek

August 4 – Horton Hears a Who

I will make sure I’m at Happy Feet and Horton Hears a Who…two thumbs up in my book:)

City Lights Theatres is located at the Rivery Shopping Center right off I35 in NW Georgetown, Texas.  Take the Williams Drive/Sun City/Lake Georgetown exit and then get on the southbound access road…you’ll see signs on the right hand side.

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