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My hands were folded the entire time, there's no way I put potatoes in my hair!
Oh really? You can see it? Umm, maybe I did do it?
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comDonna@DonnaHomes.comaustin-texas-homes-for-sale.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, (10 comments)
Closing on a House, Fire Alarms, 9 Months Pregnant, Oh My... - 08/30/11 06:54 PM
Today is not unlike most days at the end of the month. I've had to coordinate four closings, which one isn't happening because the lender decided to ask for more stuff at the 11th hour... but that leaves me with three. The first one at 11:30am went off without a hitch, eazy peazy. My next closing was right afterwards at the same title company so I just sat tight and waited for my buyers. Mrs. Buyer is due any day, so I met them at the door to the building and walked with them to the closing room. They have two (33 comments)
You Might Have to Jump Through Hoops to Close the Deal - 08/29/11 07:05 PM
I have a closing tomorrow... well, I have four closings, but this one in particular has been interesting. The seller is a "Living Trust" with a trustee signing the documents. No problem, right? Well... only one of the parties is still living. What happens to a Living Trust if not everyone is living anymore? The Trust states what happens to everything and how things should be handled. The trust, because it encompasses more than just real estate, is very long and private. The title company was demanding the entire trust to clear title. Behind the scenes, the trust was selling the (7 comments)
Kindergarten - My Vague Memories - 08/27/11 02:21 PM
Alyssa just had her first week of Pre-K and she loved it. It takes me back... Kindergarten is almost a blur for me. I went to Narrows View Elementary School in Tacoma WA, but it's no longer called that. We had a great view of the Narrows Bridge, hence the original name. I don't remember my first day, per se, but I asked my mom if she took me and she claims she did. I remember having to walk to school everyday, over 2 miles, while our friends in the neighborhood got to take the bus. My brother and I went (11 comments)
Texas Association of Realtors Implements Citations - 08/26/11 02:15 PM
The Texas Association of REALTORS®, known as TAR, as adopted a Citation policy when dealing with the Code of Ethics. TAR Leadership team appointed a Citation Task Force Committee to evaluate the California Association's Citation program that was previously approved by NAR. I'm part of the TAR Professional Standards Committee, and I've already been on a Grievance panel for a few of these complaints.
Starting January 1, 2011, TAR put the citation policy into effect. What's good about this Citation Policy? It makes the process move along faster. If found "guilty", there is no Professional Standards Committee hearing as a (8 comments)
Austin TX Weather - 70 Triple Digit Days Broke the 1925 Record! - 08/25/11 09:12 PM
Austin TX Weather Broke the TRIPLE digit Record yesterday set back in 1925 with 70 days over 100!! I rather just move on from this record heat, but look at what the rest of the week is supposed to look like... YIKES! Won't the heat go away?! At least, can we have some hot, humid rain to go with the heat as our lakes are too low?! Right now, Lake Travis is at its fourth lowest level ever of 635.18 feet. In 2009, it was at its third lowest level at 629.83 feet. If we don't get some rain, we're going (7 comments)
RE/MAX Ranked HIGHEST in Customer Satisfaction for 2011 - JD Power and Associates - 08/25/11 01:08 PM
RE/MAX is ranked the HIGHEST overall Satisfaction for BOTH Home Buyers and Homes Sellers among national full service real estate franchises according to a 2011 JD Power and Associates survey of 3680 Buyers and Sellers. The RE/MAX Chairman and Co-Founder, Dave Liniger, said "Because RE/MAX agents average more experience and training than other agents, they are better prepared to deal with home buyers and sellers in any kind of market. And consumer preferences tell the story... nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX." Very true!! This is the fourth year of the JD Power and Associates survey. The point scale is (3 comments)
Real Estate Recovery - Austin TX - Retaining AAA Rating! - 08/25/11 10:55 AM
According to the Austin Business Journal, Austin has retained ourAAA rating!! As the National government loses their AAA rating, it's good to know some good performing cities have been able to keep theirs! Some of the factors on the rating has to do with the economic outlook for the city. As I posted a couple of weeks ago, Austin's Economy has out performed the nation as a whole and that's great for out area. It continues to bring in new businesses and new people relocating. To read the entire story, go to the Austin Business Journal. **Are You Packed Yet?**
Austin TX ActiveRain Meetup - September 14 - Jack Allen's Kitchen - 08/23/11 05:53 PM
Hey Austin People!! Come join us for the first ever Austin ActiveRain Meetup. It will be on September 14, 2011 at Jack Allen's Kitchen on 71 in Oakhill from 12-2pm (or 3 or 4 or whenever people leave). We will be sitting on the patio, and I really hope it'll be cooler in three weeks so it's not a miserable triple digit day! All you people attending the Texas Realtor's Convention picked this date, so you better all come! Every other city is having their Meetup the week before, but I worked it around people coming into town. ActiveRain is giving (12 comments)
First Day of Pre-K - Another Milestone Accomplished! - 08/22/11 10:04 AM
Today is Alyssa's first day of Pre-K at Primrose School of Bee Cave. Typically, you should be at least 4 to be in Pre-K, but she's only "three and three quarters" as she says. She's the youngest one, but can hold her own! It was an exciting morning, but she was also nervous. She got dressed very easily and quickly this morning, which is sometimes a 30 minute ordeal. She has to wear uniforms now, so we'll see how creative she can get with her socks and shoes since she can't mismatch her tops and bottoms anymore... She is excited about (10 comments)
Austin TX Weather - Breaking a Triple Digit Record - Day 67 - 08/21/11 09:03 PM
Yes, it was another scorcher... today was day 67 of triple digits. Austin TX weather officially moved into the third position after a tie of 66 days of triple numbers yesterday. And yes, there is a record of 68 days from 2009, so tomorrow would just be another tie as we move into second place...
I was up in Dallas this weekend, where it was just as hot. Watching their news reminded me of their #2 ranking of 56 days of triple digits. That was the year I graduated college, 1998, and it was so miserable going to interviews in (7 comments)
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comDonna@DonnaHomes.comaustin-texas-homes-for-sale.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of (12 comments)
Moving up the H-O-T Ranks - 66 Days in Triple Digits and Counting - 08/20/11 09:44 AM
Today is day 66 of triple degree days. We moved into third place with the all time most days over 100 in Austin TX weather history! Second place is 68 days, and that will be tied on Monday. The all time record is 69 days which will be tied on Tuesday, and then BROKEN on Wednesday!! At this point, there is no turning back. I remember in 2009 when we hit 68 days and then we had 98 and 99 a few more times, but never hit 69 days. This year is different. We will definitely break this record!! We desperately (16 comments)
Do You Burp Your Tupperware? - 08/19/11 08:15 PM
Do you burp your Tupperware? I had dinner with my mom this evening, and she's packing up the leftovers and gets upset because she can't burp the tupperware. I'm like, "What's your problem?" and I easily close the container. She says, "Now burp it." Sorry, but I have an 8 1/2 month old baby, and I only burp him... why would I burp food? I don't get it. My step dad says it's common knowledge to burp Tupperware, or any plastic container. If it's common knowledge, and I have a lot of common sense, why didn't I know to burp my (14 comments)
Last Day of Preschool - Pajama Day and Dance Recital - 08/18/11 06:50 PM
Today was Alyssa's last day of Preschool! She's growing up so fast!! She's only 3 1/2 (excuse me, that's 3 and 3/4) and she'll be starting Pre-K next week, with uniforms and everything! To celebrate the last day of school, it was a school-wide Pajama day! Of course, in Alyssa style, her pjs don't match just like she never matches her shoes. Too bad she doesn't know who Punky Brewster is or I would accuse her of copying!! She ended the day in a final dance recital for all the parents to see what they've been learning over the summer. She's (7 comments)
How Many Windows Does the Average House Have? - 08/18/11 01:39 PM
Last week, I read an article about things you should do before putting your house on the market. Most everything was basic stuff you hear all the time, but one thing caught my attention. It said to replace old windows. It's not something I hadn't heard before, but the article continued and said, "...you can often upgrade standard windows to vinyl for a reasonable $300 per window. The average home has 8 windows..."The part that caught my eye was not the $300 a window, which I do think is a high estimate, but that the "average" home has only 8 windows. (11 comments)
Tax Free Weekend in Texas - August 19-21, 2011 - 08/16/11 02:30 PM
Tax Free weekend in Texas is this coming weekend, August 19-21 2011. Get all your last minute, end of the summer, shopping done! It's not that the 8.25% off is that big of a deal, but for the most part, many stores do big sales on top of everything, so if something is 40% off, it's really 48.25% off. That's where the savings start to add up! Keep in mind that anything over $100 is excluded. You cannot go buy designer jeans for $150 and expect to save the tax. Now that my daughter has to wear uniforms, I'll be out (7 comments)
Real Estate Recovery - Austin TX Ranks #7 for Biggest Boomer Towns- Forbes - 08/15/11 03:26 PM
Forbes' Biggest Boomer Towns? Austin TX ranks as #7 for the Baby Boomers to move and retire to. This Boomer population is around 36 million people across the country. They "will continue to influence communities and real estate markets across the country..." Why is this interesting? Because some of the top cities for the Boomers are also the same top cities for, what Forbes' calls, the "young and restless". I chuckled when reading the article because it talks about how developers were anticipating Boomers to move back into the main cities upon becoming Empty Nesters, but that's not what the people (4 comments)
Real Estate Recovery - Texas' Average Credit Score Second Lowest in Country - Austin TX at 740 - 08/15/11 01:07 PM
Texas' average credit score has gone up. That's good, right? About 5 years ago, maybe 6, there was a report that showed the average credit score of someone in the Dallas Ft Worth area was 635. At today's standards where most lenders won't lend money below a 640, that meant the average person back then would not be able to get a loan today. I wanted to see how things have changed with the credit crunch. In 2006, I wrote a post Dallas - Lowest Average Credit Score, and that was with Dallas on the rise with a 650 average score. (5 comments)
Real Estate Opinions on a Public Forum - 08/12/11 04:26 PM
I was on a real estate forum a couple of days ago reading people's questions and problems. I always find it hilarious to read someone asking perfect strangers for advice about their lives when they don't know them or how they live.This guy says, in summary, "My house is too small and I need another one. I can sell my house for about $125,000 and the house I want is $150,000 for 300 sqft more. With the difference in interest rates and taxes, I would only have to spend about $200 more a month to get this much better house, but (5 comments)
Lake Travis Cavalier Football Schedule 2011 - Division 4A Defending Champions - 08/12/11 09:46 AM
Lake Travis ISD - Cavalier Varsity Football Schedule is done. The Lake Travis Cavaliers have won the State Football Championship 4 years in a row, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Come cheer the Red and Black Cavs on to their 5th straight Class 4A Championship.Date Opponent Home/Away TimeTBA Bastrop-scrimmage Away TBA8/27 Westlake DKR 7:009/2 Pflugerville Hendrickson Home 7:309/9 Aledo Away 7:309/16 Kerrville Tivy Away 7:309/23 Dripping Springs Home 7:309/30 BYE10/7 Vandegrift Away 7:3010/14 Vista Ridge Home 7:3010/21 Leander Rouse Away 7:3010/28 Marble Falls Home 7:3011/4 Cedar Park Away 7:30Here's a short 5 minute video of the excitement you can (0 comments)
New Construction Homes - My Tub Looked like What? - 08/11/11 03:37 PM
New Construction homes have surprises around every corner. You move into your brand new, beautiful home in Austin TX, and you want to take your very first bubble bath in your gorgeous and inviting new bath tub... But what you didn't realize is that it looked like this while it was under new home construction... Here's a closer-up shot at the nasty grime on the tub. While you're soaking in your Calgon thinking, "take me away," also picture the people who were cooking in your shower. **Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comDonna@DonnaHomes.comaustin-texas-homes-for-sale.com Austin TX Real Estate and the (3 comments)
Real Estate Recovery- Austin TX - Interest Rates Going Down! - 08/11/11 11:18 AM
Real Estate Recovery - Austin TX is well underway! I have buyers getting rates that I am so jealous of!! When I bought my house in the Spring of 2009, I missed the 4.5% rates that were offered by a couple of hours, and had to settle for 4.625%. In the past week, here are the rates my buyers have gotten:4.375% - 30 year fixed with putting 10% down4.025% with a JUMBO loan putting 15% down on a 5/1 ARM (he got an ARM because his contract in town is temporary and he will not own the house 5 years)4.5% - (4 comments)
The Exemplary rating is the highest rating offered by the Texas Education Agency. How does the TEA determine the ratings? They use several different factors such as standardized test scores, graduation rates, drop out rates, and individual ethnic group performance.
The breakdown of the school ratings in Lake Travis ISD are easy to list as all but two scored Exemplary!Lake Travis High School - ExemplaryLake Travis Middle School - ExemplaryHudson Bend Middle School - RecognizedLake Travis (2 comments)
Lake Travis ISD - School Starts August 22, 2011 - 08/10/11 09:50 AM
It's nearing the end of Summer and school is going to start. Many new people have relocated to Austin TX, and they might think that school starts after Labor Day, but they would be wrong... and late! School will start on August 22, 2011 for the Lake Travis Independent School District (LTISD). What time? That depends on what grade you're in and what school you're attending. Times are staggered for traffic flow. ALL Lake Travis ISD Elementary Schools are from 7:45am-2:45pm. Hudson Bend Middle School is from 8:35am-3:45pm. Lake Travis Middle School is from 8:45am-3:55pm. Lake Travis High School is from (0 comments)
Lake Travis - Austin TX Weather Drought - 2009 vs 2011 Scary Pictures - 08/09/11 02:10 PM
Lake Travis - Austin TX Weather Drought - 2009 vs 2011 Look at these pictures of Lake Travis in Austin TX off Hudson Bend. This is my in-laws "Waterfront" property. We were there this weekend picking peaches. This is August 2011: This is July 2009: I find it odd that many people have made the comment, "This is so much worse than 2009!" It is? According to my pictures, which are scarily in almost the same spot and the docks from the neighbors across Lake Travis are also in about the same spot, it shows a good comparison. In July 2009, (13 comments)
Real Estate Recovery- Austin TX - Three Homes Sold in Three Days! - 08/09/11 01:02 PM
Real Estate Recovery- Austin TX - Selling houses right and left. Last week, I contracted three houses in three days! They are in South Austin, Steiner Ranch, and Round Rock. Yes, I was busy busy! Just because the houses are under contract, it doesn't mean my job is done. I had to coordinate inspections for all three houses, two were vacant so those were easier. One of them, the sellers have 5 kids and they also had company in from out of town. That's a lot of people to get out of a house for the buyer's inspection, but it was (5 comments)
New Construction Homes - Is Your First Meal, the First Meal in the House? - 08/08/11 04:34 PM
What happens during the new home construction process that you're not aware of? You move into your brand new Austin TX home, and you get unpacked. You decide to make your first meal in the house, but was it the first meal in the house... I walked the house across the street from me yesterday as it's coming along nicely and the buyers stop by every so often to check on it. I was in the master bathroom and noticed the shower was a little odd. They are doing a walk around shower that is sheetrocked up. This caught my attention (3 comments)
Broker Looking to Hire a Not-So-Smart Agent - 08/08/11 10:30 AM
I got a very interesting email this weekend from a Broker. He tells me he's looking to hire a REALTOR® to help him write articles and "area related content" for his website. Yes, he's actually sending emails out to local agents asking them to write content for his site to help build his business! The audacity! Some of the criteria? This person needs a "deep knowledge" of Austin, a writing background, a car, a camera, and "education preferably". How much education? A 5th grade education? A high school diploma? A Masters? Or maybe a PhD? And if you have so much (20 comments)
Real Estate Recovery - Austin TX - Economy Out Performs the Nation! - 08/06/11 08:20 PM
Real Estate Recovery - Austin TX Economy Keeps Out performing the Nation as a Whole! I'm not too worried that the market lost 500 points a couple of days ago, because up against the worst national economy in decades, Austin TX is the best market in the country! Why? Several reasons... The Austin TX foreclosure market is 1 in 1044 homes. Las Vegas? 1 in 60 homes... for all those buyers out there wanting to buy a foreclosure in Austin TX because they think it's going to be the best deal, think again... According to Mark Sprague, Mission Mortgages' (10 comments)
Silly Saturday - Too Much Water? - 08/06/11 10:54 AM
I've never seen a foot this wrinkly from the water before... there was sand stuck in each wrinkle and we had to get it all out before it dried. We thought if it dried with the sand in the wrinkles, that it would probably hurt as the skin would close around the sand. Is that theory correct?
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comDonna@DonnaHomes.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and (13 comments)
Real Estate Q&A Forums - Take them with a Grain of Salt - 08/05/11 02:34 PM
Buying a home and Selling a house can be a little stressful. One of the biggest steps in both of these processes is finding an agent to help you through everything and answer all your questions and make you feel comfortable about your concerns. There are several online real estate forums where you can post questions and concerns as well. However, if you've got representation, why are you posting things like, "My agent said this, is it true?" or "My agent suggested I do this, what do you think?" First, I would like to ask you, if you chose someone to (13 comments)
American Idol - Austin Idol Auditions - Hill Country Galleria - Aug 10 2011 - 08/04/11 03:28 PM
Is it your dream to appear on American Idol? If it is, show up at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave TX on August 10th and try out for Austin's Idol, hosted by Fox. Apparently, if you win the Austin version, you'll be able to be first in line at the Houston auditions for American Idol on August 24th. Since I was born tone-deaf and unable to sing, I will not be joining anyone there, but I might go out and laugh at the long line of people waiting in our triple digit heat... I wonder if Amy's Ice Cream (6 comments)
Real Estate Recovery - Austin TX - Best Place to Live in the US for 2011 - 08/04/11 10:18 AM
Good news in Austin TX again. Guess what list we topped this time?!?! Austin TX is #1 for The 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for 2011!! What does this mean? It means even more people who have been thinking about moving to Austin are going to get off their fence and make the final decision to move to here! Call or email me today for your relocation package of information! 2011 marks the 14th year of this list being publish by RelocateAmerica. As with most of these list that are compiled, they use factors such as job growth (4 comments)
Wordless Wednesday - Did I have Twins and not Realize it?? - 08/03/11 04:38 PM
Did I have twins and not realize it? Every time I look at old pictures of Alyssa, I see Landon. People always told me how pretty she was, but my husband always told me she looked like a boy. I would shoot him a dirty look and tell him she's the most beautiful GIRL in the world... but when I look back, she really did look like a handsome little BOY!! They look so much alike!
What do you think? **Are You Packed Yet?**
Donna Harris, REALTOR®RE/MAX Austin Skylinewww.DonnaHomes.comDonna@DonnaHomes.com Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, (11 comments)
Can FedEx and UPS Create More Direct Routes for Deliveries? - 08/03/11 01:02 PM
Are FedEx and UPS and all those other package delivery companies charging more because of their routes? I think if they designed more direct routes for delivery, we wouldn't have to pay so much for their gas and truck maintenance, in addition to the salaries of the workers spending the unnecessary extra time driving out of the way. What's the scenario? I have a buyer in Temple TX buying a house here in Austin TX. It's about an hour away. Per the contract we executed yesterday, he had to deliver a check within 2 days so instead of risking the post (3 comments)
Breaking Records all over the Place - Austin TX Weather - 08/03/11 11:58 AM
It's heating up in Austin TX! Heating up? Isn't it already hot? How could it get any hotter? Did you see the forecast for this week? Highs at 107 and 108, not including the heat index. Cold front coming through next week to get down to 103-104... It's H-O-T out there! Drink water!In Austin TX, we hit a record for July 2011. For the entire month of July, it was the hottest month ever recorded with an average temperature of 89.7 degrees. The previous record was broken just two years ago in 2009 at 89.5 degrees. Global warming??Here are some other (8 comments)
Compact Car Parking Spaces Got You Crushed? - 08/02/11 08:27 AM
Everything is bigger in Texas, right? We definitely like our big cars... big trucks, big SUVs, big sedans... Even with so many people driving big cars, many parking structures still feel the need to make many "Compact Only" parking spots. Because of this, many non-compact cars try to squeeze in the spaces. This person might have gone a little too far, and I would have really liked to see how much damage he/she really made. You can't really tell when the front of the car is pushed up against the parking garage wall!!
The problem is that they aren't just (8 comments)
Garage Doors - Installing the Opener Yourself Could Void Your Warranty - 08/01/11 03:55 PM
Garage Doors can be tricky. When building a brand new home, many new home construction builders do not include a garage door opener in their standard features. Some people feel they can get one less expensively if they buy one themselves and then install it. Yes, it will cost you less initially, but what if your door ends up like this one? This is one of my neighbors... What many builders don't tell you is that if you install the garage door opener yourself, and not have a professional install it, you could void your warranty, not just on the garage (8 comments)
This blog is to help educate Buyers, Sellers and even other Realtors across the country. Each market is different and the way Real Estate is done is different. Austin Real Estate is completely different than Dallas, California and Florida and everywhere else in between. Some times there will be other things besides real estate as I like to rant and rave as much as the next!! Come back often!
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