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CrossPointe Church - Contemporary, Relevant, Friendly, Christian Church in Northwest Austin - 08/31/07 12:26 AM
My family and I have been attending CrossPointe Church in north Austin since early 2005. My wife had attended their church-wide garage sale the previous year, and when we began to look for a new church home, we decided to pay CrossPointe a visit because she remembered how nice the people were. We felt strongly led by the Lord to leave our previous church, and we were welcomed with open arms into this new family. They feature a contemporary worship service with some classic hymns thrown in to mix it up a bit. The kids are happy with their children's programs (6 comments)
Round Rock Real Estate - Limestone Home on 1+ Acre - $174,990 - 08/30/07 03:55 PM
One of our agents just listed a home on just over an acre of land in the Round Rock area. This is minutes to Dell, Prime Outlets Shopping, toll roads and more. This is a phenomenal price and it will likely not last very long. Features: 3 BEDROOMS, 2 BATHS, 2 DINING AREAS, 1650 s.f. PER THE LOCAL TAX RECORDS. IT WAS BUILT IN 1978 AND THE LOT HAS HUGE SHADE TREES.
STONE HEARTH*RECENT:INT+EXT PAINT/ROOF/DOUBLE DOORS OPEN TO MASTER RETREAT*APPROXIMATELY 11'X22' COVERED PATIO w/DECKS/BUILT-IN SEATING/ARBOR AREA*WORKSHOP W/POWER/GARAGE DOOR/WINDOWS/WORK BENCHES! For more information or to schedule an appointment to view this property, please call Jason (9 comments)
When I am on a listing appointment with someone that I haven't met before, I try to glean as much information as possible about the sellers while they are showing me around the property. I like to hone my skills of observation each time. Here are a couple of tips that have worked well for me over the years.
What types of books are on their bookshelves (assuming they have them)? Maybe they are huge Stephen King fans or maybe they are do-it-yourself fanatics. Perhaps all of their books are sci-fi novels, or maybe they have 20 Bibles. Whatever the (17 comments)
Three funniest things my kids have said this week - 08/28/07 11:54 PM
Kids bring joy to our lives, and mine seem to have a knack for making me laugh, usually when they are not trying. I will start with my younger daughter, who just turned 17 months old a few days ago. She has always been able to say my older daughter Aleah's name pretty well (it is spelled pretty much phonetically - Uh-LEE-Uh). With my son's name, which is Brandon, she has had a bit more difficult time. Until a couple of months ago, she would usually call him "Bobby", which irritated him to no end, as he is eight and simply (40 comments)
I have been in real estate now for about eleven years, and I have seen literally dozens of agents enter the business, both at my previous company and now within the company that I own and operate. I am always intrigued by which agents "make it" and which ones simply don't. I have trained 30+ agents so far.
When I am interviewing a potential agent, there are a few things that go through my mind, but the first (and perhaps the most obvious) thing I ask (172 comments)
Round Rock Real Estate - Settlers Park Home for Sale - $259,999 - 08/26/07 08:06 PM
We have a new listing in Round Rock in the Settlers Park area. It is priced at $259,999, and it features 4 Bedrooms, 3 Full Baths with 2591 s.f. per the tax records, all on one level. It was constructed in 2005. It is four sides stone with a 3-car garage and a huge covered patio in the back. Interior features include 42" maple cabinets, rounded corners, niches, Corian countertops, stainless steel appliances, upgraded light fixtures, crown molding, and more. It is a terrific functional floorplan with a study/flex room between two of the secondary bedrooms and a very large master suite and bathroom. (4 comments)
Blackhawk Real Estate - Pflugerville Texas - 08/26/07 01:45 AM
As a resident of Blackhawk in Pflugerville (just outside Austin to the north), I wanted to tout some of the advantages of living in this subdivision. I have sold 15 homes here since I moved in almost five years ago, and it seems to be in much heavier demand these days, and prices are on the rise. Blackhawk is a golf course community with lots of amenities, including tennis, several community pools, clubhouse, basketball court, walking trails, sand volleyball court, playgrounds, and more. Here are some photos of the most recent amenity center, which opened last year:
Funny quotes from my son - 08/26/07 01:10 AM
I had posted this topic on another blog awhile back, and I had it on my mind today while we were out shopping. Once, about a year ago, I was riding with my son in the car, and he suddenly said, "Dad - I am carsick." Uh oh. Obviously, I hit the brakes and began to slow in anticipation of stopping the car. I said, "Do you feel sick to your stomach?" He said, "No, I meant I'm homesick." He meant that he was sick of being in the car. I thought it was interested how different the definitions are for these two (46 comments)
Hyde Park Real Estate - New Listing - $665,000 - 08/26/07 12:35 AM
One of my agents just listed a home in central Austin in the Hyde Park area. It is located on a corner lot just across the street from the Hancock Golf Course, about one mile from Seton Hospital and the medical district, and minutes from downtown Austin. The asking price is $665,000, and it features three bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 2300 s.f. per owner, with a separate self-contained apartment which could be rented out. There is a screened-in sunroom in the front of the home which overlooks the golf course. Wood floors, spacious kitchen. For more information, or to schedule an appointment to (2 comments)
Bella Lago - Austin Real Estate Listing - 08/25/07 03:56 PM
This home is currently listed at $825,000, and it has never been lived in. It features approximately 4300 s.f. on a 1+ acre lot in west Austin. It is located in arguably the best school district in town, which is Eanes ISD (Westlake area). The home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a gameroom PLUS bonus playroom upstairs, large master suite downstairs, granite counters, cherry cabinets, stainless appliances, Jacuzzi-type tub, dual staircases, formal living and dining, tons of storage, and more! Bella Lago is a community situated on Lake Austin, and there is a private homeowners' waterfront park with gated access. Additionally, there is a community (2 comments)
Central Texas Custom Home on 3.18 Acres - Bring your horses! - 08/23/07 01:41 AM
Priced at just $235,000, this 2004 custom home is 1963 s.f. per the tax records. It features 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, wood floors, large kitchen, stained glass, clawfoot tub, and more. The exterior includes a riding arena, split pastures, barn, private backyard, and terrific views all within a gated community! Please call Jason Crouch at 512-796-7653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request a showing.
Giving of your time, talents, and treasures - 08/22/07 01:18 AM
I have come to realize that giving of my time, money and effort in order to help others is the most rewarding and most important thing that we can do in our lives. I have been assisting a lady in a government housing project that I met through a church outreach program back in November. She is a single mom with four kids ranging from 7 to 14 years old, and when we originally met, she had no job, no phone, and no car. We were going around asking people to fill out a wish list for themselves and their kids (23 comments)
Pflugerville Real Estate - 08/22/07 12:27 AM
Having lived in Pflugerville for over 12 years now, I have seen huge changes in this Austin suburb. We bought our first home here in 1995, and our second home in 2002. We stay here because it is quiet, safe, and inexpensive. With the advent last fall of two new toll roads which travel through Pflugerville (45 and SH-130), access to Austin has never been easier.
There are several nice (and affordable) subdivisions to choose from, including Blackhawk, Falcon Pointe, and Villages at Hidden Lake. Prices range in these areas from the $160's to the $360's. There is terrific access to shopping, (2 comments)
How to Finish the Bible in Two and Half Short Years - 08/21/07 10:52 AM
I have another blog and I had to reference it to see when I originally started my read-through of the Bible (January 2005). Well, I finally finished August 3rd (Genesis through Revelation). I read the NIV version this time. It had been a goal of mine for awhile, and it did give me a sense of accomplishment. I am certainly not claiming to be an authority, but I do feel like I have a better grasp of the Word at this point. I took several months-long breaks during this time, as I would get sidetracked by other reading material. Near the (17 comments)
Downtown Austin - another new tower planned - 08/20/07 08:28 PM
At 301 Brazos (corner of Brazos and 3rd Street), there is an innovative new tower planned, called 21C Austin Museum Hotel and Residences. The developer already has a tower in Louisville, Kentucky which is built around a similar concept. The Austin tower will include 212 residences, 12 artist lofts, and 209 guest rooms. Here are a few renderings from their marketing materials:
There are so many new developments going on in the downtown area, it's hard to keep track of them all. If you are considering a move to Austin, or if you would like more information, please give me a call at (2 comments)
Austin Real Estate - 08/20/07 01:25 AM
The Austin-Round Rock area was named #1 for relocating or expanding businesses, according to Expansion Management's 2007 "Mayor's Challenge" rankings. This exclusive list is based on the results of seven research studies that the magazine published over the past year. This publication targets executives of companies looking to expand or relocate their families. A total of 362 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) were evaluated using a total of 130 separate criteria. Austin investment property has never been hotter. This market is poised for several more years of great growth.
It's still a wonderful time to buy Austin Real Estate. Give me a (4 comments)
Dallas Cowboys - excited about the new season - 08/19/07 10:34 PM
Well, the Cowboys defeated the Colts and the Broncos in their two preseason games thus far, and (as with every other year) this year we fans have high hopes for their season. We are long overdue for a Super Bowl run, or even a post-season victory. Although the preseason doesn't mean much, it is exciting to see them winning against good teams. They held the Broncos to just 35 yards rushing and racked up an impressive 191 themselves. I didn't get a chance to see the game because: 1. We were on vacation, and 2. I usually don't watch the preseason (23 comments)
Downtown Austin Condos - Five Fifty Five - 08/15/07 12:27 AM
Located at 555 E. 5th Street, the prestigious Five Fifty Five offers luxury accomodations with atop the downton Austin Hilton hotel. Services include 24-hour room service, fine and casual dining in-house, rooftop pool and hot tub with skyline views, fitness center with staff of personal trainers, maid service, and more.
For more information, please feel free to give me a call at 512-796-7653 or email me at email@example.com. Our Austin Real Estate website is at www.austintexashomes.com. (2 comments)
Downtown Austin Condos - Austonian - 08/14/07 11:07 PM
The Austonian is going to be the tallest building in Austin upon completion, which is slated for 2009. At 55 stories, it will soar high above the current tallest structure, which is the Frost Bank building at 33 stories. Here is a projected photo of how this will look:
The location is at 2nd and Congress, in the heart of downtown and just blocks from the State Capitol building. The Austonian will offer full 24-hour concierge services, secured access to parking, high-speed elevators, lobby-level retail, and more. For additional information, please give me a call at 512-796-7653. Please visit our (2 comments)
Four Seasons Residential Tower in Austin - 08/14/07 10:49 PM
The Four Seasons Residential Tower is now accepting VIP reservations and buyers can pick from the premier residences available. This tower is one of only a couple in Austin that offer full hotel amenities - this will be like living at the Four Seasons!
Services will include 24-hour concierge services, full room service, housekeeping, valet parking, access to Four Seasons 5500 s.f. spa, and more. Amenities include rooftop resort pool with panoramic views of Lady Bird Lake, the Texas Hill Country and the downtown city skyline, state of the art fitness center, elegant starlight entertainment room, library, permanent gallery (2 comments)
Oldest business card photo? - 08/14/07 09:42 PM
When I first started in real estate, I met a fellow Realtor who gave me his card, only the photo was so old that I almost laughed in his face. I was licensed in 1997, and the photo had a 1970's nature background. The man was probably 60 or so, and he was mostly bald with some gray hair. The business card photo showed a man in the full bloom of youth with a thick head of dark hair. Although I secretly thought this was ridiculous, I realized recently just how long it has been since I had a professional photo (30 comments)
Anyway, I don't like that word - 08/14/07 01:33 AM
I have noticed that I hear "anyways" more and more often. This is NOT a word. "Anyway" is an actual word. I am surprised by how often I hear this. I even corrected our title agency rep once in order to help her seem more professional, because she was using "anyways". Another interesting thing that I recently discussed with my wife - have you noticed that "I could care less" is used as much as "I couldn't care less"? Only one of them is correct, right? If you say that you could care less, it means you do care at least a (29 comments)
Billy Graham story - 08/14/07 12:55 AM
This is a story I heard at a men's conference a few months ago, and it appears in Billy Graham's autobiography. It begins just after Graham completes a round of golf with JFK in 1961, just before he took office as president: On the way back to the Kennedy house, the President-elect stopped the car and turned to me. "Do you believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?" he asked unexpectedly. "I most certainly do." "Well, does my church believe it?""They have it in their creeds.""They don't preach it," he said. "They don't tell us much about it. I'd like (15 comments)
Round Rock - Pflugerville Market Report - 08/13/07 01:55 AM
According to the Austin area MLS, the average price in the Round Rock area increased by $16,273 for June 2007 from the same period last year. For Pflugerville, prices increased by $17,748. For both areas taken together, there were 69 fewer homes sold for June. June was slower overall for Austin's market, primarily because of the near-constant rains over the past 60 days. Large projects in Austin are behind by 45 days or more. Hopefully, the selling season will extend longer than average this year, since many potential buyers delayed purchasing while waiting for the weather to abate. Austin Texas Real Estate Round (0 comments)
Austin makes another list - 08/12/07 11:05 PM
Well, the Austin Texas real estate market made news in a national magazine once again. AARP The Magazine placed Austin on the list of the top four "retirement-friendly" cities to watch, as reported by the Austin Business Journal. Features that make a community livable, such as mass-transit systems, expanded sidewalks, better healthcare and a wide range of mixed-use housing, were among the criteria for determining the list. You can read the entire Business Journal article here. At our company, we have certainly seen an upswing in retirees over the past several years. (7 comments)
Worst commercial ever made? - 08/12/07 10:35 PM
I found this on YouTube under the heading "worst commercial ever made". If it isn't, then I would be interested to see what beats it. By the way, this one is for roach traps (thankfully not for day care or a restaurant). The music is scary and the film is grainy early 80's vintage. Overall, it kinda feels like a bad drug trip. Has anyone seen a worse ad that they would like to post here? If not, maybe you could describe the worst one you can remember seeing. (8 comments)
Austin's Top 50 Corporate Employers - 08/09/07 10:20 PM
The Austin Business Journal released its new list of the top 50 corporate employers in the Austin area. Although Dell recently announced a round of layoffs, they remain in the top spot (for now) with 17,000 local employees. H-E-B, which is a grocery chain based in San Antonio, was a distant second place with 7095, followed by Seton Healthcare Network, Wal-Mart, and St. David's HealthCare. There were a few surprises this year. For the entire list, check out my Austin Texas real estate website here: http://www.austintexashomes.com/austin_top_corporate_employers.htm Lots of tech and health care companies are found on this list. Keep in mind that it doesn't include (0 comments)
How it Feels to Lose a $213,000 Commission - 08/08/07 12:16 AM
2001 was a year that started out great for me. I was coming off of my best sales year to date, my wife and I were expecting our second baby, and the future was bright. I managed to get my first multi-million dollar ranch deal under contract and I was representing the buyer, who was moving from out of state. This was a $7.1 MILLION dollar contract, so I was clearly excited and working hard to keep everything on track. This was a season in time that I'm sure I will never forget. Since they were paying a full 3% commission to the (31 comments)
Best networking ideas? - 08/07/07 07:30 PM
I was curious to hear what has worked best for you when networking (outside of the internet). I am trying to train my agents (we have about 20) not to depend too heavily on internet leads, and I would love to hear some ideas from you guys with regard to what has been successful. I have a good number of ideas and books on the subject, but I am curious. (13 comments)
Integrity - 08/07/07 01:40 PM
I just posted on another blog about "integrity" and what it means to me personally. Working as a full-time Austin Texas real estate agent and broker/owner for almost eleven years, I have certainly seen my share of agents who lack integrity (and honesty and compassion and knowledge and a host of other desirable characteristics). To me, integrity means that no matter where you find me (church, home, work, etc.), my actions are consistent. In other words, I don't alter my behavior to suit the group that I am with. Yes, I may have more fun with my friends sometimes, but I wouldn't be (13 comments)
The longest time I ever had a home marked "pending" - 08/07/07 01:12 PM
I had a higher-end listing that we put on the market in 2005, and we got a contract pretty quickly quickly (not right away - maybe three months). The buyers asked if they could move in a week or so before the closing, because they have seven kids and they were staying at a local hotel which was costing an arm and a leg. Although we were all a bit skeptical and wary of letting them move in early, we decided to allow it, but we put in a rather punitive amount for the "holdover" period. In other words, if they didn't (5 comments)
Austin's market named "Top for Business" - 08/07/07 01:02 PM
The Austin Business Journal reported today that Austin, Texas tops the nation for business this year. Austin placed first out of a field of over 400 metro areas tracked: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/08/06/daily6.html?f=et51&ana=e_du For years, we have seen wave after wave of investment activity in the Austin Texas real estate market. However, even though prices have increased somewhat consistently (2001 was an exception, 2002-04 were relatively flat), the prices here in Austin remain very reasonable and the outlook is very strong. This is still a phenomenal time to invest in Austin, especially if you select wisely. Check out our Austin real estate website - (0 comments)
Cowboys Training camp experience yesterday - 08/07/07 11:15 AM
Well, we had a great time at the training camp yesterday, although they bumped the practice time back by an hour, so we had a lot of extra time to kill before they even opened the doors. There were more fans on the sidelines than I had expected (maybe 200 or so), but we were still RIGHT THERE on top of the action. I met Roy Williams and got his autograph, which made the whole day worth it, since he is my current favorite player. He was very gracious and he spent probably 30-45 minutes signing stuff for fans after practice. (5 comments)
Another closing horror story - 08/06/07 01:29 AM
Back in 1997, which was my first year in the business, my partner and I used to dress up more often, since we were both in our 20's and wanted to look more professional and, at least we thought, more experienced. Once, we had a listing that was a difficult sale -it had gone through two or three previous listing agents, and my very first clients referred the sellers to me. The home was in a somewhat rough area of town, and the area really hasn't changed much for the better since then. We finally got a contract in place after a TON of showings (it (14 comments)
Shocking statistics about books - 08/06/07 12:39 AM
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college. 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year. 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years. 57 percent of new books are not read to completion. 70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance. 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.(Source: Jerold Jenkins, http://www.jenkinsgroupinc.com/) I knew that not everyone was a book lover like (25 comments)
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp - 08/05/07 11:27 PM
I am highly excited, because a friend of my nephew's got me two sideline passes to the Dallas Cowboys training camp at the Alamodome in San Antonio. I am going with one of my good friends tomorrow (wife is not interested, son is too young to tolerate it for four hours). We are planning to get there by 1:30 when the doors open. The practice runs from 2:30 to 4:30, and apparently right after practice is the best time to get autographs and mingle with the players and coaches. Having never had sideline passes to ANYTHING before, and since I have (10 comments)
Extra mortgage payments - best method? - 08/05/07 11:00 PM
I attended a closing a few days ago at an attorney's office (less frequent here in Austin, as we usually close at title companies). This particular guy has always been very good at explaining the closing process to the buyers and sellers, yet he is also quick. At any rate, he was telling my buyers that the best method for sending extra payments to the bank/mortgage company was to divide one payment by 12, then send 1/12 each month applied to principal. He said that this would remove four extra YEARS from the mortgage as opposed to simply sending one extra (7 comments)
Austin Real Estate Market - 08/04/07 11:58 PM
Over the past couple of months, the Austin and central Texas areas have had more rain than I can ever remember, and I have been here for about 20 years. This seems to have delayed the summer rush by about a month or so, since we had fewer buyers travelling to the area during the heavy rains, and local home buyers weren't driving around looking as much either. August is shaping up to be a solid month for our company (Austin Texas Homes, LLC), and for most of my friends who are in real estate. I hope the season lasts a (2 comments)
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