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Realty Austin - Habitat for Humanity House Raising Day

Real Estate Agent with Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate 0396717

Realty Austin - Habitat for Humanity House Raising Day

Realty Austin - Habitat for Humanity BuildAs most of the readers of this blog already know, I have been an enthusiastic volunteer and supporter of Austin Habitat for Humanity since 1996. I’ve written about my experiences with them both locally in Austin as well as my blog post about my time with The Gulf Coast, Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Project after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Though I have been a luxury home broker during my career, I’ve learned that for many people, luxury is defined by the ability to actually own a home! Austin is an excellent place to pay it forward by volunteering and there are numerous good reasons and opportunities to help in any community that has a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Building homes for folks who really deserve a chance at a better life, (Habitat says it’s a “Hand up, not a Hand Out”) while revitalizing neighborhoods and generating a sense of community! Volunteering comes in many ways; sometimes it’s money materials or food as a donation, sometimes helping with some sort of positive influence in the background to assist an organization behind the scenes and at Austin Habitat for Humanity, it’s also an opportunity to work side by side with others in the “hands on” process of really building a home .

Last year, after more than 15 years at my former company, I made a change and moved with a number of my associates to my new company, Realty Austin. For many reasons, I like it here and one of the most striking aspects of this new company is the genuine focus on giving back to the community where we have been so successful. This year the company made a matching challenge to it’s agents to raise funds to build a home for Austin Habitat for Humanity. Within a short time the agents met the company challenge and raised the funds to build a home. Now the agents and Brokers are stepping up to volunteer their time and talent over the next few weeks to build a new home with the Rodriguez Family. The short video was filmed on the first day of construction, “house raising day” when the walls, rafters, house wrap and windows are all completed in one day. It can be one of the hardest days to volunteer but also very rewarding. At the end of the day you see so much accomplished. With more than 20 Realty Austin folks, the Rodriguez family, other Habitat families and numerous Habitat Regulars, led by Site Leaders “Bree” & “Bill”, this turned out to be one of the smoothest and most efficient projects on which I have ever had the pleasure of working. 

Over the next few weeks, Realty Austin volunteers will be on site working on the hundreds of tasks that will culminate in the completion of a new home. Besides “House Raising Day” my favorite day on a Habitat for Humanity project is Dedication Day. Austin Habitat for Humanity  Regular Volunteers and other Habitat families gather for a ceremony dedicating the house and the owners receive the keys to their new home! If you have never attended, I would highly recommend this very rewarding event. There is a genuine sense of gratitude by everyone who attends and shares in this uniquely rewarding experience! I want to again add my thanks to Yvette & Jonathan of Realty Austin; all of the Realty Austin Associates who stepped up who were truly committed to making this project a reality! I would also like to thank my very talented assistant, Caitlin Meroney, who produced and edited the film; a huge challenge considering it was shot entirely on my iPhone (conveniently tucked in my nail pouch along side the 16penny framing nails). It’s only a few minutes but you will see from the expressions on everyone’s faces as well as the progress from slab to structure that it was a great experience shared by all and is yet another reason we are living The Good Life in Austin Texas, Enjoy!

My name is Russell Lewis; I have twenty-two years experience assisting buyers and sellers in Austin’s finest neighborhoods. I am not all things to all people and concentrate the majority of my business in Central, West and Southwest Austin, Barton Creek, Bee Cave/Lakeway and the Westlake/Eanes School District. If you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate and would like to learn more about living The Good Life in Austin Texas I would be happy to be of assistance. Email or call my mobile number for a private consultation at your convenience!

Originally Posted at: The Good Life in Austin Texas 

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Russell Lewis Luxury Real Estate Broker Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 


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Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Always good to give back to the community. My mother (broker at our Norman office) is on the Habitat for Humanity Board in Cleveland County. She spends a lot of time doing non real estate things for them.

Oct 21, 2012 05:39 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

It's great to see you volunteering to helping build this home.  I am such an admirer of Habitat for Humanity. This ia such a worthwhile organization.


Oct 21, 2012 05:50 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


We used to be very active in this worthwhile cause too, but for some reason not so much lately. Thanks for the kick in the  pants, we need to roll up our sleeves and get back to work again!

Oct 21, 2012 05:50 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Than - That is really great! Habtat for Humanity needs all kinds of help and it's good to see y'all giving back!

Betty (Team Honeycutt) - Thanks for the comment, it is always gratifying to see support in any community!

Hi Richard - I hear you, though I have been an avid supporter and volunteer for a long time, it had been awhile since I was able to jump back in and even mor fun inc e my company was also involved! Great hearing from you!

Oct 21, 2012 06:00 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

Whenever you write a post, Russell, you write with such passion.  This is a great post about a great cause.

Oct 21, 2012 06:30 AM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Man after my own heart.  Good for you and your new office.  Better for the recipients of the home you will build.  

Oct 21, 2012 06:53 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Such a great cause. Thanks so much for sharing it. I wonder if the recipients realize how lucky they are.

Oct 21, 2012 09:42 AM
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Russell ... wow .. Fantastic thing you are doing the community!  Keep up the good work my friend!   pippa

Oct 21, 2012 10:13 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Jane – Thanks so much for the compliment, I do have a passion for Austin Habitat and see why every time I have the opportunity to work with others on a build!

Susan – We are definitely cut from the same cloth because I know you are deeply involved in volunteer work in your community too!

Melissa - In fact the people who qualify for these homes must also put in many hours working on site of the home and also contribute hours on other Habitat homes as part of the ownership process. And it is really  hear warming to see the gratitude of people who, in most cases, never thought they would have any chance to actually own their own home.

Hi Pippa – Thank you, it’s a gift that gives back way more than we ever put in! Good to see you my friend!

Oct 21, 2012 12:10 PM
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Russell~

Long time, no chat!   It is so good to connect again!  We are big believers in Habitat for Humanity as well.  Our associaiton gives every year and work on at least one house (usually 2) every year.  We don't build...just renovate.  That usually includes fresh paint, remodeled kitchens and baths, landscaping, etc.  I can't imagine actually building a house!  Very impressive! Congrats on a job well done!
Paula Swayne

Oct 21, 2012 12:48 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years
Habitat for humanity is one of the best programs out there.
Oct 21, 2012 04:30 PM
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Russell  Hope your new firm is doing well - your work with Habitat is commendable and your video is very well done.

Oct 21, 2012 08:04 PM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Russell - All I have to say is AWESOME! It is so great that you along with your brokerage give back to the community. While my brokerage doesn't do anything like this my family and I do volunteer with the opportunity presents itself.

Oct 21, 2012 11:49 PM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Paula – It has been awhile and so good to hear from you! I have found that once people actually see Habitat for Humanity in actin, they are convinced. It’s been an amazing boost to parts of Austin where the group has gone in and begun the revitalization of whole neighborhoods! Thanks again for stopping by, I will head over t see what’s new in your blog later today!

Michelle – I completely agree and it just keeps getting better with time!

Hi Karen – After 15 years at my former company, it was something of a shock but it turned out so well. It’s proven to be a he benefit to my business as well as the opportunity to work at a company that really does believe in giving back to Austin in a genuine way!

Michelle – Thanks for stopping by. Like you and your family I have been an avid volunteer as an individual for years and it’s a great feeling to work at a company that also believes in the good works that habitat does for Austin!

Oct 22, 2012 12:16 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Russell, I'm not sure there's a better charity for a REALTOR(R) to be involved in than this one.  Our church does an annual Build The Walls event and gets an amazing turnout.  And it's a fun 4 hours of work.  Bill

Oct 22, 2012 02:54 AM
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

Hey Russell,

Good for you, my friend!!!

Does this mean you're going to Raise The Roof?  :)

Oct 22, 2012 03:30 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Russell, Habitat for Humanity houses are awesome and such worthwhile projects for the volunteers... great write up and good luck with the new company...

Oct 22, 2012 07:23 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

How's the build coming along?  I hope you can all rest this week and celebrate Thanksgiving!  Have a great holiday in Austin Texas!

Nov 21, 2012 07:01 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Russell, love reading about Habitat for Humanity events and how they help so many different communities!    Looks like you should do another!

Apr 13, 2013 01:15 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX


Thanks so much! As a matter of fact, my company is planning just that! Realty Austin is already matching funds from the agents to build our next Austin Habitat for Humanity home in the Fall of this year!

Apr 15, 2013 11:30 AM