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Lake Travis Texas Real Estate Blog

Rebecca Shahan

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 237

How to Get Stains & Grease Off Walls

by Rebecca Shahan

You're getting ready to sell your home in Austin, and now you need to paint the walls and freshen up the place. But upon close inspection, you see all that grime and grease that's too tough to clean with a standard vinegar wash.

What are some ways to get rid of those grease stains, watermarks, and kids’ crayon and ink wall art?

Kitchen Grease on Walls

Kitchens are notorious for grease stains. It's almost impossible to keep grease of  the walls and cabinets. And of course, grease invites more dirt.

The solution is sitting right on your sink - dish soap.

For small stains, mix: 1/4 teaspoon of soap in a cup of warm water, and wipe. Rinse with clean water, and blot until dry. Clean stubborn grease stains with solution of 1/3 cup of white household vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.

Dirt and Grime Buildup

We don't need anything other than our own bodies to get oil on everything. We have it coming out of our finders all the time, and it builds up.

A wall eraser easily wipes away these stains. Wet the sponge and rub gently to avoid taking bits of paint off with the stain.

Or make your own homemade wall cleaning sponge:

  • 1 cup ammonia,
  • 1/2 cup white distilled or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • one gallon of warm water.

Wipe the solution over walls with a sponge (or cloth), and rinse with water.

Crayons

Here's another use for a wall eraser. But if that doesn't work, try this:

  • Rub marks with toothpaste (not gel).
  • Erase marks with an art gum or a pencil eraser; use a circular motion.
  • Swipe marks with baby wipes.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub marks.

Permanent Marker

The word "permanent" certainly applies to markers. But you can still get rid of most of these marks.

Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab the stain. Or spray marks with hairspray, then wipe drips.

Ink

An interesting way to get rid of ballpoint ink is with shaving cream. But you can also use nail polish remover, or dry-cleaning solvents. Make sure you open windows when using cleaning solvents and polish remover.

Mildew

Mildew is a fungus that eats soap scum and body oil. To remove from walls, spray with vinegar water: 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 quart water. Also, try an enzyme laundry detergent; follow the pre-treating directions on the label. Blot it on the stain, and then rinse thoroughly with water.

Water Stains

After you’ve solved the problem that caused the water stains, rinse with a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Thoroughly dry with a hairdryer or fans. If bleaching doesn’t remove water stains, you’ll have to repaint. Prime the walls with a stain-killing primer.

Find the home of your dreams in Lake Travis and Austin with our home search tool. Make sure to visit our blog every week for more helpful real estate articles and Lake Travis news and activities.

Summer Fun Continues in Lake Travis and Asutin

by Rebecca Shahan

Are you and the kids getting bored with summer yet? There's no reason to sit around the house with all the fun events and activities going on in lake Travis, Austin and the surroundning area this month. Here's a few upcoming events that will keep your whole family entertained this month.

Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures
Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures

“The Ultimate Lake Experience” is this fun-filled floating water park and obstacle course, with access to a beautifully landscaped private resort-style beach. Spend the day playing beach games, swimming, and exploring the additional water attractions in the Aqua Park area.

Paramount Theatre presents Summer Classic Film Series
Stateside at the Paramount
Through 8/31

The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series, now in its 44th year, will feature more than 100 films, including well-preserved film prints and dazzling digital restorations, romance and laughs and thrills, and more.

SRE Promotions presents Corvette Invasion
Bastrop Convention & Exhibit Center
July 19

Corvette lovers will unite at this three-day Corvette Invasion. The event begins begins with a "meet and greet." Then there will be a Corvette Car Show and award ceremony, and the first 300 registered Corvettes will invade the Main Street. Also make sure to check out local music, shopping, and restaurants. 

Float Fest
July 20

Float Fest is an annual two-day music festival that will take place in and around the Guadalupe River. Watch performances as you float in tubes in the river. erformers at the 2019 edition will include Major Lazer, Portugal the Man, Gucci Mane, Kaskade, Zeds Dead, Ice Cube, Big Gigantic, The Flaming Lips,and more.

There's more fun in store this summer in Austin and Lake Travis, so make sure to check back every week on our blog for more local articles, along with helpful real estate advice. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today. 

Projects That Will Make Your Austin Backyard Staycation-Worthy

by Rebecca Shahan

Mow the grass, weed the garden, seal the deck, rake debris. You may spend plenty of time in your backyard in Lake Travis and Austin, but if it's all work and no fun, you may not be feeling the love for your home you once did.

Time for a second honeymoon with these ideas that'll turn your labor-loving yard into a leisure-loving one. Some will even enhance your home's value. Others, at least, won't ding it. (You definitely don't want to do that.)

Let the backyard staycations begin with these ideas:

Al-Fresco Dining

Ample, built-in seating and wood-fired pizza on-demand. And while wood-fired ovens are famous for pizza, this isn't a one-note investment: You can serve up any meat, veggie, or bread — making this a full-on outdoor oven. Low-maintenance hardscaping means you can focus on your party, instead of mowing grass.

Pluck some veggies from some chic, metal raised beds (easy to maintain), prep them in an outdoor cooking island with a built-in grill (and green roof, which keeps it cooler underneath), and treat yourself to the freshest cuisine around for your backyard staycation.

Even better, since the entire ground area is pea gravel, you can spend less time mowing and more time dining.

But does it add value? Outdoor living and cooking spaces (rooms, really) almost always do. As do low-maintenance hardscaping features — like the patio. Raised steel garden beds, not so much, though.

An Outdoor Room Just for Leisure

Spend Saturday afternoon napping in your outdoor space — not laboring over it. Easy-care plants look lush with minimal intervention, including ground cover and stone to replace grass.

Install horizontal privacy fencing, and you're ready for one legendary siesta (adorable dog recommended, but not required).

But does it add value? See above about outdoor rooms (and the lovely plants definitely boost it, too). Win-win.

A Yard for Playing

You don't have to give up playing in the backyard just because you're an adult. Make your yard a grown-up rec center with a fire pit and bocce ball court (or cornhole, ladder ball, even giant Jenga).

Wood-paneled privacy fencing elevates the adults-only aesthetic, and low-maintenance gravel keeps the focus on fun instead of maintenance.

But does it add value? Seriously doubt it (except for the fence). But it's your yard. Remember, joy is an ROI of a different sort. Plus, the court is easy enough to erase with some basic landscaping (always a good value add).

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today. 

Lawn Care Tips for the Heat of the Summer

by Rebecca Shahan

We all know how hot it can get in the summer, with July generally being the hottest month. Keeping your lawn looking good during the summer can be a challenge, but with some simple tips, you can beat the heat on your landscaping.

Here are three tasks to help your yard and home keep their good looks:

Mow High

Longer grass provides more shade for the ground, which helps your lawn retain precious water. It also saves time since you have to mow it less.

Raise your mower blade by 3 inches or higher for cool-season lawns, and 2 to 3 inches for warm-season varieties.

And leave the clippings: they'll help keep grass cool and fed. Plus you'll save money by not buying commercial fertilizers.

Remove Damaged Branches

Make sure that you don't have any diseased or dead branches that can break off during a summer storm and damage your home.

Top Off Mulch

A little extra mulch around trees and shrubs will keep them healthy and lush by helping roots retain moisture during hot summer days. It's worth the extra effort because your trees add value to your home while cutting cooling costs.

Water Wisely

Lawns need about an inch of water and more if the heat is severe. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage drought-tolerant roots. And water early in the day to reduce evaporation.

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today. 

3 Solutions to Handle Outdoor Clutter

by Rebecca Shahan

It can be so easy to just toss any outdoor item in the garage and call it good.

But it may be time to think outside the garage. Here's some ways that you can reduce the clutter in your garage. It will help simplify your life, as well as help you sell your home for more.

Tuck Storage Under Your Deck

If you have a higher deck, you can use the space underneath for outdoor tools and equipment. You can also enclose it if it's not already enclosed and add doors to keep things out of view. It's a great way to get rid of garage clutter.

The thing to keep in mind is that this will protect your stuff from the sun, but not moisture. Make sure your items can handle a little moisture.

For a lower deck, you can use storage drawers instead.

This is a great way to store outdoor fun items such as pool equipment, yard games, and coolers, making it easy to grab what you need for summer fun.

Build a Fence With Built-Ins

A fence with built-ins is just like having an indoor wall with built-ins. And when you do this with a fence, you get more privacy, security, and storage - a 3-in one deal.

Add a Purpose-Built Shed

Think about what you need the most with outdoor storage, then build a shed to fir your purpose. A pre-fab shed may not be the best solution, and it could become another place where clutter builds up.

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today. 

Have a Happy 4th of July in Austin

by Rebecca Shahan

When it comes to celebrating Independence Day, there's no better place to spend the day than Austin and Lake Travis. You'll find plenty of ways to celebrate freedom here, with fireworks and parties to liven your 4th of July holiday. Here's a few events coming up in the Austin area to plan for.

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks
8 PM | Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park

The Austin Symphony Orchestra will present the largest Independence Day celebration in Austin. Tens of thousands of families will be decked out in red, white, and blue for an amazing event complete with a fireworks display over the city skyline backed by symphonic patriotic classics.

2019 July 4th Fireworks Paddle
7:15 – 10:30 PM | Rowing Dock

Be dazzled by the fireworks display over Lady Bird Lake from the best seat in the house – your boat! Late night rentals of kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards are by reservation with prepayment only.

July 4th Frontier Days Celebration
8 PM | Old Settlers Park

The Austin Symphonic Band will perform in front of a crowd of thousands at Round Rock's Old Settlers Park, as part of the annual July 4 Frontier Days Celebration. Watermelon, sky divers, music and fireworks celebrate the 4th of July.

Fourth of July Austin Symphony and Orchestra
Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park

Central Texas' Largest Fireworks Show with a live performance by the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July in Austin!

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today. 

Attic & Basement Storage Ideas to Gain More Space

by Rebecca Shahan

Are you looking for more storage? Your basement or attic may be the ideal locations to create storage space. And more than just gaining space, you'll give your home more selling value.

Here's a a few ways you can get more storage in your home and free up space.

Conceal the Mess With Built-Ins

Built-in shelving is a great way to add more storage, and can be a DIY project. And if you don't feel like making them yourself, having a carpenter do it shouldn't break the bank.

Cover With a Curtain

If you don't have the time or money for built-ins, then you can use tubs or plastic containers. You can then keep them out of site by dividing a basement room in two with a curtain, giving a finished basement a dual purpose. It's also money-smart, because you'll get those finished-basement benefits without the wall-to-wall costs.

The key? Visual separation between the two. Science says clutter makes us anxious, so this basement storage idea suggests hiding the mess with a curtain. Choose a heavy curtain to keep out the basement chill.

Take Advantage of Rafter Space

Most people don't think about the rafters, but they can make for a smart storage solution. You can store lesser-used seasonal items on wall-to-wall shelves in the rafters. This will give you even more space for items you use more often.

Go Modular Beneath the Stairs

That behind-the-stairs space can be tricky to fill: nothing quite fits right. But this ingenious modular basement under stair storage idea fits any sloped space, no matter the size. Use wooden crates or build your own stacking boxes to fit all your storage needs.

Paint the back of the boxes to add color and interest, or to clarify whose stuff goes where. Bonus: If your kid knows the red-painted boxes are theirs, they'll be less likely to scatter stuff everywhere.

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today.

Get the Most of Your Summer in Lake Travis

by Rebecca Shahan

Summer is here and there's no better way to enjoy the warm weather than in Lake Travis!  There's no end of fun to be had in Lake Travis.

Whether you want to have a sunset dinner, cruise around on the lake, get pampered at a spa, or zip through the trees, there's something for everyone to get eh most out of summer.

Take a look at the top 4 things to do in Lake Travis:

Zip Through the Trees

There's no bigger thrill than zipping along over 2800 feet of scenic beauty. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures will thrill you and your family with he longest zipline in Texas. As you hike up to your zipline launching point, your professional tour guide will offer an educational and fun experience.  Then you launch off a cliff and soar for over 2800 ft. There are shorter zip lines as well for the more faint of heart.

Watch the Sunset

Spectacular sunsets define Lake Travis. You can watch the spectacular sunsets from a variety of vantage points, on water or lakeside. How about a romantic dinner as you take in the sunset at Beau Theriot’s “Sunset Capital of Texas”The views from it's terraces perched 450 feet over the lake will leave you breathless. And so will the food. The Oasis, as it's known, is home to some of the best live music anywhere on the lake.

Have a Spa Day

You deserve a little pampering, don't you? Spend a day relaxing at the Lakeway Resort and Spa. This full service spa and resort features a great array of ways to pamper yourself. In addition to the full-service spa, there's three large swimming pools, a whirlpool, a swim-up bar and a slide area perfect for the kids. After a day of relaxing and playing, you can cap off the evening with a splendid meal at restaurant with outside seating featuring spectacular lake views. 

Play or Relax at Volente Beach Resort

Volente Beach Resort is a great place for the whole family to relax and play. The resort features a waterpark with a number of themed areas for the kids. You can also enjoy a casual meal at Beachside Billy’s restaurant with a beach bar and grill. You can even rent a bungalow to stay overnight and enjoy the amenities even longer.

There’s more to Lake Travis than meets the eye.  Make sure to check back on our blog for more great things to do in Lake Travis and Austin. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today.​

Don't Make These Mistakes When Buying a Home in Austin

by Rebecca Shahan

Your home buying experience in Austin and Lake Travis should be one that creates great memories and excitement. The trick is to not let all that excitement get out of hand and lead to you making mistakes during the home buying process.

Here are some common home buying mistakes and how you can avoid them.

"I Saw the House Online. It's Perfect — Let's Make an Offer Before It's Gone!"

Photos are never enough to show you everything you need to know about a home. They are meant to be a preview.

Consider this:

  • Agents take photos that they want you to see. They can't show every nook and cranny.
  • You need more than just sight to truly evaluate a home. How does the home flow? What can you smell or hear?
  • Wide angle lenses are used in photos sometimes to make homes look larger.

Before you make an offer, look at the home, the yard, and the neighborhood in person.

"I Want to Buy This House. And Look, There's an Agent Right Here!"

When you go to an open house, the seller's agent is usually there to host it. You might think that's convenient. But remember that the agent represents the seller, not you.

If you start trying to negotiate with the seller agent on your own, you could compromise your negotiation. So make sure you hire a buyer's agent who will work on your behalf and help you get the best home for your needs.

"If a House Doesn't Have Everything On My List, I'm Not Looking At It."

You should make a "needs" and "wants" list of what you want in a home. But don't turn it into strightjacket. It should be a guide to help you find the home with the right balance of features.

You need to prioritize your list to make sure it guides you to the right home and not keep you from it.

Not sure what should go on your list? This worksheet can help you get your priorities straight: The Ultimate “I Wanna Buy a House" Checklist.

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today.

Treat Dad to the Perfect Father's Day in Austin

by Rebecca Shahan

Father's Day is almost here, so it's time to make sure you've found the perfect way to show dad how much he means. There's plenty of great things to do with dad in Austin this weekend. Here's a few activities you can share with your father to make this a Father's Day to remember.

Saturday

FATHER'S DAY FLYER
​AUSTIN STEAM TRAIN

This special Hill Country Flyer journeys through the Texas Hill Country, crossing the wooden trestle bridge over the South San Gabriel River and Short Creek Canyon. 

TIE ONE ON FOR FATHER’S DAY
​BEN MILAM WHISKEY DISTILLERY & TASTING ROOM

Celebrate Father’s Day a day early on Saturday, June 15 at Ben Milam Whiskey. This party is too cool for dad to wear a neck tie, but if he does, they'll cut it off his neck, and give him a percentage discount off of purchase of a bottle of whiskey equivalent to the length of the cut portion of the tie (10 inches = 10% discount on a bottle). 

Sunday

FATHER'S DAY BUFFET
6:30AM - 12:00PM |  ​OMNI BARTON CREEK RESORT & SPA

Serving cooked to order omelets, fresh fruit, yogurt and an assortment fresh-baked goods, the Art of Breakfast Buffet is the perfect way to kick-off Father’s Day. Enjoy $6 Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Reservations are recommended. Call 512-329-4000.

FATHER'S DAY: GRILL ON THE PATIO
10:00AM - 7:00PM |  ​Z'TEJAS ARBORETUM

Join Executive Chef Dino on our stunning hill country patio for Father's day. He'll be grilling all your favorites morning and night.

FATHER'S DAY BRUNCH JAZZ TRIO: MANIFEST MUSTACHE
10:00AM |  ​BRENTWOOD SOCIAL HOUSE

Manifest Mustache - a jazz trio comprised of swing dancers turned musicians - play from 10am-noon. Enjoy the hot jazz music from the likes of Django Reinhardt with your morning latte.

DADS EAT FREE AT PLUCKERS
11:00AM |  ​ALL AUSTIN AREA PLUCKERS

All dads can enjoy a complimentary entree, side, and non-alcoholic beverage (up to a $15 value) from Pluckers’ extensive menu when they show their Pluckers Club or Pluckers Club Lite membership.

Have a Happy Father's Day in Austin!

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today.
 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 237

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