Real Estate Information

Lake Travis Texas Real Estate Blog

Rebecca Shahan

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 231

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.
 

The 5 Most Important Home Closing Terms

by Rebecca Shahan
Buying a home can be a confusing process. This is especially true for first time buyers. All those words! But don't worry, that why you hire a professional to help you figure it all out. Still, there's some basic terms that you should familiarize yourself with, especially when closing a home sale.
 
Here's the 5 most important closing terms you should know.
  1. Down Payment Simply put, this is the amount of money you pay up front for a mortgage, just like buying a car. Most mortgage lenders require between 3% - 20% down payment. In the case of VA or government assisted loans, this amount can be less.
  2. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – You may be required to pay for private mortgage insurance when you take out a loan if you put down less than 20%. PMI protects the lender in case you end up foreclosing on your home.
  3. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – APR refers to the total cost of taking out a loan. It can include broker fees, interest rate, points, and others.
  4. Loan Estimate (LE) – A loan estimate deals with the estimated closing costs, along with the terms of the loan that you agreed to.
  5. Closing Costs – Closing costs are paid by both the buyer and seller. These costs can cover application fees, property fees, title examination, title insurance, attorney charges and settlement documents.

Of course, this only scratches the surface of what you should know about buying a home. 

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.

The Best Ice Cream in Austin

by Rebecca Shahan

Now that summer is heating up, it's time to find the best places to cool down. Austin is full of great frozen flavors and treats to help you keep down the heat. Here's some of the best places in Austin to find your favorite scoop of coolness.

Amy's Ice Cream

You'll never run out of new flavors to try at Amy's. With over 350 rotating flavors, every visit will be a new treat.

Lick Honest Ice Creams

Have you ever had a roasted beets, goats cheese, or thyme ice cream cone? Now is your chance, made with peak-season ingredients sourced responsibly from local Austin farmer and artisans. And best of all, you can try samples before you choose your unique flavor.

Sweet Ritual

Everyone should be able to have a yummy scoop of ice cream, and that's why Sweet Ritual makes delicious dairy-free ice cream with options for a wide variety of dietary needs. Now you really have no excuse to treat yourself!

Dolce Neve

If you prefer the velvety smooth feel of gelato, then stop by Dolce Neve for the best gelato in Austin. Inspired by their Italian traditions, the owners an ever changing array of flavors, made from fresh local ingredients.

Manolis Ice Cream

Whether it's frozen treats or delicious baked goods, Manolis will satisfy your sweet tooth. Their pops and ice creams are made with fresh ingredients, and baked goods baked from scratch.

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.

Understanding Real Estate Representation

by Rebecca Shahan

You have choices when selecting representation in a real estate transaction. Here are five tips for understanding which type of legal relationship with a real estate professional, called an agency relationship, will best protect you when you buy or sell a home.

Buyer’s Agency

When you’re buying a home, you can hire an agent who represents only you, called an exclusive buyer’s representative or agent. A buyer's agent works in your best interest and owes you a fiduciary duty. You can pay your buyer’s agent yourself, or ask the seller, or the seller’s agent, to pay your agent a share of their sales commission.

If you’re selling your home and hiring an agent to list it exclusively, you’ve hired a selling representative - an agent who owes fiduciary duties to you. Typically, you pay a selling agent a commission at closing. Selling agents usually offer or agree to pay a portion of their sales commission to the buyer’s agent. If your seller’s agent brings in a buyer, your agent keeps the entire commission.

Disclosed Dual Agency

Agents and companies can represent both parties in a home sale as long as that relationship is fully disclosed. It’s called disclosed dual agency. Because dual agents represent both parties, they can’t be protective of and loyal to only you. Dual agents don’t owe all the traditional fiduciary duties to clients. Instead, they owe limited fiduciary duties to each party.

Why would you agree to dual agency? Suppose you want to buy a house that’s listed for sale by the same real estate brokerage where your buyer’s agent works. In that case, the real estate brokerage would be representing both you and the seller and you’d both have to agree to that.

Because there’s a potential for conflicts of interest with dual agency, all parties must give their informed consent. In many states, that consent must be in writing.

Designated Agency

A form of disclosed dual agency, “designated agency” allows two different agents within a single firm to represent the buyer and seller in the same transaction. To avoid conflicts that can arise with dual agency, some managing brokers designate or appoint agents in their company to represent only sellers, or only buyers. But that isn't required for designated agency. A designated, or appointed, agent will give you full representation and represent your best interests.

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.

Hiring the right real estate agent makes all the difference in a successful real estate transaction in Lake Travis and Austin.

You also need to understand who's side an agent is on when you buy or sell a home and move towards closing.

There are a number of ways agents may represent clients.

By knowing where your agent’s loyalties lie, you’ll know what you can tell her and what you can’t. If, for example, you’re dealing with an agent who doesn’t represent you but is representing the sellers of a home you want to buy, you won’t want to tell her how high you’re willing to go on the price.

No matter what form of representation you agree to, or where you live, watch out for your own interests and understand the six ways brokers and agents represent clients below.

Buyer’s Agency

Do you want the agent to represent you and only you when you buy a home so that all the information you share with her is confidential? Opt for an exclusive buyer’s agent.

Who pays the buyer’s agent? Surprisingly, even if you hire a buyer’s agent, you can still ask the sellers to pay his fee. You can pay your buyer’s agent yourself, or ask the seller (or the seller’s agent) to pay your agent a share of their sales commission.

Seller’s or Listing Agency

An exclusive seller’s agent represents only the sellers, not the buyers. If your exclusive seller’s agent finds a buyer for your home, he may have another agent - maybe even a co-worker from the same brokerage - represent the buyer in your transaction. In some cases the buyer may have no agent at all. Your exclusive seller’s agent is loyal only to you, so it’s OK to discuss strategy with him.

Who pays the seller’s agent? The seller pays a commission to the seller’s agent from the proceeds of the sale. The seller’s agent may, and often does, share the commission with the homebuyer’s agent.

Dual Agency

In many states, agents can represent both the buyer and seller. These dual agents seek to bring both sides together. They can’t do something that’s only good for you and not for the other side.

A dual agent situation often arises when one agent represents the buyers and the sellers of the same home. The agent must disclose the relationship and, in many states, you must agree in writing to such dual representation because of the potential for conflicts of interest. While dual agents have an obligation not to share any confidential information of a client without their permission, be sure to inform the agent that the information is confidential and know that any non-confidential information may be shared with the people on the other side of the transaction.

Who pays the dual agent? Usually the seller pays the commission.

Designated or Appointed Agency

What happens when the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent both work for the same broker?

To make sure both sides of the home sale are treated fairly in this situation, some brokers designate an agent in their company to represent only the buyers and another to represent only the sellers. A designated agent or appointed agent will be loyal to you and only you. The strategy helps avoid a dual agency situation.

Who pays the designated agents? The sellers pay the commission and the designated agents share it.

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 Fun In Lake Travis in June

by Rebecca Shahan

Summer is here and it's time to get out and have fun in Lake Travis this month. There's something for everyone in Lake Travis, with plenty of fun to be had on the water and the shores. Here's a few events and things to do for the whole family coming up this month to help you get the most from the start of summer.

Sunset Zipline Tours

Fly the fastest zip lines in Texas as you take in the breathtaking sunset over Lake Travis, guided by the best guides around.

BARge Crawl

Bring your friends and adult family members out on Lake Travis and stop at shoreline watering holes fo your choice.

Saturday Pontoon Party on Devil’s Cove

Looking for a great place to party? Devil's Cove is one of the best party coves on Lake Travis, perfect for Bachelor/Bachelorette parties or Graduation Celebrations.

 HCI Summer Football Camp

A beginner-level skill development football program designed to teach the core fundamentals of the game to first-timers or those with limited experience.

Father’s Day Dad throws Free!

Treat Dad to the thrill of AXE throwing this Father’s Day. 14 and up can throw with Dad and dad is Free.

Annie Musical

Lake Travis Music Theatre presents Annie June 21-23 and June 28 - 30.

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.

Getting the Most Curb Appeal For Your Lake Travis Home

by Rebecca Shahan

If you plan to sell your home in Lake Travis or Austin, you're going to have competition, so you need all the edge you can get. 

What do buyers see first when they come to your home for sale? Obviously, the outside. And how your home looks from the curb can make ore break a sale.

What are some affordable and simple ways you can spice up your curb appeal?

Replace Old Hardware

Replace old hardware, such as door knobs and house numbers, with fresh new fixtures.

Makeover the Mailbox

If your mailbox is next to your home (not across the street), then you can spruce it up to compliments your home. Pick a box that reflects your home's trimmings. You can paint the post or surround it with flowers.

Add Planters

Place various potted plants on the front steps and patio accentuate you garden.

Outdoor Lighting

To add a little appeal to your home, you can add low voltage lighting along the walkways for a little flare.

Reveal the Architecture

Don't go overboard with plants and landscaping that can hide your home. Keep your landscaping back from the home to let it shine.

Pressure Wash the Exterior

This is a quick and easy makeover that will make your home shine.. A pressure washer can be rented at most hardware and home improvement stores, and are easy to operate.

Display a Wreath

Welcome buyers with a beautiful seasonal wreath on the front door.

Lay Out a Path

You can use river stones to make a curved pathway and add unique flair to your yard.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint can liven up any home, especially if the current coat is fading or chipped, or the color is outdated.

Add Window Boxes and Shutters

Adding colorful shutters with window boxes with matching paint will liven up any exterior. You can also plant colorful flowers to make it stand out even more.

Line Up the Porch Chairs

If you have a porch large enough for a few chairs, make sure they're lined up. If you don't have matching porch chairs, it would be worth investing in a set.

These are just a few ways you can spice up the exterior of your home and drive a higher price on your home for sale.

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 231

Syndication

Categories

Archives