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Top Restaurants in the Austin Area

by Rebecca Shahan

There are many great reasons to buy a home in Austin Texas and the surrounding communities, such as Lakeway, Costa Bella, Flint Rock, Spanish Oaks, Lake Pointe, Falconhead, The Hills, Arbolago, and Vineyard Bay.  Austin is one of the best cities in America to live.  And one of those reasons is the amazing food!  Every year, TripAdvisor.com comes out with their list of top restaurants in Austin.  Out of over 3000 places to eat in Austin, here are the top 3.

#1. Truluck's Seafood - Austin Downtown

Truluck’s is certainly a fine dining experience, featuring fresh seafood and prime steak, along with wine by the bottle or glass. The prices may be higher than average, but so is the food, service, and atmosphere. The full service bar is noted for its happy hour and piano bar.

#2. Eddie V's Prime Seafood

According to Eddie, “Man cannot live by music, wine, and fine dining alone. But it’s worth exploring.”  And you’ll certainly explore some of the best food and drink in Austin at Eddies. Reviewers comment on the comfortable elegance and the amazing service, not to mention the delicious food and drinks, and of course happy hour.

#3. Uchi

Hands down the best Japanese cuisine in Austin.  Featuring a daily menu, Uchi serves up Japanese dishes such as kinkan kanpachi (amberjack, kumquat, negi), and wagyu no daikon (ribeye, daikon, curry). All of this comes complete with valet parking and a knowledgeable and attentive wait staff.

Want more great reasons to buy a home in the Austin area?  Check back on our blog every week for more great places to eat and things to do here!

Consider the Schools When Buying a House In Austin and Lake Travis

by Rebecca Shahan

If you're thinking about buying a home for sale in Austin or Lake Travis and have children in school, finding the right school is critical.  If you end up buying a home near a school that isn't right for your child, you could end up regretting buying the home itself.

You may think that a real estate agent can help you find the best schools in the Austin and Lake Travis area.  But actually, they can't.  Fair housing laws prevent agents from giving their opinion on schools.  This is for a good reason, as some agents in recent years have labeled schools as "bad" to swing the sale of a home toward more affluent neighborhoods. So in the end, you need to decide what schools are best for your children and base your choice on that information. And then of course your agent can help you find a home near the school you think is best.

There are at least 3 questions you should ask when finding the right school in the Austin and Lake Travis school districts.

What school will you child attend?

This may sound like an obvious question, but the problem is it's so obvious that you may not ask it. In Austin for example, there are 130 schools in the Austin Independent School District, so that means you have a lot of schools to choose from. So that does make it a bit easier, since one district covers most of the Austin area.

What are the numbers?

Test scores can say a lot about a school, even if they don't tell you everything about a school. The Austin Independent School District website actually has plenty of helpful information on individual schools and their test scores.  You can see an example with Akins High School.  They show recent performance ratings which can be helpful.  An even more impartial perspective can be found on a school rating website such as www.greatschools.org. They use test scores, reviews, and other factors to rate the best schools in a given area.

What about reputation?

What are people saying about a school you're looking at?  Sure, everyone has opinions. If you know people in the area, you can ask them.  You might even meet with the principal of a school to get an even closer look, presuming you can make such an arrangement. See if they can give you a tour of the school with your child present.  Look at class sizes.  Is the library well stocked? What does your child think about the school? These are great indicators to look for.

Finding the right school and the right home for sale in Austin and Lake Travis TX can be a challenge, but one worth the effort.  Once you do find a great school for your child, let us help you find the right home near that school.  Our powerful search tool can help you find homes for sale near the schools of your choice in Austin, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Bee Cave, The Hills, and more. Also make sure to take advantage of our Home Buyer Listing Alert website www.welcometolaketravis.com to get automated alerts of homes as they hit the market.

Millenials - Take Advice From a Millionaire: Buy, Don't Rent

by Rebecca Shahan

Millenial Home BuyersAre you a millennial and currently renting a home? Why not take some solid advice from a self-made millionaire? David Bach is just such a person and has written nine consecutive New York Times best-selling books. For 31 weeks his book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” was on the New York Times bestseller list.  He is also one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists. He has also been profiled in many major publications, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes. 

In a recent CNBC article, Bach says that: “The biggest mistake millennials are making is not buying their first home.” Then he said that, “If you want to build real financial security, real wealth for your lifetime, then you need to buy a home.”

Here's his reason why buying a home is so important:

“Homeowners are worth 40 times more than renters. Now, that first home doesn’t need to be a dream home, it can be a very small home. You might literally have to buy a small studio apartment, but that’s how you get started.”

 “Don’t do a 30-year mortgage. You want to take that 30-year mortgage and instead pay it off early, do a 15-year mortgage. What happens if you do a 15-year mortgage? Well, one, you pay the mortgage off 15-years sooner, that means you’ll be able to retire in your fifties. Number two, you’ll save a fortune (on potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments).”

What will it cost to pay your mortgage in fifteen years?

“For fifteen years, you got to brownbag your lunch. Think about that! Brownbag your lunch literally for fifteen years. You can retire ten years sooner than your friends. You’ll have real wealth, because you bought a home – you’re not a renter. And you’ll be financially secure for life.”

When a well-respected millionaire gives you advice, it’s usually a good idea to follow it.  But this is hardly the first time that experts have given advice on the wisdom of buying a home. Many successful individuals have found that over time, buying a home is the most advisable course toward financial security.

As an additional note on David Bach’s experience, he has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, appearing more than 100 times, as well as a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS. Not a bad resume!

If you are currently renting a home in Austin or Lake Travis and are looking to take this advise, give us a call at 512-657-4467 to see how this dream can become a reality.

Plan the Perfect Valentine's Day in Austin

by Rebecca Shahan

Austin Valentine's Day IdeasIf you're looking for something special to do for Valentine's Day this year, don't worry. Austin is full of great ways to spend the day with your sweetheart.  Austin is rife with unique culture, art, diversity, and plenty of special events, activities, clubs, concerts and more. And of course you can find plenty of special packages at hotels and restaurants for a special evening. And you don't have to be in a romance to have fun.  There's plenty of ways for people who are “single and want to mingle,” hanging with girls, or having a night out with the guys to have a great time.  Here's a few of the best ways to enjoy Valentine's Day this year in Austin.

Romantic Weekend Hotel Packages

This is for couples who want to have a weekend getaway. Even if you live in Austin, you can take a weekend getaway to various hotels offering special packages. Bedandbreakfast.com lets you choose from tons of sweet little inns to get away from the city. Visit BedandBreakfast.com to make romantic reservations for a sweet package for two.

Zilker Botanical Gardens

This is a great idea no matter if it's for a family, an outing with friends, date groups, or just the two of you.  The 31 acres of greenery set among the Colorado River makes the perfect setting for a picnic of wine and cheese. Or you can dine at the Garden’s cafe. Best of all, these gardens are free to visit, saving more money for chocolates!

Ride a Horse-Drawn Carriage

What can be more romantic than taking a ride through downtown in a horse-drawn carriage? Die Gelbe Rose Carriage and Austin Carriage both offer great deals. This is also a great idea for the family, especially the kids. Bring some flowers and enjoy the ride! 

Austin Steam Train

Climb aboard this special Hill Country Flyer or the Valentine's Day Dinner Train to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They will take you on a romantic ride through the Texas Hill Country, crossing the South San Gabriel River and Short Creek Canyon. During the two hour layover in Burnet you can enjoy lunch and shopping on your own, a leisurely stroll around the historic town square and the Wild West Gunfight (weather permitting). Adult-only cars and family friendly cars are available. Or take a ride on the Valentine’s Day dinner train and enjoy handcrafted premium wines from The Austin Winery at the three course wine pairing dinner.

Want to learn more about what makes Austin and Lake Travis such a great place to live? Check back on our blog every week for more fun things to do in Austin!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of Rebecca Shahan Real Estate
Rebecca Shahan
Keller Williams Realty, Austin
1921 Lohmans Crossing, #100
Austin TX 78734
512-657-4467
Fax: (512) 263-0109