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Rebecca Shahan

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What Questions Should You Ask When Buying a Home?

by Rebecca Shahan

Now that you've decided to buy a home, there's much excitement in the air. Maybe you've found the perfect home you've been looking for.  It has everything you want and more. But not everything is what it seems on the surface, especially when buying a home.  Don't let your emotions take over and not ask the important questions that need to be asked. Not asking the right questions can lead to a great deal of buyer remorse.

What are the most important questions to ask when buying a home? Here’s a few to consider.

Are There Any Major Issues?

Don't let your eyes fool you. There can be issues that you don't know about with any home. Not knowing those little things can add up to big problems down the road.  Make sure you get an unbiased inspection of the home before making any decisions. This one step can save a lot of heartache in the future.

What Is the Home’s Market Value?

Finding out the home's market value is a critical step in determining how much of an offer to make.  Even though there’s no magic formula for making an offer, the market value is certainly the biggest factor in making a decision.

How Much Did the Seller Pay For the Home?

Sometimes people will buy homes to flip them and make more money.  Even if they made improvements , it doesn’t mean that will increase the value. Knowing how much the previous owner paid will give insight into whether or not the home is overpriced.

How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?

The motivation level of a seller can sometimes be determined by how long the home has been listed. Sure, the agent can affect this factor.  But you can have your agent can look to see how many times the home has been relisted and the pricing history.

Click here to find more important questions to ask when buying a home.  And always feel free to call me for expert advice.

Tips on Selling Your Home to Younger Buyers

by Rebecca Shahan

More and more these days, younger home buyers are hitting the market.  Young professionals and families are finding more options for helping them buy a home.  As such, when you sell your home, you need to keep this younger audience in mind.  It's highly likely that when you sell your home, it will be to someone younger than 40. How can you make your home appeal to this growing market?  Here's a few tips.

Using Neutral Colors

The younger crowd is no longer into the gold or pink walls you painted 10 years ago.  Paint the walls a more neutral color.  This will allow potential buyers to envision their own accent colors and furniture to make it their own.

White Cabinets

White or off-white cabinets appeal more to buyers under 40.  They don't want to be reminded of the dark cabinets of yesteryear.  You might try Benjamin Moore's Advance paint, as it requires little prep work.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Old appliances can be a big turnoff for younger buyers.  Many love stainless steel appliances, and for good reason.  If you have it in your budget, consider updating your appliances if they look dated.

Updated Countertops

Young buyers really love granite and stone countertops.  But keep it simple.  Don;t go with busy designs.  Black countertops or designs that are simple are the best.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

by Rebecca Shahan

Thanksgiving Day is the time when we can all show thanks for the important things in life.  We can also make it a time when we can give others a reason to be thankful as well.  Do you have some time to help others who don't have as much to have a better Thanksgiving holiday next week?  If you do, there's a number of ways you can help. Here's a few organizations in Austin dedicated to helping those in need.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

 

Discover the RIch History of Texas

by Rebecca Shahan

One of the many things that makes Austin Texas such a great city is its rich history.  And there’s no better place to discover the history of Texas and the rest of the world than at one of the many fine museums in Austin. From presidential history to art and military history, there’s something for everyone.  Here’s a few of the best museums in Austin to start you on a voyage of discovery.

LBJ Presidential Library

Learn all about the life and times of Texas native President Lyndon Baines Johnson in this visually stunning presidential library. Exhibits from his historic presidency include The Legacy Gallery, November 22, 1963, The Vietnam Conflict, Social Justice Gallery, The Presidential Limousine, Oval Office, The White House Years, and Humor and the Presidency.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

You’ll learn all about every aspect of Texas history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. With one of the largest IMAX screens in Texas, you can thrill at feature Hollywood films and special IMAX presentations. The feature an ever-changing display of artifacts, documents, and photos that reveal the rich history of Texas, so you can keep coming back and learning even more each time.

Brigadier General John C. L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum

Discover the exciting history of Texas’ military from 1823 to 1903 when the National Guard was created. You’ll see a wide range of tanks, self-propelled guns, armored personnel carriers, jeeps, helicopters, jet fighters, trucks, and much more.

Weekend Getaways in Austin, Texas

by Rebecca Shahan

‚ÄčSometimes you just need to get away! Work has been crazy, you can’t get the sleep you need, the city’s hustle and bustle are overwhelming, and the kids are making you crazy! What you need is a weekend getaway.

Looking for Romantic. Maybe feeling a little disconnected from your partner? Give the Olivia Mansion a try. This 120-year-old historical beauty has been turned into a Bed & Breakfast. It features many of it’s original features, such as original stained-glass windows, amazing fireplaces and spectacular chandeliers. It is also antique, time-period furnishings, but with all modern amenities available. This beautiful and historical Bed & Breakfast is only and hour outside Austin, Texas.

Looking for Quiet and Serene. Maybe you’re just looking for a change of pace, and some quite surroundings. Then Mt. Gainor Inn is the place for you. This tranquil Texan getaway is a quiet retreat with acres of hilltop scenarios is the perfect place to get away from the crazy of a big city.

Family Getaway. Sure. The kids can get on your nerves, but they may just need a break too. The Prow’d House would be perfect for the family with its welcoming and warm Inn quality. This place has everything to help you and your family dialed down. They offer comfortable accommodations, from standard guest rooms with queen-sized beds, private bathrooms, TV, mini fridges and sheltered patios with swinging chairs. Included is a communal room with a grand stone fireplace, an ornate cathedral ceiling and a sunny dining area where a completely home- cooked breakfast is available every morning. If the kids are still feeling restless, the Inn is within walking distance of popular attractions such as Wimberley Shopping on the Square and more.

For more romantic, quiet and kid friendly weekend getaways, check out this link. Get away and relax in the beautiful Texas countryside. You know you need it.

Have a Successful Move With Children

by Rebecca Shahan

You've found that perfect house, and now it time to get packing! But what about the kids? No matter where you move, it can be upsetting for the kids. So how can you make the ordeal go smoother?

Have a Family Meeting. Treat the kids to a favorite meal and casually talk about the move. This will give them the opportunity to address their concerns in a relaxed environment.

Involve Them in the Process. If you make your children part of the process, it will go a long way to smooth the transition. You can go through the house and get rid of all the unnecessary junk that has accumulated over the years. Get the kids to help you decide what can be trashed, donated or sold.

Help Your Children Learn About Where They’re Moving. Kids usually love to learn and use the internet.  take advantage of that to help them learn about their new community. They can check out the local schools and school district. A website with pictures of their new school would be helpful and help them get a sense of where they’ll be attending school.

These are just a few suggestions on how to make moving with children easier. You can find more tips here.

Nighttime Home Security. Are You Safe?

by Rebecca Shahan

You’ve probably heard it on the news or from a neighbor about someone that had a home invasion. You may think “That’ll probably never happen to me, I live in a nice, peaceful neighborhood”. Honestly, it can happen to anyone at any time. Here are some tips and tricks to help ensure that you and your family stay safe at night.

Always Lock Up. This may seem obvious, but many people simply forget or don’t bother to lock up all the windows, doors and even garage doors, simply because they don’t think they are at risk. Sure the neighborhood is safe and you know your neighbors really well, but the threat most often comes from outside your neighborhood. So, make sure to lock up. It could mean lives.

Home Surveillance System. These might be expensive, but well worth the price. Hidden home security cameras with nighttime vision are the most recommended while readily visible ones can be easily destroyed. To help, you can tie most of these systems right into just about any device or devices you want. Now you can find out if that strange noise was simply a stray animal or someone lurking about your home.

Motion Sensor Lights. Naturally you want those even when you’re just coming home from a late shopping trip. These can also be of great importance to home safety at night. Deter a not that insistent break and enter guest.

Safety can never be overrated, so be safe and check out these other great tips for nighttime safety for your home, and just as importantly, your peace of mind. Be safe!

How to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home

by Rebecca Shahan

Home safety is of utmost importance. Whether it’s just you or you have a family. The biggest thing most people overlook is electrical safety. Home electrical fires are estimated at around 51,000 fires a year, with nearly 500 deaths, over 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in damages. Naturally there are ways to reduce the risk to you and your family. Here’s a few tips to get you started.

  • Light Bulbs: When using light bulbs be sure to use a bulb with the correct wattage for the fixture you are using it in. A higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat and possibly cause the bulb itself to explode.
  • Outlets: When it comes to outlets it is always best not to overload them with extra adapters and power cords. Especially so in older homes that may not have a large enough power supply causing breakers to trip or overheat and very possibly cause major fires.
  • Appliances: We own many more appliances now than used to be in the average home 50-60 years ago. Appliances from a simple clock to a computer generate heat. So be sure to give the appliance plenty of circulation space and never leave blankets, towels or anything that will cover them so that they do not overheat and cause an overload or short out an electrical socket.

Electrical fires can be such a dangerous and traumatic incident that following some simple tips can save you or your family’s lives and your family’s livelihood. Here are quite a few more suggestions on how to minimize the possibility of an electrical fire in the home.

Great Ideas for Fall Décor in Texas

by Rebecca Shahan

Pumpkins. A definite sign that fall is on your doorstep or is already falling all over it with incredible speed from your trees. Matching this beautiful end-of-summer Texas wonder with fresh homey decoration ideas is a must. One way to start is with an awesome pumpkin or two on your front porch and strategically placed saucer pumpkins or fancy gourds in windowsills to add to the effect.

Don’t forget the trees outside feverishly dropping their spring and summer growth. Now is the best time to take advantage of their seasonal molting to cozy up your home with some spectacular Texan colors, like leaf art. Don’t forget the fun variety of twigs and wild berries that can become art pieces to make entertaining fall vases and inviting DIY welcome wreaths.

Don’t forget that wood stove that’s been sitting quietly over the summer. Bring out the best for your fall as the Texas nights start getting cooler, giving you a reason to huddle around the warm and entrancing flames with friends and family to remember the good old times, and to look forward to many more to come.

Tips on Staying Safe This Hallows Eve in Austin

by Rebecca Shahan

‚ÄčAll Hallows Eve. A time of making memories, scary costumes for the kids and free candy! It’s also a time to remember a little caution and safety preparation can go a long way for our little candy monsters. Let us share some fun and practical ways to stay safe for this year’s Halloween in Austin.

The chances of a car accident for a child goes up a very unpleasant amount this night more than any other of the year, so we have a few suggestions on how to keep the young ones as safe as possible.

A good way is to try integrating reflective tape or stickers into costumes and bags, as well as using face paint, non-toxic of course, as an alternative to masks that can be visually obstructive for young ones. Besides, what kid doesn’t love getting their faces painted! Also give the kids some glow sticks, glow bracelets and whatever other fun glowing things you can find for them. Not only will that be added fun to their costumes, but it will help with added visual for drivers.

Younger ones, 12 and under should never be out alone without adult supervision. Also remind the older kids to stay in areas that they are familiar with, are well lit and maybe suggest to them that going trick-or-treating with friends would be more entertaining. They’re sure to like that!

Check out this link for more tips on safety this Halloween. Most importantly, don’t let them forget to have a themselves a scary time this Halloween in Austin, Texas!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 94