Southwest Austin Real Estate Blog

Get Batty for This Austin Family Attraction!

Austin is home to the largest Mexican free-tail bat colony in North America, and Austinites love to celebrate those winged creatures. The colony lives underneath the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin. 

While the "peak season" is in late July early August, it is still considered "Bat Season" in Austin right now! "Bat Season" takes place every year from March to November as the bats emerge around sunset to feed on a variety of flying insects. You can call the "bat hotline" at (512)327-9721 to see when bats have been emerging downtown.  

Not sure where to spend your batty experience? We've got you covered! Here are a few of the most popular bat viewing locations downtown.

- Sit on the lawn / Stand on the bridge: The easiest thing to do is to pack a picnic and head down to the Statesman’s Bat Observation Center in the northwest corner of the parking lot at least an hour before dusk.

- Take a boat tour:  Lone Star Riverboat offers public sightseeing cruises which are about an hour in length and which cost $10 per adult and $5-$7 for kids. Departure times vary slightly, depending on what time of year it is, and you do need to arrive a bit in advance. The boats are also BYOB so feel free to bring some drinks along for the cruise. 

- Enjoy the view from afar: The north side of Lady Bird Lake has several hotels with restaurants, which have some of the best bat watching views. One casual dining option is ...

Home Improvement Projects Under $500

Home improvement doesn't have to be a huge drawn out chose, and it definitely doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can easily liven up the spaces in your home with a number of small projects here and there that can really make a difference. Here are some basic projects that cost less than $500, and make you feel like you spent a lot more updating your Southwest Austin home!

THE POWER OF PAINT

Painting is one of the cheapest and easiest home improvement projects that really make a big difference! A fresh coat of paint can make any space look brand new, give the space a more modern feel, and definitely add value. A gallon of paint costs roughly $25 and is an inexpensive way to improve your home's desirability all on your own.  

FIND INSPIRATION

There is no shame in borrowing ideas! You can find all sorts of amazing ideas in books, magazines, interior decorating TV shows, and Pinterest. To stay within your budget, pick projects that can be completed yourself. This will not only save you a few bucks, but it will be that much sweeter knowing you tackled it yourself!

GET AN ENERGY AUDIT

Take advantage of your utility company's free energy audits to determine which improvements could potentially save you some extra money. Most local utility companies offer a free home inspection that will show you where exactly your money is going down the drain. You never know, the money you save could go towards another amazing home improvement!

PLANT A TREE

Landscaping your home is key when it comes to adding great curb appeal. Planting a tree not only is great for the environment, it also provides shade to keep harmful rays from bleaching out your paint of heating...

Dig Into Spring with the Right Gardening Tools

We are almost out of this strange "wintery, spring" part of the transition into beautiful weather and sunny skies! Before long, everyone will be pulling out their gardening tools to get a start on your landscape and outside projects. Gardenoid, did the dirty work for us gathering 34 gardening experts to find out their options on the top must-have tools for sprucing up your garden this fall. 

Among the most popular tools used by gardeners is a mattock, which is used for clearing the ground, removing stones and digging out deep roots that create blocks. Another favorite of the experts was the idea of composting. Composting is a great way to practice environmental responsibility. The tools needed for composting can be anything from a chipper shredder to a leaf shredder. 

While there are a ton of new and improved tools that make your project much easier and less time consuming, the most important tools take it back to the basics! While having one generic pair of garden gloves can be essential, the real trick is owning three pairs will make a multitude of tasks easier:

Washable synthetic gloves – For general maintenance, such as deadheading, weeding in dry soil, and handling seeds, the thin fabric, and snug fit allow fingers maximum dexterity.

Latex-coated cotton gloves – For dirty, wet jobs, like picking up leaves or planting shrubs, and for working with thorny plants (the latex coating is puncture-resistant)

Heavy-duty leather gloves – For tough jobs, like digging holes, clearing brush, and carrying firewood.

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Community Spotlight: Legend Oaks

About Legend Oaks

Legend Oaks has a family-friendly atmosphere situated in the beautiful Hill Country surrounding. Homes in this community feature mature trees and fabulous greenbelt views giving the neighborhood an isolated feel. Legend Oaks provide a variety of housing for young professionals, families, retirees and more. In this master-planned community, residents have access to private parks, two pools, tennis courts, entertainment areas, a new playscape and walking trails. With a convenient location close to the newly built Escarpment Village, residents have great access to local shopping and dining. 

Legend Oaks School Links

Useful Legend Oaks Links

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Southwest Austin Coyote Response Guide

How to respond to coyotes in your neighborhood

As Austin grows, our interactions with wildlife increase. To keep coyotes and other wildlife wild, we can follow a few, simple preventative measures:

  • Always keep trash and compost in a secure bin
  • Keep your barbecue grill clean
  • Keep the area under your fruit and nut trees free of droppings (a coyote’s diet can be up to 40% fruit in Texas)
  • Avoid feeding pets outdoors (if you must feed pets outside, feed during the daytime and remove the uneaten food as soon as the animal has finished).
  • Feeding wildlife and feral cats can attract coyotes. In addition to coyotes eating the food, mice and other animals will be drawn to leftovers, which can subsequently attract predators such as foxes and coyotes.

Hazing

To discourage coyotes from associating people with safety and food, eliminate the food sources around your yard and engage in hazing if you see a coyote on your property. Hazing is a process used to reinforce a coyote’s natural wariness without harming them. To haze, be big and loud: Wave your arms, shout, use noisemakers, throw non-edible objects in its direction (but not at it), or spray the animal with a hose. It shouldn’t take much for the coyote to get the memo -- just be persistent and maintain eye contact. Do not haze if a coyote is sick, injured, with pups, or is in its territory or out at night.

 

Pet safety

Keep small pets inside when possible and monitor them while outside. While walking dogs, use a secure, 4-6 foot leash and do not let dogs explore vegetation that you can’t see through. It is advised that pets be fed indoors. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed during the daytime and remove food as soon as your pet is finished....

Don't Neglect these Maintenance Tasks When Selling Your Home

The home selling process has a ton of different steps and precautionary items needed to ensure a smooth and seamless transaction. It can be overwhelming, but if you're lucky and have an amazing team to take you along for the ride it can be as easy as 1-2-3! Here at The Cain Team, we want to be there for every step of the process in order to give you the highest level of service when you sign with our team. 

Providing you with all the information you need to have a seamless transaction is important to us, therefore, we don't want to leave anything out. There is one thing in particular that can easily get lost in all confusion of the transaction, that is a vital aspect of the success of the sale. 

Being a homeowner comes with a long list of maintenance to-do's and commitments to ensure the property is in tip-top shape throughout the transaction.  We've got news for you, just because you're selling doesn't mean you are off the hook from routine maintenance tasks. Keeping up with these tasks can help you avoid a mess of catastrophic issues that can arise down the line and devalue your property resulting in a possible derail of the sale. 

To prevent from a world of possible issues by focusing on these four important areas to maintain your property until the final sale. 

1. Keep up the landscape

Whether you're still living at the home or not, you'll want to make sure to keep your landscaping tidy—remove dead tree limbs, rake leaves, and clean out flower beds. Aside from the cosmetic reasoning behind keeping the outside of your home tidy, it is important to keep possible vandals away. If your home is vacant, has a 'for sale' sign, and looks neglected, it is as if you are placing a bulls-eye on your home for vandals to break into your property. 

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Community Spotlight: Covered Bridge

About Covered Bridge Homes

Covered Bridge belongs to the Oak Hill communities situated at the edge of Texas Hill Country. Known for its spacious family homes, convenient access to employment opportunities, and to the amenities available downtown, Covered Bridge homes are a favored choice for families wanting to achieve the perfect work-life balance. There is no covered bridge in the community, but Covered Bridge is famous for its recreational parks, nature trails, and wonderful views. Kids enjoy the Covered Bridge’s water park, as well as a series of community events hosted by the Covered Bridge Homeowners Association.

Covered Bridge home buyers can choose from a flexible set of home design plans, thanks to Covered Bridge’s four different builders. With a conscious effort to provide variety and cater to a larger buyer base, Covered Bridge home buyers can expect to find a home that perfectly suits their needs and wants.

Covered Bridge residents can fulfill their shopping needs at nearby Sunset Valley and the Hill Country Galleria. For career professionals, companies like Freescale and the new AMD are conveniently close by. Located off Hwy 71, Covered Bridge Austin is just one mile west of the Y in Oak Hill (Hwy 71 and 290 W intersection) at Covered Bridge Drive. With a 78736 zip code, enjoy the convenience of living close to downtown and Austin’s major employers in a family-friendly environment.

 

Useful Covered Bridge Links

Protect your Kitchen with these Practically Indestructible Materials

When spending thousands of dollars on renovating your kitchen you don't want it to go to waste in just a few short years. Making sure you use the proper materials to maintain your new design through the seasons is important when making your updates. HouseLogic gives us the 411 on the must-have materials to ensure you are using nothing but the best!

Laminate Countertops 

Laminate is heat-, stain-, and water-resistant that has come along way through the years. The old stereotypes about the way it used to look aren't really the norm for this indestructible material.  With super-realistic marble and granite patterns, you can disguise your laminate countertops with ease! Now available in 5-by-8 foot sheets, which means it really replicates the more pricey materials with fewer joints. 

Quartz Countertops

Coming in at a much higher price is using Quartz for kitchen countertops. This material carries a hefty price tag, but they also carry a great benefit. The quartz promise is that you don't have to maintain or keep up with it at all! Unlike marble and granite, the manufactured quartz defies stains, mold, mildew, and bacteria with no sealing required. 

Luxe Vinyl Floors

New and improved luxe now has thicker layers that better prevent shoe scuffs, scratches, and tears. It required less care than linoleum and comes in 12-foot-wide rolls making it easy to cover the floor in one big sheet with no seams. 

Glazed Ceramic Tile Floors

Tile and grout is a classic look and glazing ceramic floors is a simple way to accomplish this look. It’s...

The Cain Team Outshines Average Southwest Austin Stats

Thinking of selling your Southwest Austin home? Don't know where to start to get your home selling process started? No worries, we can help! For nearly a decade we have been selling our listings for more money and in less time than the area average.  Our homes have fewer days on market prior to selling due to our state-of-the-art V.I.S. Home Marketing Plan, which means they sell for more money every time. 

Austin is a unique and diverse city. Each neighborhood has its own character. Each neighborhood appeals to a different buyer. To obtain the highest possible sales price for your home, the marketing must reach the right buyers with the right message. We have the network and experience to do this. 

We understand that first impressions really do count! Every piece of information on your property, whether it be a brochure, the wording in the Austin Multiple Listing Service, a presence on the Internet, or a well-placed advertisement, must show your Austin area home in the best possible light. During all phases of a listing from the initial paperwork and promotion through the very last details of the closing, we personally attend to all of the details. 

Find out more about the systems, experience, and technology we use to outperform other Realtors by scheduling a no-obligation home selling consultation.

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Community Spotlight: Heritage Oaks

About Heritage Oaks Homes for Sale in Georgetown TX

Heritage Oaks is a well-established, suburban region near historic Georgetown, Texas. An active adult community, the 417 homes in this resort-style neighborhood are designed to be low-maintenance and entertainment-friendly by the national builder, Jimmy Jacobs Homes. Buyers should note that most "active adult" communities require at least one owner to be age 55 or older.

Heritage Oaks homes for sale range in size from 1,400 to 3,000+ square feet with Texas traditional and Tuscan-influenced single-family custom homes. Most residences are 1-story with brick and stone elevations. The developer created unique 2-bedroom, 2-bedroom and den, and 3-bedroom floor plans with options that have made each home unique. Heritage Oaks homes for sale feature spacious kitchens with breakfast bars, master suites with jet tubs, and open great rooms with fireplaces.

Heritage Oaks' homeowners enjoy many community exclusive amenities. Residents can use the grand ballroom, hobby area and game room for private events. Avid readers can check out the amenities center library. Weightlifters can benefit from the 24-hour fitness club. Area employers including Dell, Apple, and St. David's Georgetown Hospital are also an easy commute from Heritage Oaks homes.

Heritage Oaks School Links

Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home That You Won't Regret

We know that choosing paint colors for your home can be a daunting task. There are hundreds of hues and shades to sift through, and what if you regret your decision? It could ruin your home's ambiance and be expensive and/or time-consuming to fix. No pressure, right?

Here's some advice from the pros on how to choose paint colors for your home that you won't regret!

1. Know what 'mood' paint colors exude

Light colors make spaces feel bigger and brighter. Dark or intense colors make spaces seem smaller—however, these colors do have their place and purpose in a home. Another consideration with your paint is whether it exudes "warm" or "cool" undertones. This can severely impact the overall 'mood' of the room and could give off some heavily unwanted vibes that could upset your rooms energy.

2. Match Colors to the space

Make sure you are taking the type of room into consideration when choosing your potential colors Certain types of rooms tend to look better one way or the other. "Bathrooms tend to look better with cool colors, both because of the connotation of water as cool and the color in nature is blue or blue-green, says Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors.

3. Let a neutral paint color anchor your home

Including a "neutral" shade, such as white, gray an beige is key to the color dynamic of your home. "It often looks best to have a main neutral as your base to carry throughout the home," says Dessie Slickers of Slick Designs. Keep your base color in the common areas, and add coordinating colors and accents as desired. This color should cover at least 60% of your home, leaving 30% for secondary...

Stunning South Austin Home Just Listed

Be the first to see our quaint #NewListing in South Austin! This beautiful home in the fantastic Cherry Creek community is ready for new owners to call it home! Excellent curb appeal on a cul-de-sac street. French doors, walk-in closets, a private backyard, and a fire pit are just a few of the features this beautiful home has to offer. Pride of ownership is evident. Don't delay! This one won't last long.

8602 Bisbee Ct. 

$319,997 | 1,860 Sq.Ft. | 4 Beds | 3 Baths

 

 

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Candy Cain Lights Giveaway Winner!

The Holiday Season is our favorite time of the year, as everyone is in such a joyous and giving spirit! To celebrate, every year, our team rewards one very lucky Southwest Austin resident with a custom exterior holiday lighting package from Shine of Lakeway! We accept entries in November and love surprising the lucky winners on their doorstep with the fantastic news! Congratulations to this year's winner, Lisa Dufrene!

To stay in the loop about all of our contests and giveaways be sure to join our Loyalty Rewards program, Cain Club. Complete various small tasks to earn points for amazing prizes and services. Sign up TODAY on Cain Club.

2017 Southwest Austin Candy Cain Lights Contest Winners

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Community Spotlight: Meridian

About Meridian

Meridian, a new master-planned community in Southwest Austin with excellent amenities, community pool, a private lake covering 10 acres as well as a new elementary school. The major builders for this community include David Weekley, Wilshire and Meritage, and many of the wooded home sites back to an extensive greenbelt.  Prices in the 800-lot development begin in the low $300s and extend up to nearly $700K.  

Meridian enjoys easy access to the Grey Rock Golf Course and Circle C Tennis Club, as well as a nearby HEB and Central Market Café.  Residents partake in the shopping and entertainment at Barton Creek Mall or make the short fifteen-minute drive to downtown museums and restaurants. Meridian Austin is located at SH 45 and RM 1826, south of Circle C. From east SH 45, turn right on Meridian Boulevard. The zip code for Meridian is 78739.

 

Useful Meridian Links

8th Annual Candy Cain Holiday Lights Contest

Every year, The Cain Team rewards one very lucky Southwest Austin resident with a custom exterior holiday lighting package from Dennington Decor.  It's one of our favorite events we put together every year, and we love showing up at the winner's doorstep to surprise them with the fantastic news.  

We begin accepting entries in November every year, and we usually surprise the lucky winner the first week of December. Residents can only win once, so make sure you fill out the entry form below to throw your name in the hat.

Click here to fill out your entry form!

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Southwest Austin Times Coloring Contest Winner!

Congratulations to the Southwest Austin Times Coloring Contest winner, Ethan! Ethan won a $20 Toys-R-Us gift card for his awesome "Back to School' entry. 

While it is always hard to pick a winner, Ethan's entry stood out with bold creativity. Thank you to everyone who entered, we look forward to seeing, even more, entries for next months contest! 

Be sure to be on the lookout for the next issue of Southwest Austin Times and get those coloring entries in! 

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South Austin Open House!

We are proud to host an OPEN HOUSE this Sunday for this gorgeous South Austin home! Join us November 5th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 809 Cardenas Lane Austin, TX 78748

Lennar Giallo Plan! Gorgeous 1.5 story home featuring an open floor plan that offers the master bedroom on the main floor, office/study down. Game room/bedroom and powder room upstairs. Gorgeous open kitchen with granite counter tops, breakfast bar and plenty of cabinet storage. Full sprinklers and a fenced yard. This home has many fabulous features. One of the best lots in the community with a green space and park on one side instead of a neighbor. Walking trails and community pool!

For more information on this South Austin home click here.

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Community Spotlight: Belterra

About Belterra

Belterra is a neighborhood located on the southwest side of AustinTexas. Living at Belterra means you don't have to choose between the Austin city experience and the Hill Country lifestyle, Dripping Springs affords community members the best of both worlds. Big skies and bold topography surround a thriving community already engaged in exciting events and outdoor adventures.

The community also brings the lifestyle of nearby Austin to the forefront. Residents bond together over live music and entertainment, food truck block parties, and poolside movies.

Belterra is recognized as Austin’s premier master planned community real estate option. At the 16th Annual Business Journal’s real estate awards luncheon, Austin's most successful Realtors and homebuilders were identified and honored.

Belterra was recognized because of the lifestyle provided by the community. This Dripping Springs real estate gem showcases all of the amenities you would expect in an award-winning community. Complete with a recreation center, aquatic center, state of the art gym, and trail system; there is always something available to connect with nature, friends, and family. Also within the community are award-winning schools and programs that bring families together.

If real estate in Dripping Springs Texas is something you are considering, there is no better community than award-winning Belterra.

Belterra Helpful...

AISD's Proposed $1 Billion Bond Aims to Bring 21st-Century Learning Spaces To District

Austin ISD's proposed $1.05 billion bond aims to deliver 21st-century learning spaces to campuses across the district.

In preparation of the bond's approval, the board of trustees deliberated about a bond construction delivery plan in order to deliver the proposed bond projects in the most effective and efficient way. The Texas Local Government Code requires the board to consider a construction contract method other than the competitive bidding before advertising solicitations for proposals.

Delivery methods include:

  • Design-build—A single entity is responsible for both the design and construction of a facility. Design of discrete packages of work can be submitted for permitting individually, and construction starts early while the design is still ongoing, resulting in a shorter project delivery schedule.
  • The construction manager at risk, or CMR—An architect and a contractor are hired at the same time, well before the design is complete. The contractor provides preconstruction services, including cost estimating, constructability reviews and other valuable input during design. The contractor will provide a guaranteed maximum price, or GMP, for each bid package, of which there are likely to be several for each project. CMR is particularly relevant for projects with complex building and/or site conditions. The work is typically broken up into phases with the contractor providing a GMP for each phase.
  • Competitive sealed proposal—Price and other factors, such as qualifications and experience, are considered in determining the best value for the district.
  • Job order contract—A job order contracting firm or a cooperative firm is used to provide prices for specific tasks as they occur.
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Community Spotlight: Granada Hills

About Granada Hills

Granada Hills features homes, built in the late 70’s and 80’s that sit on large lots, and are shaded by mature trees since the neighborhood is well established. The homes are mostly ranch style, with brick exteriors. Granada Hills’ homes for sale are priced from the $200’s to the high $400’s and range in size from 2,500 to 4,500 square feet.

Granada Hills is perfect for those looking to live in a more country/rural-style while being close to city indulgences. Granada Hills is located about 13 miles from the heart of downtown Austin. The entrance is situated near the intersection of RM 1826 and Circle Drive off Highway 290.  The zip code for Granada Hills is 78737.

 

Useful Granada Hills Links

Granada Hills School Links