Southwest Austin Real Estate Blog
Energy-Saving Projects For Your Southwest Austin Home
With the turn of a new season comes new ways to protect your homes energy use and efficiency. Of course, you could seal air leaks, add a ton of insulation and swap out your energy draining light bulbs for LED bulbs, but we have projects that will not only take that a step further, they are fun too!
DIY Laundry Drying Racks
Laundry dryers account for 6% of the electricity used in the United States each year, according to a group that studies dryer efficiencies. That is roughly the same amount of energy used by the entire state of Massachusetts. Debbie, from ME and my DIY, made an awesome DIY drying system that you can view here. Use Debbie's model and come up with something that works with your space so that you can cut down on that monthly cost. You never know, this may even cut down on the number of shirts you shrink along the way!
DIY Frosted Windows
Depending on the type of film you use and the amount of the covered area, frosted windows can play a key factor in keeping a room cool in the summer and warm in the winter, cut UV exposure so fabrics won't fade, and even strengthen windows for added security. Window film starts at around $1.50 per square foot. Click here to see how Tricia, from the Blog Making it Feel Like Home, used the frosted window technique to save on energy costs!
DIY Rain Barrel
Rebekah Greiman of Potholes and Pantyhose.com discovered that an inch of rainfall on a 1,000-sq.-ft. roof produces 600 gallons of water, and now she waters her yard...
House Hunting Tips for Buying in Southwest Austin
Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments one can undergo, that puts even more pressure to do it correctly in order to yield a great outcome. In a seller's market, time makes all the difference in the success of your home buying process. It is crucial to make the most of the time you spend touring homes. Here are some tips to make your home search as productive as possible courtesy of Realtor.com.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Do not start touring houses before you are pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only will this give you a clear, concise, and to the point price range you should be looking in, but it will solidify your status as a serious buyer. Let our rockstar agents get you in contact with our preferred lender, Silvia Ward, today to start the home buying process. Silvia will make it quick and stress-free, ensuring you are well equipped with the necessary information.
2. Clarify Which Amenities Matter the Most
Don't start touring homes and unless you have a defined list of what amenities you absolutely need in order to call a new place home. Once you have a clear-cut list of what you are looking for, this will become your guide on which houses you'll look at, based on the boxes they check. After you have the physical attributes of the home, it is a good idea to look at other variables such as school district, proximity to work, walkability, and dining/entertainment options. Narrowing down what is most important to you and your family will make the home touring process much easier.
3. Find a Savvy Real...
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 Alta’s...
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.
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 up the inside of the home....