Date Archives: October 2021

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For Buyers | 5 Posts
For Sellers | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 11 Posts
Homeownership | 9 Posts
October
25

Save Up for a Down Payment with These Tips

Down Payment Tips

If you're planning to use a mortgage to finance the purchase of your home, it's essential to have enough money in savings for your down payment. Depending on the type of mortgage you choose, you'll typically need anywhere from 3.5 to 20 percent of the home's purchase price.

Our real estate agents recommend creating a plan to help you save the money for your down payment. Start by opening a savings account specifically for your down payment and follow these tips.

  1. Develop a Timeline for Your Homebuying Plans
    Before you can calculate how much you'll need to save, you need to decide when you want to purchase a home. This will allow you to make adjustments to your budget and income that match your buying timeline. For example, assume that you want to start the process of purchasing a home in six months. You want to have a down payment of $7,000. Over the next six months, you'll need to put away $1,167 each month to meet your goal. Or, if you want to buy a home in a year, this means you need to save $584 every month. 
  1. Look at Your Budget
    Once you know how much you need to save, it's time to write down all your expenses and income. Be thorough and realistic; while it's wise to reduce your discretionary spending, it isn't realistic for most people to go an extended period with absolutely no money devoted to outings and "fun" expenses. Assume that each month, you spend $400 on eating out, $200 on shopping, and $250 on vacations, for a total of $850. If you can reduce this amount to $450, you'll have $400 each month to put in your savings account. Over six months, this is $2,400. 
  1. Track Your Spending
    A budget is of little assistance if you don't stick to it. Monitor your spending (either via an app, a bank service, or keeping track of your expenses with a spreadsheet or even a pen and paper). If you overspend, try to reduce your expenses somewhere else to cover the overage. For example, if you spend $200 more than you budgeted on gifts, cut back on dining out, activities, and grocery budget by that amount. 
  1. Increase Your Income
    Increasing your income is another way to meet your monthly savings goal. Assume that you work an additional 6 hours a week and clear $15 an hour after taxes. This is an extra $90 a week or $360 a month. After 6 months, you'll have saved approximately $2,160. 
  1. Save Any Unanticipated Money
    Most people receive at least a little bit of money each month that they didn't anticipate. You might get a bonus at work, receive a cash gift, sell items you no longer use, or collect a refund. Save any and all unanticipated money in your savings account. If you can save $100 a month in unanticipated money, this is $600 over 6 months. 
  1. Adjust Your Tax Withholding
    For the 2020 tax year, the average tax refund was $2,800. If you adjust your tax withholding to have less withheld, this is an extra $234 a month. Over 6 months, this is $1,404. Or, if you're not able to adjust your withholding, your tax refund is an excellent windfall for your savings account. 

Ready to start touring Round Rock homes for sale? Contact us to start your search!

October
18

Cozy Season: Home Updates Perfect For Fall

Cozy Home

Cooler weather, sweaters, and pumpkin flavors...what isn't there to love about the fall? The cozy feeling of autumn weather makes this time of year a favorite among our real estate agents. Most of us will be spending more time indoors over the next several months, which is why we love making our homes as warm and comfortable as possible. If you're in the market for one of these Round Rock homes for sale, it's a great time to start thinking about the cozy upgrades you can make once you move in. Below are some ideas to help you get started:

  • A Hammock Chair
    Looking for a cozy, comfortable place to read a book or drink your coffee in the morning? Add a hanging hammock chair to the corner of any room to create the perfect nook. These chairs are easy to install, and you can cover them with a blanket or a pillow to make them extra comfortable.
     
  • A Large Bean Bag Chair
    A bean bag chair is another cozy seating option for a reading nook. They're comfortable, easy to adjust, and conform to your body for ultimate comfort. Place one in the corner of your room or near your favorite window.

  • Indoor String Lights
    Few things create a cozier vibe than a bedroom lit with string lights -- especially during a cold fall or winter. Run string lights horizontally across your ceiling, or line them vertically along the wall to provide some comfortable lighting tones.

  • A Comfortable L-shaped Couch
    Once cooler weather comes along, many us tend to watch more TV and movies, and an L-shaped couch is great for maximizing comfort. It really gives you the ability to comfortably lounge about instead of attempting to use the coffee table as a leg rest.
     
  • A Soft Bath Mat
    As soon as fall rolls around, the thought of taking a nice warm bath sounds even more appealing than usual. Cover your cold tile floors with a large, soft plush bath mat for maximum bathroom coziness.

  • Artificial Plants
    Don't underestimate the positive mental impact artificial plants can have on your mood during cold fall and winter months. Artificial flowers or trees can help bring a sense of nature indoors and can make for a great addition to your cozy room. 

  • Anything Velvet
    Velvet is so soft, warm, and smooth -- it's the ultimate cozy material. It's easy to add velvet elements into your decor. Try velvet pillowcases, furniture toppers, and curtains for the perfect cozy environment. 

  • Faux Fur
    If you really want to make your room comfortable and cozy, faux fur is the way to go. Faux fur blankets, slippers, rugs, and sweaters can help keep you warm all fall and winter.

  • Creative Book Displays
    Snuggling-up with a good book is the quintessential definition of cozy, so take some time to figure out a creative way to put your books on display. Turn a wall into a library with a large shelving unit and arrange them into unique patterns. Or, you can even create an end table for your reading nook out of your favorite books. The opportunities are truly endless!

Make sure your home is warm, comfortable, and cozy for the cold weather months ahead. For more tips on home upgrades, contact us today

October
11

Places Your Dog Will Love Around Cedar Park

Cedar Park Dog FriendlyOur real estate agents know that dog-friendly spaces are a big factor in why some people choose to live in a particular place. Luckily, there are many great spots to spend quality time with your dog around our Cedar Park homes for sale. Be sure to check out these dog-friendly places!  

  1. Cedar Bark Park - 2525 W New Hope Dr, Cedar Park, TX 78613 
    Every dog owner in Cedar Park is very familiar with the Cedar Bark Park. This 5-acre fenced-in dog park located inside Veterans' Memorial Park includes dog-friendly amenities such as a swimming pond, low drinking fountains that dogs can reach, and even dog showers. Add in plenty of green space for your dog to explore, and you have the perfect place for the two of you to indulge in some playtime and exercise. 

  2. Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Company - 13010 W Parmer Ln #800, Cedar Park, TX 78613 
    Want to sit down with a drink and socialize with your dog at your feet? Stop by the Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Company. This inviting community microbrewery serves a variety of local craft beers and artisan coffees, as well as a selection of sandwiches, paninis, and muffins. They are always happy to host well-behaved dogs under their shady patio tents.  

  3. Blue Corn Harvest Bar and Grill - 700 E. Whitestone Blvd #204, Cedar Park, TX 78613 
    Blue Corn Harvest's signature tree-covered patio provides a relaxed dining experience that your dog will enjoy as much as you will. The restaurant is a popular brunch location for locals and offers a full selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options for patrons with dietary restrictions.  

  4. Brushy Creek Lake Park - 3300 Brushy Creek Rd, Cedar Park, TX 78613 
    There is so much to do at Brushy Creek Lake Park that it will take you and your dog hundreds of afternoons to get to it all. Some of the main attractions include BBQ grills, volleyball courts, a sprawling 38-acre lake, a labyrinth, and several trails for hiking, biking, and exploring nature. The park is a dog-friendly space, but be aware that your dog must remain on a leash during your visit. 

  5. Cedar Park Sculpture Garden - 1435 Main St, Cedar Park, TX 78613 
    If your dog enjoys being outside with you but doesn't necessarily want to run around the whole time, an outing to Cedar Park Sculpture Garden could be a nice change of pace for you both. The park features a rotating display of mixed media sculptures created by Texas artists, each with their own unique style. It's a great way to catch up with your local art scene, and there's always something new to see. 

You don't need to worry about how you and your furry family member will fit into a new life in Cedar Park – with so many dog-friendly places to visit, this is a location where both you and your dog can thrive. Contact us today and let our staff help you and your dog settle into a new Cedar Park home.  

October
4

Round Rock: The Sports Capital of Texas

Round Rock SportsWith more than 120,000 residents, Round Rock is a well-loved suburb of Austin roughly 15 miles north of the city. Round Rock was the 31st largest community in Texas in 2010 and Round Rock homes for sale have continued to attract more families and professionals.

There are many good reasons to love living in this city, and one is that it's the Sports Capital of Texas. Round Rock lives up to its Texas-sized reputation with some of the best sports venues anywhere in The Lone Star State.

Our real estate agents know that living in Round Rock you'll be surrounded by amazing professional, amateur, and public sports facilities. The city regularly attracts events in a wide variety of sports, and its local teams attract an ardent following on season and off. Plus, there are plenty of teams and leagues for kids to enjoy, too.

Here's just a little bit of what you can expect:

  • Round Rock Multipurpose Complex – 2001 North Kenney Fort Boulevard, Round Rock, TX 78665
    When it comes to sports, the famous Round Rock Multipurpose Complex has a little bit of everything and does it all exceptionally well. You'll find all-ages summer sports camps, soccer programs, strength conditioning, and tournaments in this 60-acre complex found on the grounds of Old Settlers Park.

  • Round Rock Sports Center – 2400 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock, TX 78681
    With the Round Rock Sports Center, you can use world-class facilities seven days a week. With 82,000 square feet of indoor athletic space, the court layout was designed with basketball and volleyball teams in mind. There are 1,300 spectator seats along with a players' lounge, referees' lounge, and much more.

  • Dell Diamond – 3400 East Palm Valley Boulevard, Round Rock, TX 78665
    The long-time home of the Round Rock Express, the Dell Diamond is a full-scale regulation field packed with fun for the whole family. Known for its winning local team as well as $1 hot dog and soda Mondays, it is the place to see Triple-A Minor League Baseball action. The Express is affiliated with the Texas Rangers.

  • Old Settlers Park – 1609 North Harrison Avenue, Sherman, TX 75090
    With baseball, playgrounds, and a pavilion perfect for picnics on a sunny day, Old Settlers Park has nine fields to choose from so you can always find a space. There are also two full basketball courts for a pick-up game any time the mood strikes you. The park is open every day from 4 a.m. to 12 midnight.

  • Forest Creek Golf Club – 99 Twin Ridge Parkway, Round Rock, TX 78664
    Round Rock is revered for its beautiful and creative golf courses, providing plenty of challenge. Forest Creek Golf Club offers a full 18 holes as well as practice facilities and a Junior Golf Academy for the next generation of golfers. Tournaments and events for diverse skill levels are held regularly.

  • Teravista Golf Club – 4333 Teravista Club Drive, Round Rock, TX 78665
    Teravista Golf Club provides a championship 18-hole golf experience handcrafted for visitors to fully appreciate the breathtaking views of Texas Hill Country. Spanning more than 50 miles, its rolling terrain with a 7,200-yard layout will keep you coming back and discovering more with every day on the links.

Ready to live in the Sports Capital of Texas? Our agents are ready to help. Contact us to learn more.

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