Date Archives: April 2022

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Area Information | 47 Posts
For Buyers | 5 Posts
For Sellers | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 11 Posts
Homeownership | 9 Posts
April
25

All Aboard! About the Austin Steam Train Association

Austin Steam Train Association

Want to take a day trip where the journey is just as exciting as the destination? The Austin Steam Train Association has just what you're looking for. This non-profit is dedicated to preserving the city's historic steam trains and the tracks they run on. Our real estate agents have been on several unforgettable train rides on their preserved trains while doing business in the Cedar Park area. Here's what they had to say about this one-of-a-kind Austin attraction.  

Historical Significance 

Although they were in use long before this, steam trains had their heyday in the 1930s through the 1950s. They were fast, elegant, affordable, and offered an easy way to travel long distances that would take days to cross using most other methods of transportation. Today, the Austin Steam Train Association keeps that tradition alive by offering short round-trip outings to nearby towns and points of interest.  

One of the locomotives used by the association (the Southern Pacific 786) is a real vintage steam train that functions identically to the old models used in decades past. This train even needs to be stopped periodically to allow the workers time to replenish the water used during the trip.  

The other (the Alco Diesel 442) is a diesel-electric train that the Association purchased in 1999. It was originally built back in 1916 by the American Locomotive Company, the same company that built the SP 786. It has been carefully restored to maintain function over the years but is currently undergoing a new round of restorations. In the meantime, the association has leased the HZRX Diesel 3134 from Horizon Rail.  

An Immersive Experience 

Riding on one of the association's trains offers a captivating blend of leisure and learning. Each train features vintage train cars that have been painstakingly restored to recreate the experience of historical riders. Each car has its own name and features slightly different furniture and fixtures. Passengers can usually choose which car they want to ride in when booking their ticket. It's a great opportunity to get up close and personal with a piece of history and see for yourself how the steam trains of the past really worked.  

If you want more details on the association, its trains, and their historical context, you're in luck. The association also operates a separate museum at their main office (401 E. Whitestone Boulevard, Suite C-100 in Cedar Park). This location contains photographs, maps, illustrations, and other artifacts that enhance the historical value of your outing.  

Special Events 

In addition to its historical preservation efforts, the association also hosts many exciting events each season. Some of these occasions are kid-friendly, while others cater exclusively to adults.  

One of their most popular events is their Hill Country Flyer, their signature ride across the Texas Hill Country that runs every two weeks or so during most of the year.

Guests typically have the option to reserve train cars in advance, and both adults-only and family-friendly cars are available depending on your needs. Check out their event schedule and see what other fun train trips might be of interest to you! 

The Austin Steam Train Association is a Texas treasure, but it's just one of many incredible things to see and do in this busy city. Contact us today to learn more about our Cedar Park homes for sale, and let us help you find one that meets your needs.  

April
18

7 Pet-Safe Houseplants

Pet-Safe Houseplants

If you're a pet parent, you know that giving your pets a safe, healthy environment is a top priority. Whether you have a four-legged canine or a frisky feline, you want to protect your pet from dangers like injuries, diseases, and poisonous houseplants. To keep your pets safe, take some tips from our real estate agents, who suggest buying only non-toxic houseplants for your home.

Many homeowners don't realize that just a few nibbles from a poisonous plant can cause nausea and vomiting, tremors, seizures, and even death to pets. If you're a pet owner and looking for Georgetown homes for sale, make sure to research indoor plants that are non-toxic to dogs and cats. Here are just a few that are safe for your pets.

  1. African Violets
    If your home gets a lot of indirect sunlight, African violets will fill your rooms with flowers in brilliant hues of pink, lavender, and purple. They thrive in 68–77 degree temperatures, as long as you keep them slightly watered and away from drafts. If your curious cat decides to eat the leaves or blooms, the plant may look wounded, but your cat will be fine.

  1. Baby Tears
    This plant's trailing tendrils were designed to attract curious cats. Even if you place this plant on high shelves or in hanging baskets, your clever kitty may still be tempted to investigate. But don't worry, it's perfectly safe for your kitty and a good choice for beginner green thumbs. Just choose a location with filtered light and warm temperatures, then keep the soil moist.

  1. Bird's Nest Ferns
    This squiggly green fern thrives on low light and humidity, so it's perfect in bathrooms and windows near the kitchen sink. It likes warmer temperatures and quickly adds organic appeal to indoor spaces. Bird's nest ferns grow well in pots and planters with loose, fast-draining soil. When the soil feels dry, just give it a little water and fertilizer in the spring and summer.

  1. Date Palms
    If you want to protect your pets and wow your guests, buy a few date palms for your home. With tall stems and delicate leaves, date palms, like Areca palms, bamboo palms, and Chinese fan palms, grow tall, making good floor plants that add height and texture to small rooms. For best growth, keep date palms and other types of palms in bright, indirect sunlight and don't over-water.

  1. Friendship Plants
    Friendship plants produce intricately-patterned bright green leaves that feel like velvet. They're lovely to look at and completely harmless to your pets. Since they are small plants that only grow 6–12 inches high, they make great decorative accents on shelves and tables. They tolerate low light with a few hours of sunlight each day and occasionally flower with pale pink buds.

  1. Orchids
    Few houseplants add as much elegant beauty to a home as orchids, and luckily they pose no dangers to dogs or cats. With tall stalks, large green leaves, and colorful flowers, orchids become focal points wherever they're placed. Orchids bloom each year for about three months. When the flowers die off, the blooms return the following season.

  2. Peperomia Plants
    Peperomia plants make great houseplants because they're easy to grow and they clean the air. There are many varieties, each with slightly different characteristics, but they all grow well in temperatures of 65–80 degrees with minimal watering. The watermelon peperomia has leaves that resemble watermelon rhine with distinct dark green stripes.

If you're interested in homes in the Georgetown area, contact us for more information on available properties and prices.

April
11

Spring is Here: Central Texas Parks to Explore

Texas Parks

With its rolling plains and lush valleys, Texas is home to some of the most stunning landscapes. Many of the state's parks reflect this diverse beauty.

This spring, our real estate agents invite you to explore the wilderness of Central Texas' most remarkable parks. To help you get started, we've listed a few standout locations below.  

  • Tejas Park - 4400 CR 258, Liberty Hill, TX 78642 
    Tejas Park is located on the south bank of the North San Gabriel River and features stunning views of the open water. Due to the park's proximity to the river, boating and fishing are especially popular here. There are also plenty of trails for hiking, picnic tables for outdoor dining, and even a large gathering space that can be rented for parties and other social events.  

    If you're interested in staying overnight, the park also offers a dozen basic campsites with amenities like barbecues, campfire rings, and vault toilets to make your stay more comfortable. It's the perfect place to get away for a day if you live near any of our Georgetown homes for sale.  

  • Southwest Williamson County Regional Park - 3005 Co Rd 175, Leander, TX 78641 
    Southwest Williamson County Regional Park is a sports fan's dream. The park's expansive acreage includes more than a dozen fields for playing sports like softball, football, soccer, basketball, and tennis, as well as a 400-meter track to practice your running.  

    Outdoor enthusiasts will love the park's sprawling collection of paved and natural trails and the campsites that are available on-site for longer stays. There is even a large playground and splash pad to keep your kids occupied, making it a favorite of many residents around our Leander homes for sale

  • Pace Bend Park - 2805 Pace Bend Rd N, Spicewood, TX 78669 
    Pace Bend Park is a quiet location on the banks of Lake Travis near our Spicewood homes for sale. Circled by a six-mile paved roadway, this tranquil location includes a number of pleasant walking trails and many primitive and improved camping sites for overnight guests.  

    The park's scenery is beautifully rugged, showcasing cliffs, rocky outcrops, and a soft sandy beach. In addition to hiking and swimming, many guests enjoy boating from Collier Cove and Tatum Cove, the only two places in the park where boats are permitted to enter and exit the water.  

  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area - 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 
    Enchanted Rock State Natural Area was named for the almost mystical look of its incredible pink granite dome. Rising up out of the earth, the wide, low swell of the mountain offers 11 miles of moderately challenging hiking areas that allow you to enjoy the open-air around our Fredricksburg homes for sale.

    If you have more time to spend here, you can also enjoy activities like birdwatching, stargazing, and camping. Make sure you make it all the way to the top for some breathtaking views!

  • Bee Cave Central Park - 13676 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, TX 78738 
    If you love the great outdoors, you'll love the airy freedom of Bee Cave Central Park's large open fields. You can enjoy a walk in the grass, play some soccer or a game of catch, or simply lounge around in the sun.  

    The park grounds include several pavilions and playgrounds, making this the perfect place to take your kids for a fun day spent outdoors near our Bee Cave homes for sale.   

Contact us today for more information on any of the Central Texas homes we have available and see how you can become a part of this rustic land.  

April
4

Clean Your Home Faster with These Tips

Cleaning Tips

Spring is here, which means so is spring cleaning. You don't need a whole day to clean your home as there are tricks that shorten the cleaning time. Whether you want to get it done quickly so you can relax or you need to get ready for a showing fast, our real estate agents have some shortcuts to get your house sparkling in no time.

  • Organize Clutter
    A clean house is characterized by clutter-free rooms. Don't wait until cleaning day to pick up toys and other items lying idle in the house. Instead, pick up clutter every day, so you have an easier time tidying up when cleaning the home. Another idea is to have storage areas for everything in the house. Laundry baskets and containers are some inexpensive storage solutions that shorten the tidying time.


  • Use Vinegar on Hard Water Stains
    Hard water stains on tubs, faucets, and glass shower doors can be hard to remove. Luckily, vinegar has an amazing ability to remove these stains, and you can use whichever type you have, including apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or cleaning vinegar. Spray the vinegar on any surface with hard water stains and leave a rag doused in the solution on any stubborn stains.


  • Clean Your Microwave with Lemon
    Cleaning the microwave is a daunting task, and many people procrastinate on cleaning it, giving grime more time to accumulate. However, all you need are fresh lemons to break down your microwave's gunk.


    Fill a bowl halfway with water and set it aside. Slice a fresh lemon in half, press the juice into the bowl, and drop both halves in the water as well. Leave the bowl in the microwave for about five minutes to let the lemon's acidity and steam loosen and dissolve the stains.

  • Use Multi-Purpose Cleaners in Bathrooms
    If you use several products to clean your bathroom, you will be amazed at the amount of time you save by using multi-purpose cleaners. These cleaners eliminate limescale, soap scum, and bacteria from various bathroom surfaces, including tubs, showers, mirrors, and shower doors. The cleaners are budget-friendly and versatile as you only need one powerful solution for a fresh bathroom.

  • Make Laundry Day Easier
    If you always dread laundry day because of overflowing hampers, try to do a little laundry every day or every few days to make things less overwhelming. This strategy works exceptionally well in busy households with children.

    Another tip is to use divided hampers, so you don't have to sort everything when you do laundry. Let family members know where to place dark and white pieces and delicates. Sock bags for each household member is another great idea if you don't want to sort through mismatched pairs.  


  • Carry Cleaning Supplies in a Tote or Apron
    Running back and forth to get cleaners, brushes, and rags on cleaning day wastes time. Instead, wear a kitchen apron with pockets to carry supplies around and shorten the cleaning time. You can also buy a plastic tote to keep cleaners, cloths, disinfectants, and other cleaning supplies. Keep this tote in a locked cabinet to restrict access to children.

Learning how to clean and disinfect your home fast can make your life easier. Contact us today to explore sparkling clean Cedar Park homes for sale.

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