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Amber Freda, a landscape designer in New York, recently shared with The New York Times a checklist that can make it easier for your clients to decorate their home's outdoor space. Some of her tips include:

1. Choose the right furniture. Don't leave a blank slate. “Furniture is probably the most important thing, so you can start using the outdoor space even before you get the plantings figured out,” Freda told The New York Times. Create a space for lounging, for example, with just simple chairs and small drink tables.

2. Get some planters. Use planters arranged around the perimeter. “Machine-made terra cottas are prone to cracking in the winter,” Freda says. “Handmade terra cotta is better, and the thicker it is, the longer lasting it will be. Fiberglass

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... that’s UT Austin.

UT Austin scored as the best university in Texas and #50 in a global ranking.

Houston's Rice University came in at #87 on the global ranking, with Texas A&M University at #169. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena was the highest-ranked U.S. college, at #2 worldwide.

The University of Oxford in the U.K. was ranked No. 1 in the world. The school was noted for its 120 Olympic medallists, 26 Nobel Prize winners and seven poets laureate.

Check out the ABJ for the full story ... http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/09/23/ut-austin-leads-state-in-global-college-ranking.html

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The moving process can make your clients more vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of fraud, since often personal financial information isn't adequately protected. As if moving wasn't stressful enough on its own, it can take nearly six months for a person to recover from identity theft during a move.

People can do a few things to protect themselves from identity theft during a move, says writer Adam Levine, author of “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves."
He says to focus on the 3 M’s: 1. Minimize your exposure 2. Monitor your accounts 3. Manage the damage.

Here are some of Levine’s other tips:
• Don’t share too much: Before, during, and after a move, avoid sharing too much information with

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Just days after facilitating the high-profile Seaholm power plant transaction, CBRE Group Inc. has been retained for another notable transaction — marketing a downtown city block that had originally been envisioned as a new Travis County courthouse.

After voters last November rejected a $292 million bond measure to fund new construction, county officials apparently decided to sell the highly coveted location — currently a surface parking lot at 308 Guadalupe St.

The 77,215-square-foot site is one of the few remaining vacant parcels in downtown Austin that’s available for significant development. A key element: The Capitol View Corridor will not hinder this site, which could allow for a 25:1 floor area ratio — a high density. The Capitol View

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Multigenerational living is on the rise, due to grandparents moving in or millennials returning home. A record 57 million Americans – or 18.8 percent of the population – lived in a multigenerational family household in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center.

The homebuilding industry is paying close attention to this trend. They're changing design options to better accommodate multiple generations living under one roof.

The Huffington Post recently spotlighted several key elements multifamily developers and homebuilders are keeping in mind when it comes to the demands of multiple generations in one home:

Open access: Ensure access for every generation, from those who require a wheelchair or walker (by adding extra space through doors and hallways) to

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According to new census information, Austin median household income rose slightly to $67,195 per year in 2015, up from $63,603 in 2014 and $61,750 seen in 2013.

The Austin poverty rate dropped to approximately 11.7 percent of the population, down dramatically from the 15.1% recorded in 2014.

For more information ... http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/09/16/income-up-poverty-down-across-austin-region.html

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Across Central Texas, home sales in August rose by over 5 percent compared to last year with the largest annual gain in home sales being in Hays County, according to the Austin Board of Realtors Thursday.

In what ABoR calls the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), home sales rose to 2,985 home sales in August 2016 while median home price increased 9.4 percent year-over-year to $289,990.

According to ABoR, the largest annual gain in home sales in August was in Hays County, where single-family homes jumped 23.3 percent year-over-year to 377 home sales. That jump happened specifically in Buda, San Marcos and New Braunfels.

In Williamson County, however, home sales were flat in August, increasing .7 percent year-over-year to 1,035

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The increase in online rental applications has prompted more property managers to become concerned over identity theft and online fraud, according to the results of a new survey by TransUnion of 163 property managers who manage more than 500 rental units nationwide.

Over 56 percent of property managers surveyed say they’ve seen an increase in online applications in the past year. Nearly 70 percent of respondents reported concerns about identity theft and online fraud. What’s more, nearly four in 10 property managers surveyed say they are not confident about the accuracy of residents’ application information.

"In today's online and mobile era, residents expect quick approvals and smooth application processes, but property managers must remain cognizant of

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A new development featuring more than 125 businesses including restaurants, retail and bars is opening in Austin at the end of September.

The Domain Northside, located next to the Domain, was once property owned by IBM.

Developer Endeavor Real Estate Group purchased the property in 1999, and has spent the past decade and a half turning the land into a mecca for shopping, dining and entertainment.

The key component: an emphasis on local business.

"We really wanted to showcase what Austin had to offer and we feel fortunate we've been able to attract the best in local business owners. It's going to be a big benefit to the community,” said Principal Endeavor Developer Ben Bufkin.

Many of the businesses in Domain Northside are open early or open

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When you’re feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, or frustrated, try repeating some of these phrases, writes Neil Patel, a columnist at Forbes.com. It’s what he says successful people tell themselves every day:

1. “Go to bed.”
Arianna Huffington attributes her success managing a media empire to getting 8 hours of sleep each night. “If you want to start every day with a spring in your step, feeling alert, motivated, and focused, then you have to get enough sleep,” Patel writes.

2. “Things will get better.”
“Negative thoughts require more mental RAM than positive ones,” Patel notes. “They take longer to get over and generate much more powerful emotions.” Start each day with positive thoughts, such as by writing down three things you are thankful for on a sticky

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