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A neighborhood during midday can look and sound drastically different in the evening. Home buyers may consider spending more time scouting out the house they’re interested in at various hours of the day and night to determine if the home truly is a good fit.

A recent® article highlights the best times for clients to check out a property before buying:

8 a.m. Drive the area in rush hour. How will it affect your commute, whether that’s a drive in to work or using public transportation? Start from the home and run the routes.

10 a.m. What do you hear now? Construction, traffic noise, or barking dogs? “I would also drive my street on a weekday and see how many people have cars in their driveways,” Feldberg says “Are there other neighbors around,

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The state of Texas added more than 38,000 non-agricultural jobs in the month of September, which helped keep the state unemployment rate just below the national level. But a deeper look into the jobs being created shows that some long-time goods producing industries are struggling as service jobs, including government jobs, continue to grow.

According to state numbers, the mining and logging industry in Texas has seen a 13.1 percent drop in employment in the last year, or a total loss of 33,800 jobs. At the same time, the manufacturing industry dropped 3.1 percent in the last year, giving up 27,000 jobs. Combined with construction the industries still employ over 1.5 million Texans, but the three have lost over 50,000 jobs in the last year.


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The South Is Getting RichHouseholds in the South are seeing their incomes rise the fastest these days. Among the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S., the biggest household income gains were found in the South, notably Nashville, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta.

The Census Bureau recently reported that median household incomes nationwide increased 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015. A closer look behind that percentage shows a breakdown of where most of those increases are occurring.

Additional cities in the South also seeing large gains in incomes: Memphis, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, N.C.

Seven of the 15 cities growing faster than 5 percent are all in the South, the data shows. The following metros have seen the largest gains in median household incomes:

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It’s mid-October, the temperature is 91 degrees and your home’s air conditioning unit is still running as if it were the middle of June. When temperatures can fluctuate so wildly like they do in Central Texas, having a programmable thermostat can help you save on your energy bill.

Since programmable thermostats are becoming more commonplace, Austin Energy amended its energy code this summer requiring all new homes have a programmable thermostat. The new code went into effect on Sept. 1. Carlos Cardova, a spokesperson for Austin Energy, says the city’s energy code is updated every three years.

By using a programmable thermostat, consumers can save money by simply setting their thermostat when they’re asleep or away from home. Programmable thermostats

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Pay attention to the curb appeal of your home. From the driveway to the front yard and home exterior, the outside of the home is a big key to buyers’ first impression of a home.

A recent® article highlights some ways to boost the curb appeal of your home, including:

Landscape: It can pay off. Well-landscaped homes get anywhere from a 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent sales boost, according to Alex X. Niemiera, a horticulturist at Virginia Tech. Adding some plants and sprucing up the landscape may be worth it for potentially an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home, according to his research. Make sure the grass is trimmed, clear away any dead limbs or unwanted foliage hanging around the house, and remove any tree branches or bushes

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... That’s the projection for Austin as it is poised to grow faster than any other large U.S. city in the next 25 years, says a new study.

The population of the Central Texas capital, which reached 2 million last year, is projected to soar 98.5% to nearly 4 million by 2040, the largest for any major city in the US.

For more details on projected US population changes, check out …

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Red vs. Blue States: Which Has the Best Homes?When it comes to Republican red-voting states, Democrat blue-voting states or the swing states, who fares the best in real estate?®’s research team evaluated the data to see which has the biggest homes, priciest residences, and the most home owners.

Note: The states that were considered swing states (and identified as “purple” in the study) were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Priciest homes: Blue states
The median home value in blue states is $301,000, about 91 percent more than some of the more conservative areas of the country. Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and California have the most expensive homes in the country. Blue states tend to have higher incomes,

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As more and more Austinites consider installing solar systems on their homes, Austin Energy is issuing a warning that there is a company out there making fraudulent claims regarding the sales of solar systems.

Austin Energy says they’ve received reports that some individuals are posing as Austin Energy employees and they’re going door-to-door, as well as making phone calls, selling solar installations—neither of which the city-owned utility actually does. While AE does have a solar incentive program which provides rebates for customers, the program only uses registered companies for the installations.

“As solar prices have come down and solar has become more mainstream, the industry has grown rapidly and is starting to attract companies looking to

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Study: Real Estate Cheapest in Fall, WinterYour home buyers likely won’t want to shy away from the fall or winter months. They may score the best deals.

Home sales prices in the nation’s largest metros typically peak during the summer but drop in the fall and are lowest in the winter, according to a new study from NerdWallet, in which researchers analyzed sales and listings over the past two years in the 50 largest metros using® data.

Home sale prices tend to peak in June and July, according to the analysis. Buyers will find the most inventory or home choices during those months but there is also more competition from other buyers that they will have to contend with.

The market tends to slow in the fall and sales prices start to dip. Sales prices drop nearly 3 percent, on average – a

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If you plan to take the MetroRail you should probably stop by an ATM first.  Starting on Monday, the ticket vending machines will not longer accept credit or debit cards. However, you can still use a card if you book your trip through the Capital Metro App.

Cap Metro says they hope this allows customers more freedom. CapMetro officials say the main reason for the change is the cost to upgrade software and hardware for the 22 MetroRail ticket vending machines to read chip-and-pin credit cards is too costly.

“The cost analysis we did over a 5-year period showed that the cost to upgrade ($4.6 million) would be nearly equal to the revenue we would receive during that time span,” explained Francine Pares, a spokesperson with CapMetro in April.

By the

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