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November 2016

Found 16 blog entries for November 2016.

Southern hospitality still reigns. If you want to be around friendly people, head to Charleston, S.C. The city nabbed the first spot on Conde Naste Traveler’s 2016 Friendliest Cities in the U.S. -- as well as its world list too.

The results are from the publication’s Readers’ Choice Awards survey, based on 128,000 travelers’ experiences with locals. As for the city that readers found to be the least friendly, Newark, New Jersey came out on top for the second year in a row.

Here are the eight cities in the U.S. that topped the publication’s friendliest places list:
1. Charleston, S.C.
2. Park City, Utah
3. Savannah, Ga.
4. Nasvhille, Tenn.
5. Austin, Texas
6. Santa Fe, N.M.
7. Asheville, N.C.
8. Jackson, Wyo.


Read more here:

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A project that will transform about three acres at Airport Boulevard and 53rd ½ Street was recently approved by Travis County commissioners.

The mixed-use development will include retail, office space for the county along with affordable housing. The county says this will help with the growing need for affordable housing in the area through a combination of 1-3 bedroom apartments on four levels.

During a work session in November, commissioners were told that the project would include 146 units to rent to families with certain income requirements. The incomes would range from 30 to 60 percent of the area median income. At 50 percent, the new apartments would be affordable for a single person making $27,250 or a family of four with a combined income

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The Austin Business Journal has produced an interactive map showing the proportion of households occupied by residents who have moved in since 2010.

The Domain came out as the “hottest” neighborhood with the highest percent of residents who have moved in since 2010 at 81%.

Other area clusters, heavily populated by recent residents, are located near: Lakeline Mall; the intersection of 183 and State Hwy 45; areas along Riverside Drive; and areas around colleges and universities.

To check out the map, click on the following link … http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/11/24/map-shows-where-newcomers-tend-to-settle-downin.html 

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Sure, you may think your home is perfect, but what does Fido think? It's a question becoming more commonplace these days, as more Americans than ever are pet owners.

In fact, 79 million U.S households currently own a pet, and 83 percent of pet owners think of their pet as a member of their family. When this group of buyers starts a house hunt, it's important to think about not just the needs of the clients, but of their pets as well.

“Many people who don’t have children view their pets as their children, and they consider their pets’ needs in the same way others would consider how the schools or playgrounds are in a particular neighborhood,” says Arlene Kagle, a psychologist in a recent interview in the New York Times. “These are people who have a great

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Single-family home sales jumped within the city of Austin but declined across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in October, according to the October 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

After relatively flat growth throughout much of the year, single-family home sales in the city of Austin jumped 7.5 percent year-over-year to 703 home sales in October 2016. Median price increased 6.5 percent year-over-year to $332,250, while housing inventory increased 0.2 months to 2.2 months. Active listings increased 11.3 percent year-over-year to 1,667 listings during the same time frame, while homes spent slightly more time on the market, or an average of 42 days.

Conversely,

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Home owners who are renting out rooms using services like Airbnb are facing difficulties refinancing their mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bank giants like Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. reportedly are subjecting borrowers who rent rooms to additional scrutiny when owners try to refinance. Some borrowers are finding they aren’t eligible for certain types of loans or they will have to pay higher interest rates, according to a WSJ article.

For some home owners, they may have assumed the extra income they’re generating from renting out rooms would help them when refinancing. After all, one owner in Seattle says he earned about $30,000 last year from renting out a cottage in his backyard. He thought that extra income would help him

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A new high rise is coming to the Austin skyline by the year 2019.

The international festival that takes over the city every March, South by Southwest, has unveiled their plans for a new headquarters in downtown Austin. The 12-story building will break ground during the summer of 2017 on the 1400 block of Lavaca.

“SXSW has been on multiple campuses for some time, so for us this space will be about consolidation and communication – allowing us to bring all of our departments under one roof again,” said Roland Swenson, CEO of SXSW. “Ultimately, we imagine a building that houses other creative companies and fosters collaboration between artists, media-centric companies and innovators.”

The building was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. The wavy

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For home owners looking to spruce up their home before listing it, there’s plenty they can do to attract more buyers and potentially boost the value of their home too.

Veteran real estate professionals recently weighed in at This Old House on some of the best home improvement projects they believe can help a home show better. Here are a few of their ideas:

1. Open up the space.
Create more space, whether that’s even removing a kitchen island or knocking out a non-structural wall. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” Kristin Wellins, senior manager of program development at ERA Real Estate, told This Old House.

2. Light it up.
Keep the home bright: Have windows open to let the

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Affordable housing is lacking in the city of Austin as 100 people on average move to the area every day.

That’s according to a comprehensive housing market analysis sponsored by the City of Austin in 2014 that identified a shortage of affordable rental units. The study suggested that approximately 48,000 more units were needed for those making less than $25,000 a year.

Because of this need hundreds will gather on Thursday for the first ever Housing and Health Summit sponsored by non-profit Housing Works Austin, a group that advocates for affordable housing within the city. The idea is to bring people together from across the country who deal with affordable housing, those who finance these projects, and the health sector to discuss what more can be

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Certain home owner habits could actually be harming the home, and can lead to major home improvement projects later on. This Old House recently featured a list of several bad home owner habits to avoid, including:

Slamming the front door
Slamming the heavy front door can push it out of alignment. Eventually, the door may get really tough to open and even have a gap between the trim and jamb that could allow moisture and cold air to seep in.
Fix: Replace the existing hinges of the door with self-closing ones so that the door can softly close without slamming.

Never lifting up outdoor rugs.
Outdoor rugs with rubber or vinyl backings shouldn’t be left in place. They can trap water and lead to mold and mildew.
Fix: Select an open-weave rug that allows

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