Find us on...


New Search X

May 2017

Found 14 blog entries for May 2017.

Bad Credit Can Triple Home Insurance CostsHomeowners with a bad credit score can expect to pay double—in some cases, even nearly triple—what owners with solid credit pay for their home insurance, according to a new state-by-state study by insuranceQuotes.

Policyholders with fair credit pay an average of 36 percent more than those with excellent credit, the study found. When a consumer's credit is poor, premiums can more than double, increasing an average of 114 percent.

“Many consumers aren’t even aware that, in most states, credit plays a significant role in determining how much you pay for home insurance,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst of insuranceQuotes. “So, even if you don’t plan on using credit to borrow money, it still affects your finances.”

Consumers in these states saw the

654 Views, 0 Comments

Kitchen upgrades have overtaken bathroom updates as the remodeling project homeowners want most, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index report covering the first quarter of 2017. Bathroom renovations previously held the number one spot, but kitchen redos barely pulled ahead in the most recent report.

NAHB's survey showed these are the most common jobs for remodelers:
• Kitchen remodeling: 81%
• Bathroom remodeling: 80%
• Whole-house remodeling: 53%
• Room additions: 45%
• Windows/door replacement: 36%
• Finished basement: 27%
• Repairing property damage: 27%
• Decks: 25%
• Bathroom additions: 24%
• Roofing: 23%
• Enclosed/added porch: 23%
• Handyman services: 22%
• Siding: 19%
• Second story additions: 16%

356 Views, 0 Comments

 Georgetown, the county seat of Williamson County, has been named one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

  • Georgetown ranked fifth in fastest growing U.S. cities
  • Conroe was ranked No. 1, Frisco No. 2 & McKinney No. 3
  • New Braunfels ranked No. 7 & Cedar Park No. 12
  • Cities in the South growing at a faster rate than any other U.S. region
  • New York remains the largest U.S. city with a population of 8.5 million people

The U.S. Census Bureau released numbers which showed four of the five fastest growing cities in the country are right here in Texas.

Conroe, a northern Houston suburb, was the fastest-growing of the 15, seeing a 7.8 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.

Its growth rate is more than 11 times that of the

400 Views, 0 Comments

In competitive housing markets across the country, making an offer that sticks has become increasingly difficult. Ensure you don’t make the process even tougher by succumbing to one of these common mistakes.

“Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties in New York. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property altogether.” Buyers need to be ready with their paperwork, such as bank statements, a preapproval letter, and documents supporting proof of funds, from the day they begin house-hunting mode. That way they can pounce quickly with an offer when they do find a home they like.

Making an offer for their preapproved amount
Smart buyers are getting

385 Views, 0 Comments

In Texas, talking barbecue is a cherished pastime — and it's a big business — so the latest accounting of the state's most-talented pitmasters released Monday by Texas Monthly should give fans of smoked meat something to chew on.

Aaron Franklin's east-side eatery was bumped out of the top spot, although it didn't fall far, and overall the capital city was highly lauded. A record seven Austin restaurants made the cut — up from five the last time Texas Monthly compiled the list in 2014, and the most of any city in the state. Go here to see the complete rundown and begin making plans to visit them all.

The Austin restaurants included in the list, and their rank if they made the top 10:

  • No. 2: Franklin Barbecue, led by Aaron Franklin, who Texas
375 Views, 0 Comments

Foreclosures Plunge to Lowest Level Since 2005Foreclosure filings—which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions—are down 23 percent from a year ago and have hit their lowest level since November 2005, according to the April 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market report, released Thursday by ATTOM Data Solutions.

“Foreclosure activity continued to search for a new post-recession floor in April thanks in large part to the performance of mortgages originated in the past seven years,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

A total of 34,085 properties started the foreclosure process in April, well below the pre-recession average of more than 77,000 foreclosure starts per month between April 2005 and November 2007, according to the report.

However, “we are

351 Views, 0 Comments

With the summer season quickly approaching, some parents are scrambling to figure out how they're going to occupy their children's time.

One option? Summer camps. And there are some reasonably priced options out there that still have openings.

Whether your child likes the outdoors, sports or the arts, we have put together a list for you:


2017 Time Travelers Youth Summer Camp

Camp Wildflower

Summer Camps for Dog Lovers


Soccer Zone: All-Star Sports

University of Texas: Sports Camps

Round Rock Express: Baseball Camp


Game On: Summer Camp

The Thinkery: Summer Camp

Moolah U: Summer Camp

Overnight camps


Rocky River Ranch


Austin School of Film: Youth Summer Camp

494 Views, 0 Comments

Mortgage Rates in Holding PatternThe 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to hover around 4 percent for the fourth consecutive week.

“Mixed economic reports over the last week have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending May 11:
• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.05 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.02 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.57 percent.
• 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.29 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.27 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.81 percent.
• 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14

438 Views, 0 Comments

Austin is the third-best city in the United States to launch a career, trailing only Salt Lake City and Orlando, Florida.

That's according to a new report that compared the professional opportunities of major markets versus quality of life and found that its hard to beat booming Central Texas in either category.

WalletHub examined the country's 150 largest metros to compile its "Best & Worst Cities to Start a Career" list for 2017.

Austin ranked third in the U.S. for expected population growth (the area added 159 people per day on average from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016) and fourth for average monthly starting salary, adjusted for cost of living (while Austin workers often early less than peers in bigger cities, their money goes farther in the

312 Views, 0 Comments

6 Top Landscaping TrendsSmart technology, thoughtful -- yet simplistic -- design, and sustainability are the keywords when it comes to landscapes today.

“Savvy homeowners are seeking smart landscape solutions, which means we’re finding new ways to adapt to environmental elements, making continued advances in technology and taking outdoor living to the next level,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs at the National Association of Landscape Professionals. “At the same time, a return to simple plantings reflects that although innovation in landscaping continues to accelerate, savoring the effortless beauty of the outdoors remains a top priority.”

The National Association of Landscape Professionals released their list of the top trends to watch in landscapes this

445 Views, 1 Comment