Realty ONE Group Prosper Blog

We are located in the heart of Hays County, right in downtown Buda, Texas. This blog offers tips, facts & solutions for homeowners as well as potential buyers and sellers.

Aug. 1, 2018

Hays CISD School Zone Updates

New Elementary School Boundary Map Takes Effect

The new elementary school attendance zone boundary map takes effect this school year. The map was redrawn last November to create a new attendance zone for Uhland Elementary School, which opens in August, and to help alleviate current or projected overcrowding at some campuses. The exact changes are depicted on the approved attendance zone map (the enlarged version of the map above) and listed by campus online in English and Spanish. Double check your address online using the street-by-street attendance zone directory or view more attendance zone information and maps on the attendance zone webpage.

HS Attendance Map Rezoning to Take Place This Fall

Johnson High School will open in August 2019. To create an attendance zone map for the campus, the Board of Trustees is expected to empanel an attendance zone committee in August, according to the rules in Hays CISD policy that govern attendance zone changes. The first draft map options are expected to be published in late September after the attendance zone committee has reviewed the starting-point maps and made adjustments. At least two public forums are required during the process to change attendance zones. Look for more information about the forums and the process in your email, on the district website, and on district social media. Once dates and information associated with the upcoming process are set, the information will be published. The Board could vote as early as November or December on the new high school attendance zone maps. The new maps would take effect in August 2019 and not affect this school year.

NOTE: This information comes from the Hays CISD Back to School Newsletter & Tip Sheet 2018 – 2019.

Posted in News
July 15, 2018

Things To Do in Buda/Kyle This Summer

Buda and Kyle have so many fun places and activities to enjoy with the whole family. Whether you enjoy outdoor or indoor activities there’s bound to be something that you will enjoy.

If you enjoy outdoor activities you will absolutely love historic Stagecoach Park. The beautiful park is actually two parks combined into one and it sits on a total of 54 acres. There is a fantastic covered playground for little ones to enjoy. It is even complete with private pavilions and amphitheaters for the public to rent out. You are able to experience Buda’s history when strolling through Stagecoach Park.

Something that the whole family would enjoy is going to Pinballz Kingdom which is an Austin original. Pinballz Kingdom has more than just an arcade. It has a bar that is perfect for a date night a delicious dinner menu. You will begin your old school arcade experience as soon as you walk through the doors of Pinballz Kingdom. Don’t let the name fool you there are more than just pinball games at Pinballz Kingdom. There are tons of new arcade style games there too. You can even hold events at Pinballz Kingdom and it’s the perfect place to hold a birthday celebration or go on a date night.

On the second Saturday of each month starting in April the city of Kyle hosts Kyle Market Days. The market go on all summer long and ends in September. Not only can you shop but you can enjoy the popular local musicians while you shop. The market is open from 9am to 1pm. You can find produce, antiques, art, collectible, crafts, and garage-sale items at the market.

Buda has a Farmer’s Market similar to Kyle’s Market Days that starts in May and goes until October, on Sundays, 10am to 2pm at 308 South Main Street in the Buda Mill and Grain Co. parking lot. This market strives to provide visitors with the freshest, highest quality and most nutritious local goods. It’s a place where producers, artisans and farmers can gather. You can support these local vendors while enjoying love music from local musicians as well!

EVO Entertainment is very popular among the locals. You can bowl, watch movies, and play games at EVO Entertainment. There is also a great full service bar and eatery called Hardihood. They serve mouth watering appetizers, burgers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts. Some of the games you will find at EVO Entertainment include ski ball, Down the Clown, the Big Wheel, and many more.

When you are in the Buda or Kyle area make sure to stop by one of these great places to enjoy some quality family time.

Posted in News
July 6, 2018

Outdoor Features That Increase Home Prices

Are you planning to list your house this summer? If so you should consider adding summer oriented amenities to not only increase the value of your home but to also make it more desirable to buyers. The outdoor home additions that would give you the most return on investment are an outdoor shower, barbecue station, and a fire pit. It could possibly increase your home’s value by 10% when compared to a similar listing.

The biggest return on investment would be to add an outdoor shower to your home before you list it. This of course being especially true when the home is on waterfront, like a lake or beach to wash off the dirt or sand from yourself. Realtor.com’s research shows that homes with an outdoor shower saw a 97% price-per-square-foot premium. In addition, homes with a unique feature such as an outdoor shower can turn into a special listing which makes it more desirable to prospective buyers.

When you picture summer you probably envision sitting around a firepit or shooting the breeze while cooking on a grill. 

Adding a firepit area or a barbecue station would be less expensive way to add a summer amenity to your home in-place of an outdoor shower. Homes with an outdoor barbecue station typically see a 26% premium while homes with homes with an outdoor firepit see a 25% premium. Adding any one of these outdoor amenities will help make your home even more desirable to prospective buyer while on the market.

Posted in Home Improvement
June 18, 2018

5 Tips on How to Decorate Your Home When You Have Young Kids

If you’re interested in kid-friendly ideas when it comes to decorating your home, try to do a little “thought experiment” for a moment. Imagine that a very upset Hulk just got his little hands on the piece of décor you want to display. Does it survive? If losing that item would affect your emotional well-being and your pocketbook, perhaps consider something a little less sentimental or expensive.If you’re interested in kid-friendly ideas when it comes to decorating your home, try to do a little “thought experiment” for a moment. Imagine that a very upset Hulk just got his little hands on the piece of décor you want to display. Does it survive? If losing that item would affect your emotional well-being and your pocketbook, perhaps consider something a little less sentimental or expensive.

Here are some kid-friendly decorating ideas that have resulted in fewer headaches for homeowners:

1. Imagine the life of an item before you purchase it. Before you purchase any new home decor take a second to imagine how you would feel if it were to be broken or ruined. Would it break your heart a little? Would it hurt your wallet a lot? If you said yes to either of those two questions you should put the item back. You don’t want to have too many items if any at all that would really upset you if they were destroyed. Little ones somehow manage to break even the things that are said to be unbreakable. Don’t let your home decor be too precious or expensive that it’s irreplaceable.

2. Avoid any and all light colored rugs especially white! When you think of kids you probably imagine their cute little smiling faces and tiny hands. You probably also think of all the messes that kids create and that definitely includes spills. If you are thinking about getting a rug for your home you want to stay clear of any that are light colored and especially if they are white. The ideal rug colors to purchase are dark red and brown. Those colors will hid any spills and stains the best.

3. Pass on any expensive breakables. Kids are notorious for breaking things. They don’t always mean to break things but it’s just in their nature. You don’t want to have any breakable home decor items within a little ones reach. It’s best to put away all breakables until your little one is older but if you still want to keep some breakables out you should keep them up high and out of the sight of little ones.

4. Don’t buy anything that can’t be wiped clean. When you purchase a home decor item or even just rearrange your home decor only have items out that can easily be wiped clean. Little ones love to look at things with their hands instead of their eyes. They leave little finger prints on whatever they touch so if all of your home decor is able to be cleaned by just simply wiping it off it will make your life so much easier.

5. If something has a lot of nooks and crannies pass on it for now. Little ones are messy eaters especially when they are still learning how to feed themselves. It can even look like a food fight when on around them. When food goes flying you never really know where it may land so its best to have most of your home decor be made up of smooth surfaces. Smooth surfaces are easy to clean and also easy to sanitize. Little ones will eat off of any surface so being able to quickly and easily sanitize an area is almost crucial when little kids are around.

Posted in Home Maintenance
June 2, 2018

Drones are Assisting Hays County Officials with Home Appraisals

Every three years each home in Hays County must be appraised. There are around 95,000 home in Hays County right now and that number is only going to increase. With technology improving Hays County officials are using it to their advantage. Now that officials are able to use drones to appraise homes the process is quicker and more precise.

The drone system that Hays County uses are provided by Eagle View. Eagle View specializes in property measurements by using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. The drones are able to accurately measure a property and the square footage of the home that’s on it. Drones are even able to see what additions are added to a home such as, a inground pool, back patio, or extra room additions. These additions greatly affect the value of a home. The software does not reveal any private information and is strictly used to help appraise a property.

Home appraisals are typically completed around the middle of April. Homeowners then have 30 days to appeal or protest the appraisal of their home. It is important for homeowners to check their appraisals thoroughly to make sure that no mistakes were made. Home appraisal mistakes can possibly affect a homeowner’s home insurance.

David Valle, chief appraiser for the Hays County Appraisal District, says “the job is very important for the county. It’s a responsibility like no other. This county has grown exponentially and new technology helps make the process more smooth for us.”

Posted in News
May 15, 2018

How To Protest Your Property Tax Appraisal in Hays County

You may have received a notice about protesting your home appraisal in the mail from David Valle, Chief Appraiser for the Hays Central Appraisal District. If not, here is a copy of the letter that might help!


Hays Central Appraisal District offers residential property owners the opportunity to electronically file a Notice of Protest as required by Texas Property Tax Section 41.415.

If you disagree with your 2018 appraisal notice value, visit our website www.hayscad.com and click on the Property Search tab to locate your account. Click on the Protest icon to access the online appeal program. You will need your passcode (online Protest ID) located on your appraisal notice to begin your online appeal and then follow the prompts. You can send questions to info@hayscad.com.

Your protest may be scheduled for an Appraisal Review Board hearing before you receive a settlement offer. If a settlement offer is made prior to your scheduled hearing date, you can accept or reject the offer online. If you accept, the appeal will be closed and your name removed from the docket. If you reject the offer, you will need to attend the schedule hearing or submit a notarized affidavit prior to your hearing date.

If you file your protest using the online appeal program, do not file a written protest!

If you do not wish to file a protest online, you still have the option of filing a protest by completing the notice of protest form, located on the HaysCAD.com website and returning it to our office, or including it as an attachment in an email to protest@hayscad.com

Pay close attention to the protest deadline, May 31st.

ARB Hearings begin May 23rd.

The location of the ARB Hearings is 21001 IH 35, Kyle, TX 78640

 

Posted in Homeowner Tips
May 2, 2018

4 Tips For Staging A Home When You Have Pets

When you are staging your home it’s very important for your home to appeal to the largest number of potential home buyers. A big part of doing that means to hide any and all signs of house pets. Some prospective buyers will immediately turn around and walk right out of a house if there are any signs of house pets. When there are signs of house pets in homes that are for sale it can send a message to potential buyers that the house may have not been properly cared for. Even though pets are typically seen as a family member, that doesn’t mean all buyers want a home that a pet or pets have lived in. But don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to hide your pets, here are a few way to make your home appeal to all buyers including those who don’t like house pets.

  1. Remove Photos Of Your Pets: Most realtors advise to take down any personal pictures when staging a house, but that also includes any pictures of your pets. When you have potential buyers looking around at your house you don’t want them them distracted by your family pictures and especially not by photos of your pets. It may be hard to put away your beautiful sentimental pictures, but don’t worry it is only temporary. Once your house is sold and you are settling into your new home go ahead and hang up all those beautiful memories again.
  2. Hide Any Pet Items From View: The next thing that you should do when staging your home when you have a housepet goes hand in hand with putting away pet pictures and that is to hide all your pet’s items. This includes all bowls, bags of pet food, pet medication, toys, leashes, litter boxes, and anything else you may have for your pets. You don’t have to put them somewhere where they aren’t accessible, but just make sure they are out of sight.
  3. Keep Floors Free From Stains & Vacuum Daily: This next step may come as a no-brainer but you should keep you floors as clean as you possibly can. This means cleaning up any stains your pets may have made on your carpets or floors and also fixing any baseboards your pets may have chewed or scratched. It’s recommended that you vacuum your floors at least once a day if not more. Even if you have wooden or tile floors you should vacuum them instead of or in addition to sweeping them because vacuuming is much more efficient when cleaning up any and all pet hair and dander.
  4. Air Out The House & Neutralize Smells: The last things you should do when staging your house when you have pets is to clean out your air vents, replace your house’s air filter, and to air out your house daily. You have probably seen the commercials for products that eliminate household odors that you are nose blind to but you don’t want to over power your house with any perfume like smells. Instead it is best to open all doors and windows that have screens so that you can air out your home from any and all unpleasant smells including those of your pets. If you haven’t changed your house’s air filter regularly you may be in for a bit of a surprise when you go to take out the old one. It is likely that it is overfilled with pet hair and dirt. When you don’t change your air filters often enough your house’s air system will just be recycling all of that dirt and pet hair over and over until that dirty air filter is replaced with a new one. After you change your air filter you will want to clean all the air vents in your house to remove any and all dirt and pet hair from them. The most efficient way to do this is to use the hose on your vacuum with the attachment that has brush like hairs.
Posted in Home Selling Tips
April 17, 2018

What to Do When Buying and Selling at the Same Time

A lot of people in our market today would love to sell their home, but hesitate due to low inventory. The idea of buying a new home while listing another at the same time can be an intimidating prospect, but I’ve got some good news to share with you.

Interest rates are still low, which means it is absolutely possible to get a great deal when buying in our current market. So, juggling two transactions at once can be done. 

The first thing you need to do when buying and selling at the same time is to hire an agent who can help you navigate both sides of the process. If you do use two agents, make sure they’re clearly communicating about your needs. 

When it comes time to find your new home, a good agent will be able to locate listings that may not even be on the market. Given our current low level of supply, this strategy will be of great benefit to you.

After you’ve settled on a home you’d like to buy, the next step is to write a contract that is contingent upon the sale of your current home. Also, a quality agent will be able to negotiate a lease back agreement for you. Essentially, this would allow you to lease back your home from its buyer while you settle loose ends with your new home purchase. 

Of course, if things don’t work out as seamlessly as what I’ve described, you can also write in certain language to protect yourself in the contract. Your agent will be able to help you with this.

Alternatively, you could make purchase a new construction home and ask the builder to give you a flexible time frame. There is also another final option for you to explore, which is to risk selling your home before finding a new one to buy. If you choose this route, make sure you make the sale contingent upon your finding a new home. 

Ultimately, there are a number of ways to handle two transactions at once. The most important thing is that you reach out to an experienced agent who knows the market and will be able to help you transition smoothly.

April 2, 2018

Most Competitive Spring Home Buying Season Since the Great Recession

Spring is in the air and home buyers are starting to surface. But this spring housing market will be like no other! It has been said that this spring housing market will be even more competitive than that of the Great Recession. So grab your wallet, your realtor, and a preapproved mortgage loan and hit the ground running! Since there will be a record low number of houses on the market this spring you will need a competitive edge. Don’t worry, as long as you follow these highly advised steps you will more than likely be way ahead of the other home buyers, giving you the competitive edge that you will need.

First of all before you even start looking for a house it’s crucial that you have an emergency fund set aside for unexpected home expenses. Unfortunately when owning a home there is always a possibility of something breaking or malfunctioning and the responsibility falls upon you to fix it. It’s best to be prepared with an emergency fund in place before something actually happens so that “the emergency becomes only an inconvenience” as Dave Ramsey, a financial educator, says. An emergency fund will not only give you peace of mind but also help prepare you for home ownership.

The next important step is to figure out how much house you can actually afford. Dave Ramsey suggests to have a 10% but preferably 20% down payment on a home and then to have your monthly payments be 25% or less of monthly take home pay. One thing most home buyers don’t do is get a preapproved loan. It’s essential to have a preapproved loan when house shopping in this incredibly competitive market. Having a preapproved loan simply gives you the upper hand. It assures the seller that things won’t fall through due to you not being able to get a loan. But make sure to shop around when getting a home loan. Different banks will have different fees and rates. When a bank gives you the list of fees that go with your mortgage loan you can always try to negotiate them down to a lower price for things like home appraisal. Ask your Prosper Properties real estate agent for a referral to a good lender!

After you have your emergency fund in place and a preapproved loan in hand the next thing on your list should be to research the type of house that you want. It’s not only important to know what kind of house that you want but also what amenities you want within the house and even within the neighborhood. A big mistake that prospective homebuyers make is not knowing what type of home they want to buy. Buying a home is a very expensive purchase, which makes it crucial to find a house that you love. But if you aren’t sure what you want in a home that may make you hesitant to put in an offer which gives other prospective home buyers the chance to put in their offers and that may cost you the house.

Last but definitely not least you should have a Realtor. A lot of things are done online nowadays but having your own personal Realtor can really give you the upper hand. For instance Realtors often know of houses that are going to go on the market before they even hit the market. Realtors can also give you information about fees and taxes in the area along with homeowner association fees and rules. Their job is to help you with the home buying process.

If you have everything listed above set in place than you are ready to go toe to toe with the other competitive homebuyers this spring!

Posted in Home Buying Tips
March 18, 2018

Where Is Your Generation Living?

Have you ever thought that you may desire to live in a certain area because of the generation you are a part of. It sounds a little crazy but it’s true. Realtor.com did a study that pinpointed that most desired locations for Millennials, Generation X’ers, and Baby Boomers. The stereotypes that go hand-in-hand with each generation display why they are flocking to areas that are filled with the people of their generation.

Millennials Are Flocking To Big Cities Despite The Cost

Each generations has unique and specific wants and needs when it comes to their desired location to call home. Millennials are often seen as a technology obsessed and self obsessed generation. Not to mention that most of them are trying to keep their head above water in the huge pool of debt that they got themselves into. It’s no surprise that Millennials want to live in a tech hub that has a great nightlife and cafes that are social media worthy. In Realtor.com’s study the number one destination for Millennials is San Francisco, California. The fact that the average home price in San Francisco is $846,400 (according to Realtor.com) is astonishing but Millennials think it’s well worth the steep expense. Millennials tend to think that the price of more debt is well worth the lavish lifestyles they typically live. There are typically great high paying jobs within tech hubs which is one of the reasons why Millennials are okay will taking on more debt in order to support their fun lifestyles.

Gen Xers Want Big Paychecks And Big Homes

The generation that isn’t mentioned nearly as much as Millennials and Baby Boomers is Generation X. While the stereotypes for Generation X are cynical and disengaged, the locations they choose to live say otherwise. People who fall into the category of Generation X typically have children in school and want to get the most bang for their buck while living in a location with good school districts. Realtor.com’s study stated that five out of the top ten locations for the individuals of Generation X are in Texas with Houston being number one. Generation Xers are usually looking for a four bedroom suburban homes that are located in a nice community with plenty of amenities for their whole family to enjoy. The study shows that Generation Xers like to live in places with warmer temperature which is another reason why Texas holds five out of the ten most popular destinations for the Generation Xers. The home buyers of Generation X typically go for a home with a price around $260,000, according to Realtor.com’s findings. Even though Hurricane Harvey left billions of dollars worth of damage to Houston, Generation Xers are taking advantage of the lower prices. Hurricane Harvey destroyed everything in its path when it reached Houston but the messy aftermath gave thousands of people employment to help build Houston back up to what it was before. So for many people, especially those of Generation X, now is the best time to buy a home in the Houston area because they are also able to find a new employment within a short commute from their new home.

Baby Boomers Are Still Moving To Florida – But It’s Not Number 1

Last but not least is the Baby Boomer generation. The Baby Boomers’ stereotypes say that they are rebellious, yet set in their ways. Realtor.com’s study doesn’t quite give the same information about Baby Boomers when it comes to where they want to live and why. When you think of Baby Boomers what comes to mind might be sunshine states and them enjoying activities at their local senior center. According to Realtor.com’s findings Baby Boomers prefer states with lots of sunshine to states with mild summers and cold winters. The study reveals that six out of the top ten locations for Baby Boomers are in Florida, but the number one location is in fact Phoenix, Arizona. Realtor.com states that on average Baby Boomers spend $329,000 on their home. It’s no shock that Florida holds more than half of the top ten desired locations for Baby Boomers. Florida not only has beautiful sunshine but also the added benefit that retired individuals don’t have to pay income tax on the withdrawals from their retirement accounts. When Baby Boomers relocate to their new homes in the sunshine states they also tend to also downsize in the process. Most of their children are now adults that are out on their own and are even raising families of their own. Baby Boomers don’t need large homes to accommodate a growing family anymore, instead they need just enough space for themselves and their belongings and possibly an extra room for when they have visitors.

Posted in News