5 Hot Curb Appeal Trends for 2016

5 Hot Curb Appeal Trends for 2016

Curb appeal is in the eyes of the buyer. But as Texas Tech University researchers Emmett Elam and Andrea Stigarall point out, the precise factors that influence a homebuyer’s perceptions of curb appeal are debatable. What is not debatable is the lift that curb appeal gives to the value of a home. Improving the curb appeal of your home can boost its value by as much as 17 percent, the Texas Tech researchers found. They say curb appeal ranks second only to home size in weighing a home’s value. While the notion of curb appeal has been around for decades, its appeal keeps rising. Mischel Schonberg, a spokeswoman for Mason, Ohio-based garage door manufacturer Clopay, says: “Home improvement shows and magazines have drilled the importance of curb appeal into the minds of homeowners looking to increase the value and appearance of their homes.” Here are five top-of-mind trends for curb appeal in 2016. 1. Update the front door A fresh coat of paint can spruce up a ho-hum front door and help make a better first impression when someone is eyeing your home. Veronica Solomon, owner and lead designer at Casa Vilora Interiors in Katy, Texas, says: “Painting a front door a bold color is my favorite curb appeal trend. It creates interest and a focal point to the façade of the home. It gives the home personality. It is inexpensive to do, but has an immediate and big impact.” Pat McGeehan, CEO of real estate investment company Four Front Properties in Spring Lake, N.J., suggests contrasting the color of your front door with the color palette of your front yard. He also recommends installing a new knob on the front door — one that’s shiny and ornamental. If you replace the front door altogether, beware that you’ll need to pony up more money than if you just touch up the door with a fresh coat of paint. According to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of replacing a front door on a home is $1,230 (steel) or $2,926 (fiberglass), with an owner being able to recover 102 percent of the cost for the steel door or 72 percent of the cost for the fiberglass door. 2. Lighten up the exterior Outdoor lighting can add a touch of elegance to your front of your home. Furthermore, it can enhance the safety of your house. Outdoor lighting should go beyond ordinary lampposts and wall-mounted lighting to make your landscaping really stand out. Try installing stylish and modern lighting on your front porch. A 2012 survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that 90 percent of homebuyers rated exterior lighting as an “essential” or “desirable”...

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Breakfast Provided by NEST at Paddle Jam 2015!

Breakfast Provided by NEST at Paddle Jam 2015!

Please come down to the Steiner Ranch Lake Club on October 18th to support the Kristin McLain’s Get Out Girl Paddle Jam benefitting the Flatwater Foundation!  Nest Properties is hosting breakfast for the 125+ paddle boarders who will be out participating in this wonderful event!  More info at https:www.classy.org/austin/events/kristin-mclains-get-out-girl-paddle-jam/e54702.  

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2014 Holiday Events

  Enjoy the BEST of holiday events, time with family and friends, festivals, and all that brings you JOY in Austin, Texas this winter!   Nov 22nd The Domain’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting The Domain http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain/stream/the-domain-lighting-of-the-great-tree-1395568 Nov. 23rd Austin Food & Wine Alliance presents the 4th Annual Wine & Swine Pig Roast Star Hill Ranch – 15000 Hamilton Pool Road http://austinfoodwinealliance.org/wine-swine/ Nov. 19th – Nov. 23rd Junior League’s A Christmas Affair Palmer Events Center jlaustin.org Nov. 27th Gruene Turkey Trot Gruene http://www.comalcopsforkids.org/ Nov. 28th – Dec. 24th Blue Genie Art Bazaar Marchesa Hall & Theatre bluegenieartbazaar.com Nov. 29th Chuy’s Christmas Parade Congress Avenue www.chuysparade.com Nov. 26th – Nov.28th ZACH Theatre presents A Christmas Carol: A Rockin’ New Musical ZACH Theatre http://www.zachtheatre.org/node/1129/ Nov. 28th – Nov. 30th The Long Center presents Elf: The Musical The Long Center for the Performing Arts http://thelongcenter.org/event/elf/ Nov. 30th Reindeer Run 5K and Fun Run Old Settlers Park, Round Rock http://www.roundrocktexas.gov/home/index.asp?page=9&Calendar_type=0&recordid=27313 Nov. 19th – 23rd “Christmas in the City” Presented by the Junior League of Austin, A Christmas Affair 2014 Palmer Events Center, Austin www.jlaustin.org Nov. 20th, 6pm The Hill Country Galleria’s 8th Annual Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival Hill Country Galleria, Bee Cave www.hillcountrygalleria.com/event/2145430135 Nov. 28th – Dec. 24th, 10am Blue Genie Art Bazaar Marchesa Hall and Theatre, Austin www.bluegenieartbazaar.com Nov. 29th, 11am Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade Congress Ave www.chuysparade.com Nov. 29th – Jan. 4th, 10am – 9pm Whole Foods Market Ice Skating on the Plaza http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/lamar/ Nov. 29th – Dec. 31st, 6pm Emily Ann Theatre & Gardens Holiday Trail of Lights The Emily Ann Theatre, Wimberley www.emilyann.org/tol.cfm Nov. 30th , 6pm Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting Zilker Park, Austin https://austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree Dec. 6th, 10am Christmas on Mercer Street in Dripping Springs Mercer St, Dripping Springs www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/default.aspx?name=city.mercer_christmas Dec. 6th & 7th, 10:00am Budafest (Arts & Crafts Show) Downtown Buda www.budafest.org Dec. 6th, 14th & 20th, 12-4pm Snow Day! Real Snow at the Hill Country Galleria Hill Country Galleria, Austin www.hillcountrygalleria.com/eventscalendar Dec. 6th, 4pm A Snow Spectacular! Benefitting Children Fighting Cancer and Their Families Twin Creeks Country Club, Cedar Park www.battle4acure.org/events Dec. 6th, 5pm Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting in Leander City Hall, Leander www.leandertx.gov/parksrec/page/christmas-parade-and-tree-lighting Dec. 6th, 7pm Zilker Trail of Lights Fun Run (5k) Zilker Park, Austin http://austintrailoflights.org Dec. 6th – 23rd Ballet Austin Presents: “The Nutcracker” The Long Center, Austin http://thelongcenter.org/event/nutcracker/ Dec. 7th – 21st, 6pm Austin Trail of Lights Zilker Park, Austin http://austintrailoflights.org/ Dec. 13th, 5pm Winter’s Eve on the Square in Wimberley Wimberley Square www.wimberley.org/events Dec. 13th – 14th, 6pm – 9pm Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Lady Birth Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin www.wildflower.org/luminations Dec. 14st, 7am 17th Annual Jingle Bell 5K and Kids’ K Benefiting MADD The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks...

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The Best (and Worst) Reasons to Tap Your Home Equity

U.S. News and World Report by Teresa Mears It can be right for making home improvements, but don’t abuse it to go shopping or pay monthly bills With home values rising, more Americans have equity in their homes. That has generated plenty of cheers from homeowners, and it’s also brought back the home equity line of credit as a popular option for the first time since before the Great Recession. Americans took out $23.4 billion in home equity lines in the first quarter of 2014, up 15.5 percent from 2013 and the highest number in six years, according to Equifax, a credit reporting agency. If your mortgage is less than 80 percent of your home’s value, you might want to join that group. But the greatest lesson of the recent real estate boom and bust is that turning home equity into cash is best done with great care. “The mortgage mess and the real estate recession gave us some really good lessons in how home equity lending could go bad,” says Liz Weston, a personal finance columnist and author of “Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe,” and other books. She cited a 2011 CoreLogic study that found that borrowers with home equity loans or lines of credit were significantly more likely to owe a larger amount than their homes were worth. “We shouldn’t forget those lessons now that many people have equity again, and that banks are allowing us to tap it. Your home equity is a precious resource that shouldn’t be squandered,” Weston says. [Read: Could You Finance Your Retirement With a Reverse Mortgage?]  There are times that having a home equity line of credit is a smart financial move. It’s hard to find a loan at better rates – less than 4 percent for borrowers with good credit – and qualifying for a home equity line of credit is easier than it is for a business or personal loan. Having a home equity line of credit but using very little of it can help prepare for emergencies, Weston says. “Even a fat emergency fund can get drained by a big-enough financial setback, and most people don’t have a fat emergency fund,” she says. “The key, though, is, again, not to squander that equity. You want it there for you when you need it. If you’re such a spendaholic that you can’t trust yourself not to use the line, then of course you shouldn’t set one up.” Using home equity line of credits to finance cars and vacations is generally a bad idea, financial experts say. Using the line to fund a child’s education might be a good idea, but only if you can pay...

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