Listing inventory in Steiner Ranch is low right now but there are still some good deals out there...give me a call!

Latest News

The Advantages of Getting a Mortgage Preapproval for Steiner Ranch Homes

14th October 2013

thThe homebuying process can be exciting, but also stressful. When there are a large number of buyers in the market for real estate, the odds of being able to purchase your desired home can be low. However, getting a mortgage preapproval prior to home shopping can dramatically increase the odds of success.

Make Mortgage Preapproval Your First Step for buying in Steiner Ranch

A mortgage preapproval should be a homebuyer’s first step when purchasing a home. A borrower can choose to meet with a lender or get an initial preapproval via the Internet. The preapproval process is similar to the actual mortgage process and will, in fact, eliminate a lot of time after a home has been chosen.

When obtaining a mortgage preapproval, the borrower will complete a mortgage application and submit the necessary documentation to the lender. The lender will pull a credit report and examine the borrower’s credit.

Based on all of this information, the lender will determine the amount of funds that the borrower qualifies for. The borrower will receive a Conditional Commitment, which states the amount of funds that the lender agrees to lend provided that the conditions are met. While a preapproval is an important first step, it is not the final mortgage approval.

Impress Steiner Ranch Homesellers With Your Mortgage Preapproval

One of the advantages of having a preapproval is that this letter can be shown to real estate agents and sellers when looking for a home. By doing so, both the agent and the seller know that the borrower can qualify for a certain amount of funds. It is proof of the borrower’s financial standing and ability to proceed with the home purchase.

Another advantage is that some of the work that is involved in obtaining a mortgage is already done. The lender has already examined the borrower’s financial situation, including credit, income and assets. During the preapproval process, the lender will also discuss the most appropriate type of mortgage program that fits the borrower’s needs, whether it is a conventional loan or a government loan.

This is significant because not all sellers will accept a buyer who is using a government loan. Knowing the details of what type of loan is appropriate for the borrower, the agent can then show them homes that will fit their preapproval both for cost and type of funding.

How Mortgage Preapproval is Determined

The preapproval is determined by putting the information given to the lender through automated underwriting. In most cases, the preliminary loan file goes through a preprocessing before the preapproval is given to the borrower. Since there is an actual examination of the borrower’s documentation, the borrower will also receive a list of additional information that may be needed. The borrower can then submit this information while shopping for a home.

Once a home is found and the sales contract is signed, processing the loan is faster since most of the work for the credit file has been done. The final process involves verifications, ordering and receiving the appraisal, ordering title documents, obtaining insurance, etc. The final underwriting is the last step before the loan file is sent for closing.

The preapproval process is an important part of a home purchase. Since there is a lot of information involved in obtaining a mortgage, it eliminates many last minute problems that can arise. Obtaining a mortgage preapproval helps the home purchase process go smoothly.

DIY Toolkit: Essential Tools For Minor Steiner Ranch House Repairs

3rd October 2013

diy

 

It takes time to build a complete DIY toolkit. Start with the essentials, and build on your collection as you take on new projects. Eventually, you will become proficient at a wide range of DIY home projects – and your toolkit will reflect this (as will your wallet, considering the money you will save on hiring someone to do it for you!).

A Basic DIY Tool Collection for Steiner Ranch Home Owners

Hammer: From hanging a picture to replacing wall molding and millions of DIY projects in between, a hammer is probably the most-used tool there is. Don’t choose just any hammer. Select a claw hammer – a hammer with a claw on one end for pulling nails and prying material – with a flat peen (the surface which drives nails) rather than rounded.

Tape Measure: Many home repair and improvement tasks require a tape measure. Get a retractable tape measure, which is made of a rigid metal and snaps back into the case when you push a button. For most jobs, a 25-foot tape measure is sufficient.

Carpenter’s Level: With a good level you have a straightedge for cut lines and a tool to tell you if an item is flush (straight up and down) or level (perfectly flat). Don’t let the store’s selection overwhelm you – a basic 4-foot bubble level, which uses air bubbles inside a liquid-filled cavity, is basic but dependable.

Carpenter’s Square: Get both a speed square, which is hand-held, and a larger framing square when possible. Squares are great straightedges, tape measures and right-angle testers.

Utility Knife: Whether you call it a box cutter, razor knife, or any of several common terms, a utility knife is a DIY tool essential. Your utility knife makes quick work of slicing through drywall, carpet, linoleum, rigid foam insulation and many other materials. Keep a supply of razor blades in the knife’s hollow body.

Flashlight: From peering underneath your foundation to working in the dark to restore power to your breaker box, your flashlight will shed some light on various tasks.

Screwdrivers: If you plan to limit your DIY ventures to basic carpentry and fixture installation, a handful of screwdrivers will get you started. Choose both Phillips-head screwdrivers (which have a cross-shaped tip) and flat-head screwdrivers (with a knife-shaped tip). More advanced repairs may require different heads. To save money, consider a multi-bit screwdriver with interchangeable tips.

Pliers: If you need to pull staples, cut wire, or loosen tight connections, pliers will help. Look for three basic types: needle-nose pliers (which have a pointed end), side-cutting pliers (which look much like scissors) and adjustable flat-nose pliers (aka flat-head pliers).

Wrenches: When pliers won’t get the job done, look for your wrench. Grip or remove pipes, nuts, bolts and other stubborn household items. Start with a set of adjustable crescent wrenches for all-around usefulness.

Staple Gun: A staple gun comes in handy for installing faced fiberglass batt insulation, hanging plastic sheeting and other projects around the home. Manual staple guns require a little more muscle but eliminate the need for electricity.

Drill: Once you have a drill, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without one. From simple tasks such as hanging curtains to more complex jobs like replacing wood flooring, a drill – cordless or not – makes it easier. A cordless drill is more convenient but has a limited battery life.

Saws: Two basic saws will see you through most general DIY home projects. First, select a handsaw for places where you don’t have power or for situations where a power saw just isn’t practical. Next, decide on either a table saw or a circular saw. A table saw is sturdy and makes cutting boards and other material easy. However, a circular saw is portable and hand-held, making it more convenient. When you’re ready for a new saw, consider a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.

Stud Finder: A stud finder will help you quickly find the framing members in your walls, ceiling and floor.

Orbital Sander: Small enough to easily control with one hand, an orbital sander is perfect for basic work. Keep a supply of sandpaper, of various grits, on hand.

Ladder: Depending on the jobs you anticipate tackling, you might prefer a stepladder instead of an extension ladder. Extension ladders are useful outdoors and reach higher, but stepladders work inside or outside.

All of the tools in the world won’t help you if you don’t have accompanying supplies. Keep wood glue, superglue and caulk in your supplies. Add an assortment of nails, screws, bolts and nuts to your tool collection as well. Don’t forget tape: masking tape, electrical tape and duct tape in particular. A heavy-duty extension cord is essential. Your collection will continue to grow over the course of your DIY adventures.

 

Steiner Ranch Home Buyers The Advantages of Getting a Mortgage Preapproval

2nd October 2013

th

The homebuying process can be exciting, but also stressful. When there are a large number of buyers in the market for real estate, the odds of being able to purchase your desired home can be low. However, getting a mortgage preapproval prior to home shopping can dramatically increase the odds of success.

Make Mortgage Preapproval Your First Step

A mortgage preapproval should be a homebuyer’s first step when purchasing a home. A borrower can choose to meet with a lender or get an initial preapproval via the Internet. The preapproval process is similar to the actual mortgage process and will, in fact, eliminate a lot of time after a home has been chosen.

When obtaining a mortgage preapproval, the borrower will complete a mortgage application and submit the necessary documentation to the lender. The lender will pull a credit report and examine the borrower’s credit.

Based on all of this information, the lender will determine the amount of funds that the borrower qualifies for. The borrower will receive a Conditional Commitment, which states the amount of funds that the lender agrees to lend provided that the conditions are met. While a preapproval is an important first step, it is not the final mortgage approval.

Impress Homesellers With Your Mortgage Preapproval

One of the advantages of having a preapproval is that this letter can be shown to real estate agents and sellers when looking for a home. By doing so, both the agent and the seller know that the borrower can qualify for a certain amount of funds. It is proof of the borrower’s financial standing and ability to proceed with the home purchase.

Another advantage is that some of the work that is involved in obtaining a mortgage is already done. The lender has already examined the borrower’s financial situation, including credit, income and assets. During the preapproval process, the lender will also discuss the most appropriate type of mortgage program that fits the borrower’s needs, whether it is a conventional loan or a government loan.

This is significant because not all sellers will accept a buyer who is using a government loan. Knowing the details of what type of loan is appropriate for the borrower, the agent can then show them homes that will fit their preapproval both for cost and type of funding.

How Mortgage Preapproval is Determined

The preapproval is determined by putting the information given to the lender through automated underwriting. In most cases, the preliminary loan file goes through a preprocessing before the preapproval is given to the borrower. Since there is an actual examination of the borrower’s documentation, the borrower will also receive a list of additional information that may be needed. The borrower can then submit this information while shopping for a home.

Once a home is found and the sales contract is signed, processing the loan is faster since most of the work for the credit file has been done. The final process involves verifications, ordering and receiving the appraisal, ordering title documents, obtaining insurance, etc. The final underwriting is the last step before the loan file is sent for closing.

The preapproval process is an important part of a home purchase. Since there is a lot of information involved in obtaining a mortgage, it eliminates many last minute problems that can arise. Obtaining a mortgage preapproval helps the home purchase process go smoothly.

Steiner Ranch: Choosing School Districts and Schools

28th September 2013

th
Steiner Ranch Leander ISD.  The neighborhoods you consider while house hunting may be determined, in part, by school districts and educational choices. If you’ll be sending your children to public school, ratings and other assessment tools can help you judge the merit of the schools near you. If you’re considering a private school, you may have to sort through programs with a wide range of philosophical backgrounds. Read on to learn about school ratings, types of schools and other factors to consider.

Finding Information About School Districts

School ratings and test score data can be found through your State Department of Education website. According to Project Appleseed, the National Campaign for Public School Improvement, “The [federal] No Child Left Behind legislation requires an annual school report card for all schools. School report cards describe characteristics of the school, including the number of children, various test scores, ratios of teachers to students, ethnic ratios, poverty levels, and more. Report cards can usually be obtained by contacting the department of education in the state or the school district office where the school is located.”

If you’re considering several regions at once, you can get State Education Data Profiles by accessing the National Center for Education Statistics website. To compare school districts in another way, visit GreatSchools.org to conduct a school search. GreatSchools, which is based in San Francisco, offers free information for parents all over the nation.

What to Consider when Choosing a School

When you look for information about a school district, you have a lot to consider. Not only should you look at test scores and class sizes, but you should also consider the particular needs of your child. Project Appleseed suggests that you should assess schools with these things in mind:

Your child’s personality and learning style

Your family’s values, budget, and needs

School philosophy and style of instruction

School facilities and personnel

School policies and schedules

The school’s reputation in the community

Core curriculum and additional courses

The school’s approach to safety

Family and community involvement

If your dream house turns up in a school district with poor school ratings, don’t give up hope. It may be possible to get a geographic exception to send your child to a different school. While this may rule out traveling by school bus, it could be a good compromise if you need to be close to work or have other reasons for choosing a home in a less-than-ideal school district.

Transportation

How far will your child have to walk to reach school bus stops? This can be a serious concern in areas with cold winters or in rural areas, where bus stops may be far apart. According to the American School Bus Council, school buses are safer than cars and provide vital transportation to 26 million students every day. With 480,000 buses operating in the U.S. at any given time, there’s a good chance your student will be riding one to school.

When assessing transportation options for your child, ask these questions:

Where is the nearest school bus stop?

How long will my child’s commute last each day?

When will my child be picked up and dropped off? (You’ll want to escort younger children to and from the stop for safety.)

Will bus routes change in inclement weather?

School Violence and Bullying

It’s unfortunate, but parents need to consider more than academic ratings before putting an offer on a house. School violence can be difficult to judge. Online school rating websites can be helpful, as can phoning and asking for information on school violence from local school districts. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions; where your child goes to school can have a long-lasting effect on his life.

The National School Safety Center strives to advocate for “safe, secure, and peaceful schools worldwide as a catalyst for the prevention of school crime and violence.” Their website offers school safety statistics and resources.

It’s Only Your Child’s Future!

Not to scare you, but the choices you make today will shape your child’s future. All children deserve to learn in a safe, comfortable environment. You know your child best, and as you look for a house in a good school district, you’ll need to keep his or her particular needs in mind. If you know your child will thrive in a big, bustling classroom or a quiet space for a small group, for instance, you can use that knowledge to go beyond the statistics. Talk to staff, see if you can tour some classrooms, and take the time to find a great school before you buy a home.

If you need help finding a school district or school near you, you can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website to search their comprehensive database. You can use their search tools to find public schools, private schools, and school districts all over the country. Their database includes facts like enrollment numbers, student demographics, teacher/student ratios, and school contact information.

Steiner Ranch: Is Your Garden Really Green? Creating an Eco-Friendly Landscape Design

27th September 2013

Steiner Ranch you may have the greenest lawn on the block, but is your garden really “green,” meaning ecologically friendly? Often the answer is a resounding “NO.”

Just the fact that you have a lawn at all can be an indicator that your landscape is not as green as it could be. Lawns generally need more water and fertilizers than other plantings. Plus, they need to be mowed approximately once per week in the summertime, and if you don’t have an electric or reel mower, you’re burning fossil fuels every time you mow.

What are some ways you can create a garden that is really green? How can you create an eco-friendly landscape design?

Be Water-Wise

When it comes to an eco-friendly landscape, being water-wise means not only reducing the amount of water you use, but also managing stormwater – water that falls during a rainstorm, on site. Stormwater often gets directed to a pipe as soon as possible and then directed to a river, pond, or sewer. But, it is possible to capture it, store it, and redistribute it to be used again. For example, direct the downspout from your rain gutters to a rain barrel and then use the captured water to irrigate your landscape.

Reduce Impervious Surfaces

Another way to create an eco-friendly landscape design is to reduce the amount of impervious surfaces on your property. Impervious surfaces are areas like concrete, asphalt, and stone pavers where water cannot penetrate the surface. The water that used to soak into the soil has to go somewhere. When water can’t infiltrate the soil surface, it causes problems downstream and has detrimental effects on rivers and streams. Pervious concrete and asphalt have come on the market and offer an alternative to impervious surfaces.

Use Drought-Tolerant Plants

This tip is related to being water-wise. If you want to create an eco-friendly landscape design, use drought tolerant plants.

Go Native

Native plants are well-adapted to live in the area in which you live. Plus, they typically will provide a food source or some sort of ecological input that supports local insect and animal species.

Build and Protect the Soil

In most suburban and urban areas, the soil is terribly depleted of minerals and nutrients. By amending the soil with organic fertilizers, cover crops, and compost, you can support an eco-friendly landscape design and help protect the soil structure. This creates a more nutrient-rich soil in which your plants can grow.

Grow Your Own Food

From farming methods to transporting food, we rely on fossil fuels to feed everyone in the United States. You can do your part to reduce the use of fossil fuels, reduce food miles, and provide nutrient-rich vegetables to your family by growing your own food. You can grow a surprising amount of food in a small space, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply walk out your back door and harvest some lettuce for dinner?

Get to Know Beneficial Insects

Many gardeners mistakenly think all insects are bad. If they don’t recognize a particular insect, they go get the sprayer and shoot the insect with a chemical pesticide until it dies. This is one of the worst things you can do. Why? There are many insects in the garden that help keep the “bad bugs” in check.

Have you ever noticed a rose bush covered in ladybugs? They’re probably there because they’re eating the aphids. If you look closely you’ll see them. However, if you see the ladybugs, mistakenly think they are hurting your roses, and decide to kill them with pesticides, you’re actually creating more work for yourself. The next time the aphids come, and they will, there will not be ladybugs there to defend your roses. You have just inherited the ladybugs’ job. To create an eco-friendly landscape design, you must understand your ecosystem. That means getting to know the beneficial insects in your garden and learning how to support them in their work of defending your garden.

These are just a few of the many ways in which you can create an eco-friendly landscape design. The bottom line is that you must work with nature, not against it.

Steiner Designer: Designing with Your Teen: Bedroom Décor

26th September 2013

index

Designing with Your Teen: Bedroom Décor

It’s time to put away the beloved character comforters and sheets – your little girl or boy is no longer a child. The switch from cartoon characters to a more mature bedroom décor can be a smooth experience for both parent and child.

When tweens enter the full-fledged teen years they yearn for independence. They want control and decision-making privileges. It might be scary to imagine teenagers choosing their own paint colors, furniture, and decorations, but with a strong design plan this process doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Get Inspired With a Design Board

Teen bedrooms can be mature but still have an element of fun. Their décor can reflect their interests in sports and hobbies in a stylish, organized way. Creating a design or inspiration board is the perfect way to find a happy medium between what parents want and what teenagers want. Choosing the perfect design elements will create a space that fosters confidence and self-expression while avoiding clutter.

The design board should include everything that will go into the bedroom. Not only should it have pictures of furniture and paint and fabric swatches, it should also include details like lighting fixtures and accessories. One to create the board is to cut out pictures from magazines and glue them to a paper poster board. Your teens can also search online for pictures that can be printed out and affixed to the board. Another option is to copy and paste pictures from websites like Pinterest and Tumblr to a blank document on your computer. Once the design board is made, parents and teens can go over it together to be sure both parties agree on the design plan.

Choosing Colors

Don’t be caught off guard if your teen chooses an outrageous color like bright pink or black. Bold, funky colors can be a fantastic outlet for their personalities. If you can’t deal with all the walls being drenched in an over-the-top color, use the wild color as an accent on a single wall, a border, or as a pattern throughout the room. Another option is to use a more subtle color for the walls and brighter or bolder fabrics and accessories throughout the room.

Bedroom Furniture

Beds, dressers, entertainment centers, desks, nightstands and bookcases are often part of a teen’s bedroom décor. If all of these pieces are too much for the size of the space, then consider picking dual-purpose furniture, like a workspace that includes shelving or an entertainment center that houses a television and has shelves for books and accessories. You may want to forego the dressers for under-bed drawers to keep clothing neatly stored. Installing a closet organization system is another way to store everything from clothes to shoes, bags, coats, and accessories.

One thing you don’t want to skimp on is shelf space. Shelves are great places to display books, but they are also perfect for displaying trophies, photo frames, and more. When purchasing basic furniture like the bed and nightstand, consider the future use of each piece. Will the furniture be staying long after your teen graduates from college, or will your child be using the furniture to fill a college dorm or first apartment? This will help you decide how much money to invest in the furniture as well as what style options are most appropriate.

Lighting and Accessories

Overhead lights and lamps come in every style imaginable. A simple overhead ceiling fan with lights can provide circulation and bright light when needed. Matching or coordinating small lamps are good for desk areas and nightstands. Dimmer options on all lights are practical features that will allow optimal lighting for any situation.

Framed wall art can give teen rooms a grown up appeal without going overboard. Buying art from a local artist or encouraging your teen to create their own art can make these accessories affordable. Words and geometric designs that adhere to the walls are fun ways to allow teens to express themselves without ruining wall paint.

Steiner Ranch Restaurants

25th September 2013

Steiner Ranch is growing and more restaurants to choose from right in your backyard!

 Steiner Ranch Restaurant List

ZACK’S AMERICAN BISTRO
5145 RANCH ROAD 620 N
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-9785

YU ZU INC
2900 N QUINLAN PARK RD # 150
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-732-7278

WAG-A-BAG
2900 N QUINLAN PARK RD # 300
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-8822

UNCLE BILLY’S LAKE TRAVIS
6550 COMANCHE TRL
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-0111

THUNDER CLOUD SUBS
6920 RANCH ROAD 620 N
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-335-3663

STINER LA FUENTES LLC
4300 N QUINLAN PARK RD
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-6610

STEINER RANCH STEAKHOUSE
5424 STEINER RANCH BLVD
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-381-0800

SOLELL LAKE TRAVIS
6550 COMANCHE TRL
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-0600

SMOKEY J’S BARBEQUE
7008 RANCH ROAD 620 N
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-331-4888

SHAKLEE DISTRIBUTOR
13214 MANSFIELD DR
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-2880

RANDALLS
5145 RANCH ROAD 620 N # A
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-3168

RANDALLS
5145 RANCH ROAD 620 N
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-1392

OASIS ON LAKE TRAVIS
6550 COMANCHE TRL
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-2442

LONG TERM PIZZA PARTNERS OF TX
2900 N QUINLAN PARK RD # 200
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-2350

LAKESIDE PIZZA & GRILL
2900 N QUINLAN PARK RD # 200
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-2330

CHO SUSHI
4300 N QUINLAN PARK RD # 105
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-266-8700

BOATHOUSE GRILL
6812 RANCH ROAD 620 N
AUSTIN TX 78732
512-249-5200

Steiner Ranch Homes FOR SALE NOW!

24th September 2013

Steiner Ranch unique, magnificent estate carved on prime south shore lake view property with breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Travis. This spectacular classic Italian villa consists of exceptional design, architecture, construction, materials and finish out. Library, wine cellar, theater, media, game, entertainment bar, fitness, massage, indoor basketball. Estate home automation system. Negative edge pool w/slide, waterfalls, private boat dock & much more!

 

6785843http://www.liveinatx.com/listings/areas/104146/

Get Your Air On Steiner Ranch-What to look for when choosing an air filters!

10th September 2013

Steiner Ranchers Getting their Air On!

  • The potential effectiveness of the device under the conditions it will be used.
  • The need for routine maintenance, including cleaning and replacement of filters.
  • The estimated capital and maintenance cost.
  • The installation requirements (e.g., power, access).
  • The manufacturer’s recommended operating procedures.
  • The possible production or re-dispersal of pollutants, such as ozone, particles, formaldehyde and trapped gaseous pollutants.
  • The inability of some air cleaners to control gases and some odors, such as those from tobacco smoke.
  • Possible health effects from charged particles produced by ion generators.
  • Possible soiling of surfaces by charged particles produced by ion generators.
  • The noise level at the air flow rates that will be used.

Bye Bye Carlos and Charlie’s…Steiner Ranch peeps help celebrate.

4th September 2013

Over the labor day weekend Carlos and Charlie’s on Lake Travis shut it’s doors.  On Monday many people gathered from all over lake travis including Steiner Ranch, Hudson Bend, Lakeway , and even some from downtown austin for chips and salsa and beers to say goodbye and help the restaurant auction off memorabilia.  Kinda sad, especially when you lookout to where the lake once was and its just solid rock.  Oh well, moving on…