Austin Fave #24 :: Lady Bird Lake

Lifestyle, Real Estate, Real Estate and Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Serving as the enchanting backdrop for Downtown Austin, Lady Bird Lake offers countless opportunities for outdoor entertainment with some of the best views in the city.

Sunset over downtown & Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake

The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail provides ten miles of breathtaking scenery to enjoy along the water’s edge while getting in your daily exercise, and take it from me, the experience is always invigorating, no matter how many times you’ve made the loop!

It truly is a lush, natural gem in the heart of the city’s core. Find information on access points, etc on the City’s website here.

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Taken from the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

With easy access points along the trail (and also at Zilker Park),  kayak and paddle board rentals are also available, providing an affordable and easy way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon. Head east on the water to admire the reflection of skyscrapers on the dazzling waters, or head west to revel in the views of the hill country setting.

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Lady Bird Lake

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Lady Bird Lake facing West at sunset

 

Another mainstay attraction on Lady Bird Lake happens around dusk each night during the summer when 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. This is the largest colony of urban bats in North America, and it has become a fascinating tourist attraction- though I recommend it to any residents who haven’t yet been- generating more than ten million dollars in tourism revenue annually.

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Lady Bird Lake

I could go on and on about reasons to visit Lady Bird Lake- visit the Stevie Ray Vaughn memorial, take in the city views from the Doug Sahm Hill in Butler Park or take your four-legged friends over for some leash-free time. And whatever you chose to do, be sure to stop for at least one of the countless photo ops!

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Stevie Ray Vaughn Statue on the Hike and Bike Trail and Lady Bird Lake

 

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Austin Faves: Top 25 Countdown

Real Estate and Lifestyle, Uncategorized

There are so many wonderful aspects of life here in Austin directly related to the city itself, its beauty and its culture. Many of us wake up each day feeling lucky just to have the opportunity to live in such a dynamic place, where it seems there is quite literally something for everyone.

And so, in an honest attempt to get back to regularly blogging, I’ve been inspired to share a countdown of my absolute favorite things about living in Austin.

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Live music at Tellers last Saturday :: April 2016

# 25 :: The Weird Factor

While the weird factor clearly goes hand in hand with the city’s  “Keep Austin Weird” slogan, the idea encompasses much more than non-Austinites realize. The weird factor epitomizes the thoughts that you literally never know what you may come across/see (even on the streets of downtown), what events/opportunities may present themselves and/or what you may find yourself doing on any given day (in the best way possible and with an open mind of course).

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Late night brats on Sixth Street anyone? :: April 2016

From dudes in thongs riding bicycles downtown, to mini-festivals year round celebrating everything from brass instruments to Old Pecan Street; from a perennially Christmas-themed bar to the Cathedral of Junk and the actual Museum of the Weird; the general laissez faire attitude of the residents constructs an open platform of creativity with endless possibilities.

Last weekend was one of those weekends for me. After strolling downtown on Saturday evening, admiring the Capitol views, running across animated characters such as the two in the bratwurst cart above, popping in one place for some live music, then into another for a fantastic light dinner, Sunday was wide open.

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Last Saturday’s dinner at Parkside :: April 2016

I’d seen mention of the Honk! Festival some place or other, looked it up and decided to check it out. It was even more amazingly weird than I could have ever imagined!

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Honk! Festival 2016 at Pan Am Park :: April 2016

According to its website: “HONK!TX is a nonprofit, community-driven festival that brings street and brass bands from around the country to perform for free in the public spaces of Austin, Texas. Mobile and unamplified, HONK! bands transform everyday locations into spontaneous stages, dissolving the line between crowd and performers and inviting everyone to celebrate the joys of music and community.”

While I’ve never considered myself an aficionado of the brass arts, the music was wonderful! And the costumes were out of this world as colorful tutus, striped overalls, wild hats and random leotards constituted the dress code for many of the bands’ participants. It was a great experience, and I look forward to attending this free event again next year! 🙂

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Honk! Fest at Pan Am Park :: April 2016

 Y’all, the entertainment possibilities here in Austin are truly endless, but here’s a nice guide from Do512 if you’re looking to get a little weird this weekend. 🙂
Until next time,
Hope

 

Real Estate Love

Real Estate, Real Estate and Lifestyle, Uncategorized

WalletHub recently ranked 2016’s Best & Worst Cities to be in Real Estate, and guess who’s coming in strong at the number four best city in the nation for the profession?

That’s right. Austin, Texas.

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SXSW 2014 :: HopeLivesAustin Photos

As many of you know, I essentially grew up in the world of Real Estate, worked in the industry as an assistant through college, and actually began my career before I  graduated from UT. I have clients ask me regularly, you look so young to be in real estate! How old are you?!

If you’re wondering, I’m 28.  I’ve been licensed for over 5 years, and while there have been some growing pains, they’ve been the most rewarding five years of my life.

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My parents and I at the RE/MAX State Convention 2013

Yes, I will agree with WalletHub, Austin is a fantastic city for the profession, but while I’m sure most people immediately think $$$, I have my own reasons.

To begin with, I LOVE working with relocation buyers. While it can be a sometimes daunting task to try to find the ‘perfect’ house in the ‘perfect’ location at an under budget price, their energies are always so full excitement! Plus, a large part of my job is to manage expectations for new buyers anyway, to listen to their wants and needs and to educate them on an otherwise overwhelming and vast sea of options–  at the end of the day, I always tell them, I’m your options girl.

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My Team Leader and I at the Platinum Top 50 Blue Party in 2014

That excited energy is so contagious! After all, Austin is an exciting place to be, but hands down, the most rewarding part of it all is helping people live and fulfill their own American dreams. There are no words to fully express how much I love meeting with people, hearing their stories, getting to know them and their families and then helping them through what can be one of the most emotional transactions of a lifetime.

Real Estate is a relationship based business, and I treasure the relationships I’ve had the pleasure of building through these last several years. Often, post closing, I sincerely miss getting to see and visit with my clients regularly, though we do try to keep in touch across our busy schedules with an occasional lunch, dinner or quick coffee date.

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Post closing(s) dinner with some of my wonderful clients in January!

As cheesy as it may sound, my team and I sincerely care about our clients. We love what we do, and we truly work from the heart. I believe that comes across clearly to our clients as well.

Plus, who doesn’t like touring homes, exploring different architectures and admiring all of the lovely finishes? 😉

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Downtown Austin across Lady Bird Lake

There are many aspects of this job that I absolutely love, but to bring it full circle, I believe that what my clients say post transaction about my services speaks volumes as to how much I truly love what I do. Below is my latest client review from the Francis’ family who just closed on an incredible waterfront house on Lake Travis:

My wife and I were scrambling for help when our experience with another realtor wasn’t going well. A friend referred us to Hope, and she was a life-saver. We had limited time in Texas, and she made excellent use of it. She was amazingly responsive, personable, and able to filter out the “noise” to help us quickly find the house we truly wanted. We weren’t initially interested in the house we selected, but Hope provided excellent counsel and insisted we take a closer look. We’re so happy she did! She was also great at providing unbiased recommendations for lenders and inspectors. Her network is fantastic! 5 stars across the board…she found us the perfect house and under budget!”

And please feel free to read through my other reviews from my gracious clients on my Zillow profile.

Until next time,

Hope

Pecan Street Festival Recap + A Fab Austin Boutique

Uncategorized

Festivals abound here in the great city of Austin, Texas! And I try to make it my business to soak up as much of this fun and culture as possible! Last weekend, our infamous Sixth Street (historically known as Old Pecan Street) hosted the annual Pecan Street Festival.

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Known as one of the largest and longest-running arts, crafts and music festivals in the nation, the Pecan Street Festival is, essentially, a street fair of sorts with tons of vendors selling specialized products. You can walk the streets, drink in hand, shopping the entire time with live music as the day’s sound track! And guys, no worries. There are goods for you too, and you can grab a beer while you, too, shop the streets.

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

One of my favorite aspects of this festival is that so much of it is LOCAL— and I am all about supporting local commerce. Handmade jewelry, beautiful watercolors & other artwork, organic soaps, yummy treats and so much more really speak to our dynamic culture and to the collective talent of Austinites.

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Mana Culture’s Booth :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

This year, I attended the festival with my beautiful red-headed friend, and inherently the subject of many of my photos, Kaylee. It was a glorious, sunny afternoon in downtown Austin as we browsed the various booths and popped in and out of Easy Tiger for craft beer breaks.

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

I hate to be partial, because I loved so many of the vendors and their products, but I have to say that the Mana Culture booth won me completely over for the day. Not only was their selection fabulous, but their attentiveness to customer’s likes, wants and needs was refreshing.

Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

I made a few purchases here– for myself and for others, and I am still ecstatic about my buys!  I purchased two necklaces for myself– and at great prices! Check them out:

My purchases from Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

My purchases from Mana Culture :: Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Mana Culture has a full boutique in a fantastic central location, right off of South First Street, and a second location on East 11th. Ladies, I highly suggest checking them out soon– or check them out online here!

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

Pecan Street Festival :: 2015

I also bought some amazing organic, locally made soaps and a few other goodies at this historic street festival. My friends, life is good here in Austin, Texas!

Before I let you go, I have a very exciting announcement to make to you all! I’ll give you the back story and details next week, but I have partnered with a local artist for an awesome giveaway for three lucky followers in the next few weeks!! More details to come!

xoxo,

Hope