The Live Music Capital of the World

Lifestyle

I grew up with a very strong appreciation for music, largely thanks to my rockstar Daddyo, a musician himself, who played all the classics for us growing up. From Led Zeppelin, to Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Rush, Chicago and many more, music was always playing at our house.

My dad, John Teel, while playing at a gig with his band, The Fog.

My dad, John Teel, while playing at a gig with his band, The Fog.

Years before I ever moved to Austin, I knew of its reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World– and having lived here for many years now, I can relay with confidence that it definitely lives up to that reputation. From Austin City Limits to SXSW and everything in between, there are countless great shows here year round.

ACL :: 2013

ACL :: 2013

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the live music scene in many capacities over the years. From countless shows at Stubbs, Elephant Room, Moody Theater (ACL Live) & other venues, to the festival scenes, to just taking a casual stroll down Sixth Street, you can literally see live music on any given day in Austin. How awesome is that?!

SXSW :: 2014

SXSW :: 2015

Of the countless shows I’ve seen, there is no way to choose a favorite, but the Austin City Limits Music Festival is a one-of-a-kind experience (as is SXSW). You will have to fight the crowds, but it is more worth it! The headliners are always great, but make sure to catch the smaller shows too. I’ve discovered so many great artists that I had no knowledge of prior to ACL, but that are now on my regular playlists. The same goes for SXSW.

Casey Henson & I with MR MS after getting their autographs at ACL :: 2013

Casey Henson & I with MR MS after getting their autographs at ACL :: 2013

The concept of music in and of itself is, simply stated, magical. It can evoke so many different feelings in people. It motivates. It emanates love and peace, among other feelings. It can bring back crystal clear memories of times and places that were seemingly foreign before hearing a certain song or album. It is timeless– in my opinion anyway.

Central Park :: 2013

Central Park :: 2013

While this photo was not taken in Austin, it encompasses so many of my thoughts and feelings today about music. Two summers ago, while strolling through Central Park in NYC, I came across this couple. He was playing guitar, and they were both singing. It way joyful, playful, and a blissful moment even for a bystander like me. It was all about the music.

Live music at Barton Creek Spa :: Spring 2014

Live music at Barton Creek Spa :: Spring 2014

I mentioned this before, but you can see live music in Austin literally any day of the week. If you haven’t planned to see a show in advance, no worries. Just take a quick jaunt down sixth, or check out this great link to find a live show based on district, venue or genre.  Or, feel free to ask me!

Love & Light,

Hope

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Market Update

Real Estate

Well friends, I can sum this post up for you very succinctly:

This market is just plain crazy!

Frost Tower photo I grabbed while at SXSW.

Frost Tower photo I grabbed while at SXSW.

The dirty details??

Well, for the fourth consecutive month, both the average and median home prices in the greater Austin area rose, closing out March with an average over $336k and median at almost $256k. Homes are moving very fast, too! The average time on market was less than 15 days for single family residences, and in total, March saw 2,300 home sales close!

A Sixth Street shot I took last spring.

A Sixth Street shot taken last spring.

While we are seeing many new listings enter the market with the Spring season in full swing, demand is also growing so inventory levels remain low.

Job growth in the area is still strong, and Austin was recently listed as the number one tech city in the U.S. by Savills Plc, a consulting firm based in London. An article in the Austin Business Journal sums it up here:

“Using five metrics such as property prices, talent pool and quality of life, Austin beat out tech hotbed San Francisco and rated No. 1 in the overall ranking of 12 cities, the Wall Street Journal reported. ”

Live music at Austin's Barton Creek Resort & Spa shot last Spring.

Live music at Austin’s Barton Creek Resort & Spa shot last Spring.

Austin is rocking and rolling– and in more than one sense of this phrase that currently seems to epitomize the World’s Live Music Capital in so many ways.

The real estate market is beginning to drive me a bit crazy though. I’m writing several offers a week– almost always at least a few thousand over the asking, and it is still a challenge. Lately, the work never seems to end.

Fortunately, there is an adrenaline that accompanies this craziness. So my friends, until next time, I’ll be running around like a little chicken– meeting myself coming and going. Oh, and trying to catch some of Austin’s Fashion Week!

XO,

Hope

Spring on the Greenbelt

Lifestyle

Spring is arguably my favorite time of the year in Austin. The weather is phenomenal, the vegetation lush, and the city’s energy is vibrant and alive.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Last Saturday I made a solo trip to the Barton Creek Greenbelt via the Twin Falls trail head. Fully prepared for my adventure with plenty of water, my camera, a journal and some good tunes, my blissful day began.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

I arrived at 10:30 AM with no real intention set for the day other than to soak up some sun and to reconnect with nature. The real estate market is in full swing right now, so I am constantly on the go. This was the first Saturday I’d had to myself in quite a while, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it– hiking, photographing, journaling, people-watching and soaking up every ounce of energy and light possible.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

As the day went on and my phone eventually died, I completely lost track of time, and for once, I was completely ok with that. Eight miles, hundreds of photos, twenty pages in my journal and a slight sunburn later, I made it back to my car around 5:30 PM.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

In hopes of best sharing the atmosphere and the energy of the day, here is an excerpt from my journal:

March 28, 2015

Words of influence for the day: happiness, positivity, optimism, hope, give, light & love.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

I made a trip to the greenbelt alone today. Its absolutely incredible. the weather is ideal– 70’s, sunshine and not a cloud in this deep blue Texas sky. I’m sitting on the cusp of Sculpture Falls, soaking up the sun, the vibrant energy of other greenbelt patrons, and of course, the natural beauty of this stellar treasure.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Everyone you encounter shares a warm smile, a mutual understanding that out here, we are all disconnected from the daily bustle of the city. In that respect, and in many others, the greenbelt is such a friendly space. Its a natural haven of beauty. Its a place to slow down. To reset. To escape the stress, worries and constant go-factor of every other day.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

As I sit listening to the crystal waters rushing over the falls, I too reset. I thank God for the sheer beauty of His creation and for the opportunity to live here, in such an amazing city where I can retreat into nature within a matter of minutes.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Today I ask myself: what can I do to become a better person? What can I do to enrich others’ lives? What can I do to make tomorrow better?

Give thanks. Give hope. Give positivity. Give love.

The feelings brought on by this natural oasis almost bring me to tears. Its an incredible, calming inner-peace.

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

I feel like I could spend days here– listening, observing, appreciating.

Life is good most days, but today its nothing short of wonderful.

{end excerpt}

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

Barton Creek Greenbelt :: Spring 2015

If you haven’t hit the trails yet this year Austinites, get out there! And if you’re just visiting or new to the area, I would be happy to give you some direction on where to go. Just give me a shout!

Until next time,

Hope

Market Update: Let’s talk numbers!

Real Estate and Lifestyle

While January proved to be a strong start to the new year, the real estate market has since gained momentum at a lightning fast speed! In the last seven days, I’ve written four offers– three of which were in multiple offer situations, and we are only entering the busy season.

shutterstock_83600203

It’s a good thing I don’t mind living, breathing and sleeping real estate, because I’ve literally been dreaming of client meetings and winning out crazy multiple-offer bids whilst jaunting around town making dreams come true by slingin’ real estate!

We are still waiting on the full analysis of February’s numbers from the Austin Board of Realtors, but January looked a little something like this:

Jan15_2

  • 1,547- single-family homes sold
  • $240k- median price for single-family homes
  • $310k- the average price for single-family homes
  • $480 million- total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, up 27% from January of 2014 (WOW!)shutterstock_130101671

With job & population growth still on the rise, it is a very exciting time for buyers to be investing in Austin real estate!

Until next time, I’ll be running around like a crazy person trying to accommodate all of my buyers and maybe fitting in some SXSW fun too!

XO,

Hope

Spider House

Lifestyle
MB (3 of 6)

Spider House :: 02/15

In all of my time at UT, I never once visited Spider House. Curious, as I lived only a few blocks away from it most of my time in school.  I suppose I was wrapped up in the other various options available to a young, small town girl new to the city, but now, I can’t get enough!

These days, I tend to purposefully venture back over toward campus, nostalgic for those relaxed, sunny afternoons post class spent blindly exploring an infamous city without a care in the world. It was freedom like we’d never known it– and back when Austin was still a hidden gem.

The beauty in this? Well, its obvious and overflowing, but bottom line is that Austin is pretty damn cool. I am discovering and rediscovering so many amazing experiences– and like with Spider House, in places I may not have expected before.

MB (4 of 6)

Spider House :: 02/15

I came into Spider House for the first time after a relocation client for the Hyde Park area (north of Campus) called to say they were running an hour plus behind. No problem, I’m pretty good on the fly. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I need some free wifi and possibly a coffee, so I stopped in to check it out and try to get some work done.

MB (5 of 6)

Spider House :: 02/15

Since then, its been a go-to when I’m in the area. It is another one of those iconic-Austin, happenin’ spots that not too many people would think to regularly frequent. They have good coffee, AMAZING tea (complete with beautiful vintage teapots and matching teacups), delicious food and a full bar, too! Seriously, its like a one-stop spot full of character that epitomizes the Keep Austin Weird vibe.

MB (6 of 6)

Spider House :: 02/15

The atmosphere is very relaxed, and they have a great outdoor seating area. Spider House also hosts great live shows in their Ballroom! I plan to swing by for their line-up during SXSW.

This is definitely one of my fave little funky Austin joints, and I know you guys will enjoy!

Until next time my friends! 🙂

Hope

SXSW Part One: Reflections

Lifestyle

SXSW is quickly approaching, and as I tediously plan for this year’s showcase, I can’t help but reflect over SXSW 2014. Believe it or not, after attending UT for 4-5 years beginning in 2006, last year was my very first SXSW experience! Luckily, my little teacha-friend, Stephanie, was on Spring Break so she was able to join me for the week’s adventures. It was literally a life-changing experience– like a little stay-cation jam packed full of fun, a completely new way of experiencing my beautiful city!

Stephanie and I at the 2014 Cusp by Neiman Marcus party.

Stephanie and I at the 2014 Cusp by Neiman Marcus party.

As I go back through all of the photos, the experience seems almost indescribable– so much music, so much fun and a people-watching paradise! Although there are many great events to attend for the film and interactive sectors too, we focused on music. The best part? We did it all for free

Amazing street performance by a group out of Seattle :: SXSW 2014

Amazing street performance by a group out of Seattle :: SXSW 2014

As the little SXSW virgins that we were, deciding when to go where was very overwhelming! Its not just about which musicians to see, its about where you want to go next, where your friends are, the venue/event lines and of course, the free drinks. And don’t forget about the hundreds of miles you’ll be walking. Even with the help of our good friend Elizabeth’s detailed Excel spreadsheet, organized by venue and broken down by artist, day and time (thanks Lizzy), we found ourselves running around like little chickens.

Steph, Elizabeth and I :: SXSW 2014

Steph, Elizabeth and I :: SXSW 2014

The first show I attended was by the Local Natives at ACL Live Theater, and it was AMAZING! Check out my Instagram video of their set here!

Steph got into town a few days later, and so our adventures truly began. On the first day, we started by just roaming the streets downtown, taking advantage of the free food, free drinks and street performances. One of the best performances we heard while cruising the street was probably American Authors perform Best Day of My Life. It was invigorating, and it really set the tone for the remainder of our SXSW’ing.

With Lil' Waynes Manager :: SXSW 2014

With Lil’ Waynes Manager :: SXSW 2014

Shortly after, we wandered over to Rainey  Street, and ended up at the Cusp Party by Neiman Marcus. We saw several great bands, had some delicious drinks and were pampered with free Bobbi Brown makeovers! Can’t beat that!

Cusp by Neiman Marcus :: SXSW 2014

Cusp by Neiman Marcus :: SXSW 2014

This story still makes me giggle, but later that day, a guy stopped us on Sixth Street.

“You guys want some VIP passes?”

Umm, hell yeah!

All we had to do was dance the robot and yell “we love Doritos” while he videoed us and posted it to our Instagrams. Of course, we did it, and we even got all of our friends into VIP later that weekend!

Our VIP group at the Doritos Stage for Ludacris!

Our VIP group at the Doritos Stage for Ludacris!

Oh, and we had free Doritos for days! Not something we normally eat, but after burning so much energy walking around all day, we were starving. While grubbing on Doritios in the VIP lounge, we actually had a Doritos rep come up to us asking if we would sign waivers for video of us to be used in commercials! No joke.

Doritos VIP Lounge :: SXSW 2014

Doritos VIP Lounge :: SXSW 2014

The next day I had to work– met with new clients, showed 12 homes and wrote an offer! Whew! Fast forward back to SXSW. I made it just in time for the Ludacris show, VIP style. It was a magical night, and we were on such an energy high that we decided to end it with a major dance party at The W.

VIP style for Ludacris :: SXSW 2014

VIP style for Ludacris :: SXSW 2014

Needless to say, I was 100% exhausted on Sunday and still had to hold an open house AND show buyers. Every single second was worth it though, and I can’t wait to do it again this year! A new year, a new plan–> and that my friends, will be SXSW Part Two, coming soon on Hope Lives Austin.

Love & Light,

Hope

View from the Top

Lifestyle
Austin at its finest. Mount Bonnell : 02/17/15

Austin at its finest. Mount Bonnell : 02/17/15

Anyone and everyone living in this great city knows of Mount Bonnell and has most likely visited at least once. If you are in that tiny percentage of people who haven’t gone, add it to your bucket list now! Arguably, there is no better all-encompassing vantage point in Austin than this amazing vista.

Mount Bonnell : 02/17/15

Mount Bonnell : 02/17/15

Just a short hike up the limestone steps, you will find incomparable views of Lake Austin, the surrounding hills and downtown.

MB (2 of 2)

It is centrally located, and the hike up takes only a few minutes, so you can plan lots of other fun Austin adventures around it.

Close up of Austin's iconic Penny Backer Bridge from Mount Bonnell.

Close up of Austin’s iconic Penny Backer Bridge from Mount Bonnell.

I made my first visit right after moving to Austin in 2006, and I’ve made the climb many times since. I am still amazed at the sheer beauty of this historical landmark every single time. It’s simply breathtaking!

Most recent Mount Bonnell visit : 02/17/15

Most recent Mount Bonnell visit : 02/17/15

As the highest point within the Austin city limits, the panoramic views are nothing short of incredible. Here are a couple of shots from yesterday afternoon– two of the downtown skyline (obviously much better in person) and one looking in the opposite direction out over Lake Austin and the Hill Country.

Downtown Austin Skyline : 02/17/15

Downtown Austin Skyline : 02/17/15

Downtown Austin Skyline : 02/17/15

Downtown Austin Skyline : 02/17/15

Mount Bonnell : 02/17/15

Mount Bonnell : 02/17/15

Enjoy my friends!

xo,

Hope

Attention Dog Lovers!

Lifestyle

To all of my dog-loving friends, this one is for you!

Yet another great aspect of this wonderful city is the general population’s pet-friendly attitude. There are a multitude of different types of venues, including restaurants, bars, parks, hotels and more that will welcome you and your pet with open arms. In fact, many of them further accommodate to offer water bowls and doggie treats!

I personally do not have a dog (yet), but while my parents were out of the country over the summer, our family dog came to stay with me for a few weeks. Willie Rooter is a 10 year old Dachshund who is convinced he is a person. He also happens to be one of my best friends. He looks extra dapper in this photo I took a few summers ago at our old house.

William Rooter Teel, friend, licker & lover of all things related to treats and snoozing.

William Rooter Teel, friend, licker & lover of all things related to treats and snoozing.

While he was visiting, I took him with me whenever and wherever I could. He made his first trip into Pet Smart on the first day, and of course, he got nervous and pooped right there in the floor while a little girl was trying to pet him. Haha

Willie Rooter and I at Double Daves Pizza summer 2014.

Willie Rooter and I at Double Daves Pizza summer 2014.

We also made it to Bouldin Creek Cafe, Double Daves, a few parks and some other places. He was truly a little dog in the big city over those two weeks, and we had fun!

Austin Culture Map has a great link to the top 10 most dog-friendly hangouts in Austin, but there are many, many more!

In addition to dog-friendly spots to visit, Austin Fit Magazine also hold an annual Fittest Dog Contest. This year I had the opportunity to photograph my beautiful roommate, Kate, and her awesome dog, Leon, for Leon’s submission into the contest.

Kate and Leon sprinting across the park near Townlake.

Kate and Leon sprinting across the park near Townlake.

Kate submitted Leon’s entry with this great description:

Leon enjoys his 4 mile runs around town lake and pushes his companion to the very end with his galloping pace of 8 minute miles (that’s tough for a 90Ib big guy!). After his run, he enjoys racing with sprints along the open green and a few hill climbs by Auditorium Shores. He’s a one of a kind out on town lake getting his fit on! Leon also will play tug of war to the death, if you’re up for the challenge. Dogos were bred in Argentina over a 25 year span for the specific purpose of pig hunting, oh and also for saving little children from mountain lions. Can your dog beat up a mountain lion? Takes an athlete for that fight. Leon’s upcoming workouts include pulling a weighted tire to work on sculpting his chest. Who needs a gym, just be like Leon and go Rocky style.

Leon. Enough said!

Leon. Enough said!

Look at that handsome boy go!! We can’t wait to find out if he wins!!

Take a look at the AFM Fittest Dog 2014 winners here— you won’t be disappointed at this overload of doggie-cuteness!!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Until next time my friends,

H

ATX Love: Rain or Shine + Kindness

Lifestyle

I promise weather won’t be the only topic covered in 2015, but for today’s blog I do have a few comments. As discussed previously, we Austinites love the sunshine and clear blue skies. After just a few rainy days, we can begin to get a bit cranky. I know you Seattleites (namely my sister, Kels) would tell us to quit being a bunch of babies, but hey, who doesn’t love the warm feel of golden sunshine on a crisp chilly day?

The last several days have been rain, shine, rain, shine, rain shine. My friend Stephanie came in for the weekend, but we didn’t let the rain get us down! In fact, Steph, Kate and I went for a drizzly hike on the greenbelt early Saturday morning!

On the greenbelt last Saturday. No joke, this dude ate it right after kayaking over these falls. I did get to send him a few good photos though, and he loved them!

On the greenbelt last Saturday. No joke, this dude ate it right after kayaking over these falls. I did get to send him a few good photos though, and he loved them!

Despite the misty rain, it was a fantastic hike. The drizzle kept many of the regular patrons home, and there was soo much water–more than I’ve even seen on the Twin Falls trail! It was as beautiful and invigorating as ever.

Later that day Steph and I stopped at HEB to grab a few things. As I was coming around with the umbrella, I see that the Jeep Commander next to us has a window down. I say to Steph, “Oh no, look at the window down on that Jeep. That sucks!”

“Do you want to do something really nice for them?” Steph replies.

“Umm yep!! Sure do!”

So, we got some newspaper out of her trunk and put it over their window to keep the rain out. Fast forward. We get back to the car to find this note on the windshield. What a great feeling!

People are awesome!!

People are awesome!!

This morning I woke up thinking, “Great, yet another rainy day!” But if you know me whatsoever, you know I am all about keeping it positive no matter what. I also believe that it is important to begin your morning with positive, happy thoughts in order to set the tone for the day. It may sound cheesy, but believe me people, it works!

Rain-me_pp

Taking rainy day selfies this afternoon!

So how can I put a positive spin on this rain today? Almost immediately I became excited thinking about this adorable umbrella which was a gift from my gracious team leader, Camille. How cute is this?!

Yes, I am a dork who took a photo of their adorable umbrella.

Yes, I am a dork who took a photo of their cuteee umbrella.

As we don’t normally get too much rain down here in Austin, Texas, I don’t get to pull out an umbrella very often! I just love this one though!! And so today, I found another way to be excited about the rain. 🙂

Nonetheless, here’s to hoping for sunshine tomorrow…

Taken last week from the Townlake trail.

Taken last week from the Townlake trail. 

Until next time,

Hope

Your Austin Area Market Update

Real Estate

The year has begun with a bang here in Austin, setting the pace for what economists predict will be another great year in real estate, and Your Austin Area Home Team is excited!

FrostTower

Austin’s Iconic Frost Tower

Despite December’s holiday-bustle factor, homes sales remained strong last month, setting the record for an all-time-high with almost 2,300 home sales and a median sales price of $246,530 for the Austin metro-area. That momentum carried us into a robust January, and there is no end in sight. I was literally negotiating on a multiple offer situation while at a wedding on New Year’s Eve! We submitted a clean, strong offer, won the bid and executed on New Year’s Day.Yes, I am dedicated to my clients no matter what is going on, but talk about a great way to start the New Year!

View of the Capitol down Congress Avenue

View of the Capitol down Congress Avenue

In a nutshell, 2014 looked a little something like this: Around 66,000 people moved into Austin, and over 39,000 jobs were added to the economy. Our strongest economic drivers were (and still are) population growth, technology and enterprise, the education and health sectors, and of course, the value added from our world famous festivals. SXSW, ACL, Fun Fun Fun Fest & F1 + many, many others contributed over $1.4 billion to Austin’s economy over the last two years alone. Collectively, these factors made 2014 a great year for Austin Real Estate. Check out the year’s stats in the graphic below.

Austin Area Market Stats for 2014

Austin Area Market Stats for 2014

Local economists are predicting that another 69,000+ jobs will be added to the economy in 2015 & 2016, and population growth will likely correlate directly. We are still facing the same housing obstacles that 2014 encountered– low inventory levels and affordability, but considering the simple supply and demand principle, 2015 will be another stellar year for the Austin real estate market.

If you know anyone thinking of buying, selling or leasing in the greater Austin area, give me a call or just send them my way! Always happy to help!

Happy Thursday!

Hope