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After years of careful planning, searching, and saving to buy a home, it’s normal to take pride in your home. However, that doesn’t mean you plan to stay in the same place forever, and you can’t control who your neighbors are and whether or not they maintain their home.

If you’re getting ready to list your home and the condition of your neighbor’s home is negatively impacting your own home value, here are some steps you can take.

Talk to your neighbors. Your neighbor may want to improve their home’s exterior but may not have the time, tools, or know-how necessary to accomplish their tasks. Consider offering your neighbor your lawn mower, ladder, or some of your time to help them.

Consult your HOA. If your neighborhood has a homeowners…

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As predicted last year, Austin is likely to surpass 1 million residents in 2020. Now, the city demographer says it's just months away from hitting that mark. As of January 1, Austin was home to 996,369 people, according to a new estimate from Austin City Demographer Ryan Robinson. By now, that number has gone higher. But wherever the figure stands at this point, Robinson predicts Austin’s population will reach 1 million by June. That’s less than 4,000 people below the current level. “I’ve always thought we’d breach the 1 million mark as a city just prior to April 1, which is Census Day, but I’ve since cooled on making it by then — maybe I’m simply hedging my bet,” Robinson tells CultureMap. Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide…

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Winter is traditionally the toughest time of year to sell a home in colder climates. Potential buyers loathe to leave the warmth of their homes and deal with walking through inclement weather to view a home for sale. But if you take the time to put in some effort to create an inviting open house for people to tour, you're more likely to get people through the door and not wait until spring to find a buyer.

Here are some tips to help you create an inviting open house.

Keep the sidewalks and driveways free from snow and ice. Eliminating these hazards can make the home feel more inviting and welcoming.

Set the home's temperature slightly above average. Keep the space warm and hedge against heat loss from people coming and going through the doors.

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With the winter and the holiday season arriving, now is a good time for homeowners to take some simple precautions to help protect their family and property from fire. Here are some tips that can help prevent fire hazards in the home and can save property and more importantly the lives of the people and pets you love.

Check holiday lights for fraying or broken wires and plugs. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to how many strands can be joined together, as a fire hazard could result from overload.

Enjoy indoor holiday lighting only while someone is home and turn it off before going to bed. Candles add lovely ambience to a holiday home.Never leave burning candles unattended, even for a short time.

For peace of mind, use…

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Victoria Reviel remembered how 20 years ago her husband opted to go further out from Austin and buy a four-bedroom house in Cedar Park. The price tag: $135,000. With Cedar Park blossoming into a city with numerous amenities and a tollway offering quick access to Austin, she said that same house sold in 2015 for $345,000. “It was considered rural North Austin 20 years ago,” she said. “Now look at Cedar Park.” Reviel, a real estate agent and president of the Williamson County Association of Realtors, said that spike in home value mirrors numbers released this month showing an ever-increasing jump in home prices in the Central Texas housing market. Data released by the Realtors association show that halfway into 2018, the average home price within Williamson…

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The Option Period in Texas is a specified number of days set forth in a real estate contract which allows the buyer to terminate the contract for any reason. This option, when written into a real estate contract, creates the right to terminate the contract within a certain number of days for a specified price without risking the earnest money deposit.

The Texas Real Estate Option Period: Provides security for the buyer. Has an agreed-upon number of days. Starts at the beginning of the purchase contract period Requires consideration – a non-refundable fee paid to the seller called the Option Fee. The property will be placed in OP (option pending) status in the MLS. Ends at 5 p.m. local time. Can be extended by mutual agreement of the buyer and seller.…

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“Go big or go home” doesn’t have to apply when you’re already talking about your home. You don’t need to invest a ton of time or money to make a big statement in your backyard. Here are some things you can do in your yard that fit both the biggest and smallest budgets.

1. Hang some lights – It just takes a few lights to completely transform your backyard. If you buy them right after Christmas, you can get outdoor lights for 75-90% off. But even if you pay full price for non-seasonal outdoor lights, you can still find them for $10-20 a strand.

2. Add a swing or hammock – A porch swing or hammock doesn’t have to set your budget back a whole lot and having one adds a quiet retreat to your yard where you can kick back and enjoy the fresh air in…

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