Happenings...

One More Week - SAFE Kids Need Your Help!

This is a reminder that we are a drop-off location for the toy drive for SAFE, a merger of Austin Children's Shelter and SafePlace. We can accept donations at our office through Friday, December 14!

If you would like to join us in creating a smile on local children's faces who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas, then please drop off unwrapped, new items at our GAT office. Below is a list of gifts in high demand. 

Suzy Day of SAFE told us, "We often have a need for teen and pre-teen gifts". 

If you prefer to donate from home, please shop for items from SAFE's Amazon and ...

SAFE Youth Gift Drive for the Holidays

'Tis the season to give back. As such, the Gene Arant Team would like to open our doors as a drop-off location for holiday toys. SAFE, a merger of Austin Children's Shelter and SafePlace, is an Austin nonprofit with a mission to stop abuse for everyone, and they hold an annual gift drive that we are proud to support. 

If you are able and feel so inclined, please drop off unwrapped, new items at our office by end of business day Friday, December 14. Below is a list of gift suggestions that are in high demand. Suzy Day of SAFE said, "We often have a need for teen and pre-teen gifts."

Also, if you'd prefer to donate from home, you can shop for items from SAFE's Amazon  and ...

Client Appreciation Pie Day 2018

We love our clients!

This November, we called over 1,000 former and current clients to see who would be in town to receive a little client appreciation gift as a sweet thank you for thinking of us for all things real estate.  

Although National Pi Day is on March 15th annually, we celebrate the holiday in a little different fashion, for a different reason and at a different time. On Tuesday, November 20th, the Gene Arant Team office smelled of pumpkin and apple pie—we wish there was smell-o-vision for you to delight in. Hundreds of our clients picked up their chosen pie from GAT just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.


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Property Tax Event

Are You in the Minority or the Majority?

Did you know that 80% of the people in Travis County do not protest their property taxes? Paying taxes is as American as disputing taxes. In Texas, we do not pay state income tax however we do pay real estate tax. We understand that our taxes support local schools, roads and parks. We are proponents of investing in our community and paying taxes, we just do not want to overpay our taxes. 

Did you know that the Travis County portion of your property tax bill represents less than 20 percent of your total tax bill? Do you know what makes up the rest of your tax bill?

Travis County Property Tax Workshop

That and many other questions will be answered at the Travis County Property Tax Workshop. We can help you learn to navigate the process of appeal. Whether you plan to dispute your taxes personally or are looking for the right firm to protest for you, we offer this evening as an information gathering session. ...

Santa Sightings

Be Merry and Bright Part 2

Take a Break During Christmas Break - Make Time for Fun

We have one week left before Christmas. The kids are out of school. There is still wrapping to be done, cookies to bake and donations to make…the list goes on and on. Give yourself a gift before the holidays; give yourself the gift of time. Time to take a breather. Time to spend with your family. Time to laugh and enjoy your kids this Christmas Season. Sometimes we rush around so much that we forget to actually enjoy ourselves. The list of to-dos must get “to-done” and the break is over in a blink of an eye. So take a break from the holiday madness and make time to do something fun with your kids; not because you have to, just because you want to. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do in Austin over Christmas break.

Still need to see the Jolly Fat-man in Red? Here are a few locations to get a pic with your kiddos with the larger-than-life elf. And remember...

Austin Christmas Lights

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

Austin is a great place to live year round. While some might debate that fact during the heat of summer, no one disputes this fact during December. Not only do we boast mild climates – just chilly enough to feel festive during the winter, we also take pride in displaying our holiday spirit.

Austin is a feel-good-town. A city that is large enough to have plenty to do yet small enough to feel neighborly. During the holidays, our Christmas spirit is alive and well. From the trees decorated up and down Hwy 360 to the trees that adorn the streets in Steiner Ranch, family traditions dictate that you choose a tree, select a theme and decorate. If you aren’t from Austin, it is quite a pleasant sight.

City Lights

Additionally, we have plenty of wonderful light shows. Depending on how far you want to go, here is a list of our favorites:

-Mozarts, downtown Austin. If you haven’t been to this coffee house, it is...

Where the 'Hail' did that come from?

Wow that was some crazy weather we encountered this past weekend.  If you have not already, I encourage you to do a walk around and check for any wind and/or hail damage to your property. If there is any damage, consider obtaining a bid on making repairs 1st. If the repair amount is in excess of your deductible, at that point is when you may want to consider contacting your insurance company to file a claim. All insurance companies are different, however any claim, even a $0 paid out claim, could affect your future property insurance rates.

 

Unfortunately, events of this nature tend to bring all sorts out of the woodwork, so beware of who you hire. Before entering into agreement with a contractor for roof work or having repairs made, consider the following:

  • Look for...

Dinner out on Valentine's Day

Where are we going for dinner?  That is a question that comes up in our house pretty often.  When you add  a special occasion, i.e. Valentine's Day, things get even trickier. 

Austin has an abundance of fantastic restaurants, however I find we seem to frequent the same ones more so than not.  This year one of my goals is to get out and try some new places.  In doing research I came across this great list published by Texas Monthly in 2010 titled "Where to Eat in Austin."  They did a fantastic job breaking down Top 10 Restaurants by areas like the Top 10 places to eat in Central Austin, Top 10 Downtown, Top 10 on the East Side, even the Top 10 on the Cheap Side.  Check this list out, I am sure you will find some new places to try.

Getting back to Valentine's Day... another list that came up that had some interesting choices...

Slip 'N Slide History

Waterslide, yard slide….Slip ‘N Slide…whatever you call it, this fun summer activity has been providing years of enjoyment for kids of all ages.  Back in 1960 a kid named Mike Carrier, in typical boy fashion, spent an afternoon sliding down a wet, painted concrete driveway - ouch!  When his father arrived home and saw his son, he decided that there had to be a better and less painful way to have fun.

Mikes dad, Robert Carrier, was an upholsterer by trade and brought home 50 feet of waterproof Naugahyde. In an effort to make a safer slide, Mr. Carrier put the sheet in the front yard, laid a hose on it and watched as neighborhood children gravitated towards his yard. That was the day that an idea was born.  After modifying the sheet to include a side pocket with small holes to safely house the hose and allow the water to sprinkle out, Mr. Carrier filed for patent and sold his idea to Wham-O.  (The same Wham-O that brought the Frisbee, hula-hoop and superball...