March 28, 2015

Trustee Talk - March 26, 2015

About 45 people gathered Thursday evening at Bailey Middle School to hear AISD District 7 Trustee Robert Schneider at an open forum he hosted to discuss issues facing South and Southwest Austin.

The Bullet Point Takeaways:

  • There is a shortage of specialized, or magnet, programs (like LASA or STEM) south of the river
  • There are 660 empty seats available at Crockett High School and it’s not projected to increase
  • Bowie and Akins high schools are over capacity and enrollments are projected to increase (at Bowie more than at Akins)
  • The district has the money to buy land for a new high school (or schools)
  • The district has no money to build or operate a new school
  • Under the best financial scenario (which we are not under), it would be several years before a new school could be built
  • Boundary changes are not currently under consideration and likely will not be
  • One way to reduce enrollment at overcrowded campuses is to attract some students who currently go there to another campus by offering a magnet program at that campus

The Whole Enchilada:

Trustee Schneider opened with an update on the budget issues facing AISD. The potential good news is that House Public Education Committee Chair Jimmie Don Aycock will file House Bill 1759, which if passed will add approximately 3 billion much needed dollars to the state’s public education budget. The bad news is that AISD continues to send millions of dollars - $175 million in 2015 – back to the state under the recapture law that sends money from ‘property rich’ districts to be redistributed to ‘property poor’ districts. Austin is the top contributor to recapture.

He then dove into the high school enrollment issue that is on so many people’s minds. Crockett and Travis high schools are under their enrollment capacities (by 660 and approx.. 400 seats, respectively) while Bowie and Akins are over capacity and Austin is basically at capacity. He moved the conversation into ways the district could create capacity without building a new school. Speaking highly of his own childrens’ experience at LASA, the district’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy, he noted that there are 1,020 LASA students currently enrolled on the LBJ High School campus in Northeast Austin and that LASA turned away over 100 qualified students because of space constraints. Currently, 220  LASA students come from Bowie’s attendance zone and a total of one-third of LASA’s students travel from south Austin. Due to the difficulties caused by traffic and other logistics (a student from Bowie’s neighborhood would catch their bus to LASA at 5:45 am), there would likely be hundreds more students who would elect to leave their home campuses to attend a LASA program located closer to their homes.

Trustee Schneider relayed that the current Board of Trustees has made no substantial movement on purchasing land for a new high school. He states, “My two site proposal would have been approved by the board if it had been voted on before the board change.” This statement seems to fly in the face of the discussion at the March 9th trustee work session, when neither Board President Hinojosa nor the district’s legal counsel could recall the ‘two site’ proposal that Trustee Schneider repeatedly referred to.

Questions and Answers:

Q – We have heard that AISDs enrollment is shrinking – is this because kids are leaving to go to private school?

A – “There is a contingent on the school board interested in doing a marketing campaign that would showcase the good things at AISD. They even want to do exit interviews on students who leave. Bowie is really the last comprehensive public school the district has. Anderson has I.B., McCallum has fine arts. I have friends who want STEM, etc but they get a fair amount of pushback from the Bowie administration. It was an uphill battle to get a computer science class at Bowie this year but when course sheets came out the class wasn’t on there. There are a lot of competing interests at Bowie that don’t want things to change”.

Q – Does the district track the reasons kids don’t re-enroll in AISD?

A – (from a parent who serves on the district’s Parent Advisory Council) AISD recently did share a study that tracked this. Most students left AISD for charter schools, or to for school in other states or other public school districts. It was a lower number that left for private schools. It was noted, however, that these results could differ from one part of the district to another, and they currently are not tracked by area. Trustee Schneider added that more students leave the district after 5th grade than at any other point.

Q – I heard a rumor that LASA parents don’t want to have a LASA South.   Lasa

A – Since LASA is more like a college atmosphere, there is a feeling that if you suck kids out, some classes will suffer. I believe strongly in LASA and I will support LASA, but they don’t have a franchise on it.  LASA currently gets a .2 weight in funding that’s going to go away, along with transportation. That’s what parents should be more concerned with.

Q – Would the board survey middle schoolers to ask if they’d consider going to LASA if it were south vs. where it’s been located?

A – I haven’t heard this proposed but I think surveying the middle schoolers would be a good idea. I would love to see a pre-LASA middle school program of some kind.

Q – Help me understand how LASA South would help the overcrowding at Bowie> How many kids would it pull from Bowie?

A – Right now there are kids at Bowie who are interested in LASA, and they qualify to get in to LASA, but they don’t choose to go there because of the transportation issues.  If these kids chose to attend LASA on a South Austin campus other than Bowie, such as Crockett, it would free up seats at Bowie. And a LASA South program could encourage other students who lived in that school’s attendance zone to stay at their home school instead of transferring to a school like Bowie. That would decrease Bowie’s numbers too.

Q – Is a boundary change a last resort?

A – Yes. The bloodletting that will happen with a boundary chance is going to prevent the district from going a lot of things. Politically, it’s not a good idea.

Q – Why doesn’t Crockett want to host a LASA South?

A – There’s school of thought that you don’t tell a community what’s going to happen to it. I’m sure if the idea had come from Crockett it would be received differently.

Q – Has the board been discussing the Texas Civil Rights Project?
A - There is a contingent on the board that believes that AISD needs to do a review of equity. That somehow our area is coming out ahead, even though per student spending at Bowie is one of the lowest in the district. It all boils down to the fact that there isn’t one standard accepted definition of “equity”. I am opposed to the Portland Model (which would mandate individual school PTAs to pool a percentage of the funds they raise for the use of the entire district), but the board is split on this issue.

Q – What is the status of the land purchase for the new high school that was authorized by the voters 7 years ago?

A – “I can tell you we are looking at more than 1 site. In Southeast Austin there are many choices and great prices. In Southwest Austin there are not as many choices and it’s a lot more expensive. If we don’t buy land in Southwest Austin now, we are telling Southwest Austin that we are never going to build a high school there.” In 4-5 years, Bowie will be 1,000 seats over capacity. Akins will be a little over, but the projections are flat for growth. There are conflicting interests. One of my fellow trustees has said she has met with the Bowie principal and has been told there is no need for change.

Q – What’s the earliest year we could open a new high school in South Austin assuming the land is purchased soon?

A – We would have to float a new bond. There would be a lot of things to manage. 2020 would be the earliest possible new school.

My Two Cents:

South Austin has been promised a new high school for so many years, that many people assume this is the best and only way to fix the overcrowding at Bowie and Akins. However, the reality of the district’s budget means a new school is NOT waiting right around the corner. Even after the land is purchased (IF it is purchased), the district would have to create a bond package for the construction to present to the voters (the last bond package took approx. a year to pull together), then IF the bond passes, there would still be several years of feasibility and engineering studies, and of course the actual construction.

It does not make sense to continue to hold out for the new high school as our only solution, especially given the political reality that the new campus may be placed in a part of South Austin that doesn’t create as much relief for Bowie. It is important that South Austin parents and community members pay attention to the other achievable solutions that can be implemented in time to make a difference. My recommendation is that parents attend at least one of the series of “Community Conversations” that AISD is going to hold throughout South Austin in April and May 2015 and register their support for placing a magnet program (such as LASA or STEM) at a campus that is not full (such as Crockett).

Contact your Legislators

 

And finally, contact your legislators to register your support for House Bill 1759 which will increase funding to public schools.

 

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

Posted in Schools
March 25, 2015

City of Austin Economic Development

At the Platinum 50’s Thinkers and Doers Symposium this morning, those of us lucky enough to be in attendance heard from Kevin Johns, head of the Economic Development Department of the City of Austin.

 

Locally Austin

He shared an overview of how his office is structured into five different divisions to ensure that Austin’s economy is diversified. The five divisions (with some details about each) are:

·         Global Business Recruitment and Expansion

o   The Sister City program has been adapted to focus on Science Parks globally. To participate, cities must agree to be open to doing business in Austin, offer direct flights to Austin, offer classes on doing business in Austin, etc.

o   Although the economic incentives given to business that relocate to Austin are sometimes criticizes, the return on investment for these incentives is 220%.

·         Cultural Arts

o   Currently 240 cultural and arts programs are funded by the city. Austin also offers the Take it to the Next Level program, which trains for artists and musicians to run successful businesses.

·         Small Business Programs

o   The Family Business Loan Program offers low-interest loans to family owned small business that are expanding. Once a business borrows $35,000, they must agree to hire a non-family member employee.Seaholm

·         Redevelopment

Recently, 56 million dollars was generated for affordable housing programs from the initial phases of the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment project.       

·         Music and Entertainment Division

o   One great program here is the Music Venue loans, which are granted to retrofit existing venues with the latest in soundproofing.

o   Listenair is a radio station that allows Austin’s music to be played in over 50 countries.

 

 

You see, even though Austin is arguably the strongest city in the U.S. economically right now, Johns is acutely aware that there have been 7 major recessions since the end of World War 2. He believes aggressive economic diversification will allow Austin to weather the next one.

As a Realtor who regularly assists people in accomplishing their dreams of moving to Austin, it was great to hear about so many of the programs our city has in place to keep growing while staying true to the arts and music that is at our city's soul.

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?
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Posted in Austin News
March 16, 2015

Keep Austin Weird Homes Wins Another Multiple Offer Negotiation!

Keep Austin Weird Homes is excited to win another multiple offer situation for our South Austin home buyers at 3105 Jubilee Trail!!

Austin, March 16, 2015 - Keep Austin Weird Homes

Keep Austin Weird Homes, an Austin real estate brokerage, has sold another house in the Tanglewood Forest neighborhood of South Austin. Although there were multiple offers in the very first day the house was on the market, our clients didn't let that intimidate them, because we had already discussed our strategies for how to handle multiple offer situations. We guided them on every point of their offer to be certain it would be compelling to the seller in this fast-paced Austin real estate market. In the end, our client won the multiple offer bidding war WITHOUT paying more than the maximum price they had established.

3105 Jubilee Trail porch

The 1,622 sf home on a fenced lot in Tanglewood Forest had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Probably the most outstanding features about this home were the new deck and dog run in back and the wraparound front and side porches. Students who live in this home would attend Kocurek Elementary, Bailey Middle School, and Akins High School.

This home is located in Austin's zip code of 7848. The number of sales in this area of Austin in February 2015 was 49, a decrease from the 62 that sold in February 2014. In February, the average selling price per square foot for homes in 78748 was $138.25 with an average sales price of $260,608. This is a 6.82% change since last February’s average sales price of $243,957. The average number of days homes spend on the market in Austin’s 78748 zip code is 37, which is almost the exact same as last February’s 36 sales.

3105 Jubilee Trail  3105 Jubilee Trail back

Keep Austin Weird Homes represented the buyers of this property, who intend to use it as an investment property. If YOU are interested in learning more about becoming a real estate investor, or about our multiple offer strategies, please contact us. We’d love to have a conversation to see if we might be a fit to work together.

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?
I want to sell my Austin, TX property
I’d like to Search for Austin Real Estate
I’d like to speak to someone from Keep Austin Weird Homes

 



March 10, 2015

Land Banking or Planning for the Future?

AISD Trustees Discuss the Options for a New South Austin High School in a Work Session on 3/9/15

As those of us who attended the Trustee's work session in person or live streamed it know, the session went way over its allotted time slot on the agenda, and there was some strong debate about the right course of action. But finally, on a positive note, the Trustees ended by agreeing to make a decision by December of 2015 about the land purchase for the new South Austin High School. 

As Trustee Saldana said, "As a resident of South Austin, I feel and fear the citizens' frustration...folks feel like they've been kept in limbo too long." And Trustee Pace agreed with this, referencing a newspaper article that promised a new high school in Southwest Austin. The date on the article? 2001 - a decade and a half ago. 

But despite the years of promises to the community, and the fact that the money to buy the land for a new high school has already been approved by the voters (back in 2008), the decision before the board is not WHERE to buy land. It is WHETHER to buy land at all.

You see, the district's sSchool OVercrowdingtudent enrollment and budget projections have changed dramatically. The very latest projections show Bowie increasing in population by about 500 students in the next 5 years, while all of the other high schools in South Austin, including Akins, are projected to have slight population declines. 

The Board of Trustees is aware that the public perceives the solution to existing overcrowding is a new high school. The Board plans to have a series of community conversations to educate citizens about the demographic projections and financial realities before it makes a final decision on the land purchase.

As Trustee Elenz stated, "One of the misunderstandings is that we are talking about new high schools but we are talking about land. Land banking. Perhaps in 10 years we will need a new HS. Does it make sense to purchase land now and sit on it? We need to make it very clear that we are not guaranteeing a high school - ever. We have no money to build a high school. We have no money to operate a high school."

Trustee Schneider offered a different perspective, “I’ve heard the talk about land banking and I find that curious. I know what’s available in SW Austin. If you don’t do something now, there won’t be any tracts available. We could have purchased something 5 years ago when we had a real estate bust but we didn’t. Land banking IS planning for the future.”

Another issue that the Trustees disagreed on was whether or not the Board had previously authorized considering a purchase of more than one parcel. Trustee Schneider repeatedly referenced a board meeting from December 2014 in which he claimed the board members (many of which have been replaced with newly elected members since then) authorized district staff to move forward with consideration of buying 2 separate parcels of land. Neither President Hinojosa nor the district’s legal counsel confirmed his recollection of this. My own search of the webcasts from the board sessions in December 2014 couldn’t locate any record of this discussion either. Trustee Saldana made this comment about the potential of purchasing 2 sites, “It really saddens me that we are creating community coalitions in SW Austin and SE Austin rather than working towards a solution that best serves all of our students.”

------------------AISD School Board

 Woven into the discussion about the potential land purchase was a conversation about whether ASID should offer a magnet program somewhere in South Austin. Currently, all of the district’s magnet programs are located north of the river. Superintendent Cruz clarified that this is considered a programming decision which has already been approved by the Board. So work can move forward on this project even though the land purchase is currently on hold pending direction from the Board. In a nutshell, any conversation about a magnet school in South Austin should be considered separate from the discussion about buying land for a new high school.

 

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

 

March 9, 2015

Fine Arts Education in Austin, TX

Since so many of Austin residents were drawn here because of the city’s thriving arts and music scene, it’s only natural perhaps that the Austin Independent School District is known for excellence in fine arts programs. The AISD’s fine arts department’s purpose is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for cognitive, creative, emotional and social growth. Students are served in grades K-12 in art, dance, music, bank, choir, and orchestra. This video showcases a variety of student talent:

McCaHonor Campbell Artllum High School is AISD’s designated Fine Arts Academy. Students from anywhere in the district who are interested in pursuing advanced instruction in film, dance, music, theater or visual arts may  apply for a spot in this very competitive magnet school. Students in the Fine Arts Academy will complete at least 6 classes in their major, along with outside of school requirements that showcase their talent, such as capstone projects, live performances, and competitions. The corresponding program for younger students is the Fine Arts Academy at Lamar Middle School.

Every AISD student is required to have at least 1 credit of fine arts in order to graduate from high school, but most Austin students take many more arts classes than this and the fine arts programs are robust at virtually every AISD campus, not just the designated magnets. In fact, the principal at Bowie High notes that no other program reaches a higher number of the student body than fine arts. My stepdaughter travelled to Italy her senior year with the art class from Bowie, and my stepson is active in the award winning theater program there. 

In 2015, AISD’s Performing Arts Center opened in Mueller. This is a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically to enhance the arts experience for each and every student aAISD PACnd teacher in Austin ISD. The PAC contains a 1200 seat main auditorium, a 250 seat Black Box Theatre, dance studio, multi-purpose room, kiln room, and an individual recording studio. Voters approved the PAC as part of the 2008 bond program. I had the pleasure of attending the middle school one act play competition there last month, when my son performed with his school, and it was so enjoyable to watch the performances in a true theater and not on a cafeteria stage.

Another innovative program that shows AISD’s long term commitment to fine arts education is the Creative Learning Initiative. This is a collaboration between Austin ISD, the City of Austin, MINDPOP, local artists, business and philanthropic organizations that seeks to provide a quality arts-rich education for every child in AISD. To date, there are 36 schools – 26% of all students – participating and more campuses are slated to be added each year.

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

Posted in Schools
March 9, 2015

The Closing Date is WHEN???

The Closing Date is WHEN???

Whether you are the buyer or seller in a real estate transaction in Austin, TX, arranging all of the details prior to your closing date can be challenging. Maybe you are packing a house full of personal items and trying to make sure the house is clean prior to the new owners moving in. Maybe you have a busy work schedule and you suddenly realize that you’re required to attend a conference on the date that has been set for closing.  Or maybe, for whatever reason, one of the parties to the transaction cannot keep the original closing date outlined in the contract and they are asking for an extension – to a day when you are supposed to be visiting your in-laws out of state. Or, perhaps you have moved out of state and are now handling the sale of your Austin property completely remotely.

Whatever the scenario is, our team at Keep Austin Weird Homes is equipped to help you navigate it!

 The Closing Date is When?

There are several options we can arrange for clients who are not here in the Austin area on the date of the real estate transaction’s closing.

·         A mobile notary can be scheduled to meet you virtually anywhere (the business center at a hotel conference, a local golf club, etc.) to facilitate the paperwork. Since the mobile notary doesn’t have any real estate specific training or knowledge of the details of your transaction, we typically recommend this solution for our clients who have some real estate experience. We are available to conference in at your schedule time in case there are questions we can help answer.

·         Our preferred title company, First American, has locations all across the country. For clients who feel most comfortable having an escrow officer explain the details of the paperwork during the closing process, we recommend seeing if we can set up your closing at the office nearest to your non-Austin location.

·         A property-specific power of attorney can be drawn up for situations where a seller or buyer simply cannot be present to sign the closing paperwork. This would allow a spouse who is out of the country for work to give the other spouse the ability to solely sign the papers for the transaction. We have also used this when a seller was in jail, so obviously unable to come to the closing in Austin.

Bear in mind that any of these options can take several days to set up, so you’ll want to notify us as soon as you realize it if there is any chance that you won’t be in Austin for your real estate closing.

 

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

Posted in Austin Real Estate
March 8, 2015

Keep Austin Weird Homes Sells Another Eclectic East Austin Home

Keep Austin Weird Homes is excited to get another East Austin home sold.

Austin, March 1, 2015 - Keep Austin Weird Homes

Keep Austin Weird Homes, an Austin real estate brokerage, has sold another house in Austin. The price reflected the value in the over an acre of land, which is close to downtown Austin and just off highway 183. Students who live at this address would attend the Austin schools of Norman, Garcia and LBJ high school.5603 Hudson  5603 Hudson

The eclectic 1,005 sf cottage on over an acre of extremely private, lush land. An extra 1,044 sf structure on the property was in need of serious renovations. This proved to be a very popular property, but many potential buyers could not navigate the issues caused from years of unpermitted work and the inability for the property to qualify for traditional purchase financing. Still, Keep Austin Weird Homes persisted in marketing to and screening selected buyers who had the vision and means to take on a project of this nature until the sale was completed.

5603 Hudson  5603 Hudson

This home is located in Austin's zip code of 78721. The number of sales in this area of Austin in February 2015 was 13, a slight increase from February 2014. The median number of days active properties have been listed for sale in this area of East Austin is 59, which is shorter than the national average.

Keep Austin Weird Homes represented the seller of this property, who was happy to have had professional guidance on the sale. She had previously tried to sell by owner, but with no success and much frustration.

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 dog that has her moments.

 HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?

I want to sell my Austin, TX property

I’d like to Search for Austin Real Estate

 

I’d like to speak to someone from Keep Austin Weird Homes

Posted in Austin Real Estate
March 8, 2015

Everything You Need to Know about Austin’s Energy Audit

The City of Austin enacted the Energy Conversation Audit Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance in June of 2009. The ordinance states that energy audits must be performed and disclosed prior to the sale for most properties that are serviced by Austin Energy. The rationale is that energy audits provide prospective homeowners with valuable information about the energy efficiency of their homes.

ECAD audit Austin

Q – What is an ECAD Audit?

A – The ECAD audit is a specialized report that examines four primary areas in a home:

1.       Heating and cooling (HVAC) system’s efficiency

2.       Air infiltration: duct performance, weather stripping, etc

3.       Windows: shading, solar screens

4.       Attic insulation

 

Q – Who conducts the ECAD audits?

A – ECAD audits will be conducted by professionals who have been certified by a professional organization and registered with Austin Energy as approved contractors for this program. To see a list of all the ECAD auditors who have registered for the program click here.

 

Q – Is the ECAD taking the place of a home inspection?

A – No. The home inspection, which is generally done by the buyer, addresses the structure and systems in the home. The ECAD, which is done by the seller, addresses energy efficiency only.

 

Q – How much does an ECAD audit cost?

A – For a typical single family home with 1,800 square feet or less, and just one HVAC system, the cost for an audit should be under $200. Prices generally depend on the size of a home.

 

Q – When does the audit need to be completed?

A – The energy audit is required as part of the sellers’ disclosure, so it should be completed before the home goes on the market. The buyer is supposed to receive the energy audit no later than 3 days prior to the end of the option period, so it’s a good idea to have the audit completed early.

 

Q – How long is an energy audit good for?

A – The audit is good for 10 years.

 

Q – Are there any properties that don’t have to have an audit completed before selling?

A – Yes, if your home was built less than 10 year ago, you don’t need to have an audit. Properties that are in foreclosure or probate are exempt from providing an audit.  If the property participated in an Austin Energy rebate program that resulted in at least $500 of rebates in the last 10 years, it is also exempt.

 

Q – I heard that condos were not required to provide ECAD audits. Is that true?

A – Initially condos were exempt from this ordinance, but that changed in 2011 so now an audit is required for the sale of a condo.

 

Q – What if I don’t get an EECAD audit when I sell my home in Austin?

A – Although some Realtors and clients are still not up to date with the requirements and it may be possible to slip through a transaction without following this regulation, there are penalties. Non-compliance with ECAD is a Class C misdemeanor with fines from $500-$2,000. 

ECAD audit Austin

If you’d like to see an energy audit that was completed for one of our clients recently, please send me a request via email at theresa@keepaustinweirdhomes.com and I’ll be happy to share a copy with you.

A former teacher, Theresa Bastian is passionate about public education. Together with her husband, Rodney, she now owns Keep Austin Weird Homes, a real estate brokerage that focuses on building business and personal relationships with honesty and integrity. Together, they are raising a blended family of 5 great kids and 1 poorly behaved dog.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?

I want to sell my Austin, TX property

I’d like to Search for Austin Real Estate

I’d like to speak to someone from Keep Austin Weird Homes  

Posted in Austin Real Estate
March 2, 2015

SXSW for Locals

SXSW for Locals

SXSW is one of Austin’s largest festivals. Oops – I almost wrote MUSIC festival, bSXSWut I corrected myself. You see, SXSW is much, much more than a music festival. There are 3 different sections of the festival including Music, Film, and Interactive. Now, music and film are somewhat self-explanatory, but what is Interactive? Only perhaps the most unusual and unique portion of the conference, focusing on cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. Other distinct SXSW entities include SXSWedu and SXSW Eco. Basically, what you need to know is that SXSW is HUGE, there are different portions, and it causes a large number of influential people (and those who want to be influenced) to converge in downtown Austin for approximately two weeks in mid-March.

So, we know that many people whose businesses, identities, and very livelihoods depend on their participation in SXSW will be in attendance, sporting their $1,000+ badges to gain access to sessions.

But what about Austin locals?

Is there any way for an average Austinite to get a taste of SXSW experience without taking out a second mortgage or taking a 2 week leave of absence? The answer is definitely yes! Here are some of our favorite SXSW activities for Austin locals. Here are some of our favorites - and the good news is you won't need a badge for any of them!

SXSW Create                     Fri. 3/13– Sun. 3/15         11 am – 6pm                      Long Center

From 3D printing to drones to biohacking and much more, this community event showcases revolutionary things that are being done with new technologies. Ideal for those interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Beers and Barks Yappy Hour       Sat, 3/14              noon – 4pm                        Bar 96 on Rainey

Austinites love our dogs, and at this happy hour Austin Pets Alive! will have adoptable pups for playtime – and perhaps a forever home - as you grab some beer and food.

SXSW Gaming Expo        Fri. 3/13– Sun. 3/15         noon – 8pm                        Palmer Events Center

Gaming Expo SXSW  The gaming expo covers everything from video games, and animation to board games, comics, and toys. We were introduced to one of our family’s favorite board games, Qwirkle, here 2 years ago and you can bet we will be back!

 

KGSR Live                            Wed. 3/8 – Sat. 3/21      

6am – 10am (8am – noon on Sat.)            W Hotel

 For a $5 donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation, you’ll enjoy 4 hours of live interviews and performances from featured artists. The small setting combined with the low price and early hour makes these broadcasts ideal for families.

Eco Lightgarden                 Sun. 3/15 – Sat. 3/21       7pm – 2am            Republic Square Park

 Eco Lightgarden at SXSWThis annual project offers a peaceful escape from the crowds and offers a chance to interact with and be inspired by the latest efficient LED technologies.

Volunteer

 

But perhaps a local’s favorite thing to do is to volunteer at SXSW. More than 3,500 volunteers contribute countless hours of time to ensure the festivals’ success. Volunteers earn perks based on the number of shifts worked. Perks can range from t-shirts to platinum (all-access) badges.

Feb. 27, 2015

2701 Coatbridge - South Austin Home for Sale

512-297-3442 – http://KeepAustinWeirdHomes.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists. 

2701 Coatbridge, Austin TX

Keep Austin Weird Homes is pleased to feature a listing at 2701 Coatbridge Drive, Austin TX 78745.Here is your opportunity to own your piece of the American Dream at an affordable price. This is an awesome price for a remodeled home on the market in this area, and it still offers the updated features you desire!

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath single story home is located in the neighborhood of the Cherry Creek, which is in South Austin. The master bedroom features an attached bath with marble shower and new fixtures. The kitchen is equipped with all new stainless steel appliances and granite counters. Sliding doors open to the patio, which is perfect for entertaining. You’ll love relaxing in the large, fully fenced backyard!

This South Austin neighborhood is served by Sunset Valley Elementary, Covington Middle School and Crockett High School.

Located less than 5 minutes from The Westgate shopping area, you can easily commute anywhere in Austin or the surrounding towns from this home. So what are you waiting for? Get off the endless cycle of renting, and stake your claim in this great South Austin neighborhood.

View FULL DETAILS and PHOTOS here: South Austin Home for Sale

2701 Coatbridge, Austin TX     2701 Coatbridge, Austin TX

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: Although this property was available at the time of this ad creation, it is very possible that an offer has been submitted or even accepted since that time. This ad was created with the intent to sell THIS property. If you are interested in this property, Please call 512-297-3442 to check on its current availability.

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