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2112 Indian TrailReduced to $650,000

Open Sunday, August 31 from 2:00-4:00 PM

and Saturday, September 31st from 1:00-3:00 PM

Charming, updated 3 bedroom Tarrytown home located on a fantastic street. Flexible floorplan, 2nd living area/ den, spacious back patio & yard for entertaining. Open kitchen, gas 5 top burner, Marble countertops, breakfast bar, Stainless Steel appliances included. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout. Separate laundry room. Plantation shutters. Spacious bedrooms, walk-in closet in master with built-in dresser.

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1920 W 40th Street- Reduced to $525,000

Open Saturday, August 31st from 1:00-4:00 PM

and Sunday, September 1st from 1:00-4:00 PM

Highly coveted Oakmont Heights home with original charm and expanded for today’s homeowner. Original, refinished hardwood floors. Master suite added with en suite bath and three large walk-in closets. Private back yard with mature landscaping & space for a raised vegetable garden. Formal dining room could serve as a playroom if need be.

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Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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According to recent findings from the National Federation of Independent Business, small business growth is up and business owners are more optimistic about the economy. Because most small business owners open a business near their home, we would expect major U.S. cities to see their fair share of new businesses. NerdWallet Taxes examined the top 20 biggest U.S. cities to find out how welcoming they are to small businesses. We calculated total scores for each city using data on local taxes, growth rates from the Milken Institute’s 2012 Best Performing City survey, and business owner opinions of the local regulatory environment from the 2013 Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey. Four of the top 10 cities are located in tax friendly Texas, while New York City and San Francisco do not make the cut.

1. Austin, TX Tech giants Dell and IBM make their home here, but Austin proves equally friendly to small businesses. The city scores highly thanks to no state or local personal income taxes and its 2nd place rank in the Milken Institute’s 2012 Best Performing Cities for favorable growth prospects in technology, real wages and jobs. Austin also scored 2nd for its hassle-free business licensing requirements, according to data from Thumbtack’s 2013 Small Business Friendliness Survey.

Local income tax: 0% (sample median: 0%) City property tax: 1.24% (sample median: 1.35%) Growth rate rank: 2 License friendliness rank: 2

2. San Antonio, TX Home to big companies like Clear Channel and Valero, San Antonio earns the second spot in our list because it has the highest ranking for friendly licensing requirements, where on average small business owners say that the city’s regulatory environment is “somewhat friendly.” San Antonio also scores in the top 10 for its growth prospects.

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.36% Growth rate rank: 6 License friendliness rank: 1

3. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX Dallas is home to over a dozen Fortune 500 companies and like other Texas cities, it is very welcoming to small businesses, scoring in the top 5 for ease of licensing requirements and growth prospects. While it did not score highly for property taxes, Dallas is still a very attractive city for small business.

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.38% Growth rate rank: 5 License friendliness rank: 5

4. Baltimore, MD One of only three East coast cities to make our list, Baltimore earned a top 10 spot because it ranked 3rd for its hassle free licensing requirements. One downside is that Baltimore levies personal income taxes between 1.25 and 3.2% and scores poorly because of relatively high property taxes.

Local income tax: 3.2% City property tax: 2.27% Growth rate rank: 7 License friendliness rank: 3

5. Houston, TX Houston ranks fifth thanks to a very friendly overall tax environment. It had the third lowest city property tax rates at 1.15% and ranked third for growth prospects.

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.15% Growth rate rank: 3 License friendliness rank: 11

6. San Jose, CA The only California city to make our list, San Jose earned the no. 1 spot in America in Milken’s growth ratings, largely thanks to an influx of Silicon Valley technology companies and educated labor force. The city also scored in the top 10 for low-hassle licensing requirements.

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.27% Growth rate rank: 1 License friendliness rank: 7

7. Charlotte, NC While North Carolina isn’t known for its friendly income tax code, Charlotte did score highly for low unemployment tax rates and scored in the top 10 for property taxes, long-term growth prospects and non-burdensome licensing requirements.

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.28% Growth rate rank: 8 License friendliness rank: 10

8. Indianapolis, IN While not as tax friendly as Texas cities, Indianapolis scored 6th for easy licensing requirements and 10th for future growth rates. Indianapolis ranked poorly for property taxes and also levies an income tax of 1.62%.

Local income tax: 1.62% City property tax: 3.35% Growth rate rank: 10 License friendliness rank: 6

9. Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville scores in our top ten largely thanks to its presence in Florida, a state with zero personal income taxes and relatively low payroll taxes. Jacksonville earned 4th place for its easy licensing requirements but scores lower for growth prospects (15th) and property taxes (12th).

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.80% Growth rate rank: 15 License friendliness rank: 4

10. Phoenix, AZ Phoenix earned 10th place mainly because of Arizona’s tax friendly environment: the state scores 3rd for lowest income tax rates and 2nd for lowest payroll taxes. Phoenix scores 8th overall for property taxes and 9th for ease of licensing requirements.

Local income tax: 0% City property tax: 1.30% Growth rate rank: 16 License friendliness rank: 9

Where are San Francisco and New York City? New York and San Francisco perform poorly in the overall rankings (12th and 14th respectively) for small businesses. For a business earning $100,000 a year in profits, New York City is the worst city from a tax standpoint. New York also scores poorly (12th) from a licensing standpoint. On the bright side, its attractive job growth rates and large workforce appeal to small businesses for ease of hiring, as it earned 11th place in the Milken study among all U.S. cities.

San Francisco did not make the list because of its difficult licensing requirements and California’s high income and payroll taxes. Nonetheless, San Francisco appeals to many small businesses because of its diverse and educated workforce, favorable growth prospects and established network of high-tech companies.

Methodology: To calculate each city’s total score, we assigned weightings to the following variables: state income taxes (5%), city income taxes (10%), payroll taxes (25%), city property taxes (10%), city growth rate rankings (20%) from Milken Institute’s 2012 Best Performing City survey, and ease of licensing requirements (30%) from the 2013 Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey. Licensing requirements were coded from 1-5, where lower scores indicate friendlier requirements. To determine effective state and local taxes, we assumed the business owner files taxes jointly as married, earns $100,000 in annual profits, owns a $500,000 commercial property, maintains a $50,000 payroll with 1 employee and qualifies as a new employer for state unemployment insurance tax purposes. Memphis was excluded because of data availability. Dallas and Fort-Worth have been combined in accordance with the Thumbtack survey.

Read the full Report from NerdWallet here

Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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10 Mortgage Tips for 2013

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the best time to refinance or get a mortgage to buy a home, think of 2013 as your last chance to act.

With good credit, persistence and some shopping skills, you can still snag phenomenal deals this year — even if you are underwater on your loan.

Here are 10 mortgage tips to help you with your mortgage decisions in 2013.

Tip 1: Stop procrastinating and refinance
If you haven’t refinanced recently, you’re probably paying a higher interest rate on your mortgage than you should. Take advantage of today’s record-low mortgage rates while they last. Rates are expected to remain low during the first few months of the year, but they should gradually increase. When they do, many borrowers will regret having missed the opportunity to grab the lowest mortgage rate in history.

Tip 2: Buyers, get moving
With rates near the bottom and home prices on the rise, it’s still a perfect time to buy a house. If you can afford a home and qualify for a mortgage, this may be your last chance to take advantage of the market and own a home for less. To speed up the homebuying process, get a mortgage preapproval before you start shopping.

Tip 3: Compare FHA vs. conventional loans
Many homebuyers opt for a Federal Housing Administration mortgage because it allows them to buy a home with as little as 3.5 percent down. But the already costly FHA fees that are added to your loan will increase again in 2013. As the costs of FHA mortgages rise, some buyers may consider saving a little extra for a conventional loan. Buyers need at least 5 percent down to get a conventional mortgage, depending on their credit. If you can afford the slightly higher down payment, get quotes for FHA and conventional loans, and compare the costs.

Tip 4: Ensure that your credit is golden
Credit standards remain tight. As new mortgage rules are unveiled in 2013, the standards are not expected to loosen. If you plan to get a mortgage anytime soon, you must treat your credit as one of your most valuable assets. Most lenders want to see a spotless credit history of at least a year on your credit report. You’ll need a credit score of at least 720 to get the best rate. Borrowers with a credit score of 680 or more can still get a good deal, but the lower your score, the harder it will be to get approved.

Review your credit report before you apply for a mortgage. Sometimes, paying part of your credit card balances can boost your credit score quickly. Generally, if you are using more than 30 percent of the available credit on your cards, you may be hurting your score. Also, check for credit errors and have them corrected before you apply for a loan.

Tip 5: Want to pay off your mortgage earlier?
If you are one of those homeowners who dream about being mortgage-free, the low-rate environment may be a good opportunity to refinance your 30-year mortgage into a 15- or 20-year loan. But make sure you can really afford the slightly higher payments on the shorter loan and that you have some money saved for emergencies.

Tip 6: Underwater refinancers: Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer
If you owe more than your home is worth and have tried and failed to refinance, why not give it another shot in 2013? The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP 2.0, was revamped to allow homeowners to refinance regardless of how deeply underwater they are.

Even after revisions to the program, many borrowers still found obstacles when refinancing. But the situation is improving. Lenders are much more open to HARP 2.0 refinances these days than they were a few months ago. If one lender says you don’t qualify for a HARP refi, don’t take “no” for an answer, and try to find a lender willing to do it.

Tip 7: Give your lender a chance
If you have trouble paying your mortgage, don’t ignore your mortgage servicer. There are new programs available for borrowers who struggle to keep up with their mortgage payments, including forbearance for those with FHA mortgages. Lenders have been more willing to work out delinquent loans through loan modifications and even short sales for homeowners who can’t afford to stay in their homes. It can be a frustrating process to deal with your lender, but communication is still your best tool.

Tip 8: Shop for a low rate and good service
Even with rates hovering near record lows, you should still shop for the best mortgage deal. Get quotes from at least three lenders and compare not just the interest rate but closing costs and the quality of their service. Favor lenders that have a reputation of closing on time. Start with referrals from friends and relatives when shopping for a lender and read online reviews from other borrowers about the particular lender or mortgage broker you are considering.

Tip 9: Approved for a mortgage? Leave your credit alone
Most lenders order a second credit report for the borrower a few days before closing. Don’t open new accounts or charge up your credit cards at the furniture store while you wait for closing day. New credit lines and maxed-out cards may hurt your score. If you were on the edge when you qualified, your mortgage loan could be rejected at the last minute.

Tip 10: It’s not over until the loan closes
You’ve submitted your mortgage application and locked a rate. The race has just begun. Submit any documents requested by your loan officer or mortgage broker within 24 hours, if possible. Any delays in responding to the lender or in letting the appraiser into your house are wastes of valuable time. Lenders will remain overwhelmed with the large volume of refinance applications at least through the first few months of 2013. It doesn’t take much more than lost paperwork or last-minute requests from your lender to delay your closing. If that happens, you risk losing the locked rate. Follow up with your lender or mortgage broker at least once a week to ensure the process goes smoothly.

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Click Next to Your School District for 2012 – 2013       ISD Ratings &  Back to School Information Note: Due to NEW STAAR testing replacing the TAKS, there is new criteria for school ratings.       * Some districts require you to enter your actual school website link to view specific school supply lists.

Austin: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Bastrop:ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Del Valle: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Dripping Springs: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Eanes: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Elgin: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Florence: ISD Rating | Calendar | *Supplies

Georgetown: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Granger: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Hays: CISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Hutto:ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Jarrell: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Johnson City: ISD Rating | Calendar | *Supplies

Lago Vista:ISD Rating | Calendar | *Supplies

Lake Travis: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Leander: ISD Rating | Calendar | *Supplies

Liberty  Hill: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Lockhart:ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Luling: ISD Rating | Calendar | *Supplies

Manor: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Marble Falls: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Pflugerville: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Round Rock:ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

San Marcos: CISD Rating | Calendar  | Supplies

Taylor: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Thrall: ISD Rating | Calendar | Supplies

Wimberley:ISD Rating | Calendar | *Supplies

How  2012 – 2013 ISD Ratings were determined: 2013 Accountability Rating System
Learn  about the NEW State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) TestInterested in Private School? See the Top 25 Private Schools in Central Texas
Check which school district you’re in: TEA school district boundaries by city / county / district name

 

Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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Use the scanner on your phone to download my mobile friendly user App.  Add the agent code once downloaded. Agent Code: KW2NPLHXO

Features of my new app:

  • The ability to search for homes based on criteria or by custom drawing on an interactive map;
  • GPS localized data displays homes in a given area that match the consumer’s price range;
  • The ability to easily swipe through galleries of photos to decide whether a home fits one’s needs and then add it to saved searches for convenient reference on the app or via the agent’s website, where the saved searches are synced;
  • The ability to save notes on properties for future reference; and
  • Faster communication via call, text or email.

Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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Austin has been named the most aspirational city in the nation by the Daily Beast for attracting ambitious citizens.  The website ranked the country’s top aspirational cities –  also referring to them as “magnets of opportunity.” After Austin as number 1, Houston came in number 3, San Antonio number 9 and Dallas number 11. The Rankings focused on economic indicators such as employment growth and per capita income, demographic factors like growth among immigrant residents and quality-of-life factors, including traffic congestion. Austin was ranked as a “place where people can enjoy the cultural amenities and attitudes of ‘progressive’ blue states but in a distinctly red-state environment of low costs, less regulation and lower taxes.” Austin also showed the largest “Brain Gain” with a 20.6% increase in new residents with a BA degree.

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A city at its best, wrote the philosopher René Descartes, provides “an inventory of the possible.” The city Descartes had in mind was 17th-century Amsterdam, which for him epitomized those cities where people go to change their circumstances and improve their lives. But such aspirational cities have existed throughout American history as well, starting with Boston in the 17th century, Philadelphia in the 18th, New York in the 19th, Chicago in the early 20th, Detroit in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by midcentury Los Angeles, and San Jose in the 1980s.

Yes, the great rule of aspirational cities is that they change over time, becoming sometimes less entrepreneurial, more expensive, and demographically stagnant. In the meantime, other cities, often once obscure, suddenly become the new magnets of opportunity.

To determine America’s current aspirational hotspots, we focused in large part on economic indicators, such as employment growth, per capita income, and unemployment. But we also took into account demographic factors, such as the growth of domestic migration and the movement of college-educated people and the foreign born.

Finally, we considered quality-of-life factors such as traffic congestion, housing affordability, and crowding—which are keenly relevant to young families hunting for the places with the best “inventory of the possible.” In a sense, we believe aspirational cities reflect a kind of urban arbitrage, where people look for those places that provide not just economic and cultural opportunity but a cost structure that allows them to enjoy their success to the fullest extent.

Our top two cities reflect the importance of  this arbitrage opportunity. Both No. 1, Austin, Texas, and No. 2, New Orleans, are places where people can enjoy the cultural amenities and attitudes of “progressive” blue states but in a distinctly red-state environment of low costs, less regulation, and lower taxes. These places have lured companies and people from more expensive regions, notably California and the Northeast, by being not only culturally rich but also amenable to building a career, buying a home and, ultimately, raising a family in relative comfort.

Like the Texas state capital and the legendary Crescent City, most of our top cities are located in the American South and lower Midwest, and they attract businesses and people not only from other sections of the country but also increasingly from abroad as well. These include No. 3, Houston, and the smaller but burgeoning oil town of No. 4, Oklahoma City. These are followed by three fast-growing, low-cost Southern cities: No. 5, Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina; No. 6, Nashville; and No. 7, Richmond, Virginia.

articleinserts_aspcities3-econ-growth
 

Not all our top aspirational cities are in Dixie. If there’s enough growth and opportunity, solidly blue-state regions can perform well enough to stay near the top of these rankings. Such cities include No. 8, Washington, D.C., and No. 10, Minneapolis–St. Paul, as well as No. 12, Seattle; No. 16, Denver; and even No. 22, Boston. In these cities, high-tech and professional-service growth has created enough wealth to offset higher costs while offering the next generation the chance to live in a culturally vibrant place where affording a home and raising a family are still possible.

Perhaps more surprising is the high aspirational ranking of some old Rust Belt and Great Lakes cities. The middle part of the country has been losing people and jobs for half a century, but more recently several urban areas within or bordering the Midwest have established enough of an aspirational culture to reverse the pattern of out-migration and begin luring people from the coasts. These include such diverse places as No. 15, Columbus, Ohio; No. 17 Louisville, Kentucky; No. 21 Pittsburgh; and No. 23, Indianapolis.

Of course, not everyone will find a perfect match in one of these cities. For those with extraordinary technical skills, for example, it still may make sense to move to the hotbed of the San Francisco Bay Area—notably No. 24, San Francisco, and No. 27, San Jose—where economic opportunity partially offsets extraordinarily high costs, at least for a certain portion of the population.

This applies as well even to cities toward the bottom of the list, including No. 46, New York, and, in last place, No. 51, Los Angeles. If you want to break into businesses such as finance, media, and entertainment, you have little choice but to concentrate on New York or Southern California. These areas may also prove more attractive to people who have inherited money (critical to affording houses or paying high rents), as well as those whose business is closely tied to these great cities’ ethnic economies.

People must also make tradeoffs when they decide where to locate. Some value a big house and yard, while others cannot abide a city without a decent opera or good Thai food. And those obsessed with, say, their children’s educations will clearly find a broader variety of schools and cultural institutions in San Francisco or New York than in Oklahoma City.

But for those who lack these specific demands, and for those whose priority is achieving a middle- or upper-middle-class quality of life, the less expensive, often smaller, and less congested cities seem to have  the greatest appeal. This may offend the sensibilities of retro-urbanists, who tend to cluster in the great legacy cities, along with our tribes of cultural tastemakers, but the hard reality shows that, for the most part, people move to places that offer not merely the best lattes or artisanal pizzas but the great opportunity for advancement.

The Geography of Growth

We give economic growth roughly half of the weight in these rankings. This consists of three factors: employment growth, unemployment, and per capita income. This is where some of the coastal cities still do well, notably San Jose, whose recent job growth places it first, as well as No. 4, Washington, and No. 7, Seattle. The local economies in these areas have all been driven by the rapid expansion of high-tech and professional services, which explains their particularly high per capita GDP numbers.

Yet most of the big winners in the economic-aspiration sweepstakes are concentrated elsewhere, notably in Texas. Since the recession, the Lone Star State has created 1 million new jobs, five times as many as New York state. In contrast, Florida and California have lost a half million positions. Not surprising, Texas accounts for four of the top 11 regions for economic opportunity (No. 2, Austin; No. 3, Houston; No. 9, San Antonio; and No. 11, Dallas).

No big economic region outperforms Houston, a metropolitan area of more than 5 million people that boasts arguably the strongest big-city economy in the nation. Not only the global hub of the energy industry, it also boasts the nation’s largest medical center and has dethroned New York City as the nation’s leading export center. Other strong performers include No. 7, Salt Lake City; No. 8, Oklahoma City; and No. 11, New Orleans, all of which have enjoyed strong job growth over the past five years.

What Do You Get for the Money?

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Strong economic growth—particularly high per capita incomes—represents half of our ranking, but this is balanced by considerations such as cost of living, housing, and traffic congestion. “Everyday life,” observed the great French historian Fernand Braudel, “consists of the little things one hardly notices in time and space.” This reality is particularly critical for young and prospective families, for whom a higher salary or glamorous environment may mean less than the prospect of owning a decent home, particularly without the necessity of a long, dispiriting commute.

These factors, we believe, will become more paramount as members of the large millennial or “echo boom” generation enter their late 20s, 30s, and even 40s over the next decade. This demographic—projected by the census to expand by roughly 8 million by 2025—is likely to prove intensely interested in owning their own homes. Indeed, research by generational analysts Morley Winograd and Mike Hais demonstrates that not only do millennials aspire to homeownership, but among the oldest cohorts of this group, now just entering their 30s, interest in buying a house actually surpasses that of their boomer parents.

This difference in the affordability of housing relative to incomes plays a major role in boosting the rankings of some strong aspirational areas, notably Raleigh; Richmond; Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City; and Indianapolis. Along with traffic congestion, it tends to bring down the rankings of most California metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego, as well as such hipster hotspots as New York and Miami. We also include “doubling up,” where more than one family lives in a household, as a surrogate for poverty (since metropolitan poverty rates are not adjusted for the cost of living).

Demographic Destiny

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The last component of our rankings, accounting for roughly a quarter, lies in demographic trends. Like playing defense in basketball, the most important thing here is to watch the feet. The question is movement: where are people going, and where are they not? This tells us much about future trends and how people, as opposed to the media, actually view the best places for them to settle.

Our methodology concentrates on three metrics: domestic migration, growth of foreign-born population; and growth in the number of college-educated people. These groups reflect what may be thought of as “the canaries in the coal mine”—indicators of where people seeking a better life are choosing to settle. This factor seems to jibe with our overall rankings more than any other component.

The biggest beneficiaries tend, not surprisingly, to be places that are economically vibrant but not prohibitively expensive, such as Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Raleigh, Nashville, Richmond, and Charlotte. Over the past decade these areas have enjoyed by far the fastest growth not only in migration, but in college-educated people and perhaps most surprisingly in number of foreign-born people. Today immigrants are flocking to such unlikely places as Nashville, Richmond, Louisville, and Charlotte. As for the college-educated, they, too, are also migrating to these same aspirational cities, as well as to new hipster hotspots such as New Orleans and Nashville. The increase in B.A.-degree holders in these cities averages in the double digits or higher over the past decade, in some cases more than twice the growth in such traditional “brain gain” cities as Seattle, San Jose, San Francisco, New York, and Boston.

The Urban Future

As the younger generation, as well as newly arrived immigrants, begins to look for places to settle, raise families, and start businesses, they will flock increasingly to these affordable and demographically, economically dynamic regions. Yet it is likely that other factors—global economics, shifts in immigration, and technological changes—could influence the aspirational landscape in the years to come.

In thinking about the future, then, it is important to recall that not long ago some of the cities near the top of today’s aspirational list were facing seemingly irreversible economic decline, demographic stagnation, and even loss and deterioration of basic infrastructure. You only have to recall the dismal ’70s in Seattle, where post-Vietnam budget cuts inspired some to ask that “whoever is last to leave turn out the lights,” or Houston and Dallas–Fort Worth after the oil bust in the ’80s, when those cities were widely known for their “see through” office buildings and abandoned housing complexes.

It’s always possible that unpredictable and major shifts could topple today’s aspirational cities from the top of the list. However, given current conditions and the most likely accrual of current trends, we can expect that most of the cities at the top of the aspirational rankings will remain there for some time to come.

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Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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Here are a few August events to jot down…
PET EXPO: Saturday, August 3rd 10-6 PM

Fabulous Prize Giveaways & Fun for both the Two-Legged AND Four-Legged
Adopt! Dozens of Rescue Groups and a Mega-Adoption Event
Discounted Vaccinations, Microchipping and Heartworm & Flea Preventatives

Free Nail Trims
Agility
Demonstrations
Live Entertainment, Obedience Demonstrations, Author Readings/Book Signings
The Latest & Greatest Pet Products
Learn About Pet Care, Volunteerism, Grooming, Pet Behavior & Training, Traveling with your Pet, How YOU Can Make a Difference, Different Types of Pets/Breeds, Veterinarian FAQ, Fun Activities for You & Your Pet

And MUCH MORE!

http://www.austinpetexpo.com/

 

ICE CREAM FESTIVAL: Saturday, August 17th

 Screaming for ice cream?

Bring yourself, your friends, your family and even your dog to the 7th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival and come scream with us. This event will include lots of games, activities, contests and live entertainment as well as what we all scream for ICE CREAM! See the ICE CREAM TRUCK!!!

http://www.icecreamfestival.org/mission.html

 

BAT FEST: Saturday, August 24th

What will you see at BatFest this year? 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from under the bridge at dusk, 2 stages with live music, more than 75 arts & crafts vendors, delicious food and drinks, fun children’s activities, a bat costume contest and other bat activities.
Because bats are wild animals, it is hard to predict exactly when the emergence will begin but the flight usually begins between 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. For current emergence times call 512-327-9721 EX16. The emergence can last up to ½ hour as 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats head out for their nightly flight. Bat Conservation International will have a festive booth on the bridge helping celebrate Austin’s favorite furry flying friends!

Numerous paid lots in the area including * Palmer Events Center Garage, S. 1st and Riverside * One Texas Center 505 Barton Springs Road Austin, TX 78704
Bike Parking: We have Bicycle Rack to secure your bike.  Be GREEN!
Ride the Bus! It is a great cheap, green option.
Hotels:
The Raddison Hotel Has the best view of the bats and is the closest to the event of any hotel in Austin. Address: 111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701, United States Phone:+1 512-478-9611

http://www.roadwayevents.com/RoadStar/Events-cat.asp?media1Id=1323

 
HOT SAUCE FESTIVAL: Sunday, August 25th

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, which began in 1990, has become the world’s largest, drawing as many as 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year. This year The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival will take place on Sunday, August 25 at Fiesta Gardens (2100 Jesse E. Segovia St.) in Austin, Texas.

In the 23 years since its inception, what started out as a small contest with a few spectators has turned into one of Austin’s biggest and best-known annual parties. The event is a favorite among hot and spicy food lovers from all over the country. The Hot Sauce Festival also serves as a major fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Last year’s Festival raised over $12,000 and almost 16,000 lbs. of food in a six hour period!

FREE to the public (with a donation of three healthy, nonperishable food items or a cash donation to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas), the event draws upward of 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year.

Food vendors will provide a wide array of foods. This year, Amy’s Ice Cream, Austin’s Pizza, Curra’s Grill, Sun Garden Shaved Ice, The Real McCoy Catering, Torchy’s Tacos, and Verona will be on hand serving up their specialty dishes!

The 23rd Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is sponsored in part by 93.3 KGSR, Aio Wireless, Black Iguana, Capital Metro, Car2Go, Frontera Produce, Google+ Local, Grande Communications, Just Add Chef, Latino 102.7, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Planet K, Roger Beasley Volvo, Sweet Leaf Tea, Texas Music Water, Titan Insurance, Univision, Whole Foods Market, and Ziegenbock.

http://www.austinchronicle.com/Market/HotSauce/

Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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