100 Blogs about Austin

100 Blogs about Austin

There are a TON of great blogs in and about Austin.  For several weeks now I’ve been compiling a list of as many as I could find about all sorts of topics here in Austin and Central Texas.  Here are a bunch of blogs about Austin

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Today I heard one of the oddest lines I’ve ever heard while helping someone move to Austin.  “I’m moving to Austin without a Job”.  This guy was going to start a blog, and make a go here.

It caused me to stop and think for a few minutes.

Anyone can start a blog.  For free.  But to make a truly great blog takes some work.

Work like these people have done.

Here is my list of the 100 greatest Austin Blogs.  Ordered alphabetically because I don’t know of any other way.  Most are updated daily or at least several times per week, and all are worth checking out. Now, just because your blog or your favorite blog isn’t on this list, it’s not because I don’t like you.  I just don’t know about you!  So be sure to provide suggestions in the comments below and I’ll add it!

Big World Small Girl – An Austin blogger with a focus on the craft beer scene in this community.

#When in Austin – Humor about Austin news

365 Things to Do – Austin events

A Taste Of Koko – Inspiring the inner chef in you through daily recipes, cooking/baking tips, how-tos, restaurant spotlights, product reviews, and giveaways.

Adored Austin – Family Life and Style in the Heart of Texas

Amber Demure – Cartoons and sketches with a humorous slant.

Amy in Austin – Lifestyle blog

An Avenue – An Avenue is an ongoing ‘craft culture’ discussion from the perspective of one Beer-a-Day in Austin, TX.

Aneelee – Vegetarian meal plans, recipes and stories about food in the day-to-day life of our family of three in Austin, TX

ATX Gossip – Austin celebrity gossip

ATX Street Style – Austin street style photography

ATXGlutenFree – Gluten-free news and recipes

Austin Bloggy Limits – Austin Music Blog

Austin Contrarian – Chris Bradford on economics, zoning and Austin, Texas.

Austin Culture Map – CultureMap will keep you plugged in, enlightened and entertained about culturally relevant news and information in Austin.

Austin Eavesdropper – I write about the creative culture of Austin and tell stories about my life.

Austin Gastronomist – Includes original recipes, restaurant reviews, and stories that explore Austin’s culinary culture.

Austin is Burning – Austin fashion news

Austin ModHouse – Living in MCM-Inspired Home We Built in West Lake Hills (Austin), Texas

Austin Moms Blog – Passionate about our community and the moms who live here.

Austin Slave to Fashion – Austin style and fashion blog

Austin Startup – News, Jobs, Events, Resources

Austin Technology Law Blog – Texas Technology Lawyers

Austin Town Hall – Promoting local musicians and more

Austinot – Austin news and interviews

Bonnie Berry – This is a place where I share both my professional and personal photographs as well as my thoughts and words.

Brady Bunch Remodel – For going on the past three years we’ve been remodeling a cool 1970′s house we purchased together in South Austin. We have a lot going on! But, we’re really, really happy.

Camile Styles – My passion is to bring creativity, inspiration and stress-free style to our readers around the globe.

Casa Weenie – Austin Cartoons

CoolinAustin – Austin events

Covert Curiosity – Austin Music scene

The Custom Home Blog – Luxury Home News & Information

Digging – I garden in Sunny Austin TX, Zone 8b

Downtown Austin Blog – Downtown Austin and Neighborhood Blog

Eastside Vibe – Austin, Texas: The Live Music Capital of the World.

Eater Austin – Eater is the source for people who care about dining and drinking

Edible Aria – This a journal describing my efforts to eat a healthy, interesting diet on a reasonable budget. The focus here is primarily on sustainable, fresh whole foods.

Epicuriosities – Building Friendships and Community through Culinary Adventures

Fete & Feast – Food Blogger’s Guide to Austin

Film School Rejects – All the latest movie news, movie trailers, reviews and commentary.

Fly Fish Chick – Women’s lifestyle and fly fishing blog!

Food Good Laundry Bad – I’m a stay-at-home Mom of three, shacked up in the country in Central Texas staying sane through this blog.

Foodie is the New Forty – Seeking out the delicious side of life

Free Fun in Austin – Local Adventures for Families

Geek Austin – One of the oldest tech blogs in Austin

Genie in a Blog – Writer, artist, wife, mother, cook, maid, bookkeeper…all around genie in a bottle, except you only get one wish, and it has to be reasonable.

Girl Eats World – Follow Linda’s journey in her efforts to eat the world. Restaurant reviews, recipes, food thoughts, food memories. A food way of life.

Greening Austin Daily – Greening Austin Daily is an environmental blog with everyday tips and info on being green in Austin.

Hilah Cooking – I create short-form, educational, and occasionally hilarious cooking videos geared towards beginner and intermediate cooks, as well as people who are just looking for simple, low-cost recipes. Everything is made from scratch, people!

I Love Beer – Drinking beer in a great city, Austin, TX.

In Her Stilettos – Austin and NYC Style Blog

In the Pink – Political Blog

Japanese Trash – Masculine Design

Josh Dilworth – Personal Austin Tech blog

Keep Austin Stylish – Fashion news from Austin

Keep it Complicated – I’m a writer, author, blogger and I parent four kids under 11 in my spare time. We are madly in love with our new city…Austin, Texas.

Live Mom – We are a local bunch of mamas who have come together, mostly sane, to bring you many resources that will build a better village.

Lonely Gourmet – Lonely Gourmet was created as a result of Laurie’s being sick and tired of eating out, eating fast food and frozen food.

LoveScience – Research based Relationship advice

Mad Betty – Austin life and pop culture blog

Mad for Mid Century – Mid century living in Austin

Man Up Texas BBQ – Texas BBQ.

Micro Famous – Ink slinger, red pen wielder, TV watcher, shower singer, fist fighter, habitual smirker. Ruminative. Loves words that end in -ola. Lives in Austin, TX.

Modern Austin – Modern houses and design in Austin Tx

Oh Hey, What’s Up? – Austin Lifestyle blog

Ovrld – Whether you’re an Austinite looking for a cool concert this weekend, or you’ve never been to the music capital of the world but want to get the latest on what’s happening here, we are here for you.

Party Ends – Austin Music scene

Pink Kisses – We’re like a mechanic for a broken heart. We’re a smart and thoughtful community built to let you know you’re not alone

Reel Snarky – Film, TV, and music news for the masses!

Return on Now – Return On Now, based in Austin, TX, provides online marketing services and reputation management for businesses and individuals.

Side One Track One – Side One Track One is a music/film blog based in Austin, Texas.

Slackerwood – Slackerwood is devoted to reporting and reviewing all aspects of Austin film.

Soccer Apologist – Soccer commentary, delivered with American snark

Some Assembly Required – Networking, Marketing, PR, Sales, Advertising, Business Development, Presentation Skills, and Social Media

Sonic Itch Music – Our goal here is to share our thoughts, ideas, and experiences as they apply to the music that we feel to be interesting and worthy of your attention.

Spike Speaks – Personal blog of writer Spike Gillespie

Sweat Ever Day – I work out and I talk about it.

Taco Journalism – In search of tacos y más in Austin, Texas.

Tasty Touring – Since July 2008, Tasty Touring has been a creative outlet for writing and photography and also to share food and drink-related recommendations and experiences in Austin and beyond.

Texas Type A Mom – Follow along on my journey through parenthood from pregnancy to toddler, product reviews (let me try before you buy), my family’s gastronomic whims, and life here in Austin, Texas.

The Austin Listening Post – News about news in Austin

The Fabulous Geezer Sisters – Austin feminism, politics and family blog)

The Simplifiers – Wedding and Event planning

The Vegan Explosion – Vegan food in Austin

Tipsy Texan – Drinking and booze and bars in central texas

Tribeza – TRIBEZA is Austin’s leading locally-owned arts and culture magazine

U Love I – Austin nightlife photos

Ultra 8201 – Music and more

What Jew Wanna Eat – Jewish recipes with a twist

Wheelchair Mommy – I am  a 30-something paralyzed, stay-at-home Mommy to 3 boys, & an amazing husband.

When in Austin – We explore Austin with our audio recorders in hand seeking out compelling stories.

You Stay Hoppy Austin – Austin Beer Blog

If you want me to check out your blog, and add it to this ever growing list, please let me know in the comments below.

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The average sales price of a downtown Condo breaks $1 Million in Austin

According to a report released on the Downtown Austin Blog the average price of a Downtown Condo in Austin reached $1,061,682.

This data is the average of 124 new sales of units in four of the most luxurious hirises:  The W Hotel Residences, The Austionian, Spring Condos, and  The Four Seasons Residences,  Of course these are the premiere urban living spaces, but even when you take the data from all the other tall residential buildings the result is similar. (more…)

What do do for Valentines day in Austin?

Austin is a great city to celebrate Valentine’s day.  It doesn’t matter if you are a long time resident, or just planning a romantic getaway.  We have lots of activities for you and your honey, and some are quite spectacular.

If you are like me, you have probably been with your sweetie other for a while.  We’ve been married for 12+ years,  and together for 7 before that.  After so much time, It’s hard to come up with something romantic, especially if it is a weeknight.  I’m sure there will be a lot of people a little late for work tomorrow because of a late romantic night tonight, but for us, that’s not an option because of our little one, and our busy schedules. so we are going to celebrate over the weekend.

Here’s my ideal Valentine’s Date in Austin –

Who wants to battle Austin traffic?  Not me.  That’s why I call my friends at Concord Limo who have just the right luxury car to whisk us stress free around for the evening

Screen shot 2013-01-09 at 11.15.52 AMOur first stop will be for a few cocktails at Malverde,  Located upstairs of the great restaurant La Condessa, in Austin’s trendy 2nd street district, they are the perfect spot to begin a relaxed and fun evening.

I usually go for a traditional martini, but sometimes I just have one of the specials to try something new.

As the night goes on, the bar can get sort of crowded, so the next phase will to build a little appetite, and keep the wife happy with a little shopping along 2nd street.  The 2nd Street district is full of local and national boutiques  amazing restaurants, and fancy hotels, and even a Spa or two.

Valentines day restaurantDinner will be at Trio tonight.   Located in the 4-Season’s hotel, I love this place.  My good friends know that I’ve been a vegetarian for 25+ years, and although they have lots of different dishes on the menu, the chef’s there never disappoint me when I tell them my dietary restrictions.

They have a great upscale feeling, and aren’t too noisy that you have to shout to be heard.  Just the perfect spot for a nice romantic dinner.  I like to ask for a table by the windows so we can watch the people out on the lake.

After dinner, we will just take an elevator upstairs to our room at the 4-Season’s Austin.

But it’s not over then.  I’ll have the car pick us up and whisk us out to Austin’s premiere spa for some body work.  Travaasa is one of those hidden gems that not a lot of people know about (until now).  Nothing is more romantic to my sweetie than a couple’s massage and just spending time together being pampered.


So what do you do in Austin for Valentine’s day if you are on a budget or don’t want to spend a fancy night out on the town?

Mt Bonnell at SunestMt Bonnell – If you are the outdoor type, a walk (easy hike) up to Mt Bonnell might be just your thing.  There is a great spot overlooking the lake, which is perfect for Austin sunsets,  and the downtown skyline, but I’m pretty sure it gets busy up there on V-Day, so either get there early to stake out your spot, or battle the crowds.

You can always judge how crowded it is by the number of cars parked on the road.

A lot of people will be making reservations for a romantic dinner.  There are so many great restaurants to choose from, but here are my top choices of places that offer some more private tables or cozy booths.

Sadly Romeo’s, the #1 place for couples on Valentines Day is closed.

For a few chocolates , you might want to splurge a little and visit Edis for Chocolates or Pastries

Then you can take a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride downtown.  I know of three companies that do this – I’d give them a call today to make a reservation because they wil probably book quickly.

Town Lake Carriage Rides

Austin Carriage

Austin’s Die Gelbe Rose Carriage

Whatever you decide to do, let us know.  We would love to hear your plans!

Garage Door Companies in Austin

A new garage door opener, installed is about $400 bucks.  Some companies try to sell you more services than you need, and others just do what you ask without a lot of hoopla.  Here’s my review of three garage door companies in Austin.

Last December, on the coldest day of the year, my garage door decided that it was done working.  I was running a little bit behind schedule. I had to swing by the office to pick up some papers before heading out to  a listing appointment on 620 – and it was a nippy 33°, so I didn’t want to mess around.

I pressed the button on the wall to open the door, and the garage door opener started to make a horrible grinding and shrieking noise, and the door opened a total of 2 feet.

So I pressed the button again, and the door closed.  Pressed it again and I got it open 4 feet.  Still not enough to back the car out.

One last try, closing and opening the door, and I managed to get it up enough to get the car out.

So as I was driving out to the lake, I called three garage door companies to send them out to the house to get a quote.  Here’s what I learned:

  1. Access
  2. Precision
  3. Cedar Park

The nice thing is that all three companies came when they said they would, and each called me first to announce they were coming.

Access Garage Door Service

Access Garage DoorsThe first company to show up was Access Garage Doors.

Of the three companies, Access had the most affordable price, and the system they were selling came with two remotes, a wall button, and one of those keypads that goes outside the door, as well.

But the guy didn’t really do much besides open the door, look at it and say, “Yep, you need a new opener”.   The good thing about this is that he didn’t try to sell me something I didn’t need, but at the same time, I think I’d have liked an inspection just in case I needed something else.

Precision Garage Door Repair

Precision Garage Door ServiceThe next company to come was the national chain Precision Garage Door.

This company was the most expensive of the three, and also came with the least amount of goodies.  Only one keychain remote was included.

But, they also did the most thorough inspection, and even sprayed stuff on my chain opener, on the garage door spring, and even the hinges and rollers.   This quieted my noisy door a lot, made it run smoother, and seemed to fix the problem, at least temporarily.

Cedar Park Garage Doors

Cedar Park Garage Doors

The third and final company to come as scheduled was the local Cedar Park Garage Doors.

By the time they came, the door was working pretty much as it should.  There didn’t seem to be much wrong.  But they also did a great inspection, and told me that although everything was working, it was a good idea to replace my motor, as it seemed to be as old as my house.

At the same time, the service guy also did the most to educate me about garage door upkeep and maintance:  Checking all the hinges and rollers, how to lubricate all the moving parts with a silicon based spray (not WD-40), how to open the door in an emergency, and that I needed some electric sensors at ankle level to bring the whole system up to code.

All in all, I was happy with each company.  I don’t want to bias you with who I chose, but I was happy overall with the price, and the quality of the job.


The 10 best housing markets of 2013

A list of the 2013 best housing markets in the USA was just released by Trulia.  Tara-Nicholle Nelson one of their bloggers asked their economist Jed Kolko, makes several predictions about what US cities will have a great real estate market in 2013.

Guess what.  Austin made the list.

In fact, 4 Texas cities made the list.  And one of them was ranked #1, but we won’t talk about that, Because the Nation’s 3rd largest city is nowhere as cool as Austin is, and the other two are just riding on our coat-tails.

Texas has always been a successful state.  I don’t always agree with all of the political stuff that goes on, but overall the decisions that are made about business in Texas have shown to be pretty successful, otherwise we wouldn’t always be in the news and on these lists.  In fact, my wife and I chose to move here right after the dot-com-bust of the Silicon Valley, and we have never looked back.

As for the report, there were several parameters used for ranking the cities:

Job Growth

There is no doubt about it.  Austin is experiencing some tremendous job growth.  You don’t even have to look at the numbers.  You can see it in our ever increasing skyline.

Companies like Visa and Apple are building and opening campuses here that will employ hundreds and thousands of people all with professional level salaries (think $50K and up).  As that happens everyone associated with them will need clothes, cars, food, and of course entertainment.  All those services will continue to grow as more and more big companies move to Austin.

The Housing Crisis

The housing crisis that much of the country experienced didn’t really affect Austin.  At the time of the writing of this blog post (Jan 2013) Austin has had it’s 18 straight month of increasing housing prices.  It’s simple economics – supply and demand.  If the supply is low, and the demand is high prices go up.

That’s what’s happening in Austin.  The median home price is still floating around $200K, but as you can see from this graph there is a large luxury market in Austin as well.

Which leads me to my next point…

Low Apartment Vacancies

Austin apartments and rentals are around 98% occupied

Low Foreclosures

Austin has a very low foreclosure rate. Mostly because our unemployment rate is so low.  People have great jobs (see above), and can afford the houses they live in.

According to Corelogic (NYSE: CLGX), a company that measures such things, the December 2012 Austin Foreclosure rate (latest data available at time of writing) was 0.19%. Compare that to the national average of 6.53%  That’s right.  Austin has a uper low foreclosure rate.

What does all this mean?

Well, it’s exactly like the report says.  Austin is predicted to be a top 10 best housing market for 2013.  And just so you know what the other places are, here are is the complete list.

  1. Houston, TX
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. Omaha, NE-IA
  8. Peabody, MA
  9. Fort Worth, TX
  10. Lousiville, KY-IN

As a realtor I can honestly say that if you are interested in moving to Austin, now is the time.  As Austin makes more and more of these lists, one thing is going to happen.  Housing Prices are going to rise.

For the original report you can click here.

2013 Resolutions

Do you have any resolutions for 2013?  I’m publicly posting mine.  These are mostly real estate resolutions, but I think the last one is the best.

Top people have future orientation – the think about the future.  Where they want to go, where they want to be.

For the last several weeks they have been handing out a simple goal guide at the weekly sales meeting and encouraging us to fill it out.  I’ve always thought it kind of silly, but since this a new year, why not try something new.

What do you want?  Write it Down.  Set a deadline.  Male a list of steps to achieve that goal.  Take action immediately on something.  And finally, do something everyday.

So I’m writing down the 10 things I would like to have in 2013.

  1. I want 50 new listings in 2013. That’s an average of 1 per week with a 2-week vacation.  I’ll accomplish this by doing the basics.  Calls, mailings, networking, and of course follow-ups. I fell a bit short on this, but hopefully can do it one year.  Maybe not my first year out though.
  2. I want to use all my postcards that JB Goodwin provides every month.  This includes the free open house postcards, the free new listing postcards, and the free postcards that I win from contests.  All of them will be used to market myself, of course. I did this and had a great response.  Next year instead of just using basic postcards, I’ll be using some from moo.com.
  3. I want to write a blog post about real estate everyday. (Mission accomplished today).  This is the hardest.  I posted about 200 blog posts, but still fell short.
  4. I want to increase my personal contacts on Facebook, and especially Google+ to over 300.  That’s less than1 new follower per day. Accomplished for Facebook (550), and halfway for G+ (272)
  5. I will conduct a blogging seminar for JB Goodwin.  This will help others get better websites, and elevate the Real Estate game in Austin.  Done with great success.
  6. I will do a form of exercise everyday.  Be it push-ups, sit-ups or running (even if it is on a treadmill).  Not quite.  The daily activities are hardest.
  7. I will become fit enough to get off high blood pressure medication. Not done.  Probably bad genetics.
  8. I will go to the F1 race (hopefully in a luxury box). It was during Jenn’s birthday so I didn’t even ask.
  9. I want to get my little Spitfire running again. Not accomplished.
  10. I will be the best father and husband I can be. A work in progress.