Austin Gets Second Area Code

Central Texas about to get second area code: 737

 

Callers in the Austin area code may soon be required to begin dialing the area code in order to complete the calls. Austin continues to grow and in order to provide a continuous supply of phone number a new area code (737) has been implemented.

Since two area codes will not be servicing the same geographic area, local callers may be required to include the area code when dialing, including calls within the same area code. Check with your landline or cellphone providers for more details and the exact implementation dates.

In addition to the long standing 512 area code, the new area code of 737 has been implemented as an available area code for the Austin area. See the blue area in the image.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please call your phone provider or visit the Texas Public Utility Commission’s website.

 

A Packed Week

A Packed Week

by Celia Hayes

Call Mission Realty for your San Antonio Real Estate needs! 210-319-4960

Just to get into the mood and establish the mental sound-track, imagine a mariachi band kicking it into raucous high gear. Now, imagine a ten day long city-wide block party, food festival, oyster feast, rock concert, art show, parade, debutant ball and live comic burlesque … yes, it’s Fiesta time again in San Antonio, with the usual packed schedule of events suited to every taste. From Night in Old San Antonio in La Villita, to the Battle of Roses parade; it’s a couther and more family-friendly version of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, as a commenter once described it. Fiesta began over a hundred years ago, with a simple modest parade of flower-bedecked carriages and bicycles to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Sam Houston’s victory at San Jacinto. But everybody – simply everybody wanted in on the fun, and so Fiesta has grown, and grown and grown into it’s present extravagant form. Everyone loves a party – and the more the merrier.

However … it does make downtown San Antonio more than usually challenging, especially around those locations serving as event venues, and if the thought of heavy traffic and cheek-by-jowl crowds do not appeal, there is an alternate amusement over the weekend of the 27th-28th in the pleasant little town of Buda, just about an hour’s drive north on IH-35. That would be the world-famous Buda Wiener Dog Race, sponsored by the local Lions Club, which began sixteen years ago as a fund-raising hot dog roast, and then someone had the brilliant notion of including a dachshund race … and like the Fiesta in San Antonio, it just grew from there. This year’s event poster – which is always a riff on a popular movie – is “Les Wienerables.” Previous years posters have been “Lord of the Wien,” “Wieners of the Caribbean” and “Gone With the Wiener.” The whole thing is totally dog-friendly, even to non-dachshunds, and runs like a well-oiled machine. Instead of trying to find a parking place near the park in downtown Buda, the Lions have set up event parking in a huge open field behind the Cabela’s – and run frequent shuttle busses to the event venue in the Buda City Park.

And on a serious note – a little over three weeks ago, my daughter and I went up to Fort Worth for a book event. We made a pit-stop at the Little Czech Bakery in West, which I wrote up in an account of our road trip later. We were absolutely horrified to hear about the fertilizer plant explosion; an explosion so violent that it was heard for miles and demolished nearby houses and apartment buildings as if they had been made of balsa wood. But worse than loosing homes – which can and will be rebuilt – is that West’s volunteer fire department lost about a third of their number. That is a catastrophe for a small town and a tragedy for their families and friends. Human lives cannot be replaced, as much as we would wish it. But things can be and a home rebuilt, as I know from my parent’s experience when their retirement home burned in a wildfire in 2003. Knowing at least that strangers cared softened the loss of their home in a small way. Currently, HEB is collecting donations for the relief of those residents of West who have lost practically everything but the clothes they stood up in, as is the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and many individuals. As soon as we can, my daughter and I plan to drive up to Waco and to the Czech Stop – and this time, we’ll buy a dozen kolaches at the Little Czech Bakery.

Selling Your Home with Pets

Selling Your Home with Pets

Moving can be a stressful time for all members of the family, including our pets. As a home seller, you’re not only managing your dog’s stress, you’re trying to maximize the value of your home. You will have a lot of strangers coming in and out of your home while it’s on the market. If you have a busy home, your dog may be used to meeting lots of new people. But this probably occurs when you are home. Without you, he may not understand that these “intruders” are your prospective buyers. Will he become territorial? Stressed? Will he bark excessively? Or follow the new folks around jumping up, licking, or otherwise trying to make friends? Regardless, all of these attention-getting behaviors are signs of stress.

Here are a few options to make the transition easier.

      1. Crating him. This is a great option if your dog is already crate trained. Crate training is wonderful for confining your dog for short periods of time while you are away. If your dog is properly crate trained, try not to stress him by crating him for longer periods than he is used to. If he is not crate trained, it’s probably too challenging to start right before putting your house on the market. It may seem like a good idea, but your dog may become overly stressed. And for the prospective buyers, viewing a home with a dog’s incessant barking does not make the best impression.
      2. Putting him in the backyard. Again, if this is something your pup is accustomed to, it may be a good option. Make sure you understand how he’ll behave with strangers in the backyard in your absence. Is the backyard his “turf”? Will he greet prospective buyers with dirty paws? If your dog is not used to being left in the backyard, you’ll have a hard time predicting his behavior. It might help to put your dog in the backyard and have an acquaintance come over for a test run.
      3. Take him for a short outing during showings. This is one of the best options. You’ll know your dog is safe and out of the way. And the extra attention and exercise will ease the added stress brought on by the move.
      4. Look into dog boarding at a dog daycare. If you can’t take your dog for an outing, dog daycare is a great option. Dog daycare is a service growing ever more popular in San Antonio over the last decade. Your dog is cared for by pet professionals, usually from early morning to late afternoon, in a dog park like setting where he can socialize and play with other dogs. He’ll get plenty of exercise and attention. And he’ll come home tired and sleep like a puppy. He’ll be out of the house giving your prospective buyers all the time they need to decide your house is their next home. Best of all, many San Antonio dog daycares have webcams where you can watch him having a wonderful time playing fetch or tug of war with his new friends. Watch out. The webcams can be addictive.

Nicole DeLeon is the founder of Embarkly.com, a leading online marketplace for dog boarding and daycare. Embarkly.com lets pet parents book pet boarding and daycare online just as they would book a hotel room or an airline ticket. With real time price quotes and availability, rather than making dozens of phone calls, booking your pet’s stay just got a whole lot easier.

Texas Governor Lauches Chicago Ads

Gov. Perry Launches Chicago Ads

Monday, April 15, 2013  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release

As part of his ongoing efforts to spur competition between states and recruit jobs and employers to Texas, Gov. Rick Perry is taking his message of low taxes, predictable regulations, fair courts and a skilled workforce to employers in Chicago with a week-long web and print ad buy in Crain’s Chicago Business Journal and on chicagobusiness.com. Paid for by TexasOne, the $38,450 mixed media advertising buy includes a two-day takeover of the website, email marketing and a full page ad in Monday’s edition of Crain’s Chicago Business Journal.

The governor’s latest business recruitment efforts coincide with a new, Illinois-targeted section on Texas Wide Open for Business, and come just two months after Gov. Perry launched a radio ad inviting California business owners to check out Texas’ strong jobs climate.

TexasOne is a public-private partnership that markets Texas nationally and internationally as a prime business destination.

To view the Texas web ads, please visit Chicago Business.

TEXAS STILL GROWING

CROWD CONTROL: TEXAS STILL GROWING

April 12, 2013

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas is again a top destination for many people.

According to the results of U-Haul International Inc.’s latest National Migration Trend report, more families moved to Houston in 2012 than any other U.S. city. This marks the fourth year in a row that Houston has claimed that honor.

Other Texas cities landing among the top 50 were San Antonio (5), Austin (6), Dallas (17), Plano (25) and Fort Worth (26).

The rankings reflect more than 1.6 million one-way U-Haul truck transactions in 2012. A corporate release states that the findings are not reflective of overall growth.

However, the company also calculated the percentage of inbound moves versus outbound moves for each city to get an idea of which cities had the most overall growth. Austin ranked third with a 7.3 percent growth rate. Dallas was 14th at 3.16 percent, Corpus Christi 18th at 1.79 percent, Houston 20th at 1.43 percent and Plano 25th at 1.03 percent.

To learn more about Texas growth and the challenges that come with it, tune into this week’s Real Estate Red Zone podcast. Real Estate Center Research Economists Dr. Jim Gaines and Dr. Harold Hunt discuss their latest Tierra Grande article, “Crowd Control: Planning for Texas Population Growth.”

IH 35 Road Trip Part 2

IH 35 Road Trip – Part 2

by Celia Hayes

The road was long, and went on and on in the dark. I thought that we’d see the sunrise about the time that we passed Round Rock, but no – thanks to daylight savings time, we didn’t see it even begin to get light until we passed through Waco. At that juncture, something moved us to want to take a break. Well, actually three things moved us: we were getting hungry again, my daughter wanted to top up the gas tank, and we both needed to use the bathroom facilities. And there was a billboard advertising the Czech Stop Bakery, and not a truck plaza or another Buc’ees in sight, in a little hiccup of a town called West. So, pull off the highway onto the access road, looking for the Czech Stop – easily found, by the way. If the giant lighted sign isn’t a clue, the packed parking lot in front of it ought to be.

I bought two plain kolaches, which they obligingly heated for me, and I wish, I wish, I so wish that I had bought a box of sweet pastries to carry on to Fort Worth with me, for the kolaches were magnificent; savory and flavorful lengths of kielbasa-like sausage, enveloped in a yeasty pillow of bread dough. I looked around the bakery – even at that hour, there was a line in front of the counter. After the fact, I discover that the Czech Stop is famed far and wide. Some commenters on foodie websites even swear that it’s worth the drive all the way from San Antonio for the sweet and savory pastries. I don’t know as I’d drive that far, gas being what it is, but if it is along your way, the Czech Stop is most definitely worth it.

On and on we went, making the interesting discovery that winter still held sway. It was actually darned chilly, and I was particularly grateful for the sweaters and jackets that my daughter had left in her car. I left my San Antonio home in shirtsleeves – and four hours later, there was white stuff caked in the grass along the side of the road, where the pavement met dirt. It had been so long since I had actually seen it, it took a few moments to recognize the remnants of snow. Yes, indeedy – Palm Sunday weekend, and snow along IH-35 coming into Fort Worth – while it’s shirtsleeve warm in San Antonio, with the wisteria and roses are all in bloom.

The next attractive bit of roadside business managed to enchant us thoroughly, even at a passing speed of 70 MPH – and that was the Rustic Creek Ranch, which hove into sight as we were approaching the outlaying fringes of Fort Worth. An extensive waterpark-playground feature, an RV park, grounds landscaped so extensively as to make your average KOA look like a dump … and the rental cottages on-site! Oh, my – I looked them up online as soon as we got home that evening, after an incredibly, horribly, very long day. The Rustic Creek features luxury cottages, with bells on. Oh, did we wish that we could have rented a cottage there, instead of the long drive back and forth. I would have so loved to sink into a double bed, piled high with quilts … Well, I did – I just had to wait until I got home.

And that was our spring road trip. When we make it back in the fall, for an evening author event, we are scheming how to fit in a short stay at the Rustic Creek Ranch. It all depends on how my books sell!

 

Texas Boasts More Jobs Than Last Year

Texas Boasts More Jobs Than Last Year

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – All Texas industries and the state’s government sector had more jobs in February 2013 than in February 2012.

According to the Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy, the state’s construction industry ranked first in job creation, followed by mining and logging, leisure and hospitality, other services, professional and business services and trade.

The state’s economy was robust, gaining 355,600 nonagricultural jobs from February 2012 to February 2013, an annual growth rate of 3.3 percent compared with 1.5 percent for the United States. The state’s private sector added 336,800 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.8 percent compared with 1.9 percent for the nation.

All Texas metro areas except Texarkana had more jobs. Odessa and Midland ranked first in job creation followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Fort Worth-Arlington and Corpus Christi.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in February from 7.1 percent the year before. The nation’s rate decreased from 8.3 to 7.7 percent.

The state’s actual unemployment rate was 6.5 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate, followed by Odessa, Amarillo, Abilene, San Angelo and Lubbock.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, only 14 of the nation’s 100 largest metros have more jobs now than they did before the recession, and six of them are in Texas. They are Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen, Dallas and Houston.

IH35 Road Trip Part 1

IH-35 Road Trip Part 1

Find your new home on our San Antonio MLS Home Search

by Celia Hayes

Having a book event last Saturday in Belton – a very pleasant and prosperous town overtaken and reduced to mere suburb status by the mighty municipalities of Fort Worth on one side and Dallas on the other. Not having more than a day available to spend on this excursion, and depending on the takings from sales of books at it for any extraneous adventures, we did not take any scenic and exciting backcountry routes to and from. Instead, we took the simple and uncomplicated road – IH-35, at a consistent 60 to 70 MPH, except for twenty minutes on the return journey, stuck in Austin traffic at a slow crawl. How they can manage a total stand-still on a Saturday evening is beyond me; it must be some kind of special Austin gift.

But that simple, straight-forward jaunt took us right by a number of curious attractions conveniently located right off the highway, beginning with a stop at Buc-ees in New Braunfels. At an early hour on a Saturday, the joint does not precisely jump – but as a stop for gas, sandwiches, coffee and a visit to the princely and beautifully clean bathrooms – the place has no equal in Texas or the world. Believe me; I have experienced some of the vilest public bathrooms in Europe and Japan. In Europe, they built cathedrals – in North America, the finest bathrooms since Rome. At Buc-ees, the food is pricy, but excellent, and how many other choices do you have at 5 in the morning off the interstate, anyway?

The next curiosity going north would be just south of San Marcos at the San Marcos Retail Outlets. We used to spend a lot of money there; and it seems that a lot of other shoppers have done so too, — for they have expanded hugely. The outlet mall around Centerpoint/exit 200 is practically a tourist attraction in itself, although I don’t think the Venetian gondolas get all that much use.

Austin – oh, what can one say about Austin: It used to be a series of scattered farms and blockhouses, among the hills and woods by the upper Colorado River, until Mirabeau Lamar killed a buffalo near Congress and 8th street, and decided that henceforward, Austin would be the capital city of an independent Texas. And so it did – these days Austin is distinguished by a vibrant music and intellectual scene, astonishingly clogged traffic on the IH-35 even on weekends, a view of the capital building from the highway, and an incredibly large assortment of hotels along the stretch of IH-35 between Austin and Georgetown. Every hotel chain in America must have three or four outlets along that single stretch.

So does another commercial establishment; a single Ikea store. There it is, on the outskirts of Round Rock, a monument to spare modern Scandinavian design and flat-pack furniture, marooned in the middle of a country where elevated taste often runs to chairs contrived out of cattle horns and upholstered in cowhide with the fur on.

On northwards – to Waco, home to Dr Pepper, Baylor University and … most impressively to a lover of Texas history; the home of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, which is right off the I-35. It is so close that I would have squeezed in a brief and flying visit … if we had not been going past at 6:45 in the mornings, a tight schedule and a serious need to be in Belton by 9:30 at the very latest.

(But there were so many interesting places glimpsed as we flew past, so many bill-boards for places … another time, when time is not so pressing upon us. The rest of this journey is continued next week…)