Category Archives: Uncategorized

Love Love Love Gardens

I just can’t say enough about how much I love beautiful flowers and fabulous landscaping! I have created several Boards on my Pinterest page with flowers, gardens and outdoor spaces that I am in love with. Flowers and gardens give me a sense of relaxation. I stay really busy with my life as a Realtor, so coming home to flowers and a lush garden just make me feel warm and fuzzy inside…content.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say beautiful gardens increase the value of your home, BUT, I would say it certainly makes a home look great and sell well. Think about what you look for in a home. A nice, well maintained yard, is most times on the list of “must haves”. Compare a home with absolutely no landscape to one that is lush, gorgeous and inviting.  Which would you choose?  I know which one I would choose!

FlowerGarden Gardens

I know you are most likely thinking that gardens take a lot of water to maintain the lush look. Not so much. Flowers adapt nicely to your watering schedule. I choose flowers though, that do not take much water. Roses are probably one of the best examples of low maintenance and low watering requirement. Think about the rose bushes you see in cemeteries. How much watering takes place in a cemetery? Virtually none!  Many new home developments around the Austin area are requiring that the homeowner only have 50% of their yard in sod, the rest in draught tolerant plantings. The subdivision, Rancho Sienna, is one of those.

….By the way…. It appears that the City of Austin is looking into the processing of gray water for our use here in Austin. More on that in another blog post.

All around Austin you will see Knock Out Rose bushes everywhere! That’s because they do not require much water; i.e.: draught tolerant. They give a huge burst of color into the landscape. More bang for the buck, so to speak. In fact, you may not know that many varieties of roses were created from grafting rose stems from rose bushes in cemeteries…thus the name antique roses.

Knock Out Double Rose Knock Out Roses

Now that I have given you something to think about in the landscape….. Which home would you choose? The yard with the beautiful landscaping or the one without?

Patti Simon ~ Austin Tx Realtor


What is a Homestead?

If you bought a home last year, then you have until April 30, to file for your Homestead Exemption!  Chop Chop! Times a wasting!  This is very important and not many new homeowners know to file for a homestead exemption. It is always discussed at the closing table but chances are, you were overwhelmed on closing day and inundated with info and paperwork, that you may have missed this tidbit.

What is this thing you speak of, you ask?

Well…….A homestead is the one primary residence of a person, and no other exemption can be claimed on any other property anywhere, even outside the boundaries of the jurisdiction where the exemption is claimed.

Not to get too technical but a Homestead exemption is a legal regime designed to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors, law suits, and circumstances arising from the death of the homeowner spouse. Laws are found in state statutes or constitutional provisions which exist in many states in the United States. The homestead exemption in certain southern states has its legal origins in colonial Spanish exemption laws. Exemption laws in other states were enacted in response to the effects of economic depressions in the nineteenth century.

So in Texas, a homestead exemption helps you save on taxes on your home. An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it was worth only $80,000. Nice huh?

Below are the links to download the necessary forms to claim your exemption.

Don’t delay, as the deadline for filing is April 30!

You should receive your preliminary tax assessment in May or June. If you need help protesting your assessed value, please contact me for assistance in determining current market values.

ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!   Patti Simon Austin Tx Realtor

The American Dream!

Home Ownership is still the American Dream!

Many things come to mind when the words The American Dream are uttered. For me, I immediately think of owning a home as the ultimate American Dream. After all, our family and our home is the center of our lives in America. We work hard at having a comfortable, beautiful home that’s full of love and life to share with our family and friends. Home is where we enjoy creating something that is all ours. We own it. It’s a place that reflects our personality, where we create our family traditions that will long be remembered and passed down through generations. It’s a place where we form our family values and is an expression of who we are.

Does it matter if we own a home or not? Over the past few months, our country has gone through some turmoil as it continues to work through a sad financial upheaval of sorts. The question of home ownership has been debated where some critics have said that too much emphasis has been put on the virtues of home ownership. Really? Who are these people? Have they forgotten that for hundreds of years the people in the United States have believed that property or home ownership is a core value of this county? We must remember who we are as a nation, what our core values are and where our families begin.

Home ownership still remains the dream of an American and will always make a difference in family relationships, values and our connectedness to the communities in which we live. In a recent poll, when asked if homeownership is a better financial decision than renting, 96 percent of homeowners said it was and 71 percent of renters agreed. Even in times where this country has been in a financial crisis, the vast majority of Americans still see home ownership as a smart decision…financial stability. Homeownership is a great way to increase your net worth…a slow wealth builder. With every payment, equity builds.

Be proud of your accomplishment if you are a home owner and if you are not, continue to work toward owning a home. Live THE AMERICAN DREAM!