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Urbanspace Favs

Top 5 ATX Swimming Spots

 

Photo from: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/Getty Images

 

 

With Summer approaching fast and furious, you’ll definitely need a place to shake the Texas heat. But luckily, Mother Nature blessed Austin with a number of splashy swimming spots that offer a fun way to cool off. Check out our Urbanspace Top 5 Swimming Spots below!

 

Barton Springs Pool: Combine great swimming with people watching at the historic Barton Springs Pool, just minutes from downtown Austin. Located in the heart of the 360-acre Zilker Park, this swimmer’s paradise features clear water fed from underground springs that stays a refreshing 68 degrees year ‘round, along with grassy hills for sunbathing. (2131 william barton dr, 78746) 

 

Deep Eddy Pool: The huge Deep Eddy Pool is the state’s oldest pool, and offers a traditional public pool experience in the center of Austin. (401 deep eddy drive, 78703)

 

Hamilton Pool Preserve: Located a 40-minute drive from Austin in Texas Hill Country, Hamilton Pool Preserve is a geological wonder. This historic swimming hole was formed by the Hamilton Creek spilling out over limestone outcroppings, creating a dramatic 50-foot waterfall that plunges into a canyon. (24300 hamilton road, TX 78620)  

 

Jacob’s Well: Swim in an artesian spring just 40 minutes outside of Austin at Jacob’s Well Natural Area. The cool, clear water is surrounded by rocky ledges and shady trees, creating a picture-perfect swimming hole. Jacob’s Well is the second largest fully submerged cave in Texas and the spring releases thousands of gallons of water a day, eventually feeding into the Blanco River. (1699 Mt Sharp Rd., TX 78676)

 

Blue Hole: Drive 45 minutes south of Austin to reach the glorious Blue Hole, located just outside of Wimberley. The crystal-clear waters of Blue Hole stay an ideal 75 degrees all year round, and are shaded by towering cypress trees. Manicured waterside lawns are the perfect place to spread out a blanket and crack open your cooler. Rope swings hanging from the trees complete the quintessential water hole experience. Admittance is limited and reservations are required for swimming, so make your reservation online here. (blue hole ln, 78676

 

 

Urbanspace Favs

Easter Brunch 2021: ATX Dining Guide

 

Photo from: Jeffreys of Austin

 

 

If you’re looking to celebrate Easter out of the house this year, Austin has a ton of great options to choose from. Check out these Urbanspace Favs for some delicious food and continue to support local this holiday weekend! 

 

Jeffrey’s: Treat yourself to a 4-course brunch on Easter Sunday. The special occasion menu highlights include foie gras, wood-fired lamb chops, spring pea and new potato salad and a dobos torte. Reservations available from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 4. (1204 west lynn st, 78703) 

 

Olive & June: Enjoy Easter brunch on the picturesque patio at Olive & June. Their special holiday menu features deviled eggs, a brioche cinnamon roll, eggs benedict, Tuscan home fries and a classic carrot cake. (3411 glenview ave, 78703)

 

South Congress Cafe: South Congress Cafe is serving up all of your brunch favorites this Easter Sunday! Enjoy tunes from an onsite DJ from 12-3 p.m. while sipping on your favorite cocktail or mimosa before ordering a delicious entree, like the shortrib hash or carrot cake French toast. (1600 south congress avenue, 78704)  

 

Fleming’s: Itching to go out? Dress in your Easter best end enjoy a decadent 3-course meal, featuring a hand-cut filet mignon paired with crab stuffed shrimp or lobster tail scampi. Open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. (320 east 2nd st, 78701)

 

Juniper: Juniper will host brunch on Easter Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Arrive hungry to enjoy their prix-fixe menu that includes fresh pastries, some classic Juniper dishes and fun Italian brunch items, like breakfast lasagna. (2400 east cesar chavez, 78702

 

 

Urbanspace Favs

Urbanspace’s Top 5 Breweries in ATX

 

Photo From: Eater Austin

 

 

Austin is full of craft beer, and the city’s expansive brewery scene offers plenty of opportunity to get your drink on. With St. Patrick’s day coming up on Wednesday, March 17th, what better way to celebrate than with a beer in hand. Check out the list below for Urbanspace’s fav ATX breweries to hit up. 

 

Hi Sign Brewing: Hi Sign Brewing is just a stone’s throw from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Their shaded outdoor space has picnic tables and hammocks that are made for watching the planes flying overhead. While this is one of Austin’s newer breweries, Hi Sign has grown their lineup of core beers into an expansive menu that continues to offer more unique variants on classic styles. (1201 bastrop hwy, 78742) 

 

Zilker Brewing Company and Taproom: This industrial taproom showcases every aspect of their brewing process. What makes Zilker Brewing different from breweries is that they have seltzer here, and Spicy Boys Chicken is parked out front with their Asian-inspired fried chicken wings. (1701 e. 6th st, 78702)

 

The ABGB: Austin Beer Garden and Brewery, just off South Lamar, has literally everything you could want in a brewpub. And that’s exactly why they continue to win awards that acknowledge them as one of the best brewpubs in the country. Here you’re treated to spectacular live music on a stage that beautifully shows off the brewing equipment. Order some of the delicious pizza and salad to pair with The ABGB’s numerous award-winning beers. (1305 w oltorf st, 78704)  

 

Austin Beerworks: The iconic can-only brewery hosts tasting hours, as well as pint nights, with the brewery’s Can-tina truck on site. The taproom serves from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 12 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. (3001 industrial terrace, 78758)

 

Lazarus Brewing Company: Lazarus Brewing Company is right in the middle of East Austin’s popular Sixth Street district, but you’ll be able to spot the brewery by its bright teal exterior. Lazarus Brewing is constantly experimenting and brewing the most-underrepresented styles of beer. You might hear that often, but really, this is a brewery that will make you excited about craft beer. Lazarus opens early every morning for coffee and breakfast tacos and stays open late for craft beer and more tacos. (1902 e 6th st, 78702

 

 

Urbanspace Favs

Valentine’s Day 2021: ATX Takeout Guide

 

Photo from: Abarestaurants.com
Photo from: Abarestaurants.com

 

 

While Valentine’s Day has always been an excuse for a fancy dinner and night out on the town, this year in the midst of a pandemic people are encouraged to order in and stay home. Luckily, Austin’s list of restaurants offering takeout remains abundant allowing us all to enjoy the luxury of 5 star restaurant cuisine from our own homes. From American to Mediterranean, Urbanspace has got you covered on the top Valentine’s Day meals in Austin this year. 

 

34th Street Cafe: The American restaurant is offering two prix fixe menus that come with a bottle of rosé. The four-course meal with smoked beef tenderloin is $135 and the five-course one with hot smoked salmon is $120, both for two people. (1005 w 34th st, 78705) 

 

Aba: The Austin location of the Chicago restaurant is offering two-person to-go dinners. There are options to add on wine, cocktails, dishes for children, and even a plant from local shop Tropic of Capricorn. The price is $119.95 for two people. (1011 south congress avenue, 78704)

 

Dai Due: The butcher shop/restaurant is putting together four-course single-serving meals for Valentine’s Day. There’s a wild game package and a vegetarian-friendly one, plus options to add the cookie box and bottles of wine. The wild game package for one person is $82; vegetable package for one person is $72. (2406 manor road, 78722)  

 

The Carillon: The campus restaurant is offering a four-course meal, featuring breads (including a ciabatta or baguette from Easy Tiger), spreads, salads, entrees, and desserts. $140 for two people. (1900 university avenue, 78705)

 

Salt & Time: The butcher shop put together a bunch of meal kits (with two different two-person prix fixe meal with steaks) and raw meat specials. Steak prix meals are $200 or $225 for the dry-aged option; meats per pound and other goods range from $10 to $20. (1912 east seventh street, 78702

 

 

Urbanspace Favs

Top 5 ATX Happy Hours

 

 

Austin’s best happy hours make it easy to unwind after work or enjoy a drink with friends before dinner. Check out the list below for Urbanspace’s favorite ATX happy hours to attend. 

 

Codependent Cocktails + Coffee: Seaholm District’s hottest new hangout spot and the Brain Child of our very own Kevin Burns and Merrill Alley, Codependent is a conceptual coffee and cocktail bar inspired by Italian luxury, aperitivo culture and the belief that beautiful design should be enjoyed by all. Enjoy a charcuterie board alongside a glass of wine or rotating cocktail on the patio Monday-Friday from 4-6PM. Happy hour includes $10 rotating cocktails, $5 off wine-by-the-glass, $5 off charcuterie boards, and 5 bites for $5. (301 west ave #110, 78701) 

 

Jeffrey’s: Want to try Jeffrey’s, but not up for dropping the serious serious bucks required? The happy hour menu features half-off appetizers and $2 off drinks at the bar. It runs all night on Monday, and then from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. (1204 west lynn, 78703)

 

North Italia: The Italian restaurant chain’s happy hour includes half-off wine bottles and $10 pizzas from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. (500 w 2nd st. #120, 78701)  

 

La Condesa: All cocktails are half-off during the Mexican restaurant’s happy hour, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on the weekdays. Plus there are marked-down snacks like quesadillas, nachos, and tacos al pastor. It’s available in the bar area of the downtown restaurant. (400a w 2nd st, 78701)

 

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails: The West 5th Street cafe’s happy hour features excellent $5 cheeseburgers, $3 cans of beer, and $5 glasses of sangria from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Then there’s a late night happy hour with $5 draft cocktails and $2 Pearl beers, from 9 p.m. until close Tuesday through Sunday too. (406 walsh st, 78703

 

 

Urbanspace Favs

Top 5 Holiday Events

to Attend in Austin this December

 

The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park on Monday December 11, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

From light shows to shopping pop-ups and the Nutcracker at home, we’ve got you covered for the top events in Austin to help you celebrate the holidays this December:

 

Austin Trail of Lights: The 55th Annual Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. This year, the spectacular trail will return as a drive-thru event in December. Arrive early with a Dash Pass, or cruise through the night with General Admission starting November 28th through January 3rd. (zilker park)

 

Peppermint Parkway: Peppermint Parkway is a magical drive-thru experience at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas. The holiday spectacular will be a one-mile driving attraction that will immerse visitors in millions of holiday lights synchronized to joyful holiday classics from November 27th through January 3rd. Tickets can be purchased online. (circuit of the americas)

 

Luminations: At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, experience the calm of winter with the shimmer of thousands of luminarias lighting the way. This year, for the first time ever, stroll through the naturally beautiful Texas Arboretum among the illuminated oaks and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia. Held from November 27-January 3, with limited capacity and plenty of space to explore. (lady bird johnson wildflower center)  

 

“The Nutcracker: Home for the Holidays”: Ballet Austin is bringing a favorite holiday tradition home for the holidays by transforming its 58th annual production into an interactive, multi-media experience available to dance lovers around the world. The immersive entertainment offering will be available to audience members in the comfort and safety of their homes. (virtual performance)

 

Downtown Holiday Stroll: Downtown Holiday Stroll is back for 2020! Instead of just one night, this year’s Stroll will be a month-long celebration with free, family-friendly activities taking place throughout downtown. Visit downtown Austin to celebrate the holiday season with safe and socially-distanced festivities like the holiday shopping passport, pop-ups, appearances by Mr. & Mrs. Claus, holiday window and light displays and the signature 45-foot downtown tree. (congress avenue, between 9th street & 11th street

 

 

Urbanspace Favs

Top 5 Austin Restaurants

to Order Thanksgiving Takeout From

 

Photo from: Fresa’s

 

For those who find themselves a bit overwhelmed with cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner, or want to switch up their normal routine and support local Austin restaurants, here’s a list of Urbanspace’s top 5 restaurants to order takeout from: 

 

Texas Honey Ham: An Austin and Office favorite, Texas Honey Ham has both Honey Glazed Hams and Freshly Roasted Turkey Breast available for purchase by the pound, and delicious side options that include Corn Bread Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Gravy, Chipotle Cranberry Sauce, Baked Potato Casserole, Apple Slaw, Austin Baked Beans, Honey Mustard Potato Salad, and of course Shells and Cheese. (3736 bee cave rd, ste. 6, 78746)

 

Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon: Fresa’s entire Thanksgiving meal comes with a roasted turkey with gravy, chorizo stuffing, and a spicy citrus-serrano cranberry sauce. Or opt for the turkey breast meal if you don’t feel like dealing with bones. Diners can also pick out three of the available sides for any of the two meals, which include roasted Brussels sprouts, poblano spinach gratin, and mac and cheese. Order a pozole kit for those turkey leftovers, and there are pies too. (1703 s. 1st st., 78704)

 

Micklethwait Craft Meats: For a smoked meats-filled Thanksgiving, the barbecue trailer is accepting preorders for the holiday. On deck are family-style meals with either whole turkeys or briskets, plus sides such as green bean casserole, lemon poppy slaw, jalapeno cheese grits, and more. Then there are standalone whole turkeys with gravy or pickles, onions, sauces, and bread, or whole brisket with the same pickle addition, plus a la carte green bean casseroles, stuffing, and pies. (1309 rosewood ave., 78702)  

 

Salt & Time: The butcher shop and restaurant has a variety of meats and sides for the holiday, including the enormous John Madden: a 22 to 24-pound turkey with extra drumsticks stuffed with sausage and cornbread dressing and wrapped in lace fat. Meats range from $7.50 to $52 per pound; the John Madden is $200; sides and condiments range from $8 to $16; party platters start at $50; pies are $24. (1912 E. 7th St., 78702)

 

Dai Due: The Cherrywood butcher shop carries a cornucopia of Thanksgiving offerings, including brined turkeys from Belle Vie Farm, smoked ham, turducken sausages, charcuterie, mincemeat, brined quails, sides, kolaches, pies, and pie dough. (2406 manor rd., 78722) 

 

 

Get to Know Austin’s High-Rise King, Kevin Burns

Get to Know Austin’s High-Rise King

 

FEATURED IN TRIBEZA’S SUMMER 2020 ISSUE

KEVIN BURNS SHARES A PERFECT DAY IN ATX

 

Known as Austin’s High-Rise King, and our own beloved CEO and Founder, Kevin Burns has helped shape the Austin skyline for over 20 years now with the 20th anniversary of Urbanspace. Featured in Tribeza’s Summer 2020 Issue, Burns shows off his expertise of the downtown Austin lifestyle, and welcomes the public into what makes up the perfect day in downtown Austin. 

 

 

Burns likes to start his day early with a bike ride around the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail which happens to be a favorite exercise spot for many members of the Urbanspace team, both real estate agents and designers alike. Just a short ride away from the new Urbanspace HQ, and Burns’ residence at The Independent, the trail is the perfect place to connect with nature, enjoy the city’s green space, and break a sweat. 

 

 

After his workout, Burns is all about eating, drinking, and being social. A few of his favorite weekend activities include brunch at TRACE, hanging poolside at The Independent, dinner at ATX Cocina, and catching a show at Stubb’s or Moody Theater

 

Watch the video, or check out the full article featured on Tribeza’s website to get the full scoop on a perfect day in Austin and what the future of downtown development looks like in Austin.

  

How To | TCAD Appraisal Protest

Written By: Connor Matthews

 

Every spring, Travis County property owners whose market value has increased by at least $1,000 over the last year will receive a Notice of Appraised Value by the Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD). This notice contains three important values; Market Value, Assessed Value, and Taxable Value. The TCAD is responsible for fairly determining the value of all real and business personal property within Travis, County, and appraises property according to the Texas Property Tax Code and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP).

 

However, if you believe the market value of your property is incorrect, you have the right to protest that value. Here’s a simple guide on when you should protest your taxes and how you can do so.

 

When should I protest my taxes?

  • When your appraised value is higher than your purchase price (if purchased during the prior year).
  • If similar sales comps indicate a lower than appraised value.
  • If property condition is poorer (and can be documented) vs. similar appraised properties.

 

How do I protest my taxes online?

  1. Go to https://www.traviscad.org/eservices/ and select “E-File”. If you do not already have a login, you’ll need to create a New User account.
  2. Once your account is created, you’ll need to add the Owner ID and PIN number provided in your notice of appraised value mailed to you from TCAD. To add your Owner ID and PIN, go to Profile > Manage PINs > Add New PIN.
  3. You’re now ready to appeal your taxes online. Select Taxpayer Tools > Online Appeals > Click Here to E-File > Select “E-File” button next to the property you would like to protest. Once selected, you’ll need to provide commentary (limited to 1024 characters – don’t worry, you’ll still have the opportunity to upload evidence at a later stage). Check the box at the top if you would like to request a copy of the evidence which will be used in the hearing. After submitting, be ready to provide your opinion of value. The status of your appeal should show “In Review” at this stage.
  4. Shortly after submitting your appeal (it could be a few days pending volume of appeals), you should receive a protest update email from TCAD indicating a protest and case number have been successfully created for your property. You can now upload evidence using the Evidence menu at the top of the TCAD Web Portal. If you purchased your home in the prior year and your purchase price was lower than your appraised value, your best path forward is simply uploading your Closing Disclosure that reflects the purchase price (TCAD is generally prompt at making adjustments with this evidence provided). If your appraised value is under your purchase price or you did not purchase your home in the prior year, you’ll need to provide sales comps as evidence that your TCAD appraisal is overvalued. If in fact your home’s tax appraisal is overvalued, your Urbanspace agent may be able to provide sales comps for your protest evidence. To submit evidence, select “Evidence View” from the Protest Summary view and select “Upload”.
  5. Once evidence is submitted, TCAD will review and provide a settlement offer (within 10 business days). The settlement amount could be higher or lower than or the same as the initial appraised amount. After receiving the settlement amount you must accept, reject, or withdraw the offer.
    • If accepted, your appraised value will be updated to reflect the settlement offer.
    • If you reject the settlement offer, you will receive a letter in the mail with a formal hearing date and time. 
    • You can withdraw from the appeal process at any time. 

 

TCAD also provides tutorial videos here https://www.traviscad.org/protests/

 

 

Understand How TCAD appraises Your Property 

It’s important to note that TCAD’s process of appraising homes is much different than how an appraiser hired by a bank values a property. Understanding how TCAD appraises properties will help in determining what evidence will and will not be to your benefit when protesting.

 

  • TCAD assesses a property value based on the land and the improvements
    • Land value is based on the neighborhood and is generally consistent across similar sized lots within a neighborhood
    • Improvements are valued based on square footage and property condition
      • Property condition is identified with a class code and is generally a factor of property age
        • As property ages the class code will be adjusted to reflect condition
        • If you apply for a permit to renovate your home, the class code will also be updated
  • Generally, it’s easier to argue a properties improvements value vs. land value. This can be a challenge for central Austin neighborhoods as often, the land is worth more than the improvement. If you protest your land value, you likely will not be offered a reduced settlement and will need to reject and proceed with a formal hearing date and time.

 

How To | Get Pre-Qualified for a Home Mortgage

 

Shopping for a new home is an exciting time and we love getting to be a part of the process. To make this process as easy as possible for you, we strongly recommend that you get pre-qualified by a lender. A mortgage pre-qualification can be useful as an accurate estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a home and ensures you are truly looking in your price range.

 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on the pre-qualification process. 

 

1. Find a Lender 

Find a lender you’d like to work with. We’ve included a few of our favorite lenders below. They serve as a resource to select the financial institution best suited to you so that you can choose the most competitive loan terms and most favorable lending experience.

 

2. Have Your Information Ready 

Once you’ve found a lender you’d like to work with, the Lender will start with gathering some basic information about you and your financial history. If you are going to have a co-borrower, the Lender will need their information as well. In order to pull the required credit report, the lender will need information such as your gross income before taxes, and your social security number. 

 

3. Receive Your Results 

If the information you have given and the information obtained from your credit report meets the lender’s guidelines, the lender will make a preliminary decision on the particular loan you qualify for. *It is important to note that the Lender is not making a promise to lend this specific amount. Each lender will have their own standards and guidelines as to how much they will allow you to borrow. 

 

5 Great Tips for Downsizing to a Condo

By Abby Drexler

There are many reasons why you might be downsizing to a condo, including the fact that your kids have moved out of the house and you no longer need the space, you need a place that requires less maintenance or you are looking for a change. No matter what the reason, getting ready to move from a larger home into a smaller one will take some time and effort.

 

1. Plan Ahead

Since it can take a while to sort through your belongings and sell the home you are currently living in, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get through the process. If you are moving with a family member or spouse, make sure everyone is comfortable and on board with the downsizing decision. This can reduce having to deal with hurt feelings and anger later down the road. Depending on your situation, you may need a few months to get all of your things together and make sure everyone is comfortable, or you may need up to a year. Make sure to take as much time as you need.

 

2. Consider the Items You Can’t Live Without

Through the years of living in your current home, you have no doubt acquired a lot of different things. Some of these will be important to you, and others not so much. Before moving into your new condo, it’s a good idea to make a list of the things that you can’t live without. This might include sentimental items that were given to you by friends or family members or pieces of furniture that are incredibly comfortable that you just have to have.

 

3. Get Rid of Things You No Longer Need

For all the items that didn’t make it onto your list, you’ll need to decide what to do with them. There won’t be enough room in your condo for all of your belongings, so the only options you have are putting your stuff in storage (which will incur a monthly cost) or getting rid of them. If any of the items are in good shape, consider recycling, selling ordonating them. The only things that you should throw away are items that are broken.

 

4. Know the Measurements in Your New Place 

Before moving any items into your new condo, it’s helpful if you know the measurements in your new place. This will ensure that your furniture and other belongings will fit. If they won’t, then you’ll need to make some decisions about what to do with them. This step can help you reduce your belongings even further to ensure that you are only taking the necessary items to your new home.

 

5. Work with a Moving Company

Once you are ready to move into your new condo, make sure to work with a moving company. This will make the process easier. You won’t have to worry about asking friends or family members to help move you into your new condo, and you won’t have to stress about how you’re going to move the heavy items. If you work with the right moving company, they may even pack your belongings for you.

 

Deciding to downsize your home and move into a condo is a major life decision. It will come with some stresses and fears, but it can also be viewed as an exciting new adventure. It will take some time and effort to get ready for the move, but putting a plan in place and having people help, including professional movers, will make the process less daunting and challenging.

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