What’s doing, Austin?

It’s a happenin’ scene

Festivals, parties, charity events and other fun happenings are sort of a staple in Austin.  With (mostly) great weather and plenty of awesome venues we tend to be a hub for all manner of fun goings on — it’s part of what makes Austin such a great place to live!

Here’s a sampling of just some of what’s on the books for 2019:

South by Southwest (SXSW)
March 8 – 17 at the Austin Convention Center
Music, film, and interactive panels with big stars

Rodeo Austin
March 16 – 30 at the Travis County Expo Center
Livestock, games, food, sawdust & noisy fun

ABC Kite Fest
March 31 at Zilker Park
Kite flying and kite flying contests – fun for all!

Austin Food & Wine Festival
April 26 – 28 at Auditorium Shores
The name says it all!

Eeyore’s Birthday Party
April 27 at Pease Park
Keepin’ Austin weird…and  tipsy…

Pecan Street Festival
May 4 – 5 and September 21 – 22 on 6th Street downtown
Keeping Austin weird with food, crafts, art & people watching

Blanco Lavender Festival
June 7 – 9 on Pecan Street in Blanco
Lavender scented food, beverages, arts & crafts, and family fun

ROT (Republic of Texas) Biker Rally
June 12 – 16 at the Travis County Expo Center
4 noisy and fun days of bikes & bikers, with music and food

Austin Symphony Independence Day Concert & Fireworks
July 4th at Auditorium Shores
Bright lights, loud booms, pretty brass and strings

Float Fest
July 20 – 21 in Gonzales
Music, partying, and floating down the river

Austin Pride Week
August 2019 at Fiesta Gardens
Parade, fun, fashion, and fabulous-ness!

Bat Fest
August 24 at the South Congress Bridge
It’s bats, man! Plus live music and family activities

Fantastic Fest
September 19 – 26 at the South Lamar Alama Drafthouse
A sci-fi, action, fantasy, and horror film-lovers’ delight!

Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival
October 4 – 6 and 11 – 13 at Zilker Park
Two weekends, 8 stages, and a HUGE roster of artists

Austin Film Festival
October 24 – 31 at various venues around town
Film screenings, writer panels, and parties

Texas Book Festival
October 26 – 27 at the State Capitol
Discussions,panels,and book-signings with over 250 authors

Formula 1, US Grand Prix
November 1 – 3 at Circuit of the Americas
America’s only Formula 1 race

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
December 13 – 24 at the Palmer Events Center
Unique artists, cool crafts, tasty eats, and Christmas shopping

Trail of Lights
December at Zilker Park
Holiday lights, food, and fun for the whole family

There is always something going on in our fair city — so check some of these out, get out there and get into it!

And please do keep Austin weird! 😉

Spring Has Sprung

Central Texas is getting its bluebonnets on!

After a cold and largely dreary central Texas winter, it’s official: spring has SPRUNG!

The bluebonnets are out in full force, my backyard elder tree and Texas mountain laurel are almost gaudy in their abundance of flowers, and the neighborhood is suddenly full of life with folks jogging, walking their dogs, working in their yards and washing their cars.  This is some happy-making sunshine — we are like a dang Norman Rockwell painting!

For you homeowners out there we’ve put together a little checklist for projects you may want to put on your “to do” list along with your spring cleaning:

And if one of your big “to-do” items is to get your house on the market, now is a great time to reach out to your friendly neighborhood Realtor — y’all know where to find me! Get your home on the market before the summer rush and be ready to kick back and enjoy your summer! 😀


Featured Listing: 6900 Cal Cove, Austin 78723

Mid-Century Modern in University Hills

This delightful mid-century modern home in University Hills is brand new to the market and absolutely overflowing with warmth, charm, and east Austin grooviness!

A perfectly zen spot for your morning coffee

The owners have created an outdoor lover’s dream, with a private zen garden just outside the dining room windows and beautiful landscaping in the front and back yards which is just beginning to get its spring flowering on!  There are gravel paths, a lovely covered back patio perfect for entertaining, a spot for enjoying the afternoon sun or night sky out by your fire pit, plus a great play area for the kids and pets and raised beds ready for planting!

Imagine entertaining under the cafe lights on a balmy evening

The home’s interior is warm and welcoming, making you feel right at home as soon as you walk through the front door.

At 1,341 square feet, this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home feels much larger due to its thoughtful floor plan and huge, bright windows in in the living areas. The pie-shaped lot (.186 acres) sits on a quiet cul-de-sac and is surrounded by homes from the same 1960s era.  The home also features a spacious two-car garage with workshop area and a utility room with included washer & dryer, as well as a gardening shed and children’s playhouse out back.

University Hills is a wildly popular east Austin neighborhood, in close proximity to either downtown Austin or the Domain in northwest Austin, with easy freeway access.  Parks, shopping, and dining are all located nearby.

For more information on this listing, please see the property website or contact me by phone or email.

Austin MLS #6696217

US Military on the Move (MOM)

Our way of saying “thank you” for your sacrifices

At JB Goodwin Realtors we won’t just tell you how much we value the incredible sacrifices that the men and woman of our armed services make every single day;  we demonstrate that in a really meaningful way.

U.S. Military on the Move is a FREE REAL ESTATE REBATE PROGRAM for anyone who has served in the US armed forces. Not only do we offer superior, military-specific real estate knowledge to aid you with your real estate needs, we also offer you CASH BACK when we help you buy or sell a home.

There is no gimmick.  When we help you buy or sell a home, we will give 20% of our commission to you at closing.

Who qualifies?

Whether you are active duty, retired, wounded warrior, or separated, if you have served any period of time in our US armed forces, we wish to thank you for your service by offering this program to you.

What are the Benefits?

  • The rebate is given to you at closing
  • No waiting for a rebate check
  • No rebate limit
  • The freedom to choose your lender
  • Our agent partners are trained in national & state-specific veteran benefits

If you would like to find out more about the MOM program or would like to register, please reach out to me.

It will be my honor to serve you.

Property Taxes & the Homestead Exemption

Not just a terrible idea for a band name

A hot topic of conversation in central Texas is our property tax rates (boy-howdy is it ever!!), especially so while we are in the thick of tax season.  Depending on where you are located in the state, you’ll find tax rates that can be startlingly high and seem to be creeping ever higher. (Just a side note: that’s one of the trade-offs of living in a state with no income tax — the money to fund things like our utilities, roads, hospitals, and schools has to come from somewhere so, sadly, it kinda leaves homeowners holding the bag.)

Rather than debate the merits of our system of taxation, I just want to pass on a little reminder to homeowners — especially first time buyers — to be sure and file for your HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION in order to lessen your tax bill.

So for those of you unfamiliar, here’s a little FAQ to start with from the Travis County Appraisal District:

What is a general homestead exemption?

The general homestead exemption is provided by State law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your value from taxation providing a lower tax amount for the homestead property.

How do I qualify for the general homestead exemption?

In order to qualify for this exemption you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of that tax year. This property must also be your principal residence. You may not claim another homestead on another piece of property. You must submit a copy of your driver’s license with your application and the address on the license MUST match the address of the property for which you are requesting the homestead exemption.

If there is more than one owner of the property do all owners have to sign the application?

Yes, unless the owners are married. If the owners are married then only one has to sign, but we encourage both signatures. All owners must include a copy of their Texas Driver License or State-issued ID Card with matching address.

If my driver’s license does not match the property address, will you accept a passport/temporary/CHL?

No, per the Texas Property Tax Code the district cannot accept a passport or Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Only a Texas ID or Texas DL with the address of the property is required along with the homestead application.

When do I apply for my homestead exemption?

You may apply at the Travis Central Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year. You may file for late HS exemption up to one year after the date which the taxes become delinquent. 

I forgot to apply for my exemption, can I receive it retroactively?

You may file a late homestead exemption application if you file it no later than one year after the date the taxes become delinquent.

Is there a fee to file for an exemption?

There is no fee to file and you do not have to hire anyone to file for you. 

What year do I apply for the homestead exemption if I purchased my property last year?

To qualify for a homestead exemption you must own and occupy the property on or before January 1st of the year for which you are applying for. You may submit the form now and the homestead will be applied to year in which you qualify.

Do I need to reapply every year for my homestead exemption?

No, you do not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requests a new application in writing or you move to a new residence.

Do I have to file another form for the new home I just bought?

Yes, a new application is required when a property owner’s residence homestead is changed.

How many acres can I claim as my homestead?

State law allows you to claim the portion of your land that you maintain for residential purposes but this amount may not exceed 20 acres. Generally, one acre or less is maintained for homestead purposes.

Where to file your exemption, or to get answers to more questions:

Travis County
Website: https://www.traviscad.org
Phone: 512.834.9317
Email: csinfo@tcadcentral.org
Homestead exemption forms are available on our website at on the Forms page under Exemptions or you can request that an application be mailed to you by contacting Customer Service at (512) 834-9138. The applications must be returned to the appraisal district and may be returned by the following methods:
Online:  Please call and select option 4 for general questions to request a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Hand deliver to: 8314 Cross Park Drive, Austin, TX 78754
Mail: PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714

Williamson County
Website: https://www.wcad.org/online-exemption-information/
Phone: 512.930.3787
Email forms to:  exemptions@wcad.org
Mail/Hand deliver to : 625 FM 1460 Georgetown, Texas 78626

Okay, I hope all that has been helpful.  Make sure your ID matches your homestead address and get those exemptions filed if you haven’t already!