Austin Realtor | Liz Newell | Real Estate Blog

Do you have a list of changes you'd like to make to your home this year? Completing cosmetic updates is easiest when the weather's in your favor. In honor of May's National Home Improvement Month, here are four upgrades ranging from curb appeal projects to large-scale expansions that often yield high returns.

  1. Replacing doors and windows: Homeowners are often encouraged to consider projects that boost overall curb appeal. Swapping out a wooden front door for a steel model or replacing front-facing windows can pack more of an ROI punch than renovations made inside the home.
  2. Constructing a deck: Create a beautiful transition from your back door to the outdoors by building a deck. The update turns into a major selling point that can recoup your
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Source: Adventures Out Back

This month marks the official beginning of summer, and I could not be more excited for all of the great things happening in Austin. Whatever your cup of tea is, you’re sure to find it in this city in the month of June. Check out a list of events below, courtesy of, and enjoy!

6/8/17 - 6/11/17
ATX Television Festival
Downtown Austin
ATX Festival is the first festival devoted to Television's history and future. It functions like a traditional film festival with premieres of new series, current hits and cult favorites. ATX Television Festival also offers access to the industry's leading professionals with cast and creator Q&A's and panels focusing on innovation in both production and content delivery.

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Source: Euclid Public Library  


While summer may not officially start until June 21st, everyone knows that Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick-off of summer. Set the tone for an incredible season by celebrating the holiday at one (or two, or three!) of the exciting events happening in and around Austin this weekend.


Camping at McKinney Falls State Park 

What better way to celebrate the holiday than some good old-fashioned camping at this beautiful state park outside the city? Grab your family or a few friends and spend the weekend camping, hiking, fishing, and barbecuing. Don’t forget the marshmallows!


Free yoga at Whole Foods

Yogis, rejoice! Whole Foods in the Market District will be offering free yoga on the

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Photo: Quicken Loans


As many of my readers know, buying a first home is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be pretty scary. To help ease you into the process, I have compiled common mistakes many first-time homebuyers make. Be sure to avoid these missteps and it should make the process a lot less stressful.


1. They forget about the other expenses. Of course, you want to make sure you’re buying a home you can actually afford. But the mortgage payment isn’t all you need to be able to afford. Make sure you factor in the other expenses, including property insurance, taxes, homeowner’s association dues, maintenance, and utilities.


2. They are afraid to get prequalified. Before you start searching, get your

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photo: HGTV

Picture a classic American summer. A pool, comfortable lounge chairs on the deck, the smell of grilled meats and baked beans…I can taste it already! The great thing about living in Austin is that the warm weather comes along much earlier in the year and stays around much later, so you get to enjoy that deck and pool area for a large part of the year.

If you don’t have a deck and are thinking about having one built, here are some things you’ll want to consider first:

Location: Most decks are attached to the rear or side of the house just off the kitchen or dining area, because it extends your eating and entertaining area. Some people choose to build freestanding decks in the year, but realize that it will be more difficult to

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Every year, CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards shine a spotlight on the top talent injecting innovation, creativity, and all-around deliciousness into the city’s restaurant scene. And this year’s winners are not to be missed! Take advantage of all that Austin has to offer by taking yourself and a friend around to enjoy cuisine at each restaurant. I’m looking forward to visiting Contigo and Emmer & Rye.


Restaurant of the Year: Emmer & Rye

Sustainable food, adventurous cuisine, and terrific atmosphere. Dine at Emmer & Rye on Rainey Street for a delectable collection of small plates, pastas, and seasonal fare.


Chef of the Year: Todd Duplechan, Lenoir

Fresh, mainly locally-sourced food that draws on inspiration from the hot

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Can you believe it is May already?! Where is this year going? There are always so many exciting things happening in Austin, and this month is no exception. From film, to fashion to sports, below is a list of things to do in May via What events are you most excited about? I can’t wait to check out the Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival! 

Latino Music Month
Various Venues
The many Latino music genres are showcased during performances on the Plaza at Austin City Hall each Friday at noon. Other special events throughout the month are presented as well.

5/3/17 - 5/7/17
Cine Las Americas International Film Festival
Various Locations
The festival showcases contemporary films and videos from Latin America (North, Central, South America and

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Although Austin regularly showcases festivals and public events galore, it looks like April really is the month of festivals! As the weather gets nicer and people look to spend more and more time outside, it makes sense that there are so many fun outdoor things to do this month. From Euphoria Fest, to the Austin International Poetry Festival, to the Austin Reggae Fest, there is something for everyone. See the full list of things to do in April below, or check out  


4/6/17 - 4/9/17
Euphoria Fest
Carson Creek Ranch
Live music, camping, yoga and a variety of mindful workshops come together at this immersive four day festival. Musical styles bridge the gaps between hip-hop, electronic, ambient, tribal and experimental. 2017

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Springtime officially begun a couple weeks ago, which means the time for outdoor barbequing and enjoying the patio or backyard is upon us! By making just a few simple, inexpensive changes to your outside area, you can really change the look and feel of the space. Here are some suggestions for sprucing up the exterior décor of your home, courtesy of House Beautiful.


Mix & Match Patterns


Combine a striped tablecloth with something like a colorful zebra print chair cover for a fresh modern look.


Add a Mirror or Two

Similar to the interior of a home, mirrors help make a space look larger. These large old window mirrors were placed on either side of the fireplace to give this space a fresh new look. Make sure the

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Finding a good real estate agent, especially if you are new to an area, can feel like a daunting task. A larger market like Austin is great because there are many different types of neighborhoods for any income level, but it also means you need help narrowing down your search. The truth is, no realtor can know every area of a city as large as Austin perfectly. But what is important is to know how to do research, how to work with other agents, how to get a house under contract, and get the deal done. I have been in many multiple offer situations where our offer was chosen over others, which is where my 26 years of serving the Austin real estate market has played a huge part. There are many ways to negotiate a contract and it does help to know

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