Lake Travis & Buchanan Waterfront Properties See Increase in Water Levels

Significantly good news for Waterfront property owners this week. Whether you are looking to sell, or simply ready to use your waterfront property, we have had an exceptional week. Lake Travis is up 7 full feet, and Lake Buchanan is up a foot and half. Lake Buchanan is only 24 feet below full capacity. Lake Travis is now at 639.46 feet, which is 41.54 feet below full level. The boat ramp at Mansfield Dam is now usable, and with approximately 15 more feet of water in Lake Travis, most boat ramps will become usable. For property owners on Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan, this is the beginning of the end of the drought. The Highland Lakes are almost 50% full at this time. The new measures regarding water management are beginning to take shape.

Over the last twelve months we have seen only a downward drop in lake levels and a reduction in volume since April 2011. However, the current lake level, 639.46 feet, is well above the projections made by the LCRA on February 28, 2012.

Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis Level Chart

ReservoirLevel When FullCurrent LevelVolume When FullCurrent Volume% Full
Lake Buchanan1,020.00995.93876,000431,00049
Lake Travis681.00639.461,135,000533,00047
Combined Reservoir Totaln/an/a2,011,000964,00048

Check back for continued updates on Lake Travis and Buchanan conditions, as well as other local and regional matters which affect the real estate market. Steve Broyles, Real Estate Broker represents buyers and sellers of Lake Travis waterfront properties and can be contacted directly at 512-917-4298.

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Central Texas Drought Maps Showing Signs of Improvement

The majority of Travis County is now in D2 drought conditions. View the drought monitor maps below and note the vast difference from prior drought monitor reports. The two major reasons for the improvement have been recent rains as well as the LCRA operating the Highland Lakes under emergency drought relief measures. The past few months have been very wet historically for Central Texas, and although we can definitely use more rain, there exists considerable reason for optimism.

One major issue has been that the LCRA has lacked the ability and authority within the current water management plan to manage long-term, severe drought conditions. These conditions are improving and current lake levels are just beginning to rise. I’ve written another article discussing the important changes in the new proposed LCRA water management plan. It is currently awaiting TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) approval. This state agency has up to one year to approve the new plan.

Here’s the 5 conditions of drought:

D4-Drought—Exceptional (Austin has been here for quite some time)
D3-Drought– Extreme
D2-Drought– Severe – CURRENT Condition -majority of Travis County
D1-Drought– Moderate
D0- Abnormally Dry – (not a drought)

Located below are three drought monitor maps which illustrate the severity of the drought and the degree of recent change across Central Texas. Clearly the change is evident since September, and more so in the last 2 months.  Our newest map, on March 20th, shows that most of Travis county is under D0-D1 conditions and only part of the county is under D2. In Williamson county, approximately one half of is under D2 conditions, the remainder is under better conditions. A D0 rating is closest to non-drought conditions, and we are approaching this critical event. Positive news and catching up and refilling the lakes will soon occur. These drought maps are released each Thursday by the US Department of Agriculture.

Drought Map -September 6, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drought Map– January 24, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drought Map — March 20, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a quick animated look at the past 12 weeks across the nation:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/12_week.gif

If you would like to specify additional timeframes: Use this tool to animate the drought over the past 4, 12, 24, and 52 weeks.

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/dmimg_archive.htm

As you can see, the rain in the past few days, while only a couple of inches, created a rise in the lake of around 4 feet. Currently, as of Friday March 23rd, Lake Travis is at 639.17 feet. These are considerable reasons for optimism for Central Texans.

I will continue to monitor the drought and the effects on Central Texas Real Estate. Check back for updates and more in depth analysis of the drought as well as other matters related to Austin, Texas Real Estate.

For further information about Lake Travis waterfront properties, Steve Broyles can be contacted at 512-917-4298. Steve is a Realtor and has held a Texas Broker’s License since 2003.

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What LCRA’s New Water Management Plan Means for Central Texas

The LCRA has submitted a new Water Management Plan to the TCEQ, and is currently operating under emergency drought relief measures approved by the TCEQ in December. This new plan means greater ability to manage drought conditions and creates a much improved, fairer system than in the past. First, a few basics about the LCRA and its organization. The LCRA has many roles: managing the water supply and environment of the lower Colorado River basin, delivering electricity, providing parks and recreation areas, and developing water and wastewater utilities. The LCRA receives no tax dollars and operates with revenue from power generation and water delivery.

Now for a few basics about the LCRA water management plans. The LCRA drafts these plans in order to manage the Highland Lakes system, including Lake Buchanan and Travis. The first plan was drafted in 1989. The plans were updated in 1992, 1999 and most recently 2010. Users of this water include approximately 1 million Central Texas Residents, industries in the Colorado River basin, and downstream agricultural users. The agency obtains consumer input and holds community forums during the planning process. The final step is approval from the TCEQ. These water management plans spell out how the water is allocated, who has priority rights, and how drought conditions are managed.

The LCRA is currently operating under emergency drought relief measures. Had the lakes contained more than 920,000 acre-feet of water on March 1, the LCRA would have had to revert to the procedures in the outdated, ineffective Water Management Plan approved by TCEQ in 2010. The lakes was about 70,000 acre-feet short of that cut-off mark. The lakes were also only 2,500 acre-feet short of the cut-off guaranteeing water for rice-farmers downstream. Since these volume cut-offs were missed, volume has risen dramatically. As of March 23rd, current volume is 961,202 acre-feet, which is over 100,000 acre-feet than March 1st.

Clearly, the past plan has clearly been less than adequate addressing how to handle a drought as severe as our current one. Provided the lakes return to a greater degree of capacity, better water management is the key to avoiding or at least, minimizing a drought such as the one from which we are emerging. The new proposed plan contains the provisions for better management.

Major changes in the new plan:

The new plan will utilize 2 trigger points for determining allocation/provision of water for downstream farmers. The current plan has only one, on January 1. The new plan adds a secondary trigger points on June 1st. A trigger point determines quantity (or access at all) of downstream water allowed for farming uses.

The past plan allowed unlimited usage of water for agricultural businesses provided the lake level was above an upper limit. This practice was called “open supply”. The proposed water management plan will have an upper limit at all times for agricultural users. No more unlimited usage for downstream users will mean that a full lake will stay full longer.

In the past plan, agricultural water supply was unrestricted even as voluntary conservation was implemented for city and industry users. This is a clear example of how unequal and unfair the current plan has been. The current plan requires city and industry to restrict water usage only after agricultural supply has been restricted.

In summation, the new plan provides the LCRA the ability to manage drought conditions. This is critical as Austin continues to grow. Better and equitable water usage is a necessary part of a well-managed city.

Steve Broyles is a Real Estate Broker and Economist in the Central Texas Area. Steve believes that understanding these city and community matters is crucial to serving your needs in the real estate market. For help with buying or selling Lake Travis waterfront properties, he can be contacted at 512-917-4298.

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Pease Place Condominiums Nearing Completion!

I am delighted to see the Pease Place condominium project coming close to completion. I know I’m not the only one who has watched with anticipation to see this very worthy project come to fruition. Worthy you might ask? Yes, worthy. Not only is the developer contributing much needed housing to the area, they are beautiful designed and are “green” taboot!

The condominiums are not yet complete, but curiosity got the best of me, so I called and scheduled a hard hat tour yesterday. Though the interiors are not yet finished, it was clear that they are well designed and have a great utilization of space. I was consistently surprised to hear the answer to my never ending question of “what is the square footage of this one?” They seemed more spacious than what the floor-plans denote. Pease Place will have only 25 residential units, but they have a nice variety of floor-plans to choose from, including 4 studios, 19 one-bedrooms and 2 two-bedrooms, some of which have Downtown views!

As I mentioned before, Pease Place utilizes “green” building design and innovative materials to offer the best in renewable living. Each unit will be connected to its own Solar panel, which is custom designed and individually metered. They also feature tankless water heaters, low e windows and open cell spray foam insulation, LED lighting throughout, Energy Star rated stainless steel appliances, Mohawk carpet that is made with fibers from recycled plastic bottles, specially processed bamboo hard wood and recycled quartz counters in kitchen and bathroom.

Pease Place is a gated community with secured, garage parking, located in the Old West neighborhood. You can head out your door and walk to some of the best shops, galleries and eateries in Central Austin. If you’re looking for a low maintenance, hip urban lifestyles but want to be nestled in a charming older neighborhood in Central Austin, this is a great option. Prices range from $174 to $421. They are currently in the pre-selling stage, and are only taking reservations. The reservation fee is only $1,000, which is very low. As of yesterday, they already had 20% of the units reserved, so I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity while you still can. Call us today to schedule a tour and get current information on availability and pricing!

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We SOLD 9406 Roxanna Dr, Austin TX 78748 in Tanglewood Forest!

Kathryn Bender has just listed SOLD 9406 Roxanna Dr, Austin TX 78748.  Located in the popular South Austin neighborhood of Tanglewood Forest, this single-story home features 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and was built in 1983.

9406 Roxanna Dr Features

SUBDIVISION: Tanglewood Forest

STORIES: 1

BEDROOMS: 4

BATHROOMS: 2

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2027 per TCAD

YEAR BUILT: 1983

GARAGE: 2

POOL: Yes

PRICE: $238,000

Listing Agent’s Description of 9406 Roxanna Dr

If you need space, this is your house! Measured at 2027sqft, it feels even bigger. Walk into the living room to a beautiful fireplace and to your right is an expansive kitchen. This kitchen is due for a remodel so it is the perfect timing to make it your own! Now, the master bedroom has its own fireplace and living space. Plus it has a sliding door looking out to the patio. Connected to that patio is wonderful pool perfect for any and all sun worshiping, parties and fun!

Located south off of Slaughter and Manchaca, this single story has four bedrooms and two full baths. And to top it off both Cowan Elementary and Bailey Middle School are Recognized schools.

 9406 Roxanna Dr Pictures

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We SOLD 5509 Agatha Cir, Austin TX 78724!

We have just listed SOLD an amazing home in the trendy East Austin neighborhood of Agave at 5509 Agatha Cir, Austin TX 78724. This home was built with many GREEN finishes, and we’ve highlighted just a few of them below. 5509 Agatha Cir is located just a few miles away from Downtown Austin, and is close to everything!

Property Details

  • 1445 sqft (per TCAD)
  • 2 bedrooms + spacious loft that could be converted to 3rd bedroom
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • Built in 2007

Green Features

  • Blown-in blanket insulation
  • Gerkin double pane windows
  • HunterDouglas insulating honeycomb window shades
  • Dual-zone programmable thermostat
  • 14 SEER Carrier HVAC with energy efficient gas furnace
  • Rheem tankless water heater
  • GE Profile Energy Star dishwasher
  • High-efficiency commodes
  • Bamboo wood floors on 2nd floor
  • LEED-certified SileStone countertops
  • “Green”-friendly hardwood cabinetry with soft-close drawers

Pictures

 

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I Just Sold a Home in Parmer Village for $0 Down and $0 Closing Costs!

Recently, I took a client out to many resale homes in the Round Rock school district and this is what we found: old homes, no warranty, no closing costs paid, not energy efficient, square footage too small for what my client needed in bedroom size, and many needed repairs or new carpet/paint/appliances, etc.

I talked to my client about my experience with selling new homes, and then I took her over to Parmer Village and she fell in love with a modern 3/2/2 beautiful home that was perfect in every way for her and her two children. The home had granite countertops and island in the kitchen, espresso color cabinets, a computer work station and stainless steel appliances (I negotiated for the builder to put a refrigerator and washer dryer in the home at no cost too!) In addition, 6’ ft. privacy fence and perfect size back yard. Sprinkler system in the front and back, too! Also, there are 2” blinds throughout the home and painted accent walls, rounded corners, dble sinks in master bath, 2 car garage with opener, and much more!! The builder paid all of her closing costs and the capitol area bond paid her down payment!

Out of pocket she had to initially put up a check for $1,000 in earnest money, and today she will receive a check back at closing today for that $1,000! She is literally paying $0 out of pocket to purchase this home! I negotiated the price down to get her to the $1300.00 total monthly payment that she needed. And, it gets even better: her interest rate with the bond is set at a 3.5% fixed rate! The community is beautiful! Great location, Round Rock Schools, community pool, and even low property taxes of only 2.13%! There’s a 10 year warranty paid by the builder and of course the title policy to guarantee clear title.

The best part of this entire transaction is my client is so very excited and is closing today which is less than 30 days from our contract date! I love happy and excited clients and ones that get exactly what they want in a home! She said this is a dream come true!

To find out how you might be able to qualify for a similar home and to learn about the amazing incentives out there (bond money, builder closing costs, etc!), call us today.

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Village Builders Begins Construction on Luxury Homes in Rough Hollow

Village Builders just announced it will begin construction in Rough Hollow. They recently acquired the land and have begun construction on their model, which is slated for completion in May.

I first discovered Village Builders while house hunting with my daughter in Houston. They have been luxury home builder for almost 40 years, and offer some features that you don’t find in other builders. For example, they build homes with “home automation” which enable home owner’s to control temperature and lights from a smart phone or tablet.

The homes will start in the $370’s, all of which will be energy efficient, and will come fully sodded with landscape package and sprinkler system. I called this morning and was happy to hear they will be offering a $50,000 incentive package. Good thing they offer a complimentary four-hour appointment with an interior designer. You’re going to need it!

But even BETTER news is that they plan on starting 3 new spec homes a month. Not a lot of builders are willing to build spec homes. But they know a good thing when they see it. Rough Hollow is an exceptional community that offers luxury living with world class style. I think Village Builders will be a nice addition to the list of exceptional builders in Rough Hollow.

If you would like to know more about Village Builders or the community of Rough Hollow, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to meet you there and show you what makes Rough Hollow such a great place to live.

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ShadowGlen Golf Course to Re-Open March 15, 2012!

Good news everyone, Shadowglen Golf Course will be opening again March 15th! The course is looking absolutely gorgeous! Golf Digest rated it as one of the “Top Best New Golf Courses” in 2004, which is when it first opened. Shadowglen Golf Course was designed by two renowned architects, Roy Bechtol and Randy Russel, and was built by Golf Works, Inc. In 2001, Golf Course News selected them as the National Large Builder of the Year. It’s a beautiful and challenging golf course.

I used to work for Coventry Homes — one of the builders in Shadowglen — that built beautiful homes, many of which were right on the golf course. When people would confess that they were avid golfers, I would always ask them what they thought of Shadowglen Golf Course. I consistently got the same reaction. They would get a wistful look in their eye, sigh, and begin to mutter words of praise. The words beautiful and challenging consistently came up.

ShadowGlen is wonderful community. Its close proximity to Austin, the Schlitterbahn style community pool, beautifully built homes, impressive landscaping, the hike and bike trail and greenbelt areas are some of the things that make it a desirable place to live. But I think most would agree that the Golf Course is one of the main contributions to ShadowGlen’s success and quality of life.

Shadowglen Golf Course has played a vital role in the Manor community. I hope the Austin community as a whole will celebrate the re-opening and show them continued support. Good weather and great golf is just around the corner!

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We SOLD 9332 Castle Pines Dr, Austin TX 78717!

EDIT:  This home is SOLD!

We have a wonderful new listing that’s coming soon in Avery Ranch at 9332 Castle Pines Dr, Austin TX 78717! This home is gorgeous, and is loaded with upgrades and features that many buyers today find highly desirable. Built by Ryland Homes, this 3341 sqft home has 5 bedrooms plus a study, 3.5 baths, and a spacious gameroom too! The master bedroom is downstairs (with a second master suite upstairs), it has an awesome 3-car garage, and it’s located in Round Rock ISD! It will be listed in the Austin MLS soon, but here is your chance to get a sneak peek! If you’re looking for a home in Avery Ranch, you absolutely MUST see this one.

Features of 9332 Castle Pines Dr

  • Priced at $334,900
  • Austin MLS # 3272808
  • 3341 sqft (per WCAD)
  • 5 bedrooms
  • 3.5 baths
  • study
  • gameroom
  • master bedroom downstairs, with second master suite upstairs
  • covered patio
  • corner lot
  • 3-car garage
  • recently replaced HVAC
  • energy efficient home featuring blown-in insulation
  • much, much more!

Pictures of 9332 Castle Pines Dr

For more information about this stunning home, please contact us today before it’s too late!

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