Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pre-Launch www.I-Am-Real-Estate.com Numbers!

On the eve of the launch of www.I-Am-Real-Estate.com, my website taking over 4 months to create I decided to analyze the viewing numbers on my website. Even before advertising and marketing the launch, from August 1st-31st www.I-Am-Real-Estate.com has had 418 visits by 197 visitors with a low bounce rate of 16.27%! Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who close the first page they get to on the site immediately after going to it. 16.27% shows that once visitors reach my site they are inclined to continue their search and look at other features.

The visits came from 10 different countries, including United States, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, and Singapore. Perhaps, these are tech people from other countries going to move to Austin, only time will tell. Chris Matthews is going worldwide! 

Thank you to everyone who has viewed my site thus far. I put in the time to give you a great resource that would make the buying and selling processes easier for you. I don't pester you for a login and provide everything for free. Real estate agents get a bad name for being overly aggressive at times, while failing to be communicative once people decide to use someone. I wanted to take a different approach. I emphasize high customer service and communication, while keeping clients informed every step of the way so they don't feel alone during the transaction. My website is a tool in the search and guide for the process. Thank you!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baby Training Classes are Parent Training Classes

This weekend was packed with classes learning how to take care of a child and wifey when she is giving birth. I had SEVEN total hours of baby training classes over two days. My Saturday afternoon was filled with a FIVE HOUR "Birthing/Lamaze Class" and my Sunday was an "Infant CPR Class." Birthing Class was quite scary, watched an actual birth video (yikes!) and gathered all the need-to-know info for that special day. I may be able to just deliver this baby at home myself. I feel like I just got my Master's Degree in Child Delivery.

The CPR Class was a must-take. I almost died twice as a small child choking. My mother had to perform the Heimlich Maneuver twice to save my life. Luckily, she was successful and I blossomed into the magnificent specimen I am today. A specimen who never knows when to call it quits and keeps packing their mouth with chicken and not chewing until I self-suffocate. Thank the Lord for my wife to take over for mommy and remind me to chew. Everyone has flaws.

My wife and I would frequently share a nervous glance throughout the lecture/class. That day is now less than six weeks away! This will be the quickest six weeks of my entire life. It was definitely time to take these classes to prepare. I have to say, though, taking a five hour class on your Saturday afternoon just when it's starting to get to a temperature here that you can withstand longer than 10 minutes, is not a good idea. My ADD was flaring like my wife's nostrils when she has called me eight times because my food is getting cold. It's just an overload. So I strongly suggest taking the broken into two parts option. I'm just glad these classes were before football season kicks off because then my mind would definitely not have been there.

Wifey is understandably nervous terrified of the actual birth, especially after the class. They spoke about making small cuts, tearing, stretching, drawn-out pains, and all sorts of goodies. She was about to jump on my back like she saw a mouse. I am glad I am not a woman. I'll gladly take the fear of rejection of dating, financial obligation to pay during dates, and chance of prostate cancer over having my genitals torn every time I want to reproduce. The strength of a woman. I may be able to lift heavy things, but that is severely diminished by the ability to shoot a NFL regulation-sized football out of their body. My wife will never know of my intense admiration for her during the process because she doesn't read my blog. She'll let it go to her head anyway.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Just listed at 1607 Copperhead Cove Round Rock, TX 78664 is this fantastic gem in Springbrook! Many improvements and updates including travertine tile fireplace, updated counters, recent roof, updated fixtures, dark wood mirrors and cabinets, travertine tiled master and accented tile shower! The home has excellent curb appeal with 3-sided masonry! Located on a cute, quiet cul-de-sac with academically "recognized" schools within walking distance! Refrigerator and shed convey with sale! Gorgeous mature trees, full sprinkler system, water softener, and the list goes on! A home in this condition, with these upgrades and features, for this price is RARE! This one won't last long. Priced to sell at the unbelievable price of $149,990!

See More of This Home and Search for Others at www.I-Am-Real-Estate.com
The Most Comprehensive Real Estate Website in Austin

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Prepare to get the rest of those school supplies bought up and your children's new outfits purchased as August 20-22 is Texas' annual tax holiday! Certain items bought during these three days are exempt from paying any sales tax offering a slight discount to some important purchases for kids going back to school.

The law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. Not an amazing savings, but just a little break on things you have to buy anyways. Backpacks under $100 and used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt. The exemption during the sales tax holiday includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn like a traditional backpack.... a pack on the back.

The exemption does not include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic/duffle/gym bags, computer bag, purses or framed backpacks. Ten or fewer backpacks can be purchased tax-free at one time without providing exemption certificate to the seller.

School Supplies
The 81st Texas Legislature passed HB 1801 (2009) expanding the list of items qualifying for exemption from Texas state and local sales and use taxes during the annual sales tax holiday. Effective this year, in addition to clothes, footwear, and backpacks, Texas families also get a sales tax break on most school supplies priced under $100 for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.

The following is an all-inclusive list of qualifying school supplies (if priced less than $100):
• - Binders          - Book bags          -Calculators          -Cellophane tape
• - Blackboard chalk          - Compasses          - Composition books
• - Crayons          - Erasers          - Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila)
• - Glue, paste and paste sticks          - Highlighters         - Index cards
• - Index card boxes         - Legal pads          - Lunch boxes          - Markers
• - Notebooks          - Paper (variety of types)          - 
Pencil sharpeners 
 - Pencil boxes (other school supply boxes)          - Pencils & Pens
• - Protractors          - Rulers         - Scissors         - Writing tablets

Other TAX-FREE items:
• Baby clothes
• Backpacks for use by elementary and secondary students
• Belts with attached buckles
• Boots - cowboy, hiking
• Caps/hats - baseball, fishing, golf, knitted
• Coats and wraps
• Diapers - adult and baby
• Dresses
• Gloves (generally)
• Gym suits and uniforms
• Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts
• Hosiery
• Jackets
• Jeans
• Jerseys - baseball and football
• Jogging apparel
• Neckwear and ties
• Pajamas
• Pants and trousers
• Raincoats and ponchos
• Robes
• Shirts
• Shoes - sandals, slippers, sneakers, tennis, walking
• Socks (including athletic)
• Shorts
• Suits, slacks, and jackets
• Sweatshirts
• Sweat suits
• Sweaters
• Swimsuits
• Underclothes
• Work clothes and uniforms

Extended List of Clothing & Footwear

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Baby Prep Classes No Waste Of Time!

My wife coaxed me into attending a Breast Feeding Class at St. David's Hospital this past Friday and oh my what an experience. To me it was pretty much the equivalent of when they send juvenile delinquents to the school of hard knocks aka prison, to get a dose of what they can expect if they continue their self destructive route. Except in this case if we continue, we get a beautiful blessing that will poop, pee, cry, flop, whine, hinder me from travel, prevent me from dinner dates with mommy, cause all sorts of financial strain, and then will grow up and stress my life when they start driving, dating, and head off the college causing more worry and financial strain. 

In the midst of all of this there will be a glimmer. A glimmer of why it was all worthwhile. A glimmer that displays love, warmth, inspiration, tenderness, anticipation, hope, devotion, and an undying affection. Many say that love at first sight doesn't exist, but I disagree. The moment I saw that floating bag of bones on the ultrasound screen, I instantly loved him more than any material possession or anyone I have ever met. Sorry antique blowtorch collection and sorry mom. 

I have no idea where I was going with this, but the excitement is building. These classes really bring to light a wealth of information that I didn't really think about. I thought you just kind of put the breast by the baby's mouth and they eat until they're done. I really didn't know what "engorgement" was, that you need to pump breast milk all the time, or that if you get drunk you have to drain a batch so the baby doesn't get drunk through the milk. These are important things that you don't give much thought to, because when you're baby is flopping around and his eyes are bobbing around like he's on a rollercoaster you start to regret skipping the breast feeding class. You probably shouldn't be handling a baby trying to feed it when you're drunk anyways.

I bet when you came to this blog, you didn't expect to hear my adventures with an education on breast feeding. But hey, I don't really care. This is probably the only blog on the internet that mixes real estate with breast feeding, pregnancy, and getting babies drunk through your breast milk. There are lots of young parents out there going through a pregnancy and interested in Austin real estate. I'm sure one day they'll stumble across this blog and think "Oh, perfect. I can read a first-hand account of a guy going through the exact same thing AND learn about the goings in a market! Hey honey, did you know the baby can get lit from drinking your spiked breast milk?!" Still have a couple classes including Lamaze class. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Austin Road System Rant (The Problem)

While writing the last post on Austin's most dangerous intersections, it stirred up some emotions on the road system in Austin. I've lived all over America and even in South Korea for over a year. I've been to almost every one of the 48 contiguous states. I've traveled to several other countries, industrialized and not, old and young, rich and poor, and never have I seen such a disaster of a road system as in Austin, Texas. Don't get me wrong, I love this city. Out of all those places I've been to and lived, not one of those places I would rather live in than Austin. It's perfect....almost.

My love for Austin ceases, however, with everything involving automobiles. Why are parking spots so small in Austin? Normal parking spots here are compact car spots in other cities. This is amplified by Texans driving the biggest trucks I've ever seen. There is nothing wrong with that. Yay trucks! My car has been dinged so many times it looks like I part-time golf ball pick-up at the driving range.

Gripe two. Austin is obsessed with becoming the "greenest city in America." Just Google "Austin Green City" and there are over 9.5 million hits! They have implemented mandatory energy audits on all home sales that were constructed older than ten years. They emphasis green in everything. Why is it that they can't realize that getting cars off the road faster and resetting their infrastructure will pay huge dividends in the long run with their efforts?

It seems like everywhere you drive, the road is one lane short of being tolerable. Austin wants to keep the small town vibe, but with projected growth of 137% by 2040, expansion of the road system is necessary. Why would making roads bigger effect the small town feel anyways? Who's idea was it to have people entering and exiting the highways in the same lane? This is just ridiculous, congestion-causing mayhem! Everywhere outside of Texas has an exit ramp and THEN an entrance ramp. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Austin Road System Rant (The Solution)

I've lived a good portion of my life in the Detroit, Michigan area which has a population of about 200,000 more people than Austin. While the road quality is horrible in Michigan because of the drastic weather changes, they have perfected the road system and traffic congestion problem. They time their traffic signals so that if you go the speed limit, you don't hit many lights. You literally see the lights turn green in a sequential order. In Austin, it seems like they WANT you to sit at every light. The lights turn red as you get to them. Large amounts of traffic have to stop, sit (too long), and re-accelerate repeatedly. Sometimes 50 cars stop to let five go by. Timing the lights would no doubt be costly and require lots of man-hours, but in the long run getting people off the road faster will decrease gas consumption, get the city greener, get people to follow the speed limit, and make things run fluidly. Many birds with one stone.

Lastly, left turn lanes (suicide lanes) do nothing, but create backups and congestion on a side of the street that doesn't need it. In addition, lights are longer because they have to have extra time for those turning left. What Detroit and most of Michigan did was create what is commonly referred to as the "Michigan Left" where you turn right, hit a U-turn about 500 feet down from the intersection and head the other way. It keeps traffic flowing by taking cars off the left side and all the cars heading in a certain direction go on ONE green light, instead of waiting for a separate green arrow. Perfect.

Austin has a serious issue with their backwards road system and they need to take a page out of the book of other cities that have solved it. Trying just a few of these things could be a solution over adding more lanes. From time to time, I occasionally cannot be my lovable self with issues. I'm sorry. It's frustrating, so I created a blog to create a cathartic vent. I'm sure many feel the same. I see you cussing the lights! I just want everyone to be happy drivers!

Austin's Most Dangerous Intersections in 2009

Community Impact has just released a list of the 20 most dangerous intersections in Austin in 2009. The findings are surprisingly pretty well distributed throughout the city and only three of the 20 intersections are in the immediate downtown area. The number of collisions recorded at each intersection between January 1st and December 31st, 2009. 

The most dangerous intersection in Austin is at Lakeline Mall Drive and Research Blvd. in the Lakeline Mall area of Northwest Austin. This intersection clocked 46 collisions and 44 injuries. In my opinion this could be a result of the off ramp of 183 to the Research Blvd. service road. The ramp is short, cars are coming fast, and the way the ramp is angled makes it difficult to see too far ahead. The Lakeline Mall Drive intersection and traffic signal are very close to the off-ramp causing their to be constant backups. Cars coming fast off the ramp have little time to stop. That's my analysis and it most likely is true. 

Although Lakeline Mall Drive and Research Blvd. ranked the highest in terms of collisions, two other intersections outranked it in terms of injuries. North Lamar Blvd. and Anderson Lane had 45 injuries in 34 collisions. Parmer Lane and Mopac was the brutal champion with 50 injuries in 33 collisions. Check out the list below and beware.