Austin Real Estate

Austin TX Sites: Barton Springs Pool

Heated to a constant 68 degrees, Austin’s Barton Springs Pool is a popular swimming hole that can be enjoyed year round. Located in Zilker Park, the pool is fed by water from the Main Barton Spring. Swimming during any season is allowed at the Barton Springs Pool, but costs a small fee in the summer months. With grassy picnic areas nearby and plenty of places to play and relax, Barton Springs is a must-see for every Austin visitor.

Once considered holy by the local Native American tribe, the Tonkawa, the springs were used for bathing and purification ceremonies. When the Spaniards discovered the large springs in the early 1700s, they built a mission near the site. Once settlers moved into the area, the springs became popular tourist attractions, and eventually it evolved into the swimming hot spot it is today. In its current management by the city of Austin, the Barton Springs Pool provides an invigorating and refreshing way to cool off, exercise, hang out and relax. It has quickly evolved into a hangout place for young adults, but bathers of all ages will enjoy themselves at the Barton Springs Pool.

At more than 900 feet long, Barton Springs Pool has a natural gravel bottom and is full of fresh, naturally warmed spring water. With diving boards, stairs and ladders, swimmers can easily enter and exit at several different points around the pool. Summer weekends might find the pool quite crowded, but the spaciousness of the place allows everyone a good refreshing swim no matter what.

Occasionally the pool is closed for safety concerns, such as when there have been heavy rains or the creek that feeds the pool is running high. In these instances, swimmers can call ahead to the Barton Springs Pool to determine if the pool will be opening. The hotline is operating 24 hours per day for the convenience of its guests.

The cost to get into the pool is minimal—just $3 for adults and $2 for young adults 12 to 17 and $1 for children under 12 and senior citizens. The doors open at 5 a.m. and usually close at around 10 p.m. Although the pool is billed as a family-friendly area, topless sunbathing is allowed at the pool and many patrons take advantage of that.

Barton Springs Pool is a wonderful way to combine history and recreation when checking out all the things to see and do in the Austin area. It’s especially easy to see this Austin landmark when it’s a hot Texas afternoon.

Author Bio:

Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin Real Estate website, his Austin condominiums company’s website, & his Austin Texas website.


Real Estate 101: What You Need to Know Before Closing

So, you have found the house of your dreams and you think you are ready to initiate the closing process. Before you give your Realtor the thumbs up for finalizing the deal, however, there are a few things you should do in order to protect yourself and make sure you are getting a home that will bring lasting memories rather than turn into a money pit. In fact, there are several different types of inspections that you might want to have completed before you sign any type of agreements. Some of these include:

  • Termite inspections
  • Dry rot inspections
  • Asbestos testing
  • Faulty structure inspections
  • Roof condition inspections
  • Septic tank and well testing

Although getting these various inspections completed can cost you a bit of extra cash, it will be well-worth it to know whether or not you are making a solid investment with the home you are purchasing. In addition, with the right Realtor on your side, you might be able to get the seller to pay all or a portion of all of these inspections as a part of your purchase agreement.

Termite and Dry Rot Inspections

One of the worse problems you can face with a home is a termite infestation or dry rot issues. With these problems, the structure of the home can be severely weakened and it can begin to fall apart. Similarly, getting the home fixed after the wood has been destroyed can be a costly endeavor. As your Realtor to insist that the seller complete a termite inspection and provide a guarantee of the soundness of the structure before you finalize the purchase.

Asbestos Testing

You won’t find asbestos in homes that have been recently constructed, but older homes may still have lingering asbestos. You certainly don’t want to purchase a home with asbestos, as it is very dangerous to your health. Similarly, getting asbestos removed can be quite costly. Therefore, it is important to have your Realtor address this issue, particularly if the home you are purchasing is older.

Faulty Structure Inspections

Just as dry rot and termites can wreak havoc upon your home, having a structure that is inherently flawed will cause a great deal of problems to arise in the future. Similarly, if you have problems with your foundation, the structure of your entire home can be at risk. By working with your Realtor and hiring a professional to inspect the craftsmanship of the structure and foundation, you can be rest assured that your future home will be in great shape for years to come.

Septic Tank and Well Testing

If you are moving into a home that does not have city water and sanitation, you will need to rely upon a septic tank for your waste and a well for your water. Ask your Realtor to have these two items inspected in order to make sure they are in good shape and meet current codes. Although you may have to replace your septic and have a new well dug in the future, you shouldn’t have to do either of these two things too soon. Similarly, they should be space far enough apart from each other to prevent contamination. If not, have your Realtor work out the cost of remedying the problem so that the seller pays either all or part of the cost.

Author Bio:
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Lake Travis Real Estate website, his downtown Austin condos company’s website, & his Austin real estate website.

Austin Texas Nature and Science Center

Explore nature at its best at the Austin Nature and Science Center, where visitors can experience exhibits, nature trails and educational events all year long. The nature center has dedicated its resources to educating and instructing Austin citizens on how to appreciate the natural world and experience its wonders.

The Austin Nature and Science Center is home to almost a hundred native animals that are unable to live in the wild. From birds of prey to porcupines, bull snakes and deer, the animals are displayed in all-natural enclosures and receive top quality care and medical attention. The Birds of Prey Exhibit, Small Wonders Exhibit and the Mammals Exhibit are all designed for maximum viewing as well as the ultimate comfort to the animals.

Living animals aren’t the only things worth visiting at the Austin Nature and Science Center. Dinosaur enthusiasts can participate in several activities associated with the center’s paleontology efforts. With a Dino Pit on site, visitors can dig up dinosaur replicas just like the paleontologists do, learning about fossils that are native to Texas. Dinosaur tracks can also be found, and guests can learn all about fossils that once belonged to dinosaurs that roamed the Texas countryside. Visitors of all ages will feel the joy of discovery as ancient creatures are unearthed before their eyes.

The other features of the Austin Nature and Science Center are equally as entertaining. The Discovery Lab is a place where hands-on science labs are set up to explore nature, including botany and geology. The Eco-Detective Trail is a walking trail that winds through natural Texas landscape and treats the visitor to a true outdoor experience. The Sheffield Education Center is the home of the Splash! exhibit, an active aquifer with flora and fauna on display.

Programs, summer mini camps and more await the visitors who are interested in checking out the Austin Nature and Science Center. Several events are hosted annually, and there is always room for special group guests, such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Schoolchildren look forward to a visit to the center during field trips, and the center even hosts home school programs. This living museum is an Austin highlight, and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has highlighted the center as a model for conservation and education.

Whether for an individual, family or group, a visit to the Austin Nature and Science Center is a fine way to spend a day getting to know the natural wonders of Central Texas and experiencing them in a memorable way.

Author Bio:

Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin Real Estate website, his Austin condominiums website, & his Austin Texas website.

Austin Texas: Gateway to Hill Country

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Texas is Hill Country, a scenic region with amazing natural attractions, quaint country towns and lovely hills and valleys. Austin is the gateway to this fantastic recreational area steeped in history and Southern charm. The Texas Hill Country welcomes more than 5 million tourists each year, and the clear rivers, towering forests and abundant wildflowers are just a few of the reasons they return again and again. From water sports and outdoor activities to shopping and golfing, Texas Hill Country provides a wealth of activities for all ages and interests.

The Texas Hill Country, just minutes from Austin, is full of natural attractions that provide the outdoor enthusiast with many chances to admire the scenery and recreate in Mother Nature’s playground. One of the top attractions is Enchanted Rock, a large natural rock formation more than 400 feet tall. Also top of the list is the Longhorn Caverns, where tours recall the days when outlaws, Native Americans and soldiers used them as shelter. Cool off at Barton Spring Swimming Hole and check out the wildlife at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.

Quaint Southern Texas towns provide a glimpse into the rural heritage of the Texas Hill Country. Villages such as Wimberley, San Marcos, Buda, Burnet and Johnson City are all nestled in the rolling hills and provide tourists with shops brimming with handicrafts and antiques and fine dining in restaurants overlooking the natural beauty of the region. Enjoy Texas history at several museums that instruct and educate visitors on everything from early Native American life to cowboys and ranchers. Visit the towns of Bandera, Dripping Springs and Taylor for true historical attractions.

When folks are looking to get out of Austin for a few hours, they head to Hill Country and participate in just a few of the many things to do in the area. There are lakes and rivers that are perfect for swimming, fishing, sailing, boating or tubing. Staying in a bed and breakfast is a wonderful way to get away for a day or a weekend. Check out historically important architecture in any of the Main Streets in the smaller cities in Hill Country, or hike, bike and camp in any of the national and state parks in the area. Visitors to the area can even take wine tours, guided ranch tours and art gallery tours if that is the kind of recreation they enjoy.

While Hill Country is located in the center of Texas, it’s easy to see why the area is considered the heart of this great state. The lush abundance of natural resources and Southern hospitality creates a unique combination of relaxation and rejuvenation. Using Austin as a base to explore this amazing region is a wonderful idea for those seeking to maximize their time in Texas Hill Country.

Author Bio:

Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Lake Travis Real Estate website, his Austin real estate company’s website, & his Austin real estate blog.