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Towns Near San Antonio

Maybe you don’t want to live in a big city….even though living in San Antonio is like living in a small town to me since I seem to run into someone I know no matter where I am.  So many military folks like to retire here or maybe you’re finding the real estate seems to be getting too pricey in San Antonio proper and don’t mind a short commute, here are some possible choices:  New Braunfels, San Marcos, Floresville, Pleasanton, Boerne, Universal City, Schertz, Selma, La Vernia, Von Ormy, Castroville, Helotes, Canyon Lake, Spring Branch, Marion.

July 4th Fireworks

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Still trying to figure out what to do on July 4th? Here is a list of things to do:

Woodlawn Lake:  The City of San Antonio is hosting this huge party that begins at 8 am with Zumba classes, live music, dancing, carnival rides, bull riding, food vendors and more!

El Mercado: Freedom Fest at Market Square!  Musical acts, dancers, arts & crafts, shopping, restaurants…..who doesn’t love Market Square?

Red, White and Blue at the Pearl: looking for a more hip vibe?  It’s always cool at the Pearl!

Independence Day at the Alamo: Where real independence begins…why not hit downtown and check out the Alamo?

4th of July Jubilee in Schertz:  9 am to 10pm in Pickrell Park with live music at 5, food, vendors, games, rides, watermelon and pie eating contests….a true down home party! Schertz, Texas

Red, White & Buda: begins at 5 pm with fireworks at 9:30, Buda Sportplex, Buda, Texas

Kyle Independence Day: 6pm with fireworks at 9:30.  Plum Creek Golf Course, Kyle, Texas

July 4th Frontier Days:  10am parade, Fireworks at dark.  Old Settlers Park, Round Rock, Texas

Shopping in San Antonio

It’s no secret that I LOVE to shop….so here’s my list of where to spend your money when you visit beautiful San Antonio.

Downtown:

Shops at Rivercenter:  Enjoy a drink outside while others hit the pavement and SHOP!  Unique shops and high end shopping….something for all.  10AM to 9PM and 12AM to 6PM Sundays

Pearl Brewery: 200 East Grayson, 78215 Absolutely one of the coolest places to visit and includes the Culinary Institute and an Aveda School where you might be able to book a haircut and look even cooler when you leave!
My Favorite: Hotel Emma…..a fantastic spot for a cool drink!

LaVillita:  if you’re downtown, be sure to stroll through the cute shops in La Villita off the River Walk!  10 AM to 6PM and 11 AM to 4 PM Sundays.

My favorite: BesArte…..eclectic collection of American made crafts, jewelry and cool stuff! Super friendly staff and fabulous collections of fun stuff at great prices.

The Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, 78256  An outside mall with lots of choices for food and drinks and upscale shopping.

My favorite: Neiman Marcus:  totally Texas upscale and fabulous with all the bells and whistles.  LOVE all the high end brands that include LOUIS VUITTON.  The make up counter has choices you wont usually get to see in person and the make-up professionals know their stuff.  10AM to 9PM and Sundays 12PM to 6PM.  Be sure to visit Mariposa, their restaurant with upscale cuisine served by a warm and welcoming staff.  Perfect for a light snack.  Restaurant hours:  11AM to 4PM and Sunday from 12PM to 4PM.

North Star Mall, 7400 San Pedro, 78216 This was the first place I learned how to drive my car to when I moved to San Antonio at 16….still a fabulous mall with lots of shops to get lost in.  It’s worth going to just to see the largest Cowboy Boots in Texas.  It’s indoors…so if the heat is getting to you, it’s a great spot to cool off and buy some new clothes!  10AM to 9PM and Sundays 12PM to 6PM

Artisans’ Alley:  555 Bitters Road, 78216  I fell in love with this spot at 18 when my best friends sister opened a shop in the alley…..its full of quirky shops including an antique shop with lovely treasures and even has a Painting with a Twist shop for painting fun.  Open 10AM to 6PM and Sundays from 1PM to 4PM.  My favorite:  Rhonda J’s Shoppe which features my favorite Annie Sloan paint and really cool Consuela bags that are a must have if you visit our city!

Homestead Handcrafts, 21518 Blanco Road, 78260 Love this place…..looking for unique gifts, handmade clothing, shabby chic furniture….they have it all.  It’s worth me visiting at least once a month to see what’s new.  10AM to 6PM and Sundays 12PM to 5PM.

SteinMart:  my favorite location is at 18134 San Pedro, 78232.  It’s hard to pass up their bargain priced high end shoes and clothing….and don’t forget the “bling” in the costume jewelry as they have some of the best finds in the city.  10AM to 9PM and Sundays 11AM to 6PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distressed Pantry Door

 

Call me crazy…. I took a brand new door and made it look old!

I painted the outside with Annie Sloan Burgundy paint (3 coats) and the inside top panel was painted with black chalkboard paint.  David sanded it with an electric sander to make it smooth and to distress the edges….and then we wiped it down with Annie Sloan dark wax.  Online I found the Pantry Door stencil….and the door was rehung!

It seemed a little strange to take a brand new door and make it look old….but I love it.  And that’s all that matters, right?  What do you think?

 

Signs

Exit Sign

 

 

We’ve become a world full of signs…inside and outside OUR homes.

This is a sign we put on our gate that leads from our backyard to the tennis courts, pool and park. A reminder to us that we need to make sure we use all the wonderful facilities our beautiful neighborhood provides. Oh how blessed we are to live in Encino Park and the beautiful city of San Antonio.  Tennis, anyone?

Pocket Listing

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I had the opportunity to visit with an old friend who shared with me her most recent real estate transaction/experience. She needed to help her daughter sell her daughter’s condo in Colorado. None of the Realtors she knew responded to her emails requesting they contact her…..I didn’t press to find out how many Realtors she emailed or if she called any of them…….but she shared that her next step was to complain to another friend about how none of the Realtors wanted to help her sell her daughters condo because none of them responded to her emails (shame on them)……..so the friend recommended a Realtor to help.
The Realtor referred to her was young, innovative, aggressive and had an idea that she had never heard of…..he would sell the condo for only 3.5%! He told her to think of ALL the money she would save by only paying 3.5%! He also told her that if he sold it himself….he was only going to take THREE percent! AMAZINGLY…..he sold it himself in just a few months…..so “THEY SAVED TONS OF MONEY by only paying 3 PERCENT”!
What this “innovative, aggressive and young” agent did to sell her daughter’s condo wasn’t anything new….but I didn’t burst her bubble by explaining why. She is a friend and thinks she got a fantastic deal. It’s called a “pocket listing”.
MANY years ago….before the internet…..no one had a chance to know when a new house or condo went on the market unless the agent that listed the property shared the information with others in their office. When a property doesn’t go into the multiple listing service I always wonder….if buyers from all over the world knew about this property….what would it sell for? Would it sell for more if more people knew about it or just the handful of people that found out? Who was the “young, aggressive, innovative agent” really representing? His paycheck or the sellers bottom line?
The ONLY times I recommend a “pocket listing” ;
Celebrity owners…..lots of real estate agents wont be able to resist showing their friends and family homes of the rich and famous……..selling your home does not mean part time agents or new, inexperienced agents should be allowed to waste your time and mine.
Your home is considered a “luxury” home……again, part time agents or new, inexperienced agents might enjoy showing friends and family a home that they might never get to see in their lifetime and wasting your time and mine.

My out of state friends daughter was NOT a celebrity nor was her condo considered a luxury property…..It will probably take a few lawsuits to occur before sellers that tried this “innovative and aggressive new idea” realize they might have sold in less time and at a higher price if they had put the property in the MLS system and let the world know about it….nothing drives up price better than having millions of buyers view your photos and wonder if another buyer might also be considering buying your home….but until then….PLEASE don’t suggest that this is a “new idea”…..we quit doing things that way when we began putting homes on the internet with photos. And if you are a celebrity or have a home that would be considered a “luxury” home…you can count on me to keep your information private and get it sold quickly and for top dollar.

San Antonio Fiesta Events

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Fiesta officially begins April 19 to April 29th….but before and after can be a whirlwind of free and non-free events that are sure to make you smile.

A few of my favorites and must attend events are:

April 20-22:  Taste of New Orleans

I love Zydeco music and have been known to dance in front of the band more than once….this is a FUN event.  It have a ticket price and you can get a discount if you buy your ticket in advance:  $12 advance, $15 at the door.  Kids are FREE.  Food and drinks are extra.  It is located in the Sunken Gardens…so expect NO breeze and dress accordingly…preferably in cotton.

April 25:  5:30pm  to 10:30pm  Taste of the Northside

This is a pricey event at $85 for an advance ticket, $100 at the door….but it includes food and spirits!  We usually walk to this event from my office.  The bands are fantastic and the location is the Sonterra Country Club grounds.  The costly ticket price helps keep the crowd well behaved.

April 27:  9:30am  to 2:30pm  Battle of Flowers Parade

The oldest event and largest parade attracting sometimes over 350,000 people…..this is just an exciting event to be near!  It’s all volunteers and includes marching high school  bands and plenty of excitement and sounds.  It is a free event…but if you want a seat…you probably should buy a ticket months in advance.  I love to head downtown and find a restaurant to sip a frozen margarita (or two) and then wonder the streets to watch all the merriment!  Lots of kids, street vendors and excitement.  If you like people watching, this is your event.

April 28:  9 am to 6 pm:  King Williams Fair and Parade

The parade gets a little x-rated at times….so you might consider missing the parade if you have children with you.  Shopping is what attracts me….I love walking the closed off streets of the historic King Williams district and finding neat art work, cool clothing and jewelry.  I bought an antique restored 1950’s Arvin clock/radio over 15 years ago for $160….pretty pricey but it was restored beautifully and it still sits in my kitchen and is working perfectly so I can consider it a bargain.   We also like finding Moon Dog shirts for my hubby….”shirts with an attitude” and they are very well made.   If you are looking for the unique or just like walking beautiful streets and window shopping this is the event for you.

For a full list of Fiesta events visit http://www.Fiesta-SA.org

 

Fiesta Medals

VIVA Fiesta!  Some folks wonder WHY we collect Fiesta medals and why I love them.

My first medals were from prospective El Rey Feo…the “ugly” king….who became an official part of Fiesta in 1980.  Most of these hopeful kings were not really “ugly”….. it was a fun way to raise money.  The LULAC Rey Feo Scholarship Committee sponsors El Rey Feo and candidates for the title raise money that is  given to students for their college expenses.

The Texas Cavaliers introduced a king in 1941 (way before my time)….King Antonio…..who rides on a boat in the river parade in the first “official” event that kicks off Fiesta….the Texas Cavaliers River Parade.

Anyone can have their own medals…you just have to buy or make them.  I’ve gotten medals with people’s cute dog pictures on them,  medals from companies like RE/MAX and medals from groups like the Women’s Club of San Antonio.   All are precious to me.

Over the years my Fiesta attire has included a blue jean vest with medals pinned on the front and back, Beauty Queen sash’s with medals on the front and back,  huge Sombrero’s with medals hanging off it (heavy, heavy, heavy) and t-shirts with medals draped all over.  No medal display is better than the other….they all are considered acceptable.  Some look sillier than others…..but they are all displayed for fun and help get me in the mood to enjoy our beautiful San Antonio weather and events.

When I’m not wearing my medals, I like to display them in a large bowl in my entryway.  The hardest part…..not giving them away when folks come over to visit.

How do you display your Fiesta medals?  If you have designed your own medal…post a photo!

VIVA Fiesta.  I hope Fiesta 2018 is the best yet!

 

Pocket Neighborhood Homes

Trust Austin to come up with a new neighborhood concept…or should I say Kyle….but buyers for Austin and nearby towns are flocking to this little neighborhood concept.

Bigelow Homes is building a beautiful product and utilizing a great way to keep homeowner crime down while allowing owners to know their neighbors and have a beautiful place to sip coffee in the mornings or enjoy cocktails in the evening….a pocket neighborhood.  What is it?  It’s housing surrounded by trails, parks, lakes and a preserve…..15 private neighborhood parks when they are completed.  Each of the small, pocket parks will be surrounded by 12 to 20 homes…each with front porches and rear entry garages.  Perfect for spending much of your outdoor time on the front porch or garden patio enjoying the view and meeting neighbors.  It’s kind of like living on a cul-de-sac without the cars!  Each home still has it’s own private yard….but I bet most folks will take advantage of the beautiful front porch.

Along with this new concept….the builder guarantee’s your cooling cost to be under $400 a year for the first three years of homeownership.  How do they do this when a house (like shown) is over 1800 square feet?  New energy efficient HVAC systems, well insulated walls and windows…just a few reasons why you might just be able to afford a new home when you factor in that your cooling and heating bills might be over $400 in  two months in an older home.

We’ve got a seller being relocated to San Antonio….so if you’re in the market for a home near Austin….give us a call at 210-273-6161.   It’s a dollhouse and was recently completed in July of 2017….almost brand new and ready for a new owner.

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