It’s Labor Day and we are supposed to, you know, take it easy, courtesy of our employers.

But real estate never takes a break: we have to have a place to live, hang our hats, brush our teeth, rest our weary souls, or frolic. Even on Labor Day.

And what better place to rest and replenish your soul than Athens, Texas? It’s only 90 minutes east of Dallas.

I’m particularly fond of Athens and its people. Tell you a true story that happened right on this County Road 4805: I was looking for a ranch property, and I couldn’t find it. Kind of felt like I was driving in circles, so I pulled into a driveway, turned around, and retraced my driving.

Few minutes later I see a couple in a golf cart right behind me. People, I thought, terrific! I bet they know the ranch I’m looking for!

I stop and ask.

“Are you the one who just pulled into our driveway?” the woman asked me.

“Fraid I am,” I say, “sorry.”

“Oh that’s fine,” she said, “it’s just that we don’t get many visitors out here.”

 

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new laws

More than 800 new laws go into effect in Texas today, thanks to the most recent legislative session. They range from everything to legalizing brass knuckles and lemonade stands to making porch piracy a felony, and even a new law impacting sellers disclosures for homes in floodplains.

Chances are, the bulk of the 800 new laws won’t have a hugely noticeable impact on day-to-day living in Texas. But we did pick five real estate-related highlights. (more…)

retirees

Illustration courtesy Pixabay

While Texas was in the top 20 in a recent Bankrate.com ranking of best states for retirees, crime and culture kept it from hitting the top 15.

The Lone Star state was ranked 17th in the study, which looked at 11 public and private datasets that impacted the life of a retiree, in five categories: affordability, wellness, weather, culture, and crime, which were weighted 40 percent, 25 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, and five percent, respectively. (more…)

fan

It all started when a friend posted on Facebook, asking if she’d be crazy to remove the ceiling fans from her home right now. “Um, yes, this is Texas and it is summer,” was pretty much the universal response.

But this got us thinking — what if you really hate fans? And how many people out there actually hate ceiling fans? Over here, we kind of feel that anything that helps you avoid the Texas heat and move the air-conditioned air around your house more efficiently is A-OK, but we also know that well, ceiling fans can be kinda ugly.

So we ran some polls: Facebook, Facebook Stories, Twitter, and Instagram Stories. Overwhelmingly, people said they were Team Fan, but there were about 10-36 percent (depending on the poll) that said they hated fans. (more…)

texas

Photo courtesy Flickr

The South and the West have the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., and Texas has a bumper crop of those cities, new population estimates for cities and towns released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed. 

Just how many Texas towns and cities showed growth? Three made the top 15 most populous cities in the U.S. and even more saw substantial growth.

“On the other hand, of the 19,495 incorporated places in the United States, around 76 percent (14,768) had fewer than 5,000 people,” the Census Bureau said. (more…)

texasFrom staff reports

It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst, either — and in parts, Texas is not so bad, an analysis of the state’s Best States ranking from U.S. News and World Report recently revealed.

The Lone Star State earned the 38th spot overall this year, with bright spots in fiscal stability and economy, ranking in the top 20 for both at 12 and 15, respectively.

But the state was dinged for opportunity and healthcare, as well as natural environment.

Infographic by CandysDirt.com/Data from US News and World Report

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electricityAs the mercury begins to rise, we all begin to think about our electricity bills. But how much per kilowatt hour do Texans pay? And how does that compare across the country? One data website created heat maps to illustrate just that.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans spend about 12.7 cents per kWh on average. But in Texas, we pay slightly less — 11.51, to be exact. That’s up slightly from last year’s average of 11.11.

Howmuch.net created heat maps that illustrate the average residential, commercial, and industrial rates across the country. We pulled Texas data specifically and created a handy chart, too.

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homestead

Photo courtesy Flickr

 

Easter is over, but we’re going to quote a rabbit anyway — if you’re waiting to file your homestead exemption for your property taxes, you may find yourself late, late, for a very important date.

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