Living Well Newsletter - November 2015

How Prop 1 spells tax relief for Texas homeowners, my local Wine Guide, Halloween fun for the family, $725M ranch goes under contract and much more!

I'm so blessed to say that after 10 years in the Real Estate business I have finally opened up my own brokerage, LeadStrong Properties. LeadStrong Properties will specialize in Commercial Sales/Leasing, and continue to be active in Residential Sales.

I'd like to thank my family, friends, and colleagues for the continued support in this endeavor. If you haven't already, please take a moment to like my Facebook page. Also, please remember to pass on my monthly newsletter to anyone you believe may benefit from it. 

Here's a preview into this month's newsletter:

  • Prop 1 on the November 3rd ballot means property tax relief for Texas homeowners - Vote YES on this important measure! We'll take a detailed look at how it affects you and your family.
  • Have an extra $725 million under your mattress? Check out the iconic Texas ranch that just went under contract...
  • October is Texas Wine Month, and I've included a local wine guide to plan the perfect weekend (or day) trip to nearby vineyards.
  • We love our Round Rock, but what are the Top 10 of the Top 10 awards we've won recently? Our community is incredible and others are taking notice.
  • Hungry? Zagat recently published a great article about some incredible Round Rock chefs and restaurants...
  • Looking for local, fun and family-friendly Halloween activities? I've got you covered!
  • And a $25 Visa gift card for the first person to correctly answer this month's trivia question!

Now, sit back, relax, grab a cold beverage and enjoy this month's issue!

Ryan McGahey, Broker/Owner
LeadStrong Properties
c: (512) 468-1590

Vote YES for Prop 1 - Property Tax Relief for Texas Homeowners

There’s an important constitutional amendment on the November 3rd ballot, one that will provide a huge benefit to homeowners. If passed, Proposition 1 will lower property taxes for all Texas homeowners. It will also permanently ban a “transfer tax” (or “sales tax”) on real estate transactions. Let’s take a look at how this important measure affects you and your family:

  1. Will my property taxes go down if Prop 1 passes?
    Yes. The state-mandated homestead exemption for public school taxes increases from $15,000 to $25,000 with the passage of Prop 1. As a result, every homeowner will pay lower property taxes. Many homeowners will see tax bills lower than the previous year. However, if a homeowner’s appraisal increases and local governments (like cities, counties and others) raise tax rates, your overall tax bill could be higher than the previous year’s. Even in those cases, your property taxes will not be as high as they would have been had Prop 1 failed.
  2. What’s a transfer tax and why does it matter?
    Simply put, it’s a sales tax on real estate transactions, usually levied as a percentage of the sales amount or a flat fee. For example, Pennsylvania and Washington pin a transfer tax as high as two percent of the sales price of each real estate transaction. This equals a whopping $5,208 tax on our average sales price, putting the dream of homeownership out of reach for many. Proposition 1 permanently amends the Texas Constitution to ban sales tax on real estate transactions. This is a big win for current and future Texas homeowners.
  3. Will Prop 1 cut funding for public education?
    No. The increased exemption is absorbed by the state of Texas.
  4. When will Prop 1’s tax relief become effective?
    Immediately. Your 2015 tax bill will include the higher homestead exemption.
  5. How much will Prop 1 save my family?
    Every Texas homeowner will save about $125 per year.

Make sure to vote YES for Prop 1 on November 3rd!

Iconic Texas Ranch for a Cool $725 Million

Founded in 1849 and rich in both history and legend, bidding for theWaggoner Ranch, a few hours northwest of Dallas, recently closed. On the market for $725 million, the ranch spans 800 square miles across six counties, making it almost the size of Rhode Island. It’s thought to be the country’s largest ranch behind one fence, as well as the most expensive ever to be placed on the market.

From 700 initial responses, Dallas-based broker Bernie Uechtritz says they’ve narrowed the field to 50 serious contenders.

“There are several that I would categorise as entrepreneurial. I think it’s been a very robust response. Some people are more interested in the farming operation, some people are more interested in the cattle and horses, some are more interested in the oil, and green energy operations. We’ve really got a great cross-section of types of buyers,” Uechtritz said. Initial indicators point to a new owner announcement by Christmas.

Everything is bigger (and better) in Texas… Am I right?

"Nature seems to have intended Texas for a vineyard to supply America with wines."

~Stephen F. Austin, 1821

There's something about autumn and wine... They simply go together! If you're looking for a weekend getaway or simply want to explore on a day trip, take a look at my Central Texas Wine Guide (downloable pdf for easy printing).

  1. The ranking that started it all: In 2005, Round Rock was ranked as the No. 8 Safest City in America.
  2. In 2008, Round Rock was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Gen. Colin Powell and wife Alma.
  3. In 2010, Family Circle (the magazine, not the comic strip. Oh wait, that’s Family Circus — never mind) put us in the top 10 Best Towns and Cities for Families.
  4. Closely related (and more recent — circa 2014), ranked Round Rock as the 6th best mid-sized City in the United States to raise children.
  5. In 2008, Money ranked us the No. 7 Best Place to Live. Funny, but we haven’t made that list since. Wonder if it’s because we only bought one piece a swag from them after the issue came out?
  6. A few years back, CNBC ranked us among the Top 10 Perfect Suburbs. We were No. 8. Wait, who could be more perfect than us? Apparently, Wexford, Pa., Midlothian, Va., Poquosan, Va., Reading, Mass., Circle Pines, Minn., Kensington, Md., and Edmund, Okla., that’s who.
  7. Last month, SmartAsset named Round Rock the No. 1 Best City for Minor League Baseball. Yeah, we pretty much knocked that one out of the park. (And it’s a swing and a miss for a great pun on that one.)
  8. In February, ranked us as the No. 1 Best Affordable Place to Live. Which is better (but only slightly) thanNerdwallet ranking us No. 3 on its list of Most Affordable Places in America. But on par with (and better named, certainly) the top Cheapest City You Want to Live In, back in 2014 by Kiplinger.
  9. Some cities have the best of everything: the jobs, the schools, the museums, the nightlife, you name it. They know the recipe for attractiveness. Round Rock ranks No. 10 among those cities, according to WalletHub’s list of the Fastest Growing Economies released in September 2015.
  10. Lest you think we’re all about the dollar, consider this one. Movoto ranked Round Rock the No. 8 Most Caring Suburb in America

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Looking for a new restaurant in our area? Round Rock chefs are getting the attention of Zagat! 

Check out the list here.

Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department presents the annual FREE Monsters and Mayhem Fall Fun Fest tomorrow, October 30th, from 9 - 11:30 am in the Dell Diamond Concourse (moved from Old Settlers Park due to forecasted rain). Attendees may park in the regular Dell Diamond parking lot and proceed to the front entrance. Hope to see you there! Curious about other local activities? Check out the City's "Seven Ways to Fall for Fall!"

What is one of the elements that combine to make water?

a) Nitrogen
b) Hydrogen
c) Helium
d) Calcium

Be the first to answer this question correctly and a $25 Visa gift card is YOURS! Call, email or text me right now with your answer!

Curious? Click below to request yours. It's always free and without obligation.

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Ryan McGahey, Broker/Owner | LeadStrong Properties
Cell: (512) 468-1590