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Bethany Young
REALTOR®
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Date Archives: July 2022

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Area Information | 44 Posts
For Buyers | 5 Posts
For Sellers | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 10 Posts
Homeownership | 8 Posts
July
25

What Features to Include in an In-Law Suite

In-Law Suite

There are many ways that an in-law suite can make your home feel more useful and spacious. Even if your in-laws never stay in the suite, it can be a great place to host out-of-town guests. Your adult child may even move into the space when they're job hunting after college. We've seen a lot of Round Rock homes for sale with lovely in-law suites. While every suite is different, we have identified a few features that the best suites have in common. Consider these features in your own in-law suite.

  • A Kitchenette
    The suite doesn't typically need its own kitchen, as the inhabitants will likely share some meals with your family in the main home. However, a kitchenette does allow those living in the suite to have more independence and enjoy some simple meals privately, if desired.

    An apartment-sized fridge, kitchen sink, toaster oven, and microwave are a good start. You can include a small, apartment-size range if you have the space.

  • Stackable Washer and Dryer
    Having to haul laundry into and through the main home to the laundry room can be annoying, both for those staying in the in-law suite and for those in the main home. You don't need to put a whole laundry room in the suite, but a stackable washer and dryer are a nice touch. There are plenty of space-saving models you can tuck into the bathroom or hall closet.

  • Separate Entry
    The best in-law suites always have a separate, private entrance. If possible, you should make this entryway wheelchair accessible. Include a ramp rather than stairs, and make the entry door extra wide. This makes it feasible to have older loved ones stay in the in-law suite when needed. 

  • Plenty of Outlets
    If out-of-town guests ever stay in your suite, they'll likely have lots of electronics to charge, such as laptops. Make sure you include plenty of outlets for easy access. Good places to add outlets include next to the bed, over a nightstand, along the kitchen counters, and next to the sofa in the living area.

  • Neutral Color Scheme
    Your in-law suite probably won't get as much use as the rest of the home. The materials used to build it should hold up well, so you want to make sure they continue to look stylish as long as they're around. Avoid trendy, bright colors in the suite. Instead, opt for cool neutrals, such as shades of gray. You can add a pop of color with accessories like blankets and towels. These are inexpensive to replace if they go out of style.

  • A Multipurpose Table
    Whether you place it in the kitchenette, the living area, or even the bedroom area, make sure you put a multipurpose table in the in-law suite. One set of guests may use it predominantly as a dining table. Someone else may use it as a desk while working remotely. A younger guest might even do their homework at it.

  • Cozy Furniture
    "Cozy" is a good vibe to aim for when designing your in-law suite. Cozy vibes make guests feel comfortable when they're away from home. They also make family members who are staying for longer feel more welcome and at ease in the space. 

Whether your in-laws move in or you just have the occasional guest, you will not regret having a well-designed in-law suite. If you're still looking for the perfect Round Rock home with an in-law suite, contact us soon. Our real estate agents will be happy to help.

July
18

Maintenance Tips for Your Water Softener

water softener

A household water softener can be an appealing feature to buyers searching for Round Rock homes for sale. Hard water tastes harsh, causes scale and buildup on fixtures and dishes, and can shorten the lives of appliances. But having a water softener requires some maintenance if you want to get the most out of it during its lifetime. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for keeping your water softener in good working condition for as long as possible.

  • Check Salt Levels Once a Month
    Salt is one of the things your water softener needs to do its job, so to properly maintain it, you'll need to refill the salt when needed. This isn't something you'll need to call a professional for, thankfully. With a properly working water softener, you should only need to refill the salt every couple of months, but you'll want to open up the brine tank at least once a month to check the levels, especially if you're using more water than usual. Unless the manual or the markings on the tank state otherwise, the tank should always be about half full of salt. If the level is lower, refill as needed.

  • Inspect the Tank for Salt Bridges
    Salt bridges are formations of salt inside your tank that prevent the water softener from doing its job properly. When you check the salt levels every month, you will also be watching for signs of salt bridges forming, such as salt levels that appear to never go down. To break up a salt bridge, pour hot water over the salt and then use something, such as a broom handle, to push the salt buildup down into the water. If you get a lot of salt bridges, it may be from using cheap salt, or it may be an indication that your water softener is in need of professional maintenance.

  • Clean the Brine Tank Once a Year
    Your water softener doesn't require a lot of maintenance, but you do need to clean the brine tank about once a year to keep it at peak performance. For your convenience, you can wait until the softener is almost out of salt before cleaning it. Dump the water and salt, scrub out the tank with dish soap and water, and then pour a bleach solution into the tank and let it sit for a little bit before dumping and rinsing. Once that's finished, you can reattach the tank and refill it with salt and water. Let the salt and water sit for a couple of hours before starting a regeneration cycle.

  • Watch for Signs of Trouble
    In addition to the regular maintenance mentioned here, it's important to also keep an eye on the quality of water in your home. If you start to notice signs of hard water, such as scale or buildup on fixtures and in appliances, in sinks and bathtubs, or in your water kettle and bathroom cup, it may be a sign that the water softener is no longer doing its job. Also, watch for tiny particles called "fines" in your water, which may signify that the resin in your water softener is getting old and breaking up. If you notice these signs, it may be time to have a professional check out your water softener.

Installing and maintaining upgrades such as a water softener can make your home more appealing to buyers when it comes time to sell. For more information about easy ways to boost your home's value and saleability, contact us today.

July
11

Drink Local: Central Texas Breweries

Round Rock Breweries

The craft brewing scene around Central Texas has never been better, and now is the perfect time to experience all that your local brewery has to offer. With taprooms serving up creative, original brews, delicious food, live entertainment, and a busy lineup of special events all summer long, it's easy to find a brewery that suits your style. Our real estate agents have all of the exciting details on 5 Central Texas breweries that you won't want to miss.

  • Bluebonnet Beer Company – 1700 Bryant Dr. #107, Round Rock, TX 78664
    Founded in 2013 at its location around the corner from Round Rock homes for sale and boasting a 4.9-star rating on more than 150 Google reviews, Bluebonnet Beer Company has earned its reputation as one of the best craft breweries in Central Texas. The husband-and-wife team of Clare and David Hulama oversee every step of the brewing process and have worked together to create the award-winning lineup of craft beers that you can enjoy in the Bluebonnet taproom every weekend.

  • Cork & Barrel Pub – 4000 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78665
    A neighborhood pub with a strong Irish vibe and a microbrewery on-site, Cork & Barrel Pub aims to bring the quintessential Irish pub experience to Round Rock. The founder of the pub, Sam Darlington, was born and raised in Ireland before living in Texas for the last 30 years. Cork & Barrel Pub blends the atmosphere of an Irish pub with the cuisine of Central Texas and adds a beautiful outdoor beer garden to the mix for good measure.

  • RedHorn Coffeehouse & Brewing Co. – 13010 W. Parmer Ln. #800, Cedar Park, TX 78613
    Located near Cedar Park homes for sale with a unique menu among Central Texas craft breweries, RedHorn Coffeehouse & Brewing Co. has a drink to suit every mood. Stop by in the morning to enjoy coffee sourced from small-batch roasters worldwide, then come back after work to sample craft brews. There's also a delicious selection of sandwiches available for lunch and dinner.

  • Rentsch Brewery – 2500 Northeast Inner Loop, Georgetown, TX 78626
    For great service and even better craft beer, try a trip to Rentsch Brewery at its convenient location near Georgetown homes for sale. This is a great brewery to visit if you like live performances and special events. Rentsch Brewery frequently showcases the best bands from the vibrant Georgetown music scene and hosts special events every week. Stop by to enjoy everything from Family Paints & Pints to Swag Hip Hop Yoga at Rentsch Brewery.

  • Barking Armadillo Brewing – 507 River Bend Dr., Georgetown, TX 78628
    If you prefer your craft brews with a side of live entertainment, then Barking Armadillo Brewing is the perfect destination for your next night out. Enjoy live music every weekend, Red's Taproom Trivia on Thursday nights, stand-up comedy on select Fridays, and a singer-songwriter roundup on the first & third Wednesday of every month. The taproom is open from Wednesday through Sunday every week, with a rotating selection of more than a dozen Barking Armadillo craft beers on tap and a different food truck serving up unique meals each day.

Searching for a home close to all of the great breweries and attractions in Central Texas? Our team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Central Texas communities.

July
5

New Restaurants in Round Rock

Round Rock

The Round Rock area has a pretty vibrant restaurant scene. From gastropubs to cafes, we have a little bit of everything here — and new restaurants are opening all the time. If you're dying to try something different, we recommend taking a break from looking at Round Rock homes for sale and dining at one of these new restaurants. There's something on this list for everyone.

  • Cork & Barrel: 4000 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78665
    Cork & Barrel is a brewpub that combines the Irish pub atmosphere with traditional Texas hospitality. Their in-house creations include Island Time, a Juicy IPA, and Joshua Tree, a lovely pale ale. They brew their beer in small batches and are always adding to the list.

    On the food menu at Cork & Barrel, you'll find sharable appetizers, burgers, and inventive sandwiches. Guests love the Guinness Battered Fish & Chips, and the Flaming Bacon is a favorite, too.

  • The Sweet Tooth Parlor: 808 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78664
    Stop by The Sweet Tooth Parlor for incredible sweets and baked goods. This new bakery-cafe serves delectable cupcakes, frosted cookies, muffins, and more. Customers love their peanut butter cookies, which are soft and perfectly sweet.

    The Sweet Tooth Parlor is also a great place to enjoy lunch or brunch. Their cafe menu features sandwiches, soups, and fresh salads. 

  • Milano Ristorante: 1700 E. Palm Valley Blvd. Ste #300, Round Rock, TX 78664
    Milano Ristorante is a new Italian restaurant that would be perfect for date night or a celebratory meal. The atmosphere inside is modern yet inviting with that traditional Italian comfort. Their chef, John Braga, takes pride in offering a revolving menu with bold and unique flavors. 

    Favorites here include the Chicken Piccata, which is served in a lovely white wine and lemon sauce. The lasagna and bolognese are also incredible; both are great choices if you enjoy pasta. Don't leave without enjoying a cannoli or limoncello cake for dessert, too!

  • 620's Healthy Hub: 1312 Round Rock Ave., Round Rock, TX 78681
    If you're looking for a new place to enjoy a smoothie, iced coffee, or other refreshing beverage, 620's Healthy Hub is the place to be. This modern cafe has an atmosphere that's as fresh and lively as its menu.

    620's Healthy Hub has a long menu of protein shakes in flavors like Cinnabun, Chunky Monkey, and Birthday Cake. Their loaded teas are also popular, as are their meal bars and protein bites. You could always enjoy a drink on-site, then order some high-protein snacks to take home for later.

  • Hula Pig Hawaiian BBQ: 5430 US 79, Round Rock, TX 78665
    Texas barbecue can remain your favorite, but you have to at least give Hawaiian BBQ a chance to compete! Hula Pig Hawaiian BBQ is the perfect place to explore this cuisine.

    This bright and sassy food truck offers all the classics. Their Loco Moco Bowl is just like the one you'd get in Hawaii — piled high with rice, a beef patty, spam, fried eggs, and gravy. You can't go wrong with the Huma Huma Chicken, either. It's covered in Hula sauce and served with mac salad, a must-have in Hawaii.

No matter which one of these new restaurants you visit, you're sure to have a delicious meal. If you're new to the Round Rock area and looking for a place to call home, contact us soon. Our real estate agents would be happy to help guide you.

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