Are Popcorn Ceilings a Deal Breaker? Don’t let popcorn ceilings ruin your home search.

are popcorn ceilings a deal breaker

What’s the big deal about popcorn ceilings?  Most comments I hear are:

  • “They’re dated.”
  • “They are hard to paint over.”
  • “They are dust catchers.”
  • “They are just plain ugly.”

Are popcorn ceilings a deal breaker to you?  Don’t let popcorn ceilings be a deal breaker in your next home search.  Instead of breaking the bank to try to remove popcorn ceilings, or crossing it off your list, here are a few ways to lessen their visual appearance.

#1.  Change the lighting.  Usually, people who hate their popcorn ceilings have lighting that shines upward toward the ceiling.  These are light fixtures that are flush mounted to the ceiling and cast a lot of shadows.  A better option is to change your fixtures to directional fixtures that point down instead of out.

#2.  Choose bulbs that cast a softer light or use table lamps or sconces that give a more dramatic effect to the eye.

#3.  Paint.  We’ve all seen stains and dirt on ceilings and popcorn ceilings do not hide it well.  The only way to lessen the effect of popcorn ceilings is a fresh coat of white paint.  (Of course, you will want to address why the stain was there in the first place too).  Some people ask if it is ok to paint a different color other than white.  My answer is no, however, I’m sure after you get over the initial shock painting a different color, it will be just fine.

#4.  Stop looking at them!  More often than not, you do not remember the ceilings of the last few homes you were in.  Most people only remember dirty or stained ceilings, so if you take the right steps, your ceilings are a non-issue.  Make an effort to point attention to furnishings and other exciting things in your home than your ceilings.


2014 Texas Home Trends: What’s in and What’s Out?

2014 Texas Home Trends: What's In and What's Out?

While retail designers already know what color your bathing suit will be next summer, designer forecasters have already determined how you will be decorating your home.  Here is what the 2014 home trends will be for next year’s buyers and sellers.

The housing crisis, ongoing war, and lack of economic confidence affects our national mood and, therefore, translates into our style and trends.  The 2014 Texas home trends are shifting.  Our color tastes for the past few years have been every shade of neutral; safe, easy, and traditional.  For big-ticket items, neutral seems like a good idea.  However, now that the Texas real estate market has spiked again, pops of color are making their way back on the scene.  Spice cabinet colors like cinnamon and mocha are trending along with eco-conscious colors like green and a wide range of gray; especially in Texas markets.

But ,what about our obsession with granite countertops?  With a strong demand and falling prices of granite, I don’t see a change in countertop choices for some time.  However, there are some really great alternatives such as marble, wood, concrete, and tile that have gained popularity moving into 2014.

And what about the good ‘ole, gotta have stainless steel appliances?  I don’t know about you, but no matter what finish I get, it still shows finger prints.  After 15 years of stainless appliances, manufacturers are moving on to new finishes.  Check out the Whirlpool’s newest refrigerator addition.  Yep, it’s just like the refrigerator you got rid of 5 years ago…white.  And GE is now pushing their new line of metallic finishes.

My prediction for the upcoming 2014 Texas home trends is that despite the brighter more cheerful trends, buyers and sellers will still be privy to the good ole faithful of safe, easy, and neutral.

More Texas Real Estate Facts

More Texas Real Estate Facts

It is no myth that the consumer is the driving force in the real estate industry in Texas.  Below are some interesting changes that have occurred and will continue to mold the future of the housing market.

  • The average age of a repeat buyer in Texas is 42
  • The average age of a 1st time buyer in Texas is 31
  • 35% of buyers are first time home buyers.
  • Texas sellers stay in their home an average of 9 years
  • Homeowners want information about real estate updates and relevant news about their community
  • A 2012 poll revealed that sales equal 96% of asking price.  This does not include price reductions or seller contributions
  • There are 1900 people moving to Texas a day
  • 92% of Texas home sellers used a real estate agent to sell their home.  Only 8% were For Sale By Owner
  • The best day to put a home on the market is on Friday
  • The best day to hold an open house is Tuesday
  • 74% of consumers believe the economy has gotten better and 71% think the economy will continue to get better in the next year

Texas is:

Big: The population is the 2nd largest in the U.S. with over 25 million people

Young: 27% of the Texas population is under 18 and only 10% is older than 65

Diverse: Approximately 9.5 million or 38% of Texans are of Hispanic descent; 12% are African American; 6% are other (primarily of Asian descent.


Texas Dream REALTORS® understands our client’s housing needs and serves Austin, San Antonio, and surrounding areas.  Our expertise encompass military relocation, property management, farm and ranch sales, residential, new home construction, and commercial real estate.  For more information on the housing market and specific community information in Austin or San Antonio, please call a Texas Dream Realtors agent today!

Kelea Piper Shines in Austin

Kelea Piper










Great Reviews for Kelea Piper

“I recently purchased my home in Austin, TX through Kelea Piper at Texas Dream Realtors. I was a first time home buyer and very unsure of what to expect. I had the most amazing experience with Kelea and TDR! Everything about the process was smooth and seamless- from the beginning of the showing/selection experience to the full closing process. I always felt that Kelea had my best interests in mind and went above and beyond. Kelea is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and professional every step of the way. I had a TON of questions since it was my first home and she made me feel very comfortable and fully educated. I highly recommend Kelea and Texas Dream Realtors to anyone looking for a top quality home buying experience. Whether it is your first home or your 5th, Kelea fully delivers on expectations plus rises above them consistently! Thank you for helping me find my dream home in Austin!”

Christina Onori                                                                                           

Dell | Global Talent Acquisition M&A PM


What to expect from Austin Traffic

What to expect for austin traffic

It’s no secret that Austin traffic is getting worse and worse.  It is the topic of conversation at the beginning and end of most people’s day as they migrate to and from work, especially for those that travel along the MoPac Expressway.

You have probably started seeing signed for lane closures and construction barriers here and there on MoPac.  Here are some highlights of the MoPac Improvement Project and what is to come over the next three years:

  • The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has hired CH2M Hill to design and build Express Lanes on north MoPac from Lady Bird Lake to Parmer Lane. The contractor is currently designing the project and plans to begin construction by fall 2013.
  • There will be sound walls from 7-20 feet high to help the residents who own property along MoPac.  No property acquisition will be obtained from any homeowners.
  • The construction will occur at night between 9pm and 5am and nearby residents should be prepared for noise disruptions at night.
  • The project is scheduled to be complete by fall of 2015, but there are incentives for CH2M Hill to finish sooner.
  • You can find maps for the full project and environmental studies here.


The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s toll road initiative for 183A extends from northwest Austin through Cedar Park and Leander in northwest Williamson County.

  • The first section of 183A opened in March 2007.  Traffic was much higher than expected, so they began a 5 mile extension that runs from New Hope Road north to San Gabriel Parkway.  This northern extension opened in April 2012.
  • The Toll Road Rates range from a minimum of $.37 to as much as $9.20 depending on the axle and form of payment.

Fun facts you should know about San Antonio, TX.

Fun facts about San Antonio Texas real estate

Fun Facts you should know about San Antonio, TX.

1.  The average household income in SA is estimated to be $61,635 and the median age is 34yrs.
2.  The majority of homes sold in December 2011 according to the A&M Real Estate Center were in the$120,000 to $139,000 price range.
3.  According to SABOR, in September 2012 the AVERAGE price for a single family home was $191,500.  The MEDIAN price was $152,000.
4.  SA hosts 14 Colleges and Universities, education more than 120,000 higher education students annually.
5.  SA is the 7th largest city in the US and 2nd largest city in Texas.
6.  The SA and surrounding Bexar Count area’s public school system is comprised of 17 independent school districts with a total of 453 schools.
7.  SA has 4 military bases that together employ 89,864 people.
8.  SA’s plan to lead “a new green economy” is Mission Verde – an initiative that brings unique and innovative approaches to green infrastructure, green retrofitting, green jobs, programs, and green venture capital.
9.  As of May 2012, the 3rd largest Corporate Headquarters employer in SA and behind USAA and H-E-B is Bill Miller Bar-B-Q.
10.  The largest regional Healthcare employer in SA is Methodist Healthcare System.
If your looking for an expert in the San Antonio Real Estate market give us a call at 210-900-2091!

Live, Work, Play

San Antonio Real Estate

Live. Work. Play.

That is the latest philosophy of the San Antonio River Walk expansion that is aggressively under construction.  San Antonio’s multi-year, $279 million River Walk development project finishes in 2014 and extends the River Walk from two to 13 miles, to the city’s Mission district. It is the nation’s largest ecosystem restoration in an urban area.  It will include approximately 7500 new housing units, a street car going north/south and east/west allowing for attractive public transit, and hike and bike trails that follow along the river.

The city planners have mapped out four distinctive reaches: The Museum Reach, a four-mile segment of the river from Hildebrand Avenue south to Lexington Avenue; the Downtown Reach, a segment of the original River Walk from Lexington Avenue to Houston Street; the Eagleland, a one-mile segment from South Alamo to Lonestar Boulevard; and the Mission Reach, a eight-mile section of the river extending from Lonestar Boulevard south to Loop 410 South.

Each of these segments accommodates every aspect of the “Live. Work. Play.” lifestyle that make downtown living desirable.  From hike and bike trails to retail stores and local restaurants, the San Antonio downtown district is proving to be a popular place to live.  These recreational improvements will enhance economic development potential and real estate values. The project is expected to stimulate new development and rejuvenate existing properties along the river and will reinforce a sense of community in both areas. This development will encourage job growth and an increased tax base for the city, the county and area schools.

San Antonio Real Estate Tax News

San Antonio Real Estate Tax News
San Antonio Real Estate Tax News

The State of Texas provides several different exemptions individuals and families can use to reduce their property tax burden. Texas Dream Realtors provides agents with expertise in securing all of our customers the maximum amount of exemptions based upon their qualifications. The Bexar County Tax Assessor website can be used to determine a customers eligibility for these programs. The state provides exemptions for homeowners using their property as a primary residence, homeowners with disabilities, and homeowners of 65 years old.

Texas Disability Tax Exemption

If you answer yes to the following questions you may qualify for a significant discount on your homeowners taxes.

Disability Exemption

  • Have you been declared 100% disabled and unable to work by Social Security?
  • Did you retire with 100% disability and were declared unemployable by your employer and/or your doctor?
  • Are you legally blind, unable to work, and at least 55 years of age?
  • Are you receiving SSI benefits due to being totally blind?
  • Do you own and occupy your home?

Homestead Exemption

  • Were you a resident of Texas as of January 1st?
  • Did you own and occupy a home on January 1st?

If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then you may qualify for up to $15,000 in exemptions on your school taxes.

Over 65 Exemption

If you are over 65 or are turning 65 in during the current tax year you may qualify for an age exemption on your property taxes. As long as you use the home as your primary residence you should qualify.

San Antonio Real Estate Tax News

Give one of our agents a call at 210-888-9080 and let us take care of negotiating your exemptions with the county. We have experience providing the state the information they need to secure a tax exemption for our clients. This is on of the many services we offer that go’s far beyond our customers expectations.


San Antonio Real Estate Experts

San Antonio Real Estate
San Antonio Real Estate

Let’s face it, property information is available with a click of a button. Need to know the square footage, list price, age, taxes, name of the owner, or the dog’s name? Just go to one of the gazillion websites and find what you want to know without ever picking up the phone and speaking to an agent. Buyers and Sellers are becoming more and more educated and, in turn, more savvy when it comes to real estate transactions.

I know a lot of Realtors who complain about this issue because they are not able to justify to their prospective clients why using a Realtor is necessary, if not imperative, to buying or selling a home.

The truth is folks, having the stats on a home is not what makes the wheel turn. However, having the specifics on how to crank the engine and get the home sold is what Realtors do….it’s what Texas Dream Realtors do.  When you hire a Dream Realtor, you are hiring a team of professionals that work with your best interest in mind.

Next time you are stopped at a for sale sign and are looking up the QR code for the details of the property, think to yourself, “Do I just want the stats or should I be speaking to a community expert on the propertyy I am potentially making the biggest investment of my life on?”

If you looking for a San Antonio Real Estate expert give Texas Dream Realtors a call at 210-888-9080 and when can show you the difference.

San Antonio Real Estate Experts

Top Things to do in San Antonio

Top Things to Do in San Antonio

This is a great website highlighting some of the top things to do in San Antonio. Texas Dream Realtors can provide clients with hyper-local knowledge of San Antonio and its surrounding areas. The market is beginning to heat up as low interest rates and shrinking inventory push property values up. Give us a call at 210-888-9080 to get a custom search setup specifically to your needs today.

Top Things to Do in San Antonio: 2012

Some other fun things are:
***Hiking at Government Canyon State Park

***Going Tubing at the Guadalupe River

***Watching an outdoor movie or play at the Botanical Gardens  

For more about Botanical Gardens, check out “55 Stunning Botanical Gardens to See Before You Die” by Emily Moore.

***Go Check Out First Friday

***See a show at Sam’s Burger Joint

So much to do in San Antonio!

Top Things to Do in San Antonio