blog

Retiring in Central Texas

26AR6115_6_7_8_9Enhancer_pt

Jeff Watson Homes has been building new homes in Central Texas for over 20 years.  The people we have built homes for are as diverse and unique as the area itself.  However, throughout the years we have sold many homes to people from all over the country who want to spend their retirement years in this great area.  Given that we have been part of this community for so many years, we would like to share with you our top 5 reasons you should retire to Central Texas.

5. Cultural Diversity – Central Texas is an area that has attracted people from all parts of the country and all walks of life.  No matter who you are or where you’re from, when you make your home in Central Texas, you will find it’s rich culture and arts community offers something for everyone and the people here are special.  We should know, we built their homes.

4.  Hot Travel Destination - Over the years, this area has become a popular travel destination.  People from all over the country have decided to make a trip down to the Austin/San Marcos/San Antonio and see what this area has to offer.  From University of Texas sports to the vibrant music scene in Austin; from weekends spent antiquing in Georgetown and Salado to art festivals in Fredericksburg, there is something for everyone.

3. Arts & Entertainment  - With its vibrant arts scene, music and film festivals, kayaking, hiking, and fishing, if you can find something to do here, than you’re not trying hard enough.  Central Texas is perfect for people who are ready to retire but nowhere ready to slow down and this place is perfect for making the most out of these years of your life.

2. Outstanding Medical Community  – After generations of retirees choosing Central Texas, it’s no surprise there are several medical facilities in the area that would offer excellent care for seniors.  We hear quite often from our home owners that they have truly benefited from the excellent health care associated with this area.

1. Excellent Weather – Central Texas, with its moderate winters, offers many year round outdoor activities.  Whether it is golfing, hiking, boating or just spending an afternoon going from shop to shop, our weather makes it a great place for outdoor activities.

In our years of building new homes in Central Texas, we have gotten to know many people and by keeping “our ear to the ground” we have learned a thing or two about what makesthis area so special.  These are just a few good reasons to retire to Central Texas.  If you would like more information on the advantages of living in Central Texas, please contact us.   it would be our pleasure to talk with you.  If you are looking for a homebuilder, you could not ask for a better reputation than that of Jeff Watson Homes. A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area.  Visit the website to learn more, or join the online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

2012 Completed Projects

Hard to believe that another year has come to a close, and it’s time to look back and reflect on what we’ve accomplished in the past twelve months. The best news is the very positive outlook for the home building industry for 2013.

 

High employment, continued influx of new companies into our area coupled with low DSC05244interest rates mean that 2013 may be the best time to buy.  We at Jeff Watson Homes are extremely proud to be a part of the home building community in Central Texas.  We are stronger than ever, and some of our accomplishments of the past year are definitely worth remembering.  Check out our projects under construction and our recently completed projects at http://www.jeffwatsonhomes.com/under-construction/

Tagged , , , , ,

Cool Fall Decor

Here in Central Texas, we woke up to a touch of fall in the air. Nothing major yet, but just enough to get us to thinking about what will be the coolest in home décor this season. Here are some of our thoughts.

Distinct Design – where people embrace how they live and where they’ve been, with each room telling a story about their lives.

Find Artisan Accessories – to add texture and interest, seek out one-of-a-kind pieces with unique details. But keep them neutral. It’s the strong absence of colors that make theses accessories contemporary.

Bundle Up With Pillows and Throws – try faux fur throws on furniture and add soft knit pillows to get ready for cooler weather and to stay trend savvy.

Mix and Match Styles – gone are the days of matchy-matchy room and here to stay are rooms that incorporate diverse design styles like combining modern Barcelona chairs with more traditional pieces and mixing global patterns and richly hued motifs.

Basket Weave Moves Indoors – wicker and basket weave pieces are common for the patio, but furniture makers are finding new applications for the woven look: wicker bed frames, patterned metal light fixtures and even painted furniture that mimics the look of caning.

Retro, Redefined – Mad Men mania is driving a return to midcentury modern with clean lines.   To get in on the trend without going overboard, mix a few sleek midcentury pieces with existing furniture.

Modern Rustic – a sexier sibling to large, unwieldy rustic pieces; streamlined furniture that embraces natural curves and imperfections is cropping up all over furniture showrooms.

With our 3D Design service, we can show you how to turn your design into your dream home. If you are looking for a homebuilder, you could not ask for a better reputation than that of Jeff Watson Homes. A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area. Visit the website to learn more, or join the online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Master Bath Dream

Have you dreamed of having the luxurious and comfortable bathroom you previously thought only existed in five star hotels? Designing a luxury bathroom today is easier and more exciting than it’s ever been. Luxurious upgrades are no longer limited to whirlpool tubs and heat lamps: today, manufacturers of bathroom fixtures and amenities offer a wide range of top of the line equipment to turn your master bathroom into your own private spa. Below are some of the luxurious options you consider when designing your master bathroom.

• Luxury Bath Hardware

Heated towel racks offer that warm cozy clean fresh towel that we all love when we first step out of the shower. Continue your morning ritual while watching your favorite news program in the LCD TV that is installed in your bathroom.

• Custom Showers

Luxury showers today can come with body sprays, handheld shower wands, rain head from the ceiling, and steamer units for the ultimate showering experience.

• Soak in Comfort

The options available in today’s tubs is endless. Soaking tubs, hot air tubs, whirlpool tubs, and walk-in tubs are just the beginning of the choices available for your bathtub. You can also add built in sound effects and mood lighting for a more relaxing experience.

• Elegant Cabinetry

Don’t we all wish we had a little more storage for our bathroom essentials? Today’s cabinet manufacturers offer so many elegant solutions for your storage needs from furniture looking custom vanities to charming wall units. Getting rid of the clutter that has plagued our bathrooms for so long is easy with some well-appointed custom cabinetry.

Still not sure which options are right for you? At Jeff Watson Homes, our 3D design service can help you design the master bath of your dreams If you are looking for a homebuilder, you could not ask for a better reputation than that of Jeff Watson Homes. A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area. Visit the website to learn more, or join the online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , , ,

Construction Site Cleanliness

For generations, our mothers and grandmothers have long tried to ingrain in our minds that “cleanliness is next to godliness.”   At Jeff Watson Homes, we have taken this advice to heart.  The way a home builder maintains their construction sites can have a variety of implications.

When you are driving past or even visiting a custom home builder’s construction site, the condition of the build site is the first thing you’ll notice. If there are building materials strewn about, you might get the impression that the builder is not very organized, which could even extend into their office as well. This is common during the framing phase of construction. Lumber should be separated and organized into two piles, for usable and unusable lumber. Over the course of construction there might be hundreds of people between workers, clients, potential clients, realtors, and more, who will walk the construction site. Build sites that are not maintained on a regular basis present a higher risk of tripping and other hazards. When a construction site is maintained properly, that’s one less thing all parties have to worry about. Also, when a site is clean, it’s much easier to notice the craftsmanship of the custom home’s numerous features.

At Jeff Watson Homes, we maintain our build sites out of respect for the homeowners, the neighbors, and the people who walk the job site every day. If you would like to walk one of our build sites, it would be our pleasure to walk it with you.  If you are looking for a homebuilder, you could not ask for a better reputation than that of Jeff Watson Homes. A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area.  Visit the website to learn more, or join the online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , , ,

Best Homeowner Apps

There are home improvement apps, home design apps, to-do list apps, party planning apps, all of which are designed to make life at home a little more organized and forward-moving. But new apps arrive with such speed and frequency it’s impossible to keep up. With that in mind, let’s just slow down for a moment, take a deep breath (download deep-breathing app here), and consider these top 10 contenders for our favorite home apps for your mobile device.

Mobile Handyman http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cZsj6R8T6tc 

The Swiss Army Knife of home apps, the iHandy Carpenter ($1.99) adds five new tools to your tablet or smartphone: surface level, bubble level, plumb bob, protractor, and ruler. We’re still waiting for the app that actually hammers nails for you.

Home Design Help http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nwEuavOqspE

Home design ideas are sometimes hard to come by. For those moments when you need just the right color, pattern, texture, and style, eDesign Assistant (free) will comb through 36,000 fabrics and furnishings from the Kravet and Lee Jofa brands, matching colors and making recommendations along the way.

Decorating Tips

With 150 iconic color photos, decorating tips from top designers, and interactive articles like “Create a Mood with Color” and “Color Wheel Primer,” the HGTV Color Guide (free) brings you one small, digital step closer to starring in an HGTV show based on your life.

Measure That Room http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=F0GaOAXXsa8

Photo Measure Lite (free) turns your photograph of a room into a set of detailed measurements. You can scrawl in the dimensions, arrows, any text, and end up with an exact layout to email to your contractor or bring with you, via smartphone or tablet, to the home improvement store.

Floor Plans http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Px9QTgr8fRY

Who needs architecture school? MagicPlan app (free) can produce a floor plan of a room based on a few photographs. It’s currently the only application to measure, draw, and publish an interactive floor plan, which can then be sent as a PDF, JPEG or other types of files. With this self-created house diagram, you can get a head start on estimating your renovation budget, shop for stuff with all the right dimensions, and even document your house for insurance. If you prefer to DIY, this app may also help you learn more about the fundamental of home design .

Get Organized

Put this down on your to-do list – download Any.DO, a free to-do list app that helps you organize your tasks, stay focused, and get them done. Any.DO can sync across various devices, so that both your smart phone and your tablet will be telling you what to do next. Thanks for that.

Easy Food Shopping

Grocery list apps have gotten very complicated with daily deals, flyers, and friend integration. That’s not the case with The Simple Grocery List (free), which harkens back to simpler times, when an app was just a mobile, digital version of the grocery list you used to stick to your refrigerator door.

Interior Design Expertise

Menus of colors, styles, and room types, along with hundreds of photos of interior design await on Dream Home ($.99), the app that helps keep you connected to the latest interior design trends.

Save Energy

The Social Energy App and MyEnergy.com (free) are two apps that let you monitor home energy use online. The idea is to empower homeowners to let them compare their utility bills to homes of similar size, to give them access to information on the amounts of electricity, gas, and water they’re using, so that they no longer have to decipher cryptic monthly bills.

Because of the swift assembly-line pace of the app marketplace, there are more apps than we could even begin to list here.  These are just a few of our favorites.  If you are looking for design expertise in planning your dream home consider a visit to Jeff Watson Homes.  With our experienced and knowledgeable staff we can use our 3D Design process to help you make all the right decisions. If you are looking for a homebuilder, you could not ask for a better reputation than that of Jeff Watson Homes. A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area.  Visit the website to learn more, call us at 512-518-4090 or join the online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Anatomy of a Site Visit

 “I pulled up one day and thought a new house would look good here” …..Jeff Watson

The first time you step onto a plot of vacant land, you’ll probably begin to envision your new home immediately: where you’ll put the kitchen, how the master suite will be oriented to take advantage of the views and how much you’ll enjoy sunset cocktails on the deck. It’s a wonderful moment.  That first inspiring moment ~ with dreams of what will be ~ is the time to ask your builder for a site visit and evaluation.  Involving your builder early in your lot selection process will ensure that you select your perfect lot. 

With Jeff Watson Homes, a site visit is a no-commitment opportunity to assess not only if your land can accommodate the type of home you want, but also if that property will pose any obvious challenges to your budget and design preferences.

If you’re already the proud owner of the land, then the site visit will focus not so much on identifying the pros and cons, but rather to finding solutions. Here are a few things we will consider together:

Logistics:

•             What type of home would you like?
•             Will we need to access build roads or major excavation?
•             Does the location provide any notable challenges for construction?
•             Are there any impediments to site selection on the property (rocks, trees, drainage)?

Lifestyle Preferences:

•             How will the home’s position affect the slab?  Can we place it for maximum cost efficiency?
•             How can we orient the house to maximize views and energy efficiency?
•             Are there any natural features that may enhance inclusion of a feature you’ve prioritized; a large deck overlooking a cliff?

As soon as we’ve assessed the property, we can get started right away on design. Whether you are considering building your dream home on a lot you already own or if you would like our assistance in selecting the perfect lot for you, consider Jeff Watson Home.  A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area.  Call us at 512-518-4090, visit the website to learn more, or join our online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Tips for Home Sellers

Selling a home is hardly ever free of headaches. For some just the scrubbing, sprucing and staging required to prep a home for the market can seem overwhelming, but the work doesn’t end there. If the thought of making pre-sale home repairs all over your entire house feels overwhelming, take a step back and consider where you should really focus your attention.  The time and money spent in addressing these items can add up to $$thousands$$ that won’t be chopped off your selling price.

  • Electric Panel – Just prior to sale, you are not likely to be doing any major upgrading on your electrical system, but you will need to locate your main electrical panel and give it a good cleaning.  Brush our all the cobwebs, dead spiders and dust and wipe off any rust or mildew.
  • Plumbing and Sewage – Make sure each and every sink and tub in the house is draining properly and that the drain lines are clear.  Flush them all, but don’t stop there.  Your buyer’s inspector won’t – he will run water in several sinks and flush several toilets at the same time.  This is a great test of the house’s main drain line.  So, if your house doesn’t flow with the flush, get that plumber over now!
  • Water Pressure – Another revealing plumbing trick is to run the dishwasher and washing machine along with a sink and shower.  How’s the water pressure?  Do you need a bigger hot water tank? Find out now.
  • Water Heater – Look under the water heater to check for rust or leaks.  If you find any, replace it now.
  • Septic Tank – If your house is on a septic system, schedule it to be emptied at least two weeks prior to showings.
  • Leaks – Most pipe and faucet leaks are an easy and inexpensive fix, but a real turn off for buyers.  Inspect each faucet and hose bib inside and outside the house.
  • Heating and Cooling – Test your heating and A/C systems, change filters and make sure the units and visible ducts are sparkling clean. 
  • Thermostats – Test your thermostats.  If they are broken or older, replace them with newer programmable digital thermostats.

When you are ready to design your dream home consider Jeff Watson Homes.  With over twenty years of experience building new homes in Austin and the surrounding areas Jeff Watson has a reputation for building quality homes and providing excellent customer service. Call us at 512-518-4090, visit the website to learn more, or join our online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , ,

Keeping Your Pets Cool in the Texas Heat

It can get incredibly hot in the summer months and if you have an outside dog or other animal, it is essential to make sure you are taking the proper precautions to keep your pet safe. Here are some tips to provide some comfort to your animal during these record high temperatures:

  • Make sure you have a shaded area somewhere in your backyard for your pet to have some relief from the hot sun.
  • You will need plenty of water outside and it should be placed in a shaded area. If possible, you need to be able to refill it during the day to provide cool water for them. 
  • You may want to consider shaving their coat for the summer. This may help kee your animal cool, but remember, they can get a sunburn too. The best way to avoid sunburn is to keep about ¼ inch of hair on your animal and keep them out of the sun for the first week after their new haircut.
  • Consider placing a kiddie pool in your yard with an inch or two of water for them to cool off in. If your dog loves the water, this makes for an easy and effective option. The water will heat up in the pool too, so keep it shaded and empty and refill it as much as possible.
  • A product called the Canine Cooler is also an option for keeping your pets cool.  It is designed to offer a cool area for your animal to lay on and provide cushioning comfort for skin, body and joints. It is for indoor or outdoor use and all you have to do is fill it with water.

I hope a few of these suggestions will help you keep your animal comfortable though these hot summer months. It is important not to forget that they get overheated during the summer just like we do if we are outside for extended periods of time.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to raise a family, with thriving enterprise and ample healthcare, you could not ask for a better town than Georgetown, TX. If you are looking for a homebuilder, you could not ask for a better reputation than that of Jeff Watson Homes. A local builder known for quality home building and excellent customer service, Jeff Watson has over 20 years of experience in the area.  Call us at 512-518-4090, visit the website to learn more, or join our online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Tagged , , , , ,

More Enjoyment, Less Work…..with Native Plants

Here in central Texas we have many different types of growing situations, everything from full sun with thin, rocky soils to deep shade with thick, clay soils that are wet and soggy, then dry and hard. So what’s a gardener to do? Well, one thing is to try using native plants. There are many advantages to using natives, one of which is that they are adapted to growing here. But no matter how good a plant is, a plant that needs shade will not work in full sun nor will a full sun plant grow in the shade.

So the first step would be to choose the right plant for where you intend to plant it. Sound simple? Well it is. Start off with just a few good plants and pretty soon you will be looking for more and more to add to your collection. Now not only do native plants look great, but you will find you are using less water and fertilizer, and if that’s not enough, you will have more butterflies and birds in your yard to help you enjoy them!

The list of plants for full sun is long, so let’s just look at a few. One of the best plants is Salvia greggii or cherry sage, classed as a sub-shrub. It gets about 3 feet by 3 feet, is evergreen and blooms mid-spring through frost. Salvia greggii flower colors are red, pink, white, and orange. This is one of the best hummingbird plants going. It has no insect or disease problems, and the deer do not like it! How about a small evergreen perennial that will bloom almost every month of the year? Try a few Hymenoxys scaposa or four-nerve daisy. This plant gets about 6 inches in height by 8-10 inches wide with single yellow daisy flowers rising 6 inches above the foliage. I have seen this plant in bloom in the wild every month of the year. A west Texas standout plant that does well for us here is Stachys coccinea or Texas betony with a height of up to 18 inches and a spread of 30 inches. This plant starts to bloom in March and goes till frost with coral red flowers. This is another great, early blooming plant for the hummingbirds. And what about the lantanas? We have two native species here in central Texas, the Texas lantana, Lantana horrida, and the pink lantana, Lantana camara. Both of these are big shrubby plants that bloom all summer long and draw butterflies as good as any plant you can use.

Okay, so you don’t have a lot of sun; that’s just fine. A plant that will grow in full sun to shade is Turk’s cap, Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii. This is a wonderful plant because it will grow in so many situations. It’s a 3 foot by 3 foot plant that is long-lived and hardy with red blooms from June through frost. It’s loved by both hummingbirds and butterflies, plus it makes an edible little fruit (but most of the time the birds will beat you to them). A small evergreen Salvia that likes semi-shade is cedar sage, Salvia roemeriana. This is a plant native to the hill country that grows…. you guessed it, under cedars. Another very good tall ground cover is pigeonberry, Rivina humilis, growing from 18-24 inches tall. It has fluffy white to pink bloom spikes and brilliant red fruit at the same time, from May to October. And birds just love them.

There are hundreds of great plants out there just waiting for you to discover. Do your homework or talk to a nursery person who is knowledgeable. So no matter what your situation is, there are lots of good native plants to make your yards and gardens a more enjoyable place for both you and the birds and butterflies. More enjoyment, less work. . . sounds simple. Well, it is!

When you are ready to put down roots in Georgetown and create your own garden paradise, consider Jeff Watson Homes.  With over twenty years of experience building new homes in Austin and the surrounding areas Jeff Watson has a reputation for building quality homes and providing excellent customer service. Call us at 512-518-4090, visit the website to learn more, or join our online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,