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Angela's Day Tripping around Dripping Springs

New York and Los Angeles have long been the top luxury real estate markets in the country. But when it comes to growth, Texas is now tops.

According to the latest Luxury Market Report from Coldwell Banker Previews, Austin, Texas, was the country's No. 1 city last year for sales growth of homes priced at $1 million or more.lake austin

Coldwell credited the city's boom in technology, entertainment and education for its 32 percent increase. That boost translated into 694 million-dollar homes being sold.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ranked second, with growth of 31 percent and 789 total million-dollar homes being sold. It was followed by Seattle, with a 30 percent rise to 979 million-dollar homes, and Atlanta, which saw a 21 percent increase and sold 1,140

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university of texas


Austin has been named one of the most educated cities in America. 

Personal finance website ValuePenguin looked at key metrics across four categories to rank 200 U.S. cities, and Austin is No. 6. That's pretty smart. 

The Capital City ranks No. 16 for attainment, or the highest level of education earned by the 25-and-older population. In Austin, 26.4 percent have a bachelor's degree (well above the national average of 18 percent), while 14 percent have gone on to attain a master's degree or higher. 

That high level of attainment is likely related to Austin's high-quality education. We take the No. 22 spot for the quality of education at primary and secondary schools all the way up to local universities (that should come as no surprise to

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The Driftwood Cemetery lies up the road from Camp Ben McCulloch.  There are at least eight Civil War veterans buried at this historic Texas sight next to the Driftwood United Methodist Church.  On one of the gravesite markers, John Morris (1834-1910), it indicates he received a land grant from the newly liberated Republic of Texas, and may also have fought for Texas independence.  Other markers show he later served as a Confederate soldier.  There are numerous graves throughout Driftwood, Henly, and Dripping Springs that show local residents who came from other states and countries to settle the area.

After the Civil War, many survivors who had left to fight for the Confederacy returned to the area. Confederate veteran Capt. M.L. Redd, of Henly, was

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John Lee Wallace, one of the founders, was a distant relative of Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee?  A local historian reports that they were “fourth cousins, twice over” on John’s mother’s  side. General Lee reportedly visited relatives, including the Wallaces, in the area while serving as commander of the US cavalry regiment in Texas. 

John and Malvina Wallace were married more than 50 years and had 11 children.  At the base of Wallace Mountain, the Wallace family cemetery was established in 1869.  It is believed to have been located there when rain and mud prevented the funeral wagon from getting up the hill.  It sits on private property just a few feet from the shoulder of Hwy 290 E, and received a state historical medallion in 2002. 

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Hopefully you’ve invested in residential real estate property in the Austin area, because 2016 is promising some big numbers. However, if you’re not a homeowner who rents out a property, well, the forecast doesn't look too hot for you.

HomeUnion, a real estate investment management firm, has identified the top 10 metros with the strongest investment home rental growth in the country. Austin comes in at No. 8, with some data that might excite or scare, depending on which side of the spectrum you’re on.

Austin is expecting a 5 percent price increase in 2016 for home rentals, with a projected year-end average rental price of $1,787 for a single-family home. Factors of population, a healthy economy, and steady job growth place Austin in the top 10.

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The granite dome of Enchanted Rock got its name from the local Indians? They believed flickering ghost fires could be seen on top of the rock at night.  Legend tells of an Anglo woman kidnapped by Indians who escaped and lived on top of the Enchanted Rock, where her screams were said to be heard at night.  According to the Texas State Historical Association, local Comanche and Tonkawa feared and revered the Enchanted Rock, and may have offered sacrifices at its base. 

Enchanted Rock is a popular hiking and camping destination, currently managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife.  For more information, go to

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Reason No. 1: Interest rates are still at record lows

Even though they may creep up at any moment, it’s nonetheless a fact that interest rates on home loans are at historic lows, with a 30-year fixed-rate home loan still hovering around 4%.

Reason No. 2: Rents have skyrocketed

Another reason home buyers are lucky is that rents are going up, up, up!  According to the2015 Rental Market Report, 88% of property managers raised their rent in the past 12 months, and an 8% hike is predicted for 2016. Doesn’t it make more sense to put those monthly chunks of money into your own appreciating asset rather than handing it over to your landlord?

Reason No. 3: Home prices are stabilizing

For the first time in years, prices that have been

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Dr. Joseph M Pound is the frontrunner for the title of Founding Father of Dripping Springs.  After earning a degree in medicine at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, Dr. Pound married Sarah Dunbiben Ward in Mississippi in 1853.  They struck out for Texas that same year, arriving in early 1854, where they settled the town of Dripping Springs with the newly arrived Wallace and Moss families.  By December of that year, Dr. Pound had purchased 700 acres.  The Moss and Wallace families purchased acreage, as well.  Out of these 3 homesteads sprang the community of Dripping Springs.  

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The first settler known to purchase land that included the Dripping Springs area was Willis Fawcett.  He purchased that property in the fall of 1853, but he was not the first to be drawn to the abundance of water and wood found along Onion Creek.  Originally named Sheep Tick by the Spanish, the creek was renamed by the early Texas settlers in Stephen F. Austin's "Little Colony" for the wild onions growing at the mouth of the stream.  According to the book Driftwood Heritage, by Minnie Lea Rogers, the pioneers made many thousands of bundles of cypress shingles and sold them in Austin.  In fact, the shingles were so valuable they were even used to purchase land.  Many tall and beautiful trees stand today along onion creek.   

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The News-Dispatch reported more affordable housing is coming to Howard Ranch.    

The City Council approved the zoning change from agricultural to single family residential/town center, resulting in an additional 35 cottages to be added to the Gardens of Howard Ranch Subdivision.  The 1500 square foot cottages will be on smaller 3500 square foot lots.  It’s expected to attract empty nesters and those wishing to downsize into more affordable housing.  Prices haven’t been set yet, but it should be considerably lower than the typical home in Dripping Springs.  Ground breaking is planned in the next 30 to 60 days.

The new zoning is a result of the Dripping Spring’s partnership in the Sustainable Places Project. New zoning could only be applied for new

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