Everything 
Austin 
Texas

From the best restaurants to lending advice...our blog has it all.

Why Relocate to Texas?
Texas has been a hot topic of discussion lately,...
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
    Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe IngredientsBoneless skinless chicken breasts: You’ll begin...
The Lone Star Attraction: How Generation Z is Flocking to Texas
In recent years, Texas has emerged as a magnet...
The Pulse of Austin’s Rental Market: Insights from a Local Realtor
Hello, Austin friends and newcomers! As a realtor deeply...
Ray Mungia Austin, TX Broker

Ray Mungia

Categories
Time is money
Property tax laws and regulations can vary by state and even by locality within a state like Texas. While I can provide some general strategies that people may consider to potentially reduce property taxes, it’s important to consult with a local tax professional or attorney who is familiar with the specific rules and regulations in your area for the most accurate advice. Here are ten common ways to potentially reduce property taxes in Texas: Homestead Exemption: Texas offers a homestead exemption, which allows homeowners to reduce the taxable value of their primary residence. To be eligible, you must live in the property as your primary residence. The exemption varies by school district, so check with your local appraisal district for specific details. Over-65 Exemption: If...
How-to-Pan-Sear-Steak-1120x812
Pan-searing is the best way to cook a steak, and it’s also the easiest! Servings: 2 to 4 Prep Time: 4 Minutes Cook Time: 6 Minutes Total Time: 10 Minutes INGREDIENTS 2 (12-oz) New York strip or ribeye steaks or 4 (6-oz) filet mignons, about 1½ inches thick 1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter A few sprigs fresh thyme leaves INSTRUCTIONS To begin, pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season the steaks all over with the salt and pepper. Turn on your exhaust fan and heat a heavy pan (preferably cast iron or stainless steel) over medium-high heat until it’s VERY hot. Add the oil to the pan and heat until it begins to shimmer and move fluidly around the pan....
Old Hands
A Personal Journey Through Guardianships and Real Estate Not too long ago, I found myself in the midst of a real estate transaction that was a little different than ones I have encountered in the past. Although I have done many deals with guardianships, its important to note they are all a little different.  It involved a guardianship for an incapacitated individual, and it opened my eyes to the complexities hidden beneath the surface of seemingly straightforward deals. As with any real estate sale, there came a point when all parties involved eagerly signed on the dotted line, anticipating the joyous closing of the deal. However, we still needed to get approval from the judge. The Wait for Judicial Approval In this particular case, the...
Winter Soup
Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion diced 3 celery stalks diced 3 medium carrots trimmed, peeled, and diced 2 medium zucchini ends trimmed and chopped into ¾-inch chunks 3 small Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed and chopped into ¾-inch cubes ¾ cup split red lentils 1 cup (240 mL) canned chopped tomatoes with their juices 2 pieces of parmigiano-reggiano rind 2 dried bay leaves 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste freshly ground black pepper 2-3 cups finely sliced savoy cabbage reserved for later For Serving: extra virgin olive oil for drizzling freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil, for garnishing freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Austin Sign
Looking ahead to 2024 in Austin, I’ve got some insights on the real estate scene that I’d love to share with you. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, so let’s break it down in a more casual way. First things first, let’s talk about prices. So, you know how Austin’s real estate market went through the roof during the pandemic? Well, now it seems we might be in for a bit of a cool-down. Some areas could see prices drop by up to 12%, according to Realtor.com. But Austin’s real estate market is a bit like a puzzle – it’s complex, and you can’t make blanket statements about the whole thing. There are still some areas that are red-hot. Now, here’s my take on...
Trail_of_Lights_Courtesy_of_Visit_Austin
Austin, Texas offers a variety of festive activities to enjoy during the Christmas season. Here are some highlights for Christmas 2023: Holiday Stroll and Tree Lighting: Scheduled for December 3, 2023, from 5-10 pm, this event features a beautifully lit tree each evening at 1100 Congress Ave. The Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll is a free event that takes place in the heart of Austin, creating a wonderful atmosphere for families and friends​​. Ice Skating: Starting November 18, 2023, and continuing until January 7, 2024, you can enjoy ice skating at the Four Seasons Hotel on 98 San Jacinto Blvd. The cost is $40 per hour, which includes entry, skate rentals, and 60 minutes of skating​​. Santa’s Ranch: This unique experience offers a sensational light...
Mold image 2
Mold in homes is a common issue, often causing concern and confusion. While some molds are harmless, others can pose serious health risks. This article aims to demystify household molds, helping homeowners to identify and deal with them effectively. What is Mold? Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp environments. It reproduces through spores, which can be airborne and settle on various surfaces. Molds come in various colors and types, thriving in moist areas like bathrooms, basements, and kitchens. The Bad: Harmful Molds Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black Mold) Black mold, scientifically known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is notorious for its potential health risks. It’s usually black or dark green and has a slimy texture. Exposure can cause respiratory issues, headaches, and even neurological problems....
Roast-Beef-Tenderloin-4
Ingredients: 1 whole beef tenderloin (about 4-5 pounds) 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon of garlic powder or 2 minced garlic cloves Optional: fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme Instructions: Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Prepare the Tenderloin: If the tenderloin has a thin, tapered end, tuck it under and tie the tenderloin with kitchen string to ensure even cooking. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season: Rub the entire tenderloin with olive oil. Combine the salt, pepper, and garlic powder (or minced garlic) in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the beef. Optional Herb Layer: If using, lay sprigs of rosemary and/or thyme...
Empty Nest
Hey there! So, you’ve just waved off your kids as they embarked on their new adventures after high school. It feels like just yesterday you were dropping them off at kindergarten, and now they’re adults starting a new chapter in their lives. The house feels a bit quieter, and there’s this sudden realization that perhaps it’s a little too big for just you (and maybe your partner). If you’re contemplating the idea of downsizing, trust me, you’re not alone! Many empty nesters mull over this decision. But is it the right choice? Let’s weigh the pros and cons together. Pros: Easier Maintenance: With fewer rooms and a smaller yard, there’s less to clean and upkeep. Your weekends can be more about relaxation and less about...
Caldo De Res
Here’s what you’ll need to make this caldo de res recipe: For the soup: bone-in beef shanks, vegetable oil, salt and pepper, onion, beef broth, diced tomatoes, water, carrots, cilantro, chayotes, corn, potatoes, and cabbage To garnish: cilantro, pickled jalapenos, finely chopped onion, lime wedges, and quartered radishes Soup: 2 pounds beef shank, with bone   1 tablespoon vegetable oil   2 teaspoons salt   2 teaspoons ground black pepper   1 onion, chopped   3 cups beef broth   1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes   4 cups water   2 medium carrot, coarsely chopped   ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro   2 chayotes, quartered (Optional)   2 ears corn, husked and cut into thirds   1 potato, quartered (Optional)   1 medium head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges   Garnishes: 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro   ¼ cup sliced pickled jalapenos   ¼ cup finely chopped onion   2 limes, cut into wedges  ...
Loading