There are plenty of Austin areas to watch in 2012 and plenty of reasons why Austin continues to be popular destination for Texas families.

In addition to its strong housing market and increasing job market, Austin has become a highly desirable area in which to reside. But Austin has become desirable not only for its real estate, but for its bountiful supply of outdoor beauty and recreational activities.

Here are some of our favorites:

Austin Nature and Science Center Located within Zilker Park, the Austin Nature and Science Center is where Austin visitors and residents can explore all things natural. The Austin Nature and Science Center, which was established in 1960, has provided everything from nature exhibits to education programs for adults…

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mortgagesAs a first-time home buyer, you may be quite overwhelmed at the thought of obtaining a mortgage. There seems to be so many options, and the process of finding a home loan program and applying for it leaves you feeling nervous and more than stressed out! However, the mortgage process is not so intimidating if you take it one step at a time:

  1. Consider how much money you can spend on a new home – Before you even look at your first property, consider how much of a home you can afford. It simply doesn’t make sense to waste your time and build up your hopes, only to learn that you cannot afford as much of a house as your first thought. In addition to considering a monthly housing expense, add in the cost of taxes, as well as utilities and the cost of…

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If you must weave and dodge your way through your home to get from one room to another, it may be time to de-clutter it before selling.

Your home could be the prettiest four-bedroom colonial on the block, but if it is dirty or cluttered, buyers will have a difficult time appreciating your home. Cleaning and de-cluttering, although it requires a substantial amount of elbow grease and time, will pay off in the long run because buyers will have a better appreciation for your property. Plus, it will prepare you for the move by ridding your home of unwanted stuff! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Clear out all unnecessary clutter – From the stack of magazines beside your bed to the piles of unused toys in the corner of the family room, it is time to…

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