Why do people often say Texas is its own country? Job growth could be one factor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas cities continue to lead the country in jobs. The Lone Star State’s beautiful capital – Austin – takes the top spot with four other Texas cities following.

Moral of this story? You need to contact me to find you a home in Texas!

For more info on Texas job growth, visit http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/17068/.

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Austin once again makes a top 10 list, and this time it’s for being one of the best places to invest. This means you should diversify your retirement and buy real estate in Austin.

Feel free to search for available Austin real estate right here on my site.

For more information on this great news about Austin, see this story:

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/03/23/top-10-markets-invest-in

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This is amazing. An employee from Ocean Marketing responds to an email from a concerned customer and then proceeds to berate him over and over. Needless to say, this is not how you earn long term success.

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Since it is the first day of March I thought I would list a few activities coming up. It is one of the busiest months here in Austin.

SXSW
This is the grandaddy of March events. It’s actually one of the biggest events of the year. Thousands of people come in town for the interactive festival, filmfest and of course the music and parties.

St. Patrick’s Day
There are several celebrations throughout Austin for St. Patrick’s Day but Fado has always had a great event.

Spring Break
Many college students as well as high school kids and their families take a trip down to Austin during their spring break just to enjoy the city.

UIL Basketball
Both the boys and girls state basketball tournaments are played at the Frank Erwin Center during March.

March Madness
While they will not be playing in Austin this year, the NCAA basketball tournament will have a regional in San Antonio and the Final Four will be in Houston.  UT looks to make a good run this year so Austin will be filling the sports bars to follow the action.

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras also falls around this time of year and it is not hard to find a Mardi Gras-themed event around town.

Rodeo
Rodeo Austin always adds to the music and festivities of March.  It also brings along a carnival and all the other fun events for kids as well as adults.

Texas Independence Day
Texas Independence Day is March 2nd.  There will be a celebration at the Capitol tomorrow as well as a parade on Saturday.  There is more information at Celebrate Texas.

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I recently needed a way to convert a number to currency format using Javascript.  I found the best solution in Alex G’s comment on Brad Harris’s post.  But as usual, there were issues when cutting/pasting from the web so I just wanted to post here as a Gist so it might help someone else and also so that someone can improve it if they want.

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This week Gov. Perry made eminent domain an emergency agenda item, meaning the legislature will soon tackle the task of reforming current laws to better protect homeowners. In fact there are two bills being introduced, that if made into laws, will enhance protections for homeowners so that they aren’t getting the raw end of the deal in an eminent domain situation.

A Texas Realtor himself, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples just blogged about these new bills. Give his post a quick read to learn more.

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Closeup of a parking meterThe City of Austin is considering extending parking-meter hours in the downtown area. This would create more turnover of parking spaces and increase revenue but is is the best option? Let the city know what you think by taking their survey.  You can also read the background and research on the issue at the city’s website.

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The Waller Creek Tunnel Project gets underway today.  Crews will begin renovating a pedestrian bridge in preparation for the project.  While planning has been underway for years, this marks the first visible signs of construction.

Once completed, the Waller Creek Tunnel Project will have removed approximately 28 acres from the flood zone along Waller Creek stretching from Lady Bird Lake to Waterloo Park.  This will be accomplished by building a tunnel that redirects storm water out of the creek preventing overflow.  This will be a huge boon for the area as many developers will be eager to build along this stretch.  Many have compared the project to the San Antonio Riverwalk but with our own Austin flavor.  The project is expected to take about  four years to complete.

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As everyone knows, more jobs means more housebuyers.  As jobs grow, consumer confidence grows.  So not only will people have more income to spend but also will be less reluctant to spend it.  Well, fortunately, Austin is once again on the top-ten list of job growth.  With 14, 300 new jobs in the past year, they land at #6 on the list.  And if you look at percentage growth, they are actually #1 on the list.  Hopefully, for the sake of agents and current homeowners this pattern will continue.

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Displet, is a business my broker Eric Bramlett and I have been working on for a while now.  The business focuses on selling IDX/RETS backed real estate websites to other agents.  I have worked in web development for years and continue to do so while working as an agent.  Eric has been a leading SEO/SEM expert for years.  So by combining our talents along with both of us being active real estate agents, we believe we have the skills to make a best-of-breed product for other agents.

Currently, we are looking for agents who wish to be beta testers for our new product.  Beta testers will receive discounted pricing in exchange for helping us shape our product.  If you are interested in learning more or wish to get your site set-up, just fill out the contact form and we will get in touch with you.  And stay tuned for more developments.

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