Over the last 20 years, Austin has become one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. People flock here for various reasons, but chief among them seems to be the capital city’s proven record as a hospitable place to do business. In particular, Austin has made a name for itself in the tech realm, [...]

Guide to the Best Austin Neighborhoods: Part I

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Austin

Over the last 20 years, Austin has become one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. People flock here for various reasons, but chief among them seems to be the capital city’s proven record as a hospitable place to do business. In particular, Austin has made a name for itself in the tech realm, earning it the moniker “the Silicon Hills”. Several tech companies have set up shop here in recent years, including names like Apple, Dell, PayPal, and Facebook, which has created a lot of new employment opportunities. In addition to plentiful jobs, Austin is also an attractive place to live because of its low cost of living, great live music scene, laid back ways, and fantastic food.No matter what your reason, if you’re considering a move to Austin, Texas you should take some time to familiarize yourself with local real estate. Though home prices have been inching upwards, Austin is still more affordable than most large cities and offers residents a great variety of neighborhoods to choose from. Here’s your guide to some of the best Austin neighborhoods:

Tarrytown

Just west of Mopac, between Enfield and 35th Street, sits the West Austin neighborhood known as Tarrytown. This area of high-end homes is just a couple of miles from city center, making it one of the most convenient neighborhoods for those with downtown commutes. The almost 19,700 people who call Tarrytown home enjoy amenities like neighborhood parks, shopping at Casis Village and Tarrytown Center, and the Lions Municipal Golf Course in nearby Deep Eddy. This neighborhood is also home to Laguna Gloria, an historic home turned art museum overlooking Lake Austin, which hosts several family-friendly events throughout the year. Residents with children will also be delighted to know they can send their children to nearby Casis Elementary or O’Henry Middle School. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see parents walking their kids to school in the mornings instead of contending with traffic. If you can afford it, Tarrytown is an amazing place to call home.
Travis Heights borders the SoCo area, which is home to some of the best shops and restaurants in Austin. Photo credit Flickr user Justin Jensen.

Travis Heights borders the SoCo area, which is home to some of the best shops and restaurants in Austin. Photo credit Flickr user Justin Jensen.

Travis Heights

Travis Heights is a neighborhood located in South Austin, just south of the Colorado River and east of South Congress. This historic neighborhood was founded in 1913 by General Stacy and Charles Augustus Newning for Austin's elite. Although no longer exclusively for Texan bigwigs, the average home price in this popular area is around $688,000. Homes here are an eclectic mix of bungalows and edgy rebuilds tucked along winding streets in the neighborhood’s green rolling hills. Residents of Travis Heights are walking distance to SoCo, which boasts some of the best food trucks, music clubs, restaurants, and shops in all of Austin. The neighborhood’s proximity to downtown and its laid back, hipster vibe, makes it one of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Austin.
The Mueller neighborhood on Austin's east side continues expanding. Photo credit Flickr user Garreth Wilcock.

The Mueller neighborhood on Austin's east side continues expanding. Photo credit Flickr user Garreth Wilcock.

Mueller

The Mueller Community is a Planned Unit Development located in East Austin. Built around the site of the former Austin airport, this planned community currently has around 35,900 residents. When the airport was relocated to Bergstrom Airforce Base during the 1990s, developers began working on plans to transform the Mueller area into a model suburban area. Today, this neighborhood features a mix of apartments, condos, and single-family homes and even offers financial assistance programs to underprivileged families. Residents of this idyllic community have access to a variety local and chain restaurants and stores, and can walk to fun destinations like the Texas Farmers Market and the Thinkery

5 Things That Should Be on Your Austin Moving To-Do List

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Austin Moving

Whether you’re moving to the capital city for the first time, or just moving to a new neighborhood within Austin, there are five critical things you should have on your Austin moving to-do-list. Making sure these items get crossed off will help your transition go smoother.

1. Update Your Address

To ensure mail gets delivered to your new address, file a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service. This may be done in person at your local branch, or you can skip the line and submit the form online. If you submit your change of address far enough in advance, you can designate the date you’d like your mail forwarding to begin.Additionally, you’ll need to update your address with your employer, your bank and credit card companies, insurance providers, utility providers, your child’s school, subscription publications, plus friends and family.change-of-address

2. Transfer or Set-up Your Austin Utilities

Nothing is worse than moving into a house without lights and running water. Before your move, make sure you’ve scheduled turn-on dates for essential utilities like electricity, water, and gas. There’s only one provider for each of these Austin utilities, which means you won’t have to spend time shopping around:
  • Electricity: Austin Energy serves not only all of Austin and Travis County, but provides power to part of Williamson County as well. Rates for this public utility are set on an annual basis by the Austin City Council. To set up your electric service, call the Austin Energy customer service line at 512-494-9400. Alternatively, you may register online with the City of Austin Utilities, where you can manage both your electric and water service in one easy place.
  • Water: Austin Water, a department of the City of Austin, has been providing its customers with clean water for over 100 years. This progressive water utility has come a long way in the last century; today they even have an app available so users can easily track their water usage. As previously mentioned, the easiest way to start water service is through the City of Austin utilities site.
  • Gas: For natural gas service, give Texas Gas Service a call at 1-800-700-2443, or create an online account here to request new service.

3. Find an Austin Cable and Internet Provider

These days WiFi is almost as important as water or electricity. After all, how are you supposed to get your Netflix fix without it? There are four main providers of internet and cable services in the Austin area. Most of them require a week’s notice or longer to get your service switched on, so make sure to schedule in advance. Here are your main options:
  • Google Fiber: Austin was one of the first cities to get tapped for the revolutionary Google Fiber, a fiber optic cable that delivers unparalleled internet speeds. The initial Google Fiber networks were built in South Austin and East Austin, but sign-ups are now available across most of the Austin area. You can quickly check availability in your area and sign up for this lightning fast internet service online. Depending on the package you choose, you may also opt to get up to 220 TV channels and avoid using a traditional cable provider. If you’re still hooked on using a landline, Google Fiber does that too.
  • AT&T UVerse: In the Austin area, AT&T offers a variety of home services, including high speed internet, cable, cell phone service, home security, and home phone service. AT&T offers lots of great bundles so you can sign-up for exactly what you need. If you’re already an AT&T customer, you can easily transfer your service to your new address.
  • Time Warner Cable/Spectrum: Communications magnate Charter Communications recently completed a merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The plan is to eventually rebrand as Spectrum, but in the meantime, Austin area service still goes by Time Warner Cable. With TWC, users may select from internet, TV, and phone service. Check service in your area and shop for services here.
  • Grande Communications: Like TWC and AT&T, Grande Communications also offers phone, internet, and TV services in Austin. Find out more about Grande’s services in Austin.

4. Transfer School Records

If you have school-aged children, make sure you have their academic records transferred to their new district or school so there aren’t any hiccups getting them enrolled. Here’s more information on transfers in the three of the main Austin-area school districts:
  • Austin Independent School District (AISD): AISD serves most of the neighborhoods in Austin. Generally, the district begins accepting transfer requests in January of the preceding school year. You may download a transfer form here, or obtain a paper copy from a school or the Office of Student Services. Submit the form in person at the Office of Student Services or mail it in. Parents must attach proof of residence and a copy of a photo ID; students new to the district will also need to provide a birth certificate.
  • Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD): RRISD primarily serves Round Rock, a community just north of Austin, though some Austin addresses are zoned for this district. Transfer applications may be submitted online or directly through the district; do not submit applications to individual schools.
  • Eanes Independent School District (EISD): A small district serving the West Lake Hills area of Austin, Eanes has a total enrollment of 8,000 students at 9 campuses. Though not a large district, Eanes is known for its academic excellence. Find out more information on transferring to Eanes ISD.
transferring-schools-austin

5. Update Your Information with the DMV

The state of Texas gives residents a grace period to update the address on their licenses after a move. If you get pulled over without an updated address or license plate after the grace period ends, you could be subject to fines or penalties. What you need to change and the applicable window depends on where you’re moving from.

In-State Moves

If you’re moving within Texas, you’ll need to request a replacement license with your new home address within 30-days of your move. There are three ways to update your license:
  1. Fill out a form online
  2. Mail-in your form
  3. In-person at your local Texas Department of Public Safety location

Out of State

If you are new to Texas, you have 90 days after your move to request a new license. This must be done in-person at a Texas DPS location.Additionally, your vehicle must be inspected and registered within 30 days of your move to the Lone Star State. There are several inspection stations in the Austin area. Once your vehicle passes inspection, you must register your vehicle in person at the Travis County tax office. Make sure to take your insurance card, proof of vehicle inspection, and proof of ownership with you. Once your car is registered, you’ll receive new TX license plates.  

3 Must-Haves for the Ultimate Texas Tailgate

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Austin Things To Do

There's nothing quite like Texas football - from high school level to the NFL, fans around Texas flock to cheer on their favorite teams. Many will agree, one of the best parts of football is how it brings family and friends together in the All-American pastime known as the tailgate. Open up that tailgate, put up your antennas, and get the BBQ smoking - here we unveil the 5 must-haves for the ultimate Texas tailgate.

1. Yeti Cooler

The Seider brothers, both avid hunters and fishers, started Yeti in 2006 with a vision to create coolers that would exceed the expectations and needs of the outdoorsman's lifestyle. What they created with their home-grown Austin company completely revolutionized the cooler industry. Designed with 2-inch thick polyurethane walls, these coolers are not only durable enough to keep out grizzly bears, but keep ice frozen for days on end. A Yeti will be sure to keep your beverages cold for an entire day of tailgating so you don’t have to worry about the ice running out. Now these incredible coolers come with collegiate designs, including a handful of Texas schools: UT, A&M, TCU, and Tech. If you don't need a whole cooler, Yeti also offers a Rambler Colster to keep your 12 oz. beverage of choice crisp and refreshing for hours.

2. Local Brews

The cheap country songs Nashville churns out today may reminisce of glory days spent drinking PBRs and other cheap brews, but any good Texan likes to keep it local and crafty when it comes to stocking their tailgate bar. The state is brimming with stellar craft breweries and distilleries to keep the crowds around your watering hole happy. Some of our favorite places to stock up in and around Austin include:Live Oak Brewing Company: With a name that pays homage to our state tree, this local brewery has been whetting the palettes of Austinites since 1997. While favorites like the Big Bark Amber, Hefeweizen, and Pilz have long been available on tap in local bars and by the keg, the Company promises that these brews will also be available by can this winter. For big tailgates this fall, you’ll have to stick with Live Oak by the keg, but who's complaining about 62 pints of refreshing deliciousness?!Thirsty Planet: If you’d rather have bottles to fill up your Yeti, Austin brewed Thirsty Planet can accommodate, with their popular Thirsty Goat Amber, which is available at HEB, Whole Foods, Spec’s, and an assortment of other retailers. This particular brew is a crowd-pleaser, and bonus, Thirsty Planet is also planet conscious - re-purposing and recycling the materials used during production...so you are basically helping the environment with every gulp.Real Ale Brewing Company: Another favorite in Austin bars, Real Ale Brewing Company brews less than an hour away in the small town of Blanco, nestled in the folds of the Texas Hill  Country. Their most popular year-round beer is Fireman's #4, a smooth and balanced blonde ale so good that it medaled at the Great American Beer Festival. Canned, kegged, or bottled, you can pick up a supply of Fireman's 4 at a number of local retailers.

3. Brisket

Most Texans would tell you they are proud of Texas' heritage - there's a distinctly Texan nostalgia and mystique shrouding this vast, variable, and sometimes unforgiving land where cowboys of old toiled to raise cattle and earn a living. During the 1800s, in the boom of Texas ranching, Texan cowboys drove millions of cattle north for rail distribution to other parts of the US. Ranching is still a big deal here, and if you know anything about Texas BBQ, you know that the quintessential meat of Texan tailgates, born out of Texas' ranching heritage, is the beef brisket. Fine Texan brisket requires 4 essentials:
  • Quality beef: Look for a cut with marbling and a fat cap that render a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • Wood chips: Soak them in water before throwing them in the pit to lend extra smokiness to your end product.
  • Dry Rub: Typically a mixture of good ole salt and pepper, with additional spices as you see fit.
  • Patience: Plan on smoking that brisket slow and steady (up to 2 hours per pound of meat), but this is no problem since there's plenty of football to be watched.
If you'd rather just pick up your gameday meat from a tried and true local smoker, check out one of the following:Franklin Barbeque: This is THE place to get BBQ in Austin right now. If you plan to dine-in, bring some beer and a chair for the wait, and be forewarned - when they run out they run out. For a gameday order, make sure you plan well in advance and preorder here.The Salt Lick: This place has the ultimate Texas BBQ experience. You could spend hours out at their sprawling estate in Driftwood - tasting wine at the Salt Lick Cellars and chowing down on their family style bottomless BBQ plates, but you can also order online or have them cater your tailgate.Whether you're a Longhorn, Aggie, Red Raider, or a Baylor Bear, we hope that you have a season of memorable tailgates and enjoy some great Texas football!
 

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Apple Moving is a full-service moving company with locations all across Texas. Whether you're moving an office, apartment, condo, or home, we've got you covered. Contact one of our nearby locations today to let the professionals take over and ease you're moving day stress.

Photo Credit: Flickr

 

7 Best Fall Weekend Getaways From Austin

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Austin Things To Do

You may have noticed a slight crispness in the early morning air this week - a hint that fall, and with it, promises of cooler weather, is right around the corner. Here in Texas, we may not get the dramatic autumn foliage that sweeps through the East or get  to experience the joy of picking the fresh apples of the trees as Northerners do, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall and the reprieve from scorching temperatures in and around the Austin area. Here are some of our favorite fall getaways and events in Central Texas:

1. Lost Maples State Natural Area

Just 157 miles from Austin, this state natural area is the perfect proximity from the city for a quick weekend getaway. Known for its Bigtooth Maple Trees, this is one of the few areas in Texas you can experience the thrill of fall foliage as the trees turn shades of gold, auburn, and crimson during the months of October and November. The park offers a mix of easy trails along the Sabinal River and more challenging trails that reward hikers with sweeping views of the canyon once they reach the top. If you want to fully embrace the outdoors and spend the night camping under the stars, be sure to make your reservation online; spots fill up quickly when the leaves are at their peak.
Beautiful Fall Foliage at Lost Maples

Beautiful Fall Foliage at Lost Maples

2. Jester King Brewery

Nestled in the Hill Country just outside of Austin, Jester King brews up some amazing artisan beer in the vats hidden behind its farmhouse doors. With some Austin quirkiness in its roots, Jester King offers unique and creative brews such as last fall's 2014 Autumnal Dichotomous. Brewed with squash, longpepper, and sage, this beer "explores the nostalgic aromas and flavors of fall". If that doesn't quite sound like your mug of beer, don't fret, there are plenty of options to delight your palette. We find the imaginative and fantastical labeling almost as delightful as the beer itself. Outside of the main farmhouse, you'll find a huge pavilion with Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza tucked underneath. The handcrafted pies use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and go well with its neighbor's brews. With plenty of picnic tables, string lights, and space to bring friends, you could easily spend a lazy fall afternoon here.
The perfect place to enjoy a Fall afternoon: Jester King Brewery

The perfect place to enjoy a Fall afternoon: Jester King Brewery

3. Fredericksburg Oktoberfest

Once a year, the picturesque town of Fredericksburg celebrates its German heritage with a weekend-long party complete with oompahs and polkas bellowing from the stages, bratwurst links by the foot, attendees clad in traditional lederhosen, and of course, a steady flow of beers and ciders on tap. The event offers fun for all ages, so pack up the whole family to celebrate fall German style. If you tire of the festivities, you can always spend time shopping at the boutiques and specialty shops along Main Street or retire to one of the cozy B&Bs nearby.
Celebrate the German tradition of Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg

Celebrate the German tradition of Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg

4. Sweet Berry Farm

Fall evokes images of joyful hayrides and mounds of colorful pumpkins, both of which you can find at Sweet Berry Farm located just down the road in Marble Falls. Meander through the sprawling patch and pick your pumpkin, bump along on a hayride, or try to find your way to the end of the corn maze. There are enough activities here to keep the family entertained all day, and the prices are budget friendly as well.

5. Johnson City

Whether you pronounce it "pe-can" or "pa-con" (the Texan way), there's no denying the deliciousness of this buttery nut. Though locals have been munching on them for hundreds of years, it wasn't until 1919, that the Texas Legislature made pecans the official state nut of Texas. There are plenty of places you can buy locally sourced pecans (try Navidad Farms), but it's also fun scouting out the fallen nuts yourself. Johnson City, and several other small towns have pecan trees surrounding the courthouse in the main town square; these are great places to scout out pecans. Grab some bags and get to gathering the fruits of fall. If the pecans aren't enough to satiate, you can head across the street to the Pecan Street Brewery for some delicious burgers and beer.
Great place for an afternoon trip. Pick pecans under the large trees at the Johnson City Courthouse. Photo Courtesy of Travis K. Witt

Great place for an afternoon trip. Pick pecans under the large trees at the Johnson City Courthouse. Photo Courtesy of Travis K. Witt

6. Driftwood Estate Winery

With warm summers and mild winters, Texas has an ideal climate for growing wine grapes. Wineries have sprouted up all over the Lone Star state with a high concentration surrounding Austin, making the area like a Texan Napa. Nothing beats escaping down a wine trail and into the country to enjoy sweeping views of the hill country with a glass of wine in your hand. While there are several great wineries to choose from, Driftwood Estate Winery offers some excellent vintages that pair well with views of the vineyard and surrounding farmland just down the hill from the tasting room's perch.
driftwood-vineyard

Take in the hill country views at Driftwood Estate Winery

7. Round Top Antiques Fair

For 48 years, the tiny town of Round Top (population 90) has hosted an antique fair that brings thousands of shoppers to the area. Much to the delight of antique enthusiasts, the show has outgrown the Rifle Hall, where it was first held, and now sprawls into the surrounding fields and towns.  With literally miles upon miles of antiquing to be done, you're sure to find that perfect piece you've been looking for. Be prepared for lots of walking, and make sure to dress in layers to keep up with the ever-changing fall Texas weather. If you get hungry, be sure make a reservation to dine at the famous Royer's Café and save room for the legendary homemade pies that are alone worth the trip. 
round-top-tx-antique-fair

Antique to your heart's content at the Round Top Antiques Fair

 

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As one of Texas' oldest moving companies, we pride ourselves on Texas tradition. Whether you're looking for a moving company in San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, or Central Texas, we've got you covered with all your local moving needs. If you're making a long distance move, we can help with that too! Call today for an instant over-the-phone moving quote.