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How to improve living space — inside and outside - PDF by xpy36219


    Hill Country living:
buying & selling real estate
                                                                                                            How to improve living space
                                                                                                               — inside and outside

                  Photos Courtesy (from top, clockwise) Pillar Custom Homes, Lion’s Head Poolsculpting and Landscaping, Doors & Co., and Clement’s Paint/Arrow Paint

                                                                    Published by

B2   7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                                     Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

     Your Imagination...
           Our Expertise
                                           LIST OF ADVERTISERS                                  Home builders & remodelers
                                                                                                Bill Taute Homes ...................... B11/B27

     Ramsey Woodworks • 773-0443
                                           Architects                                           Castle Crafters LLC .................. B8/B21
                                           Ruth Siegel ............................. B14/B25    Cavalcade Custom Homes ....... B4/B13
                                                                                                Marsh•Vorspan Partners .......... B2/B12
                                           Audio/video/home entertainment                       Pillar Custom Homes ................ B3/B10
                                           Advanced A/V Solutions LLC .... B9/B23
                                           Time Warner Cable ................... B6/B28         Painting services
                                                                                                Clement’s Paint/Arrow Paint ..... B6/B23
                                           Bath & kitchen                                       Doug Gorton Professional Painting .......

                                           Kitchen Craft ........................... B19/B26      ............................................. B13/B16
                                           Urban Kitchens + Baths ............ B9/B20
                                                                                                Real estate agents & lenders
                                           Cleaning & pest-control services                     Brian Kerman/

                              Furniture    Maids Home Services, The .... B20/B22
                                           Steam Team, The ..................... B5/B19
                                           Stroope Pest Control ........................ B8
                                                                                                  RE/MAX Austin Advantage .. B11/B16
                                                                                                Carol Dochen Realtors ............. B7/B22
                                                                                                Deborah Ben Nun/Coldwell Banker

                              Built-ins    Cabinets, doors, garage doors,                         United, Realtors ........................... B15
                                                                                                Sente Mortgage/Gary L. Solka ..............
                                           flooring, furniture & lighting
                                                                                                   .............................................. B11/B14
                                           Doors & Co. ............................ B25/B27
                                                                                                Georgia Levin/
                                           Great Rug Co., The .......................... B5
                                                                                                  Amelia Bullock Realtors ........ B7/B18
                                           Hill Country Garage Doors ..... B13/B17
                                                                                                Joanne Senyk/

                                           Home Consignment Center ............ B22
                                                                                                  Avenue One Properties .......... B4/B17
                                           Lamps & Accessories ............... B8/B26
                                                                                                Linda Biderman/
                                           Ramsey Woodworks ................... B2/B7
                                                                                                  Wilson & Goldrick Realtors .... B5/B12

                                                                                                The great outdoors
                                           Bluffs at Balcones ................... B17/B24
                                                                                                Lion’s Head Poolsculpting
                                           Heating & cooling                                      and Landscaping ................. B16/B18
                                           All Year Heating & Cooling ....... B9/B20            Sunrise Tree Services .............. B8/B21
                                           A-Plus Energy Management ... B21/B24                 Shoal Creek Nursery .............. B15/B18

     Additions l Remodeling l Renovations

                                                                                  DESIGN + BUILD
                                                                                   Marsh•Vorspan Partners

                                                                                    Marsh-Vorspan Partners specilizes in
                                                                                    transforming ordinary places into beautiful
                                                                                    and function living spaces.
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook   HOME                                                        April 2009   B3

                              CUSTOM HOMES
                                                                         14905 Calaveras Drive l Austin, TX 78717-4522
                                                      (512) 310-8989 office l (512) 789-7228 mobile l (512) 310-8990 fax
B4    7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                           HOME                                                  Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                                                                The evolving home

           By Jacob Levenson                  with greater detail on other items that           Today’s home buyer is more educated          the solar cell continues to improve, as it
        ince the dawn of human his-           have become the issues of our day, such        than ever before. In large part due to          has since its inception, it will find its way
        tory, we have continuously been       as sustainability, efficiency and health.       the advent of the Internet, homeown-            into the average home and won’t even be
        engaged in building dwellings         As we prepare to enter a new era ushered       ers are able to exhaustively research           a conversation piece. In time, individual-
suited for every facet of our increasingly    in by a greater sense of awareness and         every component of a home. From this            ized wind turbines could appear on every
complex lives. From an ancient grass hut      technological advancement, we have the         self-education, buyers are exploring and        lawn. Imagine each facet of your home
to the Palace of Versailles, the human        luxury to more deeply contemplate all          demanding unconventional concepts that          managed by your computer to optimize
mind has been steadfast in working to         aspects the structures we build.               are quickly becoming wildly popular and         your energy consumption ... and be easy
improve the structures where we spend            With the success of having long ago con-    even en vogue. A review of a modern             to use. As undeveloped land continues to
the majority of our lives. Today, with        quered the issues of indoor plumbing (the      home shows that practices and products          become scarce and existing buildings are
home buyers educated by the Internet,         Romans did so more than 2,000 years ago),      that only a decade ago were considered          demolished to make way for new ones,
home publications and an endless stream       environmental control and other basics         pushing the envelope have become the            an abundance of reclaimed and recycled
of home improvement shows, we are             taken for granted by most modern home          standard. Builders and product developers       materials will economically be incorpo-
entering a new chapter of the thrilling and   dwellers, our focus is shifting to improving   have a responsibility to continue to            rated into the common home. Ultimately
unfinished saga of “the home.”                 the efficiency of constructing and main-        address this emerging demand and provide        as these concepts, and others, become
  We should never underestimate               taining our dwellings. As a result of the      the market with homes that recognize            cost-efficient, they will become standard-
the power of humankind to construct           sheer volume of homes built worldwide,         and adequately address the sustainability       ized and considered general practice.
magnificent and awe-inspiring structures.      we are experiencing market conditions          issues facing us today. As we continue to          With our newfound collective educa-
While our basic needs such as shelter,        that force us to evaluate our methods,         see many of the basic resources that have       tion and awareness, like the builders
warmth and security have essentially          materials and the long-term requirements       been readily and economically available         and dwellers before us, we continue to
remained the same as we have navigated        of our structures. As a result, the changing   to us evaporate, we will continue to see        proactively embrace the evolving nature
through the ages, our homes have been         construction philosophy has inspired a host    the “mindful buyers” settle for nothing         of the home.
the subject of a fascinating process of       of new products that are truly viable and      less than the most efficient home that can          Jacob Levenson owns Cavalcade
evolution. In general, through this process   worthy of consideration. As builders and       be produced.                                    Custom Homes, located at 5000 Bee
we have adequately addressed the issues       homeowners we must remain vigilant to             In the near future, look for “gray water”    Caves Road, Suite 104. Web site:
of constructing homes to meet our basic       recognize and consider what we can do to       and other water reuse concepts to become
needs, which has allowed us to focus          make our home more efficient.                   a standard component in each home. As           Telephone: 306-9198.
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook   HOME   April 2009   B5
B6    7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                              HOME                                                  Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

Cable TV vs. satellite: what’s best for your home?
       magine you are at the threshold of       such categories as Longhorn Sports Center,      are free. When there’s a cutting-edge tech-     Warner Cable rep will be happy to explain
       making the important decision of         coaches’ films, classic games, exclusive         nology you’d like to try, you can simply        Central Texas’ favorite Internet service,
       which entertainment technology           interviews and more. Plus, you can pause,       exchange your current converter for a new       Road Runner High-Speed Online, with
       to bring into your home. You’re          rewind and fast-forward your selection          one at no additional cost.                                         its blazing-fast speeds,
       choosing between Time Warner             with your Digital remote.                          Unlike with some                                                free security software,
Cable and a satellite service. Before you         BEVOD is an exclusive offering from           satellite companies, when                                          Internet Parental Controls
walk through the door, let’s pretend we         Time Warner Cable, not available on             Time Warner Cable’s                                                and Road Runner Radio.
can hear the conversations you might have       satellite.                                      equipment is obsolete,                                             Plus, year after year, Road
with the Time Warner Cable rep and the                                                          they send it back to the                                           Runner has received PC
satellite service rep.                                    Local channels,                       manufacturer for reclama-                                          Magazine’s Readers’
                                                         additional outlets                     tion and recycling. Time                                           Choice Award for Superior
  Cutting-edge technologies,                                                                    Warner Cable is proud                                              broadband service and last
                                                   It’s natural to assume that the service
        local offerings                         you’d buy from either company would             to be an Austin Energy                                             year was listed by Austin
   To arrange installation of a satellite       include local broadcast channels and            Green Choice partner. No                                           Business Journal as the
service, you will likely be talking to          that you’d be able to watch TV in any           satellite company, Central Texas telephone      “#1 Internet Service in Austin.”
someone in another city. You’ll ask if          room of your house. But as you speak to         company or competing cable provider can            The Time Warner rep can also tell you
they have “News 8 Austin” and they’ll           the satellite rep you’ll find that satellite     say that.                                       about digital home telephone service,
probably say yes, thinking it’s another         companies charge extra monthly fees for                                                         starting as low as $39.95 per month.
                                                                                                       Time Warner Cable:                       With Digital Phone, calls anywhere in the
local channel. You’ll discuss long-term         local channels and often for additional
contracts, south-facing roof surfaces,          equipment to watch different program-                    home of free HD                        United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
credit-card authorizations and equipment        ming in another room.                              If high-definition programming is your        are free; calls to Mexico are only nine
costs. The satellite rep will probably not         On the other hand, the Time Warner           priority, ask your Time Warner rep about        cents a minute. Installation is free and Call
mention the three “R’s”: rain fade, repair      Cable rep will assure you that you will         the more than 50 high-definition channels        Waiting, Caller ID, Call Waiting ID, Call
call quotes and roof leaks.                     receive local broadcast channels, plus          that are available at no additional cost. If    Forwarding, 3-Way Calling and more are
   With Time Warner Cable, you’ll               public, educational and governmental            you ask a rep from a satellite, phone and/      included at no extra charge.
speak to someone who lives in Central           channels. Time Warner Cable basic and           or competing cable company, they’ll tell           Digital Phone works with your existing
Texas — someone who could have been             standard services are available in any          you they charge up to $20 more per month        phones and jacks and you can keep your
at the same charity fun-run you attended        room in the house at additional cost on a       for high-definition programming on top of        same phone number. Plus, when you have
last weekend. You’ll talk about exciting        cable-ready TV.                                 regular programming.                            Digital Cable and Digital Phone you’ll
technologies and robust local program-                                                             Regarding required HD equipment,             get the benefit of Caller ID On TV — see
ming, about which the satellite company                  Equipment costs                        Time Warner Cable HD converter (only            who’s calling right on your TV screen.
knows nothing:                                                                                  $6.99/month) and Standard service are              When you are ready to order, ask about
                                                  You might assume that once you’ve             all you need to get the local broadcast
   • Movies On Demand and HD Movies             paid satellite installation costs and equip-                                                    the savings with Time Warner’s Price
On Demand — With Digital Cable, you                                                             channels in high-definition, plus KLRU,          Lock Guarantee. It’s simple. Just combine
                                                ment fees that the big expenses are done.       Discovery HD Theater, TNT in HD, A&E
can use your remote to order hit Hollywood      But you’ll need to factor in costs for any                                                      Digital Cable, Road Runner High Speed
movies in an instant. Plus, you can pause                                                       HD, ESPN HD and select events on Fox
                                                service calls because, with satellite, that’s                                                   Online or Digital Phone. You’ll lock in
for up to an hour, rewind and fast-forward                                                      Sports HD.
                                                an extra charge. Remember that this is one                                                      savings on regular monthly rates for the
your selection. For your convenience, your                                                         The best part is, there’s no additional
                                                topic the satellite rep might gloss over.                                                       next two years. Plus, you’ll consolidate all
movie is available to watch as many times                                                       equipment to buy. With satellite, you
                                                  With technology changing so quickly,                                                          your services into one convenient monthly
as you want for the next 24 hours. Movies                                                       could pay up to several hundred dollars
                                                the equipment that satisfies your needs          for an HD receiver.                             bill. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
On Demand are also available in High-           today can be woefully outdated a year from                                                         Now … after listening to the two
Definition on Channel 1001.                      now. Especially for what they refer to as              Lock up all the best                     conversations, you’ll see that Time Warner
   Real Movies On Demand is the wave of         “advanced receivers,” such as HD-DVRs,                                                          Cable offers the most features and the
the future but it’s unavailable on satellite.                                                                with the
                                                satellite companies can charge up to                                                            greatest value.
   • News 8 Austin — Your only 24-hour          several hundred dollars to own equipment.            ‘Price Lock Guarantee’                        To the get all the best in home entertain-
source for news, weather, sports and traf-        With Time Warner Cable, however,                While the satellite rep will be at a loss     ment, browse-order online at the Web site
fic updates for Central Texas. You’ll find        you’ll only pay a low monthly rental fee        for words when you ask about high-speed or call Time
up-to-the-minute local stories, a forecast      for your equipment, and all service calls       online and telephone service, the Time          Warner Cable — anytime — at 485- 6000.
every 10 minutes, live morning and
afternoon traffic reports, daily lifestyle  
features and sports with a focus on local
teams and athletes.                                                                                                                                                  Clement’s Paint
   News 8 is an exclusive service for the
customers of Time Warner Cable and is
                                                                                                                                                                     1211 W. 6th St.
unavailable on satellite.                                                                                                                                             512.480.8466
   • Free On Demand — Browse through                                                                                                                              M-F 7:30-5, Sat 9:30-2:30
more than 36 channels to find your
favorite shows that you can watch anytime
— for free! Channels include BBC
                                                                                                                                                                       Arrow Paint
America, TNT, TBS, National Geographic                                                                                                                              2012 W. Koenig Ln
and A&E, as well as four music channels.                                                                                                                              512.452-6202
Also included in the Free On Demand                                                                                                                               M-F 7:00-5, Sat 8:00-1:00
lineup is the popular Oxygen On Demand,
Music Choice On Demand, Automotive
On Demand, and channels that feature
local content, such as Austin On Demand
and Lone Star On Demand: KLRU series
and Texas Parks and Wildlife programs.
   Lone Star On Demand is available free
to Time Warner Digital Cable customers,
but is unavailable on satellite.
   • BEVOD: Longhorn Sports On Demand
— BEVOD, featuring Longhorn sports
year-round, was created from an exclusive
partnership between Time Warner Cable                                                                                                                                  Clement Ebbo
and the University of Texas. It features
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                    HOME                                                                     April 2009   B7

   Hints on preparing
   your house for sale
                    By Georgia Levin
H     ere are some helpful tips on how to get your
      house ready to put on the market:
   • Simplify and “de-clutter” — Most important
                                                                                                                                              a difference
is to look at each room in your house and see how
you can simplify or “de-clutter” the room. We                                                                                                  with wood
                          all collect souvenirs and
                          love to display them, but
                          when selling your home
                          you want the eye to focus
                          on the room size and not
                          be distracted by personal
                             • Empty closets — Try
                          and make your closets as
                          neat and empty as possible;
if necessary, rent a storage space for items you are
not really needing at the time, such as winter coats.
   • Staging your home — Ask your Realtor to give
you any ideas and feedback on arranging furniture
to make the rooms look larger.                            From a Victorian office in Round Rock (pictured) to a white oak kitchen
   • Take care of obvious repairs — All obvious               table and chairs in Wimberley, a pecan sideboard in Marble Falls,
minor repairs should, if possible, be attended to.      and a maple and African mahogany cutting board in Austin — wood from all
Some minor painting might enhance a room’s               over the world comes to Ramsey Woodworks to reflect your taste and values.
appearance. Sometimes changing carpets for a              At Ramsey Woodworks, they believe that our phone books being the same
nominal cost (which could be paid for at closing)                     doesn’t mean the interiors of our homes have to be.
can give a house a fresh, clean look.                            Individual cabinetry, millwork and furniture for individuals
   • Pre-inspection — Have your home inspected                           from Ramsey Woodworks, Austin (773-0443).
by a certified inspector before the home goes on           At Ramsey Woodworks, they believe in and love what they do for a living.
the market. This puts you in a stronger negotiating           They feel excited about creating furniture, doors, cabinets, chairs
position and makes you aware of some problem                               — anything from wood. It is what they do.
areas.                                                                     (The pictured cabinets and ceiling are part
   Georgia Levin, GRI, CRS, ABR, is with Amelia                        of an office in a private residence Round Rock.)
Bullock Realtors. Call her at 461-2051.

                                                                                        Buying and selling real estate is more than a transaction, it’s a
                                                                                        relationship. It’s about you and your Realtor®. At Carol Dochen
                                                                                        Realtors Inc.®, our clients become our friends.

                                                                                        Our award-winning reputation was built on putting our clients first
                                                                                        and adding our personal touch in buying and selling real estate.

                                                                                        Let us work hard for you and help you and your family get the
                                                                                        results you are counting on.

Photo by Richard Southworth
B8    7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                        HOME                                                 Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

          Time for                                        Get special attention in picking lamps, shades
     spring cleaning …                                     By Marty Moore                   type of store, where the level of service      and how much they have enjoyed the

        don’t forget                           L    amps & Accessories has been serv-
                                                    ing Central Texas for 37 years with a
                                               strong customer-service philosophy.
                                                                                            is directed toward the customer in a
                                                                                            fashion that pleases both of us when
                                                                                            they leave Lamps & Accessories. This
                                                                                                                                           lamp or lampshade they bought years
                                                                                                                                           ago! That is why I enjoy this business so
                                                  The Riha Family owned the store           is reflected in the many customers who             Marty Moore owns Lamps & Accesso-
         your trees!                           until 2004, when I bought it. Before
                                               the purchase, I had worked there for
                                                                                            have returned over the years, remarking
                                                                                            how happy they are that we are still here
                                                                                                                                           ries, 2210 W. Anderson Lane. Telephone:
                                                                                                                                           454-1842. Fax: 454-1815.

A     s you busy yourself with getting your    14 years to continue my love for the
      home ready for another spring in         home furnishings business. I enjoy this
Austin, as you shop for that new couch,        business so much and feel this store is a
patio furniture, etc., take some time to       reflection of that.
look around at the trees on your property.        This is more than just a lamp store. We
Trees provide so much for us, with shade       carry an array of decorative accessories
to cool us and our homes, branches for         as well as replacement lampshades. Our
our kids to climb, a place to hang a swing     friendly, knowledgeable staff will assist
and, most importantly, oxygen for us to        you with your selection of a lampshade.
breathe.                                       Bringing your lamp with you assures
  We take trees for granted, as they ask       the proper fit. Proportion is the key in
                                               finding the right shade for your lamp.
for nothing in return for all that they give
                                                  In years past, the ratio of lamp-to-
us. As such, it’s easy to forget about them
                                               shade sales was 40:60, but those tables
until things start going wrong.
                                               have turned; it’s now 60:40.
  Because trees are the largest living            Many customers are choosing to
things on this planet, their care calls        update their lamps and scale down from
for specialized service. This is not only      the massive shades of the past. We are
because of their internal workings, which      happy to assist you with coordinating
ultimately dictate how they appear and         your fabric and color scheme to achieve
thrive in a given environment, but also        the look you want in your room with a
because working with such massive              new lamp or a shade for your existing
organisms can expose one to real dangers.      lamp.
A quick search on the Internet will reveal        We know that you can find lamps and
numerous incidents involving those who         lampshades in an array of “big box”
took the do-it-yourself approach to tree       stores, but you don’t have salespeople to
work — and suffered the consequences.          help you fit them into your home.
  While you can certainly saw off the             I look at my store as a “boutique”
occasional small limb yourself, did you
know that even this simple task, when
improperly done, could expose a tree to
invading, opportunistic pathogens? Proper
cuts help a tree seal its wounds more
quickly and efficiently than those that are
done without forethought and planning.
          Oak wilt disease
   Austin is one of the nation’s hot spots
for oak wilt. This disease, caused by
a fungal pathogen, can establish itself
through improperly made cuts on oaks.
Thousands of oaks in our area have
already succumbed to this disease.
   Sunrise Tree Services encourages you
to give them a call during your spring-
cleaning time. They offer all services
necessary to keep your trees healthy and
looking their best. They are degreed,
licensed, certified and insured. Holding
special certification in oak wilt prevention
and treatment, they are ready to help your
valued oaks avoid this disease by using
the macro-injection process to deliver
the prescribed fungicide, propiconazole,
directly to the conductive tissues of your
   Sunrise Tree Services attends continu-
ing education classes held all around the
nation. They stay up to date on the most
current research and information avail-
able. Their Certified Arborist credential
requires 30 hours of course work for each
renewal period.
   When it comes to the appearance of
your trees, after they have worked on
them, satisfied clients have told them
repeatedly, they are not only arborists,
but also artists. That goes right along with
their motto, as they always say: “Your            Our advertisers make The Jewish Outlook possible
trees always look their best after Sunrise!”
   Call them today at 929-3333 or 784-                                                      Please support them
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                           HOME                                                                                April 2009   B9

                                  Ninety percent of air conditioning units are        include over-sizing, mismatching of indoor             life of your system.
                                installed improperly, according to the Advanced       and outdoor units, and improper installation of           All Year Heating & Cooling, an authorized
        90%                     Energy Corp., a nonprofit dedicated to helping
                                utility, industrial and residential customers
                                                                                      condensate lines.
                                                                                         “And it’s nearly impossible to ‘correct’ a
                                                                                                                                             Trane dealer, has provided expert HVAC
                                                                                                                                             installation in Austin since 1967. The All Year
    of A/C units                improve the return on their energy investment.
                                  “Consumers unknowingly waste 50 cents of
                                                                                      bad installation,” said Scher, who He suggests
                                                                                      researching HVAC companies carefully.
                                                                                                                                             team is led by Scher, a licensed architect and
                                                                                                                                             air-conditioning contractor. He has appeared on
      installed                 every energy dollar and still live without the
                                comfort they deserve,” said Michael Scher,
                                                                                         “Make sure your HVAC provider offers
                                                                                      an installation warranty, “ Scher said. “This
                                                                                                                                             the public television show “This Old House”
                                                                                                                                             as a “green” contractor.
    improperly,                 architect and owner of All Year Heating &             protects you against defects in materials or              Call 467-COOL today to meet with an
                                Cooling in Austin.                                    workmanship.”                                          All Year Comfort Consultant about the best
    study says                    In its study, Advanced Energy found that 85            Design and installation of your HVAC unit           options for your home.
                                percent of the A/C units had either too much          is a 15- to 20-year commitment. Choosing the               Isn’t it time you called All Year?
                                or too little refrigerant. Other typical problems     right installer is key to living in comfort for the       (TACL B009502E)

                                     Technology doesn’t stop at home theater
             dvanced A/V Solutions can              tions for every budget. If you are looking     You can automate everything, from hot tubs        als take care of the dirty work.
             take the pain out of home              for a team that can help design a system       to front gates to pantry doors, even cameras!
             theater installation. Their            specifically for you and your family, look      Home automation can also be programmed                  Networking, wireless
             professionals will assess your         no further.                                    to perform scheduled tasks, such as                 Networking home computers adds much
specific situation and provide an effective             Why not add a basic camera system to        sprinklers, HVAC and lighting timers.             versatility to your setup. Networks allow
solution. Careful planning is always a              help? Today’s cameras can be disguised            Home automation brings an efficiency            you to share music, videos, printers and
factor when installing a home theater.              to the point of being nearly invisible.        that can directly save you money. Tasks           other resources throughout your home or
Advanced A/V Solutions will schedule a              Take the guesswork out of what happened        that turn off lights, adjust the air-condition-   business. Advanced A/V Solutions’ profes-
time that is convenient for you to evaluate         when you were gone and go straight to the      er and disable wall outlets can save you          sionals can help you set up both hard and
the job site and discuss possible options           documentation. If there is ever an incident,   money on your monthly utility bill. Let           wireless networks at an affordable price.
with you. Licensed, insured, and bonded             you will have everything recorded. You         Advanced A/V Solutions’ professionals
professionals cover all home theater                can always take it one step further and        help you with an easy, more affordable life!               Intercom systems
installations. You never have to worry              add an IP camera, which is viewable with                                                           Intercom systems are an excellent way
about the safety of your equipment.                 many of today’s smart phones, such as the              Systems integration                       of communicating with your family. No
                                                    iPhone, and, of course, any computer with         Advanced A/V Solutions offers as-              more yelling to get everyone to the dinner
          Lighting control                          Internet access. Why wait for the informa-     sistance in systems integration. We help          table. At times, however, they are viewed
   Lighting control can enhance the                                                                use your existing products and equipment          as being costly to install or expand.
                                                    tion when you can see it as it is happening?
enjoyment and value of your home, add                                                              and incorporate it with your new products         Advanced A/V Solutions carries a line to
                                                    Call today and Advanced A/V Solutions
security for peace of mind, and contribute                                                         and equipment so you make the most out            fit any budget. All their systems include an
                                                    will book an on-site meeting to discuss
to savings on your energy bill. According                                                          of your setup.                                    optional intercom at the front door, which
                                                    options that best fit your specific needs.
to the U.S. Department of Energy, artificial                                                           Advanced A/V Solutions will also meet          will include a built-in door chime.
lighting is the largest energy consumer in                Systems automation                       with you to explore possible solutions               Advanced A/V Solutions LLC is located
the workplace, absorbing a whopping 44                 Have you ever heard the term “Smart         to your programming nightmares. They              at 3616 Far West Blvd., Suite 117-282.
percent of electricity used in commercial           Home”? This phrase is used to describe a       adjust the setup to your specifications so         Visit the Web site,
buildings. On the home front, lighting              fully automated home. Home automation          that you have the ability to navigate your        or contact Peter Sanford at 775-6101,
accounts for 14 percent of total electrical         allows you to control every aspect of your     systems with ease. Don’t spend another            785-0032, 866-462-1772 (fax) or
consumption. Let Advanced A/V Solutions             home from your computer or smart phone.        minute in frustration; let their profession-
help you make a difference. They offer
several options to help keep your bills
down and so you can go “green!”
   Save energy on your electric bill,
increase incandescent light bulb lifespan
by dimming.
     Distributed audio/video
   The reason to choose Advanced A/V
Solutions for all audio/video needs is
simple: Advanced A/V Solutions techni-
cians are constantly training to keep up
with rapid advancement of technology.
More options are available today than
ever before for all of your television and
speaker needs. The placement of these
items is important. Speakers placed in the
wrong spot can greatly reduce your sound.
All jobs are estimated and designed by a
certified audio engineer with a degree from
the New York Institute of Audio Research.
   Structured wiring — Structured wiring
enables the distribution of audio, video,
computer data and telephone signals
throughout a home. Advanced A/V
Solutions can help you with all your home
low voltage wiring. Let them help take the
headache out of all pre-wires by helping
you decide what you need for today and
tomorrow’s technology.
  Security/CCTV/IP cameras
   Protecting your home, family and assets
is essential. Adding a security system,
no matter how basic, can help save you
on your homeowner’s insurance and, of
course, give you peace of mind. Advanced
A/V Solutions offers a wide range of op-
B10 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                             HOME                                                Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                 Are you ready to build a custom home?

           By Michael Cohen                                                                                                                can incorporate into your custom home.
                nyone who has contem-                                                                                                      Twenty-year-old homes, or even “spec”
                plated being a homeowner                                                                                                   homes, do not always have the latest
                has probably dreamed at                                                                                                    and greatest. It is not unusual to build a
                one time or another about                                                                                                  custom home with components unavail-
                building a custom home.                                                                                                    able until literally weeks before they were
Maybe you are one of these people? There                                                                                                   bought and incorporated into the home.
are many reasons to do so, but you need                                                                                                    Does the resale home you are looking
to take the journey toward a custom home                                                                                                   at have a space for a 65-inch flat screen
prepared and properly educated. Are you                                                                                                    TV? Today’s new custom homes protect
up to the task? Are you truly a candidate                                                                                                  you better from mold, increase your air
to build a custom home?                                                                                                                    quality, use more “green” construction
   Adults of all ages build custom, so                                                                                                     materials and techniques, and are more
to some degree building custom is                                                                                                          energy-efficient than older homes.
age-independent. The majority of custom                                                                                                       • No compromises — Those who get to
home homeowners, however, are not first                                                                                                     build custom typically do not have to make
time buyers. Buying an “on-the-ground”                                                                                                     many compromises on the design, features
home for your first venture typically                                                                                                       and location of their home. Since they
makes you a little more custom-savvy                                                                                                       dictate (through a collaborative effort with
for your next home. The experience of                                                                                                      their real estate and design professionals)
purchasing and living in a home as a                                                                                                       the precise location, design and features
homeowner (not say, for example, in your                                                                                                   of their home, they do not have to make
parents’ home), allows you to understand                                                                                                   compromises like you have to when buy-
the dynamics of home ownership. This                                                                                                       ing an on-the-ground product. Let’s face it;
includes the financial aspects (how much                                                                                                    no home out there is the perfect house for
it costs to buy and maintain a home),                                                                                                      you unless you make all the decisions!
functional those (relationships between                                                                                                       • Pride — Homeowners who build
different rooms and spaces) and design                                                                                                     custom have a larger sense of pride in
features (such as the type of countertops                                                                                                  their homes since the home was designed
or appliances).                                                                                                                            and built for and by them. Every aspect
   So how much does it take to build                                                                                                       of the home is a reflection of their taste,
custom? While you can probably build                                                                                                       lifestyle and hard work during the design
custom at any price point, the majority                                                                                                    and construction process. Many people
of custom is built at the high end or what                                                                                                 just want to live in a home that they had a
Realtors refer to as the luxury market.                                                                                                    hand in.
Today, the luxury market begins at about                                                                                                      • Fun — Probably the No. 1 reason to
$500,000.                                                                                                                                  build custom is how much fun it can be!
   Next thing to consider is time. A                                                                                                       Assuming you do your homework and
custom home can take anywhere from                                                                                                         select competent professionals, the experi-
three to five months or more to design                                                                                                      ence can be one of the best in your life!
from scratch with either an architect or                                                                                                      If you are ready to pursue custom or just
residential designer. Actual construction                                                                                                  have some questions, you should consider
varies greatly, but a six- to 12-month time                                                                                                setting up a consultation with a custom-
frame would be typical for 2,500- to about                                                                                                 home builder. Pillar Custom Homes, a
6,000-square-foot homes.                                                                                                                   builder of fine quality custom homes, has
   Thus, the ideal candidate to build                                                                                                      been building in the Austin area for 15
custom is someone who has enough                                                                                                           years. I’d love for you to come in or call
knowledge to know not only what kind          builder? Here is what we see as the five        Do you want a room for exercise, a dog        to discuss building custom.
of home they want but also need, and has      primary reasons to build custom:               shower, or how about a dedicated hobby           Michael Cohen is owner and builder for
the financial resources to pursue it and the      • Personalization — If you want to go       room with built-ins specific to your craft!    Pillar Custom Homes. Call him at 310-
time and desire to go through the process,    beyond basic living, then building custom      Custom homes allow you to dictate such        8989. Also, information is available online
which might last a year or more.              is the answer. Do you want your place to       layout and personalization.                   at, and the company has
   If you fit the bill, then what is the       be showplace that inspires awe in all those      • State of the art — Working with a         a 24-page brochure available for you to
rationale to build custom over buying         who drive past it, or do you want it sitting   custom builder gives you an opportunity       see the kind of quality they build into each
resale or a new home from a volume            back from the road hidden in the trees?        to explore new technologies that you          of their homes.
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook   HOME                                                                    April 2009 B11

                                                                                                            “We wanted to take this opportunity
         How                                                                                                to express our gratitude for the
                                                                                                            professional manner in which you

     residential                                       Satisfied Clients                                     assisted us. As you know, our
                                                                                                            move to Austin took much longer

     mortgages                                         Speak the Loudest.                                   than expected. Your patience and
                                                                                                            flexibility in meeting our needs was
                                                                                                            greatly appreciated.”
                                                                                                            “We wish you continued success
    have changed                                                                                            in the future and if we need a
                                                                                                            real estate agent we rest assured,
                                                                                                            we will contact you. We will also
       in 2009                                                                                              mention our wonderful experience

                                                                                                            working with you to our friends.”
   By Gary L. Solka
             sked if I                                                                                             – Brad and Melissa H
             was wor-
             ried about
             being in
the mortgage business,
my response was a                                      Brian Kerman REALTOR®
confident “no.”                                         Team Kerman Real Estate & Investments
   Don’t get me wrong;                                 RE/MAX Austin Advantage
it’s a tough business.                                 Cell: 512-921-4490 • Office: 512-219-3030
Mortgage companies                            •
that have only one
source of funds or
can’t quickly respond to
the changing market are in jeopardy. But
people will continue to buy houses and
need to refinance.
   Nevertheless, the mortgage business
and extension of credit is changing. Some
of the major changes this year to keep in
mind are:
   1) Tighter guidelines — Full
documentation about employment, assets
and liabilities is now required for every
loan. Credit score or strong assets don’t
guarantee loan approval.
   2) Down-payment changes — Many
programs require 20 percent down pay-
ment, but there are mortgage options that
allow less. Borrowers should have a good
understanding of the choices available.
   3) Risk-based pricing — Credit scores
affect the final rate. Scores range from 350
to 850. The new benchmark for the best
terms is 740, as opposed to 680 at one
time. Every 20 points lower could mean a
higher rate by as much as 0.25 percent.
   4) Frequent program changes — Loan
programs that were available last month
may be gone next month. Changes with
regard to credit score, down payment and
property type, such as condos, are the
most common.
   5) Closer scrutiny — Everything on
the loan application will be verified.
This includes checking Social Security
numbers that have been stolen, as well as
verbal verifications of employment the
day of closing. Any discrepancies may
indicate loan fraud.
   With the above changes and more to
come, getting a mortgage will require
patience. As a borrower, be patient and
provide documentation to the loan officer
as soon as requested. The entire credit
industry is very fluid. Working with a
stable, experienced professional is key to
obtaining a mortgage that fits your specific
needs and parameters.
   Gary L. Solka is a loan consultant with
Sente Mortgage. Contact him at 637-9900
or or,
visit the Web site for
more information.
B12 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                               HOME                                                 Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                              Keeping ‘green’ while remodeling your home

         By Doug Marsh                                                                                                                                   most important component in a
     t is interesting that the media                                                                                                                     structure. The 2006 Energy Code
     portrays only the fancy stuff                                                                                                                       mandates Manual J calculations
     when it does a story on                                                                                                                             for sizing and design of the
     “green building,” from full                                                                                                                         HVAC equipment. Manual J is a
house “off the grid” photovoltaic                                                                                                                        software program that takes input
systems to rain water harvesting                                                                                                                         from the house — including size
with 30,000-gallon, below-                                                                                                                               and type of windows, insulation
ground tanks to high-quality but                                                                                                                         and orientation — and gives the
expensive roofing materials. It                                                                                                                           ducting size and airflow calcula-
seems that a lot of the simple,                                                                                                                          tions and equipment size for the
doable green techniques are left                                                                                                                         your house. This is something
behind because they are not so                                                                                                                           we really need when replacing
glamorous.                                                                                                                                               equipment and/or ducting
   The great thing about this                                                                                                                            or building on to an existing
is that much of what you have                                                                                                                            structure. Not only is it the code
always wanted to do to your                                                                                                                              now but also the payback is
home for comfort and health                                                                                                                              enormous and quick.
turn out to be “green,” too. In                                                                                                                             Planning to stay awhile in
our business, we get calls for                                                                                                                           your home? Aging in place is
all kinds of improvements to                                                                                                                             becoming an important part
a home, a lot of which can be                                                                                                                            of our design focus. This is
individual components or part of                                                                                                                         a “green” approach because
a larger remodel. These improve-                                                                                                                         planning for the future is a form
ments can bring health, financial                                                                                                                         of sustainability, as opposed to
value, comfort and beauty into                                                                                                                           the “tear it out again” mentality.
your home environment.                                                                                                                                   Our CAPS certification (Certified
   Windows. Don’t we all need                                                                                                                            Aging in Place Specialist) gives
new windows? Are yours hard to                                                                                                                           us the ability to provide universal
open? Fogged up or scratched?                                                                                                                            design considerations for now
Leak air like crazy? Well, the                                                                                                                           and in the future. Combining
new Energy Code has caused a           important “green” feature of just    incorporated into your favorite       floor gives you longevity for           universal design capability with
revolution in window replace-          about every project we build.        room in the house, giving you         value and sustainability.              our longtime membership in the
ment techniques and products.             Tankless hot-water units. Have    comfort, beauty, value and a             OK, but how about a bigger          City of Austin Green Building
Every new window sold should           a closet with a tank full of hot     healthier environment all at once.    project? The idea of remodeling        program allows us to incorporate
now be energy efficient and             water in it that has a gas-fed       Need counters? Just try a Google      your home for added space or           key elements into our design and
compliant with the new Energy          fire under it? Is it an older         search and see what is out            upgrades is a form of recycling,       building style that go hand in
Code. This means there are             water heater? Could you really       there: paper stone; local granite;    too: less commuting, closer            hand with other green enhance-
many affordable windows                use that extra closet space and      quartz counters like Cambria,         to bus loops, utility hookups          ments in the home to provide a
available that are attractive,         reduce your gas consumption?         Zodiac, Caesar stone, soapstone;      exist already. Want to build that      beautiful, healthy, comfortable,
operate easily and are Energy          If the answer is yes to any of       recycled glass. We have worked        new master suite? Design is            usable and, very importantly,
Star-rated. Vinyl windows, which       these questions, then you might      with all these products. But          key. Today, building technol-          valuable home.
are a huge improvement over            want to consider putting in          what about those that have to be      ogy is changing rapidly, so it is         Doug Marsh, in addition to
aluminum windows, are not              one of these units. A tankless       trucked in? Well at least all these   important to get help in this area.    being a guitarist par excellence,
only affordable, but also come         water heater is just what it says.   products will be beautiful and,       The upfront expense of qualified        is co-owner of Marsh Vorspan
in 12 different colors, which          Sometimes referred to as an “on      importantly, last for a long time     design will be repaid in short         Partners, a full-service “design
is an improvement over white           demand” unit, it only heats water    — and sustainability is a key         order. The mechanical, plumbing        + build” firm specializing in
and beige. New windows are a           when you need it. We are putting     green component, too. Cabinets?       and electrical components of a         “green” remodeling and addi-
simple, key “green” upgrade:           these in almost every large          Non off-gassing plywood boxes,        home are of paramount impor-           tions. CR Certified Remodeler;
properly weather-stripped,             project; they are a great space      with managed forest hardwoods         tance. For example, recessed           CAPS (Certified Aging in Place
sealed for energy savings, and         saver and can cut your gas bill      for fronts and doors, are a great     cans for lighting are a consumer       Specialist); past president, Austin
built to lower heat gain and loss.     for heating water significantly.      way to go. Water-wise faucets,        favorite but are essentially a         Chapter, National Association
We often put in quality wood              Tired of your old kitchen?        Energy Star appliances and light      hole in your ceiling (if you           of Remodeling Industry; and
windows, which add beauty to           Kitchen remodels represent           fixtures provide more beauty,          have a conventional vented             member, City of Austin Green
your home and allow you to             the single best return on your       comfort and energy savings in         attic). In our hot and humid           Building program and McMan-
paint or stain the inside to match     remodeling investment dollar.        your new kitchen. Tile, wood,         climate, air-conditioning design       sion Task Force. Web site:
your décor. Windows are an             Many “green” elements can be         stone or bamboo for the kitchen       and installation is virtually the

                                                                                   Savvy business know-how and commitment to clients make Linda an
                                                                                   invaluable asset to both Wilson and Goldrick and the Austin community.
                                                                                   Linda’s dedication to clients is evident by her attention to detail and the mindful care she always
                                                                                   provides. Linda has been voted “Top Producer” several times at Wilson Goldrick and was awarded
                                                                                   “Most Consistent Top Producer” in 2006. She has been a member of the Austin Jewish Community
                                                                                   for over 30 years.

                                            Linda Biderman
                                            Mobile 426.7755
                                            Office 328.0022

                                                                                                                           Our Performance Will Move You.
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                            HOME                                                                April 2009 B13

                                                                                                     Custom Construction for luxury homes
                                                                                                    from under $1Million to the Multi Millions

Achieve desired look for your home
    without spending a fortune

             By Doug Gorton                         far outperform their cheaper counterparts.
          omeowners that want to get their          Plus, they cost less and look better in the
          houses looking good again or              long run.
          modernize sometimes assume                   I believe strongly in customer service
that you have to paint everything again or          and ethical business practices. I received
expensively strip old finishes and restart.          my education in and my appreciation
   That’s just not true. With some cleaning,        for customer service at Zingerman’s
refreshing and minor maintenance you can            Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich. One of
get the look you want without spending a            the first 15 employees, I worked there for
fortune.                                            three-and-a-half enjoyable years selling
   Here are some things you can do to get           breads, meats, pickles and cheeses before
your home looking great again and save              becoming a house painter. I believe that         Cavalcade offers the ultimate in high quality construction and design,
real money:                                         it is because of Zingerman’s strong focus
   • Wash all that mildew and dirt off the          on customer service that they are looked        but we also offer efficient processes and volume leverage that help us
house and let it shine — A lot of painters          to as one of the top business models.           to remain highly cost competitive. We feel strongly that you will be glad
recommend pressure washing, but we                  Corporations from across the country,
do not. We prefer hand washing all our              such as Amy’s Ice Cream and Central                        you opened up your options and considered us!
houses. It gets them much cleaner and               Market, now send their executives and
cannot cause damage like high-pressure              managers to Zing Train seminars to learn
water can. We hand wash all our houses              about their service culture and how they
using a mild cleaning solution that is              have managed to win awards and acclaim
hand scrubbed with soft brushes over the            in many national publications.
entire house. We then hand scrub all the               We have worked hard to service our
screens and clean all the glass. You will           customers’ needs and have built an
be amazed at how clean your home looks              excellent reputation for great work and
after a good hand washing.                          service in Austin. This is evident in all our
   • Gel stain dated looking stained                customer testimonials online at
cabinets and woodwork — Cabinets and       By treating
other woodwork that have scratches, worn            you fairly and doing right by you, my
spots, watermarks, fading, etc., can be             customer, I am dedicated to earning your                                  Jacob Levenson, CEO
refreshed and made to look new again                trust and repeat business, as well as the                           5000 Bee Caves Road, Suite 104
without stripping off all the old finishes as        business of your friends and neighbors.                           Austin, Texas 78746 • (512) 306-9198
many believe. The trend today is toward                 Doug Gorton Professional Painting can
darker, richer looking wood colors, and             be reached at,
you also can actually change the color of           799-8384 or 451-5112 (fax). Web site:          
those lighter cabinets and other woodwork 
to a rich, dark color without having to
strip off all the old finish.
   • Paint one area or features on the house
instead of all of it — You can paint just
the trim or change the door colors for a
whole new look. You can also paint those
faded metal window frames and metal
storm doors. Refinish the front door to
make it look beautiful again, and protect it
from the weather.
   • Do a maintenance checklist — With
such jobs as touching up all peeling
paint, fixing any rotten wood or broken
stucco, checking all caulking, replacing
any cracked or broken glass, re-glazing
windows, fixing broken screens, replacing
weather stripping, refinishing stained
doors, painting metal railings or fencing,
staining decking, etc.
   • Do other cleaning around the house
to reduce clutter and beautify — Such as
cleaning the yard, gutters and driveway;
organizing the garage; etc.
   Remember to use the very best materi-
als; cheap does not pay in the long run.
   There have been great advances in
materials in the last five years, and we
prefer to use the best we can find, as they
B14 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                              HOME                                                    Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

 Design solutions for making home
  more comfortable, convenient,
  safe for seniors (and everyone)
     magine a house with a raised dish-         safety.”
     washer that you don’t have to bend           Universal Design says that products
     over to fill;                                                     and construction
     door handles                                                     in the environment
that you can open                                                     should be usable by
with filled arms;                                                      everyone, whatever
and a front door                                                      their age or abil-
without a step to                                                     ity. Useful changes
trip over.                                                            can be invisible,
   “Your home                                                         integrated into a new
should not add to                                                     or existing home.
the stresses of life.                                                 They can range from
You want a healthy                                                    inexpensive addi-              Kitchen features drawers in tall kick space that can be removed to lower counter;
and active life, and                                                  tions of products                 stove top with tap to fill pots; front controls and grab bar; built-in steamer;
your home should                                                      to large-scale                                     herb planter; and pullouts and pull downs.
give you that                                                         remodeling with the
independence and                                                      finest finishes. The      Upper cabinets could have pull-down               ward aspects of bathrooms. Showers could
control,” says Ruth                                                   end result will be a    shelves. Lower cabinets can have drawers          have seats and adjustable height and/or
Siegel, an Austin                                                     home where one can      that roll out completely for easy access.         handheld showerheads and be walk-in
architect who has                                                     “Age in Place” (the     Cabinet knobs can be replaced with handles        with no curb. Tubs could have wide
also completed the                                                    coined phrase for       to eliminate the need for tight grasping. To      platforms and attractive grab bars to make
requirements for the                                                  this), as well as be    reduce bending and reaching, appliances           getting in and out of the tub easier. Grab
national designation                                                  a home with greater     can be set at easy-to-reach heights and           bars can be useful throughout bathrooms.
Certified Aging in                                                     value — to seniors,     their controls set closer to the user. Counter    They can be installed right away, or
Place Specialist,       Bathroom features easy-to-operate faucets,    to a family busy        heights can vary according to the need            blocking can be put in the wall for future
or C.A.P.S. “              sinks at different heights, grab bars      with young children     and the user’s height; low counters with          installation. Toilet seats can be set higher
‘Universal Design’      and removable cabinets to leave knee space    and to many others.     knee space below would be appropriate             to make getting up easier.
offers a concept —                for wheelchair access.                 Universal Design     for working while sitting on a stool or in          Accessibility is a significant concern
and very practical                                                    in the kitchen, for     a wheelchair. Lighting design can reduce          that calls for wider hallways and doors;
solutions — to make your home function          example, means that this place for work       glare that aggravates reduced vision.
with greater comfort, convenience, and          does not have to equate work with strain.        One could also eliminate many awk-                             See facing page
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                         HOME                                                                          April 2009 B15

                                                                                                   We know our business and
                                                                                                     we love what we do.
                                                                                                 Shoal Creek Nursery is a complete garden center and superb resource for Austin
                                                                                                 gardeners. We offer a full range of landscape plants, fountains, pottery, and
                                                                                                 gardening supplies for your outdoor living space, all at a competitive price.
                                                                                                 Our park-like grounds include an acre and a half of beautiful plants, including:
                                                                                                 perennials, annuals, herbs, seasonal vegetables, shrubs, trees.
                                                                                                 Our staff represent 34 years of combined experience growing plants. We put
                                                                                                 this rich knowledge base to the service of our clients, assessing your needs and
                                                                                                 offering professional advice. Our expertise insures that we only sell high-quality
                                                                                                 plants that are well adapted to the local environment.

                 Elevated, front-load washer and dryer with controls at front.
              From facing page                      Center for Universal Design, College of
firm, flat flooring; and no steps at entranc-          Design, North Carolina State Univer-
es. Further, all the senses’ needs can be           sity. Valuable books include Leibrock’s
addressed. For example, sound-absorbing             “Beautiful Universal Design: A Visual
finishes will cut down on ambient noise              Guide” and “Residential Design for Aging
from interfering with voices; and contrast-         in Place,” by Drue Lawlor and Michael A.
ing floor and wall colors can help with              Thomas.
visual acuity.                                         An informed architect, interior
  To begin to think about improving your            designer or builder can help to define
home, you can search the Internet for the           your remodeling needs. You may want to
many references to Universal Design and             include an occupational therapist in the
Aging in Place, including the source of             design process for any specific medical
the photos shown here, interior designer            conditions.                                                  2710 Hancock Drive • Austin, TX 78731
Cynthia Leibrock’s home featured at her                For more information, contact architect                              512-458-5909
informative Web site                                Siegel at or                      
(, and also The            577-6834.

        Fabulous Homes                                                                                                              Deborah Ben Nun
         Located Near                                                                                                                     Jerry Ayala, Cary Mikan

           the JCAA                                                                                                                     Office: 512.691.6715
                                                                                                                                         Cell 512.699.8877

                                                                            6505 Sumac Drive


          5431 Tortuga Trail                                             Un
                                                                           4308 Palladio Drive

B16 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                                HOME                                   Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                                                                                                Rated “Best            Painter” in Austin, Texas
      Austin: a wonderful place to live
             By Brian Kerman                    and enjoyment that I can have the honor
   While the rest of the nation is              to give newcomers the tour of our city,
experiencing economic uncertainty, the          especially Jewish points of interest.
Greater Austin area remains an oasis for           The real estate market continues to buck
quality living. Yes, we have experienced        national trends. Yes, it is true we have
a downturn, but compared to most of the         slowed down, but we remain one of the
rest of the United States we continue, for      leading cities for growth and home sales.
the most part, to enjoy a quality lifestyle.       Not only have I been successful for
   Where else can you swim year-round           more than 10 years helping folks buy
in a beautiful, natural pool fed by under-      and sell homes, I have also worked with
ground springs? Discover restaurants with       pre-foreclosures, short sales and REO
personalities as interesting as the food?       properties, the latter being homes that
Or sail on a crystal-clear lake just a short    have been foreclosed on by banks and
drive from downtown Austin? Oh, yes,            are available for buyers and investors. A
we also enjoy nearly 300 days of sunshine       bank term, REO stands for “Real Estate
every year!                                     Owned.” Many of these homes are perfect
   Maybe you enjoy an evening spent             “fixer-uppers.” Investors that successfully
listening to jazz, blues, country or rock.      qualify for home loans “fix and flip” or
When you live in Austin, you can hear           “fix and hold” properties and enjoy the
them all during a single evening stroll         rental income that the property provides.
along historic Sixth Street or at any other        First-time home buyers who are within
dozens of live-music venues.                    income limits may also qualify for an
   How about an evening at the ballet,          $8,000 tax credit, and, believe it or not, it
opera or theater? Or perhaps you prefer         is still possible to buy a home with zero
to attend a University of Texas football or     down, either using the VA loan program
basketball game, a Round Rock Express           or the USDA Rural Development Loan
minor-league baseball game or an Austin         Program.
Toros D-League basketball game. We will            Using my knowledge and experience,           
even be treated to professional hockey,         as well as “the Power of RE/MAX,” I am
as a farm team of the Dallas Stars will be      sure that I can make your real estate goals     Doug Gorton Professional Painting is one of the finest home
based in an all-new entertainment com-          a reality. I am affiliated with RE/MAX           restoration and house painting specialists in Austin, Texas. Our
plex in Cedar Park. All these possibilities     Austin Advantage, located at Research           service teams are clean, professional and dependable, providing
— and a whole lot more — are among              Boulevard and Oak Knoll. If you are
the choices available when you live in the
                                                                                                quality interior and exterior home painting services for over 20
                                                considering moving to the area, buying
Greater Austin area.                            or selling your property, or looking to         years.
   We also boast a growing Jewish               become active in the investment market,
community where you can enjoy different         feel free to contact me. I would love to        We service both residential and commercial properties. If you
levels of worship and community. We             have the opportunity to visit with you and      need superior house painting or commercial painting completed
are truly building a Jewish community           help you explore real estate investing. My      on schedule and on budget, look no further than the experienced
together. Maybe this is just another one        phone number is 921-4490. Also, feel free       professionals at Doug Gorton Professional Painting. Call us today
of the reasons that a steady number of          to visit my Web site (www.briankerman.          for a free estimate on your next painting project. We look forward
Jewish singles, couples and families are        com), so you can discover more about me         to working with you!
contacting our offices about relocating to       and the services I can offer you.
the area. It is with a special sense of pride      B’ Shalom!

                                                                                                              Professional Service +
                                                                                                              Excellent Communication +
                                                                                                              30 Years Experience =
                                                                                                              Satisfied Customers

                                                                                                                           Lions Head
                                                                                                                           Poolsculpting & Landsculpting

 Custom-Designed, One-of-a-Kind Pools • Spas • Pool Houses • Outdoor Kitchens • Lush Native and Tropical Landscaping • Stone Fireplaces
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                      HOME                                                                            April 2009 B17

      Garage doors                                     Mortgage lending tightens but loans readily available
       — a design                                                       By Joanne M. Senyk                          situation. Your lender can give you information specific to your

                                                    E     verywhere I go I get two questions — “What’s happening
                                                          in the market?” and “Is mortgage money available?”
                                                                                                                    situation. It is vitally important to visit a lender before you
                                                                                                                       begin a home search to know exactly what you qualify to
        component                                      There is no short and sweet answer to the first
                                                    question but I can give you some insight into the
                                                                                                                           borrow and what loan program is best for you.
                                                                                                                                Another critical part of the loan approval process is

      of every home                                 second.
                                                       I spoke to Corey Hansen at Clear Progress
                                                    Mortgage for the latest facts and guidelines for
                                                                                                                               the appraisal. Hansen says underwriters are scrutiniz-
                                                                                                                                ing appraisals like never before and some homes
                                                                                                                                 under contract have failed to appraise at the contract
W      ith the advent of steel garage doors,
       many homeowners have had no
choice but to neglect the garage door as a
                                                    mortgage loans. The short answer is that mortgage
                                                    money is readily available but standards have
                                                                                                                                 price. This reflects some decline of prices in our
                                                                                                                                 market. Appraisals are based on recent sales, and
                                                    tightened.                                                                   prices have softened.
component of the home’s overall design.                Conventional loans, those up to $417,000,                                    Sellers should work closely with their Realtor to
Stamped raised-panel garage doors                   require a minimum down payment of 5 percent.                                 be sure their pricing reflects the latest sales in their
account for 90 percent of the garage doors          To qualify for the best rate available, borrowers                           neighborhood for the smoothest and shortest time on
installed on homes in the United States.            must have a credit score of 740 or better. Generally                      the market.
While a stamped raised panel steel garage           speaking, for every 20-point decrease in your                                  Well-informed, realistic sellers and savvy buyers
door may be the least costly means to               credit score your interest rate will increase                                    will do well in this market and should not
manufacture a garage door, it offers a poor         by about 0.25 percent. For credit scores                                                  hesitate to jump in.
design choice for the architecture of most          under 700, rates can increase by as                                                          Joanne M. Senyk is a Realtor
homes in America.                                   much as 0.5 percent for every 20-point                                                      with AvenueOne Properties Inc.,
   Garage doors account for 30 percent of           decrease.                                                                                   901 W. Ninth St. #110.
the front elevation of the average house               These are general guidelines and                                                          Contact her at
in the United States. A raised panel steel          every individual has a unique financial                                                        or 844-1302.
garage door, while a good choice from
Colonial architecture, is a bland element
in Spanish, contemporary, craftsman, Cali-
fornia ranch and many other architectural
styles that dominate Central Texas.
   Enter the renaissance of custom wood
garage doors.
   Wood garage doors were the only type
of residential garage door available before
the 1970s but were derided as doors that
demanded frequent maintenance and
had short life; hence, low-cost, low-
maintenance steel doors replaced them.
Most older wood garage doors of that era,
however, were made from cheap wood
species for railing and typically featured
pressed fiberboard for panels — both a
poor choice for exterior usage.
   Today’s custom wood garage doors
are made of weather- and insect-resistant
cedar with a growing popularity for exotic
hardwood species, such as cypress, ma-
hogany, tiger wood and benak. Typically
these doors are known as carriage house
wood garage doors, where the door design
mimics swing-open carriage house doors
of yesteryear and features vertical design
configurations or arches that conform to a                                                                          The Bluffs at Balcones offers you the best of
home’s architecture.
   Another design choice that is growing                                                                           both worlds: city skyline views from the private
in popularity in Central Texas is the
commercial-grade glass/aluminum garage
                                                          A Northwest Hills                                        terrace of your Northwest Hills neighborhood
door. These doors feature aluminum
railing and an array of glass choices with                     Community                                           These elegant town home -style condominiums
the most popular being obscure frosted                                                                             in a maintained, gated community provide
glass, which is translucent but obscure
enough to disallow visible exposure
                                                           with City Views                                         luxurious living within one mile of the JCAA.
                                                                                                                   Only 27 units, priced from the $300s to the
of the actual garage. These doors look
                                                                                                                   $500s. Two and three-story units, with a private
fantastic on California ranch-style homes
or any houses with modern/contemporary                                                                             elevator and city views in each three-story unit.
features. If the garage light is on at night,                                                                      Phase I projected construction completion
the frosted glass doors glow with the                                                                              May/June 2009. Austin Energy Green Building
emitted light, casting a beautiful soft                                                                            Certification at 4 Stars.
lighting that is reminiscent of Japanese
shoji screen doors.                                                                                                For pre-sales information, call 512-343-6533 or
   Homeowners now have a choice of                                                                                 visit us at
garage doors to conform to the architec-
ture of their homes and are not limited
to bland steel garage doors, which blight
so many homes across the region. Rather
than being an afterthought, garage doors
                                                                A CONDOMINIUM COMMUNITY
now can add to a home’s curb appeal.
   For more information, contact Hill
Country Garage Doors, located at 2340 W.
Braker Lane, Suite E, at 977-7200 or visit                  6533 East Hill Drive l Austin, TX 78731 l near Far West Blvd. and North Mopac Expressway
the Web site
B18 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                    HOME                                                Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                                  Find the right pool company
                                   to design the perfect pool                                                                            Speaks
                                    avid Bush, president
                                    of Lion’s Head
                                    Poolsculpting and
                            Landscaping, has more than 30
                            years’ experience in designing
                                                             experience and great reputation
                                                             when it comes to pool design.
                                                             He not only custom designs
                                                             and builds beautiful high-
                                                             quality pools, but also designs
                                                                                               David says. He listens to
                                                                                               his clients and makes the
                                                                                               process of creating their dream
                                                                                               outdoor environment easy and
                                                                                               pleasurable. There is clear
                                                                                                                                        for Itself!
                            personalized outdoor spaces      an entire outdoor paradise.       communication upfront about
                            based upon individual needs         Lion’s Head Poolsculpting      what the homeowner will
                            and preferences.                 and Landscaping specializes in:   experience and then constant
                              So, he has the knowledge,         • One-of-a-kind swimming       updates throughout the life of
                                                             pools and spas.                   the project.
                                                                • Outdoor kitchens.               So, what should you look
                                                                                                                                           “Hire More Realtors like
                                                                • Stone fireplaces.             for when searching for a new
                                                                • Fire pits.                   pool?                                       Georgia Levin. She’s about
                                                                • Fountains.                      Find someone who has                     the best I’ve ever worked
                                                                • Both native and tropical     experience in building the                  with.”
                                                             landscaping.                      finest pools, has excellent                            –George H.
                                                                As a full-service company,     references, listens to what
                                                             Lion’s Head Poolsculpting and     you want, and helps makes                   “Give Georgia an award
                                                             Landscaping knows how to help     the experience pleasurable by               for exceptional service and
                                                             their clients save time, money    constant updates and com-                   dedication to her clients.”
                                                             and the headaches of dealing      munication.                                           –Daniel F.
                                                             with multiple contractors.           Call Bush at Lion’s Head
                                                                So, when shopping for a        Poolsculpting and Landscap-
                                                                                                                                           “Georgia deserves every
                                                             pool, what should you look for?   ing at 906-8697 for a free
                                                             Good communication!               personalized consultation,                  note of praise I could sing.”
                                                                “Good communication            or visit the Web site www.                            –Howard Y.
                                                             is the beginning to a good
                                                             relationship with our clients”    You’ll be happy you did!

                                                                                     A resource for gardeners
  for plants
well adapted
     to the
     of the
Austin area?
  Check out
 Shoal Creek
   You can
roam an acre                                                                                                                                Georgia Levin
and a half of                                                                                                                                 461-2051 cell
    or find
   for your
    Stop by
    or call
                                                                                                                                                We Bring Home Results
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                      HOME                                                                           April 2009 B19

                                    Expertise at cleaning all kinds of surfaces

            he Steam Team is a true Austin original, the                                                                       Born in 1974, Marquardt spent much of his child-
            only locally owned, full-service cleaning,                                                                      hood in Columbus, Ohio. His first job, at age 10, was
            restoration and catastrophe-management                                                                          delivering newspapers on his bicycle. He moved with his
            company in the greater area.                                                                                    mother and two brothers to Austin in 1983 and attended
   The Steam Team serves homeowners and businesses                                                                          Westlake High School. A long series of jobs followed,
with a wide range of services, meeting both routine                                                                         including selling lemonade, picking up golf balls, at the
and emergency needs with prompt, expert, guaranteed                                                                         Austin Country Club snack bar, and at a summer camp.
service.                                                                                                                    Marquardt’s first real business was a lawn-care venture
   Founded in Austin in 1983, The Steam Team has                                                                            he started in Austin’s Lost Creek neighborhood.
steadily expanded its service offerings and was named                                                                          As a college student at the University of Texas,
one of Austin’s fastest-growing companies by the Austin                                                                     Marquardt worked as a runner for a law firm and at his
Business Journal in 2003. The company has built its                                                                         fraternity house. He graduated from UT in 1997 with a
reputation on performing beyond even the highest                                                                            degree in marketing and corporate communications. After
expectations, with greater professional focus and personal                                                                  graduation, Marquardt worked in several high-tech sales
involvement than its competitors. From initial consulta-                                                                    jobs before moving to San Antonio for a job in medical
tion and planning, through project management, catas-                                                                       sales.
trophe management, reconstruction and restoration, the                                                                         In 1999, Marquardt’s stepfather, John Lasch, died
staff of The Steam Team is professional, dedicated and                                                                      while jogging on Austin’s Hike & Bike Trail. Marquardt
enthusiastic. The result has been thousands of satisfied                                                                     quit his job and returned to Austin to help his family with
clients, an impressive roster of successful projects and the                                                                the funeral arrangements and to stabilize the business to
highest standards in the business.                                                                                          prepare it for sale.
   A specialty of The Steam Team, setting it apart from                                                                        The business was struggling. The Steam Team was
competitors, is expertise at cleaning all kinds of surfaces,                                                                deep in debt, with troublesome legal problems, tax issues,
including stone, granite, concrete, tile and grout, and        company with annual sales of at least $1 million.            equipment in disrepair, and a workforce with low morale.
even sisal and sea grass. The staff education program             Many of The Steam Team’s current clients have remained    Marquardt took out more than $100,000 in loans on credit
includes specialized training in the care and cleaning of      loyal since the company’s founding and have recommended      cards and commuted for three years from San Antonio,
these surfaces, which have become much more popular in         the business to their friends. The Steam Team has a long     where his wife was in medical school, to turn the
recent years.                                                  list of prominent and celebrity clients. As the company      business around. He resolved the legal and tax problems,
   President and CEO David Marquardt and his staff             has become more successful, The Steam Team has made          cleaned up the company’s vehicles, and developed a
are proud to be part of a strong company that has been         community involvement a priority, becoming a major donor     strong employee education program. Gradually, The
locally owned and operated for 26 years. The Steam             to the American Red Cross of Central Texas and a supporter   Steam Team began to branch out to provide services
Team was voted one of Austin’s Best Places to Work in          of other such worthy local organizations as Spamarama and    beyond carpet cleaning — ducts, grout and tile, and
2004. Also that year, Marquardt was invited to join the        Austin Sunshine Camps through the Bun Run.                   hardwood and stone floors.
prestigious Young Entrepreneurs Organization, a group of          Things weren’t always so rosy. In 1999, Marquardt            Contact David Marquardt of The Steam Team, 1904 W.
business professionals under age 40 who are the owners,        did not expect the business to survive to see its 20th       Koenig Lane, at, 451-8326
founders, co-founders or controlling shareholders of a         anniversary.                                                 or 947-8562.
B20 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                             HOME                                                Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                          Designs by
                        Urban Kitchens
                          and Baths
                     stand the test of time.

         Bringing 3 decades of design experience to kitchens, baths
        hil and Patti Rudick established Urban Kitchens         At Urban Kitchens, they only represent the finest in        space planning of your kitchen and bath but also the
        and Baths in 1980, making it the oldest kitchen-      custom cabinetry made exclusively for you and your proj-     remodeling and new-construction design for your entire
        and-bath firm, owned and operated by a registered      ect. You can customize your furniture quality cabinetry to   home or office. He is able to handle your project from
architect, in Texas.                                          suit your specifications of wood, finish and design. Their     conception to completion.
  This experience is brought to every kitchen and project     cabinets are suitable for any room in your home, from the      When you hire a professional to design the most
they create. They understand that your home is your           kitchen to the dining room, home office, home entertain-      personal rooms in your home, don’t you think you should
domain. Their intention is to design your interior spaces     ment and bathrooms.                                          know more about them? Visit the Web site
to fit with the culture of your lifestyle, tastes, needs and     As with any professional business, their showroom to learn more about
budget. They will implement design ideas and products         and office hours are operated on an appointment basis.        Phil, his design philosophy and Urban Kitchens and
that will stand the test of time.                             To ensure the highest degree of expertise and attention,     Baths products, all of which are made in the United
  Over the years, Urban Kitchens and Baths has worked         every customer works exclusively with owner/architect        States.
hard to meet the needs of the community, carefully select-    Phil Rudick through the entire project. He is open and         They are a professional design office that gives clients
ing products that fit most budgets and lifestyles. Their       available for consultations and collaboration with your      their undivided attention. For an appointment, call
designs range from contemporary to traditional, as well       architect, interior designer and builder.                    451-7435. Urban Kitchens & Baths is located at 1617 W.
as old world and country.                                       As a registered architect, Rudick can not only do the      Koenig Lane.

      Steps to take when choosing a housecleaning service
        ast-paced lifestyles, hectic sched-    families for whom they clean. This is just    to be at ease when The Maids are in their     every room of homes on every visit. The
        ules and a lack of free time can       another way The Maids lives up to the         homes. Also, all employees of The Maids       Maids Home Services cleans kitchen and
        push housecleaning to the bottom       slogan “Nobody Outcleans The Maids®.”         are required to fill out Form I-9, the         bathroom floors on hands and knees and
of the to-do list. Those looking for relief      • Because your satisfaction is a vital      employment eligibility verification form,      uses a grout brush to remove mold and
can turn to professionals, but before pick-    piece of the cleaning process, make sure      and provide necessary employment eligibil-    mildew. They even clean and remove
ing up the phone to schedule an appoint-       the service or housekeeper you hire is        ity documentation, before starting work.      fingerprints from telephone receivers,
ment, The Maids Home Services of Austin        backed by a written satisfaction guarantee.      Although countless maid services are       light switch plates and doorknobs to help
reminds consumers it’s important to know         The Maids Home Services backs all           available, very few live up to the quality    stop the spread of germs.
whom you are letting into your home:           work with a 100 percent satisfaction          and service that The Maids provides. When        See for yourself how Nobody Outcleans
   • Make sure the company is bonded           guarantee. If The Maids doesn’t clean         evaluating your housecleaning options,        The Maids, and experience the 22-Step
for its clientele. Should a theft occur, you   an area to your satisfaction, you can call    know that The Maids will give you the         Healthy Touch® Deep Cleaning System,
need to be protected. Some companies,          them within 24 hours after your cleaning      healthiest, most thorough housecleaning       revolutionary residential cleaning system,
if bonded at all, protect only themselves,     and they will reclean it — free of charge.    every visit! In fact, they are so thorough    equipment and supplies. With more than
not the consumer. Along with bonding,            • Ask if employees’ references are          in cleaning that 72 percent of current        a quarter of a century of experience, The
double-check that the company is insured.      checked and if their residence status is      customers have already recommended The        Maids Home Services continues to exceed
If a maid slips and falls while cleaning the   confirmed.                                     Maids to their family and friends!            its customers’ expectations.
shower, your homeowner’s policy might            The Maids Home Services only hires             From kitchens to bedrooms, The                For more information, call The Maids
not cover the incident.                        employees who have had thorough               Maids Home Services’ team members             Home Services at 419-0021 or visit the
   To ensure your safety and that of their     background checks to allow the customers      clean virtually every available surface in    Web site
maids, The Maids Home Services’ team
members are bonded and insured. They
only provide team members who are
supervised, uniformed and professionally
trained to clean customers’ homes. The use
of four-member teams provides homeown-
ers an efficient, deep clean so teams are in
and out of homes without wasting time.
   • Some independent housekeepers,
as well as some services, expect you to
supply all cleaning products and equip-
ment. Check out what’s included with
your house cleaning.
   With The Maids Home Services, one of
the main focuses is on environmentally
friendly cleaning solutions. By using these
types of cleaning products, The Maids
maintains the health of their employees,
as well as the health and well being of the
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                          HOME                                                                              April 2009 B21

      Now may be
  right time to remodel
                                                                                                                  before (left)

                     By Dennis Gross
                                                                                                                     … and
         eading the headlines it’s easy to understand why                                                            after.
         you might be having doubts about investing in
         remodeling your home. We’ve heard the stories
about runaway costs or unscrupulous contractors, so
adding economic meltdown into the mix doesn’t make a
decision any easier.                                               buy that great sink you saw, get the yard guy’s brother to
   Yet now may actually be a good time to proceed with             knock down a wall, or replace the toilet until you have a
renovations you want or need, and with a little effort you         complete plan for what, when and how much.
can control costs and ensure good results. Of course, a              First, take one room at a time and create a wish list.
statement like that, coming from a remodeling contractor           What are the big priorities? Make this a family project,       choose should be able to discuss options. With combined
such as myself, shouldn’t be a surprise. But hopefully             and don’t exclude ideas. Better to think through all the       benefits of energy-cost savings, tax credits and utility
the information included here, applied to your own                 wants and needs now. It may even turn out that some            rebates, now is the perfect time to include these upgrades.
circumstances, will help with a decision.                          lower priority items can easily be incorporated with other     But make sure you have a clear understanding of upfront
   So why is now a good time? Something I hear                     work. You’ll find good checklists and resources at              costs and potential savings.
frequently from clients is that rates for home equity                                               Once you have your list together it’s time to call a pro-
loans are so low it is not only less expensive than ever to          Start a binder or expanding folder for notes and             fessional. Research in advance and check state (TRCC)
finance, but savings can be preserved for emergencies or            pictures clipped from home magazines. (Libraries have          registration, look for any unresolved complaints and ask
investment. With new home construction down, trades                used magazines donated that you are free to take.) Jot         if they carry contractor’s liability insurance. When you
people are more readily available to complete projects             down ideas as they occur and keep a camera with you to         meet, consider how well they listen. Do you like their
quickly — and sometimes more competitively. The same               take pictures of places you like. All this will help you,      ideas? Is the “chemistry” right? Once you choose whom
applies to building materials. While a few have increased          and your remodeling company, form a clear picture of           to work with, you can start to set priorities based on
in cost (roofing, for example), most have either stabilized         tastes and interests.                                          potential cost, to select finishes and to draw plans. But no
or gone down. Add to the mix new rebates, credits and                Remember to think about not-so-obvious improvements.         matter how eager, don’t start any work before your plan
incentives for energy-efficiency improvements and you               For example, we often include such accessibility features      is complete and you know the price. The unexpected will
see why more people are choosing to renovate now.                  as barrier free showers, wider doors and grab bars.            happen, but the more you decide and plan in advance the
   Of course, it’s more important than ever to keep costs          Integrating these features with great design allows you to     fewer changes and fewer added costs. Surprising as it
under control, but with a few simple rules you can make            enjoy your home longer and is becoming a factor in resale.     sounds, even contractors don’t like change orders.
your home even more beautiful and comfortable, and stay              Energy efficiency will also be part of the plan. Green           Dennis Gross owns Castle Crafters. Contact him at
within a budget. The key is to plan before you start. Don’t        building has become the norm, and the professional you or 477-9972.

                            Helping Central Texans live comfortably in their homes
A     -Plus Energy Management, Air
      Conditioning & Heating is an
Austin-based, family-owned and -operated
                                                       This is a special year for home improve-
                                                    ments. Austin Energy and Texas Gas
                                                    Service are giving rebates up to 40 percent
                                                                                                  maintenance-agreement customers receive
                                                                                                  not only two checkups and cleanings
                                                                                                  per year, but also receive a 15 percent
                                                                                                                                                 critical factors were important when
                                                                                                                                                 choosing their new heating-and-cooling
                                                                                                                                                 system: reliability, comfort, energy
business. They have serviced the Austin             of the job cost. And now you can get up to    discount on repair service needed during       efficiency, dealer reputation and quiet
area, including Pflugerville, Round Rock,            $1,500 bottom line Federal Tax Credit for     the term of their agreement, as well as        operation.
Cedar Park, Lakeway and Oak Hill, since             2009. That could mean that more than 50       priority service.                                Customer comments can be found on
1977.                                               percent of the job is paid for with rebates     The Yamin family has worked for              the Web sites of the BBB, where A-Plus
   A-Plus repairs and installs residential          and federal tax credits. You save money up    more than 30 years with Austin residents,      has an A+ rating, and Angie’s List, where
and light commercial central heating and            front, your home is more comfortable and      owners and property managers, as well as       they earned the Super Service Award for
air-conditioning systems, and performs              you get month-after-month utility savings.    members of our own community, to have          2008!
energy conservation work.                              A-Plus Energy Management has fast,         comfortable, affordable homes to live in.        Call A-Plus at 450-1980 and see how
   They specialize in repairing bad duct-           seven-day-a-week repair service. Their        Homeowners recently said the following         they can help you.
work and balancing airflow to increase
comfort. Many people accept the fact that
one room is colder or hotter than the rest
of the building, not realizing it doesn’t
need to be that way. Most air-condition-
ing service technicians are trained to “fix
the box,” while specialists like A-Plus are
also trained to test and balance airflow.
Zoning homes into separate areas (upstairs
vs. downstairs) is another specialty area
A-Plus excels in. Many comfort problems
stem from having one thermostat that
doesn’t do a good job trying to control
areas with different needs. Those of you
with two-story homes and only one unit
with one thermostat can understand.
   A-Plus helped pioneer the residential
Austin Energy program, including
weatherizing and insulating homes, seal-
ing ductwork and upgrading inefficient
cooling and heating systems with more
efficient systems costing less to operate.
In other words, A-Plus lowers your
electric and gas bills. They are registered
with Austin Energy, TXU, PEC, Bluebon-
net and Texas Gas and are qualified to
do energy audits helping customers get
maximum rebates or low interest loans.
B22 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                               HOME                                              Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

   With passion and promise, helping people make best real estate decisions

             t Carol Dochen Realtors® Inc., their passion
             is to be the best real estate resource in Austin.
             Buying and selling real estate is more than a
             transaction; it’s a relationship. It’s about you
and your Realtor®.
  Their clients become their friends. Clients want them
to share their knowledge and experience with them
passionately to help them make the best decisions.
  At Carol Dochen Realtors®, their award-winning
reputation was built on putting their clients first and
adding their personal touch in buying and selling real
estate. Let them work hard for you and help you and your
family get the results you are counting on.
  Their experience makes the difference. The Carol               everything is in order, under control and on time.          your goals.
Dochen Realtors® team has successfully represented                  Whether you’re buying or selling, or moving to or           Their team is top-rated. Their team of Realtors® and
thousands of residential real estate buyers and sellers for      within the Austin area, the Carol Dochen Realtors® team     staff include Carol Dochen, Simone Govind, Laurie
more than 75 years combined.                                     will go the extra mile to make you feel at home.            McGary, Nancy Taute, Arlene Maze, Kim Wallace, Jean
  They have represented buyers and sellers from around              Their promise to serve is their word. At Carol Dochen    Olson and Josh Bushner. In 2008, the Austin Business
the region and the nation, and work as a team to ensure a        Realtors®, they begin all their client engagements with     Journal recognized them as one of the Top 25 Realtor®
seamless, stress-free process.                                   their Promise to Serve Agreement, where they review         teams in the Austin real estate market.
  At Carol Dochen Realtors®, they understand that in             the buying and selling process and detail the activities       Their passion. Their promise. Carol Dochen Realtors®
real estate, beyond location, managing the details is            and specific tasks they will perform on your behalf. It         Call them at 345-2227 or visit them online at
most important, so they work carefully to make sure              is their pledge to give you their best efforts to achieve


                                                                                                    Find the Coolest Stuff...
                                                                                                      • Upscale name brands, the latest trends
                                                                                                      • Truckloads of new items arriving daily from
                                                                                                        furniture showrooms, builder models and the
                                                                                                        area’s finest homes at prices you will love!
                                                                                                      • FREE 24-HOUR TEST DRIVE!

                                                                                                                                       Specializing in the Consignment
                                                                                                                                          Sale of Quality Furniture,
                                                                                                                                          Accessories and Jewelry.

                                                                                                                                   M-F 10-8 • Sat 10-6 • Sun 12-5

                                                                                                                                  (512) 346-2900               (512) 263-4600
                                                                                                                                  10515-J N. MoPac Expy.       12812 Shops Parkway
                                                                                                                                  Austin, TX 78759             Bee Cave, TX 78738
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                             HOME                                                               April 2009 B23

                                                                                                     Advanced A/V Solutions can help you get ready for the DTV transition
                                                                                                     Whether you need something simple for your exisiting entertainment
                                                                                                     center or you need a major overhaul, we have all the information you
                                                                                                     need so that come June 12th, you aren’t left scrambling at the last
                                                                                                     minute! Call us today for your free in home estimate.

            Finally — ‘green’ paint!
B     enjamin Moore, which has made
      paint history over the past 125 years,
has done it again with the development of
                                                    be limitlessly color-matched to one’s
                                                    personal choice and still be zero-VOC.
                                                      “Until now, zero-VOC paints meant
Natura zero-VOC premium performance                 restricted color options because traditional
interior paint.                                     colorants add the VOCs,” explained Carl
   Natura paints circles around the compe-          Minchew, Benjamin Moore’s director
tition because it is available in thousands         of color technology. “But Natura is
of hues and a range of sheens. In fact,             built upon Benjamin Moore’s patented
Natura is available in all of Benjamin              waterborne colorant system, which makes
Moore’s nearly 3,500 colors; plus, it can           the difference. So, no matter what color
                                                      you choose, it will never add to the
                                                              VOC level.
                                                                   “Natura is ‘green’ without
                                                                compromise — the greenest
                                                                paint Benjamin Moore has ever
                                                                      Natura’s performance
                                                                   is equally superior. It
                                                                   promises easy application,
                                                                  excellent hide and outstand-
                                                                 ing durability. It dries fast and
                                                                is virtually odorless. And it is
                                                                highly washable, within days
                                                               after application.

                                                                                                                    Advanced A/V Solutions
                                                                   The Natura range includes a
                                                                primer plus three sheens — flat,
                                                                eggshell and semi-gloss. It’s
                                                                offered in quarts and gallons
                                                                ($49.99 a gallon, MSRP).                                  3616 Far West Blvd.
                                                                   For more information on                                  Suite 117-282
                                                                Natura, visit Clement’s Paint,                             Austin, TX 78731
                                                                downtown at 1211 W. Sixth                                   512.775.6101
                                                                St. (between North Lamar and
                                                               MoPac boulevards), or Arrow
                                                               Paint, 2012 W. Koenig Lane (at                  
                                                              Burnet Road).
B24 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                                   HOME                                                Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

Days like this at Bluffs at Balcones lead to …
                                                         … nighttime views like this.

                                        Achieving a lifestyle: Bluffs at Balcones

                                                                    Randy Ziehe, president of Spicewood Communities, grew          barrier sheathing. The Bluffs is undergoing Austin
                hen people think about moving, the many             up in Northwest Hills attending the same schools and           Energy “Green Building” certification at four stars, a
                choices sometimes cause a feeling of being          frequenting the same local establishments that are still       distinguished accomplishment for a multifamily property.
                overwhelmed.                                        available to residents today. He knows and appreciates         The result: an energy-efficient residence that will lower
                   A move can represent a significant phase          this neighborhood.                                             household costs and help cool you down during the hot
of life: a new beginning with many challenges and op-                  The Bluffs at Balcones was designed and built to            Texas summer!
portunities to consider. “Where do I want to live — close           carefully preserve the character and integrity of the area.       Owning a new home not only lowers energy costs, but
to work, to recreation, to my community and support                 The high-quality construction of the Austin sandstone and      also requires less maintenance and repair, freeing up the
network? Most importantly, what kind of lifestyle do I              stucco buildings surrounded by native Texas vegetation         valuable time of the homeowner. Especially in a gated,
want to create out of a move?”                                      fits unassumingly into the existing landscape. Inside the       maintained, condominium community, the homeowner
   With today’s hectic demands and trying to maintain               units, style and comfort fill every room with masonry           can claim his or her new lifestyle: freedom. Leaving a
a healthy life/work balance, this question has become               accent walls, oversized windows, Kitchen Aid Architect         home unattended is a worry of the past. At the Bluffs
more common. Not only is the location of a new home                 Series stainless-steel appliances, all-wood plank flooring,     at Balcones, the homeowners’ association maintains all
important, but also the lifestyle enhancements a move can           recessed lighting, granite countertops, and tiled master       building exteriors and common-area landscaping, while
offer.                                                              showers with frameless glass. Each unit boasts a two-car       the gated community provides peace of mind.
   Spicewood Communities, a local Austin development                attached garage, and every three-story unit has an                Condominium living gives homeowners more time to
company that has been building residential, multifamily             exclusive elevator.                                            savor life and alleviates many of the hassles homeowners
communities in the Hill Country for 30 years, offers some              While the Bluffs at Balcones looks right at home            must deal with throughout the year. Why choose just
relevant lifestyle solutions for those considering a move.          in Northwest Hills, the new construction offers an             one desired element of a new home when you can have
   Poised at the edge of a bluff and balanced between city          energy-efficient, low-maintenance alternative to older          it all: city views, an established neighborhood, new
and Hill Country, the Bluffs at Balcones fuses Austin’s             homes in this well-established neighborhood. Managing          construction and Northwest Hills charm. Also, the Bluffs
defining elements: an established Northwest Hills neigh-             all construction in-house, Spicewood maintains a high          at Balcones is located less than a mile from “The J.”
borhood with downtown city views. Residents can enjoy               standard of quality control and includes such features as         Twenty-six units remain, ranging in price from the
the vibrant, ever-expanding skyline from the tucked-away            engineered post-tension slabs and frame trusses, 2” x 6”       $300s to the $500s. Both two- and three-story units are
terrace of an elegant town home-style condominium.                  exterior walls and 100 percent masonry.                        available. Each three-story unit is equipped with a private
   Located on East Hill Drive near MoPac at Far West,                  Spicewood is also proud to implement “green building”       elevator and spectacular city views. The completion of
and less than one mile from the Dell Jewish Community               specifications such as R-23 insulation at all exterior          Phase I is projected for May/June 2009.
Campus, the Bluffs meets many location criteria. This               walls including demising walls, radiant barrier roof              For sales information, visit the Web site
beautifully, strategically placed location is no accident;          decking, metal roofs, tankless water heaters, and moisture or call 343-6533.

         Purchase a LENNOX                            Home Comfort System by June 12, 2009 and receive up to $1000 in Rebates
                                                                                                                                                                            * Conditions apply
            2009 Energy Tax Credits
                                                                                                                                         SPRING CLEANING TIME
                           - ACT NOW -
                                                                                                                                  Call now and get your cooling system cleaned
 Lennox Rebates up to $1000
                                                                                                                                  & checked. It will help your unit run more
 Electric Utility rebates up to $1500 (up to$600 AC only)
                                                                                                                                  efficiently and lower your electric bills.
 Gas Utility rebates up to $400 (w/ WEA)
 Federal Tax Credits up to $1500 (w/or w/o WEA)
 Save up to $4400 w/ Weatherization
                                                                                                                                                                                             TACL# B5235C

 save   up to   ($3100 AC       only)

                         A-Plus has been family owned & operated since 1977. We do fast 7 day repair service & give free estimates on new heating & cooling systems. We         specialize in balancing air flow to make your home more comfortable. We are registered with Austin Energy to do Energy Audits. Greg & SharonYamin
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                          HOME                                                                             April 2009 B25

D                                                       The handshake of your home
         oors & Co. Inc. has been offering                                                                                                          Every aspect of the fabrication that can
         the finest doors to discerning                                                                                                           be performed in the shop is anticipated.
         clients in Central Texas and                                                                                                            The goal is to minimize the installation
around the nation for 15 years. Their                  At the other end of the spectrum           wood species. Ironwork, art glass,             time and the disruption of the clients’
philosophy is to help you to discover the           are production doors. These are high-         hand-rubbed finishes and special locksets       normal activities. Most installations are
right door for your home at the best price          quality production designs from millwork      are all available, as with the pure custom     completed in three to four hours.
for your budget.                                    factories from around the United States       offerings. This is frequently the best            From inside and out, the transforma-
   Doors & Co. draws on many resources              and the world. Generally these are            solution for most clients.                     tion of your home’s appearance by the
to fulfill this goal. They offer custom,             produced in most popular sizes either as        Doors & Co. can build new door units         replacement of the entry door can be
semicustom and production doors to fill              solid wood panel doors or with ironwork       for either new construction or remodeling      amazing. The curb appeal and perceived
the needs of all clients at all price levels.       or art glass pre-installed. Many production   projects. They can even retrofit a new          value of your home are immediately
   Custom doors are designed to fit the              doors are available with matching sidelites   door into your existing doorjamb.              enhanced. The energy-efficiency im-
exacting needs of the most demanding                and transoms. Some are available with           After the door style is selected, the        provement provided by a door that is
clients. All facets of the construction             segment-arch and true arch tops.              process begins with a site survey by the       properly weather-stripped and installed
are tailored to the specific architectural              Doors & Co. can offer these doors at       Doors & Co. staff.                             is significant, and some doors qualify
design.                                             attractive prices. Custom jambs, hand-          Exact measurements are taken of every        for rebates and tax credits for improved
   Subject to the technical demands of the          rubbed oil finishes and turnkey installation   aspect of the doorway. Hinge placement         energy efficiency. High-strength dead-
installation, custom doors are available in         are available, as with the custom doors.      and lock position are recorded. The            bolts, privacy bolts and reinforced strikes
any wood species, and the size, shape and              As you might conclude, semicustom          relationship of the door threshold to the      improve security.
format of the entry are infinitely variable.         doors form a middle ground between            floor is considered. It is important that the      In addition to the architectural aesthet-
Sidelites and transoms can be added to the          custom and production doors.                  door clear the floor by a sufficient margin      ics, the value of a new door from Doors &
door, and the entry unit can be arched to              Doors & Co. starts with a production       to allow for a rug or mat, but the threshold   Co. is proven and substantial.
any radius. Carving, ironwork, art glass,           door, but then adds custom elements to        must not be so high as to create a tripping       What a difference a door makes!
hand-rubbed finishes and special locksets            personalize it to your requirements. All      hazard. If a new doorjamb is required, the        Doors and Co. is located at 6409
can be applied for the ultimate individual-         the custom door options are available,        wall thickness and the necessary interior      Burnet Lane. Telephone: 454-3303.
ization of your entry system.                       except for unrestricted size, shape and       and exterior trim are noted.                   Web site:
B26 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                                                              HOME                                                 Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

                                                                           At right,
                                                                       ‘floating vanity’
                                                                       at Kitchen Craft.

                       The ‘new white’ available at Kitchen Craft.

      Kitchen remodeling:
     when to buck the trends

          By Michele DeCorby                   for many years. Knotty alder and cherry          We know what ultimately affects your         layout of your kitchen. If it is done right
              ne of the most frequent          are popular in Hill Country homes and          bottom line, have worked in nearly every       it will likely stand the test of time. Just
              questions we are asked when      in Texas contemporaries. Quartz counter        neighborhood in town and know what is          ask Kitchen Craft’s client Cipi Ilai of
              working with our clients is, “   tops and rare granites are often requested,    current. We carry three quality lines of       Austinuts. Her kitchen is much like her:
              Is this trendy?” Most clients    while more common granites are taking a        customizable cabinetry that are excellent      bold and beautiful. Cipi will tell you, “I
are looking for something unique, and          back seat. “ Green” product is specifica-       value, and have outstanding warranties         absolutely love my kitchen!”
anything different than what they have         tion of choice, and at Kitchen Craft all our   and wonderful the options and finishes             To see for yourself, our showroom is
been living with is a revolutionary change.    lines are certified “green.”                    available. There is something for literally    located at 7415 Burnet Road. Call us at
   At Kitchen Craft in Austin, we have                                                        every budget and taste.                        302-3700 or drop in for a visit.
watched many a trend come and go over                       Professionals
                                                  Working with experienced professionals        Discerning whether it’s a trend or a new        Our Web site is
the last 12 years. In the past few choices                                                    classic need not be confusing. We advise
were available in cabinetry and materials.     at Kitchen Craft is a great place to start.
                                               Our team has been with the company             to do what you love and do it right. Work         Michele DeCorby is general manager
When something reaches trend status it                                                        with professionals like those at Kitchen       and award-winning designer at Kitchen
is typically due to market demands and         for a long time offering many years of
                                               experience.                                    Craft, pay attention to the function and       Craft cabinetry.
mass appeal. Once it is everywhere, and
everyone has it, we seek what is new and

                                                                       Lamps & Accessories
seemingly original. Then the trend dies
and the look captures the era, and the
term “dated” is born. The good news is,
today there is a smorgasbord of options
available and openness to individuality in
design that was not as readily embraced in
the past. It takes longer to become dated
so for once, time is on your side.
   Chasing trends need not be a gamble
and staying with what is popular has
advantages, particularly if you plan on
selling your home in the next five years.
If you plan to stay longer and simply
love the latest, working with classics and
having fun with the accents is the best
advice we can offer. The areas that are the
easiest to change in the future are paint
colors, window treatments, back splash
tile and, lastly, countertops.                                   Largest Selection of Replacement Shades in Central Texas
   So what’s popular? Floating vanities,
dark espresso cabinets and glass tile are             Lamps                      Pictures                       Mirrors                        Decorative Accessories
very “in.” White cabinets are making a
comeback, and, in contrast, black is the
new white.
                                                                               2210 W. Anderson Lane (just east of Burnet Road)
   Slab doors and shaker doors in warm
wood tones remain popular and have been
                                                                                               (512) 454-1842
Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook                                            HOME                                                              April 2009 B27

                Uniquely                                                                                                                             DOES
               designed                                                                                                                              KNOW
              residences                                                                                                                            YOU’RE
             with the buyer
                in mind                                                                                                                             advertising

            ill Taute Homes has been                directors for HBA of Greater Austin for
            building homes and construct-           three years and is a past president of the                                                    your business
            ing remodeling projects and             Custom Builder Council, where he still                                                        with customers
            additions since 1993. Their             serves on the Steering Committee.
homes and renovation projects feature
state-of-the-art technology, while blending                   ‘Green Building’
almost effortlessly into the inner city of            Bill Taute Homes is also a proud mem-
Austin or the neighborhoods they occupy.            ber of the Austin Green Building Program,
Their goal is to design every project with          and Taute sits on the Green Building Task
the client’s wishes firmly in mind.                  Force for the HBA of Greater Austin.
   Bill Taute works closely with each               He has been a member of the Austin
home buyer, discussing the individual               Energy’s Green Building Program since
elements of their home. Each job is ap-
                                                                                                                                                Contact Diane Dusek
                                                    2000 and has rated about 20 homes, all of
proached with a “can do” attitude. At Bill          them with a minimum of three stars. Bill                                                       to learn about
Taute Homes, they aim to please, which              Taute Homes recently completed its first                                                     opportunities to reach
virtually guarantees each client’s home is          five-star rating is working on a second.                                                      the second-fastest
a unique creation, tailored just for them.            Bill Taute Homes is a registered builder                                                         growing
   Doing so has resulted in numerous                with the Texas Residential Construction                                                      Jewish community
awards from the local Home Builders As-             Commission and registers all remodeling
sociation. As a member of the nationally
                                                                                                                                                    in the nation
                                                    projects greater than $10,000 with the
renowned Austin Energy Green Builders               commission.
Program, Bill Taute Homes builds energy-              Visit a Bill Taute home and see why
efficient homes with sustainable and                 Austin calls Bill Taute Homes its “Premier     Working closely with each home buyer,
environment-friendly materials guaranteed           Home Builder.” For more information,         Bill Taute discusses the individual elements      342-2550 • 657-6656
to have a three- to five-star rating.                visit the Web site or                    of their home.        
   Building your new home should be                 call 441-0699.
exciting and as stress-free as possible. At
Bill Taute Homes, they understand the
importance of this purchase and what it
means to you and your family. Allow the
craftsmen from Bill Taute Homes to create
the home of which you’ve always dreamed.
   A home built by Bill Taute means that
not only will your home be constructed
with a history of knowledge and experi-
ence, but also your needs will be met
   Standard features abound, with such
preferred brands as Jenn-Air, Corian,
Kohler and Lennox. Carefully designed
floor plans are filled with state-of-the-art
technology, all the while remaining true to
the wants and needs of each owner.
          No job too small
   While Bill Taute Homes is a Custom
Home Builder, no remodeling job or addi-
tion is too small for them to tackle. They
have capable supervision and subcontrac-
tor crews in every construction phase
to complete your project with the least
amount of impact on your busy lifestyle.
   They offer free estimates on all projects
and will be happy to meet you at your
convenience to review your needs.
Contact them to get your next project
started on the right foot.
   Bill Taute Homes is a proud member of
the Home Builders Association of Greater
Austin, the Texas Association of Builders
and the National Association of Home
Builders. Taute has served on the board of
B28 7 Nissan-6 Iyar, 5769                               HOME                               Special Advertising Supplement/The Jewish Outlook

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