Category Archives: Lifestyle

Ana Paula, Your Hill Country Village REALTOR®

December 2017Ana Paula Eddy and her family were featured in this month’s issue of ‘Life in Hill Country Village’.This community is a secluded oasis in the middle of city conveniences. Ana Paula, Jay, Jessica, Gaby, and John Paul Eddy have lived in Hill Country Village for 15 years with their 4 ‘furry family members’; Leo the Lion, Cooper, Finn, Biscuit (pictured in the below ad photo).

Ana is originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and attended Universidad de Guadalajara. Her passions include photography, gardening, traveling, and remodeling. Ana Paula Aldaco Eddy is the daughter of notable architect the late Marco Aldaco. In the world of architecture, his name is synonymous with coastal architectural design. He is one of Mexico’s most revered architects according to Robb Report* and also a member of Architectural Digest’s ‘AD 100 Club‘ for lifetime achievement. As such, Ana Paula has inherited a highly creative and discerning eye. During her travels, she often takes many photos and gathers inspiration.

To say Ana Paula has a giving heart would be an enormous understatement. She is passionate about devoting her time to others including local organizations like the San Antonio Food Bank, Boys Scouts, St. Mark’s and St. Pius. Earlier this year an earthquake shook the isthmus in Oaxaca, Mexico close to the area where Ana Paula and her husband are building a home. They spent several weeks assisting with disaster relief both in Oaxaca and Mexico City.

Pictured here with Veronica Bugarin, Ana is at her family’s restaurant Aldaco’s Stone Oak with her sister Blanca Aldaco. The leather purses in the photo are original designs sewn by the handicapped of Santa Maria Huatulco, Oaxaca. The loom and thread designed purses are gorgeous pieces that raised hundreds of dollars for those in need.

If you are looking for a real estate professional with strong negotiation skills who is extremely resourceful? Three words. Ana Paula Eddy.
Go ahead, give her a call. She is a glowingly positive person with amazing stories! She will absolutely help you achieve your real estate goals.

Thank you, Ana, for sharing your story with us!

 

*Summer 2005

How to Deal With Unsightly City Trash Cans

We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s that one neighbor who moves their trash cans in front of your house? Or perhaps you are a real estate agent trying to guide the homeowner so that it photographs well.

Either way, large obtrusive items like city trash cans can cause quite the eyesore.

Our professional photographers do their best to ensure such things are minimized in photos to best compliment the home while remaining true to its representation. Naturally, the on-staff designers could not resist adding their bit of flair to combat the view of a, particularly overwhelming view.

The original…

And who can blame them? What is more interesting — a meeting of trash cans OR…

The most interesting man in the view.

Now THAT’S interesting.

Not quite your style? Well, what’s more stylish than an entire marching band??

We admit this isn’t our most convincing Photoshop work.

But how about THIS:

That is enough to dispell any doubt of the myth of Loch Ness.

Or maybe you’re a fan of the American Classic:

What is more American than the good ‘ole legend of Bigfoot?

No? Maybe you are more of a hero fan…

Chuck Norris a.k.a. Walker the Texas Ranger, the subject of endless memes and a legend in his own right.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the other legend…

Bruce Lee. Arguably the most famous martial arts master.

 

 

Or folks could just move trash cans. (No, not our folks – your folks.)

 

It’s ok we really do understand.

 

 

Like this post? Want to see more?
Give us a little comment below.

 

Fourth of July Sentiments

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”, writes Thomas Jefferson in 1776, as one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

Although perhaps written in a different time with different social norms, the U.S. and Americans as a whole have made consistent strides to truly embody those words. It is this idea that has emboldened us to forge our own paths as individuals and as a nation… among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

On July 4th, two hundred and forty-one years ago thirteen colonies claimed their independence from Great Britain, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Perhaps the concept of the Declaration of Independence can seem unclear especially given it originally represented, in part, the severing of ties between the original 13 colonies from the rule of the British. It’s origination growing vague through the years of a changing and evolving country.

But America is a young country globally speaking, and we are still learning. The true beauty is the melting pot of innovation we have become. Passionate are we, in our voices that speak to justice, courage and hope. Together we glimpse a bright future in celebrating the holiday we know as Independence Day highlighted by a celebration of fireworks, good food shared with friends and family.

Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® is not about being the biggest company. We are about helping families pursue their happiness by finding a home. There is nothing more American than finding your slice of heaven and putting down roots.

We are grateful to have helped make home a reality for Texans for the past 30 years. Here’s to celebrating the American dream and thank you for trusting our family with yours.

 

Artifact Collecting on your Texas Property

Recently, Linda Vieweg, REALTOR® and Gabe McCarty, REALTOR® procured a listing on 3977 Wilderness Rim in San Antonio’s 78261 zip code. This gorgeous and rare, a true one-story home was custom build for an engineer and home designer. At the time they were not able to find the type of home they desired on a level lot. So began the construction of this home surrounded by panoramic views of the city.

Nestled into the Xeriscaped backyard is a sitting area that overlooks the pool and spa. Certainly, the family enjoyed the memories built in this home set on 1.3 acres. Shaded by numerous oak trees the land reveals artifacts of the Native Americans who once lived in the area.

This raised the question what should I do if I find an artifact?

Referencing the Texas Historical Commission Archeology Division, we weighted that simple question. Artifacts such as pottery fragments, arrowheads or remnants of early homesteads represent a source of knowledge. For thousands of years, prehistoric groups and Native American tribes lived on the land we now call Texas. A nomadic buffalo-hunting people, called the Tonkawan roamed from somewhere around Hillsboro, Texas to the vicinity of present-day San Antonio*. Written documents record only the past 500 years, so information such as what we know about the Tonkawan is pieced together through the study of artifacts and other cultural remains.

The first thing is to verify who owns the land upon which artifacts rest. Land ownership dictates whether surface collecting of artifacts may legally take place. The presence of an archeological site(s) does not restrict the property rights of the landowner••. In fact, these sites and their contents belong to property owners to manage as they choose. Many artifacts collectors can and have worked legally on private property if they are granted permission from the owner.

The most common misconception, according to the Texas Historical Commission, is that collecting from or otherwise damaging any archaeological site on private property is illegal. No laws protecting ALL archeological site on privately owned property presently exist in Texas. The majority of Texas land is in private ownership, therefore most cultural resources are located on private property. These sites then remain under the stewardship of individual landowners.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to uncovering or collecting artifacts, however, it certainly asks an important question about owning land in Texas. Especially, land that has the potential to be culturally rich in undiscovered historical treasures.

If you would like to share an interesting story about your home, email us at PR@CBHarper.com.

 


*http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/adp/history/mission_period/valero/indian/tonkawa.html

**http://www.thc.texas.gov/public/upload/archeology-artifact-collecting-tx.pdf

Memorial Day: A Story of Remembrance

This Memorial Day, the story of the remembrance table will become a bit better known. It is with great thanks to Bill L. Starr, an agent with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®, for his service to our country. He set up “The Fallen Man Table”. The tradition of setting a separate table in honor of our prisoners of war and missing comrades has been in place since the end of the Vietnam War. The manner is which this table is decorated is full of special symbols to help us remember our brothers and sisters in arms.

The white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms.

The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Airman, Marine, Sailor, or Soldier, but all who are not here with us.

The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never-ending.

The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends.

The single red rose to remind us of their families and loved ones.

The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call.

The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate.

The salt upon the bread plate represents the tears of their families.

The wine glass turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.

We would like to wish you all an honorable Memorial Day. Join us in thanking those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. Also, let us recognize the families and friends who have supported our servicemen and women as they defend our freedom and country. It is their memory we wish to hold dear.

Have an Honorable Memorial Day.

Planning the Future for Children with Disabilities

Planning the Future for Children with Disabilities

Guest Article by Charlotte Meier

 

When you have a child with a disability, it’s important to plan ahead for her future, particularly if she is going to need assistance caring for herself as an adult. There are many things you can do now, as she is growing, that will be beneficial for her later in life.

Plan for Your Child’s Adulthood Early On

Start as soon as you can; it’s never too early. As a parent of a child with a disability you need to be coming up with ideas for the future, even though you may not foresee a time when your child can live without your support. Most children outlive their parents, so it’s important that you make provisions for a time when you will not be there to care for your child. It helps to generate an image of the adult she will become, then you can begin to process the type of support she will need. Consider the community where she will live. What type of accommodation will she need? Who will her closest friends be? What kind of support group will she have? Share these ideas with your family and friends and they will help you build a clearer picture.

Learn From Adults With Disabilities

It may be difficult for you to imagine what it will be like for your child to live with her disability as an adult. To help you understand, you should get to know adults with the same or similar disability. Talk to them about their lifestyle and the level of support they need. You can also attend support groups and workshops where you can meet parents with older disabled children.

Research the Support Options in Your Community

It’s vital that you become familiar with the support options in your community for adults with disabilities. Look into groups and organizations that are involved with work programs, assisted living and recreational programs. There are many good resources online, such as the Center for Parent Information and Resources and Special Needs Resources.

Become an Advocate Within Your Community

Reach out to other families in your area through local parent support groups. Contact service providers and let them know about your child’s needs so that services will be readily available as and when she needs them. Find out how you can advocate for services that are not yet in place. Sign up for local organization’s newsletters, so you can keep abreast of the latest changes.

Help Your Child Connect

Build a foundation in your community for your child’s future. Help her to connect with local people, both disabled and non-disabled. The more people you child knows now, the stronger her network will be when she is an adult. Help your child make friends with non-disabled children in your area by arranging for them to do activities together, such as watching movies, baking cookies, or playing video games.

If you have a young child, it may, at this time, be hard to realize the importance of looking ahead to her adult future. But the sooner you begin to imagine how it’s going to be, the more prepared you will be and the easier it will be for you to help your child develop a strong foundation for independence. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by creating a life plan for a child with a disability. Start now and build on it gradually, and when the time comes, it will be easier for you to help your child make the transition to adulthood.

The Dance between Patience and Mindful Business, by Wes Pinkston

You’ve heard of Million Dollar Listings Los Angeles, The Altman Brothers and The Broke Agent, or at this point we’re assuming you have. If not, perhaps you’ve heard of Inman or Swanepoel? Following these various industry outlets may or may not have introduced you to the name Wes Pinkston. In fact, we had a Q & A session here, during his time with The Broke Agent.

In late spring 2016, Wes decided to pursue independent digital marketing consultation. Just before his 30th birthday a profound experience took place that caused a shift in his level of consciousness and self understanding. He describes this journey as the path that let inward to truths and the inspiration for establishing his own practice. You can read all about his story here.

In the meantime, with permission from Wes himself we’d like to publish a portion of one article. If you’re looking for encouragement, life coaching or a new perspective his blog can be read here.

January 10, 2017

The Dance between Patience and Mindful Business
by Wes Pinkston

In today’s business culture, common words that are thrown around are “Grinding,” “Hustle,” “Workaholic,” “Do, Do, Do,” “More! More! More!.” The business culture I was deeply embedded in and the values it upheld and what I directly came in contact with based on my own immediate feelings, always seemed out of harmony. We are quickly handed the industry rhetoric as to how things are, the proverbial “blueprint for success.” Follow this concept, this model, and you will achieve the reward. We quickly hit the ground running because we have the consistent set of waves coming in known as bills, debt, and so on. There is no time for patience, for reflection, I need to go DO something or the industry will leave me in the dust, I will lose to the competition, I won’t be able to pay my bills or maintain MY lifestyle.

Take a deep breath… the momentum and tension builds and builds until it works against us completely.

In the same way we are handed a concept of “how it is” in business, the same goes for life. What I failed to realize, and many others, is the mere fact that it is simply THEIR concept as to how life or the industry is, just one concept of seemingly infinite. Once we believe what we are told as to “how it is” then we use such a small portion of our unique faculty and creativity because there is a small space of wiggle room within the confining walls of “their concept and models for what THEY believe success is” and how to achieve it. Learn what you’d like from mentors, teachers etc and then forget it all, throw it away, the information and technologies available now didn’t exists back then when they developed their models and concepts, and most importantly it was contoured to fit their unique faculty, not yours.

Manifest your own concepts and models that work within the harmony of YOU and the unique faculty you have at your disposal.

Before you begin in an industry, it is highly beneficial to first look at it from a birds eye view as a “Game.” By game I mean it adheres to rules, roles, and boundaries. Regardless of industry, everything operates within a system of order, some more complicated than others. The one that truly understands this, does not view business as competitive, rather they view it as collaborative. The Male Dominator Complex influenced by greed and fear that many in the business world are working off of is not worth any amount of material gain compared to what it costs you in the end.

The Rules and Boundaries of the game you are entering into are rather simple concepts, your Role in the game is what I’d like to dive deeper into…

Until you clearly figure out what your role is, your strengths and what you enjoy, how this “work” fits within your ideal day, which hopefully you have drawn out, you’ll just inherit someone else’s concept or model for success, that was completely molded to fit their strengths and their lifestyle. You’ll quickly find yourself in situations, like I did, where you are “forcing” or “grinding” yourself to work in ways that are out of touch of your natural rhythm rather than shaping your work day around your strengths and special faculty we all have.

[ Read the full story by clicking here ]

Thank you Wes for allowing us to share your message! If you have an inspirational story that you would like to share, please email us at PR@CBHarper.com

Different Types of Fireplaces Texans Need To Know About

January 2017 — Given that we’re enjoying a particularly mild winter this year, the issue of a fireplace arises out of aesthetics versus necessity here in South Texas. Perhaps you just like to recreate the feeling of winter, as many experience farther North, but a fireplace can be that key element.

Whether you’re entertaining having a fireplace installed or looking for it as a feature in your next home, it is worth knowing the difference. There are several main categories in which most fireplaces fall; Wood Burning Fireplaces, Gas Burning, Ethanol Burning and Electric Fireplaces. Here are some basics for you to consider when weighting your options.

Wood Burning Fireplaces


Open Hearth Fireplace
 — These are typically built on site by a mason and lined with real firebrick. While the ambiance is unmistakable, the efficiency is low. Much of the heated air escapes through the flue, pulling directly from your home.

Fireplace Inserts  — These are the most popular model. Fireplace inserts are units designed to fit inside an existing fireplace. They help the system burn and heat more efficiently, but they’re expensive and can be difficult to design.

Enclosed Fireplaces  — While similar to inserts, in the sense that they are both enclosed, this type of fireplace is slightly different. Traditionally this type of fireplace features large glass paneling and is both efficient and beautiful.

Wood Burning Stoves — While not technically a fireplace, wood-burning stoves are a great alternative. We see them quite frequently in vintage style homes, or those set in the Hill Country style. This allows you to burn wood for heating while enjoying the crackling, comforting sound of

Gas Burning Fireplaces


Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces
 — These are vented through an existing or newly constructed chimney. Alternatively a pipe can be used to minimize changes to your home’s structure. With flexible options in placement, this is a much easier install than traditional wood fireplaces. This style also features a high efficiency rating that prevents warm air from being lost up the flue.

Ventless Built-In Fireplaces  — The simplest to install this model does not require a chimney or a vent. With a signature blue flame due to the burning gas it does run the risk that some contaminant will enter your home.

Ethanol Burning Fireplaces


Ethanol Fireplace Conversion
 — If you have an existing fireplace but want to avoid the mess of soot and wood cleanup, this might be the right option for you. The ethanol burning insert will slide right in and make use of the space. A variety of styles are available to suit both modern and tradition tastes.

Wall Mounted Fireplaces  — The perfect centerpiece for a living space or lounge area, this makes a great alternative hanging a television. If your home does not already come with a fireplace this is a super stylish way to add that decorative touch. This model with most likely not create as much heat, but they are more environmentally friendly.

Electric Fireplaces


Mantel & TV Stand Fireplaces
 — Mantel fireplaces allow you to enjoy the elegance of a traditional fireplace without the hassle of install or excessive expense. Most of them also enable you to turn on a heating function and have a variety of effects.
Electric fireplace TV stands allow you to incorporate both an entertainment center and a fireplace. These are less common but can be beneficial for those who live in smaller homes or apartments.

Have some insight about fireplaces or would like to be a guest writer on this topic? Email us at PR@CBHarper.com

Read more about fireplaces from these online resources:

Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireplace
Angie’s List: www.angieslist.com/articles/pros-and-cons-different-types-fireplaces.htm
Green Ethanol Fireplaces: www.greenethanolfireplaces.com/ethanol-fireplace-conversion-can-i-convert-my-fireplace-to-bioethanol
Ethanol Wall Mounted Fireplaces: www.ethanolfireplacepros.com/collections/wall-fireplaces
Electric Wall Mounted Fireplaces on Wayfair: www.wayfair.com/Wall-Mounted-Fireplaces-C215405.html

 

Common Ways Your Home Could Be Making You Sick

Guest article by: Charlotte Meier of HomeSafetyHub.org
Photo via Pixabay by FrankWinkler

 

Your home is likely the place you feel most comfortable in, the refuge you retreat to after a long day at work. But for some, it could also be full of hidden dangers in the form of mold, common household chemicals, and even bugs and mites. It’s important to be familiar with these dangers and to understand the ways you can combat and prevent them.

Here are some of the most common ways your home could be making you sick.

Heating and cooling
Your air conditioning unit should be checked every year when the weather gets warm to ensure it’s working properly and that there are no leaks. Even a well-maintained A/C unit often leaks a small amount of water in the ducts, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. It’s a good idea to have the unit cleaned and inspected before using it every year.

The heating system will also need to be maintained. Furnace filters can become clogged after repeated use, sending dust and debris back into the air inside your home. Change these often and buy a few extras to keep handy for the winter months.

 

Bedding
No matter how clean you keep your bedroom, it’s one of the rooms in your home that acquires the most dust and dead skin, so it’s important to wash sheets, pillowcases, curtains, and any other fabric that attracts dust in hot water once a week. Mites and bedbugs are attracted to these areas, so it’s important to keep them clean.

 

Bathrooms
Even if your bathroom is spotless, mold can form and hide in the smallest spaces. Turn on the fan while you shower to reduce the amount of steam that rises up and dry off as much as possible while you’re still standing in the shower so the bath mat won’t get wet. Hang it up and let it air dry after every use to keep mold from forming on the underside.

 

Household cleaners
Dryer sheets, air fresheners, and certain cleansers contain harsh chemicals that can irritate allergies and asthma. These can be toxic, as well, which is why many people chuck the store-bought cleaners in favor of plain old vinegar and water and homemade dryer sheets.

 

Check the fridge
The refrigerator can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other yucky things, so clean out trays, drawers, and shelves often with hot, soapy water and throw out anything that looks questionable as soon as it starts to go bad. Leaving perishable food in the fridge too long can lead to other foods rotting.

 

Lead
If your home is more than thirty years old or has older paint in some rooms, it’s a good idea to test for lead and have your family tested, as well. For more information, contact (800) 424-LEAD.

Anti-Burglary Tips Every San Antonio Resident Should Know

In an article by Tracey Hawkins, she talks about the risk homeowners face around the holidays. With empty new packaging set near the curb for pickup, a TV box can be an open invitation for burglars. The danger is further amplified by those who are looking to sell their homes. Showings and open houses often set the stage for unsuspecting homeowners to be victimized.

Consider the checklist provided in this article, it goes over some very helpful hints to avoid tragedy this season. Below we’ve outlined some of the important safety hints to deter would-be criminals from targeting your property.

1.) Reinforce entry points of the home. Consider installing a cylinder lock and deadlock, so at a glance it doesn’t look vulnerable. Adding security system stickers on the windows around the entry should be considered as well.

2.) Leverage technology and smart home features. Video surveillance is just one aspect of home security. The latest trend however is something much more beneficial and allows control of your entire home. Doorbell cameras such as the one found here, offer features like visitor detection, night vision camera and 2-way talk. Now you can see how is at your door without being home.

3.) Let there be light! Burglars do not want to be seen by potential witnesses, so well-lit homes are passed over as targets. The use of floodlights, (not pointed at your neighbors windows preferably) especially those with motion sensors near entry points will deter intruders.

4.) Protect your privacy. Breakdown empty boxes that reveal large purchases, like TVs, computers or other items. Or, if you do not want to break down your boxes, place those items out on the curb the morning-of. Also keep curtains or blinds drawn to avoid thieves from browsing through the vantage points your windows may offer.

5.) Plants and shrubs. Windows are secondary entry points if the doors are inaccessible. Shrubs or thick plants below the windows can prevent entry by intruders. The recommended height is about 3 feet off the ground. This is tall enough so that it’s difficult to climb over; but short enough so it does not block your neighbors from seeing when someone is attempting to enter the home.

6.) Adopt a dog. This is a win-win, adopting a medium size breed like a German shepherd alleviates the local shelter and helps a pet in need. Additionally, their bark is often enough to scare off potential intruders and alert you to suspicious activity.

7.) Operation Identification. Nationally recognized by law enforcement as a burglary prevention program, Operation ID allows law enforcement to detect, identify and return stolen property to its rightful owner. This 3 step program encourages you to mark and catalog valuables. Check with you local law enforcement office to verify participation. They will have stickers that can be displayed to deter thieves, warning your belongings are marked. Details can be found here.

Have an idea you would like us to write about? Email us at PR@CBHarper.com