Amarillo, TX Real Estate News

By Connie Taylor
(Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty)
We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. ~Francis A. Walker With the Memorial Day Holiday around the corner, I decided to look up a few interesting facts about where this celebration to honor our fallen soldiers. It was first called ‘Decoration Day’, because the way people honored the fallen was by decorating their graves. It was originally for Civil War veterans only, until after World War I when it came to be for ‘any war’. Even though it’s been celebrated since 1868, it only became a nationally holiday in 1971. And the reason May 30th was chosen was so there would be flowers all across the country in bloom! You can find a lot more information here: http://www.purpletrail.com/partytrail/featured_memorial_day/what-is-memorial-day-history-facts For those who would li...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service had the ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest livestock barn in Randall County, TX on May 10th.  This project was started four years ago by Digger Howard, the Randall County Commissioner's Court and AgrilLife Extention Service to produce the new R.W. “Digger” Howard 4-H Livestock barn, which can be found on the south side of Amarillo. The new barn, a 50-foot by 100-foot facility, is open to all youth in the AgriLife Extension 4-H program.  Private donations funded the $209,000 barn, which honors their long time supporter Digger Howard.  Randal County's various departments provided all the labor. In combination with the new livestock barn, the new Dream Club is starting up in the Canyon school system.  This will allow at-risk children to show livest...
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By Connie Taylor
(Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty)
Amarillo has once again made headlines this week, appearing in the American Lung Association’s (ALA) Top 10 list for having some of the cleanest air in the country! We ranked #7 (tied) for ‘Cleanest U.S. Cities for Year-round Particle Pollution’, and on the Top 50 for ‘Cleanest U.S. Cities for Short-term Particle Pollution’. You can read the story here: http://www.connectamarillo.com/news/story.aspx?id=616407 And you can find the actual ALA report here: http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/assets/SOTA2011.pdf By the way, if you need anyone that can help you breath easier as you look for a home, just give me a call and I’ll be happy to help! This information is presented by: Connie Taylor Keller Williams ConnieTaylor@KW.com www.AmarilloDreamHomes.com Information is deemed to be reliable, bu...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
Vendors, visitors and local Amarillo residents flocked to the annual Gardenfest at Amarillo Botanical Gardens.  If you are looking for herbs to season dinner or fancy markers to mark the spot you planted the parsley seeds, you may have missed out on Saturday's event, but you can find some of these items at Amarillo’s Botanical Gardens.  The annual Gardenfest came to Amarillo Saturday in honor of all those who love to garden.  This is a wonderful event that helps both avid and not-so-avid gardeners learn more about their hobby, while they can also purchase products to help them along with getting that perfect homegrown tomato. The Randall County Master Gardeners and Amarillo Herb Society were included in the 20 vendors this year.  Some vendors sold lots of plants and garden-related tools...
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By Connie Taylor
(Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty)
I’ve mentioned it in the past, and just wanted to let everyone Amarillo is still a GREAT place to buy a home! According to the Texas Association of REALTORS – via PRNewswire press release – Texas’ average home price for the first quarter of 2011 raised 1.3% when compared to the first quarter of 2010. That means that Texas’ as a general is holding prices steady, even with a sales drop of 7.34% between Q1 2011 and Q1 2010. Don’t forget the First Time Home Buyer Credit though last year, which helped 2010’s high sales. To see select individual markets, check out the report at Texas Quarterly Housing Report, released May 2. Amarillo’s performance between 2010 and 2011 shows that our sales were UP 1.63%, and our average sales prices increased 2.24%. That’s all good news for the Amarillo Marke...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
There is now home ownership aid available for rural areas of Amarillo, TX.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development low-income housing loans are available in the areas of Potter and Randall counties outside the Amarillo city limits. In the entire Texas Panhandle, the only area not eligible is the city of Amarillo. In Potter and Randall counties, the loan limit is $153,583 and the income limit for a family of four is $45,000 with the interest rate based on the buyer’s income.  Families interested should contact the USDA Rural Development Office or visit the agency’s office at 6565 West Amarillo Blvd., Suite C in Amarillo.  Their office can also be reached at 806-468-8600.
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By Connie Taylor
(Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty)
Inquisitive clients always help expand our horizons! I had one this week wonder how we came to hunt Easter Eggs on Easter, and I realized I didn’t really know. Luckily, my Google-fu was strong, and I was able to find this website called TheHolidaySpot.com, which has a lot of information – along with gifts of all sorts – about Easter! This article here gives a good history of the Easter Egg, which I found fascinating and hope you will too! This information is presented by: Connie Taylor Keller Williams ConnieTaylor@KW.com www.AmarilloDreamHomes.com Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.
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Get on board to learn the cattle feeding business for young people in Amarillo, TX.  The Junior Fed Beef Career and Leadership Program will be open soon to incoming high school juniors and seniors in the Amarillo area.  The Texas Cattle Feeders Association feed-yard camp will be open June 27th through the 29th in Canyon, Texas. Tours of commercial cattle feeding operations and the beef processing plant is part of the program.  Retail meat counters and an opportunity to learn the anatomy of a carcass will be available also through the program.  Students can participate in a beef tasting panel and learn the day-to-day operations for feed yards.  Participants can even job-shadow employees at this event. You can obtain an application from TCFA and view more information at www.tcfa.org/jbc/...
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By Connie Taylor
(Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty)
It’s getting close to Easter, and just wanted to remind everyone on ways to keep track of the local schedule in Amarillo, and other areas. First, Amarillo Globe News has a little calendar story on their Local News page. This lists events for the next few days, along with a link on how to put your upcoming event up in the paper! A new site I was just told about – www.HelloAmarillo.com. It covers a lot more than just current events, like local attractions, white and yellow pages, and a lot more! Of course, Amarillo Civic Center – which hosts many of the bigger events in town – is always a great place to keep tabs on what’s coming in. For those local movie buffs out there, Fandango.com not only shows you the current movie schedules on most of the local theaters, but it also lets you buy ti...
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By Connie Taylor
(Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty)
This time of year, everyone starts thinking about how to improve and show off their gardens and homes! My favorite magazine has released a good article on how to grow some of the most beautiful flowers around – roses! A good and informative article helps you tame this flower of a thousand messages! This information is presented by: Connie Taylor Keller Williams ConnieTaylor@KW.com www.AmarilloDreamHomes.com Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
Spring is the best time to prepare your lawn for the warmer months. Therefore, I have some spring gardening tips for those in the Texas Panhandle area that I got from Amarillo Botanical Gardens.  Scalping or dethatching is the key to a beautiful lawn and garden.  Scalping is the process of cutting the grass shorter to promote early growth and green up.  It is safe to do this after the last freeze of the winter months.  To dethatch your lawn, you’ll need a heavy rake or a de-thatcher.   This will remove the under growth that is mashed down against the top of the soil. Fertilizing and watering are also key to having a healthy green lawn.   Some people water every day and that is not necessary.  Consistent watering is most important.  Even in the hottest part of the summer, every other da...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
Blood cancer patients now have access to millions of life-saving donors right here in Amarillo, TX.  The Texas Oncology-Amarillo Cancer Center, Northwest Texas Hospital and Coffee Memorial Blood Center has access to 9 million possible donor matches for local patients.  Amarillo doctors and hospitals want to provide top care for their patients. This is a huge step in the right direction.  Now, the program needs to concentrate on the National Marrow Donor Program.  This will help patients who can’t get enough stem cells from the umbilical cord blood or that don’t have another match to get another option in treatment.      In February, the program received its national designation.  People with diseases such as leukemia, immune deficiency disorders and lymphomas have received blood and ma...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
Amarillo, Texas’ Taste of the Town to help raise money for the Meals on Wheels was a huge hit.  The APD Café was among 50 + restaurants and wineries in Amarillo who were at the event offering tastes of their fares for more than 1,000 people during the annual Restaurant Roundup.  And, all proceeds from the event will benefit the Meals on Wheels program and the Power of Knowledge scholarship fund.  Amarillo residents can all agree that one of the best and safest restaurants in Amarillo is the APD Café.  However, many Amarillo residents don’t realize that APD Café is a family-run restaurant that is open to the general public, not just the local Police Department.  Therefore, it’s important for local restaurant owners to participate and get recognized.  Last year’s event raised over $13,00...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
Next weekend (March 5th and 6th, 2011), the Amarillo Civic Center is proud to host the 27th Annual Make-A-Wish Car Show in Amarillo.  Sponsored by the Panhandle Council of Car Clubs, the Make-A-Wish Car Show is meant to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Texas Plains.  Last year's event raised over $60,000 to help the charity pay for granting the wishes of children who are experiencing life-threatening medical conditions. The car show will feature over 300 cars of all makes, models, shapes, sizes and colors.  If you have a car you would like to feature in the Make-A-Wish Car Show in Amarillo, click here for the entry form.  The entry fee is only $45.  Sponsors of the event are looking for Street Rods, Classics, Antiques and special interest vehicles.  Only late model cars...
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The officials at West Texas A&M University of Amarillo, TX say they are in the final steps of earning a distinction that will put their business school on top with some of the best in the world.  Over the years, the college had been seeking accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.  This merit will put West Texas A&M in the “golden tier” of business schools.  Almost free of cost, the accreditation is performed from time to time to keep or boost the credibility of college and university degrees. Besides West Texas A&M University, other business schools in the top 5% with this accreditation include Stanford and Harvard.  This accreditation is leaving a very bright future for West Texas A&M and the community of Amarillo, TX. This elite ach...
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The Rebate Program for the renewal of the residential safe room provides residents of the Texas Panhandle assistance with the installation of safe rooms or tornado shelters meeting FEMA standards for wind resiliency in or around their homes.  If accepted for this program, you will receive a rebate up to 50%, not to exceed $3000. Anyone that has spent any time in the Texas Panhandle is familiar with tornadoes.  This program was designed for areas that are prone to tornadoes.  This region is prone to tornadoes and many homes are not equipped with basements.  When severe weather strikes, people need a safe place for shelter that can withstand the type of punch a tornado can carry. During 2006 through 2008, the Rebate Program resulted in the installation of 1,415 tornado shelters in homes ...
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I recently read an interesting article about Data Dots and how valuable they can be to Realtors® and homeowners.  The Amarillo Crime Stoppers is now offering Data Dots to Realtors® and homeowners.  A data dot is made to deter crime.  They are extremely easy to use and are designed to mark your valuables.  They come in a small test tube and are applied with an applicator brush and a tube of adhesive.  After application, you register the marked items on the Amarillo Crime Stoppers' website.   The dots are durable when applied even after several days and even when items are frequently handled.  Data Dots officials are recommending the dots not be applied to exposed areas. The kits are affordable and available for purchase for $24.95.  If an item is stolen, pawn shops have a blue light tha...
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For years, the city commissioners' meeting in Amarillo has ended with an open forum allowing the public to speak about items that were not on the agenda.  Under state law, elected officials have four options for a response in such cases:  * Officials can state a fact  * State policy can be stated  * A vote may be taken to place the topic on a future agenda  * Or, the person may be referred to a staff member for assistance  Commissioners asked city staff to examine the law requirements with open public comment periods and to see how other government agencies handle it.  The commission raised eyebrows when they suspended the public forum.  People think you are trying to shut down any type of discussion.  Actually, there are no requirements to have a public comment session.   Most cities ...
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I recently read an article about an Amarillo student and want to share the story.  A student that was to attend an alternative school was worried about attending the alternative school of North Heights.  She was concerned about fighting.  However, she found teachers that really care about her and the other students there instead.  She felt so welcome.  Therefore, she became excited about attending a school where they want to really find out who she is and what she wants out of life.   A core group of students created a documentary on alternative schools to rebuff stereotypes of the students who attend.  Some of the students attending there are troubled.  Some are there for the PASS program (Priority Achieve Success) so they can graduate early.   Teachers here help students tailor their ...
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By Tom Kile
(Keller Williams Realty)
For 31 years, motorcyclists have come together in Amarillo, Texas to help needy children and to make sure they don't go without toys during the Christmas season.  This year's event was just celebrated at Tripp's Harley Davidson in Amarillo for the annual Eveline Rivers Toy Run.  Participants had to bring a toy or a ten dollar cash donation.  Eveline also came out to the event dressed as Mrs. Claus, which excited many who were there.  It seems that motorcycle groups in the community of Amarillo, Texas and communities around the nation are very caring people.  They never hold back on their generous gift giving, their time, energy and their means to make a child smile from all their help.  There were a thousand motorcycle participants at this year's Eveline Rivers Toy Run, a huge turnout t...
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