Author Archives: Michelle Lewis

Is HGTV Ruining the Public’s View Of Real Estate Transactions?

How fun are the reality shows these days? What a great escape from your day to watch the trials and tribulations of others. The real estate reality shows, in particular, are an entertaining format showing buying and selling and deals being made on the streets of cities such as New York and San Francisco.

But, as any agent who has ever actually bought or sold a home knows, they edit out just a little bit of the critical information and leave it on the cutting room floor.

I have to admit that I do watch some of these real estate shows myself. But I look at them more as a soap opera entertainment and a glance into a mostly made up real estate world.

Our clients, customers and even our parents and kids are watching it with a whole different takeaway.

Here are five of the largest misconceptions of clients who come armed with real estate reality show fever:

1. I have to sign something?

You never actually see anyone signing the multitude of contract and disclosure documents on any of these shows. It is obviously the most tedious and boring part of the process for the consumer, and of course, it makes for terrible television.

But, some clients get anxious — or downright upset — when you start presenting them with contracts and documents to sign because they didn’t think that was part of the deal.

They agree to the terms of buying their new home on the phone and expect that they magically own it the next day.

2. I want that house so go get it

When representing buyers, we all know it takes a long time to find our clients the right home. In the hot car all afternoon on many Sundays or rushing out at a moment’s notice when our buyers see the perfect home that just came on the market.

This is part of what makes real estate fun and exciting — the hunt. Some clients want to know why we don’t have their dream home in our back pocket and why we can’t get them into that home tomorrow afternoon.

On the reality shows it’s so easy, “I love that home and am going to buy it.” Moving trucks are on their way.

3. We meet the other agent at Starbucks

How many times have you negotiated a home purchase with an agent on the other side of the table at an exquisite restaurant — cocktails in hand? Or have you ever strolled out of a restaurant onto the crowded streets with clients on the phone trying to make that deal happen?

Maybe a few times, but it’s not the norm. Clients watch this drama on almost every episode of these shows and begin to expect that type of negotiation and drama.

Although a lot of agents would love that to be the case — me included — it’s just not the general reality.

4. You mean I can’t just move in?

Another large piece missing from the television drama is the days — and sometimes weeks — of reviewing disclosures, title reports, permit approvals, inspections, repair requests, appraisal, lender requests and lender underwriting, etc.

Buyers begin to expect that they sign some stuff and call their designer — and that’s it. Our clients have to be educated from the first day on what exactly it takes, physically and emotionally, to buy or sell a home.

5. I want that glorious open house, too

Sellers regularly comment on the incredible parties they see as open houses on TV. They want red carpets, the press, the original architect of the home, full catering with open bar and the Laker Girls.

They see this as the reason homes on TV sold — and for huge prices. What might be a shock to most sellers and buyers is that in most cases the fantastic party open houses they see on real estate reality shows are fully staged for filming.

They are timed perfectly with multiple takes and camera angles, and typically, the home already sold weeks or months prior to the filming.

We get confronted with this more and more these days, especially because the millennials are becoming homebuyers. And my favorite thing to tell them from the start is, “One of the biggest investments you will ever make in life is never supposed to be easy.”

Courtesy of Jay Lieberman, broker associate at Keller Williams World Class located in Westlake Village, California.

New Development Plans for Dripping Springs

There’s no question that Dripping Springs and the Southwest Austin area are growing. Whether you’re excited about the new homes and growth, or concerned about changes that seem almost certain to come to our community, new developments seem to be popping up around every corner lately.

If you’re like most people, you may be wondering what these new development plans hold for the future of Dripping Springs. What’s coming in? Where are these developments located? How many homes are these new developments going to offer?

Although we don’t have a crystal ball to answer the question about how these changes will impact Dripping Springs as a whole, we can help answer some of your questions. The city has just released a Potential Development Map (June 2015) that we’re excited about sharing with you here. 

Dripping Springs Residential Development Plan

As you can see, the plan includes some familiar developments that are already under construction (Caliterra, Belterra, Highpointe, RimRock, etc..) several larger development agreements that have recently been approved (Headwaters @Barton Creek – 1000 homes, Anarene – 8,000 homes), and even several Senior living apartments.

In addition to the residential developments, a new mixed-use/retail development is also being planned for the area between Nutty Brown Road and Belterra Drive along Highway 290. The developers, Crescent Communities & Endeavor Real Estate said they envision shopping, restaurants, urban living and more, promising a destination for people in Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs. Endeavor Real Estate was also responsible for the development of The Domain in Austin. 

While change and growth is not always easy, our team is excited about welcoming new residents to what we believe is one of the best places to live in the Texas Hill Country. Thinking about listing or buying a home in Dripping Springs? Thinking about buying in one of these new developments? Contact us! We’d love to partner with you to help make the home buying/selling process less stressful and more fun!


Important Tips to Prepare For and Prevent Flooding

With all the flooding going on recently here in Texas, our thoughts and prayers are with flood victims, emergency response teams, and individuals currently assisting with the clean up. Many homes that have never seen flooding before have had incredible damage to their homes and belongings due to the record rainfall we’ve received in our area this May. With more rain predicted for the coming days we wanted to share some tips from around the web that may help you avoid damage while we weather these storms. Of course, these suggestions are only meant with small scale flooding – please stay tuned to local weather and get to higher ground in the event of a flash flood warning in your area. 

Design your landscape to prevent flooding. Landscape Designs That Prevent Flood Damage


Tips to Prevent Flood Damage in Your Home

Is your Home Ready? Water Damage Prevention Checklist

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Be prepared by putting together a Home Emergency Tool Kit

Know a storm is on the way? What to do BEFORE a Major Storm

Keep Pets Safe in a Flood

Have animals you need to keep safe? Protect your Horses From Flooding and Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe During a Flood.

Have any more tips? Feel free to leave them in the comments below. Again, please be sure to stay tuned to local weather and stay safe out there!

Tour Terra Scena this Weekend and Give Back to Your Community!

April 19 to April 26 is “Givin’ Where I’m Livin'” Fundraiser Week!

Givin Where I'm Livin - Dripping SpringsThis weekend *April 24th & 25th* from 12 noon-4pm Terra Scena will donate $5 to Hays Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC) for every adult who comes for a tour of our community and, recently completed, all rainwater-sourced home!

TerraScena - Dripping Springs TX - A Resource Conscious Community

Terra Scena is one of Dripping Springs’ newest residential developments, and offers a unique community of 15 homesites for custom eco-friendly homes.

Click Here for Directions to Terra Scena

223 Terra Scena Trail Dripping Springs

HCWC – Hays Caldwell Woman’s Center

Last year, HCWC provided face-to-face services to 46 residents of Dripping Springs who were victims of family violence, child abuse or sexual assault at a cost of around $46,000. HCWC supplies temporary shelter, education and support services for those whose homes are not safe.

Go to “Givin’ Where I’m Livin’” at the  to make direct donations to any of the qualifying organizations that deserve your consideration. The Dripping Springs Foundation will match donations this week up to $2500. See them at Founder’s Day on Mercer Street in Dripping Springs, TX this weekend.

For more Information about Terra Scena, please call

512-655-3024 or visit

Austin-area home prices reach all-time high, March 2015 Stats

Austin Area MLS Stats 2015

March 2015 Statistics

    • 2,440 – Single-family homes sold, 13 percent more than March 2014.
    • $255,000 – Median price for single-family homes, 10 percent more than March 2014.
    • $334,758 – Average price for single-family homes, 13 percent more than March 2014.
    • 55 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, four days more than March 2014.
    • 3,402 – New single-family home listings on the market, six percent more than March 2014.
    • 5,274 – Active single-family home listings on the market, six percent more than March 2014.
    • 2,812 – Pending sales for single-family homes, five percent more than March 2014.
    • 2.2 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, statistically unchanged from March 2014.
  • $816,809,520 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 28 percent more than March 2014.

Thinking about buying or selling a home in the Austin area? Let us help! Contact us for more information!


Check out 210 Trinity Hills, the most recent listing in Belterra from the Mallett Integrity Team! This fantastic 2988 square foot home just went on the market today and it is impressive! We love this beautiful 5 bedroom home with a rare 2nd master suite upstairs. Well-kept landscaping outside leads to a covered front porch where you can sit outside and enjoy the Spring in Central Texas. Walk in through the large foyer to a great open layout floor plan with soaring ceilings, stone fireplace, plenty of natural light and wood and stained concrete floors! The island kitchen with breakfast area feature gas cooking, granite counters and plenty of cabinet space. Take a step outside the back door and enjoy the Incredible outdoor living space with built-in fireplace and outdoor kitchen! As part of Belterra, one of the most popular and desirable subdivision in the area, owners of this home can also take advantage of the wonderful Belterra amenities including, walking/jogging trails, community swimming pool, fitness center, sports courts, and more! Not to mention this property is locating in the highly rated Dripping Springs Independent School District. Don’t miss this great property – contact us today to set up a showing and make this house your home!

Great Subdivisions in Dripping Springs – Belterra

Belterra is a master planned community located in South West Austin just past the Y in Oakhill (Hwy 71 and Hwy 290 intersection) between Nutty Brown Road and Sawyer Ranch Road. Belterra is still within Austin city limits and consists of 2,000 home sites on over 1600 acres in the Texas Hill Country. Community amenities include walking/jogging trails, playground, community pool, exercise facilities, and welcome center. Belterra is also only about 10 minutes from Dripping Springs, a short commute to downtown Austin, and served by the highly rated Dripping Springs school district.

Check out some of the great homes the Mallett Integrity Team has listed in one of the most desirable subdivisions in the Dripping Springs area below, and search all homes for sale in Belterra here!

380 Harris36380 Harris23Front9Front2

Meet the Newest Additions toThe Mallett Integrity Team!

Have you had a chance to meet the newest additions to the Mallett Integrity Team? 2015 is bringing some exciting changes to the Mallett Integrity Team. We’re very excited to welcome two new Realtors to our team, John McKain & Jenna Moore. Read more about these talented agents, their background, and how they can help you with your real estate needs here!

John McKain with the Mallett Integrity Team & Keller Williams Realty John McKain has been a licensed Real Estate Agent since 2006 and holds a multi-state license in both California and Texas. At his previous firm he was consistently Ranked
in the Top 20% of all agents, and is experienced in representing Sellers & Buyers with Single Family Homes, Residential 1-4 units, Foreclosures, Short Sales, Probates, Investments, Leasing, Property Management, Finance, VA Loans. John is also a Certified Relocation Specialist and has represented several of the largest corporate relocation companies in the U.S. John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management & Mass Communications and lives with his family in Dripping Springs. Contact John at 512-829-4805.


Jenna Moore - Mallett Integrity Team Real EstateJenna Marie Moore joined the Mallett Integrity Team in 2015. Graduating from Texas A&M University in 2008 with a degree in Animal Science, Jenna brings a unique combination of skills to our team. Using her strong background in sales, marketing and Ranch Management, she offers a large range of expertise to her clients. Jenna lives on a ranch outside Dripping Springs with her husband and son. She is an avid horsewoman and animal lover. In 2013 she qualified and competed at the Ram Texas Circuit Finals achieving a lifelong goal. Jenna approaches each endeavor with determination, business sense and an innovative mindset.


2014 Austin Holiday Events

The 2014 Austin holiday season is upon us! Can you believe there are only two weeks left until Thanksgiving!? With December drawing closer and closer, holiday events are already starting to pop up around Austin and the surrounding areas. It’s not too early to start planning your Austin holiday event calendar! Below, we’ve included some of our favorite and most popular events in and around the Austin area – these are ones you definitely don’t want to miss and will get you into the holiday spirit in no time! Just click on the image below to see the full PDF version with clickable links to the websites and more information.

Have any other holiday events that you regularly attend in the Austin area? Let us know! We’d love to hear about how you’re spending the holidays in Austin. Just leave us a comment below!

2014 Holiday Events in Austin


Featured Subdivision – West Cave Estates

This week, we’re featuring a highly desirable neighborhood in Dripping Springs/SW Austin, West Cave Estates. Our team has consistently listed homes in this area and we love helping people buy and sell their homes in this great neighborhood!

11204 West Cave

One of the Mallett Integrity Team’s most recent listings in West Cave Estates

West Cave Estates is located between Bee Cave and Dripping Springs on Hamilton Pool Road made up of 318 lots in three sections. Most lots in West Cave Estates are approximately 1-1.5 acres, but some are as 4 acres with homeowners owning multiple lots. As part of the HOA, the social committee of West Cave Estates provides the community with lots of community events throughout the year. Opportunities to experience the outdoors about in this area as well. There’s also a large, one acre park for residents to enjoy, and just a few miles down Hamilton Pool Rd you can experience one of the areas most well known natural beauties, Hamilton Pool, or visit West Cave Preserve for hiking & watching wildlife.

Hamilton Pool - Dripping Springs TX

Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

For those that are interested in shopping and city life, you’re only about 5 minutes to the Bee Cave Galleria and many other shops and restaurants, and just 20 minutes from Austin.

Hill Country Galleria Free Concerts - Bee Cave TX

Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave hosts several free concerts throughout the year

Since this community straddles the Hays & Travis County line, some students in West Cave Estates attend Lake Travis ISD schools, and others attend Dripping Springs ISD schools. Both schools are highly rated, making this area a popular option for home buyers.

Looking to buy or sell your home in West Cave Estates, or just want to know more about the area and what the market is doing in Dripping Springs/SW Austin? Contact one of our local area experts. We’d love to help you with any of your real estate needs.  Click here to see all homes listed in West Cave Estates.