If you love libraries as much as we do, you’re going to love Kyle Library. Residents can do much more than borrow books. As a Kyle resident, you have access to audiobooks, magazines, and DVDs. You can search the catalog as well as reserve and renew books from its website. This barely scratches the surface of the library’s offerings. Here’s what you can do with your Kyle Library card.
The TexShare Databases give you access to an extensive collection of articles from more than 27,000 journals, 171,000 ebooks, and 15 million images, videos, and interactive resources. These resources include business, career and job skills, education, genealogy, history, health and medicine, and do-it-yourself.
It’s also a useful resource for homework help. Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) administers the resource sharing program.
Computer and Business Services
The library has free wi-fi and you can log into its computers with your library card. Computer and Business Services consist of printing and copying documents, sending and receiving a fax, and scanning documents. Some services come with a low fee.
The Computer Skills Center can take you through the computer and internet basics. It offers video courses for Microsoft software, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop.
Events and Programming
The library calendar contains a variety of programs and events for all ages. Currently, the library has a Digital Summer Reading program with digital storytimes, online performances, and reading incentives. They have Dungeons and Dragons, Lego Club, Kyle Writers Group, and more.
Explore your family history with Ancestry.com. Next time you visit the library, log into the genealogy website to browse indexes to birth, death, and marriage records, immigration, passenger lists, and naturalization records.
Little Free Libraries
Finished a book you own? Consider dropping it off at one of Kyle’s Little Free Libraries. If you find an interesting book, go on and take it.
Kyle Library Thrift Shop
Operated by the Friends of the Kyle Public Library, the Kyle Library Thrift Shop is a resale shop on Lockhart Street. Funds from the shop support the library. Visit its page for the latest news.
Here’s a fun activity to add a splash of color in your life and make everyone smile. These egg decorating ideas will have you doing more than just dipping eggs in the dye. Get ready to try something new!
This marbleized effect will amaze and astound everyone. Pour 1 cup of dye into a bowl. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil and stir with a straw or craft stick. Roll the eggs into the bowl gently for a few seconds. Carefully pat the excess oil and dye with a paper towel and set it on a rack to dry. After it’s completely dry, use a dry cloth to wipe away excess residue.
You can create a marble effect with two colors. Dip the egg into a base color and let it dry. Then do the above with a second color.
Cover the eggs with chalkboard paint and you have a canvas for chalk drawings. You can order chalkboard paint online. The cool thing is that you can erase the chalk and draw a new design.
Channel Donna Summers and turn your egg into a disco egg by diluting craft glue with an equal amount of water. Completely paint the egg with the solution. Pour superfine silver glitter into a bowl and roll the egg around in it. Put it on wax paper to dry completely.
Out of This World Eggs
Space fans will love this one. Start with a marbled egg. It could be blue and purple or some other color. After the egg dries, brush it with gold luster dust and glue on stars, planets, and other space décor.
Permanent Marker Eggs
You won’t have paint, dye, or glitter to clean up with this one. And you most likely have a permanent marker in your home. Grab a few fine-tipped permanent markers and draw patterns. You could do just black for a monochromatic look. Try stripes, polka dots, diamonds, and abstract for slick-looking eggs.
Baby Chicks Eggs
Dip the front of an egg length-wise in yellow dye. (Not quite half of the egg.) After it dries, use a fine-point permanent marker to draw its face, arms, and legs.
These eggs make great decorations. Poke a hole at the top of the egg large enough to empty it out. Let the empty eggshell dry. Carefully break the top one-third of the shell with a spoon to create a bowl. Dye the egg and allow it to dry. Once dry, insert a tea light candle inside. If you’re concerned about accidental fires, you can order battery-operated tea lights.
Washi Tape Eggs
Like the permanent marker eggs, this one requires no dye, glitter, or anything that makes cleanup harder. Pick up a variety of Washi tape designs. Cut them, mix them, and stick them on the egg. And ta-da! Colorful eggs!
Share your egg decorating ideas with our Crosswinds community team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Want to look at new homes in Kyle? You can safely explore the homes virtually on the Crosswinds website.
What does the housing market have in store for 2020? And how does it affect your search for a new home?
First, a look at 2019. It started with shrinking home price gains. Fortunately, it regained momentum in the fall. The housing market saw lower interest rates. Mid-priced and lower-end markets had an inventory shortage while upper-end markets had plenty in supply.
And now for a look at 2020.
Housing Market Trends in 2020
Many experts say one of the biggest housing market trends is the decrease of square footage in newly built single-family homes. Buyers want smaller homes for greater affordability and lower property taxes. A smaller property also means less maintenance.
While the home size drops, they remain larger than the new homes of 30 years ago. Zillow reports that the median size of a home in 1988 was 1,810 square feet. Today, it’s 2,386 sq. ft., down from 2,467 sq. ft. in 2016. The home value will slow down to a sustainable pace to put it in line with inflation and wage growth.
Experts are divided on what they think will happen to mortgage rates in the 2020 housing market. Realtor.com predicts inventory will be limited at the entry-level price segment. As a result, it believes mortgage rates will start climbing. Forbes predicts the rates will stay low and maybe go lower.
But with lower rates come higher demand and tighter inventory. Already, buyers are searching for new homes earlier than the norm. Because of this, it’s expected there will be a shortage of new homes by the time home buying season arrives in the spring.
Homeowners are staying in their homes longer. That means fewer older homes for sale forcing buyers to look for newly built homes. Buyers who want affordable homes look in smaller towns outside of major cities.
What the Housing Market Trends Mean for Buyers
So, if you’re in the market for a new home, start looking now before the rates increase and the supply depletes. If you work in Austin or want to have easy access to Austin, you might want to look in Kyle. It’s a small town just 20 miles from downtown Austin and 15 miles from shoppers’ paradise in San Marcos. New home builders in Kyle’s Crosswinds community have inventory available, but buyers snap them up quickly.
The builders have just completed a handful of homes in December with more on the way. The sizes of the homes are in line with what buyers want as they range from 1,500 sq. ft. to 2,242 sq. ft. Residents will be able to swim, play, and enjoy the trails of Windy Point amenity center. Also, special incentives are available. Contact your Crosswinds sales counselor for details.
Callie Russell Porter was a writer, journalist, actress, and political activist born in 1890, just 10 years after the birth of the city of Kyle. Porter’s paternal grandmother Catherine Ann Porter built a three-room house on Center Street.
After Porter’s mother died in 1892, her father moved his four surviving children into his mother’s home in Kyle. The family lived there until her grandmother’s death in 1902. To honor her grandmother, Porter changed her name to Katherine Anne Porter.
Porter won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, a collection of short and long stories. That’s why she’s one of Kyle’s most famous residents.
About the Literary Center
In 1997, the Austin Community Foundation, the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Clayton Fund, and the Burdine Johnson Foundation purchased the home. Bill Johnson and the Burdine Johnson Foundation funded the renovation and completed the restoration by 2000.
The house earned a National Literary Landmark designation in 2002. Four years later, the house landed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As part of a cooperative project between Texas State and the Hays County Preservation Associates, Texas State University leases the house as an extension of its nationally recognized MFA program in creative writing. The university hosts master classes with writers-in-residence that can include readings and book signings. Check the events calendar for the schedule.
The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center (508 Center St., Kyle, TX 78640) is open to visitors and school groups by appointment. To schedule a visit, email email@example.com or call 512-268-6637.
The best thing about buying a new home in Kyle’s Crosswinds Community is that everything works and runs smoothly. You don’t have to wonder if the house started having problems under a previous owner. It’s a clean slate.
The joy of homeownership also requires doing basic home maintenance tasks. Spending a few minutes doing these tasks and learning the basics will stave off bigger, more expensive problems in the long-run. It also extends the life of your home and keeps utility bills as low as possible.
Here are the most important basics to know that will help your new home last for decades to come.
The first thing to find is your circuit-breaker box and switches. It’s typically in the garage. Check the switches to see if they have labels showing you which controls what part of the house. If there are no labels, ask your home builder.
Knowing where the breaker box is and which switch to … well … switch comes in handy when the power goes out in one area of your home. It’s actually a good thing the power went off because something tripped the switch. The power turning off is a safety measure to prevent potential problems. Most of the time, flipping the switch fixes the problem.
You may notice outlets in the kitchen and bathroom that features red and black buttons. The black button is a test button. It deactivates the outlet. The red is the reset button.
Say you’re using the hairdryer and it suddenly stops working. You won’t need to go to the circuit-breaker box to fix this. Just press the red (reset) button and the hairdryer should work again.
Just like you want to know the location of your circuit-breaker box and switches, you also want to locate your water valves in case you ever have to shut off the water. Typically, you can find valves under the sink or behind appliances. Or follow the hose to the valve.
This one tip will save you loads of money and headaches. When you spot a leak or a flood, turn the valve to the right (clockwise) to shut it off. The sooner you do it, the less water will get out and do damage.
After shutting off the water, drain the residual water where the valve feeds. Go about doing the repairs. As soon as you finish and verify everything works, turn the valve to the left (counter-clockwise) to restore the water supply. Open the faucet associated with the valve to let out any air.
For new homes in Kyle, you’ll want to replace the air filter more frequently in the beginning. Things like drywall dust take time to settle. Right after moving in, change the filters every two weeks for a few months. Then, you can switch to replacing the filters every three months.
It makes a huge difference in the utility bill. The more filled the filter is, the harder your air conditioning unit will work and drive up the cost.
You don’t need to have every tool under the sun as soon as you move into your new home. It’s fine to keep adding to your collection over time.
These are the first tools you want to have on hand:
It’s not a matter if, but a matter of when a clogged toilet will happen. And the plunger will do the trick most of the time. Sometimes the situation requires something stronger and that’s where the auger will come to the rescue.
Before you plunge, evaluate the water to determine its chances of overflowing. If it looks likely, turn off the valve near the toilet. Grab the plunger for this. Remove half of the water from the toilet, make a tight seal with the plunger, and plunge several times. If the water goes down, give it one more plunge. Turn on the valve and flush the toilet.
Still backed up? Time to bring in the auger. Insert it into the toilet and slowly crank it to the right (clockwise) until it’s tight. Turn the crank in reverse (counter-clockwise) for a little bit and then crank forward as far as you can. All good? Now, crank in reverse while pulling backward. This should solve the problem. Test it by flushing the toilet several times.
Bonus Home Maintenance Tip
Nowadays, you can download most manuals from the internet. This is the time to look up all your appliances and pick up the manuals for each. Store them together in a folder on your hard drive.
You may have some print manuals. Store them in one place where you know you will find them. These manuals prove useful when you run into a problem or need to replace a part. They let you know exactly what part you need to order.
If you encounter a problem not covered here, just do a search for home maintenance solutions and videos. You’ll find a how-to video for almost everything. Also, open your phone’s app store and search for home maintenance apps. Many nifty checklists and references are available to help you with home maintenance.
Now that you know where everything is located and bought the tools, treat yourself! Or maybe you’re thinking about looking at new homes in Kyle? Come explore the Crosswinds Community with its diversity of amenities.
Parents and guardians of students attending Hays Consolidated Independent School District (HCISD) will be celebrating on August 15 when school starts. No doubt, they will be a few sleepy kids dragging after changing their sleeping schedule for the summer.
Whether or not your family is excited about school, it’s always hard to change your routine and leave the dog days of summer behind. You can ease the transition and avoid scrambling at the last minute with these six tips.
Check registration and related paperwork
You may already have already completed the required school district paperwork. The due dates vary based on district and schools. Ensure you register your child or contact the school.
Visit Hays CISD’s registration page for information about registration for new and returning students. Like most schools, HCISD requires proof of address, immunization records, and other documents.
If your student has medical needs, then contact the school nurse to ask about the process to make sure the child can receive treatment or medicine at school.
Access online accounts
HCISD requires parents and guardians to register for the school year online as covered in No. 1. The district has a parent self-serve portal (PSS) for checking the student’s academics, contact information, attendance, and transportation information.
You can also sign up to receive notifications about missing assignments or absences and alerts from the principal, school, and district. Verify you can access your account and that all the information is current.
Update your calendar
Review the Hays CISD calendar, so you can enter all the important dates into yours. If you haven’t already, you might create a family calendar that everyone can see every day. Better yet, set up a private online calendar that everyone in the family can access on their devices and computers.
Pick up school supplies
If you haven’t shopped for supplies yet, you’re in luck! Texas Tax-Free Weekend is August 9 – 11. And many retailers hold sales on clothes and school supplies before, during, and after tax-free weekend. You might find more savings opportunities online at RetailMeNot, Rakuten (formerly Ebates), and Honey.
Some schools and PTAs sell school supplies where you just pay one fee for the entire packet. This can be cheaper than shopping because they get bulk discounts. Treat your kids to one cool or colorful school item of their choice to get them excited about school.
Kick-start bedtime routines
The fact is that kids’ sleeping schedules fall off track in the summer. It takes three weeks to create a new habit. The first day of school will go better if students start their school bedtime routine at least a week before school starts.
Start small. Put them to bed 15 minutes earlier for a few days. Then move it back another 15 minutes until they return to their school bedtime. Do the same with wake-up time. Wake them 15 minutes earlier for a few days and so on.
Designate a study space
Creating a study area to help the kids make it a habit to study in that area without any distractions. Stock the space with pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, and other supplies. This prevents “I don’t have what I need” syndrome.
The district serves 18,000 students on 22 campuses. Residents have excellent post-secondary options in Austin Community College and its nearby ACC Hays Campus, Texas State University, University of Texas at Austin, St. Edwards University, Hutson-Tillotson University, San Antonio College, Trinity University, and University of Texas at San Antonio.
Be sure to take pictures on the first day of school. It’s amazing how much kids grow in a school year when you compare the first day and last day pictures. If you follow these tips, you’ll have a great first day of school in the growing Hays ISD in Kyle!
It may still be July, but it’s almost time to start thinking about shopping for school supplies, clothes, and shoes. That’s because the Texas Tax-Free Weekend is coming up Aug. 9 – 11, 2019. Planning for the Texas sales tax holiday will ensure you pick up what you need without overspending.
Back to school shopping during the tax-free weekend can also help older kids involved in extracurricular activities. These often have added expenses. The nice thing about not paying sales tax is that you pay the exact price for qualifying items and save on taxes.
Say you want to buy a $19.99 shirt and only have a $20 bill, you’re golden. You don’t have to worry about looking for change to cover the taxes. Hey, some people still pay cash for items.
The best part? The sales tax holiday applies to everyone, not just families with school-aged kids. Keep these things in mind as you prepare for the tax-free weekend:
Stores do not give out rainchecks.
Items costing $100 or more do not qualify for the tax break.
Hang on to those receipts.
Here are four tips to help you make the most of tax-free weekend and back-to-school shopping.
Review the official list
Use the Comptroller of Texas’ official Sales Tax Holiday list as your tax-free shopping bible. Beware that some resources refer to this list, but they don’t always describe the rules correctly.
Not all school supplies and clothing qualify for the tax break. Again, any item priced $100 or higher does not qualify regardless of what it is. Some shoes aren’t exempt from taxes.
Stores charge taxes for the following types of shoes:
While soccer shoes and cleats aren’t tax-free, soccer socks are exempt. While golf shoes are taxable, golf caps, jackets, shirts, and skirts are not if they’re under $100 each. Tennis shoes, cowboy boots, and general-purpose boots are exempt.
Did you know that lunch boxes are tax-exempt? Many are surprised by this because people don’t see it as a school supply item. Here are other surprising tax-free items:
So be sure to study that list from the Comptroller of Texas.
Check store hours
Don’t work hard to get to the store as soon as it’s open to avoid the crowd only to find out that it opened an hour earlier than usual. That’s because many Texas shopping centers, malls, and stores extend their hours for the Sales Tax Holiday.
While the hours aren’t as wild as Black Friday’s, it still gives you more time to shop. So, confirm the store hours before you shop.
Skip the lines
You can count on one thing with Sales Tax Holiday to have in common with Black Friday: long lines. Your best bet is to go as soon as the store opens. Some people still work on Friday, so that morning may have the least amount of traffic.
And some people like to sleep in on the weekend. First thing on Saturday and Sunday are the next best options after Friday morning. If anyone needs to try on clothing, start shopping for clothes first. It’s your best chance of shorter dressing room lines.
Another way to avoid the crowd is to shop online with stores that do business in Texas. They typically don’t charge taxes for the weekend. This gives you the chance to shop around and compare prices.
Create a shopping list
Between the crowd and sales, it doesn’t take much to overspend. And when you’re away from home, you have no way of checking someone’s shoe size or whether anyone needs more pants. That’s why it helps to make a list of what you need and the sizes. Confirm sizes especially children who grow like weeds.
Check your supplies. Murphy’s Law has a way of striking. People buy a box of supplies only to find they have unopened boxes in the closet.
Considering you save $1.65 in buying a $20 item, it doesn’t feel like you save much in sales tax. The real bargain comes in stores lowering their prices for the sales tax holiday. A $20 item on sale for $18 saves a total of $3.65. The savings add up if you buy enough.
Follow these four tips to save yourself a lot of headaches. Residents who live in Crosswinds in Kyle, Texas have many shopping options. You can shop in Kyle and Buda. Or you can drive 20 minutes to South Austin or San Marcos’s fantastic outlet shopping centers.
From rainy days spent curled up near the fire to sparkling snowbanks, winter is a magical time of year. However, some of this magic diminishes when you receive your winter electricity bill in the mail. This season, make sure your home is ready to combat the big chill without breaking the bank by following these energy-saving tips.
1. Switch your ceiling fan’s rotation
Have you ever looked at which direction your ceiling fan is spinning? If not, take some time to do so now because the blades’ rotation can actually help you save on heating costs. Ensure that your fan’s blades are rotating clockwise because this direction will push the warmer air down.
2. Upgrade your wood-burning fireplace
There’s nothing quite like curling up next to a crackling wood-burning fireplace on a chilly day, but this could be contributing to your high winter electricity bill. If you’re looking to save some money, consider upgrading your fireplace to an EPA certified-model or energy efficient insert.
3. Let the sunshine in
During the day, take advantage of as much sunlight as possible. Open the blinds and curtains on south-facing windows to naturally heat your home. This not only eliminates the need for the heater during the day, it also opens your home up to a beautiful winter backdrop.
4. Switch to LED light bulbs
If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, making the switch to LED bulbs could reduce your electricity bill tremendously, even after the winter months are long gone. LED lights use about 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and have a longer life span.
5. Invest in a smart thermostat
Saving energy is a beautiful thing and smart thermostats can help you do just that. Smart thermostats allow you to select a comfortable temperature for when you get up in the morning and after you head out the door, you can lower the temperature right from your phone. Smart thermostats can adjust to your lifestyle and help you eliminate unnecessary electricity usage.
You don’t have to sacrifice your home’s comfort to keep your winter electricity bill low. Following these homeowner tips will help you save big on your electricity bill long after the winter chill is gone. Save even more on your winter electricity bill when you move into a brand new home at Crosswinds, complete with the latest energy-efficient home technology which will keep electricity costs down throughout the year. Contact Crosswinds today to stay up-to-date on other homeowner tips and to learn more about our master-planned community in Kyle, TX. You can also connect with Crosswinds on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Image via Getty Images. Creative number 962705200.
Crosswinds understands that when it comes to your children, their education is top of mind. Lucky for you and your little ones, our new homes in Kyle, TX feed into some excellent schools in Hays CISD. Not only is the teaching and curriculum second to none, Hays CISD offers some of the most exceptional extracurricular opportunities in central Texas with award-winning programs, including band, choir, visual and theatrical arts and athletic programs. Here are some things to know about the amazing schools our master-planned community in Kyle feeds into.
Pfluger Elementary School
Plfuger Elementary School’s mission is to encourage students to take educational risks and be accountable to themselves and others. You know how fantastic the school is if your child currently attends Pfluger Elementary School. If your child is about to start kindergarten or you just moved to Crosswinds, you’ll instantly fall in love with this school. Pfluger supports kindergarten through fifth grade.
Chapa Middle School
The grades of 6, 7 and 8 make up a transitional time in a child’s life. Review the electives offered at Chapa Middle School to help your child discover a new activity they’ll love in middle school. At Chapa, there is an emphasis on building pride through Character, Opportunity, Unity, Generosity, Accountability and Relationships.
Lehman High School
Home of the Lobos, Lehman High School is a 6A school serving students in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. Hays CISD has plans to open a new high school for the 2019 – 2020 school year, and the district has said class sizes at Lehman High School will be the smallest of all three Hays CISD high schools. This reduction in class size will give the students better chances to learn while continuing to provide award-winning programs in music, theater, athletics and more.
When it comes to your children, Crosswinds knows that their education is of the utmost importance, which means the schools Crosswinds feeds into are important. If you’d like to learn more about our community and our new homes in Kyle, TX, contact Crosswinds today.
Image via Getty Images. Creative number 858667816.
Opportunities for education in Kyle seem to be growing as fast as Hays County itself! After being named the 4th fastest growing county in the US by the Census Bureau last spring, there has been a lot of news about education that may impact or be of interest to many of our Crosswinds families. Take a look at these trending topics about the education in Kyle, including news about Kyle schools and HCISD.
Plans for Growth by HCISD in Kyle Communities
HCISD expects to exceed 20,000 enrolled students for the 2018-19 school year. An increase of almost 20 percent from the 2012-13 school year. Even though HCISD is set to increase their capacity in the next year, demographic projections show that in the 2027-28 school year, HCISD expects to enroll more than 25,000 students. This means that more schools are needing to be built in order to keep up with population trends.
New Alternative Schools in Kyle
IDEA Public Schools, a statewide charter school network, opened its new campus in Kyle, south of Steeplechase Park, last month. The location will have two IDEA schools, the Academy and College Prep, and operate under the philosophy that all children should have the opportunity to go to college. The tuition-free charter school campus in Kyle serves K-3 and 6-7 grade levels. IDEA Public Schools holds a random lottery to ensure equal access for all applicants
Meanwhile, the Florida-based Doral Academy plans to open its Kyle/Buda campus for the 2020-21 school year. This tuition-free facility will focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Though it will enroll about 600 students K-6 to start, Doral Academy Texas plans to expand to serve K-12. The enrollment process is also determined by a lottery system.
ACC Hays Campus Opens State of the Art Public Safety Training Center
Back in August, Austin Community College opened a $22.4 million Public Safety Training Center at their Hays campus in Kyle. The PSTC will train students to become first responders in law enforcement and emergency medical service roles. The state-of-the-art facility includes an indoor firing range, emergency vehicle operation course, emergency situation simulation facility and a swift-water rescue course.
The ACC Hays campus opened in 2014, four years after HCISD voted in favor of joining the college system’s taxing district. Last year, it enrolled nearly 1,700 students. ACC Hays also has a co-enrollment program with Texas State University.
It’s easy to see that education opportunities inside Kyle communities are on the rise. Give your kids the best educational opportunities and make the move to Crosswinds today. View our available homes and find your new breathtaking home today. To stay up to date on education in Kyle, or our master-planned community, be sure to follow Crosswinds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.