Home Maintenance: Just the Basics You Need to Know

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:

  • Plunger
  • Auger
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves

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.

Area Attractions

The Best 4 Family Fun Halloween Events Near Kyle

October is in full swing and we can’t wait to celebrate this spooky time of year with all the fun Halloween events near Kyle! Are you looking for fun events to celebrate with your little ghosts and ghouls? Take a look at these fun Halloween-themed things to do near Kyle, TX this October!

Center Street Trick-or-Treat

Center Street Trick-or-Treat

(Image Courtesy of the City of Kyle)

When: Saturday, October 27

Where: Mary Kyle Hartson City Square Park

What time: 1PM

One of the best local Halloween events for us at Crosswinds, the Center Street Trick-or-Treat is a great event for the whole family! Join your neighbors at Mary Kyle Hartson City Square Park Saturday, October 27, at 1PM. Local businesses and organizations will be on location with tents and tables to provide a fun and safe environment for trick-or-treating. Costume contest judging starts at 3:00PM, while the judging for the pumpkin carving contest starts at 3:30PM.

Dia De Los Muertos 5K Run/Walk & Kids Fun Run

Dia De Los Muertos 5K Run/Walk & Kids Fun Run

(image courtesy of Tour San Marcos)

When: Saturday, October 27

Where: Hernandez Elementary School

What time: 7AM

Get out with the family to get some exercise in San Marcos at the annual Dia De Los Muertos 5K Run/Walk & Kids Fun Run at Hernandez Elementary School. There will be face painting for those arriving early, door prizes and chances to win items throughout the event. Packet pickup starts at 7AM with the run starting at 8:00AM. Late registration is still open so take this chance to enjoy some outdoor fun and exercise.


Boo-Da Halloween Celebration

Boo-Da Halloween Celebration

(Image courtesy of the City of Buda)

When: Saturday, October 27

Where: Downtown Buda

What time: 4:30PM-7:30PM

The 16th Annual Boo-Da Halloween takes place this year on October 27th and has just about everything you could want at a Halloween bash. Starting at 4:30PM in downtown Buda, families can compete in several costume and pumpkin decorating contests and explore a brand new haunted maze.

Texas Fireworks Dia de los Muertos Celebration

The Best 4 Family Fun Halloween Events Near Kyle - Texas Fireworks Dia de los Muertos Celebration

(Image courtesy of

When: Wednesday, October 31

Where: East of Pleasant Valley Road, behind Krieg Field

What time: 9:30PM

Want to take the family out after trick-or-treating on Halloween? One of our other top fun Halloween events near Kyle, The Texas Fireworks Dia de los Muertos celebration, is the answer. Watch from Kreig Baseball Field as the Austin skyline is painted with the sights and sounds only fireworks can bring. This year they have fair booths and a number of great activities for kids. The show starts at 9:30PM, so don’t be late!

We at Crosswinds Texas hope that this list of fun local Halloween events near Kyle will give you plenty of things to do near Kyle for Halloween. To stay up-to-date with all things happening in and around Kyle, and for more information on things happening in our master-planned community, contact Crosswinds today. You can also connect with Crosswinds on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Area Attractions

Make Time for Date Night Near Kyle

Believe it or not, it’s already almost February, and while there are tons of major events happening this next month in the world of sports, don’t forget about the most romantic day! That’s right, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and these ideas for a date night near Kyle might help you figure out the perfect plan.

date night near Kyle


Starting off our list for a date night near Kyle is Nate’s. A local favorite, Nate’s in Buda is a great destination for whether you want your date night to actually be a morning or lunch date. Serving up exceptional coffee and cocktails at all hours of the day, Nate’s is located in the historical Old Buda Downtown District. They frequently have events including live music, which always makes for a fun date night!

Brooklyn’s Down South

Okay, so you grabbed a drink and saw a show at Nate’s, but for a real meal, you can’t go wrong with Brooklyn’s Down South in Buda. They serve up eclectic meus items featuring traditional American, Cajun and traditional Mexican cuisine. Just like with Nate’s, it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a brunch date or an evening outing, Brooklyn’s Down South has special menus for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Evo Entertainment

Wanting to keep your date night near Kyle more simple and stick with the classic movie date? Then you’re in luck because EVO Entertainment in Kyle has the latest box office hits as well as bowling, arcade games and a full service bar and restaurant. This entertainment hub is so close to our master-planned community – only a 6-minute drive from Crosswinds Texas!

Wondering why the restaurants we only talked about were in Buda? Well that’s just because we’ve already talked so much about so many of the great restaurants in Kyle, that we figured it was time to give some Buda eateries a shout out too! To keep getting the scoop on all the best places to go around our master-planned community, follow Crosswinds Texas on Facebook and @CrosswindsTexas on Twitter.

Image from Thinkstock by Getty Images. Item number: 478406786


Top Three Thanksgiving Side Recipes

Thanksgiving is a day for spending quality time with family, showing appreciation and most importantly, eating tons of delicious food. This year we are filling our plates with the best Thanksgiving side recipes we could find and preparing our families to leave the table full and satisfied. With these three side dishes on your table, your Crosswinds Texas home won’t be the only thing you are thankful for this year.

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Thanksgiving side recipes
(Image via

No turkey is truly complete without the addition of traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. The celery, onion and bread concoction is sure to satisfy everyone at your table this holiday season. The best part about this stuffing from the slow cooker recipe is the ability to throw all of the ingredients into a crockpot and forget about them for a while. Aside from the occasional stir, this recipe practically cooks itself. It is especially handy when you run out of space in your oven and need to find an alternative method to cooking this Thanksgiving staple.

Ultimate Mac and Cheese

Thanksgiving side recipes
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Nothing pairs better with elbow-shaped noodles than large amounts of melted cheese. Macaroni and cheese made our top three Thanksgiving side recipes for a good reason, everyone loves the stuff. Even the pickiest of children will love this slow cooker mac and cheese recipe, and you will love how easy it is to make. With a prep time of only 10 minutes, this is one of the most simple and delicious recipes to prepare for this year’s Thanksgiving.

Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving side recipes
(Image via

While stuffing and mac and cheese will surely satisfy everyone at your table this year, it is important to include a few vegetables into the mix. This green bean casserole recipe will be one of the easiest and most rewarding items you make for your family this Thanksgiving. With this recipe coming from highly acclaimed chef and TV host Alton Brown, you know that it will not disappoint.

By serving these three side dishes this year, there is no doubt you will impress friends and family this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re in our master-planned community in Crosswinds Texas or on the other side of the country, we would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving this year. For more tips and tricks on Crosswinds living, visit our blog today!

Area Attractions

Is A New Park Coming to Kyle?

While there are many fun things to do in Kyle, TX, you simply just can’t beat having a new park! Whether you’re taking your furry friend out for a run or playing a game of volleyball, the proposed Kyle Vista Park will provide plenty of room to get out and play!

 Is A New Park Coming to Kyle, Texas
Image from Thinkstock by Getty Images. Item Number: 494239087

Proposed Kyle Vista Park

Kyle Vista Park is 10 years in the making and set to be the first major public park in the northeastern section of Kyle. The privately funded 46-acre park will include outdoor and indoor recreational activities, some which will require a small usage fee. The park will be located near the northwestern intersection of Dacy Lane and BeBee Rd. adjacent to Chapa Middle School.

Planned Park Facilities

Plans for the park include a large recreation center complete with a “tournament-class” tennis complex. The park could also include an indoor and outdoor volleyball facility, a potential skate park and a splash pad. The vision for Kyle Vista Park is to offer a myriad of recreational activities for the whole family and plenty of fun things to do in Kyle, TX. Although Kyle Vista Park is set to be completed in summer 2019, you can stay up-to-date with the park’s progress here.

Current Kyle Parks

While you wait for this exciting new park, there are plenty of other great parks and recreational opportunities currently open near our master-planned community:

– Lake Kyle
– Mary Kyle Hartson/City Square Park
– Gregg-Clarke Park
– Steeplechase Park
– Waterleaf Park

Additionally, the Kyle Parks and Recreation Department’s activities calendar is packed with family fun and events year-round!

Is A New Park Coming to Kyle?
Image via

Crosswinds Amenities

Luckily, you don’t even have to travel outside of Crosswinds Texas to find outdoor fun. Gather at our many open playfields for a game of soccer or football. You can also hike and bike the trails that weave our community together or visit our Windy Point Amenity center once it opens!

Crosswinds Texas is excited to have a potential new park in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in an active community packed with endless outdoor possibilities, contact us today to learn more about our master-planned community and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.