Small businesses have struggled through a long and arduous year, working to keep their livelihood afloat in a sea of uncertainty. This holiday season poses the opportunity to not only give gifts to your favorite people but also give back to your favorite local artists, Austin icons and small businesses.
So skip the line and shop small. There are hundreds of businesses to support around Austin, so if nothing here strikes a chord, visit the Austin Independent Business Alliance directory for more.
The Austin Winery
The Austin Winery, located on 440 E. St. Elmo Road, already gives bulk discounts, because let's face it, 2020 has been a rough year. Whether you gift this local wine to someone else or stockpile for the next pandemic, take 20% off a pickup order and get free Austin delivery through the rest of the year.
Away Spa at W. Austin
Give the gift of the oh-so-important self care this year, plus enjoy a little bit of it for yourself as well. With a $250 gift card purchase, receive an extra $25 spa voucher. Located on 200 Lavaca St., Austin residents also receive 20% off of certain services—how can you afford not to go?
Half Price Books
Texas-business Half Price Books is not skimping on the sales this year, and some of the deals even carry over into the new year. Take 20% off of your online book haul and for every $25 gift card you give away, any HPB will give you $5 off in January.
Kendra may not be a "small" business anymore but it started small with Austin roots. From Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, take 25% off of everything (yes, everything!) in the store and an extra 30% off of $300 or more for the "Yellow Friday" sale.
Lilla & Beth
For some unique Austin-centric decor, gifts, clothes and accessories, Lilla & Beth, located on 1911 Aldrich Street, has you covered this year. The more you buy, the more you save so take 10% off purchases under $50, 15% off purchases over $50 and 20% off purchases over $100. Everyone will wish they had gotten you as their secret Santa!
Record Store Crawl
Self-described "magic school bus that takes you to record stores and bars," the 2020 Record Store Crawl will make holiday shopping more fun than ever before. The Record Store Crawl will drive you to 10 record stores in the area, complete with a band on the bus for entertainment. Last year, the event helped sell 2 million records at local retailers nationwide, so this is a great way to have fun and help out the music industry.
Give the gift of relaxation with the help of Roam Homegrown's collection of candles, soaps, scents and self care goodies. To celebrate the holidays, the Austin-based, women-owned company is giving 10% sitewide until Dec. 31. This offer has no minimum so you can gift as much or as little as your heart desires.
Make sure to check business hours before heading out, it is COVID-19 after all.
So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!