In less than two months, Austin voters will choose between 20 candidates vying for five of City Council's 10 seats. A series of upcoming candidates forums will introduce voters to the candidates and their platforms.
Elected council members will be tasked with rewriting the city's land use code, considering further cuts to the Austin Police Department's budget and, if voters approve a tax rate increase, implementing the $7.1 billion Project Connect transit plan.
The Austin Chamber, Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Austin Young Chamber, Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce and Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will co-host two such virtual events next week, which will be posted on YouTube.
On Monday, Sept. 14, from 3-5 p.m., the chambers will speak with candidates for Districts 2 and 4, which are in Southeast and Northeast Austin, respectively.
District 2 Council Member Delia Garza will vacate her seat to serve as Travis County attorney. Four candidates are running to replace her: David Chincanchan, Vanessa Fuentes, Casey Ramos and Alex Strenger.
District 4 Council Member Greg Casar is running for re-election against Louis C. Herrin III and Ramesses II Setepenre.
On Friday, Sept. 18, from 3-5 p.m., the chambers will speak with candidates for District 6, 7 and 10, all of which are in North or Northwest Austin.
District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan is facing off against Deedra Harrison, Mackenzie Kelly and Jennifer Musthaler.
District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool has only one opponent, Morgan Witt.
District 10 Council Member Alison Alter faces the most crowded field, with six candidates running against her: Ben Easton, Belina Greene, Pooja Sethi, Robert Tomas and Jennifer Virden.
The city of Austin is also sponsoring virtual candidate forums, co-hosted by its ethics review commission and the local League of Women Voters chapter. These will begin at 6 p.m. on the following dates:
- District 2: Wednesday, Sept. 16
- District 4: Wednesday, Sept. 23
- District 10: Tuesday, Sept. 29
- District 6: Wednesday, Sept. 30
- District 7: Wednesday, Oct. 7
City council seats are nonpartisan, although all current members are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Austin residents can plug in their address to find their council district here.
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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, but prices here are still moving up. ABoR's latest numbers peg the City of Austin median home price at $633,000 in July, the most recent month of data available.
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 is roughly the "average" Austin home right now.
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!