If you turn to astrology to guide your love life, you're not alone. About 45% of people who are looking for their soul connection consider astrological signs when swiping and a new Austin-based app is making it even easier.
Ilios, an Austin-based relationship-building app, lets the stars guide you to your soulmate by filtering out those most compatible to you based on astrology. CEO Melanie Davidson told Austonia they're looking to turn the surface-level world of dating on its head and give Austinites a connection that is more modern.
ilios is a niche dating app that hopes to give Austinites a deeper connection. (ilios)
One of the app's most famous profile-holders, former American Idol and The Bachelor contestant Trevor Holmes, has signed on as the Chief Influencer Officer for the app. As the reportedly most-swiped person on Bumble and a swoon-worthy reality TV contestant, Holmes, in his vast dating experience, has said that the first question he gets asked on dates is "What's your sign?"
"We are trying to make it more equitable across gender lines," Davidson said.
The app has a real-life story: When ilios's founder, an Austin man who Davidson said is choosing to remain anonymous, recently went through a divorce, he took to dating apps like Tinder and Bumble to get back out there. Although many of the profiles mention astrological signs, it didn't take into account star sign compatibility the way he wanted it to.
Ilios uses the traditional swipe left and right method on profiles, but what sets it apart is the prominent display of Western (the astrological signs used to read horoscopes, e.g. Aries), Eastern (the Chinese zodiac, e.g. year of the ox) and Vedic (the Hindu reading of stars) astrology signs. Those on the app can swipe based on a compatibility score that focuses on signs and lifestyle choices—think politics, religion, family aspirations—from zero-100.
Your Western and Eastern Zodiac are the main factors on the app. (ilios)
"It's really helping surface compatibility and then sort of taking dating to the next evolution," Davidson said. "We're staying modern about how people identify and things of that nature. I love that aspect of it."
On ilios, the days of having to surrender your phone to your friends for them to scroll through your matches are over. The app has a matchmaker function, which is a friend's account that connects to your own, allowing those closest to you to swipe on your behalf and recommend matches.
"I always seek my friends' help and advice and the only way I can do that today is if I relinquish my phone entirely," Davidson said. "It's another fun way for people to engage. You don't have to be single to be utilizing the app, you can certainly do it on behalf of a friend."
And you can use the app to find friends if that's your prerogative by adjusting your settings to "social connection." Austin is currently the only city with full ilios capabilities, so locals can be the first to join the few thousand who are already swiping. Ilios has plans to expand to Denver, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago in the near future.
"We specifically chose Austin to launch our app because it's the perfect city for it," Davidson said. "Austinites, in our experience, are super fun and open to new and different ideas, experiences and ways of thinking. We think any Austinites looking for a match beyond the superficial swipe will love ilios."Though the app is currently available in the app store, it will be officially launched at 6 p.m. on Friday at EastSide Tavern. The event will be open to the public, with three former Bachelor contestants attending, and only requires you to show your profile to attend.
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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.
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!