Jennifer Virden, a real estate broker and general contractor, officially announced her candidacy for mayor of Austin on Monday.
If Virden wins, she'd serve a two-year term and become the first woman mayor of the city in 40 years. Last year, in an unsuccessful run for the Austin City Council District 10— which includes northwest and West Austin—Virden lost to incumbent Alison Alter by about 9 percentage points.
"We all love Austin, and it's time to get serious about undoing the damage that is being done to our city," Virden said in a press release. "Together we can bring the competent, common sense and compassionate leadership Austin needs now more than ever."
Running on a conservative platform in liberal Austin, Virden first announced her intent to run in a series of tweets in June, when she also released a platform with four key planks:
- Restore police budget cuts
- End homeless camping
- Increase the homestead tax exemption to 20%
- Make significant revisions to the Land Development Code, for both residential and commercial
Mayor Steve Adler's final term ends in 2023, in which he has indicated he will not petition for a third term. No other candidates have entered the race yet. While there was speculation District 4 Council Member Greg Casar was considering running, he announced a bid for Congress late last week. There's also talk that others could enter the race, including personal injury lawyer Adam Loewy, State Rep. Celia Israel, former State Sen. Kirk Watson, and City Council Member Kathie Tovo.
Late last month, a federal appeals court rejected her effort to overturn a city ordinance that limits campaign fundraising to the year before an election. The mayoral hopeful argued the limit violated her First Amendment rights. But in an Oct. 25 opinion, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the argument.
"The temporal restriction at issue does not prevent Virden from spending her own money to disseminate speech, nor does it prevent her from speaking. Virden, however, seeks money to speak 'more robustly.' But the First Amendment does not provide her that right."
With 365 days until the 2022 election, she can now receive campaign contributions and has updated her site with donation suggestions ranging from $5-$400.
Virden has been endorsed by former mayors Lee Leffingwell and Ron Mullen.
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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!
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