Heads up, ladies, Jim Bays is single and he’s crowdsourcing the perfect woman to spend the rest of his life with via an eye-catching billboard located along highway 29 going west.
The billboard popped up in November with a picture of Bays, clad in a plaid button-down and cowboy hat, reading “Wanted: A good woman, 50-55ish, for talks & walks & mutual acts of kindness,” and will be up until at least the end of December, possibly through January.
“It's not like when you were in high school and it's easy to meet somebody,” Bays told Austonia. “How do you meet somebody that's on the same page? How do you create the number of accidents that need to happen in order for you to meet somebody that you really mix well with?”
Twice divorced with five kids ranging from 12-41, Bays said he’s tried dating apps but found that they “involved too much game plan,” didn’t accurately portray the other party’s personality and that it was hard to coordinate meeting up with potential matches.Already getting a fresh start in Texas after moving himself and his business from Washington state in June, the 66-year-old spec builder and contractor gathered up the courage to put himself back out there in a big way.
Bays is busy, dating is time-consuming and putting up a billboard ad was a way to bring the matches to him without having to swipe.
“I'm glad that I've done it and believe me, it made my knees knock together,” Bays said. “I'm thinking about my picture on a billboard knowing full well that I'm going to get a complete range of phone calls.”
First and foremost, potential matches need to know that Bays is married to his job to a fault. Bays likes to keep busy and encourages those around him to do the same—he put his daughters in dance classes to “keep them out of trouble”—so working six days per week is common for him.
His rigorous work ethic is what he attributes to the end of his second marriage, which lasted 19 years, saying they drifted apart since he was so often gone. Bays doesn’t plan on making the same mistakes again.
“I wanted to get them involved in something that taught them how to work hard and get to be good at something. It also took them away from me when I had an opportunity because my projects own me until I'm done,” Bays said. “I think what happened was, I got my kids and my wife too busy and then they didn't have time for me when I had time because they were busy.”
He’s also an athlete—Bays has been running and going to the gym since he was 19 years old, so fitness is important to him. Bays knows who he is and what’s important to him, so he thinks his next relationship is going to stick.
“I’m busy but we're not intended to go through life alone,” Bays said. “Anybody who doesn't believe that, all they have to do is listen to that something inside them that constantly seems to be nudging them to go find somebody special.”
What kind of woman is Bays looking for?
Bays's ideal woman is kind, understanding and in it for the longhaul. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
So far, Bays has gone on four or five dates resulting from his billboard ad. Though the five dates he’s been on so far haven’t been that spark yet, he said he’s optimistic.
Growing up with a mother from Georgia, Bays enjoys the hospitality the south is known for, so he positioned the billboard away from cities and high-traffic areas. Bays said his ideal soulmate is loving, kind, encourages him in his endeavors, forgives him of his mistakes and understands stress.
“Somebody that has a shoulder where I can just lay my head down or a lap that I can lay my head down,” Bays said. “Somebody who says, ‘Don't worry, you're going to get through this. It'll be fine.’ I'd love to find somebody like that.”
Bays said it best when he remarked that “a woman doesn’t want to marry a boy,” so he knows that what he brings to the table is equally important. Bays likes a strong-willed, independent woman but said she needs to be capable of admitting her faults.
“My first wife, I loved her to death and she loved me too, but we were two generals in the house, two leaders in the house. We were always butting heads because of that,” Bays said. “I think my first wife married a boy. She wanted a man but she married a boy.”
Bays is still on the lookout for the woman of his dreams. Don’t worry too much about the age range—Bays is just looking for a woman who is younger than him. If the man of your dreams is strong, well-off, a family man and busy bee, look no further.
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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!
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