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Austin welcome's the first births of 2021
(L. Brent Gilmore/Hello & Co. Photography)

Ivana and Andrew Casterlin welcomed a healthy baby boy in 2021.

For many Austinites, 2020 couldn't end fast enough as they looked forward to the fresh start a new year symbolizes. For some families, the day was made even sweeter with the welcome of new additions.


Paulo Andres Casterlin Escobar came into the world three seconds after midnight on Jan 1. The 7.1 pound healthy baby boy was born to parents Ivana and Andrew Casterlin at Ascension Seton Medical Center. Young Paulo was the first baby born in Austin in 2021.

(Hello & Co. Photography/L. Brent Gilmore)

Meanwhile, St. David's saw the second birth of the year just 30 minutes later. Kesha Matthews gave birth to her baby boy Jordan Arvie Jr. just months after Hurricane Laura forced the family to flee from Lake Charles to Austin.

A spokesperson said this is Matthews' and Arvie's third child.

Austin Pets Alive! also welcomed their first litter of 2021 this weekend when one of their felines, Sparkle, gave birth to two kittens in a foster home. Anthony, Abigail and their three-year-old mother will all be available to go into their forever home(s) in a couple of months when the kittens are old enough.

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A mortgage banker walks us through the math on purchasing a 'mid-price' Austin home
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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.

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Fall camping: Camp Fimfo Waco offers one-of-a-kind experiences in the heart of Texas
Camp Fimfo Waco

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!

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