Raylene Lewis

Realtor®

Raylene Lewis is a happily married Realtor. Her family is comprised of a loving husband, two children, a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl, 2 dogs, and a Parrot. Raylene has been selling realestate for the last 8 years with Century 21 and sold 123 property units in 2008. Raylene loves being a Realtor and a Mommy, and as such, she is constantly on a mission to get things done!

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Call: 979-218-2235

Raylene Lewis

Realtor®

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Utilizing Property Tax Exemptions under New Tax Laws in Texas

Tax laws in Texas haven’t always been the most exciting subject for reading or casual discourse. However, if you’re looking to buy property or claim ownership of a new home in the Brazos Valley, there are some new adjustments to Texas’ laws on property tax. Primarily, the branch concerning application for property tax exemptions. And for homeowners looking for an exemption on the always tolling property tax, these new laws might be considerably interesting.

One of these new laws directly concerns the general homestead exemption. This exemption pertains to most, if not all of individual homeowners in some way. But it would hardly be considered an exemption if every home received the break. So, in order for a home to qualify for the general homestead exemption, it must meet certain criteria. First, it must be the primary residence of the homeowner. Second, the property must be owned by an individual (so basically not owned by a business or corporation). Also, the property must be the principal residence of the individual as of January 1st of that tax year. A home must also qualify as a homestead: any kind of separate structure, condominium, or manufactured home located on privately owned land. It also can be on land of up to 20 acres given that the land is owned by the homeowner and used for residential purposes.

So what is this new change in laws regarding property tax exemptions in Texas? For the homestead exemption, the recently applied ‘House Bill 252’ requires all applicants of the homestead exemption to provide a copy of the homeowner’s state driver’s license or identification card. It also mandates the presentation of the homeowners vehicle registration receipt to be sent with the exemption application. And for homeowners without vehicle ownership, the new bill allows for a simple substitution. Applicants for the homestead exemption that don’t own any vehicles may send in their current utility bill that provides their name and address, along with an official declaration indicating the homeowner’s lack of vehicle ownership.

Though, it is important to note that these requirements are not necessary for homeowners who applied for the homestead exemption before the changes in legislation. Upon applying, it will not be necessary to re-apply unless your principal residence moves or you receive a new application to be processed from your regional tax office.

The reason for these new measures might seem unusual to those bothered by the extra required documentation for the application of a property tax exemption. Yet, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, “The homestead exemption is intended to help relieve the tax burden of Texas full-time residents. This new legislation ensures that the system is working fairly and legally.” Regardless, a few extra papers and methods of identification are hardly anything new in government processes. And if they help provide for a relief on a homeowner’s property tax, the extra hassle is definitely worth the return.

Changes in the requirements for homestead exemptions are not all that have changed with the recent passing of property tax legislation. All homeowners seeking for the ‘Over 65 years of age’ exemption, as well as the disabled exemption, the disabled veteran’s exemption, the extended exemption for a homeowner’s surviving spouse, and the mobile Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: No Comments »

Sidewalks of Castlegate

This might be one of the most overlooked amenities in the Castlegate Subdivision.  If you, live there and have not utilized them, you are missing out.  These sidewalks cover most of the neighborhood and provide a shortcut to Forest Ridge Elementary.   Dogs, kids, and runners love them.

You have seen them, dogs and their owners.  Dogs love the the sidewalks as they lead the way on their leashes.  Most dog walkers have real doggy bags on their leashes.  It is exciting to see and know that the sidewalks are clean of debris for everyone.  The sidewalks are wide enough for dogs and their owners can walk and still give way to other pedestrians.  If you have a beagle, like me, you know that having a wide sidewalk helps.  I promise, my beagle Riley-Puppy, does not lift his nose from the ground the whole time we are on a walk.   Sometimes I think he is hunting for a beagle that smells just like him.  He will always leads the way around the 2.25 mile sidewalk straight to our front door.
Kids love the sidewalks because it leads them straight to Forest Ridge in the morning.  It is thrilling to see all the parents that ride their bikes next to their kids every morning.   Kids need sidewalks to ride bikes.  Recently, I saw that the sidewalk was cleared of all the underbrush that was between the sidewalk, fence and Forest Ridge.  This way kids can be seen. Thank you, city of College Station and Castlegate HOA!

You may not know this, but the sidewalk changes in elevation more than you realize.  You do not notice the hills in the car, but when you are running your legs will not miss them. These sidewalks are so much better  than running on  graded street.  There is a half mile downhill, and you guessed it, a half mile uphill around the northeast sidewalk.   There are flats, curves, wooden bridges and lots of turn offs that lead to other streets in the neighborhood.  Read some of the shirts people are wearing while running.  You will see several people with running event shirts while training on these sidewalks.  5K, 10K, ½ marathons and marathons shirts are running past you all the time.

Hopefully, if you have not utilized the sidewalk in Castlegate, you will now.  Spring is among us so get out there and walk your dog, ask your kid if they want to be a bike rider today or go for a 10 K run.

Keep them clean and keep it classy.

Steve Santos “My REALTOR”

 

PS – I’m Steve Santos, I do what I say I will do, some times more just never less

Posted by Steve Santos | Discussion: No Comments »

First Friday in Downtown Bryan Includes Arts Council & Great Restaurants

Soft music playing in the air, the buzz of the local people around you, artists on corners of the street, antique shops, modern art galleries, and family entertainment mix together on the first Friday of every month in downtown Bryan.

From 5-10 p.m. downtown Bryan offers First Friday, an event for the cities of Bryan and College Station and surrounding areas to join together and have an enjoyable evening. Whether your evening consists primarily of dining out and visiting with friends or bringing the kids along for a carriage ride and movie, the choice is yours.

Madden’s Casual Gourmet is a popular favorite spot for dinner. All of their food is made from scratch, including every soup and mayonnaise on the menu. Chef Madden is constantly seeking to widen the variety on his menu and challenging himself to find additional flavorful combinations for customers. Madden’s uses top quality products and their presentation of food is nothing short of artistic. The restaurant strives to provide only the freshest ingredients for their customers. Relationships with local producers and manufacturers, as well as a garden of their own, provide Madden’s with top quality food. Madden’s also hosts a movie night for families on First Friday. Movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Thumbelina and the Blind Side have been played in the past.

Wine bars and coffee houses are hotspots at any time in downtown Bryan but take on a certain quaintness on First Friday. The Village Downtown Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Steve Santos | Discussion: No Comments »

Parks Abound in Bryan and College Station, Texas

Parks in Bryan TexasBryan, College Station, Texas is known for its abundance of parks surrounding and winding around the city’s real estate. There are over 86 parks in the twin cities, and each offers a unique experience. Some, like Bee Creek Park and Central Park seem equipped with a variety of everything a park could possibly offer. Others offer wide fields for athletic events or cook-outs. Many include nature trails perfect for hiking, running, biking, or simply exploring. Several even include facilities with indoor restrooms.

With its rolling nature trails, beautiful scenery and large variety of amenities, Bee Creek Park is an ideal family-oriented site. Located just past the intersection of Anderson and Southwest Parkway, Bee Creek is surrounded by towering trees but includes a number of open fields, perfect for any athletic event, kite-flying, or just a good old-fashioned game of tag. Four lighted tennis courts allow for heated rivalries at any hour of the night while also offering privacy for the beginner anxious to learn. Two lighted softball fields, a pavilion, a sand volleyball court, and picnic areas are the perfect conveniences for any group event, church picnic, or birthday party. The outside setting allows for easy clean-up and no stress over messes. Two playground sets are the perfect equipment to burn off young children’s energy, and an old-fashioned swing set offers a relaxing peaceful sway for anyone looking to escape into nature for a while. Nature trails and a concession building with restrooms complete this idyllic park.

Tanglewood Park sits on Carter Creek Parkway and Tanglewood Drive. Charming landscaping, barbecue pits and Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Susan Hilton | Discussion: No Comments »

The Best Townhomes in College Station TX

BuyAggieland.com is proud to announce a new partnership with Aggieland Properties www.aggieleasing.com and The Barracks Townhomes www.BarracksTownhomes.com

This partnership has produced the absolute best portfolio of Class A Student rental housing in Aggieland (College Station TX) AND some of the Best Real Estate investment opportunities on the planet!

Aggies, Check out www.aggieleasing.com

Investors, Check out some of these cash flow scenarios: www.barrackstownhomes.com

Call us anytime on our new hotline at 888-567-5757 or Text us at 313-Gig-Em-Ag

Thanks & Gig-Em’

Posted by Jeff Leatherwood | Discussion: No Comments »

Expressions Dance and Music College Station, Texas — Teaching Kids, Dance, Music and More

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GklysTL0o5c[/youtube]

Being involved in dance and music is a great way for children to learn skills such as coordination, music reading, and rhythm. It’s also a great way for children to advance in their social skills and provide a fun environment to keep them active!

Expressions Dance and Music, located on Wellborn Road near Rock Prairie in College Station, Texas, is the perfect place to get your kiddos moving to the beat! Expressions Dance and Music offers tons of options – from drum to voice to violin and everything in between. They also have classes for almost every kind of dance you can imagine including the more traditional ballet and tap to hip hop, drill team, pom, and contemporary.

 Expressions Dance and Music has a class for just about every age  starting at 3 years.  They also have competition teams that are divided by age and are known for having great showmanship and being quite entertaining!

Two of my own children attend Expressions Dance and Music, and off all the activities we do, they both agree their time at Expressions is their favorite!

Raylene Lewis — Century 21’s #1 Realtor and College Station Expert

979-218-2235

www.buyincollegestation.com

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: 4 Comments »

Chef Tai’s Mobile Bistro College Station Texas — College Station’s Only Gourmet Food Truck

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLtaONc2LC8[/youtube]

Chef Tai’s Mobile Bistro is one of College Station, Texas’ newest rave’s in town!  Chef Tai’s offers a variety of unique lunch specials that were inspired from cuisines around with world which include Kobe burgers, BBQ pulled pork tacos, Brussels Tofu Florentine and many others.

You can find Chef Tai at many different locations around the Bryan and College Station, Texas area weekly! Be sure to look them up on Facebook or Twitter to see if they will be near your workplace this week!

This is for sure a lunch you will want to have again and again! My personal favorite is a tie between the Kobe Burger and whatever their special dessert of the day is! Don’t miss it!

Raylene Lewis — Century 21’s #1 Realtor and College Station Expert!

979-218-2235

www.buyincollegestation.com

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: No Comments »

Fuegos Tortilla Grill in College Station Texas — Great Tacos 24 Hours a Day

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12B2bgli3I8[/youtube]

What happens when you are hungry for some late-night Tex-Mex? What if it’s the middle of the day, and yet, a breakfast taco sounds sooo good? Fuego Tortilla Grill in College Station, Texas open 24 hours is the answer! 

Fuegos of the newest and hottest places to go to get tacos of any flavor!! You can choose from bean & cheese, steak and cheese, bacon, potato, etc. you name it and they have it!  It is conveniently located at Poplar and Texas Ave. by the U-Haul in College Station, TX.  Fuegos also has a great lunch menu. Everything at Fuego’s in College Station, Texas is served fresh and made from scratch everyday! They don’t cook it until you order it!

This new restaurant is sure to be come a well known Favorite! Come and custom make your own taco today at the Fuego’s Tortilla Grill in College Station, Texas!

Raylene Lewis — Century 21’s #1 Realtor and College Station Expert

979-218-2235

www.buyincollegestation.com

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Honey Baked Ham Restaurant in College Station — When You are Hungry for a good Sandwich

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js3hc-aEf-s[/youtube]

Hungry for a sandwich in South College Station?  In 1957 in Detroit, Michigan, Harry J. Hoenselaar opened up the first Honey Baked Ham and since opening, there have been over 400 stores opened across the United States.   The best thing of all at Honey Baked Ham is, of course, THE HAM!!! The ham is of the finest quality that is smoked for hours over hardwood chips and other unique items.  The bone is left in the ham to help with the flavoring of it .

When you are at Honey Baked Ham in College Station, Texas there is a range of different items on the menu that you can choose from, from lunch specials that include a sandwich, chips, soup and a drink to ordering some of their YUMMY pies!! 

 The restaurant also features items that are already cooked that you can purchase out of their convenient freezer located near the check out and take home and pop in the oven.  If this doesn’t have your mouth watering, step into the Honey Baked Ham in College Station, Texas today and smell the aroma and try not to be tempted to order something off of the menu!

Want to see a Restaurant Featured? Let me know where you like to eat!

Raylene Lewis — Century 21’s #1 Realtor and College Station Expert!

979-218-2235

www.buyincollegestation.com

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: No Comments »

Pebble Creek Subdivision in College Station Texas — About the Neighborhood

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhtAeOUuGII[/youtube]

Have you decided to move to College Station, Texas but are unsure of what neighborhood you want? Do you want to live in a subdivision that is nice, highly sought after, and has great parks and schools in close proximity? If so, Pebble Creek might be the perfect fit for you. Located in South College Station, Pebble Creek is a 1,348 acre master planned community with Country Club.

The Development of Pebble Creek features many desirable attributes that make it a top notch subdivision many home buyers are looking for. Prices for the homes in Pebble Creek start around $250,000.00, but the average home in the neighborhood is between $350,ooo.00 – $450,000.00.  The subdivision is highly deed restricted to help ensure that the homes provide a clean and pretty exterior appearance and to make sure Pebble Creek stays subdivision that retains its value.   There are also minimum   requirements — usually starting with at least 2500 sqft.

  The HOA (Home Owner’s Association) in Pebble Creek is very active and excels at taking care of the community areas at a reasonable price.  They also make sure every home owner is following the deed restrictions that come with living in a golf-course community. Their objective is to provide the highest quality of life for the families that live in the subdivision.

Two of my favorite things about Pebble Creek are the well maintained park and highly recognized Elementary school — both of which are located in the subdivision.  Pebble Creek is also known for its pool, 7 well-lit tennis courts and of course 18 hole championship golf course.  The pool is open from Mid May through labor day, has a lifeguard and wadding area for little ones.

If you are interested in learning more about the Pebble Creek subdivision in College Station, just give me a call! 979-218-2235

Raylene Lewis — College Station Expert and Professional Real Estate Agent!

www.buyincollegestation.com

979-218-2235

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: No Comments »

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