With spring comes property tax season. Yay!
If you own a home, you should be receiving a letter in the mail from the county giving you an estimated appraised value for 2021, which is the value your taxes will be based on. If you believe it’s too low, do a happy dance and leave it alone. If you believe the value is too high, you can protest that value and try to keep your tax bill lower. This can make a big difference in the long run, especially if the property is your homestead.
You can see basic guidance from Travis County here: https://www.traviscad.org/protests/
To protest, you’ll want to support your case with home sales near you. You’ll need to show that properties around you have recently sold for less than your appraised value. If you’d like the WIRE team’s help with that, just drop us an email with your address. We can quickly pull some data for you to help you support your protest. Or, if we believe values are too high to support a protest, we’ll let you know that, too, so you can save the headache.
Just drop us an email with your home address by May 5th or so, and we’ll be happy to help.
My Mommy Blog Information Diet
I spent about a decade babysitting, from the time I was 12 all the way through college. So I entered parenthood naively convinced I was prepared. And I was sure I was not going to be a neurotic mom. I had experience with children, after all.
But WHOA is having your own baby different from watching someone else’s. The biggest surprise for me has been my anxiety about whether or not I’m doing any of this right. Is my child thriving, or have I made terrible calls about sleep and schedules and breastmilk and formula that will haunt him for life? Or, as some blogs suggest, is my anxiety about these questions itself actually bad for him, since apparently, babies are like little stress meters, the internet says. And stress is always bad, says the mommy blogs. That’s an assumption I disagree with but that’s a discussion for another day.
Several real moms I actually know have given me the wonderful advice in the last three months to stay off of Google. Great advice which I have ignored, preferring instead to doom-scroll search results from queries like “does mom’s diet impact reflux?” and “baby gaining weight slowly” followed just a week or two later by “baby gained 2lbs in ten days, is that normal.” Yes, you’re reading that right. I’ve wasted precious minutes of my life worrying about whether Tony was gaining weight too slowly, to then wasted more precious moments only days later worrying about whether he was gaining weight too fast.
From talking to other moms, apparently this sort of thing is fairly normal. But I’ve come to realize that I’m spending a lot of good time and energy worrying about things that I can’t control and that will largely resolve themselves.
One of my favorite all-time quotes is from Mark Twain and it is
“I’m an old man and I’ve known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
That’s me. “I’m a tired mom and I’ve made many terrible mistakes, but only according to the internet.”
Which is why I decided this weekend to go on a one week detox from doom-scrolling mommy blogs. And I hope that at the end of a week I’ll have no desire to go back.
My friend, coach and mentor Jasen Edwards recently put out a book called The Top Producer Life. I was reading it this morning and came across his section on “The Information Diet.” He talks about why consuming media can be detrimental to your mindset in business. A short excerpt here:
“[T]he media have figured out how addictive it is to show us stories and images that produce outrage. So they do it often and on purpose, and we end up with the mistaken illusion that we need to stay informed because the world is going to hell in a handbasket. None of this is supportive of your career.”Jasen Edwards, The Top Producer Life
I learned this lesson years ago in my business. I’ve gotten good at filtering out unhelpful inputs and staying focused on where I’m headed. Business “experts” may have a theory that’s working for them and some other business people, but if it doesn’t feel right to me, I go ahead and ignore that advice.
Ray Dalio, the famous hedge fund manager who wrote: “Principles” talks about gauging the believability of the person giving you advice. Are they experienced on this topic? Have they produced good results in this area? Do our principles and values align? In short, are they believable on this topic? This quick gut check has been enormously helpful for me when it comes to business and life advice. It gives me permission to ignore the Monday morning quarterbacks of the world.
One problem with mommy blogs is there is very little context to gauge the “experts” believability. They’re just someone, somewhere who published something that for some reason is getting clicks, and is therefore high on the search results, and it’s available for doom-scrolling during those interminable 3 am feeding sessions. None of that means it’s accurate or helpful.
And so, I’m going to once again take a lesson I already learned in the business, and apply it to motherhood, like the working mom that I am. I will not be going on any mommy-blog-suggested elimination diets, foregoing dairy and gluten and soy and onions and nuts and chocolate and coffee and spicy foods and eggs. (Because, really, does the internet just hate new moms and want to make us miserable???) Instead, I will eliminate the mommy blogs from my information diet.
Contracts and Closings
Congratulations to Natalie who closed on their home with Morgan! We have navigated multiple offer situations and a competitive market for buyers and we’re excited to cross the finish line.
UATX | Woodward
This month, we closed the Woodwards Unit #1 and #2, built by Urban ATX and designed by Dave’s McEathron Architecture. This was a duplex, offering two-family homes with no shared walls. It was an absolute beauty!
May April showers bring May flowers! Have a great month everyone.