Local beekeeper, Gary Rankin of The Bee Place, teaches us that bees can do far more for us than make delicious honey. Gary’s primary focus is on supplying new beekeepers with the education and tools to help take care of the bees. Perhaps more importantly to homeowners or property owners, Gary can show you how bees can save you a substantial amount on property taxes. He offers a service for folks who want to lease honey bees from him for the purpose of qualifying for ag valuation on their property. To qualify, you must have 5 to 20 acres of land (minus a house). With a house, you must have 6 to 21 acres of property. Gary was able to save one of his customers in Lockhart over $10,000 in taxes a year. While there is a fee for Gary’s services, you can bet it’s worth it! Still, there’s no denying that there’s nothing sweeter than Texas honey. Although Gary’s mission isn’t to harvest and sell honey, he works with a guy who does! Introducing David Holdman of Holdman Honey. Located in Seguin, David and his family manage 800 hives around Texas. He sells several different kinds of honey, which are named after the counties the bees live and thrive in: Guadalupe, Bexar, Wilson, Medina, Gonzales and Atascosa. “Our honey is local, raw honey, which means it’s just pure honey God gives us through the bees,” said David, humbly. The flavor of the honey depends upon the types of blooming plants and trees in the area, and interestingly, there are seven different colors of honey. “Out in Medina, the honey is a lot lighter and has a smoother finish versus the Atascosa and Bexar county honey, which are a little stronger,” explained David. Perhaps one of the best things about eating local honey is the benefits it offers people who suffer from seasonal allergies. It’s no myth that eating honey on a regular basis that is harvested (not processed) from bees within approximately a 100-mile radius will help those who suffer from dreaded allergies, such as cedar fever. David’s own son, who had allergies when he was quite young, kicked those allergies by eating delicious peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch every day. Although you can find Holdman Honey in stores all over Texas (see their website for details), our favorite place to find them is at the Pearl Farmers Market on the weekends. You can meet the beekeeper himself and learn all sorts of sweet stuff! For more information on beekeeping classes and “bee leasing,” email Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, if you’re looking to build a gorgeous custom home to make your bees happy, call us a call at 210-494-5400.
San Antonio is truly the best of both worlds. While it’s a big city with all the perks – great restaurants, international airport, and even Uber – at heart, San Antonio still maintains a small-town feel and community of people where family is always the number one priority. Here’s why we think it’s the best place to make a home and raise a family:
- Kid-Friendly Museums. Both the Witte Museum and the DoSeum children’s museum have spent millions of dollars to create environments where kids not only have fun but learn in the process. The Witte focuses on both science and culture. Their newly renovated space has a permanent dinosaur exhibit, a revolutionary interactive wellness exhibit and so much more. The Doseum is a wonderland for kids of all ages, with places to play, explore and create, from “Spy Academy” to “Little Town.” Both museums also offer a free night for families.
- Parks. San Antonio is filled with some of the most amazing parks. You can get lost among the bike trails at McAllister Park, explore the Greenway Trails from one side of the city to another. You can walk, bike or run along this beautiful 52-mile trail system. Phil Hardberger Park, on the northside, is another popular option for families and also has a playground for the kiddos. However, the ultimate park for kids may just be Brackenridge Park, where they can ride the mini train, feed the ducks and families can barbecue and relax on weekend afternoons. Be sure to get there early to get a good spot!
- Safe and Inexpensive. According to real estate site, Movoto, Texas is the most family-friendly state in the nation. The cost of living is low, and the cost of building a house is still low, particularly when compared to other metropolitan cities. Considering its size, San Antonio maintains short commutes and a surprisingly low crime rate as well.
- Education. From High Schools to Colleges, San Antonio offers a wide variety of educational opportunities. We have one of the top 10 magnate schools right here in town – the North East School of the Arts, as well as the always impressive UTSA, not to mention private colleges, such as Trinity and Incarnate Word. All of these offer students an excellent education right here at home.
- The Food. We mentioned it before, but we’ll say it again. One of our favorite reasons to raise a family here is because of the food. From inexpensive Tex-Mex (the best in Texas) to chef-driven restaurants run by the most amazing chefs graduating from our own Culinary Institute of America (perfect for date nights when you can find a babysitter). Yes, we have it all!
If you’re thinking of relocating to San Antonio, give call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a free consultation. We’ll not only help you build your dream home, but we’ll help you find the right place to live for you and your family. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.
The Pearl Brewery is THE place to visit in San Antonio whether you’re a resident or a visitor. With an endless list of fantastic restaurants, bars and shops, not to mention the farmers market on the weekends and access to the north extension of the Riverwalk, you could go here just about every day and never get bored. Here are some of our favorite things to do:
Boiler House is a cornerstone restaurant at the Pearl and one of the best places to go to dine on an array of yummy cuisine from fun appetizers like Texas Whiskey Bacon Caramel Kettle Corn and House Chicharrones to a juicy 32 oz. Tomahawk Ribeye with bone marrow butter. Our favorite may be the Jackie Treehorn Burger – this bad boy comes with foie gras peanut butter, bacon and melted cheese. So good you’ll be dreaming about it! They also have a terrific happy hour.
Melissa Guerra is a culinary-centric shop that sells the most stunning wares from provincial Mexico and various regions of Latin America. Here you’ll find everything from tortilla presses to vibrantly-colored ceramic dishes.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
Beer lovers will delight in the fact that you can get craft brews in this historic brewery. Southerleigh, along with Hotel Emma, and Supper have brilliantly repurposed the space, utilizing items from the original brewery in new and clever ways. We recommend trying a flight of beers. Right now they’re featuring a Gold Export Lager, Texas Uncommon Ale, Darwinian IPA and Godzilla Go Juice Sake Style Beer.
Ten Thousand Villages
If you’re looking for a unique gift for that picky friend, Ten Thousand Villages is a good bet. They sell a variety of handcrafted imported goods from around the world. You’ll find jewelry, wall decorations, scarves, ceramics and even toys for the kiddos. Expect to find delights your friends will treasure forever, that is, unless you decide to keep them for yourself!
Cured is easily a local’s favorite for their housemade charcuterie. When you walk into this historic building the curing meats are showcased right next to the front door. They source locally and feature a daily farmer’s market dish made with the freshest veggies procured from the market that takes place right outside the restaurant. They also offer brunch on Sundays so don’t miss out.
The north extension of the Riverwalk that abuts the Pearl is beautifully-landscaped, and the ideal place to take a stroll morning, noon or night. Head south towards the San Antonio Museum of Art, where you can pop in for a beer at The Luxury before heading back. You can also hop on a riverboat or simply sit in the mini amphitheater outside of Hotel Emma and watch the tourists. They also hold concerts and events here.
Botika is the newest restaurant to make its debut at the Pearl and has already received a four-star review from the Express-News for their inventive Peruvian-Asian restaurant created by a former chef at the Culinary Institute of America.
After your excursion at the Pearl, call us at 210-494-5400 to discuss your new custom home ideas! If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.
There’s only a few weeks left of blissful summer before school starts up again, vacation’s over, and we’re back to the grind. Here are some fun and relaxing ways to make the most of the time we have left:
If you’re looking to find that last scrap of peace before the chaos of the new school year and fall festivities begins, you might enjoy the mass meditation coming up at the Japanese Tea Garden on August 6, from 8-9 am. Join positive-minded folks and send some love and light out into the world during this peaceful meditation, led by ONE Mindful Maven and Serious Media. The specific purpose of the meditation is to promote world peace and love through unified silence. Surrounded by the serenity of the garden, there are few better ways to appreciate your summer morning.
McNay’s Coney Island Exhibit
The McNay’s magical and sometimes dark Coney Island: Visions of the American Dreamland exhibit will be here until mid-September, and this one is definitely worth a gander. It’s the perfect summertime treat to inspire you to be creative, or at the very least, go to Fiesta Texas for one last go-around on the roller coaster. Once called “the People’s Playground,” this exhibit features a variety of paintings, drawings, prints, photos, films, posters, side show banners, carousel animals and memorabilia from Coney Island in its heyday as well as during its decline.
For something a little off the beaten path, check out the Alamo City Improv’s show that takes place in the basement of the Magic Time Machine every Friday and Saturday night from 8 to 10 pm. Although this seasoned comedy troupe can easily make you smile and laugh, they can also roll out the drama in a way that’s both poignant and surprising. This is a great date night event, although not for young kids, if you’re bringing the family with you.
Enjoy a leisurely meal at NAO, which just introduced a new brunch menu that features a variety of Latin-inspired brunch dishes, such as chilaquiles in a tomatillo salsa, served with a soft egg; and Torreja, which is their version of French Toast, made with dulce de leche and served with stewed plantains. Other dishes include Duck Carnitas, and the crowd-pleasing Cuban Sandwich. Their cocktails and agua frescas are made with fresh-squeezed Latin juices, which is just the icing on the cake!
If the end of summer means the decision to buy a new house, please call us at 210-494-5400 for a consultation. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.