Monday, April 25, 2016

Get Inspired with International Garden Designs!


Beautiful garden inspiration can come from all parts of the world. From the neat and pristine gardens of France to the peaceful meditation gardens of Japan, there are many design styles to help you create a pleasing outdoor space that suits you best. Here are some international ideas to help you get inspired this spring:
Traditional English -- "Romantic" and "dreamy" are words often used to describe classic English gardens. They typically feature meandering pathways, sculpted shrubs and abundant sweeping flowers, like climbing roses. Recreate the look with plenty of climbing greenery and bright pops of color.
Formal French -- Indulge your inner neat freak with the clean lines of a formal French garden based on order, symmetry and geometric shapes. Arrange sculpted trees in straight lines, add a small fountain with a round or rectangular pool, or create a mini courtyard with neatly trimmed boxwood hedges for a French-inspired garden.
Japanese Zen -- Serene Japanese gardens often feature water, rocks, sand and gravel, all of which represent spiritual or philosophical ideas. They're characteristically minimalist, asymmetrical and elegant. Plant a symbolic cherry blossom tree as the main focal point, or create your own tranquil setting with a stone pathway, bamboo fence, backyard waterfall or koi pond.
Fragrant Tuscan -- Delight your sense of smell with a Tuscan-style garden. These traditionally include aromatic herbs such as lavender, sage, rosemary or flowering thyme. Ornamental grasses add soft texture while low-maintenance, native plants do just fine in the hot summer sun.
Kathlyn's Tip -- Once you've found your inspiration, head to Joshua's Native Plants or Buchanan's Native Plants to make your dream garden come true. I love these two nursery's not only for their fantastic selection of plants, but also for the knowledgeable and helpful staff. Another local favorite is Tiny Boxwood's, where you can enjoy a lovely lunch on their patio before shopping. Make sure to indulge in a cookie


Friday, April 22, 2016

New Listing: Quintessential Bungalow in the Heights


New Listing: 315 W. 13th St.

Fall in love with this charming and cozy updated bungalow in a fantastic location steps from Heights Blvd. & Milroy Park. The home features gleaming hardwoods and double-paned windows. The kitchen is updated with granite counters and tumbled travertine backsplash. Travertine bathrooms and plantation shutters throughout add a classic finish. Light and bright sunroom overlooking the backyard is a perfect office, craft room, or playroom. Two-car garage and a real driveway off alley is a huge Heights bonus.

Stop by the Open House this weekend!

Saturday, April 23rd 2-5 pm
Sunday, April 24th 2-5pm 

Open House Weekend Schedule

Why I Love Houston Properties is hosting the following Open Houses this coming weekend, April 23-24.  

Saturday, April 23rd 2-5 pm

315 W. 13th St., Heights: Quintessential Bungalow in the Heights

5422 Chartres St., Museum District: A must see 2 bedroom 2 bathroom Townhome. 

Sunday, April 24th 2-5 pm

315 W. 13th St., Heights: Quintessential Bungalow in the Heights.

635 W 21st St., Heights: Welcoming bungalow on a huge landscaped lot. 

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: Well maintained beauty in Sunset Heights.

5422 Chartres St., Museum District: A must see 2 bedroom 2 bathroom Townhome. 

8719 Rippling Water Dr., Sugar Land: Fabulous 1-story home with breathtaking water views and inviting outdoor spaces. 


Current Listings

315 W. 13th St., Heights: Quintessential Bungalow in the Heights.

635 W 21st St., Heights: Welcoming bungalow on a huge landscaped lot. 

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: Well maintained beauty in Sunset Heights. 

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

5422 Chartres St., Museum District: A must see 2 bedroom 2 bathroom Townhome. 

8719 Rippling Water Dr., Sugar Land: Fabulous 1-story home with breathtaking water views and inviting outdoor spaces. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Let The Music Play!


Please join me for the Second Annual Heights Kids' Day of Music featuring Houston musicians, arts and crafts, and local food vendors.

Saturday, April 23rd
10 am - 2 pm 
Love Park in the Heights - 1000 W. 12th St. 

The Heights Kids' Day of Music is dedicated to bringing the sounds of local musicians to our neighborhood in a feast for the senses. The main stage will have a variety of bands performing - from Afro-Cuban sounds to the soul/funk stylings of the legendary Kashmere Stage Band and plenty of kid-friendly rock'n'roll. There's an instrument "petting zoo" so the young ones can get a hands-on experience with the tools of the trade. I'm sponsoring the Creative Zone so be sure to visit our booth where we'll be crafting your very own instrument! 
 
See you on Saturday!

Kathlyn

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Considering a Second Home?

Whether you're thinking about buying an investment property for steady cash flow, a vacation home for your family or a temporary home for your college-bound son or daughter, there are a few things you should consider before making the investment:
Local Market -- Both the local resale and rental markets are important factors. Are home prices on the rise, increasing the possibility of a profitable sale in the future? Is the rental market tight, causing average rent prices to go up? You'll want your rental income to be able to cover mortgage costs, taxes and expenses.
Maintenance -- When calculating costs, include routine maintenance and potential repairs. If purchasing a property to rent out, note any requirements and safety obligations for your area. If you're not the handy type or your desired property is far from your primary residence, consider hiring a property management company to handle ongoing maintenance concerns.
Insurance Costs -- Find out if you need additional disaster coverage such as flood or earthquake insurance. In general expect to pay higher insurance costs, especially if you plan on renting out the property.
Financing -- Plan on being subjected to more scrutiny than you were on your primary residence. Banks often require a higher down payment on second homes, and interest rates may be higher as well.
Tax Implications -- Make sure you understand the tax implications of owning a second property. If you plan on renting it out, you'll need to report the rental payments as income. On the other hand, operating expenses, such as insurance, utilities and repairs, may be considered deductions.
Kathlyn's Tip -- Be sure to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent, who understands not only the local market but more importantly your needs as a buyer.  If you are considering purchasing a second home in the Houston area, please contact my office for a consultation. My combined experience as a realtor and former tax attorney can help you navigate the unique concerns of purchasing a second home. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why I Love Houston: Art Car Parade!

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...The 29th Annual Houston Art Car Parade


The Houston Art Car Parade rolls this Saturday, April 9th at 2 pm taking a downtown route along Smith Street this year because of the road construction on Allen Parkway. Be on the lookout for my family's ride in this year's parade: the TX/ZX, which holds the record title of "Fastest Art Car in the World," clocking in at 161 miles per hour! My husband Nick won't be driving at top speed so please wave and cheer me, Nick, and our little co-pilot Jean-Luc on as we cruise by with over 200 art cars from all over the country. The original owners of the TX/ZX, electrical engineer Jake Goldstein and attorney Amy Dinn, decorated the car in a Texas-inspired theme using glass mosaic, paint, and their welding skills. Nick has been restoring the sleek raciness to the TX/ZX, which is an older version of his favorite red 300 ZX that swept me off my feet in our younger days.


There's a full week of festivities leading up to the Art Car Parade, including the legendary Houston Art Car Ball, on Friday, April 8th, 6-11 pm at I & II Allen Center on Smith Street. You can buy tickets in advance and costumes are encouraged! For more Art Car fun, check out these events. Vroom, Vroom! Kathlyn