Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ideas for Increasing Your Outdoor Privacy

A yard or patio is the perfect spot for enjoying the outdoors, whether that means playtime with your kids or quiet relaxation after a long day. And while you may like your neighbors, you may not want to see and hear them every time you venture into your backyard. If more privacy interests you, consider these options below:
Fencing -- Probably the most straightforward solution, fences have long been the go-to for homeowners seeking seclusion. Be sure to check city ordinances and HOA policies before installing one.
Hedges -- Shrubs like boxwood and privet are commonly planted along property lines. Choose an evergreen variety for year-long privacy. Make sure it's suited for your climate and matures to your desired height.
Screens -- Stylish and effective, folding wood-panel screens add a nice visual element while blocking unwanted views. Opt for a weather-resistant screen designed for the outdoors.
Trellis -- The lattice configurations on these simple wooden structures offer an element of privacy. They're also a perfect host for climbing vines and plants if you'd like additional coverage. Just be sure to check the sunlight and care requirements for the vegetation you plant.
Pergola -- A pergola helps block views from second-story windows and balconies. It can be as simple or intricate as you'd like and will offer a degree of shade along with privacy.
Drapes -- Budget-friendly and chic, panels help screen off your patio and can be moved as desired. Make sure the fabric is suitable for outdoor use or spray it with a water-resistant coating.
Vertical Garden -- If you're looking to increase privacy and also want to grow your own herbs, consider a living wall. You can buy prefabricated tower planters for easy installation.
If neighborly noise is a problem, a water fountain is a relaxing, sound-muffling solution. Consider your outdoor space and choose the privacy-adding options that work for you.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Two New Great Listings

912 Cortlandt St., Heights

Make this charming Heights bungalow zoned to Harvard Elementary your new home sweet home. Situated on a large 6600 sf lot, the oversized front porch welcomes you to this beautifully updated home with hardwoods, high ceilings, crown molding, granite counters in spacious island kitchen and SS appliances. Bonus den/ study/ play room off kitchen overlooks large backyard and deck - perfect layout for entertaining. Recent two-car garage and driveway gate - a move-in ready gem!

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (9/25) from 2-5 pm.

2210 Megellan Point Ln., Pearland

Come home to this beautiful and immaculate 4-bedroom, single-story home situated on a large corner lot in Shadow Creek Ranch. Granite island kitchen with SS appliances, gorgeous new wide plank wood flooring, designer paint colors, crown molding, high ceilings, gaslog fireplace, very open and inviting floor plan. Sprinkler system and shade sail over patio. Walk to Laura Ingalls Wilder Alvin ISD elementary school! MUST SEE! 

Showings begin at the Open House this Sunday (9/25) from 2-5 PM.

Check out our beautiful property in Sugar Land at the Open House this Sunday (9/25) from 2-5 pm, and visit my website for all my current listings

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Why I Love Houston: Festival Season II

Hold on to your turkey leg - the Texas Renaissance Festival kicks off October 8th!
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...Festival Season Part II

Mark your calendars for more great festivals and events coming up in Houston. Whether it's a longstanding tradition like RenFest or a new, interactive pedestrian experience like Remote Houston, the city has plenty of crowd pleasing options to make your next Houston outing more festive! 

Texas Renaissance Festival (October 8-November 27) Tis' the season for giant turkey legs, barbarian bombshells, roving bands of pirates, gypsy dance troupes, and knights in shining armor of course! The festival also offers a calendar of themed weekends for Oktoberfest, All Hallows Eve, and Celtic Christmas among others. Get in the spirit and come in costume or pick up a pair of elf ears and flower crowns at the Renaissance Shoppes in the New Market Village.

Houston Heights Bicycle Rally and Scavenger Hunt (Sunday, October 2) Explore the historic Heights neighborhood by participating in the 11th annual bike ride and scavenger hunt. Whether you pick the 20-mile course or opt for the five-mile ride (great for parents and kids to do together!), the views of Victorian mansions, outdoor sculptures and yard art, and murals will provide a scenic backdrop as you cycle and hunt for clues. The rally ends with a party and awards ceremony in picturesque Marmion Park. 

Festa Italiana (October 13-16) Be Italian in the heart of Montrose when the 38th annual Italian Festival sets up on the grounds of the University of St. Thomas. Listen to the sounds of Italian music, including a performance by an Italian tenor, view sidewalk art masterpieces, and come hungry to compete in the pasta eating contest. Festival activities also include a classic car show, adult bocce tournament and a children's stage featuring puppets and traditional Italian dance lessons. 

Remote Houston (September 29-November 18) Experience live theater on the streets and Metrorail line via Remote Houston, a pedestrian-based interactive performance that returns to Houston after making its debut at the CounterCurrent Festival in April. An audio tour leads you and approximately 50 other participants from the East End to downtown's Theater District with unique stops and audience participation along the way! Take advantage of the $34 ticket special on select Thursdays (9/29, 10/9 and 10/13) with promo code UH.

Enjoy Houston!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Make an Annual Home Maintenance Checklist

Southland Hardware in Montrose - a great local source for all the items on your to do list!

Your vehicle requires routine maintenance to run smoothly, and the same goes for your house. Without service reminders, however, it can be easy to forget to tend to all the systems that keep your house fully functioning. Fortunately, you can create a simple annual maintenance checklist to properly care for your home and prevent potential issues from becoming major problems.

Start by making a list of each task you'll need to complete over the coming year. Make sure your yearly home inspection includes all major systems (HVAC, electrical and plumbing), the interior and exterior of your home, water and septic tanks, doors and windows, and the attic or basement if applicable.
When that's done, organize the list according to how often each item needs to be checked or maintained and set reminders accordingly. Your home maintenance checklist might start to look similar to this:
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Change air filters in the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Clean range hood filters to avoid possible grease fires.
  • Trim back any shrubbery or plant growth around the outdoor HVAC unit by at least 18 inches.
  • Check and wipe down sliding doors and window tracks.
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
  • Test garage door and grease tracks as needed.
  • Clear gutters of spring and fall foliage.
  • Power wash windows and siding.
  • Schedule seasonal service of the HVAC system before summer and winter.
  • Inspect and insulate pipes to protect them from freezing.
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from the home's exterior.
  • Touch up exterior paint and check for wood rot or water damage.
  • Check grouting in kitchen and bathroom and repair if necessary.
A home maintenance checklist will make it easier for you to manage the upkeep of your house. It can also help you catch minor issues before they become costly home repairs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Why I Love Houston: Festival Season

Artist at work during Hue Mural Fest 2015
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...Festival Season!

September and October herald the start of festival season in Houston. As the temperatures drop, it's the perfect time of year to explore the many cultural, art, and culinary celebrations in the city with family and friends. Here are a few highlights we're looking forward to experiencing in September and October.

Pearland International Festival (September 16-17) is in its fourth year and growing with Friday night featuring live music for the 18+ crowd. The Molly Ringwalds are headlining the evening with their pure essence of the 80's performance. Saturday is fun for the whole family with dance and music performances from around the world, as well as an international array of cuisine and drinks. 

The Original Greek Festival (October 6-9) is the perfect way to welcome fall at this annual festival on the grounds of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral and School in Montrose. Indulge in gyros, spanakopita, and baklava while taking in the sights and sounds of Greek music and dancing. Be sure to stop by their Agora marketplace for unique gifts, jewelry, and crafts. 

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown (October 8-9) showcases over 300 artists, making it the ideal place to find your new favorite piece to adorn your walls. With food trucks, live music and entertainment, and a children's creative zone, the festival offers a full day for the entire family to enjoy against the backdrop of the city's stunning skyline.

Korean Festival Houston (October 15) provides the chance to experience Korean culture, from food to traditional dress to music to TaeKwonDo, all in one convenient location at Discovery Green.  

Hue Mural Festival (October 15-22) is a week-long celebration of Houston's vibrant street art scene, as artists from around the world come to create new murals throughout the city. Watch the artist's progression with your own own self-guided tours or book a tour guided by an local street artist for an insider's look at Houston's murals. 

Happy Festing!