Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 Lights in the Heights!!!


Lights in the Heights is a yearly tradition in the Woodland Heights neighborhood where we roll out the welcome mat to our fellow neighbors and the entire city to celebrate holiday decor in all its megawatt glory - from LED spectacles to luminarias lining the driveways. Whether you're attending a house party like me or simply admiring from the sidewalk, there's no better way to get into the holiday spirit! So mark you calendar for Saturday, December 9th. Be on the lookout for the towering palm trees decked out like candy canes on the corner of Michaux and Woodland, along with the glowing dinosaurs on the Norhill Esplanade.

Pterodactyl Sighting!!!

Practical tips for enjoying Lights in the Heights: Please be mindful if parking in the neighborhood as you will not be able to park on closed streets which are barricaded around 5:00 pm and re-opened around 9:00 pm. There are port-o-lets located on the Norhill Esplanade and along the route.

If you need a break from all the festivities, the Red Dessert Dive on Studewood is open until 10:00 pm and you can enjoy a glass of cocoa or wine with their decadent dessert selections. Be aware seating is limited in their cozy space. Antidote Coffee, also on Studewood, is a great spot for refueling during the festivities, especially for their cajeta latte!

Here's to making spirits bright!


Kathlyn

Friday, November 3, 2017

6th Ward OPEN HOUSE & Henderson & Kane Holiday Market Pop Up



“In New York, 6 blocks is your life...” If any neighborhood can make something similar happen in Houston, it’s Sixth Ward... and the Mercantile (Henderson @ Kane) is one of the many keys to making that dream a reality. John and Veronica Avila are putting the final touches on Henderson & Kane General Store, a Sixth Ward corner store they hope to open in January at 715 Henderson (at Kane) that will function like an old mercantile offering hot and cold deli options, coffee, and beer and wine. Henderson & Kane also speaks to a distinctly Houston neighborhood – the old Sixth Ward that has the city's largest concentration of Victorian and early 20th Century bungalow homes. The structure at 715 Henderson is an original 1930s mercantile. Want a peek of what Henderson & Kane will offer? They are holding a one-day Holiday Market on Sunday, November 5 starting at Noon.

While you are out exploring the Sixth Ward, be sure to stop by my Open House at 2019 Decatur St. (http://www.har.com/2019-decatur-st/sale_66972948) from 2:00pm – 5:00pm and visit with the Why I Love Houston Properties team. This gorgeous 3 bedroom 2.5 baths home is priced to sell at $649,900. 




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Houston Islamic Arts Festival (November 11 & 12)



Houston is such a diverse city, representing various customs and cultures. It’s this diversity that makes Houston such a unique place to live and one of the many reasons “why I love Houston.”

The 4th annual Islamic Arts Festival is scheduled for November 11 & 12, 2017. Co-sponsored by The Islamic Arts Society & Rice University's Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance, the Islamic Arts Festival is the largest and oldest of its kind in North America. The festival will bring together children and adults of all faiths, religions and cultures for two days of fun, festivity and learning.

Everyone is welcome to this FREE event being held at 16700 Old Louetta Rd, Spring, TX 77379.

With over 5000 art pieces and over 50 artists, there is something for everyone to enjoy and share. More than 7000 visitors are expected to attend the festival this year.
According to the Islamic Arts Society: An estimated 200,000 Muslims live in the Greater Houston area. The purpose of this event is to celebrate culture and promote the positive image of our community among Muslims and non-Muslims.

By promoting Islamic Arts and the Islamic Arts Festival, my aim is to promote cultural understanding and bringing the broader Houston community together.

We would love to see you all come out and support this great cause in a couple weeks!

-- Kathlyn, Nick & Jean-Luc

Friday, June 30, 2017

4th of July Fireworks Across Houston


Happy 4th of July, Houston, from the team at Why I Love Houston Properties! As we approach the upcoming holiday, I wanted to take a moment to share some fun activities to consider across the city of Houston.

Freedom Over Texas (http://www.houstontx.gov/july4/) is the Mayor’s official 4th of July celebration. This annual festival brings out more than 40,000 people into the heart of our favorite city for food, entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display. This year the festival is being held from 4:00pm – 10:00pm at Eleanor Tinsley Park and Sam Houston Park downtown along Buffalo Bayou.

ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: A Star Spangled Salute is being held at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Enjoy an evening with Conductor Michael Krajewski and the Houston Symphony, listening to patriotic American music. Be sure to stay until the end for the 1812 Overture—complete with booming cannons! This celebration concludes with a magnificent display of fireworks provided by the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office.

The Katy Freedom Celebration fireworks display will be launched between the east side of the Katy Mills Mall and Katy Fort Bend Road. This display begins at approximately 9:30pm and can be viewed from several miles around the mall area. This event is free to the public.

Another free event is the Red, Hot & Blue Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza being held at Town Green Park and Waterway Square in The Woodlands, TX from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. The event culminates with one of the largest fireworks displays in the Greater Houston area, with the 18+ minute Fireworks Extravaganza beginning at approximately 9:30 p.m.

We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for across the city of Houston. Feel free to share some of your favorite spots to view fireworks across this great city with me and our fellow Houstonians! I’d be delighted to take you and your loved ones on a property tour and show you more of the reasons why I love Houston, so don’t hesitate to contact me or my team for your any of real estate needs. Follow us on Facebook and be sure to share this blog post with your friends and family—I really appreciate that. I'll be sharing a post about my favorite parks across the city in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back on my blog to learn more about Why I Love Houston!

Happy 4th of July, Houston!

-- Kathlyn

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Why I Love Houston...2017 Summer Camp Ideas



Welcome to Why I Love Houston Properties!!! School is wrapping up for the year and parents are exploring educational opportunities for the summer months. I wanted to share some of my favorites summer camp recommendations for you to consider.

Once you’ve signed up for some of these fun ideas, let me know, as you just might run into Jean-Luc and me exploring these exciting summer camp ideas! You can connect with me here on my blog and also on Facebook.

Houston Summer Art Camps

City ArtWorks

Every summer, City ArtWorks offers 9 weeks of art classes at their community studio that include sculpture, clay, printmaking, drawing, painting, mixed media and other visual art mediums. For children ages 4 to 12, summer art classes encourage creative problem solving, help develop critical thinking skills, and expose children to visual arts concepts and history.

Alley Theatre Play Makers Summer Camp

Play Makers participants join their peers for a full rotation of group activities designed to help even the most timid child find the confidence to step onto the stage. Alley Master Teaching Artists guide fun and informative lessons that teach theatre skills in improvisation, dance and movement, visual story telling, and character development. Your young creative masterminds will learn performance skills here that they will use their whole lives.

Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Education Camps Houston Summer

Lone Star College Discovery College

Discovery College provides the opportunity for children ages 6-17 to explore and expand their interests and skills using engaging, hands-on curriculum in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) focused classes held in a campus-based educational environment. 

Companion Camp (Houston Humane Society)

Companion Camp is a wonderful opportunity for children ages 7-13 (or ages 12 - 15 during teen week) to work hands-on with animals cared for by the Houston Humane Society. Campers learn valuable life lessons concerning the welfare of all animals. During a typical day, campers participate in humane education lessons, workshops from animal experts, games, crafts, and hands-on animal activities.

I hope you find these summer camp recommendations useful as you are exploring all the great things to do in Houston this summer. Don’t forget to stop by our website at whyilovehouston.com to check out our current property listings and other information about my team and me. We’d be delighted to take you on a property tour today and explore Houston with you and your loved ones!

-- Kathlyn

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Why I Love Houston Properties and Kathlyn Curtis is hosting an OPEN HOUSE at 2020 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX 77009 in the beautiful Historic Houston Heights! Please stop by and visit Kathlyn on Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 2:00pm - 5:00pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

4 OPEN HOUSES (SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017)



Why I Love Houston Properties and Kathlyn Curtis is pleased to share 4 Open Houses on Sunday, May 7, 2017 (2:00pm - 5:00pm). Come by and visit Kathlyn and her team at the following locations:

  • 4129 Dickson St. Houston, TX 77007 (listed at $525,000)
  • 8719 Rippling Water Drive, Sugar Land, TX 77479 (listed at $400,000)
  • 2717 N. Sabine St., Houston, TX 77009 (listed at $879,900)
  • 2056 Addison Rd., Houston, TX 77030 (listed at $900,000)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo Houston



Happy Cinco de Mayo from Why I Love Houston Properties! As we look across the city today, there are so many options one has to get out and celebrate. Whether you are stopping by Cinco de Mayo at Historic Market Square or enjoying your favorite restaraunt today with friends and family, there is no question we have much to celebrate in this great city.

The question remains...what exactly are we celebrating today? As I talked with my friends and colleagues, most assumed (incorrectly) that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexico's Independence.

Below are some fun facts about Cinco de Mayo that you might find interesting:
  • Cinco de Mayo is celebrated to honor Mexico's victory over France at the battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war (1861 - 1867). Despite having a small band of fighters, the Mexican's were able to defeat a large French army on May 5, 1862.
  • Mexico does celebrate its Independence each year, but not on May 5. Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16, when they celebrate their independence from Spain.
  • Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico. The largest celebration in the U.S. is held in Los Angles, California.
My hope is that you take some time this Cinco de Mayo to reflect on its true history and perhaps go out and research more fun facts. I'd love to hear more fun facts from you. Take a minute to share with me your favorite Cinco de Mayo celebration spot or your favorite recipe idea!

If you are looking for some alternatives from the norm today, feel free to contact me or any of my team members to arrange for a property tour! I would love to take you around the city and show you more reasons why I love Houston!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How the Right Words Can Sell a Home

House and neighborhood characteristics can positively influence the sale of your home, but what about the words used in the listing? The right turn of phrase could help your property sell quickly, but choose less descriptive terms and you may find it on the market indefinitely. Write an effective listing with the following tips:
Choose Your Words Wisely
One analytics firm reviewed the word choices of a million listings that closed in 2016. Phrases like "open concept" and "natural light" closed more quickly, while listings with "ceramic tile" and "two story" stayed on the market longer. Analysts also found that four word pairs associated with quick closings included "fence" references, indicating that privacy may be a top priority for buyers.
Tell Stories With Emotion 
Capture potential buyers' senses with your words, and try to paint a picture of what it would be like to live in the home. A claw-foot tub becomes a place of solace from the daily grind, and a large yard transforms into a buyer's new outdoor respite. Need help? Consider enlisting a professional who is familiar with what's selling to help write your listing.
Highlight Brand Names
Don't focus solely on basics such as square footage and the number of bathrooms. Instead, identify brands that will stand out from the competition. Everything's fair game -- from appliances to fixtures to interior designers or architects who helped with your last renovation. You can feel comfortable name-dropping here.
Create Longer Listings
The 2015 book "Zillow Talk" found that listings as long as 250 words tend to sell at higher prices. And to help grab a potential buyer's eye, give particular attention to the first 10 words.
Before putting your home on the market, take some time to craft a well-worded listing. A sale may hinge on it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why I Love Houston: Pet Friendly Houston Outings


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....city adventures for our four-legged friends!

It's the perfect time of year to get out and about with your furry family members! Houston has lots of fun pet-friendly outings for exploring the city.

Hit the Buffalo Bayou Park trails with Fido where you can spot a heron or two along the bayou while taking in views of the downtown skyline. Pose your pup for an inspiring social media pic by one of the Monumental Monuments series word sculptures, like "Listen" or "Reflect." A stop at the popular Johnny Steele Dog Park will ensure your dog will be napping the rest of the day after romping around with their new playmates. The park has special areas for little and big dogs and water features for cooling off. After working up an appetite at the park, treat yourself to breakfast or lunch at The Kitchen at The Dunlavy, which has a dog-friendly patio. Paws on Patios keeps an updated list of bars and restaurants where dogs are welcome on outdoor patios for other dining options around the city.

For a water adventure, take a day trip to Seabrook where you and your dog can rent a kayak at Pinky's Kayak Rentals. Spend a couple of hours exploring Taylor Lake and the nature of Armand Bayou with either a self-guided or guided tour of the area. Back on shore, head to nearby Boondoogles for burgers and refreshments on their patio. Finish the day with a stroll through Clear Lake Park before heading home.

Mark your calendars for May 13th, when Puppies for Breakfast takes over Market Square Park downtown. This celebration is all things dog! You can find a variety of dog-focused vendors, artists, and activities. Your pup can also strut their stuff during the costume contest. The event is free, but a $5 donation benefiting the Animal Justice League Rescue is suggested.

For those who are looking for a new furry addition to the family, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is April 30th. You can visit one of Houston's many animal rescue organizations to find your family's new best pal. BARC, Friends for Life, and Scout's Honor Rescue are all great places to start your search. For all the cat lovers, Houston's first cat cafe, El Gato Coffehouse, will open in May. In the meantime, you can meet all the cafe's friendly felines looking for forever homes at their scheduled events, like Yoga with Cats, Meowvie Night, and Caturday Morning Cartoons.

Peace, love, and pets!

Kathlyn


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4 Famous American Estates That Inspire

It's never too early to dream up your next vacation. Whether you're interested in a fun, educational destination or you're on the hunt for home inspiration, visiting these famous estates may pique your imagination.
Architectural Icon
A tour through the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio just outside of Chicago is like peering into the creative mind of one of America's most iconic architects. Constructed in 1889 for $5,000, this Oak Park house served as the family home for Wright, his wife and their six kids. Bold, geometric shapes on the exterior and the interior's high, barrel-vaulted ceiling make this visit a must for architecture enthusiasts.
Literary Cats 
One home of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway is tucked away in the heart of Old Town in Key West, Florida. The estate boasts Spanish colonial architecture and lush grounds; however, the Hemingway home is also well-known for its current occupants. No less than 40 polydactyl (six-toed) cats, descendants of those owned by Hemingway himself, still live on-site.
Presidential Family Estate
Get a historical perspective with a visit to Hildene, a 1905 Georgian Revival mansion in Manchester, Vermont, that belonged to Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Guests can take year-round tours of the home's 24-room interior, stroll down approximately 12 miles of walking trails and visit the working farm.
As Seen on TV
Popularized by more than 70 feature films and television shows, including "Full House," San Francisco's Painted Ladies are a staple of the city's skyline. This row of quintessential Victorian homes, also known as the Seven Sisters, ascends one of the city's hilly neighborhoods. Snap a gorgeous photo from the famous Alamo Square Park across the street.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Why I Love Houston: The 30th Annual Art Car Parade!

Van Gogh pickup truck at the Art Car Parade- only in Texas!
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 Houston Art Car Parade!

We brake for art cars in this city! Head to downtown Houston this Saturday, April 8th, at 2 pm when a convoy of fantastically decorated cars from here and all over the United States takes to the streets for spectators to admire and Instagram. Get to Smith Street early so you can take time to view the art cars and chat with the drivers/artists before they get rolling. This year's grand marshal of the Art Car Parade is comedian, actor, and author, Cheech Marin! He will be signing his book, Cheech Is Not My Real Name ... But Don't Call Me Chong at a special event held at the historic River Oaks Theatre on Thursday, April 6th at 7 pm (tickets required).

More art car events include the Main Street Drag on Thursday, April 6th, 9 am-1 pm, for a sneak peek of the cars in motion. The Art Car Ball takes place on the evening of Friday, April 7th at Hermann Square for a night of music, art cars, and costumes too!

Let the good times roll!

Kathlyn


Friday, March 31, 2017

Two Open Houses This Sunday!


Two must-see Open Houses this Sunday, April 2nd from 2-5 pm! 



Don't miss this charming and immaculate family home on an oversized corner lot in sought-after Southgate 3 blocks from Rice University. Living room, kitchen, and study all open to large deck overlooking huge backyard creating the perfect layout for entertaining. Beautiful interior with hardwoods throughout, remodeled kitchen and master bath, and stunning double-paned windows in keeping with the traditional style of the home. Workshop/storage shed off garage - this one has it all!



Welcome home to this Woodland Heights property one block from the hike and bike trail, and a short walk to Travis Elementary. Gated side yard and sprawling front yard. Layout conducive to transforming den into a mother-in-law suite or a second master down. Huge kitchen at the heart of the home and large study off the formal living room. Stunning master retreat with sitting area and nursery or private study up.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Essential Checklists for Homebuying and Selling


Spring has sprung, which means the housing market is in full bloom. Each year, roughly 40 percent of real estate transactions occur between the months of May and August. If you're feeling inspired to buy or sell a home soon, make sure you're prepared. Use these checklists to catch anything you may have missed. We're also here to help at Why I Love Houston Properties!
When You're Ready to Buy a Home
Purchasing a house is one of the biggest transactions you'll ever make. Whether it's your first time or the fifth, tackle the following prep work:
  • Calculate what you can afford. Use a home affordability calculator to make sure you're ready for the mortgage payments.
  • Check your credit score, and fix any inaccuracies you discover ASAP. Errors can impact your ability to get a good interest rate.
  • Save up for a down payment. Most lenders require 5 to 20 percent, and larger down payments can lower the amount you pay each month.
  • Be ready for additional closing costs. Plan to have approximately 4 percent of the home's purchase price on hand to cover taxes, fees and other necessary charges.
  • Re-evaluate your insurance coverage and update all of your policies, including life and car insurance.
When It's Time to Sell
Putting your home on the market is a process that can take months. Before you do, complete this home seller to-do list:
  • Declutter, clean and get your home ready to show. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  • Take inventory of what needs to be fixed and make a schedule to complete any updates, such as roof work, new paint or landscaping.
  • Decide on an appropriate selling price. Pulling comps in your area can give you a better idea of your home's value.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Urban Homesteading: 3 Ways to Produce Your Own Food


From backyard and rooftop gardens to community plots in parks and vacant lots, urban agriculture has become a nationwide movement, and more homeowners have taken an interest in producing their own food. For many urban homesteaders, it stems from a desire to know where their food comes from and live more sustainably.
Are you interested in participating? These three small-scale projects are great places to start.
Raising Backyard Chickens
Chickens provide a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance way to feed your family, plus they act as complimentary fertilizer and chemical-free pest control. Before you buy baby chicks, make sure you research and follow local laws, city ordinances and homeowner association rules. 
Kathlyn's Tip: Check out the Chicken Shack Strut in Galveston where you can tour coastal coops and hen houses on the island for inspiration! 
Taking Up Beekeeping
In the 1940s, America had five million beehives, and today, roughly half of those remain. A growing awareness of this drastic decline has led to an increase in urban beekeeping, to the tune of approximately 120,000 backyard beekeepers.
Becoming a beekeeper starts with a lot of research, followed by choosing the right equipment and bees. Don't want to care for an entire colony? Plant native flower and weed varieties that help encourage bee pollination and reproduction.
Kathlyn's Tip: If you're at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March, be sure to visit the Harris County Beekeepers exhibit for more information on beekeeping essentials. 
Gardening and Canning 
Whether it's a large plot or a small section, a personal garden gives you control. Plus, you can preserve fresh fruits and vegetables via the canning process. While many homesteaders use yields from their garden, others buy extra produce in its peak season. Canning veggies and fruits is a family-friendly activity that lets you enjoy seasonal produce all year long.
Though urban homesteading may seem intimidating at first, it's easier to start small. The projects above can help minimize your impact on the environment and allow you to take part in your own food production.
Kathlyn's Tip: Houston non-profit, Urban Harvest, offers classes on sustainable living, including canning your own garden bounty.