Monday, February 27, 2017

6 Ways Real Estate Agents Add Value in a Home Sale

Just because you can buy and sell property on your own, it doesn't mean you should. Real estate agents remain essential when making these pivotal financial transactions.
There are many ways agents add value during the purchase or sale of a home:
  • Handle the technical nuances -- Whether you're the buyer or the seller, a home sale includes a dizzying amount of paperwork. Skilled agents know how to fill out what documents and when, saving you time and helping you avoid mistakes.
  • Speak the lingo -- The industry uses an astonishing number of acronyms. Working with a real estate agent gives you the opportunity to better understand the conversation.
  • Can negotiate without emotion -- It's easy to get triggered when a potential buyer picks apart your home. Let the agent handle criticisms or requests that could set you off or scare away an interested party.
  • Help you look beyond the property's walls -- Agents have expertise beyond the sale, including insight on everything from utilities to neighborhoods to quality schools.
  • Are well connected -- It takes a village to complete a home sale. Whether you need a trustworthy home inspector, an efficient mortgage broker or a creative interior designer, turn to your agent for credible recommendations.
  • Keep up with the most recent laws and regulations -- You may only complete a few real estate deals in your lifetime, whereas an agent often signs off on several each year. Experienced real estate agents know as soon as something in the industry changes and can save you from a liability headache.
Whether your aim is to net money from the sale of your home or spend wisely on a new one, a real estate agent has your best interests in mind and can make the process as seamless as possible. My combined experience as a realtor and former tax attorney helps buyers and sellers make this big step. Please contact my office for a consultation. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Open House Sunday (2/26) 2-5 pm & Broker Open House Tuesday (2/28) 12-2 pm

Stately and stunning estate with gracious formals located in Historic Westmoreland - a short walk from the new Midtown Whole Foods! Charming porch off the master upstairs and huge family room downstairs flood the house with natural light. Original fixtures and inlaid wood floors evoke the elegance of turn-of-the-century entertaining. Approximately $100,000 in recent renovations! Huge backyard! Cozy and bright attic work area has HVAC. Bonus elevator and basement, too.

Public Open House this Sunday (2/26) 2-5 pm
Broker Open House this Tuesday (2/28) 12-2 pm (Theme - Fat Tuesday)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why I Love Houston: It's Mardi Gras!

Miles of Mardi Gras fabric at High Fashion Fabrics in Midtown

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. 

Get in the Carnival spirit with these festive events happening all over the city!

For the traditional Mardi Gras experience, head to Galveston on Friday, February 24th when the parades start rolling at 7 pm and continue all weekend long! The revelers return on Fat Tuesday, February 28th, for more bead-throwing with the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius (6:30-8 pm) featuring eight marching bands. 

For inside the loop festivities, the East End Street Market on the Navigation Blvd. Esplanade hosts their first Mardi Gras Party on Friday, February 24th (6-10 pm) with Cajun cuisine and live music from the World Famous Platinum Players Zydeco Band! It's an all day celebration (9 am-9 pm) at Discovery Green on Saturday, February 25th when the Houston Creole Festival stages their 4th annual Mardi Gras Parade and celebration.

Make groceries at the Rice Farmers Market on Fat Tuesday (2/28, 3:30-6:30 pm) where live music, food samples, and St. Arnold Brewing Company will be there to make this the best errand of the day! Make Fat Tuesday a date night and make a reservation for St. Arnold's Mardi Gras themed dinner (6-10 pm) featuring pairings of their craft beers with five courses, including king cake for dessert. For casual Mardi Gras day dining that's kid and dog-friendly, 8 Row Flint concludes their Fat Tuesdays in February (5-8 pm) with boudin from Louisiana's Best Stop Supermarket, cracklins, and Hurricanes! 

Laissez les bons temps rouler y'all!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two Open Houses this Sunday (2/19)

Stop by our two Open Houses this weekend! 

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.

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (2/19) 2-5pm!

4507 Warm Springs Rd., Willowbend 

Welcome home to this picture-perfect lovingly remodeled ranch in one of Houston's most charming and convenient communities close to the Medical Center, Galleria, and Downtown! With formal living in front and a large den in back, the floor plan is great for families. No neighbors behind - just green space for a private school! Super quiet street at the back of the neighborhood - let the kids can play in the street out front worry-free! Make this your new home today!

 Stop by the Open House this Sunday (2/19) from 2-5 pm! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

4 Trending Features in Today's Modern Kitchen

While a home's curb appeal may draw buyers in, its interior matters just as much, if not more. Several features are high on the wish list of today's homebuyer, including a modern kitchen. Whether you're thinking of starting a remodel or you're just curious about what the future holds, check out these trends that turn kitchens into buyer bait.
Hidden appliances: Upgrading appliances is one of the quickest ways to add value to a kitchen. If you're looking to impress a buyer with deep pockets, look into hidden appliances. What's the appeal? Less obvious appliances keep the eye on the kitchen's overall flow and design.
Personalized pantries: The utilitarian kitchen pantry has evolved into a trending design element. Whether you choose a pocket door and complementary light fixture or a rustic barn door and wallpaper, there's no shortage of ways to express your personal style.
Creative countertops: Looking for a revamp with an immediate impact? Upgrade the counters. Quartz and butcher block, both easy to maintain, are quickly replacing traditional marble and granite surfaces. You can dress up your kitchen further with sleek waterfall-edge countertops that extend vertically to the floor.
Mixed-up metal accents: Accessorizing with different finishes is a trendy, cost-effective way to update your kitchen. In addition to stainless steel and gold, homebuilders are seeing copper accents emerging as the metallic detail of choice.
Don't let a dated kitchen cost you when it's time to sell your home. Incorporating a trend or two could be enough to give your kitchen the face-lift it needs to entice buyers.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Why I Love Houston's Valentine's Day Recommendations

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays! Whether it's a romantic dinner for two, a family celebration, or a party of one, here are few of my recommendations to enjoy the holiday around the city.  

Start off your celebrations early with some puppy love at Cactus Music for the Pup Squad Valentine's Day Fundraiser on Saturday 2/11 from 2 - 4 pm. Get your fill of smooches at the kissing booth featuring an adorable pup waiting to be adopted. Every donation of $5 or a bag of dog food will earn a chance at the CD grab bag from the Cactus Music Vault. Even if you don't leave with a new four-legged valentine, you can add some new love songs to your music collection as you peruse the aisles of vinyl, cds, and even cassettes. 

Local artist, Amy C. Evans, will be showcasing her love for our great city on Valentine's Day with a happy hour at the Koelsch Haus gallery from 4 - 6:30 pm with her latest show, My Houston II. Her nostalgic paintings of beloved, bygone Houston restaurants are the perfect prelude to a BYOB dinner at Just Dinner on Dunlavy or Huynh Restaurant. Before departing for your dinner reservation, head across the street to D&Q Minimart to pick up a bottle of wine, where their whimsical tasting notes will help you make the perfect selection. 

For a traditional take on the holiday, book a table for two at Artisans for a romantic seven course meal. Chef Jacques Fox's decadent menu starting with a foie gras torchon and ending with a chocolate mousse dessert will not disappoint. If you prefer to take all your family valentines out to dinner, try Piola next door. Their authentic Neapolitan-style pizza is a crowd-pleaser.   

Happy Valentine's Day!