3 Upcoming Events in Houston

3 Can’t-Miss Upcoming Events In Houston

Living in Houston is an experience unlike any other.  Aside from the safe, peaceful neighborhoods, beautiful luxury housing, and countless nearby career opportunities, Houston residents enjoy being a part of a strong, generous community that hosts a slew of fun local events and benefits each year.

This year is no exception, and we have a handful of exciting benefits coming up in the next few weeks that everybody in Houston should be sure to check out!

Houston upcoming events for Spring 2018

1. Azalea Trail

This is a long-running tradition that began in the 1930s, when residents raised money for the community by selling tickets to view local gardens.  Several of these gardens became known for their exotic azalea plants, which especially caught residents’ attention, as these flowers are not native to the area.  The resulting fascination with azalea plants later inspired the creation of the Azalea Trail.

Each year, a group of local gardens is selected to be part of the Azalea Trail, and residents buy tickets to observe and learn about the exotic flowers.  The proceeds from the Azalea Trail are used to give back to the community each year, funding projects in conservation, beautification, and horticultural education.

Noteworthy attendees of this year’s Azalea Trail, named Blossoms on the Bayou, include Harris County Judge Honorable Ed Emmett and Laura Dowling, an author and former White House florist.

 

Blossoms on the Bayou will take place from March 2 through March 4.  The event will begin with the annual ribbon cutting ceremony, to be performed by Judge Emmett.  Participants will be provided with free trolley service to view homes, gardens, house museums, and the River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics, all of which are participating in this year’s trail.

For more information on this event, or to purchase tickets, visit the River Oaks Garden Club site today!

2. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Arguably one of the largest and most exciting fundraisers, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is another noteworthy annual event that can’t be missed.  Taking place from February 27 until March 18, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a benefit that raises money for local scholarships and educational grants.

Since its creation in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has raised more than $450 million in scholarships and educational program grants.  Today, there are over 2,000 Texas students funding their education through Rodeo scholarships, and this event has become a great source of pride for Houston residents.

Music acts

 Each year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is accompanied by musical acts from some of the biggest country stars.  This year’s lineup is no exception, and the schedule for musical performers is as follows:

  • Garth Brooks, 2/27
  • Little Big Town, 2/28
  • Blake Shelton, 3/1
  • Leon Bridges, 3/2
  • Kelseea Ballerini, 3/3
  • Alessia Cara, 3/4
  • Rascal Flatts, 3/5
  • Jason Aldean, 3/6
  • Thomas Rhett, 3/7
  • Luke Bryan, 3/8
  • Chris Young, 3/9
  • Cody Johnson, 3/10
  • Calibre 50, 3/11
  • Zac Brown Band, 3/12
  • J Balvin, 3/13
  • OneRepublic, 3/14
  • Keith Urban, 3/15
  • Chris Stapleton, 3/16
  • Brad Paisley, 3/17
  • Garth Brooks, 3/18

Activities and attractions

 In addition to musical entertainment, the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show includes carnival games and rides, dining options from over 300 different food vendors, and the Lone Star Market, an outdoor shopping location where attendees can find everything from leather goods to artwork.

The unique activities at the Rodeo are also worth checking out, as there’s truly something for everybody:

Agventure

 At Agventure, exhibits feature just about every species of livestock, from honeybees to chickens to rabbits.  Adults and children can enjoy the fun, educational exhibits, not to mention the petting zoo and pony rides!

 Champion Wine Garden

 At the wine garden, visitors can enjoy live music while sampling wine from the Rodeo’s International Wine Competition.  There are even wine seminars where enthusiasts who are 21 and over can learn about some of the most popular wines from the 2018 International Wine Competition.

 Ranching & Wildlife Expo

 This event is the perfect activity for hunting, fishing, and camping enthusiasts.  Learn about ongoing conservation programs and how wildlife habitats can co-exist with ranches.  Attendees can bid on hunting and fishing trips through a special auction that takes place.

Rodeo events

 Of course, there rodeo shows themselves are arguably among the most exciting parts of the entire event.

Super Series

From February 27 through March 17, there’s a tournament-style competition known as the Super Series, which includes bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, and more.  Each event crowns a champion who wins a grand prize and is invited back to compete at RODEOHOUSTON the next year.

Super Shootout          

On Sunday, March 18, this invitation-only event features defending champions participating in five traditional rodeo events: bareback racing, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and steer wrestling.

Rodeo 101

This is the perfect event for attendees interested in learning the fundamentals of rodeo events.  See how cowboys use their strength, body weight, and experience to complete the well-known rodeo events we all love to watch.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo really does have something for everyone, on top of being a great place to mingle with fellow Houstonians.  Visit the Rodeo’s website for more information on events and admissions, or to purchase tickets online.

3. MS 150 bike ride from Houston to Austin

The MS bike ride is without a doubt one of the most important Houston upcoming events this spring.  Organized by the National MS Society, this two-day bike ride takes place from April 28-29 and is is the largest event of its kind, and aims to raise $15,000,000 this year for MS research.

Anybody interested in participating should register online and then download the fundraising form to start raising money as soon as possible.  Participants are required to meet a $400 fundraising minimum, and are encouraged to leverage friends and family as well as social media to spread awareness and ask for donations.

Bike riders are also eligible to win one of many prizes, which will be announced once finalized.  If you’re in the Houston area and enjoy cycling, this fundraiser is absolutely worth looking into!

As you can see, the Houston area is booming with exciting local events this spring.  More importantly, Houstonians know the importance of giving back to the community.  Don’t forget to follow me on social media for more information on upcoming events in the Houston area!

 

Get To Know Tanglewood Homes Association

Get To Know Tanglewood Homes Association: 8 Commonly Asked Questions About Tanglewood’s HOA

From the beautiful houses to the private community, Tanglewood truly is a luxurious place to live.  As Tanglewood residents, homeowners benefit from the close proximity to Houston, the excellent private schools, and of course, Tanglewood’s own homeowners association.

Tanglewood’s unique HOA, the Tanglewood Homes Association, is a collection of homeowners dedicated to creating a neighborhood homeowners can be proud to live in.  From creating a sense of community to providing the area with high-quality maintenance services, being a part of the Tanglewood HOA may just be the best part of living in Tanglewood.

Of course, no two homeowners associations are the same, and buyers considering the Tanglewood area often have questions about what makes the Tanglewood Homes Association so unique.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Tanglewood’s homeowners association:

 

1. How does the Tanglewood HOA compare to other nearby HOAs in terms of price?

Contrary to many buyers’ expectations, the cost is fairly inexpensive with an annual maintenance fee of only $1,350 as of 2018.

2. Does the Tanglewood HOA have a recycling program?

Yes!  The THA handles both trash removal and recycling through VF Waste Services, and both services are included in the annual maintenance fee.  Pickup day falls on either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on your household trash schedule.  Currently, the recycling program accepts paper, cardboard, plastics #1-#7, aluminum and tin cans, pots and pans, and copper.  For more information, take a look at the full list of accepted items.

3. What are some of the benefits the Tanglewood Homes Association offers to homeowners?

 In addition to providing homeowners with regular trash and recycling pickup, the Tanglewood Homes Association preserves Tanglewood residents’ safety and privacy by managing a neighborhood security patrol team.  Security officers are available on duty 24/7 and offer a quick response time in the event of an emergency.

The THA also maintains the neighborhood’s quality of life by providing landscaping services to all homeowners.  Additionally, the THA runs the Tanglewood Garden Club, which hosts meetings and other local events where homeowners can gather to learn about nature and gardening.

4. What are some of the Tanglewood HOA’s guidelines for property conformity?

 In order to preserve the neighborhood’s neat and upscale appearance, homeowners may not store building materials on their property until actual construction will begin.

Each property owner must also maintain his or her lawn on a regular basis, and all plants, trees, and shrubbery must be regularly trimmed as well.

In addition, fences, walls, and hedges must not be taller than 6 feet and cannot be placed closer to the street than permitted, unless the homeowner has obtained written consent from the Tanglewood Corporation.

For more information on the specific property conformity guidelines, please view the Tanglewood Reservation, Restrictions, and Covenants.

5. How can I contact the Tanglewood HOA?

For general inquiries, you can reach the Tanglewood Homes Association office at (713) 781-1642, or you can contact the general manager, Steven Boyd, at stevenboyd@tanglewoodhomes.org.  You’ll also find a list of contact information for more specific services on the THA website.

 6. How often does the Tanglewood HOA meet?

The THA hosts monthly board meetings on the third Monday of every month, to which all members are welcome.  Meetings take place at 5 PM in the THA office, located at 5757 Woodway, Suite 160, Houston, TX 77057.

 

7. How can I join the Tanglewood Homes Association board?

 The THA hosts an annual meeting every January, during which an election is held to fill three positions on the board.  Members who are interested in joining have the opportunity to submit a brief resume, along with a signed written request, and must do so by December 1 in order to be eligible.

8. What types of home renovations require permission from the Tanglewood HOA?

 All home additions, remodeling projects, and exterior paint jobs must be approved by the Tanglewood Homes Association.  Tanglewood homeowners must receive permission from the THA prior to beginning the following projects:

  • Adding or replacing a fence
  • Adding new HVAC units
  • Installing pool equipment
  • Reroofing

 

Tanglewood homeowners are proud of their community, and take great pride in being a part of such a wonderful neighborhood.  For more information about moving to Tanglewood, please contact me today!

Houston Real Estate Market Analysis February 2018

Houston Real Estate Market Analysis, February 2018

Attention, Houston homeowners: are you thinking about selling your house this spring?

The January numbers are in, and the Houston real estate market is strong and stable!  Leading indicators show a diminished inventory, which means prices will strengthen and now is the perfect time to sell!

Many homeowners tend to hesitate when the idea of selling first comes to mind, especially when they’re uncertain about current market conditions.  Thankfully, after reviewing the data, it’s safe to say the Houston market is thriving so far in 2018, and it’s no surprise that the housing demand in Houston is on the rise.

Houston real estate market YoY

January 2018 saw 8,797 new listings, compared to 9,274 last January.   Average days on market are currently 67, compared to 65 one year ago.   Sales price as a percent of list price is 94.3% as compare to exactly the same percent.  As I said, the Houston real estate market is strong and stable!

Post Hurricane Harvey shortages in labor and supplies are preventing builders from keeping up with the gap between resale, new builds, and the overall demand.   With a predicted increase of 70,000 jobs in the Houston area, demand will only continue to increase!

What this means for sellers in Houston

Current market conditions indicate that homeowners considering selling should not waste any time;  with demand increasing in the Houston market, your home’s current value could be higher than you expect, and buyers who are ready to move may be willing to place aggressive offers.

All this said to encourage you to contact me for a free consultation on your property.  If you’re considering listing your home, Springtime is usually the best time to get the most bang for your buck!

How Much Is My House Worth

How Much Is My House Worth? 5 Tips For Setting The Right Listing Price

When it comes to selling a home, figuring out the right asking price is arguably one of the most important tasks to complete.  Yet, despite how important this step is, many homeowners still continue to list their houses at the wrong price, and suffer the consequences in the long run.

While setting the listing price too high can increase the time it takes to sell a house, a listing price that’s too low may backfire during negotiating and could leave a seller shortchanged.

How to figure out your home’s value and set the right listing price

 Of course, there are many different factors that affect a home’s value, and the process of setting a listing price will vary for each homeowner.  There are, however, 5 universal tips that all homeowners can use to set the perfect listing price:

1. Research your local market

 Of course, one of the biggest determining factors of your home’s value is the value of your neighbors’ homes.  Research houses currently for sale near you, and look into homes that have recently sold in your area as well.  Find out as much information as you can about homes that have sold in your neighborhood during the past 3 months.  A local realtor can be an excellent resource for finding out more about homes in your neighborhood.

Aside from the purchase prices of recently sold houses near you, work with your realtor to find out how much these homes were initially listed for, to see how the local market responded.  This information can help you to set your own expectations in terms of understanding how much buyers may be willing to pay for your home.

While selling prices of homes in your neighborhood are a good starting point, you must also be sure your asking price reflects your home’s unique features, including square footage, bedroom and bathroom count, and any unique features or amenities that make the home desirable.  Make a list of your home’s desirable (and undesirable) features, and find out what houses with similar qualities have recently sold for in your neighborhood.

2. Have your home inspected

Many homeowners will skip this step, but completing a thorough inspection before listing a property can be hugely beneficial.  Not only can this extra step help with determining the right listing price, but sellers who take the time to have their homes inspected and make any necessary repairs will have extra leverage when negotiating.

3. Keep your ideal buyer in mind

Your home’s unique selling features and amenities will undoubtedly appeal to a certain type of buyer.  Figuring out who this buyer is and what their “profile” looks like could also help you understand how much your buyer will be willing to offer for your house.

Depending on what features appeal most to your buyer, you may be able to list your home at a higher price than the comps in your neighborhood, knowing that you have the advantage of offering desirable amenities.

Figuring out your ideal buyer’s priorities and budget may be a difficult task for a homeowner; a local real estate agent who’s familiar with the neighborhood and is well-versed in the demography of buyers in the area can help speed up the process.

4. Identify your home’s major selling points

 Equally as important as finding the right buyer for your home is finding the right way to describe your home to interested buyers, especially if you’re listing online.

Make a list of all of the benefits your home has to offer, starting with the following:

  • Neighborhood
    • If you live in a quiet or private neighborhood, make sure to communicate this to buyers.
  • Size of land
    • This is especially important if your property extends beyond your backyard.
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
    • Of course, this is standard information, but important nonetheless!
  • Recent upgrades, additions, renovations, and unique amenities
    • Features such as energy efficient appliances, smart heating and cooling, high-tech security systems, new flooring, and custom closet and storage space are all examples of selling features that must be communicated to interested buyers.
  • Views
    • A picturesque view alone can be a main selling feature for luxury property.
  • Proximity to local places of interest
    • Whether your home has easy access to transportation or a wide selection of local restaurants and entertainment, make sure buyers are aware of all the benefits your home’s address has to offer.

5. Work with a realtor you can trust

One of the best ways to ensure your listing price is set appropriately is to work with a realtor who knows the local market.  Even more important, though, is finding a realtor you can trust.

The best realtor to work with when selling your home will focus on your needs, respect your time, and have experience working in your neighborhood.  You’ll have a much quicker time researching comps when you work with the realtor who sold them, plus you’ll be able to gain more insight into the current home sales in your neighborhood.

 

Figuring out your home’s current value might take some research, but once you’ve done your homework, the selling process will be much less intimidating.  For more information on figuring out your home’s value or if you have questions about selling your luxury home, contact me today!

BHGRE Gary Greene 2017 Top Performers

A Brief Q & A With 2017 Top Performer, Ces Guerra

Recently, Ces Guerra was named one of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene’s top 10 performers of 2017.  For years, Ces has consistently served the Tanglewood real estate market, and helped dozens of homeowners with buying and selling luxury properties.  As a long-time resident of the neighborhood and a client-driven realtor, Ces has become the go-to source for buyers and sellers alike.

We recently took the time to speak with Ces about this acknowledgement and to learn more about his experience as a Top Performer:

Q: How long have you been in Real Estate?

A: Technically 5 years in real estate, but 35 years of business experience from Operations, Sales, Training and Management in the corporate world.   Those years of business experience has given me such a broad and in-depth perspective in working for customers/clients.

Q: You previously worked in the corporate world.  What are your biggest lessons from that experience?

 A: I learned to focus on objectives and not to dwell on the clutter.   By being persistent, prepared and taking chances, I accomplished many things that the ordinary person would not have even tried.  Another is not being afraid to fail.   Failure has always been an opportunity to learn how to improve and be successful for me!

 Q: What do you enjoy most about the real estate business?

A: I love being an entrepreneur so work is not work, because I love helping people.  I love helping my clients and colleagues through collaborating on real estate transactions and affiliating with the best, hard working and intelligent realtors in the business.

Q: How have you become so successful in such a short period of time?

A: I figured out a few things that I did very well and that worked, and I kept doing them over and over and over.  I listened to my broker trainers and I implemented tried and true things that worked.  Like the saying goes,  “No need to reinvent the wheel.”   I stayed persistent, I developed routines and I was steadfast in surviving the pitfalls, failures and challenges.

Q: What are your plans for 2018?

A: More of the same.   Maintain my routines, keep learning, continue to take chances and surround myself with the best of the best.   I’m always positive and optimistic even in the face of failures, I’ll always learn the lesson and work to improve!

Q: What advice would you give to a new real estate agent?

A: My years of personal and business life experience, which has involved youth development training, military leadership opportunities and managerial experience puts me in a unique position to provide advice.   I often guide new agents to do a number of things:

  1. Find a mentor.
  2. Create a “MasterMind” group with other new agents.
  3. Develop the mindset to be resilient – get ready to weather the storm, because the real estate business is not easy.
  4. Utilize the training your broker provides and APPLY your learnings.
  5. Most of all HAVE FUN!!

Ces is an excellent example of the age-old sentiment, “hard work pays off.”  With his dedication, perseverance, and positive attitude, it’s no surprise Ces has been so successful in his career!

For more information on Ces’s experience as one of BHGRE Gary Greene’s Top Performers, or if you would like to invite Ces to speak to local organizations about the real estate market, please contact him today.

6 Biggest Reasons To Get Excited About Moving To Houston

6 Biggest Reasons To Get Excited About Moving To Houston

Whether it’s the warm weather, the amazing local food, or maybe even a new job offer, there’s plenty of reasons why moving to Houston is one of the best choices you can make.

As the largest city in the Southern US, Houston has plenty to offer its local residents, and whether you’re planning to move to the city or one its quiet suburbs, there are plenty of reasons why you’ll be happy with your decision.

6 Benefits Of Moving To Houston

1. The city is located near peaceful, luxury neighborhoods

When you move to the suburbs of Houston, you really do get the best of both worlds.  While the city itself is full of excitement and opportunities, the beautiful surrounding luxury neighborhoods provide the perfect escape at the end of a busy day.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood is an upscale neighborhood just outside of Houston, consisting of updated California ranch homes as well as newer builds including traditional, Mediterranean, and contemporary styles.  Apart from providing a tranquil setting to call home, Tanglewood offers excellent school districts and easy access to Houston via the I-610.

The Galleria (Uptown Houston)

Named for the famous shopping destination, The Galleria is a posh neighborhood with newly built luxury homes located in Uptown Houston.  Residents of the Galleria area enjoy a variety of upscale boutiques and restaurants, as well as the tranquil Memorial Park located nearby.

Memorial

Closer yet to the heart of Houston is Memorial, which borders Memorial Park.  This neighborhood is known for its gorgeous luxury houses, and is perfect for homeowners seeking large plots of land.

2. The ongoing development offers new reasons for residents to appreciate Houston

Of course, like every other city, Houston is undergoing some impressive developments to provide residents with a truly enjoyable quality of life.  These undertakings aim to improve both the career and family aspects of life in Houston.

 Ongoing improvements to Houston’s public transportation

As one of the largest business centers in the country, a major challenge for Uptown Houston has been the previous lack of effective public transportation options.  While commuters have enjoyed taking advantage of Houston’s HOV network through a commuter bus service, public transportation will be even better thanks to the ongoing Uptown Dedicated Bus Lanes Project, which will help alleviate traffic while simultaneously creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

Memorial Park restorations and refinement

The Memorial Park Master Plan that was put into action back in 2015 is an ongoing project to restore Memorial Park and provide Houstonians with more options for outdoor recreational activities.  In addition to reversing the damage caused by 2011’s drought season, the project aims to equip the park with water lines, fire control, restrooms, and water fountains for picnickers.  Additional amenities that will be added include ball fields, as well as over 30 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

 

3. Houston offers plenty of job opportunities

 Of course, as one of the country’s largest business centers, Houston has plenty to offer in terms of career choices.  Some of the top workplaces in Houston include Microsoft, Edward Jones, and Houston Physicians’ Hospital, to name a few.  Houston also serves as the headquarters to plenty of Fortune 500 companies, catering to the skills and talents of workers across a number of fields.

 

4. Universities near Houston are among the best in Texas

Of course, the University of Houston is an excellent option for students seeking a quality education without having to leave the area.  Known for its excellent science and engineering programs, UH is a Carnegie-designated Tier One Research University and one of the top schools in the state.

Another excellent option for students is the Texas A&M College Station campus, where more than 62,000 students, ranging from undergraduates all the way to graduate & professional studies students, are currently enrolled.

 

5. Houston is packed with excellent restaurants

 Of course, Houston is not without amazing restaurant options, either.  While it may sound cliché, the Houston area is known for its wide selection of barbeque and Tex-Mex restaurants, but in a city this large, there are plenty of dining options every palate can enjoy.

In fact, Eater.com recently shared a list of Houston’s top 38 restaurants which range from Mediterranean cuisine to Spanish food to Ethiopian and more!  Thanks to Houston’s diverse population, Houstonians are never without options when it comes to dining out.

 

6. Families and children can enjoy plenty of entertainment options

Luckily for young families, there’s never a shortage of kid-friendly activities in the Houston area.  While the list of family-friendly activities goes on for miles, here are just a few options that for a fun afternoon in Houston:

 There are also dozens of unique events in Houston each month, so there’s plenty to do every day of the week!

 With all that Houston has to offer, it’s hard to imagine wanting to live anywhere else.  From the gorgeous luxury homes to the amazing career opportunities to the endless entertainment options, it’s no wonder why so many people are moving to Houston.  For more information about living in Houston or for help finding a home in the area, contact me today!