Things To Do In Houston This Summer

12 Exciting Things To Do In The Houston Area This Summer

If you’re new to Houston, you’ll probably learn pretty quickly that there’s always something fun to do here.  Whether you’re interested in art, music, or spending time outside with your family, you can always find plenty of activities to enjoy in your free time!


Check Out These Fun Upcoming Events Around Houston:


1. Trivia Night At The Ginger Man Midtown – 7/16, 7/23, And 7/30

The Ginger Man in Midtown Houston hosts a weekly trivia night on Mondays, starting at 7:30 PM.  Test your knowledge and win fun prizes!


Visit The Ginger Man’s site to learn more!

2. Family Night At Palava Family Entertainment Center – 7/18-12/26

Every Wednesday from now through the end of the year, Palava Family Entertainment Center in Spring is offering a discounted package that includes 1 large 2 topping pizza, 12 baked wings, 1 family salad, and 4 unlimited play passes for laser tag, minigolf, and Playstructure.


Visit Palava Family Entertainment Center’s site to learn more!

3. Houston Zoo After Dark – 7/19

Thursday, July 19 will be the final installment of the Houston Zoo After Dark series.  From 6 PM to 8 PM, adults can enjoy viewing exhibits while the zoo is closed to children.  Then, from 8 PM to 10 PM, a live country band will perform so attendees can enjoy line dancing, cornhole, or a game of horseshoes.


Buy your tickets online!


4. Weekly Farmers Market At Imperial Park Recreation Center

Every Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM, the Imperial Park Recreation Center hosts a festival-like farmers market, where shoppers can purchase local-grown produce and grass-fed meats while enjoying live music from local artists.


Learn more!


5. Nightly Spirits Haunted Pub Tour – Weekly On Fridays And Saturdays

Every Friday and Saturday from 8:30 PM to 11:00 PM, Nightly Spirits offers a haunted pub tour that starts at Charbar and takes guests throughout Houston.  Learn about local history and visit haunted sites while you enjoy a few drinks with friends!


Find out more about upcoming tours!


6. Summer Saturday Nights At The Blue Field Market – Weekly On Saturdays

Every week from now until August 18, Blue Field Market will host a free event from 6 PM to 7 PM, where guests can enjoy shopping from local jewelry makers, clothing designers, and makers of home goods.  Food trucks and live entertainment will also be present, and there will be plenty of games to enjoy with the whole family!


Learn more!


7. Party On The Plaza – NOLA Nights – 7/27

From 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Sugar Land Town Square is celebrating New Orleans culture with authentic, live music, plus snacks and beer!


See more about this event!


8. Party On The Plaza – Summer Luau  – 7/28

On Saturday, July 28, Sugar Land Town Square is hosting a Hawaii-themed party from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.  Entertainment will include live music from Hanna’s Reef (a Jimmy Buffet tribute band) and hula dancers.  Bar Louie will also be selling cocktails.


Learn more!


9. Beer Fest USA – 7/28

White Oak Music Hall is hosting Beer Fest USA on Saturday, July 28!  Guests can enjoy live music, DJs, food trucks, and at least 17 different varieties of beer.  The event will take place from 1 PM to 10 PM outside the venue in the lawn area and into the parking lot.


Get your tickets online!


10. 3rd Annual Fajita Festival – 7/28

The Annual Fajita Festival will take place on Saturday, July 28 from 1 PM until 8 PM and is guaranteed to be a fun time for the entire family!  In addition to authentic Mexican food, drinks, and entertainment, there will be plenty of kid-friendly activities and even a wrestling match!


Best of all, the proceeds will benefit the Texas Lions Camp, a charitable organization that provides free camping experiences to children with conditions in Texas.


Buy your tickets online!


11. Bayou Bikers – 8/5

For the rest of the year, Bayou Bikers will meet on the first Sunday of every month at Market Square Park at 8 AM.  From there, cyclists will embark on long-distance rides throughout Houston, ranging between 25 and 40 miles each.


Learn more!


12. 2018 Houston Food Fest – 8/18

On Saturday, August 18, this year’s Houston Food Fest will be held in Hermann Square Park from 12 PM until 10 PM.  There will be food from more than 70 different vendors, as well as games and live music.  Kids ages 12 and under can even attend for free!


Purchase your tickets online!


Want To Learn More About Living In Houston?

As I mentioned earlier, there’s always plenty to do for fun when you live in the Houston area!  If you’re thinking of moving to a home near Houston, we should talk!  Contact me today to learn how I can assist you in your home purchase.


For more information about Houston’s real estate market, please subscribe to my YouTube channel today!


How To Sell A Luxury Home

Selling Your Luxury Home This Year? Here’s What Buyers Want To See!

Whether you’re getting ready to move this year or you’re planning to sell at some point in the future, it’s always helpful to know what buyers want to see in a property.  


When you understand what buyers are looking for, you can work with your Realtor to create an effective marketing strategy and find a buyer who’s willing to pay you the full asking price.


Even if you aren’t planning to update your home or make renovations, knowing which features buyers are most interested in allows you to structure your online listing in a way that emphasizes your home’s most attractive qualities and sell your home as quickly as possible.


These Are The Top 13 Features Luxury Homebuyers Want To See:


1. Quiet, peaceful neighborhood


Luxury homebuyers looking for homes in the suburbs typically prefer calm, tranquil neighborhoods where they can relax at the end of the day without being disturbed by street noise or loud neighbors.  


In my experience, the buyers that can isolate the area where they would like to purchase are usually most successful in the shortest amount of time.  


As a buyer, when you narrow the search by geographical area, the homes that meet your physical requirements will present themselves in short order … usually!   It’s easy to filter for bedrooms, sq/ft, lot size, pool, stories etc. But, when buyers pinpoint the neighborhood, they begin to establish their proximity to schools, work and other important lifestyle concerns.  


Make sure your Realtor knows how to market your house as well as the neighborhood you live in, and let buyers know what makes the area a desirable place to live.


2. Plenty of bedrooms


Aside from making sure your online listing states the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, include plenty of photographs of each bedroom so buyers can appreciate how much space your home has to offer.


3. Walk-in closets


In addition to bedrooms, most luxury homebuyers prioritize having ample storage space in a home.  Walk-in closets are a major selling feature in any property, and luxury homes are no exception!


As you’re preparing to sell your house, empty out and photograph each closet.  If you do have walk-in closets, be sure to mention this explicitly in your online listing as well.

4. Clean, simple staging


One of the most effective ways to appeal to buyers is with simple, sleek staging.  Too much furniture or decor can quickly create a cluttered or cramped appearance. Instead, stage each room with just enough items to demonstrate the area’s potential, without overcrowding the space.


5. Well-manicured lawn


Maximizing your home’s curb appeal is another excellent way to attract the attention of luxury buyers.  


Nothing makes a home feel more luxurious than a yard with a luscious, healthy, green lawn.  As you prepare to list your house, be sure your yard doesn’t get neglected. Luxury homebuyers often prefer move-in ready homes that require as little “fixing up” as possible, and that includes the landscaping.  Keep up with regularly watering and mowing the lawn so your property makes the right impression, even before buyers see the inside.


6. Smart features


Smart features like appliances, security systems, and thermostats that can be controlled from a single device will never cease to impress buyers.  The more you can do to modernize your home and simplify everyday maintenance tasks, the better your chances will be of appealing to buyers able to pay your full asking price.


7. Spa-like master bathroom


No homebuyer can deny the appeal of an elegant, spacious master bathroom.  Whether your home includes a deep soaker tub, a wide double sink, or a spacious walk-in shower, make sure these details are communicated to buyers, and include plenty of photos in your online listing as well.


8. Open floor plan


Luxury homebuyers love seeing fluidity between common areas like the kitchen, dining area, and living room.  If your home has an open floor plan, use simple, strategic staging to show buyers just how much space is available in each room.  


Don’t forget to take photos from multiple different angles to illustrate the extra living space in your online listing, too.


9. Outdoor entertaining space


Homebuyers always love to see a large backyard with plenty of room to entertain friends and family in the nice weather.


Even if your yard doesn’t have a pool or deck, a well-groomed lawn with room for a barbecue and outdoor furniture is sure to impress your luxury buyer.


10. Grand entryway


A beautiful entryway is a classic, timeless feature that will always create demand for a home.  


If your house has a grand entryway, stage the area with simple decor and make sure your photos capture the full effect.  Luxury buyers love to see an entryway that makes a statement!


11. Clean, enclosed garage


Homebuyers always love seeing a space to protect their cars from the elements.


If your home has a garage, take the time to clean out any power tools, gardening equipment, or other belongings that you’ve accumulated prior to listing.  In your online listing, post at least one photo of the garage, and let buyers know how many cars can fit.

12. Proximity to top-rated schools


If your home does happen to be located near top-rated schools, make sure your Realtor includes this information to market the property effectively.  Keep in mind that luxury homebuyers will be interested in both public and private schools; talk to your Realtor to find out which nearby schools, if any, are worth mentioning in your listing.  


13. Energy-efficient laundry room


While it’s certainly not necessary to replace your appliances prior to moving, if your home already has an energy-efficient washer or dryer, luxury buyers will absolutely appreciate this.  Make sure you include photographs of the machines in your online listing, and any helpful information about the appliances should be included within the written description.


Get Personalized Assistance When You Sell Your Luxury Home!


If you’re in the Houston area, please contact me today for help selling your home.  From setting the right listing price to creating a customized marketing plan, I’ll walk you through each step of the selling process and help you sell your house with ease.


For more information about the Houston real estate market, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel today!

How To Sell Your House Quickly

7 Mistakes You Need To Avoid If You Want To Sell Your House Quickly

It’s every seller’s biggest fear: putting your house up for sale and then hearing nothing but crickets.  Waiting for weeks on end to receive an appropriate offer.  Having to put off moving because buyers aren’t showing interest.  Worrying about plans being ruined if your home doesn’t sell quickly enough.


Luckily, there are several precautions you can take to prevent unwanted delays when selling.


Beware Of The Following 7 Mistakes If You Want To Sell Your Home Quickly:


1. Setting the wrong listing price


Nothing can deter buyers like setting your listing price too high.  And while there’s no definitive way to determine the exact value of a home, there are certainly steps you can take to ensure your asking price is within the realm of reality.


The first step is to consult your Realtor and discuss whether or not the asking price you have in mind is, in fact, appropriate.  Determining the right asking price may require a fair amount of research, however, hiring a Realtor who’s familiar with your neighborhood can help expedite this process.


Once you and your Realtor have settled on a number, prepare the property to your best ability in order to get the full asking price.


2. Sharing low-quality photos online


Many buyers begin their home searches online and won’t even entertain the thought of visiting a listing in person if they aren’t impressed by the photos first.


Your Realtor will probably know of at least one professional photographer who specializes in real estate photos and can help you effectively market your home.  While it may be tempting to take your own photos for free instead, this small investment can make all the difference in attracting a qualified buyer, saving you time and money in the long run.


3. Neglecting to emphasize your home’s top selling features


Sellers who create their own online listings tend to organize their photos as if to create a tour through the home, starting with a shot of the home’s exterior, followed by subsequent photos of the home’s entryway, and so on.  While this organization may seem perfectly logical, you need to remember that prospective buyers are looking at multiple listings online; if your listing doesn’t demand attention, a buyer may only look through a few of your photos before choosing to explore other options.


Make sure your photos and written descriptions highlight the home’s most attractive features right from the start, so buyers are eager to visit in person.


4. Not offering flexible showing times


Possibly one of the toughest challenges sellers experience is making their homes available for buyers to view at a convenient time.  A good rule of thumb is to make the home available until at least 8 pm, so buyers are able to walk through the property after the workday.


5. Being present during showings or home inspections


Make arrangements ahead of time so you can avoid being present when buyers are viewing the property.  Instead, leave a key in a lockbox for the agent to let the buyer in.


Watching a buyers or inspectors walk through your home creates unnecessary tension, and may even cause buyers to reconsider whether or not they’re interested in the listing.


6. Having open permits


Open or expired building permits are generally viewed as problems that buyers do not want to deal with.


Depending on the type of work that has been done to your home, you may run into problems trying to close on a sale if the appropriate permits have not been secured.  The best way to avoid these unwanted delays is to research your town’s unique requirements for whichever renovations or modifications were made to your property and take the necessary steps to make the home compliant.


7. Marketing the home without thinking about your buyer


One of the most effective ways to sell a home quickly is to identify the needs and characteristics of the type of person most likely to buy the home for the asking price.  While this may be a challenging task for homeowners to take on, experienced Realtors can provide valuable insight to help create a profile of the ideal buyer.


Factors such as your neighborhood, local schools, the size of your home, and any other unique amenities the property includes are all examples of the type of information that Realtors use to determine an appropriate marketing strategy.


I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to trust your Realtor.  Your agent is on your side; he or she is on your team!  Communicate openly and ALWAYS LISTEN to what your agent suggests regarding improving or marketing the property (did you notice I didn’t say “your home”?).


Begin the emotional detachment and review he feedback your agent provides to see the property from the buyer’s eyes.


Planning to sell your luxury home?


If you live in the Houston area and are planning to sell your home, we should connect!  I specialize in using creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to help my clients sell their homes as quickly and with as little stress as possible.  Get in touch with me today for more information about how I can assist you!


For more information about Houston’s real estate market, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel today!




Things To Do Before Leaving For Vacation

The Ultimate Guide To Preparing Your House Before Summer Vacation

It’s finally summer, and before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags and taking that long-awaited trip.


Vacation in the summer is a time of excitement for all.  There is so much planning that goes into departing for exotic locations near and far!   Sometimes it’s easy to forget to plan for the care and maintenance of your most valuable commodity: your home!


Take a few minutes to review this week’s blog; it could jog your memory on some important To Dos before you head out on vacay!


3 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Prior To Leaving For Summer Vacation


1. Tackle routine chores so you can return to a clean house


When it comes to traveling, you can never be too certain about arrival or departure times.  In case you experience delays on your way home, make your life easier by cleaning and organizing before your trip.


  • Clean every room so you’re not coming home to a mess.
  • Wash and put away laundry to make sure you have clothes ready to return back to work.
  • Deep clean the kitchen so there’s no chance of attracting pests while you’re away.
    • Clean out the refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Leave only items like bottled water or unopened jars so your fridge can still run efficiently.
  • After you’ve finished cleaning, empty all trash cans and arrange for pickup, if necessary.
  • If you have a pool, make sure the pump stays on so the water stays clean while you’re away.


2. Make arrangements so your home appears occupied while you’re away


One of the easiest ways to deter robbers while you’re away is to make sure the home appears occupied.  The goal is to make sure only a small handful of people are aware you’re not home.


  • Use a timer or motion sensor to keep outdoor lights on at night while you’re on your trip.
  • Arrange for the lawn to be mowed. In addition to making the home’s emptiness less obvious, this will also keep unwanted pests and other wildlife away.
  • If you have a landline, make sure your calls are sent to voicemail after 2-3 rings. Hearing your phone ring loudly without being answered could tip off robbers about your absence.  Similarly, don’t mention you’re on vacation in your voicemail greeting.  Instead, get in touch with friends and family members who should know of your trip prior to leaving.
  • Make sure all curtains and blinds are closed before you leave town.
  • If your vacation isn’t a road trip, ask a friend to move your car periodically while you’re away. When robbers are casing a neighborhood, they’ll look for cars that haven’t been moved to identify homes that are most likely empty.


For added safety, don’t announce your upcoming trip on social media.  Instead, wait until you return to share photos, stories, and other updates from your adventures.


3. Prepare for potential emergencies


Most homeowners can agree that when a small issue goes unnoticed, it can quickly escalate into a disaster.  Avoid coming home to unwanted surprises.


Home maintenance steps and precautions to take in the weeks leading up to your trip:


  • 1-2 weeks before you leave, carefully inspect your entire property so you have ample time to make any necessary repairs before your trip.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to protect your home from damage if a storm hits while you’re away.
  • If you have an outdoor draining system in your backyard, check that this is working correctly no sooner than 1 week before you leave.
  • Ask someone you trust to visit your house once or twice a day to collect the mail and make sure windows and doors remain locked. If no one is available to stop by while you’re gone, contact the post office about holding your mail for the duration of your trip.


Safety measures to take right before you leave:


  • Turn off the water in your house. This can save you thousands of dollars in water damage that could result if there’s a plumbing leak while no one’s around to act.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure these are connected to your home’s alarm system.
  • Contact your home security company to let them know how long you’ll be on vacation. Confirm your emergency contact’s name and phone number as well.
  • Leave your air conditioning running on a schedule to protect items from high temperatures and humidity. To avoid paying for unnecessary energy, set the temperature a few degrees higher than usual.
  • If you keep spare keys hidden outside, collect them and put them away, or leave them with someone you trust.
  • Unplug laptops, exercise equipment, printers, and any other small appliances that will waste energy while you’re away.
  • Double-check all windows and doors to ensure they’re locked.


Knowing your home is well taken-care of will help you relax and recharge on your trip.


Get more helpful home maintenance tips!

Follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page for more information about maintaining your home.


Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel today for updates about the Houston real estate market as well!

Moving To A New Neighborhood

How To Choose The Right Neighborhood When You Move

You have an idea of where you’d like to buy, but you haven’t yet narrowed down which neighborhood makes the best home.  Sound familiar?


It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re looking for a new home.


Aside from fundamental property requirements, one of the most important things I advise my clients to do is to write down a list of their priorities.  When I review the list, I can usually identify a corresponding location and discuss the key factors of that particular area— the pluses and, inevitably, the minuses of the neighborhood—so that my client can move forward with confidence.


If you’re planning a move and don’t know where to start, you can usually get an idea of whether a neighborhood is right for you based on the following 7 factors.


7 Factors To Consider When Moving To A New Neighborhood:


1. Proximity To Work, Transportation, And Shopping


How far are you willing to travel for work?  What would your route to the office look like, and how much traffic is there during rush hour?


If you’re considering neighborhoods far from your job, find out what your commute would feel like.  Pick one or two days to drive to work from each neighborhood where you’re thinking of buying, and see if the travel time is compatible with your schedule.


This goes hand in hand with proximity to transportation; if you’re thinking of purchasing a home far away from work, family, or other commitments, it may be beneficial to live close to transportation.


Lastly, think about conveniences like shopping and entertainment.  Do you cook or dine out most nights?  How would these habits be affected if you were to live in a given neighborhood?


Again, one of the best ways to answer these questions to set aside time to explore each area where you’re thinking of buying a home.


2. Local School Ratings


Whether or not you have children in school, your home’s value and property taxes will be affected by schools in the area.  Research public schools near the neighborhoods you’re most interested in, and avoid areas with underperforming schools when possible.


If you are a parent, it may be worthwhile to research nearby private schools as well. is an excellent resource for finding more detailed information about different schools in each neighborhood.


3. Climate And Weather In The Area


Whether you’re moving 5 miles away or across the country, research the climate and how your new home could potentially be affected.  Find out if the area you’re interested in has extreme summers or winters.


Learn what to expect during each different season and how different weather patterns could affect a property.  Depending on where you’d like to buy, you may be required to purchase flood insurance for your home.  This information will be important when you’re determining your total budget.


4. Presence Or Absence Of An HOA


As you can imagine, homeowners associations and their corresponding fees can vary dramatically from one town to the next.


If the home you’re interested in is part of an HOA, contact its manager for detailed information.  Aside from knowing how much the HOA costs annually, make sure you research what the HOA offers.  Learn about the duties you’d be responsible for as part of the association, and find out how you could benefit from joining the HOA as well.


Your findings regarding the HOA alone could help you decide if a neighborhood is the right choice for you.


5. Crime Rate


Researching an area’s crime rate is a critical step for choosing a neighborhood.  In addition to keeping you and your family safe, avoiding high-crime neighborhoods increases the chances your home can be sold at a favorable price if and when you move again.


You can begin your research through various websites and even apps for your phone that provide information about local crime rates.  Additionally, make sure you also contact the local cops to request a log of recent crimes and police calls made in the area.  This will give you a better understanding of whether or not a specific neighborhood is, in fact, a safe choice.


6. Property Taxes


Another critical factor that can easily be overlooked is the annual cost of property taxes in the neighborhood you’re considering.


Luckily, property tax information isn’t too hard to find.  If you’re buying a home in the Houston area, for instance, you can look up historical property taxes on the Harris County Appraisal District’s website.


Your realtor is also a great resource for finding out about property taxes in the area.


7. Income Required For A Comfortable Lifestyle


Being “house poor” is never the goal!  Research the cost of living for each neighborhood you’re interested in, and ask yourself honestly if you could live comfortably.


Estimate your monthly mortgage payments, and compare this to your household income.  Could you easily afford to pay bills and buy groceries, or would you be stretching your wallet too thin?


Still Need Help Choosing Your New Neighborhood?


As a long time resident of Houston, almost 30 years now, I know practically every nook and cranny of the city.   I know the shortcuts, the ground streets to use to avoid highways, the parks, the cool restaurants and other area amenities!  I’m a geographical wizard!


If you’re thinking of buying a luxury home near Houston, please contact me for assistance!


Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more information about the Houston real estate market.




Review Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate

Is It A Waste Of Time To Review Small Businesses?

As consumers, we’re constantly being asked to provide feedback on our experiences.


Whether we’re dining at a local restaurant, buying clothes a nearby boutique, hiring a plumber, or even house hunting with a realtor, just about every business we engage with asks for our opinion.


Often times, we tend not to think about leaving reviews online until we’ve had an experience that’s exceptionally beyond what we expected (either in a positive or negative way).


At some point by now, though, you’ve probably left at least one review of a local business; do you ever stop and wonder if your review can make an impact?


Reviewing Local Businesses Online: Yes, Your Words Matter!


Review Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate-2

Reviews for Ces Guerra (Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate)


According to a recent BrightLocal report, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.


With the rise in popularity of smart devices and voice search, it makes sense that online reviews can carry such significant weight; consumers who want to learn more about a business can easily do so at any given moment.


For this reason, it should come as no surprise that the same study reported 73% of consumers are more willing to trust a local business when they see a positive review online.


You may even find this data coincides with your own behavior.


How many times have you looked up a business or service online and decided to reach out for more information after reading a positive review?


It’s almost hard not to let online reviews influence your decisions, as social media and search engines tend to display star ratings and snippets of online reviews almost every time you search for a company.


Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate Review


Do You Have A Habit Of Leaving Online Reviews?


Despite how much we rely on others’ reviews when making decisions, as consumers, we don’t often think about sharing our own reviews online until it is requested of us.


In their report, BrightLocal stated that 68% of consumers reviewed local businesses online in 2017 after being prompted to do so.


This information suggests that consumers are generally willing to write reviews for local businesses, but the thought may not occur to them.  It’s as if we only think about online reviews when we’re making our own decisions, but by the end of our experience, those reviews are long-forgotten.


Importance Of Online Reviews For Real Estate Agents


When it comes to buying and selling homes, online reviews are especially important for both the homeowner and the agent.


As we all know, real estate transactions have the potential to become incredibly stressful or even unpleasant.  Finding a real estate agent you trust is a foolproof way to reduce that stress, and online reviews are a great way to start your search.


Whether you prefer to use Google, Yelp, or social media, these all are great places to share honest reviews about your own real estate transaction.  Always make sure to include the name of the agent you worked with and as much information as possible.


Whether your agent helped you to negotiate an amazing deal or sold your house in record timing, these types of details are important to share with other buyers and sellers so they can enjoy positive experience as well.


Review Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate Online


Share your experience!  If you’ve recently worked with Tanglewood Luxury Real Estate, please leave a review on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or LinkedIn!


For more information about Houston real estate, you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel today.


What You Should Know About Flooding in Houston

What You Should Know About Flooding In Houston

Flooding in Houston has been a major concern for several years now, especially after the overwhelming amount of damaged caused by 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.


During Harvey, Houston was hit with record-breaking amounts of rainfall and suffered an estimated $1.25B worth of damage, with at least 68 storm-related deaths as well.  The National Hurricane Center called Harvey, “the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in United States history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts since reliable rainfall records began around the 1880s.”


There are almost no words to describe the complete turmoil that Harvey created, but if there’s one positive effect of the storm, it’s the new precautions the city is taking to prevent such disaster from striking again.


Post-Hurricane Harvey flood prevention in Houston


Earlier this spring, the City of Houston published a press release announcing flood prevention reforms taking place in 2018.


Current laws require new construction to sit 1 foot above the 100-year floodplain (land that’s expected to flood 1 year out of every 100 years).  After new regulations take effect on September 1, however, newly constructed homes in Houston will be required to sit 2 feet above the 500-year floodplain.  This means that even in areas less likely to experience flooding, newly constructed homes will soon be required to meet stricter standards to prevent a repeat of the extreme damage we saw after Harvey.


Additionally, the city is finally nearing completion on Project Brays, and Mayor Turner is fighting for Congress to vote on the construction of a third reservoir in Houston.


With June 1 marking the official beginning of Texas’ hurricane season, it’s still too early to know what to expect in 2018.  One thing we do know for certain at this point is Houston is taking the steps to better prepare for potential flooding in the future, and we will continue to see more improvements in how the city prevents disaster.


In a letter to Mayor Turner, Roy Wright (FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation) wrote, “For the nation to be more resilient, many communities will take these forward-leaning steps.  We will be looking to Houston to lead the nation in its resilience and capacity to shape policies that keep citizens safe through all hazards.”  Those who experienced the recent flooding in Houston first-hand will likely agree with Wright’s sentiment: after all, Houston is a strong city, and considering recent events, it only makes sense that we demonstrate that strength to the rest of the country.


Flooding in Houston: what to expect in the future


Currently, the estimated completion date for Project Brays is set for 2021.  At the very least, Houstonians can be hopeful that this construction, in addition to newly updated building codes, will prove effective in preventing significant flood damage during the years to come.


Though there’s still uncertainty surrounding the third reservoir’s construction, knowing the City is prioritizing flood prevention can at least give Houstonians some peace of mind.


Stay updated on the latest in Houston


For more information and updates regarding the Houston area, please follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel today!

Top Corporate Relocation Service in Houston

Get To Know Kinetics: Houston’s Top Corporate Relocation Service

It’s no secret that every company’s success depends on its ability to attract and retain talent.


From hiring third party recruiting firms to offering perks like free lunch or even tuition assistance, companies are constantly seeking new ways to appeal to jobseekers.  One of the best ways to attract more talent to your company is to recruit new employees outside of your city, and using a corporate relocation service allows you to do so with ease.  When you work with Kinetics, your company can help ease the burden of relocating for work and provide employees with a pleasant moving experience.


Gary Greene Realtors, including myself, have partnered with Kinetics in order to help you create a relocation policy tailored to fit your company’s unique needs.


Overview Of The Kinetics Program

When your company works with Kinetics, you’ll be able to create an enticing relocation package to help your employees save money when buying, selling, or renting a home.  Whether you’re hiring new employees from outside the area or you’re relocating existing staff to a different city, Kinetics can help you accomplish these goals and create a stress-free experience for your teams.


Kinetics will help your company create a Relocation Policy that clearly outlines every last detail of your unique relocation package, from timeframes and covered expenses to reimbursable items, van lines, and more.  As one of the area’s top corporate relocation programs, Kinetics can even provide insight into which specific relocation benefits are considered standard in today’s job market so you can offer a competitive package.


Impress candidates even further by taking advantage of Kinetics’ Transplant Buddy Interviews and Candidate Tour Services, both of which are also available at zero cost to the employer.  Through these services, candidates will have the opportunity to learn more about the area and even tour the city with a local real estate agent.


Better yet, the Kinetics program is designed to provide support to both domestic and international candidates throughout the entire relocation process.  That means your employees can start working in their new location as quickly as possible when you partner with us.


Kinetics will even work with your company to create tiered real estate benefit programs for your employees.  So, whether your workers are buying their first homes, downsizing for retirement, or just moving to a different neighborhood, Kinetics is fully equipped to help you offer an enticing benefits package so you can meet your employees’ needs.


Who Qualifies For Kinetics?


The Kinetics program is available to companies in the following neighborhoods:


  • Bay Area
  • The Woodlands
  • Friendswood
  • League City
  • Tiki Island
  • Katy
  • Inner Loop
  • Memorial
  • Lake Houston
  • Lake Conroe
  • Conroe
  • Tomball
  • Magnolia
  • Champions
  • Corporate
  • Cypress
  • Fairfield
  • Bend
  • Galveston/ Pirates Beach
  • Grant Road
  • Bellaire
  • Pearland


Each company’s eligibility to join the Kinetics program is determined on a case-by-case basis.  If you’re interested in partnering with Kinetics, please contact me today and include your company’s name and number of employees in your message.


Keep Up With All The Latest Updates On Houston’s Real Estate Market


Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for more information about available listings.

Fun Things To Do In Houston This May and June

Fun Things To Do In The Houston Area

There’s always something exciting happening in the Houston area!  Whether you’re planning a night out with friends or a casual date night, there are plenty of upcoming local events to enjoy.  I like to say that Houston is the smallest big city in the country and having these great events brings us all a little closer!


Fun Things To Do In Houston This May And June


See a show



See an Astros game:


  • San Francisco Giants at Houston Astros
    • Tues, May 22, 7:10 pm
  • San Francisco Giants at Houston Astros
    • Wed, May 23, 1:10 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Thurs, May 31, 7:10 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Fri, June 1, 7:10 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Sat, June 2, 6:15 pm
  • Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
    • Sun, June 3, 6:38 pm
  • Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
    • Tues, June 5, 7:10 pm
  • Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
    • Wed, June 6, 7:10 pm
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
    • Mon, June 18, 7:10 pm
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
    • Tues, June 19, 7:10 pm
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
    • Wed, June 20, 7:10 pm
  • Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
    • Fri, June 22, 7:10 pm
  • Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
    • Sat, June 23, 6:15 pm
  • Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
    • Sun, June 24, 1:10 pm
  • Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros
    • Mon, June 25, 7:10 pm
  • Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros
    • Tues, June 26, 7:10 pm
  • Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros
    • Wed, June 27, 1:10 pm


Buy your tickets online!


Support a local cause:



Never miss another great Houston event!


Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter for more updates on fun things to do in the Houston area!

7 Steps To Buying Your First Home

Everything You Need To Know About Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting experience unlike any other.  I love reviewing the “Yellow Brick Road” to homeownership with my first time homebuyers!   It is an excellent illustration that allows the client to visualize the path which they are about to embark upon.   Many questions are answered and more arise simply by reviewing the illustration.   It’s lots of fun to explain the process and discuss the various challenges and hurdles that inevitably present themselves.


Home Buying Illustration

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you probably have some questions about what steps you’ll need to take.


These Are The 7 Critical Steps To Buying Your First House:


1. Research all of your options


The first step towards becoming a homeowner is to consider the lifestyle you want to achieve in your new home.


Take the time to research the individual neighborhoods where you can see yourself living.  Don’t forget to focus on factors that will affect your home’s value and your quality of life, such as local school ratings, crime rates, and property taxes in the area.


Think about how your commute to work will be affected as well.  Map out the route you’d be taking every day to see if you’re comfortable with the amount of time you’ll be spending on the road.


You should also learn about the local real estate market, and pay close attention to the prices of recently sold homes in the area.


This information will help you determine which neighborhoods fit within your budget and meet your needs.


Additionally, as you start thinking about your down payment, you can research mortgage programs to understand what your monthly payments will look like.


Don’t forget to budget for other expenses that may be new to you, like utilities, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and the occasional unexpected home repair!


Once you’ve had some time to consider your budget and compare mortgage programs, get pre-approved so that you can make a more compelling offer.


2. Find a real estate agent who’s equipped to meet your needs


When you’re looking for your first home, working with a real estate agent can make the entire buying process much simpler.  That being said, no two real estate agents are the same, and the best agent to work with will often depend heavily on the neighborhoods you’re most interested in looking at.


Make sure you know the right questions to ask when you’re looking for a real estate agent to represent you.


3. Start viewing homes for sale


Once your agent has a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a home (and neighborhood), he or she can help you find houses for sale within your price range.


As you’re viewing these homes, you may want to write down notes about the properties so you can keep track of features that you did or didn’t like.  Don’t be afraid to carefully inspect each home as you’re walking through; sellers are usually willing to negotiate when there’s an obvious need for repair work.


4. Make an offer


Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in pursuing, talk to your real estate agent about a negotiation strategy.  He or she should be able to help you create a strategic offer based on the local market and the property’s estimated value.


If the seller doesn’t immediately accept your offer, don’t be discouraged!  Trust your real estate agent’s advice, and don’t let your emotions get in the way.  If you simply can’t come to an agreement with the seller, there’s no harm in walking away from the home.


Once your offer is accepted, you and the seller will then enter into a contract outlining any contingencies that must be addressed before the deal can close.  Typically, most home sales are contingent on the buyer’s ability to secure financing and the results of the home inspection.


After you’ve deposited an earnest payment, the seller will then take the home off the market.  Typically, this is followed by an option period, during which time you as a buyer reserve the right to terminate the contract.


5. Hire an inspector


The option period provides the perfect opportunity to have the house thoroughly inspected.  If the home inspector uncovers significant problems, you can try to renegotiate the deal with the seller.  If, at this time, you and the seller cannot reach an agreement, then you can terminate the contract and recoup your earnest money.


6. Get your mortgage loan approved


Before your loan can be approved, your lender will require an appraisal to determine the home’s value and prevent you from borrowing more than the home is worth.


Additionally, you will be required to obtain title insurance, which protects you as a homeowner from certain losses that could be incurred as a result of purchasing the home.  Your title commitment paperwork will outline the specific coverage provided by your title insurance.


7. Close on your new home


If your contract required the seller to make repairs, these will be taken care of after your loan has been approved.  If you’re buying new construction, then a final inspection is completed at this time instead.


Next, you’ll hire a surveyor to measure the land and identify the legal boundaries of the property.  This will help you and your new neighbors avoid any confusion over property lines.


After these steps have been completed, you can close the deal and move into your new home!


Need more information about how to buy your first home?


Get the answers to all of your questions!  Contact me today to reserve your spot at the Better Homes And Gardens Home Buying Seminar on Saturday, May 19.


Home Buying Seminar