Westpark Tollway/FM 1093 Expansion to Begin in November 2013

 

Construction on expanding FM 1093 and the Westpark Tollway is scheduled to begin in November once the design and environmental clearance processes are completed, according to an update from Fort Bend County.

The project is split into two phases with Phase I stretching more than four miles from FM 1463 to the Grand Parkway, and has a price tag of more than $60 million. An update released on Feb. 21 announced that the survey and property mapping are complete, and the design is pending approval by various entities.

If the process remains on schedule, the design will be finalized in June, construction will start in November and finish in summer 2015.

Phase II runs from James Road to FM 1463, and the schedule is currently under development.

If you would like to discuss touring tour Katy, Cypress or Houston homes or selling your home, contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]  I have sold local real estate for over 23 years. Experience does matter!

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Carpets in Need of a Tune-Up? Try These Ideas!

 

Before you try any of these methods, be sure to pre-test the carpet or stain; do this somewhere inconspicuous, like inside a closet.

First, to really get it clean, sweep the carpet with a broom, which will make the nap stand up and loosen embedded dirt. Next, vacuum the carpet. Your carpet should show a noticeable improvementjust from taking these two steps.

If you have pets and need help neutralizing strong odors, mix one cup Borax with two cups cornmeal. Sprinkle the carpet with this mixture. Let stand one-hour, then vacuum. To freshen the carpet, combine three-quarters of a cup of baking soda, two tablespoons cornstarch, and one-quarter cup perfumed talcum powder. Sprinkle on the dry carpet, let stand five to fifteen minutes, then vacuum.

Spot cleaning tips:

  • Do use a clean white, absorbent terry towel
  • Do blot or tamp the spot
  • Do pretest the carpet in an inconspicuous area
  • Do clean the stain from the edge to the center
  • Do apply cleaner to the towel
  • Do clean with modest amounts of cleaning solution
  • Do adhere to product safety guidelines and general instructions
  • Do remove the stain as soon as it is noticed
  • Do remove the dirty excess before cleaning.
  • Do use cleaning compounds at lukewarm temperature
  • Don’t saturate the carpet with cleaning compounds
  • Don’t apply heat or vigorously scrub the stain
  • Don’t leave the stain until later
  • Don’t fail to remove dried excess stain prior to cleaning

Don’t forget to pre-test the carpet or stain. Follow these tips and your carpet should look good as new again in no time!

If you would like to discuss touring Katy, Cypress or Houston homes or selling your home, contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]  I have sold local real estate for over 23 years. Experience does matter!

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Taste of Texas: Firethorne to Showcase 12 Homes, Four Model Home Parks May 4-10

Firethorne is revving up for its 2013 Taste of Texas Model Home Tour Saturday, May 4 – Friday, May 10, showcasing 12 homes in the master-planned community’s four Model Home Parks, including a model in Firethorne’s first-ever gated section.  The Model Home Tour, free and open to the public from10 a.m. to7 p.m., will feature prize drawings for those who complete the full tour. 

Firethorne will open its dozen fully furnished and landscaped model homes in the four Model Home Parks, including a new brick and stone veneer Perry home in Firethorne’s Model Park III.  The Perry model is a one-story, four-bedroom, three-bath home with a three-car garage. Perry Homes is the exclusive builder in this gated neighborhood composed of 60-foot lots. The two-phase section will house approximately 150 homes upon completion.  

Other members of the Firethorne builder team are Ashton Woods Homes, Coventry Homes, Highland Homes, M/I Homes and Plantation Homes.  

Firethorne’s Model Park I, II and III are east of FM 1463 on Pinpoint Crossing Drive and Iron Read the rest of this entry »

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Bridgeland to Attempt Record-Breaker at April 27th Nature Fest

CYPRESS, TX  – Bridgeland’s April 27 Nature Fest will be a hoot as event-goers attempt to break the Guinness World Records® title for the most people giving a simultaneous bird call, finely feathered aerialists perform seemingly impossible stunts and a world-renowned zoologist entertains with his even more famous contingent of animals. 

The event, which attracted a crowd of more than 7,000 last year, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bridgeland’s Oak Meadow Park. 

Houston Chronicle nature columnist and noted bird watcher Gary Clark will teach the crowd how to call the northern cardinal, common to the Houston area and known for the male’s bright red plumage. To break the world record, more than 801 people will need to make the bird call for 10 seconds or more. Nature photographer Kathy Adams Clark will be on stage to help. 

“We will teach both the whistle and the mnemonic call, a common trick in the bird-watching world to help us remember a bird’s song,” Gary said. “The northern cardinal has a beautiful song, starting with ‘cheery, cheery, cheery,’ and should be easy for the crowd to learn.” 

And even if the hundreds of amateur bird-callers nail the attempt, Gary cautions participants not to expect cardinals to flock to the area. 

“A bird rarely comes when a human makes a bird call,” he said. 

The “call of the wild” attempt will be conducted amid acts featuring reptiles, famous monkeys and other animals as the Crocodile Encounter and Staples Animal Safari make repeat appearances during the free event. The gravity-defying “Feathers in Flight” aerialist show is new this year, as is a roaming menagerie of entertainers, including a human topiary.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Title Insurance Rates to Increase in Texas on May 1st by 3.8%

 

A title insurance policy protects a real estate owner or lender against any loss or damage they might experience because of liens, or defects in the title to their property. In the sale of residential property in Texas, most often the seller pays for and provides this coverage for the buyer.

According to the Texas Land Title Association, this is the first time in over 20 years that premiums have been increased; the last price adjustment was in 1991. In fact, during the intervening years, policy rates actually decreased by almost 20%.

Title insurance rates are set by the Commissioner of Insurance as part of a thorough evidentiary based public meeting and hearing process. Extensive statistical data is gathered from title insurance underwriters and agents on an annual basis including expense and income figures as well as data on claims losses. This information is used to establish a cost that allows for a reasonable rate of return and is fair to the consumer.

Both the Office of Public Insurance Counsel and the Texas Department of Insurance staff testified at the hearing that this adjustment was reasonable and was supported by the evidence.

If you would like to discuss touring tour Katy, Cypress or Houston homes or selling your home, contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]  I have sold local real estate for over 23 years. Experience does matter!

 

 

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How Much Does That Home Really Cost?

A $200,000 home costs more than a $185,000 home, right? Well, yes and no…

Assuming the same type of financing for both homes, the $200,000 home does cost more initially. But many factors contribute to the overall long-term cost of a house. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to determine the true costs of purchasing a particular home. Also, be sure to get a professional inspection to identify other potentially costly problem areas.

  • Does it have a pool or hot tub that requires maintenance?
  • How much yard maintenance is required and who will perform it?
  • Are there trees that should be removed?
  • What are the utility costs? Although your usage won’t be exactly the same as the current owners, you may be able to get their utility bills for the past year from them.
  • How soon will the roof need to be replaced?
  • Does the house need repainting?
  • Does the electrical system need upgrading to handle the load for your appliances and electronics?
  • Does the home have aluminum wiring, lead-based paint, or other safety or health hazards you will want to address?
  • Does the house need new carpeting or flooring?
  • What remodeling projects do you see as “a must”?
  • Will appliances need replacing. Which items convey?
  • What are the estimated property taxes?
  • What is the homeowner’s association fees?

If you would like to discuss touring tour Katy, Cypress or Houston homes or selling your home, contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]  I have sold local real estate for over 23 years. Experience does matter!

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Houston Home Sales Blossom in March

 

HOUSTON — (April 16, 2013) — It’s hard to tell that the spring home buying season has begun because real estate transactions throughout Greater Houston never slowed during the traditionally quieter winter months. The addition of nearly 119,000 jobs over the past 12 months and the resulting need for housing, combined with continued low interest rates, helped make March Houston’s 22nd consecutive month of positive home sales.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), home sales jumped 17.0 percent compared to last March. Housing inventory, which had been at a 13-year low of 3.6 months during the first two months of the year, shrank slightly in March to 3.5 months.

The lower supply of homes and added demand sent prices higher. The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 6.5 percent to $172,000, an all-time record high for Houston. The average price rose 4.6 percent year-over-year to $236,195, the second highest level ever.

Contracts closed on 5,779 single-family homes. That is the largest one-month sales volume since August 2012. All housing segments experienced gains except for those priced under $80,000. Homes selling between $80,000 and $250,000 registered the greatest sales volume increase. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House in Texas?

Buying a house is a big step! The right time to take this leap depends on your financial and personal situation as well as your goals. If you are considering buying a house now, here are some strong reasons why the timing could be right.

  • Housing prices in Texas have been steadily rising at a moderate pace for many years, even while other states have experienced wild price fluctuations.
  • Interest rates are at or near record lows. Even small reductions in the interest rate can sigificantly boost the purchase price you can afford when buying a home.
  • Texas has one of the most affordable housing markets compared to household income, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
  • Our state’s economy is strong and diverse, and the population is expected to continue growing steadily. These factors all point to continued health in the housin market.

As a Texas Realtor, I can show you how our current housing-market conditions factor in to your goal of buying a home. You can count on me to put your interests first whil I assist you during this exciting process.

If you would like to discuss touring tour Katy, Cypress or Houston homes or selling your home, contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]  I have sold local real estate for over 23 years. Experience does matter!

 

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Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center Offers Intern Positions

Want a fantastic summer experience filled with loads of people, fun and an opportunity to be inspired or be inspiring?

Our KVPAC Interns experience the thrill of working in all areas of the theater and art:

Our Visual Arts Program includes clay, painting, drawing, and photography to name a few. Our Interns will be given the opportunity of assistant teaching with a professional artist. We also feature a gallery space for exhibitions every Friday, at the end of class.

Our Theatre Arts Program includes musical theatre, set design, sound and light technology, acting, singing, dancing and more.  Our Interns will work with a professional creative team (director, choreographer, musical director, and designers), to assist with the rehearsal and performance of a major musical theatre production, with full design and technical support.

Interns will help students experience a fun-filled day, coordinate clean-up in the classes, assist with daily duties of our curriculum and make life-long friends through our summer program.

“KVPAC and the Staff have been such an inspiration for Sabrina…The knowledge she has gained Read the rest of this entry »

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No Slowdown in Sight for the Houston Housing Market

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Home buyers snapped up enough homes in February to raise prices and hold inventory levels to 13-year lows!

Home buyers kept Houston-area REALTORS® hopping in February, generating a 15.5 percent increase in sales compared to the same month last year, according to the latest monthly data compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). The buying spree held local housing inventory to the same level as January — 3.6 months — which is the lowest supply of homes on the market since December 1999.

February marked the 21st consecutive month of increased home sales, with average and median prices reaching the highest levels for a February in Houston.

Contracts closed on 4,407 single-family homes during the month. All housing segments saw gains except for those priced below $80,000. That suggests the likelihood of an exhausted supply of available homes at that price point. Homes selling from $250,000 to $500,000 registered the greatest sales volume increase, accounting for the price appreciation.

“The recent flurry of home buying and reduced inventory may seem unusual, but is exactly what the Houston market experienced back in the late 1990s,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “The difference is Read the rest of this entry »

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