Houston Neighborhoods Real Estate Blog and Tips

Sept. 21, 2021

The Best Neighborhoods Near the Texas Medical Center

Live Near Texas Medical Center

With over 54 institutions and a staggering 106 000 workers, the Texas Medical center is a bustling hub of activity. Such a thriving medical center attracts countless workers, volunteers, visitors, and, of course, patients!

Regardless of your reason for moving near the Texas Medical Center, you’ll need to decide where to live. How can you choose the best neighborhood near the Medical Center? Let’s review a few of the best neighborhoods to move into, as well as why the medical center is so popular. 

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Posted in Home Buying
Aug. 11, 2021

Planting a Low Maintenance Garden To increase Your Houston Properties Value

By Brianna Atkins

Source

Spend money to make money is an important motto in business circles. Your Houston home is an investment. When spending money on it, consider features that increase the property’s value -- especially if you have the house for sale.

Low maintenance gardens and landscaping boost curb appeal and provide nice first impressions. They also boost property values.

But before you dig the plot, consider your options.

Sunshine Vs. Shade

The amount of sunlight your yard receives will determine what kind of flowers and vegetables to plant. For example, root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, etc.) grow in partial shade. Want to plant tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and beans? Choose an area in the back or side yard that will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Same thing for flowers. For example, black-eyed Susan, Eastern purple coneflowers, and Texas lantana enjoy full sunlight. Azaleas, camellia, and hydrangea prefer filtered shade.

Go Native!​​

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Low-maintenance plants still require some upkeep, but it’s easier when you include some of Houston’s best native plants in your garden. Native plants such as coral honeysuckle and the American basketflower adapt to the local soil and climate and -- despite Houston’s hot summer weather -- don’t need much water. Native shrubs like wax myrtle and yaupon hollies grow well without fertilizer, which keeps chemicals from flowing through groundwater into nearby watersheds. 

Vegetable Gardens

Broccoli, beans, tomatoes, peppers … they’re all part of a vegetable garden that just about everyone recognizes. Planting dates for Houston gardens vary, depending on the flowers and vegetables you choose.

Tip: If you want to present a thriving, colorful garden during an open house or home showing, plan the dates when veggies are at or nearing maturity. (Impress your buyers with the ethereal look of a full garden. The more they can visualize themselves in this pleasant scene, the more likely they’ll make a bid on the property). 

Shrubbery

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Surround the home with shrubbery in beds of well-draining soil. Options to consider? Evergreens like sea green juniper, Japanese boxwood, and knock-out roses. Argarita has fragrant yellow flowers in spring. Gardenia shrubs are like perfume on a warm summer evening. 

Mulching beds and gardens takes less time than constant weeding. Organic mulches like wood chips, grass clippings, and pine needles break down over time and improve the soil. Inorganic mulch (gravel, crushed rock, clay) lasts longer but keeps water and nutrients from reaching plant roots. 

Rock Gardens and Xeriscaping 

For a truly effortless gardening experience, how about a section filled with rocks? Rock gardens in various shapes and sizes are popular these days, and they don’t take much time to manage. You can put succulents and cactus in them, and with a little weeding and watering here and there, you’re good to go. Spice up your rock garden with groundcovers, ornamental grasses (like blue sedge and pink muhly), and drought-resistant perennials. You can toss in a few tile pavers, bird feeders, and a bird bath among the xeriscaping. 

Container Gardening​​

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Show off your growing flowers, veggies, and herbs in tall, mid-sized, and small containers. Attractive planters in neutral shades highlight the natural colors of perennial flowers like delphinium, daylilies, and garden mums. Pots need to have drainage holes at the bottom for excess water. Because many plant roots grow and spread quickly, bigger containers will handle years of growth.

Simple Suburban Setting

House values change but the idea of simple suburban living is the same wherever you go. The more idyllic the home looks, the more likely it is to sell. Remember: You're not just selling a house, you're selling the desire of living the homeowner’s dream.

 

Curious about your Houston home value?

 

Brianna Atkins is a writer, home stager, and designer in love with soft fabrics, hardscapes, and modern touches.

 



March 11, 2021

Houston COVID Vaccination Resources

Harris County – https://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus/Register-for-COVID-19-Vaccine

Houston Health – https://houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/  You may also follow them on Twitter (@houstonhealth), which is how many have been able to register for an appointment. You do have to act fast though.

Montgomery County – https://coronavirus-response-moco.hub.arcgis.com/pages/vaccinations

Fort Bend County – https://www.fbchealth.org/

Galveston County – https://www.gchd.org/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines

UTMB – https://www.utmb.edu/covid-19/updates/article/patient-vaccine-updates/2021/01/27/vaccine-waitlist-now-online

Brazoria County – https://us.pomelo.health/brazoriacountytx/login#/

Sam’s Club (you do not need to be a Sam’s club member) – https://www.samsclub.com/pharmacy/immunization?imzType=covid

Walmart – https://www.walmart.com/account/login?returnUrl=/pharmacy/clinical-services/immunization/scheduled?imzType=covid&r=yes

HEB – https://vaccine.heb.com/

CVS – https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine

March 11, 2021

February 2021 Houston MLS Market Statistics

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE REMAINS INSULATED FROM FEBRUARY’S ARCTIC BLAST

Despite the freak winter storm, sales climbed for a ninth straight month and pricing set a new record 

HOUSTON — (March 10, 2021) — The deadly and disruptive winter storm that left many Houston-area homes without power and water even after mild temperatures returned did little to chill local real estate in February. While the freak weather event delayed some closings due to plumbing-related repairs and property damage, sales of single-family homes rose for a ninth straight month. The increase was also achieved despite an ever-shrinking supply of homes and the first uptick in mortgage rates since last summer – all with the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. 
 
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, 6,049 single-family homes sold in February compared to 5,979 a year earlier. That translates to a 1.2 percent increase. Once again, luxury housing was the top-performing segment among homebuyers. 
 
Homes priced at $750,000 and above surged 64.9 percent compared versus February 2020. That was followed by the $500,000 to $750,000 housing segment, which jumped 55.3 percent year-over-year. Pricing reached historic highs, with the single-family home average price rising 16.2 percent to $349,963 and the median price increasing 12.6 percent to $275,900. 
 
Sales of all property types totaled 7,464 – up 1.9 percent from February 2020. Total dollar volume for the month rose 17.3 percent to $2.4 billion.  
 
“The Houston housing market showed resiliency again last month, coming through strong despite the brutal winter storm that caused widespread power outages, property damage and briefly held up transactions and showings,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “As we head into spring, we urgently need more listings to enter the marketplace or we risk having extremely limited inventory for consumers that want to buy a home now, especially with the prospect of rising mortgage interest rates.”
 
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose above 3 percent for the first time in seven months last week. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3.02 percent. It was 2.97 percent a week earlier and 3.29 percent a year earlier. The last time it was above 3 percent was in July of 2020.
 
Lease Property Update
 
Consumers showed more interest in homes for sale than in lease properties in February. Leases of single-family homes fell 26.1 percent year-over-year while leases of townhomes and condominiums dropped 15.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 8.7 percent to $1,924 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 1.9 percent to $1,637. 
 
February Monthly Market Comparison
 
The Houston real estate market powered its way through a ninth consecutive month of sales gains in February, defying a destructive and disruptive winter storm, scant inventory and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 
 
The monthly sales readings were positive across the board. Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose compared to February 2020. Pending sales climbed 11.6 percent. However, total active listings – or the total number of available properties – fell 37.9 percent as fewer new listings entered the market.
 
A 27.8 percent year-over-year decline in new listings combined with another positive month of sales drove single-family homes inventory down to a 1.6-months supply compared to 3.3 months a year earlier. That is the lowest inventory level of all time. Housing inventory nationally also stands at an historic low – a 1.9-months supply, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 
 
Single-Family Homes Update
 
Single-family home sales rose 1.2 percent in February with 6,049 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 5,979 a year earlier. Strong sales volume among homes at the high end of the market pushed pricing to record highs. The single-family home average price climbed 16.2 percent to $349,963 while the median price rose 12.6 percent to $275,900. 
 
 
It took less time to sell a home than it did one year ago. Days on Market (DOM) fell from 68 to 48. With fewer new listings entering the market, inventory registered a record low 1.6-months supply compared to 3.3 months a year earlier. That figure is slightly below the current national inventory level of 1.9 months recently reported by NAR.
 
Broken out by housing segment, February sales performed as follows:
  • $1 - $99,999: decreased 40.6 percent
  • $100,000 - $149,999: decreased 42.8 percent
  • $150,000 - $249,999: decreased 16.8 percent
  • $250,000 - $499,999: increased 16.0 percent
  • $500,000 - $749,999: increased 55.3 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 64.9 percent
 
HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,786 in February, up 3.0 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price jumped 21.6 percent to $348,703 while the median sales price climbed 17.4 percent to $270,000. 
 
 
For HAR’s Monthly Activity Snapshot (MAS) of the February 2021 trends, please CLICK HERE to access a downloadable PDF file.
 
Townhouse/Condominium Update
 
Sales of townhouses and condominiums increased for the sixth straight month in February, rising 4.1 percent with 488 closed sales versus 469 a year earlier. The average price increased 1.4 percent to $219,326 and the median price edged up 1.0 percent to $178,700. Inventory fell from a 3.9-months supply to 3.2 months.
 
 
Houston Real Estate Highlights in February
  • Single-family home sales increased for the ninth consecutive month, up 1.2 percent year-over-year with 6,049 units sold;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes dropped from 68 to 48;
  • Total property sales rose 1.9 percent with 7,464 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 17.3 percent to $2.4 billion;
  • The single-family average price reached a record high, rising 16.2 percent to $349,963; 
  • The single-family median price climbed 12.6 percent to $275,900 – also a record high; 
  • Single-family homes months of inventory registered an historic low 1.6-months supply, down from 3.3 months before the pandemic and below the national inventory of 1.9 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 4.1 percent with the average price up 1.4 percent to $219,326 and the median price up 1.0 percent to $178,700;
  • Single-family home rentals fell 26.1 percent with the average rent up 8.7 percent to $1,924; 
  • Townhome/condominium leases dropped 15.7 percent with the average rent up 1.9 percent to $1,637.
Feb. 10, 2021

January 2021 Houston MLS Market Statistics


HOUSTON — (February 10, 2021)
 — Even as the supply of homes across the greater Houston area continues to shrink, homebuyers were out in force in January, snapping up properties that were still on the market and extending the breakneck momentum with which 2020 ended. The luxury housing segment drew the strongest sales activity during the first month of the new year, with homebuyers also driving brisk sales among mid-range homes.
 
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, 6,088 single-family homes sold in January compared to 4,769 a year earlier. That accounted for a 27.7 percent increase and marked the eighth straight month of positive sales.
 
Homes priced at $750,000 and above rocketed 73.9 percent compared to January 2020. That was followed by the $500,000 to $750,000 housing segment, which jumped 70.4 percent year-over-year. Homes between $250,000 and $500,000, which comprise the market’s biggest share of sales, shot up 61.9 percent. The single-family home average price climbed 12.5 percent to a January high of $326,063 while the median price increased 12.1 percent to $263,500 – also a January high. 
 
Sales of all property types totaled 7,519 – up 27.5 percent from January 2020. Total dollar volume for the month surged 42.8 percent to $2.3 billion.
  
“The Houston real estate market carried the momentum of 2020 into the new year, however we believe that the current pace of sales is unsustainable without an infusion of new listings into the marketplace,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “It’s our hope that as we move out of the winter months, more sellers will begin to put their homes on the market and help boost inventory to pre-pandemic levels.”
 
Lease Property Update
 
The Houston lease market experienced a sluggish January. Leases of single-family homes fell 18.4 percent year-over-year while leases of townhomes and condominiums tumbled 6.3 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 6.0 percent to $1,889 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 0.9 percent to $1,607. 
 
January Monthly Market Comparison
Houston housing registered its eighth consecutive month of positive sales in January, fueled by consumers that continued to take advantage of historically low interest rates even as their options among available homes narrowed to the most constrained levels in Houston real estate history. 
 
Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose compared to January 2020. Pending sales shot up 34.5 percent. However, total active listings – or the total number of available properties – fell 31.3 percent as new listings trickled onto the market.
 
A 13.6 percent year-over-year decline in new listings coupled with another strong month of sales drove single-family homes inventory down to a 1.8-months supply compared to 3.3 months a year earlier. Housing inventory nationally stands at an historically low 1.9-months supply, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 
 
 
Single-Family Homes Update
 
Single-family home sales jumped 27.7 percent in January with 6,088 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 4,769 a year earlier. Strong sales volume among homes in the high end of the market once again pushed pricing upward. The single-family home average price hit a record high for a January, climbing 12.5 percent to $326,063. The median price also reached a January high, rising 12.1 percent to $263,500. 
 
It took less time to sell a home than it did a year ago. Days on Market (DOM) fell from 69 to 48. With fewer new listings entering the market, inventory registered a record low 1.8-months supply compared to 3.3 months a year earlier. It is also just slightly below the current national inventory level of 1.9 months recently reported by NAR.
 
Broken out by housing segment, January sales performed as follows:
  • $1 - $99,999: decreased 32.4 percent
  • $100,000 - $149,999: decreased 23.2 percent
  • $150,000 - $249,999: increased 11.3 percent
  • $250,000 - $499,999: increased 61.9 percent
  • $500,000 - $749,999: increased 70.4 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 73.9 percent
 
HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,951 in January, up 32.2 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price jumped 15.2 percent to $321,430 while the median sales price climbed 15.9 percent to $255,000.
 
 

For HAR’s Monthly Activity Snapshot (MAS) of the January 2021 trends, please click HERE to access a downloadable PDF file.

 
Townhouse/Condominium Update
 
Sales of townhouses and condominiums increased for the fifth straight month in January, rising 12.5 percent with 458 closed sales versus 407 a year earlier. The average price rose 12.4 percent to $211,188 and the median price shot up 17.0 percent to $175,500. Inventory fell from a 3.8-months supply to 3.4 months.
 
 
Houston Real Estate Highlights in January
 
  • Single-family home sales increased for the eighth consecutive month, surging 27.7 percent year-over-year with 6,088 units sold;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes dropped from 69 to 48;
  • Total property sales shot up 27.5 percent with 7,519 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 42.8 percent to $2.3 billion;
  • The single-family average price reached a January high, rising 12.5 percent to $326,063; 
  • The single-family median price climbed 12.1 percent to $263,500 – also a January high; 
  • Single-family homes months of inventory registered a record low 1.8-months supply, down from 3.3 months before the pandemic and below the national inventory of 1.9 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 12.5 percent with the average price up 12.4 percent to $211,188 and the median price up 17.0 percent to $175,500;
  • Single-family home rentals fell 18.4 percent with the average rent up 6.0 percent to $1,889; 
  • Townhome/condominium leases dropped 6.3 percent with the average rent up 0.9 percent to $1,607.
July 25, 2020

Pro Tips for Selling your Investment Properties

 

 

A tree in front of a house

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Are you looking to sell your investment property?

 

Selling your rental unit makes financial sense when the market conditions are favorable. You can use the profits for further investments or other purposes. Putting your rental property up for sale could be the best decision in the long run.

 

There are other possible reasons for wanting to sell your rental. For instance, if it isn’t performing well, it may be time to remove this property from your investor's portfolio.

 

Putting your investment property on the market is different from selling your personal home. Planning things ahead in detail reduces the chance of leaving extra money on the table.

 

In this article, Upkeep Media Inc. goes over the best tips for selling your investment property. After reading this, you’ll understand the steps to take to maximize your sales profit.

 

#1: Conduct Plenty of Research

For starters, you should research the current market conditions. Your prospective buyers are interested in the long-term renting potential and developments in the neighborhood. Remember that they are looking to make a lucrative investment.

 

Some of the important aspects to consider checking include the local employment situation, occupancy rates and future projections. Property investors prefer rental real estate in areas that have job opportunities, low crime, and future prospects.

 

#2: Gather the Necessary Documentation

Assemble and organize all the documents that reflect your property's financial health. The income, expenses, and budget sheets all contribute to a better understanding of your rental's financial situation.

 

The paperwork should cover remodelling, repairs, maintenance, and improvement projects. Attach a complete list of your capital expenditures. Showing clarity and transparency raises the chance of closing a deal.

 

#3: Hire a Professional Home Stager

Putting your investment property up for sale means that you can benefit from offering a staged home. You may be surprised how big of a difference staging can make.

 

Professional home stagers use a wide range of strategies to maximize a property's appeal. As a result, you can expect the following outcomes concerning your selling efforts:

 

  • Depersonalizing the unit boosts the property's status and curb appeal.

  • Visiting prospects may feel that your investment property is worth more money.

  • Your rental's top features and amenities will receive the attention they deserve.

  • There’s a greater chance of quickly selling your property for a higher closing price.

 

A living room filled with furniture and a fireplace

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#4: Find the Right Price

Both undervaluing and overvaluing the price of your property are bad approaches. Neither one of these scenarios will protect your interests as an investment property seller. You need to find the correct price to land a successful agreement.

 

To find the correct price, carry out a comparative market analysis. In short, this means you will list the recent closing prices for comparable investment properties in the same neighborhood. If your property’s immediate surrounding has limited data, you can expand your scope. 

 

#5: Reduce Regular Expenses

Property investors prefer rental units that have low operating costs. You'll see an instant boost in investor's appeal when your monthly positive cash flow is more competitive.

 

Check for water leaks, raise your A/C and furnace efficiency, and switch old appliances for new ones. These small actions can lead to greater savings on your monthly expenses.

 

#6: Provide High-Quality Photos

Attach high-quality photos to your investment property listings. Nowadays, the importance of outstanding visuals is greater than ever. Some investors may overlook your listing if they can't access a photo gallery.

 

An additional option is shooting HQ videos. You can do these in a walkthrough fashion to provide a concise overview of the major features of your property. It has been shown that video content is a strong predictor of high engagement online.

 

A close up of electronics

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In a Nutshell: Selling Your Investment Properties

Selling your investment property could be profitable. When the market conditions are right, making an exit may be the best decision long-term. Plus, sometimes you just need to quickly cash out because a property drives down the performance of your portfolio.

 

Here are our top suggestions for reaching a successful sale of your property:

 

  • Consider the services of a professional home stager.

  • Do as much research as you can before putting your property up for a sale.

  • Take professional photos and shoot HQ videos to boost interest online.

  • Determine the correct price by conducting comparative market analysis.

  • Cut your monthly expenses to improve the positive cash flow.

  • Find and organize all the documentation showing your property's financial status.

 

So, there you have it – 6 ways to sell your investment property!

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.

 

 

homesellinganalysis

July 25, 2020

5 More Things To Check Before Selling A Home

 

So, you’ve decided to sell your home. Before you run to put your house on the market, there are a few things you’ll want to check first. We’re in a seller’s market, but you still want to make sure that your house will appeal to buyers and that you get as much as possible on the sale of your home. 

These are five quick things to check before you list and sell your home. 

#1. The Condition of the Roof  

Has it been a while since you re-did the roof? How do the shingles look? The reality is that if your roof is in disrepair, you’re going to have a hard time finding a buyer. There’s no shortage of asphalt roof problems, and you need to make sure that your roof doesn’t have any glaring issues. 

Start by stepping away from the house and checking for any visible damage. If you have an asphalt roof, and it’s been over ten years since you’ve had any work done, you’ll likely see missing and faded shingles. 

These things happen. If you aren’t in the place to replace the roof, consider patching up any minor issues, so buyers aren’t immediately turned off by your property. 

#2. The Curb Appeal

While you’re outside checking out the roof, take a good look at your curb appeal. How does your house appear to people driving by? While a lot of home shopping happens online these days, you can’t undervalue the importance of curb appeal. 

If your house looks shabby, you need to consider whipping it into shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean costly renovations or landscaping. Instead, it could be as simple as trimming up the lawn, adding some potted plants, and maybe throwing a fresh coat of paint onto your home’s siding. 

It’s amazing what a few minor changes can do for increasing curb appeal. 

#3. The Kitchen and the Bathroom 

If you are open to doing any renovations, consider the kitchen and the bathroom first. These two areas of the home are the most likely to get your home rejected or approved by potential buyers. 

Swap the countertops to quartz for an immediate visual wow-factor. If the cost of quartz countertops is too high, then consider minor changes instead. Re-paint the counters, add new storage options, and deep clean the floors. 

 

Ultimately, you want potential buyers to love your kitchen and bathroom, so be sure and check that you’ve done all you can to make those two rooms shine.

 

#4. Odds and Ends 

Do a check throughout your home for all the odds and ends. Check for loose or missing door handles, exposed outlets, and small holes in the wall. Spend an afternoon weatherproofing windows and doors. Replace missing light bulbs and repair any scuff marks. 

Also, consider doing a smell test. Sometimes we live in our homes so long that bad smells can go unnoticed. Invite an honest friend over to go through and smell various areas of your home and let you know if any areas need refreshing. 

If you have any pet smells or other unpleasant odors lingering in your house, don’t try to mask it. Instead, find the source of the smell and deep clean and deodorize it. 

#5. Mass Appeal

Once you’ve checked all the things above, it’s time to check your home for staging. You want to make sure your paint colors, décor and layout are neutral and inviting. 

Spend time decluttering and deep cleaning your house, re-paint walls if the colors are too outlandish, and pack up your decorations that aren’t universally appealing. While this might seem extreme, any skilled realtor will tell you that the key to selling your home lies in allowing buyers to see themselves inside your house. 

To do that, you have to revamp your house to be less unique to you and more appealing to the masses. 

Be Thorough to Sell Your Home Quickly

If you check these five things before you list your house, you’ll be way ahead of the curve. Rather than waiting until your home is on the market to start making improvements, start making them today. 

These small checks and minor improvements could be the difference-maker between selling your home and being stuck on the market indefinitely.

 

homeworth

 

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

 

 

 

Aug. 21, 2019

5 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Put on The Market

As you’re preparing to put your home on the market, your real estate agent probably already has a long “to-do” list of things to make your home more “marketable.” Maybe you need to change the paint color or ditch that outdated carpet in the den. While making your home as move-in ready and appealing to every interested buyer is important, so is their safety.

 

 

As the homeowner, you have a responsibility to ensure that the property is safe by eliminating items that could pose a risk of injury to potential buyers and agents. Even though your house is up for sale, there’s still a possibility that you could be held liable for any injuries on your property. 

 

Here are some tips to help you make sure that your home is safe while on the market.

Get Rid of Clutter

 

Decluttering might already be at the top of your list of things to do before you can officially put your house up for sale. Not only does getting rid of clutter make your living space look larger and more attractive, but it can make your home less hazardous. 

 

Piles of stuff can fall over or becoming a tripping hazard. If you’re having a hard time parting with some of your clutter, think of it as safety rather than aesthetic appeal. The less clutter you have in your home, the higher the offer you’ll potentially receive.

Complete Unfinished House Projects

 

Many homes with unfinished projects go on the market as “fixer-uppers.” Sometimes an unfinished project simply cannot be done before you put your house up for sale but if you can finish a project, do it.

 

Not only do finished projects up the value of your home, it can keep your potential buyers safer. Having your floors redone? Building a patio in the backyard? Tearing down a wall to expand your dining room? These projects can be potentially dangerous if left “as is.” 

 

Be sure to also wrap up any last-minute items that could spruce up the exterior of your home as well. This can range from lawn care, pressure washing, landscaping and paint. 

Eliminate Tripping and Falling Hazards

 

Over the years, there’s a good chance that you’ve grown accustomed to all the little quirks in your home like the section of carpet that’s not pulled tight or the uneven steps leading to your front door. 

 

Tripping is often more embarrassing than anything, but it can also lead to falls and serious injuries like fractures or concussions. 

 

Invest in a Deep Clean

 

If you get a seemingly last-minute call from your real estate agent that there will be a showing later in the day, you probably feel like you have no time to clean. Spending money on someone else cleaning your home is a worthy investment. 

 

If your home is prone to mold or you have years of pet odors that you have become “nose blind” to, it’s definitely worth considering hiring a pro to clean your house. A potential home buyer could have severe allergies to either mold or pet dander and even if they love your home, they’d most likely pass on making an offer.

Get a pre-listing Inspection 

 

Most homebuyers hire an inspector to look at the home before finalizing a purchase. While this is a normal part of the homebuying process, it’s also a little unnerving for you. Considering hiring a home inspector before you put the house on the market to see if there’s anything that’s flagged as hazardous. That way, you can have it fixed before your house is sale-ready.

 

If there’s anything that needs fixing or is potentially hazardous, be honest with your realtor (or any other visitors to your home). While it may not guarantee a sale, people will appreciate your honesty and your value for their safety.





July 18, 2019

How to Design your New Houston Home like Joanna Gaines

So you’re imagining your new dream home in Houston. Or maybe you’re planning on moving soon (if it would help, here are some Houston movers that can make the transition fast and easy). And what better way to daydream about your future Texan home than to imagine an experienced interior designer like Joanna Gaines decorating it for you? 

 

The Gaines’ Farmhouse is the quintessential country-feel Texan home, full of rustic character and a comforting homey feel. But since hiring Chip and Joanna as personal decorators might not be in your budget, we have another solution for you. Below, we’ll dive into 5 interior design hacks that will give your new Houston home that same Gaines charm. 

 

#1: Balance function with form

You may have heard Joanna utter these wise interior-designer words time and again. But Joanna’s dedication to creating practical spaces that are also aesthetic and expressive is what makes her one of the best. 

 

In her own home, Joanna has collected old instruments, she’s used antique farm equipment, road signs, reclaimed wood, and scrapped brick. But these pieces don’t pile up and sit in corners or on shelves. Instead, each piece is functional. When you find this balance between function and form, moving through your home will feel delightful.

 

#2: Fill your home with story and memory

You can add the rustic pieces and farmhouse tables to your house. But how you can really give your home that rich character that makes Joanna’s home so appealing is by understanding the bigger purpose behind interior design. 

 

Beyond just making an aesthetic space, designing a home tells a story of the people who live there. Fill your home with pieces that you love - ones that are attached to some of your favorite memories, places you’ve been, and the people who matter the most to you.

 

#3: Create a warm welcome

Little features like potted plants, lanterns, and front door mats will create a welcoming exterior to your home. And even if you have a very small entryway (or none at all), try to create a welcoming space right as you walk through your door. Set aside a spot to set down your keys, kick off your shoes, hang your purse, and leave the stress and the day at the door. This trick will transform a stark house into a warm and welcoming one. 

 

#4: Create a space that’s yours

In the Gaines’ Farmhouse, each member of the family has a little spot to call their own. When setting up your home, try to carve out a space where you can go at the end of the day to regroup and get inspired. 

 

But also, make your home work for the whole family. If you’re a parent, carve out family-friendly entertaining spots rather than designing a home so Pinterest-perfect that your kids can’t be kids. Try to create a home where everyone living there will want to go to unwind. 

 

#5: Go rustic

If you really want to style your home after the Gaines’ Farmhouse, keep things rustic. Joanna decorates her home with a blend of antique and modern elements. She also fills her home with creamy whites, clean blacks, and a pop of vintage color here and there. 

 

Try out a few of Joanna’s favorite paint colors like Shiplap, True White, or Magnolia Green. Keep things warm, neutral, and rustic. Shop for antiques. And if you can’t buy more furniture, repurpose what you’ve got! Check out this farmhouse table tutorial, or make furniture look distressed using Milk Paint. 



When decorating your new home, remember, it’s all about creating a space where memories are made and where everyone feels at home. Once you’ve mastered the interior design of your home, it’s time to step outside. Check out these 6 steps to boosting your home's curb appeal.

June 10, 2019

6 Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

6 Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

By Meredith Hale

 

It’s no secret that curb appeal is a crucial factor in selling a house. Presenting your property in the best possible light doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Here are six easy ways to boost the curb appeal of your home.

Add some green

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Fresh flowers and greenery go a long way toward freshening up your yard. If you don’t have the time or money for full-on landscaping, put new mulch in the front yard and flower beds, and add low-maintenance plants. Texas Lantana is a good choice in Houston. This easygoing plant has colorful flowers, and it grows well even in poor soil. Planters in strategic places add color and class. If you have enough room by your front door, put symmetrical planters with colorful flowers on either side. This trick will attract a buyer’s eye to the entrance.

Maintain your yard

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Mow the grass, pull weeds, rake leaves, and remove any trash and clutter.  You’ll also want to trim trees and overgrown bushes or hedges. Do this regularly while your house is on the market.  As far as mowing goes, you’ll want to do it regularly. According to LawnStarter, the most popular mowing frequency in Houston is biweekly and costs $37 to have your lawn mowed, edged and trimmed by a professional.

Power-wash

Blast the years of dirt and grime from your home’s surfaces with a good pressure-wash. Buy or rent a power-washer from a home improvement store, and go to work on your home’s siding, deck, patio, driveway, and walkways. This will help your home really shine. It could also save you the cost and hassle of repainting your house. Of course, if your paint is cracked or peeling, you will probably need to repaint.

Refresh or replace doors

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Painting or restaining your garage and front doors can instantly update your home’s exterior. Choose splashes of color that coordinate with your house for a fresh look. Adding new hardware (door knobs, latches, locks) is another small change that can make a big difference. If money allows, consider replacing your old front door with a new one in a contemporary color (blue is big this year). New garage doors will also add an updated, modern look.

Spruce up your entryway

 

The entryway is a buyer’s first introduction to your home, so why not make it a good one? Hang a seasonal wreath on that refreshed door, and place a welcome mat on the doorstep. If you have enough room, consider a small seating area that conveys comfort and relaxation. New, easy-to-see address numbers are another nice touch.

 

Add lighting

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Lighting is a fun and inexpensive way to brighten your home’s exterior. Clean dirt and cobwebs from existing light fixtures. Consider replacing them if they’re rusty or outdated. Add elegance and warmth by stringing lights across your patio or placing solar lights along pathways and driveways.

 

Following these six steps will help your house stand out and make a lasting impression on potential buyers. Strong curb appeal might mean fewer days on the market, which would be a good payoff for your effort and time.

 

Meredith Hale is a gardening and landscape writer, and design addict. She has coordinated the design on many house-flipping projects and freely admits her favorite part is creating inspired outdoor spaces.