November 2015

November 2015

November 2015

Houston Economic Slow Down – Home Sales show continued strength in September
Brenda Hardee

Three factors drive Houston’s economy—the price of oil, the value of the dollar, and the health of the U.S. economy. It is hard, especially now with oil prices depressed, to predict where Houston’s economy is headed. It also is hard to know where it stands today, even if we are familiar with the economic data and can interpret it properly.

Recent Houston job growth numbers show the emergence in 2015 of significant economic weakness, and they may well foretell more slow growth ahead.

However, after a relatively flat performance in August, the Houston housing market kept pace with last year’s record sales volume and prices throughout September. Just as in August, homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 saw moderate gains. The low and high ends of the market declined.

Texas Sage Properties

Featured in this Month’s Newsletter

  1. Houston Economic Slow Down – Home Sales show continued strength in September
  2. Important Dates in November
  3. Weekend Get Aways
  4. From the Broker’s Office
  5. The Gourmet Corner

Texas Sage Properties

Important Dates in November

November 1 – All Saint’s Day
November 2 – All Soul’s Day
November 3 – Election Day  ~ USA
November 10 – United States Marine Corp Birthday (1775)
November 11 – Veteran’s Day  (U.S. – End of WWI – 1918)
November 11 – Armistice Day (Europe – End of WWI – 1918)
November 11 – Remembrance Day (Canada – End of WWI – 1918)
November 13 – World Kindness Day
November 13 – Accountant’s Day
November 17 – World Peace Day
November 20 – International Children’s Day
November 22 – Stop The Violence Day
November 26 – Thanksgiving (U.S.) Observed the 4th Thursday of November

November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemum – There are many myths and legends about the origins of this tradition. It is believed that birthday celebrations originated in the Roman Empire and the origins of birth month flowers, such as the Chrysanthemum, could be said to date back to these times. Meaning: with Love and Cheerfulness.

November Birthstone: Citrine & Topaz – November birthdays are associated with two gems; Citrine and Topaz. The warm color of Citrine is said to be a gift from the sun and it’s believed to be a healing gemstone. Topaz is most desired in its rich orange Imperial Topaz color but it is found in a variety of rich colors like blue, pink and yellow.

Texas Sage Properties

Weekend Get Aways – “The West Texas triangle” – (San Solomon Springs Courts, Marfa, McDonald Observatory)
576.8mi from Houston

Marfa. Yes consider Marfa for a long weekend get away! All your hipster friends talk endlessly about Marfa, because of the “LIGHTS!”, “ART!” and “EL COSMICO!”

But what they’re forgetting is that you’re also in a vastly unique part of the state, a part that’s nothing like anywhere else. Yes, there’s Marfa, with its restaurants and Cobra Boot Co. and ballroom. El Cosmico is a highdesign campground where you have your pick of renovated vintage trailers, yurts, and tepees.

James Dean checked into the Hotel Paisano while he was in town shooting Giant. The Paisano is still standing, as is the Thunderbird Hotel known for its 1950s tiled pool and air of rural urbanity.

Down the road is Alpine, with its dive bars and artist community. Your best lodging bet is 50 miles outside of Marfa at the San Solomon Springs Court, a retro style motel located in the Balmorhea State Park that’s home to the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, which stays at 76 degrees year round.

Obviously you can’t spend every night at the bar, so make it a point to drive to the McDonald Observatory for one of their starparties, it’s a bucket list activity, and you’ll never have a better view of the vast Texas sky.

Texas Sage Properties

From The Broker’s Office – “Tomball ranks among best places to retire in Texas!”
Pat Navarette

Pat Navarette, Broker/OwnerIn a recent article in The Tribune (the Tomball/Magnolia/Pinehurst edition), it was reported that Tomball, Texas was among one of the best places to retire in Texas. SmartAsset, a financial technology company, performed a study that both identified and ranked cities with the most recreational and social opportunities for retirees. They factored in the number of recreation centers and retirement centers available to seniors as well as what percentage of the city’s population they represent.

Study results showed that Tomball ranked SIXTH on the list. The other places listed were as follows:

1) Granbury 6) Tomball
2) Fredericksburg 7) Bastrop
3) Boerne 8) Woodway
4) Decatur 9) Katy
5) Livingston 10) Richmond

Knowing that a happy, healthy retirement depends a lot on location, to find the best places to retire, SmartAsset gathered data on three (3) separate regional factors that affect the quality of life for retires.

First they looked at state and local tax rates, considering two types of taxes – income and sales. They calculated effective rates based on a typical retiree, earning $35,000 annually (from retirement savings, social security or part-time employment), and spending their disposable income on taxable goods. Secondly, they determined the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each area. And finally, they found the number of seniors in each area as a percentage of the total population.

In their final analysis, they ranked each county and city on these three factors, and calculated an average ranking for each area, weighting the three factors equally. They determined the areas with the lowest average ranking are the best places to retire. For a full look at the methodology and interactive map, visit:

As a seasoned real estate broker and the owner of a full-service real estate company here in Tomball, Texas, I would be delighted to help you (or anyone you know) find just the right home for your needs! Whether you are a first time home buyer, downsizing, an investor or a retiree, please know I am here for you and ready to make your real estate goals a reality!

Texas Sage Properties

The Gourmet Corner – “Pumpkin Torte Recipe”
Courtesy –


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, eggs, oil and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.
  2. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and remaining pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
  4. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the filling. Repeat layers three times. Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Store in the refrigerator.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
YIELDS: 10-12 servings.

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