May 2011

May 2011

Relocating to Houston or do you know someone who is moving to Houston? Houston is a dynamic, culturally diverse city that is an easy place to call home. Most recently, the publication for cutting-edge industry leaders, Fast Company, named Houston “City of the Year” for 2011. Forbes Magazine calls Houston a “Model City”.

As of the 2010 census Houston is now the third-largest city in the United States. Houston has been also called “America’s booming opportunity city” by The American Magazine. But what is really impressive about Houston is that it has one of the best and most affordable Real Estate markets, strong job growth and a broad-based and growing economy. The oil and gas industry, the strong health care job base and international trade, along with the can-do business atmosphere, position Houston as a leader.

We are proud to offer relocating newcomers our full real estate services to help your move to Houston go as smoothly as possible. Visit our web site http://www.texassageproperties.com to learn more…

Featured in this month’s newsletter :
  1. Important Dates in May
  2. Developer betting on N. Harris’ future
  3. Weekend Get Aways – Brenham, Texas
  4. Remodeling Market Index Reaches Highest Level in Four Years
  5. From the Broker’s Office
  6. The Gourmet Corner

Texas Sage Properties
Important Dates in May

May 1 – May Day
May 1 – Law Day
May 1 – Loyalty Day (Display U.S. Flag
May 2 – Brother and Sisters Day
May 3 – *National Teacher’s Day (Observed Tuesday in the first full week of May)
May 5 – Cinco De Mayo
May 5 – *National Day of Prayer (Observed the 1st Thursday in May
May 6 – Nurses Day
May 6 – Clergy Appreciation Day
May 8 – V.E. Day
May 8 – *Mother’s Day ~ (Observed the second Sunday in May
May 15 – Hug Your Cat Day
May 15 – Peace Officers Memorial Day a.k.a. Police Memorial Day (Display Flag at half staff)
May 18 – International Museum Day
May 21 – *Armed Forces Day (Observed the 3rd Saturday in May)
May 23 – *Victoria Day (Canada ~ Queen Victoria’s Birthday (24th actual) (Celebrated the first Monday preceding May 25th)
May 26 – Neighbor Day
May 30 – *Memorial Day ~ (Observed the last Monday in May since 1971)

(*Denotes Holidays with dates that change annually)

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May Birth Flower: Lily – Lily the May birth flower can mean many things including purity, majesty, beauty, sweetness and humility. Wealth and pride are also symbolized in the Tiger Lily.

May Birthstone: Emerald – (Patience, understanding, foresight)
Chrysoprase – (Fertility, secrecy)

Texas Sage Properties

Developer betting on N. Harris’ future

Courtesy HOUSTON CHRONICLE, By NANCY SARNOFF

1,800-acre community will take root next to The Woodlands
A major mixed-use community where residents would be able to walk to a town center with shops, offices and other public amenities is set to break ground just south of The Woodlands in early 2011.The new community, called Springwoods Village, will encompass 1,800 acres in north Harris County at the crossroads of Interstate 45 and the Hardy Toll Road, according to Coventry Development Corp., which announced the project Tuesday.David Jarvis, Houston director of residential consulting firm Metrostudy, said the project is one of the largest and most ambitious announced in recent history.

“This is evidence that the community is bullish on our local economy and housing demand,” he said.

The developer aims to build a project where residents can live close to their jobs, cutting down on highway commutes.

Plans for Springwoods Village were shaped in part by The Woodlands, the 28,000-acre master-planned development to its north with community parks and a large commercial component comprising shopping centers and office buildings.

“The way it was planned with an eye toward the environment is a model we used,” said Keith Simon, senior vice president of Coventry Development Corp. “The scale is completely different, but the concepts are very similar.”

The announcement comes at a time when the economy and local housing market still remain weak.

While home sales have been down from year-earlier levels, observers expect the market to have turned by the time builders are selling homes in Springwoods Village.

In the next two or three years the Houston housing market will definitely be better than it is today, barring any major event,” said research economist James Gaines at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. “At this point, (it’s) hard to figure out how much better.”

Costs cheaper now
Coventry’s Simon said by the time the streets and drainage systems are developed, the real estate market is likely to have improved. And starting the project now lets the developer to take advantage of cheaper construction costs.

He’s also betting on growth from the proposed segment of the Grand Parkway that’s expected to run through the southern portion of Springwoods Village.

A boost from Exxon?
A nearby tract owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. potentially could provide a boost to housing demand in Springwoods Village.

Earlier this year, the oil giant said it was conducting a study of its U.S. real estate that could result in the potential use of its land for consolidated office space, but that nothing would be decided until the space study was completed in 2011.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Alan Jeffers would not provide the exact location or size of the site, but said the study’s timetable still applies.

“We’re continuing with the office requirement study and will continue into next year before any decisions are made,” Jeffers said Tuesday.

The Springwoods Village property is bounded by Interstate 45 on the east, Spring Stuebner Road on the south and Spring Creek to the north.

Lots of greenspace
More than 20 percent of the project will be developed with parks and other green space, including a nature preserve.

When it’s completely built out – which could take 20 years – Springwoods Village is slated to include as many as 5,000 housing units, including single-family homes, apartments and townhomes, about 8.5 million square feet of commercial office space, more than 1 million square feet of retail space and up to 600 hotel rooms.

It also will have public facilities, like an elementary school, police and fire station and possibly a library.

The majority of the community is in the Spring Independent School District, but about a quarter of it on the western edge is in Klein’s school district.

Some $100 million in infrastructure work will begin in the second quarter of 2011 around the time the developer will start marketing parcels of land to builders.

Coventry also may develop some of the commercial space itself. The developer’s affiliates also own approximately 1,000 acres near Baybrook Mall and several retail centers, as well as 10 acres south of the Texas Medical Center.

The Springwoods Village site is owned by an affiliate, as well.

The privately held firm has offices in Houston, Denver and New York City but doesn’t have a formal corporate headquarters.

Texas Sage Properties

Weekend Get Aways – Brenham, Texas
Courtesy – Brenham Historical Society 

Brenham Maifest – May 6 & 7 2011
German GirlsThe Brenham Maifest, one of the oldest spring German festivals in the South, will hold its 121st celebration on May 6-7, 2011 at Fireman’s Park in Brenham, Texas. The Maifest is a community-wide festival celebrating local German heritage through the youth of the community in light of the joys of springtime. Highlights of the Brenham Maifest include extravagant parades, elegant coronations and children’s activities and culminates with the Maifestival.
The “German Village” promotes the German Heritage of Brenham and Washington County. The celebrations begin both days at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Brenham with a parade. The Maifestival is held Friday and Saturday at Fireman’s Park. Beginning Friday evening at noon with music, children’s activities, festival food and drinks. The Junior Coronation will be held Friday evening with young children participating in an elaborate outdoor ceremony, which provides entertainment and the presentation of the Junior King and Queen.
On Saturday the Maifestival will begin at 11:00 am at Fireman’s Park with German Village and Kinder Village activities, along with German Music, Arts & Crafts, and the children’s activities. The Senior Coronation will be held Saturday evening with former royalty and high school students providing entertainment for this outdoor event, the culmination of the Maifest Celebration is highlighted by the presentation of the Senior King and Queen. Come and enjoy a day of fun-packed Washington County German Heritage, while in Brenham enjoy the beautiful springtime sites of Brenham and Washington Country. Also plan to stay at one of our many fine motels or Bed and Breakfasts.

Texas Sage Properties
Remodeling Market Index Reaches Highest Level in Four Years
Courtesy – RISMedia

RISMEDIA, May 2, 2011-According to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI), the remodeling market is heading into recovery with an increase to 46.5 in the first quarter of 2011 from 41.5 in the fourth quarter of 2010. This marks the highest level for the RMI since the fourth quarter of 2006. An RMI below 50, however, indicates that still more remodelers report market activity is lower (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is higher.

The overall RMI combines ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity like calls for bids. Current market conditions for the first quarter of 2011 rose to 46.1 from 43.3 in the previous quarter.

Future market indicators climbed to 46.8 from 39.7 in the previous quarter.”Remodelers report a jump in activity so far this year and have been receiving more calls for work and appointments,” says NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Ft. Collins, Colo. “However, many home owners are still slow to commit to remodeling due to feeling uncertain about the economic recovery and difficulty obtaining loans.

“Regional break downs for current remodeling market conditions showed growth in all but one area: Northeast 46.1 (from 38.8 in the fourth quarter), South 46.1 (from 45.8), and West 46.1 (from 39.7). Only the Midwest experienced a decline to 47.1 (from 54.3).

All current remodeling market indicators increased: major additions to 50.3 (from 48.6 in the fourth quarter), minor additions to 48.0 (from 43.9), and maintenance and repair to 39.5 (from 37.0). Future market indicators also improved across the board: calls for bids rose to 53.1 (from 47.2), appointments for proposals to 52.4 (from 43.1), backlog of remodeling jobs to 49.7 (from 42.6), and amount of work committed for the next three months to 32.1 (from 25.9).

In an additional special question remodelers reported the top reasons prospective customers are holding back from remodeling their homes:

Customers think it is hard to get financing (90 percent of remodeler respondents); Customers have lost equity in their homes (81 percent); Customers are uncertain about their future economic situation (74 percent); Reluctance to invest in home when not sure home will hold its value (67 percent); Negative media stories making customers more cautious (62 percent) and Inaccurate appraisals are making financing more difficult (54 percent).

“Home remodeling continues to slowly increase and continued growth through the year is expected.” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The fact that some indicators are breaking 50 means remodelers are seeing improving activity in their markets. While credit scarcity and economic uncertainty continue to weigh down remodeling, signs of increasing consumer interest are promising.”

Texas Sage Properties

From the Broker’s Office

This month’s “From The Broker’s Office” highlights Texas Sage Properties’ increased business activity which has allowed us to open the door to qualified licensed Texas Realtor to join our company. We are searching for Realtors, new or seasoned, that are eager to meet and exceed their personal goals. If you are a licensed professional, self-motivated and career-oriented, we encourage you to consider Texas Sage Properties.Texas Sage Properties is a full-service real estate brokerage that is located in Tomball, Texas. We are committed to outstanding service and professionalism.Bring your skills and expertise to our real estate brokerage and keep more money in your pocket. With no monthly or franchise fees, see why you’ll benefit from our brokerage. If you like working with people and care deeply about your clients, we want to talk to you!Advantages of a Real Estate Career:

  • Unlimited income potential
  • Work your own hours
  • Fun work atmosphere
  • No bosses or mandatory meetings

Call 281-460-2205 to schedule a confidential interview today!

® Register Mark of the National Association of Realtors

Texas Sage Properties

The Gourmet Corner

 Courtesy – tasteofhome.com
Taco Soup Recipe
Taco Soup
Taco Soup
Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 envelope (1-1/4 ounces) taco seasoning
  • Corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream, optional

Directions

In a large saucepan, brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add corn, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with corn chips, cheese and/or sour cream if desired. Yield: 4-6 serving (1-1/2 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 271 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 977 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 21 g protein.


Directions

In a large saucepan, brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add corn, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with corn chips, cheese and/or sour cream if desired. Yield: 4-6 serving (1-1/2 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 271 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 977 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 21 g protein.

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