Cynthia Mullins' Real Estate Market Blog

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(713) 829-3052

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APR
24

Lighting is such an important part of a house. At night, we are at the mercy of the lights in our home. Without them, we can hardly get around. And frankly, whether we choose to admit it or not, most of us are still afraid of the dark. During the day, lights are still often times very necessary and, more importantly, can be aesthetically pleasing and create a positive mood. The right type of light in a room can take a house and make it feel like a home.

Candlelit homes are very much a thing of the past, meaning light bulbs are now left with the task of keeping our homes aglow. Because of this, properly lighting a home can add up on your energy bill. With all this in mind, choosing the right light bulbs is a pretty significant decision. And with so many different light bulbs on the market nowadays, trying to decide which bulbs to buy can be a bit overwhelming. Karin Beuerlein is here to help with her article for House Logic on light bulbs. She breaks down how to choose light bulbs based on energy efficiency and beautiful light.

There are so many different things to keep in mind when buying a light bulb. Price, brightness, life, energy efficiency, light appearance, beam spread and a bulb’s ability to show off colors and textures are among the main factors to consider. LEDs, Fluorescents (including CFLs) and Energy-efficient (halogen) incandescents are the three options for home lighting and they all score differently in these categories. Beuerlein explains the advantages and disadvantages of each and how there’s a place in your house for all of them. She uses the knowledge of Lighting designer Rosemarie Allaire to determine which light bulbs are best for different rooms in your house.

Halogen incandescent lights are the cheapest of the three options so that is a major reason light bulb buyers will choose them. But they also have an aesthetic quality to them. Allaire says “Incandescent light renders color and texture beautifully.” The color rendering index (CRI) is a tool used to establish how well a light bulb shows off colors and textures. A bulb’s CRI is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. Halogen incandescents score a perfect 100 while LEDs and CFLs don’t score quite as high. Because of this, Beuerlein recommends using halogen incandescents for showing off art, task lighting and mood creation.

LEDs are the most expensive, and for this reason, many people simply consider them to be the best light bulbs for every room. They have the longest life of any of these bulbs which is a major plus, but they do have some drawbacks as well. Allaire explains that they aren’t as good as incandescents when it comes to three-dimensional light quality. Instead their lighting is very flat. In addition, Allaire says, “they’re all over the map as far as color rendering goes, and they don’t dim well, so I don’t use them in living areas or for art lighting.” With all this in mind, Beuerlein suggests using LEDs for steps and stairways, cove lighting, landscaping, holiday lighting and under cabinets.

CFLs are in the middle as far as price goes. They also fall in between LEDs and incandescents in terms of light bulb life. CFLs don’t do well with a lot of heat buildup and, like LEDs, their color rendering isn't as good as incandescents. But, Beuerlein notes that, with the correct color temperature, and in a place where air circulates freely around the bulb, CFLs can be a good choice. For these reasons, she proposes using CFLs for table lamps and drop bowl fixtures.

To read Beuerlein’s full article and learn exactly how to choose the perfect light bulb click here.

Looking to get your home properly lit before putting it on the market, or just have questions about lighting your house? Always feel free to contact me at 713.829.3052 or cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
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Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
23

You are invited to see the circa 1866 4th Ward Cottage being showcased tonight in Sam Houston Park. Boulevard Realty was a major sponsor on the interior work that was completed on the cottage, which was moved from its location at 809 Robin Street in Houston's Fourth Ward (Freedmen's Town) to this site two years ago. It is at least as old as 1866, but recent research and material analysis has dated the front portion of the house to the 1840s or 1850s, which makes it the oldest documented workingman's house in Houston. 

Both the structure and articles found inside the walls and attic are interesting. We'll have light bites and beverages in the Bandstand that is located close to the cottage. Please join us and invite your friends!

I hope to see you there!

Cynthia

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

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Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
22

3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, 2-Car Detached Garage, 7,920 SQ FT Lot

Great Heights home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage PLUS guest house on oversized 7,920 sq ft corner lot. Plenty of possibilities...live here now and update it for yourself, OR live in now and build later, OR build your dream home right away! Home is well maintained, with recent renovated kitchen, hardwood floors, great natural light. Guest house in back for guests or rental. Sellers are Master Gardeners and the lush native landscaping shows it, but they promise it's all easy to maintain! Click http://goo.gl/poKajG for more info.

LIVING ROOM

KITCHEN

PATIO/BACKYARD

GUEST HOUSE

Buying or selling a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
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my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

 

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
17

After Houston home sales declined in February for the first time since July of 2014, the HAR report for March shows a return to positive territory. March single-family home sales totaled 6,232 units compared to 6,005 in March of 2014. This represents a 3.8 percent year-over-year rise for single-family home sales. These numbers show a bounce back from the drop in February and that has many feeling that the Houston housing market is still very strong.

Ralph Bivins, in an article for Culture Map, claims these numbers are a sign that the Houston market is bulletproof. He cites that single-family home sales are actually slightly up at the end of the first quarter of 2015 compared to single-family home sales through the first three months of 2014. 14,805 single-family homes have been sold through March of this year compared to 14,734 sold through March of 2014. In addition, he points to the 6,004 reported “pending” sales to prove his point.

After February’s sales numbers were released, it seemed that many people overreacted. Seeing as it was the first time single-family home sales had declined in six months, people thought it meant that Houston was finally succumbing to falling oil prices. The market was going to begin a freefall. Now, with a return to the black in March sales numbers, the consensus seems to be that the Houston market is still doing great and February was just a blip on the radar. This too may be an overreaction. In reality, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

The March increase in single-family home sales represents the market’s fortitude to withstand oil prices that have fallen to around $50 a barrel. The February drop in sales though, shows that the low oil prices will indeed affect the market. Nancy Sarnoff, in an article for the Houston Chronicle, explains, “the collapse in oil prices has forced cutbacks at major oil companies and the Houston economy is facing a much slower year for job growth, which is closely tied to home sales.” Sarnoff also notes that there will be fewer relocation buyers this year because less people will be moving to the city for oil jobs.

In addition to the falling oil prices, the growing Houston housing inventory should slow the city’s housing market. The increase in March sales numbers was very much a result of the increased inventory. There was a 7.3 percent increase in listings in March. With that much growth, the rising sales are not nearly as impressive. All signs point to inventory continuing to rise. Bivins even admits to this. He states that, according to John Burns Consulting, “Houston has been leading the nation in new home construction in recent years.” More inventory will mean more competition for sellers and, resultingly, will likely see the market swing back in the favor of the buyer. That, coupled with less buyers on the market due to slowed job growth should lead to decreasing sales numbers.

None of this is to say that the Houston housing market is in serious trouble. It’s just that the market is coming down from the incredible highs of the past two years. The housing market pendulum had swung way in the favor of sellers in 2013 and 2014, but it appears that it’s starting to swing back the other way. The market is beginning to normalize and should be settling back down closer to the middle. This means that we’re likely headed for a more even market between buyers and sellers.

Looking to buy or sell a home, or just have questions about the market? Always feel free to contact me at cynthia@cynthiamullins.com or 713.829.3052.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
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see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
17

Located in the heart of the Houston Heights, yet outside of the Historic District, this home offers great versatility. Spacious yard and large rooms could be perfect for either residential or commercial use. Conversion of nearby homes into business offices represents intriguing possibilities. Completely remodeled in 2006, this home features hardwood floors throughout. Rewired electrical, a new roof and central HVAC, replaced water and sewer lines, bath tile, exterior paint and light fixtures as of 2009.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
16

Owning a home is a rewarding experience, but, at times, it can be a lot to deal with as well. Everyone loves having a place they can call their own and it’s nice knowing you’re not throwing money down an empty well by renting. But keeping a house feeling like a home can leave homeowners wringing their hands. Home maintenance and repairs can be expensive, time consuming and just a downright pain. Staying on top of them though can help you minimize the money and time spent on keeping your house in tip-top shape. Jeanne Huber gives five important home maintenance tasks that every homeowner should focus on now so they can avoid costly repairs down the road.

The first tip is to make sure your appliances aren’t being recalled. About half of residential fires each year appear to be caused by faulty appliances. In some cases, these appliances had been recalled for fear of just that. All it takes is writing down the model and serial number of all of your appliances and checking www.recalls.gov to see if any of them have been recalled. This takes very little time, costs no money and could keep your house from burning down with you in it. Even those who aren’t too concerned about the state of their home should heed this advice because their personal safety could potentially be on the line!

Huber’s second piece of advice is to check for, and fix, any leaks. She cites that water does more damage to houses than anything else. Mold, mildew, rot, termites and carpenter ants are the reason for this. Catching a leak early on and fixing it then can help you avoid long-term damage. Look around for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, ceiling stains, rocking toilets and any dripping. In addition, you should check your roof for leaks at least once a year. Fixing leaks isn’t free like removing recalled appliances, but fixing them early can save you from spending a whole lot more on home repairs caused by extensive water damage.

Third on the list is to test your sump pump and backup pump. You don’t want to be stuck with a faulty sump pump when a major storm blows in, as that could leave you up to your knees in water. To test your sump pump you just fill the sump pump pit with water and make sure the pump switches on and sends water out through the discharge line. Buying and installing a new sump pump only costs a couple hundred dollars whereas tearing out drywall and carpeting because of water damage is obviously much more expensive.

Next up is renewing the finish on your hardwood floors. The key here is to get them refinished before the old finish wears through. By doing that, a new coat can be added without having to sand into the wood. If your floor is just a little dull and not that scratched up, you can do the job yourself for very cheap. If it’s fairly scratched up, and you need to bring in a professional, it’ll cost you much more, but you’ll still save a bundle if you get it touched up before the finish completely wears through.

Huber’s final pointer is to protect your foundation. Putting this off can lead to some of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can ever have to deal with. You should check each year to make sure the soil around your house slopes away from your foundation walls at least six inches over ten feet. If it doesn’t, you can fix it yourself with some topsoil instead of waiting until it leads to some very high-priced cracks in your foundation.

These tips are useful for all homeowners, but can be especially helpful for those considering putting their house on the market. All of these are fixes that would need to be made before selling a home and taking care of them before they deteriorate keeps your house ready to go on the market at any time.

Click here to read the full article and stay ahead of the game with home repairs and maintenance.

Have questions about the best improvements for selling your home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
14

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, Oversized 2-Car Detached Garage, 2-Car Detached Carport

Beautiful facade greets you at this charming bungalow on a corner lot with fully fenced front and backyards. Interior features hardwoods, period moldings, stained glass windows,updated light fixtures, and good storage throughout. Spacious master bedroom with tray ceilings and en-suite bath. Sunroom located just off the updated kitchen. Backyard includes oversized garage with space for a workshop, carport for additional parking or entertaining, driveway gate, green space,& a huge pecan tree! Click http://goo.gl/a1ZlL1 for more info.

The updated kitchen features granite counters, stainless appliances, and great storage.

A spacious master suite with enough room for a seating area. Tray ceilings, wood fan, and an abundance of windows to allow light to flood in.

En-suite master bath with granite counters, jetted soaking tub and separate shower with slate tile surround.

The screened in porch located just off the kitchen features window treatment, ceiling fan, and beadboard ceiling. This is a wonderful space to enjoy the sun and stay cool in the summer!

Spacious backyard features lots of green space, brick patio, and mature trees.

Buying or selling a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

 

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
13

Located in the heart of the Houston Heights, yet outside of the Historic District, this home offers great versatility. Spacious yard and large rooms could be perfect for either residential or commercial use. Conversion of nearby homes into business offices represents intriguing possibilities. Completely remodeled in 2006, this home features hardwood floors throughout. Rewired electrical, a new roof and central HVAC, replaced water and sewer lines, bath tile, exterior paint and light fixtures as of 2009.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

 

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
7

Set on an oversized 8,844 sq. ft. lot, this 5 bedroom home is an urban retreat.  Upon entering you can set the mood in the whole house with the touch of a single button.  Control every aspect of your house from wherever you are using your smartphone, tablet, PC, touch screen, remote or keypad via the Control 4 Smart Home Automation System (controls lighting, audio/video, ceiling speakers in all rooms, security system with cameras, door locks and HVAC).  Art lighting enhances the ambience in the entry hall, formal living and dining rooms.  Relax on the back deck overlooking the yard or the side porch listening to the sounds of your garden fountain (mosquitonix misting system included) or escape to your own 3D home theater with 7.2 surround sound complete with kitchenette.  3 Trane AC units installed 2013.

Click to view more 

KITCHEN



3D HOME THEATER WITH 7.2 SURROUND SOUND



FORMAL LIVING ROOM



MASTER SUITE


REAR DECK OVERLOOKING BACKYARD



DEN

Buying a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at 
cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

See what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

 

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
3

3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, 2-Car Detached Garage, 2251 SQ FT, Built in 2011

Located half a block from the Heights Hike & Bike Trail, this home features a large kitchen, breakfast niche, utility room, great room, parlor, formal dining, and beautiful master suite with a computer niche on 2nd floor. Elaborate moldings & reclaimed hardwoods give this home that Heights-area charm. Front & back gallery porches extend your living areas. Tankless hot water heater and sprinkler system. Click http://goo.gl/jdPLwm  for more info.

DINING ROOM

LIVING ROOM

KITCHEN

BACKYARD PATIO

Buying or selling a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
2

With oil prices low, some worry that Houston’s economy will follow suit. To those outside of Houston, and even more so, those outside of Texas, Houston is an oil town and nothing else. Their assumption is that Houston’s economy simply cannot thrive unless oil prices are high. However, Houstonians, such as Jim McAlister, IV, know that Houston will be just fine.

In a guest post for Forbes, McAlister, President and CEO of Rockspring Capital, a Houston-based real estate private equity firm, illustrates the strength of Houston’s economy. He explains that the city’s economy is no longer so reliant on oil and gas. Instead, economic diversity is now the name of the game.

Rice University Professor Stephen Klineberg Ph.D. states that, in the past, “success was predicated on our location near the oil fields of East Texas. Now that the city knows it can’t rely just on oil, it has put into place strategies for success in a new kind of economy.” McAlister cites Houston’s breakthrough research and development in every key biotech cluster and a medical center larger than downtown Dallas as examples of that. Economic strength in the fields of medical research, information technology, aerospace and manufacturing also help to drive home his point.

A Metrostudy report supports this idea that Houston has become much more than just oil and gas. The study shows that job increases from oil and gas producing companies comprised less than 10% of the job increases in Houston in 2014. And with Houston creating over 100,000 jobs in 2014, that means that other industries were heavily involved in Houston’s 2014 economic success.

The Economist gives another take on Houston’s economy. And where McAlister’s article may see Houston through the rosy filter of a Houstonian, The Economist's article is likely to rub a proud Houstonian the wrong way. It seems somewhat reluctant to praise Houston’s economy, but in the end, ultimately, finds no other choice.

The article begins by painting the picture of Houston as an oil town, but eventually realizes that the city is so much more. It slowly starts to admit that Houston’s economy is no longer completely oil dependent and can still thrive despite low oil prices. Like the Forbes article, it points to economic diversity as the reason for this. The Medical Center is again mentioned as a strength, due to the fact that over 100,000 people work there. The city’s museums, universities and two airports are cited as big economic contributors. The fact that more foreign goods flow through Houston’s port than any other one in America is just another piece of evidence that eventually makes the article accept Houston’s economic muscle. In the end, The Economist doesn’t understand Houston, but it recognizes that the city prospers.

It seems that the evidence is now too prevalent and overwhelming to ignore. Houston is more than just oil. Oil, no doubt, is still an important part of the city’s economy, and rising oil prices will only help it. But in the meantime, Houston will be just fine. As senior vice president of Houston Partnership told Forbes, “When oil prices are low, Houston’s economy grows. When oil prices are high, Houston’s economy booms.”

I've got my eye on the market constantly, so when you're looking to get past the noise and get a simple take on Houston's economy, always feel free to contact me at cynthia@cynthiamullins.com or 713.829.3052.

...............................................................................................
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Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

APR
1

February marked the first time in six months that Houston home sales declined, with the largest dip shown in single-family home sales. There are many contributing factors to this decline, but as we await March sales numbers, we expect all signs to point toward a rebalancing market.

With the housing market cooling, every seller will want to get the most out of every showing, since every little detail could be the difference between a quick sale and a house stuck on the market. Homeowners obviously know that it is important to keep their house clean and organized while it is on the market, but that may not always be enough. There are many different ways to make a home seem more desirable. One tried-and-true way of doing just that is home staging. Home staging can be either furnishing a home completely if it is vacant because the seller has already moved, or getting a fresh set of eyes on existing interior design to see if any updates or extra touches might make the home more appealing.

How a home shows is of the utmost importance when putting a home on the market. A potential buyer can be told any number of positive things about a home, but if what they see is underwhelming, they most likely will be turned off to it.

Home staging is a way to elevate a house in the eyes of a potential buyer. It can take your home to the next level in the buyer’s mind. Staging can also raise the listing price, since it increases the perceived value of a home to a buyer. Because the perceived value is greater, the buyer is willing to meet a higher offering price. Staging a home helps a buyer see themselves in the house. It gives the house a warmer feel and makes it more inviting to the buyer. This can be the difference between a buyer just considering a home versus wanting to be in a home.

The National Association of Realtors recently, for the first time ever, did a Profile of Home Staging to gauge its effectiveness in the marketplace. The findings suggest that home staging is indeed still a valuable instrument for a seller. The study found that 81 percent of realtors on the buyer side feel that home staging makes it easier to visualize the property as a future home, whereas only four percent believe it has no impact on buyer perceptions. In addition, more than 50 percent of buyers’ agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by at least one to five percent. The study states that the median dollar value to stage a home is $675. With higher offers and less time on the market, this seems like a good, and relatively modest, investment.

With the Houston housing market appearing to normalize after being up for so long, now is the perfect time to get back to proven tools of the trade like home staging. It can be just the thing to put your house over the top in the buyer’s mind on your listing photos and for showings, and give you a leg up in the market.

To read more about how home staging can drive up a home’s selling price and give sellers an edge, check out RISMedia’s article here.

...............................................................................................
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Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
27

4-5 Bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, 2 car garage, study, 3 living areas and garage apartment.

Relax and entertain in your oasis in the heart of the Heights.  The back yard has an exotic Ipe wood deck surrounded by soon to be blooming Star Jasmine complete with a shade awning that remains.  The recently renovated kitchen is a chef's dream with an Italian made 6-burner Bertazzoni gas range, Viking steam oven, Miele built-in coffee system and cup warmer, 2 U-Line under counter wine fridges (1 is dual zone), Asko 3-rack dishwasher, 48" built-in Northland glass door refrigerator, ROHL Shaws fireclay handcrafted farmhouse sink, Perrin & Rowe plumbing fixtures and a 3" thick black walnut island. Intricate beveled glass transoms beckon an earlier time.  Garage apartment lease expires June 2015.  Exterior paint and gutters 2014.

Front living room open to dining room, perfect for entertaining dinner parties.

Incredibly spacious kitchen with high-end finishes appliances such as Asko 3 drawer dishwasher, ROHL Shaws fireclay handcrafted farmhouse sink and Perrin & Rowe plumbing fixtures, Viking steam oven, 48" built-in Northland glass door refrigerator, Miele built-in coffee system and cup warmer

6-burner Italian Bertazzoni gas range March 2015

2 U-Line under counter wine fridges (1 is dual zone)

Kitchen open to second living area which opens into backyard oasis.

Ipe deck is great for entertaining and surrounded by a privacy fence infused with Star Jasmine. Shade awning stays.

Garage apartment with rear balcony.

Buying or selling a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
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see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
27

Zoned to highly sought after Oak Forest Elementary School, this charming 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage was extensively renovated in 2011. Hardwood floors in front living room, halls and bedrooms; no carpet anywhere. The master suite has a spacious bathroom and walk-in closet. The utility room is quite large and has a wall of shelving for storage. Roof, HVAC, windows and appliances were all replaced in 2011. The back yard shed remains and can be used for storage or as a workshop. Sprinkler system covers front, back and side yards, making this large property easy to maintain. The refrigerator stays. Click on http://goo.gl/rgbC5V  for more info.

KITCHEN



DEN/DINING


FRONT LIVING ROOM

MASTER BEDROOM


MASTER BATH


BACK YARD


Buying a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at 
cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
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See what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
23

It's official! Spring has arrived. That means it's time for spring cleaning.  I thought you would find this article interesting.  
 
Best,

Cynthia 


Six Unexpected Places Where Mold Likes to Hide
By Lisa Kaplan Gordon, originally posted on HomeLogic.com. 

Mold can surprise you and hide in unexpected places, making it harder to detect and wipe out.

To get rid of mold, think like a fungus and search out these six moist places where mold likes to grow.
 

1. Chimneys

Why mold grows there: Brick crevices collect water, dirt, and other organic debris. Rusted chimney caps and faulty flashing lets in rain and snow, encouraging mold to grow.

How to wipe it out: First, replace rusted caps and fix flashing. Then, call a chimney sweep to give your chimney a thorough cleaning. A $200-$300 annual visit from a chimney sweep not only removes mold, but also keeps your chimney free of dangerous creosote and helps it operate at peak efficiency.

2. Refrigerator Drip Pans
 

Why mold grows there: It’s a rarely noticed place under your fridge that collects moisture and food spills, a perfect environment for mold to grow.

How to wipe it out: Cleaning drips pans should be part of your annual deep cleaning ritual. Spray the pan with a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup water). Wipe clean with a rag soaked in white vinegar. Also, clean the floor beneath the pan.

Related: 10 Clever Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

3. Front-Loading Washing Machines

Why mold grows there: The gasket around the door on front-loading washing machines often stays wet because the door is usually closed when not in use. Add some lint to the moisture, and mold happily munches and multiplies.

How to wipe it out: Wipe the gasket and glass dry before you shut the door. If you spot mold, run a hot water wash with some chlorine bleach (no clothes), which will kill the fungi.

4. Window Sashes and Seals

Why mold grows there: Condensation provides the moisture mold loves; dirt and dust supply food. 

How to wipe it out: After heavy rains, open windows and wipe moisture from the bottoms of sashes and window sills. If seals between panes are failing, you’ll have to repair or replace window sashes to prevent condensation. Regularly clean windows to deprive mold of food.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/air-quality/unexpected-places-mold-can-hide/#ixzz2widsTzom

5. Dishes

Why mold grows there: When you stack dishes that are a little wet and a little cruddy, mold has the perfect environment to grow — especially if you don’t use those dishes every day.
 

How to wipe it out: Run moldy dishes through the dishwasher, and wipe cabinets with a vinegar-soaked rag. Completely dry dishes before you store them.

6. Air Conditioners

Why mold grows there: Air conditioning units trap dust and pollen (a good meal for mold) and grab moisture from the air. If you don’t run your AC unit at least every 24 hours in warm weather, humidity in your house climbs and mold may grow in AC ducts and drain pans, and on coils.

How to wipe it out: If mold grows in your central air conditioning unit, you’ll have to hire a mold remediation pro to clean out the system ($400-$1,000). If mold shows up in a window AC unit, remove the front plate, clean the blower with a HEPA filter vacuum, and flush out the coils and clean the drain pan with a 1:1 solution of bleach and water.

Of course, prevention is the best remedy. Run your AC for at least 10 minutes every day to keep air circulating when it’s hot and humid outside, and keep the humidity in your home below 55%.

Getting your home ready to sell? Thinking about buying?
Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at
cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins
 

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
17

Set on an 8844 SF lot, this 5 bedroom home is an urban retreat. Upon entering you can set the mood in entire house with the touch of a button via Control 4 Smart Home Automation System, which controls lighting, A/V, ceiling speakers in all rooms, security system with cameras, and HVAC. Art lighting enhances entry, formal living and dining rooms. Relax in the backyard or on the side porch listening to the sounds of your garden fountain or escape to your 3D home theater with 7.2 sound sound, complete with a kitchenette. 3 Trane A/C units installed in 2012/2013.  For more information: http://goo.gl/i3rK1m

KITCHEN


MASTER



FORMAL LIVING ROOM



FORMAL DINING



BACK YARD


Buying a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at 
cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

See what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
16

With summer around the corner, now is time to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make energy improvements efficiently and economically. HouseLogic sat down with an expert on energy efficiency and I’m happy to pass the tips on to you.
--Cynthia

The following is courtesy of National Association of Realtors’ HouseLogic.

The following is a Q&A with Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of Shelton Group, a marketing agency specializing in sustainability and energy efficiency. Shelton Group’s annual Energy Pulse research report tracks consumer attitudes toward energy-related topics.

HouseLogic: So our energy bills are going up?

Suzanne Shelton:
Yes, for many of us, even though we may think our energy use is going down.

HL: How come?


SS:Energy is the only product we buy on a daily basis where we have no idea how much we pay for it. It would be different if we had to feed dollars into a machine to make the power run in our homes.

The way we use energy now is the equivalent of walking into a convenience store every day and filling our pockets with candy and walking out. Then the bill comes at the end of the month and we’re saying, “There’s no way I ate that much candy!”

This is an inherent problem with the way we use energy, or it will be, at least, until we live like the
Jetsonsand have nifty energy dashboards in our homes.

HL: Why are we using more energy now — what are the main culprits? 

SS: Several things. We simply have more stuff plugged in now than we did five or 10 years ago — Xboxes, electronics chargers, iPads — and some of those things are energy hogs.

For example, plasma TVs use as much energy as a refrigerator. They’re getting more efficient now, but if you had the old square CRT and replaced it with a flat-screen plasma, you’re instantly paying the utility much more than you did before.

People are buying an Energy Star refrigerator, but then putting the old one in the garage as a beer fridge. For example, a friend of mine was in the process of selling her house. She wasn’t living there and she had the HVAC turned off, but she had an old refrigerator inside, plus a freezer plugged in on the back porch. Her utility bill came in at $50 a month and she was furious. “I’m never there!” she said. “The lights are off, the heat’s off, how can this be right?”

I said, “Are your appliances plugged in?” And so she unplugged the freezer and her refrigerator inside. It cut her bill in half.

HL: Do we also think that if we’re saving energy in one way, we can use more of something else?

SS: Yes. People tell us in focus groups, “I bought these CFLs so now I can leave the lights on and not pay more. I bought a high-efficiency washer and dryer because I want to do more laundry without paying more. I ate the salad, so I can have the chocolate cake.”

Psychologists call it “moral licensing,” but we at Shelton Group call it the “Snackwells Effect,” as in, they’re low-fat, so I can eat all of them.

HL: What’s the reason for this disconnect?

SS: Most of us have no idea how our homes really work, so we don’t know how to make the biggest impact. That’s why consumers run out and replace their windows first, when that should probably be fifth or sixth on the list of energy-efficient improvements to make, and they totally ignore effective activities like caulking and sealing that cost far less. 

HL: I’m surprised people replace their windows first.

SS: The aesthetic draw of new windows is really strong; we love to be around pretty things. You can also talk yourself into it because you think it’ll improve your resale value. But more than that, if you put your hand up to a window, even an energy-efficient window, you can feel that it’s hot or cold, so people just assume that’s where the biggest problem is.

But for the average home owner, new windows aren’t the best use of your home improvement dollar in terms of saving money on your energy bills. Everyone’s situation is different, but other projects usually cost far less and offer a faster return on your investment.

HL note: Consider this: If you spend $12,000 on windows and save 7% to 15% on your energy bill, according to Department of Energy data, when you could have spent around $1,000 for new insulation, caulking, and sealing and saved 20% on your energy bill, you made the wrong choice if your only reason for undertaking the project was reducing energy costs.


HouseLogic: Tell us what we should be doing differently to make our homes more energy efficient.

Suzanne Shelton:
First, I want to mention that it matters how many energy-efficient things you do. Half of the population say they’ve done two to three things to make their homes more energy efficient — replaced incandescent light bulbs with
CFLs, bought an Energy Star appliance, added insulation— but most people report that their bills have gone up.

HL: So more projects equal more results?

SS: Right. Once you get up to the level of making four or five energy-efficiency home improvements, you generally start seeing savings on your utility bill.

Depending on the activities you choose and the point you’re starting out at, you can probably expect a four- or five-year time frame for return of your investment. Which means now is a great time to do it. How many of us are stuck in our homes now because of the market?


HL: The economy is weighing on everyone. If a home owner has just $1,000 to spend on energy-efficient home improvements, what would you recommend he or she do first? 

SS: 5 things:

1.Caulk and seal all penetrations into the home. I’ll tell you, I had a home energy audit done three years ago, and even though I do this for a living, I was astonished. When the guy walked me down into my basement and showed me all the penetrations from plumbing lines and electricity wires, I couldn’t believe all the gaping holes in my house. Buy a few cans of Great Stuff and take a weekend to go around and seal everything, filling around windows, too. It takes time and it’s a pain, but it works.

2. Hire an HVAC contractor to take a hard look at all your ductwork — are there any ducts leaking that need to be re-sealed? — and give you an HVAC tune-up. You might spend a couple hundred bucks, but you can save significantly depending on how old or out of shape your HVAC system is. 

3. Replace all your lightingwith CFLsor LEDs. Most people tell us they’ve replaced all their incandescents, but it just isn’t true. The DOE says that only about 13% of sockets are filled with CFLs right now.

4. Program your thermostat. Most people who buy programmable thermostats don’t program them. If we actually programmed them not to heat the furniture while we’re away, that would be smart.

5. Reduce the temperature on your water heater. The Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees. If you have a tank water heater, it keeps a certain amount of water hot and ready to go all day, so lowering the temperature reduces the energy you use to heat the water.

If, after you’ve done all those relatively low-cost things, you want to make a little bit more of an investment, consider adding insulationto your house.

No one wants to do these things because they’re not sexy, and they’re kind of a pain, and windows seem more appealing. But I’d do all these activities before I replaced my windows.

HL: If you could spearhead an ad campaign to motivate home owners to make more energy-efficient improvements, what would it say? 

SS: You have to do five things to see the savings you want. That’s actually something we’re working on right now, so stay tuned.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/whats-really-green/how-to-be-energy-efficient-at-home/#ixzz2RXy0Owiy


 

 
Have questions about the best improvements for selling your home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
follow me at www.twitter.com/cynthiamullins
friend me at www.facebook.com/cynthiamullins1
my stats: http://goo.gl/hFWEoR

see what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
12

Recently remodeled home (2007) with huge addition on an extra wide (70x125) lot on a great street in the Heights. Large open spaces, formals, stainless appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors and attached front loading garage. Two guest suites up with additional flex space and a great master retreat with soaring ceilings, separate shower, Jacuzzi and oversized closet space. The extra large backyard has room for a pool and ample green space left over afterwards!

KITCHEN


MASTER



LIVING ROOM



FORMAL LIVING/DINING



BACK YARD


Buying a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at 
cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

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Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
11

Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors®

MLS Report for February 2015

Prices climb to February highs and inventory shows signs of growth

HOUSTON  (March 11, 2015) — Falling oil prices and related layoffs, limited housing inventory, and rising home prices contributed to the first decline in home sales the Houston market has seen in six months. Sales of single-family homes dropped 5.8 percent year-over-year in February, led largely by faltering activity among homes priced above $500,000, which, until now, had been one of the market’s strongest and steadiest segments.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), February single-family home sales totaled 4,521 units compared to 4,798 a year earlier. Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, edged up slightly to a 2.7-months supply. That is still well below the current national supply of 4.7 months of inventory.

Home prices achieved record highs for a February. The average price of a single-family home rose 4.5 percent year-over-year to $259,293. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—jumped 7.9 percent to $199,400.

February sales of all property types totaled 5,564 units, down 4.7 percent compared to the same month last year. Total dollar volume dipped 1.7 percent to $1.3 billion versus $1.4 billion a year earlier.

“We are witnessing the start of exactly what economists predicted would create a more ‘normalized’ Houston real estate market: declining sales volume, increasing prices, and improvement in housing inventory levels,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. “While some local energy jobs have gone away, the Texas Workforce Commission just declared 2014 one of the best years for job creation in Houston, with almost 105,000 jobs added and continued hiring expected this year, albeit at lower levels. No one knows for sure where oil prices will go in the months ahead, but the diversity of Houston’s economy should help our housing market hold its own during this transition.”

 

February Monthly Market Comparison

 

With the exception of home prices, which rose, indicators for the Houston real estate market entered negative territory in February, with single-family home sales volume, total property sales volume, and total dollar volume all down compared to February 2014.

Month-end pending sales for all property types totaled 3,719. That is down 1.5 percent compared to last year and suggests the possibility of another dip in sales activity when the March numbers are tallied. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of February was 27,990, up 0.7 percent from last year.

Houston’s housing inventory grew slightly in February to a 2.7-months supply versus the 2.6-months supply of a year earlier. According to the National Association of Realtors, the current supply of homes for the U.S stands at a 4.7-months supply.

CATEGORIES FEBRUARY 2014 FEBRUARY 2015 CHANGE
Total property sales 5,837 5,564 -4.7%
Total dollar volume $1,392,411,753 $1,369,031,345 -1.7%
Total active listings 27,798 27,990 0.7%
Total pending sales 3,777 3,719 -1.5%
Single-family home sales 4,798 4,521 -5.8%
Single-family average sales price $248,109 $259,293 4.5%
Single-family median sales price $184,740 $199,400 7.9%
Single-family months inventory* 2.6 2.7 4.3%

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.

 

Single-Family Homes Update

 

Single Family

February single-family home sales totaled 4,521, down 5.8 percent from February 2014. The last drop in sales volume took place in July 2014, and was a 1.0 percent year-over-year decline.

Home prices reached record highs for a February in Houston. The single-family average price increased 4.5 percent from last year to $259,293 and the median price climbed 7.9 percent year-over-year to $199,400. The number of days it took a home to sell¬, or Days on Market, was 59 versus 64 last February. In July 2014, it reached an historic low of 45 days.

Broken out by housing segment, February sales performed as follows:

  • $1 - $79,999: decreased 36.1 percent
  • $80,000 - $149,999: decreased 17.2 percent
  • $150,000 - $249,999: increased 5.5 percent
  • $250,000 - $499,999: increased 4.1 percent
  • $500,000 and above: decreased 1.4 percent

 

Single Family Average Home Price

 

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. In February, existing home sales totaled 3,786. That is down 4.7 percent from the same month last year. The average sales price climbed 3.0 percent year-over-year to $238,379 while the median sales price rose 7.1 percent to $182,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

After suffering a year-over-year decline of 20.9 percent last month, sales of townhouses and condominiums rose 10.6 percent in February. A total of 489 units sold last month compared to 442 properties in February 2014. The average price soared 12.2 percent to $200,191 and the median price rose 4.2 percent to $145,000. Both prices represented record highs for a February. Inventory was flat at a 2.6-months supply.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales

 

Lease Property Update

Demand for lease properties rose slightly in February. Single-family home rentals edged up a fractional 0.4 percent compared to February 2014, while year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals increased 1.4 percent. The average rent for a single-family home was up 5.4 percent to $1,676 and the average rent for a townhouse/condominium rose 2.0 percent to $1,509.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in February

  • At $199,400, the single-family home median price achieved a record high for a February;
  • At $259,293, the single-family home average price also reached a February high;
  • Days on Market for single-family homes was 59 days versus 64 days a year earlier;
  • Townhouse/condominium sales rose 10.6 percent versus February 2014;
  • At $145,000, the townhouse/condominium median price hit a record high for a February;
  • At $200,191, the townhouse/condominium average price also reached a record high for a February.

The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 29,000 REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com.

The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the 
Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 29,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

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Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

MAR
10

Zoned to highly sought after Oak Forest Elementary School, this charming 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage was extensively renovated in 2011. Hardwood floors in front living room, halls and bedrooms; no carpet anywhere. The master suite has a spacious bathroom and walk-in closet. The utility room is quite large and has a wall of shelving for storage. Roof, HVAC, windows and appliances were all replaced in 2011. The back yard shed remains and can be used for storage or as a workshop. Sprinkler system covers front, back and side yards, making this large property easy to maintain. The refrigerator stays. Click on http://goo.gl/rgbC5V  for more info.

KITCHEN



DEN/DINING


FRONT LIVING ROOM

MASTER BEDROOM


MASTER BATH


BACK YARD


Buying a home? Give me a call at 713.829.3052 or email me at 
cynthia@cynthiamullins.com.

...............................................................................................
visit my entire blog at http://blogs.har.com/cynthiamullins

client experience rating: http://goo.gl/bCoMo
email cynthia@cynthiamullins.com
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See what people like about the Heights and what they think is its best kept secret at www.youtube.com/cynthiamullins

Houston condominiums, Houston high-rises, Houston home builders, Houston home prices, Houston home rentals, Houston home value, Houston homes, Houston homes for rent, Houston homes for sale, Houston house, Houston house value, Houston houses, Houston housing, Houston listings, Houston MLS, Houston neighborhoods, Houston new homes, Houston properties, Houston property, Houston real estate, Houston real estate agents, Houston real estate associates, Houston real estate brokers, Houston real estate companies, Houston real estate firms, Houston real estate information, Houston real estate listings, Houston real estate market, Houston real estate schools, Houston real estate service providers, Houston real estate solds, Houston real estate values, Houston real estate, Houston realtors, Houston relocation, Houston schools, Houston single family homes, Houston sold home prices, Houston sold homes, Houston subdivisions, Houston town homes, Houston heights real estate housing market homes for sale buying selling inner loop properties Houston Texas TX OPEN Houses 1545 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008 77007 77009 Houston heights realtor Woodland Heights Norhill Sunset Heights HISD Hogg Middle School IB Program Harvard Elementary Hamilton Middle School Reagan High School

 
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