Color Can Make the Difference

Something as simple as color has a major effect on the feel of a room.  Often, when we feel that a place is either inviting or uncomfortable has something to do with the color scheme that is used there.  Colors have both a physiological and a psychological effect on us.  So, when you are picking out colors for your home, it is important to carefully consider not just how they look, but also how they make you feel. You can begin by picking out favorite colors from a piece of art, a rug, or a piece of furniture to be considered for either a main color or an accent color. Pick a small area, like a bathroom or entryway, to begin with. This way, if you decide you don’t like that color, you won’t have to redo a large space to change it. Consider the type of mood that you would like for that room to have. Pay attention to what kind of lighting that particular room has and adjust your colors accordingly. Natural lighting reflects a truer color, incandescent light brings out warmer and yellower tones, and fluorescent light casts a sharp blue tone.  Most paint stores have light boxes that you can use to test how a color will look in different types of light. Consider how the colors in adjacent rooms will mesh together. There needs to be some flow from one room to the next.  A color wheel is a useful tool for figuring out which colors work well together. If you are going for a more monochromatic look, try using either slightly different shades of...

Tropical Storm Bill

Tropical Storm Bill made landfall on Matagorda Island just before noon on Tuesday.  It brought even more rain to the greater Houston area, which is still saturated and trying to recover from the flooding that occurred at the end of May as a result of record rainfall.  At 1:00am Wednesday morning, Bill was downgraded to a tropical depression as it continues to make its way north through Texas and in to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Some say it is possible that Bill or its remnants may produce heavy rainfall in as many as seven states, from Texas to Indiana.  The tail of the storm continues to bring rain to the Houston area, even though the center of the storm has now reached the northern part of the state.  The rain could last through Saturday, June 20. This storm renews the risk of flash flooding for Houston and increases the chance of damages to property around our already overflowing rivers and waterways.  Several roads are flooded as well, so take caution and check for closures before traveling around Houston for the next few days. Bill is now the second storm to make landfall in the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.  This is the first time since 1871 that there have been two tropical storm-strength landfalls this early in the season.  However, overall, this year’s hurricane season is expected to be less active than usual, so perhaps soon Houston can catch a break from the rain and flooding. If you have any questions or would like to ask about our current listings, contact the Doug Erdy Group...

Preliminary Report of Flood Damage

On June 9, the Harris County Office of Emergency Management released its preliminary report for the flood damage that occurred as a result of several storm systems that passed through the Houston area in late May. The damage was fairly widespread, with eleven Harris county municipalities suffering damages, though the city of Houston itself was the hardest hit. According to the report, a total of at least 2,516 residences and 73 businesses were affected by the flooding, and at least 2 Houston homes were completely destroyed. 2,195 of those residences and 53 of those businesses were in Houston proper while the rest were in the surrounding cities of Bellaire, Pasadena, West University Place, Bunker Hill Village, Galena Park, Hillshire Village, Hedwig Village, Piney Point Village, Spring Valley Village, and Hunters Creek Village. (See the full report here.) As a result, Houston-area insurance companies are scrambling to keep up with the flood damage claims. Economists at BBVA Compass estimate the economic impact of the damages could be anywhere from $200-$550 million, which is less than the impact of Hurricane Ike in 2008 (about $154 billion in today’s dollars) and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 (about $6.7 billion in today’s dollars), but it is still a significant amount. And the economists noted also that this does not take into account the as-yet-unknown cost to repair the Southwest Wastewater Plant. A report is not yet available for Montgomery County because they are still gathering data, but damage has been reported there as well, especially in areas near the San Jacinto River and the Lewis Creek Dam. On June 8, Liberty County extended its Commissioner’s...

Beat the Heat!

It is summertime in Houston once again, and now is the time to make sure that your air conditioner is running in top form.  If it is not, there could be some easy things you can do to improve its performance without having to call in the professionals.  This will save you money in two ways: you may not have to pay to have your A/C serviced, and it will run more efficiently, cutting down your power bill. Here are five easy things you can do to improve the performance of your air conditioner: Replace the filters. Check your filters for dust or clogging, and if they are dirty, replace them.  Dirty filters not only mean that the air circulating through your home is not as clean as it could be, it also means the air will not circulate as efficiently.  Dirty or clogged filters restrict the amount of air flowing through.  This means that it has to run longer to achieve the desired temperature, which burns more power.  How often you must do this will depend on several different factors, so check your filters periodically to see if they need to be changed out. Clean the condenser coils. The condenser (the box that is outside with the fan in it) can end up with dirt and debris in it, which can clog up the coils inside.  This too will decrease the efficiency of your unit and cause it to have to run more.  To do this, turn off the power to the unit, open up the panels to access the coils, and clean the outside of them with...