The Groves Builder Series: Highland Homes

Highland Homes was founded in 1985 and has grown to a production of over 2800 homes a year in Houston, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. Highland offers homes in many Houston area neighborhoods, including 18 of their varied yet equally beautiful home plans available to buyers in The Groves. Highland Homes’ high standards of quality and customer satisfaction have been recognized across the industry. Highland earned a spot in the top 20 of the “The Builder 100 List” by J.D. Power and Associates and was also named the People’s Choice Builder of the Year five consecutive times. Highland offers 60 foot lots in the Groves with homes ranging from 2,400 to 3,700 square feet. Prices range from the $320s to $400s for these impeccable homes. Highland’s current inventory and available floor plans can be viewed here. If you are considering building a home, now is the time to get started. Start now and be in before the new school year begins. Let us help you find your home in a neighborhood that suits every family’s needs and...

Real Estate Statistics that May Surprise

The Chief Executive Officer Spencer Rascoff collected real estate statistics from his database at Zillow.com of 110 million homes to find trends in real-estate pricing.  Some of the findings were rather surprising. Homes with addresses on a “Way” sold for more than those on a “Street”, and named streets had about a two percent higher resale value than numbered streets, unless you are in NYC (where it made no difference), or the street is a Main Street, which sell for an average of four percent less. Further, streets with the words “Lake” or “Sunset” in them have about a 16% higher resale value than those that didn’t.  So, it appears that the name of the street actually makes a difference in what people are willing to pay. Numbers in addresses also make a difference. The number 7, for some reason, has an impact.  Houses with just a lone “7” sell for 1.8% higher than the estimated value, but “777” homes sell for 2.1% below.  And addresses that have other numbers but include “777” (like 17778) sell for 1.8% less.  So apparently three 7’s in a row is a turn-off. When you sell makes a difference in how long it will take to sell and how much you can get for it. In New York, at least, the worst time to sell is the second week of December and the best time to sell is March. Psychological pricing does in fact work. Having a nine in the thousand slot instead of a zero (449,000 vs. 450,000) actually does cause homes to sell four days to a week faster. The “Starbucks...

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...

Landscaping Tips for the Beginner DIY-er

Tired of too much open space in your yard, but don’t want to pay the hefty price for a landscape designer? Do the landscaping yourself! There are all kinds of resources that can help you figure out the look you want and how to proceed, though you have to take into account both time and budget constraints when considering your options. These landscaping tips can help get you started sprucing up your yard yourself without breaking the bank or ending up with regrets.  Give it time. Your yard is going to be with you as long as you live in that house, so recognize that what you want it to look like now may not be what you want it to look like later. Take your time, plan it out, and move forward slowly; let it take shape in your head for a bit before jumping into the installment process. You may also want to add things here and there over time instead of doing it all at once.  Make a list of everything that you need and want in your space. Do you want a vegetable garden? Do you want a patio? Do you have kids who need a place to play? Start making rough sketches of what you want and where you would like to place those things in your yard. Pay attention to sun and wind patterns. Sometimes certain placements will need to be altered because of these things, so take them into account when designing your space. For example, you may not want to put your patio on the west side of the house, because...

Handy Storage Ideas for Small Laundry Spaces

Many laundry rooms are small and cramped, which can present a serious storage issue.  If you are in a tiny, closet-sized space with barely enough room for the washer and dryer themselves, where do you store your detergent? What if you have something that can’t be put in the dryer and needs to be hung somewhere?  What if something needs ironed? These handy tips to maximize space can help: Fold-outs, slide-outs, and retractables.  When you have limited space, you can either buy or make things that can be hung on the wall and only pulled down when needed, such as fold-down or slide-out ironing boards and drying racks, or retractable clotheslines.  That way, they are only out when being used, and out of the way when they are not. Baskets.  Baskets are a great way to organize things in your laundry room, and they are also very versatile in terms of where you can put them.  They can be stored on shelves, in cubbies, or even hung on the wall. Stackables.  If the space is narrow, you may can free up some storage space by stacking things vertically.  In some cases, even the washer and dryer themselves can be stacked. Shallow or slanted shelving or cubbies. Shallow shelving or cubbies can provide storage in a limited space.  If you need something deeper, you can slant the structure and put a lip along the edge to hold things in place and keep them from sliding off (or out, if it is a cubby).    Build a platform.  If you need more storage space, but don’t want everything to be overhead,...