Atascocita Ranks #27 Statewide As The Best Places In The Houston Area To Raise A Family

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Atascocita Ranks #27 Statewide As The Best Places In The Houston Area To Raise A Family

By:  Matt Levin

Starting a family and looking to get out of the city and settle down in a more kid-friendly neighborhood?

Here are the best places to do that in Houston. Neighborhood review site Niche ranked the top local towns and suburbs for raising a family.

The site examined data on public schools, safety, access to parks, the age of residents and their kids’ ages to create the rankings

Wealthy towns with small populations and wide open spaces received the highest marks. Fulshear in Fort Bend County finished first overall, followed by the master-planned community Cinco Ranch that’s about 25 miles west of Houston

Atascocita (Statewide rank: 27)

Residents 35-44 years old: 16.0 percent
Residents 14 years old and under: 24.9 percent
Public Schools grade: A+
Cost of Living grade: C+
Crime and Safety grade: N/A
Family Amenities Grade grade: A-

 

Looking for a Realtor in the Atascocita area?

Sheryl Powell, Your Happy Realtor, represents Buyers and Sellers in and around Northeast Houston including Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita, Crosby, Huffman, Porter and New Caney.

Sheryl believes in serving the community through Real Estate with the utmost integrity and dedicated service of representation. Her mission is to provide Buyers, Sellers, Investors and Renters in Houston and surrounding areas with a smooth, enjoyable and honest service that makes her clients feel valued in their individual Real Estate needs.

Good communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. You can count on Sheryl, Your Happy Realtor, to provide you with the information you need on a schedule and in a manner that suits you best.

SHERYL’S COMMITMENT TO YOU: In the least amount of time possible, Sheryl will get you the best price on a home that is perfectly suited to your needs and lifestyle, not just today, but for years to come.

THE BEST SERVICE, THE BEST RESULTS: Choosing a real estate agent who has the tools, skills and experience to make your dreams come true can be as challenging as the home buying process itself. Let Sheryl make it simple for you.

CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE: Every one of Sheryl’s clients is unique, and that is exactly how she treats him or her. Sheryl proud to say that a high percentage of Sheryl’s business comes from past clients-from people who choose her services time and again. Sheryl doesn’t measure her success by sales, but by the relationships she builds along the way.

Give me a call today and let’s get you MOVIN!

View More: http://mariovilledaphotography.pass.us/powellSheryl Powell

Realtor

JLA Realty

281-753-0425

Season-by-Season Lawn Maintenance Calendar

Season-by-Season Lawn Maintenance Calendar

By: Douglas Trattner

Tips for a barefoot-worthy lawn that’ll ensure your home has uber curb appeal.

Ahhhh, that feeling of stepping onto a freshly mowed lawn sans footwear.

There’s nothing like it. Here’s how to get that grassy feeling.

Early Spring

Like so many maintenance jobs, everything goes smoother — and you’ll get better results — with proper preparation. Early spring is the time to get ready for lawn-growing and mowing season.

Related: How to Bring Back Your Lawn After Winter Damage

Sharpen mower blades to ensure clean cuts. A dull blade tears the grass, leaving jagged edges that discolor the lawn and invite pathogens.

Sharpen mower blades once each month during grass-cutting season. Have a backup blade (about $20) so that a sharp one is always on hand.

Tune up your mower with a new sparkplug ($3 to $5) and air filter ($5 to $10). Your mower might not need a new sparkplug every season, but changing it is a simple job, and doing it every year ensures you won’t forget the last time you replaced your sparkplug.

Buy fresh gas. Gas that’s been left to sit over the winter can accumulate moisture that harms small engines. This is especially true for fuel containing ethanol, so use regular grades of gasoline.

If you need to dump old gasoline, ask your city or county for local disposal sites that take old fuel.

Clean up your lawn. Time to get out the leaf rakes and remove any twigs and leaves that have accumulated over the winter. A thick layer of wet leaves can smother a lawn if not immediately removed in early spring. Cleaning up old debris clears the way for applying fertilizer and herbicides.

Spring

Depending on your weather, your grass will now start growing in earnest, so be ready for the first cutting. Don’t mow when the grass is wet — you could spread diseases, and wet clippings clog up lawn mowers.

Fertilizing: Both spring and fall are good times to fertilize your lawn. In the northern third of the country, where winters are cold, fertilize in fall — cool weather grasses go dormant over winter and store energy in their roots for use in the spring.

For the rest of the country, apply fertilizer just as your grass begins its most active growth. For best results, closely follow the application directions on the product. You’ll spend about $50 to $75 per application for an average 1/4-acre lot.

Aeration: Aerating punches small holes in your lawn so water, fertilizers, and oxygen reach grass roots. Pick a day when the soil is damp but not soaked so the aeration machine can work efficiently.

Related: More about lawn aeration

Pre-emergent herbicides: Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from taking root in your lawn. A soil thermometer is a handy helper; you can pick one up for $10 to $20. When you soil temperature reaches 58 degrees — the temperature at which crabgrass begins to germinate — it’s time to apply the herbicide.

Early Summer

Watch out for grubs: Warm weather means that grub worms, the larvae stage of June, Japanese, and other beetles, start feeding on the tender root systems of lawns. Affected lawns show browning and wilting patches.

To be certain that the culprits are grubs, pull back the sod and look for white, C-shaped grubs. If you see more than 10 per square foot, your lawn should be treated with a chemical pesticide.

Milky spore is an environmentally friendly way to control some species of grubs. When using insecticides, read and follow all label directions, and water the product into the soil immediately. Cost is around $50 to $75 per application.

Grass-cutting tip: Your grass is starting to grow fast, and you might even be cutting more than once a week to keep up. To keep grass healthy, mow often enough so you’re removing no more than 1/3 of the grass blade.

Pesky weeds: Weeds that have escaped an herbicide application should be removed with a garden fork. Use a post-emergent herbicide only if you think the situation is getting out of hand.

Check out our guide to some common types of weeds and tips on how to get rid of them.

Summer

Here’s a good mantra to guide you through the heart of grass-mowing season: The taller the grass, the deeper the roots, the fewer the weeds, and the more moisture the soil holds between watering.

With that in mind, here’s how to ensure a healthy, green lawn:

  • Set your mower blade height to 3 inches.
  • Deep and infrequent watering is better for lawns than frequent sprinkles, which promote shallow root growth. In general, lawns need about 1 inch of water per week to maintain green color and active growth.

Lawns that receive less than that will likely go dormant. That’s okay, the grass is still alive, but dormant lawns should still receive at least 1 inch of water per month. Your grass will green up again when the weather brings regular rains.

  • To check the output of a sprinkler, scatter some pie tins around the yard to see how much water collects in a specific length of time. Having a rain gauge ($5 to $20) will help you keep track of how much water the lawn receives naturally.
  • At least once each month, clean underneath your mower to prevent spreading lawn diseases.
  • Although it’s OK to leave grass clippings on the lawn where they can decompose and nourish the soil, large clumps of clippings should be removed. Regularly rake up any leaves, twigs, and debris.

If your grass seems to be stressed out, check out our advice on what to do if your lawn is turning brown.

Early Fall

The best time to patch bare or thin spots is when the hot, dry days of summer have given way to cooler temps. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove any dead grass.
  2. Break up the soil with a garden trowel.
  3. Add an inch of compost and work it into the soil.
  4. Add grass seed that’s designed for shade or full sun, depending on the area you’re working on. Spread the seed evenly across the bare patch.
  5. Use a hard-tooth rake to work the seed into the soil to a depth of about half an inch.
  6. Sprinkle grass clippings over the patch to help prevent the soil from drying out.
  7. Water the area; you’ll want to keep the patch moist, so lightly water once a day until the seed germinates and the new grass gets about one inch tall.

Fall

Your main job in fall is to keep your lawn free of leaves and other debris. You can use a mulching mower to break up leaves and add the organic matter to your soil, but be sure to clean up any clumps so they don’t kill the grass.

In the northern one-third of the country, now is the time to fertilize your lawn. Your grass will store the nutrients in its roots as it goes dormant over the winter, and your lawn will be ready for a jump start when spring warms the ground.

This is also the time to clean up your garden.

7 Hot Home Improvement Trends that Make Your Home Work for You

7 Hot Home Improvement Trends that Make Your Home Work for You

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Home improvement trends embrace energy efficiency, low maintenance exteriors, and double-duty space.

Today’s home improvement trends show that we like our houses to work harder and smarter for the money we spend maintaining and improving their value.

  • We no longer want bigger; instead, we want space that’s flexible, efficient, and brings order to chaos.
  • We’re watching our wattage with monitors and meters, and guarding our weekends with maintenance-free exteriors.

Here’s a look at seven hot home improvement trends that improve the way we live with our homes.

Trend #1: Maintenance-free siding

We continue to choose maintenance-free siding that lives as long as we do, but with a lot less upkeep. But more and more we’re opting for fiber-cement siding, one of the fastest-growing segments of the siding market. It’s a combination of cement, sand, and cellulosic fibers that looks like wood but won’t rot, combust, or succumb to termites and other wood-boring insects.

At $5 to $11 per sq. ft., installed, fiber-cement siding is more expensive than paint-grade wood, vinyl, and aluminum siding. Still, it’s a solid investment. If you should decide to sell your house, you’ll recover 79% of the project cost, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Maintenance is limited to a cleaning and some caulking each spring. Repaint every seven to 15 years. Wood requires repainting every four to seven years.

Trend #2: Convertible spaces

Forget “museum rooms” we use twice a year (dining rooms and living rooms) and embrace convertible spaces that change with our whims.

Foldaway walls turn a private study into an easy-flow party space. Walls can consist of fancy, glass panels ($600 to $1,600 per linear ft., depending on the system); or they can be simple vinyl-covered accordions  ($1,230 for 7 ft. by 10 ft.). PortablePartions.com sells walls on wheels ($775 for approximately 7 ft. by 7 ft.).

A Murphy bed pulls down from an armoire-looking wall unit and turns any room into a guest room. Prices, including installation and cabinetry, range from $2,000 (twin with main cabinet) to more than $5,000 (California king with main and side units). Just search online for sellers.

And don’t forget area rugs that easily define, and redefine, open spaces.

Trend #3: A laundry room of your own

Humankind advanced when the laundry room arose from the basement to a louvered closet on the second floor where clothes live. Now, we’re taking another step forward by granting washday a room of its own.

If you’re thinking of remodeling, turn a mudroom or extra bedroom into a dedicated laundry room big enough to house the washer and dryer, hang hand-washables, and store bulk boxes of detergent.

Look for spaces that already have plumbing hookups or are adjacent to rooms with running water to save on plumbing costs.

Trend #4: Souped-up kitchens

Although houses are trending smaller, kitchens are getting bigger, according to the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey.

Kitchen remodels open the space, perhaps incorporating lonely dining rooms, and feature recycling centers, large pantries, and recharging stations.

Oversized and high-priced commercial appliances — did we ever fire up six burners at once? — are yielding to family-sized, mid-range models that recover at least one cabinet for storage.

Since the entire family now helps prepare dinner (in your dreams), double prep sinks have evolved into dual-prep islands with lots of counter space and pull-out drawers.

Trend #5: Energy diets

We’re wrestling with an energy disorder: We’re binging on electronics — cell phones, iPads, Blackberries, laptops — then crash dieting by installing LED fixtures and turning the thermostat to 68 degrees.

Are we ahead of the energy game? Only the energy monitors and meters know for sure.

These new tracking devices can gauge electricity usage of individual electronics ($20 to $30) or monitor whole house energy ($100 to $250). The TED 5000 Energy Monitor ($240) supplies real-time feedback that you can view remotely and graph by the second, minute, hour, day, and month.

Trend #6: Love that storage

As we bow to the new god of declutter, storage has become the holy grail.

We’re not talking about more baskets we can trip over in the night; we’re imagining and discovering built-in storage in unlikely spaces– under stairs, over doors, beneath floors.

Under-appreciated nooks that once displayed antique desks are growing into built-ins for books and collections. Slap on some doors, and you can hide office supplies and buckets of Legos.

Giant master suites, with floor space to land a 747, are being divided to conquer clutter with more walk-in closets.

Trend #7: Home offices come out of the closet

Flexible work schedules, mobile communications, and entrepreneurial zeal are relocating us from the office downtown to home.

Laptops and wireless connections let us telecommute from anywhere in the house, but we still want a dedicated space (preferably with a door) for files, supplies, and printers.

Spare bedrooms are becoming home offices and family room niches are morphing into working nooks. After a weekend of de-cluttering, basements and attics are reborn as work centers.

Plan Your Weekend: July 21 to 24, 2016

plan-your-weekend-houston-july-21-24-2016-696x407

Lay out on a blanket and play BINGO at Market Square Park, witness a magic show, enjoy a Korean-inspired menu at Underbelly, rock out at a concert and more.

Check below to find great things happening around Houston this weekend, from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Things to Do All Weekend

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Keep Your Home Purchase on Track

Keep Your Home Purchase on Track

By: G. M. Filisko

You’ve found your dream home. Make sure missteps don’t prevent a successful closing.

A home purchase isn’t complete until you make it to the closing. Until then, the transaction can fall apart for many reasons. Here are five tips for avoiding mistakes that cause a home sale to crater.

1.  Be truthful on your mortgage application.

You may think fudging your income a little or omitting debts when applying for a mortgage will go unnoticed. Not true. Lenders have become more diligent in verifying information on mortgage applications. If you fib, expect to be found out and denied the loan you need to fund your home purchase. Plus, intentionally lying on a mortgage application is a crime.

2.  Hold off on big purchases.

Lenders double-check buyers’ credit right before the closing to be sure their financial condition hasn’t weakened. If you’ve opened new credit cards, significantly increased the balance on existing cards, taken out new loans, or depleted your savings, your credit score may have dropped enough to make your lender change its mind on funding your home loan.

Although it’s tempting to purchase new furniture and other items for your new home, or even a new car, wait until after the closing.

3.  Keep your job.

The lender may refuse to fund your loan if you quit or change jobs before you close the purchase. The time to take either step is after a home closing, not before.

4.  Meet contingencies.

If your contract requires you to do something before the sale, do it. If you’re required to secure financing, promptly provide all the information the lender requires. If you must deposit additional funds into escrow, don’t stall. If you have 10 days to get a home inspection, call the inspector immediately.

5.  Consider deadlines immovable.

Get your funds together a week or so before the closing, so you don’t have to ask for a delay. If you’ll need to bring a certified check to closing, get it from the bank the day before, not the day of, your closing. Treat deadlines as sacrosanct.

NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY

NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY

National-Ice-Cream-DayNational Ice Cream Day is celebrated each year on the 3rd Sunday in July and is a part of National Ice Cream Month.  This day is a fun celebration enjoyed with a bowl, cup or cone filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream.

 

Thousands of years ago, people in the Persian Empire would put snow in a bowl, pour grape-juice concentrate over it and ate it as a treat.  They did this when the weather was hot and used the snow saved in the cool-keeping underground chambers known as “yakhchal”, or taken from the snowfall that still remained at the stop of mountains by the summer capital.

It is believed that ice cream was first introduced into the United States by Quaker colonists who brought their ice cream recipes with them.  Their ice cream was sold at shops in New York and other cities during the colonial era.

  • Ben Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were known to have been regular eaters of ice cream.
  • First Lady Dolley Madison served ice cream at the Inaugural Ball in 1813.
  • 1832 – African American confectioner, Augustus Jackson created multiple ice cream recipes as well as  a superior technique to manufacture ice cream.
  • 1843 – Philadelphian, Nancy Johnson, was issued the first U.S. patent for a small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer.
  • It is said that today there are over 1,000 ice cream flavors.

OBSERVE 

Enjoy National Ice Cream Day by sharing some with your family and friends! Post on social media using #NationalIceCreamDay..

HISTORY

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month  and established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in the month of July.