The Groves – Living Life In The Woods

The Groves – Living Life In The Woods

Nestled among the pristine pines of Northeast Houston lies an oasis where that will make you feel right at home. The Groves is a place where you can escape from the chaos of the everyday world and relax in a natural setting of inspiring beauty and meandering wooded trails that seem to go on forever. Artfully and purposefully designed to bring you closer to Mother Nature, The Groves delivers an outdoor backdrop draped in the beauty of majestic woods. It’s a community brought closer together with year-round entertainment planned by The Grove’s own Lifestyle Director and a one-of-a-kind Splash Pad that provides endless fun for kids of all ages. The Groves offers the kind of life you have been dreaming about, and now you can call it home.

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The natural landscape of towering trees is one of the features that makes The Groves special, and they will always honor this natural ecosystem.  The Groves has created a timber harvest project to repurpose trees that had to be cut down here and use them for various projects in our neighborhoods, so that the timber can be preserved, rather than going to waste. You’ll see “stepping stones” made from trees, as well as parts of the playground, made 100% from trees that were on this very land. They will continue to repurpose our timber throughout the development of The Groves, including our future planned Amenity Center. Preserving the woods has been a huge driver in The Groves’ planning efforts. Designing roadway and utility corridors around specimen trees and dedicating large forested reserves and landscape buffers throughout this community are just a few examples of how we are carrying out our mission. Instead of clearing our lots, we walk through them with an arborist and ribbon the trees that must stay. They have purposefully and thoughtfully planned The Groves to create a backdrop of trees for every surrounding — our parks, our Fish Camp, our meandering trails, even the Welcome Center and future Amenity Center. It’s just another way they make you feel right at home in The Groves.

is not just a phrase. At The Groves, they take it seriously and work with an arborist during development to create home environments in keeping with the natural beauty of The Groves. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience and it’s backed by some of the most prestigious Houston homebuilders. Choose from the open plans of David Weekley Homes, the flexible plans of Darling Homes, or the spacious plans of Highland Homes. Or choose from the interactive plans of Taylor Morrison, the luxury plans of Trendmaker Homes, or the exciting collection from Village Builders. Whether you are looking to upsize or downsize, you are sure to find the perfect design to fit your every need. Here you can find a wide variety of floorplans from spacious to luxurious, from comfort to convenient, from interactive to traditional. At the Groves, you can find it all. We invite you to see which builder has the dream home for you to start your life in the woods.

To take a tour of the The Groves and learn more about it, contact Sheryl Powell, Realtor at JLA Realty, at 281-753-0425.

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

 

Tips on Pool Fence Safety to Reduce Your Liability

Tips on Pool Fence Safety to Reduce Your Liability

By: Deirdre Sullivan

There’s nothin’ more inviting on a hot summer day than a cool dip. And that can lead to trouble if your pool lacks a child-proof fence.

Installing a fence around your swimming pool is a smart security measure that prevents kids from having unsupervised access. In many areas, the law and your insurance company may also require it. But how do you know what kind of fence to pick?

Here’s where things get tricky.

There Are No Standard Requirements

The U.S. does not have a federal pool fence law. Instead, pool barriers are regulated at the state and local level.

Wait, it gets more complicated.

There are exemptions built into these laws. For example, families with children over 6 years old don’t have to install a pool fence in Arizona — unless you live in Scottsdale, Glendale, and several other areas.

See what I mean? It’s confusing.

Then you have to consider that although your pool might be exempt from fencing laws, your insurance company might require it.

So, what to choose?

Follow These Recommendations to Be Safe

Here’s a list of features every pool fence should have, based on legal requirements across the states and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Height: Some areas require a 4-ft. fence; the CPSC recommendation is 4 ft. or taller.
  • Structure: Must be impossible for children to climb.
  • Type: Permanent fencing is ideal because of durability.
  • Gate: All states require that they open outward away from the pool area, and be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Materials: Structures can be made from a wide range of stuff including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. However, make sure the material you pick is not easily susceptible to damage.

The 3 Most Popular Types of Fences

  1. Removable mesh pool fencing: Many consumers like this option because it’s an easy-to-move transparent barrier. But when it comes to safety, don’t skimp. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has set a standard for fences like these that is recognized worldwide. Here in the U.S., it has the approval of the American Society for Testing and Materials. So if you go with a mesh barrier, make sure it meets or exceeds the ASTM requirements. In many areas this is also mandatory by law.
  2. Vertical bar fencing: Structures can be made from a wide range of stuff including wood, vinyl, aluminum, and wrought iron. However, make sure the material you pick is not easily susceptible to damage. In most states, the space between the vertical bars can’t be more than 4 inches wide.
  3. Glass panel fencing: Barriers like these are very popular in California. They are durable and safe because they’re made from tempered glass. Plus, since they’re transparent, they don’t detract from your pool’s beauty.

Add Additional Protection

Keep in mind: Many states, such as New York and California, require layers of protection in addition to fencing.

Examples of additional layers of security include:

  • Automatic rigid pool covers
  • An underwater motion swimming pool alarm
  • Rescue equipment

But who do you contact in your area to get the skinny on swimming pool safety? Since every state and county sets up their agencies differently, try contacting the following departments in your area:

  • Building Code Department
  • Department of Health
  • Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

 

 

How to Fix Common Wall and Floor Problems

How to Fix Common Wall and Floor Problems

By: Deirdre Sullivan

Although some maintenance projects are best left to the pros, these three easy DIY fixes will give you bragging rights.

We turned to three bloggers for ideas on how to tackle some little, but nagging, household wall and floor issues.

A Made-Up Drywall Repair

The problem: Concealing drywall damage is a tricky business that requires a handful of drywall tools and materials to make walls look like new. To fix coin-sized holes, many traditionalists use mesh or paper tape. But not Lesli DeVito, the DIY blogger behind My Old Country House.

The fix: Cosmetic wedges! DeVito first tried patching the two nickel-sized openings with cement board she had lying around, but the pieces didn’t fit as you can see in the picture below (left).

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Tool list:

  • Make-up sponges
  • Scissors
  • Spackle
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper

How to:

  1. Cut the wedges into pieces that are slightly larger than the holes.
  2. Spackle the drywall and wipe off the excess.
  3. When the spackle dries, sand the area until it’s smooth.
  4. Add a fresh coat of paint.

Now DeVito challenges people to find where the holes were; go ahead, take a peek.

Related: Another Clever Drywall Fix

A Seamless Way to Remove Nails from Trim and Flooring

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The problem: You can save some dough by using salvaged materials like trim and oak flooring. But before you can install or even safely store them, you have to pull out any old nails — without damaging the wood.

The fix: Although you might be tempted to whack the nail from the back with a hammer and then yank it, don’t. That can mar the surface. Instead, pull the nails out from the back, says Peter Fazio from the site Dadand.

Tool list:

  • Pliers
  • Work gloves
  • Drop cloth

How to:

  1. Put the trim or floorboard face down on a drop cloth to protect the front surface.
  2. Using your pliers, grab the nail and gently roll onto the curved part of the tool until the nail pops out.

If the old filler used to conceal the nail on the front side pops out, it’s easy to fix. Refill the hole with color-matched wood filler (it’ll work for composite trim, too). Scrape the top of the repair gently with a putty knife to remove excess filler — otherwise you’ll leave a noticeable bump.

If you can’t find color-matched filler, repair the hole and gently sand the area smooth. Spot paint to match.

The Trick to Spiffing Up Grody Grout

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The problem: When Virginia from LiveLoveDIY painted her kitchen cabinets bright white, her dingy tile grout became a real eyesore.

Sure, cleaning agents like hydrogen peroxide can brighten discolored floors, but they won’t do much for grout. Grout is gritty and easily stains; despite scrubbing, it may never appear clean.

The fix: Using what she calls the “best product ever,” a bottle of Polyblend Grout Renew (there are other brands, too), a stain- and fade-resistant grout paint in snow white. It cost $10 for an 8-ounce bottle, which was enough to cover the all grout in her kitchen.

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Tool list:

  • Grout paint
  • Toothbrush
  • Rags or paper towels

How to:

  1. Squeeze a dollop of paint on the grout and scrub it in with a toothbrush. (The paint Virginia used dries fast, so you’ll need to work quickly.)
  2. Wipe off the excess from tile with a paper towel.

Including a few breaks, it took her about four hours to complete the job, which she says was time well-spent. Virginia also says the grout paint is easy to keep clean.

Tip: You might also want to seal the grout paint after it dries.

Tax and Home Records Checklist: What to Keep and For How Long

Tax and Home Records Checklist: What to Keep and For How Long

By: Dona DeZube

Want to purge your records — and rest assured you have all the documents you need when you need them? Read on.

Unless you’re living in the 123-room Spelling Manor, you probably don’t have space to store massive amounts of tax and insurance paperwork, warranties, and repair receipts related to your home. But you’ll definitely want your paperwork at hand if you have to prove you deserved a tax deduction, file an insurance claim, or figure out if your busted oven is still under warranty.

Except for tax paperwork, there’s no official guideline governing exactly how long you have to keep most home-related documents. Lucky for you, we considered the situations in which you might need documents and came up with a handy “How Long to Keep It” home records checklist.

First, a little background on IRS rules, which informed some of our charts:

  • The IRS says you should keep tax returns and the paperwork supporting them for at least three years after you file the return — the amount of time the IRS has to audit you. So that’s how long we advise in our charts.
  • Check with your state about state income tax, though. Some make you keep tax records a really long time: In Ohio, it’s 10 years.
  • The IRS can also ask for records up to six years after a filing if they suspect someone failed to report 25% or more of his gross income. And the agency never closes the door on an audit if it suspects fraud. Just sayin’.

Home Sale Records

HOME SALE RECORDS
Document How Long to Keep It
Home sale closing documents, including HUD-1 settlement sheet As long as you own the property + 3 years
Deed to the house As long as you own the property
Builder’s warranty or service contract for new home Until the warranty period ends
Community/condo association covenants, codes, restrictions (CC&Rs) As long as you own the property
Receipts for capital improvements As long as you own the property + 3 years
Section 1031 (like-kind exchange) sale records for both your old and new properties, including HUD-1 settlement sheet As long as you own the property + 3 years
Mortgage payoff statements (certificate of satisfaction or lien release) Forever, just in case a lender says, “Hey, you still owe us money.”

Why you need these docs: You use home sale closing documents, receipts for capital improvements, and like-kind exchange records to calculate and document your profit (gain) when you sell your home. Your deed and mortgage payoff statements prove you own your home and have paid off your mortgage, respectively. Your builder’s warranty or contract is important if you file a claim. And sooner or later you’ll need to check the CC&R rules in your condo or community association.

Annual Tax Deductions

ANNUAL TAX DEDUCTIONS
Document How Long to Keep It
Property tax payment (tax bill + canceled check or bank statement showing check was cashed) 3 years after the due date of the return showing the deduction
Year-end mortgage statements 3 years after the due date of the return showing the deduction
PMI payment (monthly bills + canceled check or bank statements showing check was cashed) 3 years after the due date of the return showing the deduction
Residential energy tax credit* receipts 3 years after the due date of the return on which the credit is claimed (including carryforwards**)

Why you need these docs: To document you’re eligible for a deduction or tax credit.

*Energy tax credits ($500 lifetime cap) for such things as energy-efficient windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, insulation, and more.

**Tax credits that you carry forward from one year to a future year, such as when you don’t have enough tax liability to offset the entire amount of the credit. (You can’t deduct more than you earn.) Only certain tax credits can be carried forward. Check with your tax pro about your particular circumstances.

Insurance and Warranties

INSURANCE AND WARRANTIES
Document How Long to Keep It
Home repair receipts Until warranty expires
Inventory of household possessions Forever (Remember to make updates.)
Homeowners insurance policies Until you receive the next year’s policy
Service contracts and warranties As long as you have the item being warrantied

Why you need these docs: To file a claim or see what your policy or warranty covers.

Investment Real Estate Deductions

INVESTMENT (LANDLORD) REAL ESTATE DEDUCTIONS
Document How Long to Keep It
Appraisal or valuation used to calculate depreciation As long as you own the property + 3 years
Receipts for capital expenses, such as an addition or improvements As long as you own the property + 3 years
Receipts for repairs and other expenses 3 years after the due date of the return showing the deduction
Landlord’s insurance payment receipt (canceled check or bank statement showing check was cashed) 3 years after the due date showing the deduction
Landlord’s insurance policy Until you receive the next year’s policy
Partnership or LLC agreements for real estate investments As long as the partnership or LLC exists
Landlord insurance receipts (canceled check or bank statement showing check was cashed) 3 years after you deduct the expense

Why you need these docs: For the most part, to prove your eligibility to deduct the expense. You’ll also need receipts for capital expenditures to calculate your gain or loss when you sell the property. Landlord’s insurance and partnership agreements are important references.

Miscellaneous Records

MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS
Document How Long to Keep It
Wills and property trusts Until updated
Date-of-death home value record for inherited home, and any rules for heirs’ use of home As long as you or spouse owns the home + 3 years
Original owners’ purchase documents (sales contract, deed) for home given to you as a gift As long as you or spouse owns the home + 3 years
Divorce decree with home sale clause As long as you or spouse owns the home + 3 years
Employment records for live-in help (W-2s, W-4s, pay and benefits statements) 4 years after you make (or owe) payroll tax payments

Why you need these docs: Most are needed to calculate capital gains when you sell. Employment records help prove deductions.

Organizing Your Home Records

Because paper, such as receipts, fades with time and takes up space, consider scanning and storing your documents on a flash drive, an external hard drive, or a cloud-based remote server. Even better, save your documents to at least two of these places.

Digital copies are OK with the IRS as long as they’re identical to the originals and contain all the accurate information that was in the original receipts. You must be able to produce a hard copy if the IRS asks for one.

Tip: Tax season and year’s end are good times to purge files and toss what you no longer need; that’s often when the spirit of organization moves us.

When you do finally toss out your home-related paperwork, use a shredder. Throwing away intact documents with personal financial information puts you at risk for identity theft.

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but isn’t intended to be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice.

Humble ISD Initiates Construction on Elementary and Middle Schools in The Groves

Humble ISD board members, Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen and Kaitlyn Sitton celebrated the ground breaking of both Elementary #28 and Middle School #9 in The Groves Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016.

A57b61b7ea3465.images families rush to get ready for the new school year, at this same time next year, residents of The Groves will have a new elementary school to attend for the first day of school.

 

The following year, 2018, those residents will have a new middle school to attend.

Humble Independent School District representatives, school board members, construction crews from Purcell Construction, representatives from Joiner Architects and PBK Architects as well as representatives from Crescent Communities donned hard hats and grabbed shovels to celebrate the groundbreaking for Humble ISD’s Elementary #28 and Middle School #9 Thursday, Aug. 18.

Former Summerwood Elementary principal Dr. Brian Peters was named the principal of the new school and has been involved throughout the process.

“This is very exciting and anxious at the same time; this is a new opportunity,” Peters said. “I always preach, in education, that we are all learners and this represents an opportunity for me to learn as well having not had the opportunity in the past to establish a school from the ground up.

“I’m looking forward to everything from preparing this year, building the staff and opening in a year from now. It’s exciting we are building a future for a group of children and this school is like a blank slate; we get to establish what Elementary School #28 is known for.”

When asked what his vision for Elementary #28 would be, Peters stated, “I see we are going to build a school that is welcoming, this innovative and meets the needs of all children. This school is about teaching kids and it is a place that, hopefully, a year from now, where kids can’t wait to come through the doors and don’t want to leave.”

In regards to boundaries for the new schools, the Humble ISD facilities department along with the boundary committee has worked for more than a year to create a tentative master plan and will deal with one school at a time with boundaries. They will host public meetings to gather input from residents before the boundaries are set in stone.

“Each fall before a new school opens, we hope to have a boundary plan in place so that we are not getting ahead of the curve in case some of the planned subdivisions do not materialize,” Humble ISD school board member Robert Sitton said.

As construction and home sales continue to progress in The Groves, the groundbreaking for the two new schools was monumental for the community’s developer, Crescent Communities.

“We super excited about having these schools right here in the community and having both an elementary and middle school here,” Jim Zimmermann, vice president of residential at Crescent Communities, said during the ceremony. “We think this is an incredible site for the schools and for the students that will attend these schools. We are looking forward to next fall when Elementary #28 will open and then the next fall in 2018 when Middle School #9 opens. In The Groves, we are expanding our offerings and expanding fast; it’s an exciting time.”

Elementary #28

Elementary #28 is designed for 950 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The building will be approximately 111,000-square feet.

According to information shared by Humble ISD, “Elementary #28 will be a two-story building with classrooms on three two-story wings. Each wing includes six classrooms, a flexible learning area, and support spaces such as teacher workrooms. Each two-story wing will be oriented to allow a maximum amount of natural light into classrooms.

“An additional one-story wing will house the pre-kindergarten classrooms and special needs classrooms. All wings will have direct access to play areas and outdoor learning areas.”

Middle School #9

In regards to Middle School #9, the 200,000-square foot facility will serve 1,050 students in grades sixth through eighth grade. Joiner Architects designed the new middle school. Construction cost is $44 million.

The information presented by Humble ISD stated, “The new middle school will be a three-story building with collaborative and enhanced learning spaces and classrooms designed to allow natural daylight in all spaces. Within the learning center, wings are break-out areas for small group and individual study, and the design will provide visual oversight by instructors from the main classroom.

“The athletics’ lobby will be a multipurpose space serving as an entry/gathering space for evening events, visitors and daily morning student bus arrivals. The school design will include a 1,056-seat competition gymnasium. The boys’ and girls’ PE and athletic locker rooms will be adjacent to the football and practice fields for easy access.

“The fine arts wing will include a large, open teaching space for band, choir and orchestra. Each of these spaces will include individual support rooms such as libraries, storage rooms, practice and uniform storage rooms. The fine arts wing will also include a 164-seat amphitheater with adjacent changing rooms and a drama classroom. Art will be taught in the classroom wing.”

2nd Annual The Woodlands Craft Beer and Music Festival – Sept 2nd & 3rd

2nd Annual The Woodlands Craft Beer and Music Festival

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It’s time for the second annual The Woodlands Craft Beer and Music Festival, the two-day food, drink and entertainment extravaganza to be held Sept 2nd and 3rd at Town Green Park in The Woodlands. Last year, more than 5,000 people came to enjoy the festival, which is again being sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands and produced by Global Scene Productions. This year promises to be even bigger and better, featuring nonstop live music, great craft beer from numerous breweries and some of the best-tasting foods in Texas.

Friday will be “Flashback Friday” where festivalgoers will travel back to the time of tie-die, big hair, and bell-bottomed booty-shaking with the lineup of classic rock, funk, Motown, R&B, and disco – classic hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Hours are 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday’s theme will be Home Brewed Houston, an eclectic mix of musical ingredients spanning from reggae, rock, pop, funk and folk with equal parts of covers and originals and turned on high. Hours are 2:30 to 10:30 p.m.

General admission and VIP ticket packages are available. To purchase, visit www.woodlandscraftbeerfestival.com and the festival’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/woodlandscraftbeerfestival to keep updated on the event.