Roger Martin and Life in the Loop


Oct. 10, 2016

Safety in West University Place

Jewel ThiefIn June, the Wall Street Journal named West University Place as “the Richest Town in Texas”.  An upsurge in crime has since followed, including several aggravated assaults and an active shooter. Did this article make us a target?

Probably not. West U has long been known as well-heeled. I suspect that the increase in crime is more likely related to the softening of the Houston economy. In addition, more crimes tend to be committed as we head into the holiday season. 

But the real issue is not what happened, but what we intend to do about it.  Be honest, people.  We residents of West University Place have a tendency to get complacent.  There are times when we all need a wakeup call. 

  • Remember that vigilance and prevention are always our first line of defense.  Unlocked cars, flashy jewelry, and unsecured tech devices make easy targets.
  • Know your neighbors – and talk to them.  Let them know when you are out of town, etc.  The more eyes on you and yours, the better.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  If a car is following you, head straight to the police station.  Forget embarrassment.  Better safe than sorry.
  • Trust your gut. If a situation just doesn’t feel right, call the police. They can’t protect or solve what hasn’t been reported.

At a recent West U Rotary Club meeting, HPD Officer Rick Retz showed a training video about how to react during an “active shooter” situation.  Taking a page from the old “Stop, Drop, and Roll” instructions, the new advice is “Run, Hide, and Fight”.  In other words, run away if you can; hide if you can’t; and turn and fight if there is no other option.  Recent research has shown that active shooters do not respond to negotiations, so expect first responders to concentrate solely on stopping the gunman. The second wave will deal with the wounded.  The irony is, the Rotary club booked this sobering speech long before Nathan Desai began his rampage.

Speaking of which, I was very proud of our local police response during that mass shooting. The West U officers were first on the scene. But the coordination among the West University Police Department, the Southside Police Department, the Bellaire Police Department and the Houston Police Department appeared seamless and effective, and served to minimize injuries. A big thank you to all our excellent officers.

And watch for upcoming reports from West U’s City Council meetings.  Along with a proposed tax increase, the hot topic is likely to be neighborhood security.  Will it involve more officers? Cameras? Our CodeRED service?  Stay tuned….

Oct. 10, 2016

4102 Judson | LEASED in West University Place!

4102 Judson Avenue is a great rental in West University Place. This isn't your typical West University Cottage! This  updated one and a half story home has beautiful tile floors, a lushly landscaped backyard with a covered patio, a loft/game room and more!

Property Information

  • House Size: 1,870 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 5,640
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full, 1 half
  • Listed by Vicki Chu
  • MLS #73850395
  • Leased For: $2,000 per Month


  • Raised entry has steps leading up to the loft/study/game room and steps leading down to the living and dining area.
  • Beautiful tile floors in the living room, dining room, and kitchen.
  • Living room has high vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Large windows look overlook the gorgeous backyard and patio.
  • Updated kitchen with high-quality stained wooden cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and granite counters.
  • First floor master bedroom suite has two walk-in closets. Master bath has a seamless glass shower and an antique vanity.
  • Loft area is designed as a study or game room. Two additional bedrooms off of the loft. Western bedroom has a south facing window. Eastern bedroom has a huge walk-in closet in addition to its regular closet.
  • Backyard has lush landscaping, covered patio, two ceiling fans and an arbor.
  •  Great location close to neighborhood amenities such as Judson Park, tennis courts, Randalls, Walgreens, the Buffalo Grill, Bering's Hardware, and an Urgent Care Clinic. 

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

Oct. 10, 2016

2520 Robinhood #500 | LEASED in West University Place!

2520 Robinhood #500 is fabulous custom built condo located in Rice Village. This 3 bedroom, 3 full bath unit is located on the fifth floor of its building, giving it a great view of the surrounding area. Features include maple hardwood floors, a gourmet kitchen, a separate theater room with surround sound, a master suite with large walk-in closets, and more!

Property Information

  • House Size: 2,836 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 3 Full
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #73850395
  • Leased for: $3700.00/mo


  • Great location in Rice Village puts the unit close to shopping and dining.
  • 24/7 concierge and open lobby. Complex includes an outdoor swimming pool and an exercise room.
  • Three assigned parking spaces for the unit.
  • Two large terraces.
  • Large open living room with floor-to-ceiling windows giving a view of the skyline.
  • High end kitchen with slab granite counters, stainless steel appliances, separate Subzero refrigerator and freezer, double ovens, ice maker, wine refrigerator, and a dishwasher. Large walk-in pantry and breakfast area.
  • Home theater wired for surround sound.
  • Large master bedroom suite with private balcony, high ceilings, recessed lights, and granite window sills. Master bath has granite counters and floors, double sinks, and an over-sized shower finished with marble. Large walk-in closet. Numerous build-in storage options.
  • Secondary bedroom with built-in bookshelf. Bookshelf also has granite counter. Great views and natural lighting. Bathroom has shower, granite and travertine counters, stained wood cabinets.
  • Bedroom three is spacious with great views, hardwood floors, and good closet space. 
  • Separate service door to hallway includes floor-to-ceiling shelving for even more storage.
  • Utility room has excellent storage and a separate sink. Washer & dryer can be provided by landlord if needed.

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

Oct. 9, 2016

Bonds for a Better Bellaire | Open House

Logo of the City of Bellaire, TXThere will be an Open House Thursday, October 13 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Bellaire Civic Center. Bellaire City Staff will answer questions on the upcoming November 8 bond election to fund improvements in sewers, sidewalks and municipal buildings and infrastructure. 

Posted in Bellaire City News
Oct. 9, 2016

Bellaire Library | Celebrating 65 Years in Bellaire

Bellaire Library, Houston, TX. Photo by, 2011Please join Bellaire City Librarian Mary Alford Cohrs this Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Bellaire's CenterPoint Energy Community Center, 7001 Fifth Street, Bellaire, TX 77401.  The Bellaire Historical Society hosts a free presentation on the 65-year History of the Bellaire Library.  Cohrs highlights the recent digitization project and how the library plans to continue serving future generations. A special book-shaped anniversary cake will be served, compliments of The Sugar Shop Bakery & Gifts. Visitors and guests are always welcome. 

Posted in Bellaire City News
Oct. 9, 2016

"Smart Moves" by Roger Martin Properties Agent

Houston Woman Magazine Cover, August 2016The recent issue of Houston Woman Magazine sends a cool congratulations to Broker Associate Vicki Chu in recognition of her Smart Move to Roger Martin Properties.

Oct. 6, 2016

5413 Braeburn Drive | SOLD in Braeburn Country Club Estates, Tx!

5413 Braeburn Drive is a fabulous Braeburn Country Estates home located on an expansive 18,525 square foot lot on a street lined with mature oaks! This stucco and stone home has great features such as three fireplaces, high ceilings, granite counters, front and back stairways, a chef's kitchen, a covered loggia with an outdoor summer kitchen, and more!

Property Information

  • House Size: 6,960 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 18,525 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 6
  • Bathrooms: 6 Full, 2 Half
  • Listed by JoAnna Ide
  • MLS #68741276
  • Sold For: $2,213,000


  • Home is located on an expansive 18,525 square foot lot.
  • Charming stucco & stone exterior, beveled glass doors, and gas lanterns.
  • Park-like front yard with mature oak trees.
  • Three car attached garage offers great protection from rain and weather for vehicles.
  • Stunning entryway with travertine floors and high ceilings. Flanked by the formal living and dining rooms.
  • Formal living room overlooks the front yard. Floor-to-ceiling arched windows and hardwood floors.
  • Formal dining room also has great natural lighting from floor-to-ceiling arched windows. Hardwood floors, butler's pantry, and wine grotto.
  • Spacious family room opens to kitchen and morning room. Built-in shelves, high ceilings, hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, sets of double doors leading into the backyard, and one of the home's three fireplaces. Very open floorplan!
  • Chef's kitchen with center island. Hardwood floors, stone accents, granite counter tops, an eat-in bar with marble countertops, two built-in refrigerators, high end appliances, and a pot filler. Serving station with wine fridge, glass front cabinets, and extra storage.
  • Sun-filled morning room is spacious, light, and bright. Located off of the kitchen and family room, curved entrance leads to the library.
  • Paneled library with walls of custom built-in bookcases, high ceilings, and hardwood floors.
  • Upstairs master bedroom suite features its own fireplace, high ceilings, hardwood floors, and double glass doors leading to a private upstairs covered patio. Patio has stone floors, ceiling fan, and iron surrounds.
  • Grand covered loggia is perfect for entertaining and outdoor living. Ceiling fans, a large summer kitchen, stone flooring, and a sitting area in front of the home's third fireplace. Additional seating area overlooks the scenic backyard.
  • Spacious fenced backyard. Plenty of room for a pool or spa. Enjoy your own private park in the middle of the city.

>More Great Bellaire Homes for Sale


Oct. 5, 2016

4110 Norfolk St | SOLD in Highland Village!

4110 Norfolk St - FOR SALE in Highland Village, Houston, TX 77027

4110 Norfolk is a three bedroom, two bath home with potential for remodeling but priced at lot value. The lot is 7,200 sq ft (60' x 120') and has a terrific location close to Highland Village, Edwards Cinema, and Costco. There is new construction in neighborhood. Structure has potential, but seller assumes the structure will be torn down and will make no repairs.

Property Information

  • House Size: 1,449 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 7,200 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full, 1 Half
  • Carport: 2 cars
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #36160648
  • Sold For: $485,000


  • 7,200 square foot lot is priced at lot value.
  • Good remodelling potential.
  • Driveway with gate and carport. Carport also has an utility room.
  • Great location close to Edwards Cinema, Highland Village, and Costco. New construction in the neighborhood!
  • Private gated and fenced entry courtyard with live bamboo for additional privacy.
  • Good sized kitchen with great natural lighting. Window overlooks front courtyard.
  • Large combined living and dining area. Hardwood floors, large corner fireplace. Decent natural lighting and opens to the sun room.
  • Enclosed sun room with tile floor at rear of the house. Overlooks lush backyard with mature landscaping.
  • All three bedrooms have hardwood flooring and crown moldings.

>More Highland Village/Mid Lane Area Homes for Sale

Sept. 26, 2016

Little Free Library | West U Scout House

Twin children enjoy dedication of West U's most recent Little Free LibraryLess than a year after establishing a Little Free Library in West University's Colonial Park, local author Chris Cander launched another book exchange at the Scout House, in the 6100 block of Edloe across from Roger Martin Properties. Cander is a West U resident and award-winning children’s book author. She says there are thousands of Little Free Libraries worldwide, but this is the first city-wide project. 

In partnership with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, Cander introduced the first Little Free Library in the West University Park system. That library, designed to look like West U Elementary School, was dedicated in October of 2015. Bright Sky Press contributed the foundation inventory and Roger Martin Properties underwrote the project.  There are plans for six libraries in all, in each of the city parks. Each of the libraries is designed to resemble a West U landmark. The newest library looks like the West University Scout House. In this photo, West U Parks Chair Kevin Boyle reads to Mayor Susan Sample's four-year old twins.  She reports that the twins, Caroline and Thomas Larsson, love the library and were very excited to be part of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Each library's inventory is self sustaining, encouraging people to "take a book, return a book.”  There are selections for children, young adults and mature adults.  

Little Free Library founder Todd H. Bol describes their mission as "promoting literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and building a sense of community as a way to share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations." There are nearly 40,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, encouraging curbside literacy home and sharing millions of books annually.

West U's three Little Free Libraries are located at:

  • 6346 Mercer Street
  • 4130 Byron Street in West U's Colonial Park
  • 6108 Edloe Street at the West U Scout House


Sept. 26, 2016

CODERed - Emergencies in West University Place

Crime Scene processed, West U Shooting, 9-26-2016, Photo by Mark Mulligan / Houston ChronicleThis morning, West U had an active shooter at one of our local shopping centers. Thank goodness, those of us with the Code Red service received prompt warnings to shelter in place.

When danger threatens - whether it is a hurricane or another emergency - the residents of West University Place rely our CODERed service. This free service is arguably one of the BEST benefits of living in our great neighborhood. You can choose to be notified by text, email or phone.  There is also a mobile app that will use your GPS location to give you emergency information anywhere in the USA.

The CODERed system has been used to warn the citizens of West University Place to bring their children indoors while dangerous arrests are in progress.  It has also let us know how to dispose of tree litter after a hurricane, and whether the water was drinkable, and when and where ice was available.

Be safe! Every West U resident should  use this NEW LINK to register for West U's CODERed service.

Photo by Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle