Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

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 
Sept. 22, 2016

Plant it Forward | A Sustainable Living Non-Profit

Fresh VegetablesTrade in your grocery cart for a reusable tote and treat your family to locally grown fresh vegetables!

Through Plant It Forward Farms, families may enjoy a weekly box of fresh, local produce through a Farm Share program which gives newly-arrived refugees access to the American dream. Environmentally-conscious consumers will be helping local refugee farmers and their families to earn a living wage on local urban farms.

What’s in season now?  Roselle pods, roselle greens, sweet potatoes, sweet potato greens, hot peppers, eggplant, long beans, French sorrel, arugula, jute leaves, okra, melons and cantaloupe, herbs like Mexican mint marigold, papalo, basil, mint, Malabar spinach, cucumber, and summer squash.

When the season changes in October, expect lettuce mix, kale, collard greens, radishes, beets, carrots, onion, endive, cilantro, parsley, turnips, and many other early-fall vegetables. “We are working with some local fruit growers to bring homegrown avocados, guava, figs, and papaya to several farm stands,” says Daniela Lewis, Farm Stand Manager.

“The new season begins October 8th!” says Lewis. “Joining our Farm Share is the best way to support your neighborhood farmer. Farm Shares come in two sizes - Petit and Grand. Farm Share members pick up 6-8 varieties of freshly-picked vegetables once-a-week at a convenient location. We have 18+ pick-up locations throughout Houston.”

You may sign up at any time for a pro-rated amount.  The contact information is as follows: Main Line: 713-432-0754 or Farm Share Line: 832-983-0405 or by email at info@plant-it-forward.org.

Created in 2012, Plant It Forward provides land and tools to refugees who have settled in Houston.  Many have spent years living in extreme conditions just waiting to live the American dream.

“After they receive training at a model farm and business assistance to help them sell their produce effectively, they are free to manage their own farms,” says Lewis. “They can then sell their fresh produce to farmers markets, farm stands, farm shares, and restaurant sales — making that American dream a reality for these refugees. A portion of each successful farm helps pave the way for others. Houston is settling a record number of new refugees every year. Most have spent years in refugee camps outside of their own countries living in extreme conditions while waiting to realize the American dream. Once here, they are faced with huge challenges assimilating into their new homeland as few have the language or job skills to find meaningful work. Some of these refugees come from agrarian backgrounds and they know how to raise quality food, but there is not a single classified job posting for an experienced farmer.”

Houston is a desert when it comes to fresh, locally grown food. “We import almost all of the food we consume, even though eight out of ten Houstonians say locally grown food is important to them,” says founder Teresa O’Donnell, a Westbury resident.  “Fresh produce is in such high demand and short supply in Houston, that even our most visionary grocery stores are labeling produce from El Paso – the equivalent distance as Nashville – as “local!” As a city overflowing with land, sun and water, we deserve the infrastructure to be able to grow and purchase healthy, fresh and local food.”

Plant It Forward Farms brings together the people and resources needed to make that vision a reality. We partner with social and religious groups to provide land and tools to refugees who settle in Houston with few other skills besides farming. Refugees receive training at a model farm, as well as additional business assistance to help sell their produce through farmers markets, farm stands, farm shares and restaurant sales. A portion of each success helps provide opportunities for future refugees. Through Plant It Forward Farms, refugees can become active and contributing citizens that help Houston realize its potential as a leader in sustainable living.

“Houston is in the process of reinventing itself, perhaps more than in any other major city in America. That change will be advanced only if we create access to healthy food, if we make the best use of the land and assets we have available, and if our neediest are given opportunities to support themselves. By fostering the sustainable growth of both the city and its individuals, Plant It Forward Farms can help lead Houston to a healthier, more prosperous future way for future refugees to replicate and create more farms all across this great city.

If you’d like to stop by and see one of the farms, come during Farm Stand hours and meet the farmers.

Choose from four Plant It Forward Farms, either at

  • St. Paul Presbyterian Church, 7200 Bellaire Blvd., Houston TX 77074;
  • Braeswood Church, 10595 Fondren Rd, Houston TX 77096. This is a three acre farm at the corner of Fondren and Willowbend. Plant It Forward farmers have been planting, growing and harvesting this land since summer 2012;
  • University of St Thomas, 1318 Sul Ross St, Houston TX 77006 on 1/2 acre at the corner of Yupon and Sul Ross. Plant It Forward Farms began building beds and planting in April 2013 and began harvesting produce in the summer of 2013.
  • Also, find a farm stand in the Westbury Community Garden, 12581 Dunlap St, Houston TX 77035.

Plant It Forward Farms is very excited to announce its newest farm located on one acre of land in Sharpstown at 7700 Bellaire Blvd. 77074. Watch www.plant-it-forward.org for updates.  Then enjoy your fresh produce in recipes like this one:

Okra and Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients

8 ounces fresh okra

1 large shallot

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large green tomato, chopped

1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup torn fresh basil

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Thinly slice okra and shallot; sauté in 2 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until okra is golden brown; transfer to a bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in skillet. Add green tomato, grape tomatoes, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes or until softened. Combine tomatoes and okra mixture. Stir in basil, parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Sept. 12, 2016

ZIKA in Houston

Aedes Aegypti - the ZIKA mosquitoThe ZIKA virus – it’s on everyone’s mind these days.

Hallie Frazee, Harris County's Public Health Department's Communications Specialist, recently shared the latest updates on the Zika virus. She plans to speak to the West U Rotary later this fall.

There are three ways to be infected with the Zika virus:

You can be bitten by an infected mosquito, or

The virus can be passed via sexual transmission, or

The virus can be passed from mother to infant during pregnancy.

Currently, there are NO locally transmitted cases of Zika in Harris County. We’ve had several travelers return from other areas with Zika, and we’ve had cases of mother to infant transmission in pregnancy, BUT we have not found any traces of Zika in our local mosquitoes.

Harris County spent $4.5 million this year on mosquito control, with an additional $1.1 million specifically focusing on the Zika virus. The Aedes mosquitoes that carry Zika bite only humans, so you will not see the Zika virus amplify in animal populations. Unlike other mosquitoes, Aedes mosquitoes are active all day long. They tend to bite at ankle height, so cover up with long sleeves and pants. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains either DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon or eucalyptus.

It only takes a tiny amount of standing water to breed mosquitoes. They can hatch in just a bottle cap of water. So here are some good precautions you can take at home:

Avoid over-watering plants and lawns.

Clear out rain gutters.

Keep tight fitting screens on doors and windows.

Properly maintain swimming pools and spas.

Eliminate standing water from tires, pet bowls and flower pot.

Repair leaking faucets.

Keep your storm drains flowing. Properly dispose of lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs.

For more information, call Harris County Public Health Mosquito Control at (713) 440-4900 or visit www.hcphes.org/mc.

Sept. 7, 2016

5255 Birdwood | LEASED In Meyerland, TX!

5255 Birdwood Road is a charming and spacious Meyerland home available for rent! This property is in excellent condition and has been recently updated. The home has features such as skylights, spacious rooms, an updated kitchen with new appliances, a large gated backyard, and more!

Property Information

  • House Size:  2,280 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 9,963 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full, 1 Half
  • Listed by Sachin Chowdhry
  • MLS #69769660

Features

  • Remodeled kitchen with new stainless steel Bosch appliances, granite countertops.
  • Energy efficient windows.
  • Skylights provide great natural lighting!
  • Gorgeous hardwood floors throughout the house.
  • Spacious rooms.
  • Master bedroom with double walk-in closets. Master bathroom has a large garden tub, walk-in shower.
  • Two secondary bedrooms.
  • Large gated backyard. Covered walkway leading to the garage.
  • Move-in Ready!

>More Great Meyerland Homes for Sale

Sept. 2, 2016

2629-A Wroxton Road | LEASED in West University Place!

2629-A Wroxton Road is a contemporary two bedroom, two full bath condo. This home has a downstairs living area, hardwood floors throughout the home, high ceilings, and more. The exterior of the unit features lush foliage, a backyard deck, and a gated courtyard entry gate. Great location close to Rice Village! 

Property Information

  • Leased For: $2,700 per month
  • House Size: 1,596 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #57173457

Features

  • Courtyard entry with lush foliage.
  • Hardwood floors both upstairs and down. Hardwood blinds, high ceilings throughout the house.
  • Open concept first floor living area. Fireplace. Dining area opens to kitchen. Transom windows over sliding glass lead to the large backyard and deck.
  • Kitchen features granite counters, wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, good counter space, and plenty of storage.
  • Huge master bedroom with vaulted ceilings, great natural lighting. Enough space for a sitting area or home office.
  • Master bathroom has double sinks, a tub shower, excellent storage, and two walk-in closets.
  • Second bedroom has built-in bookshelves, opens to the front balcony.
  • Large wooden backyard deck. Six piece dining set and Weber grill remain with the lease!
  • Excellent condition.
  • Washer, dryer, and Refrigerator remain with the property.
  • Great location close to Rice Village.
  • Zoned to West University Elementary, Pershing Middle School, and Lamar High School. Located within the boundary for Pin Oak School.

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

Aug. 22, 2016

3001 Murworth Drive #1201 | SOLD in the Knollwood Area!

3001 Murworth Drive #1201 is an outstanding condo located in a very well-managed complex.The property is an end unit with an open floorplan, featuring second floor living and third floor bedrooms, great natural lighting, and more. The complex features a gated entry, a gorgeous pool, a cabana, and a fitness center. 

Property Information

  • House Size: 1,494 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full, 1 Half
  • Listed by Vicki Chu
  • MLS #31490950
  • Sold for: $287,000

Features

  • Corner unit with four visitor parking spaces in front and three additional resident parking spaces behind the garage.
  • Nine foot ceilings, ample natural lighting, double-paned windows, and storage throughout the unit. Granite counters, laminate flooring. Berber carpet in the bedrooms.
  • Dual thermostat air conditioning allows you to control the temperature from either the living area or the master bedroom.
  • Second floor living with a very open floor plan. Living and dining area combo.
  • Kitchen with breakfast bar opening to dining area. Granite counters, stainless steel appliances, lots of cabinets, and a broom closet.
  • Computer nook set just off of the kitchen with built in desk and shelving.
  • Second floor powder room with a pedestal sink.
  • Large master bedroom with three east facing windows and a walk-in closet.
  • Master bathroom has a second walk-in closet, double vanity, and oversized shower.
  • Washer/dryer and linen closet located in utility area on third floor between the bedrooms.
  • Second bedroom has en suite tub/shower combo.
  • Easy access to the Medical Center, Museum District, Metro Light Rail, Downtown, and Hobby Airport.

>More Knollwood Area Homes for Sale

Aug. 10, 2016

3314 Westridge Street | LEASED in Knollwood Village!

3314 Westridge Street is a cozy three bedroom, two full bathroom cottage located in Westridge. With a large backyard and a fabulous location near the 610 Loop and Reliant Stadium, this home is move-in ready! 

Property Information

  • House Size: 1,365 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 7,680 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #74714384
  • Leased for: $1700/mo

Features

  • Hardwood floors and neutral paint throughout the house.
  • Combination living and dining area with large windows for great natural lighting.
  • L-shaped kitchen overlooking the backyard. Good counter space and storage, bar seating, breakfast area. Refrigerator remains with the home.
  • Three spacious bedrooms with large windows and hardwood floors.
  • Large backyard is perfect for gardening.
  • Indoor utility room. Washer and dryer remain with the lease.
  • Fabulous location near 610 and Reliant.

>More Knollwood Village Homes for Sale

Aug. 9, 2016

3001 Tangley Road | SOLD in West University Place!

3001 Tangley is a recently constructed French stucco home in the heart of West University Place. Situated on a coveted corner, this home features a unique "park" view (faces 11,000 sf of landscaped grounds) and is only three blocks from Wier Park. This Scott Frasier home was built for entertaining. Light and bright, the seamless floorplan incorporates eight sets of French doors--four opening from family room, kitchen, and formal living to a private courtyard with summer kitchen and outdoor fireplace. Additional doorsets open to upper balconies and from mudroom to guest quarters.

Property Information

  • House Size: 3,588 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 5,250 sq ft
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 4 Full, 1 Half
  • Garage: 2 Car Attached
  • MLS #77004764
  • SOLD FOR: $1,675,000

Features

  • Home accented with reclaimed Chicago brick
  • Casement windows up and down
  • Butler's pantry features glass-paned upper storage
  • Custom kitchen cabinetry with counter lighting and Segretto finishes
  • 4 bedrooms en suite, all with tray ceilings
  • 1 bedroom provides true flex space; 2 closets; 2 entrances: accessible through gameroom or via Her closet, making it ideal for nursery (currently used as office)
  • During construction, His closet was framed for thru access flex space, but is currently separate guest quarters
  • Gameroom lined with casement windows, has antique marble countertops, sink, and undercounter refrigerator
  • Quarters features high-end finishes - antique brick risers on stairwell (wide enough to add chair lift); cathedral ceiling; hand-tooled "country white"-washed hardwoods; arched entry to vanity; reeded glass door to charming bath area with clawfoot tub; antique marble counter with under-counter refrigerator/freezer
  • Roofline wired with electical outlets for holiday lighting
  • Known as the "house with the movies," upper stucco wall sized for movie projection viewed from summer kitchen/courtyard as well as Belmont side of home
  • Control 4 Home/Entertainment system provides round-the-clock views of perimeter of home as well as playroom, etc. Quarters has views to various areas of home. Evidence-quality resolution, months of playback. Also enables "safe entry" when arriving home

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

Aug. 8, 2016

How's the Market? | Real Estate Statistics Now Available

Sample Market ReportAsk any real estate professional – the number one cocktail party question is always How’s the Market? Here in Houston, our housing market is still reacting to oil price slump - but not all neighborhoods or price-points are equally affected. To give shoppers a quick and simple snapshot of their own neighborhood’s performance, Roger Martin Properties now offers a state-of-the art web tool called Altos.  “Altos is like the Siri of real estate,” says Roger Martin, “Whether you are buying or selling, it puts the facts at your fingertips.” 

Look for the new charts and graphs throughout RogerMartinProperties.com, particularly in the section titled “How’s the Market?” The data is live, so check back weekly to monitor changes.  Or take advantage of the optional subscription feature, and you will receive a summary report tailored to the trends in your specific neighborhood.  Neighborhoods can be changed at any time, and subscribers can control how frequently they receive their reports. 

Roger has always believed that his job is to educate his clients about the market. He says, "Statistics are an indicator, not an absolute, which makes real estate both an art and a science. There's a lot that goes into the decision to buy and sell, and a good agent helps clients sift through information."  These new market reports are just another way Roger Martin Properties consistently offers professional and highly personalized service.

These statistical reports include the market price points, available inventory, average price, days-on-market, and other statistics, charts and graphs.  Choose real estate market reports for...