Roger Martin and Life in the Loop


May 20, 2016

Brunch and the Menil | Roger Martin Properties

Roger Martin Properties team enjoys brunch at The Kitchen at the DunlavyThe agents and staff at Roger Martin Properties recently enjoyed a morning exploring some of the best Houston has to offer. This purely social event was organized by Cynthia Candela and JoAnna Ide and included Ann and Roger Martin, Sachin Chowdhry, Vicki Chu, JoAnna Ide, Jane Jurgens, and Michelle Smith. We began with brunch at The Kitchen at the Dunlavy, an exquisite casual dining venue on Allen Parkway. This beautiful (and delicious!) restaurant has treetop views overlooking Buffalo Bayou. We were pleased that blue skies gave us the chance to dine on the outdoor deck.

Miles Durham and JoAnna Ide at The Kitchen at the DunlavyAt the restaurant, JoAnna Ide reconnected with a former student from her days as principal at West University Elementary. Miles Durham graduated from Lamar High School in 2005.  He picked JoAnna out of the line at The Dunlavy, noting that her smile has not changed one bit since he was a second grader. 

Vicki Chu, Cynthia Candela, Ann Martin, and JoAnna Ide at the Menil CollectionAfter brunch, we visited the Menil Collection. Cynthia particularly loved the surrealists, including Salvador Dali's hanging eggs and the wit of Rene Magritte's paintings. Ann was pleased to see the Max Ernst portrait of founder Dominique de Menil. Vicki visited with Tom Walsh, head of installations at The Menil. All of us were amused by the whimsical, bawdy works of William Copley.

And then it was back to the office and our daily real estate tasks.  "But I feel like I just had a mini-vacation!" said JoAnna.

May 18, 2016

Houston Economy | Spring 2016|

US Oil Production Slows, graph by Bill Gilmer, Institute of Regional ForecastingThe recent state-of-the-Houston-economy lecture was both sobering and illuminating. Here is list of talking points from this lecture by Bill Gilmer, economist for the Institute of Regional Forecasting.  

  • In 2015, we saw the most abrupt oil business reversal in history - but so far, the Houston economy has managed to avoid an out-and-out recession. Our economy is currently protected by downstream construction jobs, as new petrochemical plants are built to take advantage of the now-inexpensive feed stocks. However, this construction will wind down in 2017, giving us a narrow time window to shore up our economy.
  • On the international front, emerging markets have been the key drivers of global growth. China is currently stalling out, while India is picking up the slack.
  • For long-term recovery (both political and economic) oil prices need to stabilize in the $60 to $65 dollar per barrel range. The Saudis have put the "swing producer" role squarely on the US oil shale industry.  In response, US production has peaked and is slowing - but not as quickly as anticipated (see graph). Over-production is still putting downward pressure on prices.
  • With regard to real estate, existing home sales have been flat since 2012.  Within this overall picture, however, there are localized exceptions. Ship Channel cities such as Baytown and Channelview are still seeing strong sales, low inventories, and price appreciation. Meanwhile, sales are sagging and inventory is growing in "oily" neighborhoods like Memorial, the Energy Corridor and the Woodlands.  Houston is also losing our affordability edge relative to the rest of the country.
  • With regard to construction, residential home builders have spent the last several years putting up executive mega-mansions. Demand, however, has now shifted into average homes, with a lack of inventory in the middle market.  Apartment complexes and commercial lease space are both overbuilt, with declining occupancy rates.  Retail, however, has been "right-sized" throughout this economic cycle.

Many thanks to the Bauer School of Business, University of Houston, for hosting this excellent analysis of Houston's economy. And if you are wondering how your own home is faring in this challenging economy, click here for an instant property valuation.

May 10, 2016

Give Yourself the Best | by Randy Guttenberger

Randy Guttenberger of Ceros, Inc. speaking to the agents of Roger Martin Properties"What is your best time of the day?" Life Coach Randy Guttenberger asked the agents of Roger Martin Properties. 

Joanna Ide, the former principal at West U Elemenatary, says her best time is the early morning.  Sachin Chawdhry says his best time is the end of the day, when he can have uninterrupted conversation with his daughter. Cynthia Candela, who enjoys dancing in between home sales, says, "I love all times of the day. I jump up every morning, play with my teacup poodle and get ready to work out.  I am grateful for every day." Vicki Chu enjoys her quiet time in the morning.  "That's why I take my time then, before I come to the office," she says. "I like to meditate and plan my day."

"If you don't give your best to yourself, it impacts four relationships," explains Guttenberger. Any emotional reactions or wounds stored in the brain will affect four relationships in your life. 

  • First, with yourself.
  • Second, with your mate.
  • Third, with your children.
  • Fourth, with your co-workers; most with those that have authority over you or that you have authority over.

"When your body language says `I've got this," it pre-sells your product," says Guttenberger. "People are drawn to knowledge.  This will resonate with your clients."

Similarly, he says, "Look at when you are sluggish.  Feed yourself at this time and don't enter any conflicts. Use this time as recess."

Roger Martin Properties Vice President Ann Martin says when she hits that time, she will take a walk around the block.  "I refer to that time as stumble, mumble, fumble and grumble, and it should not be shared," she says. 

"Major in the majors," says Guttengerger.  "You are in the business to succeed.  He likened each person's support circle to a board, similar to the boards that guide companies. 

"You need three types of people on your board.  You need three people who believe in you, three people who tell you what you don't want to hear and three people to open doors and provide resource direction," he says. 

Guttenberger's new book, Managing Your Crazy Self, will be released this summer.

May 9, 2016

A Healthy Home from New Living in Rice Village

Roger Martin Properties’ intrepid sales team recently visited Rice Village’s mecca of sustainability, New Living. This store promotes healthy and “green” lifestyles by improving indoor air quality. They carry products such as organic bedding, low-VOC paints, air filtration systems, water purifiers and furniture hand-made from re-claimed hardwoods.

“We didn’t set out to open a factory,” says Mary Beth HaubriBen Baron and Roger Martin discuss eco-friendly furnitureck, Health and Wellness Coordinator for New Living. “We wanted to build beautiful furniture that inspires you.”

Working from an East End factory, the artisans employ all non-toxic finishes and organic and natural materials. All woods are locally-foraged and formaldehyde-free.

“Our standards are the purest in the industry and we use the highest performing tools on the planet,” says furniture sales manager Ben Baron.

During the tour, Roger Martin discovered Baron lived in the same 21st Street co-op dorm that Roger helped found while he was a student at the University of Texas in the 60s.

“What a coincidence!” says Roger. “When I was organizing the UT coops, I actually opened an Austin furniture store as well, so I kept experiencing déjà vu as we talked.”

New Living is located at 6111 Kirby in Rice Village, in the former Wagner Hardware building.

May 4, 2016

6012 Buffalo Speedway | LEASED in West University Place!

6012 Buffalo Speedway is a remodeled 1940's home in sought after West University Place. With mature foliage and a great location, this 3 bedroom, two and a half bath home has had a number of its original finishes restored and updated.

Property Information

  • House Size: 2,412 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 15,000 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Listed by John Marshall
  • MLS #36454494


  • Beautifully landscaped front yard
  • Convenient front circle driveway.
  • Re-finished hardwood floors throughout.
  • Flex room great as an office, breakfast nook, or play area.
  • Spacious living and dining rooms.
  • Three porches with original mosaic tile floors
  • Stainless steel appliances in kitchen. New island in the center.
  • Secondary bedrooms have great natural lighting.
  • Oversized master bedroom has own door leading to enclosed porch.
  • Quarters over the garage. Full bath with shower.
  • Screened in porch overlooks the backyard of the house.
  • Large backyard with mature trees, grape arbor, and pergola

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

April 29, 2016

6519 Mercer | LEASED in West University Place!

6519 Mercer Street is a cozy 2 or 3 bedroom cottage built on a large 7,500 square foot lot. This comfortable home has an open floorplan, a large master bedroom with its own sitting area, and a flexible upstairs landing that could serve a number of purposes!

Property Information

  • LEASED FOR: $3,500/mo
  • House Size: 1,773 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 7,500 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 2 or 3
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full
  • Listed by Christopher Martin
  • MLS #44187439


  • Mature landscaping.
  • Open floorplan.
  • Hardwood flooring, fresh paint downstairs.
  • Large living room with under stair storage cubby.
  • Dining room with large window for natural light surrounded by shelving.
  • Spacious kitchen with Maytag dishwasher and Jenn-Air 4-burner electric stove-top & single oven.. Refrigerator remains with home. Large counters, plentiful drawers and storage space. Large pantry.
  • Family area open to kitchen with wall of cupboards for storage.
  • Utility/Mud Room located at back of kitchen opens to backyard deck.
  • First floor master bedroom with large closet, sitting area. Sitting area could serve as a nursery or office space as well.
  • First floor hallway bath has a walk-in shower.
  • Cozy upstairs bedroom. Full bath with tub, walk-in closet. Upstairs landing space is flexible, could serve as office space, play area, or a third bedroom.
  • Lovely backyard deck with mature landscaping.
  • Long driveway. Carport has an outdoor storage or work area.
  • Great location in the heart of West University Place. Home is move-in ready!

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

April 28, 2016

3321 University Boulevard | LEASED in West University Place!

3321 University Boulevard is a stunning five bedroom, three full bath home located in West University Place! This home has great features such as spacious rooms, an open-concept floorplan, and a large screened-in porch located on a huge corner lot!

Property Information

  • LEASED FOR: $6600/mo
  • House Size: 3,639 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 12,000 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 3 full
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #95074085


  • Hardwood floors, crown moldings, recessed lights, high ceilings, plentiful built-ins, and neutral wall colors throughout the home.
  • Open floorplan.
  • Large living room with fireplace overlooks University Boulevard.
  • Formal dining area open to living room, study.
  • Two story study/library with skylights and built-in bookshelves.
  • Family room with second fireplace opens to kitchen. Plentiful space for personalized furniture placement.
  • Updated kitchen with beamed high ceiling, stainless steel built-in appliances, Sub Zero refrigerator, subway tiled backsplash, plentiful cabinet space and breakfast bar.
  • Breakfast area has bay window, two pantries, and built-in secretary desk.
  • Master bedroom suite has a large walk-in closet and beautiful oversized bathroom. Jet tub with marble surround, built-in cabinets, a floor-to-ceiling glass block shower, separate sink room with double bowl sinks and marble counter tops. Backdoor access to screened-in porch.
  • Large 28' x 22' screened-in porch for enjoying an evening breeze. Oversized porch swing, fans, lights, access to bedrooms two and three as well as the master bath.
  • Second and third bedrooms have hardwoods, share their own hall bath.
  • Fourth and fifth bedrooms are carpeted, share a second hall bath.
  • No-maintenance backyard. Large driveway with electric gate.
  • Great location in the heart of West University Place. Home is move-in ready! 

>Great West U Homes for Sale!

April 26, 2016

2423 Wentworth Oaks Court | SOLD in League City!

2423 Wentworth Oaks Court is beautiful patio home located in the gated golf course community of Fairway Pointe. With lush, mature landscaping, this jewel of a two bedroom home is located in a park-like setting amidst the South Shore Country Club Golf Course.

Property Information

  • House Size: 1,714 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 5,983 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 2 Full
  • Listed by Jim Barker
  • MLS #8325880
  • SOLD FOR: $232,500 


  • New carpeting, new paint, ten foot tall ceilings, and deep crown moldings.
  • Tiled front living area with floor outlets, and entry closet. Open floorplan to kitchen and dining area.
  • Dining area has chair molding, crown moldings, and a ten foot tall ceiling.
  • Kitchen with breakfast bar. 42" cabinets, five burner cooktop, and large pantry. Under-counter cabinets are all custom pull-out design for easy access. Washer and dryer behind louvered doors.
  • Large master bedroom with large wall of windows overlooking the backdoor, allowing for plentiful natural light. Tall ceiling with crown moldings.
  • Master bathroom has double sink, a jet tub, a separate shower, and a large walk-in closet.
  • Den/Playroom could easily be a third bedroom with the addition of a wall to close the room off.
  • Lush backyard landscaping. Large enough for a pool, well-maintained with an auto-sprinkler system. Pergola covered patio is great for relaxing.
  • Gated subdivision with entry controlled by individual access codes and remote controls for property owners. Fairway Pointe is located amidst the South Shore Country Club Golf Course.

April 15, 2016

1138 Oxford Street | SOLD in the Heights!

1138 Oxford Street is a beautiful four bedroom home located in the Heights. This well-maintained property has four bedrooms, three full baths, one half bath. Formal living and dining room, family room, and game room.

Please click HERE to enjoy a virtual tour of the home!

Property Information

  • House Size: 2,886 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 3,327 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 3 Full, 1 Half
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #7262547
  • Sold For: $735,000


  • Wrought iron privacy fence and wide front porch with lots of room for chairs and porch swings. Street is lined with beautiful mature trees.
  • Open floor plan with front formal living and dining rooms. Gas log fireplace, leaded glass front door, stained glass accent pieces. Plantation shutters downstairs.
  • Formal dining room has block paneling, extensive crown moldings, and elegant light fixtures.
  • Open island kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, plentiful storage, and see-through cabinets. Kitchen includes a secretary area with glass front cabinets and a desk for computer work. Breakfast bar overlooks breakfast room and family room.
  • Breakfast room has French doors leading to the deck, beautiful hardwood floors, and back stairs leading to the fourth bedroom, game room, and a full bath.
  • Family room with terrific built-ins and large windows for natural lighting. Open floor plan.
  • Spacious master bedroom suite with convenient built-ins, coved ceiling, hardwood floors and a large walk-in closet. 
  • Master bath has a frameless shower, jet tub, and double sinks. Oiled bronze hardware. Stained glass privacy window.
  • Second and third bedrooms share a Hollywood-style bathroom. Both are spacious with good closet space and new carpet.
  • Game room has a full bath with access to the fourth "nanny" bedroom. Built-ins make the bedroom suitable as a small office as well.
  • Second floor utility room. Front loading washer and dryer remain. Separate sink, cabinet space, and broom closet storage.
  • Full sized covered back deck adds additional space. Plenty of room for an outside grill, chairs, and tables!

>More Great Heights Homes for Sale

April 15, 2016

3914 Marquette | LEASED in West University Place

3914 Marquette Street is a charming, well-maintained West University Place cottage now available for lease. This home features hardwoods, a combo living and dining area, three well-sized bedrooms, and more!

Property Information

  • House Size: 1,382 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 5,000 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2 full
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS # 66095623


  • Front porch with porch swing. Long driveway with a single car garage.
  • Spacious combo living and dining room. Beautiful hardwood floors, fireplace, and large windows to for natural lighting.
  • Lovely kitchen with a butcher block island, glass front storage, tile backsplash, built-in oven and microwave, and plenty of storage and work space. The refrigerator remains.
  • Breakfast room with washer and driver behind louvered doors.
  • Master Bedroom with French doors overlooking the backyard. Spacious dimensions offer plenty of options for furniture placement. Hardwood floors.
  • Second front bedroom currently in use as a home office. Has access to one of the home's full baths.
  • Third bedroom opens to the living and dining room and shares the full bath with the front bedroom. 
  • Large backyard, great for gardening and barbecue.
  • Wonderful location in West University Place near Colonial Park.
  • Zoned to West University Place Elementary.

>More Great West U Homes for Sale