Roger Martin and Life in the Loop


July 8, 2012

Tips for a Sellers Market

Surviving in a True Seller's Market

There is an incredibly tight real estate market right now - which is no secret to those of us in the real estate profession.  Because of the financial turmoil of recent years, young people are entering the real estate market faster than builders can supply them with homes.

Be warned that this is definitely a market where sellers can afford to be picky.  You may find yourself competing for scarce listings. So here are some tips for surviving in a tight rental market...

  • Shop a little under your price point.  You may have to bid the property up above list price.
  • Move fast when you spot the place you want - it may not be there tomorrow.
  • If your credit is iffy, clean it up first, and
  • Have your pre-qualification letter ready and filled out.


Having said all that, it is still possible to find the home you love in a sellers market.  So come on in.... the water's fine!

Roger Martin


July 8, 2012

Texas Economy 2011 - 4th in Nation

Texas Economy fourth in nationThe Texas economy ranked fourth in the nation for 2011, according to figures released by the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The US economy as a whole grew at a rather tepid rate of 1.6% relative to 2010.  And remember, 2% is the official threshold for declaring ourselves Safely-Out-Of-The-Recession.  The Texas economy, however, grew at a stunning 3.3%.  That is more than twice the national average and well out of recession range!

We also ranked...

  •  Number 1 in population growth (1.67%),
  •  Number 2 in real GDP growth ($1.5 trillion), and
  •  Number 3 in employment increases (2.1%).

The Texas economy is now the second largest in the USA, ranking behind California and displacing New York.  Actually, if Texas were a country, we would be the fifteenth largest economy in the world.

If this trend continues, it is great news for us here in Houston and for the Texas economy as a whole.  And it is great news for real estate as well.  Jobs bring in people - and those people need housing - all of which bolsters our housing market and the Texas economy.

July 8, 2012

Five Star Real Estate Professional 2012 - Roger Martin

 Roger Martin, Five Star Real Estate Professional in Texas Monthly magazineI have just been named a Five Star Real Estate Professional for 2012.  Many thanks to my clients (whoever you are) who submitted my name.  It was a wonderful surprise to me!

Five Star Real Estate Professionals make up less than 2% of Houston real estate agents.  To find those agents who provide exceptional service and overall satisfaction, a research team contacts clients, peers and industry experts, asking if they had experience working with a real estate agent.  These agents are then rated according to criteria such as integrity, communication and customer service.

The resulting list for 2012 was printed in the June 2012 issue of Texas Monthly.

Thank you all – I look forward to continuing to provide Unmatched Personal Attention to you all as your newest Five Star Real Estate Professional!  As do all the agents at Roger Martin Properties.

Roger Martin

Posted in Roger Martin
July 7, 2012

Moellers Bakery - Houston's Best Kept Secret

 Moeller's Bakery - Houston's Best Kept Secret - Petit FoursMoellers Bakery is one of Houston's Best Kept Secrets.  Just check out this delicious display of petit fours!

When the craving for sweets overwhelms us, we West University Place residents head across the street to Moellers Bakery, at 4201 Bellaire Blvd.  This is a tradition as old as our neighborhood.  Moellers ( has been serving up fancy cakes since 1930.


Roger Martin

July 7, 2012

Kathleen Jurgens - Congratulations!

 Kathleen JurgensCongratulations to Kathleen Jurgens!

All of us at Roger Martin Properties are justly proud of Kathleen Jurgens, who has just graduated from Lamar High School. During her high school career, Kathleen raised rabbits for the FFA program.  This summer, she is working for Easter Seals. Kathleen plans to attend Houston Community College in the fall, majoring in Education with the goal of teaching disabled children and adults.

Kathleen Jurgens calls herself "an Aspie" (i.e. a person with Aspergers Syndrome).  Like her mentor Dr. Temple Grandin, Kathleen has done a stellar job in coping with the difficulties inherent in this neurological syndrome. In fact, she has served as a representative on several Autism/Aspergers panel discussions and conferences.  Her words and advice have brought comfort and hope to other families struggling with condition.

Well done, Kathleen Jurgens! It is a joy to watch you maturing and achieving your independence.  We are so proud of you!

Ann and Roger Martin

Roger Martin Properties 

Posted in Jane Jurgens
July 5, 2012

Favorite Asian Restaurant #6 - Osaka

Osaka RestaurantNow for sushi!  My Favorite Asian Restaurant #6 is Osaka (713- 838-9812) at 4001 Bellaire Blvd.  I love these guys. The restaurant is a tiny little place -- basically a sushi bar and maybe six tables -- but it is just DELICIOUS. A friend and I tend to meander in and split about three or four sushi rolls and both leave quite full and content. I recommend the Spider Roll, the Crunch Roll, and the Crazy Roll. They do excellent green tea, and as an added bonus, the meal comes with a small scoop of ice cream in green tea or peach flavoring as a palette cleanser after the meal. I've yet to leave feeling unhappy with my meal, and a nice cup of miso soup, tea, and sushi leaves me warm and mellow for the rest of the evening, normally. Price is quite reasonable, really. I think the main draw is probably the rolls: Sushi on its own outside a combo is tasty, but also kinda pricey...but, eh, that is a more universal sushi thing, so it doesn't really bother me. Believe I generally end up spending about $15ish after tip per person here.

So check out my Favorite Asian Restaurant #6 the next time you are in the mood for sushi.

Christopher Martin

Roger Martin Properties

Posted in Where West U Eats
July 3, 2012

Favorite Burger Joint #1 - Jerry Built

Jerry Built RestaurantOur newest Favorite Burger Joint near West University Place is Jerry Built, at 3501 W Holcombe Blvd (

There has been much mention of their heathy food menu, including organic, natural and locally-sourced food.  Personally, I find the burgers a little dry, but the chili dogs and sweet potato fries are top-rate.  And the milk shakes are to die for!

However, the kid-friendly environment is worth mentioning as well.  The restaurant is sleek and contemporary.  The walls are floor-to ceiling chalkboards, with plenty of chalk provided for young artists.  And when was the last time you saw kids waiting patiently in line to wash their hands????  The automatic hand-washing station is a big hit with the youngsters (and with REALTOR John Marshall, the biggest kid in the room!).

This fun-filled environment, combined with good food and great customer service, is designed to keep us all coming back for more and makes this our Favorite Burger Joint #1.  Good thing they have built another parking lot!

Roger Martin

Roger Martin Properties 


June 22, 2012

3936 Marlowe St - SOLD in West University Place

3936 Marlowe Street is a 6,000 square foot lot for sale in West University Place.  The lot has mature trees, and has been cleared.

Property Information

  • Sold For: $354,050
  • Lot Size: 6,000 sq ft
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #1892432

>More Great West U Homes for Sale


June 21, 2012

Favorite Asian Restaurant #5 - Vietopia

Vietopia RestaurantAlrighty, now my Favorite Asian Restaurant list divergences from Chinese, Szechuan, etc. to Vietopia (, (713) 664-7303).

Vietopia serves (surprise) Vietnamese food for the most part, and the location at 5176 Buffalo Speedway (noticing a pattern to where I eat? Thank goodness Buffalo Speedway is no longer under construction!) next to Kroger's and just north of West University Place is my usual stomping ground.

There are three things that make Vietopia one of my Favorite Asian Restaurants, and that draw me back time and again.  These are their vermicelli bowls, their Vietnamese egg rolls, and their soft spring rolls. I LOVE those menu items, and that's why I heartily recommend the lunch menu, since it lets me get a bowl of pork and eggroll vermicelli served with a soft spring roll (With spicy peanut sauce on the side!), all in one go. They also do an excellent iced Vietnamese coffee as a post-meal thing. Hmmm, now that I think it, I'm about due for another run through here, so, eh, maybe my next day off!

Christopher Martin

Roger Martin Properties

Posted in Where West U Eats
June 17, 2012

Laurie Conner and John Marshall Join Roger Martin Properties

Laurie Conner and John Marshall, Sales Associates with Roger Martin Properties 

I am thrilled to announce that Laurie Conner and John Marshall have joined Roger Martin Properties as real estate agents.  To introduce them, please see the following article from Real Estate News, by Jude Patronella, Homes Correspondent of the Houston Chronicle.

Roger Martin, broker, owner of Roger Martin Properties, recently announced two new sales associates have joined his company.  Laurie Conner and John Marshall will be working together as real estate partners.

Marshall grew up in the Dallas area, yearning to be a star on Broadway. He majored in theater and choir, earning a BS in Education from East Texas Baptist College and a MS in Education from Steven F. Austin College. Marshall has spent 25 years in Houston, and most of that time he was a choir director in the Kingwood, Fort Bend and Houston independent school districts. For the last eight years, Marshall has been the magnet coordinator at Longfellow Elementary and Johnston Middle schools.

“Everything I know about customer service, I learned as a teacher,” Marshall said. Teaching is all about people skills. To be a success, you need a true love for what you do. And I absolutely love being able to find people their dream homes.”

Conner grew up in upstate New York and earned a bachelor of Music Education from Southeast Missouri State University. She has taught music in the public and private sectors, with students ranging in age from preschool to college, and including piano, and vocal and instrumental music. For the last 11 years, Conner has been the award-winning choir director at Johnston Middle School.

“I bring a keen ear to my classroom,” Conner said. “I use the same fine-tuned listening skills to gauge client feedback.”

“We are thrilled to have John and Laurie joining us. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and they already are up and running and working with clients in the Meyerland area. John and Laurie both love older homes with architectural interest, and they love seeing them renovated,” said Ann Martin, vice president of Roger Martin Properties.

Laurie Conner and John Marshall are going to be fabulous at delivering the Unmatched Personal Attention that clients of Roger Martin Properties deserve and expect!

Roger Martin