Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

Jan. 6, 2012

Jo Anna Ide - Realtor of the Week, Houston Chronicle

Congratulations to Jo Anna Ide, who was named REALTOR OF THE WEEK by the Houston Chronicle.  See the article, below...

Education foundation of Realtor’s career

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

"Whether leading her college football team onto victory as a cheerleader, attaining a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a Ph.D., working as a principal in an elementary school, and now as a Realtor - Jo Anna Ide has been successful in all endeavors.

"A native Texan from Texarkana, Ide moved to the Bayou City to attend the University of Houston. She met Roger Martin, broker/owner of Roger Martin Properties, while working as principal of West University Elementary School. He would bring his clients to talk with Ide about the School. Martin also worked with the PTA and served on a number of projects with Ide.

"'I always wanted to work in real estate, and when I decided to become a Realtor, my immediate decision was to join Roger Martin Properties. He is a wonderful broker, very well respected, and runs a great company,' said Ide, who went on to earn her Texas real estate broker license and several of the industry’s designations.

"'It was an easy transition from being a school principal to selling real estate. Many of my clients have been parents I worked with at West University Elementary and even a few clients were children in the school while I was there.'

"Having lived in West University before moving to River Oaks, Ide specializes in the sale of homes inside and around Loop 610. She’s listed and sold homes in West University, River Oaks, Memorial and other close-in areas. Ide is willing to travel to outlying communities in greater Houston or elsewhere to help her clients.

"Her first sale in the beginning of her real estate practice was a home in River Oaks that sold for $700,000. Ide’s smallest sale was a little house for $125,000 and overall, she has sold homes in all price ranges up to $3 million during her 12-year career in real estate.

“'I am an extremely hands-on person and ‘what you see is what you get’ from me in attaining a smooth transaction in closing. I’m all about relationship and feel practically married to the families and individuals I work with while going through transactions with them,' said Ide, who never thought she would leave working in Education and now realizes real estate is all about educating clients.

“'It’s important that I know all about the neighborhoods and surrounding areas where I am listing and showing properties. I have to stay up to date on current developments, statistics and much more so I can pass information on to my clients. Also, I am continuing my education because there are often new laws and regulations and I want to know how they apply to my profession.'

"Ide feels if she does a good job in helping her clients and maintains good friendships with them, they will want to work with her again. She loves people and enjoys the challenge of helping buyers find their dream home and assisting people in the sale of their homes by professionally promoting listings in publications and on several sites on the Internet. Ide’s joy is seeing people happy at the end of their transactions."

Well done, Jo Anna!

Roger Martin 

Dec. 19, 2011

5413 Blossom St - SOLD in Rice Military

5413 Blossom St is a free-standing patio home in Rice Military.  This 3 beroom, 3.5 bath home is ideal for those who like to entertain and/or office at home.  The chefs' kitchen has double ovens, an island range, and a bread warmer...all in top stainless steel! The refrigerator is included, and there's even a wine 'fridge and second sink in a pass-through to the dining room. The master bathroom has separate jetted tub and shower. Large closet in master and coffee bar with space for a small 'fridge. A generous fenced-in yard rounds out this gem in Rice Military.

Property Information

  • Sold For: $345,000
  • House Size: 2,201 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 2,186 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 3.5
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #66775480

Features

  • Bamboo floors
  • New carpet on third floor
  • New glass in master shower

>More Great Rice Military Homes for Sale

 

Oct. 31, 2011

The Drought vs. Your Trees

Drought vs. Your TreesRecently, my homeowners are seeing a new problem – the drought is costing us a lot of trees.

This is something of a cycle.  Here in Texas, the extended drought has drastically weakened the root systems of our shade trees. Then the big autumn storms finally blow through, bringing us much-needed rain. However, the storm winds can bring down these drought-weakened trees.  At times, we can be talking about a lot-line to lot-line root ball, which can pack  a lot of damage.

So check any trees on your lot carefully.  Oaks, in particular, have shallow roots and may be more at risk.  Pine trees, with their deeper tap roots, may be less affected.  Take note of any shade trees that appear stressed, dead, or are leaning suspiciously.  Watch for trees whose root systems extend under your structures.  If you see warning signs, it is a good idea to have your trees evaluated by a professional – before a really big problem occurs!

For help in the City of West University Place, Craig Koehl, West U’s Urban Forester can be a valuable resource in evaluating drought-stricken trees.

Roger Martin

Oct. 29, 2011

Young Scientists at Johnston Middle School

Teaching from Space - Johnston Middle SchoolAt Johnston Middle School, what do you get when you mix three things – some bright young minds, several NASA space professionals, and a bunch of real-life scientists?

What you get is an explosion of ideas!

Last year, Johnston Middle School hosted a live discussion with two astronauts in the international Space Station.  This year, the students (and their sibs from Parker Elementary) have the opportunity to design real-life experiments which astronauts will perform in the microgravity of space.  Student experiments can range the gamut from crystals and bacteria, to aquatic life, DNA, tissue samples and plant growth.

Each student is given an opaque container about the size of a cigar or a test tube.  This is their "laboratory". Three tiny ampoules are sealed inside the container.  At specified times, the astronauts will break open the ampoules and shake up the contents.  The same experiment will be performed here in our normal earth gravity, and the results will be compared and analyzed once the space flight is over.

So what do you get when the astronauts mix three things in space for our student experiments?

We are not at all sure yet… but stay tuned for Johnston’s Mission One to the International Space Station!

For additional information, please contact the SSEP Coordinators Lanena Berry (lberry1@houstonisd.org) or Amber Pinchback (apinchba@houstonisd.org).

Roger Martin

Posted in Our Schools
Oct. 24, 2011

Roger Martin - Realtor of the Week

Roger Martin, of Roger Martin PropertiesThanks to the Houston Chronicle, who has named me REALTOR OF THE WEEK.  See the article below..

West University home to Roger Martin and his company

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

There is no place like home and work in West University for Roger Martin, who established his full-service real estate company in the small city surrounded by Houston in November 1989. It has been a major presence there ever since.

Now about to celebrate the boutique real estate company’s 22nd year in West University, Martin said the company’s first office in West University was on Edloe Street across the street from West University Elementary School’s playground. He could watch his son playing from his office window, and his wife Ann Ayers Martin worked nearby as a geologist.

Later, Martin moved the company to the old bank building on Edloe and remained there until tropical storm Allison flooded it. His next move was to another location on Edloe, next door to the Edloe Street Cafe and Deli, where Martin holds Tuesday evening get-togethers on the cafe’s patio just to relax and enjoy camaraderie with clients and West University friends and neighbors.

Throughout the years, Roger Martin Properties has grown and maintained a small-town atmosphere and the sophistication of a larger firm. Its success and service is known in the city of Houston by the company’s specialization inside Loop 610, including West University, Southside Place, Bellaire, the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, Southampton, River Oaks, Southgate, Tanglewood and the Memorial Villages. Roger Martin Properties also helps clients sell and buy homes in outlying areas of greater Houston.

“I was destined to work in real estate. My first real job when I was a teanager was working for a Realtor, mowing yards in Midland... and while attending college I was very involved in the housing co-op movement,” said Martin, who began his real estate career in Autsin after graduating from the Univeristy of Texas with a bachelor of arts degree.

“I have been very fortunate to have excellent Realtors and staff associated with the company. I finally convinced my wife to join the company as office manager several years ago. Now my wife and I finally convinced our son, Christopher, to join our staff at Roger Martin Properties. He recently graduated from the University of Tulsa. Together, Ann and Christopher are working to enhance the company with new and advanced technology.”

“We will do whatever it takes to assist people with their residential needs,” said Martin, who has helped people move their belongings and given them rides to and from the airport. “Over the years we have grown with our customers and become good friends with them. Many have repeated business and referred new clients because they know we are dependable in our service and an excellent source of information. Our office is always open for our clients and friends to drop in and have a cup of coffee with us.”

Thanks again to the Houston Chronicle for this article!

Roger Martin

Sept. 10, 2011

"Rising Tide" by John M. Barry

Rising Tide by John M BarryHere in Houston, we know all about natural disasters.  We know how to clean up after them.  We know how to feed people who have lost everything.  We know how to take care of people while they get back on their feet.

It hasn’t always been like that.

In the teeth of the Mississippi Flood of 2011, we visited some friends in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.  At the time, everyone was anxiously watching the news to see if the great spillways would be opened, diverting flood waters from the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya.  They were.  One of our friends gave me a book titled Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry, 1997.  It made fascinating reading – especially against the backdrop of the 2011 flood.

John M. Barry is an absolutely gifted writer – able to make dense, complicated issues as gripping as a detective novel.  His vivid descriptions of the people, places and events of this enormous natural disaster rival only the stories about the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston.

The Mississippi River drains 31 of the 48 contiguous states, so a system-wide flood has national impact. At one point during the disaster, the river was one hundred miles wide and over thirty feet deep.  There were 40,000 refugees from one county alone, lined up on an eight-foot wide strip of levee.

Scientific in-fighting, political back-room deals, and social engineering - this book has it all.  This is not an “easy read”, but it is an excellent one.

Recommended by Ann M.

Posted in What West U Reads
Sept. 4, 2011

Lighting Tips - How to Light Up Your Home!

Lighting, Page 1 CroppedWhen preparing your home for sale, keep in mind these lighting tips, taken from a Ballard Design catalog, include some great suggestions on fitting shades and chandeliers to the furniture and rooms that they illuminate.  For example…

  • Add together the length and width of your room.  If your answer is 24 feet, then a 24 inch chandelier will be perfectly proportioned to the space.
  • Multiply the length and width of the room, and multiply the result by 1.5.  This number is the total wattage you will need to adequately light the room.
  • My personal favorite rule of thumb is that all chandeliers should be at least seven feet from the floor.  This allows tall people (like me!) to pass safely underneath.

A great-looking house is important in today's real estate market, so check out the “How To” section of the Ballard Design website, for more problem-solving decorating tips.

Roger Martin

Sept. 1, 2011

2633 Pemberton - SOLD in West University Place

2633 Pemberton Drive is a New England style home that was built in 1940 and updated in the 1990's.  Architectural details include alcoves, niches, crown moldings, plantation shutters, coved and vaulted ceilings, working fireplaces, a round window, and a bay window with a window seat.

Property Information

  • Sold For: $1,108,000
  • House Size: 2,674 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 9,450 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3 or 4
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #1,150.000

Features

  • Hardwood floors
  • Island kitchen with granite
  • French doors and windows
  • Two-car garage with workshop downstairs and studio upstairs

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

 

Aug. 31, 2011

Housing Market Stabilizing

There are clear signs of the housing market stabilizing, both in our daily real estate transactions and in published economic sources. The following analysis is exerpted from an article by the Federal Reserve Bank of Texas.  The emphasis in the highlighted sections is mine.  TRM

Housing Market Stabilizing“…When will the housing market stabilize and support the economic recovery? We suggest that new home construction may stabilize and start recovering slowly within the next year or so. Our econometric results also indicate that national house prices may hit bottom late this year or in early 2012 and then recover slowly…

The most recent house price and construction run-up exceeded levels recorded during the 1990’s economic expansion, when unemployment rates fell even lower and income grew faster. Why is this? Standard econometric models [of supply and demand] … simply cannot explain the surging house prices and building seen in the mid-2000’s.

Our research suggests the missing factor is mortgage credit standards, which, with other factors, determine whether potential homebuyers qualify for a loan. More people qualified for a mortgage during the so-called subprime boom because lenders eased the minimum down-payment ratios, maximum debt-payment-to-income rations, minimum credit scores and other criteria…

During the subprime boom, construction of single-family homes surged to a high of 1.8 million units per year, far above the 1.1 million units required to cover population growth and physical depreciation of structures. Construction then collapsed, falling roughly 75 percent from the peak by mid-2009… [I]n June 2009, housing permits picked up somewhat, aided by a series of federal tax credit programs, many aimed at first-time homebuyers… Before expiring, these tax credits temporarily boosted home transactions, partly by shifting sales forward, although the housing market’s fundamental weakness remained…

Affordability has [since] improved, and the impact of the supply overhang may be overstated because deeply underwater and foreclosed homes are concentrated in a handful of states, including Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada. With job growth expanding in areas where less overbuilding occurred, housing starts will likely pick up in states such as Texas. Additionally, as the economic recovery continues, the pace of household formation is likely to rise, bolstering demand. On balance, many forecasters see single-family home construction recovering slowly to around 500,000 units next year from an annual rate of 400,000 in early 2011…

The housing sector contributes to gross domestic product growth directly via new home construction and indirectly through consumer spending. In the early and mid-2000s, the contribution was large. When the subprime bubble burst, housing exerted a substantial drag on the economy. The loan losses and increased uncertainty that accompanied the bust also slowed the economy by impairing the ability of financial intermediaries and securities markets to provide finance. Although the short-run outlook for the housing market is uncertain, it appears that new home construction and house prices at the national level will stabilize and start slowly recovering within the next year or so.”

Exerpted from When Will the U.S. Housing Market Stabilize? By John V. Duca, David Luttrell and Anthony Murphy, Feberal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Vol. 6, No. 8, August 2011.

Roger Martin

Aug. 30, 2011

Lost Dog!

Louie the Lost DogWe are looking for Louie who went missing on the afternoon of Sunday, August 28, 2011.  The City of West University Place always does an excellent job of finding and returning missing animals in our city, but Louis has apparently escaped them this time.

Louis is a German Shorthair/Labrador mix.  He has the pointed nose, short hair, and slim arched tail of the pointer side of his family.  He has the black coloring and flop ears of his Labrador relatives. Louis is ten years old - his snout is entirely white, almost back to his eyes.  He has white on his chest, and a touch of white on his paws.  Louis is a neutered male, medium in size, VERY friendly, and all his shots were updated on 6/9/2011.  He is the most intelligent dog we have ever owned, and full of mischief.  This little Houdini has managed to squirm his way out of every collar or harness we have ever strapped on him. Then he goes to town taking the collars off of other dogs.

Louis went missing from Mercer Street, in the City of West University Place. Our yard backs up to Poor Farm Ditch, which in turn feeds into Braes Bayou. If he went south, it is possible that he could go quite a distance along the banks of the bayous – which would also keep him away from traffic and major intersections.

Clearly, Louis is too old to meet the usual criteria for a cute, adoptable young animal.  So if you see a lost dog matching this description, PLEASE call me at 713-661-2300.

Thanks!

Roger Martin