Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

March 7, 2011

John Brown -- West U’s Chief Building Official

John Brown, West U Chief Building Inspector, wins awardCongratulations are in order for John Brown, West U’s Chief Building Official.  John is a Director-at-Large of the Building Officials Association of Texas , and was recently awarded their Jim Whatley Building Official of the Year Award.  “It was a real surprise,” said John.  “I am really honored.” The award is for an official who has “worked tirelessly to provide citizens with safe buildings in which to live and work.”

“I love West U,” said John.  “I’ve been here since 2008.”  Prior to that time, John served in Rosenberg, Jersey Village, and Katy.   John oversees West U’s building inspectors, and is responsible for enforcing residential and commercial building codes in our city.

Roger Martin

Feb. 11, 2011

Pest Control Tips from the Bug Guy

Cold weather can mean night-time visitors. Call your pest control provider.The onset of our cold snap means some critters may try to get indoors where it is warm.  Here are some helpful pest control hints from Robert Schoppe, of Drop Dead Pest Control....

If you hear night-time noises on these cold nights, do not delay.  Immediate action is required because you probably have unwanted visitors -- such as racoons, feral cats, 'possums, or those "squirrels" (the ones with the hairless tails).  Call your pest control service immediately.  Your service professional can provide humane trapping and removal of these large animal pests.

Ask your pest control service provider about organic products.  Organic products can be as effective as the nasty stuff, and are much healthier for your family.  For more information on organic pest control, check out the National Pest Management Association website at http://www.pestworld.org/.

The way to eliminate offensive or stale odors in your home is surpisingly low-tech.  Just use a Glade "Neutral Air" aerosol spray or deploy some dryer sheets.

Recently, the Houston area has seen a huge increase in bed-bug infestations.  Don't panic  -- but if you suspect you have this problem, call your pest control provider for treatment immediately.

Roger Martin

Jan. 24, 2011

6523 Westchester St - SOLD in West University Place

6523 Westchester is a charming West University Place brick cottage with a great floor plan located on a 50' x 150' lot. 

Property Information

  • Sold For: $599,000
  • House Size: 1,803 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 7,500 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #24352054

Features

  • Hardwood
  • Dine-in kitchen with garden window
  • Den features built-ins and gas fireplace

>More Great West U Homes for Sale

 

Jan. 19, 2011

Electronic Signatures - Handy for Real Estate

Docusign - electronic signatures are valid on real estate contractsElectronic signatures are being used more and more often in real estate deals.  They are safe and fast.  In fact, I have just processed my first contract offer using electronic signatures. I have to say I liked it a lot.  At Roger Martin Properties, our client base is heavy on doctors, attorneys and other busy professionals. I expect electronic signatures to be quite popular with them as well.

E-signature technology has been around since 2003, when Congress enacted legislation that made electronic records and signatures legally binding. In the case of a real estate offer, all documents are secured “in the cloud” and completely encrypted so that only the proper individuals can read and sign them. A court-admissible audit trail is created for each document, and every change is logged, dated, and time-stamped. To read up on the legal intricacies of electronic documents, go to www.docusign.com.

In practical terms, this means that we can now eliminate a lot of time spent faxing/emailing offers to multiple parties who sign individual documents. The obvious benefit to our clients is that we can respond more quickly in a competitive bidding environment. And it will be especially useful for international or out-of-town customers.

Be aware, however, that title companies still insist on pen-and-ink signatures on your final closing documents – and then only after first viewing your photo ID. And of course, we can still use paper copies if our clients prefer that method.

But for now, those electronic signatures were really convenient.  They made it possible for me to finalize my client’s offer while I waited in line to purchase my sack of dog food!

Roger Martin

Note:  this article also ran in the Real Estate News column of the Houston Chronicle on February 27, 2011.

Jan. 7, 2011

Houston Home Prices Expected to Rise in 2011

Houston Home Prices to rise in 2011Forbes.com predicted that Houston home prices will rise in 2011, according to this article dated January 6, 2011...

"Today the real estate research provider released its monthly Clear Capital Home Data Index (HDI) market report, recapping the price fluctuations of 2010 and asserting market valuation forecasts for 2011.

"According to the report 70% of the U.S.'s major markets dropped in value in 2010 and 2011 will witness further price declines.

"... Thirty-five out of 50 [of the largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas] are expected to further depreciate this year, pulling the average national values down another -3.6% by this time next year.

"But there is a shining beacon of hope in this scenario: the other 15 metros. The national market as a whole may still be hemorrhaging value but some cities are already sprouting the beginnings of a property value rebound...

"... A list of the top 10 cities that Clear Capital expects will rise in property value in 2011[includes] ... 2. Houston, TX: 3.6% price increase y/y."

Morgan Brennan, Forbes.com

To read the full article, click here.

Great news for us to hear that Houston home prices are expected to rise in 2011!

Roger Martin

Dec. 31, 2010

Roger Martin — HAR Top Producer for 2010

Roger Martin, of Roger Martin PropertiesMany thanks to the Houston Association of Realtors, who has named me one of their 2010 Top Producers for my work with real estate buyers. And special thanks to all my clients who made this possible.

Roger Martin

Dec. 31, 2010

Roger Martin – HAR Top Producer 4th Quarter 2010

Roger Martin of Roger Martin Properties - HAR Top ProducerThanks to the Houston Association of Realtors, who has named me one of their 2010 4th Quarter Top Producers for my work with real estate buyers.  And many thanks to my wonderful clients, who made this award possible.

Roger Martin

Dec. 30, 2010

1509 Morse - SOLD in the River Oaks Area

1509 Morse is a classic Montrose brick bungalow, updated and expanded for modern living.  Vaulted master bedroom suite with fireplace is located upstairs.

Property Information

  • Sold For: $375,000
  • House Size: 1,777 sq ft
  • Lot Size: 5,250 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 3 or 4
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Listed by Roger Martin
  • MLS #40703246

Features

  • Hardwoods
  • Two bedrooms down, Master bedroom upstairs
  • Updated kitchen with granite countertops and tile backsplash.  Island w/ jennaire cooktop.
  • Converted garage

>More Great River Oaks Area Homes for Sale

 

Dec. 13, 2010

Houston Shopping Ranked Best in Nation by Forbes.com

Houston Shopping Best In NationAlright, it’s official! Houston shopping is the best in the nation!  I guess that means that we Houstonians are the biggest Shopaholics in the USA!

Forbes.com has just ranked all the major metropolitan areas in the country for their retail savvy, and Houston topped the list.  Surprisingly, hot spots such as New York and San Francisco fell to the bottom of the list.

The ranking is based on amount of retail space, number of major malls, the Consumer Price Index, and the sales tax for each city.  In fact, a fourth of the retail shopping space in the US is located in Texas.  Here in Houston, we have a LOT of shopping space (both mega-malls and boutiques) and a relatively LOW tax rate.  The combination pushed us to first place.

To read the full story by Meghan Casserly of Forbes.com, click here. 

I am pleased to learn that Houston shopping opportunities lead the nation.  Yes, we Houstonians DO love to shop.  But the larger lesson is this... thanks to the strength of the Houston economy, we not only have plenty of retail choices, but we actually have the green stuff to go to the mall when we want to. 

Congratulations, Houston!

Roger Martin

Nov. 24, 2010

The New/Old Edloe Deli

Edloe DeliMy back-door neighbor, The Edloe Deli, has just reopened under new management.  Well, not exactly new – E.I. Thomas is the chef who has been running the restaurant and he and his wife Jill have now stepped up into an ownership position.

The Deli has been closed for a week so that everything could be freshened and re-organized.  I have seen past owners Janet Carter and George Boehme up here as the redo progressed.  Their input guarantees that the Edloe Deli will retain its unique ambiance and flair as the neighborhood’s “meet and greet” location.

The menu is a mix of old and new as well.  The Berry Salad is a favorite, and the Pulled Pork Sandwich is absolutely to die for.  Chef E.I. is working on some new items as well.  One of the first new additions is a gorgeous dessert menu, and there are rumors of a soft-freeze ice cream machine in the works.

So best of luck to the new venture!  We look forward to being your neighbors.  The restaurant's website is currently under construction, but for more information, go to www.edloecafe.com

Roger Martin

Posted in Where West U Eats