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Water is the Number 1 Essential

After a major storm, the water system could be compromised due to flooding and power outages, making it unsafe to drink. You will want to store between a 10 and 14 day supply of water for you and your family, including any pets. That breaks down to at least 1 gallon per person for every three days. Be sure to account for any pets you have. Check out this awesome hurricane water storage calculator to figure how much water is needed for you and your family. In addition to storing water bottles, we also recommend you fill all the bathtubs in your home with water. Use this water for filling the tank of your toilet for flushing, not for drinking. To prevent drainage, line the tub with plastic. You may also sto...

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This is a guest post by 3 Men Movers

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After 30 years of helping our clients get moved into their dream home we consider ourselves moving aficionados at 3 Men Movers. What we’ve discovered throughout the years is that a stress-free move is not only possible, it’s also surprisingly easy to create. Keep reading to discover four tips for a move that goes off without a hitch!

Start packing early and label everything

Our recommendation is to begin the process of packing at least two weeks out. This way you have the time to pack and stay organized while doing it. Along with boxes and packing tape, markers are going to be your best friend during this process. Ensure that you are labeling every single box that you pack. This will make all...

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The deadline for filing your property tax protest in Harris County is May 31st. That’s right around the corner! If you’ve been procrastinating filing your protest, because you’re not sure how to best approach it, not to fear! You still have some time!

Of course, you could always employ a property tax representive, to handle the matter for you. There are many property tax companies and law firms that provide this service, and produce great results. But, for those who would like to DIY, or are just curious as to how the system works, we’re here to help break things down!

Harris County Appraisal District gives property owners two options for filing.

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Rene Sorola Properties was honored to have been awarded #13 in Sales Volume for $43.83 Million in Sales for 2016, and #14 in Transactions for 156 Units Sold in 2016, at Houston Business Journal's Top 25 Residential Real Estate Awards!
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Bunker Hill, Heights, Bellaire, River Oaks....

Being some of Houston's most high-end and sought after communities isn't the only thing these neighborhoods have in common. This week, Rene Sorola Properties accepted offers in all four of these enclaves on behalf of our clients. And if that wasn't enough of an indicator that our luxury division is working magic in the market right now, everyone of them went to escrow in 2 weeks or less!

Interested in selling your home? We'd love to help! Click here to schedule a free consultation with Rene Sorola Properties!

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Interested in purchasing a property? We can help with that too! Click here to schedule a consult with one of our Buyer Specialist!

Would like to learn more about the value of your home? Click here for a free Rene Sorola Properties home valuation estimate.

See more Rene Sorola Properties listings here!

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People complain a lot about government, but several Texas cities get high marks for being run well. WalletHub’s annual assessment of how efficiently some of America’s largest urban centers spend taxpayer dollars on certain key expenditure categories is out and Houston is near the top of the list.

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Do you have a house with a barn door, subway tiles and a game room upstairs?If so, it’s more likely you’ll be successful at selling your home, according to a new report.Zillow Inc. (Nasdaq: Z) analyzed thousands of home listings across Texas and found certain popular amenities and features likely helped sell homes faster and for more money than others.Homes with features like barn doors can sell for a higher price — up to 13 percent more — and up to two months faster than homes that don’t have these amenities.Here are some of the Seattle-based real estate company’s major findings for Houston homeowners:Listings that mention the following words can be sold at a premium:“Barn doors” or a rust...

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You’ve spent hours researching mortgage rates, but here are a few things no one warns you will come with the property territory.
Quirks Have Costs

Say you fall in love with the newly constructed condo with the huge-enormous windows. I know, you see yourself enjoying your morning coffee and newspaper bathed in streaming sunshine! Only on that first morning (the blazing light searing your eyeballs) do you realize that huge-enormous windows mean huge-enormous drapes. And only once you start to shop for huge-enormous drapes do you learn how shockingly expensive and hard-to-find large window coverings in unconventional dimensions can be. In other words, you must take the long view. If you adore the unique detail of fireplaces in every ro...

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Property Group, the owner of Houston’s premier shopping center, announced Thursday a major addition that promises to keep it at the forefront as the city’s luxury epicenter. It plans to build a 30-story hotel and apartment tower on a 1-1/2-acre property at the corner of Sage and West Alabama, where a Macy’s store was recently demolished.

The new high-rise will be adjacent to a new Saks Fifth Avenue store that opens later this month and near a conversion of the former Saks store into an extension of the mall, with as many as 40 new stores and restaurants.
David Contis, president of Simon Malls, tells CultureMap that the company plans to break ground on the new high-rise within the next year, with a planned opening in late 2019 or early 2020.

The company is in talks with two luxury flagship hotel chains and a smaller independent luxury boutique hotel to operate the property, which will consist of 225 rooms on the first 15 floors. The remaining upper level floors will be condominiums ranging from 800 square feet to 3,000 square feet with larger penthouse on the top floors. Prices have not been set, but given the location and the quality of the development, prices are expected to be among the highest in the city for residential high-rises.

The first floor will have separate entrances for the hotel and condominiums and each component will offer such luxury offerings as pool, health club, spa, media room, bar and private dining room with chef. The hotel will also house at least one new restaurant that is expected to draw a foodie crowd.

Although some other Houston developers seem to have gotten cold feet over new projects given the area’s uncertain economy, Contis said Simon is bullish on Houston’s future.

“We’re invested in Houston for the long term,” he says. “If you look at our investment in Houston, it’s been consistent over decades. It’s part of the evolution of the shopping center.

“Sure the Houston market has suffered a little bit, but at the end of the day, Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation, it’s growing, Texas has a great economy. Simon has invested considerable capital and will continue to invest. We’re happy with the way the city of Houston has treated us at the Galleria and we reciprocate by constantly upgrading the property.

“This is a unique asset. It is in a AAA location. We have a property that generates $1.2 billion a year. We’re already successful and we’re building on it.”

The high-rise addition is the latest of a slew of improvements Simon has made to The Galleria as it faces increased competition from luxury center River Oaks District and other retailers in the Houston area. It constructed a 14,000 square foot, free-standing retail building facing Westheimer, known as “The Jewel Box,” housing the luxury fashion boutique The Webster, which opened in January, and Yauatcha, a London-based Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum tea house that will debut later this year.

Major renovations in the mall, which opened in 1970, include upgraded white stone flooring with polished black granite accents, improved lighting, landscaping and seating, new escalators and an upgraded dining pavilion.
New luxury tenants include La Perla and Tod’s, which opened late last year, and Céline and Christian Louboutin, which will open later this year.

“We may surprise Houston with more expansion,” Contis says. “We’re never done. It’s an ongoing project.”

By Clifford Pugh at Culturemap Houston

We knew Houston is where the young and pretty people live, but now the numbers truly back it up. The Bayou City has one of the smallest populations of baby boomers in the country.

NewGeography pored over 2014 American Community Survey data for the country’s 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas to track where Americans over 65 are living. The answer: not Houston. And not Austin or Dallas either, as all three Texas cities — along with Salt Lake City and Raleigh— are in the bottom five for housing baby boomers.Only 9.8 percent of Houston’s population is over 65. Compare that to Tucson, Arizona (17.7 percent), and Jacksonville, Florida (14.2 percent), and it’s hard to deny our standing. Oddly enough, it&rsq...

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