Houston Real Estate Blog

Our Great County

Take a minute to stop and think about what a great country we live in. A country where we can make the choice of whom we want to vote for. What an outstanding opportunity we have to make our voice be heard. Let's all remember that America is a great county.  I am sure we can look back in history and remember a time when a woman could not vote. Now not only can we vote one ran for President. Let's not get caught up in all the emotion of whether your candidate won or not. Let's remember that we have the right to vote and only you can exercise that right to vote. Which hopefully you did.

Our young people are watching and we all need to set a good example for our children. The most important thing you have done is vote.

 It really doesn't matter who won I know who is in control....

Houston Moving Market

Houston Real Estate

My goodness, if you think the market in Houston is not fast paced think again.  The Marconi Team has been listing homes and just as quickly as we list they are going under contract. Makes for a happy seller and some frustrated buyers.

The name of the game right now is to price affectively. Homes that are overpriced are sitting. Homes that are not staged or cleaned up are also sitting.

Our team recently placed a home on the market that had been part of an estate and our precious clients cleaned it out which took several weeks.  They worked themselves to the bone and it paid off. Within one week we not only had one offer but multiple offers. They all agreed with pricing it effectively and it paid off. Cash offer and we close it today.  This helps to close a chapter of their lives in under 3 weeks.

With oil hoovering under $50 a barrel and the Presidential election coming we all know that there is some uncertainty about the market.  However, if you were here in the early 80’s you may recall how volatile the market was.  Thankfully we have not seen the market reflect the way it did in the 80’s.

I know back in 1983 when we bought our first home our interest rate was 16%. Yes that’s right you read correctly 16%.  That’s just what the rates were then.  We were thrilled when we refinanced and got it down to 12%.  We had gotten a huge raise.  Now, interest rates are ranging from 3% – 4.5% which are historically low rates.

Don’t miss out on buying a home, even with low inventory our team has been able to put our clients into homes that have been outstanding.

If your feeling frustrated with the market, then let us help. We have worked in the Houston and surrounding area markets for a long time, we can help and will be happy to help you and your family to make this move.  Whether buying or selling we can get the job done for you...

A Galveston Get Away

Happy Life, Happy Wife

Dropping off our Happy living son at Ice Hockey camp in Dallas, Happy living Hubby and I drove down to our coast. Galveston Texas.  We just spent 4 glorious days at The San Luis Resort and Spa Hotel. From the minute we turned onto 61st Street driving down to the Seawall Blvd relaxation started setting in.  Seeing the sun radiate off the waves of the Gulf of Mexico was soothing to my soul.

We quickly parked grabbed all our gear and headed into the resort. The San Luis I have to say has some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. They were breathtaking and the aroma was so sweet and refreshing.

Our reservations were on the 10th floor which does not allow any children on that floor so it was very quiet.  The view from our balcony was outstanding, we could see the pool area and the Gulf. We spent every morning, enjoying breakfast and our coffee on our balcony listening to the waves crashing.

Spending time at the beach, enjoying the sand and surf was soothing balm to our souls. The beach was clean and the water was great. The waves were the perfect size not to big and not to small.  Just fun enough to play in. 

There were nights we spent walking on the beach enjoying the moonlight and being together.  I do believe we tend to forget about Galveston.  It’s basically in our backyard and yet goes so unnoticed.

I can assure you there is some of the best food to eat in Galveston.  From The Steak house and the Grotto at The San Luis to Pleasure Piers Bubba Gumps.  Some of the best seafood we had were Alaskan King Crab legs from the Bering Sea, Prawns from the Gulf of Mexico and some good ole hush Puppies like my dad use to make with shrimp and corn. Need I say more…….

I remember the days when the Flagship Hotel was the main hotel over the water and now in its place is Pleasure Pier. If you’re looking for some fun...

Moving Market

Wow the ole saying it's all about price is right. The Marconi Team has been putting homes on the market this week and they are flying off the market just as fast as they were put on.  With getting close to asking on most homes The Marconi Team has several very happy sellers.  I have to say that the homes we have listed are nicely staged and priced effectively.  Our sellers have been realistic in their pricing and that has paid off for them.  

It absolutely warms my heart to hear a client scream for joy when their home has gone under contract. All the hard work of getting repairs made, staging, making sure the kids have kept all their stuff picked up, making sure beds are made, dishes are done and all this before they go off to work.  It's hard and time consuming but it pays off.

Our team has been known to help some of our elderly clients pack up belongings and clear the house out so photos can be taken.  While doing this helps our buyer it also helps our hearts as we know some of our clients have been ill and it's our way to honor and to help.  This career is about helping people buy and sell homes but it is mainly about helping people.

If you are in need of help or know someone that is in need of help whether it is buying or selling a home please let our team know.  The Marconi Team is ready willing and has the muscle to help.

Happy Living


Birthday Celebrations in Houston

Birthday Celebrations

The older I get the more I cherish our family. Yes, don’t get me wrong gifts are great but what really warms my heart is time with the ones that I love.  This past birthday, I was over whelmed with the love that was showered onto me.  Beginning with Happy living daughter and Happy living son in law surprised me by jumping out from behind our living room couch as I walked into the house. I thought they might come in but realized that did not happen when I drove up to the house but those stinkers hid their car.  So they got me and got me good.  Happy Living Hubby had planned a night out for just the two of us at Season’s 52 in City Center in Houston.  There is nothing more wonderful then having dinner with the one you love that God has blessed you with.  We both enjoyed some great wine and wonderful food.  After dinner we went to one of my favorite stores at City Center, Kendra Scott.  Need I say more, Happy Living Hubby really blessed me.

Saturday, we all loaded up and headed into town to eat at Kitchen on Dunlavy in Houston. All of our Happy Living children, girlfriends and son in law went with us as did my Mom, sister and her family.  I had never been to this restaurant and was so pleasantly surprised with the décor and the food. The restaurant had several chandeliers hanging from the ceiling which was just beautiful, floor to ceiling windows that focused on the lush landscaping outside.  The food was clean and yummy.  We had a full table with lots of love and laughter.

Once we were done, we all loaded up again and headed over to Happy Living Son #2’s house for some fun in their pool along with spirits and snacks.  We played for hours in the pool and had a blast flipping each other off their floats.  Played volleyball with no net, it’s a Marconi thing. But most of all had tons of fun, laughing and loving on each other.

To come in...

Happy 4th of July

Happy Birthday America 

It’s today the 4th of July where our country celebrates our independence.  What a great day but I want to stop and celebrate those who have fought for our independence.  Those Moms who have lost a son, a daughter or a husband who was out fighting for our freedom and gave the ultimate sacrifice.  I want to say Thank you to those families who have served our country and served it well. 

In our family it goes to my Dad who is no longer with us.  He served in the Korean War representing the Air Force.  My Uncle Alton served in the Air Force he was career Air Force.  I have a cousin Larry Swann who served in Vietnam and our very precious nephew Phillip Marconi served in the Marines as did my brother in love Greg Griffin who served in the Marines during the Gulf War.  Thank you to you all for giving of your time, your family and putting your life on the line so we here at home could and do have our freedom.

I have never sent a son off to serve but my sister in law has.  When Phillip went to serve our country I know there were a ton of prayers going out to protect him.  I am sure there is a pain so deep that you cannot explain when you send a love one off to serve in the military.  Our hearts were hurting for my brother and sister in law as Phillip went to serve.  Our Marconi Clan was very proud of Phillip and his service to our country.  The happiest of days for his family is when he returned home safe and sound. 

So many families have been faced with just the reverse.  To all our military families from the depth of our hearts we are grateful for your service. Grateful that you have returned home to your families and to those that have lost a love one we are so sorry for your loss, grateful for the sacrifice that your family has made...

Rainy Sunday's

 Rainy Sunday’s

Sitting here enjoying yet again the sound of rain on our house has caused me to be grateful for our lovely home to be safe and dry and has caused me to think about our backyard garden.  Thankfully it has not washed away with all the rain.  Actually my rose garden is doing very well.  So I have begun to think about what else can I do to enhance our sanctuary.  

 I love to sit in the backyard having coffee with the waterfall going on our pool.  Aslan our YorkiePoo at my side and my bible.  This is my happy place.  I love to have time early in the morning when everyone except Happy Living Hubby (who is typically out running on Sundays) is still asleep.

I enjoy these times, to gaze upon my roses and all our other garden flowers.  HLH (Happy Living Hubby) hung some great window panes for me along with all the other wall art, it adds so much fun character to the back yard.  We have hung some multi-color lights to flip on at night time and will be adding more.  I have tons of bell jars that work great with tea lights, wrap some wire around them and let them hang from the trees. 

Summer dinners with great food, darling table decorations and some outstanding wine mixed with some great company and conversations makes for a great recipe of fun summer entertaining. 

Now all we need is for the rain to go away.  As my Mom, Happy Living Nana would say…..Rain rain go away come again another day say maybe in August or September when some rain will cool us off please.


Happy Living All



Houston Historic Flood

Houston, let’s all be prepared.  As we all are watching the devastation of our great city Houston, Texas and seeing the loss of lives’ our heart goes out to all who have been affected.   Our great town of Houston has not seen this type of destruction since hurricane Allison.  Our family remembers the down pour of rain in Allison as we had a small amount of damage to our home. 

Monday morning at 3 am we were awoken by very close thunder, which shot me straight up out of bed.  I immediately began to pray for protection for all our family. 

Happy living hubby, started out for work at 4:30 am not realizing how bad it was out there. I turned on the news and quickly began to realize how bad it really was.  HLH called and let me know that school was closed and I let him know how bad all the surrounding areas were.  He quickly realized he could not get out of our area so he turned around and safely got home.

We did keep a watchful eye on the pool and thankfully it did not spill over. 

We live in the 100 year flood plain and this is the second flood we have experienced in less than a year.  This brings me to my point of the importance of flood insurance.  Folks we cannot afford to not carry flood insurance.  With the Houston weather being as volatile as it is you must protect yourself and your family.  We all live in a flood zone it just depends on what zone you are in. Check with your insurance carrier to get a quote.  Rates can run from $200 on up.  But keep in mind if you pay a couple of hundred dollars in a year is better than paying a couple of thousands in case of a total loss.  Reach out to our friend Angela Graham with Nationwide Insurance you can reach her at 281.997.2662 or email her at graham2@nationwide.com.  Rest assured she will care for your family and your insurance needs. ...

Fast paced market

What a fast paced market we are experiencing. The Marconi Team is running these days as we are listing and selling homes at a rapid pace.  As soon as we are listing them they are going under contract.  So if you are thinking of selling your home call us. We can help you get the most for your home.  We have some very happy clients in the Katy area that just listed on Thursday and by Friday mid-morning were under contract. Even with two small children and two very large dogs.  We love seeing our clients get excited when everything falls into place and we get an accepted offer.  

As our client said we make it look easy but the reality is our clients do what we ask of them and we price it accordingly.  Put these actions together and you get a multiple offer situation and an accepted offer. Our clients worked hard for the last several months painting, redoing flooring and more. All this hard work is paying off. 

We could not be more excited for our clients.  It makes our job a job that we love to do.  

Caring for people and helping people.  

That's us The Marconi Team.

Call us when you to are ready to sell your home or if you need to buy we are here to help.

Happy Living.



Go Texan Day

It’s Go Texan Day

Good Morning, Houston! It’s Go Texan Day.  What a fun day in Houston.  This is the beginning of Rodeo season.  Where the bling comes out along, with some smokin’ hot boots and hats.  One of our favorite memories with Happy Living Hubby (also known as HLH) was going to the rodeo when I was pregnant with our first born Happy Living Son, Gregory.  We were newly pregnant and all was fine till we walked into the livestock show.  If you have never been to the rodeo or grown up on a farm you are just amazed at how many animals are in one location.  The sheer sight of these majestic animals will amaze you as will the smell and to a newly pregnant woman I quickly turned green as grass and had to run out.  HLH enjoyed going through the show, as I sipped on a coke and gladly waited for his return.  Back then some 29 years ago we were headed to hear the Gatlin Brothers.  They are the band that wrote the song Houston that I believe still gets played at our Rodeo.  The following years we have taken all of our children back to the rodeo.  HLH son Gregory had his picture taken on top of a bull and was almost stampeded by a herd of pigs.  HLH picked him up just in the nick of time or we would have had one little smashed child. 

Now, we are able to go and take HLH son Grant to enjoy the rides, the food and the shows.  We always are amazed at how fun our time is at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo.  One of our favorite things to watch is the kids that perform--truly amazing!  We have had several friends enter the livestock competition and watched how they have groomed their animals and the dedication that is given for many months before the rodeo.  It is nothing short of pure dedication.  The Livestock show has awarded so many scholarships and helped hundreds of kids get to college.  It really...

Houston Date Night

Fun date Night in Houston

HLH (Happy Living Hubby) gave a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day to me this year.  A cooking class at Sur la Tab in City Center in Houston.  I have wanted to do this for years but finding the extra time has been a challenge.  With running our real estate team and helping clients buy and sell has been keeping us very busy.  Then add on the schedule of Happy Living Son and his school and ice hockey schedule you have one busy Mom/Wife/Realtor.  Happy Living Hubby took the bull by the horns and carved out some time for us to go enjoy a night out on the town.

Cooking lesson date

Our date began with us leaving our home in Cypress and heading into town.  It seems we are heading into town to play a little more lately.  While suffering with hunger pains we began our class at 8:30pm. 

We were paired with another couple Irynea and Yalimaz from Russia and Turkey.  A very fun couple and great cooks also.

As HLH and I looked around we had to chuckle as we were the oldest couple there but I must say I think we had some of the most fun.  Chef JD Valdez loved us as he kept coming to our table to use our food as examples except the one time I added to much butter on our phyllo dough. Doesn’t butter make everything better?

HLH cooking

Our first step was to get the mixture of the grape leaves ready to go.  The dish was a mixture of lean meat and rice stuffed Grape Leaves also known as Dolmades the Greek term.  HLH did all the cooking...

Houston weekend Fun

What a fun Valentines weekend The Happy Living family had.  To start it off I had the privilege of going to the Home and Garden Show with my one and only sister Kathy Griffin the proud owner of the blog spot "The Dedicated house".  There was tons of laughter and tears from laughig so hard.. When you put the two of us together we cannot help ourselves.  While waiting for my sis in the hallway of NRG there was a string quartet playing songs and as soon as my sister came out they began playing the theme song to Star Wars.  We both hit the floor laughing as she waved and shouted I am here.  Only my sister..

We began our long trek through the Houston home show and realized there was so much to see. We saw so many ideas for the home that we will gladly bring them to your attention as the weeks go on.  Of course we round a corner and see a huge cows hiney staring at us.  Of course I had to run and get a picture.  As we meandered through all the different vendors some of our favorites where The Closet Factory and the Gripstic, more on both of these in the coming days.

Sunday brought church and the best gift of all a cooking date at Sur la Tab with Happy Living Hubby. HLH (happy living hubby} went downtown early Sunday morning to run a half marathon called the Rhythm and Blues race.  HLH came in at a brisk 1:51 time.  So proud of him.  He said it was fun running in downtown Houston. His old stomping grounds from when he worked there.. 

HLH and I headed to the Heights to eat at Skinny Rita's. My Mom and her friend Linda went there a few weeks ago and kept raving about it.  So HLH and I headed on down to eat.  It has indoor eating, covered garage patio and a roof top dining area.  We loved it.  The food is delicious; there are gluten free items, cactus tortillas and organic margaritas.  HLH had a margarita made from grilled pineapple. Very yummy, I had an Organic Rita...

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentines Day!

Waking up this morning, grabbing some coffe and getting our younger Happy Living Son off to church for worship practise, I come in and see flowers and a card from Happy Living Hubby.  Grab my coffee and get ready to have my devotional time I open the card.  To my complete surprise my gift this year is something I have wanted to do for years but just could never find the time to do it.  Happy Living Hubby has planned a cooking class at Sur La Tab the one at City Center in Houston.  I squeeled when I read this.  My heart just about exploded with sheer happiness.  

It caused me to sit back and to reflect over how much I am loved not only by Happy Living Hubby but by God my heavenly Father.  Last week, HLH (Happy Living Hubby) and I went to Lakewood for a visit on Saturday night.  HLH got saved there years ago under Brother John.  So to go visit now with the largeness of Lakewood now was very different but good.  So all these years I have always wanted to see Joyce Meyer just have never been able to make one of her live conferences so it's always been a desire of my heart.  God is clear in His word that he will grant the desires of our heart.  So HLH and I go bopping into Lakewood and receive our bulletin, as I am looking at it there is Joyce Meyers face on it.  I am thinking oh how neat she is coming to town, then I look at the date and it was that night.  My heart almost exploeded right there in Lakewood Church.  She was there and we had no idea.  It caused me to pause and say Dad you really do care for me.  Thank you, when I lease expected it you blessed me.  

Then this morning, HLH did not ask what did I want for Valentines Day actually truth beknown I thought he might have forgotten about it.  So for me to open my card to see what he has planned for us and he came up with the idea on his own just blessed me.  It caused to to reflect...

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and prayer. The begining of lent season. It's a time to stop and thank God for all the blessings we have in our lives. To examine and see if there are areas that need to change in our lives.  Seeking to hear God's voice telling us Great Job, proud of you, keep it up, your doing great.  Our family has been blessed with a wonderful Christian heritage.  We are grateful to live in a country where we can worship freely.  How wonderful to know that we can walk into many of the  churches in Houston and be able to worship.  It also causes you to stop and look at the beauty of the churches that we worship in.  In Houston there are some fabulous churches scattered all over our town.  One of my top favorites is Antioch Baptist Church, located at 500 Clay Road steeped in heritage and history this church is nestled in Downtown Houston. Another outstanding church is FIrst Methodist.  This church has some beautiful architecture and lovely bells that actualy ring which warms your heart making  one feel so welcomed. Of course you can always visit Lakewood Church located on the busiest freeway in the country. The seer size of Lakewood is amazing.  Hubby and I visited last week and were blessed by the worship and surprised by the guest speaker Joyce Meyer. God always knows how to bless ones heart as He knows the desires of our hearts.
As we have marveled over these beautiful churches I am keenly reminded that the best church is those that we worship with the people. 

So today and the rest of this Lent season, find some time to pray and explore our many wondeful churches we have in our great town of Houston Texas.  

As always......Happy Living.


Valentines Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be helpful to give some ideas to help you kick start your Valentines plans. It seems that at this holiday a panic look tends to come over all of us as we start to think what do we do?  It can be overwhelming but have no worries I have provided 50 ideas listed below to help you make your special Valentine feel special. Houston holds many different avenues (no pun intended) for fun so have fun planning.  Note that these fun plans are for male and female on some you can include the kids if you have some.  Have fun, be spontaneous and bless that special person in your life.  In this day of rushing here and there and cell phones going off, put everything else on hold and love on the one you love. Take the time to really stop and smell the roses.


Valentine Day Ideas
1. Spa day includes massage and a facial
2. Mani pedi 
3. Shopping at the Galleria
4. Dinner out at Marks or Brio or just pick any of the hundreds of places in Houston to eat
5. Organize a day of bike riding in one of our many parks in Houston Texas
6. Spend the day at Buffalo Bayou 
7. Trip to a bed and breakfast for the weekend
8. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Texas

Valentine Thoughts and Ideas

February is the month to express Love. Actually it’s better to express Love on a daily basis and not just one day in February.  But let’s focus on February. Do you have plans to bless the one you love and others in your family? So what is a blessing? Well for some it’s receiving flowers and maybe not just your typical flowers but something exotic.  In Houston, Texas there are plenty of flower shops to get those extra special arrangements.  Think out of the box; Roses are always welcome but that arrangement that reaches to the sky with wild flowers will send the one you love over the top.  Others may enjoy chocolates but if your loved one is watching their weight hold off on the sweets.  Of course you have those that love the sparkly. There are plenty of places in Houston, Texas where you can locate that extra special sweet piece of jewelry for your special love.  There are stores in the Galleria in Houston, Texas loaded with diamonds and precious jewels.  Closer to the suburbs you can look at Willowbrook Mall or Memorial City in Houston, Texas.  If you live out in Cypress, Texas the outlet mall on 290 has places that you can shop and find that special gift for your expression of love.

But keep in mind that your love may enjoy a honey do list that has actually been done.  I know this may stress some of you but to get around the stress reach out to The Marconi Team with Keller Williams. We have a list of handyman companies that can get your Honey do list done and you don’t have to lift a finger to do the work.

So after the all the showering of gifts grab that special love of yours and head out for a night on the town.  Start your evening of fun and head on out to eat a romantic dinner with your sweetheart. Houston is not lacking for great restaurants .  For a lovely dinner inside the city of Houston  try Mark’s American Cuisine on Westheimer or  Brennan's of Houston, an old time favorite The Spindletop...

MLS Report for September 2015

HAR Chair Nancy Furst discusses Houston home sales for September 2015.

Based on data from the Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS®, Houston home sales showed continued strength in September of 2015, keeping pace with last years record sales volume in September, after a relatively flat August. Click here for full details.

Source: HAR.com


Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.