Saturday, November 30, 2013

Moving Checklist and Tips

Provided by Whitefence

Steps to Take Before Your Move

Eight Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Create a list of all home repairs needed
  • • Put in your 60 day notice, if required

Seven Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Find a new school for the kids
  • • Find a new daycare for the kids
  • • Find a new babysitter for the kids

Six Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Schedule your open house with your realtor
  • • Start gathering moving supplies

Five Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Inventory your belongings
  • • Change your address with the USPS  USPS Address Change
  • • Make sure your children's vaccinations are up to date
  • • Find a new vet and pet hospital
  • • Go to current doctor and vet for check-ups and get medical records for family and pets transferred to
  •  new doctors' offices
  • • Find new doctors for the family
  • • Locate the nearest emergency centers and their numbers

Four Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Request auto shipping estimates, if required
  • Order or Transfer Utilities  Compare all utility providers
  • • Order electricity service
  • • Order natural gas service
  • • Order home phone service
  • • Order high-speed Internet service
  • • Order television service
  • • Put in your 30 day notice, if required
  • • Finish home repairs
  • • Take donation items to designated organizations
  • • Schedule charities to pick up donated items
  • • Have a garage sale

Three Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Obtain copy of school, medical, vet, legal, and various other records
  • • Notify subscription & prescription suppliers of address change
  • • Get your car serviced
  • • Organize closet & attic items for moving
  • • Pack knickknacks and other non-essential items
  • • Make a "Moving with Kids" kit
  • • Book a moving truck rental
  • • Hire movers
  • • Schedule professional cleaners
  • • Book flights or hotels if your move requires it

Two Weeks Before Your Move

  • • Make sure all home services and utilities have been ordered or transferred Utilities
  • • Schedule babysitter and pet sitter for moving day
  • • Update your driver's license & car registration Update here for Texas
  • • Pack all but essentials
  • • Map the nearest grocery store and hardware store to your new home
  • • Get any medications for family and pets
  • • Get storage quotes if needed

One Week Before Your Move

  • • Last minute errands
  • • Withdraw emergency moving money
  • • Load your moving truck
  • • Pack your plants
  • • Plan or order meals for move day
  • • Conduct final walkthrough
  • • Pack essentials

Steps to Take During Your Move

The Week of Your Move

  • • Unpack
  • • Ensure your address has been updated

Steps to Take After Your Move

One Week After Your Move

  • • Send out change of address cards to friends & family
Relocate | Houston | Cypress | Katy | Tomball | The Woodlands | Texas | Moving Tips | Moving Checklist | RE/MAX | Heidi Bridwell 832-876-0335

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thankful Thanksgiving

Life tends to fly by quickly the older you get. When we are young we tend to take things in life for granted, never really understanding the effort it takes to acquire them. As we grow we begin to realize how lucky we are compared to others in the world, and for that alone we must be thankful. 

40 Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving:

Written by : Inspired Every Moment

  1. Your family – Even if the relationship you have with your family is not good, you should still be thankful that you have them at all. So many people throughout the world have no one at all that relates to their past, their blood, and their lives.
  2. Your friends – Friendships are one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer.Friends fill a part of your heart that no one else can. Cherish your true friends, and be thankful that they are a part of your life.
  3. Your enemies – Enemies teach us about ourselves, who we are, and who we want to be. They challenge us to be better people and teach us about patience and strength. Be thankful you have enemies, it means you are living life.
  4. Your mind – Without your mind you would have nothing. Appreciate that your mind is a big part of your happiness, and your life. It holds your thoughts, opinions, memories and emotions within it, without those things you would be a walking shell of the person you are today.
  5. Your body – The human body is an amazing and interesting thing. Your body moves you, helps you, heals you and takes you places you want to go. Be grateful for your body and treat it with the respect it deserves. Fuel it with proper nutrition and care for it accordingly. Be gentle with it, and challenge it. Use it to the best of your ability, and most of all enjoy it no matter its shape or size. It is a great gift.
  6. Your ability to love – Love is a beautiful emotion and something we should be grateful for every single day. Your ability to love is what makes you grow as a person. Love can teach us deep lessons we would never learn any other way. It can teach us about ourselves and about others. It is an amazing feeling, and it is unmatched through anything else. It can lead to pain, or heartache, but it is worth every second to have experienced it at all. Love freely and deeply, for being able to love is what makes life worth living.
  7. Your ability to learn – Knowledge is a never-ending quest, and is a key player is a happy and fulfilled life. Relish in the knowledge of others and teach yourself as much as you can. You can never know too much, the more you open your mind to learn, the greater an experience life will become. If learning comes easily to you than you should be even more grateful, and you should utilize this tool because some people struggle a great deal to learn even the simplest things.
  8. Children (your own or others) – Children can teach us so much about living. You need only watch a child’s free-spirit for a moment to see the pure joy they hold inside. Children living in the moment, without much regard for what has happened in the past. They love openly, without restriction, and they take pleasure in every thing they do. If you have children of your own, enjoy them every chance you get because they grow for too quickly and before you know it that time is gone. If you do not have children find ways to enjoy others, or embrace the values that they live by and find a way to incorporate them into your life. You will be amazed by how much you can learn from a child if you are willing.
  9. Your health – So many people throughout the world, and even the communities we live in, struggle with their health. Every day people are dying, getting sick, and suffering. If you are healthy, be genuinely grateful, because there are many people who are not, who will not be, and who can not be. Health is a profound gift, and not something to be taken for granted.
  10. Disappointment – So you can learn what matters most, and enjoy success that much more.
  11. Happiness (and you ability to create it) – Happiness is a state of mind; not a person, place or material thing. This means happiness is a choice, you have the ability to choose it for yourself and create it any way you wish. THAT is something to be thankful for.
  12. Your mistakes – Without our mistakes we would learn no lessons, so be thankful for all of your failures and what they have taught you in the end.
  13. Kind strangers – The kindness of strangers can be a magical thing. Look around you and observe all the wonderful things that people do for each other every day. These kind acts may not always be easy to spot, but they are there, and they are making a difference. When it happens to you, you will know it, and when you do it for someone else it may change their life. Always be aware of those around you, and be thankful for their kindness even when you can’t see it with your eyes.
  14. Challenges – A good challenge makes us strong, teaches us about ourselves, and pushes us to our limits. Challenge is what makes us grow and what moves us forward in life. Be thankful for the challenges you face because they make life more interesting, and they push you in the direction you need to go.
  15. Choices – Having choices is an exceptional reward, many others in the world are not blessed with this same option. We have the ability to choose anything we want to create in our lives. We have the choice to stay or go, who we want to be around, how we want to live, where we want to live, what we want to do, etc… Our possibilities are endless and our life is only limited by the choices we make. That is an amazing thought, and a remarkable present.
  16. Animals - Domestic animals give us unconditional love, trust and companionship. Wild animals not only give us food, but also teach us about life and they cycle it takes. They show us strength, and give us all we need to survive.
  17. Music – Music soothes the soul and is an extraordinary pleasure. It can enhance a mood, or change an emotion. It invokes memories, and creates new ones. It is a gift I am thankful for regularly.
  18. Laughter – It truly is the best medicine, and something that should be exercised often. Be thankful you have reasons to laugh, people to laugh with, and the ability to do it at all.
  19. Food – This is self-explanatory, without food we would die, and people do every day. So as you sit down for your next meal be thankful for every bite, and remember that there are so many people who have nothing at all to eat.
  20. Shelter – A roof over your head is another thing you should be grateful for. It is an obvious one, but we often take for granted that many people throughout the world don’t have this benefit.
  21. Modern medicine – This is a benefit that is taken for granted so often. Modern medicine saves lives every single day, and is advancing regularly to help save even more. Many countries don’t have access to these resources and people suffer and die unnecessarily. Be thankful that you live in a place that allows you access to these things, it truly is a blessing.
  22. Dreams and goals – Dreams and goals are what drives us, and knowing they are a possibility is a true bonus. Dream big, set high standards and work to achieve all of your goals. They only thing that is stopping you from accomplishing anything is yourself.
  23. Freedom of speech – A great number of us live in a world where we can say what we feel without much worry. This is a benefit that is not often thought of deeply. Imagine living if you couldn’t express your opinions freely without fear of punishment should someone else disagree. Freedom of speech is wonderful, and it is something I am thankful for, because without it I wouldn’t be able to write or say half the things I do.
  24. Your ability to read and write – There are more people than you know that can’t, be thankful if you can.
  25. Your talents – Whatever they are, utilize them, and be thankful for them. Most of all, enjoy them.
  26. Your strengths – Just like your talents you should find your strengths and be proud of them. Use them to help yourself, and others when possible. These gifts have been given to you for a reason.
  27. Your weaknesses – Weaknesses only make you weak if you allow them too. No one can be good at everything. Discover your weaknesses and use them to strengthen yourself. Let them challenge you to work harder, or urge you to ask others for help. Your weaknesses do not have to drag you down, they can lift you higher if you use them the right way.
  28. The world around you – It only takes a short walk around your neighborhood, or a road trip for you to appreciate the world around you. The earth is an amazing thing, full of life and awe. Take time to connect with the world and revel in its raw beauty. Nature has a healing power like no other, enjoy this treasure, and of course, do what you can to keep it safe.
  29. Your ancestors and your parents – Without them you would not exist. Many of our ancestors, and possibly even our parents, struggled and fought so that we could live life. Learn about your family history if possible and appreciate all that your ancestors did in order to survive and thrive. Appreciate your parents as well, even if they are no longer together, or if your relationship is not well, realize that it is because of the two of them that you are alive and able to live at this moment. If nothing else, you can be grateful for that.
  30. Technology – This is something you need to be thankful for if you are reading this post, because without it, you wouldn’t be. It’s not just internet and computers either, technology has drastically changed the world. It helps to connect us to those we would not be able to connect to otherwise, and opens doors we would have never found before.
  31. Imagination – Without imagination there would be no knowledge. One first has to imagine it is possible to make it possible. I imagination is the foundation for fun, and can lead to great happiness. It is something we often let go of as we grow older, but it is something that can bring us great joy. Be thankful that you have the ability to imagine anything you want, because when it comes to wild imaginations, your only limitation is yourself. This is a fun and exciting tool, use it in a way that makes you happy.
  32. Your instincts – We were all born with a tool to help us navigate this crazy world, instincts. Too often we ignore those ‘feelings’ we get about certain people, places or things. Although I doubt we are all psychic, our body’s are very perceptive to the energy around us, even when our mind is not. If you get a ‘feeling’ about something, don’t ignore it, consider it before moving forward it’s your body’s way of trying to tell you something. Be thankful for this gift, whether you know it or not it has probably had a big impact on your life, and will continue to do so in the future.
  33. Faith – You do not have to be religious to have faith. Trusting in yourself, in others and in the world around you is a type of faith. Utilize this tool, and be thankful that those around you have faith in you. Faith is encouragement, and encouragement is what drives us to succeed.
  34. Freedom – We are so blessed to have the freedom we do in  the USA, there are so many people who fought long and hard to ensure that freedom for us. This is something we should be forever grateful for.
  35. Community – The community you live is can be an amazing thing. In times of trouble a strong community bands together. When someone is in need, community is there to provide support. Your neighbors and community are something to be thankful for, when you need them, they will be there.
  36. Seasons – Though we might complain when the temperatures dip into the lows, the beauty that the snow brings is something to be thankful for. Just as the heat of the summer is a wonderful gift as well, we are blessed to have a range of weather here, even if it is unpredictable at times.
  37. Wealth, not the monetary kind -
  38. Aging – Getting older may seem a horrible fate, but the truth is it is much better than the alternative. Think back to the awkwardness of your youth, the mistakes and the heartaches. With age comes wisdom, and life tends to get easier and clearer as we grow. Be thankful for getting older, not everyone gets that opportunity.
  39. Second chances – Most of us have been given the gift of forgiveness or have forgiven someone in the past, and because of this many of us know that second chances are something to be thankful for. The encouragement that a second chance provides is a great gift, and something we should be thankful for and willing to share.
  40. Inspiration – It is all around you. Take a look and be grateful.

Thankful Thanksgiving | Houston | Cypress | Tomball | Texas | Heidi Bridwell | RE/MAX | Spring | Homes

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Home sales push total dollar volume past record set in 2007-provided by HAR MLS Press Release
HOUSTON (November 19, 2013) Twenty-nine consecutive months and counting. That’s how long Houston home sales have held to positive territory. Home buyers sent housing inventory levels down to 3.1 months in October compared to 4.4 months one year earlier, but they also contributed to a record total dollar volume.
According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS®, home sales climbed 13.5 percent year-over-year, with contracts closing on 6,020 single-family homes. That is the lowest one-month sales volume since March.
The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 8.9 percent to $177,500. The average price increased 7.9 percent year-over-year to $239,773. Both figures represent the highest prices for an October in Houston.
October brought gains to all housing segments except the under-$80,000 market. Homes selling from $150,000 through $500,000 scored the greatest increase in sales volume.

“Home sales have shown no sign of letting up, which illustrates the strength of the Houston economy and its continued job growth,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Coldwell Banker, United REALTORS®. “Unfortunately, the home buying frenzy has also sparked a recent wave of scams in which for-sale properties are falsely advertised in online listings as rentals with scam artists trying to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. HAR urges consumers to always work with a REALTOR® and remember that a deal that sounds too good to be true most likely is too good to be true.”
Foreclosure property sales reported in the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fell 46.9 percent compared to October 2012. Foreclosures currently make up just 7.5 percent of all property sales, down from 19.6 percent at the beginning of the year. The median price of foreclosures edged up 0.9 percent to $85,706.
October sales of all property types in totaled 7,322, a 14.7 percent increase over the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold rose 26.7 percent to $1.7 billion versus $1.3 billion a year earlier. At $17.7 billion total dollar volume for the year, 2013 has already surpassed 2007’s record-setting total dollar volume of $16.6 billion.
October Monthly Market Comparison
Houston’s real estate market experienced gains in all categories in October when comparing sales to October 2012. Total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all rose on a year-over-year basis,
Month-end pending sales totaled 3,995, a 3.7 percent gain over last year and a strong indicator of another month of positive sales when the November numbers are tallied. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of October dropped 16.5 percent to 31,638.
Houston’s inventory of available homes dipped from 3.2 months in September to 3.1 months in October, down from 4.4 months of inventory one year ago. The inventory of single-family homes across the United States currently stands at 5.0 months, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Total property sales 6,385 7,322 14.7%
Total dollar volume $1,334,844,884 $1,690,606,011 26.7%
Total active listings 37,909 31,638 -16.5%
Total pending sales 3,854 3,995 3.7%
Single-family home sales 5,303 6,020 13.5%
Single-family average sales price $222,187 $239,773 7.9%
Single-family median sales price $163,000 $177,500 8.9%
Months inventory* 4.4 3.1 -30.3%
* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.

Single-Family Homes Update
October sales of single-family homes in Houston totaled 6,020, up 13.5 percent from October 2012. That marks the 29th consecutive monthly increase.

Home prices reached the highest levels ever recorded in Houston for an October. The single-family median price rose 8.9 percent from last year to $177,500 and the average price climbed 7.9 percent year-over-year to $239,773.
Single Family
Broken out by housing segment, October sales performed as follows:
  • $1 - $79,999: decreased 28.6 percent
  • $80,000 - $149,999: increased 7.1 percent
  • $150,000 - $249,999: increased 26.1 percent
  • $250,000 - $499,999: increased 23.6 percent

  • $500,000 - $1 million and above: increased 21.3 percent
    Single Family Average Home Price

    HAR also breaks out the sales performance of existing single-family homes throughout the Houston market. In October 2013, existing home sales totaled 5,160, a 16.2 percent increase from the same month last year. The average sales price rose 6.8 percent year-over-year to $223,446 while the median sales price rose 10.3 percent to $165,500.
    Townhouse/Condominium Update
    October sales of townhouses and condominiums were up 20.0 percent from one year earlier. A total of 583 units sold last month compared to 486 properties in October 2012. The average price rose 12.5 percent to $189,429 while the median price was flat at $135,000. Months inventory fell to 2.9 months versus 5.0 months in October 2012.
    Townhouse/Condominium Sales

    Lease Property Update
    Houston’s lease property market showed further growth in October. Rentals of single-family homes rose 9.4 percent compared to October 2012 while year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals increased 3.2 percent. Average rents retreated slightly from their recent record highs, although they are up year-over-year. The average rent for a single-family home rose 5.4 percent to $1,647 while the average rent for a townhouse/condominium increased 5.2 percent to $1,463.
    Houston Real Estate Milestones in October
    • Single-family home sales increased 13.5 percent year-over-year, accounting for the market’s 29th straight monthly increase;
    • Total property sales rose 14.7 percent compared to one year earlier;
    • Total dollar volume climbed 26.7 percent, increasing from $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion on a year-over-year basis; at $17.7 billion total dollar volume for the year, 2013 has already surpassed 2007’s record-setting total dollar volume of $16.6 billion.
    • At $177,500, the single-family home median price reached the highest level for an October in Houston;
    • At $239,773, the single-family home average price also reached an October high;
    • 3.1 months inventory of single-family homes is down from 3.2 months in September 2013 and down from 4.4 months in October 2012 while comparing to the national average of 5.0 months;
    • Sales of townhouses/condominiums rose 20.0 percent year-over-year.
    • Rentals of single-family homes rose 9.4 percent while and townhouse/condominium units increased 3.2 percent.
    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at

    The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

    The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.) Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS®

    (HAR) is a member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.  
  •     Cypress Texas | Tomball Texas | Houston | Homes for Sale | Heidi Bridwell | RE/MAX