Thursday
Mar072013

How Much House is Enough House?

 

This is the question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I work with many different clients, requiring different sized homes. I have seen ridiculous and over the top for one person and tight, very comfy for a small family. My husband and I have been searching for a new home now that we have a growing family. When we first purchased our current home it was 'just the 2 of us' and at 2300 Sq.ft it was much bigger than any of the homes I had seen growing up North. However, now that we have two kids we have pretty filled out every room and we need more space! Or do we? Do we really need more space or should we stay at the same size and learn to live more simply.  I probably never would have spent so much time thinking about this but after the housing market crisis the last thing I want to be is house rich but on the other end of the argument I hear my husband saying “but this is why we work so hard, to have nicer things".  Many news articles are promoting downsizing, ‘tiny home’ or ‘compact apartments’ while I do find these options to be fabulous for a single person, what about larger families? How can we downsize our homes and our carbon footprints as well? According to the CNBC article “McMansions Return: Big Houses Come Back,” trends are more practical, with energy efficiency and the need to accommodate growing families driving gains” more specifically people want “functionality and smartly-deigned homes without wasted space”. Which brings me to our recent home search in Bridgeland, Cypress (read blog about Bridgeland here). We found, what I thought, was the perfect home over the summer around 2500 Sq.ft $240,000 lots of upgrades BUT my husband really disliked that there was no eat-in area in the kitchen, there was a large breakfast bar where you could place stools and the upstairs only contained the one room (game room) so we passed. Now in the spring, Bridgeland has very minimal construction going on and we went to go look at a 2300 Sq.ft for around $210,000. We loved it BUT the ONLY room it was missing was a game room and this time we thought the breakfast bar area was perfect, realistically we almost never use our eat-in area now because our dining is open to the kitchen. Then I read this article on Yahoo, “Smartest Kitchen Island on the block,” apparently no one wants eat-in areas, the island makes more sense because the kitchen is the ‘control center’ of the home, which in the case of the Bridgeland home we saw, the breakfast bar would serve that purpose. Too bad for us we really do need that one room upstairs and that home is off the market!

Kitchen of 12218 Cove Bluff Ct

Breakfast bar 12218 Cove Bluff Ct

My favorite part was the large hallways, reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Eiaine was swerving on the road, saying "How luxurious" after Kramer painted the lanes too wide:)

Also listed in Bridgeland 18230 E. Willow Oak Bend Lane, $255,000 3225 Sq.ft

Visit my site for more info! BonnyRoman.com

Monday
Nov262012

Love in the City.....With 3 Kids and a Dog???

According to the latest U.S. Census data; 80.7 percent of Americans live in urban areas, more than the 79 percent a decade ago. The population of urban areas has also increased by more than 12 percent, faster than the rest of the country's 9.7 percent growth rate from 2000 to 2010. The twentieth century brought rapid suburban development due to loans for purchase and highways that made it easier for the American family to migrate to the suburbs and abandon the cities, however, today more and more Americans are returning to bustling city. For hundreds of years cities have always been the epicenter of culture, in other countries such as Japan, families live in these massive urban centers, with young children taking public transportation to get to school and growing up with the energy of the city. Suburbs tend to encourage this disconnect between its residents, getting in the car to drive and get groceries doesn't allow you to communicate and engage your fellow neighbors, it creates an isolated, monogamous existence. When I read the above statistics I automatically think, young, single, childless, professionals, or students. Most home prices in cities do not allow large families to live comfortably. A lower end price range that can buy you a 4 bedroom house in the outer Houston "suburbs" will get you a loft condo or a 2 bedroom town home in an up and coming part of "urban" Houston. Personally, the larger space and school districts are the only reason I don't move to the city. I hope that this can change and housing developers will start to build not just for the single masses but for families, as well. I have no problem down sizing in order to be near the museums, parks, SIDEWALKS, etc; but the floorplans must be designed to accommodate multiple family members, ie; kids rooms and lots of storage. One of my favorite shows on the Bravo network that they really should have renewed was 9 By Design: 2 parents plus SEVEN kids!! The Novogratz family lives in New York City in a fabulous million dollar town home with plenty of rooms for their kids including a basketball court and elevator. Now it's clear to see why city living is both functional and practical when you have that kind of money as purchasing power but for the average family who doesn't have that kind of money there is a VERY limited inventory.

 Contemporary Style 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Home low $200's

Traditional Single Family, 3 Story Home, 3 Beds and 2 1/2 baths $300's

 Goregeous, Single Family Home, New Co nstruction, 4 bed, 2 1/2 bath low $400's

Sunday
Nov252012

Luxury Urban Living in Houston

The Mosaic Towers in Houston offer an abundance of luxury city living and amenities. Located in the Medical Center area, across from Hermann Park, which offers wonderful running paths, minutes from the night life of Midtown and the culture of the Museum District. In addition, to the amazing community clubhouse, pool and cabanas, amazing fitness center with massage rooms and his and her saunas. The Mosaic Towers also feature a small dog park for pet owners. The shuttle service makes these towers extremely appealing and convenient to professionals and students working in and around the Medical Center. The unit interiors are modern, with high end chrome finishes, large closets, amazing views, garden tubs, concrete ceilings etc; A one bedroom condo for purchase starts in the $190's while a one bedroom rental starts at around $1300. Stylish urban living with amenities galore!

Wednesday
Oct172012

October Fun in Houston

 

 

I love fall weather in Houston, to most northern states our fall weather is regular summer weather and I love it for that reason. Fall in Houston is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities that summer doesn’t allow. Case in point, Dewberry Farm!

 My family and I tend to travel up north for Halloween, we attempted the Pumpkin Patch up there but 40-degree weather and slight rain made it unenjoyable to say the least. We went to Dewberry Farm (FM 362 and Morrison Road Brookshire TX) last weekend and it was a great time. True to their bio, they send your kids home dirty and exhausted, as a parent, that’s all I ask. It’s the perfect place to plan your own photo ops! As many parents had they’re heavy duty cameras out and ready to capture priceless moments. I forgot to charge mine so I had to settle for IPhone pics. There are many free activities that don’t require additional charges (tokens) but the tokens can be used for everything so it worked out great for us, as we went home with two pumpkins. The food is food and after hours of walking in the heat it was delicious (pizza and fries). All in all, I absolutely enjoyed it, as did my kids, especially my toddler, though the baby did appreciate the action!

Directions From Houston:
West on I-10 4 miles past Katy to Pederson Rd. [Exit 737]
Right on Pederson for 1/4 mile to Hwy 90.
Left on Hwy 90 for 1/2 mile to Hwy 2855.
Right on Hwy 2855 for 5 miles to Hwy 529.
Left on Hwy 529 for 4 miles to Hwy 362.
Right at the stop sign and go north 1/2 mile to Dewberry Farm on the left side of Hwy 362

 


View Larger Map

Wednesday
Jul182012

Galveston! Houston's Jersey Shore??


Maybe. Brown ocean water (Mississippi sediment drifts are desposited around Galveston which cause the water to look not so clear) and overall lack of improvements to the island's aesthetic appeal leave many Houstonians searching for more beautiful beaches to lounge in. However, per Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, "The ultimate goal is for it to be a first class destination like you've come to expect at other coastal communities in America". Hence, the improvements that have the potential to give the island a much needed economic boost. The Pleasure Pier is one of the newest upgrades to the island and is an attempt to resonate with the charms associated with the piers of Virginia and the Jersey Shore. The illuminated ferris wheel looks beautiful at night as does the pier, especially, from the seawall during sunset. The Pleasure Pier is just one of the many attractions that are making Galveston an amazing retreat. Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn, The Strand (dining and shopping in the historical district of Galveston) are all great attractions to enjoy. Galveston features many resorts, great hotels, such as, The Galvestonian, as well as, beach house rentals. Drive around Galveston and you will see housing developments around the island. Some of the best beaches to rent a beach house are; Indian beach, Pirates beach, and Jamaica beach. Renting a beach home is the best option for families, the beaches are nicer, more quiet and not as cramped as a hotel room, they're also fairly affordable. Will we ever scramble to ensure our lease with a Galveston beach house rental, the same way people from New Jersey do when it comes to their shore? I hope not, because my family and I love spending summer weekends on the island, I don't need the competition.