Personal libraries become retreats

With the advent of tablets, cellphones and e-readers, could the book-lined home library go the way of the formal dining room?

“When there’s an endless river of (digital) content, the words, text and images we choose to print and bind into a physical book will make (it) even more special,” he said.

Branca imagined the space, which included walls covered in chocolatey faux bois (wood-grain appearance) sateen and a plump sofa blanketed in tartan, as a room where you could store favorite vintage books but also use a digital reader.

Create an enveloped space by running shelves up to the ceiling; wood tones keep the ambience warm, but consider white or even an interesting color – creamy yellow or rich carmine (deep red), for example – so books, accessories and art will pop.

Spanish design house Playoffice turns a run-of-the-mill home library into a playhouse with a sturdy mesh net suspended across the whole space like an enormous hammock. …read more    

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Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Fannie Mae Extends First Look Opportunity for Homebuyers

Fannie Mae announced recently that its First Look™ period will be extended to 20 days, providing additional time for owner-occupants and public entities to submit an offer on a HomePath property without competition from investors. The change is effective for properties listed on or after January 2, 2014. First Look is designed to promote owner […] …read more    

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Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Real estate Q&A: How the Self-Employed Can Get a Mortgage

(MCT)—Question: I am self-employed and make a good living. I want to buy a house, but it’s hard to document my income. So I’ve been getting turned down for a mortgage, even though I’m willing to make a large down payment. Any hope for me? —Trevor Answer: With banks and the federal government tightening lending […] …read more    

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Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

How Long Does It Take to Build a House?

Thinking about building a new home, weighing the pros and cons of building versus buying, or simply curious about the building process? The 2012 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that on average it takes about 7 months from obtaining a building permit to completing a new single-family home. Looking at the […] …read more    

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Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Home Buyers Value Environmentally Friendly Features

Homeowners frequently see their heating bills rise as fall begins and the weather cools. For this reason, homes with energy efficient and environmentally friendly features are often a priority to prospective buyers. According to the National Association of REALTORS

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Is a Texas landlord required to keep security deposits in separate accounts?

Texas doesn’t require landlords to keep a tenant’s security deposit in a separate account or earn interest during the tenancy. However, Texas law requires landlords to keep accurate records of all tenants’ security deposits.

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Quick summer getaways

In need of a fast escape? Here’s ShermansTravel.com’s list of the best places to go.
1 Azores, Portugal
2 Bermuda
3 Bucks County, Pennsylvania
4 Cape Breton Island, Canada
5 Chicago
6 Jackson Hole, Wyoming
7 Juneau, Alaska
8 Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
9 Ojai, California
10 Reykjavik, Iceland
– KRISTIN FINAN …read more    

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Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Hot tops add style to summer

When the temperatures turned warm and summer fashions filled the stores, I set out to find a few affordable halter tops in bold colors to wear with jeans and breezy skirts for the season.

[…] while stores were packed with camis and tanks, few had the jersey halters in bright colors I wanted.

Cute tops are as essential to a summer wardrobe as flip-flops and shorts.

[…] Neiman Marcus’ the Cusp (cusp.com) has a sunny yellow Ali Ro Satin Blouson Blouse, regularly $215, for $96.75, and a Robbi & Nikki layered flower top for $77, down from $155.

Jewelry designer Chan Luu’s gold/silver nugget earrings, $130, are available at J. Silver in Rice Village.

Dress up your top with jewelry designer Chan Luu’s delicate bracelet wrapped with gold nuggets, $215 at J. Silver. …read more    

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Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Catch a fine meal at Tony Mandola's

[…] the restaurant (which has dropped the Gulf Coast Kitchen from its name) is ready to make some lasting culinary memories for its fiercely devoted regulars and new patrons stepping into the delicious and carefully choreographed Tony Mandola’s experience.

Running the length of the dining room is an outdoor patio with its wrought iron gates and gas lamps that looks plucked from a garden of a famous Big Easy restaurant.

The restaurant’s walls are decorated with the Mandolas collection of family pictures, historical photos, beloved musicians and posters evocative of New Orleans and jazz.

Cold seafood appetizers include Shrimp Cocktail Vincente (tossed with avocado and pico de gallo), ceviche (shrimp and fresh snapper marinated in lime juice) or classic shrimp cocktail.

For hot starters, guests can dig into shrimp and crab quesadillas, fried calamari, crab cakes, crab balls, Cajun popcorn, boudin or a Cajun Chalupa (red beans, roasted peppers, corn, crawfish tails, avocado and pico de gallo on a corn tortilla).

There’s a gumbo pie made from his mother’s gumbo recipe (a dark roux loaded with crabmeat); a traditional margherita; sausage and peppers; Siciliano (kalamata olives, capers, mozzarella and tomato sauce); mother’s meatball pizza; and a red pie with mozzarella, Parmesan, shrimp and slivers of lemon and a sprinkling of tarragon.

The entrees are all Mandola favorites, including a variety of pastas (shrimp and crabmeat spaghetti; linguine with grilled shrimp and tequila lime butter; crawfish ravioli; spaghetti and meatballs), beef and chicken dishes, fish (fried snapper, Champagne sea bass, sole almondine, Gulf red snapper, blackened snapper), and shellfish (fried shrimp and oysters, shrimp scampi, crab au gratin, fried soft shell crabs, broiled scallops). …read more    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893