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Archive for the ‘Local Events’ Category

5 Things to Look for in a Neighborhood, No Matter Where You Move

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Parks, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Business, Local Events, Real Estate Investment, Restaurants & Shops, Restaurants & Shops, Schools, Selling your home on November 29, 2016 at 7:28 pm

Since relocating is such a major undertaking, it’s vital to thoroughly research your options. This is especially essential regarding an overseas move. Here are five things to assess in a prospective neighborhood to ensure you’ll feel at home, no matter whether your new home is here or abroad.

1. Transportation

One consideration is how you’ll navigate your new surroundings. Find out whether you’ll have access to public transportation or need a car. If you can use public transit, what are the service hours and stops? If you require airport proximity, determine how you’ll get there. Do you currently have a job lined up? If so, calculate the distance of the commute from the neighborhood in question. Will the trip be a cakewalk, or grueling? According to World Knowing, the top-ranked countries with the best transportation systems in the world are Hong Kong, Singapore, the UAE, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, France, Spain, and the UK.

Even if a REALTOR® lists the distance from a house to a public station, the calculation doesn’t always include door-to-door travel time. You may be able to use Google Maps to determine this. If not, the website of a city’s public transit system may provide a clue.

2. Businesses

Before visiting a neighborhood, think about businesses you’ll be frequenting, such as a bank, grocery store, pharmacy and retail shops. Make sure they’re a feasible distance from your prospective home. Also, ensure their customer service is reputable and prices are reasonable. For example, if there’s a grocer nearby, does it stock staples, or only expensive gourmet goods? Where can you find fresh produce?

You may be able to minimize leg work by reading online business reviews. Yelp is expanding internationally, with websites emerging in Europe and Asia. Reviews are also conveniently available via iPhone and Android apps. Local Yelp announces business openings and events in major cities.

3. Schools

If you have children, REALTORS® will tell you that another must-have is access to quality education. Many overseas schools provide bus services, but trip length must be tolerable for kids. In towns where public schools are sub-par, you may want to enroll your children in private school. If so, consider the extra expense of entrance fees, tuition, uniforms and transportation.

Did you know there’s a correlation between the presence of schools and crime? A 2011 study by the University of New Mexico found that elementary schools have a protective effect against property crimes. Middle schools, however, promote drug felonies, and high schools foster both property and narcotics crime. So, regarding school proximity, aim to be close enough for a short trip, though not a hop, skip and jump away.

Concerning school reputation, attend a PTA meeting at a given school. By speaking with other parents, you’ll get firsthand information on the school’s quality. A good school district increases a home’s value, should you wish to sell in the future.

4. Amenities

Is culture important to you? If you’re an avid fan of art, theater and music, this is a consideration. Do you like to frequent restaurants, pubs, or dance clubs? If these are high on your wish list, how close are they to the home you’re debating? If you must travel to a distant town, factor in transit costs.

Also, research proximity to free entertainment, such as parks, museums and libraries. If you’re a sports enthusiast, assess the distance to athletic arenas.

There’s one caveat regarding crime: Steer clear of a neighborhood where bars are prevalent. The study mentioned above concerning schools and crime found that ready access to alcohol promotes violence and vandalism.

5. Economy

Neighborhood decline has telltale signs. Drive through the streets of a potential town, and look for financial clues. Examples of red flags are unkempt parks, littered streets and a prevalence of “For Sale” signs. Are people moving out of the area? Are businesses closing up shop?

Query librarians about the town and whether it’s fiscally sound. Ask if the library has cut down its hours, another clue to a suffering economy. Look for indications that people care about their property and each other. Do houses and landscapes look maintained? Are neighbors interacting? If any seem friendly, ask about their experience of living there.

A Smart Move

Now you’ll be a savvy traveler while exploring a new town. To ensure a successful move, evaluate the local:

  • Transportation
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Healthcare system
  • Amenities
  • Economy

Like a good journalist, get detailed information from reliable sources. Invite conversation, and record your observations. Then, make your smart move. You’ll be able to settle down for as long as needed in a wonderful neighborhood, whether that be in the United States or abroad.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

Do you have real estate questions?   Contact Connie Vallone at (713) 249-4177 or or visit  or


Echo Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra February 2015 Concert

In Energy corridor music groups, Houston Energy Corridor, Local Business, Local Events, Orchestra, Parks & Recreation on January 22, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Heart and Soul:
An intimate performance by ECHO patio troubadours

Heart & Soul Echo Orchestra The Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra

Saturday, February 14, 2015
Time: 11:00am
Location: Green Planet Sanctuary
13424 – B Briar Forest Dr., Houston, TX 77077
10:00am – Coffee and Pastries Social

Purchase Tickets
echologowww.houstonenergycorridorhomes. com


In Energy corridor music groups, Fall Festivals in Houston, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Parks, Local Business, Local Events, Local events, Parks & Recreation, Parks in West Houston, Terry Hershey Park, West Houston on September 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm
Briarhills Market Festival in Houston's Energy Corridor

Briarhills Market Festival in Houston’s Energy Corridor

BriarHills  inaugural community event invites the Energy Corridor residents to come and join the local ambiance at our own Briarhills Park.
The festival features a variety of market stalls offering craft, flea and local business and live music including EHCO Orchestra quartet, children’s moonwalk, face painting and more. Bring your picnic blanket to enjoy your choice of food vendors.
‘Meet and Mingle’ and don’t forget if you are a local ride your bike (less pollution and traffic congestion) Bike Barn will be on board for cyclist support.



ECHO Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra – Premiers Fall 2014

In Eldridge Parkway, Energy corridor music groups, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Events, Local events, music, orchestra west houston on May 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm


ECHO is premiering Fall of 2014. If you play an orchestral instrument, you live or work in the Energy Corridor area, and you are looking for a community group to play with email us at for more information.
AUDITIONS: Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 10:00am – 12:00pm in the Stratford HS Orchestra Room.
Connie Vallone – Houston Energy Corridor real estate expert 713 249 4177

Houston Greek Festival 2014

In Churches, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Events, Local events, Parkway Villages on May 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Saint Basil the Great Greek Orthodox church is hosting it’s 19th annual Houston Greek Festival in the  Houston Energy Corridor Parkway Villages residential neighborhood .

Beginning Thursday May 15th to Sunday May 18th a little bit of Greece in the Bayou City.   Great food, dancing, music and a Gyro eating contest on Sunday afternoon.

For complete information on this fun event visit www.


Connie Vallone First Market Realty713 249 4177  –   Local real estate expert located in Houston’s Energy Corridor. 

Barbara Bush Elementary International Festival 2014

In Eldridge Parkway, Employers in West Houston, Houston Energy Corridor, Local Events, Local events, Parkway Villages, Schools, West Houston on April 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Barbara Bush Elementary in West Houston’s Energy Corridor hosts

International Festival and Fundraiser – JOIN US!
Saturday, April 26 @ 12pm – 3pm

For complete details visit the website

Energy Corridor Orchestra Premiers Fall 2014

In Eldridge Parkway, Energy corridor music groups, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Business, Local Events, music, orchestra west houston, Parkway Villages, West Houston on April 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm


“ECHO is premiering Fall of 2014.

Echo Energy Corridor Orchestra

Echo Energy Corridor Orchestra

If you play an orchestral instrument, you live or work in the Energy Corridor area, and you are looking for a community group to play with email us at for more information.”

Improved Transportation in Houston’s Energy Corridor

In Eldridge Parkway, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Events, Oil and Gas companies in Houston, Transportation Houston, West Houston on June 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

The Energy Corridor District is working on about $40MM worth of transportation mobility projects that are either in the works or pipeline. The $15MM Park Row road completion is currently underway, which will open up that area west of ConocoPhillips to development, which is already planned.

As reported by $25Million in transportation projects for Houston‘s Energy Corridor have been approved. 

“Improving transportation and mobility in The Energy Corridor is one of our prime missions,” explains John Nunez, Transportation Manager for The Energy Corridor District. “These five projects will bring significant upgrades to several busy Energy Corridor roadways and intersections. The end result will be safer, more efficient ways to travel for both drivers and pedestrians.”

Connie Vallone  your West Houston Real Estate Expert

First Market Realty  713 249 4177

2013 Houston GreekFest in the Houston Energy Corridor

In Churches, Eldridge Parkway, Houston Energy Corridor, Local Business, Local Events, Local events on May 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm

The annual Houston Greekfest hosted by St Basil’s the Great Greek Orthodox Church is coming up  May 16th – 19th.   This beautiful church is located in the heart of Houston’s Energy Corridor.

Always fun plenty of  wonderful Greek food, dancing and wine.

Sunday 2 PM  Niko Niko’s sponsors the World Gyro Eating Championship and if you have never seen a food eating contest don’t miss this !

Connie Vallone  – First Market Realty 713 249 4177  or


Buffalo Bayou Kayak / Canoe Paddling Trail

In Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Parks, Local Events, Local events, Parks & Recreation, Terry Hershey Park, West Houston on October 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm



Terry Hershey Park Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail

Sign located in Houston Energy Corridors Terry Hershey Park for the Buffalo Bayou Paddling Trail

Did you know you could kayak or canoe through Terry Hershey park?

It’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of the fourth largest city in the United States when you are kayaking or canoeing along Buffalo Bayou Houston Energy Corridors Terry Hershey Park.    Put this trip on your  bucket list for the new year and see this beautiful park and all the wildlife the park and bayou support.

For more information visit

Texas Parks & Wildlife 


or Bayou Shuttle Service 


Connie Vallone , Broker Associate

First Market Realty