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Posts Tagged ‘Local Business in Houston’s Energy Corridor’

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


Great Tips for Easing into Back-to-School Mode

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Real Estate Agent, Parks & Recreation, Schools on August 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

One minute you’re thinking it’s time to shop for school clothes, and the next minute they’re off to the bus stop – and while nobody wants to rush those last lazy days of summer, now is the time to prepare your kids for the school year ahead.

Teachers and child care experts offer thoughtful tips for easing the family into fall:

  • Talk it up – Offer your kids positive vibes about the upcoming school year. Is this the first time they will ride their bikes? Play in the school band?  Join swim club? Paint word pictures that will ignite their excitement about going back to school.
  • Get organized – Set aside time for them to try on last year’s clothing, shop for replacements, and take advantage of school supply sales.
  • Have a discussion to set school rules – What will be your teen’s school night curfew? What’s the after-school schedule? What are school night and bedtime routines? When and where is homework to be done?
  • Plan the first week’s routine – Know what the kids are going to wear that first week and what will be packed in school lunches. Planning ahead can save time and tears later.
  • Plan a fun back-to-school breakfast – Get the year off to a happy start with a favorite family breakfast on the first day of school.
  • Reset their inner time clocks – At least a week before school starts, begin to wean your child away from staying up late and sleeping-in in the morning.
  • Have a dress rehearsal – Will your child be walking to a new school? A different bus stop? An after-school center? Do a run-through before the first day, and reinforce stranger-danger rules.
  • Prepare for their first evening home – Kids may come home on that first day with a school calendar, a stack of papers to fill out, or a list of needed supplies. Keep your calendar clear so you have the time to attend to whatever is necessary.
  • When you ask how the day went, mean it – Ask questions if your child is not forthcoming, and really listen to what they say. Knowing you are interested will help keep them talking as the school year progresses.


Contact Connie Vallone at or 713-249-4177 for all your real estate needs.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

New Visa Changes Expected to Help Chinese Buy in U.S. Real Estate

In Buying a Home, Chinese Investors, Chinese Visa, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, International Real Estate, Investment Real Estate, Real Estate Investment, West Houston on January 27, 2015 at 9:56 pm

New Visa Changes Expected to Help Chinese Buy U.S. Real Estate
International investment in U.S. real estate could soar to new heights in 2015, thanks to the reciprocal U.S./China visa agreement that will issue five-year, multiple-entry visas to students and 10-year, multiple-entry visas to business travelers and tourists. The policy changes went into effect Nov. 12.

Among other effects, the new visa agreement mitigates challenges for those investing in property abroad—namely, real estate purchased by Chinese parents for children studying in the U.S. For students participating in four-year degree programs, the five-year extension presents a welcome change.

“Chinese individuals on the fence about investing in the U.S. are encouraged by the new visas,” says Andrew Taylor, co-CEO and co-founder of, a global real estate information platform serving the world’s Chinese communities. “They make a big headache go away.”

Barring outside factors, Taylor predicts at least a 15 percent increase in Chinese investment in 2015. According to the NAR 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, China and Canada have been the fastest growing sources of international clients. Transactions involving Chinese buyers account for 12 percent of total reported international transactions, with many opting for all-cash purchases.

“Mainland Chinese buyers have the highest average price range and pay in cash about 70 percent of the time,” Taylor says. Juwai users report an average budget of $3 million and a median property purchase price of $425,000—well above the overall U.S. median of $199,500. Top areas for real estate investment include New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit and Houston.

For real estate practitioners, the new visa policy imparts an opportunity to carve out a global niche. Chinese clients, like any other client, seek an agent that maintains high standards of professionalism.

“International buyers have an exceptionally strong bond to their agent,” notes David Lauster, real estate specialist, U.S. State Department, in the Sept. 2014 issue of Real Estate magazine. “They display an admirable and long-lasted appreciation for the assistance and knowledge that agent brings to the transaction.”

That assistance and knowledge trumps all – including specialized skill sets. Fluency in a second language, for example, is not necessarily required.

“One of the biggest questions I get is, ‘Do I have to learn Mandarin?’ The answer is no,” Taylor says. “Just do your job well. That’s enough.”

“No special qualifications are needed,” says Noah Seidenberg, broker associate with Coldwell Banker Evanston in Evanston, Ill. Evanston is home to one of Northwestern University’s campuses, which collectively house over 5,000 international students, faculty, researchers, visiting scholars and staff from more than 110 countries. Seidenberg receives inquiries from foreign buyers on a regular basis, particularly during peak enrollment periods at the university.

“The process legally is often not the same in the U.S. as it is when purchasing property and obtaining title in their native country, so there is a period of explanation, walking the person through the steps, much like a first-time buyer,” Seidenberg adds.

With the policy changes propelling an already emerging segment, Taylor recommends taking advantage of the boost with a two-fold approach:

  • Brand services on a global level.
    Make it known that you market listings in China. “Home sellers read the news, and they want the best price. Show them you’re best equipped to get it for them because you are marketing to their largest, biggest spending and fastest growing group of overseas buyers.”
  • Prioritize international marketing.
    Initiate a dialogue by reaching out to Chinese buyers. “Make international marketing a basic part of your business that you attend to every day or week, just like you do with cold calls, mail-outs or community marketing.”

Given the existing correlation between the number of Chinese students educated in American schools and Chinese investment in U.S. real estate, the student visa extension may have a much more immediate impact on the U.S. housing market than the business traveler and tourist visa changes. By taking these steps, U.S. real estate professionals will lay the foundation for long, productive relationships with international buyers.

“Every [Chinese] family has its own situation,” Taylor explains, “but underlying all of them is a faith in the U.S. real estate market and a desire to own their part of it.”

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Connie Vallone  – Broker Associate First Market Realty

713 249 4177

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

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. 

CononcoPhilips new office space Houston’s Energy Corridor

In Eldridge Parkway, Employers Houston Energy Corridor, Employers in West Houston, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Business, Oil and Gas companies in Houston, Relocating to West Houston, Terry Hershey Park, West Houston on May 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm

ConocoPhillips has committed to an office lease  in Houston, agreeing to occupy 850,000 square feet in a pair of new office buildings under construction  in Houston’s  Energy Corridor by Trammell Crow Co. (TCC) and its financial partner, Principal Real Estate Investors.  The two buildings are located at the southwest corner of Interstate 10 and North Eldridge Parkway in the heart of Houston’s  Energy Corridor.

Below – Quoted from

The Energy Center campus will include an active greenspace to provide common outdoor areas for activities and is conveniently located for immediate access to multi-use parks and trails, including Terry Hershey Park, Bear Creek Park and George Bush Park.

Construction on the 20-story, Class AA Energy Center Three office tower began in December 2012 and is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2Q 2015. The 22-story, Energy Center Four, which will feature 600,000 square feet of Class AA office space, is expected to break ground in 4Q 2013 and be ready for ConocoPhillips’ occupancy in 2Q 2016. The campus will include energy efficient features to help achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.

“We are pleased to welcome ConocoPhillips to our new Energy Center Campus, and we believe they will be an excellent addition to the growing energy services community throughout the Energy Corridor,” said Aaron Thielhorn, Managing Director with Trammell Crow Company’s Houston Business Unit. “The quality of both buildings will provide ConocoPhillips the facilities it needs to continue to build upon the Company’s growing North American oil and gas business.”
See more at:

If you are relocating to West Houston and looking for a residential real estate expert in Houston’s Energy Corridor contact me Connie Vallone First Market Realty 713 249 4177. or

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.”

NEW LISTING! 1726 Lakeside Enclave Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS# 49424673

In Buying a Home, Eldridge Parkway, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Oil and Gas companies in Houston, Parkway Villages, Terry Hershey Park on January 9, 2014 at 8:42 pm

NEW LISTING! 1726 Lakeside Enclave Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS# 49424673

1726 Lakeside Enclave DriveBeautiful one story in gated Lakeside Enclave in the heart of the Energy Corridor! Step into the beautiful foyer with soaring ceilings that open to your dining and study with hardwood floors. Bright and light island kitchen with gas top and breakfast area open to the living area with tile and beautiful French doors. Master retreat with hardwood floors, two huge closets and a jetted tub in master bathroom. Walking distance to Terry Hershey Park, shopping, fitness center, restaurants and many employers!

HAR Link:

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177  or visit  or

Shell Expansion in Houston’s Energy Corridor

In Employers Houston Energy Corridor, Employers in West Houston, Houston Energy Corridor, Local Business, Oil and Gas companies in Houston, Relocating to West Houston, Uncategorized, West Houston on August 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Royal Dutch Shell is  expanding its corporate offices  just off I-10  in West Houston’s Energy Corridor located at 200 N. Dairy Ashford.

The energy-efficient LEED-NC Gold rated building includes to a 30,000-square-foot amenities center that includes a gym and conference center. These will include fitness, recreational and social areas, coffee bars, concentration spaces, technology-supported collaboration areas and a range of breakout spaces.

The Energy Source – The Energy Corridor’s Districts Newsletter reported that

“With traffic and roadway congestion being key issues for the Energy Corridor District, Shell has taken traffic into consideration as part of the development of the conceptual design of the facility. As such, Shell has prepared a traffic study on the existing and new site, presented the study to the Texas Department of Transportation and are incorporating TxDOT’s recommendations into the design.

Connie Vallone –  713 249 4177