Houston Area Water Restrictions – Updated 8/16/11

August 16, 2011

by Christi Borden

 

Municipality Lawns Address Times Allowed Days Allowed Pools Restricted
           
City of Houston Yes Even 8p-10a Su, Th No
City of Houston Yes Odd 8p-10a Sa, Weds No
           
Galveston Yes All None None Yes
           
The Woodlands Yes Even 8p-4a Even No
The Woodlands Yes Odd 8p-4a Odd No
           
League City Yes All None None Yes
           
San Leon Yes All None None Yes
           
Bacliff Yes All None None Yes
           
Kemah Yes All None None Yes
           
Clear Lake Shores Yes All None None Yes
           
Jamaica Beach Yes All None None Yes
           
Bayou Vista Yes All None None Yes
           
Omega Bay Yes All None None Yes

 

City of Houston

Residents at even-numbered street addresses can water their lawns on Sundays and Thursdays, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. Residents with odd-numbered addresses can water on Saturdays and Wednesdays, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Any detectable water leaks would have to be repaired within 72 hours.

Failure to comply with the restrictions could result in hundreds of dollars in fines.

The Woodlands

The Woodlands went from a Stage 1 to a Stage 3 drought contingency plan on Thursday. James Stinson, General Manager for the MUDs said, “Lawn watering restrictions are now mandatory.” Residents with a programmable water controller can water no more than twice a week and cycles must be complete by 4:00 a.m.”

Homes with even address are allowed to water only on even calendar days and odd addresses are allowed to water on odd days, and then only twice a week.

Galveston

The city of Galveston has banned all lawn watering and car washing. Those wishing to wash their motor vehicles can do so on designated days before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. The designated days for areas east of 103rd Street are Mondays and Thursdays. For residents who live west of 103rd Street, their designated days are Wednesdays and Saturdays.

League City

League City enacted Stage 5 of the city’s drought contingency plan on Friday, implementing arguably the strictest of mandatory water restrictions in the Houston area. Residents in League City are banned from watering lawns, washing their vehicles and refilling their pools. The city has gone as far as prohibiting restaurants from serving water, unless requested. Residents caught violating the restrictions could be given up to a $500 fine.

Texas City

Irrigation of landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems shall be limited to designated watering days and hours. However, irrigation of landscaped areas is permitted at anytime if it is by means of a hand-held hose, a faucet filled bucket or watering can of five gallons or less, or a drip irrigation system.

Even number addresses can water on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Odd number addresses can water on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

MUD 12, San Leon MUD and Bacliff MUD

No outdoor watering including for landscaping or car washing.

 

 

Galveston County — Other

Besides League City and Galveston, other cities in the county are also under mandatory water bans. Instituting the bans are Jamaica Beach, Texas City, the San Leon Municipal Utility District, the Bacliff Municipal Utility District, the Water Control and Improvement District 12, which covers Kemah and Clear Lake Shores and Municipal Utility District 12, which serves Bayou Vista, Omega Bay and old Bayou Vista. MUD 12 had not set a start date for the restrictions, which will ban all outdoor water use, according to a phone alert sent by the district.

 

 


Houston Realtors Helping Tornado Victims in Alabama!

May 3, 2011

The Houston Real Estate Community is coming together to help the Alabama Victims of the recent Tornado. We will have an 18-wheeler and driver deliver all donations to the storm victims in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Please help us help them!

The following items are needed order of priority:

  • Bottled Water
  • Snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Hand Sanitizer & wipes
  • Paper plates, utensils and napkins
  • Tarps
  • Canned food (including baby food)
  • New underwear (men’s, women’s, teen’s and children)
  • Diapers (both for infants and adults)
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Folding Chairs
  • Coolers
  • Clothing & Shoes
  • Bedding, towels, wash cloths

DROP OFF LOCATION:

  1. Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty, 30310 Tomball Parkway Tomball TX 77375
  2. *Prudential Gary Greene – 23922 Cinco Village Center, Suite 123, Katy TX
  3. RE/MAX Hometown 7214 FM 1488, Suite 105, Magnolia, TX 77354
  4. Prudential Gary Greene 18477 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Suite 50, Humble, TX 77346
  5. Princeton Classic Homes 18018 Darling Point Drive, Cypress, TX 774…29
  6. Keller Williams Pearland – 2734 Sunrise Blvd., Suit 208, Pearland TX 77584
  7. Realty World First Choice 18121 FM 306 Canyon Lake, TX. 78133 
  8. RE/MAX Integrity – RE/MAX Integrity.19510 Kuykendahl , Spring TX 
  9. Keller Williams Professionals 8101 Cypresswood Drive, Spring TX
  10. Great American Title (Galleria), 1535 West Loop South #115, Houston, Texas 77027
  11. Texas American Title – 4610 Sweetwater Blvd. #100, Sugarland, TX 77479
  12. Texas American Title – 2000 Bering 10th floor, Houston, TX 77057
  13. Startex Title Hwy 6 N. 8711 Hwy 6 N.,Houston, Texas 77095
  14. Register Real Estate /advisors – 1614 Louetta Rd. – Spring, TX 77388
  15. Prudential Gary Greene – 1939 W Gray St # 100, Houston, TX 77019
 *For those of you near Katy, TX, our drop off location is: Prudential Gary Greene – 23922 Cinco Village Center, Suite 123, Katy Monday – Saturday (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Sunday (12:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Call me if you need directions – 832-372-7470. We thank you so much for your donations… it will make a difference in the lives of those affected by the recent storms.


Christi’s 100 Clove Garlic Chicken Recipe

April 27, 2011

Garlic is a Gift for the Soul!

by Christi Borden

By request from my friends, I am happy to share one of my kids favorite recipes. Okay, before you start gasping, this is delicious and the garlic is very mild when prepared according to the recipe. This was adapted from a recipe from The Stinking Rose Restaurant in San Fran… go there if you ever get the chance.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 to 12 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 5 cups Chicken Stock (homemade is best but Swanson’s is next to best thing)
  • 1/2 bottle of good dry white Italian Wine (Rule of Thumb is do not cook with it if you would not drink it:)
  • 40 to 100 or more peeled garlic cloves (easy when purchased in pre-peeled pack).
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • 3 TBS Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt/Fresh Ground Black Pepper

First, lightly salt and pepper chicken and brown in heated oil in a large flat skillet. Remove from heat when golden brown on both sides but not cooked. Add garlic to oil and constantly stir for about 5 minutes to coat with oil and lightly brown/roast garlic cloves. Pay special attention not to brown or burn garlic. Add rosemary and chicken back to pan and cover chicken with broth and wine. Lower heat so that it bubbles gently, cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove chicken to plate, raise temperature and cook broth/wine mixture for 10 minutes on High to reduce. Place reduction into blender and very carefully blend garlic/broth mixture. Use caution when blending hot liquids – use the toggle switch to turn on very briefly and then allow pressure to be released through lid so that you are not scalded by this mixture under pressure.

Return to pan after thoroughly blended, add cream to taste, cook gently on medium until thoroughly blended and thickened. Return chicken to sauce and you are done! I serve this with Risotto Milanese (will share that one next) and a fresh salad or green vegetable. Your family will love it and you will not have to worry about Vampires for weeks!

NUTRITIONAL VALUE:

Who cares? It is that yummy!


Lost Beagle in Lakes of Eldrige Area, Houston

March 3, 2011

As you know, as an avid animal lover, I frequently post lost or found pets in our area.

Female Beagle lost 3/2/11

Look at that sweet face. This pretty gal was lost from her owner’s home in Lakes of Eldridge on March 2, 2011. Who wouldn’t miss such a nice pet. Please let us know if you see her or hear of someone who found a Beagle so that we can help get her home where she belongs.

You may leave a comment here or contact me directly at christi@christiborden.com or 281-492-5984. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Cat found in Cinco Ranch… Do you know this lovely pet?

March 1, 2011

As you know, I post lost or found pets in our area of Katy, TX.

Found cat in Katy, TX

Another shot of found cat in Cinco Ranch, Katy TXAttached are photos of a sweet cat found off Enchanted Meadows in the Sierra Meadows neighborhood of Cinco Ranch (near Cinco Ranch Boulevard and Kilpatrick Elementary).

He is about two years old and neutered. Please comment here or call Katie if you recognize this cat or think you may know the owners. Katie’s contact number is 281-923-4107 or 281-395-9417.

The people who found the cat are urgently looking for someone to foster the cat until the owners are found as she is allergic to cats and having him here is starting to get to her! They are such a wonderful animal lovers and cannot bear to take it to a shelter… thanks again for your help.


Superbowl … A Lesson in Living The Dream!

February 5, 2011

Today is Superbowl Sunday and, like everyone else, I have my mind on the game. However, it isn’t the game but the athletes themselves that interest me. Okay, the commercials, too but that is best left to another post.

I love learning about their individual stories and how they made it here. How they started playing the game as little boys, and continued to define their strengths, refine their skills, and struggle through years of injuries, hardship and courage to become these men at this time in history. Amazing, when you when you think about it.

Consider the immense number of people in life who start playing, training or studying to prepare for their desired area of expertise, and then consider the number who actually make it. What are the odds? What makes the difference? What is it that gets them from novice to Superstar while others, with similar talents, flounder instead of flourish?

Training: They are always training and have been since they first picked up a ball. I can tell you that the Ben Roethlistberger’s and Aaron Rodger’s of the world never stopped training once mastering their talent. In fact, they never believe it to be fully mastered.

Tenacity: They never give up. Injuries may sideline but still they press on. Even to their physical detriment, they continue to play with broken bones, bruised muscles (and egos), rain or snow, heat or cold. Something deep within drives them to continue when others are given the permission to rest.

Coaching: Every single professional has a coach and this is not limited to sports. The gifted require this external element, whether they are writers, actors, singers, and even Realtors (my field of play). A coach is someone who can clearly see where the athlete needs to be and knows how to get him there. He studies the the strengths and weaknesses and creates a plan of action that is specific to that individual. There is no one-size-fits-all! They develop a continuous push/pull dynamic to their relationship. The coach provides the roadmap, monitors the progress and constantly encourages, presses, cajoles, maybe even threatens to ensure action. An effective coach will not fall for excuses or procrastination. If the athlete is tough, the coach must be tougher.

Desire: They can see it, taste it and smell it, even when it exists only in their mind. What might seem daunting to most will only feed this desire further. Ask a true believer what their goal is and you will be astounded by dreams that appear unattainable at best and possibly even bordering on delusions of grandeur. Could it be we lack the belief system and vision to go there or maybe we never had it in the first place? There are no self-induced limits on their ability to achieve… and what they lack, they go back to the first three items above and create it, fix it or improve it.

So while you watch the game today, pay attention to the back-ground stories that the media uses to fill dead air time. Listen to proud parents as they portray their son’s childhood. Ask yourself; what was unique about the seed planted in the “Sapling” of the kid that helped him grew into this mighty “Oak” of a man? If you took a poll of each player on the field and asked what he wanted most as a kid, he will tell it is today. It is this one moment in time. It is to play in the Superbowl!

Win or lose, they are all champions and should be honored for truly “Living the Dream”!


Katy, Texas: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways!

January 31, 2011

I am fortunate to live and work in the sprawling western Houston suburb known as Katy, TX, recently recognized as the top community for growth in the Nation by the Gadberry Group. Click link to read more…

There are obvious reasons for my statement and a few that are not-so-obvious:

1. Location, Location, Location: Close proximity to the Energy Corridor, a major area for our top employers. 

2. Terrific Schools: Just search www.katyisd.org to see what our school district and individual campuses have to offer to our residents and their children. (As the mother of a National Merit Finalist and a Semi-Finalist, I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the administrators and their staff.) Thank you Katy ISD!

3. Cost of Living: We still have lots of available land for building and labor is fairly inexpensive so housing is affordable. However, our property taxes tend to be a high but keep in mind Texas does not have a State Income Tax so our property taxes are used to fund our great schools.

4. (Relatively) Easy Commute: Traffic, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and it depends on what you consider an easy commute. Face it, Houston loves its vehicles so the traffic will always be with us. However, with the completion of the I-10 expansion and the Westpark Tollway completion, there are several avenues for timely travel into Houston and beyond. I know some people do not want a commute and are willing to pay higher homes prices to live closer in and perhaps sacrifice a bit on the schools but our many residents feel that the trade-off is worth it.

5. Great Communities: There are so many different neighborhoods available to a home buyer in our area. I tend to call them “communities”  because some of them are larger than many small towns. In fact, Cinco Ranch is currently the number one new home selling community in entire country and has recently acquired 500 additional acres to continue its growth. Katy offers many other terrific choices such as: Grand Lakes, Firethorne, Cross Creek Ranch, Seven Meadows, Kelliwood, Grayson Lakes and more. Our developers have thoughtfully designed and completed their communities with the homeowner in mind. With careful presentation of commercial/retail, beautifully landscaped common areas, abundant resort-style amenities (golf, pools, tennis, hike/bike trails, lakes, etc.), our residents can feel secure that they have made a wise choice with regard to their families’ enjoyment and potential resale value.

6. Quality of Life: Katy offers a true, small town experience with big city features. We have great dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities for everyone of all ages. We are thrilled to be the lucky recipient of abundant medical care, including but not limited to the new Medical Center’s West Campus: Texas Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Hermann Memorial Hospital, Christus St. Catherine Hospital and the MD Anderson Radiology Center.

7. Diverse and Interesting: Our area is truly representative of the world’s population. As the destination of choice for most expatriates moving here with their energy sector jobs, you will love our multi-cultural make-up. Our kids grow up with friends from all over the world and so many international buyers (drawn here because of our schools), develop strong ties to our community. I know on my street alone we have residents representing: US, Canada, Africa, India, Russia… and this is one street.

8. Family: Katy is family centric and is a place where you can finally stop, unwind and relax with the ones you love. This is a place where people gather to enjoy everything that a true “community” can offer.  

9. Spirituality:  At one time, this area was known as the “City of Churches” and offers a place of worship for everyone, regardless of your faith.

10. Friendly Residents: I have lived all over US and abroad and can attest that I am living in one of the friendliest places on Earth. This could be one of the reasons so many people keep moving back to Katy, TX. When a family moves away, chances are … they will be back.

Why not drop by and check us out. You just might love it and never want to  leave. For more information, please visit my website www.ChristiBorden.com .

See you in Katy!


Texas: A Proposed Sales Tax on Real Estate –

January 12, 2011

Texas, like many states, is currently facing an economic shortfall and our Legislators are scrambling to make up the difference. There are many proposed bills being brought for consideration to try to shore up the State’s coffers. While I realize the money has to come from somewhere, an informed consumer is wise consumer.

Political party affiliations aside, as a Realtor, I am a fierce proponent of private property rights. I will be running a series of discussions about the proposed bills to share available information so that you aware of items that could negatively impact your property rights and your pocket-book.

Taxes on real estate transactions: Combined State and Local sales tax rate would be applied when a property is sold or changes ownership and on long-term leases.

This is similar to buying a car now but could come into play whether a home is bought, sold, or transfers ownership due to divorce, probate, etc. The position of the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) is that this will actually drive down the number of transactions and potentially  increase the future tax rates needed to cover earmarked expenditures, burdening both buyers and sellers and hurting the real estate market and the Texas Economy.

As a Buyer: This would certainly eat into the cash reserves for your down payment, repairs, furnishings, etc. And if your margins for borrowing are narrow, this could actually diminish the amount you can finance or size of home you can purchase.

As a Seller: This will eat into the equity or net proceeds you walk away with from the sale and could end up raising the costs of housing in your area.

As a Tenant/Landlord: One concern is what will be designated as a “long-term lease” and how much will this impact lease costs because someone has to bear the expense:  landlord, tenant or both. As an investor, this could certainly impact your ROI.

What are your thoughts on this proposed sales tax item?


Winter… Finally arriving in Houston but are you ready?

January 9, 2011

by Christi Borden

Cold fronts are few and far between here in South Texas. Oh, sure the folks up in Dallas will often get ice, sleet and occasional flurries of the white stuff, but by the time it travels down Hwy 45, we usually get a soggy, windy mess.

Hold on to your hats folks because it looks like we are in for quite a storm. With 100% chance of rain (and it must be serious because our weather experts rarely risk putting themselves out there beyond the usual 35% chance), high winds in the morning expected to be up to 30 mph and temps reaching into the low 30’s by nightfall… Houston, winter has officially arrived.

If last year’s cold fronts taught us anything, we need to protect our property from costly damage due to freezing conditions. I posted information about freezing pipes this time last year and it bears repeating.

(January 2010)

 This information is taken directly from http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/pubs/consumer/cb011.html

Icy winter weather can cause water pipes to freeze and burst if you haven’t prepared them for the frigid temperatures. Outdoor pipes, pipes in unheated areas, and pipes that run along uninsulated exterior walls are susceptible to expanding and bursting if they freeze. The result can be thousands of dollars worth of water damage to your walls, ceilings, carpets, and furniture.

Prepare for the Freeze

You can protect your home by taking the following precautions to prepare your pipes for a freeze:

  • Protect faucets, outdoor pipes, and pipes in unheated areas by wrapping them with rags, newspapers, trash bags, or plastic foam.
  • Insulate your outdoor water meter box and be sure the lid is on tight.
  • Cover any vents around your home’s foundation.
  • Drain water hoses, unhook and store them in a garage or shed.
  • Protect outdoor electrical pumps.
  • Drain swimming pool circulation systems or keep the pump motor running. (Run the pump motor only in a short freeze. Running the motor for long periods could damage it.)
  • Drain water sprinkler supply lines (and cover above-ground piping).
  • Open the cabinets under the sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow heated air to circulate around the water pipes.
  • Set your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees, especially when you’re gone for the day or away for an extended period.
  • Let indoor faucets drip, but don’t run a heavy stream of water.
  • Make sure you know where your home’s shut-off valve is and how to turn it on and off.
  • If you leave town, consider turning off your water at the shut-off valve. Leave your faucets on when you turn the water off to drain the pipes.  Make sure you turn the faucets off before you turn the shut-off valve back on.
  • If you drain your pipes, contact your electric or gas utility company for instructions on protecting your water heater.

If Your Pipes Freeze

If a pipe bursts and floods your home, turn the water off at the shut-off valve.  Call a plumber for help if you can’t find the broken pipe or if it’s inaccessible.  Don’t turn the water back on until the pipe has been repaired.

If the pipe hasn’t burst, thaw it out with an electric heating pad, hair dryer, portable space heater, or towel soaked with hot water. Don’t use a blowtorch or other open-flame device. They are fire risks and could produce dangerous carbon monoxide.

Apply heat by slowly moving the heat source toward the coldest spot on the pipe. Never concentrate heat in one spot because cracking ice can shatter a pipe. Turn the faucet on and let it run until the pipe is thawed and water pressure returns to normal.

If You Have Damage

Contact your insurance agent or company promptly. Follow up as soon as possible with a written claim to protect your rights under Texas’ prompt-payment law.

Review your coverage. Most homeowners and renters policies pay to repair houses and replace personal property damaged by the bursting pipes. Most policies also pay for debris removal and for additional living expenses if you have to move temporarily because of damage to your home. If you can’t find your policy, ask your agent or company for a copy.

Homeowners policies may require you to make temporary repairs to protect your property from further damage. Your policy covers the cost of these repairs. Keep all receipts and damaged property for the adjuster to inspect. If possible, take photos or videos of the damage before making repairs. Don’t make permanent repairs. An insurance company may deny a claim if you make permanent repairs before an adjuster inspects the damage.

Most homeowners policies do not cover loss caused by freezing pipes while your house is unoccupied unless you used reasonable care to maintain heat in the building; shut off the water supply; and drain water from plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems.

Stay warm, Houstonians!


Transformation by Passion!

January 2, 2011

 by Christi Borden

If you were to ask anyone who knows me very well for a description… the following adjectives would not necessarily make the short list:

Patient, Methodical, Analytical, Calm or Organized. Sad, but there it is.

This does not mean that I cannot be these things when I really put my mind to it,  but I have yet to master these traits. I have spent endless hours (okay, years) trying to develop systems to enhance my skills. In the end, I have managed to hire a fabulous staff… delegation is a wonderful thing.

However, as I spent ALL DAY today (and yesterday) cooking, I realized that cooking is a task that by its very own nature requires the exact traits that have so long escaped my grasp. Yet through it all, I absolutely LOVE to cook. I always have. Following the passion of my professional chef Grandfather… I derive sheer and utter joy from the planning, organizing, creation and completion processes involved. And each time I delve into a very complicated recipe or menu plan … I become someone different in the process. I am transformed into the gal I have always wanted to be.

So to anyone out there that might want to know me – Yes, I can be Patient, Methodical, Analytical, Calm and Organized…Well, at least while I am cooking.

What transforms you?

I would love for your comments and welcome you to subscribe to my blog … www.TheBordenReport.com .