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Houston’s The Woodlands Is A Sheltering Forest
If you think Texas is all prairie dotted with cactus, you’ll be delightfully surprised to learn that much of the eastern

If you think Texas is all prairie dotted with cactus, you’ll be delightfully surprised to learn that much of the eastern portion of the state is thick with woods, including the bedroom community known as the Woodlands, 27 miles north of downtown Houston.

double check this. The Woodlands is one of the largest master-planned communities in the state, with over 30,000 acres in the East Texas Piney Woods and a population of over 75,000. Local Realtors say the area is so popular that it seems to weather any economic storm or housing recession. In fact, they say, The Woodlands is hot.

Realtor Rosa Jimenez explains the community’s appeal.

“You will feel like you are in a forest,” says Jimenez. “The Woodlands is a totally wooded community made up of multiple villages for a small-town atmosphere. A river walk much like the one in San Antonio is under construction which will run behind the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion where many concerts are held.”

Editor’s note: The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion is one of the most distinguished outdoor concert facilities in the nation.

Advises Jimenez, “Home prices are on the rise and there is still an influx of buyers. Homes that have been well maintained and have good curb appeal are not lasting long on the market. There are many first-time buyers ready to buy, but with inventory so low, many are finding it difficult finding a home. The best advice I can give a buyer in today’s market is not to take too much time deciding on making an offer on a home they like. If it looks good and you like it, go for it.”

Jimenez also suggests that buyers make an educated offer.

“What I mean by that is this is not the time to try and get a bargain,” says Jimenez. “If you don’t buy it, there are at least two or three other buyers waiting in the wings. By waiting you may just be spending more money in the long run because prices continue to rise. This is particularly true with builders. Some builders have an average of 10 price increases a year. By waiting you will be spending more down the line.”

“The Woodlands was designed to maintain the forest while creating a hometown atmosphere where people live, work, and play while enjoying peaceful surroundings,” says Realtor Jim Waters. “Quality of life is available in this community.

“Current market conditions seem to be mostly influenced by the price range. Below $150,000 it is a seller’s market, where you can expect rising prices. Around $200,000 is still a mild seller’s market giving stable to rising prices. Above $300,000 it is more of a buyer’s market, level to falling prices expected. Above $500,000 is slow with little activity. Overall, expect a standoff between the seller’s market and buyer’s market. I predict that the market will remain “level” in near future with lower price ranges to experience high demand and increasing prices.”

“The market in The Woodlands remains a rock even when other areas falter somewhat,” says Realtor Lewis Walker. “With consumer confidence shattered in the upper price ranges for the past few months there appears to be a revival of activity in The Woodlands and the Houston market as a whole.

“As the year moves forward and the economy shows strength, the $400,000 and up market is steadily improving,” says Walker. “A strong year is anticipated. What is foreseen is a bounce back unprecedented because this time it is built from the bottom with the lower-end housing leading the charge up the stairway to higher value ranges. There is a window of opportunity to rush into purchasing before we see the anticipated price rise and absorption of standing inventories. It is a buyers market for all price ranges but is quickly becoming a sellers market over $300,000.”

“Home sales for the first quarter of this year, both new and resale, were at an all time high in Harris and Montgomery Counties,” says Realtor James L. Ramey. “New home builders continue to increase their prices on a regular basis, thereby driving up the prices of resale homes as well. Production cannot keep up with the demand. Resale homes sell quickly (if priced correctly), yet the buyers are buying them at a lower price than they will be next month! A true win-win situation. The adage “buy it today because it will cost more tomorrow” was never more true than when referring to property in Harris and Montgomery Counties.”
Copyright © 2002 Realty Times. All Rights Reserved.

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Water Is The Source Of Life

Water may be the source of all life, but it can also be a nemesis to the frustrated homeowner dealing with plumbing problems. Next to a natural disaster, the one thing that can ruin your home is a major plumbing issue. Luckily, there are many things people can do to stave off plumbing disasters and make sure the damage is minimal when unexpected events do happen.

If you discover a frozen water pipe, turn on a nearby faucet so that thawed ice has a place to go. Doing so provides pressure relief, and might spare you the damage of a burst pipe.

You should have your septic tank pumped once every five years for best performance. Deposit and debris build up in your tank can result in major problems. It may be a bit expensive to pump a septic tank, but it will be very expensive to clean up an emergency sewage problem.

It’s a bad idea to makes use of toilet tablets composed of bleach or in the color blue, or in fact any one designed to remove odors. They can clean the bowl and remove odors, but they also damage the soft plastic and rubber parts in and around your toilet.

Do not attempt to fix your garbage disposal by reaching in with your hands. Garbage disposals are dangerous, even when turned off. Use a guide or the Internet to locate a blueprint of your disposal, or a troubleshooting manual.

A strainer should be placed over all the drains in order to gather particles that would just get in the drain and potentially cause stoppage. You should clean your strainer in your kitchen anytime you have anything in it. Clean bathtub drain screens as often as needed.

If you live in a home using well water and your bathtubs have stains pink and orange in color, this is likely a result of iron levels in the well water. This can be remedied by using a water softener which can be purchased at a shop, or a company can pay a visit to your home and handle the situation for you.

If you want your garbage disposal to have the same lifespan as your total home, clean it regularly. Create a routine that uses both normal soaps and natural materials like cherry pits of lemon rinds. With this, you’ll be able to keep your garbage disposal running and smelling like new.

Have all your plumbing needs scheduled all at once. You might be tempted to have a plumber come out for every little thing that happens, but kicking the can on some issues until you have a list means you can save a few bucks. Most plumbers have an hourly rate and a flat rate for the trip: asking a plumber to fix multiple problems in one trip is cheaper than calling them more than once.

If you operate the disposal on your sink, run plenty of cool water. Cold water keeps blades sharp and allows for smoother disposal. Grease will stay solid and go through your drain with cold water; you don’t want gooey grease in your pipes.

Save money by getting better shower heads. Most of the hot water we use is from showering. Install energy saving faucets throughout your home and you can recapture your cost within the year.

Don’t throw trash down your toilet. Doing so can clog the drain and cause plumbing problems. Don’t flush items like paper towels, sanitary napkins, diapers or cotton balls, because these items don’t break down and may cause clogging issues. Try to minimize the amount of toilet tissue that gets flushed, too – but don’t neglect basic hygiene!

If your pipes are clogged, and you want to try a pipe cleaner, it is suggested that you use an enzyme based cleaner. These are cleaners that work by using natural bacteria to eat away at your clog, and turn it into a liquid that is then flushed from your pipes. Enzyme cleaners are preferred by many to clear clogged drains.

Keeping up with maintenance is the number one way to keep plumbers from having to come fix issues. Drain clogs are a common plumbing expense. You can clog your drains with hair. Avoid this by using a drain cover or screen that keeps hair and other particles from clogging your pipes. It’s more convenient to remove hair before it has a chance to get down the drain and into the pipes.

If you get grout in your pipes, you won’t be able to get it out by yourself. You can try to break it up to send it on down the line. Plastic pipes are more conducive to clearing grout than metal pipes. Usually, however, you will need to hire a professional for this issue.

Don’t run the water when the garbage disposal is used. Although some say that running water will help keep the disposal running smoothly, this isn’t always the case. In point of fact, sending water and garbage through the disposal together can shorten its lifespan by encouraging more waste to stick to the moving parts.

If you need a plumber, check out their credentials before hiring them. Certain plumbers may not have the necessary skill or experience to deal with more advanced plumbing jobs, and could make matters worse. Ask people you trust who they use when they have plumbing problems. Also remember to check online reviews of various plumbers.

Realize that branch lines can get blocked and cause sewage backups that affect main lines. If you can’t clear the blockage yourself, contact a professional plumber, who can insert a snake into the line to break up the blockage.

Knowing how plumbing works, having a good idea of how to fix things, and keeping basic plumbing materials at hand will help avoid major plumbing problems. A person that learns the basics will make less mistakes and avoid hazardous plumbing situations. Using the tips in this article around the house will help anyone complete any plumbing repair safely and successfully, and they’ll become the master of their domain!

0.6 percent of US adults are Transgender

0.6 percent of US adults are Transgender

According to a recent study, around 1.4 million people, that is about 0.6% of U.S. adults are trans-genders. The numbers are double that of ten years ago and varies by state. The study is critical and will help in the framing of current policy discussions that will impact the daily life of transgenders. The policy debates include discussions on discrimination, access to restrooms and many other issues. A conclusion can be arrived at only with supportive data in order to assess potential impact and the number of people that will be affected. The urban District of Columbia has 14,550 people that accounts for 2.77% of the federal district’s population that has identified themselves as transgenders. The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of adults who have identified themselves as transgender.

Many states have about 100,000 or more individuals who are transgender and according to the research Florida has 100,300, California with 218,000 and Texas with 125,350 individuals who identify as transgender. The study indicates that the states of Hawaii, New Mexico, Georgia, and California have the highest percentage (0.8%) of adults indentifying as transgender and Texas and Florida accounts for 0.7%. North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa and Montana were the five states with 0.3% transgender identified adults that is the lowest percentage.

Political debates are concentrating upon major issues like the services and protection from discrimination concerns to be extended to transgender Americans and to protect their rights. The Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the Pentagon announced that the military will not prevent transgender Americans from serving openly. Carter also stated that members in service will not be discharged or separated from service on basis of gender identity. Youngsters in the age of 18 to 24 are most likely to identify themselves as transgender, they account for 0.7%. The researchers at William Institute compiled data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System that represents 50 states in the District of Columbia and U.S.