Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

One of my April highlights was to join other members of The Mercer Society as we loaded a coach bus and headed to Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.  "Shangri La represents a place of beauty, peace and enlightenment"  Among the 252 acres in Orange, Texas you will find "formal rooms" and "sculpture rooms".  I became young at heart while falling behind the group and enjoying an area that is actually designed for children.  Can you see why I would linger here?

If you are ready for quiet time, keep walking down the path toward the Bird Blind and Heronry.  You must be quiet to hear the calls of the nesting birds within Ruby Lake.

 The lake is approximately 15 acres and provides a home to more than 17 species of birds where they are close to food supplies.  The Cypress trees protect the birds from predators while they are nesting.

The boat guides take passengers into the cypress swamps for nature discoveries.  While being educated about living in harmony with nature, it is impressive to learn that Shangri La Botanical Gardens has earned the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum certification for LEED®-NC .
If you are in the Houston area and looking for an enjoyable day trip, then become adventurous and travel about two hours for a completely satisfying opportunity to explore, discover and learn.  Enjoy!
Judy Reynolds

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happiness and Your New Home

Jean Chatzky writes Back to Basics.  In the Feb/March issue of AARP, there is an exceptional article titled How to Buy Happiness .  All of her ideas can so easily be applied to Real Estate!

1.  Know what you treasure most.  -- it's good to actually make a list of the top 10 items you want in a home,  then arrange those treasured items from #1 being the most important and so forth. 
2.  Bigger isn't better  --  I moved from a well arranged 1500 sq ft home that had storage in the completely floored attic space ... to a 3200 sq ft home with soaring ceilings and guess what ... there isn't any attic space what-so-ever other than the two water heaters and AC requirements for a Southern Texas home.  So guess where my Christmas/Easter/Harvest Decorations are, not to mention family heirlooms.  What did bigger accomplish for me?
3.  Don't go overboard --  I would add to her comments that nothing kills happiness like an unbalanced budget.  Period ... enough said!  One thing I promise my clients is to not push over their limits of where their spending habits will allow.  After all, what fun is life if we can't actually live it?
4.  Pay down your mortgage --  Could there be a better feeling than owning your home outright?

Let's get looking for Your New Home and keep in mind all of the Happiness suggestions!

Judy Reynolds, Texas Home Group Realtors