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River Oaks Houston

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  1. It’s In The Basket

    By Taylor Byrne Dodge
    Photos by Taylor Byrne Dodge

    Our family celebrates together several times in the spring – Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays and the occasional graduation – but my tablescapes sometimes become a little stale. In an effort to improve my table decorating skills, I recently took at class at Thompson + Hanson to learn how to make a seasonal living green centerpiece. They are fun and easy to make and have a major wow factor.

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  2. The Builders are Back

    By Cameron Ansari

    After a year-long hiatus speculative builders are back in River Oaks with a good selection of new houses in the pipeline.

    And, if you’re in the market, you will find it refreshing that you won’t have to settle for a huge white box with a pastiche of neoclassical details affixed to the front. It is encouraging that there is a greater selection of builders, with a variety of design ideas. If there is a new trend, we would describe it as English Renaissance.

    Texture is back, and we don’t mean just more slurried brick. Painted brick – and just plain old brick – as well as shingles and wood are some of the proposed exterior finishes. Inevitably, there is plenty of stucco coming, too. Some builders explain their stucco preference with the claim that it provides the homeowner with an additional linear foot of construction space in each direction – brick, on the other hand, requires a ledge of about six inches on each side of the foundation. One can’t help imagining that it’s also because it is less expensive to install (though not as economical to maintain).

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  3. The Persian New Year

    Goldfish for Luck, the Wild Olive for Love, and Nuts to Problems*

    By Micki McClelland
    Click photos for source

    Whether pagan or Christian, Jew or Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, atheist or Pentecostal, Confucian or Zoroastrian, spring is the time when the nose on each human face wakes up to smell the roses. Look close, and you will find those noses sniffing around among the hyacinths, the jonquils, sweet peas, gardenias, lilacs and the blooming dogwoods too.

    On Monday, March 20, the sun will cross the Earth’s equator, ushering in the vernal equinox. At that time, not only will spring’s handmaidens burst on the scene dancing an ecstatic dervish in the fecund garden of earthly delights, but the moment marks the first day of the year on the tradition-infused Persian calendar.

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  4. Size Really Counts

    By Cameron Ansari

    But, as the adage goes, it’s not just about size. The most particular characteristic of the large-lot market in River Oaks is that, in addition to the absolute size of any given lot, other qualities of the property are critically important to a prospective buyer.

    Buyers willing to pay $4 million or more for a half-acre are not merely content with square footage. Proportions (e.g. narrow and deep? pie-shaped? irregular?), topography, the maturity of landscape, view, building setbacks and, above all, location will make or break a sale. Prospective buyers may alternately seek or shun visibility from the street. Others will not venture outside the central original sections of River Oaks. Backing to the golf course is a piece of heaven for some, but others will wince at those unsightly utility lines.

    As market professionals, we always ask lot buyers three key questions: Why do you want a large lot? What are you trying to accomplish? What is your timeline?

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