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The Woodlands and Spring TX Real Estate Blog

Jutta "Utah" Burden


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 477

Carlton Woods Luxury Homes

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Carlton Woods Luxury Homes - How to Find the Right One for You

Admit it: whenever you look at elite neighborhoods with country estates, chic condominiums, and elegant mansions, you can't help but dream of living there. Well, why don't you, then? If you really want to live in a luxury home, then Carlton Woods luxury homes should be the first ones you look at. Here are several helpful tips that can help you plan your potential future purchase to a tee.

While looking at Carlton Woods luxury homes, you should talk to the people in the neighborhood whenever you can to find out what kind of problems they face and ask about the neighborhood amenities that they enjoy the most. Try to get a copy of the homeowner's association guidelines and rules while you're there, as well. This will give you an idea of how strict they are when it comes to a number of cars in the driveway and the house color, among other things.

Take a look at the zoning laws, too. This happens to be a vital thing to take into consideration, so you can protect your home from various township developments like new buildings being built. Basically, you need to find out as much as you can about Carlton Woods so you can adapt to it much faster if you choose to live there in the end.

When comparing Carlton Woods luxury homes, try not to rely solely on pictures if you can. There happen to be a lot of big and beautiful homes that simply do not look good in photos and which you will have to see for yourself first, so make sure you pay a visit.

You also need to make sure that you have a great agent who will help you buy your dream home, no matter what. This agent should know the ins and outs of Carlton Woods since high-end properties usually come with certain access restrictions and a good agent can help mediate such cases. Also, since the stakes with Carlton Woods luxury homes are quite high, he should be professional and thorough enough to help you out anytime. He should also negotiate with lenders and financial institutions for you, so that the entire house financing process, in general, will become a much easier task for you.

The most important thing to consider when looking at Carlton Woods luxury homes, however, would be your own financial position. Sit down with a realtor and find out just how much you will be able to afford. Remember: your assessment has to be honest.

Woodlands Realtor

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

In The Market

Are you in the market for a Woodlands realtor? If so, then you have made a fantastic first step in the process of buying a new home for yourself and your growing family. Navigating the real estate market is not something that any average civilian should attempt, as it can be confusing and filled with jargon that is of no significance outside that specific market. A Woodlands realtor can assist you in comprehending the complex system that is the housing market. No one should feel alone in the house hunting process and a Woodlands realtor will ensure that you do not have that feeling of hopelessness that accompanies attempting to purchase a home without professional assistance. A Woodlands realtor can assist you in analyzing the pricing of a specific neighborhood, finding a listing that fits your personal wish list and scoring a deal that is fair for both you and the seller. A Woodlands realtor is an invaluable resource during the mind-boggling process of attempting to find the perfect home. Be sure to get into contact with a Woodlands realtor today and ensure that your experience in the real estate market goes as smoothly as possible.

Being A Woodlands Realtor

Being a Woodlands realtor means that you are daily dealing with properties in a localized area. This experience gives the realtor a knowledge base that provides them with the historical facts necessary to assess the reasonability of prices of specific properties. Knowing whether properties in the area traditionally sell for a certain amount or close at a different amount assists a Woodlands realtor in making rational expert judgments about whether or not a listing is priced reasonably. Do not be the buyer who simply takes the sticker price blindly. Be sure to consult a Woodlands realtor in order to ensure that you are not being overcharged in an area that is usually priced significantly lower than the asking price on your prospective property.

Property Search

A Woodlands realtor can also assist you in mastering the real estate system and locating a property to fits each and every criterion that you hope to find in your new home. It can be extremely confusing to attempt to search through every last listing in the Woodlands, hunting for that gem property that gives you everything that you want. A Woodlands realtor is skilled in finding that perfect property with effortless ease. Let a Woodlands realtor work their magic for you and score that real estate listing that rises to even your highest standards.

Negotiating A Final Price

When negotiating a final price on a listing, a Woodlands realtor is well practiced in the art of sealing the deal. In order to find a comfortable middle ground between the buyer and the seller, a realtor must have fantastic people skills and the ability to solve complicated problems. The average house hunter does not have this adept ability and should most definitely call in a professional to do the job. There is a reason that they are the Woodlands realtor and you are not. You simply specialize in a different field. Imagine someone coming in and telling you that they could perform the job that you do on a daily basis more efficiently without any training. That is ludicrous, right?

Woodlands Realtor

When hunting for a home in the Woodlands, a Woodlands realtor is an essential confidant that you should not attempt to go without. There is no reason that you should be expected to scramble through the maze of house hunting without an experienced advisor at your service. Call a Woodlands realtor today and begin your search for a home in the Woodlands, the smart way.

Features that Sell – Improvements That Pay Off and Help Sell Your Home

by Jutta "Utah" Burden


Features that Sell – Improvements That Pay Off and Help Sell Your Home


There are certain features and improvements that buyers find appealing and which will help sell your home quicker and get you top dollar.  With low interest home equity and improvement loans, making improvements is affordable and will pay off later when you go to sell your home. Here are some helpful suggestions.




Today’s buyers want a turnkey home. Features that are most popular are:


1.  Kitchens with granite counters

2.  Center islands

3.  Stainless steel appliances

4.  New kitchen cabinets

5.  New bathroom vanities

6.  Hardwood or tile floors

7.  Home office work area

8.  Extra bathroom

9.  Manicured Yard.


Space is really important so clean up clutter so that your home looks spacious. Also make sure your home is clean. Get rid of pet odors and smoke.   Simple things like fresh paint and new carpet or flooring enhance your homes features and pay off. 




Updated kitchens and baths

Extra Bathrooms

Hardwood flooring, tiles and new carpet

Large master suites with his and her walk in closets

Family Room or office/den area



New Appliances

New Roofs

New windows, window treatments

New Hardware

Swimming Pools

Updated systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning


Don’t forget the outside of your home.  Make sure it has curb appeal because appearance does count.  Professional landscape or trim hedges and bushes, mow the lawn and plant some nice flowers. Mend any broken fences and paint outside as well.  The competition is stiff these days with so many houses on the market in The Woodlands and surrounding areas so you need to make sure your home stands out from the rest.


Read more information on getting your house ready to sell at


Village of Creekside Park The Woodlands

by Jutta "Utah" Burden


Real Estate in Creekside Park - The Woodlands

Homes for sale in Creekside Park vary in prices starting from the $200s upwards to about $3 million plus. The real estate here features a wonderful mix of different designs and styles to suit all tastes and preferences. Homes in the greater Woodlands area are almost similar in terms of design, styles as well as prices.

Creekside Park is one of the newest villages in the Woodlands. Plans are underway to include 7,100 residences in a varying styles and price ranges alongside parks and green spaces, which will include the 1,700-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve.

Of all the Woodland villages, Creekside Park has a reputation of being the most “park like” owing to the abundant green spaces and outdoor recreational facilities. Its most marvelous feature is its 1,700-acre George Mitchell Nature reserve which includes frontage that runs seven miles along Spring Creek. The preserve adds a great deal to the value of real estate in Creekside Park. It is larger than both Hermann Park and Memorial Park combined, and forms part of the Spring Creek Greenway Project.

Real estate in Creekside Park comprises of a nature center, scenic trails, canoe and kayak launches. As with all villages of The Woodlands, Creekside Park includes a large selection of village center shopping where Woodlands families go to shop and to engage in other recreational activities. These and many other luxuries are what make life in the villages of the Woodlands so amazing.

So far, an estimated 520 families have so far bought homes in Creekside Park. This ninth and newest village of the Woodlands has many parks and amenities that these new home owners are now enjoying. Homes in Creekside Park are designed with an emphasis on outdoor recreation and becoming one with nature. It includes 1,850 acres of parklands encompassing the 1,700-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve, the Rob Fleming Park that is 20-acres long and the 72-acre Lake Paloma.

The award-winning George Mitchell Nature Preserve has two trailheads that are ideal for mountain biking, hiking and bird watching. This preserve forms part of the Spring Creek Green Way project. The Rob Fleming Park has a Craftsman-style lodge that is ideal for outdoor performances. The park boasts of a one-acre pond and picnic area, a festival field, playground and Meadow that is covered with color when early spring comes around. The Rob Fleming Aquatic Center sits at the edge of Lake Paloma on a 13-acre site. The Aquatic Center is open to all Woodlands residents for a small fee.


Wooded Wonderland

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

A Master-Planned Community that Stands Out for its High Quality of Life. The Woodlands is a Great Place to Live, Work, Learn, and Play!

Located just 27 miles north of downtown Houston, The Woodlands has transformed from a residential suburb into a cultural enclave that offers everything you could ask for. Five million square feet of shopping and dining, world-class healthcare facilities, designer homes, parks, and championship golf courses blend seamlessly with thousands of trees. It's a perfect combination of nature and all of the today's modern conveniences.

George Mitchell, The Woodlands' founder, believed development should conform to the natural world around it, not compete with it, and the evolution of The Woodlands has stayed on this course. When Mitchell's vision opened in 1974, the homes, pathways, and parks came first. Purposeful, planned development of commercial and retail properties followed, and the population grew to approximately 90,000.

For nearly two decades, more homes have been sold in The Woodlands than in any other master-planned community in Texas, and it consistently ranks in the top five best-selling master-planned communities in the United States. There is something for everyone: beautiful homes by top designers, residential lofts, apartments, and senior housing are all connected to places to work, learn, shop, and play by 155 miles of hiking and biking paths.

The Woodlands' setting resembles an East Texas Piney Woods forest. When you drive down the curvy roads, you won't see any billboards or neon signs, and it's hard to get a sense of the development's size or how many amenities it offers. "You almost have to live here for a while before you can discover all the homes, restaurants, shops, parks, and schools behind the trees," says Tim Welbes, co-president of The Woodlands Development Company.

Life Among the Trees


Thirty-five years ago, the first residents were personally welcomed by a member of Interfaith of The Woodlands, the social services heartbeat of the community. Interfaith still welcomes new residents today. "The Woodlands is different from other new towns because of how our development scheme has been executed and because of the unique sense of community spirit," says Welbes. "People love to get involved, and there are plenty of ways to do it."

Another perk of life in The Woodlands? You don't have to go far to find something you enjoy. For a night out, walk to a performance by Town Center Theatre. As part of the group's third season, Nunsense will open on July 17. Dinosaurs more your thing? Hang out with Stan, a full-size Tyrannosaurus rex who resides with his prehistoric friends at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at The Woodlands Mall.

The Woodlands has a special appeal for art lovers. Outdoor sculptures throughout the community provide a cultural counterpoint to nature. Beginning with The Family, a sculpture acquired for the grand opening in 1974, The Woodlands has remained committed to building a collection of outdoor public art. The latest addition to the collection, which totals 51 pieces, is The Woodlands Passage, a series of five limestone sculptures.






The Advantages of Real Estate in the Woodlands

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

The Advantages of Real Estate in the Woodlands

When moving after college graduation or while job hunting, it is important to consider various things as you look at the possible states available for you to live in. Texas happens to be perfect for most people because of the warm weather that is present all year round. Not only that, but there is good value in house work, as well, because coatings and scaffolding simply do not experience the fury of harsh weather. The Woodlands doesn't have a state income tax, either, so living there is much cheaper compared to other states, making it a good place to live in overall, especially because of the recession. These are only several advantages that come with the real estate in the Woodlands, though. Keep reading for further clarification.

The Woodlands' weather is great throughout the entire year. Although it does get humid at times, it really isn't too much of a problem for most of its residents. Besides, studies have shown that many people experience doldrums during the winter because of the cold and dreariness that come with the season. Therefore, if you would prefer to live somewhere less cold, then living in the Woodlands is sure to make you a much happier person altogether.

Because of this generally warm weather throughout the year, you will not be bothered by house repairs outside of the home as much as in other states, either. Roofs in other states get damaged pretty easily when it snows a lot on the internet or when water from snow ends up leaking through the roof. In fact, such weather problems could also ruin the insides of a house. Thankfully, these problems do not exist when it comes to real estate in the Woodlands.

Additionally, since state income tax does not exist for real estate in the Woodlands, living there becomes much more affordable, especially when compared to living expenses in other places. With no state income tax, you will no longer need to shell out money for taxes from the pay that you get at work. That is just how this state's economy survives and moves on. How great is that?

Many magazine articles and national rankings have shown up, proving how some cities have become immune from the recession. In fact, some cities have even grown despite it. Most of those cities happen to lie within Texas, and the Woodlands is one of them. This shows that many jobs will still be available here because real estate in the Woodlands has not been hit too hard. This also means that it will have great home values because they are still continuing to grow.

Quick Guide to The Woodlands

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Opened in 1974, The woodlands is a 28,000-acre master-planned forested community. Mr. George P. Mitchell was the founder and original developer of The Woodlands.

Located 27 miles North of downtown Houston on I-45, it encompasses nine residential villages.

Of the 28,000 acres in The Woodlands, nearly 6,000 acres are now devoted to green space in parks, golf courses and greenbelts. Nearly 8,000 acres will remain undeveloped green space at build-out.

More than 1,550 businesses and corporations have found a home in The Woodlands.

There are 14 companies with 100,00 square feet or more located in The Woodlands. A total of 24.7 million square feet of commercial, industrial, and institutional development are here, providing jobs for more than 43,200 people.

Over 40 religious congregations also make their homes in The Woodlands.

More than 162 miles of hike and bike paths provide wooded trails between The Woodlands' 110 parks, lakes, ponds, and 7 championship golf courses.

Throughout The Woodlands, and impressive collection of 49 pieces outdoor sculpture add a cultural counterpoint to the wooded landscape.

In 1974, "The Family." was The Woodlands' first piece of outdoor sculpture.

Pollstar magazine has tanked the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 5th among the top 100 amphitheaters in the world.

The new "Downtown" of The Woodlands, the Town Center includes Waterway Square, Market Street & The Woodlands Waterway, and adds an additional 1,000 acres to your shopping experience. The 1.25 mile Waterway and transportation corridor that links the businesses and entertainment venues in Town Center, provides water taxis & trolleys to complement the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. It was envisioned by George P. Mitchell who said he got the idea for the water feature when he spotted a stream leading to what would one day be Lake Woodlands during a site tour of the property before construction began on the master-planned community.

In addition to the approximately 75 restaurants located in The Woodlands, with varied menus from fine dining to casual hamburgers and fries, there are 22 hotels offering luxurious amenities in all price ranges.

The woodlands parks and recreational facilities are the perfect place to spend the day. We have it all - rock climbing, BMX tracks, skateboarding parks, dog parks, disc golf, bocce courts, horseshoes and chalkboard areas can all be found withing these 110 fun-filled parks. Complimenting the parks are more than 140 miles of hike and bike paths, 13 swimming pools, and more than 1,500 acres of open space.

Golf is a way of life in The Woodlands. 135 holes on 7 distinct and breathtaking courses provide a golfer's paradise. For the tennis fan, there are more than 60 public and private courts within easy reach.

Wildflowers and wildlife - Each Spring, thousands of wildflowers blanket the entire Woodlands community for all to enjoy. Squirrels, birds, deer, and other wildlife can be easily seen year round.

The Rise of the Midgard - the green serpent is 35 feet long, 6 feet high, and 18 inches wide. Seen along Woodlands Parkway at Lake Woodlands, it was presented to the community by Cynthia Woods Mitchell when the 200-acre Lake Woodlands was completed in 1985.

Read a good book at the new 30,000 square-foot Mitchell Library located on Ashlane Way near the intersection of Woodlands Parkway and Branch Crossing.

Waterway Square, a new public plaza with multiple features including a 120-foot long cascading water wall with dancing columns of water, boomer jets that shoot water 60 feet into the air, and fountains choreographed to music with colored lights at night. A children's interactive fountain is also located in Waterway Square, which overlooks The Waterway.

Like what you see?! View homes for sale in The Woodlands at


The Tom Fazio Championship golf course at The Club at Carlton Woods, located in the gated enclave of Carlton Woods Creekside in The Woodlands, has achieved the designation of “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses, an Audubon International Program. Eric Bauer, Director of Grounds at The Club at Carlton Woods who led the effort to obtain sanctuary status for the course, has been recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International, according to William E. Langley, CCM, Vice President of Club Operations for The Club at Carlton Woods.
The Tom Fazio Championship course is the 16th course in Texas and the 779th in the world to receive this prestigious honor.  The Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at The Club at Carlton Woods, located in the gated enclave of Carlton Woods, was designated as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” in 2003, stated Langley. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides guidance and information to assist management of golf courses to preserve and enhance wildlife habitats, and protect natural resources.
"The Club at Carlton Woods has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs. "To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas." These areas include environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.
“I am very pleased that both the Fazio golf course now and the Nicklaus Signature course in the past have received certification from Audubon International,” Langley said. “Achieving this recognition from Audubon International is very important to The Club at Carlton Woods and The Woodlands Development Company and stresses our effort to help improve the environment. This is a commitment that is carried throughout the 28,000 forested acres of The Woodlands.”

Bauer, a 2008 finalist for TurfNet’s Superintendent of the Year, joined The Woodlands Development Company to help with the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at The Club at Carlton Woods in 2002. He later assisted with the opening of the Tom Fazio Championship golf course, also at The Club at Carlton Woods. During his tenure, the Nicklaus course was named the #3 Best New Private Course in America and the #1 Best New Private Course in Texas by Golf Digest in 2002 and ranked the #2 Private Course in Texas by The Dallas Morning News in 2006. The Nicklaus course was also ranked the Top Private Course in the Greater Houston Area by the Houston Chronicle in 2001. After its opening, the Fazio course was recognized as the #3 Best New Private Course in America and the #1 Best New Private Course in Texas by Golf Digest in 2006.         Both the Nicklaus and Fazio course are for play by members of The Club at Carlton Woods. Carlton Woods is one of only two gated communities in the United States to offer a private Nicklaus/Fazio combination. 

The Woodlands is a 28,000-acre master-planned community located 27 miles north of downtown Houston.  It is a project of The Woodlands Development Company, a limited partnership of Morgan Stanley and General Growth Properties, Inc.


Find out what else luxurious, The Woodlands has to offer at

An Outstanding Place to Live

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

People are proud to call The Woodlands their hometown because they love the quality of life here. The preservation of the trees and the natural environment make The Woodlands a very special place indeed. Top-notch community services, schools, recreation, shopping, dining, entertainment, and even workplaces, makes The Woodlands a great place to live.

The master plan of The Woodlands was developed based on a village concept that supports the widest choices of home styles and neighborhoods. The Woodlands has been the number one selling community in Houston and Texas since 1990.

The community is committed to maintaining its high quality of life through community service organizations like The Woodlands Community Association (WCA) and The Woodlands Association (TWA). The WCA and TWA provide hometown services by supporting The Woodlands Community Service Corporation (WCSC), which contracts with The Woodlands Division of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and The Woodlands Fire Department for police and fire protection. Through the WCSC, the community associations also provide services such as trash collection, recycling and funding and maintenance of neighborhood parks, pools, and pathways. The community associations also organize programs such as The Woodlands Watch and provide a resident forum for community involvement.

To Build or Buy – Pros and Cons

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

To Build or Buy – Pros and Cons!


to come to the right decision for you real To build or buy a spec home is a personal decision that depends on many factors such as your financial situation, time, budget, criteria, intended use, and family or business needs. There are many new spec homes that are more economical and require a lot less time commitment than a custom built home.  You may want to look at spec homes in The Woodlands or surrounding areas first unless you already own a piece of land that you want to develop.  Let’s take a look at some pros and cons:


Pros of Custom Built Home


A custom built home means buying the land and having a builder build your Texas dream home. Keep in mind that a custom build home can take approximately 6 -8 months to complete. You will need to work with an architect as well to draw up plans. It is always smart to get estimates from a couple different builders and architects.  Be sure to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent that can give you comparables to let you know about future growth and appreciation and who works with new construction. Be careful on the upgrades and custom design. Do not over upgrade you may not be able to get your money out. Stick with neutral colors and traditional designs for resale purposes.




·        Getting exactly what you want

·        Living in the location you want

·        Builder warranties




·        Higher costs

·        Takes approximately 6 – 8 months to build

·        Construction delays

·        May be harder to sell later if you have the most expensive home in the neighborhood.


Pros of Purchasing a New Spec Home


Many large builders and general contractors build spec homes. They build certain models that they can predict costs on because they have repeatedly built the same type of homes. They know their profit margin. However, many Texas new home spec builders got caught with new housing inventory that they could not sell at the prices they originally intended because the real estate market prices declined the last two years.  These builder closeouts are available now to buyers looking in The Woodlands and surrounding Spring and Magnolia areas.  The builders are offering all sorts of great incentives such as paying $10,000 towards buyer’s closing costs, buying down mortgage points, offering upgrades, paying taxes and homeowner dues, etc.   Although the complete freedom of a custom home is not available with a spec home, the buyer can usually choose from several different models and some options such as lighting, cabinetry, flooring, appliances and paint.





·        Costs are less

·        Home is brand new

·        Offer limited choices on upgrades

·        Builder incentives such as paying closing costs and upgrades, taxes and HOA fees, buy down       on mortgage points.

·        Waiting time for home to be completed is less than custom built home 

·        Builder warranties




·        Loose complete freedom over choice

·         The builder may have already pre-selected upgrades that can or cannot be changed. 



After weighing all the pros and cons and doing a bit of research on comparable homes sales in the area you choose, you should be able estate wants and needs.    


Check out breath-taking neighborhoods in The Woodlands at

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