10 Winter Break Activities for Kids

With the school year quickly approaching winter break, it’s now up to the parents to plan a fun-filled vacation that will leave the kids talking about it for months to come. We have compiled a list of 10 winter break activities that will assure your kids have a wonderful story to tell.

  • Enjoy a hayride through College Stations famous Santa’s Wonderland.
    It’s not too late to squeeze in a performance of The Nutcracker Ballet or another holiday show.
  • Go ice skating indoor at The Galleria, or if you’re into the cold weather visit the outdoor rink at Discovery Green.
  • Visit local museums and art centers. Check online for free admission days/times.
  • Spend the day at an area farm, like Old MacDonald’s Farm – where kids can ride the train, play in the hay barn, and enjoy the petting zoo.
  • Watch a movie bundled up with hot chocolate at Discovery Green.
  • Take a day trip to a nearby town, like Brenham to see the Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery.
  • Participate at The Woodlands Children’s Museum for Winter FUNcation.
    Watch a holiday movie at your local theater; don’t forget to call in advance for early bird rates.
  • Schedule a photo with Santa, if you have not already

Best Holiday Lights!


Do you like holiday lights? Holiday light shows make the season a little more magical. And, if you find a house you want to tour, please give any agent at Gary Greene a call.

No matter what part of the city you’re from we have you covered!

CENTRAL HOUSTON

River Oaks Boulevard
‘Zoo Lights’ at Houston Zoo*
Lights in the Heights Festival

NORTHWEST HOUSTON

Franck’s Christmas Light Show, Copperfield
Prestonwood Forest
Shepherd Park & Candlelight Plaza

NORTH

Christmas Ranch – Cleveland
Dearing Dazzle – Conroe
Dodd Family Holidays – The Woodlands
Gullo House of Lights – Magnolia
Schultz Holiday Lights – Spring

WEST

Candy Wonderland, Spring Shadows – Houston
Christmas Katy – Pin Oak Subdivision – Katy

SOUTHEAST

Dickinson Festival of Lights – Dickinson
Magnolia Creek – League City
Moss Lights – League City

SOUTH

Green Tee Terrace – Pearland

SOUTHWEST

Pecan Grove Subdivision – Richmond
Sugar Land Holiday Lights, Constellation Field

GALVESTON

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights*
*Fee associated with light show.

Check Visit Houston for up-to-date listings

Houston Single-Family Home Sales Increase 7%

Houston single-family home sales lost minimal sales velocity from October [8% increase] to November. The 7% increase kept sales up 3% for the year. Pending sales rose 18% in November indicating December will close out the year better than 2016!  All metrics for residential real estate indicate a healthy market as can be seen in the graph below.

*Pending sales are homes that are under contract and have not closed and indicate current buyer demand.

What price ranges have the largest increase in sales in Houston in comparison to last year? The following price cohorts experienced the largest increase compared to 2016:

Based on the entire spectrum of Houston price cohorts in the table above, homes priced $399,999 and below are in a sellers’ market.  Homes priced $400,000 and above are in a buyers’ market. You can see the difference in time on the market under “Months of Inventory”.  Months of Inventory is a figure indicating [at the current rate of sale and with no new homes coming on the market] – how long it would take a home to sell in a specific price range.  Generally, 6 months is a balanced market [neither buyer or seller has the market advantage], a sellers’ market is below 6 months and a buyers’ market is above 6 months.

The Houston overall market is so large; it rarely reflects the same trends as a submarket area located within its boundaries.  Some areas are exceeding Houston’s overall growth in sales while others are lagging behind.  For a breakdown of activity by area with a map, CLICK HERE.

To see the hottest selling geographical areas for the month in Houston, CLICK HERE.

To search for homes by price range and map, go to www.GaryGreene.com.

Data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors® Information Services™, and The Real Estate Center for Texas A&M and written by Toni Nelson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene

Best Holiday Lights!

Do you like holiday lights? Holiday light shows make the season a little more magical. And, if you find a house you want to tour, please give any agent at Gary Greene a call.
No matter what part of the city you are from we have you covered!

CENTRAL HOUSTON

River Oaks Boulevard

“Zoo Lights” at Houston Zoo*

Lights in the Heights Festival

NORTHWEST HOUSTON

Franck’s Christmas Light Show, Copperfield

Prestonwood Forest

Shepherd Park & Candlelight Plaza

NORTH

Christmas Ranch – Cleveland

Dearing Dazzle – Conroe

Dodd Family Holidays – The Woodlands

Gullo House of Lights – Magnolia

Schultz Holiday Lights – Spring

WEST

Candy Wonderland, Spring Shadows – Houston

Christmas Katy – Pin Oak Subdivision – Katy

SOUTHEAST

Dickinson Festival of Lights – Dickinson

Magnolia Creek – League City

Moss Lights – League City

SOUTH

Green Tee Terrace – Pearland

SOUTHWEST

Pecan Grove Subdivision – Richmond

Sugar Land Holiday Lights, Constellation Field

GALVESTON
Moody Gardens Festival of Lights*

*Fee associated with light show.

Check Visit Houston for up-to-date listings

Gary Greene Neighborhood Deep Dive!

Woodland Heights Historic District – The Heights

Quick History
Woodland Heights is a subdivision in the greater Heights area, north of downtown Houston. The William Wilson Realty Company established Woodland Heights in 1907. It was designed to be upscale, yet affordable for middle class families. Most of the houses were built in the Queen Anne, Craftsman, and American Four Square styles. Today, many homes in the Woodland Heights Historic District look the way they did in 1907.

Best Known For….
Woodland Heights is best known for “Lights in the Heights,” a holiday decoration event that has been featured in national magazines like Better Homes and Gardens.

Things to do

  • Stroll the streets of 19th – Lined with boutiques, artsy stores, restaurants and thrift shops, historic 19th street is the shopping mecca of the Heights.
  • Get a sugar rush at Fat Cat Creamery and Hugs & Donuts – How do you choose between donuts and ice cream? Maybe you don’t have to, because these two sweet spots are neighbors.
  • Live music at the White Oak Music Hall – Just on the cusp of the Heights, this music hall boasts three performance spaces.
  • Eat straight from the Garden at Coltivare – From this Italian kitchen you’ll find inspired takes on classics, like oxtail sugo with slurpable housemade pasta, blistered butternut squash pizzas, and shareable whole wood-roasted fish.
  • Sip old school classics at Johnny’s Gold Brick – The Treadsack restaurant group perfectly shows off the The Heights’ vintage feel with this hip throwback bar.

The Advantages of Renting vs. Buying


The American dream is built on buying a home. And, while renting offers more flexibility, buying a home provides a much bigger potential long-term payoff. If you are renting it is important to look beyond just the numbers when making your next move.

Buying a Home Means You Are Putting Down Roots – It is hard to feel established in a neighborhood when renting. At Gary Greene, we are thrilled to watch first time homeowners put down roots in any of the communities around the greater Houston area.

Your Home is a Saving Account – Each month as you pay down your mortgage and increase equity in your home, you are building wealth in ownership.

There are No Tax Breaks for Renting – Today homeowners can deduct mortgage interest from their income taxes. There are no breaks with renting.

Buying a Home Cost Less Than Renting Over Time – Rents may rise, changing the equation but your mortgage stays the same. And, when you factor in real estate values possibly rising over the years, ownership is even better. Finally at the end, when you have paid off your home, no more payments, and you keep the house.

Staging Your Home During the Holidays


Creating a festive, buyer-friendly environment to sell your home during the holidays can bring advert some of the challenges others might face. The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgot holiday cheer this year. Forget about that, with a few subtle touches like a holiday centerpiece, a pine-cone wreath or crackling fire in hearth can create a warm and festive feeling in your home. We’ve got some tips for staging your home this holiday season since potential buyers want to picture themselves in a warm, cozy home!

Create a warm cozy vibe…

  • Complement your palette – make sure your holiday collection matches your current decor…
  • Accentuate the positive – too many trimmings may distract buyers, but the right accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features.
  • Go light on lights – use simple string lighting to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention the best parts of the front yard. …
  • Mind the tree – make sure the tree size fits the room and swap out gaudy heirloom ornaments.
  • Offer Tasty Treats – warm treats such as cookies, hot chocolate or apple cider will make any buyer feel right at home.