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10 Top Reasons to Live in Houston

10 Reasons You Need to Move to Houston

Houston, Texas. It’s America’s fourth-largest city chock full of world-class dining, art destinations, award-winning restaurants and that charming southern hospitality.

According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston was named No. 1 for corporate expansion and relocation by Site Selection Magazine. Texas was also named the “stickiest” state in the country, according to the Pew Research Center, meaning that more than three-quarters of adults who were born in Texas still live there.

If you’re planning on relocating, Houston may be the best city for you! Here’s a list of 10 reasons we feel best explain why you need to move to Houston.

1. The word “Houston” was the first word said on the moon. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Neil Armstrong reported, “Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.”

2. The weather. While the northern part of the nation is experiencing sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow falls, Houstonians appreciate mild weather all year long with average winter temperatures in the 40s.

3. Sports. For those who enjoy attending professional sporting events, Houston is home to the Texans football team, Houston Astros baseball team, Houston Rockets men’s basketball, and Houston Dynamo soccer team.

4. If Houston were an independent nation, it would rank as the 30th largest economy in the world according to The City of Houston.

5. Dennis Quaid, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Beyonce Knowles have all called Houston home.

6. Houston is known as the “Energy Capital of the World” according to The Greater Houston Partnership, and home to 40 of the nation’s 145 publicly traded oil and gas production firms.

7. Hungry diners can venture into the highly reputed restaurant Oxheart, included in Southern Living’s 2013 list of 100 Places to Eat Now and dubbed one of the five “hottest restaurant openings” in 2012 by GQ Magazine. The intimate restaurant is only open for dinner Thursday through Monday and only 26 seats are available. Guests can choose from a choice of three menus nightly.

8. The Woodlands. Those who are looking for a nature oasis outside of the city, can “Come Home to The Woodlands,” as the city slogan goes. Located north of Houston, the city houses several corporate campuses such as Chevron Phillips, Woodforest National Bank and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Darling Homes offers five communities in The Woodlands area. See them here.

9. If music is your passion, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater that features the Houston Symphony in the summer and the Houston Ballet. Ranked as the second-most used amphitheater in the world, it can house 19,500 people at once.

10. Harmony. This beautiful master-planned community is located in Spring, TX and is only minutes from the new Exxon campus. Highlights of this community include a nature preserve, hike and bike trails, playgrounds, a resort-style pool and recreation center.

 

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Darling Homes American Classic Series

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a house similar to the ones highlighted in the pages of Architectural Digest or Southern Living?  What is it about American Classic homes that bring back feelings of nostalgia, comfort and pure joy for so many people when looking at American classic houses?  There is something to be said for a house that has charm, elegance, character, and distinction.  After all, many of these attributes are reasons why people dream of owning a home one day.

Darling Homes’ American Classic series provides a way for people uninspired by “cookie cutter” brick homes to differentiate themselves from their neighbors.  It’s a way for people to have that “WOW” factor when friends and family see their home for the first time without having to own the biggest house on the block.  There is a reason why it’s known as the classic home style and that’s because the houses are truly timeless.

exterior

Here are just a few of the many ways the American Classic buyer can stay true to the charm of the architecture on the outside while adding their own personal touch to build character on the inside.

  1. Study the classic details: The exterior features of American Classic homes are often inviting and very livable.  Homes with front porches, painted front doors, square post columns and louvered shutters all make these American classic houses truly unique.  It’s important to stay true to the architectural charm while also adding your own personal style to your home.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be bold: Adding simple touches like painting the front porch your favorite shade of blue or even painting your entire house canary yellow is a great way to set yourself apart. It’s ok to be known around your neighborhood as the yellow bungalow style home at the end of the street.  Bold features are unique talking points and great conversation starters for people who love this type of home.
  3. Build character from within: Interior details such as transoms, wainscoting, built-in bookshelves, crown molding, custom cabinets and dimmed lighting all have a big impact on personalizing your dream home.  Go ahead and add wainscoting in the study or build out book shelves in the family room as these are all upgrades you won’t regret when entertaining family and friends.

All of these simple details can greatly improve your home’s architectural appeal and character.  All it takes is an appreciation for the design and foresight to create that perfect ambiance.  Whether you love bungalow style homes or craftsman house plans, this classic home style is truly the standard of architectural elegance and charm.

Darling Homes’ American Classic series is truly something unique in the sense it can take a buyer to a time in the past while also creating a vision of their family’s future.  No other architecture can blend past with the present quite like American Classic.  Simply put…it’s a house that feels like home!

Follow these links to find the perfect street of Darling’s American Classic Series to live on in Houston:

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Now is the Time to Buy a Darling Home in Frisco TX

1. Location: Lawler Park is your best option when it comes to buying or building a new home in Frisco, TX. This 143-acre master-planned community will feature over 300 homes with easy access to Hwy 121. Within minutes, residents can drive to Legacy Business Park, Stonebriar Mall and other high-end shopping, hundreds of restaurants and numerous parks.

2. Community: For individuals and families seeking the best community in which to build Frisco, TX new homes, Lawler Park has options for everyone in its two sections:

The Arbors at Lawler Park

These 149 homesites on 65’ lots feature new home designs ranging from 2,500-3,800 square feet with prices from the $370’s. These homes feature rear-entry floor plans with traditional brick and stone architectural options.

New Homes in Frisco TX

The Crossing at Lawler Park

This section includes nearly 200 front-entry estate homes on 75’ lots. Square footage on these homes will range from 2,800-4,000 with prices from the low $450’s.

Within Lawler Park, residents can explore the hike and bike trails nestled amongst mature trees and open spaces, with easy access to the city park just north of the community which includes playgrounds and sport courts.

3.    Multi-Generational Home Designs: The Pew Research Center’ says that roughly one in five households in the U.S. are multi-generational, and our model home in Lawler Park will reflect this new trend with its multi-generational floor plan featuring a first-floor “in-law” suite with its own entry, bedroom, kitchenette, and living area.

“As more families look for options of being able to accommodate senior or adult family members under one roof, we believe they will find this new home design meets an unmet consumer need,” says Michael Carter, Darling’s VP of Marketing.  “Our research indicates there is a rising need among this demographic which has served as the catalyst for developing floor plans for multi-generational families. This home design provides the opportunity for different living arrangements while still providing great use of space, square footage, and most importantly, privacy. In fact, we have created this unique home design to allow for dual living situations without sacrificing comfort – it’s literally a home within a home.”

Traditional home designs from Darling Homes will also be available in Lawler Park.

4.    Features: Darling’s designs for  Lawler Park feature open floor plans, gourmet kitchens, options for media rooms, private master suites, spacious secondary bedrooms, covered patios and three-car garages.

Other standard features include:

  • Ceramic backsplash and tile in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Granite countertops in kitchen and master bath
  • Your choice of 5 solid wood front door options
  • Energy efficient features such as low “E” double-paned vinyl windows
  • Crown and base molding throughout
  • Fully sodded yards with a sprinkler system and landscaping allowance

5.    Education: Lawler Park will be zoned for the prestigious Frisco ISD, widely considered to be one of the best in the metroplex, making it a great community for families. Homeowners will be within walking distance to Curtsinger Elementary, Vandeventer Middle School, and Liberty High School.  And, there are plans for a new elementary school to be built on land to the northern edge of the community.

At Darling Homes, we’re totally committed to the delivery of your dream. We not only approach every job with a dedication to uncompromising craftsmanship, but with a level of customer service that goes far beyond the sale.

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Three reasons to build a Darling Home in Timarron Lakes

Have you heard how amazing The Woodlands is? Amongst all the trees lies a city bursting with shopping, top-notch education, entertainment and new home communities to welcome all those who seek it! As it always has, The Woodlands, TX continues to grow with its new homes section in the Village of Creekside Park, Timarron Lakes. As if the existing amenities in The Woodlands aren’t reason enough, below are our Top 3 Reasons to live in a Darling home in Timarron Lakes.

1 Location: Timarron Lakes is a premier gated section of new homes in The Woodlands, TX located off Kuykendahl Road, which offers easy access to the main thoroughfare, The Woodlands Parkway. The new home sites are only minutes away from the Creekside Park YMCA and Outdoor Adventure Center, Lake Paloma, and Rob Fleming Park and Aquatic Center. The exemplary rated Creekside Forest Elementary School is right down the street for those children living in Timarron. Exciting future plans for the Development are to include a Creekside Park Village Center, for your shopping needs, off Kuykendahl Road.

2 Amenities: This 240-acre neighborhood includes a 7-acre park with a Craftsman style pavilion. The park features lighted tennis and basketball courts, garden-themed spray ground and two playgrounds to appeal to different age groups. The highlight of this new home community is the six lakes spread throughout, including the 14-acre Lake Reverie, with a 2,300 square foot clubhouse to enjoy the view. The serene nature of the lakes set the tone for the community.

3 Darling Homes: You can now choose your preferred new home site in the community of Timarron Lakes. Darling Homes is now selling our award-winning patio homes from the $370s, with sizes ranging from 2,200 to over 3,800 square feet. The new homes in Timarron Lakes offer a charming lifestyle combined with Darling Homes’ sophisticated proven home designs personalized to fit your individual needs.

It is always best to see these new homes in the Village of Creekside Park to truly believe what The Woodlands, TX has to offer! Take a stroll through Timarron Lakes and we are sure it will make you feel right at home.

Lifestyle Tips

Energy Efficiency of New Homes Today

Do you live in an energy efficient home?  In today’s market there are many programs that strive to ensure new homes are energy efficient for the environment.   And, most TX home builders employ “green” programs to provide efficiency in new homes to the consumer.

Darling’s Green Built program is truly top of the line because it allows for regionally specific green building construction protocols. The homes under this program are constructed on standards specifically modified to fit climate zones for the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as the Gulf Coast climate that Houston homeowners feel.

So….what does that mean for you, the home buyer, when shopping for new homes in Texas?  Here are just a few benefits of living in a Green Built, energy efficient home.
1. Energy and Resource Efficiency
• Reduce utility bills and keep a consistently balanced temperature
• Low-E windows reduce outdoor noise and help control the outside temperature inside your home
• Ability to control the temperature in your home more efficiently – to suit your comfort level

2. Durability and Moisture Management
• Enjoy a tightly sealed home for a more efficient air conditioning system
• Protect your home (inside and out) from extreme temperatures
• Minimize maintenance typically associated with weather elements

3. Improved Air Quality
• Breathe clean indoor air
• Increase your comfort with even temperatures and air flow
• Proper ventilation reduces moisture and humidity in your home
• Return air in all bedrooms aid in balanced room pressure

4. Enhanced Water Conservation
• Lower your utility bill
• Enjoy landscaping designed to last longer and reduce maintenance

So whether you are looking for a new home in Houston or a new home in Dallas, we take the art and science of building a home seriously and you’ll notice the Darling difference from the moment you walk through the door!

Food

Halloween Treats Recipes

Halloween Treat Recipies

Spooky! Hauntingly Delish Halloween Treats

Face it, you need a break. Buying a new home can be exciting, but it’s Halloween, a great time for some monstrously fun moments with family and friends. So, for a now, put away your contemplation of new home construction or how to finance a home and make some enchanting, unforgettable edibles for the celebrations.

Need inspiration? Check out these recipes for frighteningly delicious Halloween treats.

 

Ghostly Sugar Cookies

 You’ll need a ghost-shaped cookie cutter for this recipe, but they’re not hard to find this time of year. Ghost Cookies are topped with a yummy cream cheese frosting and a couple of raisins or chocolate chips for the eyes. Have on hand flour, baking soda, softened butter, powdered sugar, an egg, vanilla, almond extract, and cream cheese. For step-by-step direction, see the full recipe.

 

Squished PEEPS® Cookie Sandwiches

Now, here’s a way to take full advantage of all that Halloween candy you probably have on hand. Colorful and gooey, these sweet treats call for Pumpkin Peeps; you can use any kind of Peeps for other times of the year. This recipe uses a modified soft bake chocolate chip cookie recipe with marshmallow Peeps, peanut butter, chocolate M&Ms and sprinkles.

 

Witchy Finger Cookies

These sugar-cookie fingers look so real, there’s definitely an ewwww-factor here. So, of course, they’re perfect for a Halloween party platter. Just roll out some sugar-cookie dough into thin finger-shaped lines (they’ll enlarge some when baked), place one almond shard on each for the finger nails, score the dough to make the knuckles, and bake. To see the full recipe and a photo of what these look like complete, go here and scroll down the page.

 

No Bake Oreo® Cookie Bat Pops

Your kids will have a great time helping with these easy pops. The yellow-chocolate dipped Oreos on a stick are super easy to make and are ideal for party favors. You’ll use lollipop sticks, Oreos, melted white chocolate, melted yellow chocolate, and for the bats soft black licorice and small red candies for the eyes.

 

Mummy-On-A-Stick

Mummy pops are easy to make, tasty and so cute they’re sure to elicit plenty of awww’s. This simple recipe transforms double-stuffed Oreo® Cookies, melted white candy, candy eyeballs and cookie pop sticks into yummy mummies. Spooky-good!

 

Spidery Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy to make, goofy to look at, yummy to eat. Just bake some peanut butter cookies and top with chewy milk chocolate caramels for the little spider bodies, red or black licorice strings for the legs, and mini candy-coated chocolate baking bits and black decorating gel for the eyes.

 

Crispy Candy Corn Puffed Rice Treats

Gather unsalted butter, miniature marshmallows, salt, puffed rice cereal, grated orange zest, grated lemon zest, and yellow and red food coloring. All of this makes for the colorful and flavorful puffed rice candy corn treats. Follow the recipe and you’ll have what could turn out to be everyone’s favorite Halloween goody.

Handmade delights are fun to create and are guaranteed to turn Halloween tricks into eerily tasty treats. Enjoy!

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Woodforest American Classic

Michael Carroll is the Community Sales Manager for Darling Homes American Classic Series in Woodforest. Michael has a true passion for this unique, architecturally pleasing home design based on the Early American Craftsman and Cape Cod style homes. We took a few minutes to ask Michael a few questions about what makes the American Classic Series in Woodforest so special.

1. What makes Woodforest so unique from other communities in the surrounding area?

Woodforest is unique in it’s location due to the fact that it is minutes away from the lake as well as The Woodlands, TX. It also has the #1 Rated public golf course in Texas according to Golf Digest magazine.  When you combine that with second to none amenities like hike and bike trails, neighborhood parks, tennis courts, basketball courts and the amazing Forest Island Aquatic Center it truly stands out as a top shelf community. These amenities offer our residents a lifestyle unique to the area.

2. Tell us your favorite thing about the American Classic product that Darling offers in Woodforest.

My favorite thing about the American Classic Series is the unique charm of the homes. You don’t see this type of home around every corner. It is a classic home style people think of from their childhood days. The architectural authenticity of the design includes front porches, columns, trim details, and transom windows that give the homes a warm, homey feeling.

3. What sets Darling apart from other homebuilders in Woodforest?

Darling Homes’ attention to detail in every aspect of our homes from the floor plan design to the exteriors sets us apart from the other homebuilders in the community. We do an amazing job with windows and light, room placement, massing, understanding traffic patterns as well as architectural authenticity added to the exterior of the home. To top it all off our homes are very energy efficient as well!

4. What is the price point/square footage of your American Classic homes? School District?

The price point of the American Classic Series starts from the $250’s with square footage ranging from 2,100 to over 3,500 square feet. Students living in Woodforest will attend the exemplary Conroe Independent School District. The district will have spent over $106 million dollars in the last two years and the next two years on the schools that service this neighborhood. There is a brand new K-6 flex school being built right off of Fish Creek Thoroughfare for this neighborhood.

5. Why is Montgomery, TX such a great place to buy?

Living in Montgomery, TX offers the conveniences of shopping and local restaurants nearby. Because of the location, the tax rates for Woodforest stack up favorably compared to other like kind neighborhoods. There is also the opportunity for your auto and homeowner’s insurance to be lower in Montgomery County than in Harris County.

6. Why now?

It’s a great time to buy now because interest rates are still considerably low and home prices are still affordable considering the amount of jobs being created in this area and the demand for new homes. It is an exciting time to buy a new home!

Come out and visit Michael to see our American Classic Series in Woodforest!