New 911 Service in Montgomery County

cellphone911Making Montgomery County Texas a safer place to live!

Smart911 is coming to Montgomery County, Texas!

In fact, it may have already launched by now and is acclaimed to be the best upgrade our first responders could ask for.

Plus, Montgomery County is the first in Texas to establish Smart911 for their county.

So how is this better? You will be able to register cell/mobile phones and information online so that when you use your phone to dial 911, they will know your address, medical information, and a host of other details that will help emergency response personnel arrive faster and better enabled to handle your situation.

This service provided by Rave Mobile Safety, also gives the caller the capability of sending a text message to 911 if the voice signal is bad.

If you need to dial 911 the call taker and first responders will already know if you or anyone in your family has any medical conditions like asthma, heart failure, diabetes, autism, PTSD, or any other disabling condition.

You also have the ability to take photos of your family members and link to their emergency profile in case someone goes missing. Armed with that information, law enforcement or search and rescue staff can immediately begin the search in those first few minutes when the crisis begins.

You can also provide emergency contact phone numbers, vehicle information, medical equipment, utilities, floor layout, medications, allergies, and animals in the home.

The information you provide is protected by “the same secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate authority and encryption technologies used by leading financial institutions” (source) and has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and FOX News.

This is a great addition to the emergency services provided to the residents of Montgomery County. This will not only save time but prevent mistakes from being made at the scene thanks to having all the information they need.

Smart911.com is the place to sign up.

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Zika, West Nile Virus, and Mosquitoes – Montgomery County TX and Rainfall

texasfloodingIn the last 30 days 19.3″ of rain has fallen as measured at the Lake Conroe Dam.

THAT is a huge amount of rain! Torrential rains and a continuous flow of precipitation over the last 3 or 4 weeks has caused not only river and stream flooding, but an enormous amount of water pooling over the area.

And THAT is where mosquitoes breed.

Everyone should take action to eliminate standing and pooled water on their property. That includes not only the usual pooled areas but spots where water can accumulate out of sight: empty cans, tires, garbage, ditches, and more.

Why is that important?

mosquito“Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism — over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. ” (source)

Mosquitoes carry Malaria, Chikungunya, Dog Heartworm, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, LaCrosse Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus.

By now everyone has heard of the West Nile Virus and the Zika Virus.

These threats must be taken seriously before they take hold in our own neighborhoods. Historically, aside from rats, mosquites have caused more disease and death than any other carrier of disease.

On May 19, 2016 Precinct Three released this statement about West Nile:

The Woodlands, TX – The Precinct Three Mosquito Abatement team is responding to a mosquito sample that tested positive for West Nile virus in South Montgomery County. In the beginning of 2016, Montgomery County purchased new equipment to test mosquito samples for West Nile Virus in house at the Precinct 3 facility. . . To help combat mosquitoes with our recent rain and warm temperatures, we ask residents to do the following and think WET:

• Wear Repellent
• Eliminate standing water
• Treat water that you can’t eliminate

For more information you can visit http://www.precinct3.org/mosquito-abatement/

(source)

And from the Texas State Department of Health Services:  As of June 3, 2016, “Texas has had 40 reported cases of Zika virus disease.

Case counts by county:

Bexar – 6
Collin – 1
Dallas – 6
Denton – 2
Fort Bend – 2
Grayson – 1
Harris – 13
Tarrant – 4
Travis – 2
Val Verde – 1
Williamson – 1
Wise – 1

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. . . People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking a few simple steps:

For the summer of 2016 please stay safe and avoid getting a mosquito bite.

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Exxon/Mobil’s New Home & Home Values

When Exxon/Mobile announced their plans to build a new complex near The Woodlands, TX in Montgomery County imaginations ran wild about how it would look and the impact it would have.

We no longer have to depend on our imaginations:

Freeways have been widened, additional shortcuts have been built, new lanes have been added, and multitudes of signs have made navigating the area much easier.

All to accommodate the 10,000 new employees working at the complex. In addition, at least 1,900 new jobs have been created in the area to provide more services to the added workers.

What has this done to home values in the area: The Woodlands, Montgomery County, Spring, Conroe, Montgomery, and others?

The value of residential homes in the county have been steadily rising for over 3 years. Some areas have seen as much as a 25 to 30% jump in one year alone. Others remain solid at their current levels.

The true land rush can be seen where acreage is being cleared to make way for new condos, apartments, large retail stores, service stations, and restaurants.

The land values have risen dramatically as development continues to race ahead in Montgomery County, TX.

Evidence of this dramatic growth can be seen on the roadways. The once sleepy Hwy 105 as a two lane country road is now three or four lanes in each direction. And on Friday afternoons that even gets backed up at the slightest mishap.

If you are thinking of selling your home or buying in Montgomery County, seek out the advice of a Realtor who can best guide you on the direction of the housing market and give you an idea of what price your home would sell for.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Golf – More Reasons To Buy In Montgomery County

The newest golf community in Montgomery County is Bluejacket National. Not only does it have an amazing design and mature look for a new course, but it is carved out of ancient forests and surrounded by a magnificent golf course community!

Bluejack-National-Golf-CourseThe Playgrounds, a 10-hole short course also designed by Tiger Woods, offers a unique golf experience ideal for casual fun with friends and family or high-quality short-game practice. It has lights for night play with music and offers food and beverages throughout the day. The golf skills area features a practice range as well as chipping, pitching and putting greens.

The 18 hole course, the first one designed by Tiger Woods, is a fast and challenging course. Not only do they offer golf, but there is a Nike Golf center, pro shop, putting greens, chipping greens, pitching greens, personal trainers, performance testing, club fitting, and every other imaginable amenity you could wish for in a world class golf club.

Other features either just completed or coming soon include a tennis center, football field, outdoor movie theater, tree house, skate park, ropes course, zip lines, and a tropical paradise setting for the swimming pool.

Also slated are an event lawn, gardens and orchards, hiking nature trails, spa and wellness center, fishing dock, fitness center with locker rooms, and a 10 hole short course called “The Playgrounds”: think lighted night golf, music, food, beverages, and more fun!

Indoor features will include dining and event buildings, a bowling alley, a casual restaurant, game room, and more.

Model Homes at Bluejack

Model Homes at Bluejack

The homes of Bluejack National:

On their website here’s how they describe the community they are building: “Capturing the spirit of the great lodges and fishing camps of the 19th Century.” Bluejack will include 386 private residences. They will consist of a mixture of “homestead” sized homes with ample acreage, cottages, weekend retreat homes, and all built by the finest local builders to give the community a certain flair.

The Bluejack National golf course and community are located at 4430 South FM 1486  Montgomery, TX 77316.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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New Conroe VA Clinic Opens

Woodlands Exit Off I 45

Woodlands Exit Off I 45

Part of the infrastructure that supports population growth in an area like ours are medical facilities.

Montgomery County is the 6th fastest growing county in Texas, according to the 2010 census, with a population of 455,746. This more than doubles the county’s population since 1990. Montgomery County is projected to reach one million in the next twenty-five years.

A huge amount of construction and upgrade projects are underway in Montgomery County, Texas.

And these projects will be needed as all these residential construction projects are completed: Oakhurst at Kingwood, Tavola, Woodridge Forest and Valley Ranch.

Conroe VA Clinic

Conroe VA Clinic

The new VA Clinic just opened on December 4, 2015 and has dramatically improved access and quality of services offered to veteran patients.

The new facility, 30,000 square feet, offers new services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, lab work, X-rays, CT scans and mammograms. And the need certainly is great, “According to the VA’s website, as of September 2014 there were more than 1.7 million veterans in Texas, 1.5 million are men and 177,075 women.” (source)

In Montgomery county there are now 24 hospitals and clinics. They are scattered all over the county and provide critical access to the medical services needed by the residents. In addition, it also should be noted that Conroe Regional Medical Center is working on reaching a higher level in their trauma center. “Once the local hospitals attain Level II trauma center designation, they will be certified to offer the same level of trauma care in Montgomery County as Ben Taub and Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center hospitals in Houston.”

 
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Conroe Airport Gets Facelift

Conroe AirportIt happened this past October with little fanfare: Lone Star Executive Airport had a name change to Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport. The name change was accompanied by a major makeover.

These changes included a $2.6 million international customs facility, and a new runway to accommodate larger aircraft and aircraft from new international flights.

Black Forest Ventures and Conroe have pledged a $600,000 apiece for the facility.

Wings AviationThe airport has more than 156 international flights, with most of those doing business in Montgomery County.

Those flights originate from 13 countries.

The economic impact could be huge. Not only will the name change clarify the airport’s location, but it will make it more marketable to other locations. Previously the airport brought in $33.5 million economic benefit annually to the county.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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The Roads of Montgomery County

Walker County 1851

Walker County 1851

Since 1837, roads in Montgomery County have been critical to the growth and industry of the area.  In fact, I have a personal connection with the roads and highways of Montgomery County, Texas:

1837 Washington County Commissioners’ Court

April 4, 1837

April 4, 1837, Justice of the Peace/Commissioner William Robert from the Precinct of San Jacinto moved that the road from the Lake Creek Settlement to the City of Houston be continued north from the Lake Creek Settlement (Montgomery) to the town of New Cincinnati (due north of Huntsville).

On motion of William Robert. Resolved that the road from the City of Houston to Lake Creek Settlement be Continued to run North from Lake Creek Settlement in the most direct and practicable rout to New Cincinnatti on the Trinity and that William Clark, Job Collard, H. M. Crabb (my great great grandfather), John Caruthers and Ranson Alfin be appointed to survey said rout and report to this court at the next regular term thereof. (source)

Highway ConstructionAnd now for the roads and highways of Montgomery County 2015! Future roadways are being considered: “Though the plan outlines a number of proposed roadways, the routes are preliminary, and no engineering work has been completed yet, Mullins said. The idea of the plan is to preserve general corridors for a possible future roadway, such as a new connection from FM 1486 to FM 149 or Hwy. 242 and Hwy. 105.”

One successful outcome of this planning would be the Fish Creek Thoroughfare. Fish Creek Thoroughfare, incorporated into the plan years ago, used designs by a subdivision developer to extend McCaleb Road, bridge over a rail road crossing, and connect to Woodforest Subdivision and Hwy 1488. By doing it this way no homes were impacted in the new connecting road.

In recent years, voting has not gone as well to fund some of these road and highway projects. But discussions will continue as they have since the overall road and highway plan started in 1979.  Since 1837!

Without this kind of planning room for road right of way will get left out of construction projects, subdivision developments, and utility easements.

Like they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Pictoral List of things to do on Lake Conroe

Rather than filling a page up with text about Lake Conroe, here’s a pictorial guide to some of the fun things to do ON Lake Conroe:

Sailing

sailing on lake conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing

bass fishing on lake conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boating

boating on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Skiing

water skiing on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Slow Party Boat

Pontoon Party Boats on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

Jet Skiing

Jet Skiing Jet ski on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aviation!

Landing a plane on lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list of things to do AROUND Lake Conroe is even bigger, but that’s a subject for another blogging day!
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Don’t be fooled by these 3 selling myths

Before and After

Before and After

First-time sellers beware: there are lots of myths out there about the right way to sell your home. While your Texas REALTOR® is your first line of defense against making these mistakes, here are three common selling myths busted:

Myth: I bought a house, so I know what it’s like to go through a real estate transaction. I’ll sell my home on my own and save money by not using a real estate agent.
Truth: Texas REALTORS® don’t work for free, but that’s because they provide valuable assistance through the home-selling process. Selling isn’t the same as buying, and a Texas REALTOR® can help you reduce your risk of making a costly selling mistake. Plus, they help clients with the ins and outs of property transactions every day and are plugged into your local housing market. If you DIY, that means you’ll have to spend time marketing your home adequately, be available to show the home yourself, and navigate your way through a tricky transaction alone.

Staging Your Home For Sale

Staging Your Home For Sale

Myth: If I price my home higher than market value, I’m leaving room for negotiations.
Truth: Buyers have no idea you’re employing this strategy and won’t understand why your price is too high. Many won’t even view your home, much less put in an offer. When your home is priced improperly, it’s more likely to sit on the market, making potential buyers think there’s something wrong it. When that happens, you’ll probably wind up with lower offers than if you had priced the home fairly at the start.

Myth: All I need to do is mow the lawn and hide my stuff in a closet and my home will be ready to show.
Truth: Is a mowed lawn and hidden clutter all it takes to attract you to a home? It won’t work for potential buyers of your property, either. Your Texas REALTOR® might go through your home with you and identify areas that could use some sprucing up to make your home more appealing. Or, he or she might recommend working with a home stager to make the best impression. Be open to those suggestions … your Texas REALTOR® knows what makes a property sell quickly for top dollar.

Courtesy of Texas Association of Realtors
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Vote! Save Money – Homestead Exemption

taxesHow often to you get to vote to save yourself some money? Well, put November 3, 2015, on your calendar.

The election that day will include a proposition to raise the homestead exemption in Texas from $15,000 to $25,000. The higher the homestead exemption, the lower your property taxes.

It’s a no-brainer, right? It gets even better.

The same proposition also will constitutionally ban real estate transfer taxes in Texas. Right now, most states slap a tax on the sale or transfer of real estate. Texas does not. Transfer taxes can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a real estate transaction.

votingBoth of these measures were championed by Texas REALTORS® during the recent Texas legislative session. Texas REALTORS® are committed to keep the costs of purchasing and owning real estate low.

This is great news for homebuyers and homeowners. But you have to do your part. Take two easy steps to make sure these tax savings will be adopted in our state: First, make sure you’re registered to vote. Second, vote for this proposition. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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