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News and Events

Houston’s Job Market is Hot: Time to Move Here

Brandon Spaulding - Monday, August 03, 2015

If the low taxes, affordable cost of living, and acres of greenery don't convince you to move, how about the fact that Houston's job market is hot, at least according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the area was among the top six cities for job growth:

Total growth in nonfarm employment reached 2.9 percent over the previous year. This compared to a 2.3 percent increase throughout the United State and 3.8 percent in Miami, which boasted the largest jump.

Among super sectors, education and health services showed the biggest Houston gain at 4.8 percent, or 16,500 jobs. Within this super sector, educational services, ambulatory health care and hospitals increased the most.

Next was trade, transportation, and utilities with an increase of 15,900 positions. The percentage increase amounted to only 2.7 percent because this subsector was the largest in the area.

Ranking third was leisure and hospitality, with an increase of 4.6 percent, or 12,900 jobs. The top gainers here were in retail trade, wholesale trade, and transportation and utilities. Professional and business services revealed growth of 10,700 jobs, or 2.3 percent, followed by construction at 8,600 jobs, or 4.3 percent.

Increases among individual jobs, according to USA today, included librarians at 14 percent and with median salaries at $27.04 per hour, nurse anesthetists at 12 percent and $75.57 an hour, database administrators at 9 percent and $36.88 hourly, and clerks for hotels, motels, and resorts at 8 percent or $9.33 per hour.

Whether you have a job in hand or plan on looking for one in the city, you'll need a place out. Why don't you contact us and find out what homes we have to offer?

Family Owned Restaurants near Lakes of Bella Terra

Brandon Spaulding - Monday, July 27, 2015

family owned restaurant

The Fort Bend area is home to many family owned restaurants. Sure those big chain eateries have great food, but nothing compares to some southern cooking from a mom and pop establishment. These restaurants have a story and soul. Here are some of the best family owned places to eat.

Italian Maid Café

300 Morton Street
, Richmond, TX 77469

Brother and sister co-owners Alex Ciocca and Lanie Alvarez opened the Italian Maid Cafe in 1995.“The Italian Maid” was a nickname given to Alex and Lanie’s mother Mary Anne Ciocca by their father Joseph. When opening their restaurant, it seemed only right to offer a nod to her – the woman who taught them so much about food, family, and hospitality – in the naming of their cafe.

The Swinging Door 

3818 FM359, Richmond, TX

The Swinging Door is a family owned restaurant serving pecan smoked, Bar-B-Q in a pleasant, rural, family atmosphere. In 1979, they entered the Bar-B-Q cook-off at The Houston Live Stock and Rodeo Show and won. The rest is history.They have added on to their building a few times, including a world famous dance hall with accommodations for a live band and huge party.

Another Time Soda Fountain & Café

800 3rd St, Rosenberg, TX 77471

This family run café is a blast from the past. Opened since 2004, it has a hometown atmosphere and the best burgers in town. Renee Butler puts her heart into making this place fabulous. 

Bob's Taco Station

1901 Avenue H, Rosenberg, TX 77471

It's nothing to see Bob Alanis cooking here. He loves to cook and Mexican is his specialty. This casual and friendly place has been running since 1991. He even serves breakfast to his Mexican loving customers. 

Pier 36 Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar

1410 E Highway 90A # 200, Richmond, TX 77406

If you have a serious hankering for some seafood, come see Jimmy Cantu for a deal. With happy hour specials and dishes like crawfish etouffee, it's one place you don't want to miss. Open since 2007, they have a reputation for greatness.


Houston housing market hits record highs

Brandon Spaulding - Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Buyers closed on more single-family homes in June than in any month on record, defying the recent trend of declining home sales amid falling oil prices and weakening job growth, a new report shows.

Houston-area home sales jumped 4.1 percent in June to 7,935 after falling the two previous months and in February, according to a monthly report released Wednesday from the Houston Association of Realtors. The association revised the area’s sales decline in May to 6.6 percent from 4.3 percent.

The median home price — the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — also set a record high, reaching $225,000 in June.

“I think it speaks very well for the health of our real estate market when you have a month in which sales are up, rentals are up, inventory is growing, and you’re comparing it all to the record year of 2014,” HAR chairwoman Nancy Furst said in a statement. “We still expect normalization in the marketplace later this year, and that may well mean these alternating up and down sales months, but the bottom line appears to be that there is no lack of interest in housing in Houston, Texas.”

Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, increased to a 3.2-months supply versus 2.9 months last June. That is the greatest supply since September 2013, but it remains well below the current national supply of 5.1 months of inventory. 

See current listings for Lakes of Bella Terra. 

Support our Local Animal Shelters

Brandon Spaulding - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7 Great Places to Picnic Near Richmond, Texas

Brandon Spaulding - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July is National Picnic Month! We're spoiled for choice here in the beautiful Houston area. The following picnic destinations are within striking distance of Lakes of Bella Terra.

Sugar Land Memorial Park, 15300 University Blvd, Sugarland, 77479

  • Features: bike trail, dog park, fishing, grill, parking, pavilion, picnic areas, playground, restrooms, and walking trail.

Terry Hershey Park, Energy Corridor, 15200 Memorial Drive, Houston, 77079

  • Features: a boat launch, canoe launch, fishing, lighted walking trails, water fountain, hike & bike trails, child-friendly fit exercise station, runner's showers, garden, picnic area, barbecue, gazebos, playground, restrooms, bike trail, wildflower garden, creek, and wetland habitat.

Eldridge Park, 2511 Eldridge Road, Sugarland, 77478

  • Features: fishing, grill, meeting rooms, parking, pavilion, picnic areas, playground, restrooms soccer, and walking trail.

Mary Jo Peckham Park, 5597 Gardenia Lane, Katy, 77491

  • Features: community center, fishing with access to a fishing pier, gazebos, indoor exercise, indoor pool, lighted walking trail, koi pond, lake, miniature golf course, disc golf pavilion, picnic area, barbecue area, playground, restroom, walking trail, and wetland habitat.

Oyster Creek Park, 4033 Hwy 6 S, Sugarland, 77479

  • Features: amphitheater, bike trail, parking, picnic areas, restrooms, and walking trails.

Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Drive, 77007

  • Features: Living Bridge, golf course, exercise trail, hiking, biking, running, skating, equestrian trail, Infantry Woods, fitness center, swimming pool, tennis center, water fountains, restrooms, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Hogg Bird Sanctuary, andBayou Bend Collection and Gardens.

Bear Creek Park, Addicks/Park Ten, 3535 War Memorial Drive, 77084

  • Features: plenty to offer at this park including sports fields, picnic, barbecue, pavilion, playground, restrooms, tennis court, lighted walking and jogging trail.

Contact us for information about the Lakes of Bella Terra, the premier neighborhood in Richmond, TX.

What Every Home Buyer Looks For in a Neighborhood

Brandon Spaulding - Friday, July 17, 2015

Any first time homebuyers guide will tell you that location is key when it comes to picking the right home. But which aspects of a location? Specific needs and lifestyle often shape what unique features a buyer may be looking for, however, three characteristics seem to always weigh heavily in locations that are highly sought after. When looking for a home, it is also important to consider convenience for future potential buyers.

Commute Times and Accessibility

Communities that hold proximity to transportation keep value, especially in Houston. Easy access to major infrastructure can be vital when it comes to saving time and money. Highway accessibility can cut commute times in half, enabling city employees to branch out to more attractive locations and enjoy the benefits of the burbs.

School District

Homebuyers should look for a neighborhood within a good school district, even if they don't have children. These homes typically hold onto their value better than those in less highly regarded districts. In fact, a nationwide study in 2013 showed that Americans pay $50 per square foot more for homes served by a top-ranked school.


Communities that have a lot of amenities are highly desirable and add value to the area. People seek to live close to things like parks, pools, libraries and shops and would prefer to walk if possible- or drive a very short distance. Amenities are also impressive to future buyers and create a friendly living environment. 

Contact us for information about the Lakes of Bella Terra, the premier neighborhood in Richmond, TX.

Fed Officials See U.S. Housing Sector on the Upswing

Brandon Spaulding - Monday, July 13, 2015

Source: The Wall Street Journal  

For the first time in a while, Federal Reserve policy makers are feeling better about the U.S. housing market.

“Signs of stronger housing activity were encouraging,” said minutes of the Fed’s June 16-17 policy meeting.

The central bank signaled a shift in its view of the housing market three weeks ago in its postmeeting policy statement, replacing a long-standing reference to a “slow” recovery with a mention that “the housing sector has shown some improvement.”

The change followed a string of solid readings in recent months on U.S. home sales and residential construction.

The minutes, released Wednesday, still offered a somewhat cautious assessment of recent data. “A number of participants noted that housing starts and permits rose considerably in recent months, and indicators of sales activity turned more positive,” they said. “Nonetheless, home construction was still below the trend that would appear consistent with population growth, sales remained at low levels, and credit availability was still relatively tight.”

The Fed’s view of the housing market has remained more or less downbeat since mid-2013, when a jump in mortgage rates threw the sector off-balance. In the June 2013 policy statement, the Fed confidently said the housing market “has strengthened further.” But that July, it added a reference to rising mortgage rates, and by October it saw a slowdown in progress. From March 2014 to April 2015, it said in 10 consecutive policy statements that the recovery either “remained slow” or “remains slow.” 

See current listings for Lakes of Bella Terra.

Family Events in the Community

Brandon Spaulding - Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Live music by talented local musicians is featured every Sunday at Fort Bend County Libraries’ “Sunday Showcase: On Stage at George Memorial Library” this summer. Performances begin at 2:00 pm, in the Meeting Room of the library.

Nature-Watch Camp is at Fort Bend County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 22. Kids ages 6-10 will have the opportunity to learn about insects, birds, fish and how to help the environment.

Corner Store Country Run is on July 25th and is a farm-themed 5K with a little something for everyone from serious runners to leisurely strollers, from lone rangers to family herds. After the run is a country fair with live music, food, carnival games, face painting and lots more.

Fort Bend County Museumis one of the finest local history museums in the great state of Texas. Saturday, June 27, 2015, the museum is celebrating the 100th wedding anniversaryof John and Dorethea Moore. Summer History Weeks for children 8-12 are July 14-17 and August 11-14.

During the summer, the Palladium AVX Entertainment center offers free summer moviesfor the youngsters. The movies are all rated G or PG and are shown Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am.

July 7 & 8: Rio 2

July 14 & 15: Paddington

July 21 & 22: The Lego Movie

July 28 & 29: Night at the Museum 3 -- Secret of the Tomb

Contact us for information about the Lakes of Bella Terra, the premier neighborhood in Richmond, TX.

4th of July Community Events

Brandon Spaulding - Tuesday, June 30, 2015


With Independence Day right around the corner, you're probably looking for 4th of July Community Events that you and your family can participate in. Rest assured, there is plenty going on in the Richmond area that is perfect for your 4th of July celebration! From children to adults, here are just a few of the events you can look forward to.

What would a 4th of July celebration be without fireworks? The Seabourne Creek Nature Park and theRosenberg Civic Center is where it all happens this year. From 6 PM till 10 PM, your family can enjoy a carnival, horse-drawn wagons, live music, food vendors, and of course - fireworks, which complete the evening.

You can also enjoy the Katy Freedom Celebration and Fireworks show at the Katy Mills Mall. There will be fireworks and a tailgate party, so bring your own food and enjoy the fun at this free event.

For an indoor concert with fireworks after the show, Freedom Rings is a patriotic event featuring acts likeStars and Stripes Forever and best of all, it's free to attend at the Stafford Centre from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Located at Constellation Field in Sugarland, the Star Spangled Spectacular has a myriad of exciting things to do such as children's games and activities for everyone. Of course, there is a patriotic fireworks finale afterwards. Swanson and Moe will be there and you can even enjoy some delicious apple pie from Skeeter's.

No matter what you enjoy doing on the 4th of July, these events will bring out the patriotism in you and your family.

Want to learn more about the Richmond area and what it has to offer?

Pending home sales hit highest level since 2006

Brandon Spaulding - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Pending home sales hit their highest level in nine years in April, a sign that last month’s sales decline for existing homesmay be only temporary.

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contract signings, jumped to 112.4 in April, rising for the fourth consecutive month. That’s its highest level since May 2006. All four regions of the country saw more contract signings in April, led by the Northeast and Midwest.

 “Realtors are saying foot traffic remains elevated this spring despite limited — and in some cases severe — inventory shortages in many metro areas,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver’s seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available for sale.

 “As a result, home prices are up and accelerating in many markets.”

There’s a limit, however, as to how high prices can go since mortgage interest rates are beginning to rise.

 “The housing market can handle interest rates well above 4 percent as long as inventory improves to slow price growth and underwriting standards ease to normal levels so that qualified buyers — especially first-time buyers — are able to obtain a mortgage,” Yun said