The Woodlands – A Great Place to Live

It happens every year — publications release their list of “greatest places to…” (live, raise a family, work, go to school, and more).  And every year, The Woodlands rises to the top of many, if not most, of those lists.

This year, Niche Online Magazine has release their lists and The Woodlands is listed as #2 on the list of the best places in America to raise a family.  Not surprising, since we boast exemplary schools; opportunities for almost any career path; parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, biking and walking paths and much, much more.

The Woodlands also ranked #7 on their list of Best Cities to Live in America.  Again, I’m not surprised.  Every time I venture outside I am reminded of the reasons I love to call this my hometown.

For me, it’s more of a matter of feeling blessed than it is a matter of pride.  The quality of life here is great; I tend to take some things for granted until I leave home for a few days, and then it becomes clear again.  We have it pretty good around here!

 

Did You Know? — Grogan’s Mill

Curiosity is part of my fabric.  I’m not exactly a history buff, but I do enjoy knowing something about my hometown, and when it comes to The Woodlands, hometown points to Grogan’s Mill.  In the years since I came, I’ve walked and biked as many trails through Grogan’s Mill as possible, hoping to spot a remnant of the timber mill it was named for.  My pathway journeys were always enjoyable, but they didn’t produce an old sawmill, much to my disappointment.

There is information available pointing to the approximate location of the actual sawmill.  Here is a little background:  George and Will Grogan started up a timber mill operation near Gladstell, Texas around 1912.  Then, in 1917 they formed the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company and that is when they started operating in what is now The Woodlands.  It seems there were a lot of lumber operations at the time, and there were several ghost towns left when these outfits moved to their next location.  One thing that set the Grogan’s apart is that they didn’t clear-cut trees.  Major kudos to them!

The mill itself was located near the current location of Lamar Elementary School in Grogan’s Mill.  The pond at Tamarac Park, not far away, was used to soak the logs before cutting.  Then, donkeys would haul them to rail cars to be shipped out.

This mill operation continued up through 1960!  Then, in 1964, the visionary George Mitchell purchased 50,000 acres of land from them at $125.00 per acre, and the next chapter in our town’s history began.

Welcome to The Woodlands!  We’re glad you came!

 

Home Staging, what will it cost? – Step 5: The “Wow” effect

The other day I was finally able to visit a store I’ve wanted to see for the longest time.  I’ve been to their website many times, and have longed to see it in person.  Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.  From the moment we walked through their front gate, the “wow” effect took over.  We got there at the last minute, and only had 5 minutes to shop, but the effect of that shop will linger.

Now imagine you are a buyer — maybe you’ve tried to squeeze in a few too many homes to see in one day and you’re out of steam, but you’re down to the last house for the day.  You pull up, and from the time you arrive, you start to notice little details that leave you wanting to slow down and just enjoy every room, every view; you want to just stop, sit down and relax here.  This is the one.

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of cleaning, decluttering, repairs and neutralizing,  it’s time to have some fun.  Make sure you budget carefully, and begin at the curb, working your way through the front door, in and out of rooms, and out to the back.  Look for places where you could set up a little place to read, relax, enjoy coffee or tea; soak in a spotless tub; sit on the porch or walk through a flower garden.  Think about what little items you could add (make a list! stick to your budget!) to create a wow in each area.  Maybe you add a little African violet in a pretty pot on the kitchen window-sill, so that buyers will be drawn to notice a nice view or pretty sink.  Put a rocking chair on the front porch, if you have room, and add a book with some reading glasses.  A bird feeder with a nearby chair and small side table on the back porch or patio beckons your buyers to envision a nice spot to sit and relax with their morning coffee.  An empty upstairs hallway might be just the right place for a comfortable chair, small table and lamp for reading on chilly winter days, or even for rocking babies to sleep.  You may be able to borrow a chair, table, etc.  from another room, or find something at a thrift shop or consignment store at little cost to set up little scenes throughout your home.

My goal in every house was to create at least 20 “wow’s” for buyers to notice.  I feel that number will leave a lasting impression, and it works!  There are countless ways to find ideas.  My favorites right now are Pinterest and Houzz.  Both are free, easy (fun!) and show you hundreds of great ideas for interesting and effective staging.

Good luck!  Let me know how things turn out for you, and send pictures!

 

Kristine