Archive for June, 2012

Eco-Friendly Flooring Options
June 26, 2012

Choosing the right flooring for your home has many dimensions.  Four important dimensions are quality, durability, cost, and aesthetics.  Adding a fifth dimension is becoming increasingly important – sustainability.  Sustainable flooring comes in many different varieties and styles.  Whether your decision to consider eco-friendly flooring is driven by environmental consciousness or allergies or some combination thereof, there are several sustainable options to consider:

For Carpet Fans:  Wool carpet is a good sustainable option.  Wool is stain resistant, recyclable, renewable, and resilient.  It is a great sustainable flooring option for those people who want carpet in their home.   It also absorbs and releases moisture and humidity, allowing it to help moderate temperatures, keeping your floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

For Hardwood Fans: For a more sustainable hardwood floor, consider a hardwood that carries the FSC stamp.  From a sustainability viewpoint, bamboo flooring is gaining in popularity because it is both beautiful and sustainable.  It is also very durable.  For more information about bamboo flooring, check out Teragren, a manufacturer of bamboo flooring.

For Alternative Fans: Consider alternatives such as Marmoleum or cork.  Cork is a great choice because of its durability and ease of maintainance.  Like hardwoods, it is derived from trees but it is harvested.  As a result, trees are not cut down and can regrow.  Marmoleum is a natural linoleum that is one of the greenest floors on the market.  It is highly durable, non-toxic, anti-microbial, and easy to maintain and comes in many designer colors and patterns.

As with any major home improvement, doing your homework is extremely important prior to making your final choice on which flooring to go with.  To make your floor ultra-green, it is also important to consider what materials will be used in the installation of your new floors!

A Long Time Coming…
June 21, 2012

Finally, the wait is over for North Fort Worth – a new movie theater has arrived in Alliance Town Center.  The Cinemark XD experience is now open for movie aficionados.  With 14 screens and digital and 3D technology, nearby residents have a great place to see first-run movies.  The theater will also be showing classics, independent films, and art films.  If you are a John Wayne buff, The Searchers will be showing on June 27th at 2p and 7p.  Also showing is Moonrise Kingdom, a very odd but interesting independent film with an all-star cast, including Bruce Willis.  Join BlueLeaf agents and see this summer’s blockbuster movies at Cinemark in Alliance and support an area business before or after the show.  See what movies are currently playing at the Cinemark in Alliance Town Center and watch for summer action hits like the new Batman and Spider Man movies coming soon!

A Whirlwind Central Texas Real Estate Tour
June 13, 2012

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2012 Cool House Tour
Austin, TX

This past week, Liana and I toured the real estate markets of Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.  It all started on Sunday at the Cool House Tour in Austin, revealing that Austin is still keeping it weird in spite of the crazy traffic.  Austin is the Texas front-runner when it comes to energy efficient green-built homes.  Many of the homes we toured were really amazing.  The traffic however was not so cool.  After two full days of real estate site visits in Austin, we headed out for San Antonio via Wimberly, TX where we visited with an innovative architect named Neel Morton.  He took us on a private tour of his soon to be private residence that is currently under construction.  Coolest features were the use of construction material made out of recycled pallets and the cooling tower.  Thanks Mr. Morton for the tour, the hospitality, and the explanation of how rammed earth construction works.  Then it was on to San Antonio where we visited some great mixed-use developments and spent some time with commercial developers, Ed Cross and Marty Wender.  Mr. Wender is the developer who brought Sea World to Texas along with many other major employers.  Who knows maybe Disney will follow – Disney TX just makes sense!  Many thanks to Ed Cross and Marty Wender for their time and willingness to share what has worked and not worked for them in the real estate industry.  Also, thanks to Mr. Cross for the hands-on tour of his exceptional project, The Vistana, close to downtown San Antonio.   Mr. Cross and his architect did a fantastic job on the design of this building.  On a green building note, we also visited with Lawrence Jetter from AECT, a company that makes compressed earth bricks.  Very cool – thanks for the time Mr. Jetter.  After seeing some really neat stuff in San Antonio, we were off to Houston where we visited City Centre, talked with AMREIT officials, and visited

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Discovery Green in Houston, TX

Discovery Green Park.  The park is a homerun and is adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center on one side and downtown Houston on the other.  It is a must see while visiting Houston.  Thanks to site manager, William Flowers, for a terrific tour and education about all the sustainable features built into the park.  Of course, there were many more site visits and much more to talk about but my time is up.  Suffice it to say that the real estate markets in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston are doing well just like North Texas is.  Thanks to Dr. Fred Forgey of UTA for putting the trip together.