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14765 Old Conroe Road In Red Oak Ranch

Red Oak Ranch. Gorgeous, light and bright home with pool and barn on horse-friendly 5 acres! Yet…conveniently located close to The Woodlands! Kitchen has painted cabinets, farmhouse sink, granite …open to family room with views to pool, back yard and fenced pastures! The master suite is incredible…separate sitting area with fireplace…updated master bath with freestanding tub…walk-in shower! Spacious game room…computer/study area, 3 bedrooms plus 2 baths up. Privacy abounds in the back with pool. Gated drive. Magnolia ISD! Go ahead…ask for it all…this home will deliver! Video length = 8 minutes.

Red Oak Ranch

Red Oak Ranch is a secluded subdivision located just north of FM 1488 between The Woodlands and Conroe. Consisting of large, attractive wooded lots predominately 5 acres in size but ranging from 3 acres and 10 acres in size, the community offers a charming country atmosphere within a short drive of city-like amenities.

Red Oak Ranch is also equestrian friendly with a grassed recreation easement running along the front of all lots that can be used for riding. For an annual fee, residents and their guests may also make use of a new outdoor riding arena that is equipped with dressage letters and a mounting block for their use and enjoyment.

Red Oak Ranch has an active Property Owners’ Association which includes all property owners of the subdivision. The Red Oak Ranch Property Owners’ Association (RORPOA) was created to operate and manage the Red Oak Ranch community which includes enforcing the Deed Restrictions for the purpose of protecting the value and desirability of all properties. The subdivision has an Architectural Control Committee (ACC) assigned the responsibility to review all property improvement projects for approval before they are initiated. The RORPOA Board of Directors is active in managing the affairs of the community along with Tower Management Services, the property management company.

The RORPOA also likes to promote and instill a strong sense of community within the subdivision.

Staging and Style

Make That Home Greener: Energy-Efficient Mortgages

By Michele DiGirolamo, Guest Contributor from 

If you’re in the market for a new home, there’s a way to save the environment and some cash at the same time: Consider a “green” mortgage.

An energy-efficient mortgage (EEM), the umbrella term for these types of loans, allows buyers to fold expenses for energy-saving home improvements into their mortgage.


Photo credit: Shutterstock

EEMs are an option if you’re buying or building a home and you want to add energy-efficient features, if you’re refinancing a mortgage for a home you already own and want to add energy-efficient renovations, or if you’re buying a new home that is already energy-efficient.

The idea is that, in the long run, the money saved on monthly utility bills will offset the higher mortgage payment. The projected energy savings from the lower bills could also qualify buyers for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.

And at the point of resale, homeowners will likely benefit again, as the energy upgrades can boost the home’s value and attract buyers in a competitive market.

Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Green mortgages can be used to finance a range of energy-efficient upgrades, from weather stripping to new heating and cooling systems to double-pane windows and solar panels.

A required home energy audit provides recommendations for energy-saving improvements and estimates of the costs and savings of those improvements. Lenders use this information to determine how much you’ll save in energy costs with each improvement.

Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs all offer a version of EEMs. The amount of energy improvements a borrower can finance varies by program, ranging from about 5 percent of the value of the property through an FHA loan to around 15 percent with a conventional mortgage. A VA EEM, available to military personnel, caps energy improvements at $3,000 to $6,000.

Understanding the Green Mortgage Lending Process

While securing an EEM can be fairly simple for the borrower, it can be cumbersome for lenders unaccustomed to the process of managing the “work flow” of the energy improvements, says Tonya Todd, senior vice president of strategic products at Mountain West Financial in Redlands, California. This may be why they aren’t more common.

“The loan itself is easy; it’s the facilitation that takes some work,” Todd says. “Lenders that are successful at this will find a local energy-efficient mortgage facilitator. The facilitator handles everything from A to Z to ensure a smooth and timely process for all parties.”

The facilitator works with the buyer, the energy rater, the contractor, the realtor and the lender to keep everything moving to avoid delays.

“After closing, the facilitator will ensure the installation of the energy improvements are completed,” she adds. “It just makes everything much smoother.”

So, if you’re interested in pursuing an EEM, go for it — just be aware you may have to put some effort into finding a lender.

“Niche lenders do offer these programs and do them well,” Todd says. “However, a lot of lenders do not offer them because they do not understand the operational component, or they don’t have the support system internally.”

More Homeowners Are Going Green

While they’ve been around in some form since the 1990s, eco-friendly mortgages even today are not particularly well-known. But that could be changing, Todd says.

“Energy-efficient measures are becoming more popular especially as homeowners are purchasing older homes that may not be so environmentally friendly,” Todd adds. “People are more aware of being green. That’s why homeowners are looking for features that will help them save energy.”

The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that going to heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection’s Energy Star program. There are significant savings to be had by improving a home’s energy efficiency.

Other Ways to ‘Green’ Your Home

Even if you’re not in the market for a green mortgage, there are measures you can take around your house to save energy and reduce your utility bills. The following are some tips — some simple, some more involved — from the Energy Star program and other experts:

  • Turn your hot water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep your refrigerator at 37-40 degrees and freezer at 5 degrees.
  • Install and properly use a programmable thermostat (this can save about $180 annually).
  • Install low-flow fixtures.
  • Do only full loads in the washer and dishwasher.
  • Fix any leaky faucets, toilets, pipes, and your roof.
  • Seal heating and cooling ducts (in the typical house, about 20 percent of the air in a duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts).
  • Seal the “envelope” of your home – the outer walls, ceiling, windows, and floor (this can save 20 percent on heating and cooling costs).
  • Replace the filters on your air conditioning unit, dryer, and furnace.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you’re not home.
  • Set ceiling fans counter-clockwise in the summer to draw cooler air upward.
  • Dust your refrigerator coils.
  • Plant shade trees to cool your home.
  • Request a home energy audit for more tips and advice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michele DiGirolamo is a former longtime reporter for United Press International and a freelance writer for

Real Estate Woodforest

103 Haileys Run In Woodforest Kinderwood

Woodforest. Such beauty is hard to find! Wait until you open the door…you will be amazed at the upgrades in this home…from front curb to back fence! This is a Village Next Gen home offering a suite complete with living, kitchenette, bedroom and bath! Travertine plank floors throughout, granite in kitchen and baths, master suite with sitting area plus an over-the-top custom pool and spa. Private backyard! Montgomery ISD. Whole-house generator, water softener, tank-less water heaters. This home is no longer being offered in Woodforest…don’t miss the opportunity!! Video length = 8 minutes.

WOODFOREST…Montgomery County’s Premier Master-Planned Community

Destined to be one of Houston’s most innovative master-planned communities, Woodforest is establishing its roots on 3,000 acres of rolling terrain in Montgomery County with a vibrant array of housing choices and a rich palette of recreational amenities designed to capitalize on its heavily forested environment surrounding Woodforest Golf Club.

Parks, trails, pools and a multitude of opportunities for an active lifestyle complement 5,500 new single-family homes priced from the $190,000s to more than $1 million. Woodforest also offers residents a peaceful retreat that is, quite remarkably, only minutes from the wealth of shopping, entertainment and educational options that define southern Montgomery County.

Convenient access just seven miles west of Interstate 45 is provided by Fish Creek Thoroughfare, the first new major north/south thoroughfare built in Montgomery County. You will find Woodforest equally convenient to The Woodlands and Lake Conroe. And highly rated Montgomery and Conroe schools as well as the Montgomery County College District offer residents the diverse and challenging education they desire for their children and themselves.

Kinderwood Park
In Kinderwood Park, play comes naturally. Here the community’s youngest residents can climb on boulders, balance on logs and dig in a dry creek bed. Additions to the park in 2017 will be made with new play structures and a swing set.

Benders Landing Real Estate

27515 Ossineke In Benders Landing Estates

Benders Landing Estates. Resort style living can be yours every day! You will sense the luxury the moment you enter the drive. Walk through the beautiful iron doors feeling you have just arrived to your vacation with views of the backyard…pool…entertainment areas…so inviting! Stone fireplace in living area is perfect for cooler months. Center kitchen with circular bar beckons room is the spot for relaxation!…Smart Home Technology… 4-car garage with workshop… Easy access to Grand Parkway! Ann Snyder Elementary plus zoned for new high school! Video length is 9 minutes.

Benders Landing Estates offers large wooded or waterfront homesites for your family with room to play. Walking trails throughout the community lead to several parks and to four large lakes for fishing from the shore or from a canoe or paddleboat. Children love the oversized playground in the park and the kids’ splash pad in the pool.

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