A new homeowner’s gardening work is never done. While each season brings its own set of gardening tasks, fall is a critical time for preparing your garden for winter and ensuring a vibrant spring. Here’s a checklist to help you get started:
Say Goodbye to Summer
Remove dead plants, fallen leaves and any other debris that may have accumulated during the summer months. This not only tidies up your garden but also prevents potential pest and disease issues.
Time to Trim
Don’t leave inspecting your trees and shrubs until after the first big storm. Look for dead or diseased branches. Prune trees and shrubs back to encourage healthy growth in the spring. Trim back any overgrown hedges and bushes to maintain a neat appearance.
Get Out Those Bulbs
Want to wake up to beautiful spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips and crocuses? Plant bulbs now. September or October is the best time to plant.
If You Love Perennials
Perennials have a long growing season, but even they need to rest in the winter. If your flower bed is overcrowded, now is the time to consider dividing perennials. This not only rejuvenates the plants but also gives you the opportunity to expand your garden or share with friends and neighbors.
Let’s Talk Mulch
Mulch helps regulate soil temperature, conserves moisture and reduces weed growth. apply a layer to plant beds to protect bulbs, seeds and winter plants.
Give your lawn some attention by aerating, fertilizing and overseeding. Fall is the optimal time for grass seed to establish itself, resulting in a lush lawn come spring.
Stow Your Tools
You won’t need your gardening tools much in the winter, but that doesn’t mean forgetting about them. Clean and properly store them. This includes sharpening blades, oiling metal parts to prevent rust and storing tools in a dry, sheltered area.
Plan for Spring
Use the fall season as an opportunity to plan for your spring garden. Research new plants, create a garden layout, and make a list of any supplies or tools you’ll need.
August is National Family Fun Month, a time for families to come together, create lasting memories and celebrate the bonds that make families truly special. It’s also a great time to get out and enjoy the many attractions found near Marvida. Here are a few of our favorite places to play:
Spend Time Outdoors
Immerse your family in nature with a trip to this beautiful, 58-acre nature preserve featuring 57 acres of interactive trails for hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and more.
Picnic in Cypress Park, an expansive 165-acre area boasting picnic tables, barbeque grills, restrooms, water fountains and shade structures as well as a playground, exercise stations, paved walkways and a pond for catch-and-release fishing.
A favorite with hikers and cyclists, this 100-acre preserve also offers opportunities to sneak a peek at local critters.
Do a Little Shopping
There’s no better place to get in a little back-to-school shopping than this expansive ode to discounter designer duds. Shop 145 designer and name-brand outlet stores, including Burberry, Nike, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch and Versace.
Shops, restaurants, services and even a farmers market can all be found lakeside. Attend one of the many events or just have fun window shopping.
Catch a Show
The Berry Center is a great place to catch a concert or theatrical performance. You can also cheer on your favorite team in the arena or on the field.
Why settle for popcorn when you can watch the latest blockbuster while dining in style. The theater boasts an extensive menu and a full-service bar with a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits.
Fun and Games
Known as one of the finest fields in the United States, this is the perfect place for families to enjoy a little friendly competition.
Create creative colorful memories you can hang on your wall! All tools are supplied.
One of Texas’ best public golf courses offers two 18-hole courses that can accommodate beginner to professional-level golfers. Finish the day with a meal at Ropers Grill.
Kids go nuts for this scaled-to-their-size science lab. There are more than 30 experiments to pick from in the Open Lab, which is geared toward the young and the young-at-heart.
Families can bounce off the walls at this indoor trampoline park. There’s also a zip line, foam zone, ropes course, arcade, water zone and more.
Families can play together at this unique indoor playground where parents can race kids down the slides, toddlers have their own zone and the food is mostly healthy. Security cameras monitoring all corners of the playground allow parents to keep an eye on their kids.
Enjoy your burger while the kids burn off some energy on the huge playground featuring sand pits, climbable oversized tires, slides and more.
Parents will love the craft beer and southern comfort food. The kids will love the playground with two play structures, a sand pit and room to run.
Food trucks, beer, playgrounds and fun. What’s not to love about this family-friendly venue?
Safety and security devices are at the top of every homeowner’s to-do list. You may not need them, but it’s nice to know they are there. If this is your first home, you may be overwhelmed by the many options available to you.
Fortunately, every Marvida resident also has access to a home security monitoring service and our builders offer smart home packages full of security features. Guess your to-do list just got shorter. Take a look at these common smart home devices:
Home Automation Systems
Home automation systems tie your devices together and allow you to control them via a centralized hub or smartphone. Marvida homes feature a Honeywell Tuxedo System touchpad that acts as both a home automation controller and interface. Use it to schedule lights to make it look like someone is at home and check who is at the door before you open it.
All-in-One Security Systems
Marvida homes are pre-wired for home security systems. These all-in-one packages usually include high-definition cameras, motion detectors and door/window sensors. You can monitor your home remotely or go with a service that offers professional monitoring, alerting the authorities in case of a break-in.
Equipped with a built-in camera and two-way audio, video doorbells allow you to see and usually speak with anyone at your front door — whether you are home or not. That way, you know who is at the door and can keep an eye on deliveries.
Who needs a key when you have a smart lock? These devices use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or a mobile app to control access to your home. You can lock or unlock your doors remotely, assign temporary access codes to guests or service providers and receive notifications whenever someone enters or exits your home.
Wi-fi cameras are good for monitoring the interior and exterior of your home. Most are equipped with night vision so you can check on your front or backyard even in low-light conditions.
Water Leak Sensors
Sometimes pipe spring a leak. Unfortunately, you might not notice it until your floor has an inch or two of water on it. Prevent water damage by installing sensors near sinks and appliances. When a leak is detected, these sensors send immediate alerts to your smartphone, giving you the opportunity to act swiftly.
Smart Smoke Detectors
Take safety to the next level with smart versions of traditional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices send real-time alerts to your smartphone in case of smoke or carbon monoxide detection, even when you’re not home. Some models can even differentiate between types of smoke, reducing false alarms.
Visit Us to Learn More
Want to know more about our builders’ safety and security features? Stop by our model homes and speak with sales representatives today.
Your first home is an opportunity to express yourself, and what better way to do that than art? Hanging and styling artwork can create a visual masterpiece that reflects your personality and style. Of course, if you’ve only rented, you may not have had the opportunity to hang anything on your walls. How do you go about it? Here are some ideas to bring your walls to life.
The most amazing piece of art in the world will look terrible if not hung properly. To get started, you need a hammer, tape measure, nails in various sizes, wall-plug anchors, screws that fit them and a screwdriver. If you are hanging pictures on glass or tile, choose low-profile adhesive hooks. If you are hanging art on brick, use brick clamps.
Galleries and museums typically hang their art pieces approximately 57 inches above the ground. That’s the average eye level for most people. Start by marking the height with a pencil, then measure to find the middle of the wall from end to end and mark where the two points meet. That’s where you should center your piece. Measure the distance between the middle of the piece, and where it will catch the nail. Measure that difference from your mid-point mark on the wall — that’s where the nail goes. Mark that spot.
Hang It Up
How you hang a piece depends on how heavy it is. Light pieces need small nails. Heavier pieces need larger nails or wall-plug anchors and screws.
Choose Your Pieces
Now that you know how to hang a picture, it’s time to get creative. Consider the style and theme of your space, the size and shape of the walls and the overall color palette. Think about the purpose of the room and the mood you want to create. Choose pieces that resonate with you and reflect your personal taste. Consider a mix of different mediums, such as paintings, photographs and prints to add depth and variety.
Identify Focal Points
Where do you want to draw the eye? Hang your most prominent artwork or a collection of pieces in this area to create a visually captivating focal point. The eye will naturally be drawn to this area, setting the stage for the rest of your artwork arrangements.
Balance and Symmetry
Strive for a cohesive look. You can do this by creating a grid-like pattern, aligning the center of each piece at the same height or using symmetrical arrangements. This sort of styling works well in formal living and dining rooms or studies.
Scale and Proportions
Your art should harmonize with your furniture and the size of the room. You don’t want to put a small portrait in a large room. It will get lost. A large painting in a small area will make the room feel cramped.
Have Fun, Be Eclectic
Informal areas such as family rooms, kitchens and game rooms may benefit from more eclectic groupings. Choose pieces of different sizes and shapes. Experiment with overlapping frames or creating clusters that vary in heights and orientations.
Light It Up
Proper lighting is crucial in highlighting the beauty of your artwork. Install adjustable track lighting or picture lights to focus attention on specific pieces. Experiment with different lighting angles and intensities to create dramatic effects and accentuate the textures and colors of your artwork.
Visit Marvida Model Homes
A great way to get inspiration for styling your artwork is to visit model homes in Marvida. The homes are professionally decorated which means designers have chosen artwork that complements each room. If you really like the rooms, speak with a sales counselor about making your home in Marvida today.
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or looking to upgrade your current living situation, choosing a new home community like Marvida confers advantages you often don’t get when moving to an older neighborhood. Here are five key benefits that come with moving to a new home community:
Make Your Home Your Own
Moving to a new home community gets you just that — a new home. Marvida builders can help you craft a home that is uniquely yours. You choose the floor plan, interior, options and upgrades that best meet your family’s needs. Everything from the appliances to the plumbing is new and under warranty. That means no weekend DIY projects and more money in your pocket. Our builders also use the latest technology to ensure your home is energy-efficient, saving you money on heating and cooling bills.
New home communities are usually designed with state-of-the-art facilities, such as parks, playgrounds, fitness centers, swimming pools and recreation complexes. Marvida gives you access to an incredible range of amenities that you can access the day you move in. That’s because you can use the amenities at our sister communities Miramesa, Bridge Creek and Canyon Lakes West. You also have access to an exclusive technology package, including smart home features and a built-in security system.
Tight-Knit Community and Social Opportunities
Many new communities foster a sense of belonging through organized events, clubs and social gatherings. Whether it’s neighborhood parties, book clubs or sports leagues, these activities provide a platform for meeting new people and building lasting relationships. Additionally, new communities often attract like-minded individuals and families, creating an environment where you can find people who share similar interests and values.
Access to Quality Education
Access to good schools, libraries and extracurricular activities can greatly enhance the educational experience for children, contributing to their overall development. Marvida is zoned to excellent schools in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. Niche ranks it among the top 50 best school districts in Texas. The district also boasts a 93 percent graduation rate with high school students performing above average on AP, SAT and ACT tests.
Your Home Will Appreciate in Value
Investing in a new home community can be a wise financial decision. Over time, these communities tend to experience property value appreciation. As the community develops and gains popularity, the demand for housing in the area rises, leading to an increase in property values. This appreciation can provide you with equity, making it a potentially lucrative investment for the future.
Make the Move to Marvida
Experience the benefits of moving to a new home community yourself. Stop by our beautiful model homes and tour our community. You’ll see that Marvida is the best choice for your family.
One of the first things many new homeowners look forward to is hosting a backyard barbecue. It’s a great way to break the ice with your new neighbors and create some lasting memories. Here are some tips for crafting a fun and memorable event to celebrate moving to Marvida.
Send Out the Invites
Set a date for your barbecue and invite the neighbors. You don’t have to send out anything formal. Just knock on the door and ask them to come over. If you prefer something a little less casual, you can print and distribute flyers. Encourage potential guests to bring their friends so you have a chance to meet more people in the community.
Prepare Your Party Space
How prepared are you to host? Do you have patio furniture? A grill? If you don’t, it’s a good idea to make a few purchases before the big date. If your budget doesn’t cover new furniture, check into renting tables and chairs. If you purchased a home in Marvida and opted for a built-in grill, you are set. Otherwise, purchase or borrow a grill if you don’t have one.
Plan Your Menu
The centerpiece of your barbecue is the main course. Choose fare that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Burgers and hot dogs are always a favorite. Brisket can feed a crowd and is usually a hit. Encourage guests to bring their favorite side dishes, salads, desserts or beverages to create a potluck-style event. It’s a great way to get to know people. Don’t forget to offer vegetarian or vegan options to accommodate different dietary needs.
Make It Festive
You don’t have to have a themed barbecue (although it’s a lot of fun) but you should make your backyard festive. String lights and have your favorite playlist ready to go. If many of you are new to the neighborhood, plan some icebreaker games. Games such as cornhole, horseshoes and volleyball are good ways to help people get to know each other. Be sure to have children’s games and crafts available to help them make friends.
Be a Good Host
It’s important to meet and greet all the guests. When you are introducing neighbors to each other, try to throw in an interesting tidbit they have in common as a conversation starter. Be sure everyone has enough to eat and drink. Ask questions. This is your community now, so you want to foster relationships.
Follow up the barbecue with a thank you via text, email or a note. If everyone seemed to have a great time, suggest a rotating potluck party with each neighbor taking a turn hosting. Alternatively, suggest everyone come back to your place for the next holiday.
Move to Marvida
Marvida is a friendly place. Whether you are hosting a backyard barbecue, beating the heat at the pool, letting your pooch run free at the dog park or participating in one of our excellent community events, you are sure to connect with your neighbors and make friendships that last a lifetime.
Marvida’s excellent Cypress location is a boon for gourmands. Every type of cuisine is available, including Mexican, Asian, Indian and more. But, what about good old-fashioned American food? No problem. Cypress abounds with grills, pubs and cafés serving up burgers, steaks, seafood and more. Many are locally owned. Here are a few of our resident’s favorites:
NOLA-style cuisine with a Texas twist? Yes, please! Dig into mouthwatering crawfish, po’boys, boudin balls, bread pudding and more.
Celebrate your next special event at this upscale restaurant. Try the three-course prix-fix meal featuring soup or salad, an entrée and dessert or order from the expansive menu. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list.
Housed in a renovated 1907 farmhouse, this is where you go to dine on delicious comfort food. We love the pecan-bourbon chicken, brisket enchiladas and chess pie.
You get more than a great meal here. You get an experience. Come out for karaoke night, live music and your favorite sporting event broadcast on 16 flat-screen televisions.
Looking to put a little happy in your hour? This sports bar offers a lite bite menu that includes street tacos, burgers and nachos as well as plenty of beer and liquor.
Hang out on the patio or watch the game inside. Sip a cold beer and dine on the weekly special.
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the scratch cooking and amazing beer menu. The pub specializes in pouring Guinness’ 3 Step Perfect Pint. Sports fans will appreciate the 30 large-screen televisions.
Fresh handmade sandwiches and salads are on the menu at this kitschy bistro. Everything — including the pickles — are made in house.
This hidden gem focuses on organic, seasonal produce grown in their backyard. Serving breakfast and lunch only, this is a great place to relax and watch the world go by.
If it can be grilled, it is here. Chow down on flat iron, NY strip, ribeye and more as well as wood-grilled seafood, street tacos and homemade sides.
Pick up delicious smokey brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and more on your way home to Marvida. Trust us, it’s good.
With homeownership comes great responsibility. That means getting up-to-speed on landscaping basics. Your Marvida home comes with some landscaping elements but that doesn’t mean you can’t kick it up a notch. Here are some tips for adding curb appeal and creating a beautiful, functional outdoor space for your family.
What is Landscaping Anyway?
Landscaping involves more than mowing your lawn. It’s the process of making your yard more attractive by planting things, as well as installing features like paths, walls, fences and patios. Landscaping is part science and part art. A properly landscaped home adds value to your home and your community.
Start With the Rules
If you live in a master-planned community like Marvida, you probably have an HOA. That means there are going to be a few guidelines as to what you can and can’t plant, how high your fence and structures can be and even how many trees you can have. Before you start your landscaping project, check in with your HOA office.
Set Up a Budget
Before you plan, decide how much you can afford to spend. Experts suggest spending 10 percent of your new home’s price on landscaping. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. If your budget only allows for border plants now, that’s okay. Plant them and add the fire pit when you can afford it. Having a budget keeps you from purchasing high-priced items you don’t really need.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Flower beds need weeding, lawns need mowing and trees must be trimmed. Decide in advance how much time you want to spend on landscape maintenance. That will keep you from picking high-maintenance plants. If you don’t like watering, have an irrigation system installed. If you hate mowing and weeding, consider engaging a landscaping service.
Make a Plan
Envision how you will use your outdoor space. Do you have pets and children? Open spaces where they can play should be included. If you enjoy gardening, figure out where the best spot to plant your garden will be. Landscaping software can be a big help. Many programs allow you to import pictures of your yard and then add design elements so you can see what it might look like before you hit the home improvement store.
Do Your Homework
Not every tree, shrub or flower grows well in every climate. Know the difference between perennials and annuals. Map your yard into zones based on when and where they get the most shade and sunlight. Take your map to an expert and ask for help choosing plants.
Design Around a Focal Point
Focal points draw the eye to specific points in your yard. Points that you might be proud of or that offer a view of something truly beautiful. Focal points could be an unusual tree, a pergola or a fire pit. Once you’ve installed yours, concentrate on smaller elements that complement your centerpiece.
Don’t Forget the Hardscape
Hardscape refers to the non-living parts of your yard. The fence, patio, walkways and driveway. These are usually already in place. Think about how you can use plants to improve their appearance or make the space more functional. A footpath could become more welcoming with brightly colored flowers. Add a bench underneath a shady tree for a private book nook. If you enjoy sunsets, build a deck.
Visit Marvida for Landscape Inspiration
If you need a little inspiration for your landscaping project, visit Marvida. Our model homes, amenity areas and neighborhoods are all beautifully landscaped. Stop in to talk to our builders’ representatives. They can tell you all about the landscape design packages they offer.
There is so much to do in and around Marvida, we wouldn’t blame you if you planned to spend all summer enjoying the Marvida lifestyle. However, if you’re looking for a change of scenery or want to explore more of the surrounding areas, there are plenty of great day trips you can take from our community. Here are some ideas to get you started:
If you’re going to day trip, you’ve got to see Austin. It’s easy to pop over if you live on Marvida’s side of Houston. See the state capitol, swim in Barton Springs Pool and enjoy everything Zilker Park has to offer. Hungry? Franklin Barbecue claims to be the best barbecue in the known universe (get there early because it is). Don’t forget about the music scene.
If you’re thinking “it’s island time,” you want to head to Galveston. It’s just an hour away and packed with things to do. Spend the day soaking up the sun on one of Galveston’s many beaches, ride the rides at the Historic Pleasure Pier or step back in time as you explore the historic district.
We can’t even begin to describe all the things you can do when you spend a day here. Explore the oceans’ depths at the Aquarium Pyramid, roam with the cotton-top tamarins and sloths in the Rainforest Pyramid, catch a 3D movie at the theater and more.
The fun never stops at Kemah Boardwalk. Enjoy thrilling rides, live music, special events, fine dining, shopping and more.
Just a 45-minute drive from Cypress, Space Center Houston is the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. You can take a tram tour of the facility, see real spacesuits and other artifacts and learn about the history of space exploration.
Get your nature fix without driving for hours. The beautiful state park is a great place to hike, bike and see wildlife. Reserve a camping spot and get ready to make some s’mores.
Located in Conroe, the forest is a vast wilderness area where you can camp, hike and fish to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to explore at least part of the 129-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail.
Hitch up your boat and head to Lake Conroe to see if the fish are biting. The 22,000-acre lake is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Picnic on the shore, hire a fishing guide or dine lakeside.
You don’t need to be a hotel guest to take advantage of the amenities offered at this spectacular Lake Conroe resort. Book a day pass and swim in the infinity pool, explore the activities at Jolly Mon water park, get in a round at Parrot Island Mini Golf and more.
Brenham is a charming town located about an hour from Cypress. It is known for its beautiful countryside, antique shops and, of course, Blue Bell Ice Cream.
It isn’t possible to see all 19 museums that make up the district in one day, but you will have fun trying. Be sure to stop by Children’s Museum Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Art lovers can get their fix at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Talk with the animals — all 6,000 of them. See how your favorite mammals, reptiles and amphibians are doing, then take a ride on the carousel before lunch. Make the day more special by booking an animal encounter.
The 455-acre park offers beautiful gardens, train rides, pedal boats and live entertainment.
Port Arthur offers fun activities for the entire family. Some of the best fishing around is here, as is some of the best beer. Follow the Faith Trail to see the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple, the Queen of Peace Shrine & Gardens and St. Anthony Basilica. Visit the Museum of the Gulf Coast to see Janis Joplin memorabilia.
If your Marvida home is the first you’ve ever owned, congratulations! Owning your own home is the American Dream — a dream that comes with a few responsibilities, including caring for those shiny new appliances. Not sure what to do? Here are some tips for keeping your appliances in shape.
Read the Manual
We know, appliance manuals are not light reading. It’s worth your pocketbook to plough through them, however. User manuals detail the use, care and maintenance of your appliances. They tell you how to clean, when to clean and which parts should get an annual lookover. Most manuals also include a troubleshooting section that can help you fix something before you need to call a repair person.
Keep Them Clean
We can’t stress enough how much regular cleaning can keep your appliances working longer. For refrigerators and ovens, that means cleaning the gaskets around the doors. Gaskets seal in the heat in ovens and the cold in refrigerators. Letting either escape can affect the performance of your appliances. Clean out your refrigerator regularly and don’t forget to vacuum the coils. Dust can cause overheating which in turn means opening your wallet wide.
Change Filters Regularly
You know that you must change the filters on your HVAC unit. You may even know you have to clean the filter on your dryer. Did you know that refrigerators, washers and dishwashers also have filters? Dishwashers, for example, have filters that trap food particles. If you don’t clean them, they can get clogged, and your dishes won’t get clean.
Don’t Overload Them
Appliances work better if they don’t have to work harder. Avoid overloading dishwashers, washers and dryers. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the maximum load capacity to keep them working longer.
Use Them Properly
Make sure you are using the proper tools for the job. If you have an energy-efficient washer, you should be using HE laundry detergent. Failing to do so may leave soap residue in your machine. Make sure you are using the right cookware for the heat source on your stove. Your user manual will tell you what you should and should not be doing.
Check for Wear and Tear
Inspect your appliances regularly for frayed wires, loose connections and signs of damage. If you notice any issues, address them immediately. Small problems can turn into significant issues if left unattended.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
HVAC systems and hot water heaters are also appliances. Schedule annual checkups to ensure they are in good working order. If you don’t feel confident about caring for your other appliances, there are companies that will come out once a year to look at them.