The kids will be on spring break soon (March 11-15 for Marvida students). Instead of hopping on a plane this year, why not become a tourist in your own town? Houston is a great place to explore and not far from Marvida. What should you do? Whatever you want — but here are a few ideas!

Houston Museum District

The Houston Museum District is made up of 20 world-class museums. Ask each member of the family to pick their favorite, then go exploring. Museums that should be at the top of your list include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Children’s Museum Houston.

Get Outdoors

Take advantage of Houston’s beautiful spring weather by spending time outdoors. Visit Hermann Park, where you can stroll through the Japanese Garden, rent pedal boats on McGovern Lake or have a picnic. Memorial Park offers hiking and biking trails, as well as recreational facilities.

Art and Architecture

Downtown Houston is known for food, shopping and theater, but there is plenty of art and architecture to discover. Visit Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park that hosts events, concerts and art installations. Explore the historic buildings and architecture, such as the iconic JP Morgan Chase Tower or the historic Market Square Park.

Culinary Adventures

Houston is known for its diverse culinary scene. Take the opportunity to try out different restaurants, food trucks and cafes. Local favorites include The Blind Goat, Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.

Houston Zoo

Set aside an entire day to visit the Houston Zoo. Home to more than 6,000 animals from around the world, the zoo features several habitats such as the African Forest, the Asian Elephant Habitat and the Gorilla Habitat. The zoo also offers interactive experiences and educational programs.

Get a Room

What should you do with the money you save on plane fare? Rent a room at a luxury hotel. Imagine floating down the Texas-shaped lazy river at the Marriott Marquis. Order truffle fries poolside at The Moran City Centre. Other great places to stay include The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Park, Hotel Alessandra and The Whitehall.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Be sure to save a day for shopping. The Galleria offers everything a fashionista could want, including more than 400 premiere stores. Highland Village features nationally known retailers and great restaurants. For hip, artisanal shopping there’s Uptown Park.

The watchword for 2024 is biophilic design. Huh? If you’ve never heard of it, biophilic design is an approach that seeks to connect people with nature by incorporating natural elements into interior design. The idea is that by incorporating these principles into your spaces, you can create environments that promote health and well-being. Now that you know what biophilic is, how can you incorporate it into your new Marvida home? We have some ideas.

Light It Up

Natural light reduces the need for artificial lighting. Homes with large windows, skylights and glass doors allow in plenty of light which helps your body make Vitamin D. It also provides views of the outdoors that can reduce stress and enhance your connection to nature.

Bring Nature Indoors

Incorporate indoor plants throughout your space to improve air quality, reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being. Choose a variety of plants that thrive indoors and place them strategically in different rooms.

Use Natural Materials

When it comes to furniture, textiles and countertops, opt for natural materials such as wood, stone, bamboo and cork in your design elements. These materials add warmth, texture and visual interest to the space while also evoking a sense of the natural world.

Incorporate Nature in Patterns and Textures

Let nature inspire your choice of patterns and textures. Choose leaf motifs, organic shapes or patterns resembling natural landscapes. These elements can be used in textiles, wallpaper, flooring and other decorative features.

Rooms With a View

Wherever possible position seating areas to overlook nearby green spaces, including your backyard, parks, ponds or other scenic landscapes so you can constantly have a visual connection to the outdoors.

Water, Water Everywhere

The sound of flowing water can help mask noise pollution and promote relaxation, so incorporate water features such as fountains, ponds or indoor waterfalls wherever you can. Small table fountains work great in family rooms and the bedroom.

Provide Spaces for Nature Interaction

Design outdoor areas such as gardens, patios or balconies that provide opportunities for relaxation, socialization and connection with nature. Consider adding seating, greenery and elements like fire pits or water features to enhance the outdoor experience.

Go With Curves

Incorporate natural shapes and forms into your design, such as curved lines, arches and irregular shapes. These elements mimic patterns found in nature and create a more organic and harmonious environment.

Engage All Your Senses

We don’t just use our eyes and ears. Incorporate elements such as natural fragrances, sounds of birdsong or rustling leaves and tactile materials that invite touch and exploration.

Get Outdoors

Provide opportunities for your family to get outdoors. Promote activities like gardening, birdwatching and nature walks. Families that live in Marvida have access to amenities that get them out outside and having fun including our new lazy river, exercise stations and playgrounds.

Visit Our Model Homes

Want to learn more about biophilic design? Visit our model homes. You’ll be inspired to incorporate it into your new home.

There’s good news ahead for buyers looking to purchase a new home in 2024 — interest rates are falling.

Freddie Mac recently reported that 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropped from a high of 7.9 percent in October 2023 to 6.6 percent in mid-January. That’s the lowest they’ve been since May 2023. Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research group predicts that 30-year fixed averages will drop below 6 percent by the end of the year.

Other prognosticators agree. The National Association of Realtors predicts fixed rates will stay at 6 percent for the next few months. The Mortgage Bankers Association projects rates on a 30-year loan will be 6.1 percent by the end of the year. Bankrate predicts that average 30-year rates could drop as low as 5.75 percent by the end of 2024.

Driving the rate reduction are pauses in federal rate increases by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has paused three times, with two of these pauses leading to a drop in mortgage rates.  On November 1, the date of the second pause, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 8.06 percent. For a 15-year mortgage, it was 7.20 percent. On December 13, those rates stood at 7.31 percent and 6.70 percent, respectively.

What does that mean for homebuyers? Your monthly mortgage costs could be reduced by an average of $200 a month for a median-priced home. This equates to a savings of $68,000 in interest over the life of your loan.

It also means that now is a great time to purchase your dream home in Marvida. Visit us today and talk to our builders. You could be moving before you know it.

According to two highly respected housing research firms, our community is one of the 50 top-selling master-planned communities in the nation — in fact, we’re No. 12 in the nation, fourth in Texas and third best-selling in Houston on both the RCLCO Real Estate Consulting and John Burns Research & Consulting lists of top-selling communities.

Communities are ranked based on new-home sales in 2023. There were 835 new-home sales in Marvida last year, a 31 percent increase over 2022 when the community was ranked No. 13 nationally.

What’s the secret to our success? Leading builders offering a variety of home choices, ample amenities and great location.

We are pleased to offer homebuyers their choice of 13 exceptional builders offering a range of floor plans, options and upgrades. With their help, you can create a home as unique as you are.

When it comes to amenities, we have it all. The Island Amenity Village is now open. Featuring a resort-style pool, lazy river splash pad, clubhouse, playgrounds, dog park, fitness facility, sports courts, shade pavilion and event lawn, it’s the perfect place for our residents to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.

That’s not all, though. Residents of Marvida also have access to amenities found in our sister communities, Canyon Lakes West, Miramesa and Bridge Creek. That means more pools, more playgrounds, more parks and more fun!

Our location near the Grand Parkway and Highway 290 means you can easily travel to Katy, Cypress and downtown Houston. That also means your kids will attend highly-ranked Cypress-Fairbanks ISD schools.

Want to learn more? Don’t delay, visit Marvida today!

A well-designed and organized kitchen can contribute significantly to the overall functionality and enjoyment of your home. That includes optimal storage solutions. Who can help? Your Marvida builder. Our builders offer numerous storage solutions that are as beautiful as they are functional. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Rethink Cabinets

You will store most of your kitchen gear in cabinets, so it’s time to rethink them. Ask your builder if it is possible to include pull-out shelves, adjustable racks and built-in dividers to maximize storage efficiency.

How Deep Are Your Drawers?

Ask for deep drawers as an alternative to traditional lower cabinets. These are excellent for storing pots, pans and larger items, making it easier to access and organize your cookware.

Pull Out Racks

Maximize vertical space in your pantry or cabinets with pull-out racks or shelves. This provides easy access to dry goods and helps keep the pantry organized. You’ll be able to store more, too.

Built-In Bins

Don’t want guests to see your garbage or recycling bins? Ask about a built-in trash and recycling system to keep waste out of sight. Choose a design that allows for easy disposal and cleaning.

Be Lazy

Hate scrouging in cabinets for the right pot? Ask your builder to install a Lazy Susan in a corner cabinet. Just turn the wheel and that pot will be within easy reach.

Light Up the Dark

Undercabinet lighting brightens kitchen workspaces. They also help you see in the dark when hunting for a midnight snack.

Hidden Charging Stations

Request built-in charging stations for devices. These can be integrated into drawers or cabinets to keep your kitchen organized while providing a convenient charging spot.

Park Your Small Appliances

Appliance garages are all the rage. These are small cabinets designed for small appliances. This keeps the countertops clutter-free and appliances easily accessible.

Wine Storage

If you enjoy wine, discuss options for built-in wine storage. This could include a wine rack, wine fridge or a designated space within cabinetry.

Visit Marvida Today

If you’re looking for a new home with a beautiful and functional kitchen, visit Marvida today. You can tour our model homes, talk to a builder representative and get the home you’ve always dreamed of.

While you are hanging your stockings by the chimney with care, spare a thought for your porch. Decorating your porch for the holidays is a delightful way to spread holiday cheer and welcome guests to your new Marvida home. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:

Start With a Wreath

Start your decoration journey with a beautiful holiday wreath on your front door. You can choose one with traditional evergreen branches, red bows and ornaments, or get creative with unique materials. If you already have a wreath, update it. Need inspiration? Better Homes & Gardens offers 56 of them.

Frame With Garlands

Frame your front door with festive garlands. Incorporate ribbons, bows and pinecones for a classic touch. String together white and gold ball ornaments for a more modern look. For sparkle, use pre-lit garlands. If your porch has railings or columns, be sure to wrap garlands around them. If not, use them to frame your windows.

Light It Up

No front porch would be complete without lights. Illuminate your porch with festive string lights wrapped around railings or pillars. Hang them along the eaves. Place lanterns with LED candles on a table or stairs for a more rustic look. White lights create an elegant look, while colored lights can add a playful touch.

Potted Plants and Evergreens

Arrange potted evergreen plants such as spruce or pine near the entrance. Decorate the pots with festive ribbons or small ornaments. Consider placing small Christmas trees in decorative containers for an extra festive touch.

Underfoot Décor

Swap out your regular doormat for one that features a holiday design or message. It’s a simple yet effective way to set the tone. Most stores sell themed doormats but for something truly unique, make your own.

Cozy Up

If space allows, add a cozy seating area with holiday-themed cushions and throws. This can be a great spot for enjoying hot cocoa or taking in the winter scenery. No snow? Create your own by cutting snowflakes out of cardstock and hanging them from the porch ceiling with clear fishing line.

Make a Scene

Include outdoor decorations like figurines, reindeer or light-up sculptures. These can be arranged on the porch to create a festive outdoor scene. Old-fashioned sleds or wagons filled with wrapped presents will give your porch a Currier and Ives look. Baskets filled with logs, oversized pinecones, greenery and ornaments give your porch rustic appeal.

Final Tips

Before you get started, have a plan. See what you have and throw out any worn decorations. Make a list of what you may need to buy. Think about layering your decorations. You want a mix of tall and short objects. Think about colors, too. Red and green are traditional, but if you are looking for something more elegant, consider blue and white. Gold and silver decorations will give your porch a luxurious look.

It’s finally here. The day you’ve been anticipating since you purchased your new Marvida home — closing. Also known as the settlement, it involves the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. Here’s what you can generally expect at a home closing.

Final Walk-Through

Before you close on your home, your builder will schedule a final walk-through. This is your chance to ensure there are no structural issues with the home and everything is as it was agreed upon in your contract.

Where to Go and When

The closing date and location will be specified in the purchase agreement. The closing typically takes place at the office of a title company, escrow agent or attorney.

Who Will Be There

In addition to yourself, participants in the closing typically include a builder representative, real estate agents representing both parties, a closing agent (often from a title company or escrow company) and possibly attorneys for both sides.

What Will You Do?

You’ll be presented with several important documents to review and sign. These may include the closing disclosure, the loan estimate, the promissory note, the deed of trust or mortgage and the property deed.

Bring Your Checkbook

You are required to pay your closing costs at this time. Sometimes the funds can be transferred electronically, or you may need a cashier’s check. Many Lago Mar builders offer incentives that reduce or eliminate closing costs. Check with them. Closing costs usually include fees for loan origination, appraisal, title insurance, attorney fees and more. The closing agent will provide a breakdown of these costs for your review and payment.

Time to Sign

Both the buyer and seller will sign the necessary documents to transfer ownership of the property. This includes the deed, which officially transfers the property from the seller to the buyer.

Pick Up the Keys

You will receive the keys to the property and copies of all signed documents, including the settlement statement and the closing disclosure.

Other Things to Know

The closing agent is responsible for disbursing funds appropriately. The closing agent also verifies that property taxes and utilities are paid up to the closing date. Once all documents are signed and funds are distributed, the closing agent will ensure that the deed is recorded with the appropriate government office. This officially transfers ownership of the property.

Keep in Mind

The specific details of a home closing can vary depending on the location, the professionals involved and the terms negotiated in the purchase agreement. It’s essential to carefully review all documents, ask questions and ensure that you understand the terms before signing.

Planning your first Thanksgiving in your new Marvida home can be exciting and slightly overwhelming. You want to establish traditions and create lasting memories. Here are some tips for hosting your first Thanksgiving meal:

Create a Guest List

Make a list of everyone you plan to invite. This will ensure that you have enough seats for everyone and help you with menu planning and grocery shopping. Consider sending out evites. That way you know who is coming and there will be fewer last-minute surprises.

Plan Your Menu (But Don’t Stress)

Planning your meal will help decrease holiday stress. You can see which items can be made ahead of time and which ones can be purchased. If you are thinking of purchasing an entire prepared meal, order now. If anyone asks what they can bring, tell them. People love sharing their special recipes and it’s one less dish you will have to cook.

Don’t Try Complicated Recipes

You want your meal to be special so it’s tempting to try one of those complicated recipes found in glossy food magazines. Don’t. Keep things simple so you can spend more time with your guests.

Make a Shopping List

Once you’ve decided on a menu, create a grocery list. Divide it into perishables and non-perishables. You can buy non-perishables a week in advance. Don’t purchase your perishables until a few days before the feast. Purchase your turkey early

Buy the Turkey

When buying your turkey, plan on three-quarters to a pound of turkey per person. A frozen turkey must be thawed thoroughly. Most chefs recommend one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey.

Take Inventory

Make sure you have everything you need to prepare Thanksgiving dinner including a roasting pan large enough for your turkey, serving dishes, plates and silverware. Purchase anything you need now.

Prepare for Overnight Guests

Tidy the house and prepare the guest room if you will have guests staying overnight. Make sure you have clean towels in the bathroom and clean sheets on the bed. For fun, set up a small coffee or tea station in the room. Fresh flowers on the dresser or chocolates on the pillow give guests the feel of staying at a bed and breakfast.

The Day Before

The night before Turkey Day, double check your ingredients to make sure you have everything. Clean your kitchen. If you bought a home in Marvida, you probably have plenty of counterspace, but lay out non-perishables ahead of time to make sure you have enough prep space. If children will be attending, put away any precious items. Clear your hall closet to make room for guests’ coats. Set your table the night before so you have one less thing to worry about the day of.

Turkey Day!

Wake up early. Everything takes longer than you think it will, so you want to build in some extra time. Have a checklist ready. It should tell you what time to put items in the oven and how long they need to cook. If guests have offered to help, accept that help and write down what you want them to do. Kids need to be entertained, so set up lawn and board games. If you have a game room, prepare it for kids with comfortable chairs, a gaming console and a quiet corner where kids can decompress.

Have Fun

Thanksgiving is about being grateful and spending time with family and friends. Don’t stress if something goes wrong. Rather than getting upset, laugh and use it as a learning experience for next year.

Halloween is coming soon, what are your plans? How about taking the family to one of these family-friendly events near Marvida? From trunk-or-treats to haunted houses, there’s plenty to do. Here are our favorites. Don’t forget that Marvida is less than 30 minutes from Houston, making it easy to attend spectacular Halloween events held in the city.

Good Shepard Pumpkin Patch
10 a.m.-dusk daily, through Oct. 31
Free
Pick a pumpkin any day or plan to attend a Family Fun Day on Oct. 29 featuring face painting, pumpkin decorating, pet adoption, photo opportunities, hayride, concert and trunk-or-treat.

Cypress Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch
10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, through Oct. 31
Free
Come out for the pumpkins and take home some delicious pumpkin bread. Activities include crafts, food trucks, pumpkin decorating, movie nights and more.

Halloween Spook-tacular
1-3 p.m. Sat., Oct. 28
Free
Celebrate the spooky season with crafts, balloon art, face painting, costume contest, monster dance party, giveaways and more. Costumes encouraged.

Haunted Trails
Days and times vary, through Oct. 31
$30 general admission
Cypress’ favorite haunted experience is back with more scares, thrills and chills than ever before. Traverse the haunted trail if you dare!

Halloween at the BOO!seum at Children’s Museum Houston
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Oct. 31
$17
The Children’s Museum of Houston will celebrate the spooky season all month long with special activities and events, including dance parties, trick-or-treating, crafts, magic shows and more.

Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo
9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Oct. 31
$24.95-$34.95
Houston’s favorite family-friendly Halloween event is back with a jack-o’-lantern tree, animal-themed peek-a-boo pumpkins, Happy Harvest photo opportunities, pumpkin arch, fall-themed animal activities, scary-go-round and much more.

Don’t let the Texas summer heat fool you. Texas winters can be brutal. Winter storms can disrupt power lines and extreme cold can freeze pipes. Here are some things you can do to ensure your home is warm, safe and protected.

Insulate Your Pipes

Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst, leading to costly repairs. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and consider installing frost-proof outdoor faucets. Make sure you know where your main water valve is located so you can cut off your water in case of an emergency.

Check the HVAC System

The first and foremost concern during winter is staying warm. Schedule a professional inspection of your heating system well before winter hits. This will help identify any issues and ensure your furnace or heating system is in good working order. Replace air filters, clean vents and consider installing a smart thermostat for better energy efficiency.

Check Your Door Locks

It may seem silly to prepare your door locks for winter, but they can freeze. Spray a little powdered graphite lubricant into each door then turn the key in the lock. The powder lubricates the pins inside the lock to prevent sticking. You only need to do it once per season.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Hot air rises so reversing the direction of fans will create an updraft, which, in turn, will push down any heated air pressed against your room’s ceiling. By circulating warm air, you’ll use heat more efficiently, which could cut energy costs.

Give Trees a Trim

Inspect the trees on your property for overhanging branches that could break and damage your home during a winter storm. Prune or remove them to prevent accidents.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Test and replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Consider installing additional detectors, if necessary, especially in bedrooms and near heating sources.

Clean Out Gutters

Gutters collect debris. If you don’t clean them out, that debris can freeze into a big, icy mass. The mass can then damage your roof. Get a ladder and scoop it out before the first storm arrives.

Check the Roof

If you just moved into a new Marvida home, your roof is in good shape, but it never hurts to look anyway — especially after the first winter storm. Look for damaged or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms.

Winterize Your Sprinkler System

Drain your sprinkler system so the water doesn’t freeze in it. You can also pay someone to do a sprinkler system blowout. A blowout uses high-pressure air to force water out of the pipes, eliminating the problem of water sitting in low spots.

Check Your Home Insurance Coverage

Review your coverage to make sure there are no surprises. Confirm how your policy would cover potential winter damage. If you aren’t sure something will be covered by your existing carrier, shop around.

Purchase a Home in Marvida

Purchasing a new home in Marvida can make your winter prep chores easier. New homes are better insulated and better protected against all types of weather. Plus, everything is under warranty. Visit us today.