From selecting water features to choosing patio furniture, there’s plenty of advice out there for engineering the perfect backyard. Unfortunately, not all these tips are child-friendly. So, in honor of the opening of our new family-friendly playground the Island Amenity Village anchored by a lazy river, we thought we’d share our tips on creating a fabulous kid-friendly backyard.

Safety First

Ensure that your backyard is safe by removing any hazards such as sharp objects, poisonous plants or tripping hazards. Double-check any play equipment you plan to install to make sure it is safe. If you have a pool, install a fence around it.

Involve Your Kids

Remember to involve your kids in the process of designing and creating their backyard space. By incorporating their interests and preferences, you can ensure that they’ll have a backyard they love spending time in.

Perfect Play Structures

Invest in age-appropriate play structures such as a swing set, jungle gym or playhouse. Make sure these structures are sturdy, well-maintained and installed on a soft surface like mulch or rubber tiles to cushion falls.

Sensory Play

Set up a sandbox or a water table for sensory play. Kids love digging, building sandcastles and splashing around, which can provide hours of entertainment.

Prepare for Game Day

Create space for outdoor games like hopscotch, bean bag toss or ring toss. You can paint game boards directly onto the ground or set up portable versions that can be easily stored when not in use.

Plant a Vegetable Garden

Involve kids in gardening by creating a small vegetable or herb garden. Let them help plant seeds, water plants and harvest vegetables. It’s a great way to teach them about nature and healthy eating.

Encourage Outdoor Creativity

Set up an outdoor art station with supplies like chalk, paint, clay and paper. Kids can unleash their creativity and make masterpieces while enjoying the fresh air.

Cozy Up to a Book

Create a cozy reading nook with outdoor-friendly bean bags or cushions, along with a selection of children’s books. Encourage kids to spend time reading outdoors surrounded by nature.

Don’t Forget the Toys

Provide a variety of outdoor toys such as balls, jump ropes, hula hoops and Frisbees. These simple toys promote physical activity and imaginative play.

Kid-Friendly Eating Area

Set up a picnic table or blanket where kids can enjoy outdoor meals, snacks or picnics with family and friends. Make it inviting with colorful cushions, blankets and outdoor-friendly dinnerware.

Invite Wildlife

Create opportunities for kids to observe wildlife by hanging bird feeders or setting up a butterfly garden. Encourage them to identify different birds, insects and plants by hanging charts or putting books about them in the reading nook.

Do you need to use a Realtor when you purchase a to-be-built home in Marvida? Absolutely. There are many advantages to using an expert even if you aren’t planning to buy an existing home. Here are eight reasons why:

Neighborhood Expertise

Realtors know everything there is to know about local neighborhoods and master-planned communities, including the builders, schools, nearby conveniences and services, and more. They can help you find the one that is right for you based on your needs and wants.

Your Advocate

A Realtor will work on your behalf. As they know the builders, they can explain the contract and which options and upgrades are worth investing in. They will ask questions you haven’t thought of and point out model home details you may have missed.

Budget Conscious

Every homebuyer has a budget and, a Realtor can help keep you to it. They will discuss your priorities with you and steer you toward builders who can meet your budget and needs. They can also keep you from purchasing pricy upgrades you don’t really need.

They Can Negotiate

Realtors are skilled negotiators who can advocate on your behalf to secure the best possible deal. That can include helping you get additional options and upgrades or price reductions on move-in-ready homes.

Navigating Legalities

Real estate transactions involve complex legal documents and procedures. Realtors are familiar with the legalities involved in buying a home and can guide you through the process, ensuring that all paperwork is completed accurately and deadlines are met.

Time Savings

Buying a home can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially if you’re juggling other responsibilities. Realtors handle many of the tasks involved in the process, saving you time and reducing stress.

Guidance and Support

Realtors provide guidance and support every step of the way, from the initial consultation to closing. Whether you have questions about pricing, financing options or the closing process, your Realtor is there to offer expert advice and assistance.

Peace of Mind

Working with a Realtor provides peace of mind knowing that you have a knowledgeable and experienced professional advocating for your best interests. Having a Realtor by your side can make the process smoother and more successful.

Bring Your Realtor to Marvida

We love meeting Realtors and invite you to bring yours. Together we can find the perfect home for you!

10 Tips for a Stress-free Move

Moving ranks up there with taxes when it comes to things people enjoy doing. No matter how beautiful your new Marvida home is, the idea of moving into it is probably pretty stressful. There are ways to make it easier. Here are 10 tips for a stress-free move:

Start Early

Begin planning and organizing your move as soon as possible to avoid last-minute stress. Create a timeline with key tasks and deadlines to keep yourself on track.

Declutter Before Packing

Before you start packing, go through your belongings and declutter. Donate, sell or discard items you no longer need or use. This will lighten your load and make packing and unpacking easier.

Create a Packing Plan

Develop a packing plan and start packing non-essential items well in advance of your move. Pack room by room and label boxes clearly with the contents and the room they belong in. Consider using color-coded labels for even easier identification.

Pack an Essentials Box

Pack a box with essential items you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home, such as toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, basic kitchen supplies and important documents. Keep this box with you during the move for easy access.

Hire Professional Movers

Consider hiring professional movers to handle the heavy lifting and transportation of your belongings. Research moving companies, read reviews and get quotes from multiple companies to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

Notify Utilities and Services

Arrange to have utilities, internet, and other services transferred or disconnected at your current address and set up at your new address. Notify relevant parties, such as banks, insurance companies, and subscriptions of your change of address.

Take Care of Pets and Children

If you have pets or children, arrange for their care during the move to minimize stress for them and for you. Consider boarding pets or having them stay with a friend or family member on moving day. Enlist the help of a babysitter or family member to watch children.

Stay Organized

Keep important documents — such as moving contracts, rental agreements and contact information — organized and easily accessible throughout the moving process. Use a binder or digital folder to store documents securely.

Take Breaks and Practice Self-Care

Moving can be physically and emotionally draining, so be sure to take breaks, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Practice self-care techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or exercise to help manage stress.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Once you’ve completed your move, take time to celebrate your accomplishments and settle into your new home. Unpack at a comfortable pace and prioritize setting up key areas such as the kitchen and bedroom for a sense of normalcy.

Making the move to Marvida? Wondering what there is to do? Turns out there are at least five must-see spots. Plan to visit them and then come home and take advantage of the many amenities our community offers.

Cypress Top Historic Park

Delve into Cypress’s history at the Cypress Top Historic Park. This outdoor museum features restored historic buildings dating back to the 19th century, including a one-room schoolhouse, log cabins and a vintage railroad caboose.

Houston Premium Outlets

Shopaholics will love exploring the Houston Premium Outlets. This expansive outdoor shopping center features more than 145 designer and name-brand outlet stores, offering discounts on fashion, accessories, home goods and more.

Berry Center

The Berry Center is a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex. It hosts a variety of events, including high school sporting events, concerts, trade shows and community gatherings. Check their schedule for upcoming events and experiences.

Little Cypress Creek Preserve

A great place to connect with nature, this 790-acre preserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including raptors, herons and wading birds. There are 10 miles of walking trails, as well as two boardwalks for birdwatching. Educational programs and activities are offered to all ages, including guided hikes, workshops and educational presentations.

Houston Yoga & Ayurveda Ashram

An ashram in Cypress? You better believe it. This beautiful and peaceful spot offers yoga classes from beginner to advanced, including hatha, vinyasa, yin, restorative and power yoga. Ayurveda consultations are also offered providing a holistic approach to health through diet and exercise.

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.