Houston Real Estate Blog

From the monthly archives:

February 2015

Bill Phillips

Bill Phillips was there at the beginning when John Daugherty, Realtors first expanded into the north Houston area and has been a recognized Realtor in The Woodlands and surrounding area since 2003. Bill has worked extensively with corporate transferees and with new construction, both of which represent a significant portion of The Woodlands market. His extensive knowledge of finance, contracts, and negotiation has proven invaluable to his many clients and resulted in steady repeat and referral business, and his effective marketing techniques are individually tailored to suit each seller’s needs.

According to Bill, “My goals, in every transaction, are to be accessible at all times to my clients, to vigorously negotiate in their best interest and to assure that things run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.” Bill holds Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designations.

Bill was born and raised in the Texas Hill Country. He played both basketball and baseball for Texas Lutheran University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Living in different areas of the country exposed Bill to a variety of housing markets and fostered his appreciation of regional architectures.

Carrie summers

Carrie Summers brings a global pedigree to her love of the Houston real estate market. A previous resident of the United Kingdom, Japan and Italy Carrie enjoys the multi-cultural landscape of Houston, especially in her home of choice for the past 35 years, Sugar Land. With so many international moves under her belt, Carrie has a deep understanding for the inherent stresses involved in relocating or transitioning to a new home and works hard to create seamless experiences for her clients moving from all over the globe or just down the street.
An elementary and middle school teacher for 26 years, culminating in her role as acting principal and children’s director at her church, Carrie is a master moderator and as she says “utilizes the art of listening, understanding and people skills” gained during a lifetime of teaching, mentoring and nurturing to each of her tailored client experiences. One of Carrie’s greatest joys is being able to match a client with a home that is perfectly suited to their lifestyle, personality and culture and she always takes the extra time to really listen and make sure she meets client expectations.
In addition to a busy real estate career, Carrie is a mother to three daughters, one son-in-law and grandmother to a bouncing baby grandson. She enjoys reading, cooking, creating scrapbooks, and practicing her golf swing.

As Seen In Papercity MagazineFebruary 2015 Insert

John Daugherty, Realtors Presents

The New Houston Vertical


Pictured: The penthouse at The Four Seasons Hotel, a John Daugherty, Realtors listing. This residence enjoys all of the amenities the hotel offers and the spectacular golden view shown in the photograph at right. The Four Seasons was one of the first Houston hotels to offer residences.

Read full story below

Have you noticed? Houston is becoming a city of sky dwellers. More and more of us, drawn by the new urban zeitgeist, are trading traditional housing for the skyline views, luxury, security, and freedom of high-rise living. Towering residential buildings soar above the rooftops of homes and retail centers — and more are on the way. John Breeding, CEO of the Uptown Houston District, says, “think ‘vertical, vertical, vertical’ when thinking of Houston’s future.”

 Vertical living may have captured Houston’s attention relatively recently, but multistory dwellings are older than history. The Book of Genesis relates the story of the Tower of Babel, built by the generation after the Great Flood. The erection of that vainglorious structure displeased God, who sewed disruption by causing the people, who spoke one language, to suddenly speak in different tongues. Confusion reigned, and work on the tower ceased as different language groups banded together and moved away to form separate tribes.

Insulae were ancient Rome’s housing for the working and poorer classes. Constructed of brick, insulae sometimes reached, often precariously, to nine stories and blocked the sun in the city’s poorer quarters. Most insulae had running water and sanitation on the first floors, but higher floors did not, forcing those residents to avail themselves of public fountains and latrines. Clearly, lower floors were more desirable in those days — and fetched higher rents. Gaius Julius Caesar, first emperor of Rome, grew up in an insulae. The Julians were patricians, but Caesar’s immediate family was, if not poor, certainly not wealthy. Young Caesar’s exposure to the jostling crowds and polyglot of languages spoken on the common streets undoubtedly gave him a tougher shell and wider view of the world than the average Roman boy of his class.

Between 600 and 900 years ago, cliff dwellers in the American Southwest created their own version of highrise living. They carved multilevel dwellings into the sheer rock faces of cliffs throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and northern Mexico. One of the most famous of these, the erroneously named Montezuma’s Castle near Casa Verde, Arizona, comprises five stories and 20 rooms, and was built over the course of three centuries. In roughly the same period in China, the tulou or “clan houses” of rural Fujian province appeared. The tulou towered four floors and had up to hundreds of rooms that opened out onto a vast central courtyard, like the Colosseum. For centuries, each building housed an entire clan, virtually a village. Everyone living inside had the same surname, except for those who had married into the clan. The last tulou were built sometime in the 20th century. Some are still occupied, but as Chinese society changes, the number of residents is dwindling.

Some of the most bizarre dwellings of antiquity are the mud “skyscrapers” of Shibam in central Yemen, often called the “Manhattan of the Desert.” Located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the town was once a stopping point for traders traveling along the frankincense and spice routes. Shibam’s skyscrapers were built on a hill in the 1530s after a flood destroyed much of the existing town. The 500 buildings, ranging from five to 11 stories, require constant reinforcement with fresh layers of mud but are the tallest such structures in the world.  A pair of technological innovations developed in the 18th and 19th centuries in France made possible the extreme height of multistory construction that we take for granted today.  In 1743, King Louis XV had a “Flying Chair” installed on the balcony of his palace at Versailles to link his apartments with those of his mistress on the floor above. The device was raised and lowered through a manpowered system of ropes and pulleys. Et voilà, the first elevator.

A less titillating but equally significant discovery took place in the 1860s.  Gardener Joseph Monier, frustrated by flimsy clay flowerpots, strengthened his containers with imbedded iron mesh. Monier exhibited his invention at the Paris Exposition of 1867. That same year, he obtained his first patent on ironreinforced troughs for horticulture. Monier subsequently obtained numerous patents, among them iron-reinforced cement panels for building facades (1869) and reinforced concrete beams (1878), both essential to the skyscraper building boom that swept New York and Chicago in the 1880s and 1890s.

By the 1880s, the island of Manhattan was running out of land. As the commercial center grew increasingly congested, vertical living, previously relegated to the rickety tenements of the working class and poor, was embraced enthusiastically by middle-class and well-to-do New Yorkers.

One of the first luxury high-rise apartment buildings in the country was The Dakota, erected in 1884 on the western edge of Central Park in New York. With its 65 suites, some with as many as 20 rooms, the Dakota came with a wine cellar, a gymnasium, and croquet and tennis courts, and included central heating, elevator service, and an electric generator.

Houston acquired its first luxury apartment building, the seven-story Savoy, a generation later in 1909. The Beaconsfield, now in the National Register of Historic Places, soon followed, but Houstonians’ enthusiasm for a vertical lifestyle was tepid at best. Unlike New York, Houston had no natural boundaries.  As its commercial center expanded, Houston’s elite and middle class abandoned downtown living altogether, preferring new suburban communities that pushed farther and farther out from the city as the years passed.

Houstonians remained resistant to vertical living until the 1980s, when even “The City with No Limits” began to question the environmental consequences, congestion, and unrelieved monotony of boundless suburban sprawl. Atlanta, grappling with its own uninhibited growth amid forecasts that it could engulf the entire southeastern U.S. in one megalopolis, coined a term for it: “Sprawlanta.”

By 2000, Houston’s “aha!” moment had arrived. In a generational shift, Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers reversed gears and flocked back into town, sparking a building boom that included residential high-rises inside Loop 610 and the conversion of historic downtown commercial buildings into residential dwellings.

As we enter 2015, luxury and middle-market high-rises are multiplying in Houston’s urban centers: Uptown District, River Oaks, City Centre, downtown Houston, and the Texas Medical Center/Museum District. Drawing a blueprint for the near future, residents and potential buyers are requesting that buildings up their game by including New York-style services such as restaurants, hairdressers, dog-walkers, state-of-the-art fitness centers and instructors, lifestyle consultants, outdoor spaces, steam rooms, game rooms, private bike storage, and cold-storage rooms.

At the highest luxury level, hotel condominiums are growing in popularity. Residents may access all complimentary hotel luxury services, including  housekeeping, with the option to access fee-based services such as spas, 24 hour in-room dining, on-site laundry/dry cleaning/pressing, and wireless Internet.  Established examples include Houstonian Estates, which shares the campus and amenities of the Houstonian Hotel; Four Seasons Place, part of the Four Seasons Hotel; and the lease residences of Hotel Granduca and Hotel Sorella.

Thinking “vertical, vertical, vertical” will shape the future for all Houstonians, regardless of where — and in what manner — they choose to live. The demand for single-family housing in and around Houston will always be strong. This is Texas; it’s in our DNA. But as Houston builds “up,” the pace of sprawl will slow, reducing the conversion of woods and farms to housing developments and highway extensions, and lessening the demand to expand city services to small towns that become city suburbs.

Subscribe to this blog via RSS

Save this search RESET

Corporate Office  |  520 Post Oak Blvd., Sixth Floor - Houston, Texas 77027.9477 | Phone: 713.626.3930 Toll-Free: 800.231.2821 Fax: 713.963.9588
Copyright © 2007-2017 John Daugherty Realtors, Inc. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions
Site design by Neutrino, Inc.
Equal Housing Opportunity