Facing Foreclosure Laura Hill Local Katy Realty
Foreclosure can happen to anyone. There are solutions!

If you are facing foreclosures, do you have other options?
Foreclosure Options
The foreclosure process is not only long and painful, it could damage a homeowner’s credit score so badly that it won’t recover for years. A better option, as long as the lender agrees, is a so-called deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which means that the borrower gives up the property & the bank gives up the right to recover any more money after the transaction is complete. The damage to a borrower’s credit score is slightly less severe & the bank might even agree to let the borrower remain in the house as a tenant until the house is sold. A short sale is an even better option, but requires cooperation from the lender. The bank must agree to let the house be sold for less than what is owed & forgive the difference.


Needing help with FORECLOSURE, then you need to talk to Laura Hill. There is none better than a Realtor like Laura Hill at Laura Hill Realty. https://www.localkatyrealty.com


Igloo’s New Distribution Center in Katy, Tx

Homes for sale Katy, Tx Igloo
Igloo’s New Ice Age Distribution Center in Katy, Tx

According to Ronnie Crocker of the Houston Chronicle, www.chron.com, the cooler maker opens giant warehouse, Igloo’s new distribution center in Katy, Tx helping to bring factory jobs back to U.S. Instead of the tradition ribbon-cutting ceremony, Igloo officials had a flag-raising ceremony along with a veterans’ honor guard to dedicate a huge new warehouse & distribution center in Katy, Tx on this past Thursday, 10.10.13. www.igloocoolers.com.
Igloo is celebrating a return of manufacturing from China & the addition of some 280 jobs by year’s end. So far in 2013, Igloo has added three new production machines, including one in January that allowed Igloo to begin building its top-tier Yukon line locally instead of overseas. The shift will allow Igloo to respond to market changes more quickly & reflects a stated commitment to bring jobs back to the United States. Igloo made 18 million hard-sided coolers domestically last year. Its soft-sided coolers are still pout together overseas, & chairman & CEO Gary Kiedaisch said the company is looking or ways to make it economically feasible to return that work to the United States as well. After the newly announced positions are filled, the Katy plant & warehouse/distribution complex will employ about 1,100 workers.
Special Machines
The in-house rotational-molding machine, which cost between $1 million & $2 million, produces a heavier & better insulated cooler that can sell for much more than traditionally made products. It allows Igloo to compete against companies like Austin-based Yeti, which pioneered the premium cooler segment. The company has been able to increase capacity & add personnel thanks to a string of record sales years since a private-equity group bought Igloo in 2008. Kiedaisch said sales are up more than 50% since the takeover & Igloo has extended its lead in market share to more than 20 points over second-in-the-category Coleman.
New Full-Time Jobs
David Thornhill, executive vice president & Chief Operating Officer, said Igloo’s sustained growth spurt means the plant stays busy year-round, which in turn means most of the new jobs are full-time. In the past, the company hired seasonal workers to handle peak loads. “Now, instead of a part-time job, it’s a solid, full-time manufacturing job,” Thornhill said. “We know manufacturing jobs are hard to come by in this country. We’re pretty proud of that.” Kiedaisch praised Texas for what he called “the most business-friendly environment I’ve had the privilege of working in.” During remarks to state & local community leaders, he thanked government officials for tax abatements that allowed Igloo to open the new distribution center in Katy, Tx.
When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, there is none better than a Realtor like Laura Hill at Laura Hill Realtor. Look me up at http://www.localkatyrealty.com, 832-771-1314.

Urban Cowboy choreographer, Patsy Swayze, was beloved local dance teacher.

Patsy Swayze
Patsy Swayze rehearses a routine with her actor son Patrick & wife Lisa, at her Bellaire dance studio in 1978.

Patsy Swayze: 1927 – 2013 Swayze was known for her kindness.
An article from Molly Glentzer, states: She was the real urban cowgirl, a beloved personality during one of Houston’s most colorful eras. Patsy Swayze died Monday evening at home in Simi Valley, Cal., after suffering a massive stroke on September 8. She was 86. Swayze, who taught John Travolta the art of the smooth two-step, moved to California after the success of the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy”, www.imdb.com/title/tt0081696/, which she choreographed. But she was from Houston, where most of the film was shot, and she always considered herself a Texan, said her daughter-in-law Lisa Niemi Swayze, www.lisaniemiswayze.com/.
Travolta wasn’t her first famous student. In the 1960’s & 70’s, Swayze’s Bellaire dance studio was a rocking place for a little school of ballet, jazz and tap. By 1980, its front wall was plastered with black & white publicity photos of students who were making it big, including her son, the late actor & dancer Patrick Swayze; “Fame” director Debbie Allen: Broadway great Tommy Tune; & actors Jaclyn Smith and Randy Quaid.
“She was such a force & a gifted teacher who inspired so many students,” said Niemi Swayze, the star student who married Patrick Swayze. “She used to say that the ones who have all the talent aren’t necessarily the ones who succeed. It’s the ones who work hard. She was a firm believer in persistence and not settling for the destiny you think may have been handed to you.”
After “Urban Cowboy”, she also found more work in movies. She choreographed more than a half-dozen other films including “Liar’s Moon” (1982), “Hope Floats” (1998) & “One Last Dance” (2003). Susan Vogelfang, a line producer who first worked with Swayze on “Liar’s Moon” (she coached a young Matt Dillon in a gym scene for that one), lauded her kindness. “She went out of her way to do the right thing,” said Vogelfang, who moved to Los Angeles at about the same time as the Swayzes. Patsy Swayze invited her out of the blue for Thanksgiving dinner, knowing she’d be alone that year.
Two-Wheeler Will Do
Niemi Swayze also loved Swayze’s unassuming nature. Before the production company sent Swayze to Santa Barbara to coach Travolta for “Urban Cowboy,” she recalled, they asked her what kind of car she wanted them to rent for her. Swayze replied, “Oh, just anything, from a two-wheeler to an 18-wheeler.” She won them over long before anybody set foot in Houston,” Niemi Swayze said.
Swayze continued to teach until she was 80, operating the Dancer’s Studio of Simi Valley for more than 20 years. In 2011, Swayze told a Simi Valley reporter she was grateful for a wonderful life in film, TV & stage plays. “But you know, you’re not supposed to outlive your children.” Her friend Renee Jongebloed, a former student who became a dance teacher, was close to Swayze for 55 years. “I’m sure you’ve heard it from a million people, but she cared so much for each person. Really cared. She probably had more kids taking class from her who never paid a dime than anybody else I knew. Her soul was caring and she was honest.”

Astrodome & Real Estate Property Debate

The Houston Sports board, http://www.houstonsports.org/, to hear staff recommendations on what to do with the real estate property of the Astrodome site today. The debate whether or not to tear it down or save it from destruction continues today, but as the years of stagnation due to no use start to accumulate, it seems apparent that the old faithful

Astrodome & Real Estate
8th Wonder of the World

Dome full of amazing sports memories, the first of it’s kind, and not to mention the 8th wonder of the world at one time, is doomed to be taken down sooner rather than later. Valuable real estate is at stake along with the notion of “out with the old & in with the new” comes to mind. According to Houston Chronicle’s writer, Kiah Collier, www.chron.com, Harris County has said the amount of money it still owes on the Astrodome is about $30 million. As the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. prepares to present a publicly funded redevelopment proposal for the 48-yer old stadium, however, county staff say that outstanding debt is actually less than $6 million. “There is no debt that is mortgaged by the Astrodome itself, so the thing is, they could tear it down today & no one is going to say, ‘We need our $30 million,'” said the county’s Chief Budget Officer Bill Jackson.
The fate of the Dome become clearer Wednesday when sports corporation staff is expected to recommend a redevelopment proposal to the agency’s governing board. If the board approves it, the plan will be presented to Harris County Commissioners Court, http://www.harriscountytx.gov/,  for consideration next week.
Many Proposals
The sports corporation last week said it had received 19 proposals from private individuals & groups for repurposing the former 8th Wonder of the World. Among them: converting the stadium into a restaurant & retail “tourist mecca,” a business incubator & park, a real estate bonanza deal. If any proposal meets the sport’s corporation’s criteria, then they could be presented to the board. If Commissioners Court OKs any plan, it is assumed taxpayers will be asked to foot at least some portion of the bill, making the question of how much is owed on the decaying structure relevant.
Conclusion for now
The county owes less than $6 million on the decaying structure, on which it spends a $2 million a year for insurance, utilities & upkeep for the enormous real estate property. Come November, the question could be whether taxpayers are willing to approve another bond to save the Dome. Jackson, the county budget chief, said he plans to look for a variety of ways to minimize the price tag of any bond package sent to voters, if that is what happens. He said millions potentially could be generated by naming rights deals, some kind of building use fee & auctioning off various salvaged building parts, including the 60,000 seats. But I believe that Houston voters are tired of hearing about the future of the Dome much less footing part of the bill for it’s continued existence. After all other famous landmarks like old Yankees stadium (NY Yankees & NY Giants), Shea Stadium (NY Mets), Hoosier Dome (Indianapolis Colts), Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals & Reds), Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia Phillies & Eagles), Kingdome (Seattle Seahawks), Mile High Stadium (Denver Broncos), Texas Stadium ( Dallas Cowboys), & the infamous Boston Garden (Boston Celtics & Bruins) all have met their demise. Although it will be a sad day in the history of Houston sports and landmark architecture when the Dome is torn down, progress will continue & change is one definite constant in our lives that we so affectionately call the human race.

LeAnn Rimes – Spitfire

LeAnn Rimes - New Album Spitfire
LeAnn Rimes – New Album Spitfire

LeAnn Rimes has been a staple in country music since the first time she appeared on the scene at an very early age of 13. Her amazing, prodigy of a voice has captivated all of us. I personally am a big fan of hers and always enjoy listening to her voice and music. She is one of those rare talents that come along just every once in a while that stays true to her roots, the little girl from Texas with a big voice. In the very beginning she was heralded as the second coming of Patsy Cline. She did cross over to pop music and in 1997 recorded, “How Do I Live” ballad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Olo8gzgpC4 which still to this day stands out as one of the most successful singles in music history.
Rimes, now 30, for the past several years has been in the “negative” spotlight, totally unrelated to her music. She has had martial problems with Dean Sheremet’ an affair in 2009 with actor Eddie Cibrian while working on the movie, “Northern Lights.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiaYreopkC0, and later married Cibrian in 2011. An all out ongoing feud between Rimes & Cibrian’s ex, Brandi Glanville, remains in the public eye as well as fodder for gossip sites and rags. Just this past Tuesday, June 5, 2013, LeAnn Rimes performed her title track, “Spitfire” from the same album on the Jay Leno show, http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/, which is rumored to be about her struggles with Brand Glanville. LeAnn gave an angst-ridden performance of the song, which included the lyrics, “I only got one burning desire to let the whole town know that you’re a dirty little lair.” Rimes says, “If I spent as much time thinking and plotting all these ideas of how to hurt someone, what my next move is, I would be exhausted.”
Instead of ignoring the rumors, Rimes faced them head on with her latest, 11th studio album, Spitfire. Spitfire is a way for LeAnn to tell the truth on her own terms, to express what the “real” truth is, a way to look at her life for the past few years, to bring all of the rumors & whispers to the surface to expose the truth as well as herself. I have to respect a woman like this, who is not afraid of telling the truth, good or bad, telling her story from an emotional point of view so everyone really sees who LeAnn Rimes really is. After all, LeAnn Rimes is just human like the rest of us and it takes great courage, respect and security to let everyone in on her personal & professional life.
“I just said, Screw it. I’m gonna be myself. What do I have to lose by telling the truth? What do I have to lose by showing people who I really am, Rimes says. She co-wrote the album with producer Darrell Brown & was inspired by the confessional tunes of Adele, Ray LaMontagne & David Gray. Rimes says, “You wanna know how I felt when I was laying in bed & going through a divorce and not knowing what to do & the guilt that I’ve had on my shoulders? I felt pathetic. You wanna really know how I feel? Listen to the record.”
With Rimes new release, Spitfire, she feels perhaps for the very first time that she has finally found her “own” footing and in a way starting over. LeAnn is very proud of this Album, not taking anything for granted, not looking past any song and relishing in the fact that her blood, sweat & tears that she created, produced and made happen has really paid off for her regardless how commercially successful the album is. She feels like she is on solid ground again, making her own decisions, controlling her own life destinies. LeAnn says, “The performances are real… I became one whole person making a record.”
Thank you LeAnn Rimes for exposing a little bit of your life, honesty, love, grace & humility because let’s face it, we all need those great qualities in life.

Fallen Firefighters – May 31, 2013 – Houston, Tx

Anne Sullivan Firefighter
Anne Sullivan Firefighter
Matthew Renaud Firefighter
Matthew Renaud Firefighter
Robert Garner
Robert Garner Firefighter
Robert Bebee Firefighter
Robert Bebee Firefighter

All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the firefighters who were killed this past Friday, May 31, 2013, while battling a blaze at a hotel on the Southwest Freeway as well as to Captain Ruy Lozano who is in “extremely critical” condition according to Memorial Hermann hospital, www.memorialhermann.org. According to Anita Hassan, Carol Christian & Dane Schiller from the Houston Chronicle, www.chron.com, Anne Sullivan, 24, was the youngest of the four firefighters killed Friday. She was a 2007 graduate of Dulles High School in Sugar Land. She graduated in April from the Houston Fire Department Training Academy’s “fast track” class for certified firefighters, having previously finished the Wharton County Junior College Fire Academy’s certification program. “She pushed herself so much to achieve goals,” her boyfriend, Daniel Lipsanen, said. She was 5’2″, but acted like she was 10 feet tall. Sullivan, who worked at Fire Station 68, was the 2nd Houston female firefighter to die on duty. Lipsanen described Sullivan as “a little piece of heaven that God sent down for everybody.”
Robert Bebee, 41, was an engine operator & EMT began his career in August 2001 and signed on at the Jersey Village station 3 years later. Bebee is described as having a great smile & personality, & was wonderful at making personal connections when he responded to emergency medical calls in Jersey Village. He never complained & always took extra initiative, said Jersey Village Fire Chief Mark Bitz.
Robert Garner, 29, loved his fellow fire crew at Fire Station 68 just as much as being a firefighter himself. “He really enjoyed being a part of the camaraderie,” said his older sister, Nicole Garner. “He made it seem great.” He joined HFD in 2010. Although the 2nd youngest of four children, Robert Garner often seemed like the older brother, protective of his three sisters.
Captain EMT Matthew Renaud was the highest ranking of the four killed on Friday. Matthew joined the department in 2001 & was with Fire Station 68. Sweet & always ready to lend a hand, the 35-year-old firefighter loved his family & enjoyed being an uncle to his toddler nephew, said Margie Knudson, his brother’s mother-in-law. Renaud was recently honored for valor by HFD. “He was just a hero in every aspect of his life,”… a wonderful person, said, Knudson.

As homebuilding booms, projects for your handyman also take off

Handyman Masters
John & Trenna Briley own 3 Houston-area franchises of Handyman Masters.

According to Erin Mulvaney from www.chron.com , a rebounding economy & a residential building boom have sparked a boomlet for the handyman. “As we see homebuilding rise, we go right up with it,” said Andy Bell, founder & president of Denver-based Handyman Matters, which handles jobs as small as fixing a tear in a screen door to projects as ambitious as remodeling a bathroom. Bell said Thursday, 5.30.13, that he plans to perhaps triple the number of franchise outlets in the Houston area following near-record business here in 2012 & the beginning of this year. He said 30% of his business comes from franchises in Texas. Earnings were up 10% in 2012 over a year earlier. Bell said the company earned $25 million last year.
“Construction & home repair is just going crazy right now,” Bell said. Houston’s new home market continues to heat up, with home construction up 33% during the first 3 months of 2013. John & Trenna Briley, who started in 2004 & now operate Handyman Matters franchises in Houston, Sugar Land & Cypress, say their personnel can handle more than 1,100 tasks for residential or commercials properties. When the economy is good, when people are building homes, we get busier,” Briley said. “It looks like it’s going to be a record-breaking year for us.”

College Questions? Looking for a job while choosing a college

According to an article by L.M. Sixel in the Houston Chronicle, http://www.chron.com, she takes a great look at what questions to ask prospective colleges before committing to them. She states, “Besides the usual inquiries about average class size & graduation rates, I’m going to be asking which companies come regularly to recruit their graduates.” “While I’m sure it will annoy my son – after all, which question during a tour doesn’t annoy a teenager? – the answer will offer an insight into whether it’s a good fit & a good investment. You might want to ask your kids, do you want to work with a blue-chip multinational energy company? Do you want a job with one of the big accounting firms? Or maybe you prefer a boutique law firm specializing in patent law. It makes sense to find out before you, or your parents, write that first tuition check whether your dream employer or your dream industry actually recruits on the campus of your dreams.
Every school has a list of employers that regularly show up to interview perspective job candidates. They’re at every career fair. They get to know the professors, so they have a pipeline to the best graduates. They sponsor research & have internship openings for up-and-coming students. The key is to find out which companies come to your college campus of choice & whether that’s where you want to work.
Beyond Energy

It’s also important to determine whether a university college attracts a variety of industries to campus. Oil & gas is the 800-pound gorilla in Houston, but not just energy companies that come to set up recruiting tables. Of the nearly 700 companies that come on campus, many have nothing to do with energy. There are medical device makers, law firms, small consulting firms & financial firms that want engineers for huge data-mining jobs.
Ask the Recruiter
Another way to find out how to land a job is to ask the person you’d likely approach: the recruiter at your dream company about where they find their best & brightest. According to Kim Ferrarie, Senior Vice President at Air Liquide, http://www.us.airliquide.com, she first looks at The University of Texas, Texas A&M University, Georgia Tech & Purdue University. “We want to go to recruit where we have familiarity,” Ferrarie said.
So, make sure you do your homework before you commit to which college you would like to go to by asking the right questions. And someone who can always give you the right answers in the real estate world is Laura Hill Realtor, http://www.localkatyrealty.com.


Brighton – Give Back to Kids

Brighton - Give Back to Kids - Local Katy Realty
Help support kid’s arts programs across America.

Helping Brighton, http://www.brighton.com, “Give Back to Kids” art programs is a great way to help our future generation. I encourage everyone to help to inspire and develop these children into the artists they choose to become. Especially if you like Brighton’s products, it’s a no brainer. It is such an awesome testimony to see children change right before our eyes into these talented, inspiring artists. They end up influencing everyone around them including “us” adults. The talents include everything from painting to music, to dancing and so much more. To witness when these kids learn something so valuable that’s new to them, it’s a wonderful and changing point in their life. There’s so many positive outcomes which result from these donations for our future generation. Thank you Brighton and everyone who participates.