Thinking about buying your first home?
This First Time Homebuyer - FREE Seminar will give you the information you need to buy your first home.
Robert W. Gilmer (May 22, 2018)
Since 1983, eight severe weather events have each caused a billion dollars or more in damages in Houston. While the city has proven economically resilient after each storm, better flood management and infrastructure remain a challenge.
Hurricane Harvey made its initial landfall near Rockport, Texas, about 160 miles southwest of Houston. Houston received little damage from high wind or storm surge, but as the storm stalled in warm Gulf waters, it pumped historic levels of rain into a metro area of 6.8 million people. Rains averaged 40 inches over Harris County and reached 50 inches in some areas. The Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison declared Harvey a 1,000-year storm with no precedent in North American history.
Moody Analytics estimated total storm damage at $81.5 billion, with Houston making up a significant share. More than 120,000 high-water rescues played for days on national television, and many commentators predicted dire consequences for Houston's economic future. AccuWeather, for example, predicted $190 billion in property losses and that the “floodwaters and lack of electricity and basic services will put Houston into third-world-like conditions for days or weeks to come."
Predictions of economic disaster were common, but they struck economists as simply wrong. The conventional wisdom, based on many studies, is that these storms have a small and short-lived impact on measures of local income, employment, and production.
It’s not hard to guess what’s gone wrong with your beds if weeds are popping up where they should never be or your mulch looks like it’s turning to dust. There’s something keeping that mulch from mixing with the soil and that something is probably a geotextile or plastic mulch.
Geotextiles are woven fabrics that allow water to pass through into the soil, but prevent evaporation. They can be good deterrents for weed seeds that are in the soil, but once an organic mulch like wood chips or pine needles is placed on top, they prevent the breaking-down mulch from mixing with the dirt below. Instead, that mulch powder creates a medium for new weed seeds to take root, eventually poking holes through the fabric below with their roots.
This is not awesome, as you might have guessed.
The best solution for this situation is to take out the old landscape fabric or plastic (if it’s plastic, you have a huge job ahead of you, as it tends to tear aggressively after only a few years in use) and rethink the whole situation. This is a demolition job that takes a lot of elbow grease, but no particular expertise. Just try to get most of the powdered mulch onto the bed below so it can finish breaking down.
Buying your first home can seem like a daunting process. From mortgage rates to taxes to closing costs, there's certainly a lot to consider. Because your new home will likely be the biggest investment of your life, it's crucial that you learn about the process before you get started.
Now that you've decided to buy a home, it's time to consider how you'll pay for it. Mortgages can be complicated, and selecting the wrong one could seriously jeopardize your future. Here are a few pointers for choosing your mortgage wisely.
As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that "for sale" sign on your new home.
Whether you have a small yard, or an acre of land, you want to keep your lawn looking and feeling lush - so how do you do this without breaking the bank? Your lawn can stay green and healthy all season long with these simple budget-friendly tips.