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Galveston Real Estate Blog

Jason Keeling


Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 31

St. Patrick's Day Ideas For Family Fun

by Misty Martinez

St. Patrick's Day is an Irish holiday that is celebrated every year in March, but it's not just the Irish that enjoy this festive occasion.  In fact, people around the nation celebrate St. Patrick's Day with parades, green attire and even parties that bring family and friends together.  Speaking of family, there are a number of ways that you can make St. Patrick's Day a festive and fun-filled family holiday.


Take Part In a Parade


Whether you are involved directly or simply enjoy watching a St. Patrick's Day parade from the sidelines, make sure that you attend at least one.  These festive events include everything from music to floats and local residents coming together to celebrate this annual holiday.  You can enjoy a parade with your family by participating together, or simply by watching from afar.


Dress The Part


One of the longest standing traditions for St. Patrick's Day is the requirement of green attire.  Whether it's a shirt, shamrock pin, pants or even a jacket, not wearing green often means you get pinched from good-natured family and friends.  If you want to join in on the celebration as a family, make sure that everyone is wearing green before leaving the house.


Have A Party


If you really want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, do so by hosting a party in your home.  You can invite family, friends, neighbors and other local residents who share in your festiveness.  Because the color green is so commonly associated with St. Patrick's Day, it's only natural that you would want to serve lime JELL-O, ice cream and even green KOOL-AID to your guests.  Don't forget to decorate with the green theme in mind by using holiday plates, cups and napkins, table coverings, streamers and even balloons.


Festive Dining


For Thanksgiving, many families eat turkey.  For St. Patrick's Day, many families eat cabbage because, well, it's green.  Green beans, vegetables, spinach, fruits and other green foods also remain popular choices for those looking to dine with the green theme in mind.


Look For Luck


When it comes to luck, the four-leaf clover is a very common symbol and it is also associated with St. Patrick's Day.  This means that one of the best ways to enjoy family fun on this festive holiday is to go out in search of four-leaf clovers.  Children especially love this and they feel a great sense of accomplishment if they locate the rare find.  One of the greatest places to start

Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids

by Misty Martinez

Valentine's Day is all about love-and not just between couples!  Kids love to get in on the action and creating fun Valentine's crafts to share is a great way to let them have a good time and make something they can give to friends and family to show their love on this special day.  Here are a few easy and fun Valentine's Day crafts for little ones.


Tissue Paper Flowers


Flowers may be overpriced on Valentine's Day, but these easy to make tissue paper ones won't be-and they will never die, either!  Take green pipe cleaners and some sheets of tissue paper in different colors.  Cut the tissue paper into squares.  Layer the different colored pieces of tissue paper so that the corners all point in different directions.  Then insert a green pipe cleaner through the center and carefully scrunch the paper up to make a flower.  Bend the top of the pipe cleaner in the center of the flower to hold it in place.  You can make a whole bouquet, or hand them out one at a time as special Valentine's gifts!


Valentine Mailboxes


Your kids need a place to keep all those Valentines from friends and family, and a unique Valentine mailbox is the perfect choice.  Start with a shoebox-the smaller ones that kids' shoes come in are a great size, so be sure to put them aside the next time you buy shoes!  Pick up a couple of rolls of wrapping paper in Valentine's Day themed colors like pink and red, or anything featuring hearts or flowers.  Cover the exterior of the box in wrapping paper.  Then let you kids decorate any way they want-with stickers, glitter, markers, or crayons!  Finish it off by adding their name so their Valentines will be delivered to the right place.


Lollipop Bouquets


Create a tasty bouquet that's as pretty to look at as flowers but tastes a lot better!  Turn a Styrofoam cup upside down, and let your kids decorate it with Valentine's colors, heart stickers, and anything else you can think of.  Then help them to carefully insert the sticks of a variety of colored lollipops into the base of the cup, creating a beautiful bouquet.


Valentine's Day is the perfect time to spend the day with the little ones you love most, creating these easy and fun crafts.  The memory of the time spent together will mean as much as the beautiful Valentine crafts you create.

3 tips on reorganizing your home!

by Victoria Galavez

What better way to start your year off than to declutter every room in your home. Here are 3 tips on decluttering your home.

1. Everything you own should have value to you. Remember this what would you grab if your house is on fire or there was a Hurricane coming and you need to evacuate. 

2. Focus on one room at a time. When multitasking it is meant to get things done quickly and you end up not completing every task. When decluttering you want to get rid of anything not needed and getting more organized. You are trying to simplify your life so simply your approach on organizing. Organize room by room and don't move on til you get the room finished.

3. Every item needs a place where it "lives" Setting things down on the table because you are right there doesn't mean thats where it belongs. Placing your items in designated area so your home doesn't get cluttered and unorganized. Keep what you need and get rid of anything you haven't used or worn in the last 3 months. 

Give Your Old Furniture New Life

by Misty Martinez

Old furniture doesn't have to be put aside if the basic structure is still in good condition.  You can bring a whole new life to any piece of furniture with a few simple steps and items readily available from any home improvement store.  Whether it is your dining room table or your patio furniture, you can get more mileage out of it and improve your home's look at the same time.

Refinishing Wood Furniture

Any piece of solid wood furniture that has no major damage can be given a whole new look and many more years of service.  Dining room tables and chairs, coffee tables, and dressers can all be refinished easily.  Simply sand down the surface and then apply a new paint or stain, and finish it with a sealant for longevity.  Your home improvement store will be able to easily help you locate all of the right tools for the job.

You can even add special finishing touches to the look if you want, such as a distressed antique look or faux finish of another sort-the only limit is your imagination!

Recovering Upholstered Furniture

Professional re-upholstering can be really expensive, but in some cases you can do it yourself.  For dining room chairs with a padded seat, simply turn the chair upside down and unscrew the seat.  Choose a fabric (remember that it should be washable) and then cut to the right size, allowing extra to tuck under the seat.  Pull it tight and then use a staple gun to attach it.  Trim the excess and re-attach the seat.

For other types of furniture such as sofas and armchairs, slipcovers might be the way to go.  You can find a wide variety of styles and colors to fit any piece of furniture.  Slip it over the surface and pull it tightly and you will have a brand new looking sofa or chair at a fraction of the price.

The Great Outdoors

Metal patio furniture is easy to refinish as well, with a little spray paint.  Make sure you choose the right brand for the surface you are spraying.  Paint carefully, and use drop cloths and masking to avoid overspray onto surfaces such as the patio itself or the walls of the house.  Then spray, let dry, and you're done!

If new furniture isn't in the cards, don't give up.  You can simply and easily transform your current furniture for new life and a new look.

New Year Resolution: Purchase a Home

by Victoria Galavez

What better New Years resoultion than to purchase a home for your family to enjoy?

Take a look at Ten Steps to guide you to purchase your family's dream home!



Determine what, where, and when of your purchase. What kind of house are you looking for? Where would you like to live? When would you like to buy?


Once you have an idea of what you are looking for it's time to get realistic and determine what you can afford. How much do you have for a down payment? What can you afford for a monthly mortgage payment? Do you have money for closing costs and taxes? Is your financial house in order?


Meet with a loan officer to go over your different options on obtaining a loan to purchase your deam home. By recieving your per-approval letter you are one step closer to purchasing!


Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter.  Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more.


Now that you have found a Realtor you can start viewing properties to find your dream home!


Financing is so important, buyers should have as much information as possible regarding mortgage options and costs.


Once you found a home make a offer. You have three choices accept the listed price and create a contract, reject it and not make an offer, or suggest different terms and make a counter-offer.


Title insurance is purchased with a one-time fee at closing, title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. You don't purchase a car without getting insurance so why would you do anything different with a house.


You always inspect a car before you buy it so its smart to do the same when buying a home. Call a inspector to look at your future home!


Don't forget to cross all the T's and dot all the i's when signing your closing documents at the title company!

Christmas Light Safety Tips

by Misty Martinez

Beautiful, glittering Christmas lights make the whole neighborhood look festive and happy.  Lighting up your home for the holidays is fun, but it's important to make sure you do so safely.  Stick to these Christmas light safety tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for all.

Extension Cord Safety

Extension cords are often used to allow lights to reach all areas of the home and yard.  It's important to be careful and cautious in their use, however, to avoid fires and a tripping hazard.

Make sure you use appropriate extension cords for outdoor use.  Indoor cords are not designed to withstand the elements and can become damaged, creating a danger.  Be sure that you don't attach too many cords together either, as each attachment point is a potential danger.  Buy the right length extension cord rather than connecting multiple cords.

Place extension cords carefully so that no one trips on them when approaching your home.  Tape them down and keep them out of walkways and driveways.

Watch For Wear

Check your light strands and cords for any signs of wear each year and discard any that show any fraying or other damage.  A damaged cord or wire is a serious fire hazard as well as an electrocution hazard.  Look for broken bulbs as well.

Be sure everything is in good working order before you set it up for the holiday season to keep your home safe.

Caution With Kids And Pets

Using Christmas lights around kids and pets requires a little extra caution.  Be sure to keep wires and plugs hidden from babies who might be curious.  Keep a close eye on babies and young children when they are exploring their colorful new lighted world.

If you have a pet who might chew on wires, cover the wires or keep them off the ground as much as possible.  In some cases, it might be best to keep the lights outdoors and away from young children and animals.

Talk to older children about electrical safety and make sure they don't try to unplug or plug in the lights on their own.  Using a power strip with an on/off switch is a good way to allow kids to be able to turn the lights on and off without the danger of touching an outlet.

You can enjoy your Christmas lights safely with a little caution and pre-planning, and so can your entire family and neighbors, too.  Simply make sure everything works and is set up safely for a happy holiday filled with bright lights and cheer.

Budget Christmas Gifts for Teachers

by Misty Martinez

Everyone wants to show appreciation to their kids' teachers come Christmas, but buying gifts can add up fast, especially if you have more than one child or more than one teacher.  Put together a simple holiday gift every teacher will appreciate without hurting your Christmas budget with one of these great ideas.

Plant the Seeds Of Thanks

A great way to show appreciation is with flowers, but it means even more if you grow them yourself.  Pick up a packet of flower seeds and some basic pots.  Let your kids decorate the pot with markers, paint, stickers, glitter, and any other décor you can think of.

Fill each pot with a little potting soil and plant a seed.  Be sure to do this ahead of time so it will have time to sprout before you give it to the teacher.  This gift that continues to grow can stay in the pot, or the teacher can move it to their garden when spring comes around.

Bake Up Some Love

There's nothing quite like homemade cookies, and they are extra meaningful when you let your kids do the decorating.  Bake up a batch of basic sugar cookies, and give your kids frosting and sprinkles to create their own special cookies for their teachers.

Place the cookies on a paper plate and wrap the whole thing in decorative cellophane, which you can find at your local dollar store.  Tie it with a ribbon and you have a pretty and delicious treat that will be enjoyed not just for the flavor but also for the thought that was put into it.

A Cup of Warmth

Put together a sweet and warming treat for a teacher with a mug and a packet of hot chocolate mix.  Visit a local discount store to find holiday mugs at a great price, and pick up a box of hot chocolate mix packets.  Place one packet in each mug, and wrap with colorful cellophane.  Tie it off with a ribbon.

Any of these gifts will warm a teacher's heart, and you can finish them off by having your child make a personal holiday card with construction paper and some markers and stickers.  Let them draw a picture and sign the card themselves for the perfect holiday greeting to go along with that sweet homemade gift.

Say thank you and wish a teacher a wonderful holiday season, even on a budget, with any of these fabulous gift ideas.

Spring Break Shenanigans!

by Wendy Sanford

Spring Break brings thousands of patrons to Galveston Island every year! Businesses and beach rentals are booming, the weather is gorgeous and there is plenty to do!

This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday and the Island has plenty in store for you! From live music and face painting to BBQ and Zumba, you want to be here this weekend!

Starting on Friday, March 17th, Saengerfest Park goes green with the Luck of the Irish BBQ! This free event starts at noon and runs until 8 PM. Benefitting the Ronald McDonald House, BBQ Chicken & Sausage plates will be $12 or 2 for $20. There is plenty of entertainment including live music, face painting, a silent auction and more! Located at 2300 Strand, Saengerfest Park hosts a myriad of events throughout the year.

If you’re looking for a bit more action, Total Fitness, located at 4910 Seawall Blvd, is hosting a Zumbathon from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM! Come shake it, shake it for 2 hours of non-stop dancing and prizes, only $5! Bring plenty of water and wear your green!

Downtown Galveston hosts three pubs; Molly’s, O’Malley’s and Murphy’s that will satisfy your green beer needs! Looking for a little late night snack? O’Malley’s serves up traditional pub fare, including a KILLER Reuben while Murphy’s will knock your socks off with their pizzas! Make sure to tip your servers 😉

Starting at 11 AM on Saturday, March 18th, Holy Family Parish’s St Patrick’s Day Festival begins! Located at 34th & Broadway, there is much to see and do. Green beer, wine bar, great food, live music, an Irish piper and Shenanigans for the kids… you could even win a car! You don’t want to miss out on this celebration!

Round your weekend out with some healthy fares from the Galveston’s Own Farmers Market from 9 AM – 1 PM on Sunday, March 19th. Get there early and sample all the tasty goods from local growers, chefs and more! Located at 2508 Postoffice Street just behind Antique Warehouse.

Whether you plan on spending the week at our newly expanded beaches or shopping in our Downtown Historical District, Galveston Island is THE place to be this Spring Break!

Galveston Lawn Care

by Jason Keeling


When your thinking of selling your home, often one of the forgotten selling points is the yard! The landscaping and lawn itself can really make or break a sale. Buyers often comment about a nice yard or say something like I love that house, but it would take years to get the yard back. Some good tips are: 

1) plan ahead and get the yard in shape before listing 

2) use a professional company that can do the work for you

3) use plants from the area - examples being go tropical on the island. Palms are cheap and grow quickly

4) outdoor lighting is inexpensive and adds a new dynamic at night

5) water regularly in the summer or consider a sprinkler system

6) for that last "pop" of clean before listings - get everything pressure washed!


Hopefully these tips will help you get more money for your home and get it SOLD faster! 


One local company that Ryson Real Estate uses is Raymond Banks Landscape services. They specialize in Galveston lawn service, and Galveston pressure washing

Bayside at Watermans

by Jason Keeling

I Manuel Gonzales III, Realtor with Ryson , was given a tour of two wonderful properties at Bayside at Waterman's by Holly Wade Realtor.

Bayside at Waterman's is located near Galveston Country Club, on Lake Como. The first level of the homes accommodates 4 vehicles and 2 golf carts, with an elevator giving access to the upper floors. The homes offer 4 to 6 bedrooms and floor plans from 4200 square feet plus.  Unobstructed views of the Bay with large floor to ceiling, sliding glass doors that open to a private community deck and pool suspended 17 feet in the air above the boat slips down below are just a few of the amenities . Every home will have a roof top observation deck for great views and relaxation. Also, with Waterman's fine restaurant as a neighbor who could ask for more? However, there is more! There are plans to build a boardwalk that will connect Galveston Country Club, Waterman's and Bayside Properties.  Lastly the Concierge Services that will be available really makes this development by Todd Edwards a unique resort style residential living in Galveston, Texas.  If you are interested in this type of property please contact me at: or 409-877-2116.

Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 31




Contact Information

Ryson Real Estate
Ryson Real Estate
2115 61st, Suite 101
Galveston TX 77551
Direct: (409) 740-1600
Fax: (281) 476-6202