Short of two months after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) historic agreement to stabilize the market by slowing crude production for the first time in eight years, per-barrel cost has nearly doubled after slipping to a rate of $26 in February of the prior year. In Greater Houston, the capital of U.S. oil production, the agreement has sped up the sector’s recovery from a two-year downturn while spurring regional economies. Texas real estate expert and CEO of Western Rim Property Services Marcus Hiles, the state’s preeminent affordable luxury property developer, expects that as Houston’s energy companies are able to hire and grow in 2017, the metro region will see rising employment rates corresponding into wage increases.
Planned communities first appeared in the United States in 1565, in St. Augustine. The industrial revolution saw company towns like Gary, Indiana as the sites of technological innovations and thriving economic fervor. The first modern communities were built during the Florida land boom of the 1920s down in Southern Florida, where the famous Miami suburbs of Coral Gables, Opa-locka, and Miami Springs incorporated the look and feel of Spain, Arabia, and Mexico. The Great Depression drove the Federal Government to build model towns across West Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Ohio, and Wisconsin with the goal of easing the burden of hard times on coal miners, construction workers, and their families. The remote developments of Oak Ridge, TN; Richland, WA, and Los Alamos, NM cropped up during World War II to accommodate the families of scientists, engineers, and industrial workers of the Manhattan Project. Marcus Hiles points out that blueprinted cities now cover the country, including the national capital of Washington, D.C., and state capitals in Mississippi, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Utah, Florida, and Texas.
In a Jan. 22, 2016 New York Times article, Jane Margolies explained the evolution of animal-oriented features from sporadic early appearances in 2000 to prolific installations in 2016, noting, “When “pet spas” were introduced in high-end residential buildings a decade or so ago, they might have seemed like another flash-in-the-pan perk. But they’ve not only hung on like a dog with a bone, they’ve also evolved.” Spas, treadmills, bone-shaped pools, visiting vets, and groomers used by haute couture designers rule the day. Marcus Hiles notes a Los Angeles Times article from Aug. 8, 2014 highlights the ultimate trend, with pet parents giving their charges a special space of their own, often even equipped with an en suite bath. One proud pet suite aficionado reasoned, “She’s a part of the family. Everybody else has a room — so does she.” The designation of a complete suite to the toys, leashes, grooming equipment, and other accessories needed for healthy, happy, pets keeps the rest of the home clean and organized.
When natural landscaping is properly used on a piece of property, it should require very minimal effort to maintain unlike other options that require pesticides, fertilizers, or excess watering. Native flora and fauna have evolved and adapted to a region’s conditions over thousands of years, making them the preferred choice for sustainability, especially over a lawn. If properly planted, they should survive both winter cold and summer heat, and resist pests and diseases while flourishing without soil amendments. Perhaps the most visible benefit in using natural landscaping is the attraction of butterflies, birds, pollinators and other natural wildlife.
Hiles’ environmental aspiration extends far beyond the doors of the houses he builds. His team’s smart tree-planting initiatives increase the volume of a community’s tree canopy to exceed pre-development levels. “Each of the 3,000 trees we planted last year sequesters over 45 pounds of carbon dioxide and pollutants while releasing oxygen,” he states. At the same time, Hiles efforts to preserve existing arboreal treasures, such as the hundreds of 100-year-old oak trees that thrive in a designed park next to one Western Rim site. Marcus Hiles envision environmental responsibility as a reward for both community members and the planet. “Our bold goal is to lessen carbon emissions by more than 500,000 metric tons over the next decade,” he asserts. “In the process, we’ll deliver energy savings to our residents and create sustainable, livable communities.”
Western Rim Property Services CEO Marcus Hiles understands that these critical factors can have a negative influence on home buyers. But he knows Western Rim’s luxury rental communities can offer a potential solution to the housing shortage. “At Western Rim, we have seen firsthand that limited options for buyers can significantly impact property value,” Hiles states. “High demand coupled with low inventory can cause a stir throughout the marketplace, quickly resulting in higher listing prices. Our clients know that Western Rim makes affordability a top priority on all of our well-appointed subdivisions. The results of this study will help us achieve this goal; we will continue to monitor the state’s most current buying trends so we stay poised to deliver superior, affordable rental properties that make our clients’ lifestyle dreams a reality. We firmly believe that residents deserve premium living accommodations at price points that won’t overstretch their budgets.”
Developments by Marcus Hiles’ Dallas-based Western Rim offer features not available in the urban jungle. Lakeside communities feature outdoor fireplaces, lounges, and fitness equipment, while others play host to resort-style swimming pools, off-leash dog parks, and open-air kitchens for summer barbecues. Tranquil ponds and nature trails, decked out spas, and easy golf course access deliver a retreat-like environment to residents. Indoors, sound-absorbing insulation all but eliminates external noise, while spacious living areas provide ample room to entertain and eco-friendly appliances and building techniques reduce utility bills.
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The population’s preference for renting over buying is significant, because people are still choosing to rent even with historically low interest rates. This trend notes a shift in resident’s priorities toward increased mobility and less commitment without sacrificing lifestyle or amenities. Marcus Hiles’ Dallas-based Western Rim develops properties that are located near outstanding educational opportunities, shopping and dining, and showcase golf courses, swimming pools, and clubhouses featuring everything from European Grand Spas, hair and nail salons, an on-site doctor’s office, a modern business center, and a Starbucks café. Hiles designs them to satisfy the rental consumer’s desire for an affordable high-end residences with a multitude of activity, but also with awareness of environmentally sound practices.
The U.S. exceeded $166 billion in capital investments throughout 2015, a ten percent increase over the year before. Nearly a third of the proceeds came from Texas, and Dallas based real estate investor Marcus Hiles believes his state has not only displayed the potential for sustained long-term economic growth, but that it has become vital to the success of the country’s economy. As Chairman and CEO of Western Rim Properties, Hiles has spent over three decades observing market tendencies in order to make profitable, strategic property acquisitions.
Architectural trends have extended to modern outdoor designs that feature low maintenance without sacrificing style. Marcus Hiles has seen the desire for open-air spaces rise, as renters want areas that are both sustainable and financially viable. Conservation-minded options such as rainwater and graywater harvesting systems and permeable pavement are gaining traction. Via a rooftop collection system, rainwater harvesting funnels moisture falling from the air into a well, to then be treated and repurposed on-site. Graywater takes previously used household wastewater and recirculates it for rest rooms and other non-drinking purposes, greatly reducing the need for fresh water and lowering the amount of sterilization used. Permeable paving is a seemingly novel idea for sustainable construction, but actually dates back thousands of years to when people first developed roads by putting stones in beds over the ground. The design allows the rain to pass through small openings in between four layers of filtration (paving material, gravel, fabric, and sand) prior to being absorbed by the land below. This reduces runoff and pollution, manages the flow of storm water to gutters and drains, and provides local groundwater supplies and a skid-resistant surface for walkways, patios and driveways. Many attractive patterns for permeable pavement use crushed stone, brick, and recycled concrete.