Categories Baytown, Holiday, Tips

Top Restaurants to Visit for a Holiday Meal



With the holidays comes great food and feasting; it also means reuniting with friends and family to enjoy catching up on the past year’s events. So, whether your house is not ideal for hosting events or you simply need a break from the kitchen, there is always an option to eat out this holiday season. Here are our top picks for classy holiday meals in the Baytown area.

Monument Inn

Like a local institution when it comes to seafood, the Monument Inn has been in business since 1974. Although the original location burned down, the current waterfront restaurant has survived both hurricane Ike and hurricane Harvey. Locals can’t get enough of Monument Inn’s fresh seafood and the restaurant packs away an estimated 80,000 pounds of shrimp and roughly 25,000 pounds of catfish, crawfish and other fresh fish every year. For seafood lovers Monument Inn makes a wonderful place to enjoy a holiday meal with friends and family.

Main 101 Grill & Bar

Located in the heart of historic downtown La Porte, Main 101 Grill and Bar offers fine dining in a more relaxed casual setting. With its contemporary design and attention to customer satisfaction, this restaurant is sure to take some of the stress out of the holidays and allow you to relax and enjoy your meal. It also won’t break the bank since it has become known for offering up three coarse meals at a reasonable price. So, give yourself a break from the kitchen and meet some friends at main 101 Grill and Bar.

Opus Bistro & Steakhouse

A local sensation is reborn after the tragic destruction of hurricane Harvey. Opus Bistro & Steakhouse is now located inside the South Shore Harbor Resort and churning out all the decadent and sublime dishes it is known for. It earned its reputation amongst the elite waterfront venues by the bay with southern hospitality and gourmet dining. The newly reopened restaurant features warm elegant décor, first class food presentation, and waterfront views from every table. This time of year it makes the perfect venue for an elegant holiday meal and fantastic drinks with loved ones.

Brasserie 1895

For a more unique twist try some new American cuisine at Brasserie 1895. The Houston chronicle described this restaurant as, “popular with the surrounding neighborhoods, but it’s a destination for diners drawn by the work of this Belgian-trained chef with a Central Texas-German heart and a Houstonian’s zest for multicultural fun.” Legendary chef, Kris Jacob, employs a seasonal menu with creative combinations that will keep you interested in what’s new. Brasserie 1895 is also well known for its hand selected wine list and cocktails chosen to perfectly complement these inspired dishes.

Whisky Cake Kitchen & Bar

Whisky Cake Kitchen & Bar is a fantastic place for breakfast and brunch, but it also has an amazing selection of gastropub fare and libations crafted with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. This farm to table style restaurant makes everything in-house and features innovative appetizers, farm fresh comfort food, freshly caught fish, and craft cocktails. When you are tired of cooking from the previous night’s feast, Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar makes the perfect location to meet back up with friends and family for brunch before heading out for some holiday shopping.

If all this eating out for the holidays is the result of a house that’s not up to snuff, we may have the solution to your holiday dinner woes. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we buy homes for all cash in the Baytown and Houston areas. If you are longing to get out of your current home and into a home more suitable for hosting parties and events, or you are simply eager to move, we can help. We buy homes as-is so there is no need to spend the time and money normally needed to prepare a home for selling on the open market. Even better, when you skip these steps and avoid the costs of a broker, real estate agent, and marketing, our offers are very competitive. Contact us today for a free, no obligation appraisal and be ready to host holiday meals in your new home next year!

Categories Holiday, Tips

The Best Kitchen to Prepare Thanksgiving Dinner



It’s time for Thanksgiving, the holiday that is most likely to put your kitchen to the test. Every oven, stove-top, and utensil will come into play as you prepare a Thanksgiving feast for all ages. Chances are, when your kitchen is under so much strain, its flaws and shortcomings become much more apparent. So, what would make a perfect kitchen for preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, or any feast for that matter? Here is some kitchen advice that will help you decide which family member should actually be hosting the big feast and some tips on what to upgrade and remodel to make your kitchen ready to handle Thanksgiving for years to come.

Start with the lay of the land. From the beginning, the design of the kitchen needs to provide you with plenty of counter-space to work with, as well as a setup that is useful and efficient. Plenty of pantry space is also nice for hosting large gatherings. In the industry, when designing a good kitchen, we try to stick to the fundamental kitchen design principal called the “work triangle.” This means that within the four walls of the kitchen, or sometimes the kitchen island, the refrigerator, sink, and oven are arranged on three different walls with no obstructions in between. When laid out in this fashion the chef can easily access all of the most important and commonly used kitchen appliances while moving through the kitchen in an efficient triangular space. If your kitchen is linier or set up in an odd fashion due to lack of space or other design shortcomings, then a remodel is sure to make your kitchen more useful and enjoyable.

With today’s lifestyle you will also want a kitchen with an open floor plan. This design has gained popularity over the years for many reasons. Most importantly for you, it encourages socialization and makes hosting gatherings at the home much more enjoyable. Now instead of hiding away in a kitchen that is separated from the action, you can converse with guests and be a part of the festivities while you are monitoring the meal. In fact, the tendency for side groups to gather and mingle in the kitchen during parties was another big influence for the shift in design preference. Now it is common to see islands and counter-tops worked into the kitchens layout specifically designed for small groups of people to gather. Once again, if your current home lacks an open floor plan it may be time for a remodel.

Now it’s time to talk about equipment. Appliances have come a long way over the years and if yours are starting to show their age it might be time for replacements. Smart home technology is the way to go now, with appliances doing everything from monitoring temperatures to turning themselves off – ultimately, they can take a lot of stress off of the cook, especially during a holiday feast when attempting to balance so many dishes at the same time. You can even use your smart phone to have the oven preheat before you get home or give you reminders and change oven settings while you are enjoying the party in the other room. Also, to improve the number of dishes you can be cooking at the same time, there are a number of great split ovens available that do the job in less space and more efficiently than the double stack ovens of yesterday.

If your home is lacking the efficient layout, open floor plan, and upgraded appliances needed to host a fabulous Thanksgiving feast, rather than spending the time and money to get it up to your standards, you could sell your home and move into one with the perfect kitchen. Sound crazy, not so fast. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we will buy your home as-is for all cash. Our offers are extremely competitive when you consider the cost of upgrading your kitchen or any other remodels and repairs your home may need. Plus, you can skip all the fees for brokers, real estate agents, and marketing. We can close in as little as five days and can even help you move. So, contact us today for a no obligation appraisal – if you like what you hear you can be in the home with the kitchen of your dreams next holiday season. Happy holidays from the team at Gulf State Homebuyers!

Categories Baytown, Holiday

What’s Happening in Baytown this Season?



The holiday season is all about celebrating friends, family, love, and joy. You are sure to enjoy a good party or feast this time of year and may even have the occasional guest to entertain. So, let’s take a glimpse at what is going on in Baytown this season when it comes to feasting, shopping, and entertainment.

Fall has arrived and thanksgiving is just around the corner. Not only does that mean lots off cooking in the near future, but lots of shopping as well. To help stock up for your holiday feasts and maybe find a gift or two while you are at it, check out the Baytown Farmers Market. Described as a Hallmark movie setting, the market offers a peaceful environment to shop for your goods while helping to support your local economy. The Baytown Farmers Market also features live entertainment, artist, crafters, and entrepreneurs. So, come on down and mix some handmade and locally sourced food and gifts into your holiday routine this year. The market happens on the third Saturday of each month at Baytown Town Square which means you can catch it just in time for Thanksgiving dinner!

For an exotic change of pace, check out the Taste of Pan Africa Food Festival on November 24th at the Oak on Pruett. This cultural event promises a stellar evening of food, wine, music, philanthropy, and networking. Join with friends and family to enjoy the best Pan-African cuisine as chefs from East Africa, South Africa, West Africa, Brazil, Haiti, and the Caribbean Islands arouse and excite your taste buds. There will also be authentic high-quality African clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags, and accessories for sale, which make great, unique gifts for the holidays. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Hope for Us Charity.

Christmas on Texas Avenue kicks off this year on December 5th with the Baytown Christmas Parade. The Christmas on Texas Avenue Festival is one of Baytown’s largest events of the year. This family-oriented festival is sure to get you in the holiday mood. This year’s Christmas market features a wide variety of holiday entertainment, shopping, and children’s activities including: live music, photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus, arts & crafts, bounce houses, train rides, ice skating, food trucks, and more. Christmas on Texas Avenue is sure to brighten your holiday and bring out the Christmas cheer this season.

You can dance off all the food you’ve been eating and get into the holiday spirit at the Baytown Ballroom Dance and Golden Grooves Holiday Dance this year. Happening at the Baytown Community Center on December 20th, the free event is sure to be a blast from the past. The Big Band will be playing live and featuring all your favorite holiday classics, so put on your holiday best and dance the night away for the last dance of the year.

For new year’s why not pop over to nearby La Porte to celebrate in style at the historic 1956 Sylvan Beach Pavilion. The 6th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala will be held in the glass curtained circular ballroom of this landmark. Buffet dinner will be available, along with musical entertainment provided by The NightBeat Band; additionally, party favors will be provided and guests will participate in a midnight champagne toast with black eyed peas & cornbread. What a memorable way to ring in the new year while supporting the preservation of some local history.

Here at Gulf State Homebuyers we want to make sure that you get the most of this holiday season. If you are faced with the added stress of selling your home during this very busy time of year, we can help. We are all cash homebuyers and we can help save you time and money when it comes to selling your home. This is because as all cash buyers we buy homes as-is and in any condition, even damaged homes. As a seller you can skip the time and money required for upgrades and repairs that need to be done before the house goes up for sale. Plus, you can skip all the expensive fees that come from working with real estate agents and brokers. Just contact us for your free, no-obligation home appraisal and we will make you an offer the very same day. It’s that easy! So, don’t stress over selling your home during the holidays and let us take care of all the work so you can enjoy this festive time of year.

Categories Holiday, Tips

Do Homes Sell During the Holidays?



It’s true, the holidays are a very busy time of year. With the kids out of school and parties to attend there never seems to be left over time for anything extra, let alone selling a home. So, do homes sell during the holiday season? When it comes to real estate, the ideal time to sell your home is in the spring. This is because many buyers want to be settled in their home before the start of a new school year. However, putting your house up for sale around the holidays has its benefits.

This season is going to bring only the most serious buyers. In real estate, properties will always move, it’s just a matter of how fast. This can depend on how many homes are on the market –

more homes mean more competition which can leave your house sitting on the market for a while. For whatever circumstances, some people simply need to sell over the holidays, and some buyers have to buy a home during the holidays. It’s up to you to take advantage and make the most out of selling during this slower season.

To start, lower inventory during the holidays makes homes sell more quickly. As we mentioned, there is simply less competition and this can work to your advantage in several situations. Data suggests that homes sold around the holidays command a higher price due to the increased demand caused by low inventory. This can also be a great time to list a home that has some imperfections or needs an upgrade or two. This is because in the spring inventory picks up, and your home could get pushed to the bottom of the showing list – only the top homes in the best neighborhoods are going to sell quickly. Bottom line: Most homes listed in the fall sell quicker than homes on the market at the height of real estate season.

We also mentioned that anyone who is shopping for a new home around the holidays is likely to be a serious buyer. In the spring and summer many Americans will pop into open houses out of curiosity or even entertainment, daydreaming about what they would do if they were to move into the home, but with no intention to buy. During the holidays however, they aren’t going to spend their precious time looking at homes unless they have a real need to buy. If someone is looking at your home in the fall and winter months, chances are they are serious and ready to pull the trigger.

Career professionals can represent a large portion of the serious buyers towards the end of the year. This is because around this time many companies announce restructuring and transfer plans. Employees who get notified of a transfer are going to need a house on short notice and as a result, will be hunting for a new home during the holidays.

Tax breaks are another reason home buyers during the holiday season are highly motivated. There are some major tax benefits available that can be taken advantage of only if your home sale closes before December 31st. The deductions can be significant and include the mortgage interest, property taxes, and interest costs of the loan. These tax deductions are significant enough to prompt many home buyers to move during the holidays instead of waiting until the spring.

Nobody wants their home to sit on the market or even worse to have to lower their asking price because they have to sell during a slow time of year. The holidays can be stressful and throwing home sales into the mix is the last thing people want to do when they would rather be celebrating with family and friends or snuggling up next to a cozy fire. If you are faced with the challenge of selling during the holidays season, we have the solution for you. Sell to an all-cash buyer! We are Gulf State Homebuyers, and we buy homes all cash, all year, any season, and in all conditions. Skip the hassle this holiday season and sell your home at a competitive price before you invest in repairs, upgrades, brokers fees, and all the other wasted time and money that goes into selling your home. We just do a free, no-obligation home appraisal and make you an offer that same day. If you like what you hear, we can close in as little as five days, it’s that easy! Contact us today and have a happy holiday season this year!

Categories Holiday



Happy Valentine’s Day! The one day of the year dedicated to showing your significant other just how much you love them. Well, we should say, one additional day outside of their birthday, your anniversary, and every other holiday during the year.

Anyways, finding the perfect gift for your Valentine can be a challenging task. Do you buy them the hottest new technological innovation, or do you forgo the material gift and take them on a surprise weekend vacation? The real answer – it depends on who your Valentine is, and what they would love and appreciate. However, since we cannot know exactly who your special someone is, we are going to outline the most popular presents you can get this Valentine’s Day. Don’t be surprised, they are not as exotic as you would hope. According to a recent study on US citizens, the results are in:                                                                                                        


Nothing says love more than a gigantic heart shaped chocolate bar…and one with peanut butter can be an indication of that extra love. This should be no surprise though – for year’s past, the gift of chocolates, candies, and sweets has always ranked number one.


There is no better way to say ‘I Love You’ than literally with the words in a romantic greeting card. Fortunately for you, there is no shortage of your options here. If your Valentine prefers a sweet adoring card, or an inappropriate comedy card, there is a choice for you. If you want to go eco-friendly, you can even send an electronic card.


Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest holidays to send flowers. Historically, roses have been the flower to send, as they signify romantic love. However, there are hundreds of other varieties that people can send to customize their gift to their loved one. Whether it’s the dozen roses to your wife, or a sunflower bouquet to your mother, we can guarantee that no one will turn down this beautiful gift.


Life can be hectic, reducing the quality time that many couples spend together each year. Therefore, setting aside this one night and arranging a special evening, including a romantic dinner, can be just the solution to reigniting that old kindling love between any couple. Whether it is reservations at a special restaurant, a picnic in the park, or a celebration at home, a romantic dinner can be the perfect start to an excellent evening.


This gift has been increasing in popularity through the years, especially for millennials. This generation is less keen on receiving material items and would rather spend their money on activities and quality time. So, if you are a millennial, or any other person looking to reignite your relationship through a weekend away, try planning a trip for this Valentine’s Day celebration. Hint: You do not need to go on Valentine’s Day (we know it is a today!); instead, buy the getaway and surprise your Valentine at dinner!


There is no better way to show your affection than by surprising your loved one with tickets to their favorite event. Whether it be a concert, the theater, or an art gallery, taking your Valentine to a special event can show that you really care about their happiness. Not only are you taking quality time away with them, but you are also focused on purchasing presents that are unique to them.


There is one present that may be more suitable for you. Whether it is for your significant other, or even for yourself, this gift idea is unique, extravagant, and can provide for a future of new memories!

How about getting them a new home? The market is hot and it is a great time to sell. We know this may sound crazy, but why get your Valentine the run of the mill presents when you can get them the house of their dreams?

Are you interested? If you are, and you currently own your home, then this option can be quite simple. Call us and we can provide you with a free consultation. We will evaluate your home’s value and make an offer. Thanks to our extensive experience in the industry, and our dedication to the community, we guarantee that our offers are competitive. If you accept, we can have your home closed within five days! Even better news: We can cover the closing costs to help you get into your next home.

Don’t be like the rest, get your Valentine a new home this Valentine’s Day.

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