Elisa McNinch & The Bruner Team

11211 Katy Fwy, Suite #415, Houston, TX 77079 / Office: 713-937-1000 / Fax: 832-604-4186

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Elisa McNinch,

Five-Star Estate Professional Award Multiple-Years (2012-2017).

Recognized in Texas Monthly Magazine

June 2012-2017


Email Kim


Executive Assistant

& Licensed Realtor



Email Judy





Bruner Team INFO Newsletter

 May & June 2017



What an honor!


I want to take express my sincerest gratitude to all of my past clients for their loyalty and continued confidence in me.  This is the 6th year that I have received the distinction of being selected as "Best in Client Satisfaction" Five Star Realtor for 2017.  For me, I cannot imagine a greater honor and I sincerely thank you.


Some of you may already know how I received this award, but for those of you are who are not familiar, I am considered to be in the top 3% out of 30,000+ of the Realtors in the Houston area based on 10 different areas of customer service. As a result, I will be featured in the June 2017 issue of Texas Monthly magazine.


Click on the Five Star Professional link to view the announcement in the June 2017 Texas Monthly Magazine.


If you were a participant in the survey, please let me know. I would love to hear from you so that I may personally thank you.


Your referrals are the highest compliment that I can receive.  Because of clients like you, I truly LOVE what I do.  If you or someone you know could benefit from my services, please do not hesitate to pass along my information. I will treat anyone who is referred to me with the same attention and care as I hope you experienced.


Again, my sincerest "Thank You" - I could not do it without you.


Kindest regards.













Elisa McNinch



May Newsletter


Reviving Frank Lloyd Wright

According to online magazine, Dazeen, an organization called the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative has big plans to resurrect the architect's demolished or unbuilt projects.

The first project scheduled will be the visitor's center for Banff National Park.

Originally commissioned in 1911, the Banff visitor center was finished in 1913, but due to frequent flooding in the area, it was demolished in the late 1930s. Now, the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative wants to bring back the unique design.

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures; 532 of which were completed.

What makes Wright's structures so unique and timeless is their harmony with humanity and the environment, a philosophy he called ‘organic architecture’.

This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture". Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture.

Wright went so far as to coin his own term: ‘Usonian. Wright proposed the use of the adjective Usonian in place of American to describe his particular New World character of an American landscape—distinct and free of previous architectural conventions.

~Elisa McNinch


Mother, May I?

The month of May was perhaps named after Maia, a Roman earth goddess, considered the mother of all things green and growing. The derivation, May, stems from Miaus (Latin), meaning "greater" or "growing larger."

According to Wikipedia, however, ancient etymologists (people who study the origin of old words) also connected the month of May to maiores (Latin), meaning "ancestors," which also derives from Maius, referring to those who are "greater" in terms of generational precedence.

The word may as in “May I?” comes from Old English mæg, which is related to Old High German mag (have power to), and perhaps to Greek mēchos (expedient).

May is also another name for the hawthorn flower, and May is a diminutive for the names Mary, Margaret, and Mabel.

 A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled. ~ Emily Dickinson


Why Can’t I Have A Boss Like That?

Once there was a lab technician, named Sam. Sam had forgotten to open a critical valve on a piece of equipment he was using. The pressure built up in the system and caused it to malfunction. The resulting damage cost $250,000 to repair.

The next week, Sam’s boss called him in to talk about it. Sam had already cleared his workspace, figuring that he was about to get fired.

Sure enough, his boss started grilling him, asking why he didn't do a proper check of the equipment first, and reviewing his past performance.

Then the boss said, “Alright. Get back to work and don’t let it happen again.”

Sam was momentarily stunned. "Am I not getting fired?” he said. “I thought that’s what you were going to tell me.”

His boss said "No way! I just spent $250,000 teaching you a lesson you'll never forget. Why would I fire you now?"


Exposing The Mysteries Of An Ancient Codex

British and Dutch scientists have used high-tech imaging to uncover the secrets of an ancient Mexican manuscript, the eScience News website reports. The manuscript, known as the Codex Seiden, is a strip of deer hide five meters long that’s been covered with gesso (a white plaster composed of gypsum and chalk) and folded accordion style to make a document 20 pages long.

It dates back to approximately 1560, and was found in what’s now known as the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Like other codices from that area and others, the Codex Seiden uses brightly-colored symbols to record history: wars, genealogy, and cultural information.

One intriguing discovery: The high-tech imaging found the image of an individual represented by a glyph of a twisted cord and a flint knife. The man or woman resembles a character found in other codices, and may be an important ancestor of two families connected to other archeological sites in Mexico.


A Mother’s Day Story

Many years ago, my mother who lived in Nigeria, became a widow. The life she had imagined for herself as a young girl quickly evaporated. She tried moving on, finding a life with her extended family, but she was always worried, always despondent.

When offered the opportunity, soon after I was born, she gave me up for adoption. An international adoption agency placed me with a family in Canada.

Some might think my mother was weak; others might call her selfish. Many call her an opportunist, looking for a way to have her children raised in comparative luxury.

I think none of these things. Instead, I’m grateful for the life I have and to have a mother who sacrificed our relationship to give me a chance at a better life. She is courageous. She is my mother, no matter who raised me. I carry her courage inside me as all children of mothers do.


More People Closing Off The Kitchen

For years the concept of a grand room with an open kitchen has been all the rage. As a result, countless walls have been knocked down and it’s rare to find newer houses without open kitchens.

But is the tide turning? Are we returning to days when the kitchen was an isolated room where smells were trapped and messes hidden?

Increasingly, home builders are hearing requests from customers for a closed-off kitchen, and remodeling companies are being asked to put the walls back.

Perhaps it's a matter of the grass being greener on the other side...if you've lived your life with a closed-off kitchen, maybe you want an open space. And if you've lived your life with an open floor plan, maybe the novelty of a closed-off kitchen is appealing.

This is a natural cultural shift. If you look at homes from the 1920's, bathrooms were seldom put inside a master bedroom, kitchens were almost always isolated, and garages weren’t attached. By contrast, homes built in the last 20 years have attached garages, large master baths, and open kitchens.

But there’s a shift taking place among builders, who take their cues from the market. People are starting to ask for smaller homes and cozier spaces, pushed in part by high property costs and in part by a desire for simplification.

Ultimately, the footprint of homes over the next several decades will depend on the cultural preferences of people who live in an area, since we tend to take our housing cues from others in our community.


IOU What?

A woman went to a lawyer. “My neighbor owes me $500, and he won’t pay up. But I don’t have the loan in writing. What should I do?”

The lawyer said “Easy! Write a letter asking for the $5,000 he owes you.”

“But he only owes me $500,” the woman said.

“And when he writes you back to tell you that, then you’ll have your proof!”


Adventure Jobs Over 50:
Traveling Brand Ambassadors

Here’s a story that might give you some new ideas about retirement! See the full article with other ideas by Gwen Moran on nextavenue.org.

After Silvana and Allan Clark’s youngest daughter went off to college, the couple got the itch to travel and try something new.

They were fans of the charity Soles4Souls, which provides footwear for poor people in the United States. Silvana approached the nonprofit with an idea:

If Soles4Souls would buy the Clarks an RV, they would drive around the country, giving away free shoes and promoting the organization.

The Clarks were effectively offering themselves as brand ambassadors. The charity signed on and gave them the titles “Sole Ambassadors.” For 19 months, the Clarks lived out of a Soles4Souls-branded RV, never once returning home. After arriving in a town, they’d receive shipments of shoes and would sort, organize and distribute them out of the RV.


Who’s Smart Now?

A boy named Johnny hung out in front of the local grocery store in a small town. The manager noticed that the other boys who hung out in front of the store always teased him, calling him stupid and playing tricks on him. Johnny didn’t seem to mind, and always looked a little surprised.

One of their tricks was to offer Johnny his choice between a shiny nickel, worth 5 cents, and a dusty old dime, worth 10 cents. Johnny always took the nickel because it was bigger and shinier.

One day the store manager took Johnny off to one side. “Look son, those boys are making fun of you. They think you don’t know the dime is worth more than the nickel. Don’t you know that?”

“Yeah,” Johnny said, “but if I took the dime, they’d quit doing it!”


A Great Gift For College-Bound Kids

The Richest Man in Babylon is a book by George Samuel Clason which dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon.

Through their experiences in business and managing household finance, the characters in the parables learn simple lessons in financial wisdom.

Originally a series of separate informational pamphlets distributed by banks and insurance companies, the pamphlets were bound together and published in book form in 1926.

At only 44,640 words (approximately 145 conventional pages), it’s a quick read, filled with simple, time-tested advice, such as save a portion of all you earn. Give this gift early, so your teen has time to read before heading out into the world on their own.


Outside-The-Box Thinking

These days, most people have heard some form of the idea that “what we see can affect how we think.” But over a century ago, this was a new discovery. According to an article on the Observer website, in the early 1900’s gestalt psychologist Karl Duncker created an experiment known as the “Candle Problem.”

Duncker led some test subjects to a table pressed up against a wall. The table held three items: a candle, a book of matches, and a box of tacks. He asked the subjects to find a way to attach the candle to the wall so that its wax wouldn’t drip on the table. None of them could do it, until Duncker made a slight change.

In the second experiment, he used all the same materials, except this time he removed the tacks from their box and placed them on the table next to the candle. Most of the test subjects quickly figured out that they could pin the empty tack box to the wall using the tacks, so the wax would drip only inside the box.

The point? This sort of “functional fixedness” can be seen in many patterns of behavior, from taking the same route to work every day to holding on to ideas that have outlived their purpose.


June Newsletter

What Will Housing Be Like In 2050?

Today, the population of the world is about 7.4 billion. By 2050, the UN predicts it will be 9 billion. What does that mean for the future of housing... and how might that affect you?

One thing is for certain: New homes will not be built at nearly the same rate as population growth. We will have to make smarter use of what we have, and rethink the space and resources we need.

For instance, consider household size. In the early 1900's, 5-person households were normal. Today, 1-person households are common. By 2050 there may be a shift back to more shared housing, including granny flats and duplex conversions.

Homes in 2050 will not look much different than homes today on the outside, because the vast majority of houses that will exist in 2050 have already been built. But on the inside, many older homes will be upgraded with smart technology, and new homes will likely be built to be smaller and more efficient.

A need for resource efficiency could promote water recycled within each home, integrated solar panels, ultra-thin insulation, and micro-generators.

Tighter housing may drive the value of remaining single-family homes on large lots sky high. But older homes that lack innovations may lose value.

One thing that won’t change... location, location, location will still be the dominating factor in real estate.

The question to ponder is what locations will become important in the crowded world of 2050 and beyond?

~Elisa McNinch


Top 7 Things You’ll Never Hear a Dad Say

#7. “Well, how ‘bout that? I’m lost! Looks like we’ll have to stop and ask for directions.”

#6. “I noticed that all your friends have a certain hostile attitude. I like that.”

#5. “Here’s a credit card and the keys to my new car. Go crazy!!!”

#4. “Your Mother and I are going away for the weekend. You might want to consider throwing a party.”

#3. “Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies—ya know—that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks.”

#2. “What do you want to go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend.”

And the number one thing you’ll never hear a dad say:

#1. “What do I want for Father’s Day? I’d like a new phone, and that new speaker we saw at the store, and a TV, and a…” (Actually they will probably say, “Aw, your love is enough for me.”)


“It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in
heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.” ~John Sinor


Try Strategic Fasting to
Live Longer

Numerous studies have shown a positive impact on your health by following a fasting diet. Impacts of fasting include the reduction of chronic disease risk, longevity, and weight loss. Contrary to first impressions that fasting will leave you hungry, most people report that fasting actually takes their food cravings away. Fasting is not a "one-size-fits-all" approach, and success often means trying different models. Here are three approaches to try:

1.  Sleep Fasting. To find a 12- to 14-hour fasting period, don't forget your sleep time! If you cut off your food intake at, say, 6 pm, then don't eat again until 8 am, you've fasted. Yea! Nothing to it. After that, eat a normal healthy diet.

2.  The 5:2 On-Off Plan. If your goal is to lose weight or reduce belly fat, try a traditional 5:2 plan. Go for two "fasting-on" days, where you consume 500-600 calories, split between breakfast and dinner. The other five days of the week are your "fasting-off" days, where you follow a healthy regular diet without calorie restriction. This intermittent fasting may help reduce cravings and have beneficial impacts on insulin and C-reactive protein.

3.  The monthly periodic approach. Studies show a monthly, periodic approach to fasting can help to increase longevity and reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. For five consecutive days each month, consume about 35 to 50 percent of your normal calorie intake, divided between 10% protein, 40% carbohydrate and 50% fat. For example, if your normal intake is 1,800 calories, then for five days in a row, you'll bring it down to 700 calories, and focus on lean proteins, healthy fats and high-fiber carbohydrates.


Can You Hear Me Now?

An old lady had a hearing-aid fitted, hidden underneath her hair.

A week later she returned to the doctor for her check-up.

"It's wonderful - I can hear everything now," she reported very happily to the doctor.

"And is your family pleased, too?" asked the doctor.

"Oh I haven't told them yet," said the old lady, "And I've changed my will twice already."


6 Top Punctuation & Grammar Errors

Even if you’re not a writer, chances are your brain will recognize the difference between a well-written paragraph and one riddled with mistakes. Though we live in a world of auto-correction, good punctuation and grammar still count for a lot in how others perceive us through our writing, particularly at school and work, in job applications, and even in emails. It pays to become wise to these kinds of common errors:

1.    There, Their, They’re.  Example: Are we driving their together? Correct: Are we driving there together?

2.    Mixing up possessive and plural forms. Example: My sisters car is old. Correct: My sister's car is old.

3.    Missing a comma. Example: If the weather remains the same we'll leave early. Correct: If the weather remains the same, we'll leave early.

4.    Incorrect capitalization. Example: It's cold, But we are going out. Correct: It's cold, but we are going out.

5.    In the days of yore. Example: Your going to enjoy that new car! Correct: You’re going to enjoy that new car!

6.    Other Commonly confused words & spellings. Example: People make these mistakes alot. Correct: People make these mistakes a lot.


“They know enough who know how to learn.” ~Henry Adams


That’s Enough!

A rich investor was bragging to a famous author at a cocktail party:

“You know, I made more money on one investment last month than you’ve made with all your best-sellers. I’ll probably make more money this year than you’ll make in your entire life.”

The author replied, “That may be true, but I have one thing you’ll never have.”

“What’s that?” asked the investor.



Retire At 65? Think Again!

Thirty years ago, people typically started work at a fairly young age (age 20), worked to 65 and then retired. Statistically they lived to age 72, so they had many years to earn and save, and just a few years to spend.

Typical retirement age has been 65 for a long time. In developed countries like Canada, the US, and Australia, social retirement benefits only start to kick in at 65.

But today, our statistical lifespan in these developed countries has increased to 78 years. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean we have a whopping 13 years to enjoy retirement (statistically speaking). Instead, many seniors are now choosing, or being forced by financial circumstances, to work until 70+.

Not to be left behind, governments are slowly increasing the retirement age before benefits kick in. The cost savings are immense, even for a 6 month delay. Who knows…as life spans increase, perhaps our grandkids won't be able to collect benefits until they’re close to 70!


Corporate Mind-Set Hard For
Innovative Workers

The spark of something that one person can see inside their own “mind's eye” is often invisible to others. But if our ideas always made sense to others, we'd never have change or innovation. For instance, we wouldn’t have the iPhone without the spark of brilliance in Steve Jobs’ mind.

Recognizing this, many corporations state in hiring that they like innovative people. Unfortunately, while corporations may recognize the need for innovation, they seldom provide opportunity for innovation to express itself.

For innovative-minded employees, that can be frustrating. On the one hand, they see opportunities for change and growth all around them. But on the other, a corporation is like a large ship in the middle of the ocean… it takes quite a while to turn a large ship. So innovation will often be ignored or take so long to embrace, that the moment passes.

Employees who see opportunities for change have an uphill battle to get their ideas recognized. Their best bet is to paint a picture of what’s inside their “mind’s eye” sufficiently detailed that others can see it, too. Get input from trusted allies and clear up the questions before presenting ideas to management.


Office & Home Wi-Fi Killers

You might be surprised what everyday items and situations are bringing your network to a crawl. Here are the top 12 common issues impacting office and home Wi-Fi.

1. Tinted glass. You’d think Wi-Fi signals would sail right through, but they don’t. Tinted glass often has metal additives that can heavily absorb Wi-Fi signals. So if your office is full of wall-to-wall windows or glass conference rooms, it’s going to impact your signal.

2. Mirrors. These are huge Wi-Fi vampires. Mirrors can cut signal strength up to 50 percent because they reflect back the signal. If the bathroom is between the router and your desk, it’s part of the problem.

3. Water. You may love that aquarium in the office, but water is a massive Wi-Fi killer due to its density. It absorbs and traps the signal. If you’ve ever seen your signal drop at the beach or near large bodies of water, that’s why.

4. More devices. Most routers tap out at 10-20 devices. With today’s explosion of tablets, smartphones, laptops and wireless office equipment, bandwidth gets absorbed quickly.

5. Too many separate Wi-Fi networks. It’s not uncommon in some office environments to rig up several different routers running on different channels with different passwords to increase coverage. But Wi-Fi networks in close proximity can interfere with each other. Set your system so each router or access point is on the right channel for limited interference.

6. Poor spacing. It’s important to space equipment to ensure a consistent signal to all work areas. In other words, don’t lock your one router for the whole office in the back cabinet and seat your graphics team near the front, by the glass doors. 

7. File cabinets. Wireless signals degrade going through metal so don’t place your routers or access points in a room filled with file cabinets. It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it happens.

8. Kitchen appliances. Major appliances eat away at Wi-Fi signal strength. Refrigerators and especially microwaves provide interference, so keep equipment out of the range of the kitchen.

9. People. Really? Absolutely. The human body is 50-65 percent water, and crowds of people at an office party or in a conference room can be a highly effective barrier to Wi-Fi.  The solution is easy…mount your access point in the ceiling to minimize the chance of interference by your co-workers.

April 2017 Answer


Question:   On what date did the first man walk on the moon?


Answer: July 20, 1969


Congratulations to Clarion Hess!  Your name was randomly selected from all of the correct entries.  You won a $50 gift card from either $50 Academy, Target, Khol's, OR Pappas restaurant gift card. Your choice!



May & June 2017 Trivia Quiz Question


Question: (A riddle) What goes up when rain comes down?


Everyone who contacts Elisa via email (elisa@brunerteam.com) or phone (832-746-7911) with the correct answer by June 25th will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Olive Garden or Carrabba's Italian Grill, OR Home Depot gift card.  Your choice!