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Gayest & Greatest 2019: Real Estate and House & Home

Tina Burgos has sold properties in Houston and Hawaii since 1994.

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Tina Burgos, Best Female Real Estate Agent

T ina Burgos, 50, has one of the hottest realty firms in town, and a history of selling residential properties and land in Houston since 1994. But that wasn’t always the case.

Burgos, who is of Filipino descent, was born in Chicago and moved to Houston with her family when she was 11. She was raised in Alief, where she attended public school, and then graduated from Houston Baptist University in 1990 with a double major in biology and psychology. She also spent four years as a medical tech researching HIV in the Texas Medical Center. When her grant ended, she decided to take some real-estate classes for fun—and discovered that she liked it.

“I worked for several agencies in the ’90s, when you could do no wrong in the market,” Burgos says. “The market just kept going up.” In 2006, she set out on her own with Inverness Realty Group and hasn’t looked back since.

“I like making people happy, fulfilling their dreams of home ownership,” she says. “I also like the flexibility of the job.” Many of her clients are friends from sports, and most of her new clients quickly become friends.

When her wife’s environmental career took them to Hawaii for four-and-a-half years, Burgos opened another division of Inverness there. She maintains clients on the island to this day, which allows the couple to visit the tropical paradise often.

She is an avid outdoors woman who runs marathons, off-road triathlons, and participates in outrigger and dragon-boat races. She also plays on the Montrose Softball League, and she met her wife, Lisa, playing soccer. They have been together for 20 years, and were finally married earlier this year.

“It was very impromptu,” Burgos explains. “A friend said she should marry us for our anniversary, and we just said okay. We just happened to both have blue linen shirts and white pants and “slippahs” (the Hawaiian slang for flip-flops). So we got dressed alike, went to Fly High Little Bunny, and bought rings. When the woman who sold them to us [found out that] we didn’t have a wedding photographer, she volunteered to join us and take photos!” They all set off for the new rooftop terrace at the Glassell School of Art and got married—all very spur-of-the-moment.

Today the couple shares a home with their two cats, and are blessed with 11 nieces and nephews whom they dote on. Both are active in sports and love Mexican food and ribs. “Hawaiians think they have a diverse food scene, but it’s all variations of Asian food,” Burgos explains. “I missed Houston’s food diversity when we lived there. Here you can get everything from Asian to Italian, Mexican, and more.”

Her advice to her real-estate clients for the coming year is to research every property, in light of Houston’s periodic flooding events.

“It helps if you’re well-versed in topography. And, given the recent floods, buy flood insurance whether you are required to or not,” she says. Good advice. ­—Marene Gustin 

REAL ESTATE

Best Female Real Estate Agent

Tina Burgos
Finalists: Karen Derr, Debbie Levine, Lynette Lew

Brooks Ballard

 

Best Male Real Estate Agent

Brooks Ballard
Finalists: George Burch, Jeremy Fain, Clayton Katz, Ashton Martini, Anthony Matthews,
Thomas Phillips, Andy Weber

Best Home Builder

Colina Homes
Finalist: Sandcastle Homes

Best Home Remodeling Company

Luria Construction
Finalists: C House Renovations, Heels 2 Hammers LLC, Noble Construction

Best Mortgage Company

Republic State Mortgage Co
Finalist: Academy Mortgage

Best Title Company

Chicago Title Innerloop
Finalists: StarTex Title, Stewart Title Houston

Favorite Rental Community

Elan Memorial Park
Finalists: High Point Uptown, Latitude Med Center, Skyhouse Houston

HOUSE & HOME

Best Architectural Firm

Morningside Architects

Best Female Insurance Agent

Jennifer Majors Baca
Finalist: Felicia Gulihur

Best Male Insurance Agent

Lane Lewis
Finalist: Patrick Torma

Best Florist

Ronnie Siebert

Mitchell Gold (r) and Bob Williams

Best Furniture Store

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Finalists: Cantoni, Design Within Reach

Best Furniture Store on a Budget

Alabama Furniture
Finalist: IKEA

Best Gardening/Nursery Supply

Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden Antiques
Finalists: Buchanan’s Native Plants, Fountains and Statuary, Wabash Feed & Garden Store

Best Home Security Company

Fortress Shield Security

Best Interior Designer

Brad Brandt
Finalist: Dreams by MJS Interiors

Best Landscaping Company

Windswept Landscape Studios

Best Movers

All My Sons Movers
Finalists: 3 Men Movers, Max Movers

Best Pest Control Company

Andy’s All Star Pest Control

Best Air Conditioning & Heating Company

Newport Air Conditioning & Heating
Finalist: Construct Air & Heat

Best Plumber

Village Plumbing & Air
Finalist: Nick’s Plumbing

Best Pool Company

Venture Pool Co.
Finalist: Houston Cool Pools

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.

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