Skip to comments.Vanity - Houston area housing info needed
Posted on 10/08/2013 3:15:33 PM PDT by RightField
I am seeking information from Houston Freepers about real estate there.
My daughter moved to Houston 2 years ago from San Diego when her company asked her to temporarily run their Houston office. She now has the opportunity to make the move permanent, and she wants to stay in Texas.
Mr. RightField and I are here in Houston for the month of October (visiting in our motorhome). While we are here, we're hoping that local Freepers might point us to a good realtor and a mortgage broker. This will be her first home purchase, and she is looking in the Stafford area. She currently has an apartment in Sugar Land, but says that's too far to her office (near the SW Freeway and the 610).
Any help or contacts from local Houston Freepers will be greatly appreciated.
I used to own a home in the Heights, probably too far a drive with Houston traffic.
Fondren, Sharpstown area has become a slum-stay away!
I would start with looking where the exemplary rated school districts are and go from there. We looked over 10 years ago so I’m sure things have changed . . . but that would be a good start. Spring, Katy, ???
Been here for 20 years. What side of town is she looking in?
I lived in the Clear Lake area until Hurricane Ike took my condo on the water away.
The NASA complex is located there but with the shutdown of the shuttle program, a lot of well-paid folks lost their jobs. I suspect the area has a lot of very nice undervalued homes because of the layoffs.
Not every home in the area is directly exposed to hurricanes although waterfront homes are and the new Federal Law on insurance is raising those rates through the roof, so if she looks there she should get an idea of the flood and windstorm costs.
Drive to downtown is a pain, however,if she works there.
Good luck to her. I would check here for a good realtor: http://www.daveramsey.com/elp/residential-real-estate/
His endorsed local providers are usually real go getters! We used one to buy our home and were very happy. No kickback to him either.
True....ust expensive for a first-time home buyer.
There are lots of back ways to get into the city from Fort Bend County and Brazoria County. Also auto insurance rates in these counties is about half of what they are in Harris County. Also need to be careful to not get into an area where you also have to have wind insurance and/or MUD Taxes.
Rice Village or West University area - depending on how much she wants to spend. Bellaire may be a better bet price wise and it’s close to 59 and the Loop area.
Katy or Spring present too many traffic problems and are too far west and north. Sugar Land is significantly better than Stafford IMO. Lower priced homes can be found on the east end of Highway 6 and you can easily hook up with the Fort Bend Tollway into the city or just take the Tollway to 90 and then north to 610/59. Pearland would be the best and most affordable but traffic getting on 288 is near impossible until TXDOT gets through in about 10 years. Access which allows you to take the Beltway to the Fort Bend Tollway north is almost complete though.
I’d buy in the NW area. It might take her a little longer to get to work but it’s low crime.
Here’s a little close in community that’s gated. I know a guy who lives there and he says it takes him 20 minutes to get to the Galleria area during rush hour. The Galleria is at 610 and 59.
A little pricing advice. On new homes always ask for about a 5% discount. I know this builder will accept it or close to it. She wont’ need a realtor or a mortgage broker. The builder provides the mortgage. In Houston it’s pretty well accepted that to get a discount or some closing costs paid you have to use the builder’s mortgage company. It’s all on the up and up.
She works near the Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.
Yes, her work is in that area and she does not want to live there. She works near 59 & Fondren. The building is ok, but the area is not.
Thanks for that link.
FReepers are the best.
My husband worked in the oil “bidness” for many years, so we lived in the Houston area twice, and have moved many times. The best real estate agent we ever had is in Houston. Her name is Karrilyn Ringnald, and she also knows a great home inspector. She is in the Katy Remax office. The master planned community of Cinco Ranch is very nice for families.
You’re quite welcome. I hope she finds just what she wants.
Generally speaking, windstorm coverage is difficult/impossible in those areas south of I-10 and east of I-45.
I wasn’t sure which ZIP codes have to have it. I know I do and just wanted to give a warning about added expenses you have in one area versus another. Mine is now pushing $2,000 a year which is just another cost for my particular ZIP code which owners in other areas may not.
One of the positive things about moving out of the Houston area though was that my auto insurance cost was cut in half. So the same money just went from one hand to the other - which is the way it generally happens and the buyer’s net savings is ZERO.
I live further out and commute. No way that I’d live in Houston or even Harris County anymore. Property taxes are already high and about to go up even more, according to a former tax comptroller.
I watched the Houston mayoral debates the other night - a very depressing spectacle. They would give you the moon for your vote. I wouldn’t live where any of those jokers could tax me. They all were either Liberal, incompetent or both. If Houston does not go broke like Detroit, it won’t be for their lack of trying!
I am particularly happy to find out about the difference in auto insurance rates and property tax rates between Harris County and surrounding counties. Daughter mentioned that she thought property taxes were lower in Fort Bend (?) but I don't think she knew about auto. She still has her California plates because her job has been temporary.
Property taxes are pretty awful everywhere in TX, since there is no state income tax or sales tax on food. It is a good idea to live outside Harris Co., because dealing with the bureaucrats in Harris is horrible! Ft. Bend is nice. Very large Asian population in Sugarland. I know I am repeating myself, but Karrilyn is by far the best agent we have ever dealt with, and we have moved 9 times. The inspector she recommends (full guy but incredibly thorough) is worth his weight in gold. Be sure to tell your daughter to eat at Taste of Texas at least once. Pricey but worth it.
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