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About ldogg

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  1. And there was virtually no thought to the infrastructure when those areas developed since they were unincorporated. The burbs are a nightmare for traffic.
  2. I grew up in Inwood Forest so 290 has been one of my stomping grounds forever. If I recall correctly, there was a movie theater in the place where Office Depot is. And the Goodwill was once an Oshman's Sporting Goods. The Latino night club at NW Mall was also a movie theater. I think it was an AMC 4.
  3. wow.. this thread is awful... people claim there are better restaurants in the city and one example is given in Clear Lake and that becomes a rallying point?? jeez.... maybe the best is outside of the city, but the lure IN the city is the variety and number of excellent options... people claiming diversity issues and illegal aliens in schools etc... really people?? are you all that juvenile? so here is something to chew on in the suburb/not suburb debate... I submit that suburbs are a combination of design/planning, architectural similarities, and density... I live in Timbergrove (oh noes, snotty inner looper!!) which is quite clearly a former suburb of Houston.... note former... this was a mass planned subdivision with 14 sections built from the mid 50s-mid 60s... over time however the population density around the subdivision has increased and development surrounding it has changed... the 610 loop didn't exist when the neigborhood was built... but growth and density in the area swallowed it up and it is no longer a suburb... the same can be said for Meyerland, Westbury, Oak Forest, Garden Oaks, Inwood Forest, Memorial...etc...etc.... I grew up in Inwood Forest throughout the 80s and it was clearly a suburb... back then you had large gaps in development up 290 and out 249... I remember the construction of the Beltway... much like 610, the Beltway sectioned off the city and even more development occurred inside it... more density, more redevelopment... it doesn't take a genius to drive down the Beltway even today and note how much more dense the city seems inside of it than out... that to me says more about what is a suburb than any house construction style... density, infill, redevelopment are the keys to knowing whether you're in a suburb or not... allow me to take offense at the school issue that is constantly brought up... a quality education can be obtained whether in HISD or CFISD or SBISD etc..etc... it is up to the parents to stress education and work with their kids... a kid can go to Waltrip, Lamar, Bellaire, Jones, wherever and still get into Rice, UT, A&M, Yale, Duke etc...etc... clearly there may be more challenges faced in an urban setting, but it can be done.. and frankly if more parents who live in the loop would stay and keep their kids in public school then more funds would be available for those schools whereby improving the quality of the experience for all... don't be afraid of the minorities, keep your kids in the schools here and lets make them better!! one needs only to look at the work done in the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area to see how much that elementary school has improved...
  4. $11,500 - located in Houston, TX 2003 Wrangler SE - 4cyl - 5spd manual - 43,500+miles Light Khaki - Khaki top - cloth interior 1/2 doors with upper sliders A/C evaporator core and compressor replaced (1/07) Front brakes and clutch replaced (6/07) Additional Feautres include: 31 x 10.5" all terrains including spare on black rock crawlers (9k miles on them) Black Diamond rear bumper with trailer hitch receiver KC Hi-Lites off road lights mounted on windshield black diamond plated rocker guards rock guards on lights bug deflector Jeep rubber floor mats for front seats Jeep insta-trunk Viper alarm system with motion sensor Cargo basket for trailer hitch Cab cover Custom Stereo with the following: Kenwood cd/mp3 headunit - 6-disc cd changer in trunk 4 - Infinity 5 1/4" speakers 10" Rockford Fosgate z-series Sub installed in rear seat Rockford Fosgate mono amp under seat w/bass control in center console This stereo pumps loud and clean even on the freeway! Headunit is the only visible component making this system very stealth. I'm having to get rid of this rig due to a change in jobs leaving me with a longer commute and requiring me to have a quieter ride on the freeway. Otherwise this has been a great ride for me and it looks great on the road. Please drop me a line with any questions and I'll be glad to answer them as soon as possible. I'll also have the Jeep detailed for the buyer just prior to changing hands.
  5. I think in contrast to all these wine bars there needs to be a sports bar or neighborhood pub... something that draws regulars... a home away from home type place... not to be too cliche, but sort of like Cheers.... Cahills sort of does that, but doesn't have a high enough profile nor enough of a feel... I think a BW3 could work well as much as it pains me... anyone know what is going to happen to all the space in that center next to Candelari's on the Washington roundabout?
  6. Out of curiousity, was your home complete when you put the contract in on it?? If not then you've got to take some responsibility for not hiring a good inspector. I've built probably 30 homes in the past year and I can tell you that I've missed things on every single one of them. I take imense pride in trying to get the most from my subs and avoiding defects. The issue is that the the trades will walk a house sort of half-ass prior to hanging sheetrock to "punch" their work. Most don't do this very thoroughly, so as a builder you have to walk it behind them and mark up all the mistakes you find. Then have an inspector come in and walk it again and I assure you even more mistakes will be found. At one time I was averaging about 9 items per inspection on my pre-drywall/frame inspections and was one of the best in the company. That being said, those are still 9 defects that need to be fixed. The other thing to note is that homes are still man made and will be subject to items failing over time as well as settling etc... Some of these things are unavoidable, some are poor design by the architect and some are poor workmanship. I'm sure Tricon uses several different framers who have several crews as well as many different cornice guys and probably a couple of different roofers with a few crews each. That is why every house is really unique regardless of design and reegardless of which subcontractor was selected to do the job. You've got to inspect/review everything before covering the house. Sucks that this is happening to you and Tricon should have noticed it. We had a builder in a subdivision notice the cornice guy improperly installing the siding and the drainage plane. The guy had to rip off ALL the siding on the 2 houses he was doing at that time and do it properly. Someone has to notice and say something, but you can't trust that the superintendent who is building 10-20 houses at one has the time or attention to detail to catch it all. Thus, hire your own inspector! In time you'll be fine. There really isn't anything that can't be fixed, but you are definitely going to be going through more hardships and discomfort in the process. Good luck with it all!
  7. saw this show and tracked down the "real" deal with it... my wife is a realtor so we pulled up the MLS listings... a couple of notes: 1. the lady bought it for the price mentioned on the show 2. the lady sold it for the price mentioned on the show 3. they showed the lady put out a FSBO sign for her "open house"... the house was listed on the MLS by an agent... 4. they do not account for any closing costs either at purchase or sale 5. her "profit" at the end of the show was likely off by about $45k due to the realtor/closing cost issue 6. it took 1 week longer to sell than what was mentioned on the show all in all, by my estimates the lady probably profitted about $35-45k on the house... the show claims her profit to be like $85k or something... the dangerous issue with all of this is that many people try to "flip" and estimate profits of $30-40k and don't take into account all the closing costs and commissions... then figure you get taxed on it as well....
  8. You may not care to hear it, but problems with construction will ALWAYS happen. Nearly all are very minor and would result in cosmetic deficiencies. But you still need to have inspectors check and double check homes. Framers will nearly always miss a few items on a house be it joist hangers, rat runs, stiffbacks not being complete, a double joist needed etc..etc.. Plumbers usually get their things right, but often times the other trades will cause damage to their work. At any rate, I could go on and on, but unless you have built homes you cannot understand the challenges involved and the sheer scope of systems/items that need to be reviewed. That is why I urge every buyer to check into the company's policy regarding their own inspections and also hire your own. I don't really care what One Tough Granny says about building homes. To make the process where you have nearly no defects would cause the prices of homes to go through the roof to the point that average people couldn't afford them. Take a look at Tillman Fertitta's home on hcad. It is a grade X+ I believe which is the highest or right at the highest grade home you can construct. Even his home is likely to have some issues arrise. All homes come with warranties to take care of these things. I realize that doesn't solve every problem or even comfort many who do have major issues, but it isn't much different than the automobile industry. You just have to realize that occasionally things will happen.
  9. I'm not going to completely agree with Bob in this thread, but I am a builder as well and can tell you that every purchase of a home both new and used should be "buyer beware". When shopping for a home you have to look beyond the floor plans and finishes. Ask the builder what sort of inspections they do. For what it is worth, my company is building in a community along with Perry. They build homes in our community in about 65-70 days whereas we build in about 90 days. The only real difference is in what inspections we are subjected to. Our corporate office forces us to go through 2 inspections prior to pouring the slab including having an inspector present during the pour. We then have a windstorm inspection and roof decking inspection to ensure we meet all windstorm requirements even though my community is not in a windstorm area. After that we have a pre-drywall inspection to review the frame, cornice, systems (elec, plumb, hvac) and are not allowed to hang sheetrock until the inspection is passed. Furthermore, we have an Energy Star inspection to verify that all batt insulation and foam sealing of the house is up to gov't code which this year became a zero tolerance policy. After that we're subject to a final inspection (similar to that of a private inspector when buying a completed home) that must be completely passed and another Energy Star inspection on the house. By contrast, Perry does a pre-pour inspection, Energy Star, water inspection and then final. I can assure you our homes are much tighter, but unless you ask about inspections and the construction process when you are shopping you'd never know there might be a difference. No matter what, EVERY buyer should hire an inspector to check the home during the construction process. Now, in regards to your tile problems, that really sounds like you had an unfortunate experience. I'm sure that similar problems have occurred with Lovett that did not lead to your end result. It's always a case of 'he said, she said' and without all the evidence it wouldn't be fair to state agreement with one side or the other. I will say that customer service should be #1 within the context of what can be done according to the sales contract only. Any change must be agreed to and paid for and the implications of making that change need to be clarified to the buyer. It should also be made clear that many changes just are not possible depending on what stage the home is currently in and what selections may have already been ordered. Just because you want something as a buyer doesn't mean you're going to get it. You also need to understand that the entire building process is done by sub-contractors. Our job as builders is to make sure these guys get out and do their jobs on time and to a certain standard. A builder might use 2-10 different framing companies so a bow in a wall or other minor defects are more of a unluck of the draw. It isn't necessarily indicative of the builder, which is why I highly recommed having your own inspector. The more eyes that review a house the more likely you'll be to spot the defects before it is too late or will cause problems. While we're on the subject of complaining about builders/contractors, Village Plumbing is a rip. Just because they charge more than everyone else does not mean they are of higher quality. Plumbing is fairly simple work that most homeowners could do if they wanted, so paying a premium for perceived "quality" seems like a misuse of funds. But such is life and we all get to choose how we spend our $. That being said, the complaints of Frank Liu being "greedy" or whatever else are unecessary and reveal that emotions are guiding the comments rather than thought. We all work for a living to make $$$, and I'd venture to say that most of us wish we could make as much $$ as Mr. Liu. I do not blame anyone directly for wanting their business to be as profitable as they can make it. If they are truly building bad products and have rampant problems with quality and service, then they won't be in business long, however we all know that Lovett has been around a while and is successful. People happy with a product will rarely speak up, it is the ones who are unhappy who'll always make the most noise. That is MY 2 cents... a penny for your thoughts?
  10. Of course you can't apply any general rules. Every listing and transaction is unique. Builders will have done their math before breaking ground to know how much they plan on profiting. People like to try to squeeze that $$ amount by thinking they know how much it costs to build/remodel, but what everyone fails to take into account is the work involved, the rent and salaries for the business, and ultimately the fact that the builder needs to make $$ to feed and house his own family. The key to any transaction is to just offer whatever you think is a fair price. Do you really care if you offend the seller with an offer too low? Take a look at the market and what other properties are available and try to come to a number you think is fair. You may or may not get there depending upon the situation the seller is in, but at least you tried. Also, the comments from some of the realtors about just negotiating on concessions or upgrades can be both viewed as lazy or informed. I know that several builders in the Rice Military area do not discount at all, and some very little. Upgrades are always super easy to negotiate and should never be taken for full value. Assume that if a builder is offering $25k in upgrades that he should also consider taking a sale at $10-15k less than asking price without those upgrades. I'm building a home right now with $35k in upgrades to the buyer that actually costs us $10k to complete. Keeping that in mind will always help.
  11. the Gross property is still for sale... not sure what the deal is, but either he thinks he can make some quicker $$$ selling it, or all of a sudden he is worried about the profitability of the project given the apartments going up on 18th. for what it is worth I hear that a freaking Applebees is going in at 290/610 next to the Alliance project.... ugghh...
  12. TAK... any more flooding over there this week? and to the poster looking for gay friendly areas... my understanding is that Westbury is becoming a hot spot for gay couples... it is affordable and near the loop... most houses are 60s ranch style about 1500-2100 sq ft in size and priced from $130-175k.... it would seem to be a good place to get in for future appreciation... as for those apartments on Antoine/DeSoto... one of my best friends grew up there... I remember playing in the parking lots back when it was a relatively new complex... nice place... now it is murder central... incredible!
  13. look in the yellow pages for salvage brick places.. i think there is one place that sells them... otherwise, there is a brick company located just off of Hwy 249 that has tons of brick options... i was able to match my 1960 Mexican clay brick with one they sell there when i did my addition... you'd never know which bricks are brand new and which are 46 yrs old unless you were a mason...
  14. true... but if you're worried about the energy loss you can get that metallic tape and cover the holes if you want... I had my electrician do that at my house...
  15. ldogg

    414 Mignon

    roym... good question on the deed restrictions... perhaps I can shed some light... I live in Timbergrove Manor and am actually the chairperson of our Architectural Review Committee. The deed restrictions we have are very weak in regards to limiting construction. We have a nebulous term stating that a house must be "in harmony and conformity with the existing structures", but that is incredibly difficult to both define and enforce considering how much architecture has changed since the 50s. That being said, most of our lots here are 7,400-10,000 sq ft. In section 5 TS Allison claimed several houses so new construction is starting to occur. Thus, McMansions are built. Front setbacks are normally 25 ft and rear here are also 25 ft... for an average lot of 65x125 (8,125 sqft) that allows a buildable area front to back of 75 feet and side to side of 55 feet. Buildable ground floor square footage would be 4125 sq ft. It doesn't take much imagination to see how easy it would be to drop a 2-story 4,500+ sq ft house in this space and still have a reasonable amount of yard left over. As for changing DRs, we're trying to do that here. It is a difficult process by which you have to get the majority of the neighborhood to agree on them. There are always people with different agendas and different view points. Once you think you have a document that is acceptable to the community you then have to go out and get approval signatures from at least 50+% of the homeowners. Compounding this is that you also have to get a notary to be there to confirm the signatures. Once that is done then you can file them with the County at which point I have no clue how long it takes to have them officially in place. It is tough to do, so it takes a really motivated base of homeowners to put forth the effort. We are nearly one year in to our project here and are almost ready to get signatures. A previous effort in this neighborhood lasted 3 years and failed to accomplish anything.
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