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Everything posted by aapchad

  1. aapchad


    An update to my posting a year ago when we had a home inspector review our Trendmaker home. We are now seeing some signs of problems with our upstairs flooring. We have two places in two different bathrooms where the tile has cracked in a straight line over three or more tiles. It seems the joist is pressing on the plywood decking creating a high spot in the floor that eventually cracked the tile. Given the weather, we're going to wait until the fall to fix this problem. Its not really noticeable cosmetically since the tile looks like multi-colored marble. We're more worried about being a
  2. I have been waiting and hoping for AT&T to come to Sugar Land zip code 77479 and offer U-verse and their other fiber optic technologies to compete against Comcast and Entouch. Living in Telfair most of us signed up for Entouch, but the cost is high. Its the "preferred provider" for the 'hood. We wouldn't consider Comcast after being former Time Warner customers and we don't want satellite (had it twice with different providers). I know that pockets of SL and in this area code have AT&T service. I've seen postings that Greatwood has AT&T and U-verse. When I called recently to in
  3. Would you rather move to an area where its easy to move into? I.e. there is so much inventory that its caused by factors that many found objectionable and therefore put their homes up for sale? The lack of homes in your price range is a sign that many people like to live here for a variety of reasons. The government is competent, things work, the area is clean, crime is low, there are lots of amenities and we're not in Houston! I'd suggest you look at some of the older First Colony homes and think about renovating them. My brother in law did this and his house is very nice and the price was
  4. Well my wife is liberal and I'm moderate. When we lived in the Heights for five years, we found the area to be much more liberal than the suburbs, but less liberal than Montrose or Midtown where we also lived.
  5. I have lived all over Houston. Different stages of life really drive what part of town is best for you. When I was young, it was the Galleria area, then later Midtown and then the Heights. Now I'm in Sugar Land in a MPC. I love it here. I have a lot of postings on Telfair, where I live, in the section of this forum that deals with Sugar Land.
  6. Most warranties have so many restrictions and exceptions that they rarely pay off. However, for those that get circumstances where they do pay out, its a blessing. I think most people have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot than having a claim paid off by one of these warranties.
  7. This is an acreage home based residential neighborhood. It is a bit remote, well off the major highway in the area. To enter the neighborhood, you must go over some railroad tracks. The railroad is very active, so unless you love trains, think about it. My wife and I flirted with this neighborhood for several months but couldn't pull the trigger and ended up in Telfair. The issue I have with these types of neighborhood is 1) no curbs on streets, 2) drainage swales/ditches alongside streets, 3) tends to attract folks with lots of stuff (cars, boats, motorcycles, etc), 4) very wide open so
  8. As most folks who buy a new home or even a used home in an established neighborhood, it is fairly rare to find backyards that are landscaped professionally either by the builder or by the owner. So many times when my wife and I were looking at homes, its was always a bit depressing to see nothing but grass and a nondescript fence. I've also had the experience of trying to get a landscaper (those with college degrees and certifications) to do work at my various residences. Unless I was willing to shell out $10k or more, most were not interested. In fact, most were downright rude. I wanted
  9. I still believe the old addage about real estate applies in most cases..."location, location, location." I choose Telfair to have a much shorter commute to major freeways and highways (90 and 59). Others may value different amenities. Both are highly diverse in terms of cultures, languages and ethnicities. That for some is a selling point, for others it might not be. It was for us. Telfair has a more natural feel to its lakes and common areas; RS has highly manicured lawns that go right up to the edge of the water that also has numerous fountains. Telfair is promising areas for develo
  10. The subdivision is named for one of the public park/squares in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is considered one of the best designed cities in the world because of its devotion to lots of public green space. There is no mistake why the developer chose the name.
  11. aapchad


    As I promised, we had our home inspected last week by a local Katy inspector. He spent about three hours here and then walked us through the results. Here is what he found: The faux stone facade doesn't seem to have a drainage plane where water can sheet off the house. We're discussing this with the builder now. Danger is that water could penetrate behind the stone (because no one fully mortars every crack and crevise). If this is a problem, then practically every house in Telfair and in other new neighborhoods will have the same issue. Found one area on a top gable where there was some
  12. aapchad


    Its part of the service TM offers to home buyers. One scan shortly before move in and another scan 8-11 months later. On the first scan, we got a picture of our house from the front using the infrared camera. According to the guy we had, if i was paying customer, its about $200. Takes about 30 minutes to an hour, then you get a certificate afterwards in the mail. They are trying, without much success, to get the insurance industry to consider such certificates when rating a house for homeowners insurance. Given that it can detect leaking pipes, poor insulation and some building faults, it
  13. I thought I read in the Fort Bend Thursday supplemental section in the Chronicle that the prisons in Fort Bend were being reviewed/assessed for their "best and highest" use, which is a code language for "we want them the hell out of the way." I suspect the big developer money is talking loudly and calling for many of the units to be moved west away from most of the new development. The item in the paper specifically mentioned that the Sugar Land Regional Airport wanted the land next to it that is presently occupied by the prison. When we bought in Telfair we weren't fully aware of the long
  14. aapchad


    No I had not seen or known about this lady protesting TM. It is not surprising that some people are disappointed with their homes. Having built three new homes in my life, each of a different style and size, I can attest to how emotionally involving it can become. Some people just get disappointed no matter how their house turns out. Often new homes are viewed as "new beginnings" but people drag their old problems and attitudes with their furniture into their new homes, so I've heard many times of people being unhappy that the neighborhood is different than they had hoped/dreamed, etc. For
  15. Yes, two oak trees, normally the live oak variety, are planted in each front yard. Sometimes this is a bit absurd, particularly on lots like my own where I am on the radius of a U shaped street. The lots on such radii tend to pie shaped, with small front yards and large back yards. So I have two live oaks, planted no more than 10 feet apart in the front yard. As for the HOA restrictions, there are many on the type of front yard plantings. In a nutshell, the place is supposed to be like Savannah, Georgia or a similar type Atlantic Ocean facing old South city. So anything southwestern, li
  16. aapchad


    My wife and I purchased a new Trendmaker home and have loved it. I had a townhouse from Perry Homes in Midtown in the late 90s and then did a custom home in the Heights until this Spring, when we moved to this Trendmaker home in Telfair. So I'm pretty good at spotting quality and good customer service. First of all, they think of everything. We got to know our builder and site manager very well and frequently spoke with him during construction. Going on 10 months and our list of "warranty repairs" is laughably small. They used engineered wood throughout, which I liked. The yard drains li
  17. Yes and no. On the "no" side, Telfair opened the new section on New Territory Blvd. According to David Weekley builders, who have their trailer on the lot next to us, once the new section opens, the builders are obligated to build out the previous section. So I think there has been activity just because of this reason. The big question I see is what will happen with Darling Homes' section which is near empty. This builder had a strategy of pushing expensive upgrades and not including much in their base home. Their designs were more "California" (the words of their agent to me) and while
  18. Just to update folks with a view from a current resident, all of the remaining lots in our section area are sold (60 foot lots, $275-475k), with the exception of one used by a builder for hits construction office. Everything else is sold. There are some flippers who thought stupidly that you could flip a house in a new neighborhood and so there are new homes for sale that have never been lived in. The original buyers were from California and NY, at least of the three that I tried to make a profit only to have to drop their prices back down to what they paid. There is one builder who does have
  19. 59 Diner is retrofitting a former restaurant that is nearby Gringo's and Gringeaux's on HW59. Its now beginning to look like the familiar diner on the outside. Having eaten in several of them around Houston, we sort of felt overall the food was average, but the breakfasts were better. We tried Avalon on HW59 in the Fountains area and were not impressed. Dirty tables, slow service, cold food. We went on a Sunday at 10am and that should be prime time for the kitchen. Our second visit wasn't much better but we had non-breakfast food. Seemed that the workers and management took patrons for gr
  20. We tried the breakfast at La Madeline in First Colony and it was pretty darn good. We left the Heights and we do miss the restaurants, especially the breakfast places.
  21. We recently bought in Telfair and found that the prices were actually more competitive than buying an older SL home, say 8-15 years old, and then having to rehab it. We looked all over SL and kept running into owners who wanted pricing that was too high given the condition of the homes. For example, we found several really nice homes in the Commonwealth area that were about 300k. However, the kitchens needed complete overhauls, the bathrooms were equally uninspiring, so we'd estimate 30k to renovate. For that price and minus the hassle, we bought a Trendmaker home on a 12000 sq foot lot, w
  22. On behalf of the entire readership of the forum, let me extend our heartfelt thanks for you leadership and thoughtful guidance. Without your insightful, yet poignant comments, this forum might actually exchange real information worth reading.
  23. I love it when people think they add something to the information flow by nitpicking the prose of others.
  24. I live a few streets over on 8th 1/2 and I noticed this week that the horrible apartments on 6th 1/2 have been vacated by the residents and now appear to be fully derelict. These apartments had mostly low income immigrants who had to tolerate some fairly horrible living conditions. When we drove by, homeless people and street people were beginning to filter into the complex, which is wide open. Most of the apartment doors are open, trash everywhere, things are being vandalized, etc. It seems as though the buildings will be torn down, but does anyone know for sure what is happening? This wa
  25. The other place my wife and I see fairly consistent police presence is the Heights exit off of I-10, particularly when you are heading east and dump off onto Studewood. Seems there is always a gaggle of cops there several times a month. I hate how the officers think its okay for them to step into traffic and expect everyone to 1) see them, 2) give them lots of room and 3) know exactly who they are pointing at. I've seen several times where there was confusion and the cops reacted as if someone was taking away their donuts. Suddenly all of them got aggressive and angry. > I know there
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