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kzseattle

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Everything posted by kzseattle

  1. kzseattle

    Westchase

    There is only one apartment complex along Rogerdale south of Westheimer. And that is actually quite nice so I am not sure why you specifically single that one out. The ones around Hayes and some along Kirkwood do look shady. However, I am not sure why would people be skipping Westchase to go all the west to Highway 6. Westchase has a lot more ameneties and has the advantage of location, being closer to Uptown etc, and more accessible due to Beltway 8. I think Westchase is more of a mixed bag. On one hand, you got all those businesses, brand new apartment complexes and proximity to nice neighborhoods like Briargrove, Royal Oaks etc who would want to keep the area safe and clean. On the other hand, you got some questionable apartment complexes. However, isn't this the case anywhere in Houston?
  2. I understand your frustration on this issue. It is annoying enough to see an ugly big-box structure behind a huge parking lot. As if that was not enough, they decided to build such thing right in the middle of a forest by clear-cutting trees. I have been to that area where this is going up. It is strictly a residential neighborhood, miles away from a freeway, surrounded by trees and farm lands. The last thing one would expect there is a Walmart. One is inclined to wonder what were the builders thinking. It almost feels like a mockery. Since the experience of living in Walmart's backyard is not what Woodlands advertised to home-buyers when they bought their homes, this is nothing short of deception.
  3. With regards to 30 days notice, oh well, I can only wish I had 30 days. This landlord requires 60 days notice and whether or not I break the lease, I am bound to pay rent for the next 60 days after I give the notice that I would be vacating the unit. I have already given them the notice. There is a clause in the lease that says that I would lose my deposit if there is any damage to the unit or if I violate other covenants of the lease such as stop paying rent or break the lease. In this case, whats happening is that another person is leasing the unit for the period left on my lease. The landlord is requiring the new tenant to fill out a new application with additional application fee, administrative fee AND secuirty deposit. That person would then be responsible for living in the unit for the remaining period of the lease. At the same time, the landlord is telling me that since the new tenant is essentially signing a separate lease agreement, I am still responsible for breaking the terms of my own lease and therefore would not be entitled to the deposit. MOREOVER, the landlord is also not willing to clean up the unit for the new tenant insisting that the new tenant would have to take the unit as it is. This kind of unfairness is what irritates me and therefore my main concern is not whether my employer would cover the cost but that tenants in this state must have additional rights to protect themselve from such greed. Regardless of who pays up in the end (me, my employer or the new tenant), the money from this robbery is still going to landlord's pocket. When all is said is done, these thugs wouldnt lose a penny. Instead, they would make more money by robbing me off of my security deposit and collecting application fee and so-called administrative fee from the new tenant while still collecting rent for the full period of my lease term (except that the rent would now come out of a new tenant). In summary, the landlord has obviously not suffered financially.
  4. I hope they do. I just wanted to vent, which is what I did.
  5. It is not a matter of whether my company would compensate for the cost. It is a matter of pure greed and unprofessional conduct that I would like to address. We are not dealing with humans here. They are zombies; emotionless, cold-hearted, bloodthirsty vultures! A friend of mine who recently moved to Houston came in today to take over my lease. As he filled out the application, one of the leaches in the office glanced at the application and went "Uh Oh, you don
  6. As some of you know, I am relocating out of Houston as required by my employer and therefore I have to terminate my apartment lease prematurely. Apparently, this is a golden opportunity for the landlord to make some money out of me. I pleaded with them to make some concessions given the special circumstances but to no use. For terminating only a 6 months lease, they want me to pay a fortune, which would cost me the same if I had stayed in the apartment for the remaining period of the lease. Obviously, they would rent out the apartment as soon as I would move out and end up earning twice the amount of rent for that unit. Fortunately, I found someone to take over the lease from me, which would allow me to avoid the penalties. Now, they want me to forfeit the entire deposit regardless of whether there is any damage in the unit even if someone else takes over the lease. Naturally, I am furious. I wish I didn
  7. Do you regularly backup the database so that if essential part is indeed affected then it can be restored? Also, how many database servers do you have? If you could afford multiple, at least 2, then you could cluster them with fail over support so that if one is down at least the other one is up.
  8. I truly appreciate responses and well wishing from all of you guys! I would surely stick around on this forum since things seem to be happening in Houston at such a fast paced that it would be exciting to continue learning about the new developments. tierwestah: yes, you are right. I used to be active on fodors before I found this site as that was my main source of information about Houston. Thank for posting that link! I surely giggled at some of the questions I asked at that time; they now appear so naive! danax: strangely enough, I actually lost weight after moving to Houston! I hope I dont gain it back after returning to Seattle! And, yes, you are right about the ACs. In many places around Houston, it is so cold I actually feel relieved when I am outside again. ltawas: its a tad bit risky to quit my current job to be able to stay in Houston. kjb434: regarding spreading the good word, that friend of mine who recently visited from Dallas has officially decided to relocate to Houston. So we just got one more convert jtmbin: yes, no doubt, Seattle is beautiful. I was in Seattle recently as well and weather was nice and so it's really pretty out there. My primary gripe about that town is high cost of living. About non-rednecks, a friend of mine in Houston shocked me today when he told me he got stuck in a KKK parade going on in the town of Enumclaw on his way to Mt. Rainier. I hope thats an exception! 2112: my primary advice - dont forget the umbrella! just kidding I would be happy to give you advice if you could PM me or email with any specific questions you may have. And sure, we could meet for a cup of joe!
  9. It seems that pretty much any area in Houston is on the border of dangerous areas. We have got Alief/Sharpstown in the southwest, Acres Homes in the northwest, Greenspoint/Northline in the north, Fifth Ward in the northeast, OST/Sunnyside etc in the southeast and so on. I am not sure though if this phenomenon is unique to Houston. I was in Florida recently and drove quite a bit between Forth Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The entire stretch of the region along the coast is really wealthy. However, I also noticed many rundown and poor neighborhoods just to the west, across Highway 1, not more than a couple of miles from all the glitz and ritz of Gold Coast.
  10. Walmart in trouble? http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050512/earns_retailers.html?.v=4
  11. Oh I have been spreading the word. As I mentioned it in another post, I convinced a couple of friends in Dallas to visit me here and they too came with a few misconceptions. However, after having seen the town and experienced its nightlife, one of them is seriously contemplating moving down here because he thought there was more to do here
  12. You know, because of the timing of my move, many people tell me the same thing I actually wanted to experience the "notorious" summer here to see really how bad it is. I can tell you this though. I recently went to Florida and I actually felt relieved when I returned to Houston. It was really hot and humid down there compared to Houston yet, somehow, Houston's heat seem to get a lot more attention. I am sure it is going to get worst in summer but then I guess it is going to get worst in Florida and other southern states as well.
  13. Well, the deal just got sweeter for them. They also want to me to pay back the monthly discount I got when I signed the lease. So, adding everything up, I would end up paying rent for 4 months for the remaining 4 months left on the lease. I am sure that they wouldnt keep the unit empty for those 4 months and it would be re-rented. They are really not explicitly charging me for the rest of the lease. Instead, they would charge penalty equal to two months rent, plus rent for the next month since they require 60 days notice, plus the deposit and finally the monthly discount I was getting for of those months and past months. I dont think they can re-rent it next month but after that they would be free to do so. I understand that these penalties are designed to prevent people from hopping around from one complex to another, such as moving across the street. However, I wish there were some provisions for those who had no choice. Apparently, it is easier to get your earnest money back and get out of the contract of buying a house than it is to get out of apartment lease.
  14. I moved to Houston from Seattle about 7 months ago and, like many new comers, arrived with many misconceptions and negative notions about this town. Fortunately, I soon found this forum and with its help, as well as after exploring the city myself, I was quickly able to see beyond it flaws and appreciate it many gems. As the forum kept me informed about Houston
  15. I have been paying close attention to strip centers in other cities and such centers are indeed quite common. However, unlike Houston, their parking lots are much smaller and there is a row of trees/vegetation between every couple of rows of parking space. That helps a lot in making such shopping center seems more human-scale and inviting. Unfortunately, in Houston, most strip centers face gigantic, tree-less parking lots. This center also seems to have allocated a lot of space for parking.
  16. Yeah, you are right. When all is said and done, I would end up paying rent for 3 out of remaining 4 months left on the lease even though I wouldnt even be living in the unit. By then or even before that, the management would find a new tenant so for them the deal is as sweet as it can get.
  17. Its like saying that since there was a fatality because someone ran a red light, we shouldnt have roads. Instead of Houston's rail line being the laughingstock of the nation, the nation should be laughing at Houston's drivers. There is rail line at street level in Portland, Denver, Europe's old and congested cities, even Calcutta where an ancient tram system somehow makes it way through its busy streets. So if the drivers in one of the largest cities of such a technologically advanced nation as the US cannot coexist with one of the world's newest street rail system or interpret the meaning of red light, then that
  18. I checked with my landlord whether it would be acceptable if someone else took over my lease and the management informed me that was acceptable. My name would be taken off the lease and that of the new tenant would be added. The management here is just too stiff. They do have a buy out option although it is still going to cost a lot.
  19. I live in a 2-bedrooms apartment in Westchase district in a relatively new apartment complex. I will be vacating the unit after the end of this month due to relocation but the lease wouldnt expire until about 4 months later (after September). If someone is looking for an apartment for a short term in Westhcase area and is willing to take over the lease, please let me know. The benefit is that you wouldnt have to sign a longer term lease. Also, since I signed a long-term lease, I am getting a big discount which can be passed over to the new tenant. We can also discuss additional monetary benefit since, as far as I am concerned, I am going to lose some money anyway if I break the lease.
  20. Exactly! A Walmart is a Walmart and it is known for attracting "riff raff" elements and raising the crime rate. Not to mention that it is a dump. When I first saw the sign of Walmart on Woodlands Parkway, I was shocked as I never expected Woodlands to allow that place to be built inside Woodlands, let alone on a heavily wooded piece of land. I pretended I didnt actually see that sign. Regardless of how Walmart blends itself into Woodlands, its reputation is going to bring down the reputation of the Woodlands. I wonder why the residents of the area didnt protest the plan, considering that many of the homes near that site are expensive and risk losing their property values. I have noticed that Walmarts have been popping near several upscale subdivisions such as the one across Royal Oaks, the one in Sugarland (which is going to be right across new Telfair subdivision), those in Champions and Cy-fair areas and now this one in Woodlands. In fact, I recently read an announcement from Walmart that Houston area is under-served and so they were rushing to meet their "obligations".
  21. My friends were visiting me from Dallas. At the start of the tour, it was clear they werent expecting much from Houston and thought of it as an inferior town. I believe their opinion took a 180 degree turn by the end of the tour. I have driven through 6th street in Austin as well and found its night life to be pretty similar to what I found on the Main street and so I wonder why 6th street has so much more fame.
  22. I am sure Woodlands isnt perfect and has flaws of it own. However, my primary objection was to the idea that those flaws would be fixed if Woodlands were annexed. And thats clearly because COH record is far from impeccable. The trash left by construction workers, while unfortunate, can be found almost anywhere so it would be unfair to mark it as specific to Woodlands. About security, yes indeed, it would always be nice if we had a little extra security. However, it is still my opinion that Woodlands is much safer than Houston at least at this time. In summary, Woodlands' management should be addressing the common complaints in the area such as timing of the construction etc. However, I am just not sure if annexation of Woodlands is a solution for those complaints. On the contrary, that could make things worst.
  23. I was talking about people from out of town. Almost everyone I know has heard of Austin 6th street, for example, but believe that Houston's night life is dead. I for myself had never been to Main street at night until this weekend but I knew that it is quite active on the weekend although I found it to be even more active than I expected. And you are right, I am still relatively new in Houston.
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