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Posts posted by KatieDidIt

  1. Based on my new found 'expetise' in the sub $300k market, I agree with the above. Prices have leveled, and I've found many homes are selling for well below asking. Homes started moving around May, and from what I have heard and read come end/late August is that it'll go back to being flat with homes selling well below asking.

    (for example - we FINALLY have a contract, if you take into account the list price up until the end of May (there was a $10,000 price drop), we're $21,000 below asking)

    My personal speculation is that many people bought during the boom, and can't come to terms with selling during the bust.

    I think the "hot" areas are still same. Prices are flat, but not dropping. Areas that fringe the "hot" neighborhoods(maybe a street away) are slightly lower.

    Most people in the desired neighborhoods just aren't selling. Inventory is rather low, so that pushes the prices to remain at the same level. But I have seen neighborhoods whose values have actually gone up about 5%, but I think that's due to the school district.

    • Like 1
  2. Hello everyone,

    This post is probably going to be quiet different than others in this area, in the aspect that I was born and raised in Houston. My wife and I have been searching for a home for the past 6-8 months on HAR in Memorial High School zoning north of I-10. The problem is we are not finding anything that we can afford (below $300K), so I am hoping someone here could possiblely lend a hand. I have looked at the zoning line maps on SBISD, but sometimes these maps don't include all areas. My question for y'all is if you know any pockets in this area? Maybe a place where the zoning line is through a neighborhood or where one side of the street is Memorial and the other is a different school. If you know of anytthing or have any advice, please let me know. If you dont want to post it here, I understand, please email me or PM me.

    Thank you in advance,



    The problem is everyone wants to go to that school. It's even hard to find houses under 300k,that are liveable, that go to Stratford. You could find a townhouse for that price range. North of the freeway is cheaper, but not that cheap if it's zoned to MHS. I know it's frustrating, but there's no trick to how to get in. There are no "grey" streets, no transfers. Heck, most of the those streets north of I-10, that are zoned to MHS, weren't a few years back. There was a major uproar about it, and some are still not happy.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

    Ok, I just looked at HAR.COM. Does this not work for you? http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;Address=1522 Glourie

    It's small, but you can't be too picky in that price range if you want that school. Some builder will buy it and build a million dollar house soon enough

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  3. I believe much of the blame for the destruction of Memorial bend architecture is the Memorial Bend Architecture Committee. They should be the gatekeeper and protect the architecture. Instaed, they have given these builders a license to create whatever they want. Do not blame the builders.

    Our ACC is really getting rather strict in our little subdivision. This only happened after a massive remuddle took the board for a ride, with revamping,constant addtions, and inspection failures. The board of volunteers were just way too nice and the 1960's deed restrictions did not forsee people knocking down 5000 sf houses just to replace them with bigger ones. As a result, we have a 1960's Tudor changed into a Hill Country type house, with a roof that changes pitch and grade 5 or 6 times . It literally looks like a staircase in places. The two story, faux limestone Alamo garage, with no windows, is lovely too.

    The three new builds going on right now are rather nice. The ACC buckled down to not allow a garages on the front. The first new build snuck it in so that the door was swung to the side, but side of the garage was still part of the facade. After seeing that the neighborhood was not happy with even that, now it must be behind the residence. THANK GOD! The lots in here are very generous, there is no reason to have a "car house" on the front.

    I really perfer when people just gut the snot out of the old houses and leave the exteriors alone for the most part. The homes look like brand new construction on the inside, but they don't clash with the olders homes on the outside. Also, the new builds are just so massive in scale, they almost eat the lot they sit on, and not just the small lots either. Some neighborhoods have changed so much over the past 15 years that there are only one or two ranchs/colonials left on every street.

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  4. Randall's at Memorial and The Beltway. However, watch the dates on the bread there.

    I will go to the HEB on Bunker Hill on the way back from school drop off, but just to the Faux Central Market side. The other half is like Walmart.

    OT: that whole Bunker Hill complex is a nice, one stop shop place. Now with Academy there and Petsmart moving over to it, it's rather nice.

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  5. Lots of acreage with a small house, maybe 1500 sf (which is almost double what I have now). I would like several tiny outbuildings for painting, writing, with a fenced area for the dogs to play. I would have a large kennel area with lots of rescue dogs and plenty of secure room to run...my own dog park so to speak. I would have low income housing right next door and I would lease to women escaping domestic abuse of themselves or their children. I would have low income housing for men that have had hard times and are trying to overcome their difficulties. If money was no issue for my housing, I would live humbly while trying to help others to do the same.

    Small house big acreage, but in a temperate zone city would be wonderful. Maybe Atlanta. But I'd be more inclined to do dog rescue than people rescue. I'd love to build the house out of reclaimed wood and architectural pieces from old Southern Homes and a few European elements thrown in. I think that would be Bliss.

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  6. But that's only if your total deductions rise over the standard deduction, right?

    It's usually close for us because we don't pay much mortgage interest.

    For property taxes I think The City of Houston pays much less than other areas around here. But I sure wish they stop hiking it every year to get their revenue.

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  7. Does KatieDidIt = EasilyAmused in city-data?

    Not surprising with all the jabs she makes at Sugar Land over there.

    I wonder why people who do not live, and have never lived in Sugar Land even take the time to read the SL section on the forum in the first place. Let alone take stabs at it not knowing what they're talking about.

    For the record, all I was trying to do was inform Sugar Landers about the new development. Since there have been people asking. I wasn't promoting anything, and didn't expect the thread to get so hijacked.

    city-data? I don't read the "SL Forum" I read new posts. Edit:Do you not read posts outside of Sugarland or Sugar Land?

  8. Isn't replacing electric considered maintenance as opposed to improvement?

    You would think. <_<

    Apparently if your property pulls a permit a alarm bell goes off at HCAD central, and the useless Ifile Central computer puts a mark against your property deeming it "Improved" or "Extensively Remodeled."

    But thanks to CWR's suggestion I am creating a presentation for HCAD called: What is a Remodel and what is Routine Maintanence and Updating. From looking at all the pictures in the area an "Extensive Remodel" ranges from new counter tops and an new Electic Panel, to completely gutting and changing the facade of the house. I'm going to call it the DidIt Factor. One day all old house owners will thank me for it. :P:lol: the hubsters is going to make an appearence for once too. Since he busts balls/negotiates for a living, I figure that could come in handy for here

  9. Use the HAR Home Value Finder as evidence against their remodel claim. HAR has the listing photos for almost all homes sold in the last two years.

    Go on HAR to get pics of the kitchens, bathrooms, etc from all the recent sales that HAR also indicates are recent remodels, then take pics of your kitchen, bathroom etc and show them the HAR shots and your photos together.

    If you has a permit pulled for a new air conditioner or other work, that could be their basis for a remodel. For me, a permit to rewire the house was their basis for a "remodel".

    I scored big-time this year, knocking the value down by 20% (on a 1910 bungalow).

    I think they are sticking it to use for replacing the eletrical. You know, bringing the house up to code so it doesn't burn down. I don't consider it a remodel.

    Anywho... great idea about inside HAR pixs of other houses vs. the inside pix of ours on the 2007 HAR listing. Funny thing is, they hade those pictures up on the screen last year for the formal. 1960' paneling, cabinets, wetbar, 70's decking around the 60's pea-gravel pool,vanities and showers in all bathroom .The kitchen got granite counters on old cabinets and they reused the early 90's applainces, and suddenly it was an extensive remodel. They just WON'T be swayed this year, or last. It felt like they had specific instructions not to crater on high price point homes.

    I really hate to be snobby, but I really think they need specific people to handle upper end homes that were built pre-80's. It's such a specalized area that you just can't make broad generalizations like they do.

  10. Good for you. Unfortunatelly, my experience was the complete opposite.

    They popped our house up 10% over the 2007 purchase price. They wouldn't budge despite all evidence of recent sales in the neighborhood. Despite that we refinanced and the appraisal was 100,000 less than the HCAD Market Value. Somehow they have it down that they house had an extensive remodel in 2003 and refuse to give me proof on how they determined that. The house was in 80% original condition when we bought it.

    You can't get a mortgage for what they say it's worth. They don't care. "We used the same specs and sales data as the Mortgage appraiser but this is out number, we don't care what he says."

    Next week is the formal hearing and I guess I'm going to go just so I can beat my head on the wall. I know they will refuse to budge and refuse to give me the remodel evidence again. Last year it was the same thing.

    I did notice a lot of happy people coming out of the informal and also a number of VERY angry people. It was no coincidence that price point had a lot to do with the mood of the owners. HCAD has go to get it's revenue from somewhere, and no doubt sticking it to the higher price points is the most assured way to do it.

    They used to be pretty fair, but the past few years it's been a total joke.

  11. Yeah, I think those lanterns are ugly and they don't go with the house, but it's a small negative.

    I toured this house yesterday. I think it's a screaming deal for the location. But honestly, I just don't know if the flat roof is something we are willing the deal with. My husband is strictly against them. But the LIGHT in this house is amazing.

    Adding: The kitchen is updated, but I felt the urge to rip it all out. It's just not high quality enough for the house.

  12. Yes and good news since "My neighborhood is free of things. We have plenty of low income all around us in every direction, and the houses are worth well more than 300,000." it will be built in your neighborhood!!! There should be no opposition and should pass rather quickly. What's one more low income project right??

    And I think the "wine thirty" started here a few hours ago..."I have it my neighborhood. You should too!"

    I'm out on the streets and no you cannot change my perception. I would rather have a toilet seat cover any day rather than sitting on a well used toilet seat at a gas station!

    Because you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. We want out of the city and that mentality!

    Can't be built. There isn't a scratch of empty land around here to build on. Any land that becomes free from apartment teardowns, they call a brownstone, and charge a million dollars for. We've had low income in area for over 40 years. The horror. It's a shame about that one break in 20 years ago.

    Momma, do you white women up there still call each other "girlfriend?"

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  13. There is no absolute metric to determine affluence. It is subjective. Clearly the folks participating on this thread consider themselves affluent relative to those that they seek to segregate themselves from. And so they are, in that context.

    The bottom line is that anybody that owns a home is exposed to the adverse impact of these apartments on market demand. To be clear, I am not arguing that these folks have anything to be concerned about in terms of lifestyle; those concerns are bunk. But the market being what it is, these Tax Credit apartments are bad news (for them).

    They're still NIMBYs, it's still going to be a lost cause on their part, and they still annoy the crap out of me. ...but the folks who have dogpiled them on HAIF are also largely approaching this the wrong way, marginalizing the issue by completely ignoring the very different realities associated with suburban housing markets.

    Then you aren't looking closely enough. I can tell the difference between Tax Credit and market-rate Class A apartments just driving by, typically just by glancing at the materials used for siding and the proportions in which they were used. And if you've ever been inside them, the differences are very apparent. All the interior finishes are cheap and the common areas are very basic.

    Niche, I understand what you are saying. There is no way to sell the home to the market that swamps the area. Fellow flighters would never buy a house near such a complex. They would either search farther out or around. The burbs are an endless circle around this city, and it's not hard to find one without an apartment complex near it. However, how long will those open fields nextdoor remain undeveloped? The land in the great out there is far cheaper than near loop areas, the building codes more lax to my knowledge, therefore more enticing to developers.

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  14. It's just like a flu..THE SWINE FLU..panic and perception closes schools for weeks. Why?? Because the best predictor of future events is the past. People died in Mexico...causes pandemic scares in the USA. Low income homes tend to bring more crime/gangs/drugs/graffiti. Any of the areas mentioned that have these projects in their backyards cannot say that their community is free of these things. Why is it so bad to not want that in our area as well?? Is it the "misery loves company" theory. "I have it you can too!!"

    My neighborhood is free of things. We have plenty of low income all around us in every direction, and the houses are worth well more than 300,000. I'm pretty fasinated by this fear in some of these thread here lately.

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  15. Actually, I grew up fairly near there, in Cypresswood.

    The low-income apartments within walking distance of my 2200 sq ft 1-story house built in 1965 didn't stop it from selling for over $300K.

    The city is growing, it's expanding, the land out there is some of the cheaper land in the Houston area. Would you rather they used more of your tax dollars so they could buy more expensive land closer into the city?

    That area was farmland before you moved out there. you moved out there because someone started a process of suburbanizing the area, and more and more development was the inevitable outcome of that process that you helped along by buying a home out there, then wanting a closeby supermarket and drycleaner. You don't get to freeze time, to stop progress. Mostly you don't get to dictate what gets built on land you don't own. Accept it and go on with your life.

    Wow, that's lovely. I'm wondering, are you a churchgoing Christian? Just curious.

    They are in my backyard, and I accept the reality that I live in a large, sprawling, diverse city, so not everyone near me is going to be white and middle class like me.

    Reef, the only difference is when they tear those Tully things down one day, they are going to build million dollar patio homes. 25 to an acre. ;)

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  16. Unless you live in this area, you have no right to comment about where would be a "fine place" for "low income" housing. This is not a "vacant" area. There are several communities with a 1-mile radius of the proposed site. One in particular is diagonal and homes start in the $300,000. This would drastically change the property values for this area as well as the marketability of the surrounding neighborhoods. You cannot rely on GoogleEarth to show you all of the development. (They still have not updated GoogleEarth with all of the devastation of Hurricane Ike more than 8 months ago.) MY MAJOR PROBLEM WITH THIS DEVELOPMENT IS THAT WE ARE USING TAX DOLLARS TO MOVE LOW INCOME FAMILIES INTO OUR SUBURBS. We moved out of downtown to get away from "low income" housing and now they are proposing to use my tax dollars to move them right in; not to mention the impact this would have on our schools. Klein ISD is having to build elementary school just about every year to keep up with the development in this area. FM2920 and Spring Stuebner are parking lots at 5pm and we should be using our tax dollars to expand these roads rather than bringing in more people.

    And most of the developers do not care about the maintenance of the development. Look at the Greenspoint area for example. Cityview spent so much money fixing up that area and marketing it as a good place to live. Now they are renting to anyone with a pulse just to get the rent check. It's all about the $$.

    Is it the "low-income" part that you're unhappy about? YES!! I don't want people walking their shopping carts down 2920 to get to the low income housing project from their shopping trip to the local Wal-Mart or grocery store.

    If you think it's a "fine" project, move them in next to your neighborhood. Oh yeah--NIMBY!!

    Walmart attracts the poor just about as much as anything. You're first mistake was letting the Walmart build there.

  17. Katiedidit, strange you should say that because you're one of those always saying how apartments in the burbs are a necessity for the restaurant/grocery workers to live. When others complain about apartments you usually put in your two cents of why they shouldn't be complaining. So why make the comment here in the first place.

    I Do? I'll have to through all my posts one day. I know I made a comment that people should just learn to live next to them in a thread about Sugarland. My comment about this development was because the Sugarland posts find them so offensive I found it ironic that it would be promoted. 300,000 for a commute and apartments seems a bit steep to me for the Sugarlander, if looking at their reactions in other posts.

  18. Strange siteplan. What is with the road that wraps around the edge that goes nowhere?

    THE CLOISTERS is an extremely high end resort in Sea Island Georgia. I really don't understand Texs developers and their infatuation with taking names from high end and famous establishments around the country and slamming them on tract home developments on our Houston praries.

    But at least it's not a Harbor or Harbour or Bay or something lame like that. At they could and should use "sugar" in it somewhere.

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