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Posts posted by KatieDidIt

  1. Every day this mess just gets uglier and uglier.

    It's sad a day for those that have done the right thing, made the payments, saved and scrimped and never asked for anything.. Pure and simple.

  2. Thanks for all of the replies.

    I am SICK to be moving from our existing house because my wife and I bought it old and unupdated five years ago and finally have it to about 95% of how we want it. It just doesn't make sense for us to stay here when we need more space and neither one of us needs to be near downtown like we did up until last summer.

    Our listing is here fwiw. (Pictures of how it was originally are here)

    The reasoning on Telfair is that the difference between the asking price and what things are really selling for these days seems to be 25% or more. My wife and our agent are worried that the low prices are going to attract downscale buyers and renters and that the quality of the neighborhood will suffer in the near term. I don't know if necessarily agree with that and I really like the idea of buying something brand new and up to date, especially with such a great location. It's not like it's 20 miles up Grand Parkway, after all. And as you can see, I've already done the remodeling and updating thing and I really don't want to go through it again, even if it's not a whole lot of money and minor-medium intensity stuff like countertops and flooring (as opposed to moving walls and plumbing).

    (My wife also said yesterday that she heard the elevation in Telfair was lower and the soil stability worse, but I kind of think she was either fibbing or heard someone else who was... The only reason it was undeveloped for so long is just that it was under lease to the prison until recently...)

    My personal objection to most of First Colony is that the housing stock is older and location isn't as good as Telfair. Yeah, all of the schools are great, but it's not like the alternative to Clements High School is Worthing or North Forest, either.

    And from what I understand, traffic is really bad in the mornings getting to and from the schools and to 59 via Hwy 6 or Sweetwater Blvd and that seems to defeat the purpose of moving closer to my wife's office if she is still dealing with traffic, even if it's just a different kind of traffic.

    It seems, though, that my question about whether First Colony is worth the money and hassle seems to be a resounding yes. No one who has responded has said that it's not.

    I understand your headache about the remodeling. When we moved out to a MPC, we had been remodeling our Tanglewood ranch for 10 years. It was 100% perfect when we put it on the market. When we thought we had to move for schools, we didn't want to mess with an old house, so we chose a brand spanking new, huge, uber custom, gorgeous house to move into. The area was new, building going on all around us. The streets were muddy and the sand came in the house constantly, the Taco Trucks ran up and down the streets honking 20 times a day, work trucks blocked the road daily, bulldozers and cement trucks running at 5am,the contract builders were lewd to the housewives, and the trash that rolled up and down the street along with the stink from the dumpsters........ Anywho, within 3 weeks we had known we made a mistake. We stuck it out for an additional 2 years and then we'd had enough. We sold the house at a loss....

    The dynamics of the neighborhood were so very different from where either of us had ever lived that we never felt comfortable there. We had no clue that the neighborhood and neighbors would end up that way because the area had NO history, no reputation. A price tag on a neighborhood means nothing in new MPCs, you don't always get the neighborhood you THINK you paid for.

    So you know what we did? We moved right back into an old house, in an old neighborhood with a great reputation for decades, and we have been remodeling for almost 2 years now. I love it. It's mine from head to toe. Yes, its a pain but it has a character,warmth and charm that that 22 ft vaulted ceiling, two story stone fireplace with the amazing kitchen house never did. Not to mention we have location/lot value again. I hated having all the value of the property to be in the house, because when the market tanks all you end up with is a pretty box on a postage stamp in the middle of nowhere. This new, old place is really our home, with respectable neighbors that respect privacy, yet are willing to lend a hand. And the neighborhood is a much better fit for us.

    Anyway, good luck to you. I've heard nothing but good things about First Colony. I remember looking at the Sweetbriar and Commonwealth areas when we first got married. It's a well know area that will hold it's value. There's a reason that First Colony is holding it's value and Telfair is selling at 25% off.

    Edit: You remodel is darling. I know it must be hard to leave it!

  3. I've been to the burbs and back. Lived in a new construction area, and in old, established neighborhoods. The wisedom I can give you is...

    Buy in an established, completed neighborhood. A known entity. One that has a reputation for being very good for years, with the schools included. The "demographics" are known and have been worked out, and there are big trees. The area is stable and clean of construction noise and garbage. No taco trucks! ;) You can take a walk through a neighborhood and see if you even like the neighbors, or if you all are at least on the same page. It's the same concept that applies in Houston. Don't fall for the new house, fall for the neighborhood.

    Your agent is right to be cautious about an area that is foreclosing and has too much inventory. This country is in deep trouble and buying a house outside of city limits can be risky if a neighborhood doesn't have a long-established, golden reputation. Not to mention that builders make the worst neighbors! She seems to be looking out for you.

    I'd say First Colony, and find a good contractor to load the house with upgrades.

  4. I didn't get the exact schools but these are west of Beltway 8 along Memorial (between Wilcrest & Kirkwood, north of the country club). My fiance's aunt thougth it was amussing that peopel are so bent out of shape and didn't explain much more. Maybe it's that they have traveled all over the place and have a broader perspective or JUST amused at people stressing over this considering the larger problems at hand. :blush:

    Hmmm, well I live that area, but I haven't heard anything around here. But most of the kids in our subdivision go to private, so I guess that would be why. We are also zoned to the undesired, or what people haved called to my face "hood school." I'm pretty sure they don't have a clue what a real "hood school" is. Getting bent out of shape over one middle school or the other in this part of town is a bit like chasing your tail. If you want a better education than these particular public schools can provide, you go private.

    Now if they were going to ship their kids over to Landrum, then I'd understand the angst.

  5. These are great points that I agree with (especially the one about people being afraid of having their kids mixing with lower income kids). I heard this past weekend about a similar argument in a west Houston subdivision (western part of Memorial HS) that is about to be rezoned at the middles school level yet they will still attend the same high school. Moreover, I would add that many of those people are just making excuses for their kids instead of pushing to compete harder at school.

    SBISD is doing some rezoning? Where did you hear this?

    Oh, that's going to piss some people off if it's true. The public schools around here are used like status symbols and class warfare. I'm glad we are private and stay out of that mess. It's stupid.

  6. This is excellent. You're absolutely right. It was open and light...and great point about the stairs. It was contemporary and felt like it was ahead of its time when you were in there.

    You and I are probably roughly the same age and grew up in the same area...with the same memories of this place. :) Playing Ikari Warriors at Tilt was all good.

    I used to walk my toddlers through T&C to Stride Rite in the late 90's,early 00's. Nicest, cleanest and quietest mall in the Houston area. It was light and happy and I always felt safe there..

    I wish that Neimans could have hung on. I think it would ahve done well in the new Centre thing that's going up.

    My husband claims the Beltway killed it. But it seems the City Centre marketers are counting on the Beltway to make it fly.

  7. I'm guessing that the act of introducing a trilliion dollars into the economy (irrespective of where it goes) will loosen up the credit jam.

    Ok, I haven't read the package...but is the movie producer film tax break a joke? I'm assuming it is.

    There's so much filler in this package, no wonder it's not passing. What a joke. Why don't they just try tax cuts across the board first and get on with it?

  8. Thanks for the information! My kids will be glad to know Toys 'R' Us isn't gone forever from our side of town.

    You forget about the Specs right on the Beltway Feeder at Kimberly. And there's one down at Dairy Ashford as well. Seems like they are popping up like gas stations

  9. Last night KPRC broadcast a story about the recent increase in crimes in the neighborhood, and mentioned a meeting of the neighbors. Does anyone know about this? If so, would you please post information to this forum? Thanks.

    It's not just The Heights. It's increasing everywhere. The economy is really causing people to cross the line, along with their poor morals.

    The Woodlands/Oak Ridge area is even have a rash of it. I see Pearland is too from posts on this board.

    Our constable pulled up next to me on my walk yesterday and said things are starting to "go on." Keep all first floor shutter/curtains closed at night. Anything valuable away from windows. Garage closed and locked. Driveway gate closed during the day and any vehicles should be locked and either in the garage or pulled right in front of it. Lights and alarm on at all times.

    I fear this is only the tip of the ice burge.

  10. It seems they're usually from San Antonio or Dallas, I forget which.

    We always laugh at those signs because, what if they aren't missing? What if they got tired of their mooching, lazy-ass kids that are just waiting for them to die to get their money. Maybe they decided to run away from home.

    Being parents to pre-teen and teens, the thought crosses our mind. And if they never leave home or are always asking for a hand out, I imagine you think it well into your 80s.

    But hey, at least you know you're not in Flordia. The signs would be reading "white Cadillac."

  11. Stratford, in SBISD, has been good for decades. It's more econimically mixed than Memorial, but most of the kids come from homes pulling in well over 100k a year.

    The farther west you go in the zoning the more affordable the homes, yet you are still looking at least $200,000 or an apartment.

    We went from Briargrove Elem in HISD (we didn't like Grady MS and that was coming up fast) to Conroe ISD, and were seriously disappointed in The Woodlands schools. We ended up back in town in SBISD, but chose private to "catch up and stimulatethe boys." We are considering Stratford for HS though..

    In otherwords, chose where YOU want to live, within reason, the rest will fall into place.

  12. There only two places to point the finger of blame in these situations: One is at the asshats who commit the crimes, and other is at the entities whcih fail to provide proper protection and security.

    So, one shouldn't take personal responsibility? Interesting. But that is the way America is going lately.

    No one deserves to be a victim of crime. Being cautious doesn't prevent you from being a victim of crime. But putting yourself in a situation that invites crime, and expecting it not to happen or expecting others to protect you, is absurd.

  13. Ok, I just got off the phone with the store Manager over there. I have gotten so I drop into that store, even though it's a monster, to pick up a few things before carpool. I always take these mailers with a grain of salt.

    Yes, there was a car break-in. The woman who wrote this email left her purse and her laptop on the front seat of her car and walked away. You don't do that anywhere in this town and expect NOT to be a victim of crime. sheesh. From reading that email several times, she glossed over that part of her story, taking NO accountability. Women get watched at grocery stores all the time. Pay two bucks and have a bagger go with you, no matter what store.

    Two, there was no abduction. Her crime was the only crime last week at that store.

    Anyway, just thought I would pass that along. The store has increased security and has fielded over 100 phone calls because of this letter, which could be considered somewhat slanderous in my opinion.

    Please pass this on to anyone who sends you this email. You don't punish a store for your own, hate to say it, stupidity. I'm sorry she was a victim of crime, but you don't leave temptation lying out in a big city. And now in a big city in a country that is failing and laying off people left and right.

  14. Houston has it's suburban neighborhoods.

    All those Master Planned Communities with Town Center, Market blah, Blah and Bellagio Blvd are Exurbs or Exburbs....whatever the term is.

    Just don't group where I live in with Sugarland and Kingwood or The Woodlands and think I'm ok with it. Snobbery? Yeah well sure. But that's the way it is when you pay for location. Your entitled not to be grouped in with the suburban sprawl. B)

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