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Posts posted by KatieDidIt

  1. Take whatever the posters on chron.com say with a giant gulp of salt. I am going to start calling them "mini-Limbaughs".

    I don't think Metro,Low Rent Apartments, or Katrina people are the reasons for decline. I think it was partially the shut down of Compaq's facility as well as shifting Demo's.

    I've noticed that once a suburban neighborhood (not an MPC) reaches about 20 years old, people leave it and move further out. Now people are leaving 1960 for Cypress and The Woodlands, and the same people who left Houston for 1960 are shocked.

  2. WTF? Here is my response from iSettle:

    So all of this waiting (4 months) for nothing? I thought had a pretty compelling iFile, but I guess not... Does this mean I get an informal meeting first after all?

    I got the same letter. That was fun. Anyway, I just finished with the informal and they put back down within the 10% raise. I'm still higher than many, but much lower than where they had me at. Not going onto the board.

    But that isettle thing is silly. I really don't know what that was all about and I won't use it again. It would have been easier to protest while the kids were in school, rather than dragging them with me in July.

  3. I can see this post is a bit old, but it is so difficult to find information on trail construction in Houston that I thought I would post. This is definitly happening. The connection is going under I-10 near Eldridge. I think they are just waiting for I-10 to finish, I bike on Terry Hersey all the time, before the resurfacing started, you could see where they had prepped the ground and put up a retaining wall under I-10, on the east side of the Northernmost bayou bridge. There is a Parking lot that used to connect to the I-10 feeder that you have to through to see where it will go under, so it was easy to miss.

    How many more miles of trail with this add? We are on it every weekend. Hopefully they will "tree" this section like they did east of Dairy Ashford. West of DA is blazing hot in the sun.

  4. Are you saying that in the 50's and 60's there were no poorly constructed homes, if you believe that, you are truly mistaken. Some of those poorly built homes are still around in other parts of town, and some have been taken down. don't be naive and think just because it is old it was built better.

    I bought my brand new home in the burbs this year. i am fully aware of what actions I take and what i can and can not afford, and where I do and do not want to live. You are neglecting the fact that we are all entitled to free will. I am very happy about my choice, and the several thousand who bought homes out here recently are for the most part happy as well. it is amazing to think this, but most homeowners are capable of making fairly reasonable and good decisions for themselves on where to live and all of the implications associated with it.

    Now H20, keeping on the financial impact of gas/power of this I have to take issue with your statements.

    We lived in a brand new Real custom home in an "exurb," and now live in a 1960's home here in the Energy Corridor area. Which one was built with better product? The Memorial one. I see it everytime we remodel. The wood is like concrete and hasn't warped or rotten or twisted. I would bet that 30 years from now, this house will still be here and standing....if someone doesn't whack it down for the lot. The new custom was very nice and well built, but I can almost promise it will be paper mache' 30 years from now.

    Which one is more "energy efficient?" I have no clue, but I do know our energy bills have gone down about 150, for same size houses, this June from last June in the other house. The new house had double pane windows and deluxe everything in those terms. But due to the ultra high ceilings, the units were constantly cooling. Now we did spray insulation and replace half the windows in the 60's home, but when the wind blows really hard you can hear it coming in through the eaves. Do I think that's bad? Not really, it's cooling off the attic. The biggest difference most likely? Our house is completely shaded by enourmous old trees,and so are all the houses around us. The Western sun is totally blocked and I think it probably allows the 3 A/C units to work a lot less.

    As for gas, we virtually spend nothing. Both filling up once a month. But since school got out for the summer, I haven't filled up since May 24.

    O/T rant-Oh and all the public schools are within a mile, kids walk to them all the time. The neighborhoods around here are loaded with children and it's very safe. We live on grid streets and it's fantastic compared to the isolated cul-de-sacs. It allows the kids better social interaction, creates privacy for adults, and it hasn't affected housing cost adversely here for 40 years. In fact the appreciation rate has been outrageous. I found all this to be true when we lived near the Galleria in Tanglewood/Briargrove as well. Apparently quality of family life can be found in the city.

    And I know I know, I live in a Houston-burb area when it's compared to Midtown, but it's very urban compared to exurbia, and it's close to work, so I'm doing my thing to help conservation. And when you live in an old house you're recycling right? ;)

  5. This post is rather off-topic to the cost of energy discussion, but amen, brother. There are lots of ignorant homebuyers out there who would rather snatch up granite countertops and can lights than have quality drywall and plumb walls. This doesn't mean that all houses in subdivisions are bad - there are just as many poorly constructed new townhomes in Cottage Grove as there are poorly constructed new homes in Shadow Creek Ranch - it just means that construction quality and durability is just another one of those many variables, in addition to energy costs, that one has to weigh when deciding where to live. Our house was built in 1964 and aside from simple wear and tear, it is in excellent condition roof and foundation wise and you simply cannot find the same quality of lumber (red fir) in stores today that we have inside our walls, which is one of the reasons we paid up to live where we did.

    I've had less problems with my house built in 1967 than with my "ultra delux" custom in The Woodlands. They just built them better or had better product to use.

  6. Of course. Since I've been jawing as much as anyone on this thread, I live in Shady Acres and work Downtown. Oh, and I drive a hybrid;-) If Houston ever got off it's tail and built the Nicholson Street Hike and Bike trail to Downtown I might even bike to work someday.

    Kirkwood and Memorial. Job is at Kirkwood and I-10. Hubby does bike or walk when the weather is nice.

    Sure, they are misrepresenting the developement and creating an imagery that the new home owner will be within a reasonable distance to those locations indicated on the map. The map does not even have a distance scale to show the true miles to each destination. If they like to show downtown Houston, try at least building something within the BW8 ring at least. That is just too far from CBD to be promoting Bridgeland like that.

    These people buy into it, thus support crap sprawling developments like this.

    I wish some development company would get more agressive in the Northern Spring Branch area building mid-range homes. So many possibilites over there and incredible location.

  7. That depends on the area and its business base. Clear Lake is a good example- there are a lot of jobs in that area, same with The Woodlands which was built from the ground up to be a self sustaining entity. Both areas are still heavily skewed toward housing but there is still a strong business base in both. However, to me, it's seems like the trend over the past decade for master planned communities is to build nothing but housing, which turns everyone in them into commuters. I'm not discounting the fact that there is work all over this area, but the traffic into Houston on every major freeway says that there is a whole lot of commuting into the CBD going on out there.

    What's the traffic like going into Cinco Ranch weekday mornings?

    In the almost 3 years we lived in the Woodlands, there was one family in our little subdivisionlette up there that actually worked up at Market Street...25 minutes away. Everyone else was Beltway 8 and on inward. I think maybe I met a small handful in all that time that actually worked there. Most of the husbands came crawling in around 7:00 each night.

  8. Comedian. . . I am a lot closer to the city center, where ever that exactly is, but I am sure it's not Spring, Cypress, Kingwood, Fairfield, Pearland, or even Bridgeland.

    As this city shifts west, I think those communities to the North and NE, becoming farther and farther from any Business District in Houston, will see the most decline. Therefore perhaps Bridgelands has a chance 30 years from now, but seriously...that is damn far out there.

    I think the main point of all of this is that there is an energy crisis NOW. Living in the way out and working in the way in, doesn't make as much financial sense anymore. We don't have 30 years for those places to become evolved into self-sustaining sub-cities, as Niche so logically pointed out.

    People are going to do what people are going to do. Everyone has their own personal straw that will break their back. Whether it's the cost of gas, the personal loss of time etc. Personally, I'm glad the move in is saving us some serious change. It's been a pleasant surprise and bonus.

  9. you went from one burb to another.

    I disagree to that.

    We went from a geographically isolated exurb dwelling with a commute to the Energy Corridor to a Houston-burb in the Energy Corridor.

    Wilchester would have been an exurb in the 70's, but as the city has grown west, it's just another urban burb like Briargrove or Tanglewood or West U. Yes its a burb, but it's a whole different animal from a master planned community. I think any single family neighborhood within Houston is technically a burb. And like most families in Houston, it's not like I'm going to live in a Loft in midtown with two boys and two border collies, that would involve another long commute for my spouse.

    It is Houston and it is close to work. And sticking to the orginal topic of this thread, living far away from an economic core (whatever your's may be) isn't making as much sense anymore.

  10. That is a great point and a key piece missing in Houston's experience in regards to the topic in the article. As long as Houston stays above the national average in all the economic indicators we'll be fine. People will continue to live where they live and will deal with high gas prices. However, I personally feel more comfortable from a purely economic standpoint that I live inside the loop. New housing continues seemingly unabated in Shady Acres and the people keep pouring in. If gas prices remain and/or if we see a slowdown I think it will continue as more people with the means will want to move closer.

    The Chron with HAR's help published a visual a few weeks ago that showed the percentage drop in home sales in the area. I'd be interested to see if they could also overlay that with the percentage drop in values. Again, from a purely investment standpoint and my opinion, I think if gas prices remain high we'll start to see a shift in average prices where the closer-in communities will remain neutral to ahead and the farther out you go from the city core will be neutral to lower.

    I'd like to hear the other side of this. If the other shoe fell off and Houston catches up (down?) with the rest of the Nation, do you feel comfortable that your home and more importantly the suburb you live in could make it through unscathed?

    Well, I certainly agree that all this is personal choice. And there are really those that have to live in exurbs because of housing costs and truley believe it has more benifits for them. Currently, I notice we have 1000 more a month in our pockets after moving back into Houston. For a family, that is a lot of money.

    However, as one of the few posters on here that has gone from city to exurb and back to city again, I have a different view. And I do believe that where we currently live would certainly fair an economic storm far better than our old exurb neighborhood, where houses currently sit for sale for well over 6 months.

    This house would probably loose some value in a downturn, but it would be more of an adjustment than a loss. The neighborhood wouldn't slide and the houses wouldn't get abandoned like exurbs all around the country. Also, we could easily sell it if needed. It's a location situation. Yes, where we are is a burbish area of Houston, however compaired to an exurb it's downright urban.

  11. Neo Kinky -- that is great.

    This is so nasty I don't even know where to start. And someone will buy it eventually and call it their home. It's sad to see the old neighborhood go. Townhomes or McMansions, take your pick. Ugh.

    Well it could be worse. The garage could be right in the front of the house. To me those are the worst offenders and I never understood it. Builders even did that in the Woodlands, when the lots were more than big enough to have them in the back, detached. And we are talking homes over a million that did that up there as well.

    When did people start to think that a metal garage door was a thing of beauty to put on the front of the house?

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