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Sugarland vs Pearland


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We are getting ready to enter market for a home and trying to decide between Pearland (Hwy288/FM518) and Sugarland (Hwy59/Hwy6). I tried to come-up with pros and cons of both.

Ofcource, I would have missed something or got something incorrect. As you may infer, I am little biased toward sugarland but I would be more than happy to change that if needed.

Add your comments please.

Pearland

Pros

* Near to Downtown/Medical Center/Galleria (Easy access to these palces on non -peak hours)

* Just started booming

Cons

* 288 getting worse day by day (May take 40 minutes to downtown on peak hours)

* 288/518 area getting over crowded

* Brazoria county, meaning hefty home insurance premium (windstorm)

* Flooding in 288 when it rains heavily

* Alvin/Pearland school District (some MasterPlannedCommunities Zoned to Alvin)

* Average price of homes near 288/518 is $85 sq.ft.

* Landfill expansion issue (the news itself, irrespective of whether it expands or not)

sugarLand:

Pros :

* Established area for family living

* fortbend ISD and good established schools

* No (Few) flooding issues

* No high insurance costs (flood/windstorm)

* 59 upgrade/constructon completed till Hwy6 - Traffic not as bad as 288 or 290 or I10

* ALT 90 becoming another freeway by end of 2008 (?) and would provide alternate route to Medical Center / Downtown/ Galelria (if needed)

* Average price of homes near 59/6 is $90 sq.ft

Cons :

* Alarming crime rate (though it varies by n'hoods)

* Far from Downtown/Galleria/Medical center (Delayed access to these palces even at non-peak hours)

Edited by Houston456
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Well I can eliminate one of your Sugar Land cons. Sugar Land actually has a very low crime rate. You can't believe everything you hear on tv. There are several threads on this site about Sugar Land's crime stats, look them up and you'll see. It's no surprise why Sugar Land was named the 3rd best place to live by CNN/Money just last year.

As you can tell I prefer Sugar Land. I haven't been to Pearland much but it seems more like Katy (meaning unmanaged sprawl) to me. Sugar Land is more like its own town with organized growth, little traffic, and already very mature. Furthermore, the traffic situation is only getting better with 59, whereas 288 is getting worse.

Feel free to ask more specific questions. I can answer them for you.

EDIT:

Here's some of that info I was telling you about:

See the attached 2006 crime report for Sugar Land. Crime is actually declining while remaining over half the Texas average. Violent crime is declining as well and a mere 1/4 of the Texas average.

2006 Sugar Land Crime Report

Edited by ProHouston
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Well I can eliminate one of your Sugar Land cons. Sugar Land actually has a very low crime rate. You can't believe everything you hear on tv. There are several threads on this site about Sugar Land's crime stats, look them up and you'll see. It's no surprise why Sugar Land was named the 3rd best place to live by CNN/Money just last year.

As you can tell I prefer Sugar Land. I haven't been to Pearland much but it seems more like Katy (meaning unmanaged sprawl) to me. Sugar Land is more like its own town with organized growth, little traffic, and already very mature. Furthermore, the traffic situation is only getting better with 59, whereas 288 is getting worse.

Feel free to ask more specific questions. I can answer them for you.

EDIT:

Here's some of that info I was telling you about:

Thanks.

I tend to agree. Media quotes everything outside the loop on Hwy 59 as "South West" which may make sugarland look prone to crime.

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i've worked in pearland on and off for the last several years. it is unplanned, unkept and low-lying. pearland is definitely a bedroom community. sugarland, on the other hand, has strict regulations on development, takes great care in providing attractive flood control measures (in some places), has an existing town center and much more going for it.

if the economy goes south, pearland will suffer more than sugarland. if the economy stays strong, appreciation will be better in sugarland, IMO. i'm not a realtor or an economist. out of your two options, i perceive sugarland to be the better place to live and the better investment.

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I've lived in Pearland for the last seventeen years but we're actually considering a move to Sugar Land because of my wife's job and so our daughter can go to high school there. We have been very happy with Pearland and hate to leave, so I'll be following this thread with interest.

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A con you can add to Sugarland area is the proximity to the prison (at least the NW part of Sugarland). It's really something to think about when you see a big billboard advertising the upcoming Aliana MPC and then a few hundred yards from it you see the roadsign warning you not to pick up hitchhikers.

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A con you can add to Sugarland area is the proximity to the prison (at least the NW part of Sugarland). It's really something to think about when you see a big billboard advertising the upcoming Aliana MPC and then a few hundred yards from it you see the roadsign warning you not to pick up hitchhikers.

Let's face it, it won't be long before TDCJ is forced to create a natural barrier around it to cover up the jail so that Sugar Land can be Sugar Land, not a haven for slum lords.

I will add some other pros:

  • Sugar Land, as mentioned, is proven for family living...the average age is relatively young.
  • Fort Bend ISD is a great district...Austin, Clements, Dulles, Elkins and Kempner are all among the best high schools in the area, Clements especially...and among the best places for Fine Arts programs in high school if you have kids who are interested in the arts.
  • You don't have to face the threat of evacuation in a hurricane, because FBC is inland enough to shield most elements of a hurricane.
  • Excellent civic leadership, only rarely has corruption other than Abramoffgate (which affected Tom DeLay) taken place with such notoriety.
  • The crime rate is great, the media is biased against Sugar Land because Houston is for the most part jealous of what SL does.
  • Trees are mature, providing excellent shade. The neighborhoods are very impressive and filled with walkers and joggers in the morning.
  • Booming economic opportunity in and around town, and well established as well. Great small business climate as well.

You'll thank me in the long run if you find this helpful.

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Most of the cons that are listed are the purely the result of time.

Mature trees, town centers, "establishment", rising $/sq. ft. , and lower crimes rates are ALL the product of time. Lets keep in mind, Sugarland had a headstart of about 10 years. As for flood control, I have never seen newly developed areas of Pearland flood. The master-planned builders have done a spectacular job with flood control, so much so that most new communities are no longer designated as flood zones. So feel free to add "No flood issues" to the Pearland pros.

While developing (as Pearland is right now), Sugarland had a definite crime problem. This was an observation made by a Sugarland police administrator. But as the city grew, the law-enforcement infrastructure grew to contain and suppress criminal activity. The same will probably be true for Pearland.

This entire comparison is very premature, given Sugarland's obvious 10-year advantage over Pearland.

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How is the comparison premature? Houston456 is looking to move soon.

Your statement of "Sugar Land is older therefore it is better" is definitely a pro. It's already an award winning community with proven infrastructure. Hopefully Pearland will follow suit, but who knows? Once again, I'm from the area and see the benefits that Sugar Land provides.

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Pearland has its own school district. It was one of the top school districts in the area, not sure if that is the case anymore. Where in Pearland is it zoned to Alvin?

Some masterplanned communities (at least one - ShadowCreekRanch, at least some parts of SCR (to be specific) is zoned to Alvin ISD

also, I am trying to chose between 59/6 (of Sugarland) and 288/FM519 (of Pearland). I think it should have been titled WEST Pearland vs WEST Sugarland ;)

Edited by Houston456
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There's a simple answer to most of the problems raised with the Silverlake area of Pearland. Go east, young man! :) The older parts of Pearland (near, or east of Hwy 35/Main Street) have mature trees, are closer to the police station (or are in Pearland proper; some of the unincorporated areas to the west are only served by the Sheriff's Department) and have a definite small town feel that is very attractive. There are major drainage projects nearing completion, and Mykawa to 610 is a reasonable alternative to 288 at heavy traffic times.

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I concur with the previous poster that its hard to compare all of Pearland to Sugarland based on only Pearlands west side. I will concede that if you are looking for a planned community then you might have to rule out east Pearland though. There is very little in the way of planned communities east of highway 35. I have lived off of Dixie Farm Road between 518 and 35 for 14 years and we love it. A lot of the small town feel has gone away but still we have not faced the unheralded growth that west Pearland has encountered. The good news for us is we can enjoy the dinning and shopping out west but we always get to come home to a less busy area. Highland Ranch of Meadows or whatever its called is the closest thing we have to a planned community over on our side of town. Its off beltway 8 at Pearland Parkway. The other advantage is transportation. We are close to IH 45 and have Mykawa, Telephone Road, and Highway 3 as alternatives to downtown. We are also close enough to the beltway to make going east or west relatively easy as well. As far as schools go Pearland is in a state of rapid change and opend a new high school this year called Dawson, and plan another high school in two years. Dawson meets this year and next at the old ninth grade center on Bailey Road but are scheduled to move to their new campus on Cullen when this years Sophmores are Seniors. At that time the old ninth grade campus will knock down the walls between it and the building that is Junior High South currently and that will become the third high school. Zoning is not worked out yet other than Dawson is mostly Silverlake and the surrounding areas and the current Pearland High is the rest. West of 288 everything is Alvin schools but the good news is that they have an elementary in SCR and are almost through with a Middle School there as well. Those kids from SCR attend the new Manvel High School which is on highway 6 not far from 288 to the east.

Edited by brerrabbit
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Highland Ranch of Meadows or whatever its called is the closest thing we have to a planned community over on our side of town. Its off beltway 8 at Pearland Parkway.

Lakes of Highland Glen. My wife's nephew lives there. Yes, there's nothing else like that in the area, but there are lots of pretty nice new subdivisions in the 518/35 area. I live off McLean Road (for now, like I said we might move to Sugar Land for wife-work reasons)

Pearland doesn't have string orchestra in its schools, unlike most of the other large districts in the area. Admittedly, that matters to few people as much as it matters to us, but we've talked to several new residents who were expecting it or had moved from places that had it and were disappointed. With the already mentioned school growth, there's not much chance it will happen anytime soon.

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Thanks.

I tend to agree. Media quotes everything outside the loop on Hwy 59 as "South West" which may make sugarland look prone to crime.

Everything southwest of Downtown is referred to as Southwest Houston. I've seen them signing off as "live in Southwest Houston" when they were clearly in Montrose.

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  • 3 weeks later...

West Pearland and East Pearland are two different places and I agree brerrabit that it's difficult at best to compare Sugarland with the East side of Pearland. The West side is comparable but there is still a long way to go before it catches up with Sugarland. One of the things I like most about Pearland though is it's proximity to Downtown and the ball parks. I know there is a lot of traffic during rush hour, but I avoid most of that and adjust my schedule accordingly. We go to a lot of games and meet friends in Dowtown, mid-town, up-town and it's just very convenient to get there from 288.

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sugarLand:

Pros :

* No (Few) flooding issues

Much of Sugar Land and surrounding areas could be put into the floodplain when the new Fort Bend County floodplain maps come out next year. Many communities in that area are already raising their levees, since they aren't currently high enough to protect against the expected 100-year flood that's coming out next year.

That's one pro for Pearland in my book: NO LEVEES!

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