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McMansions in the suburbs make less sense with high energy prices


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Are marketing materials really the crux of a problem?

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. 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.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Perhaps someone could start a thread about where you live (no specifics) and where you work (no specifics) and what your commute time is and what route it primarily uses. I would be intested in an informal poll of this nature that would give us a glimpse.

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;-) My route is Shepherd to Memorial most of the time but I mix it up a lot to keep the 15 minute drive interesting. 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.

Edited by HeightsGuy
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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.

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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. 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.

Yeah. People are buying houses in Bridgeland because they're being misled into how far it is from dowtown. Because Bridgeland's marketing material is the first map of the city they've ever seen. :wacko:

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For occasional self-torture, I watch "Hot on Houston"... think it comes on Saturday mornings...

Those way out subdivisions... listen carefully... it's not "Minutes from downtown" ... It is "Minutes... from Hwy 6..." What?!?! Talk about putting lipstick on a pig...

I know, I have heard commercials and billboards for Fall Creek. The website promotes driving times on the front page.

So much, So Close!

location_map.jpg

Just 10 minutes to take off (the only true statement)

Just 15 minutes to downtown destinations! (sure with no traffic)

18 miles (not including cul-de-sac maze exit distance), or driving from your house at minimum 72 mph

Just 20 minutes to medical miracles! (sure with no traffic)

22 miles (not including cul-de-sac maze exit distance), or driving from your house at minimum 66 mph

Just 25 minutes to spectacular shopping (Galleria is shown, completely ignoring the Walmart just down the road, only 5 minutes away.)

28 miles (not including cul-de-sac maze exit distance), or driving from your house at minimum 67 mph

I guess they neglected to calculate traffic into the equation and they expect people to drive over 60 mph in the residential areas. I guess they must allow it if they advertise it.

Keep your kids off the street please! :lol:

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Are marketing materials really the crux of a problem?

Yes! Absolutely. It's always just "minutes from the Galleria" or "minutes from Downtown." (I think "minutes from Westpark Tollway or I-10" is an even grosser representation.) Maybe "$30 from the Galleria" or "$75 from Downtown" would be a useful standard of measure. Do new residents in the region ever look further than the Chronicle?

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Or, as in my Fall Creek marketing example above, they neglect real traffic conditions, stop lights, stop signs, school zones etc.

You are not driving 70 mph from your garage to your parking space in downtown. Even changing 15 to 25 minutes is a lie. I like the idea of miles, or dollar amounts better. They should use that to show how unrealistic it is to live there.

The developers, like Bridgeland and Fall Creek want SO bad to be included in all the conveniences and ammenities people in midtown, Rice village, uptown, downtown enjoy.

Make the front page of their website promote the conveniences and ammenities that people will use and have close access to within 15 minutes, like Walmart, Home Depot, and Whataburger, or just tell them, you are living way out in BFE.

Why lie. Becuase they want to promote the craptacular sprawling development in the middle of nowhere.

Greedy bastards. <_<

Edited by Pumapayam
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Yes! Absolutely. It's always just "minutes from the Galleria" or "minutes from Downtown." (I think "minutes from Westpark Tollway or I-10" is an even grosser representation.) Maybe "$30 from the Galleria" or "$75 from Downtown" would be a useful standard of measure. Do new residents in the region ever look further than the Chronicle?

So you don't think that people who would spend $200,000 on a new home would bother to drive out to it, at least once, to figure out what the drive feels like? :huh:

I can't think of too many people that are ever willing to buy something sight unseen on the basis that an ad made it seem nice and well-located.

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So you don't think that people who would spend $200,000 on a new home would bother to drive out to it, at least once, to figure out what the drive feels like? :huh:

Sure, but you would probably disregard some of it if a sales person was promoting it they way they do.

Considering everyone is a smart shopper, why do we still see products sold, example, using $99.99 instead of $100 to sell you something. It's looks like the same thing, but the $99.99 is more appealing on the first look.

Sure, Bridgeland and Fall Creek is considered Houston, but at the same time, it's not conveniantly located near to Houston destinations. They promote these false ammenities as being close, mixed with the ones they can provide you, like nice pools, golf courses, safe neighborhoods, great schools. What about the rest of the stuff that matters. . . oh they lied a bit, you will have a long commute to work or to get to the ball game. Road trip!

They show you only the $99.99 price.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Considering everyone is a smart shopper, why do we still see products sold, example, using $99.99 instead of $100 to sell you something. It's looks like the same thing, but the $99.99 is more appealing on the first look.

People with $200k to plunk down on a house generally pay a little more attention than that before doing so.

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People with $200k to plunk down on a house generally pay a little more attention than that before doing so.

what if it was $199,999.99 and Puma is not there to hold their hand......what happens then......BiG GiAnT ToTaL RiPoFf aNd MaRketInG DePaRtMeNt WiNs!!!!!!!!!!

yea for the pumas of the world that are there to hold all of our hands and tell us exactly where we all need to live even if he has no clue about any of us, where we work, what our finances are, or our lifestyles!!!!!!

but hey he has a news story to back him up.....about a FEW people in ONE city that is built up very different than Houston.....but don't let all that stop him he is on a crusade!!!

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Or, as in my Fall Creek marketing example above, they neglect real traffic conditions, stop lights, stop signs, school zones etc.

You are not driving 70 mph from your garage to your parking space in downtown. Even changing 15 to 25 minutes is a lie. I like the idea of miles, or dollar amounts better. They should use that to show how unrealistic it is to live there.

The developers, like Bridgeland and Fall Creek want SO bad to be included in all the conveniences and ammenities people in midtown, Rice village, uptown, downtown enjoy.

Make the front page of their website promote the conveniences and ammenities that people will use and have close access to within 15 minutes, like Walmart, Home Depot, and Whataburger, or just tell them, you are living way out in BFE.

Why lie. Becuase they want to promote the craptacular sprawling development in the middle of nowhere.

Greedy bastards. <_<

It's a frickin' average speed, Puma. And yes, under ideal conditions, driving like normal people do, 70mph isn't an unreasonable number. But besides that...it's an advertisement. If you think people that can afford McMansions are so gullable as to buy into it totally and without question, that's a misjudgement on your part.

Dollar amounts aren't the least bit appropriate to use because different people drive different cars and commute at different times under different traffic conditions. Miles are inappropriate for the same reason as you argue that time is inappropriate...doesn't take into account traffic conditions or the types of road being traversed. There is no one ideal answer. There are only consumers that are smarter than you think that they are.

The truth of the matter is that real estate marketing is frequently disingenuous regardless of the geography of the development being promoted. For instance, do you think that Randall Davis' latest condos are situated in the middle of downtown Tartarus? And do you think that anybody cares that Tartarus is hell-like? No--it's only advertising. This line of argument does nothing to further your position.

Edited by TheNiche
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Sure, but you would probably disregard some of it if a sales person was promoting it they way they do.

Considering everyone is a smart shopper, why do we still see products sold, example, using $99.99 instead of $100 to sell you something. It's looks like the same thing, but the $99.99 is more appealing on the first look.

Sure, Bridgeland and Fall Creek is considered Houston, but at the same time, it's not conveniantly located near to Houston destinations. They promote these false ammenities as being close, mixed with the ones they can provide you, like nice pools, golf courses, safe neighborhoods, great schools. What about the rest of the stuff that matters. . . oh they lied a bit, you will have a long commute to work or to get to the ball game. Road trip!

They show you only the $99.99 price.

Is that any different from an urban condo that shows you the ticket price but not the association fee...and that will tell you, if you ask about the fee, that it is very low compared to other places nearby even though the developer still controls the association and has been eating the costs to keep it artificially low until he's sold most of the units?

...oh wait, that's much worse. :mellow:

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People with $200k to plunk down on a house generally pay a little more attention than that before doing so.

Guess the developers believe people are not so attentive, or else they would be more realistic about what the have to offer a new home buyer.

They must be wasting there time then making up lies about the great sprawls.

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Bridgeland is on 99 and Fall Creek is inside Beltway 8. I don't think they are both "Houston".

They did not get the memo about exactly where in Houston they are then, Fall Creek developers would rather show you images of you shopping Galleria, because Deerbrook Mall which is much closer sucks in thier eyes.

They should really promote that they are in Humble for Fall Creek and Hockley for Bridgeland.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Brideland is on 99 and Fall Creek is inside Beltway 8. I don't think they are both "Houston".

Speaking of mareketing, I remember Perry Homes and Chareles LeBlanc of the Midtown TIRZ selling me on what a promised land Midtown was fixin to be.

What a hot mess Midtown turned out to be. I think the same bozos that bought up all that property have now bought all the property in near-north downtown waiting for the mythical train station to arrive. Better get your hands on that 5th ward property before it's too late....

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So you don't think that people who would spend $200,000 on a new home would bother to drive out to it, at least once, to figure out what the drive feels like? :huh:

I can't think of too many people that are ever willing to buy something sight unseen on the basis that an ad made it seem nice and well-located.

Uh no. I never said anything like that <_<

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They did not get the memo about exactly where in Houston they are then, Fall Creek developers would rather show you images of you shopping Galleria, because Deerbrook Mall which is much closer sucks in thier eyes.

They should really promote that they are in Humble for Fall Creek and Hockley for Bridgeland.

so if everyone in the "burbs" that lives there now and drives long distances to work every day (because it is impossible to believe that anyone actually works in all the restaurants, stores, buildings, and other places of business that are scattered about all over Houston) all moved into the "urban areas of neglect"

where would the PEOPLE THAT ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE URBAN NEGLECT MOVE TO?.....and since urban neglect tends to go hand in hand with lower income and lower education.......wouldn't these same urban neglectors be the hardest hit by rising fuel cost if they were the ones in the suburban fringe slums that you dream of to prove how right you are

so really what you want is similar to france (the french are always right) and you want an inner utopia surrounded by rioting slum dwellers that can't afford to reach the inner city for all the "good" jobs

you want those that can afford to buy slummed out trash and fix it up (and wait out all the other neighbors) to live close to you and you want those that can't afford the burbs, can't afford gas to commute, refuse to or possibly can't afford to fix up their house (nice rims on your thumping car dawg), and rely on the limited public transportation to move to the areas that would require a long commute

it just all seems so selfish and naive of reality of you

there is nothing that says anyone that bought a decent house in Sharpston back in the day HAS to let it go to hell because they did not pay a lot of money for it......they CHOOSE to let it go to hell......and many around them seem to like to choose to ignore it.....because they are also CHOOSING to let their house go to hell....so they don't want anyone complaining about them.....and down we go

usually people that do "white flight" from these types of areas are smart enough to move to an area with much stricter zoning and much stronger neighborhood associations......some get lucky and happen into one of those types of areas......some make the same mistake over again.....there will always be suckers....I am glad you have concern for them.....stop pretending like it makes you wiser than those that do not care for, want, or need your concern

you bought in your area to try and profit in the future and if you deny it you are lying.......all the things you mention "should happen" are all centered around one thing and it is not any urban renewal BS it is about profit.....which is what urban renewal is always all about.....if it is not about profit then it is about failed.....because every government urban renewal I have seen that did not have profit involved.....needed a renewal....and would need another in about 20 years.....and then after 15 years.....and then after 10.....because some people just don't give a damn

so you bought in your area.....you are angry the dinks, and urban yuppies with a baby and a blind eye for crime, the emptynesters, and all the rest did not move in.....now you can live with it

until there are for sale signs 12 to a block like Houston in the 80s I think most in the burbs are still happy.....even if you seem not to be for them :huh:

Edited by TexasVines
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For occasional self-torture, I watch "Hot on Houston"... think it comes on Saturday mornings...

Those way out subdivisions... listen carefully... it's not "Minutes from downtown" ... It is "Minutes... from Hwy 6..." What?!?! Talk about putting lipstick on a pig...

Everything in the universe is minutes from everything else in the universe. Some things are just more minutes away than others.

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you bought in your area to try and profit in the future and if you deny it you are lying.......all the things you mention "should happen" are all centered around one thing and it is not any urban renewal BS it is about profit.....which is what urban renewal is always all about.....if it is not about profit then it is about failed.....because every government urban renewal I have seen that did not have profit involved.....needed a renewal....and would need another in about 20 years.....and then after 15 years.....and then after 10.....because some people just don't give a damn

so you bought in your area.....you are angry the dinks, and urban yuppies with a baby and a blind eye for crime, the emptynesters, and all the rest did not move in.....now you can live with it

until there are for sale signs 12 to a block like Houston in the 80s I think most in the burbs are still happy.....even if you seem not to be for them :huh:

What's exactly wrong with urban renewal and profit at the same time? Last I checked that's how things got done. I'm a bleeding heart liberal and I have no problem with people turning a buck in the name of good. The guy who won the peace prize last year- he owns a bank that profits from micro-loans to people in third-world countries. Greedy banker with a heart that found a niche and went with it.

Now, where I live (Shady Acres) is the exact opposite of what you talk about. There is no government action here, just people snapping up land as it's sold and turning it around with freestanding faux Victorians. My next door neighbor has 4 chickens and 6 cars and my other next store neighbor is a $700k New Orleans style mansion. I get a couple of eggs every week and every few months we all get together from some BBQ which is the great equalizer. My 8yr old is a rocket scientist in the Vanguard program which I'll put up against any area school district's accelerated program.

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so you bought in your area.....you are angry the dinks, and urban yuppies with a baby and a blind eye for crime, the emptynesters, and all the rest did not move in.....now you can live with it

until there are for sale signs 12 to a block like Houston in the 80s I think most in the burbs are still happy.....even if you seem not to be for them :huh:

I was hoping your post would have some insight, but alas, I think I disagree with almost everything you wrote....but, none more than this. I don't know anyone in my neighborhood who is angry about their decision to move here....except perhaps that the rapidly rising home values are causing correspondingly rapid rises in property taxes....a good problem to have. Ytust me, I am happily living with my decision to move in, even if that means I eventually have to move out with a pocket full of profits.

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It is a shame this thread went the way of "inner-loop vs. suburban" or whatever. That is a whole other topic that is easily understood when you grasp the fact that people have different needs, different priorities and different tastes when it comes to selecting a place to call home, (and when you respect those differences). Unfortunately that hasn't happened in this thread on both sides of the "610 fence."

I think there are some valid points for discussion brought up in the article. Being in real estate I am certainly interested in how gas prices will affect growth and decline patterns in Houston, especially if gas really gets up there, which I expect it will.

Up until now, about the time you think they have started a development too far out for it to be successful, it is successful, and a new development ends up leaping out further.

Will that change with $5 gas? With $8 gas?

On the flip side I hear people in various transitional east end nabes talk about high gas prices and how they expect (rather naively IMO) that people will suddenly flock in from the suburbs in massive numbers to get close to downtown, driving up home prices. I expect higher gas prices will be a boost for a lot of close in areas, but while someone, I'll pick on Crunchtastic as an example, would probably find a rough around the edges, older transitional neighborhood interesting and appealing, and a new meticulously maintained subdivision 45+ minutes out unappealing. A Mr. Football or CDeb would probably not find a transitional neighborhood appealing compared to newer better maintained developments in a quiet suburb. They are not going to suddenly pack up and leave Longwoods or Cinco Ranch for Broadmoor.

Is one position better than the other? No. they are different, and I don't think $10 a gallon gas will change those preferences.

Not to speak on behalf of our suburban posters, but I am betting a lot of them will make a lot of sacrifices, (driving less, buying a hybrid, clipping coupons, whatever), before they would give up the lifestyle they cherish in the suburbs.

I am certainly sitting on the front row watching to see how/if the gas situation will positively impact the closer in areas I work, and of course my own hood. Speaking of....

There are some older neighborhoods that are actually pretty nice, too. In fact, that's why Glenbrook, an "edge of loop" neighborhood, is in the sad state it is in today - because all those residents fled to Clear Lake City, decades ago... and by the looks of it... I don't see them going back.

Did you have to drag Glenbrook into you guy's fray? Geeez. Here is a good example of how tough it is to predict things. I too never expected Glenbrook to ever appeal to suburbanites moving closer in. When I started marketing homes in there I expected any "uptick" in the neighborhood to come pretty much exclusively from people wanting to live inside or right around the loop, but priced out of Heights, Garden Oaks, Timbergrove, Montrose, etc.

I don't keep up as regularly with everything going on south of Bellfort, but as the Gladys Kravitz of all things north of Bellfort, I can tell you in the last year there have been 9 sales and there is one pending that should close in a few days. That one to a Physician's Assistant with M.D. Anderson moving from Fresno (between Pearland and Sugarland) Of the remaining 9, one was a more blue-collar buyer, 2 were cash transactions by a family that lives by Stolitx that bought the houses for their kids, 1 was a college Professor, don't know where they moved from, Rose Carrabba's old house sold to a cash buyer moving from Silverlake in Pearland, 1 sold to buyers that work at downtown law firms moving from Cole's Crossing in Cypress, one on Colgate I bought, another sold to a PhD that is President of San Jacinto College south, and another on Colgate sold to a couple, a computer programmer I think & a Psychotherapist, that moved from Clear Lake.

I didn't think the suburbanites would pick it either, but at least 40% of the sales in my area last year have been exactly that, maybe more.

For an area that is supposed to be sad, it is cheering up rapidly. B)

Edited by rps324
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What a refreshing change for the thread, from someone who actually has perspective.

I hear folks over here at the get-togethers gushing over high gas prices and the rail line, etc, are going to magically make prices go up. A little, sure, but there's just not enough consistent housing stock in the east end.

What about Lindale?

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What a refreshing change for the thread, from someone who actually has perspective.

I hear folks over here at the get-togethers gushing over high gas prices and the rail line, etc, are going to magically make prices go up. A little, sure, but there's just not enough consistent housing stock in the east end.

What about Lindale?

I hear the same thing from people in that area. Same song, second verse.

Just another repeat, like living in town vs. living in suburbia debate.

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All I know is, I've lived literally all over Houston, and recently moved to Pearland because it's closer to work. I hate it. It's amazing how long it takes to do basic things down here. I live right in the middle of one of those endless interchangeable neighborhoods, and it still somehow takes nearly 15 minutes to get to Randalls-- the Randalls IN PEARLAND. It's ironic that a development designed around the car should be so inconvenient. 518 is a total disaster. The traffic is truly incredible. There are very few trees. Restaurants are nonexistent, unless you like Joe's Crab Shack. Anywhere you would want to go that isn't a grocery store or radio shack is 30 mins away. Camera store? 30 mins. Non-chain restaurant? 30 mins. Central market? 30 mins. It's an absolute mystery to me why on earth anyone would want to live in a place like this. It's all the inconvenience of living in the country, with none of the benefits. Guess I found out it's not for me. But if you like it, more power to you. Takes all kinds...

Edited by liammclaren
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All I know is, I've lived literally all over Houston, and recently moved to Pearland because it's closer to work. I hate it. It's amazing how long it takes to do basic things down here. I live right in the middle of one of those endless interchangeable neighborhoods, and it still somehow takes nearly 15 minutes to get to Randalls-- the Randalls IN PEARLAND. It's ironic that a development designed around the car should be so inconvenient. 518 is a total disaster. The traffic is truly incredible. There are very few trees. Restaurants are nonexistent, unless you like Joe's Crab Shack. Anywhere you would want to go that isn't a grocery store or radio shack is 30 mins away. Camera store? 30 mins. Non-chain restaurant? 30 mins. Central market? 30 mins. It's an absolute mystery to me why on earth anyone would want to live in a place like this. It's all the inconvenience of living in the country, with none of the benefits. Guess I found out it's not for me. But if you like it, more power to you. Takes all kinds...

Agreed, but just like you, other people end up buying in the areas because they believe it is a great deal, only to later regret it after they truley see the lack of real ammenities and conveniences. Glad someone on here is honest about the outer burbs and how difficult it can be to do everyday errands.

Edited by Pumapayam
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I hear folks over here at the get-togethers gushing over high gas prices and the rail line, etc, are going to magically make prices go up. A little, sure, but there's just not enough consistent housing stock in the east end.

Maybe not in the East End, but other Inner Loop neighborhoods probably will see substantial appreciation if this increases. I know here in Timbergrove (and Lazybrook) there are very few older houses listed for sale (there is plenty of new Bob Perry type inventory, though) and the ones that are - even the unupdated ones - are asking for more than we ended up spending all-in after our remodel just 18 months ago.

Granted, that's been the trend for a while, but anecdotally, it feels like the we are seeing an acceleration of the trend in this neighborhood.

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Glenbrook Section 1 is nice... very nice... the other nine? sections... Still too many bars on windows, IMO, especially as you go closer to the airport.

We have a number of things going on to try to address some problems and before the end of the year I expect the civic club will be filing some of its first lawsuits in years over lack of maintenance issues with some of the homes. I hate the burglar bar thing too, but to paint with a broad politically incorrect brush, they seem to be popular with little old white ladies and people from South American countries, and Glenbrook has its share of both. Many lenders will not lend on houses with bars, so as the homes are coming on the market, I am seeing some of the bars come off thankfully.

Now Puma, I find it odd that I am defending the suburban position, (in light of the fact that I consider any neighborhood that won't horrify a suburban soccer mom as just no fun), but try to understand that while there are people who move to the suburbs strictly because of school issues and affordability, many move there because it is exactly what they want. There is nothing wrong with that. It is not something they regret because they do not want what you want. Let it go.

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Maybe not in the East End, but other Inner Loop neighborhoods probably will see substantial appreciation if this increases. I know here in Timbergrove (and Lazybrook) there are very few older houses listed for sale (there is plenty of new Bob Perry type inventory, though) and the ones that are - even the unupdated ones - are asking for more than we ended up spending all-in after our remodel just 18 months ago.

Granted, that's been the trend for a while, but anecdotally, it feels like the we are seeing an acceleration of the trend in this neighborhood.

That may very well be how one of the trends manifests itself. An area like Lazybrook and Timbergrove has far less or none of what I call the "transitional neighborhood ick factor" that people with a more suburban palette find objectionable. I would expect these areas to be appealing to people coming in from newer areas. It would be far less "jolting" a transition than say Eastwood or even Montrose.

Some inner loop/edge of loop "second tier" choices may then gain from a trickle down effect more than people going directly in.

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We have a number of things going on to try to address some problems and before the end of the year I expect the civic club will be filing some of its first lawsuits in years over lack of maintenance issues with some of the homes.
the problem in glenbrook has always been broadway and all the apartments. bellfort wasn't as bad but the last time i went through, even that was severly dragging down the area.
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Now Puma, I find it odd that I am defending the suburban position, (in light of the fact that I consider any neighborhood that won't horrify a suburban soccer mom as just no fun), but try to understand that while there are people who move to the suburbs strictly because of school issues and affordability, many move there because it is exactly what they want. There is nothing wrong with that. It is not something they regret because they do not want what you want. Let it go.

Since I love analogies (and people always seem to take them literally for some odd reason) he is my thing.

Master planned sprawls built by developers are like cigarettes.

(Developers ► Companies) manufacture, promote, and offer (sprawling neighborhoods ► cigarettes) for purchase.

Customers purchase them even though it's utimately bad for (the environmental ► their health).

Sure, it makes them feel good at the moment (relaxation/euphoria ► safe area/new house), but the long term effects of them (loss of arable land/waste of energy ► cancer) hurt everyone one.

It's less personal about the people buying it, and more so about the greedy developers who promote and poorly design MOST of them.

So yes, some people prefer to smoke. . . or live in sprawls. I get it. :rolleyes:

Does not hid the results that sprawls are like cancer for the environment. They spread like crazy, further and further away until the take over all that is left of the countryside.

Edited by Pumapayam
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All I know is, I've lived literally all over Houston, and recently moved to Pearland because it's closer to work. I hate it. It's amazing how long it takes to do basic things down here. I live right in the middle of one of those endless interchangeable neighborhoods, and it still somehow takes nearly 15 minutes to get to Randalls-- the Randalls IN PEARLAND. It's ironic that a development designed around the car should be so inconvenient. 518 is a total disaster. The traffic is truly incredible. There are very few trees. Restaurants are nonexistent, unless you like Joe's Crab Shack. Anywhere you would want to go that isn't a grocery store or radio shack is 30 mins away. Camera store? 30 mins. Non-chain restaurant? 30 mins. Central market? 30 mins. It's an absolute mystery to me why on earth anyone would want to live in a place like this. It's all the inconvenience of living in the country, with none of the benefits. Guess I found out it's not for me. But if you like it, more power to you. Takes all kinds...

I'm not sure how to respond to your post without making it a total threadjack. But I lived in Montrose for ten years and have now lived in Pearland for eighteen years. I disagree with almost everything you have said, which makes me think that I could share some information which maybe, you, as a newcomer, might find useful. If you want to PM me, please do. I too hate 518 but can avoid driving on it pretty easily.

Agreed, but just like you, other people end up buying in the areas because they believe it is a great deal, only to later regret it after they truley see the lack of real ammenities and conveniences. Glad someone on here is honest about the outer burbs and how difficult it can be to do everyday errands.

I'm not sure that Pearland qualifies as the outer burbs anymore. Maybe it did in 1990. And it's not difficult to do everyday errands. I certainly don't find it easier to do errands inside the loop or in the Galleria area, for example.

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I'm not sure that Pearland qualifies as the outer burbs anymore. Maybe it did in 1990. And it's not difficult to do everyday errands. I certainly don't find it easier to do errands inside the loop or in the Galleria area, for example.

Take out traffic and you are left with distance as the only variable between urban and suburb/exurb sprawl. Galleria traffic and traffic on 518 are just as bad, I have driven both.

Between gyms, grocery stores, cleaners, gas stations, banks. . yadda yadda yadda . . . with good density and grided system; a greater amount of variety with choices and routes exists, with less distance when compared to a cul-de-sac infested sprawl. The road infrustructure in sprawls are less dense, retail is ALWAYS car-centric first, pedestrial friendly last, blocks are 2 to 4 time larger, sidewalks are an afterthought, if they are even placed.

It's not difficult as you mentioned in your response, since Pearland is more developed now, but it will always be a less efficient way of living compared to centralized living.

Bridgeland on the other hand could indicate a representation of a "Pearland from 1990".

Gas in 1990 was a buck or less a gallon. Being efficient was a non issue in 1990, but I think the days of suburban sprawls being affordable has come to an end and will become a financial burden for people who still decide to choose that lifestyle from 2008 on.

People are avoiding SUV's now, who's to say this article is not predicting the same thing about people choosing to purchase a home in a suburban sprawl?

Edited by Pumapayam
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America's Money: Gas Crunch Hits Home

Our family lives in a rural area in Ohio. My wife and I both commute 17 miles each way to work every day.

Needless to say with fuel prices more than tripling in a three-year period, along with food prices rising, there just isn't as much money available for extra things.

People who used to live in the suburbs are flocking to live in Center City. I have all the green space I need within blocks -- Fairmount Park is the largest public park in the country and Kelly Drive is lined with joggers, bladers and bikers.
Gas prices have taught me to not drive anymore. I stay at my mom's house when I work. I won't come home.
It used to be that we could pack up the SUV and surely not forget a thing while traveling at an affordable fare that barely hurt the bank account. Now, after downsizing vehicles to save gas, we can't bring everything -- and mommy is cramped in the back seat with Mikey while our dog Chopper rides shotgun.
I am currently 19 years old and am paying around $100 a week in gas... nearly a third of my paycheck! This summer is only getting worse, seeing as how gas has just jumped over $4 a gallon where I live.
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Take out traffic and you are left with distance as the only variable between urban and suburb/exurb sprawl. Galleria traffic and traffic on 518 are just as bad, I have driven both.

And Kirby, and Shepherd, and San Felipe, and Richmond, and Bissonnet, and Holcombe, and Westheimer, and Montrose are just as bad. I could go on and on. And forget about driving around that nice little residential grid all over Montrose, with its on-street parking, narrow streets, seemingly random sprinkling of 4-way and 2-way stop signs, and uncontrolled landscaping. Scares me to death.

Between gyms, grocery stores, cleaners, gas stations, banks. . yadda yadda yadda . . . with good density and grided system; a greater amount of variety with choices and routes exists, with less distance when compared to a cul-de-sac infested sprawl. The road infrastructure in sprawls are less dense, retail is ALWAYS car-centric first, pedestrial friendly last, blocks are 2 to 4 time larger, sidewalks are an afterthought, if they are even placed.

Actually, one of my least favorite things about suburban living is the huge influx of gyms, grocery stores, cleaners, gas stations, banks...storage places and strip shopping centers. I'd be happier with pasture.

And, unfortunately, I'm about _this_ close to a rant about The Pedestrian Myth. Put simply, how often do you go to _any_ store of _any_ kind and come out with purchases you would be just as happy to carry for even _one_ block? And that assumes decent weather and a reasonably safe neighborhood. I'm trying to think -- grocery store, dry cleaners, shoe store... I can't think of any. We buy groceries a week at a time, for example, and usually don't go to the cleaners unless we have several things. Walking is fine for exercise or pleasure, provided you are reasonably healthy and have comfortable shoes and no injuries to your lower body. But it's not a good transportation solution for much of anything.

Gas in 1990 was a buck or less a gallon. Being efficient was a non issue in 1990, but I think the days of suburban sprawls being affordable has come to an end and will become a financial burden for people who still decide to choose that lifestyle from 2008 on.

People are avoiding SUV's now, who's to say this article is not predicting the same thing about people choosing to purchase a home in a suburban sprawl?

Well, the difference for us back then was simply that we would have had to pay twice as much for half as much space in a rougher neighborhood with poor schools. We actually did choose Pearland to minimize mine and my wife's commutes. The single biggest reason we moved was fear of crime. Break-ins were fairly frequent in our Montrose hood of the time.

And now, with a smallish house nearly paid off, mature trees, cars paid off, and a good school within walking(!) distance I'm more willing to sit tight and bet on automotive technological advances in the near-to-medium term than uproot my family and move closer at a tremendous up-front cost.

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Well along the way there was at least one mention of personal preferance. I live in Pearland and work in downtown Houston. I have worked in downtown for most of my 26 year career.(I really do get paid more to work there) I utilize public transportation or carpool which my company subsidizes. While I enjoy a good Broadway musical, a museum, or a inner city bar occasionally my "personal preferences" lean towards the outdoors. I fish (23 miles one way to the boat launch I use), I hunt (26 miles one way to my dove, duck, and goose lease) and I enjoy golfing (seven courses within 10 miles). Sure I pay higher prices for gas like everybody else, but my wife works in Pearland, my daughter just finished hs in Pearland and they use very little gas. My house is certainly bigger than I could afford in Houston, and I pay more to heat and cool it but hey my P&I is $618 a month so what i give up in energy costs I make up for in lower house payments. Certainly some of the newer suburbs can't offer these deals today, I have no desire whatsoever to move inside the loop. You guys are all saying what you can't get in the burbs totally ignoring the fact that most of the things I can get out here are things you don't care about so you dismiss them out of hand. Make all the financial arguments you want, in the end it is about lifestyle, and while you may find movie night in the park boring, or bands playing at Stevenson Park in Friendswood on Friday nights a real yawner, we actually enjoy those things. So ease up a little and understand that we ain't all uneducated, unsophisticated hicks out here, we just value different things than you do.

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^ Thanks for responding and giving your perspective. It is most definitely about personal preference/lifestyle choices and the balance with energy consumption.

The title of the thread, however, is pejorative which may be leading to some of the tension - the term McMansion (or McSpec house is more what I'm used to seeing around town) tend to convey a shallow, conspicuous consumption-type of lifestyle

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In regard to McMansions, they have never made any sense in the burbs. Lets not kid ourselves about this one. Building a 5,000 sq ft place out here while certainly cheaper is a fools paradise. Having lived in Houston my entire life I can tell you the first homes to loose the most value are McMansions in the burbs. I live in a subdivision north off of Dixe Farm Road and just across it is an area of homes on acreage. Several years ago someone came in on two acres and built a huge house with a double winding staircase, marble entryway and all the other upgrades. They have listed it and it shows up every once in a while on HAR. They want a million dollars for the thing. Built in an area where people have horses and cows. They overbuilt but I can tell you that decision was every bit as stupid when gas prices were a dollar as now when they are four dollars. Sorry but stupidity of that magnitude is timeless. I understand what you saying that the McMansions don't make sense today but certain posters have not stuck to the idea that we were talking about McMansions and felt to blast everything about suburban living not limiting the discussion to McMansions.

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