Jump to content

We are STILL looking! Why is Sugar Land so hard?


Recommended Posts

We have a larger than average family so that limits our search because we really need 3 full baths. Also prefer a larger than 2-car garage (like 2.5 or 3 car).

Here's where we've already looked:

- First Colony (see my other posts about low inventory and way high prices in the Clements zone). Many of the homes needed tons of updating. Not looking to do that with toddlers running around the house. We found a few places off Dulles last summer but they went so fast we never got a chance to put an offer. We were worried about looking in Brightwater and surrounding area in Missouri City because apparently FBISD has tried to move nearby areas in that part of First Colony to the Quail Valley schools, which rank very poorly when I looked them up.

- New Territory. Same problems we where having with First Colony as far as home size and low inventory.

- Sugar Creek. Most homes needed extensive updating. And I don't think there was a subdivision clubhouse/pool

- Sugar Lakes. Almost no inventory.

- Telfair, hardly anything of what we wanted under 400k. Heard bad things about Beazer homes.

- Greatwood/Riverpark area. Homes are fine, but just didn't like the location as much and from what I understand the middle/high school aren't good.

- FM 1464. Now here is an area I really like the looks of the subdivisions (with all the lakes) and had the best homes for sure, but that intersection of Hwy 99 and Hwy 90, what a headache! And all the open land concerns me. If there's no control of the area by any kind of city entity or MPC, who knows what can get developed and how the area can change?

Can anyone help me? We need good schools (don't have to be the best schools by any means, just better than average), prefer a newer home (late 90's or later) OR an area where everyone is remodeling the homes, and need a larger home (3000sq+). One of us works near Alief (I know, yuck) and I'm between jobs but most places I'd end up working would likely be in the west or southwest parts of town such as Galleria, Greenway, etc. Looking for around 300k or just over. Are we just going to have to wait years and years to see empty-nesters move out of First Colony, Telfair prices to correct, FM 1464/Austin High School area to finish out so we can see what goes in, or the new development centered around the Imperial Sugar to be done? With the current economy, who knows how long that might be! Ugh. Do we need to bite it on the commute and start looking in South Katy instead?

Luckily we're renting, so have plenty of time to keep looking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Have I got a place for you.

HAR

You know I had see this one recently on HAR. You're on the right track.

The problem I have is that when I look up Sugar Mill, the average sq ft in that subdivision is about 2400. We need 3000+ sq ft. We've already been the "biggest home in the subdivision" in the past, and don't want to do that again. I'd like to be in the middle or toward the bottom this time.

It's a nice house with some great upgrades, but I'd probably want to change the carpets to hardwoods or tile, and with the home already being large compared to the others in Sugar Mill I'd probably "price out" of the subdivision doing that.

This is why I prefer newer construction or at least subdivisions with an average sq ft of homes 3000 or higher. But it seems this is so hard to find in Sugar Land, with good schools, on a 300k budget! So frustrating!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
You know I had see this one recently on HAR. You're on the right track.

The problem I have is that when I look up Sugar Mill, the average sq ft in that subdivision is about 2400. We need 3000+ sq ft. We've already been the "biggest home in the subdivision" in the past, and don't want to do that again. I'd like to be in the middle or toward the bottom this time.

It's a nice house with some great upgrades, but I'd probably want to change the carpets to hardwoods or tile, and with the home already being large compared to the others in Sugar Mill I'd probably "price out" of the subdivision doing that.

This is why I prefer newer construction or at least subdivisions with an average sq ft of homes 3000 or higher. But it seems this is so hard to find in Sugar Land, with good schools, on a 300k budget! So frustrating!!!

You should take a look at Sugar mill. It's a very diverse neighborhood with small one story homes in the front to huge McMansions in the Forest of Sugar Mill. Thus the "average" you see. I kind of like the diversity because my kids did not just go to school with a bunch if brats that had everything handed to them on a silver platter like some neighborhoods.

Link to post
Share on other sites

sugarland is tough, no one wants to move. we searched for about 7 months for a house. my neighbors are going to move in a month. we are in a subdivision called austin meadow and the street is orchard blossom. the house is 3,000 sq feet with 3 full baths and 1 half bath. they put in wood floors all across the lower level about 3 months ago.

this is a great neighborhood. there is a park 1 street away, its a culdesac street with about 9 kids on it. it should list in your range. we are zoned to colony meadows elementary.

hope this helps.

if you want more info pm me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm really prejudiced. We live in New Territory and love it, but I know it's hard. We used to live in Brightwater, so I understand the uneasiness with the East side of that area. The neighborhood itself is very nice though.

Do you have a good realtor? Sound to me like that's what you need. I know a realtor heavily involved in the community. Her website is www.movetomorrow.net (if the moderators remove the link just PM me or google 'kathy morrow realtor'). I think having someone who knows everyone (she lives here) really helps. We moved across the street and even that was tricky, but having a neighborhood realtor (wasn't Ms Morrow - there used to be another one) REALLY helped us.

One couple from our neighborhood moved up 99 to Waterside Estates. Supposedly that is very nice. ALso, moving up 1464 Chelsea Harbor is supposed to be nice. Those would both be very current homes and shouldn't require any home improvements. You can use Old Richmond Rd (or West Airport) to move East/West to get to hwy 6 (vastly improved near hwy 90) and avoid that awful 90/99 intersection.

Good Luck!

Deanna

Edited by deannad
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like you probably have too many prerequisites (3 full baths, 3 car garage, best schools, new or near new construction, 3,000 sq. ft. minimum, reputable builder, remodeled, no traffic problems, clubhouse and pool etc.) for what you're willing to spend. Shoot, I've lived in Sugar Land almost my entire life, and I would probably snatch it up if I found what you're describing for $300k! There are always a TON of houses for sale in this area.... even more than usual right now. If you're really having that much trouble finding something, you probably need to either lower your expectations or raise your budget.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Newbie here, my first post . . .

Give Greatwood another look-see. I have a daughter in 2nd grade, and the new LCISD middle school, junior high and high school campus near the George Ranch will be up and running by the time she leaves elementary school.

She is attending Campbell Elementary School (one of the two elementary schools in Greatwood), and loves it. She's doing great, and her teachers so far have been top-notch.

My (now ex-) wife and I moved to Greatwood in 2000, two weeks before our daughter was born. Excepting the traffic woes while 59 was under construction, we have genuinely enjoyed living in Greatwood. I work in Bellaire (21 mile commute each way), and since the 59 completion my commute is usually a breeze.

The real improvement came with the commercial developments along 59 an 99. It's nice to have a Memorial Hermann hospital so close as well. Sugar Land put in our own Fire Station and Ambulance a few years back as well.

The amenities in Greatwood are fantastic - three pools, LOTS of playgrounds for the kiddos, nice landscaping and maintenance, a decent HOA board, etc. Also, at a tick over $600, the annual HOA dues are reasonable. If you like to fish, there are several very nice lakes with some good sized fish too. Catch and release only, though.

I'm fairly certain that you can find a 3000+ sq. ft. home that fits your needs, with an oversized garage, and stay within your budget. During the 15+ years that homes were being built in Greatwood, there were numerous reputable builders.

Try it - you'll like it.

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites
You should take a look at Sugar mill. It's a very diverse neighborhood with small one story homes in the front to huge McMansions in the Forest of Sugar Mill. Thus the "average" you see. I kind of like the diversity because my kids did not just go to school with a bunch if brats that had everything handed to them on a silver platter like some neighborhoods.

Maybe we will look again.

But maybe someone can enlighten me on this - I have heard more than once that Sugar Land doesn't care as much about its areas north of Hwy 90A. Like these areas aren't considered really Sugar Land. Or something like that. What does this mean?

sugarland is tough, no one wants to move. we searched for about 7 months for a house. my neighbors are going to move in a month. we are in a subdivision called austin meadow and the street is orchard blossom. the house is 3,000 sq feet with 3 full baths and 1 half bath. they put in wood floors all across the lower level about 3 months ago.

this is a great neighborhood. there is a park 1 street away, its a culdesac street with about 9 kids on it. it should list in your range. we are zoned to colony meadows elementary.

hope this helps.

if you want more info pm me.

This sounds great, but from our history of looking I'd be really surprised to see a list price of less than $350k on that house. Unless there's some problem with it or otherwise to make it listed lower than what else I've seen similar.

Ok, I'm really prejudiced. We live in New Territory and love it, but I know it's hard. We used to live in Brightwater, so I understand the uneasiness with the East side of that area. The neighborhood itself is very nice though.

One couple from our neighborhood moved up 99 to Waterside Estates. Supposedly that is very nice. ALso, moving up 1464 Chelsea Harbor is supposed to be nice. Those would both be very current homes and shouldn't require any home improvements. You can use Old Richmond Rd (or West Airport) to move East/West to get to hwy 6 (vastly improved near hwy 90) and avoid that awful 90/99 intersection.

Okay, a couple of answers here.

I do really like Brightwater. But there was talk around there of getting rezoned to the Quail Valley schools. FBISD tried it with another subdivision near it. And the subdivision just south of it is already zoned to those schools. When I look up those schools they score terrible, like 2 out of 10 stars. What gives with this Quail Valley area anyway, did it go through some major decline?

New Territory still a possibility for us if the right house comes up. Problem is a lot of them will need to be retrofitted to get any reasonable amount of energy efficiency compared to newer construction of today.

Waterside Estates, what is that? Don't know it.

Chelsea Harbour - seen it, like the homes on the interior with water views. But what gives with the towering apartment complex on the north side, they can see right in the back yards? That was a turn off for me. Also, see my earlier comment about "north of Hwy 90A is not as good" whatever that means.

I really like a subdivision just north of Chelsea called Orchard Lake Estates. Can anyone tell me about this one? There was also another across the street that looked similar but newer. But these weren't much less expensive than other areas of Sugar Land, if at all. Again, didn't see a lot of inventory in our size/price range like I did in Chelsea Harbour.

It looks like you probably have too many prerequisites (3 full baths, 3 car garage, best schools, new or near new construction, 3,000 sq. ft. minimum, reputable builder, remodeled, no traffic problems, clubhouse and pool etc.) for what you're willing to spend. Shoot, I've lived in Sugar Land almost my entire life, and I would probably snatch it up if I found what you're describing for $300k! There are always a TON of houses for sale in this area.... even more than usual right now. If you're really having that much trouble finding something, you probably need to either lower your expectations or raise your budget.

Maybe you are right. Maybe this is my problem. I'm glad someone said so. Makes me realize I may just have to compromise on something. We could get everything we wanted if we were looking in Cypress or elsewhere on the northwest side....

Newbie here, my first post . . .

Give Greatwood another look-see. I have a daughter in 2nd grade, and the new LCISD middle school, junior high and high school campus near the George Ranch will be up and running by the time she leaves elementary school.

She is attending Campbell Elementary School (one of the two elementary schools in Greatwood), and loves it. She's doing great, and her teachers so far have been top-notch.

My (now ex-) wife and I moved to Greatwood in 2000, two weeks before our daughter was born. Excepting the traffic woes while 59 was under construction, we have genuinely enjoyed living in Greatwood. I work in Bellaire (21 mile commute each way), and since the 59 completion my commute is usually a breeze.

We might look again. I'd be concerned about the homes way in the back where it takes forever to get out of the subdivision. That's what turned me off of Sienna Plantation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only areas the City of Sugar Land "doesn't really care about" are the areas that aren't in the city limits.... people that have a Sugar Land address, but are outside of the city limits. It's not that Sugar Land doesn't care, they just don't really have any jurisdiction until the rest of the area is annexed. A lot of these areas (probably parts of New Territory, Greatwood, etc.) will probably be annexed in the next 5-10 years. I have lived here (virtually) my whole life, and if someone is telling you the north side "isn't really Sugar Land", they are probably very new to the area and/or completely ignorant of the area. The original townsite is north of 90A, so I'm pretty sure it's considered part of Sugar Land. I think there are probably some newcomers in First Colony who don't believe homes built before 1990 to be of any worth, so these are probably the people you've talked to. I have lived on both sides of 90A, and they have the same mayor, same police, same zoning, same fire dept, same school district, etc. It's the same, just more older developments to the north (some are south of 90A too, so even that doesn't really make any sense).

Too sum up, if you are worried about the direction a neighborhood might take in the future, initially stay away from the ones outside the city limits, especially if they are near the border with the city of Houston. Some of these areas with Sugar Land addresses could actually be annexed by the city of Houston.... hopefully SL will get it done first though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

To the OP...I think you will likely need to...

1. Compromise on the wish list, or...

2. Increase the budget, or...

3. Have a great deal of patience to find the ONE amazing deal that comes along as a result of a distress sale or something and be prepared to make an offer immediately, perhaps the same day it becomes available.

Faced with a similar situation, we chose option #1 and bought a home in New Territory. Now that we've calmed down about compromising, we are actually quite happy.

A lot of homes here get sold through word-of-mouth. If you aren't getting insider info from your Realtor, you probably need a different one.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Topaz for your response. In this market you'd think we'd be able to find a great deal, but I'm finding out there's just not much inventory at all. That's a lot of the problem I think.

To the OP...I think you will likely need to...

1. Compromise on the wish list, or...

2. Increase the budget, or...

3. Have a great deal of patience to find the ONE amazing deal that comes along as a result of a distress sale or something and be prepared to make an offer immediately, perhaps the same day it becomes available.

Faced with a similar situation, we chose option #1 and bought a home in New Territory. Now that we've calmed down about compromising, we are actually quite happy.

A lot of homes here get sold through word-of-mouth. If you aren't getting insider info from your Realtor, you probably need a different one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you rather move to an area where its easy to move into? I.e. there is so much inventory that its caused by factors that many found objectionable and therefore put their homes up for sale?

The lack of homes in your price range is a sign that many people like to live here for a variety of reasons. The government is competent, things work, the area is clean, crime is low, there are lots of amenities and we're not in Houston!

I'd suggest you look at some of the older First Colony homes and think about renovating them. My brother in law did this and his house is very nice and the price was well below what new homes cost. I live in Telfair and I think New Territories is great too. Love the older trees and the homes are well kept. A lot of people in NT sold to buy into Telfair. I run into them all the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You most likely won't see too much more development of FM 1464, at least in that area. That is all owned by the state for that Prison you get to look at from your frontyard. NICE !!!

Have you looked in Lake Olympia yet ?

Edited by TJones
Link to post
Share on other sites
You most likely won't see too much more development of FM 1464, at least in that area. That is all owned by the state for that Prison you get to look at from your frontyard. NICE !!!

Actually, the state is slowly selling off all the prison land along 1464 (see threads on Aliana and The Cloisters), so there is plenty of development going on out there. I even saw "for sale" signs on the prison cornfields along the Grand Parkway. Now, if we could just get them to move the prison entrance off 1464 (the main prison is more than a mile from the entrance on 1464) ...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking at Greatwood (LCISD doesn't bother you), check out River Park. River Park is in Sugar Land ETJ (city fire service), but will be annexed into the city limits this December, not 5-10 years in the future. Sugar Land is creating police beat 5 for Telfair and River Park (eventually to include Greatwood and New Territory).

If city limits are important to you, avoid neighborhoods along 1464. As posters above have mentioned, this area has Sugar Land addresses, but is in Houston's ETJ (check out the man hole covers). The reason why this area has value...FBISD.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're looking at Greatwood (LCISD doesn't bother you), check out River Park. River Park is in Sugar Land ETJ (city fire service), but will be annexed into the city limits this December, not 5-10 years in the future. Sugar Land is creating police beat 5 for Telfair and River Park (eventually to include Greatwood and New Territory).

If city limits are important to you, avoid neighborhoods along 1464. As posters above have mentioned, this area has Sugar Land addresses, but is in Houston's ETJ (check out the man hole covers). The reason why this area has value...FBISD.

As of May 20, 2009, the City of Sugar Land is exploring the possibility of an ETJ swap with the City of Houston. This swap would affect MUD 25 (which serves most of the neighborhoods along 1464). They hope to complete the evaluation within six months.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As of May 20, 2009, the City of Sugar Land is exploring the possibility of an ETJ swap with the City of Houston. This swap would affect MUD 25 (which serves most of the neighborhoods along 1464). They hope to complete the evaluation within six months.

Link?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you thought about looking out in Riverstone? I know a portion of the neighborhood is part of Sugar Land and zoned to Clements High School. Also, most of the homes are pretty new - built in 2001 or newer. I just took a look on HAR and found several homes that seem to fit your criteria or are at least pretty close to what you're looking for.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

I think people confuse Sugar Land with First Colony. First Colony is the reason Sugar Land is so popular, they set up restrictions on the look of houses and buildings and set up a tight pseudo zoning plan for their development. And lo and behold people flocked there. When you leave their sphere of influence, you can tell because the commercial building start looking like Houston's, and there isn't a cohesiveness like there is in First Colony. This is easy to see when driving down HW6 from say Bellaire Blvd to where Sienna is.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people confuse Sugar Land with First Colony. First Colony is the reason Sugar Land is so popular, they set up restrictions on the look of houses and buildings and set up a tight pseudo zoning plan for their development. And lo and behold people flocked there. When you leave their sphere of influence, you can tell because the commercial building start looking like Houston's, and there isn't a cohesiveness like there is in First Colony. This is easy to see when driving down HW6 from say Bellaire Blvd to where Sienna is.

While this is true, Sugar Land has adopted many of the First Colony development regulations to try to become more visually appealing. The older areas of Sugar Land that were there prior to the annexation of First Colony (late 90's I think) still look the same, but newer development should be more visually appealing and better planned.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

If you're looking at Greatwood (LCISD doesn't bother you), check out River Park. River Park is in Sugar Land ETJ (city fire service), but will be annexed into the city limits this December, not 5-10 years in the future.

I'm thinking to be wary of 'Airprowing' aka 'APW'. Major insults/fighting over similar issue on another local comments/blog. And possible ulterior motive/dishonesty.

Edited by LookingToMove
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...