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davev1977

Master Planned Communities

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While considering moving to Houston from Kentucky, we've been intrigued by the idea of master-planned communities. I'd appreciate anybody's opinions on the merits of living in one. So far we've begun to look into The Woodlands and will be comparing with some MPC's in Sugar Land. I'll post some more specifics later, but please share your initial thoughts on these things. Thank you so much!

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Hmmm...I don't live in Houston, but close enough to grasp a sense on the goings-on. MPCs usually have some hostile neighborhood coalition (you must have grass cut to x inches, for instance) and there's long travel commute (remember, there is no extensive light rail in Houston).

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I've lived in The Woodlands since 1989. I can tell you that The Woodlands is small town living with the convenience of big city life and sports. Located just 28 miles north of Downtown Houston, you can be anywhere in the city in about an hours time and can be downtown in about 30 min. I work at 59 and Beechnut (far sw side of town) and it's a 45 min. drive. While taxes are high in The Woodlands, it offers every kind of amenity imaginable. A top of the line mall, high end shopping, 7 professional golf courses, a world-class concert venue, lakes, parks, over 100 miles of bike paths, exemplerary schools, and the big airport (IAH) is a 25 min. drive.

The Woodlands has a bustling population with lots of opportunity. In a couple of years, a new billion dollar theme park (Earth Quest Adventures) will be located just 20 miles away in eastern Montgomery County. Often known as "Houston's Playground," Lake Conroe is only a 30 min drive north. It offers all sorts of water recreation and is a very large lake. Located just to our south (75 miles or so), Galveston offers culture, beaches, more golfing, and Moody Gardens...amongst many other things.

While hurricanes can wreak havoc, we're "somewhat safer" being inland than other locations. That being said, The Woodlands sustained significant damage during Hurricane Ike last September. They are a part of life here, and we deal with em. If that's the worst thing, then I think you've hit gold in The Woodlands!

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I have lived all over Houston. Different stages of life really drive what part of town is best for you. When I was young, it was the Galleria area, then later Midtown and then the Heights. Now I'm in Sugar Land in a MPC. I love it here.

I have a lot of postings on Telfair, where I live, in the section of this forum that deals with Sugar Land.

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If you are looking at master planned communities I would narrow down the area based on where you are working first. Houston is huge. Clear Lake is nice but if you are looking to work in north Austin the commute would be hellish.

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Are you familiar with the concept of Homeowners Associations (HOAs)?

Every MPC in Houston has one (at least all the ones that I know of). Residents living in MPCs must abide by the Covenants, Codes, and Regulations (CCRs) that the HOA has adopted. As was stated above, this can be things as simple as being forced to cut your grass when it gets too high. There are many pros and cons of living in a community with an HOA. For example, visit this next link and read some of the many comments:

http://blogs.chron.com/pearland/2009/07/inside_pearland_wants_to_hear_1.html#comments

Also: HOAs charge residents an annual fee, which is usually several hundred dollars. Residents must pay this fee, or the HOA can take legal action.

Tip: When you get serious about buying into an MPC, have your sales agent or other rep obtain a copy of the HOA's CCRs. Read them first before deciding if that MPC is right for you. So many people don't do this, and later regret it.

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I've lived in The Woodlands since 1989. I can tell you that The Woodlands is small town living with the convenience of big city life and sports. Located just 28 miles north of Downtown Houston, you can be anywhere in the city in about an hours time and can be downtown in about 30 min. I work at 59 and Beechnut (far sw side of town) and it's a 45 min. drive. While taxes are high in The Woodlands, it offers every kind of amenity imaginable. A top of the line mall, high end shopping, 7 professional golf courses, a world-class concert venue, lakes, parks, over 100 miles of bike paths, exemplerary schools, and the big airport (IAH) is a 25 min. drive.

The Woodlands has a bustling population with lots of opportunity. In a couple of years, a new billion dollar theme park (Earth Quest Adventures) will be located just 20 miles away in eastern Montgomery County. Often known as "Houston's Playground," Lake Conroe is only a 30 min drive north. It offers all sorts of water recreation and is a very large lake. Located just to our south (75 miles or so), Galveston offers culture, beaches, more golfing, and Moody Gardens...amongst many other things.

While hurricanes can wreak havoc, we're "somewhat safer" being inland than other locations. That being said, The Woodlands sustained significant damage during Hurricane Ike last September. They are a part of life here, and we deal with em. If that's the worst thing, then I think you've hit gold in The Woodlands!

Good description of the Woodlands, but it seems that if your being theWlaws C&VB representative, you shouldn't post travel times to other attractions that are not in your city/county. There are a ton of other MPC that have shorter commute and travel times. The Woodlands has almost everything going for it except if you want to get from there, to Downtown, Galveston, etc, it's going to be a long long time.

Commute times are often at the [hour+] range from downtown.

If your comfortable being in your car, the Woodlands is great, but there a ton of other cities to look at....

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Good description of the Woodlands, but it seems that if your being theWlaws C&VB representative, you shouldn't post travel times to other attractions that are not in your city/county. There are a ton of other MPC that have shorter commute and travel times. The Woodlands has almost everything going for it except if you want to get from there, to Downtown, Galveston, etc, it's going to be a long long time.

Commute times are often at the [hour+] range from downtown.

If your comfortable being in your car, the Woodlands is great, but there a ton of other cities to look at....

The Woodlands is a fabulous master-planned community..there are alot of rules for living in any MPC as someone said so be sure you are ready for that. HOA fees can be very high also but is no longer applicable in most of TW now because it is now a township. ?It also has a great tax rate and everything you need is right there. There are others around town I like such as Gleannloch Farms in the Klein area and Fairfield in Cypress..There are alot to choose form depending on what part of town you settle in..What makes The Woodlands especially beautiful is all the trees..which your not allowed to cut down without permission,lol!

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The Woodlands is by far the most beautiful.  The area will see the most growth due to Exxons huge campus they are building there.  It is about a 45min commute without traffic to the city.  Sugarland is about a 30min drive.  Both have good schools, though nothing amazing.  The suburbs schools have ben getting worse.  I guess it depends on where your job is.  You don't want to fight brutal rush hour.  If you can afford it.  Live in the city.  Housing prices are going to rapidly appreciate.  There are good schools depending on the neighborhood. Check out Garden Oaks for a family area with a good location.  The suburbs are soooo boring.  When you talk to people that hate living in Houston.  It is the ones that live in the suburbs.  The amazing part of Houston is the inner loop.  It is where all the culture is.  It is where all the amazing food is. 

Edited by M0J0

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It is where all the amazing food is. 

That's completely untrue. Some of the best food in Houston is outside of the loop in areas like Chinatown, Hillcroft/Harwin, and Long Point. There are great restaurants inside the loop, but there's a ton of amazing food outside the loop as well.

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