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A question for all you real estate folks out there:

I live out on I-10 and W. Belt area, N of I-10, not Memorial. My husband and I will likely be leaving Houston in 2006. How do you think the katy fwy expansion will affect house values at that time?

Also, do you think the construction will alter the flood plane even with all the drainage projects that have been completed? I'm wondering if I should consider selling my house now to avoid all that mess in the future (since I know I'm going to be moving) and just rent a condo somewhere until I move? Do y'all think the house value will hold up?

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I have no idea.

But, the big head scratcher is that side of town continues to grow.  Everyone know traffic out that way is beyond terrible, but people keep moving out there.

Go figure.

Thanks. Anybody else?

I don't know about other people, but we moved out here about 5 years ago because inner loop was out of our price range for home ownership. Go figure. When they start building affordable houses inside the loop, more people will move there instead of suburbia. Believe me, if I could afford it, I'd rather live in the Heights or Montrose any day.

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  • 1 month later...
A question for all you real estate folks out there:

I live out on I-10 and W. Belt area, N of I-10, not Memorial.  My husband and I will likely be leaving Houston in 2006.  How do you think the katy fwy expansion will affect house values at that time? 

Also, do you think the construction will alter the flood plane even with all the drainage projects that have been completed?  I'm wondering if I should consider selling my house now to avoid all that mess in the future (since I know I'm going to be moving) and just rent a condo somewhere until I move?  Do y'all think the house value will hold up?

It may affect the amount of time it takes something to sell at worst, but I doubt it will go down hill over it. If bad traffic was going to cause the death knell to ring for far west properties, then I think we should have heard the chime a long time ago! I am always amazed at what people will put up with in regards to traffic in Houston!

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A question for all you real estate folks out there:

I live out on I-10 and W. Belt area, N of I-10, not Memorial.  My husband and I will likely be leaving Houston in 2006.  How do you think the katy fwy expansion will affect house values at that time? 

Also, do you think the construction will alter the flood plane even with all the drainage projects that have been completed?  I'm wondering if I should consider selling my house now to avoid all that mess in the future (since I know I'm going to be moving) and just rent a condo somewhere until I move?  Do y'all think the house value will hold up?

If you're too close to it, and you now have a freeway in your backyard, then your values are going to go down for sure. If the construction hampers access to the 'hood it could push values down, but as another poster said, it will probably just take longer to sell. You could be looking at a slight increase in value if you hold out until construction is complete, and people can get to and fro faster.

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Hey thanks for the feedback!

Well, the carnage has started. The railroad bridge over the Beltway feeder came down, along with my hopes of a commuter line out this way. The whole median has been opened up now.

Both the N and S bound lanes of the beltway feeder are traffic nightmares. Three lanes merge to two but one ends up being a turn lane when you get to the light. So, you have lots of cars cutting into the other lane at the last minute. Avoid this area if you can.

Also, I-10 feeder in front of Memorial City mall is a mess.

If anyone has reason to drive to the mall, I'd suggest taking Bunker Hill instead of Gessner. You may not save much drive time but you'll save tons of frustration.

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T&C will be rebuilt, with some sort of mixed use development (as the developer "says") and hopefully, upscale stuff. The area, hopefully, will not suffer too much, and some of the nasty stuff from the mall will be destroyed with the expansion, such as the nasty retail, and old theatre located almost literally underneath the ramps. Think of the expansion as a "magic wand" of sorts to help clear out some of the old, nasty stuff.

As for traffic, that is going to suck.

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  • 4 months later...

The rail bridge by the Beltway could be used for the commuter line anyway because it is in the way of the new freeway.

The Katy rebuild was designed to handle light rail in the center or next to it.

The bridge for the mainlanes were overdesigned to handle rail cars incase Metro wants to remove the managed lanes and place rail in the middle.

Rampes over the freeway will provide a place for riders to get to the center and board.

The concept is there for them. Also, look at the new entrance ramp from the Northwest Transit center by I-610 to the Katy heading west for the managed lanes, the slope and gentle curves of the ramp are acceptable for rail cars to use. This ramp is also over designed for cars to handle the rail vehicles.

Once the rail leave the freeway and is in the northwest transit center, it would follow along Katy Road and old rail alignments that are being under utilized and ready to be sold off. This will give it a direct path to downtown.

Don't give up on the rail concept. It's just going to be several years away.

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20sgirl, I may be a day late and a dollar short with a response, but I have to agree with rps324. You might have a longer market time but I doubt your selling price will be different--in fact, it may even be higher. We are holding out for the same thing, we live in Georgetown which are condos right at the southwest corner of I-10 and the Beltway. We really feel that when we move in about two years that we will get a significantly higher price for our unit than if we left right now. The advent of the new T&C center along with the park they plan to put at the retention pond right next to us (not to mention the progress on the Katy Freeway by that time) will really help our values.

Good luck!!! :D

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we live in Georgetown
I drove through there today. The canopy of trees over the street is really nice. If you don't mind me asking, what are the pros and cons of living there? Are the fees reasonable? The walls thin? Etc...
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Hi Mike,

The whole look, especially with the huge oaks, is really what appealed to us too. That and the 70% owner occupancy rate. :)

The Pros of Georgetown:

Maintenance fee covers quite a bit. First of all, we get a commercial rate for electricity. It's nice. We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1600 square foot upper unit condo and our highest bill since we have been here (about 5 years) was September of 2002, our bill was $138. We keep our condo at 72* if that helps any. Our lowest bill was actually January of this year--$32. No kidding. The maintenance fee also covers basic cable, we get about 70 channels for free, including Bravo and TCM. That's really nice. We don't pay for hot water here because that's also included in the maintenance fee. Garbage pick-up twice a week, lawn maintenance and pool maintenance, a salaried property manager (which is really nice to have), a paid off-duty sherriff's deputy patrolling the property at night, and a few other things I am sure I have forgotten, but those are the main ones.

Having said that, our maintenance fee is not cheap. It's around $100 per bedroom you own. However, you get what you pay for. They take care of Georgetown beautifully and the owners here are very active in making sure of that. We have a lot of empty nesters here, and they care about their community. Annual homeowners' meetings are usually filled to capacity and we all take part in what is going on. It's a huge difference to the last condo in which I lived where no one really cared. It showed, too, and I kept wondering what in the heck I was paying for. I never ask that here.

We have a LOT of money in the community reserves, something most condo associations do not have. They are invested in mutual funds and CD's.

Our rules and regulations are strictly enforced, namely: patio areas, parking, overall upkeep of the property. Situations and potential ones are handled swiftly and very civilly. People have lived here a long time so everyone respects one another. There are people here (like our neighbor in the building behind us) who have lived here since Georgetown began.

I rarely, rarely hear my neighbors. Our guest bathroom butts up (no pun intended ;) ) to their guest bathroom so every once in a while I hear water but that's it. We have great neighbors. I am always asking my neighbor downstairs if she can hear us and she says she never hears a thing.

Our HCAD market value went up tremendously in 2002, about a 25K change. Because of that, they have not increased our value since. We expect that to change again in a year due to the improvements with the highway, the building of the new T&C center, and the retention pond/park that is being built in the 10+acre lot next to Georgetown. It is really supposed to be beautiful. Anyway, we expect to move at that time if the market is right.

Cons of living in Georgetown:

Depending on where your unit is, you will encounter traffic noise. We live pretty deep inside the community so we hear very little traffic noise.

It's huge. Oftentimes I have to go outside to wait for people that have never been here before because they get lost.

You're in a condo. It's not a house. Privacy is okay, but.....well....again, it's not a house.

They were built in 1969. There have been problems, mainly foundation, but they have all been fixed with no problems.

There are others I am sure. I am drawing a blank but I am sure I have had my share of complaints along the way. I will try to think of them and get back to you.

Overall, I love it. The elementary school is top rated (Rummel Creek Elementary), kids can ride their bikes there. The neighborhood that backs up to us has tremendous property value (a 30-year old 2400 square foot home just sold for $320K) and it is so convenient to everything because of its proximity to the Sam Houston Toll Road and I-10. When the Katy Freeway construction is finished it is going to be really neat to see how it changes things. Also, you can't beat being this close to Memorial City, Town & Country, and the Hospital. Everything is right here. It's kinda nice. :)

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Thanks for the thorough reply, Parrothead.

I actually stopped by the Georgetown sales/leasing office the other day. The realtor made it sound as if investors had bought the entire complex and they were fixing up the units and selling them.

That's not correct, is it? They just bought a chunk?

In any case, the units she showed me had new carpet, tile and paint, but still smelled a bit musty -- so I think the changes were largely superficial.

I would prefer to get an unrennovated unit and do it myself. But I think the asking price of "the investors" has driven up the market price of what other owners expect. And coupled with the maintenance fees -- which the realtor said were roughly $200 (1 bdrm), $300 (2 bdrm) and $400 (3 bdrm) -- that makes the units less attractive finanancially.

Now if you could find some of these properties near their HCAD values, like the 2378 sq foot unit they value at $63.300, you'd have a bargain.

I like the 3-bdrm units best because I think they would have the best resale value given the quality schools nearby. But $400 a month is a big premium for a single person like myself to pay.

One other thing, apart from a couple of 1 bdrms and and a 1260 sq ft 2 bdrm, all the floorplans I've seen are two stories. But your condo is bigger but on a single floor? Are there many like that?

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One of the things I mentioned in my last post was that we have a 70% owner occupancy rate (as of Summer 2004, we had our place on the market and had to find out), so I would guess that one would have little difficulty with financing here. Also, the property's portfolio is very strong.


I have to tell you, Mike, I would NOT move into one of the investor properties. Go with one that has been owned privately. The reason I suggest that is because the ones that the investor owns were previously RENTAL units ONLY. They were not part of Georgetown HOA, they were a seperate entity run by Camden properties. It was a small chunk in the front of the complex that was like that.

Yes, we have a high maintenance fee, but you do get what you pay for. Georgetown is mainly empty nesters and those that do not wish to deal with a yard/etc., so we do not have a lot of young people. There are some couples like Matt and myself who would like to have a home soon and bought our condos at the right time (our value has almost doubled in 6 years, and we expect it to keep going up by 2007 when we wish to sell) but there are very few "families" here that are looking for a bargain in comparison to apartment living. Apartments are cheaper, no doubt, but Georgetown is infinitely cheaper than the SFH in the surrounding neighborhoods and if you want your children in a wonderful school system it's hard to beat this area. We were also fortunate that we had a sizable chunk to put down when we bought it so our maintenance fee isn't killing us.

I can totally understand why a single young guy would not want to live here unless you absolutely want to live in the area for whatever reasons and cannot afford a home here, or do not wish to have a yard, etc. to maintain.

Our condo is on a single floor. There are about 15-20 that are like ours, but not one of the 3 bedrooms is owned by the investor here. I think they only own a couple of the 2 bedrooms. They're called "flats" or "apartment-style" since they are not townhomes. You'll find the maintenance fees on these a bit less. For instance, our maintenance fee is $300 on our 1600 square foot 3 bedroom. That's not a whole lot considering what you get.

Here's a flat/apartment-style condo listing here that is private:


A condo such as this would probably have a maintenance fee of $225-$250 depending on the square footage. That is a really nice unit. The kitchen has been redone and the floors are gorgeous. The unit has a front and a back door, covered parking, huge balcony, and is in a good location on the property (toward the back, little to no noise). I would advise against a one-bedroom unit; typically they stay on the market longer (unless it is renovated). If you do get one, get the cheapest one they have (I think the asking price is around 60K) and renovate it yourself. Put some money into it, turn it around, and put it on the market for 75-80K. Then use your profit and purchase a larger unit. If you can wait until this section of the Katy Freeway is done (around 2007) then you might see a nice jump in your profit even more.

We have some good friends who have done this right here in Georgetown. They were just married and it was cramped quarters in a 900-sq ft. 1 BR for about a year and a half, but they did very well for themselves and the renovations took a very short amount of time. They put in hardwoods themselves which came out cheaper than carpet (lumber liquidators) and they found a great deal on granite slab for the kitchen and bathroom. They got all new Hotpoint appliances (made by GE but cheaper) in white, and tiled the kitchen and bathroom. They put a roof on the patio (I think it originally just had lattice) and a ceiling fan installed out there as well. Everything was painted in neutral colors and the one thing that made a huge difference to me was that they put in all new blinds and six-panel doors. All in all they only spent about 5,000 doing it up pretty darned fancy. Their whole goal was to make enough money to add to their savings to be able to put 20% down on a house right down the street. They did just that. :)

There are also private for sale listings on our bulletin board in the front by the office. Sometimes you can find great bargains there.

Also, our sister property is The Pines off of Memorial right inside the Beltway, on the right after Randall's. They are run in very much the same fashion as Georgetown. You might want to check them out as well!

Good luck!! :)

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