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Old 11-03-2014, 09:53 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,262 times
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Hello, all,

I'm new in this forum and saw some very interesting threads about certain areas I'm considering where to buy a (first) house.

Right now I'm considering building with Ashton Woods in Cypress (Cypress Creek Lakes).

Some questions I have:

a) Does anybody here in this forum actually bought with Ashton Woods in Cypres Creek and could comment on the overall experience of buying from Ashton Woods, sales reps, construction managers, quality of the finished product, etc...

b) Can anyone comment on this Cypress Creek Lakes development...? What are the differences between that one and, for example, neighboring Towne Lake. I found the builders at Towne Lake to have significantly higher prices for the same sq footage, but I wonder if that's just because of being part of a master community around a lake complex or something else...? CCL is just next to it and can have access to the same open areas as Towne Lake, so I don't get the price differences...

c) Another secondary builder I'm considering at Cypress Creek Lakes is Lennar. Can anyone comment on the general qualities of this builder? Is this a reputable builder? Is it an entry level builder...?

Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Houston Metro
1,064 posts, read 1,191,727 times
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eidi,

I can't answer the first question as we purchased in a different section of Cypress Creek Lakes (across the street), but I can definitely address your second question.

I've lived in this area my entire life. Grew up in Cy-Fair, and my first house I built was just down the street from CCL. When it came time to build my second home, I immediately turned to Towne Lake and Cypress Creek Lakes. I knew I wanted to continue to stay in the area, but wanted to move into an MPC in order to have a better idea of what would be popping up around me over time. I ran into the same question you had...what was I buying for significantly more money in Towne Lake vs. Cypress Creek Lakes?

I was looking at David Weekley and Newmark in TL, and Newmark and Perry in CCL. No matter what, I couldn't wrap my head around paying $50k - 60k more for a very similar home in Towne Lake over CCL. I don't have a boat, and the areas that are beautiful in Towne Lake are public and easily accessible from CCL. I can see TL from my window. CCL had wonderful public areas as well, and great amenities that I would actually use. Sure TL has the Lazy River going in, but I'd honestly never use it. The schools are the same for now, and CCL will seemingly always be zoned to Cy-Ranch HS, which is one of the top performers not only in the area, but in all of Texas.

So what exactly was I buying for that extra money? I could never find an answer that was logical enough to me to spend the extra money. Some say that TL might appreciate slightly better over time, but when the cost of admission was $50k - $60k higher in the first place, that's a bet I wasn't willing to take. I have no intentions of owning a boat, nor did I particularly care for the lot selection in TL at the time. The amenities I would actually use weren't any better at TL than CCL. The only thing I could come up with was that you were buying a slightly larger lot, and the image and privilege of saying you live in Towne Lake. I know this isn't the case for everyone, but I care about the house, the neighbors, and a nice area more than what neighborhood name I say I live in.

Long story short, and is echoed from every single one of my neighbors, is that CCL is the best value in the area, and that's why they ended up building here. It's nestled in with some of the best MPCs in Houston, and the builders are the same builders that are in those other MPCs. The HOA is solid and puts on a lot of resident oriented activities throughout the year. The greenspaces are beautiful, and the rec centers are wonderful. The HOA fees and taxes are also less in CCL than most of the other MPCs in the area. I have access to all the greenspace and walking trails that cross from CCL into Towne Lake.

Now, that being said, buying a home is an extremely personal decision. Some people place a lot more value on the name and brand image than I do. In that case, Towne Lake is certainly the neighborhood that everyone is talking about right now. When you are spending upwards of $500k, Towne Lake has a lot more options for those buyers in terms of builders and lake access. I wasn't looking in that price range, and CCL gives you a hell of a lot more for your money than TL does in that regard.

Heck, for what I saved buying in CCL over Towne Lake, I could go buy a boat and put it in a REAL lake.

Sorry for the long winded response, but hope this helps.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Upper Kirby, Houston, TX
1,286 posts, read 1,216,472 times
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I agree with Haudi pretty much; out of the two, Towne Lake is better for large custom homes that will range well above $500k, else CCL is a much better value. No matter where you choose, make sure you stay on top of the builders' progress and check in frequently to avoid any mistakes.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:09 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,262 times
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Thanks, guys, so far great responses.

Does anyone care to comment about the builders' reputations? Specifically Ashton Woods and Lennar?
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:38 PM
 
1,096 posts, read 773,332 times
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We had a very bad experience with Ashton Woods, from them quoting us 'wrong' prices to our house being finished a month late, we've been in our home for 11 months and we're still waiting for them to take care of some pre-closing issues. We had our 3 month warranty meeting last week. Only 8 months late.

The house has not been built to the greatest standard and I absolutely wish we had gone with someone else, if we could have got our earnest money back we would have walked at their first screwup.

If you do go with them, be aware that they rotate their staff every few months, and any promises made by the prior team will not be honored by the new one. Any mistakes made by the prior team will be considered as staffing issues that they are not responsible for. Expect to get hit up for more money regularly.
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Houston Metro
1,064 posts, read 1,191,727 times
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Completely not relevant but the house that went up in flames in CCL yesterday was an Ashton Woods home under construction that the fence contractors hit the gas line and started a fire. Gas line rupture sparks Cy-Fair fire that spread to 3 homes | abc13.com
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:13 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,262 times
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Holy cow, some of the lots I was interested in were actually on that street.

I was there on Saturday to see some of the houses Ashton Woods was building there, so I'm pretty sure I was actually in one of the ones that caught fire!
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:01 AM
 
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Any update on this thread? I'm also trying to buy a house here and would like to know if anyone had any complaints, issues with the build, overall experience. I understand most builders will have issues, but anything worth really stopping me? I really like ashton woods. Lennar seems to be poorly build, walking up the stairs of the model home already makes noises and being a model home i would think they would put some effort and detail into the build process.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:10 PM
 
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Default Went with Lennar

I wanted to chime in because this particular thread helped us decide between Chesmar in TL and Ashton Woods/ Lennar in CCL for a 50 foot lot. We ended up going with Lennar in CCL.

Here’s why we chose CCL over TL:
We thought the amenities were amazing in Towne Lake, and loved the quality of the Chesmar homes and sales staff, however we saw CCL as the better long term investment. As another person said, CCL will seemingly always zone to Cy Ranch High, which will help with the home value in the long run. The Chesmar sections of TL can’t deliver that promise, especially seeing as the neighboring homes directly to the south, east, and west are zoned elsewhere. TL advertises tons of walking trails, however we found that the prettiest lakesides were far from the Chesmar section and eaten up by lakefront homes rather than common pathways. CCL has smaller lakes, but they’re more accessible to all residents. Flood Zoning— This particular section of TL is a little too close for comfort to Langham Creek and a brand new storm water retention basin. We weren’t so concerned about flooding in the next 5-10 years, but 15, 20 years down the line when the Cypress wetlands and prairies are eaten up by thousands of houses, we didn’t want the constant worry of these waterways cresting and flooding our home. Traffic—While this section of TL is quiet now, it looks as if both Greenhouse and West Road will go through it in the near future, making it quite a busy area. I wasn’t too keen on needing to hike or bike up Greenhouse in order to enjoy the other parts of the community. We also found the CL homes to have MUCH bigger lots which really sealed the deal for us.

Why we chose Lennar over Ashton Woods:
After looking at almost every major builder in Houston over the past year and half, we experienced things we liked and disliked about all of them. One thing that stood out about Lennar (and Chesmar for that matter) is that they are very open with what upgrades will cost you. You can get a price sheet for your floor plan that will help you estimate your final cost. Also, if you tour a Lennar home or see a listing that you like, you can give them the address and they can pull the list of options for that home, and it will give you an even more precise estimate of upgrade costs before you commit. This was VERY helpful to us as my taste varied from the model home, but we were able to more or less duplicate a house on Lizzie Ridge without the sticker shock. We like that their design center is so open and you can go as many times you want before you make your final choices with a designer. Ashton Woods was more secretive about their upgrade costs and could not provide us similar research materials or design center opportunities prior to commitment. The roof lines on the Lennar houses are visibly higher than the Ashton Woods homes, but I wouldn’t have noticed if our realtor didn’t point it out. We also toured construction sites and were very happy with the quality of the one story houses being built in the area. I will say that we toured some Lennar homes in Porter TX and would NOT buy there. It seems that crews in CCL in particular do a great job, and it probably has to do with the market competitiveness and possibly more discerning customers wanting to buy in the area. Lastly, the nail in the coffin for Ashton Woods was that our realtor built with Village Builders and had a great experience. He lives in the area and personally knows the Lennar and Village Builders sales team (they all live in the area), and I felt as if that relationship could be leveraged if we were to encounter any major issues. In short, I didn't think there was anything glaringly wrong with Ashton Woods, but we were able to confidently chose Lennar for the reasons above.

I will definitely update you all if we end up being disappointed. We’re due to close early 2016.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Upper Kirby, Houston, TX
1,286 posts, read 1,216,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLR2285 View Post
I wanted to chime in because this particular thread helped us decide between Chesmar in TL and Ashton Woods/ Lennar in CCL for a 50 foot lot. We ended up going with Lennar in CCL.
Congratulations on your choice! The area looks to continue to get nicer no matter which neighborhood you select, although I agree that I am not as keen on the parts of Towne Lake along West Rd. and nearby the Lonestar Cypress campus. I would add a few comments to what you said though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DLR2285 View Post
As another person said, CCL will seemingly always zone to Cy Ranch High, which will help with the home value in the long run. The Chesmar sections of TL can’t deliver that promise, especially seeing as the neighboring homes directly to the south, east, and west are zoned elsewhere.
This is true in the Chesmar section, however the majority of homes in Towne Lake that will go in north of Greenhouse basically can make that promise. This is a promise that sections of CCL south of Tuckerton also cannot deliver on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DLR2285 View Post
CCL has smaller lakes, but they’re more accessible to all residents.
Ahem, those are retention ponds my friend, albeit pretty ones. Towne Lake's "lake" will act as a big retention pond also basically, but it at least does have the semblance of a lake so it can somewhat get away with the naming convention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DLR2285 View Post
Traffic—While this section of TL is quiet now, it looks as if both Greenhouse and West Road will go through it in the near future, making it quite a busy area.
That's arguable.. yes the sections of Towne Lake seem to have more thoroughfares going through the neighborhood as a whole, however each individual subdivision seems to be much smaller than the average subdivision in CCL, meaning less in and out of the neighborhood traffic. I agree that streets you come out on will be busy, (Tucketon/Greenhouse/Barker-Cypress/Cypress N Houston), but I don't really see how that's much different than what CCL residents will exit out into, (Fry/Tuckerton/Cypress N Houston). As it is, there's a road that's supposed to cut from Fry behind the new HEB through the middle of a CCL subdivision (with homes on both sides) right before it hits the light at Tuckerton, and all the road itself does is curve around and place you a little further south on Tuckerton than you would have been had you gone up to the light at Tuckerton/Fry. As the area continues to grow, you can best believe that people will be using this as a shortcut to avoid having to turn left at the Fry/Tuckerton intersection. Other than the major thoroughfares I mentioned, there are intentionally no cut-through roads in Towne Lake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DLR2285 View Post
We also found the CL homes to have MUCH bigger lots which really sealed the deal for us.
TL actually offers bigger lots than CCL, as CCL only offers up to 80 ft lots and TL offers 90 ft and even higher for custom homes, however, I will admit that for any given square footage section of space, the homes CCL would off on that sq footage amount will be noticeably cheaper than the ones TL would offer. So although you could get an 80 sq ft lot in either, you will get more bang for your buck comparatively in CCL.

All in all, I don't think you could have made a wrong choice; this area will continue to grow over the next 10-15 years barring any long-term economic decline in Houston, but if that's the case we all have much bigger problems anyways. With that being said, I did want to point out that most of your negatives or complaints of TL are somewhat partially due to the price point of home you were looking to purchase it seems. Everything you stated you couldn't get out of TL, you definitely could, you would just have to spend about $600k or more for the home.
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