Is a move to Houston a move to ecological hardship? (Pasadena: homes, buy)
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Bellaire is zip code 77401, and it is probably the best area I have ever lived in insofar as safety is concerned with the Fire and Police Departments having such an incredibly FAST response time. I never regretted living there or raising my son there. It's a great area to live in although pretty pricey, and you can get more value for your money in other areas of the city. You pay for those luxuries like everything else.
Bellaire is on the 100 year flood plan, so buy flood insurance. Buying for the "sleep" factor is wise for $350 a year, trust me. If you get flooded and do not have it, you will definitely live to regret it. I had neighbors who did not buy the flood insurance--even tho it was required in Bellaire--and LOST THEIR ENTIRE HOMES!!!! And if you think the $500 I got from FEMA even touched what I spent in repairing just one room, you are dreaming. Get the insurance.
One important point just slightly touched on: PIER & BEAM is the way to go with your house if you can when you buy. My neighbors all had slab foundations, new Yuppie brick types-- and my 1939 bungalow (cute as all get out if I say so myself) didn't flood (except for the converted garage to bedroom room). Their homes flooded? Why? They were built much, much higher than mind was; but, when you stood across the street and looked at them, my pier & beam made the floor in my house actually higher than theirs. From a casual look, seeing that the dirt on their homes was almost 2 feet higher, it would seem their floors in their houses was higher; but it was not.
The neighbors new houses--built about 2 feet higher than mine was as the builders piled dirt higher than the sky for the foundation--FLOORDED, at least, a 1-/2' inside. Had to rip up marble tiles, walls to the ceiling and so forth!
So get FLOOD INSURANCE.
Buy PIER & BEAM FOUNDATION.
That's the lesson for today, folks.
BSusan, I just reread your post and see 9 hours to drive from Friendswood to Katy! That would normally be a what? Hour drive, I would guess. You must have gone thru heck and back during that evacuation. I know you were exhausted. God Bless, girl....whew! Glad I was gone from there by then.
I'm still deciding on what to do about a move to Houston. I was offered a job at the University of Houston (that they are holding for a year, so I don't have to decide right away). Thank you all for your wonderful advice in the other thread.
The thing that's been troubling me now, though, and is a bit of a hitch in my decision-making, is wondering whether moving to Houston would be a move into ecological hardship. I've been reading these articles about how Houston is sinking (as the rest of the Gulf Coast is), and what this means for flooding. Apparently, this has led to quite stark settlement of entire neighborhoods due to ground water pumping, and people noticing that their neighborhoods now flood EVERY time it rains (which is all the time), whereas they never flooded before. Things keep shifting... Combined with global warming, I'm not so sure that's a good thing. I have a friend who lived in Houston during the big flood in 2001 or whatever it was, and he said "Yeah, we all lost our cars," and he brushed it off with a "#$it happens" kind of attitude. I would not be one of those people who would be able to brush something like that off so easily. I also want my home and car to be insurable long term, and I believe insurers are covering less and less and charging more and more.
What are the locals' take on these fears of mine, what the flooding outlook is, what all of this would cost me in terms of losing property value, money to insurance coverage, etc. living anywhere near UH. I mean, is UH going to go bust because it's in the middle of a flood zone anyway? I have no reality basis here--just checking.
Depends on the Campus. And the commute. If you're smart and drive a higher car, and stay OUT of areas that flood (which are regularly discussed on the morning news), you can survive quite well most often with the flooding. Flooding is a natural thing here, with the humidity levels and depth-below-sea-level thing. Ground-water tends to accumulate from showers off the coast. In my hometown, it was always snowing. Same diff, more of one than the other. Houstonians flip out on ice. My hometowners would bug about the water. I've been here when it's really flooded out (schools actually closed down, which they never do) and many areas remained bone dry. Never lost a car, never had house/apartment damage. But then again, you know where the signs are. If there's lots of low-growing bright green moss, don't live there. If not, you're probably okay.
There are particular parts of the city that because of poor planning or not enough upkeep for the storm systems have high water every time it rains hard. Mostly that happens in lower income neighborhoods because the politicians want to spend the tax revenue on the nicer parts of their districts. If it rains long enough, hard enough or just plain fast enough most areas are going to get high water, but the areas with good storm systems, levees, bayous, lakes and ponds don't seem to get damage even when something major like Allison comes through. And it's not called 'Bayou City' for nothing.
A few parts of the city that always see high water on the roads include the area around Hillcroft and Bellaire, I-10 and Washington, Beltway 8 and I-10, and 2 out of 3 of those spots for some stupid reason were built several feet BELOW normal street level. If you build a basin, it will flood. I'm sure there are many other spots around town but these are the ones I have personal experience with.
The worst thing about the ground here is that it's a lot of clay. Eventually your built on slab house will probably need some foundation work because the ground swells and subsides a little every year depending on how wet or dry it is. Usually this just means you see a few cracks in the drywall and some doors stick or swing open on their own. If you're looking to buy a house your inspector is going to check for these things and warn you that there is probably foundation work needed.
Flood insurance is only about $300 a year and for peace of mind I do have it in addition to my homeowner's.
They stopped pumping groundwater a long time ago because of subsidience. Houston floods, but everywhere floods. People in Marble Falls and Coffeyville, Kansas should have flood insurance just like Houstonians, and this year they got to see why.
If this city ever goes underwater, they will rebuild it on raised platforms sticking straight out of the Gulf which by then will have moved the mouth of the Brazos River to College Station. You will ride via causeway from Huntsville to what is basically the biggest oil rig ever built, with a replica Williams Tower and Waterwall on the edge and a Galleria on stilts over the water a la the Balinese Room in Galveston.
Houston has a way of making things that shouldn't work, work. If you think you're gonna strain our resources too much, by all means, stay home.
Moderator cut: personal attack Houston is not Venice and it isn't New Orleans either. You can check out the flood zones online as well as seeing how many feet above sea level your desired location is. Also google Tropical Storm Allison. If it didn't flood then, it won't.
The excess flooding in recent years is due to increased development with the same bayous and drainage mechanisms being used. Pretty simple really.
Last edited by BstYet2Be; 11-25-2008 at 08:18 PM..
Reason: Personal attacks are not permitted per ToS. We may attack ideas (politely) but we do not attack the speaker of the idea.
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker;)
4,085 posts, read 9,818,350 times
Originally Posted by EasilyAmused
Down Here We All Float
Originally Posted by ErikU19
ecological hardship? lol!
Is that a new liberal buzz word?
This thread title makes me chuckle every time I see it. I thought it was just me!
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