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Old 04-21-2011, 11:29 AM
 
208 posts, read 511,539 times
Reputation: 162

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibio7 View Post
Okay city-data friends, I appreciate all contributions you guys provide day-in, day-out. I've read quite a bit on best places to live for African Americans and I've narrowed my option down to Houston, TX. I'm moving this summer, and I'm trying to figure out which are the best neighborhoods.

I'm in my 30s, African American female. I have a six year old who would be going to school. I make very good income and have no problems relocating with my job! So, work is not an issue. I am relocating from Arlington, Virginia, where everything is crazy expensive and my nice lil' condo is on the market for $750k.

So, I've heard Pearland and Sugarland are great neighborhoods. Is this true? are there any others?

I want a place that's culturally and racially mixed, has its share of educated professionals (middle/upper class people), has good schools, young 30s & 40s folks, and diverse. I also want a place with a low crime rate. Please share any insight you may have. Thank you.
Hi Bibio7,

You can privately message me. I have been where you are relocating from back east and can give you more insight.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:37 AM
 
208 posts, read 511,539 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by City Love View Post
I think another important question is how much you want to spend on a home here in Houston? Do you want to spend $750k here as well? If so, then you might reconsider your location and find a few areas where the land value is higher than in the suburbs. Areas like Upper Kirby, Galleria, or Memorial. $750k will buy you a very large home in the suburbs, maybe too large. I'm reading your post as only being a family of 2.

Now, if you want to slash your budget in half, then you would still get a large home in the suburbs like Pearland/Sugarland but you wouldn't have an excessively large home. Other suburbs to consider are Clear Lake, The Woodlands, and Katy.

You might also consider proximity to museums, good restaurants, parks, etc. Are these important?
Please let Bibio7 know that the most money you spend on a home the higher your property taxes. I know someone who paid $289,000 for a home for example, in Sugarland and the property taxes are $7,000 to $8,000 per year. The property taxes are extremely high in Texas. It is the third highest in the country up there with New Jersey. If you buy a $750,000 house in Belleire for example, expect to spend at least $18,000 a year in property taxes. Why are taxes so high? We don't pay income state taxes, so the government has to make us pay for it somewhere. As you are aware from my posts I do not try to sugar coat anything. I am also not a realtor as I know they visit these boards frequently.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:43 AM
 
208 posts, read 511,539 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by 350days View Post
Please let Bibio7 know that the most money you spend on a home the higher your property taxes. I know someone who paid $289,000 for a home for example, in Sugarland and the property taxes are $7,000 to $8,000 per year. The property taxes are extremely high in Texas. It is the third highest in the country up there with New Jersey. If you buy a $750,000 house in Belleire for example, expect to spend at least $18,000 a year in property taxes. Why are taxes so high? We don't pay income state taxes, so the government has to make us pay for it somewhere. As you are aware from my posts I do not try to sugar coat anything. I am also not a realtor as I know they visit these boards frequently.
By the way Bibio I am not sure what large homes means to some people, but you can buy a large home (large home to me is between 4,000 to 6,000 square foot in Pearland or Sugarland for less than $400,000 or even less). You can find anything nice in the Houston area for $400,000 and even less. This is not New York City or Washington, D.c., but there is also a few things you will downgrading on. The homes may look affordable, but you will be paying alot through the nose on other things, so make sure you do your research before you move here.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:45 AM
 
208 posts, read 511,539 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRjohnryan View Post
I grew up in Sugar Land and it is ranked in the top 100 places to raise a family in America. Little to no crime execpt for the fact that drugs are everywhere, but no gangs, no homicides, robberies things of that nature. Great schools ecpecially Clements High School, but I must say make your kid chose the right friends the school it is full or rich spoiled kids snd because of all the money thier parents give them about 80-90% of the school has or is on marijuana, and alcohol...but they are all REALLY smart and the school is ranked in the top 10 public and private in all of Greater Houston. It is very culturaly diverse, but about 45% are Indian, Mid Eastern or East Asian with another 40% being white about 8% black and 7% hispanic so it's a very diffrent experience. Homes are pricey for Houston a 3000 sq ft. is about 300k, everyone is very friendly and it is safe to be out at any time of the day, it is loaded with police. In the neighboorhood of Sweetwater thier are a bunch of local sports cleberties who live in thier including T-MAC, VInce Carter, Shaq, Brad Miller, Hunter Pence, and others. Best neighboorhood would be Avalon look in thier and First Colony I would stay out of Dulles and "old Sugar Land" not that bad of areas but no good. The woodlands is almost identical just in the Northern Part of Houston, but more rich from my experience. I have never been in the Pearland area sorry.
Bibilio7 make sure you do your homework as there are a alot of marketing to get people to buy in the masterplan communities.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:09 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
9,051 posts, read 15,578,025 times
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A master planned community is not a bad thing. The annual dues are higher - but some like them for the amenities/activities. Other people prefer to live in regular subdivisions. I have clients that hit town that requesting them. It's part of the education process - being aware of the different options available. It's not an evil plot.

Yes, our taxes have to be considered. A $300K home will run about $2600-$2700 in monthly payments, including taxes and insurance.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:10 PM
 
1,534 posts, read 3,188,241 times
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If you wanted closer to the museums, zoo, restaurants, you might want to check out Galleria, Riverside Terrace and other parts inside the loop. It's definitely more expensive though, for a 3-4bdrm, single home in established area, you will need at least 400k.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Oxnard, CA
1,552 posts, read 3,923,017 times
Reputation: 1279
Did you make any decisions yet? I too will be in Houston next month but on business! All the times I have rented here in my area (Southern California), I have used realtors and they have never let me down!
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:18 PM
 
29 posts, read 108,862 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 350days View Post
Please let Bibio7 know that the most money you spend on a home the higher your property taxes. I know someone who paid $289,000 for a home for example, in Sugarland and the property taxes are $7,000 to $8,000 per year. The property taxes are extremely high in Texas. It is the third highest in the country up there with New Jersey. If you buy a $750,000 house in Belleire for example, expect to spend at least $18,000 a year in property taxes. Why are taxes so high? We don't pay income state taxes, so the government has to make us pay for it somewhere. As you are aware from my posts I do not try to sugar coat anything. I am also not a realtor as I know they visit these boards frequently.
350days, thank you for the insight on the taxes. You also said there is a lot of marketing for Masterplan communities. Is that a bad thing, in your opinion? What do you consider the pros and cons of masterplan communities? You also said I would paying through my nose for other things. What types of things are you refering to? Please enlighten me so I know what other research I need to do. Thank you.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:22 PM
 
16,914 posts, read 19,704,311 times
Reputation: 16985
Quote:
Originally Posted by bibio7 View Post
350days, thank you for the insight on the taxes. You also said there is a lot of marketing for Masterplan communities. Is that a bad thing, in your opinion? What do you consider the pros and cons of masterplan communities? You also said I would paying through my nose for other things. What types of things are you refering to? Please enlighten me so I know what other research I need to do. Thank you.
I cannot speak to *other* masterplan communities, but I know that Shadow Creek Ranch was marketed as having things that have not materialized because the city of Pearland has not built them and/or because the developer made errors in calculating how much space was needed for them. The big example is the sign the developer put up that said *Future home of the library* The land they placed it on is not large enough for the city to build a library on. Even though they donated that land to the city, there is no way there will ever be a library on it.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:24 PM
 
29 posts, read 108,862 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKLO View Post
Did you make any decisions yet? I too will be in Houston next month but on business! All the times I have rented here in my area (Southern California), I have used realtors and they have never let me down!
LadyKLO, not yet. But I have opened up my options a bit after talking to a realtor. It was good to really think about the things I really need when searching. E.g. - I will be traveling for work at least once a month and would like to be somewhat close to the main airport. I am single and would like to be closer to the downtown area or wherever people hang out over there.

Although Sugarland remains at the top of my list, I'm also looking at Bridgeland, Oak Forest and Keenwood. I'm coming down early next month as well . . . for a visit. I believe if I put some real-life sights to these names, my decision would be easier. Thanks for all your input. Are you thinking about or considering moving in the near future or are you staying put in California?
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