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Old 02-25-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: TX
55 posts, read 366,381 times
Reputation: 46

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We were going to move to Houston last year but were unable to sell our house here in Colorado. So we'll be putting our house back on the market in late March. So starting to look around again, haven't even decided whether we will rent or buy, since the next time we buy, we really want to like the house/area.

Hubby wants land...I want a good school district. We have 2 kids, 1 in elementary school, and the other in preschool. We want a 4BR home. 2000sf would be adequate, but 2500sf+ would be preferred. Is that possible for under $250K? We could spend a little bit more, but would really rather not since with the property tax, that'll be the same monthly payment as a $350K house here in Colorado.

Looking for preferred location for our situation too. I'll be working at home initially, my current employer will be allowing me to work remotely. But I don't like working from home, so I'll be keeping my eyes open for IT opportunities (developer/BA/architect looking for BA work). My husband works overseas quite a bit, but when he is in town, he'd be commuting to the 77067 area -- not that familiar with the area yet, does that zip help? I think it is pretty close to the airport.

Thanks for any tips!
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:34 AM
 
70 posts, read 416,946 times
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Default Roman Forest

We live in Roman Forest, an older subdivision which is also its own city. We are just north of Kingwood on 59. We just bought our 2800 SF/ 4 BR/ 3 BA home on 1 acre for $169,000. The home is 30 years old and in great condition. Now, the schools are average- not outstanding. Being a former teacher, I believe that the positive involvement of parents is just as (if not more) important as the school's reputation. It's quiet and safe. My husband commutes to Houston everyday and we think being father out is worth it for our family. We really wanted a large yard in a neighborhood that wasn't "cookie cutter." If you don't mind the rural atmosphere, check it out.

We're zip code 77357, this may be too far for you?
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,119,271 times
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Property taxes on a property appraised at 250K will be in the neighborhood of $6200 (with no exemptions). If you escrow the taxes the monthly payment should be about $500. How could that possibly be the same as the monthly payment on a $350K house in Colorado? Or do you mean the that the property taxes would be the same as a $350K house in Colorado? Either way, it will probably be a wash with the elimination of the state income tax when you move. You will certainly be able to find something that meets the criteria you have listed above but the downside will be a long commute in some of the worst traffic that the lower 48 has to offer.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:07 AM
 
Location: TX
55 posts, read 366,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Property taxes on a property appraised at 250K will be in the neighborhood of $6200 (with no exemptions). If you escrow the taxes the monthly payment should be about $500. How could that possibly be the same as the monthly payment on a $350K house in Colorado? Or do you mean the that the property taxes would be the same as a $350K house in Colorado? Either way, it will probably be a wash with the elimination of the state income tax when you move. You will certainly be able to find something that meets the criteria you have listed above but the downside will be a long commute in some of the worst traffic that the lower 48 has to offer.
I may have rounded the numbers a little too much, but here's an example:

If we put no money down (using a VA loan, so no PMI), 5.5%:

CO: 350K home, Total monthly payment=$2178
Monthly payment=$1987
Monthly property tax=$191 (actual numbers, check EPC PROPERTY SEARCH, Assessor Office, El Paso County, CO for examples)

TX: 250K home, Total monthly payment=$2148
(I calculated property taxes at 3.5% -- isn't that more likely? That's what I've seen as examples of friends' property tax rates in the Woodlands area and the Clear Lake area)
Monthly payment=$1419
Monthly property tax=$729

TX: 250K home, with 2.5% property tax instead, Total monthly payment=$1939

If my math is wrong, let me know! I'd like to stay with a monthly payment of under $2200....

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Clear Lake, Houston TX
8,370 posts, read 29,007,507 times
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Clear Lake (Houston city limit) was 2.9% property tax for '07, 3.2% for '06. Just about everyone got an across-the-board rate cut of around 0.3%, but don't count on it to last!

Also, did you factor insurance costs in there? Texas is the most expensive state in the nation. I'd imagine it'll be cheaper in the NE than down by the water. Clear Lake area is about $1,800-2,500/yr for the usual HO-A with a couple of added coverages, 1% deductible (2% for cyclones), for new policies that is. (I shop around yearly.)

What about flood insurance? HOA fees? Even if you don't escrow, you should probably factor this in. Combined, those are good for another $50-60/mo minimum.

Nickels & dimes add up and make Houston no-so-cheap when you look at the whole picture.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: TX
55 posts, read 366,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
Clear Lake (Houston city limit) was 2.9% property tax for '07, 3.2% for '06. Just about everyone got an across-the-board rate cut of around 0.3%, but don't count on it to last!

Also, did you factor insurance costs in there? Texas is the most expensive state in the nation. I'd imagine it'll be cheaper in the NE than down by the water. Clear Lake area is about $1,800-2,500/yr for the usual HO-A with a couple of added coverages, for new policies that is. (I shop around yearly.)

What about flood insurance? HOA fees? Even if you don't escrow, you should probably factor this in. Combined, those are good for another $50-60/mo minimum.

Nickels & dimes add up and make Houston no-so-cheap when you look at the whole picture.
I was hoping that the state income tax that we won't be paying will cover HOA, insurance, increased electricity, etc costs...we pay between 4K and 6K per year. Sound reasonable?
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Clear Lake, Houston TX
8,370 posts, read 29,007,507 times
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So CO taxes are about $333-500/mo. Sounds reasonable I guess. But to be honest, it sounds like you should probably list every expense over there, as well as here and then do a true comparison on the bottom line. Instead of shifting numbers around in a this-for-that game.

Sales tax here is 8.25% also, so if you do a lot of non-food or non-drug shopping, you might have to factor in an increase. Esp if your sales tax is zero like Oregon.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX (Bellaire)
4,900 posts, read 12,843,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
Also, did you factor insurance costs in there? Texas is the most expensive state in the nation. I'd imagine it'll be cheaper in the NE than down by the water. Clear Lake area is about $1,800-2,500/yr for the usual HO-A with a couple of added coverages, 1% deductible (2% for cyclones), for new policies that is. (I shop around yearly.)

I find it hard to believe that Texas has more expensive insurance than Florida. I pay $60 a month for insurance on a 250k house in Montgomery County, TX. My uncle pays $230 a month for a 150k house in Pinellas County, FL.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
15,217 posts, read 28,565,031 times
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Also compare stuff like DMV fees. Comparing cost of living based solely on property taxes vs. state income tax is incomplete at best.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:48 AM
 
Location: TX
55 posts, read 366,381 times
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Thanks for all the tips...our sales tax rate is 7.4%. I was only factoring in the "big ticket items" since I thought a lot of the other costs would be comparable (DMV fees, food, gymnastics lessons, etc). I did already check out child care centers and those costs are definitely comparable.

Anyway, back to my original question If anyone has suggestions on locations/areas to check out, I'd appreciate it!
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