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Old 05-31-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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We are considering a move to the Houston area, my husband will have to commute to the Baytown area. We've visited Houston, 3 summers in a row and really liked the Clear Lake/League City/Kemah area. We have 3 small children, so we are looking for great schools. Any opinions?
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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keep in mind that Clear Lake/League City/Kemah areas are close to the Gulf. They were missed by "Rita."
The West and North West parts of town are developing. I am not sure where your job(s) will be. But, definetly take in consideration the Hurricane effect.
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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I am a math teacher so I could pretty much work anywhere. However, my husband has been with his company for 15 years, ExxonMobil. (He's not to blame for gas prices, he just makes the gas). His commute will be to the refinery in Baytown. I believe you can get to it from Houston on the I-10E. We have 3 children all in grade school so we want a really good school district. A lot of the guys my husband met from the Baytown refinery live in Kingwood. Would appreciate any thoughts on Kingwood, Humble or any other cities you recommend. Is flooding really bad in the Clear Lake area, and if you know, how much is homeowner insurance going for on a $250K - $300K home in this area ?
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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If your husband is going to be going to Baytown to the refinery every day, you will NOT want to live on the west or northwest side of Houston. You might take a look at Pearland which is on the east side of town and a really great place to live. But truth be told, anywhere off the Gulf Freeway is going to face water issues if we get a cat. 3 -5 hurricane and it could happen any time. If your husband doesn't mind a serious commute then I would suggest you look north of Houston in the Woodlands, Spring or similar areas.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:41 AM
 
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Default Fello Exxon Worker and Teacher

I too work at E/M in the lab and I commute from the Humble/Kingwood area everyday and the school system here is nice. There are a lot of great neighborhoods that are zoned to the Galena Park School District if you desire to keep the commute time down about 10-15 minutes. The Humble School District has some great schools too. If you would like to know more just click on my name and send a private message. I know some great individuals that helped us relocate here and know the ins and outs of the school zoning...

lois
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:22 AM
 
1,750 posts, read 2,361,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grram1
We are considering a move to the Houston area, my husband will have to commute to the Baytown area. We've visited Houston, 3 summers in a row and really liked the Clear Lake/League City/Kemah area. We have 3 small children, so we are looking for great schools. Any opinions?
Clear Lake/League City/Kemah are nice areas but please take into consideration the effects a major hurricane will have on those areas. I'm talking serious flooding possibly into your home. Those areas are nice to visit, especially the Kemah Boardwalk with all the nice restaurants, but I would never live down there. I would seriously consider the Kingwood/Humble area. Also scratch Galena Park off your list...
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Unless you speak Spanish, I'd give up on living in Galena Park. Unless you and your want to be covered in tatoos and piercings, skip living in Baytown, too. Schools in Baytown are questionable and over half Mexican.

I'd try the Humble/Atascocita/Kingwood area. The traffic on the east side is not bad, but the west side is nightmarish. I used to live over there and a 20 mile commute down 290 to 610/Richmond ave. took an hour on a good day. Unbelieveably congested and getting around will make you crazy.

Stay away from the southwest side. Every home invasion you hear about happens mainly on the southwest/Sugar Land side, besides, its too far for commuting to Baytown. Theres alot of gang activity on the southwest side of Houston as well.

- Brickboy240
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Texas
320 posts, read 1,508,722 times
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The areas in Kingwood, Humble, etc. are very nice but the commute will be long, and costly when you take into account gas prices. The traffic in Houston is getting worse by the day. We left Houston eight years ago and return to visit about 3 times a year. Everytime we return it is worse.

Find an area closer to yur husband's employer. Friendswood and Pearland are really nice. Friendswood has one of the best school districts in the state. Clear Lake and League City are also very nice. Clear Creek ISD is a good school system, some houses in League City are part of the Dickinson ISD which is not very good. However, in some cases some of these neighborhoods are planned unit developments and have their own schools within them. Even though these schools technically belong to the DISD, they are good schools.

I lived in the Friendswood/Clear Lake/League City... area for 4 years and we did not have one hurricane come any where near us during that time.

My husband lived in the Friendswood/Pearland/Clear Lake/League City area for most of his life until we moved to KY. Hurricanes have rarely been an issue there. It got a lot of news last year mostly because of the situation in NOLA. The media just couldn't keep themselves from trying to get everyone all worked up again so they really overplayed the Hurricane Rita thing.

It is true that one day the big one may hit but the odds are that you are more likely to be in a major car accident while commuting in the Houston area.

Some areas are flood prone, this will be true for any area you look. If a home is in a flood zone it must be disclosed and you don't have to buy if that is the case.

Another area to look is Bacliff. It is going to be the up and coming area. They closed down the refinery and the old fish hatchery in that area and are going to build two huge, new neigborhoods there. There are supposed to be water lots and everything so you can expect to see some really nice homes going in and property values should start increasing. Currently, the main neighborhood there is Chase Park. It is a really nice neighborhood with nice homes at a decent price. Taxes in the area are also good, and for now at least, they do not have MUD taxes. The homes in Chase Park range from about 6 years old to just being built. They are on the last phase of this neighborhood right now. There is an HOA in the neighborhood, a community park, a community pool, and they have planned activities such as a 4th of July Parade.

There is a lot of commercial development going on in the area to bring a grocer and chain retail to the area too. There are also plans for a new, state of the art elementary school. BTW - crime is also low in this area.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:22 PM
 
20 posts, read 117,327 times
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What is homestead exemption and who qualifies for this?
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Texas
320 posts, read 1,508,722 times
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When you purchase a home, the title company will give you a form, named Application for Residential Homestead Exemption, to complete and return to the appraisal district in you county. With this form you will basically claim the home as your primary residence which will qualify you for for a discount on your taxes. It is a decent discount so you will want to make sure you send it in.

The form cannot be sent in until after the start of the new year (ex. if you purchase in July 2006, you will send in the form in Jan. 2007). They will need a copy of you Texas Drivers License or ID and a copy of the recorded warranty deed. As long as you are occupying the property as your principal residence and you and your spouse are not claiming another home as your principal residence you qualify for the exemption.

Other exemptions available are 'over-65 exemption', 'disability exemption', and 'over-55 surviving spouse of a person who received the over-65 exemption'.

Hope this is helpful.
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