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Old 09-01-2008, 12:01 PM
 
84 posts, read 342,756 times
Reputation: 27

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Hello all,

We are looking to buy our first home. We need some advice on choosing the right location. I work at downtown.

We have two kids and good Schools are important.

We looked at Cinco Ranch and we liked it very much. Downside to this community is far from downtown and the traffic. But I would be taking Metro bus and I may be fine there. Homes here are very expensive compared to Shadow Creek Ranch.

For example, Taylor Morrison home has 50K$ difference on the base price for the same floor plan between SCR and Cinco.

This makes Cinco kind of expensive for us for the home we like.


On price wise, SCR is very good for us. And its very close to downtown compared to Cinco. But the concern we have about SCR is the Alvin ISD.

I think Katy ISD has way more higher reputation than Alvin ISD. Do you guys feel that way as well?


I don't know much about Southern Trails. I think the good thing about this is that its in Pearland ISD and I think Pearland ISD had better reputation than Alvin ISD?


Our dilemma now is should we buy a home that we can afford in Cinco Ranch because of Schools or buy a bigger better and the home we want in Shadow Creek Ranch and not worry too much about Alvin ISD? or should we go look in SouthernTrails and be on the safeside with Pearland ISD.


Could you guys give us your insights on these 3 locations please?
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:09 PM
 
2,548 posts, read 4,055,756 times
Reputation: 3996
Quote:
Originally Posted by firsthome View Post
Hello all,

We are looking to buy our first home. We need some advice on choosing the right location. I work at downtown.

We have two kids and good Schools are important.

We looked at Cinco Ranch and we liked it very much. Downside to this community is far from downtown and the traffic. But I would be taking Metro bus and I may be fine there. Homes here are very expensive compared to Shadow Creek Ranch.

For example, Taylor Morrison home has 50K$ difference on the base price for the same floor plan between SCR and Cinco.

This makes Cinco kind of expensive for us for the home we like.


On price wise, SCR is very good for us. And its very close to downtown compared to Cinco. But the concern we have about SCR is the Alvin ISD.

I think Katy ISD has way more higher reputation than Alvin ISD. Do you guys feel that way as well?


I don't know much about Southern Trails. I think the good thing about this is that its in Pearland ISD and I think Pearland ISD had better reputation than Alvin ISD?


Our dilemma now is should we buy a home that we can afford in Cinco Ranch because of Schools or buy a bigger better and the home we want in Shadow Creek Ranch and not worry too much about Alvin ISD? or should we go look in SouthernTrails and be on the safeside with Pearland ISD.


Could you guys give us your insights on these 3 locations please?
I'm pretty sure Southern Trails is in Alvin ISD, just like Shadow Creek Ranch. Given that you're already a bit concerned about the commute to Katy, I would say for ST or SCR. The Alvin schools they are zoned to are good, and there's a new high school opening, as well. Between the two, I prefer Southern Trails by a lot, but that's just personal preference. I do think the Southern Trails houses will hold value better, since SCR is plagued by landfill rumors.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:35 PM
 
52 posts, read 292,446 times
Reputation: 31
If having to choose between having a bigger house vs a better school district, I would go with the better school district. I've had to make this decision several times myself as a quality education is my #1 priority and priceless. I drive about 75 mins to work now in order for my kids to grow up in a nice area. I don't live in TX yet, so I can't comment on the areas you are referring too, I have looked at Cinco Ranch online, and it does seem like a nice area and the schools are mostly 10's on greatschools.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Katy, TX
1,288 posts, read 4,938,790 times
Reputation: 631
We live in Cinco Ranch and absolutely love it. It's your decision about priorities, but our priority was schools and Katy ISD wins hands down. I don't think there's any contest there. The commute is not wonderful though, so that's up to you, my husband works at the Galleria and most of the time it's 45 minutes, but that's a bit closer than downtown.
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:12 PM
 
120 posts, read 715,335 times
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Though ST and SCR are nearer to downtown, keep in mind that it wud take around 40 minutes during the normal peak hours. If commute frpm katy is manageable, then cinco may be the better choice.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:16 PM
 
84 posts, read 342,756 times
Reputation: 27
What's shocking is the price difference between Cinco Ranch and Shadow Creek Ranch home for the same builder. Fifty thousand dollars difference for the same home in Cinco and in Shadow Creek Ranch.

Is this mainly because of the Katy School District? Even though SCR has the advantage of being close to downtown.

Roughly SCR is 15 miles from downtown where as Cinco Ranch is 36 miles away.

I guess we will go with Cinco Ranch only just based on the School District.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:52 PM
 
166 posts, read 899,603 times
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It might be the same builder/plan, but location, location, location is everything... I would go with Cinco Ranch or other subdivision in the KatyISD area.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Katy, TX
1,288 posts, read 4,938,790 times
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Yep Cinco has the best amenities, great retail, really nice looking streets and well manicured pretty esplanades. Great reputation, tons to do, fantastic schools. I could go on I'm sure SCR is nice and the house is nice, but school district certainly can mean a huge difference in price.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Pearland (west side)
480 posts, read 1,699,593 times
Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by firsthome View Post
Hello all,

We are looking to buy our first home. We need some advice on choosing the right location. I work at downtown.

We have two kids and good Schools are important.

We looked at Cinco Ranch and we liked it very much. Downside to this community is far from downtown and the traffic. But I would be taking Metro bus and I may be fine there. Homes here are very expensive compared to Shadow Creek Ranch.

For example, Taylor Morrison home has 50K$ difference on the base price for the same floor plan between SCR and Cinco.

This makes Cinco kind of expensive for us for the home we like.


On price wise, SCR is very good for us. And its very close to downtown compared to Cinco. But the concern we have about SCR is the Alvin ISD.

I think Katy ISD has way more higher reputation than Alvin ISD. Do you guys feel that way as well?


I don't know much about Southern Trails. I think the good thing about this is that its in Pearland ISD and I think Pearland ISD had better reputation than Alvin ISD?


Our dilemma now is should we buy a home that we can afford in Cinco Ranch because of Schools or buy a bigger better and the home we want in Shadow Creek Ranch and not worry too much about Alvin ISD? or should we go look in SouthernTrails and be on the safeside with Pearland ISD.


Could you guys give us your insights on these 3 locations please?
Good thing I read this. I hope I can help. We looked at all 3 of the locations you are considering too, and ultimately we chose Southern Trails. I will try to explain why as I answer your questions.

If you want the Pearland ISD, you have to buy east of Hwy 288. Both SCR and ST are zoned to the Alvin ISD. Having said that, it's easy to say that
Cinco Ranch is probably the best school district.

The eastern 2/3rds of Shadowcreek Ranch and Southern Trails are zoned to the Alvin ISD, which is ok. Beware of the western 1/3rd of Shadowcreek Ranch and Southern Trails, which lies just over the line in Fort Bend County, and is zoned to the FB ISD. It is (supposedly) not as good as Alvin. I don't have kids but I do know that the Alvin school district has nice new elementary and middle schools located on the north side of Shadowcreek Ranch (which kids living in ST go to as well), so your kids would have a short ride there. I seem to recall Alvin High School is relatively new, too.

Cinco Ranch definitely loses out to the other two as far as commutes go. It's simply a nightmare. And the toll roads do not/will not help. You basically pay to sit in traffic. So if you can ride a bus, and put up with the commute from the Katy area that way, great. Your problem is solved. But driving is insane. I have two coworkers who do this from Katy. They both adjusted their work schedules to get in the office by 7am, and it still takes them 35-40 minutes.

On the other hand, the commute to downtown from SCR or ST is quite bearable. If you get on 288 before 7am, you can usually make it to downtown in 30 mintues or less. If you want to go in real early, like I do at 6am, it takes 15-20 mintues. We both work in the medical center, which is just a little shorter than downtown. Our house in ST is 13 miles from the med center, and 15 from downtown.

House prices will be higher in Katy. That's cuz all the builders know the families with kids want to buy there, for the best schools. On the other hand, you can get a really great buy (relatively speaking) in SCR or ST. It's probably one of the top 1 or 2 places in Houston right now where you can get the best buy for your money, after you factor in the distance to the city, the schools, and all the new amenities that are coming to west Pearland (e.g., they just opened up a new open-air mall called the Pearland Towncenter, which is really nice).

Here's another thing to consider: windstorm insurance. If you buy in Katy you won't have to get it, but to get a home loan for a house in either SCR or ST, you will need to have a windstorm policy. This is because both subdivisions are located in Brazoria County, which is a coastal county. Now, SCR and ST are both in the northernmost tip of Brazoria county, probably 15 miles from the coast at the closest point, but that doesn't exempt them from the state law. This insurance will probably cost you between $500-2000 annually, depending on your insurance carrier. Now there is a good side to this. All new homes built in Brazoria county must meet Texas windstorm (WPI-8) guidelines. They are inspected during construction to make sure they do. So you can have the comfort of knowing your home has extra structural integrity.

Now here's another tidbit. There is a landfill located just across Hwy 521 on the west border of SCR. There is probably going to be an expansion of this landfill sometime in the next couple of years. Residents living in the western side of SCR are already complaining about the smell, so you can imagine what it might be like after this expansion goes through. This was probably the biggest reason we chose ST over SCR. Our house in ST is about 2 miles from the landfill, and we have never smelled anything. So here is what I tell people who ask about buying in SCR or ST. My advice is: buy east of Kingsley Drive. That will put you about a mile from the landfill, and you should be ok. Buying west of Kingsley could put you too close the the miriad of problems the landfill will bring. So this translates to avoiding the section of SCR west of Kingsley, and avoid the Enclave section of Southern Trails.

Amenity wise, I'm sure Cinco Ranch has great stuff. As for SCR and ST, SCR wins out in all areas except one: it doesn't have a fitness center with weights and exercise machines, like ST does. ST's fitness center is open for the residents, and I can tell you it is quite nice.

I urge you to do a search of this forum for the keywords Cinco Ranch, Shadowcreek Ranch, and Southern Trails. I know there is another thread here about Southern Trails, in which I posted more info.

Sorry this got so long. There is no quick answer to this stuff. Best of luck in your home search.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:17 AM
 
84 posts, read 342,756 times
Reputation: 27
Yes only concern for me on SCR and ST is the School District. If Alvin ISD is comparable to Katy ISD schools, then its no brainer for me to pick SCR/ST.
I could get huge great home in SCR/ST where as in Cinco I have to settle for a smaller home for our budget.

I think we may have to sacrifice that for our Kids.
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