Sugar Land, TX Real Estate News

By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
John Morris passed away peacefully in the presence of his son on October 13th, 2008. We celebrated his life at his memorial service at Sugar Land Bible Church on Friday October 17th. We laughed and cried with his family who came from all over the United States. Afterwards many people went to Bravo's Restaurant, one of John's favorite meeting spots. For those of you who brought lunch to him, repaired his fence after hurricane Ike, signed the large laminated poster, bought a raffle ticket, attended the event at the Vineyards, please know that John appreciated you. John always said that the realtor family was part of his family. Thank you for Caring.
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
Be warned Farmers home insurance policyholders, you may see your rates climb an average 9.9% in February 2009. The new rates don't account for losses related to Ike, rather Farmers needed the hike to cover rising labor and materials costs. Farmers has not calculated the hurricane damage costs into thier rates, which means there could be another planned increase on the horizon ready to hit your pocketbook like a hurricane. The company, which sells home insurance through its Texas companies Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Texas Farmers Insurance Co., notified state regulators of the bump in rates earlier this week. Farmers has 760,000 home policyholders in Texas. But only half - those under its "HOA" policies - will see a rate increase, Levy said. Customers with T...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
General Growth Properties which owns 5 shopping malls in the Houston area: Baybrook Mall, Deerbrook Mall, First Colony Mall, The Woodlands Mall and Willowbrook Mall reported in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it faces potential bankruptcy if it's unable to refinance its debt. In addition to its Houston malls and other holdings, General Growth has dozens of other malls and high-end properties throughout the U.S. The publicly traded company also owns a 50% interest in The Woodlands and was a developer of Bridgeland which are both master-planned communities. The company reported it has about $958 million in debt that is due Dec. 1, with another $3 billion due in 2009. GGP warned in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that efforts to refinance or extend that credit ...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
I attended an informative mortgage update seminar today provided by Dixie Sanders of Patriot Bank. Here are some great tips and information she provided to us. Here are the 9 worst credit mistakes that will affect your FICO score in order of severity: 1) Bankruptcy: will appear on your credit report for at least 7 years, and possibly up to 10 years. 2) Judgments: from court cases, settlements, or liens are the second deadliest sins to your credit. 3) Tax Liens: unpaid tax liens will appear on your credit report. 4) Foreclosures: expect it to be difficcult to get another mortgage if you have a foreclosure on record. 5) Automobile Repossessions: car payments are less than mortgage payments. If a car was repossessed, it does not look very good to lenders. 6) Charge Offs: the collectors gav...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
According to a report by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers Houston is one of the nation's Top 10 real estate markets for the first time in more than 10 years due to its ties to the strong energy industry. Houston is ranked 6th in the nation for real estate investment prospects - was declared a "hot-growth market," according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009. Market strengths include the Johnson Space Center, the Texas Medical Center, the Port of Houston and trade with Mexico, the report says. "The population keeps expanding due to the high-octane job engine and reasonable cost of living (land is cheap and so is housing)," the report says. "Home prices never escalated dramatically, so values hold better in the mortgage crunch. Remarkably for this construction-...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
A Department of Commerce report reveals that new home sales rose 2.7 percent nationally in September as median home prices dropped to the lowest level in four years. Sales of new single-family homes for September 2008 were 464,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development figures. For August there were 452,000 homes sold nationally. Data show homes sales in the United States have been up and down since June, with August sales the lowest of the year. New homes sold in September 2007 were reported at 694,000 which is a 33.1% more than September 2008 sales. The national median price of a new home sold in September was $218,400, down about 12% from last year, and is the lowest price since 2004 when the median price jumped to $221,000 from $195,000 ...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
The Texas Attorney General's office has a new proposal that may double the amount of time a homeowner has to fix a defaulted loan before going into foreclosure. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's proposal would require a lender to give a homeowner 45 days - up from 20 days under the current law - to cure a loan default before the home is put up for sale. If approved by the legislature the act will also give homeowners 30 days to vacate the property following the foreclosure filing. The AG's office also plans to create a model foreclosure notice for mortgage companies to use in explaining the foreclosure process to homeowners for consumer education and protection.
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
Sugar Land Town Center plans to add a third office building to its Sugar Land Town Square mixed-use development at U.S. 59 and Texas Highway 6. While the national economy treads thru a recession, our local economy is continuing to grow slowly and defy the national trend. Construction on the six-story building is scheduled to begin soon, with completion planned in early 2010. The building will contain 166,561 square feet of office space and 13,176 square feet of ground-level retail space at 2245 Texas Drive. The complex will also be home to Minute Maid when it relocates to a new eight-story tower in January. When completed, Sugar Land Town Square will contain 566,004 square feet of office space and 238,779 square feet of retail space. Businesses also have access to a 300-room Marriott h...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
Well Im a little behind on my vacation blog because of the time difference and I seem to be just as busy on vacation as I am when Im in the office. I should be on at least day 3 by now. Funny when you only get a few hours of sleep per day, they all start to blend together. Day 2 was very eventful. A trip to one of the many high end malls, the mid-level district and a journey on the famous world's longest escallator. A tour of the place where we are staying and its connected shopping mall, and a quick trip to experience Maccau. Did I mention I experienced my first ever typhoon.     Here is one of the many shopping malls in Hong Kong to visit. Most are several stories tall and very modern on the interiors.                             Here is a wine retailer in one of the malls. Seems wine...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
Mike Wong in Hong Kong: Day 1 Well a few people are figuring out Im on vacation now, so the cat is out of the bag. Yes Im on vacation, yet still checking in and replying to voicemails and emails from work. And now I just cant help comming back to Active Rain to keep up with things and some of my favorite people in real estate. Im across the world in Hong Kong and still playing in the rain, well they warned me it was a typhoon actually.  After Hurricane Ike and over a week without electricity I was looking forward to leaving on this vacation, despite the grueling flight. I arrived to a busy and spectacular city and was warned a typhoon was also on the way. Just what I didnt want to experience on a vacation! Here are some photos from my 1st day to share on my trip. Hong Kong is an amazing...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
St. Luke's Sugar Land Hospital, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System's newest facility, celebrated several grand-opening events last week, commemorating the opening of the hospital on Oct. 10 at 1317 Lake Pointe Parkway in Sugar Land. Fort Bend area city and county officials joined in the festivities, and presented a certificate of special congressional recognition to the hospital. The 100-bed hospital will offer inpatient and outpatient services, including cardiovascular services and women's services. Two floors of the hospital are private patient rooms, and the third floor is dedicated to women's services and the "Sweet Beginnings" newborn nursery in addition to the level 2 neonatal intensive care unit. Texas Children's Hospital provides the neonatology coverage with availability 24 ho...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
The Sugar Land Police Department's Crime Prevention Fair will be held this Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the plaza at Sugar Land Town Square. The Crime Prevention Fair is a kickoff celebration for Texans Against Crime on Oct. 14. Activities scheduled during the fair include: • Child ID: Digitally produced, the cards include personal information and the child's photo. The cards are useful to parents who need important information about their child readily available in an emergency. • Child Safety Seat: SLPD has taken aggressive steps to protect children by not only actively enforcing child restraint laws, but also training individuals in the area on proper installation of child safety seats. The department's "Child Safety Seat Technicians" have passed a National Highway T...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
Thank you Active Rain! The last time I said this was back at 10,000 points. Since then, the many thanks I owe to Active Rain and the many consumers who have called or emailed me has been long overdue. I wanted to wait until at least the 100,000 mark to say anything, but this isnt about blowing my own horn. This post is to thank Active Rain and the forum they provided, my fellow AR members and family, my great clients, and those who took the time to email, call, or approach me in person to tell me they enjoy my blog. Its my pleasure to write and provide content for you. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation to continue. So here I am a little over 60,000 points. Even though I say its never about the points, it about the blog content, the points do matter. My goal is to reach 100,000 ...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
It must be Sugar Land's economic development growth... or is it the job growth... or is it the economic stability in the area... or is it one of the lowest crime rates in the country... or is it because it rated as one of the best places to live by Money magazine. Well whatever it is, Bill Heard Chevrolet is still sweet on Sugar Land. Bill Heard Enterprises said in a news release Wednesday it was closing its 13 dealerships nationwide, but one of its locations in the Houston area remained open. Bill Heard Chevrolet in Sugar Land will stay in business according to Linda Patterson, operations manager for the dealership. However, Landmark Chevrolet at 9111 North Freeway was closed until further notice. Last year, Landmark was ranked seventh in area vehicle sales by InfoNation, a Houston au...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
Sugar Land City Council has adopted a $169.7 million budget for fiscal year 2008-09 based on a tax rate of 30 cents per $100 valuation. The budget year begins Oct. 1. The budget also incorporates an increase in the residential homestead exemption that was approved by City Council to offset valuation growth. City Council reviewed the proposed budget through a series of workshops in August. The budget includes limited additions and new services: • Ten police officers are budgeted for the creation of a fifth patrol beat in the southwest part of the city. Beat 5 will provide service to the River Park area when it is annexed into the city next year and help the department maintain current service levels due to new development in Telfair and along U.S. 59. ●Increases to landscape maintenance...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
The city of Sugar Land says there is an ongoing need in Sugar Land for volunteers to assist with Hurricane Ike recovery efforts. Many residents, especially seniors and the disabled, still need assistance with recovery efforts on private property. While City employees are focused on public safety, the restoration of critical infrastructure, and the continued clearing of public rights-of-way, there are many volunteers who stand ready to assist those in need. Citizens should call Sugar Land's Hurricane Ike Phone Bank at (281) 275-2700 to request volunteer assistance and offer to serve as a volunteer. Citizen volunteers have been available, but more are needed to assist with debris cleanup, as well as grocery and pharmacy needs.  
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By Breanna Ochoa, Realtor - Houston, Sugar Land, Pearland
(Metro Realty Partners)
Tree on my roof:   Post Hurricane Ike I drove through several neighborhoods in the Sugar Land, Richmond, and Pearland area to check on damage to my properties and the properties of my out of town clients. Here is my damage update as of Sunday September 14th around 6 pm: Neighborhoods with light damage including minor fence damage, moderate tree damage, and shingle damage: River Park : they currently have electricity and running water. River Park West : they currently have electricity and running water. Sweetwater: many of the homes with the Mediterranean style tile roofs appeared to sustain more roof damage than the shingle type. Chimneystone : more severe damage to the larger more mature trees than the newer neighborhoods with smaller trees. Settler's Park : more severe damage to the l...
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By Breanna Ochoa, Realtor - Houston, Sugar Land, Pearland
(Metro Realty Partners)
  If you are in town, you know that gas supply is very limited. While out driving around checking on my property and my out of town clients property I thought I'd fuel up again if I had the chance. Most of the gas stations I drove by did not have any gas. I got a few tips on stations that had gas, but when I went to them, they all had lots of cars parked at the pump and lining up down the street, but no actual gas. They seemed be an urban myths. They were just open to sell chips, soda, gum etc. I am starting a list of station that I have seen actually do have gas, please add to the list if you have any updated information. As of 7 pm Sunday September 14th these stations had gas in Sugar Land: The Shell station at 59 feeder and Hwy 6 (although I am boycotting them) The HEB station at 59 ...
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By Erelopro Out of Business, Relocation Professionals are out of business
(erelopro)
Sugar Land, Texas is an affluent suburb of Houston. Named to reflect its beginnings as a sugar plantation, it is today a modern community replete with many upscale commercial developments. Sugar Land has experienced 158% growth since 1990, however excellent planning by city leaders ensures the community can continue to keep pace as the population grows beyond its current level of approximately 78,000. For example, a soon-to-be-completed local development consists of a Town Square -- a mixed-use development combining retail, residential and commercial spaces, offering a "traditional downtown model" of a walkable Main Street, in addition to a sixty thousand square foot conference center, hotel, ballroom, and the new home of the City Hall. Demographically, residents tend to be well-educate...
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By Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest
(Keller Williams Realty Southwest)
The Sugar Land Police Department has created a task force to address the 34% increase in vehicle burglaries so far this year. During the first seven months of 2008, there were 371 burglaries of motor vehicles, with the majority occurring in retail areas, fitness centers, restaurants and parks. While most of these crimes occur in high-volume parking lots, there has also been an increasing amount of vehicle burglaries reported in residential areas, mostly during the early morning hours according to Police Chief Steve Griffith. Drivers are leaving property in their vehicles, which creates an easy target for thieves. Items typically targeted include purses, wallets, computer equipment and electronics such as I-pods, GPS devices, cellular phones and radar detectors. The following tips can he...
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