23 December 2008

December News

December 2008

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor:

Just a note this month to tell you "thank you" for your business. We have represented neighbors in Venetian Estates sales and we have represented several of our Venetian Estates neighbors in residential and commercial transactions in other areas of Fort Bend and Harris County. We, as a company, truly appreciate your business.

The good news for Venetian Estates is that business is booming! I have two properties under contract and scheduled to close this month and next. We have had quite a bit of activity in the neighborhood this month and we expect to have another listing under contract soon!

As you know, we purchased the Sugar Land Frost Bank building (in which we office). In the first quarter of 2009 we will be relocating to a larger suite in the building. We are delighted to have brought two new tenants to our building. Imperial Performing Arts moved in in November, and our new Congressman, Pete Olson, will be relocating his campaign office her in January. We look forward to hosting an open house in our offices sometime early in 2009, when our move is complete and our new tenants are settled. We hope you will be able to join us at that time.

We are very optimistic about real estate values in "our little world" here in Venetian Estates. I will give you an in-depth look at values in our area and surrounding areas in January. Please call if I can help you with anything. Looks like I will be working quite a bit during the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Have a wonderful holiday season!

22 November 2008

November News

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor:

I recently listed the home at 127 Saint Marks. If you know someone who has always loved Venetian Estates but prefers a new home, this is it! Lynda and Steve Anderson essentially re-built it for themselves in 2003, and the quality of construction is superb. The price is $675,000.

Sugar Land is an exciting place to live right now. Although the national talk is of the downturn in the economy we, here in Fort Bend County and Sugar Land in particular, have so much growth taking place. Last month I told you about the city’s plans for the Entertainment District, which will include a concert hall, minor league baseball stadium and outdoor festival site. This month there is additional exciting news. Eddie Crowell, Executive Director, has announced the founding of Imperial Performing Arts of Sugar Land, Texas, bringing world-class art to a world-class city! Eddie is the son of Edward Crowell, our VE HOA President. Imperial Performing Arts will produce and present professional performance art and support initiatives in arts education and community development. The goal of IPA is to capture the full range of professional performance art through its companies: Sugar Land Opera, Sugar Land Theatre, Sugar Land Ballet, Sugar Land Philharmonic, Sugar Land Picture Show, Sugar Land LIVE!, and Imperial Arts Education . Through these companies, IPA will bring to Sugar Land the full scope of professional fine performance art, professional popular art, community and volunteer performances, professional performances on tour, and arts education for all ages and all stages of interest and experience. The inaugural event, A Christmas Evening at Briscoe Manor, will be held on December 18. Supporters and honored guests for the evening include: United States Representative-elect Pete Olson, Mayor James Thompson, David Wallace, Louis Garvin, Councilman Don Olson, Judge Robert Hebert, Dee Koch of the George Foundation and community leader, Mary Gayle Brindley. If you would like to attend this incredible evening, which will include cocktails, a concert and a gourmet seated dinner, please contact IPA at 713-628-2468 or imperialperformingarts.org. Fort Bend Real Estate has purchased a corporate table and we are excited about supporting this exciting new endeavor!

On the housing-market front, according to Tierra Grande, Texas has avoided high foreclosure levels. In fact, in 2007 it was only one of six states that reported a decrease in delinquency filings and during the first half of 2008 Texas’ filings were up only 1% compared to a national average of 61%. Thus, the housing market continues to be relatively strong, although sales and construction are down considerably from 2006-07. I have seen a slow-down in transaction volume as many people are taking a wait-and-see approach to our economy before making major financial decisions. However, employment in Sugar Land is expected to remain very strong. The resulting population growth, coupled with banks participating in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and being mandated to begin making loans again, will fuel demand for housing. I expect that it will not be long before people jump back in off the sidelines.

There has been an incredible amount of interest in the last few years in the Texas land market. It seems that everyone you meet is presently looking for a small- or medium-size ranch in Texas! According to Tierra Grande, “Texas land markets are increasingly difficult to predict. Land prices cannot indefinitely sustain the rate of increase seen in the past five years. However, trends continue to reflect an upward price spiral. Without a severe economic blow, land prices will likely continue to rise but at a more sustainable rate. Will buyers continue to flock into land markets with cash to drive prices ever higher? It is possible. The economy remains awash in investment money seeking a safe haven. Many investors have decided land is a viable option.” If you are interested in purchasing land anywhere in Texas please give us a call. We represent buyers in all Texas markets.

Back to the residential market, I have taken down the sign at 215 Savoy. The Bevis’ thought it a good idea to remove it during the holidays. However, the home will remain on the market so let me know if you know someone who might be interested. Also, I will soon be putting a great house on the market in Brookside/Belknap. The house is located at 614 Alcorn on the corner of Azalea. The lot is gorgeous and the house has many updates including new flooring and paint. Let me know if you have friends or family members interested in that much-sought-after neighborhood. The home is approximately 1650 square feet and is priced at $200,000.


13 November 2008

Successful Venetian Estates Open Houses

Last Sunday Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation hosted three open houses in Venetian Estates. The homes received quite a bit of viewing traffic. It is clear that, despite market conditions, interest in Venetian Estates has not waned. If you missed this open house, call the office at 281-242-2200 to arrange a time to see these great properties.

04 November 2008

3 Venetian Estates Open Houses on Sunday!

Be sure to stop by the 3 houses Fort Bend Real Estate Corp. will have OPEN this Sunday, November 8, between 1:30 and 4:30 PM. Our bulletin is below, as well as links to additional information on each of these properties.

Additional Information:
127 Saint Marks Street - Blog - FBRE site - HAR - Map
215 Savoy Street - Blog - FBRE site - HAR - Map
834 Bel Bar Street - Blog - FBRE site - HAR - Map

24 October 2008

127 Saint Marks

This house is a celebration of Venetian Estates - a fusion of exquisite new construction and old world neighborhood. The home was totally rebuilt on the previous house footprint. With gorgeous design touches and thoughtful planning, this home demonstrates beauty and function. Be Wow'd by the photos below, and be sure to find more information on HAR or FBRE's website. Contact Susan for additional information.

20 October 2008

October News

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor:

There are five homes and one lot currently for sale in Venetian Estates, ranging in price from $395,000 to $872,000. I recently listed the home of Sherry and Anthony Bevis at 215 Savoy. Sherry and Anthony built a house in Shiner, Texas and are enjoying raising their kids in the country. The Bevis’ purchased the home on Savoy several years ago and, prior to moving in, did a considerable amount of updating/remodeling to the home. This is a three bedroom home with a private office area off the kitchen and an amazing walk-in closet off the master bedroom. The floors are hardwood and travertine, the kitchen and baths have granite counters and all appliances have been replaced. The back yard is breezy and beautiful! Please let me know if you know anyone that might be interested in seeing this home.

Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation recently published a website dedicated solely to Venetian Estates. A copy of this monthly newsletter, as well as pictures of our listings, will be available online. Please check it out at www.VenetianEstatesNews.com.

Bud and I attended the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday, October 1. We were excited to learn more about the city’s plans for the Entertainment District, which will be located near the University of Houston campus at US 59 and University Boulevard. Included in this District will be three new facilities: a concert hall, a minor league baseball stadium and an outdoor festival site. One thing is for sure: Venetian Estates is ideally-located for this venue. We are close enough to enjoy it, but don’t have to deal with any traffic byproducts! Other good news is that the district will be funded by a use tax. User fees through hotel and venue taxes will provide the funding so that participants in venue entertainment or activities will pay for the funding of the project. The sales tax for the City of Sugar Land will not be changing. I am most excited about the prospect of a minor league baseball team right here in our city. The same day Bud and I attended the chamber luncheon, we attended the annual City of Sugar Land’s volunteer appreciation dinner at the Sugar Land Marriott. (Bud serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the City) The guest speaker that evening was Drayton McLane, owner of our Houston Astros. He flew in to our Sugar Land airport that afternoon (was very impressed) and Mayor Jimmy Thompson gave Mr. McLane a tour of the area designated as the Entertainment District. Who knows? A lot of changes are taking place, and it is not inconceivable that we could have an Astros affiliated team right here in Sugar Land. How cool would that be? I am already talking to my 9 month and 1 ½ year old grandchildren about taking them to the games!

Keron Weathered, a resident of Venetian Estates for 18 years, is a designer at Designer Showcase. She has completed a showcase home that will be on tour in Riverstone from October 17th through November 2nd. Keron, who enjoys designing with reclaimed materials and intricate moldings, turned this home into a true masterpiece. The house is one of six homes on the Luxury Custom Home Tour and is priced at $2,650,000. Keron would love for all her neighbors to experience the tour and see what she was able to accomplish with the help of her assistant, Julie Meers, and Bayou Bend Homes. Please go to www.Riverstone.com for tickets and more information.

Our neighbors, Debbie and David Rothchild would like to tell you about their Pet Nanny, Nancy Block. Debbie met Nancy after seeing her in the neighborhood walking and training other neighbors’ dogs. Nancy and her partner, Ingrid, pet sit for people when they go out of town. They will customize their services to your needs. Debbie says to check out the website at sugarlandpetnanny.com. She highly recommends their service.

News from the commercial side: Bud just represented a large seismic company in a build-to-suit transaction. The first step was the purchase of the land on which they will build a corporate office and warehouse. Bud spent a great deal of time researching the best location for their business, taking into consideration their space requirements and employee preferences. Contact us to assist you and your company with any of your business real estate needs.

And …of course call me if you are considering a move. I would love to represent you in the purchase of a new home.

16 October 2008

834 Bel Mar

Tanya Archer listed the amazing home at 834 Bel Mar. This home features a HUGE yard and a three-car garage. Minor updates will truly make this well-cared for home a masterpiece. Contact Tanya for additional information, or visit the home on HAR or on FBRE's website.

13 October 2008

Last Available Lot in Venetian Estates

This is the last opportunity to buy a residential lot in Venetian Estates! At over 1/3-acre, you'll have plenty of space to build your dream home with incredible lake views and breezes. Note the long lake view from the aerial below and the sunrise picture taken from this lot one morning. For more information, see this listing on FBRE's website.

Venetian Estates is a premier neighborhood in Sugar Land, TX. Approximate location here.

30 September 2008

215 Savoy Street

Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation just listed the home at 215 Savoy Street. This house has been almost completely remodeled inside. The hardwood and travertine stone floors are beautiful. Though the remodeling touches are spectacular, one of the best features this house has to offer is its location on the lake. It looks out on a wide section of Lake Venice, so the views and breezes are amazing. Here are some pictures, but make sure to look for more information on HAR, or on FBRE's website.

Venetian Estates is a premier neighborhood in Sugar Land, TX. Approximate location here.

19 September 2008

123 Saint Marks

Susan's listing at 123 Saint Marks is definitely something to tell your friends about. The sellers have put a great deal of time, thought and work into their home. On top of updates inside, the pool is sparkling and landscaping is beautiful. Here are some pictures:

Contact Susan or visit our website for more information.

01 September 2008

Fort Bend Lifestyles Magazine

Be sure to check out our ad in the upcoming edition of Fort Bend Lifestyles Magazine! Here's a sneak peak:

19 August 2008

August News

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor:

There are six homes currently on the market in VE priced from $471,800 to $872,000. The vacant lot on Savoy is also available. I have a great new listing at 123 Saint Marks! This home has been completely updated and remodeled, has a gorgeous pool and a fabulous tree-shaded back yard. It is truly charming. Also, Tanya Archer with Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation has a new listing on Bel Mar. The home has been meticulously maintained, has an excellent floor plan with a guest wing, a three-car garage and a large lot with a beautiful view. Please call our office if you or someone you know would like more information.

Yet again, our metro-area has made the news! Fort Bend County led the U.S. in job growth in 2007. Fort Bend experienced a gain of 7.4% in 2007, while the national figure was a gain of 0.8%. In fact, Fort Bend had a substantial lead over all other large counties in the U.S. Bureau of Labor survey—Monterey County, California ranked second with a 5.2% increase. Our strong job growth has been driven by such factors as quality, affordable housing and good schools, and has been linked to the energy sector and new local medical developments. Strong job growth is the best possible news when it comes to our housing market!

Speaking of the housing market…this brings me to another interesting topic, the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District. Like me, many of you might have been shocked to discover your assessed values for 2008. Apparently, the FBCAD has undergone many changes since last year. They have hired several new chief appraisers and the State of Texas is mandating that the appraisers assess values that reflect no less than 95% of fair market value. From what I gather from those in my office who have spent much time at the FBCAD this year, no appraiser wants the State to question his or her appraisals, so most are erring on the high rather than low side of estimated market value. Thank goodness for the homestead exemption! And, of course, the silver lining is that—as shocking as they may be—the jump in assessments reflect the significant jump in values we have seen in our neighborhood in recent years. As Houston, Fort Bend County and Sugar Land continue to grow, more people are recognizing Venetian Estates as the gem that it is—a beautiful, quiet, friendly neighborhood that is near so many local Sugar Land amenities and only 20 minutes from the galleria! Thus, we have all experienced a relatively quick increase in our nest egg of home equity.

I am excited to share with you information that I learned while participating in a roundtable discussion with Southern Land Company, who is teaming with Cherokee Investment Partners in the Imperial Sugar redevelopment. I am VERY impressed by the leadership and track record of Southern Land Company. I think that we will all enjoy the life that Southern Land and Cherokee bring to “our” side of Sugar Land. The developers are still in the “clean-up” stage of the redevelopment project, and they are pleased to discover that they will be able to salvage and restore even more historical structures than they originally planned. At this point, they also intend to leave the iconic “Imperial Sugar, pure cane” sign on the Charhouse. The first homes probably will not be on the ground for another two years; however, the developers want to begin creating a presence in our community now. In Sugar Land surveys that Cherokee conducted, the most-requested amenity was a farmers’ market, and Southern Land is going to try to bring us one! They are in the process of planning a fun, wholesome affair that will give its attendants (and even their pets!) a place to eat, shop, learn about local non-profit organizations, and be entertained by local performing artists. Southern Land gave me great confidence that the event will be very strictly-regulated in order to retain quality vendors and maintain a safe, clean environment. They hope to have the farmers’ market up-and-running on a Highway 90A site by spring 2009!

Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation organized FBRE II, LLC to acquire the Frost Bank building located at the corner of Savoy and US 90A this year. Upon acquiring the property, FBRE II, LLC immediately set out to upgrade the facility by improving the parking lot and cleaning the exterior. We are happy to be able to beautify one of the entrances to our subdivision! We are very excited about expanding our offices in the building later this year. Please look for an invitation to an Open House for our office this winter. We would love for you to come see our new, larger space and the improvements we are making to the building.

Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation has years of experience and a strong presence in commercial and residential real estate, both in Harris and Fort Bend Counties. Please call us to discuss how we can assist you, whether in investing in commercial real estate or in selling or buying a home. Our boutique firm offers complete real estate services with unparalleled customer service.
Susan Friedman