29 December 2009

819 Piedmont - Sneak Peek!

Susan and I listed the beautifully remodeled home at 819 Piedmont. We will put it on the market after the first of the year, but here are some pictures that will WOW you!

Public Hearing Regarding Rezoning of Savoy Property

Venetian Residents:

Please add January 12, 2010 to your calendars. A public hearing will be held to give all persons interested a chance to voice their opinions and concerns about the proposed permanent rezoning of the property adjacent to the Frost Bank motor bank on Savoy Street.

Where: City of Sugar Land City Council Chamber, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North
When: 6:30 PM, January 12, 2010

This rezoning can potentially have a large impact on property values in our neighborhood and is thus an extremely important issue to our community. Please take the time to let the City know your concerns. Contact Bud if you have any questions about the rezoning.

11 December 2009

Venetian Winter

Corey Ferguson, who lives on Santa Maria, captured this shot from the snow we had last weekend!

My picture didn't turn out nearly as well, but the house on Capri across the lake from me looked like a winter wonderland.

Contact us if you have captured some neat shots from our snow on December 4 - I'll share them with all our neighbors here on this blog.

23 November 2009

November News

November 2009

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor,

The residential arm of Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation has really been busy! Susan sold another home in Riverstone at the end of October. This was new construction built by Coventry Homes. Many of the builders are still offering great incentives so let us know if you are considering a move to a new home! I recently sold a beautiful home in Sienna Plantation in less than one week! Also, I recently represented a local bank in the sale of a gorgeous wooded lot in Texana Plantation. Texana is located off FM 359, and I sold this one in less than one week also! Susan is presently working with both buyer and seller of our residential/commercial listing at 326 Brooks Street. Our beautifully remodeled home-office listing is scheduled to close in mid December.

Susan’s listing at 302 Lombardy Drive sold in seven days! We didn’t even get a chance to host an open house, but if you would like to see pictures of this stunning home, go to our Venetian Estates blog, http://www.venetianestatesnews.com/. We’ve posted details and pictures of this incredible property on Lake Venice. Closing is set for mid-December, so we will have new neighbor information for you in January. One interesting fact with regard to the buyers of this home: Susan showed them homes in Venetian many years ago. At that time they decided to purchase in another waterfront community. After living in two different waterfront communities over the past several years they are now buying the beautiful home on Lombardy. What does that say about our neighborhood? There is not another one like it!!!!

Susan also has pending sales in New Territory and in Brightwater. I recently listed a great townhouse in Kemah, Texas. This almost-new townhouse is a mere mile from the Kemah Boardwalk. It features 2 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a study and a 2-car garage. This townhouse is the perfect low-maintenance property for a weekend get-away. Contact me for more information or see the home on HAR at www.har.com/21400247.

We are thrilled to welcome Jackie and Terry Puhl to Venetian Estates! The Puhls purchased the home at 918 Gondola. They were long-time Alkire Lake residents but fell in love with this home’s views of beautiful Alkire Lake. Jackie and Terry have three children: Naomi, who works with Platz Energy in Houston; Stephen, who is with a law firm that specializes in financial cases; and Curtis, who is 20 years old and attends Texas A&M University. Terry is with the investment firm of Sanders, Morris and Harris, located on Travis Street in downtown Houston. He also coaches baseball at the University of Houston at Victoria. We’re sure those Cougs are grateful for their renowned coach!

The Houston Association of Realtors reports that demand for single-family home rentals rose 3.5% in September compared to a year earlier. “Year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals [also] increased 2.2 percent.” If you are interested in real estate investment opportunities, Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation can assist you in your decision-making. We also offer professional property management services.

Bud and Kelly are now handling the leasing for the Offices in the Park at Sugar Creek. If you missed out on our office at 326 Brooks Street, here is a second opportunity to shorten your commute. These free-standing suites are nestled in a quiet, picturesque office park, with the benefit of being just off US 59. The landlord is willing to customize floor plans for new tenants. Please contact Bud or Kelly if your office is interested in relocating.

Also regarding leasing, Bud and Kelly are active in corporate representation. They recently renewed and extended an existing office lease in the Galleria area, as well as relocated an employee-benefits company in Sugar land. Whatever your corporate needs are, whether purchasing, leasing, lease renegotiation, build-to-suit design, etc., Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation can represent you.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote on the proposed constitutional amendments on November 3! We are pleased to report that Propositions 2, 3, 5 and 11 all passed. These Propositions pertained specifically to real-estate matters, including imposing limits on the State’s authority to seize property under eminent domain and making improvements to the property tax appraisal process. As real estate professionals we have unfortunately witnessed numerous situations in which the Central Appraisal District treated property owners unfairly. We hope that these Propositions will go a long way to make the appraisal process fairer for all real estate owners.

Thank you to everyone who joined FBRE and our neighbors, Olson For Congress and Imperial Performing Arts, on Friday, November 13 to celebrate our new offices! We are truly blessed as a company to be able to work with so many clients who are also our friends. November is aptly dubbed the “Thankful Month” as it offers us a chance to reflect on our many blessings. We extend our best wishes to you and your families during the Thanksgiving season.

Please call me with any news!
Kristin Johnston

14 October 2009

Open House today at 103 Savoy Street

Please join us for a wine and cheese open house today at 103 Savoy Street! This waterfront property for sale in Venetian Estates will be open from 4:00 to 6:00 PM today. Please stop by to say hi, and see all this house has to offer. This is an excellent opportunity to buy in Venetian Estates for less than $400,000!

Also, our listing at 326 Brooks Street will be open today, too! This circa 1920s home was completely remodeled in 2009. It is zoned for mixed-use, so can be used as a residence or an office.
Hope to see you there!

01 October 2009

326 Brooks Street in Belknap - Brookside

If anyone is weary of sitting in traffic every workday, check out this fabulous office that we listed right around the corner! This historic circa 1920s home has been completely remodeled and decked out for a gorgeous office! There are 2 private offices, plus a conference room that could be used as a third office. The reception/work area is spacious and bright, with ample room for another work station. The full kitchen has been updated with top-of-the-line appliances. The screened-in porch will make a perfect break room, and there is tons of extra storage located in the 2-car garage. The home is fully sprinklered to meet commercial building occupancy requirements*. Check out these pictures below and feel free to call us to view this amazing property.

View this home/office on HAR.com here.
Download the flyer here.

Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation is a boutique real estate firm located in Sugar Land, Texas. FBRE offers both residential and commercial real estate services in Fort Bend, Harris and surrounding counties. Visit us at http://www.fortbendrealestate.net/.

* Buyer will need to verify current building code requirements.

24 September 2009

September News

September 2009

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor,

We are excited to be a part of the Houston real estate market. While number of sales is still down from last year, prices are up! According to the Houston Association of Realtors, the number of transactions completed in July 2009 was down 5.1% from July 2008. However, the median home price rose 1.5%. Vicki Fullerton, this year's HAR chair says "Strong pricing performance, an easing decline in sales volume and the slowdown of foreclosure sales make for very positive indicators about the state of the Houston real estate market." This statistic speaks volumes for our City’s strengths, despite recent media about a sluggish and slow recovery.

With regard to the above information from HAR, Venetian Estates does not necessarily follow market trends! We have a unique subdivision, and often our statistics vary greatly from the mainstream market. One good example – our number of sales is more than triple the number from 2008! This time last year three homes in VE had sold and closed. In fact there were only three recorded MLS sales for the entire year! This year there are 10 MLS sales recorded so far (January-September 2009) and we plan to have at least two more sales soon (the homes on Savoy that we are presently marketing). Of the 10 closed transactions so far this year FBRE has sold 9 of them – either by representing the seller, the buyer or working as an intermediary between the two parties. Those are amazing statistics!

Susan represented the purchaser of 907 Genova, which closed this week. The Nelsons of 907 Genova are scaling down to a smaller home in the Richmond area. They built the Genova home in 1995 and have wonderful family memories to take with them to their new home presently under construction. (New neighbor info on the purchasers later!) Susan also worked with the sellers and the purchasers of 714 Santa Maria, which also closed this week. Sally & Don McGinty purchased this home, which was previously owned by Joy Maples Ellis. We are marketing the McGinty’s home at 103 Savoy. If you have not been able to attend an Open House here yet, please watch for another one soon. The large, tree-shaded lot and screened-in porch are only two of the wonderful features of this home. High ceilings, large bedrooms and a 3-car garage with a list price in the $300,000’s make this a home you will want to tell your friends and family about!

We have just listed an incredible commercial property at 326 Brooks! If you or someone you know is looking for the most attractive office in Sugar Land, give us a call! This home/office has been completely updated and remodeled. It contains a reception area, two offices, a full bath, a complete kitchen, screened-in porch, a two-car garage with extra storage, and much, much more. The property, which can serve as a residence or office, will be listed on HAR soon. Stay tuned to this blog, which will be updated with the latest.

Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation recognizes the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest technological, web-based tools. HAR reports that the majority of people purchasing homes in recent years relied heavily on the internet to find their houses. We have expanded our marketing sphere to include an array of online advertising tools and databases in addition to our own website, www.fbre.net, and HAR.com. These websites maximize the exposure of our listings. Coupled with proactive face-to-face marketing and networking, we offer best-in-the-business services to our clients. You would likely be amazed by the number of homes we have sold by simply telling friends, neighbors, past clients etc. about the homes we are presently marketing! Our history, experience and resulting network of contacts in the local real estate market enable us to be exceptionally effective when it comes to “hands-on” marketing.

Bud is currently serving on Congressman Pete Olson’s Congressional Service Academy Advisory Board. The Board selects qualified high school senior applicants who wish to attend a military academy (Air Force Academy, Annapolis, West Point or Merchant Marine). If you know of any students within the 22nd Congressional District who may be interested in applying for a full scholarship at one of these prestigious universities, please contact Bud for more information. You can reach him at our office number below or email him at Bud@fbre.net.

Kelly was once again published by the Fort Bend Business Journal. She wrote an in-depth article regarding commercial and investment real estate in Fort Bend County. Be sure to read the article, which appeared in the September edition. Go to our website, www.fbre.net, for a link to the article.

Save the date! Friday, November 13 we will co-host a party with Imperial Performing Arts and Olson for Congress in our offices in the Frost Bank Building. Since FBRE II, LLC acquired the property in 2008 we have made exciting changes. In addition to decorating the atrium with historical photographs taken in Sugar Land, we have also decorated our new, larger, and completely updated suite with additional local historical images. Join us for a festive evening with friends and entertainment (IPA, Sugar Land’s new resident professional performing arts company, will provide professional entertainment via a baby grand piano!) to kick off the holiday season.

Please call me with any news!
Kristin Johnston

16 September 2009

Listing Sold!

Our listing at 714 Santa Maria closed yesterday, September 15! Located at the end of a cul-de-sac, this house featured an exceptional view of Lake Venice.

We still have two great listings available on Savoy Street! Call us to see these exceptional waterfront properties!

(Click on the images below to view more information)

Venetian Estates is a niche neighborhood in Sugar Land, TX. Strategically located a mere 15 minutes from the Houston Galleria, homeowners enjoy resort-style waterfront living with the convenience of all the City amenities.

Contact Susan or Kristin for additional information.

10 September 2009

Open House at 103 Savoy on Sunday, September 13

Stop by our open house this weekend at 103 Savoy Street! This house is the lowest-priced home available in Venetian Estates! It features a large, tree-shaded yard and walls of windows overlooking the lake.

The home will be open:
Sunday, September 13, 2009
2:00 to 4:00 PM
View more pictures of the house here on our blog, or go to HAR.com. Feel free to contact Susan or Kristin if you have any questions!
See you Sunday!

02 September 2009

411 Savoy Street

We are very excited about our new listing at 411 Savoy! This home features an excellent floor plan that really takes advantage of the LONG views down Lake Venice. Its ideal location on the lake affords amazing views without compromising privacy. The home interior features a master that overlooks the water, soaring cathedral ceilings in the living, spacious kitchen with ample storage and a bedroom/office off the breakfast room. The pool and massive Cypress trees complete this lot to make it one of the most desirable in Venetian Estates!

Venetian Estates is a niche neighborhood in Sugar Land, TX. Strategically located a mere 15 minutes from the Houston Galleria, homeowners enjoy resort-style waterfront living with the convenience of all the City amenities.

Contact Susan or Kristin for additional information.

19 August 2009

August News

August 2009

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor,

There are now eight homes on the market in VE ranging from $389,000 to $899,000. We have just listed the home at 103 Savoy. This home has high ceilings, large bedrooms and a wonderful screened-in porch overlooking the ½-acre tree-shaded lot. If you have friends wanting to buy in our neighborhood, this is a rare opportunity to purchase under $400,000—this property is priced at $389,000! Our listing at 714 Santa Maria is under contract and scheduled to close in September. Counting this pending sale, Kristin, Tanya and I have sold 8 of the 9 VE homes sold this year. We are still very busy in the neighborhood working with potential purchasers. Please call us if you are considering selling.

I also just sold a beautiful property on Oyster Creek Drive. I have one other home on Oyster Creek Drive available—it’s an older home on a beautiful ½-acre lot on Oyster Creek overlooking the Lake Pointe development. This property is priced at $349,000.

Our new neighbors at 410 Lombardy, the former home of Jim Kepple, are Melissa and Jeff Crawford. The Crawford’s have lived in Sugar Land, the Oaks of Alcorn, for 18 years. They are making major changes to their new home, and I know it will be beautiful! Melissa and Jeff have two daughters, Jessica and Sarah. Jessica is 21 and a student at SFA. Sarah is 20 and attends Baylor. Other members of the family are Holly, a 13 year old Golden Retriever, and Zoie, a 3 year old Golden Doodle. Melissa has been with ExxonMobil in Human Resources for 28 years and Jeff is IT Director of GC Services in Houston, where he has worked for 18 years. Many of us remember seeing Jim and his wife, Ollie, ride with their cute little poodle Bubba around the neighborhood to let him hang his head out the window to look for squirrels. Jim and Ollie used to bring Bubba to our house for the doggie birthday parties that my kids used to have! Ollie passed away a couple of years ago, and Jim has now moved to a retirement home in Tanglewood. He has a great apartment there and is still very active. We are delighted to have the Crawford’s as our new neighbors!

Susan Marblestone on Salerno recently helped Doc Seibel obtain a new recycling bin. She thought some of the neighbors might want to know that it is easy to get a new one if yours has been damaged or lost. For a replacement call 281-275-2450. They will come take the old one and give you a new one. Thanks, Susan, for your very helpful info. I have already called and had mine replaced.

Bud recently represented a client who purchased a property in Gonzales County (near Smiley, TX) to complete a tax-free (deferred) exchange. Three years ago, Bud and I purchased a ranch in Gonzales County. Our entire family has enjoyed it immensely! If you or anyone you know is considering acreage or a “ranch” investment, give Bud a call. He is very familiar with the Houston/Austin/San Antonio “Golden Triangle” and can help with due-diligence items specific to ranch properties. He is well-qualified to represent clients in the sale or purchase of unimproved or improved properties and in utilizing tax-free exchanges.

Please remember to give us a call if you are considering a move. We work with builders on new construction (I am presently working with two clients who are in the process of building a home) and, of course, resale homes in many different areas. I have a sale pending in First Colony (sold in 3 days) as well as the pending sale in Venetian. Kristin is representing a couple considering Telfair and another couple wishing to buy in Venetian Estates. Tanya is representing an owner of property near Flynn, Texas, and is working with buyers looking in the Richmond area. Bud just completed an office lease transaction for one of our neighbors, and he and Kelly are working on a build-to-suit in Richmond, as well as relocation of an office for another VE neighbor. All this to say, whatever you need with regard to real estate, we can help you!

We are excited about having our neighbors attend our building open house in the fall. We are still working on our new offices and can’t wait for you to see what we have done!

Please call me with any news!


07 August 2009

103 Savoy Street

Here is a sneak preview of our newest listing at 103 Savoy Street! This home has an amazing lot that is just over 1/2-acre. The screened-in porch is the perfect place to watch the sun rise over the water, and the southern breezes at the private dock blow virtually non-stop. The interior of the home has some excellent features as well, including solid wood beams in the cathedral-ceiling living room and walls of glass that showcase the mature oaks and shady backyard. Here are a few pictures, and more information is available below.
See this home on HAR.com
See this home on FBRE's website. Download flyer here.

14 July 2009

Saturday Open House at 714 Santa Maria

Be sure to stop by our open house at 714 Santa Maria Street this Saturday. The home will be open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 18.

714 Santa Maria features high cathedral ceilings and wood floors in the living room, a sunroom with breathtaking lake views, and a large island kitchen.

Contact Susan or Kristin for additional information.

18 June 2009

June News

June 2009

Dear Venetian Estates Neighbor,

Susan wrote the first “official” Venetian Estates News in May of 1989. Wow! That was 20 years ago, and I was 9 years old at the time. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Susan and Bud’s eldest daughter. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in math in 2002, I went to work as a geophysicist for Veritas DGC (now CGGVeritas). However, I guess I couldn’t get real estate out of by blood. I obtained my broker’s license and went to work for FBRE in 2005. My husband Jeff and I live on Savoy Street and have two children, Kate (2) and Kenny (1).

Since Susan and I have been so busy selling homes for the past few months, we have a lot of new-neighbor info for you this month!

Lynn and Dwain Barnes purchased the Jonas’ home at 910 San Marino and have just moved in after completing beautiful renovations. Lynn is a first grade teacher at Brazos Bend Elementary, and Dwain owns the State Farm Agency located at 16103 Lexington Blvd. The Barnes have twin boys, who both live in Houston, and a daughter who lives in Panama and sells commercial real estate there. Lynn and Dwain have two grandchildren: Trenton, 4, and Corbin, who will be 1 in July. Leah and Joel Jonas and their children, Joshua and Hannah, have moved to Durango, Colorado, where they are in the process of building a home.

Diana and John Allen are my new next door neighbors! They purchased the Bevis’ home at 215 Savoy this month. John has lived in Sugar Land since the 1950s and is CEO of Brand + Allen Architects. The Allens’ have a house that John designed on Lake Travis in Austin. They have a daughter in Austin, a son and four grandchildren (JR, 8; Andrew, 6; Cecily, almost 3; and Marshal 1 ½) in San Antonio and a Maltese-Shih-Tzu named Sadie. Diana and John’s search for a boat has already commenced. Lookout Lee Vaughn and David Rothschild (our current fishing tournament title holders)! John will give you a run for your money at next year’s competition.

Pat and Brad Somers purchased the home at 834 Bel Mar. Their architect has almost completed their drawings for remodeling the house. Once the work is complete (they hope by October!), they will move in. The Somers are moving from Avalon. Pat is very excited because she just retired this month from teaching in Alief for 29 years. Brad recently sold and is now President of his company that manufactures cast aluminum decorative street-lamp posts – the very lamp posts that we are now seeing throughout the City of Sugar Land! Pat and Brad have a 25-year old son who lives in Houston.

Now for a snip-it of market news: The Houston Association of Realtors reports that rental occupancies are up 8% for single-family homes and 12.2% for townhouses and condominiums. So, what does this mean to you? If you have been considering tapping into real estate as an investment option, now is a great time. In many Houston areas, prices are down while rental rates and occupancies are up. Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation is experienced in representing purchasers of investment properties. We can help you locate a property, represent you in the purchase of it, lease it for you, and also handle the management.

Get excited, dog owners! Susan attended the Fort Bend Republican Women’s Club meeting in May, and Mayor Jimmy Thompson reported that the new Sugar Land Dog Park is less than 30 days away. The park will be located at the Brazos River Corridor/Sugar Land Memorial Park near the Sugar Land UH campus. The 6-acre park will include areas for small and large dogs, a pond, a dog wash station and shade structures.

410 Lombardy is under contract, scheduled to close in July. If you are considering selling your house, please give us a call!

28 May 2009

Open House at 714 Santa Maria

Be sure to stop by our open house this Sunday, May 31st from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

714 Santa Maria will WOW you with its amazing views and breezes. This home features wood floors, cathedral ceilings and a large island kitchen!

You can view more information about this house on the FBRE website. If you have time, check out our listing at 814 Oyster Creek. This home will also be open on Sunday!

19 May 2009

May News

May 2009

What a busy time it has been for FBRE and VE!

I have not written a newsletter for the past few months but I have been tied up selling homes here in VE! In fact, as of May, FBRE is the only company that has closed sales in Venetian Estates in 2009.

Tanya Archer’s listings on Bel Mar and Capri have sold and closed. My listing on San Marino has closed and we (FBRE) also have two listings pending sale that are scheduled to close this month and early June. Kristin Johnston is working with the purchasers of my listing at 215 Savoy and I am working with the purchasers of Tanya’s listing at 819 Piedmont. That makes a total of six VE sales so far this year for our company! Stay tuned because I will have new-neighbor info next month.

We have been busy with transactions outside of VE, as well. We have: two transactions in Riverstone under contract, one in Pecan Grove under contract, one in Memorial closed this month and another in Pearland (which Kristin sold in two weeks!) closed this month. We have been representing buyers and sellers all over the map!

We have three new listings in VE: 306 Lombardy, 410 Lombardy and 714 Santa Maria. Please call or email for details on any of these great homes. Kristin and I also have a new listing on Oyster Creek Drive–an updated home with guest house on a beautiful ½-acre lot overlooking Oyster Creek.

Congrats to Lee Vaughn for catching the largest bass and to David Rothschild for having the best stringer at the Venetian Estates Annual Fishing Tournament. David mentioned that he fished with barbless hooks for the tournament, proving that the barbs are not necessary to reel in your prize bass. Thanks, David, for the tip on how to enjoy our sport-fishing lake while preserving the health of our fish!

Imperial Performing Arts, the resident professional performing arts organization in Sugar Land, will be holding several arts education camps in June and July for children and teens. Bud and I serve on the Board of IPA and are excited about this incredible opportunity for students in our area. The camps will be held at Dulles, New Hope Lutheran Church and Fort Bend Baptist Academy. Please contact Bud, Kelly Ferguson, or me for details or copies of informational flyers and registration forms if you have kids or grandkids that might be interested.

Speaking of grandkids, I have a new one—Luke Emery Ferguson, born to Kelly and Corey Ferguson of 718 Santa Maria. “Luke-E” was born on March 19 and weighed 8 lbs 12 oz. He is a darling, strong-willed little boy who absolutely refuses to come to work with Kelly at our office. Some babies sleep enough to come to work for a little while each day...that is not the case with Luke-E. We are thinking he will not follow in his parents’ foot-steps in commercial real estate!

Janice King found a toddler slide floating near her dock after a recent storm. If you are missing one, please email Kristin@fbre.net so she can put you in contact with Janice.

As you can tell by the flurry of activity at FBRE, the residential market has been picking up! Many expect the U.S. economy will strengthen throughout 2009; however, the true effects of the government's economic stimulus plan remain to be seen. This plan requires such massive spending that inflation will follow a national recovery. Dr. Mark Doutzour with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University wrote in the April issue of Tierra Grande that quality real estate, along with inflation-protected U.S. Treasurys (TIPS), are “your safest long-term investment options…which offer protection without the enormous speculative risks associated with gold or other commodities.” We represent investors in both residential and commercial properties who look to invest in properties individually or as part of a group. Call us if you would like to explore real-estate investment options.

13 May 2009

714 Santa Maria Street

Located near the center of Lake Venice, this home has amazing views from the living area and large sunroom. The master and dining room also have great views. This home has great curb appeal with double leaded-glass front doors and a location near the end of the cul-de-sac. Southern breezes off the water are incredible and allow you to enjoy the private dock in the afternoon and evenings. This home has cathedral ceilings and a large island kitchen unique to many of the traditional VE homes.

To see this property, contact Susan or Kristin.