19 November 2012

Venetian Estates News - November 2012

Let's Talk Turkey

Turkey Trot

What fun everyone has had at our most recent annual tradition!  Our neighbor Catherine Bell organized the first VE Turkey Trot in 2010, and last year we had even more neighbors and friends participate. It’s time for Turkey Trot #3!

Meet at the Frost Bank parking lot on Thanksgiving morning at 8:00 to walk or run our neighborhood circle together.

We will accept donations for the Wounded Warrior Project. The mission of WWP is to honor and empower wounded service members by raising awareness of and directly meeting their needs. The vision is “to foster the most successful , well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

The Turkey Trot is a wonderful way to show our soldiers how thankful we are for their service! A suggested donation is $20 per family. Last year we made $170 for CASA--let’s raise even more for WWP this year! 

Address checks to the Wounded Warrior Project. For more information contact Catherine Bell at 281-565-5849 or visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org. (If you can’t attend the Turkey Trot, you may mail or deliver a donation to the Bells’ home at 915 Piedmont.)

New to the Roost

We will soon have new neighbors at 123 Sorrento. Regina and Bryan Lee are high school sweethearts who grew up in Alief. They graduated from UT in Austin, married in 1996 and moved to New York, where Bryan went to medical school and Regina began her consulting career. After 7 wonderful years in NY they moved back to the Houston area to start a family. 

They purchased a home in Sugar Lakes, where they have raised their 8-year-old daughter, Katelynn, and a 6-year-old son, Matthew. Both children attend Highlands Elementary. Lucky, a 2-lb. Yorkie is also part of the family.

Bryan owns Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists and is a board-certified foot surgeon and podiatrist. He has been practicing since 2003 and his main office is in Sugar Creek
. Regina is a litigation consultant for AlixPartners. She travels often and the Lees love to use her frequent flyer miles to vacation in tropical destinations. 

The Lees love to bike ride, and they discovered the lot on Sorrento while riding one afternoon. The next week Regina called me and we talked about VE while she sat in the swing, the only thing left on the property since the Hamilton home was demolished.

The Lees have offered to host a VE event in their home after construction is complete. They are looking forward to the move-in date which is still a little down the road!

Squawk Box
A neighbor is looking for an electric party boat. If you have one for sale let me know.

Several VE ladies get together on Tuesday evenings at 5 for dinner prior to attending Merry Ministries. Merry Ministries is a women's interdenominational group that meets weekly to worship God, study the Bible, pray and fellowship with each other. The class is led by Mary Willis, who is teaching through the Bible. MM meets at  6:30 PM at First United Methodist Church on Eldridge Road. We would love to have you join us. Call me for  more info.

If you are considering moving please call me. I have one particular buyer who is very eager to find the right location in VE. They prefer to remodel or build.

Pile it On

Real-estate investments, that is. So says Ted Jones, Chief Economist for Stewart Title. Ted says interest rates will rise so now is the time to load up on as much real estate as you can. Real estate provides a hedge against inflation. Investors currently have the opportunity to buy while locking in record-low rates and watch income rise as rents rise. Read Ted Jones‘ regularly posted informative (and colorful) commentaries on: blog.stewart.com/ted

Call our office to discuss investing in residential or commercial real estate.  

24 September 2012

Venetian Estates News - September 2012

In the Know

Know Your Neighbors

I recently sold the Roberts’ home located at 407 Savoy. If you drive that way you have surely noticed changes in the landscaping. Major interior renovations are taking place as well. The updated home will be amazing when Natalie and Greg Nielson, our new neighbors, are finished!

Greg works for Redstone Companies as Senior VP of their Houston Golf properties, which include Shadow Hawk, Houstonian Golf & Country Club, Redstone, and Black Horse. Natalie is Spa Manager for Trellis Spa at the Houstonian Golf & Country Club.  They have two children, Zach, 23, who lives in Scottsdale, AZ and Taylor, 19, who is beginning her sophomore year at the University of Alabama. Their dog Orson is a 12 year old lab/ blue heeler mix. Their cats, Boo and Bennie, are settling into their new home as well.

Natalie and Greg have always wanted to live in Venetian Estates, and Natalie says that they cannot believe they are actually here! Everyone has been extremely warm and welcoming and they are very excited about their home renovation project. 

We also have brand-new neighbors at 307 Savoy. Andi and Vincent Maceo have moved in after a huge remodeling project. The Washburn boys will not recognize the place!  Andi and Vincent have three children – two in Austin and one in Chicago – and three granddaughters in Austin. Andi is a broker with Cole Commercial and Vicent is retired from Xerox Corporation. 

Andi and Vincent are still in “moving” mode as they consolidate one house in College Station and another in Houston into their new Venetian Estates home. When they first saw VE they knew this was the place they wanted to call home! They look forward to settling in and continuing to remodel.
Know Who to Call

Matthew Stauffacher, son of Kathy and Ray Stauffacher at 111 Tuscany is a high school student at Fort Bend Christian Academy and has started a business called Matt’s Pool Cleaning and “Stuff” You Don’t Want To Do Service. Matt comes highly recommended by Lydia and Ed Crowell at 106 Tuscany. He has been cleaning their pool for several months and is a very responsible and nice young man. Matt will do pool cleaning, yard raking and odd jobs in and around your home. You can reach him at 281.277.8680 or mhstauffacher@gmail.com.
Know Where to Go

We all know how difficult it is to say goodbye to this special neighborhood. However, when you plan to spend several months a year on your own private century-old farm in Italy... well, perhaps that would help ease the pain. Our good neighbors, Susan and Rick Rodgers will be spending more time living la dolce vita abroad and have given me the opportunity to market their one-of-a-kind property.

This backyard paradise has abundant mature fruit, pecan, red bud and oak trees, to name a few! Imagine this park-like, secluded hideaway belonging to you or one of your friends. The ¾+ acre lot offers wonderful breezes, good fishing and privacy, and is the only VE lot with views and access to both Lake Eldridge and Lake Venice!

Know Where to Work

Since purchasing the Frost Bank Building five years ago we have maintained 100% occupancy. Now, for the first time, we have offices available! With the soon-to-be vibrant Imperial Historic District directly across Hwy 90 and our own building undergoing major exterior improvements in early 2013, this is a rare opportunity to office in an exceptional property within walking distance from home! Contact Kelly Ferguson at 281.242.1261 or kelly@fbre.net.
Know the Market
On Sept. 13 the Federal Reserve propelled markets with its announcement of open-ended buying of mortgage-backed-securities and promise to keep interest rates low for years. As a result, mortgage rates are edging back to all-time lows. With 30-year rates averaging around 3.5%, it’s a great time to sell or buy. Please call me if you are considering entering the market.

15 September 2012

Know This Neighborhood!

What is the best way to get to know a neighborhood? You can do the research online - schools, taxes, demographics etc. But you really get to know a neighborhood by getting to know the most valuable asset any neighborhood has - the people who live there. I have lived in Venetian Estates for 28 years and know the majority of homeowners here.  We love our neighborhood and we often come together to visit, celebrate and support one another. If you are not a part of this fabulous neighborhood and would like to be please call me for a tour of available properties or even a tour of our recreational lakes. I will also introduce you to residents - new neighbors as well as those who have lived here 30 years or more! If you drive through and 'fall in love' we would love for you to be a part of this place we call 'home.'

23 July 2012

Venetian Estate News - July 2012

Winning Welcome to:
Bobbie Jean and Ed Jones! The Jones’ moved into 215 Savoy in May with their two West Highland White Terriers, Liz and Maddie. Ed is a Project Manager in the construction department at Fluor.  Bobbie Jean also worked at Fluor but is now retired and working hard as ever keeping the home running.  Bobbie Jean and Ed  want  all to know that they really appreciated the wonderful reception from so many of our neighbors. They have met so many friendly, kind people who have made them feel so welcome.

Julie and Mark Macdonell purchased my (off-market) listing at 106 Capri.  Mark is vice president of sales for Bridge Front. The Macdonells have two daughters and two dogs. Alexa  graduated from Texas Tech in 2011 with a degree in finance and she now works for Gallagher Benefit Services. She is living at home before moving to an apartment. Jennifer graduated from Clements in May and will be leaving for Texas Tech next month.  Toby and Romeo chase squirrels!!!  Julie and Mark are not new to Venetian Estates. They lived on San Marino approximately 10 years ago, and my daughters used to babysit for Alexa and Jennifer! We are so glad to have them back in our special neighborhood.

Our neighbors Sandra and Sam Cornelius hosted their second women’s Triathlon on June 30. Sandra and Daria Dick did a relay with Sandra running and Daria biking! Way to go Daria!
On July 4th our neighborhood once again celebrated the winning of our nation’s independence with a festive boat parade. Thanks to the Marblestones for organizing the parade. I know from past experience how much work is involved in getting everyone on board! :)

A Local Champion
Please vote for Jacquie Chaumette for State Representative, House District 26.
This run-off election is predicted to be very very close! In one of the most recent run-off elections for city council Amy Mitchell won by only ONE vote. Several years ago Thomas Abraham won by TWO votes.  Our subdivision can make a huge difference. Your vote could determine our Representative.

Jacquie Chaumette is by far the more qualified candidate to represent us in Austin. There are many facts to back up that statement  but my passion for this election revolves around the fact that we desperately need elected officials who will listen to and represent the best interests of the people who put them in office. Jacquie Chaumette has done that and will continue to do that.

She  was the only Councilor who listened to and stood up for our neighborhood in voting against the location of the apartments in the Historic District. She was the lone dissenting vote, even as our own District 2 council member voted in favor of the developer’s plan despite the overwhelming outcry from neighboring communities that the apartments be located along the SH 6 corridor instead.  Jacquie listened  to VE and the 13 other surrounding neighborhoods. She voted against the apartments and, as a result, has taken much heat from her City counterparts. It is time for us to support her. Her opponent, Rick Miller, is supported by Johnson Development. If Jacquie wins this election, we, the people, will be saying to City Hall and the developer that we do care and will fight for representatives who look out for us.

Please vote early – between July 23 and July 27. Then bring your “I voted” sticker as your “ticket” to  the pre-victory party in our office on 7-27 between 4 and 6. If you would like to know more about Jacquie and her qualifications give her a call or go to her website at JacquieChaumette.org.

If you would like to know more about her opponent, Rick Miller, go to Bev’s Burner in the Fort Bend Star. She has his number!

FBRE Update
407 Savoy is pending sale but still being shown for back-ups!  If you know of someone who missed out have them call me. More new neighbor info next time!

27 June 2012

New Listing at 407 Savoy

This four bedroom three bath home has approximately 3150 square feet and sits on close to 1/2 acre. The long view down Lake Venice is incredible!

Offered at

11 May 2012

Venetian Estate News - April 2012

Who's Who

Who’s New?

We have new neighbors at 103 Savoy, Jackie and Nathan Nguyen. Nathan and Jackie are relocating from Bellaire, TX.  They have a daughter, Olivia, and two dogs, Zoe and Summer.

Nathan is a family physician with offices in Wharton and Sugar Land. He completed his undergraduate work at Baylor, and medical school at UTMB.  Upon completing residency in Chicago, Nathan and Jackie decided to relocate back home to Houston. 

Jackie is a culinary student at the Art Institute of Houston.  She was formerly a consultant at Big 4 firms, including KPMG and Ernst & Young.  She has a passion for food which has driven her to her current career change.  Both Jackie and Nathan enjoy golfing. 

Olivia is an energetic 3 year-old who loves her dogs.  She is currently attending Crème de le Crème in downtown, Houston. The Nguyens are excited about relocating to Venetian Estates, and look forward to getting involved in the community.  Please stop by anytime to say hello!

Who’s Coming and Going?

I’ve recently closed the sale at 307 Savoy. Donn and Glenn Washburn will be remaining in the home for at least a couple of months, but are busy organizing, packing boxes and considering hosting an estate sale.  We’re going to miss seeing them around. Bob Moody is the new owner and we’ll soon see what plans he has for the home!

I have two VE sales pending and a new listing at 407 Savoy. Please call me for info on this exceptional new listing. It will not be listed on HAR immediately because the family needs time to move a considerable amount of furniture. However, if you know of someone who might be interested please have them call me. I would love to show the home to them.  The long view down the lake from the backyard is magnificent!   

Who Did What?

Many of you know that on April 3, City Council voted to approve the General Land Plan for Johnson Development, allowing 325 apartments to be located in the Historic District. This approval came following three hours of pleas from residents in approximately 14 surrounding neighborhoods to either relocate the apartments or delay approval of this location until the first phase proved successful. 

The general media have not accurately reported  the goings-on between residents and the City, and have portrayed concerned citizens as simply anti-development and anti-apartments. The following is an excerpt from Kelly Ferguson’s response to the Houston Chronicle’s April 5 article:

The concerns that were expressed on Tuesday evening [April 3] were not about the number of apartments—they were about the location....Every single homeowner’s association in the immediate area of the Historic District contacted the City to express opposition to 1) apartments in the Historic District and/or 2) approval of their location at this point in time....City Council had the opportunity to respond to the overwhelming majority. Instead, they ignored the reasonable requests of their constituents and, thereby, their responsibility to “be responsive to citizens’ needs and wishes” [as defined on http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/city_hall/sity_council/form_of_government.asp].

Who Represents You?

What happened on April 3 has opened the eyes of many VE and other Sugar Land residents. Many feel that the issue is no longer simply about apartments being located in the Historic District. It is more about our elected officials – who do they represent? Why did only one councilor(Jacquie Chamette)vote in accordance with residents’ requests?   Were they “responsive to citizens’ needs and wishes,” as their job description says they should be, or did they vote according to their own wishes because they “knew better” than their constituents?

FBRE Update

As always, call me if you or anyone you know is considering buying or selling – not just in VE, but anywhere!
I am in a network of the country’s best Realtors, and have recently referred past clients to other Realtors in Spring and Austin. Let me know if I can help with finding a Realtor for you or a friend anywhere in the country!

07 April 2012

307 Savoy Sold in Four Days!

Our friends and neighbors, Donn and Glenn Washburn, will be leaving us soon. Donn will be staying in the general area and Glenn is still not 100% sure where he will be moving.  Donn and Glenn will remain in the Savoy home through the month of June.  Bob Moody is the new owner of the home and let's wait to see what improvements he will make!

28 March 2012

Venetian Estate News - Februaruy 2012

Neighborly News

Past Neighbors

I am a member of the Houston Independent Real Estate Brokers Association known as HIREBA.  Last Wednesday during the networking breakfast a brand-new member broker from the Conroe area introduced herself to me and told me she grew up in Sugar Land. After chatting for a few minutes she mentioned Venetian Estates. She is a daughter of the Snyder family, original owners of 115 Sorrento Street! Her family sold the home in the 70s. She said her Dad paid $38,000 and sold for approximately $68,000. She was quite amazed at existing land values in our neighborhood.

Dianne Vaughn of 103 Savoy has purchased a home in the wonderful old Sugar Land neighborhood of Belknap Brookside.  103 Savoy is pending sale and scheduled to close  soon. It is still available for back-up contracts!

Present Neighbors

Welcome Jill and Trey Whichard to their beautiful new home located at  411 Savoy. Jill and Trey previously lived on Lombardy, moved to the Sweetwater area for a few years, and are now back where they belong - the best little neighborhood in Texas!

Future Neighbors

In my November newsletter I said, “ I will not be surprised if the future purchasers of the lots located at 123 Sorrento and 122 Tuscany turn out to be existing VE residents!” Well, that almost happened – but the next closest thing did happen. Cathryn and Tarn Springob are the new owners of 122 Tuscany – the gorgeous cul-de-sac lot overlooking the center of Lake Venice. Tarn and Cathryn have three children, Lauren, age 14, Kirsten, age 12 and Keller, age 3. Tarn is the son of Sue and Bob Springob on Santa Maria.  His sister, Nadja and her family live on Piedmont. Tarn runs the construction and salvage divisions of Laredo Construction, a company dealing primarily  in construction maintenance and removal work for the oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The Springobs will be tearing down the house and clearing the lot on Tuscany within the next month or so. They will start building in late Spring.  Congratulations to Tarn as our newest VEPOA board member!

Sue and Bob Springob will join Randi and Tom Magliaro and Bud and me as residents having two children and their families also living in the neighborhood!

Brenda and Scott Chambers will be our new neighbors at 103 Capri. The house is gone, the lot is cleared and it is looking spectacular – just waiting for the home which will be built by Sandy Thompson. Brenda and Scott have lived in Greatwood for 20 years. They have three grown children – one living in Chicago, one nearby in Stafford and a third attending Sam Houston State.  The Chambers own a company called Precision Interiors which sells raised flooring. Brenda and Scott also have a home on Lake Conroe.

More Future Neighbors?

There are only four homes presently listed as “active” on the MLS. Prices on these homes range from $675,000 to $975,000. However, I have two listings not presently being advertised. Please call me if you know anyone interested in our neighborhood. For a “sneak preview” of my newest listing visit www.fortbendrealestatenews.com.

I presently have several prospects for a major remodeling project in VE. My latest prospect has young children and simply wants to raise his family here. If you have a nice lot (we all do!) and are considering selling your home without having to make any repairs or do anything at all PLEASE call me! I am able to give you an honest and forthright assessment of the value of your home and property. I can also help you find another great place to live!

Market Update

“More jobs, rising rents, a rising stock market, and continuing high affordability conditions” are getting more people into the market, says National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. NAR is forecasting a 5% increase in existing-home sales over 2011. Interest rates remain at record lows. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now 3.875%. A year ago the 30-year-rate was at 4.74%. It's a great time to be in the market.

03 March 2012


 I've just listed this great VE home on a spectacular lot! The home has 2700 square feet, three bedrooms and is listed at $429,000. Please call me for details and watch the short video on my website for more info about Sugar Land's best kept "secret".  www.har.com/susanfriedman

16 January 2012


215 Savoy

Here are some exterior views as promised.   My camera did not record the beautiful lake views so we'll post them tomorrow. Stay tuned!

12 January 2012

Coming Soon!

This beautiful home located at 215 Savoy will be actively on the market soon. The owner is in the process of completing an outdoor covered patio area. This waterfront home has gorgeous lake views. (to be posted soon) If you are interested please give me a call for a pre-marketing showing.  $579,000

05 January 2012

Thanksgiving Day

The 2nd Annual VE Turkey Trot was a huge success. Donations for Child Advocates were collected from each family and everyone had a brisk early morning visit before sitting down for a huge Thanksgiving Day meal.