19 September 2016

Venetian Estates News - September 2016

Real Estate and More

FBRE History
The first Venetian Estates News, written and published by Fort Bend Real Estate Corporation, was mailed in May of 1989. Wow, I was not even 40 years old! Our neighborhood has changed a great deal since that time but certainly one thing has remained the same: we, as residents, love our neighborhood and our neighbors.  Very few neighborhoods maintain the 'community' aspect that we Venetian Estates residents are so blessed to enjoy! 

The Reality of Online Real Estate Valuations
Someday, when the machines take over, if you contact us about selling your house we will dispatch a fleet of drones packed with sensors and cameras to your property. The drones will scan the house (noting its condition and features), plug the data into an algorithm, and give you a remarkably accurate estimate of the selling price for your home. That day has not come! 

Although automated valuation models (AVMs) are widely used--they power online price estimators at sites like Zillow--their accuracy and reliability vary considerably (Texas Realtor Magazine July 2016). Did you know that the Houston area is the only market in the county where Zillow is not the #1 real estate website? HAR.com far surpasses Zillow’s accuracy when searching homes for sale, comparing values, etc. in the Houston area. Realtor associations from other states, and even countries, regularly visit Houston to study our website--HAR.com is simply the best!

That being said, here in VE even HAR.com isn’t a fully sufficient source for our market data. VE is unlike any other neighborhood in the Houston area. Property values are determined by a number of variables that aren’t considered in HAR.com’s valuation algorithms. Further, we have a high percentage of pre- or “off”-market sales. As a resident and Realtor  in VE for decades (!) my experience, perception and trove of market data are unrivaled. 

Please call me if you need an accurate market analysis on your home. I can also help you establish fair market value in any neighborhood to which you might be relocating. I can even refer you to one of the top 4% of Realtors nationwide if your target area is outside of Houston.

New Neighbor News
We have had, and continue to have, a considerable amount of demolition and new construction in Venetian Estates. However, there will also continue to be extensively remodeled homes in our neighborhood.  Below are two examples:

I have a pending sale--the location is still a secret, but is scheduled to close this year. These future new neighbors have no intention of demolishing the home. Rather, they will complete major renovations and raise their beautiful family in one of our original ranch style homes. 

One of our newest neighbors is Ann Warren. Ann has recently moved from the Sweetwater area in Sugar Land to the fabulous home at 810 Bel Mar. Ann is an 'empty nester' and looks forward to enjoying the serenity of her new Venetian Estates home along with Simon, her silver toy poodle. She also looks forward to meeting many of you, her new neighbors! Ann will be attending Merry Ministries this fall and I know she will be able to meet several of you there on Wednesday mornings. Ann's son, Daniel attends Texas State University (I happen to know he is on the Dean's list!).  Her brother lives in the First Colony area and she has two sisters in Austin. 

By the way, Merry Ministries is a women’s interdenominational group that meets weekly to worship God, study the Bible, pray and fellowship with each other. Mary Willis teaches on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings at the First United Methodist Church on Eldridge. If you would like more information give me a call or visit www.merryministries.com. Several ladies from our neighborhood attend on each of those days . 

FBRE News 

We have a great new listing coming up in Sugar Creek! Beautifully remodeled and maintained, this home has a terrific floor plan, lovely landscaping and a gorgeous pool! Call me if you would like 'pre-market' details. It should be on the MLS by Oct. 1. 

10 June 2016

Venetian Estates News - June 2016

Market News

New Construction, New Neighbors
The “coming soon” sign at 111 Savoy will soon be replaced with a “For Sale” sign and we will release the elevation and floor plan of the gorgeous new home to be built by Chris Trlicek! The custom design will take advantage of the long view down Lake Venice and capture the treasured southerly breeze. This home will have a wonderful floor plan and beautiful finishes--it will most surely be a quick sale. Kelly Ferguson has been pre-marketing the home and has interested buyers awaiting the final plans. Please call us if you know of anyone looking for a brand new home in VE! It is available for purchase now and there is still time for personal touches in the design phase. 

Construction is nearing completion just a few homes down, at 203 Savoy. This is the lovely home of our soon-to-be neighbors, Lori and Tom Shirley. Lori and Tom have been residents of Fort Bend County for over  25 years. When they married in 2007 they merged two beautiful families and have a total of six children ranging in age from 14 to 23.   Connor Corporron, 23, lives in Schulenburg and co-owns Pinnacle Whitetails.  Payton Shirley, 21, is a senior at Texas A&M Business School, majoring in Finance. McKenna Corporron, 19, is a sophomore at Blinn College pursing a nursing degree.  Pierson Shirley, 18, is a freshman at Texas A&M Business School majoring in Finance.  Berkley Shirley, 17, is a senior at George Ranch High School, and Calie Corporron, 14, is a freshman at FBCA. Tom is the Fort Bend Market President for NewFirst National Bank and has been with the bank for 14 years.  He has been in the banking industry since graduating from Texas Tech in 1987.  The Shirleys will be moving  from  Richmond into their new home which is scheduled for completion this month! 

The home at 122 Capri was demolished and the view from this lot, recently purchased by Karen and Paul Withrow, is spectacular. Karen and Paul have already replaced the bulkhead on the 300’ of water frontage. We all know how much fun that is! The Withrows have already met many neighbors and I know they will take an active part in our community, even before their new home is complete.

Every new neighbor that I have worked with in the search for a Venetian Estates "lot" has expressed a sincere appreciation for the original home and family memories associated with it. In many cases--especially in the case of the smaller homes on the larger lots, such as Mrs. Hamilton's on Capri--it is simply not feasible to remodel the existing home. Of course if we look around the neighborhood we see many original homes that are beautifully remodeled and, believe me, there are still more of these to come! Many of our homes still lend themselves to updating. I have clients looking for both lots and homes. 

In late March many of you attended our Open House in the beautiful Sitterle patio home in Imperial. It is now under contract with a couple moving to Sugar Land from California.  There are only three Sitterle homes still available and we have unpublished news regarding construction in Imperial.  We were involved in three of the first Imperial sales and we believe those clients got super deals!  

We all love Venetian Estates and know that there is no other place in Houston like it. However, we are excited to be a part of the growth of Imperial, which has proven to be its own “niche” neighborhood. It truly offers the best of both worlds: gorgeous, low-maintenance homes, walking trails and future upscale retail--all while maintaining that small-town feel of our beloved Sugar Land! Please tell your friends to call us regarding Imperial. We can keep them informed of development progress and other properties that could be super deals! 

Also please remember that FBRE is equipped to handle any of your real estate needs. We just listed nine commercial properties in Missouri City. We recently sold a 200+ acre ranch in Gonzalez County. (to VE neighbors, I might add). We have a commercial listing for sale on Brooks Street.  If you would like to own a charming, historic office in Old Sugar Land give Kelly a call regarding this one!  

We have had many 'past client' referrals this year. Jeff has recently worked with three residential referrals--one in Spring and two in Sugar Land. He is closing next week on another 'Sugar Mill' home!

Our office is prepared to serve you, whatever your particular real estate requirement.

28 March 2016

Venetian Estates News - March 2016

Market News

Neighbor Updates
Our longtime neighbor, Yvonne Hamilton passed away in the fall of last year. She and her husband, Bill, were the original owners of the home at 122 Capri. The home was just purchased by Karen and Paul Withrow.

Karen and Paul have long-loved VE, and I have been pleased to work with them in searching for their “perfect” place in the neighborhood. They will be building a new home on this gorgeous cul-de-sac lot, and I am so excited to have them as neighbors!The Withrows have lived in First Colony for the past 23 years. Paul was CFO of a local company for 11 years until he formed his own company, Balanced Solutions, 5 years ago. Balanced Solutions provides accounting and financial management for small businesses. Karen and Paul have three children. Jessica is 22 years old and a senior at Mary Harden Baylor. Ben, 20, is a sophomore in mechanical engineering at Baylor. Will, 19, is a freshman at the University of Houston School of Business. Karen is the niece of Carolyn Tarver, a longtime neighbor on Bel Mar.  I want to give a sincere 'thank-you' to Carolyn for referring Karen and Paul to me. I have enjoyed working with them over the last 14 months - waiting for just the right property to become available!

Thinking of Selling?
As mentioned in previous newsletters, we have prospective buyers waiting patiently for homes or lots. I would like to tell you about one such prospect. This young family lives in Sienna in a beautiful waterfront home. They presently have their home on the market as their dream is to purchase a home in VE and remodel (not tear down) to suit their specific needs. They have three young children so they do need space!  Please let me know if you are considering selling (even if down the road) and if you think your home might work for this young family! 

We have other buyers waiting as well, each with different preferences. Please call if you are thinking of selling!

In January I mentioned that I had been notified by Johnson Development that I was one of the top selling Realtors in the new Imperial Development.  Well, I actually was THE top selling Realtor in Imperial last year! Johnson Development honored the top producing Realtors in Riverstone, Sienna and Imperial with a reception and award ceremony.  It was an incredible event and I was honored to be honored - especially for my work in a community as special as Imperial! 

Now, speaking of Imperial, please  SAVE THE DATE!  On Thursday, March 24th, (the afternoon/evening before Good Friday) FBRE (Kelly Ferguson and I) will be hosting an invitation-only open house at one of the beautiful patio homes in Imperial. We have been asked by Sitterle Homes to market this brand-new 3000-SF plus home with a lovely courtyard and casita, and designed for 'easy living.'  Come relax and enjoy hors' dorves and a glass of wine while visiting with YOUR VE NEIGHBORS and meet a few Imperial residents, as well.

I  sometimes hear of neighbors not receiving the newsletter.  We usually write it bi-monthly and it can also be read on my BLOG at VenetianEstatesNews.com. And feel free to comment (as long as it is nice:)! 

Looking for a Small Boat?
I recently had an email from Paul Kirwin who has repaired several neighbors' boats. In fact, his claim to fame is the fact that he and his wife have worked on the famous Mermaid boat belonging to Kay and Jim Hudnall for years :) Paul has been building small custom wooden boats for over 30 years. He builds all types of boats and recently completed a 19-foot sailboat. If you would like to know more I will put you in touch with Paul.

More FBRE News
Jeff Johnston and I are working with a client wishing to purchase in Spring. He is the son of a past client and we are close to finding the perfect home for him. It is an honor to be referred by past clients and especially when the referral is a good friend or family member. That tells us that our clients know we are "looking out for them" in any transaction.  Jeff, although relatively new to residential real estate, is one of the most thorough researchers I have ever seen.  Jeff's clients can depend on him to leave 'no stone unturned' when representing them in a transaction. 

27 January 2016

Venetian Estates News - January 2016

2015 Recap
What a year! FBRE had a total of 10 sales in Venetian Estates during 2015.  We sold over $6.7 million of real estate in our neighborhood alone! AND I was notified last week by Johnson Development that I was one of the top-selling Realtors in the new Imperial Development, where I sold four homes last year.  

Perhaps the biggest news is that I was selected as the Houston Association of Realtors Fort Bend Outstanding Realtor for 2015! It was certainly a surprise and an incredible honor. HAR is literally considered the top Realtor association in the country! I am so grateful for wonderful clients and to be a part of an incredible real estate community.

Kelly Ferguson continues to excel in commercial real estate transactions throughout the Houston and Fort Bend areas, representing local businesses as well as national investors and developers. Due to client requests and genuine love of the industry, she has also expanded her services to include residential. Her most recent sale was an approximately $1 million home in Memorial...that will be demolished as her clients design and build on their 10,800-SF lot! Kelly has a wealth of information pertaining to builders, construction costs, etc. She also has clients interested in purchasing in VE. Call/email her regarding any facet of real estate: kelly@fbre.net

New Construction
Out with the old and in with the view! We were pleased to work with the seller and buyer of 111 Savoy and can hardly wait for the beautiful new home that is underway. The home, which will be available for sale, is being built by our own neighbor, Chris Trlicek, who also built the beautiful home at 310 Piedmont last year. Like us, Chris was taken with the lovely view and seemingly unceasing backyard breeze of this lot. He will build a gorgeous home to take advantage of both! Call us if you are interested in relocating to a brand-new home in VE! (And expect traffic on Savoy to slow as beautiful home after beautiful home is built--the street will be a show-stopper!)

Welcome New Neighbors
We have new owners at 815 San Marino!  Neil & Jean Madison are both long-time Houstonians and University of Houston graduates. They previously owned the “empty” lot on Savoy (from 2000-2005) and recently decided to return to VE. They own specialty pharmacies serving individuals with specific medical conditions.  Neil was previously a custom home builder who built new homes in old neighborhoods close to the Med Center, where they currently reside. He has decided to design and build one last home for Jean and himself in their “favorite neighborhood in the Houston area.” Construction will begin later this year. It was great to reconnect with Neil and Jean after so many years!

Melissa and Denton Kernodle of 111 Sorrento relocated to the Dallas area and they entrusted the marketing of their gorgeous home to FBRE! This 4400-SF remodeled home is lovely, and our new neighbors are Prudy and Ed Bishay, who moved from Pasadena, CA in 2014. They have an 8-month-old baby girl, Natalie. Prudy is originally from Hong Kong. She went to boarding school in Dallas and obtained her MBA at the University of Southern California. Ed describes himself as an Egyptian Christian who grew up in a “dental” family. He graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California and is the owner of Grace Dental, located at 5022 Highway 90A--very close to VE. Ed has offered residents of VE free teeth bleaching! Ed enjoys biking and cooking. He also enjoys art and has a collection of beautiful pieces. Prudy likes traveling and is a big foodie! Their favorite hobby is playing with their daughter.

Imperial Market News 
In the last newsletter we mentioned the new theater coming to Imperial Market: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at Imperial Market will break ground in 2016 and will be located in a new two-story 55k-SF retail building. The theater will offer a full-service beverage and dining experience that will include a vast number of local beers on tap, cocktails and an expansive food menu featuring made-from-scratch items.

We have prospective buyers patiently  waiting for homes or lots. As always, call us for any of your residential or commercial real estate needs!
 111 Savoy Street: Out with the old and in with the view!