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

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