25 October 2018

Venetian Estates News - October 2018

VE Market Update
Per the Houston MLS there are currently two homes available, priced at $625,000 and $899,000, and four homes/lots pending sale in our neighborhood. Including off-market or non-MLS sales there have been a total of 12 closed sales in Venetian so far this year. Prices on those properties ranged from $380,000 to approximately 1M. FBRE’s listings at 815 Piedmont, 115 Capri, and 702 Piedmont are pending sale and scheduled to close this month.

Sales and Sailing
In July Bud and I traveled to Normandy. We spent a total of two weeks cruising the Seine and visiting cities including Paris and London. It was an absolutely fabulous trip, made all that much better knowing that Kelly was selling VE at record pace while we were away!  She negotiated sales on three of FBRE’s listings during that two-week period!  She sold our newest listing at 710 Piedmont before we were even able to have professional photos taken for the MLS. Our firm knows and loves Venetian Estates like no other, and the result is incomparable ability to negotiate win-win deals for sellers and buyers.

Friends and Neighbors, Old and New
Speaking of 710 Piedmont, our good friends and neighbors, Marcie and Glenn McCutchen, are leaving us at the end of the year. (Kelly will tell you about the new neighbors to be in our December newsletter.) As much as we hate to lose the McCutchens as neighborhood-neighbors we are excited for them in their new adventure, moving to a brand-new home in Del Webb to be in the same community as Marcie’s parents.  So many of us will miss seeing Marcie and Glenn on a regular basis, and we are so grateful for Marcie’s service and impact on the neighborhood social committee. She will still be available for catering events, and we hope to still see her in the neighborhood from time to time!

Our new/old neighbors at 403 Savoy will be Lori and Tom Shirley.  Kelly and I sold the Shirley’s home at 203 Savoy in December of last year.  Lori and Tom decided to lease for a while until finding another great lot on which to build.  With fewer kids at home they wanted to design a smaller one- or 1.5-story home in the neighborhood.  The Shirleys are now living in FBRE’s listing at 122 Saint Marks.  As many of you know Tom Shirley is president of NewFirst Bank and Lori is very active in the community and with their daughter, Calie’s, school, Fort Bend Christian Academy.  If you ever toured the Shirleys’ previous home at 203 Savoy you know how gorgeous the new home at 403 Savoy will be!

FBRE also represented the purchasers of 114 Saint Marks.  Nancy and Congressman Pete Olson will be building their future residence here. But for now, Jason and Staci Pierce are leasing the Olsons’ home after selling their gorgeous home in “The Hill”. Jason and Staci, owners of Pierce Built Homes, are building on the VE lot they purchased last year located at 903 Gondola.  If all of this “musical home” stuff is confusing, suffice to say that our neighborhood is so great that our future homeowners can’t wait to get in so they lease while building!

Neighbor News
We are honored to have Venetian Estates neighbors in public service. Two of our homeowners will be on the ballot in the Mid-Term Elections:

Congressman Pete Olson is the Republican (incumbent) candidate for Congressional District 22, and Robert (Bob) Rolnick (502 Santa Maria) is the Democratic candidate for Judge of the newly created 458th Judicial District Court of Fort Bend County.

FBRE Advantage, Near and Far
Kelly Ferguson, Bud Friedman and associate Barry Beard negotiated the sale of the iconic Richmond Foundry. FBRE had been retained by the owner, a Chicago-based trust, to market the property, which includes 37.5 acres and over 200,000 SF of warehouse. FBRE then procured the buyer, a seasoned local developer, and successfully worked through a complicated due diligence period and negotiated the sale. The new owner will soon redevelop the site for mixed-use. With its proximity to US 90A and historic downtown Richmond, the future development will be an excellent, welcome addition to our charming—and burgeoning—county seat.

15 June 2018

Venetian Estates News June 2018

Market Update

Presently there are five Venetian Estates homes and one vacant lot listed for sale on the MLS, ranging in price from $429,000 to $1,300,000. Our listing at 214 Lombardy is a very special property. Although not directly on the water, this gorgeous, nearly ½-acre wooded lot has a spectacular long view down Lake Venice beyond its back fence. The approximately 2045-SF home, priced at $429,000 (well below anything else in VE!), could be a charming cottage for someone wishing to remodel and live in our amazing neighborhood! If you know of anyone who might be interested in this fixer-upper, have them contact Kelly for some awesome and inspiring ideas! She may be a full time commercial and residential real estate broker but she certainly has proven her flair for design with many of her real estate clients!

There are two pending sales in the neighborhood: the home at 118 Tuscany and the vacant lot at 115 Capri. We can't wait to tell you about the plans for 115 Capri, scheduled to close early fall!

Since January 1 of this year the Houston Association of Realtors reported six closed sales in Venetian. In all six sales FBRE (Susan or Kelly) represented the buyer or seller, or acted as intermediary in the transaction. We know and love this neighborhood, and our expertise and private-client based approach serve clients better than anyone else in the luxury real estate industry.

The FBRE Advantage
As of June 19, the Houston Association of Realtors ranks Susan Friedman as the #1 agent in Sugar Land North based on total volume of real estate sales in the past 6 months. We don't usually follow the rankings, so Susan only became aware of this when an agent with a different firm pointed it out!

We represent sellers and buyers throughout greater Houston. Kelly recently closed a residential transaction in Kingwood for one of her longtime commercial clients, and Susan just listed a home in Katy. We would be glad to help with any of your real estate needs. As Kelly stated in the April Newsletter, our boutique nature enables us to customize services to meet clients' requirements in any facet of real estate.

New Neighbor News

Linda and Bob Speer of 603 Salerno moved to be closer to grandkids, and our new neighbors are Latonya and Curtis Bergeron. Tonya and Curtis moved from Greatwood, where they had lived since 2005. They are a military (Army) family. Curtis retired from active federal service as a Command Sergeant Major (CSM) a few years ago and Tonya was a CPT (Dentist) in the dental corp. Both are combat veterans. Curtis (Health Care Administration) and Tonya (Staff Dentist) both work at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Bergerons have three adult children, Joscelynn, Breanna and Kaija. Curtis III is 15 and lives in North Carolina, and their son, Jordon is 10 years old and attends Cornerstone Christian Academy in Sugar Land. Curtis and Tonya were looking to downsize to a one-story home on a large lake lot. They are excited to live in Venetian Estates with warm neighbors and a small-town feel.

New neighbors at 915 Piedmont are Lesley and Chad Guidry. Lesley and Chad moved from Jersey Village and are delighted to be in Sugar Land, especially since Lesley is the Payroll Services Manager for CU People in our office building! After fighting traffic daily, she can now walk to work! Chad is a network architect at C & J Energy. The Guidrys have a precious two-year-old daughter named Mavis. Lesley and Chad moved to Houston almost 7 years ago and Lesley says they have never looked back. They didn't want to go back to small town living but felt Sugar Land offered the best of both worlds. We helped Lesley and Chad search for the perfect home for almost a year and finally found it right here in Venetian! The Guidrys have big plans for their new home and can't wait to make it their own. They look forward to Mavis having the chance to grow up on the water, with the serenity and entertainment it provides. Previous owners, Catherine and Rick Bell and their family moved to Richmond as Rick is now serving as a District Court judge in Fort Bend County. It’s been special to see this home transition from one sweet young family to another!

21 April 2018

Venetian Estates News April 2018

Beth and Steve Dewey are our new neighbors at 518 Lombardy. Their longtime home in Houston was flooded during Harvey; however, they are now loving their new home! Beth retired from MD Anderson Cancer Center after working there for over 27 years, first in procurement and then in Information Technology. Steve was an engineer in the oil and gas industry for 42 years. He retired from Fluor after 33 years. During that time, Beth and Steve were presented with amazing travel opportunities! The Deweys’ two cats, Amelia and Lilli, also love their new home. Beth and Steve look forward to meeting more neighbors and thank those who have graciously stopped by to introduce themselves.

Debbie and David Rothschild, previous owners of 518 Lombardy, moved to Austin to be near kids and grandkids. They were an integral part of our neighborhood—we miss seeing Debbie biking around VE and Dr. Rothschild on the lake fishing! The Rothschilds have a beautiful new home, surrounded by woods and wildlife. However, we hope they will be back from time to time to visit neighbors and enjoy the lake. Two more wonderful families are soon to become a part of our neighborhood, at 603 Salerno and 903 Gondola! Look for more information in our next newsletter.


Lou and Harris Cloninger of 118 St. Marks have a 2007 Pelican boat for sale, complete with a Minn Kota 30-lb. motor. The boat measures 123 in. long, has a bait well and the Cloningers have all paperwork, bill of sale, title, etc. Call Lou at 281-491-2991 (home) or 281-300-5888 (cell) for pricing and more info.


FBRE is set apart from others in the real estate industry by our private-client approach. Our boutique nature enables us to customize services to meet clients’ particular requirements in any facet of real estate. We represent clients in residential, ranches, investments, corporate leasing and acquisitions, development, investment and more. The combination of our private-client model, local relationships and expertise throughout Texas, and international marketing exposure is unmatched by other real estate firms, large and small.

We recently represented the purchasers of the gorgeous Chris Sims Luxury Custom Home, designed by Robert Dame, located at 9506 Highway 90A. This incredible home has a majestic view overlooking Eldridge/Alkire Lake. After four months of negotiation on our clients' behalf, they are thrilled to be moving into this beautiful home with truly one of the most spectacular views in the Alkire area.

With so much information readily available to consumers through the MLS and internet, a Realtors' job is not primarily to supply data. Rather, a Realtor provides value to clients primarily through skills, experience, knowledge and expertise in this complicated and fast-moving real-estate industry. In the case of this Alkire Lake home, our knowledge of the area regarding specific home and lot sales, our expertise in dealing with inspectors, engineers, contractors, appraisers, architects and builders, and our negotiations with the seller’s Realtor played a large part in being able to bring this transaction to fruition.

While I am touting the attributes of FBRE, I will also tell you to be sure and call us if you are thinking of "heading west" for a part-time ranch or country home, for hunting or for simply getting away. Bud Friedman recently sold a 50-acre "piece of heaven" in Hallettsville. He represents clients throughout Texas and has expertise in dealing with title, survey and mineral issues to name a few.


The neighborhood coffee last week was an all-around treat! Thank you to Pat and Bruce Lowrie for opening their gorgeous home and to Marcie McCutchen, Terry Beckham, Carol Tralie, Susan Uselton, Angie Schultz and Susan Marblestone for planning and preparing a morning of delectable food and delightful company!

Save the date: With “bait”-ed breath, we look forward to our next gathering at the annual fishing tournament on May 5

31 January 2018

Venetian Estates News January 2018

Market News
In our last newsletter we said, "Just watch those signs disappear as the weather cools. We are working with several good prospects now and expect a great “end-of-year” market in VE!"  Well, it happened as we predicted. We closed two VE sales in December and more of FBRE's "For Sale" signs are being replaced with SOLD signs as the weather has cooled (or shall we say frozen?). Our listings at 518 Lombardy, 603 Salerno and 903 Gondola are now pending sale and scheduled to close this month and next.

We still have prospects waiting for the “perfect fit”, whether that be a remodeled home, a home that needs remodeling, or a home that would be considered land value only. Many of these prospects are committed to Venetian Estates but simply have not found the right home or lot for their family. Give us a call or email Kelly or Susan if you have questions about your specific home or about the Venetian Estates market.

New-Neighbor News
FBRE represented our new neighbors, Darby and Jeff Brennan, in the purchase of 919 San Marino. Jeff and Darby are both Aggies, class of '97 and '02. Jeff is in business development at Phillips 66 and Darby is a preschool teacher at The School for Little Children (First United Methodist Church Sugar Land). The Brennans have two children, Molly, age 5 and Jill, age 2.   Darby says the girls are begging for a dog so my guess is that there will soon be another member of the family to enjoy their big beautiful yard! Jeff and Darby say they are loving Venetian Estates and its quiet slow pace. Jeff is one of many second-generation homeowners. He grew up on Lombardy!

Neighborhood Post
Many of you know Carolyn Tarver of 838 Bel Mar and are acquainted with her "Project Smile," which for many years has supplied thousands of school age children with school supplies with which to begin the new school year. Carolyn is involved with many other ministries as well and has hundreds of families that depend on her in many ways and for many things. She often has families in need of furniture or appliances in good working order. Please keep this sweet lady in mind and give her a call if you have an item that one of “her” families could use.  Carolyn is listed in the VE directory or feel free to contact us at FBRE if you need her contact info!

Blendin storefrontBrewing in the Neighborhood
As evidenced by the full parking lot and perpetually occupied tables, our neighbor Blendin Coffee Club has already established itself as a gathering place for the community. The warm lights inside are so inviting, and upon entering the doors the delicious aromas and smiling faces will make you linger! If you haven't already, please introduce yourself to the staff and owner and ask how you can learn more about Blendin and specialty coffee. They host regular "cuppings," which are a delight! In these events, one can learn about and develop senses of taste for the world's best coffees. Think wine tastings, but for coffee...Blendin can teach you about coffee, the nuances of different brewing methods and more. Get to know this new neighbor--it's so much more than a traditional coffee shop! Your eyes will surely be opened!


The first FBRE newsletter was written in March of 1989! The Newsletter was simply in the form of a letter to neighbors until August of 2010 when Kelly Ferguson redesigned the letter and it became known as Venetian Estates News! Kelly and I will continue this "tradition" indefinitely, publishing and mailing the “News” at least once a quarter. However, this year we will also begin sending short updates to "VE News" through email - most likely these updates will be sent only once a month unless there is some reason to send out an additional announcement of some kind. The updates will include information on new neighbors, information on new listings, etc.  We do have many of your emails but many others we do not have... so send me a quick note at susan@fbre.net or text or call me at 281-381-3604 with your email. Conversely, if you prefer NOT to receive anything from us send me a note and we will make sure your email is not on our list.