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Old 05-12-2015, 09:15 AM   #41
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There are active fault lines in The Woodlands which apparently were undisclosed, so some homes sit on these faults and are cracking up.

Upscale homeowners in The Woodlands sue over fault lines - Houston Chronicle

As for the road bond issue, it had a pretty typical outcome. Folks who want higher home prices forget that it comes with growth and growth begets lots of traffic. If the major thoroughfares get choked with traffic, then folks will stop buying homes where the traffic is bad and there will be no need for any road improvements.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:18 AM   #42
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There are active fault lines in The Woodlands which apparently were undisclosed, so some homes sit on these faults and are cracking up.

Upscale homeowners in The Woodlands sue over fault lines - Houston Chronicle
not good, not good at all


glad I don't have a house in carlton woods - nice golf course tho
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:30 AM   #43
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I'd take USAA coverage in a heartbeat, even with a much higher premium. Here in Fl all the major insurers stopped writing new policies years ago, and now Citizens is pushing their clients onto new, local insurers that are unrated. A low price policy from a financially insecure insurer is worthless if a bad storm hits. My guess is Tx homeowners insurance is not much different.
I get ya, I do. But I don't qualify for USAA, and am pretty much in the same boat as folks in FL are (except, merciful gods, I don't have to carry flood, nor carry state pool wind/hail like we did at the beach).

So ASI is a bit of a calculated risk for us, assuming that the state insurance commissioner is looking out for us () when "the big one" hits. I'm just looking for decent coverage in a total loss situation and least bells and whistles. Still damn expensive.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:36 AM   #44
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Another Sugar Land resident.

Our USAA homeowners is $2660 per year. This does not include our annual refund or senior bonus. According to the appraisal district out value is $262,000. Go figure.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:17 AM   #45
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You folks are making a good case for renting!
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:20 AM   #46
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You folks are making a good case for renting!
If you are only going to be here for a few years then I would seriously consider renting. Loads of high quality places to rent.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:18 PM   #47
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I just switched from State Farm to AMICA. Rate went from $2600 to $1300 (plus higher coverage level). USAA was about mid-way between the two (quote only, so may have changed if I pursued).

t.r. (FYI Sugar Land area)
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:24 PM   #48
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One question might be what is the deductible. Both for wind and for everything else. State Farm went to 1% for everything.
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2% for wind/hail. $1000 for everything else.
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I'm at 2% for everything.

I am at 2% for hail and 5% for hurricane.... but after I filed I found out that I only have cash value on the roof... when I thought I had replacement...

I am fine with paying the deductible, but was not expecting to have to cough up 50% depreciation on top of that...

So, do not just think your only cost might be the deductible....
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:42 PM   #49
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As for the road bond issue, it had a pretty typical outcome. Folks who want higher home prices forget that it comes with growth and growth begets lots of traffic. If the major thoroughfares get choked with traffic, then folks will stop buying homes where the traffic is bad and there will be no need for any road improvements.
Road bond issue was packaged so that no one had choices:

1. Expand Woodlands Parkway to Highway 249 (to make a straight shot from west areas into The Woodlands and access to I-45. (not many residents wanted the traffic increase which it would have created - traffic is bad enough right now)

2. Many millions of dollars for road improvements and lane expansions within the area. Very needed.

3. Millions for repairs and maintenance of existing roads. This really pi$$ed off the residents as that cost should come out of existing budgets and not new tax dollars. The Township has gotten a lot of new tax revenue in the last couple of years (say double?) and apparently has pi$$ed a lot of it away on pet projects in order to not be able to have funds to fix the current roads.

No's 1 & 3 failed the bond issue approval (at least that's my take on information from my neighbors and friends.)

Talk is next November the bond issue(s) will be put back on the ballot. Hopefully, those in "charge" will see the light and split out the choices.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:58 PM   #50
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So, do not just think your only cost might be the deductible....
Replaced the roof last summer after a hailstorm. Paid the deductible only, no depreciation - that was bad enough.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:21 PM   #51
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One more thing: The Highway 242 flyover from I-45 opened today. No word on the toll amount yet (imagine, a toll for a highway exit/entrance ramp).
I don't mind toll roads in general. I use the Hardy Toll Road and Sam Houston when it will save me significant time. And, yes, using that flyover at certain times of day would save quite a bit of time since that exit is so congested.

That said, having a toll to pay for what is an exit/entrance onto an interstate highway ticks me off. DH and I have already said that we won't be using it just on general principle.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:42 PM   #52
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That said, having a toll to pay for what is an exit/entrance onto an interstate highway ticks me off. DH and I have already said that we won't be using it just on general principle.
Most of the neighbors I have spoken with (and I live off 242) won't use it either. The exit ramp only clear purpose was to allow commuters a quicker way to get to FM 1488 rather than drive a mile or so up 45 to the next exit, which is the 1488 exit.

The flyover ramp exits at the first entrance to the college and a traffic light is at the end of the ramp. I'll bet it will back up pretty badly when the college is letting out. The ramp exit provides no access to the shopping center (Walmart, Kohls, etc) or St. Lukes hospital.

It's really 1/2 a cloverleaf when you think about it. Being on the west side of I-45, I can't use it to enter I-45 and must use the south feeder road to get that access. What a waste of $40 million.
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Property Taxes in The Woodlands
Old 05-17-2015, 06:15 PM   #53
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Property Taxes in The Woodlands

The total tax bills are the sum of several taxing districts, including the county/city proper, school district, hospital district, and utility districts (Municipal, Road, etc). You need to look more carefully at each neighborhood.

Tax and insurance rates in Montgomery County are generally less than Harris County (Houston).

Here's a link to property taxes....

2014 Property Tax Rates The Woodlands, TX

Not all areas in The Woodlands have a required homeowners association fees. Again, it's neighborhood specific.

Traffic can problematic for commuters who need to travel one of the main arteries, such as I-45. At worst, it can take 30-40 minutes to get fully across the Woodlands (extreme case). As a retiree, I avoid these times. We also chose to pay more to live "up-front", nearer I-45.

The Woodlands is comprised of several "Villages", each with some shopping area. Generally this is a grocery store, drug store, basic restaurant, and a few small stores. So if you are just running a quick errand, than travel times/distances are less.

Our State Farm property insurance is less than 0.5% of value (purchase price in 2013). Of course insurance costs are very dependent on the amount of deductible chosen and any high-value riders (jewelry, guns, etc.).

There are many websites that detail more about "The Woodlands" and debate the growing "urbanization".

Coming from Houston at DW's insistence, I complained about everything being hidden in the trees. After 2 years, I love this aspect. I would not want to go back.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:38 AM   #54
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Just finished switching my homeowners and auto insurance from USAA to Amica. I had been a long term USAA customer, but they were wanting $4700 for my HO policy vs. $2300 from Amica for the same coverage. I even sent my Amica quote to my USAA rep who confirmed that it was equivalent coverage. He was at a loss to explain why USAA was so non-competitive. I even saved a couple hundred on my auto policy. Still banking with USAA though.


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Old 06-30-2015, 11:28 AM   #55
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Just finished switching my homeowners and auto insurance from USAA to Amica. I had been a long term USAA customer, but they were wanting $4700 for my HO policy vs. $2300 from Amica for the same coverage. I even sent my Amica quote to my USAA rep who confirmed that it was equivalent coverage. He was at a loss to explain why USAA was so non-competitive. I even saved a couple hundred on my auto policy. Still banking with USAA though.


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I had the same experience with USAA and went with Amica also.
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