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Living in "The Woodlands"?
Old 05-10-2015, 05:22 PM   #1
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Living in "The Woodlands"?

I know there are many posters here from Texas and The Woodlands specifically.

I have to spend at least 5 years with my family in the USA and "The Woodlands" keeps popping up in our search for a variety of reasons. I know RE taxes are high and I have no problem with that ( two little one's in school), but, I was shocked at homeowners insurance rates! My whole life (as a homeowner) I never paid more then $150/mth for insurance. For some reason (on Zillow) I am seeing prices of 350-600/mth. Is this normal for 250k-300k house or condo?
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYEXPAT View Post
I know there are many posters here from Texas and The Woodlands specifically.

I have to spend at least 5 years with my family in the USA and "The Woodlands" keeps popping up in our search for a variety of reasons. I know RE taxes are high and I have no problem with that ( two little one's in school), but, I was shocked at homeowners insurance rates! My whole life (as a homeowner) I never paid more then $150/mth for insurance. For some reason (on Zillow) I am seeing prices of 350-600/mth. Is this normal for 250k-300k house or condo?
I've been in The Woodlands for 23 years. Out home is appraised at ~$240K and last years homeowner's policy was $1,292.00. That did not include flood (we sit high) or the Umbrella policy ($2.0 Million) which was $300.

Zillow is a waste here in Texas where final sales prices are not public information. Every time I look at that site and check prices around here I laugh.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:40 PM   #3
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I've been in The Woodlands for 23 years. Out home is appraised at ~$240K and last years homeowner's policy was $1,292.00. That did not include flood (we sit high) or the Umbrella policy ($2.0 Million) which was $300.

Zillow is a waste here in Texas where final sales prices are not public information. Every time I look at that site and check prices around here I laugh.
Thank you for that! I would be very happy paying those numbers.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:13 PM   #4
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Thank you for that! I would be very happy paying those numbers.
RE tax is about 2% of appraised value. With all the development here in the last 15 years, there is a wide price spread for housing. Homes in the 2,000 - 2,500 square foot size typically cost $110 - $150 per square foot (depending on the Village location). There are homes in the millions also. There is something for everybody here.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:14 PM   #5
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I've seen some very nice houses at very nice prices at the Woodlands while skipping around on Trulia. Whats it really like? What's the downside of living there?


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Old 05-10-2015, 07:24 PM   #6
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We live in Houston (not the Woodlands) but pay in the low $2,000s for homeowners insurance on a house valued in the $400s.


I have heard property tax in the Woodlands can be >3%/year so watch out.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:39 PM   #7
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I live in Montgomery County which is the same county as the Woodlands, but don't live in the Woodlands itself. The Woodlands to me has a lot of property restrictions that are very strict and don't appeal to me.

I like in an acreage subdivision that does have an HOA with restrictions, but are much, much milder than what you see in the Woodlands. We end up going into the Woodlands for a lot of stuff (closest mall, some restaurants, some shopping, doctors) but don't actually have to live there.

The other thing that annoys me about the Woodlands is that there are lots of limitations on building and trees. When you drive down a road that has shops, for example, the shops are often hidden behind the trees. So, if you want to get gas and you don't already know where the gas station is you can find it challenging to find the gas station since it will be hidden behind the trees. I agree that it looks great to have all those trees everywhere, but find it annoying when I can't find where it is I'm trying to go.

Another disadvantage of the Woodlands is that it is very built up and there is a lot of traffic that is really starting to back up at high traffic times. The subdivisions are built with a lot of cul de sacs and without a lot of thru streets. That cuts down on traffic in the subdivision, but can make it a little tedious to get places since you have to go a roundabout way. The closer you are to I-45, the worse the traffic and congestion.

What I like about living in Montgomery County, but not in the Woodlands, is that I feel that I get the shopping and amenities of the Woodlands without having to actually live under the restrictions. (I recognize many people do like those restrictions and that is fine...just talking about why we didn't want to live in the Woodlands).
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:51 PM   #8
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We live in Waterwood, about an hour north of the Woodlands. We pay about $1,200 a year on a $350K home. Flood not required. In general, I think rates are on a par with maybe the exception of those in flood zones, or high wind i.e. hurricane zones. I think for the most part the Woodlands is out of the flood zone, and for sure out of the wind zone. There may be some sections of the Woodlands in a flood zone, and that could jack the price, but I am not sure how much.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:11 PM   #9
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We live in Houston (not the Woodlands) but pay in the low $2,000s for homeowners insurance on a house valued in the $400s.


I have heard property tax in the Woodlands can be >3%/year so watch out.
No one I know pays more than 2%. We just had a re-appraisal also. Where did you hear this? As far as I know, there are limitations as to how much of an increase the assessed value of a property in The Woodlands can go up in any given year.

We love the trees and the way the township has developed the property under the guidelines of the late George Mitchell. He also developed a couple of areas at Lake Livingston (Cape Royal is one).

Another good thing about The Woodlands is that it is not annexed by Houston and that agreement is supposedly going to last for several decades.

Like any rapidly growing area. the traffic is a problem however. But if you are retired, who cares?

Montgomery County living is very acceptable and the county is growing like gang busters. The trouble with an unincorporated county is loose zoning rules. Drive through the town of Cut 'N Shoot and see what I mean. Like trailers?
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:14 PM   #10
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For those who pay small dollars on insurance, which company do you have

My policy jumped to $3K and it pissed me off... I am making my first hail claim and I find out that I do NOT have replacement, but ACV... which means it is depreciated... also a high hail deductible and in the end I will be paying about 75% of the cost of a new roof....

Just an FYI, my insurance was $1600 last year which seems in line with what others have posted...
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:18 PM   #11
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Oh... a note about the Woodlands...

Exxon is opening their world headquarters just south of it and it will bring 10,000 jobs just to that location... add in all the support etc. and you are talking LOTS of new people... housing prices are going up big time right now...

As an example, someone my sister knows put up a $400K plus house on the market... it was sold in 3 days with a bid higher than ask... without ever being seen by the buyers.... crazy....


A Bird's Eye View Of Exxon's Giant New Houston Complex - Forbes

The Exxon Mobil Effect: What is happening in The Woodlands? The Woodlands Texas Woodlands Area News on Woodlands Online
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:32 PM   #12
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Oh... a note about the Woodlands...

Exxon is opening their world headquarters just south of it and it will bring 10,000 jobs just to that location... add in all the support etc. and you are talking LOTS of new people... housing prices are going up big time right now...

As an example, someone my sister knows put up a $400K plus house on the market... it was sold in 3 days with a bid higher than ask... without ever being seen by the buyers.... crazy....


A Bird's Eye View Of Exxon's Giant New Houston Complex - Forbes

The Exxon Mobil Effect: What is happening in The Woodlands? The Woodlands Texas Woodlands Area News on Woodlands Online
Yes, it's a good time to be in The Woodlands..especially if you have been here a good while.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:43 PM   #13
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On Tx property taxes it should be noted that in general there are county taxes, school district taxes and city taxes. If you don't live in a city you don't pay the city taxes but may not get city services (for example you pay directly for trash collection and no recycling is included). City taxes are 20 to 30% of the total taxes on properties in a city. So living outside a city in the Hill Country my property taxes run about 1.6% of valuation . Of course once one reaches 65 in Tx property tax is frozen also.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:24 PM   #14
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On Tx property taxes it should be noted that in general there are county taxes, school district taxes and city taxes. If you don't live in a city you don't pay the city taxes but may not get city services (for example you pay directly for trash collection and no recycling is included). City taxes are 20 to 30% of the total taxes on properties in a city. So living outside a city in the Hill Country my property taxes run about 1.6% of valuation . Of course once one reaches 65 in Tx property tax is frozen also.

Slightly off.... you might have to pay MUD or PUD taxes which can equal or exceed city taxes....

Also, not all taxes are frozen... here only school taxes are frozen... you get a much larger deduction, but the tax value can still go up for everything else... and I think the tax rate can go up for all taxes due... (not sure about the last one)....
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:46 AM   #15
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Montgomery County living is very acceptable and the county is growing like gang busters. The trouble with an unincorporated county is loose zoning rules. Drive through the town of Cut 'N Shoot and see what I mean. Like trailers?
That is only an issue for those who buy unrestricted property -- most houses in Montgomery County even in the unincorporated areas do have restrictions (which usually exclude trailers).

I live in unincorporated Montgomery County...in a gated acreage subdivision with restrictions. I assure you that trailers are not allowed. We don't have as many restrictions as the Woodlands has, but if I want to paint my house a different color, or build a fence, or build an addition, I do have to get permission.

What you are talking about is land that is unrestricted. But, most houses in my experience in unincorporated Montgomery County are in subdivisions with HOAs whose restrictions vary from that of the Woodlands to having less (ours is sort of in-between the range which suits us).
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:15 AM   #16
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Slightly off.... you might have to pay MUD or PUD taxes which can equal or exceed city taxes....

Also, not all taxes are frozen... here only school taxes are frozen... you get a much larger deduction, but the tax value can still go up for everything else... and I think the tax rate can go up for all taxes due... (not sure about the last one)....
The issue of a county tax freeze depends on the county involved some do and some don't.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:41 AM   #17
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The issue of a county tax freeze depends on the county involved some do and some don't.
OK... good to know.... maybe when I get there I will look for counties that freeze all taxes...
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:21 AM   #18
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Do you like it hot and humid?


I'm in Houston now it was 76F with a 73F dewpoint at 6 am.
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:50 PM   #19
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OK... good to know.... maybe when I get there I will look for counties that freeze all taxes...
Also some cities freeze property taxes (you need to look for retirment oriented communities for this)
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:51 PM   #20
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Dittos on the request for the names of these insurance companies! Apparently USAA is robbing us!
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