Sugar Land – Missouri City Edition


SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION 2022

ONLINE AT

REAL ESTATE EDITION

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 11 JULY 7AUG. 9, 2022

Rising prices Fort Bend County has experienced rising home prices over the last ve years, while homebuying activity remains constrained by low inventory.

IMPACTS

6

Average price of homes sold

Number of homes sold

Hwy. 90A, FM 1464 project progresses

1,153

$500K

1,413

$400K

949

1,036 1,180

$300K

TRANSPORTATION

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$200K

District and city face leadership changes

$100K

$0

April 2018 2019

2020 2021

2022

SOURCE: TEXAS REAL ESTATE RESEARCH CENTERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CITY & SCHOOLS

9

HUNTER MARROWCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Market still strong despite low inventory, rising interest rates Real estate experts described the 2021 real estate market in Sugar Land and Missouri City as a frenzied, brisk and unprecedented seller’s market. In 2022, those conditions have slowed but not yet abated, experts said. Patel said. “Some of the things that were happening last year—people standing in lines outside an open house waiting for it to start—that’s not really happening anymore. But there’s still low inventory. So it’s still a very strong seller’s market.” days between June 2021-May 2022, a 61% decrease from the prior year. BY HUNTER MARROW

REAL ESTATE EDITION 2022

Texas Real Estate Research Center data shows Fort Bend County’s hous- ing inventory remains at around the lowest it has ever been at a 0.9-month supply. Kunal Seth, a local Realtor with The Seth Brothers Team Realty rm, said inventory below three months in the Sugar Land and Mis- souri area is a seller’s market. Low inventory is also hitting homebuyers as mortgage rates are on the rise, hitting 5.81% on June 23, according to the Federal Home Loan

SNAPSHOT

11

The market has grown more expen- sive in Sugar Land and Missouri City with a 19.54% year-over-year increase in the price of single-family homes in Fort Bend County in April, according to data from Texas A&M University’s Texas Real Estate Research Center. “The Sugar Land market is still hop- ping,” Keller Williams Realtor Sapana

Another indicator of demand—the average days on the market—has also seen signicant declines across ve ZIP codes in the Sugar Land and Mis- souri City area, according to data from Sparrow Realty Realtor Alina Rogers. In ZIP code 77498—which runs along Hwy. 6, north of Hwy. 90—homes were on the market an average of 23

CONTINUED ON 18

PEOPLE

15

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COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS Treated in Sugar Land

At Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land, our physicians collaborate across specialties to diagnose and treat common to complex neurological disorders. With innovative and advanced treatment options, we provide personalized comprehensive care — close to home.

Our team of physicians treats a variety of conditions, including:

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2

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Right Choice FACT: Fort Bend ISD has a higher percentage of students Make The

entering college and earning four- year degrees than charter schools.

*Comparison to Harmony, KIPP, and International Leadership of Texas

For more information visit www.fortbendisd.com/ chooseFBISD

www.fortbendisd.com/chooseFBISD

3

SUGAR LAND – MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

In an emergency, distance makes a difference.

A health emergency is something most of us would rather prevent than plan for. But when you need medical care fast, the closest emergency room is a smart thing to know. As your neighborhood hospital, St. Luke’s Health–Sugar Land is your direct path between feeling scared or uncomfortable and feeling better. And you’ll be there in the shortest possible time.

Get to know more about our E.R. before an emergency strikes at stlukeshealth.org/locations/sugar-land-hospital .

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM AMY: In our annual Real Estate Edition, we dive into local trends regarding home sales, appraisals, homestead exemptions and more. We also spoke to a Houston-based solar expert on the details of solar installation, credits and how they can aect property taxes. Amy Martinez, GENERAL MANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM LAURA: This month, we have important details for homeowners in Missouri City and Sugar Land on potential changes to their homestead exemptions. We also sat down with two local contractors to discuss plumbing and pool maintenance. Laura Robb, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHAT WE COVER

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the latest headlines direct to your inbox. communityimpact.com/ newsletter DAILY INBOX Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Amy Martinez EDITOR Laura Robb REPORTER Hunter Marrow GRAPHIC DESIGNER La’Toya Smith ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Debbie Hamilton METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Kelly Schaer COPY EDITOR Kasey Salisbury ART PRODUCTION MANAGER Kaitlin Schmidt CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PRESIDENT & GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES & MARKETING Tess Coverman CONTACT US

BUSINESS & DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION & DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

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WE’VE TEAMED UP TO BRING YOU MORE OF THE STORIES YOU CARE ABOUT

5

SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

.

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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W . B E L L F O R T B L V D .

6

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W . A I R P O R T

99 TOLL

8

Lazy Dog

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LAKE POINTE PKWY.

COURTESY LAZY DOG

PROMENADE WAY

90

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ing to owner Hiidoon Muili. The grocery store, which hosted a soft opening May 20, brings grocery items, ethnic products and an exchange of cultural experiences, focusing on African-Caribbean dry goods, spices and culinary items along with condiments and grains. 281-201-2946. www.ensisters.com 5 Madison Reed opened a new location in Sugar Land’s outdoor-indoor mall, First Colony Mall. The beauty chain opened June 30 at 16535 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 2005, Sugar Land, bringing hair care and hair color products as well as a color bar that includes a free personalized color consultation. Customers can take a hair color home or schedule an appoint- ment to have a colorist color their hair, according to the company’s website. 832-532-6524. www.madison-reed.com 6 Sassy and Wild Boutique , a women’s boutique store offering clothing in sizes small-3XL, accessories and gift items, is open in Sugar Land. The store held its grand opening on April 30 at its location at 13501 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land. The boutique is family owned and seeks to provide high-quality vinyl T-shirts, custom tumblers and other custom items. 346-240-7490. www.sassyandwild.com COMING SOON 7 Dorado Nail Bar will soon open its Sugar Land location. Located at 18802 University Blvd., Ste. 135, Sugar Land, Dorado Nail Bar had planned to open on June 27, but is now plan- ning a mid-July opening. The nail salon will offer manicure, pedicure and waxing services in addition to nail enhancements and facials, according

MISSOURI CITY

90

T

N BLVD.

2 11

5 13

SETTLERS WAY BLVD.

1092

14

9 12

4

.

59

6

SUGAR LAND

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COMMONWEALTH BLVD.

Y .

KITTY HOLLOW PARK

7

2759

1

SIENNA PKWY.

MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2022 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOW OPEN 1 Located in the Sienna master-planned community at 9612 Hwy. 6, Unit 160, Missouri City, Kolache Factory soft- opened on May 31 with a June 3 ribbon cutting. The new location marks the second Kolache Factory that owner Bee Vines opened after she arrived in Texas from Singapore more than 20 years ago. 713-324-0352. www.kolachefactory.com 2 New women’s retail clothing shop Q Fashion is now open in Sugar Land’s First Colony Mall. The store opened in May

at 16535 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 305, Sugar Land. The store offers a variety of women’s clothing as well as accesso- ries, including handbags and makeup. 281-242-0828. No website available. 3 Riceland Urgent Care & Clinic has opened a new location in Stafford at 3623 S. Main St., Ste. 109, Stafford. Riceland— known for its integrated network of physicians, hospitals, hospice care, home health care and other services—held a grand opening for the new location June 11. Riceland Urgent Care focuses on the urgent care and primary care

model to make health care affordable and convenient, according to a release. The clinic, open seven days a week, offers an in-house laboratory, X-rays, allergy testing, primary care, immunizations, wound care and flu diagnoses as well as school and sports physicals and wom- en’s wellness exams. 713-366-4340. www.ricelandhealthcare.com 4 African-Caribbean-focused gro- cery store En Sisters African Market has opened its doors. En Sisters held its grand opening on June 17 at 2444 Settlers Way Blvd., Sugar Land, accord-

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

9

11

Two Hands Corn Dogs

Tillys

COURTESY TWO HANDS CORN DOGS

COURTESY TILLYS

to the salon’s website. 346-391-4206. www.doradonailbarsugarland.com 8 Lazy Dog —an American-style, ca- sual food and drink restaurant chain—is opening a new Stafford location at 12223 Southwest Freeway on July 13. The eatery’s dining space draws inspiration from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, complete with lodge-inspired furnishings, fireplac- es and ledge stone. Lazy Dog’s menu will include new seasonal dishes along with house favorites, including BBQ Bison Meatloaf made with all-natural Durham Ranch grass-raised Wyoming bison, Campfire Pot Roast and South- ern Fried Chicken Salad with a side of Nashville hot sauce for dipping, accord- ing to the restaurant’s announcement. www.lazydogrestaurants.com 9 Korean-style corndog eatery Two Hands Corn Dogs will come to Sugar Land this fall. Eyeing a mid- to late-Sep- tember opening at 3540 Hwy. 6, Sugar Land, in The Shops at Williams Trace shopping mall, Two Hands is slated to start construction sometime in July, the location’s owner Claire Zhong told Community Impact Newspaper. The eatery offers Korean-style street corn dogs including its spicy dog, a corn dog combined with the Two Hands spicy sauce and peppered with hot Cheetos powder; the potato dog, a corn dog wrapped with potato cubes and slathered with the two hands dirty sauce; as well as the American classic dog with mustard and ketchup. www.twohandsus.com 10 Ky’s Kuisine —a woman-owned, Latin-inspired food service and catering business—is coming to Stafford. Located at Dulles Nutrition, 609 Dulles Ave.,

Ste. 800, Stafford, Ky’s Kuisine will host a soft opening on July 9, be- tween 4-7 p.m., bringing a selection of Latin-inspired cuisine, including baked or fried empanadas. Known for empanadas and mini-charcuterie boxes, the boxes will not be on sale during the event. Ahead of the soft opening, Ky’s Kuisine is requesting orders be made in advance through its website by July 7 for the empanadas to be available by July 9. Orders can be made through the Ky’s Kuisine website. 832-271-5111. www.linktr.ee/kyskuisine 11 Clothing, shoes and accessories brand Tillys will soon open at 16535 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, in the First Colony Mall, mall officials confirmed with Community Impact Newspaper. Tillys is eyeing a July opening at the mall, bringing an array of branded apparel, accessories and shoes that focus on activ- ities, such as lounging, surfing, skate- boarding and snowboarding. Brands sold by the retailer include Adidas, Billabong, DC Shoes, Fox, Hurley, Nike SB, Vans and Volcom. www.tillys.com 12 A new hot pot restaurant slated for a September opening in Sugar Land has been delayed. Volcano Hot Pot , the Tallahassee, Florida-based hot pot franchise, will now open its new location at 3434 Hwy. 6, Sugar Land, in either November or December, Franchisee Jia Hui Jang said. The delay from the restaurant’s original September open- ing date comes as the restaurant awaits permitting approval—as well as deliv- ery of a new air conditioning unit, Jang said. When opened, Volcano Hot Pot will allow customers to cook their own food. The restaurant offers customers a

The clinic is the first of its kind in the state.

COURTESY TEXAS PEDIATRIC & ADOLESCENT GYNECOLOGY

FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN Texas Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology , a clinic oering gynecology care for girls from infancy to age 21, is open in Sugar Land. Located at 1111 Hwy. 6, Ste. 155, Sugar Land, the clinic has been open and accepting patients since March 28, said Dr. Oluyemisi Adeyemi-Fowode, a board-certied OB/GYN who runs the clinic. The opening represents the very rst private practice childhood and adolescent gynecology clinic in the state of Texas, said Adeyemi-Fowode, who works with her medical team to diagnose and treat a variety of disorders and illnesses that aect the reproductive health and function of adolescent girls, according to the clinic’s website. The team provides on-site diagnostic testing services, choice of a soup base, protein, vege- tables and other items from a buffet. www.volcanohotpot.com 13 The Juicy Crab is eyeing a July open- ing at First Colony Mall, 16535 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land. The seafood fran- chise offers a variety of menu items, in- cluding blue crab, crab legs, shrimp, craw- fish, clams, mussels and lobster tail. The Juicy Crab first opened in Duluth, Georgia,

including bloodwork, to determine the underlying cause of pelvic pain, abnormal uterine bleeding and other gynecological symptoms. In addition, the clinic oers customized treatment plans available for menstrual suppression in patients with special needs. “There is denitely a need for these types of clinics,” Adeyemi-Fowode said. “This is a fairly new sub-specialty.” 281-803-8724 www.texaspediatricgynecology.com

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and now has 40 restaurants across the United States. www.thejuicycrab.com CLOSINGS 14 Grocery store chain Randalls closed a Sugar Land grocery store at 3346 Hwy. 6 on June 4, according to a statement from the chain’s parent company, Albertsons. www.randalls.com

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SUGAR LAND – MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES City, county, developer collab on FM 1464 connection

COMPILED BY LAURA ROBB & HUNTER MARROW

COMPLETED PROJECTS

WRIGHT RD.

A $14.4 million Owens Road project connecting Hwy. 90A to FM 1464 is moving forward after Sugar Land City Council approved a $465,000 design contract with a planning firm as well as an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend County at a June 21 meeting. The project is part of a larger plan to preserve the former Central Unit prison property and the adjacent area to develop a light industrial business park. Per meeting documents, the 258-acre site was purchased by the city in 2016 after the prison’s 2011 closure. Currently, the site is accessible through Circle Drive, which will ultimately be Owens Road, per city documents, though Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman said the Owens name may not stick because the county previously agreed to call the roadway John Sharp Boulevard. The project will be executed in three parts through three entities—which requires “major coordination” to ensure alignment across each section, according to city documents.

90

THREE-WAY COLLABORATION

The new roadway will connect Hwy. 90A to FM 1464 and will be done in three separate parts. SOURCE: CITY OF SUGAR LAND/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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59

BRAZOS CANYON DR.

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Fort Bend County portion

Developer portion

City portion

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 28. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT [email protected] list, which included cleaning up the project work sites, was completed at the end of June. Timeline: November 2021-June 2022 Cost: $1.1 million Funding source: TxDOT Green Ribbon program Hwy. 59 landscape renovations A landscape enhancement project along 8.3 miles of Hwy. 59 from Brazos Canyon Drive to Wright Road is complete, Texas Department of Transportation officials said June 29. Updates included removing dead veg- etation and adding native, hardy and maintenance-friendly plants. It aims to mitigate noise pollution, officials said. The city of Sugar Land paid for the design and maintenance, and TxDOT covered installation. The final punch

Future business park location

1464

99

MORNINGTON DR.

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The city will be responsible for the section connecting Hwy. 90A to the business park via Owens Road. Through the developer agreement, the property developer will be responsible for constructing the portion of Owens Road and utilities within the business park. Fort Bend County will construct the remainder of Owens Road from the business park—which is aligned

with the west city limit boundary— to FM 1464. According to the meeting, the project was included in the voter-ap- proved Fort Bend County mobility bond in 2017 and 2020 for a total county fund of $13.3 million. Per the interlocal agreement, the city will contribute $615,000 for the design of that portion.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & SCHOOLS

News from Missouri City, Sugar Land & Fort Bend ISD

QUOTE OF NOTE “IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO LOOK AT WHO WE’RE PUTTING IN PLACE AND THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE SKILL SET AND QUALIFICATIONS TO RUN OUR CITY.”

FBISD board OKs $768 million budget for 202223

BY HUNTER MARROW

Relief funds granted to the district from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. When combined with FBISD’s existing reserve, the district is able to meet that 90-day requirement, Guinn said. A tax rate election, which the district is considering, would allow FBISD to ask voters in November to approve a tax rate hike to increase the district’s revenue, helping address future budget decits, Guinn conrmed to trustee Rick Garcia. Out of the $49 million shortfall, $26 million can be attributed to enrollment not meeting expectations.

FORT BEND ISD The board of trustees unanimously approved Fort Bend ISD’s nearly $768 million budget for the 2022-23 year during its June 20 meeting. Included in that approval is a 2%-3% salary increase for teachers and other sta, bringing the starting teacher pay up to $59,500 beginning in July, FBISD announced in a June 20 news release. Of the $768 million in the general fund, $679 million represents salaries and benets. In total, including the district’s general fund, debt service fund and child nutrition budget, that equals approximately $930 million, according to June 20 agenda documents. The approved general fund represents more than a 4% increase compared to the year prior. The approval also partially addresses an approximately $49 million shortfall in the 2022-23 budget, a shortfall that would prevent the district from meeting its 90-day fund balance reserve required by district policy, FBISD Chief Financial Ocer Bryan Guinn said. Helping to oset that shortfall is $27 million in unallo- cated federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency

JEFFREY BONEY, MISSOURI CITY MAYOR PRO TEM, ON SELECTING A CITY MANAGER

Sugar Land City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. July 18 at 2700 Town Center Blvd. N., Sugar Land. Meetings are livestreamed and in person. 281-275-2900. www.sugarlandtx.gov Missouri City City Council will meet at 7 p.m. July 18 at 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City. Meetings are livestreamed and in person. 281-403-8500. www.missouricitytx.gov Fort Bend County Commissioners Court will meet at 1 p.m. July 12 at 401 Jackson St., Richmond. Meetings are livestreamed and in person. 281-342-3411. www.fortbendcountytx.gov Fort Bend ISD board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. July 25 at 16431 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land. Meetings are livestreamed and in MEETINGS WE COVER MEETING HIGHLIGHTS FORT BEND ISD On June 13, the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees approved Raymond Anderson Haas, Clementine Arana and Michael Jones to be Dulles Elementary School principal, Edgar Glover Jr. Elementary School principal and transportation executive director, respectively.

EXPENDITURES BREAKDOWN

88.4% Salaries and bene ts

Of the $768 million found in the general fund, $679 million represents salaries and benets. SOURCE: FORT BEND ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Airport drainage project secures $27.5M

Missouri City City Council appoints David Jordan as acting city manager in 51 vote

BY LAURA ROBB

BY HUNTER MARROW

Missouri City charter. Jordan, chief operations ocer, will ll the role in cases when the city’s interim city manager is absent or disabled, per the charter.

SUGAR LAND A ood control proj- ect west of Sugar Land Regional Air- port will see $27.5 million in funding after the Texas Water Development Board approved a loan, according to a June 13 news release. The project will include a detention pond, channel improvements, a weir diversion structure, drop structures and diversion channels, per the release. It is expected to take about 2 1/2 years. Planning will begin after the loan is nalized in December.

MISSOURI CITY Through a 5-1 vote at City Council during a special meeting June 13, David Jordan has been designated as Missouri City’s acting city manager. Council Member Vashaundra Edwards was absent during the vote, and Council Member Monica Riley voted against. The appointment comes because the position—or an administrative equivalent—is required to be lled by a city manager within 60 days of taking oce, according to the

David Jordan

“I bring a unique skill set to the table, and I’m qualied to do the job,” Jordan said at the meeting. Jordan has served as the city’s chief operations ocer since March.

person. 281-634-1000. www.fortbendisd.com

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SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

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2022

REAL ESTATE EDITION

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ANNUAL COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE REAL ESTATE EDUCATION COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. VISIT

REAL ESTATE DATA

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

2021-22 Sugar Land | Missouri City Real estate market at a glance

77459

77478

90

Much of the Sugar Land and Missouri City area continues to experience lower housing inventory this year compared to 2021. In all of the ve area ZIP codes, homes were on the market for less time between June 2021-May 2022 compared to June 2020-May 2021. Prices, meanwhile, continue to rise, with the highest price increase in ZIP code 77489, at 21.35%. SOURCES: ALINA ROGERS, FREDDIE MAC, SPARROW REALTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

99 TOLL

77479

59

77489

77498

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Average days on market

Average home sales price

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

77459

77489

$380,745

$187,489

+17.5%

+21.35%

$447,372

$227,526

77478

77498

$284,164

$393,532

+6.34%

+19.71%

$418,477

$340,185

77479

$465,534

+12.79%

$525,065

77459

77478

77479

77489

77498

National mortgage rate data Mortgage rates steadily declined early in the pandemic with the 30-year xed-rate mortgage dropping to as low as 2.65% in January 2021. Rates have since increased, spiking to their highest point since 2009 as of late June.

Number of homes sold

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

30-year xed-rate mortgage

15-year xed-rate mortgage

5.27%

5%

4.51%

3.72%

4.52%

4%

2.65% 3.22%

3%

3.99%

3.16%

2% 0 January 2019

2.16%

2.43%

January 2020

January 2021

January 2022

77459

77478

77479

77489

77498

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SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE BRIEFS Missouri City City Council increases tax exemption

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION

Greater Houston home values trend upward

BY HUNTER MARROW

average homeowner about $40 on their property tax bill, according to city documents. That exemption would apply to nearly 17,000 homesteads. With the approval, the ordinance increases the exemption for residents age 65 and older from $15,000 to $25,000. That is an additional loss of property tax revenue of $382,833 for the city at an annual savings of $144.51 for residents age 65 and older, according to agenda documents. “Regardless of whether that amount is one penny or whether that amount is $100,000, any tax relief for our citizens is something I believe is extremely warranted, and if we’re able to do it based on all the scenarios I know I’ve looked at—we have a healthy fund balance, our sales taxes are increasing, and we’re really going to be in a good place over the next several years per the forecast—today is a good day to slow walk ourselves into this…” Mayor Pro Tem Jerey Boney said during the meeting.

What is a residence homestead? A residence homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or manufactured home on owned or leased land as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A residence homestead can include up to 20 acres, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to residential use. Who is aected? The approved ordinance aects the property taxes of three groups in Missouri City.

The Missouri City City Council approved an ordinance that adds an additional $10,000 in property tax exemptions to Missouri City residents age 65 and older, an additional $10,000 for residents with disabilities and a 2.5% homestead exemption for all residents. City Council approved the ordi- nance through a 6-0 vote during its June 21 meeting, and the action comes after the council voted to approve the rst reading during its June 6 meeting. Mayor Robin Elackatt was not in attendance. The timing of the vote comes as homestead exemptions, which remove part of a home’s value from taxation, are allowed under the Texas tax code but must be adopted before July 1. Using an average home value of $269,128, a 2.5% homestead exemp- tion would reduce Missouri City’s property tax revenue by approxi- mately $680,000 while saving the

BY GEORGE WIEBE

The Greater Houston area’s median single-family home value has risen 16% since last May and is the highest on record at $351,000, despite more listings and fewer sales compared to the same time in 2021, per the Houston Associa- tion of Realtors’ June report. The total active listings rose nearly 15% year over year from 21,151 property listings in May 2021 to 24,301in May 2022. Rising interest rates are cited as a large cause of declining property sales with the average 30-year xed rate mortgage up to 6.06%, according to the HAR. “New listings increased 9% in May, helping boost inventory to its highest level of the year, so hopefully we can begin to see signs of normalcy in terms of supply, demand and pricing in the months ahead,” HAR Chair Jennifer Wauhob said. The total months of inventory for single-family homes—a rate indicating the estimated amount of time it would take before the supply of homes in Houston is depleted—was at 1.6 months, the highest supply so far in 2022, according to the HAR. In Fort Bend County, inventory remains lower, according to data from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, at 0.9 months as of April.

Residents age 65 and older Residents with disabilities Missouri City homeowners

SOURCES: CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS COMPTROLLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Sugar Land approves rst reading of homestead exemption increase

History of exemptions

BY LAURA ROBB

which reduces taxable value by taking a percent- age o the assessed value. This ultimately reduces the tax burden for residents.” City ocials said the exemption will account for $400,000 in citywide resident savings—or $15 per year on a home valued at $420,000—based on the current tax rate of $0.3465.

values,” according to a city news release. “Based on the 2022 preliminary tax roll, prop- erty values in our city are increasing at a rate not seen before,” Sugar Land City Manager Michael Goodrum said in a release. “One way we can address residential value growth is through the homestead exemption,

At its June 21 meeting, Sugar Land City Council voted unanimously to approve increasing the city’s homestead exemp- tion by 1%. The tax cut sits at 12% and will be increased to 13%, going into eect for the 2022 tax year. It will lower tax bills and “address increases in property

For years, Sugar Land has been increasing homestead exemptions for residents. Homestead exemptions in:

2007 1%

2021 12%

2022 13%

SOURCE: CITY OF SUGAR LAND COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PEOPLE Gage Mueller Solar energy specialist, ADT Solar BY LAURA ROBB

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION

Gage Mueller, a solar energy specialist at ADT Solar, has experience in the solar industry as both a customer and a service provider. After installing solar panels on his own house in 2017, Mueller’s interest in solar grew until he decided to pursue a career in the industry in 2020 with SunPro—now known as ADT Solar, a residential and commercial solar panel company. In 2020, ADT Solar installed panels which produced more than 43,600 kilowatts of solar energy in Texas, according to Solar Power World. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Gage Mueller said solar panels can increase a home’s value without increasing property taxes. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Newspaper)

STATE stats

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD PEOPLE ASK WHEN CONSIDERING SOLAR? Homeowners should ask: ‘Do I qualify for the tax credit?’ They should call their [certied public accountant], because the solar sales guy will say, ‘The government will give you 26%.’ But it’s not true—you have to qualify. The other question that I tell people to get answered is: How will this aect your homeowner’s insurance? … Anything attached to the dwelling is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Your premium may go up—but you need to know that ahead of time to

make an informed decision. Once solar is up, there’s nothing you can do. DOES SOLAR AFFECT APPRAIS ALS AND PROPERTY TAXES? Most of the time, solar increases the value of your house—which is good, but you don’t pay a higher property tax. If your house appraises for $200,000 today and you put $20,000 worth of solar on it, then it appraised for $220,000. Your tax liability is still $200,000—because $20,000 is solar renewable energy and qualies for an exemption. You gain the value in the appraisal, but not in property taxes.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association for the solar industry, Texas was ranked number one in the nation for solar panel use in the rst quarter of 2022. SEIA data predicts Texas will lead the nation in growth in the solar industry over the next ve years.

10,088 jobs in the

of the state’s electricity is solar

3.75%

solar industry

506 solar companies 202 installers and developers

85 manufacturers

219

other

SOURCE: SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Local businesses oer home improvement tips

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION

HOME IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

TIPS FROM A POOL TECHNICIAN

Pools are nice to have during a summer heat wave. Here are a few tips from Emerald Pools owner Justin Urrutia to get a pool party started.

COMPILED BY ILANA WILLIAMS

context], be concerned because the sewer conditions are dierent. [To identify the correct rebar size, I need to] take the soil of the pool, and I analyze that soil content. [Those results] dictate what size steel I am going to use. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR HOMEOWNERS TO HAVE A POOL INSTALLED? It all depends on when the homeowners want to swim. Everyone thinks swimming pools are cheaper to build in the winter, but it’s not. People tend to build pools right after the rst of the year, right before spring break, before kids get o for summer break and one more time before school begins. If you build a pool in the winter, then it’s always ready for spring break or the summer. If they build in the summer, then they only have two or three months to swim when it gets completed in the fall.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR HOMEOWNERS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR POOL? They need to maintain their pool on a weekly basis on a day [for] about 30-45 minutes. They have to brush the entire interior of the pool, balance the water chemistry and clean the skimmer baskets. When my clients buy a property I built a pool at, I teach them how to take care of their pool. I teach them the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance items that need to be addressed. HOW CAN HOMEOWNERS ENSURE THEY ARE CHOOSING THE RIGHT POOL TECHNICIAN? When you are interviewing pool guys, you ask them what size rebar—the steel used to support the concrete—they’re going to use. If anyone gives you the answer to that [without additional

ASK A PLUMBER

From sewer pipes to oor remodeling, plumbers can take on many projects for homeowners, S&B Plumbing General Manager Hunter Edmunds said. WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A PLUMBER?

talking to a plumber or contractor. They will want us to put it in, and then we get there, and it’s not compatible with what’s going on behind the scenes of their house. It’s best to start the conversation with a qualied professional to make sure there are no overlooked details that could cost more in the future. WHAT ARE SOME QUICK TIPS TO GET RID OF A CLOGGED DRAIN OR TOILET? Have a plunger on hand. Aside from that, I suggest leaving it up to an expert. Trying to operate your own sink-clearing equipment can be dangerous, and you run the risk of causing damage.

The rst and most important thing to consider is whether or not they are licensed [with] the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. Either the plumbers are a responsible master plumber or they’re working under the supervision of a master plumber. WHAT ARE SOME COMMON PLUMBING MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE? A good portion of your plumbing takes place in areas that you can’t see. A lot of people go out and buy stu without

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Justin Urrutia Owner, Emerald Pools 4902 Cambridge St., Sugar Land 281-265-3339 www.emeraldpools.net

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SUGAR LAND MISSOURI CITY EDITION • JULY 2022

CONTINUED FROM 1

When the real estate market does not have enough houses to meet six months of demand, it is considered a seller’s market. In Sugar Land and Missouri City, less than three months of inventory is considered a seller’s market. In April, less than one month of housing inventory was available in Fort Bend County. Seller’s market

MONTHS OF INVENTORY IN FORT BEND COUNTY

Mortgage Corp., commonly known as Freddie Mac. That is the highest level since 2008 in the midst of the Great Recession. Adam Perdue, a research economist from the Texas Real Estate Research Center, said the county’s low inven- tory goes hand in hand with rising home costs. In Fort Bend County, the average single-family housing price grew from $380,785 in April 2021 to $455,177 this April, according to the center’s data. “There’s just not many houses available anymore,” Perdue said. “Pricing increases are accelerating still. What that shows is that demand is still strong, while recent closings that are falling is because there are not as many houses left.” Yet experts said homebuyer demand remains strong, especially within certain neighborhoods of Fort Bend County, such as the Sienna master-planned community along with Glendale Lakes and Parks Edge, which are set to add over 7,000 new homes by 2031 to meet the demand. Rising rates The low inventory and the high demand mean not every potential homebuyer is able to purchase the rst home they place an oer for, and some have either been unable or unwilling to win a bidding war, experts said. Others have simply been priced out. “Buyer fatigue and also the inter- est rate are not helping homebuy- ers because the change of interest rate will change their monthly pay- ment,” said Serena Chu, a Realtor with Keller Williams who focuses on rental properties. “Buyers started to doubt and started to get worried and concerned, so some said, ‘You know

5

4.2

3.9

4

3.3

3

Inventory in the U.S. MARKET STABILITY

Inventory in Sugar Land & Missouri City

STABLE MARKET

months 6+

months 3+

BUYER’S MARKET STABLE MARKET

2

0.9

0.9

months less than 6

months less than 3

SELLER’S MARKET

1

“There is a huge mismatch in supply versus demand. … Even if you dumped twice the number of homes into the market today, that would still not meet the demand of buyers in the market.” KUNAL SETH, REALTOR, THE SETH BROTHERS TEAM

0 2018 APRIL

2019

2020 2021

2022

SOURCES: TEXAS REAL ESTATE RESEARCH CENTER, KUNAL SETH COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

what, I’m just going to rent, and I’ll wait out the market.’” This sentiment comes as the national 30-year xed-rate mort- gage hit 5.81% June 23, according to Freddie Mac. While low compared to historic rates like the 18% mort- gage rate the country faced during the 1981 recession, mortgage rates have gone up over three percentage points since January 2021, when the rate dropped to 2.65%. That means at a 5.81% 30-year xed mortgage rate and a home price of $455,177, a homeowner with a 20% downpayment would need to pay $2,139 per month on their mortgage, according to nancial technology company Smartasset.com’s mort- gage calculator. In January 2021, that same homeowner would have needed to pay $1,467 per month on their mortgage. Meanwhile, the demand for

single-family rentals across the Greater Houston area reects that growing homebuying hesitation. A June 15 report from the Hous- ton Association of Realtors showed 3,406 renters leased out single-fam- ily homes in May—a nearly 25% increase compared to the prior year. A 2022 Consumer Sentiment and Home Aordability Survey from the HAR, released in May, revealed of 600 survey respondents across the Greater Houston area, the 79% who stopped searching for a home said they did so because they were priced out of the market, 62% because there was not enough inventory and 29% because of an increase in the mort- gage rate. This comes as the HAR reported the median monthly price for sin- gle-family rentals in the Houston area went up 8.1% year over year to $2,000 per month.

The average rents for one-bed- room apartments in Sugar Land reached $1,250 per month as of June 15, according to data from Zumper. com, a platform that tracks apart- ments available for rent. That is the highest rent rate across eight cities in the Houston area, above cities such as Houston and Pearland, which charged renters on average $1,200 per month. Higher rents are why 70% of rent- ers who responded to the HAR sur- vey said they are likely to purchase a home in the next two years. “If people think that it makes more sense to buy, those renters will advance as homeowners, and then the rental market will slow down a little bit,” Chu said. Market eects To take advantage of lower mort- gage rates, homebuyers had been

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