Katy, Texas: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways!

January 31, 2011

I am fortunate to live and work in the sprawling western Houston suburb known as Katy, TX, recently recognized as the top community for growth in the Nation by the Gadberry Group. Click link to read more…

There are obvious reasons for my statement and a few that are not-so-obvious:

1. Location, Location, Location: Close proximity to the Energy Corridor, a major area for our top employers. 

2. Terrific Schools: Just search www.katyisd.org to see what our school district and individual campuses have to offer to our residents and their children. (As the mother of a National Merit Finalist and a Semi-Finalist, I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the administrators and their staff.) Thank you Katy ISD!

3. Cost of Living: We still have lots of available land for building and labor is fairly inexpensive so housing is affordable. However, our property taxes tend to be a high but keep in mind Texas does not have a State Income Tax so our property taxes are used to fund our great schools.

4. (Relatively) Easy Commute: Traffic, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and it depends on what you consider an easy commute. Face it, Houston loves its vehicles so the traffic will always be with us. However, with the completion of the I-10 expansion and the Westpark Tollway completion, there are several avenues for timely travel into Houston and beyond. I know some people do not want a commute and are willing to pay higher homes prices to live closer in and perhaps sacrifice a bit on the schools but our many residents feel that the trade-off is worth it.

5. Great Communities: There are so many different neighborhoods available to a home buyer in our area. I tend to call them “communities”  because some of them are larger than many small towns. In fact, Cinco Ranch is currently the number one new home selling community in entire country and has recently acquired 500 additional acres to continue its growth. Katy offers many other terrific choices such as: Grand Lakes, Firethorne, Cross Creek Ranch, Seven Meadows, Kelliwood, Grayson Lakes and more. Our developers have thoughtfully designed and completed their communities with the homeowner in mind. With careful presentation of commercial/retail, beautifully landscaped common areas, abundant resort-style amenities (golf, pools, tennis, hike/bike trails, lakes, etc.), our residents can feel secure that they have made a wise choice with regard to their families’ enjoyment and potential resale value.

6. Quality of Life: Katy offers a true, small town experience with big city features. We have great dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities for everyone of all ages. We are thrilled to be the lucky recipient of abundant medical care, including but not limited to the new Medical Center’s West Campus: Texas Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Hermann Memorial Hospital, Christus St. Catherine Hospital and the MD Anderson Radiology Center.

7. Diverse and Interesting: Our area is truly representative of the world’s population. As the destination of choice for most expatriates moving here with their energy sector jobs, you will love our multi-cultural make-up. Our kids grow up with friends from all over the world and so many international buyers (drawn here because of our schools), develop strong ties to our community. I know on my street alone we have residents representing: US, Canada, Africa, India, Russia… and this is one street.

8. Family: Katy is family centric and is a place where you can finally stop, unwind and relax with the ones you love. This is a place where people gather to enjoy everything that a true “community” can offer.  

9. Spirituality:  At one time, this area was known as the “City of Churches” and offers a place of worship for everyone, regardless of your faith.

10. Friendly Residents: I have lived all over US and abroad and can attest that I am living in one of the friendliest places on Earth. This could be one of the reasons so many people keep moving back to Katy, TX. When a family moves away, chances are … they will be back.

Why not drop by and check us out. You just might love it and never want to  leave. For more information, please visit my website www.ChristiBorden.com .

See you in Katy!

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Prudential Real Estate – Highest for Seller Satisfactionby JD Power and Associates! How can I serve you?

September 10, 2008
 

 (Houston, Tx) – Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE: PRU] company, and Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors® announced that Prudential Real Estate ranks “Highest Satisfaction for Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms” in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2008 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM.

The inaugural study measures customer satisfaction of home buyers and sellers with major national real estate companies. Overall satisfaction is determined by examining four factors for the home selling experience: agent (43%); marketing (38%); office (12%); and services (7%).

Among home sellers, Prudential Real Estate achieved a score of 793 on a 1,000-point scale – and Prudential Real Estate received particularly high ratings from customers in the marketing and office factors.

 

“We are very proud of this distinction, as it underscores the quality of our affiliates and their hard-working sales professionals, said Laurie Keenan, president of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. “Our sales professionals are local experts, and sellers appreciate their ability to market and price homes right — along with providing exceptional, attentive service.”

The team at Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors® works hard to not only meet, but exceed the expectations of its clients – sellers and buyers, explained Marilyn Eiland, Partner, Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors®. “In the current challenging market, our clients want all the expertise and market knowledge we can offer – and by leveraging Prudential’s brand strength, its wide array of product and service offerings and its strong Internet marketing programs, we can provide sellers with the increased exposure they need.”

 

The J.D. Power and Associates study finds that despite the popularity of home buying and selling resources on the Internet, the real estate sales professional remains key to customer satisfaction with real estate companies. A large proportion of both home buyers and sellers rely on the Internet to facilitate the buying or selling process, with 68 percent of buyers saying that they used Internet tools to help them in the purchase process and 61 percent of sellers reporting that they used a website listing to market their home. In addition, among sellers, online methods are the most important aspect of marketing.

 

However, the sales professional carries the greatest importance among the factors that comprise overall satisfaction among both home buyers and sellers. According to J.D. Power and Associates, although the Internet provides home buyers and sellers with the ability to perform some essential tasks – such as listing a home for sale or researching a neighborhood in which to purchase a home – it still does not replace the importance of a good sales professional. Particularly in an uncertain real estate market, professional advice from sales professionals can be especially valuable to buyers and sellers. The knowledge and expertise provided by experienced sales professionals is an important benefit of using a full-service real estate company.

 

The study also finds that the average time a respondent’s home remained on the market was slightly more than six months, although home sellers represented by the top-ranking real estate companies report that their homes were on the market for slightly less time – approximately five and a half months, on average.

 

Satisfaction averages 794 among those customers whose homes sold within five months or less, but declines considerably to an average of 730 among customers whose homes took seven months or longer to sell, the study showed. A real estate company that provides sales professionals who are skilled at determining the appropriate market value and listing price for homes, and who can effectively market properties, can help minimize the time that clients’ homes remain on the market – which can save the seller money, inconvenience and anxiety.

Nearly one-half of respondents in the study (46%) reported using recommendations from family or friends to find their real estate sales professional. Approximately 28 percent used the Internet, 23 percent used a sales professional they had used previously and 11 percent used a printed real estate guide.

 

The study also reports that home buyers were shown an average of 13 homes before they made a purchase. Home sellers reported that, on average, their home was shown 11 times, and about five open houses were conducted before a sale occurred. The 2008 Home Buyer/Seller Study includes 3,670 evaluations from 3,205 respondents who bought or sold a home between April 2007 and June 2008.

 

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on cell phone ratings, car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance and more, visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

 

Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc. is Prudential’s integrated real estate brokerage franchise and relocation services business. Prudential Real Estate franchises are independently owned and operated. Companies are selected based upon outstanding performance records, high levels of customer service and shared business values with those of Prudential. Prudential Real Estate provides franchises with business strategies using Operation Reviews as well as numerous benefits, including access to Prudential Real Estate’s Online Seller AdvantageSM program designed to provide real-time information to sellers with the touch of a keystroke. Prudential Real Estate is one of the largest real estate brokerage franchise networks in North America, with nearly 2,100 franchise offices and approximately 64,000 sales professionals in the franchise Network as of June 30, 2008.

 

symbol is an icon of strength, stability, expertise and innovation that has stood the test of time. Prudential’s businesses offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. For more information, please visit contact Christi Borden at www.ChristiBorden.com or http://www.news.prudential.com/