Bay Area Edition | July 2022

BAY AREA EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 12  JULY 22AUG. 25, 2022 2022

ONLINE AT

REAL ESTATE EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 12  JULY 22 AUG. 25, 2022

Ocials ght for reform as property values skyrocket BY JAKE MAGEE Homeowners across the Bay Area are seeing property values shoot up this year, and the problem has gained the attention of local ocials who want to reform the home appraisal process. Cheryl Johnson, the elected tax-as- sessor collector for Galveston County, said she is working alongside Galves- ton County Judge Mark Henry and state Rep. Greg Bonnen, RFriend- swood, among others, to convince

Increasing appraisals In 2022, 128,000 of Galveston County’s 230,000 parcels saw an increase in appraised value. Meanwhile, in Harris County, 1.12 million of the county’s 1.18 million residential properties saw value increases.

Appraisals where property values increased

Protests of increased appraised values

Protests that were successful in negotiating a new property value

GALVESTON COUNTY

HARRIS COUNTY

300K 600K 1.2M 900K

150K

1,124,975

135,168

128,000

122,825

967,432

907,448

848,770

101,041

100K

61,601

52,628

51,250

132,039* 357,105

50K

325,937

37,385

315,287

223,952 295,887

6,822*

29,814

40,647

47,912

247,430

259,502

0

0

2020

2020

2021

2022

2021

2022

2019

2019

SOURCES: GALVESTON COUNTY TAXASSESSOR COLLECTOR, HARRIS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER *THE NUMBER OF SUCCESSFUL AND FAILED PROTESTS FOR 2022 IS INCOMPLETE AS PROTESTS ARE ONGOING.

CONTINUED ON 16

Lakefront communities face rising windstorm insurance rates

BY JAKE MAGEE

agers said the skyrocketing costs are unsustainable. “When this news [of this increase] came down, I was just sick,” said Debra Doss, a Natchez Land- ing resident and former president of the property’s condo association. Now, residents and managers are working with politicians to change state laws to reduce rates. “People are struggling,” Natchez Landing resi- dent Cortney McKenzie said. “We’re going to price people out of their homes.” CONTINUED ON 18

Residents in condominium and townhouse asso- ciations along Clear Lake are selling their properties and moving after windstorm insurance rates sky- rocketed this year. Natchez Landing, a 108-unit condo complex at 3535 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, and The Meridian, a group of 14 townhomes in Nassau Bay at 329 Lakeside Lane, each saw their buildings’ windstorm insur- ance rates double from 2021 to 2022, increasing by thousands of dollars. Residents and property man-

Natchez Landing in Seabrook is one residential property seeing skyrocketing windstorm insurance costs due to its proximity to Clear Lake.

COURTESY SEABROOK REAL ESTATE

REAL ESTATE EDITION 2022

Harris County approves $53M for trails

Superintendent announces retirement

IMPACTS

TRANSPORTATION

CITY & SCHOOLS

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BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

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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 PAPAR: To say our real estate market has been hotter than our weather is an understatement. Every July, we focus on real estate trends in the area, including housing costs, which have been on an upward trend since the pandemic made home where we spend so much of our time. Whether you’re buying, selling or perhaps considering protesting the higher property tax bills, you will nd useful information in this month’s Real Estate Edition. Papar Faircloth, 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 JAKE: I can say as a new homeowner that homestead exemptions are a somewhat confusing but very important way to pay less in property taxes. If you’re a new homeowner or haven’t yet gotten an exemption, do yourself a favor and check out our Inside Information page (see Page 15) to learn about the dierent exemptions available and their benets. Jake Magee, EDITOR

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

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CORRECTION: Volume 4, Issue 11, Page 6 On the map, Impacts 4 and 5 should be swapped; Bliss Bakery is located along Egret Bay Boulevard, and BMW of Clear Lake is located along Gulf Freeway."

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BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

IMPACTS

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

7 Southern U.S.-based Crust Pizza will tentatively open its new League City lo- cation at 1921 W. League City Parkway in late 2022 or early 2023. The chain offers 10- and 14-inch Chicago-style pizzas along with subs, calzones, salads and piz- za bowls. Other locations in the Houston area include The Woodlands, Louetta and Katy. www.crustpizzaco.com 8 Fogo de Chao Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse planning to open at the end of the year at 500 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood. The steakhouse was originally founded in Brazil and was brought to Dallas in 1997. 972-960-9533. www.fogodechao.com 9 Fat Tuesday plans to open at the end of this year at 500 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood. Fat Tuesday has locations throughout the U.S. and offers different kinds of cocktails and cock- tail combinations, such as Jet Fuel and Miami Vice. www.fattuesday.com RELOCATIONS 10 The House of Goth opened its doors May 7 at 19014 Gulf Freeway, Friend- swood. The location offers a variety of products, including clothing, leather harnesses, chokers, garters, belts, cuffs, stockings, fingerless gloves, jewelry, accessories and home decor. The business originally was located inside of Baybrook Mall at 500 Baybrook Mall, Friend- swood, and was known as A Charmed Life Jewelry Designs. 832-224-4273. www.acharmedlifejewelrydesigns.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 Galveston’s iconic Pleasure Pier , 2501 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, celebrated its 10-year anniversary June 16. The Gulf- side tourist destination was the largest of its kind in the country in the late 1940s, and it was reconstructed and reopened in summer 2012. Pleasure Pier features 16 rides and a variety of food venues and re- tail stores, including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. 409-766-4950. www.pleasurepier.com 12 June marked the 10-year anniversary of the relocation of League City’s historic Ghirardi oak tree . The tree, now over 100 years old, is located at the Ghirardi Family

P

MIDDLEBROOK DR.

ARMAND BAYOU NATURE CENTER

15B

SEABROOK

45

A REPSDORPH RD.

CLEAR LAKE

2351

15A

UPPER BAY RD.

10

GALVESTON BAY

BAYBROOK MALL DR.

9

13

2

8

4

WEBSTER

5

518

NASSAU BAY

96

528

12

14

PERKINS AVE.

146

PARK AVE.

1

646

6

3

45

S. EGRET BAY BLVD.

TUSCAN LAKES BLVD.

BERNANDO DE GALVEZ AVE.

7

LEAGUE CITY

3

517

11

GULF OF MEXICO

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

NOW OPEN 1 Dirt Poor Couture held a soft open- ing June 1 at 240 Park Ave. in Historic League City. The clothing store carries new, resale and vintage women’s cloth- ing and accessories, including designer pet apparel. The store has a sewing studio on-site where clothing can be repurposed and custom pieces are made for people and their pets. 832-905-4137. www.dirtpoorcouture.etsy.com 2 Food of Life opened in April and expanded its hours in May at 2500 Marina Bay Drive in west League City. The bakery specializes in organic, gluten-free and vegan baked goods and savory treats. The store has previously served buns, cakes, cookies and biscuits. 281-549-4682. www.facebook.com/eatfoodoflifellc

COMING SOON 5 Tilly’s aims to open at 500 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood. Representatives said as of June 10 it will open in the next few weeks. Tilly’s is known for its cloth- ing for men, women and children. It also has backpacks, shoes and accessories. Tilly’s has locations throughout the U.S. 866-484-5597. www.tillys.com 6 The opening of the $30 million, 180,000-square-foot Amazon delivery station built at 2455 Tuscan Lakes Blvd., League City, is on an indefinite hold. Orig- inally expected to open in 2022, the Ama- zon facility is no longer expected to open on schedule, though League City officials said they expect it to open eventually but do not know why it was paused. In the meantime, the facility will remain empty. www.amazon.com

3 Koop’s BBQ Kitchen & Catering opened its permanent restaurant May 5, located at 4501 Broadway St. in Gal- veston. The barbecue restaurant serves items such as loaded nachos, loaded mac and cheese, jalapeno burgers, tacos, que- sadillas, turkey melts, chopped brisket sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches. 409-539-0059. www.facebook.com/ koopsbbq 4 Fat Shack held a grand opening for its new Webster location May 3 at 1020 W. NASA Parkway. The chain sells burgers, wings, snacks and appetizers. Its signature item is its selection of Fat Sandwiches with varieties of unique toppings, including mozzarella sticks, onion rings and jalapeno poppers. The restaurant has five other Texas locations and is in other states as well. 281-525-4138. www.fatshack.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY COMMUNITY IMPACT STAFF

WaterSmart Park at 1910 Louisiana Ave. It was relocated from the corner of FM 518 and Louisiana Avenue on the Ghirardi family’s property after a road-widening project required its removal. The Ghirardi family is one of League City’s first Italian immigrant families. 281-554-1000. www.leaguecitytx.gov NEW MANAGEMENT 13 St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal School , 18300 Upper Bay Road, Hous- ton, in June announced it is under new leadership. Andie Knight is the new head of school, and Renee Bielski is the new community engagement and enroll- ment director. Knight has 20 years of experience in education and is working on her master’s degree in counseling at Houston Baptist University. Bielski has a master’s in early childhood education and 20 years of experience working with preschool and elementary school students. St. Thomas is a Nassau Bay pri- vate school that has existed for 56 years. 281-333-2384. www.stesnb.org IN THE NEWS 14 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in June awarded the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce , 100 Perkins Ave., League City, with a four-star accreditation for the chamber’s policies, effective orga- nization procedures and positive impact on the community. League City Chamber is the only chamber representing Galves- ton, Harris and Brazoria counties and the only accredited chamber in the Greater Bay Area Houston region. 281-338-7339. www.leaguecitychamber.com 15 In June, two Clear Lake aerospace companies— A Aegis Aerospace at 18050 Saturn Lane, Ste. 300, Houston, and B Intuitive Machines at 3700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston—announced they have entered the first Texas-based business-to-business contract to deliver a commercial science payload to the moon. Under the con- tract, Intuitive Machines will send Aegis Aerospace’s Space Science & Technology Evaluation Facility to the moon in 2025. The facility is designed to accommodate a variety of experiments, such as a 3D-print- ed antenna, radiation protective mate- rials and sensors. www.aegisaero.com. www.intuitivemachines.com

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Dirt Poor Couture

COURTESY SEPTEMBER PHILLIPS

2

Kelsey-Seybold plans to open new and expanded facilities around the Bay Area.

RENDERING COURTESY KELSEY-SEYBOLD

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Health care company Kelsey-Seybold is expanding in the Bay Area. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – South Shore at 201 Enterprise Ave., Ste. 900, League City, and A Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Clear Lake at 1010 S. Ponds Drive, Webster, are both at capacity, so the company will expand, Stuart Cayer, senior director of operations at Kelsey- Seybold, said at a June 28 League City City Council meeting. “This community needs a lot more from us,” he said. In January, Kelsey-Seybold will open a B South Shore Harbour location in League City. The 15,000-square-foot facility at 3625 E. League City Parkway, League City, will include a lab and imaging services. The one-story clinic, which is under construction, will have room for seven health care providers under various specialities, including family medicine, OB-GYN and pediatrics. Once open, the facility will replace Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – South Shore, which opened in February. Kelsey-Seybold is also opening a westside League City location by 2024. The two-story facility west of I-45 will be 33,000 square feet with adult

and pediatric specialties, a pharmacy, imaging services and a lab, and it will house up to 27 doctors once it is expanded. An exact address for the facility has not yet been announced. Between the two facilities, Kelsey- Seybold plans to bring about 35 doctors and other sta to the area by 2026, Cayer said. Finally, in fall 2023, Kelsey-Seybold is also opening its expanded Clear Lake location in Webster. Called the Bay Area campus, it will feature a 44,000-square-foot cancer center and a surgical hub. The existing clinic will grow from 54,000 square feet to 81,000. In total, the Bay Area campus will expand by over 150,000 square feet, Cayer said. All told, the new and expanded facilities will bring about 600 jobs to the area. www.kelsey-seybold.com

Food of Life

COURTESY FOOD OF LIFE

11

Pleasure Pier COURTESY CITY OF GALVESTON

12

CLEAR LAKE

TOWN RIDGE LN. EL DORADO BLVD.

A

B

S. PONDS DR.

3

45

96

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Ghirardi tree

COURTESY CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

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BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

COMPILED BY EMILY LINCKE & JAKE MAGEE UPCOMING PROJECTS

Harris County commissioners approve $53M for trailway projects Harris County commissioners

NASA BYPASS

Ramsey said he voted against the item because he believes the project has “too many unknowns.” “Safety is my No. 1 concern, and I’ve not seen enough of the concept to condently say it’s properly being addressed in these projects,” Ramsey said in an email May 17. Meanwhile, Cagle said he would have preferred additional trails be funded by the county’s parks budget. “While Commissioner [Cagle] is a major proponent of hike-and-bike trails and has considerably expanded their availability throughout Precinct 4, he voted against this measure because he believes it sets a bad precedent of diverting toll road money to projects not originally envisioned when toll roads were rst pitched to Harris County voters,” said Joe Stinebaker, Precinct 4 director of communications, in an email May 17. The HCTRA identied 22 priority projects that were ranked as having the highest community benet and were given a prioritized timeline. One of these projects is a Space Center

New ways to commute The Tollways to Trailways project will bring biking and walking paths to Harris County for local commuters to use daily.

approved $53 million on May 10 for the Harris County Toll Road Author- ity’s new Tollways to Trailways initiative, which will add 236 miles of new recreational trails across each of the county’s four precincts. According to the HCTRA’s planning documents, most of the trails will be placed adjacent to existing toll roads, providing access to existing parks, public transit hubs, schools and neighborhoods. A timeline for the work has not yet been announced, but the cost estimate for all 63 proj- ects totals more than $601 million. “Tollways to Trailways make the county healthier and more resilient by expanding healthy mobility choices, creating more local green spaces, and giving people transporta- tion options that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve regional air quality,” HCTRA’s plan reads. The request was approved in a 3-2 vote with Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey and Precinct 4 Commis- sioner Jack Cagle dissenting.

45

CLEARCR

236 miles of trails will be added across Harris County. 63 projects are envisioned for the Tollways to Trailways plan across Harris County’s four precincts. $601 million in funding will be needed to cover the plan’s trailways.

LANDING BLVD.

518

N

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 1. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BAYNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. sta has been working to acquire land for the project. TxDOT ocials have requested postponing bidding the project to June 2023. Timeline: late 2023-early 2026 Cost: $67.1 million Funding sources: TxDOT, League City, Webster North Landing Boulevard extension Thisproject will provide an additional crossing over Clear Creek and alleviate congestion on FM 518. Following the Texas Department of Transportation’s approval of the right-of-way mapping at the end of January, League City

$53 million in funding was approved for the project by Harris County commissioners on May 10. SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY TOLL ROAD AUTHORITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Boulevard trail, a $17.3 million trail running 11.4 miles from Middlebrook Drive to Deer Park. A separate project for the area includes a $45.3 million Houston to Galveston Trail along Hwy. 3 stretch- ing 15.9 miles from the 610 Loop to Clear Creek.

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BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & SCHOOLS

News from Clear Creek ISD & League City

COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE & DANIEL WEEKS

QUOTE OF NOTE “[TAXPAYERS ARE SEEING] LARGE INCREASES IN THEIR VALUES, AND THEY’RE PAYING MORE TAXES, BUT THAT DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THE DISTRICT RECEIVES MORE FUNDING.” ALICE BENZAIA, CLEAR CREEK ISD CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER CITY HIGHLIGHTS LEAGUE CITY On June 28, League City City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the construction of Segment B of the Grand Parkway. Other groups across Brazoria and Galveston counties have recently signed their own resolutions supporting the project, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey said. Grand Parkway would be the third loop in addition to Loop 610 and Beltway 8 and would go through several counties surrounding Harris County. Most of the Grand Parkway is complete, but segments A, B and C—which, in part, stretch through League City—have yet to be constructed to complete the loop. LEAGUE CITY On July 12, League City City Council voted in favor of combining two tracts into one and rezoning them to make them a single planned unit development, or PUD. The Stedman-West PUD, originally 640 acres, will now be 804 acres after council’s action added to the PUD a 164-acre parcel located east of the Stedman-West tract. David Hoover, League City director of planning and development, said combining the tracts, located south of League City Parkway and west of McFarland Road, will result in better Clear Creek ISD will meet at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 8 for a board workshop and at 6 p.m. Aug. 22 for a regular meeting at 2425 E. Main St., League City. Watch online at www.ccisd.net/boardmeeeting. League City City Council will meet at 6 p.m. July 26 and Aug. 9 at 200 W. Walker St., League City. Meetings are streamed at www.facebook.com/ leaguecitytexas. MEETINGS WE COVER traffic connectivity. The PUD will include plenty of detention ponds with amenities such as fishing piers, kayaking opportunities, fountains and enhanced trails. In addition, the PUD will have to include at least 25 acres of parkland, including a regional park to the south.

Clear Creek ISD preliminary FY 2022-23 budget shows slight tax rate reduction CLEAR CREEK ISD The preliminary fiscal year 2022-23 budget plan for Clear Creek ISD shows a tentative reduction of its annual tax rate. The CCISD board of trustees received a presentation from Chief Financial Officer Alice Benzaia at a regular June 27 meeting. Benzaia covered the preliminary tax rate and budget plan, which is yet to be finalized and approved. According to Benzaia, the total tax rate for FY 2022-23 will tentatively be about $1.1593 per $100 property valua- tion, a decrease of from the previous year at about $1.1797. Until the Texas Education Agency sends an approved max- imum compressed tax rate, the rate is subject to change. Due to the recent spike in property values and an overall increase in taxable property value year over year, a tax rate reduction is expected, Benzaia said. “[Taxpayers are seeing] large increases in their values, and they’re paying more taxes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the district receives more funding,” Benzaia said. The preapproved budget for FY 2022-23 is about $366.49 million. About $327 million is projected to be spent on

DECREASING TAX RATE Clear Creek ISD’s 2022-23 tentative tax rate is part of a decreasing trend.

$1.50 $1.40 $1.30 $1.20 0

$1.1593

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23**

School year

*PER $100 PROPERTY VALUATION **TAX RATE NOT YET FINAL

SOURCE: CLEAR CREEK ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

payroll costs for staff. A 2% increase in salary is included, which would cost the district about $6.8 million. Staffing reductions will bring the district an estimated $4.8 million. Each spring, an analysis of all CCISD campuses is conducted to determine if the district’s staffing ratio guidelines are met compared to student enrollment. The reduction of enrollment in the 2021-22 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in smaller class sizes, resulting in reductions. A public hearing will be held to discuss the budget and tax rate in August.

City Council approves Phase 2 of Bay Ridge flood mitigation LEAGUE CITY On June 28, League City City Council unanimously approved the city beginning Phase 2 of the Bay Ridge flood mitigation project. The cost is $9.26 million— about a 50% increase from its original projected cost of about $6 million, officials said. According to the city’s website, Phase 2 includes adding capacity to the neighborhood’s existing deten- tion pond and adding a dedicated pump station. The project is one of many in League City’s $73 million flood project bonds, which residents overwhelmingly approved in 2019. Mayor Pat Hallisey said the Bay Ridge project is the largest amount the city is spending on bond projects because it was hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey, which resulted in about 25% of properties in League City flooding. Angie Steelman, budget director for League City, said city officials are tracking project costs in real time to make sure they do not go over the $73 million bond amount.

Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Eric Williams to retire CLEAR CREEK ISD After 1 1/2 years in the role, Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Eric Williams has announced will retire effective Jan. 31, 2023. The board of trustees approved an agreement to Williams’s voluntary retirement discussed in a closed ses- sion at a July 11 workshop meeting. Williams stated he would embark on a short-term leave of absence that began July 12, planning a return to Virginia to “support a family member with a medical condition.” “Clear Creek ISD is an exemplary school district. I’m deeply grateful to the CCISD staff and all that they do day in and day out,” Williams said. “I appreciate having had the opportunity to work in and lead a district that effectively empowers students to achieve, contribute and lead with integrity.” The CCISD board June 11 unani- mously approved the nomination of Karen Engle as the interim district superintendent. Engle previously served as the assistant

Eric Williams will officially retire from the Clear Creek ISD superintendent role Jan. 31, 2023.

superintendent of secondary education and has over 20 years of experience in the district. Williams came to CCISD from Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia near the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He started the role Jan. 18, 2021, after former Superintendent Greg Smith retired the previous month. Williams’s nomination and selection process in November and December 2020 faced an intense deliberation process, according to board members at the time. Parents from CCISD previously protested the selection of Williams on social media, citing dissatis- faction with a perceived use of critical race theory in schools and insufficient planning for a return to in-person school during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Trustees said upon Williams’s hiring he was chosen for his knowl- edge, passion and experience being a superintendent.

11

BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

2022

REAL ESTATE EDITION

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REAL ESTATE DATA 2021-22 Bay Area

Data on the real estate market in the Bay Area

COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE

Real estate market at a glance Across League City and Clear Lake, homes sold for more and spent fewer days on the market from June 2021-May 2022 compared to June 2020-May 2021. Meanwhile, the number of homes sold decreased slightly but overall remained relatively at.

225

146

77058 77059 77062 77565 77573

45

518

SOURCES: SPARROW REALTY, LEAGUE CITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

N

Average home sales price

Number of homes sold

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

77058

77565

$315,032

$480,882

+25.4%

+21.04%

$395,057

$582,052

77059

77573

$427,508 $402,099

$341,337

+6.32%

+10.94%

$378,676

77062

$291,602

+10.62%

$322,582

77058

77059

77062

77565

77573

Average days on market

Featured development

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

HILLWOOD COMMUNITIES

Developer Hillwood Communities in May announced it had acquired 540 acres in western League City to develop the area as its third Houston- area master-planned community. Once completed, the to-be-named community will include 1,250 single- family lots ranging from $400,000 to $700,000 in Clear Creek ISD. “This acquisition is another step in our plans to help accommodate the

ongoing Houston-area growth,” Hillwood Communities President Fred Balda said in a news release. “We are committed to providing thoughtfully planned, quality communities that Houston residents deserve.” Hillwood has not selected builders for the community, which will not break ground until 2024, but the company will focus on long-term sustainability, the release said.

77058

77059

77062

77565

77573

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Local businesses oer home improvement tips

HOME IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

ASK A ROOFER

Prosperity Roong & Construction owner Alex Ruiz, who services the Bay Area, has some tips for ensuring the health and integrity of Houston homeowners’ roofs.

COMPILED BY DANIEL WEEKS

when the granules on the shingles are just being brittle, they’re just coming o. A lot of the times when the shingle is about to end its cycle, when it rains or you have heavy winds, it’s starting to release a lot of granules, and it’s coming down in the gutters or the side of the house. … That’s when you know you’re getting close to the end of the life of the shingle. Look for wind damage, I would say, all the perimeter around the house. … Just anything that looks lifted a little bit. Sometimes the wind drifts in and then just lifts up some shingles or edge metals or even your pipe jacks or bands. Anything that just looks suspicious and lifted. … Sometimes it looks like the shingles might be OK, but because they’re being lifted, they’re breaking under, and now the roof is actually exposed to the next heavy winds.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD A HOMEOWNER INSPECT THEIR ROOF? Around the month of May they should do one inspection. … Homeowners don’t really check their roof until they realize that something is either missing or slapping on the roof. In hurricane season, when you get the high winds and rainy days and stu, I think it should be paid more attention. HOW SHOULD A HOMEOWNER SAFELY INSPECT THEIR ROOF? Well, I don’t recommend homeowners to get on their roof. Basically, just [a] visual inspection walking around the house and just looking at the shingles as close as they can from the ground. WHAT SIGNS SHOW THE NEED FOR REPLACING SHINGLES? By looking at your shingles you can see

ASK A DESIGNER

For those in the Bay Area looking to spruce up their living space, Yulonda Buster from Designs by Duchess provides guidance on how to get started. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A DESIGNED LIVING SPACE?

WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT DESIGNING HOUSES AND APARTMENTS? The dierences in designing an apartment versus a house would be very minimal for me. What’s important is to keep in mind and apply the principles of design as well as the elements of design. Balance, emphases, harmony, proportion, rhythm and scale, color, light, line, mass, pattern, shape, space, and texture are important to bring any space together perfectly. My design philosophy leans more toward loud and proud; however, it depends on the lifestyle and personality of the individual and not just the living space. WHERE SHOULD A HOMEOWNER SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION? I recommend looking at magazines that resonate with how you want your space to be, Instagram, Pinterest, and places you’ve traveled or want to travel, just to name a few.

It is important to have a designed and organized living space because your home should be a place that makes you happy to be there; a place to let your hair down to breathe, relax and dance a little. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF DESIGN TO YOU? If I had to choose only one aspect of design, the most important one would be rhythm. Rhythm is the movement of the space. It’s the way the eyes move around a room, bringing all of the individual design elements together in a cohesive fashion. Yulonda Buster Owner Designs by Duchess 281-699-6678 https://www. designsbyduchess.net WEATHER READY AT HOME

Alex Ruiz Owner Prosperity Roong & Construction 2837 Miller Ranch Road, Ste. 133, Pearland • 832-831-9945 https://prosperity-roong-and- construction-llc.business.site

288

N

Measures that can be taken:

In addition to preparing for disasters by stockpiling food and water, homeowners can prepare themselves and their homes for severe weather events through home maintenance and repairs.

Renovations: while updating appliances, ooring, walls and windows

Construction: during the design phase of a new home or addition

Now: immediately and are renter-friendly

Windows & doors

R C Plants Trees can protect

Walls & oors

Roofs

Insulating pipes with foam sleeves can protect them from extreme temperatures. N R C

R C

N R C

Weather stripping can protect doors and windows from rain and external moisture.

Overhanging roofs can shade windows from the sun while still allowing indirect light in.

sunny sides of buildings. Native trees are best adapted to the home’s climate.

R C

R C

N R C

Using mold-resistant insulation can improve air quality, especially in homes that are humid or prone to ooding.

Solar panel installation can be paired with a smart inverter for optimal energy use.

Thermal curtains can protect against both extreme heat and cold while conserving energy.

SOURCES: HOUSTON ADVANCED RESEARCH CENTER, TEXAS STATE ENERGY CONSERVATION OFFICECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

96

r e

N

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BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

INSIDE INFORMATION

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION

THE SCOOP ON HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE Homestead exemptions are a way for Texas homeowners to save money on their property tax bills. There are several dierent types of homestead exemptions available, and they oer varying benets. To apply, contact the Harris County Appraisal District at 713-957-7800 or www.hcad.org or the Galveston Central Appraisal

WHAT IS A HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION? Exemptions allow homeowners to save on property tax bills. An exemption includes withheld value and a homestead cap.

WITHHELD VALUE

HOMESTEAD CAP

With exemption Appraised value

A homestead exemption removes some or all of a home’s value from being taxed. School districts must oer a $40,000 exemption, and other entities may exempt up to 20% of a home’s value.

In addition, a homestead exemption limits the increase of your appraised property value to 10% annually so long as no additional improvements or extensive renovations are made to the property.

$300,000

– $65,000 School district exemption

Without exemption Appraised value

Appraised home value 2021: $300,000 2022: $360,000

20%

$0.011797* $300,000

$245,000 $0.011797*

Clear Creek ISD 2021-22 tax rate

Clear Creek ISD 2021-22 tax rate

X

X

District at 409-935-1980 or www.galvestoncad.org.

Taxable value without exemption 2022: $360,000

Total owed to CCISD

Total owed to CCISD

$2,890.27

$3,539.10

SOURCES: TEXAS COMPTROLLER, HOUSTON PROPERTIES, HARRIS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICT, LEAGUE CITY, CLEAR

*TAX RATE IS THE DISTRICT RATE DIVIDED BY 100.

Taxable value with exemption 2022: $330,000

CREEK ISD, GALVESTON COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR COLLECTORCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

$3,539.10

= $2,890.27

$648.83 Savings with exemption

TYPES OF

LOCAL EXEMPTIONS

The following general exemptions exist for Bay Area homeowners. Appraisal districts can provide a comprehensive list.

Various homestead exemptions are available to Texan homeowners. General residence , the most common and easiest exemption to get, is for a homeowner’s primary residence. Age 65 or older exemption gives an additional $10,000 o for school districts in addition to the $40,000 general residence exemption. This exemption also exemptions vary but can equal up to 100% of a home’s value from all taxing entities. Spouses of persons killed in line of duty exemptions can withhold 100% of a home’s value from taxation, so long as the surviving spouse has not remarried. freezes school district taxes. Disabled persons and veterans HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS

SCHOOL DISTRICT EXEMPTIONS

CITY EXEMPTIONS

COUNTY EXEMPTIONS

Harris County

Houston

Clear Creek ISD

5% o home’s value

o home’s value $40,000 +

20% o home’s value

20% o home’s value

Galveston County

League City

“HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS CAN BE CRUCIAL FOR SOME PEOPLE. IT HELPS SAVE MONEY.” ASHLEY TILTON, HOUSTON PROPERTIES REALTOR

20% o home’s value

20% o home’s value

TEXAS LAW CHANGES Two recent law changes benet new and longtime bills by allowing homeowners to acquire exemptions earlier and increasing how much value is withheld. homeowners’ property tax

As of Jan. 1, 2022, a qualied homeowner can claim a homestead exemption as of the date they own and occupy the property so long as the previous owner did not claim a homestead exemption in the same year. The change allows homeowners to benet from a homestead exemption, including the cap, earlier. Texas Tax Code change Homeowners had to wait until Jan. 1 of the following year they purchased the home to claim a homestead exemption. They would not see a cap on their property appraisal until Jan. 1 after the year they bought their home.

If residents who purchased a home in 2021 have been granted a homestead exemption this year, they will see withheld value from various taxing entities in 2022, but their homestead value will not be capped at 10% growth until 2023.

State propositions 1 & 2 The homestead exemption for each school district across the state was $25,000 .

Texas residents voted in May in favor of a proposition upping the school district exemption to $40,000 . Texas voters also approved a separate proposition to potentially reduce tax rates for school maintenance and operations for homeowners with a 65 or older or veteran exemption.

15

BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022

CONTINUED FROM 1

Growing tax bills Galveston County*

Galveston and Harris counties have seen median home values climb in value over the past several years, whereas tax rates have only slightly decreased. This combines to result in increasing tax bills for homeowners. SOURCES: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU ANNUAL COMMUNITY SURVEY 5YEAR DATA, GALVESTON COUNTY, HARRIS COUNTY, HOUSTON, LEAGUE CITY, CLEAR CREEK ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • Amount paid Figuring out the formula = (home value ÷ 100) x tax rate

to protest the value of their home if they believe it was appraised higher than it is worth—something John- son encourages every homeowner to do. Through the protest process, residents can show evidence their appraisal should be lower, and if suc- cessful, they end up paying less in property taxes. Galveston County data shows in 2022, about 52,600 property owners, or 41% of those who saw increases, protested their appraisals. The per- centage of those who were suc- cessful is pending until all protests are concluded later this year. In 2021, 46% protested, and over 77% were successful. Similarly, 357,000 of the 1.12 mil- lion Harris County residences that saw appraisal increases in 2022 were protested. That means 32% of those who saw increases protested versus the 34%—80% of which were success- ful—in 2021. Johnson speculated many home- owners who saw increases in 2021 during COVID-19 had the time and motivation to protest, which may have diminished this year. “People are weary. I think that’s why fewer people are [protesting],” she said. “Most are too frustrated to do it, quite frankly, and it’s a shame.” Reform eorts In addition to protesting appraisals, homestead exemptions are another way homeowners can reduce their tax bills. These exemptions remove a portion of a home’s value from being taxed, and they cap how much a home’s taxable value can increase year over year to 10%. However, in Johnson’s and Hen- ry’s opinion, protests and homestead exemptions are not enough. Galveston County is one taxing entity among many that tries to lower its tax rate every year to make up for growing property values. Since 2010, the county has decreased its tax rate 33% to $0.41494 per $100 valuation, according to county records. Harris County has been decreasing its tax rate since at least 2018. As of 2021, the county’s tax rate was nearly 10% lower than it was in 2017. But even as the rates drop, property values increase faster, often leading to bigger tax bills for homeowners year over year, Johnson said. “It’s a bad system, and it’s one that needs to be xed,” Henry said. Johnson, Henry, Bonnen and others

Harris County**

• $5,417.22

$220K

+31.97% in home values in four years +27.49% in tax bills in four years

$160K $145K $175K $205K $190K

• $4,249.01

• $4,202.60

+30.08% in home values in four years +20.58% in tax bills in four years

• $3,485.39

0

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

$2.6375

$2.634

$2.619725

$2.5137

$2.548081

$2.39381

$2.40222

$2.40689

$2.28505

$2.2189

*TAX RATES ARE EXAMPLES BASED ON A MEDIAN HOME BEING TAXED BY LEAGUE CITY, CLEAR CREEK ISD AND GALVESTON COUNTY. **TAX RATES ARE EXAMPLES BASED ON A MEDIAN HOME BEING TAXED BY HOUSTON, CLEAR CREEK ISD AND HARRIS COUNTY.

Fighting back

among others, to convince lawmakers to provide property tax relief to Texans in the upcoming legislative session, which will begin in January. As tax-as- sessor collector, Johnson helps deter- mine and collect taxes. “People are getting taxed out of their homes,” she said. In addition, the rise in overall prop- erty values across the Greater Hous- ton area has caused some prospective homeowners to be priced out of the housing market all together, Apart- mentData.com CEO Bruce McClenny said. This results in those people entering the renting market to seek apartments and other types of rental housing, which has also caused an explosion in rent rates. Appraisal concerns Every year in each county, apprais- ers value homes and other properties at their market value as of Jan. 1 of that year. They determine this amount based on various factors, including what homes of similar sizes and loca- tion are selling for, said Jack Barnett, chief communications ocer for the Harris County Appraisal District. Homeowners are then mailed their appraisal, which shows what their home was appraised for and the value they will be taxed for. Many resi- dences across the Greater Houston area are seeing appraisal increases, ocials said. Of Harris County’s 1.8 million par- cels, more than 97% of residential

properties and more than 95% of com- mercial properties saw increases year over year in 2022, according to HCAD data. This is the highest percentage of increasing property values since at least 2011 with 2021 being the next closest with 86% of residential and 87% of commercial properties seeing year-over-year increases. “This year there was just a lot going on in the economy, and values kept increasing,” Barnett said. “It was a very unusual year for values going up.” According to Galveston County tax-assessor collector data, 128,000 of the county’s 230,000 parcels—or about 55%—saw appraisal increases in 2022. This is the highest amount since at least 2015, excluding 2021, which had more than 135,000 increases. “They are really bad,” Henry said of increasing appraisals, noting he owns a property that increased from $100,000 to $400,000 in a single year. In addition to the high number of increases this year, the increases themselves are large, Johnson said. “We’re seeing huge value increases,” she said. “People are ooding the state, buying property. … That’s creat- ing a very hot market.” Additionally, there is a shortage of inventory, making the market even hotter. Homes in Friendswood, where Johnson lives, can sell for $100,000 to $200,000 above the asking price to highly motivated buyers, she said. Homeowners have the opportunity

Homeowners can le an appraisal protest, which varies by county but generally follows these steps: After receiving your appraisal notice, if you believe the appraisal to be higher than your home’s value, visit your county’s appraisal district website and le the required forms to protest. Some districts, such as the Harris County Appraisal District, allow you to give an estimate of what the home’s value should be. The appraisal district may counteroer and allow you to accept its new oer without a hearing. If you still wish to protest, gather evidence of why your home’s value is lower, such as required repairs and cost estimates. Use the lower values of similar properties in your neighborhood as evidence that your appraisal should be lower, too. During a hearing with the district, you will be allowed to protest your appraisal and negotiate the amount . During the protest, tell the truth, or you lose credibility. If an agreement is reached, you will be mailed the new appraisal , which will be the value you are taxed that year.

SOURCE: GALVESTON COUNTY TAXASSESSOR COLLECTORCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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