Hi, my name is Kev, i'm English & am moving to Sunnyside Street, Houston

Asked by Kev, 77076 Thu Oct 8, 2009

Hi my name is Kev. I am English, and will be moving to Houston in a month,to work, my company has rented me a place in Sunnyside Street, i will be buying and bringing over my family within 6 months.. 2 Q's is Sunnyside st ok and safe for me to live? and the other, good family areas to buy in.. We will have about £250.000.00 to spend, ..thanks in advance for your help

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Kat, , Houston, TX
Thu Oct 29, 2009
Hi Kev,

What was your company was thinking?! That area is very heavily gang infested and it is not a safe place to live.

I am a 47 yr old native Houstonion, and I grew up 4 blocks from Sunnyside Street. My family lived in the area for a long time and finally when things got so bad, my parents had a house built out in the country and moved away in the early 1990's.

In 1992-1994, when my son wasnt yet school age, I rented a house in the area because I was going through a divorce and I couldnt afford anything in a better neighborhood... and when my son was about 4 years old, while we were at the park, two thugs held a gun to our heads in an attempt to steal the car we were in!

Both grandmothers lived in the area too, until they could no longer live alone. From where my childhood home was located, one grandmother lived 1 street to the north and the other grandmother lived 2 streets to the south. Then when my maternal grandmother had to go into an assisted living facility in 2001, I moved into her house and was there until 2005 when she passed away... so I actually lived in the neighborhood as recently as 4 years ago.

I dont know if you have children, but you will not want to send them to any of the schools in that area. In 2001 my son was about 10 or 11, and there was no way I was going to allow him to go to the schools in that area... so I sent him to a private school for 6th and 7th grade, he was homeschooled for 8th grade, but when he was ready for high school, he went to live with my parents to avoid having to go to the school in that neighborhood.

I actually worked in the elementary schools in the early 80's and then again in the early 90's... and there were no fewer than 12 distinct gangs in the elementary school I worked with!

Break ins and vehicle thefts are a very common occurrance as well... you will want to avoid going out of your house after dark too... and unless you are able to sleep through the sounds of gun shots due to drive by shootings (which I actually learned to do - except for July 4th and New Years Eve when for about 4 hours, it sounded like a war zone... my son and I would actually sleep in the hallway of the house to avoid being near any windows just in case a stray bullet came our way!) you might want to consider moving to another area of town.

Houston can be a wonderful place to live... and I love it, but sadly, there is no way that I'd advise anyone to live in the neighborhood that I grew up in.

Wishing you all the best with your move to the US and to Houston.
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Eviltwin, , Houston, TX
Thu Oct 29, 2009
So far, all the people answering your question are real estate agents/brokers, who have a vested interest in "helping" you find a place to live.

I am not. I'm just a regular person who has lived in Houston all my life. (42 yrs) Here is my opinion. That is not exactly the best area to live. Crime rates are high and homes are small, old and falling apart.

If the company you work for is in that same area, it would probably behoove you to move further out Interstate 45 northward, possibly as far as Spring or The Woodlands. The homes are newer, nicer, there is a sense of "community', the crime rates are very low, and there is every amenity you can think of, not to mention tons of lovely places to eat and spend time with your family. And the commute would not be that bad - 20 to possibly 30 minutes.

Since 250,000 pounds equates to roughly 500,000 USD, you should have NO PROBLEM finding a wonderful place to live. If my finances would allow, I'd move the the Woodlands myself. I worked there for 5 years and loved the area.

Just my humble opinion.
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John Shellin…, Agent, Pearland, TX
Tue Oct 27, 2009
Based on the exchange rate and whether you will want to use all the funds in the purchase of your home, it might be useful for you to know what may be required if you were to seek a mortgage. Foreign nationals can get home loans in the U.S. but it's difficult. It depends on their residency status. If you've got a green card than both FNMA and FHA loans are possible. Otherwise you'll need to have either an H1 or L1 visa (3 yr renewable). Even with the right visa or green card you might have some potential problems. You have to put together a documented loan package i.e. 2 year employment and income history, verifiable assets, and acceptable credit scores. Credit scores can be the most diffficult to establish since very few countries have a credit scoring system using Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. I believe England, Australia, and Canada may have one out of three bureaus. If you've been in the U.S. awhile and/or have some international credit cards, you might be in luck. The visas get you in the door but the loan documentation may be a problem. I hope this info helps if you were thinking about any mortgage financing.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Welcome to USA

Contact a local agent who can direct you Police website, zip code search, media alerts for that area. If you have concerns ask agent search other areas close with lower crime. You might want ask agent supply you with public school data for rankings if you have school aged children

Good luck !

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911

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Lucie Ogdee,…, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
I do agree with Amber Carrillo about Sunnyside. Please let your company know you would like to be in a family oriented neighborhood with homes in your price range so you can experience the neighborhood before you purchase there. There are always rental homes available in any neighborhood.
I specialize in close-in neighborhoods, within 25 miles of Downtown so let me know if I can help you in your search.

Lucie Ogdee, MBA
Keller Williams Realty
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Emily Covey, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Hi Kev.

You will like Houston. It is a great place to raise a family.

I actually just helped an Englishman purchase a home here in Houston. He decided on a neighborhood called Sunset Terrace, which has homes in your price range. He liked its proximity to all areas of town, and especially Rice Village.

I'd be happy to help you in your search should you need further assistance. In the meantime, here is a link to John Daugherty Realtors' overview of Houston neighborhoods: http://www.johndaugherty.com/houston-area.
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Tommy Burris, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Baton Rouge, LA
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Hey Kev,
Contact Stephanie when you get here.
I highly recommend her!!
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Stephanie Ed…, Home Owner, The Woodlands, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Hi Kev,

Sunnyside is a transitional area as many parts of Houston. There are some great new developments popping up over there and its a great location to the Medical Center/Light Rail, etc.

Another location that may an option to stay close to that area is Sugarland. It's about 10 minutes down 59 West.

As Realtors we are not supposed to give our opinion on crime - we are only allowed to give statistics. Anything else can be considered steering. Here is a site that I have found to be helpful. http://houstoncrimemaps.com/
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Yichin Tsai, Agent, Bunker Hill Village, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Hello there, welcome to US! For crime rate watch, check out this link: http://www.myrealtorjill.com/crime_rate_watch.html
Or check these links for more information about 77076
There's an area named Houston Heights which is about 10 miles away from 77076. Your budget can buy you a recent built Mediterranean style 2 story home at 2200sqf with 3 bedroom 2.5 bath in the Houston Heights area or a completed remodeled traditional 1 story house around 2000 sqf. To learn more about Houston Heights: http://www.houstonheights.org/links.htm, http://www.heightschamber.com/custom2.asp?pageid=4199, or just google Houston Heights. Keep in mind that cost of home ownership also includes annual property tax rate around 2.5-3%, home owner's insurance, home warranty, maintnance, etc.
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Amber Carril…, , Houston, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
HI Kev,
I am quite familiar with the area you will be staying in and I can tell you that I have not had good experiences in that area. I'm shocked that a company would put you up in that area. I would definitely check the police reports which you can do through the Houston police department.

I, personally, would not move my family there, especially if you have $250k to spend. Please let me know what things are most important and I can get you set up with some homes to look through. I look forward to helping you and your family secure the best possible family home! P.S. I am a local Broker. Thanks!

Amber Carrillo, Broker/Owner
It Homes
Web Reference:  http://www.ithomesonline.com
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Oct 8, 2009

Congratulations on your moce to the US. On issues of neighborhood safety it is often found that the local police department is the best resource since they have access to the most up to date and accurate information. They are usually very willing to be helpful.

We would be very happy to put you in touch with the one of the area's top agents.

Good luck

The Eckler Team

Michael Saunders & Company
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