Houston ladies, relocation help needed! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone! DH has received a job offer at St Luke's in the Woodlands and we're seriously considering moving to Houston. I just have a few questions, I hope you could answer!

Does St Luke's have a good reputation? Is it a good hospital?

Where should we look for a house? We need 4br 2ba, and close to DH's work,(no more than 30 mins).Our budget is up to 350k.'

How are the property taxes there? I;ve read that they are high, but do you have an exemption to lower them? Can you grieve your taxes? Is the homeowner's insurance high if you're far from the gulf?

How is the birthing scene in Houston? We'd like to have one more child and I will not birth in a hospital unless absolutely necessary. Is Houston homebirth friendly? Any midwife recommendations?

We do not vax either and in NY its a pain in the @ss to get an exemption. Does Texas have philosophical exemptions?

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could answer for me. Thanks so much!
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#2 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Greeneyes0506 View Post
Hi everyone! DH has received a job offer at St Luke's in the Woodlands and we're seriously considering moving to Houston. I just have a few questions, I hope you could answer!

Does St Luke's have a good reputation? Is it a good hospital?

Where should we look for a house? We need 4br 2ba, and close to DH's work,(no more than 30 mins).Our budget is up to 350k.'

How are the property taxes there? I;ve read that they are high, but do you have an exemption to lower them? Can you grieve your taxes? Is the homeowner's insurance high if you're far from the gulf?

How is the birthing scene in Houston? We'd like to have one more child and I will not birth in a hospital unless absolutely necessary. Is Houston homebirth friendly? Any midwife recommendations?

We do not vax either and in NY its a pain in the @ss to get an exemption. Does Texas have philosophical exemptions?

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could answer for me. Thanks so much!
Okay- let's see what I can answer

St. Lukes is a good hospital I'm not familiar with the Woodlands campus, but St. Lukes has been around and what I hear is generally good.

Working in the woodlands- I'd look to live in the woodlands.

I hear taxes are better here than most places. I've always lived here though. not sure about things in the Woodlands- I've always been in Houston. Insurance is a touch high in TX in general, but not too bad I don't think.


Homebirth is EXCELLENT here LOTS of midwives to pick from and they have a lot of freedom. Both licensed midwives and CNMs are available. I use Chris Duffy and love her, but there are any number of great midwives in the greater-Houston area. Hospitals are wretched for birthing. VERY VERY medical.

TX has philo. exemptions- same as religious here. You do have to order the forms from the health department (though you can do it online now) and have them notarized, but that's it. Super easy.

Hope that helps!

-Angela
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#3 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Hi,
You should be able to find a great 4br/2ba house in the Woodlands - some very pretty areas around there, and I think they are reasonably priced because it's quite a commute to downtown Houston or the Medical Center from there. Harris county property taxes are outrageously high, but I think the Woodlands is in Montgomery county and theirs might be lower. We were able to get our taxes reduced the first year we owned our home, but not the next year.
I don't think homeowners insurance is particularly expensive here. We buy flood insurance separately. It should not be expensive in the Woodlands.
As for birthing, I do think Houston is very midwife/HB friendly. There is actually even a birth center in the Woodlands. (http://www.nativiti.com/) I think the hospitals are very interventional, especially in the medical center. Some OB's are non-interventional though, so that can make a difference. You just have to look hard to find them.
I hope that helps a bit. Good luck and congrats to your husband on the job offer!
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#4 of 10 Old 08-14-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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St. Luke's has a good reputation.

There are a lot of good places to live near The Woodlands. If you go into Montgomery County, the taxes might be a little cheaper. If you can go up to $350,000 you should be able to find a 4/2 with no sweat at all. Check out www.har.com to get an idea of what you can find for that price around that area. You can get a homestead exemption to lower your taxes some. It really depends on what you are looking for in terms of a house.

Homeowners insurance is kind of high depending on what you are used to paying. We moved to the midwest for a short period and the insurance for our house and cars was much cheaper there. I don't know how things would compare between here and NY.

I haven't had any problems with homebirth around here. There are quite a few midwives to choose from around here.

Texas does have philosophical vax exemptions. It is pretty easy to not vax and homeschool in Texas.

Congrats on the job!
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#5 of 10 Old 08-24-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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St. Lukes is a great hospital.

I personally live in The Woodlands, have all my life. It's a great place to live, WONDERFUL schools, and great neighborhoods. I went to the schools and lived in several neighborhoods, so i know from personal experience that it's a delightful place to live with small children and families. You wont really find much wrong with the area. Great security and everything.

Unfortunately, I cant really help you with the property taxes. I still live with my parents, I'm sure they'll know something about it thought, I'd have to get back to you on that one.

Birthing, as you read sooner, there's plenty of midwives in the area to chose from, my husbands cousin birthed at home with a midwife, which went very well. My friends mother is a midwife and my husbands cousin is a lactation consultant.

Overall, The Woodlands is a fantastic place to live. When do you plan to move?
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#6 of 10 Old 08-24-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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St. Lukes is a good hospital. I'd live in The Woodlands-- if he works here, why live anywhere else?

Property taxes vary depending on neighborhood, even in TW. If you want lower taxes, look for older homes.

We have Nativiti Birthing Center-- pretty popular, in my opinion. I do not know much about home birthing here-- though I do know there are some midwives in the area.

I'm from here so I can get a bit jaded at times, but it is a nice area. Very pretty, things to do, low crime...just really sucky weather

Hope that helps. Look at HAR.com and click on zips 77380, 77381, 77382 for TW.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#7 of 10 Old 08-25-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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For $350K you can buy a mansion in Houston -- especially in the 'burbs!

Check out har.com.

And, of course,

to Houston!
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#8 of 10 Old 08-25-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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Yep... I'd live as close to his job as you can. Commute time in Houston is killer. The Woodlands is nice! Very pretty! I've heard lots of good things about St Lukes.

The birthing scene in Houston is great (as long as you stay out of the hospitals, lol!). Tons of midwives and birthing centers. Check out the BOLD play. There is a very active natural birth group there.

Vax exemptions easy in Texas.

Good luck.

Be forewarned... Houston is hot. Very hot. And very humid.
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#9 of 10 Old 08-28-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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We live 'near' The Woodlands. If you want info on rural life, I'm here to offer some. Commute to St. Luke's from my area would be about 45 minutes. We bought 20 acres, a horse barn and two houses for about 2/3 of your budget. There are similar properties to ours within your commute needs.

The Woodlands version of suburbia is pretty intense. We had planned to buy there until we spent some time there.

Yeah, it's hot and humid here. But, as a transplant from PA, I can't really say it's any worse than PA weather...it's just that summer lasts longer.

SAHPilot Mama to a 5yoson, a 17 mo old daughter, and wife to .
Worried about your baby's head shape? PM me for craniosynostosis info!
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#10 of 10 Old 08-30-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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So.... as you heard, midwives in houston are awesome. St. luke's I've heard is good. the other hosp that I've "heard" is a tiny bit better is memorial herman in the woodlands (st lukes & mem hermann are the two woodladns hospitals - both awesome - I only know from experience about one of them - memorial herman was awesome) but I've heard st. lukes is too.

about the houses. if you want out in the country - you can easily find something with no neighbors or sidewalks.

if you want a small town where you don't need a car & can walk everywhere (that's where I grew up) you won't find it in houston. the woodladns is (i've found) as close as it gets. instead of having a 1/4 mile walk to the grocery store & everywehre I have a 2 mile bike ride, which is still nice. the woodlands has trails, is totally safe, and is an awesome place to raise kids. Oh! and there are a ton of bonuses like the pavillion concerts & the 'town square' and all the great buisnesses that flock here. it's awesome. if he works here, definitely live in the woodlands! (unless you like the country life).

Okay, so the house. If your budget is 350, do this. this'll be the most useful call ever. (Coming from many recommendations from perfectionists who have good taste), give Laurie Reinsmith a call - she is an UNBELIEVABLE realtor who knows the woodlands like the back of her hand, she is very good at knowing your taste & finding the house you want, and she will use her knowledge to keep you from making a mistake. (we're so lucky we had her - the woodlands has good areas & then there are areas where people ride their junky cars at night & play loud bass music - lots of other 'no-no' areas) She will keep you in the "right" areas. Newbie, unexperienced realtors won't - they'll just want you to buy whatever house. (if you haven't noticed, the woodlands houses are bought & sold via realtors - that's pretty much just the way it is here) Also, she's been in the woodlands forever & knows everyone so we bought our (spectacluar) house here in cochrans crossing for 285k before it was even on the market. she's awesome. If i were you I would call her now Tell her you want a house east of kurkindahl. (that's kind of the boundary of where the woodlands becomes "far out there") I'd also recommend north of woodladns parkway & south of rt. 250. I don't know how much our taxes are b/c my husband does them

hope that helps!
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