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Katy is still hot destination for newcomers

August 5, 2018 GMT

The Katy area has long been a popular destination for many Houston newcomers. Although it has been considered an ideal location for those who work in or near the Energy Corridor, newcomers soon learn that the Katy area has much more going for it than mere proximity.

Katy residents are able to have the best of all worlds. They can enjoy the charm of small town living, while taking full advantage of the many luxuries and conveniences that a big city like Houston has to offer.

At the same time, residents continue to be drawn to Katy for its top-rated schools and the highly sought-after Katy ISD.

When it comes to the housing market, the Katy area offers relatively affordable prices, and home buyers have the option of both resale and new construction properties.

The most well-known master-planned community in Katy is Cinco Ranch. Since its introduction 25 years ago, Cinco Ranch has been one of the top master-planned communities in the country. Situated in the heart of Katy, it offers an abundance of amenities for its residents.

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It is also nearing completion, which means that there are far fewer opportunities for homebuyers to purchase new construction properties in Cinco Ranch, but there are plenty of resale choices available.

Bob Christian, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties who focuses on the Katy area, said business in the Energy Corridor area has been picking up. As a result, there are more active home buyers currently looking for homes in the Katy market.

“Because we handle a lot of corporate relocation business, we find that people who are moving here might only know about the areas that they have heard about, which is usually either Katy or Cinco Ranch,” Christian said. “That gets them pointed in this direction, and then we help them from there, depending on what they’re looking for in a home.”

In terms of available inventory for prospective home buyers, he said that there are some interesting dynamics that are playing into the equation.

First of all, since Cinco Ranch is starting its closing phase, there is very limited land available for new construction properties.

Christian said that this is why many of his clients have turned to other communities, such as Cross Creek Ranch, which is just west of Katy.

“Between the resale and new construction properties, I think some of the builders saw that it was going to be a better year in 2018, and so we have a little bit more inventory out here, and the buyers are starting to show up,” Christian said. “Many of my relocation clients have been going as far west as Cross Creek Ranch, which is in Fulshear, but half of it is still served by Katy ISD.

“It’s a community that is still really turning out a lot of new construction houses, but once you go beyond that area, you will see the construction starting to slow down a little bit.”

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Another option for newcomers is Elyson, which is a newer master-planned community developed by Newland Communities, the developer behind Cinco Ranch. Also located in Katy, Elyson is gaining popularity among local buyers and relocation buyers alike.

“South Katy was the big boom for many years, but since the builders have sold nearly every house that they have put on the available dirt, they have turned to areas in north Katy, because that’s where the available dirt is,” said Christian.

When considering different Katy communities, Christian said that his relocation clients tend to want to be a little closer to the major thoroughfares, and want to avoid the areas that have major road construction projects.

This is especially important for those who will be commuting to work every day.

He also noted that flooding and the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston region is a topic that is still top-of-mind for most of his relocation clients.

Likewise, he said that the flooding brought many Houston residents to the Katy market.

“I think that the flood was a big factor in this, because there were so many people who decided that they wanted to move their families to a place that isn’t as likely to flood again. So, we have been working with a lot of people who have come to Katy in search of a great community, good schools, and easy access into town,” Christian said. “As more people come out here, the businesses are following. The Grand Parkway North has become the new place for oil and energy businesses, which is another big factor that keeps pushing people out here to live.”

Michelle Sandlin is an award-winning writer, journalist and global mobility industry expert. Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheMichelleSandlin and on Twitter: @MichelleSandlin. Also visit “On the Move” at blog.chron.com/onthemove.