Tearful Reunion: Houston Woman Reunites With Biological Mother

HOUSTON, TX — For 17 years, it pained Katherine Beal-Roblin to walk down the aisle of a store that had Mother’s Day cards on display. After her mother died unexpectedly in 2000, Beal-Roblin always tried to avoid the greeting card aisle every May.

But last week she bought one and mailed it off, and the Houston native couldn’t have been happier to send it. The recipient was an 81-year-old lady in Los Alamos, California — the person who actually gave birth to Beal-Roblin six decades ago.

The story begins in Detroit, where Elizabeth Frasier became pregnant with Katherine. Frasier’s father was a bigwig in the Detroit auto industry, and his daughter planned on having the child out of wedlock, which was wickedly taboo in the age of the baby boom.

Her father kicked her out of the house, and Elizabeth went to live with her sister. She gave birth to a baby girl, but caring for a newborn was more than she could handle. The realization hit hardest when she arrived home one day to find her baby with scalding burn marks on her necks. The babysitter had warmed up the infant’s milk too hot, causing the burns, and even more pain soon to follow for Elizabeth.

The young mother made one of the toughest decisions of her life — she signed over papers in a courtroom to give up her child.

Little Katherine was placed in an orphanage in Mount Clemens, Michigan, at just 7-and-a-half months old. In what normally would’ve been a lengthy process to get adopted, Katherine got fast-tracked because of an outbreak of measles at the orphanage. At 8 months, she was adopted and living in a loving home.

Photo of Katherine at 8 months when she was adopted – 1 months after Betty gave her for adoption. When Betty saw this photo she immediately recognized her.

Her new parents showered her with love, trips, education and guidance. The other local kids used to gaze in awe at the amount of possessions Katherine had. Her parents were open about Katherine getting adopted, but her mother had just one request.

"She was insecure about me finding my biological mother. She wanted me to wait until after she died before I found my biological mother," Beal-Roblin said. "I knew her name and I knew she was from the Detroit area. I knew only what my adopted mom told me."

Katherine’s adopted mom passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly, in October 2000.

Katherine (left) with her adoptive mom when Katherine was 22.

"I was devastated," she said. "I had to avoid the Mother’s Day card aisle."

Katherine began caring for her adopted father, who had already been diagnosed with dementia. He passed away in 2002.

Getting older, and with no iota of her biological family tree, Katherine yearned to know more about her family health history. Her husband submitted queries on adoption websites with a shred of hope there might be a connection. Somewhere, somehow and some way.

Nothing materialized.

Then they submitted a profile on 23andme.com, a website that takes saliva from an individual and traces the DNA and matches it with other members in the system. The first results that came back were a 10 percent match to a first cousin in Missouri. Katherine’s husband is an attorney, and he initiated the contact with Tom Kokorunda, an attorney in Kansas City.

When explained the situation and asked if he knew Elizabeth Frasier, Kokorunda said "That’s my Aunt Betty."

The irony in finding Kokorunda, or cousin Tom, was that he probably would have never signed up and made a profile on 23andme.com had his daughter not bought him a package.

With her cousin Tom (the tallest) who is the first relative she met on 23&Me. Tom made contact with Katherine’s mother.

Cousin Tom got the ball rolling on that family’s side. Though he hadn’t spoken to his Aunt Betty in 25 years, he made the call with Katherine’s 80-year-old biological mother to break the news and perhaps set up a phone conversation. But Katherine still has some doubts lingering.

"When you’re adopted, you have a fear of rejection," Katherine said. And to top it off, her biological mother was so emotional after getting the initial news from Tom that she couldn’t speak that night.

The next day, Katherine and Elizabeth finally spoke on the phone. Mother and daughter. Blood relatives who had six decades worth of questions for each other. They chatted away for two and a half hours. They could have gone longer had the two-hour time difference not been a hurdle.

"We wanted to talk and ask each other questions," Katherine said. "She had more for me. She wanted to know about my childhood and my adoptive parents. I assured her she couldn’t have given me to a more loving home. And she talked more of her life."

They stayed in touch, and Katherine made the voyage to Los Alamos, just north of Santa Barbara, to visit her biological mother and half-sister Paula for Thanksgiving. The build-up for the meeting was at high pitch.

"I had always hoped to have a relationship and find her," Katherine said. "It was beyond my wildest imagination I’d having another loving family."

The reception was tearful and joyous on the fall California evening. They spent a lot of time that holiday, and spent even more time this Easter, which fell just two days after Betty’s 81st birthday. The education has been as cool for Katherine, who says her mother is beautiful and healthy.

"I didn’t know she struggled seven months to keep me," Katherine said. "I respected that and what she went through."

Likewise, Elizabeth was thrilled to know the daughter she had to give up because of circumstances went to a loving family who brought her up and cared so much for her.

The mother and daughter share some of the same mannerisms and nuances that could only be shared by the same DNA.

They talk a couple of times by week, and Katherine has become quite the friend of her half-sister, Paula.

Katherine plans to call Elizabeth for Mother’s Day on Sunday. Not to just see if the gift she sent had arrived, but to say "Hi" to her mother in a newfound family.

Tom lives in Kansas and had not talked to Betty for 25 years. Soon after Katherine visited Betty, Tom also re-united wit her and with Paula (Katherine’s sister)
Paula and Katherine at Thanksgiving 2017 in California.

Top image: Katherine with her biological mother, Elizabeth, last Thanksgiving in California. (All photos and video courtesy of 23andme.com and Katherine Beal-Roblin)

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Mega Millions winning ticket sold at HEB in Houston

Mega Millions winning ticket sold at HEB in Houston

Someone who bought a Mega Millions ticket in Houston has won $4 million dollars as of last night’s drawing.

The $4 million winner of Texas Mega Millions Lottery Friday has not come forward according to Houston news sources.

The numbers were selected yesterday and according to the Texas Lottery website, the lucky ticket was purchased at an H-E-B in Houston.

The exact address is HEB #7133501 at Clear Lake City Blvd., Houston, TX 77059.

The numbers were 4,5,10,12,18 and 21 with megaplier 4.

HEB employees at the Clear Lake location have told news sources that they’ve had lots of customers checking their tickets while they buy their Cinco de Mayo supplies.

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Survey says: San Francisco is tops for real-estate pros

Survey says: San Francisco is tops for real-estate pros

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San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose are the best places in the nation to be a real-estate agent, according to a survey of data from Wallethub.com.

Analysts compared more than 170 U.S. cities across 18 key indicators of a healthy housing market, ranging from sales per agent to annual median wage for real-estate agents to housing-market health, in coming up with the ranking.

Finishing up the top five markets were two California communities, Fremont and Oakland. The rest of the top 10 was New York City, Santa Rosa (Calif.), Denver, Nashville and Vancouver.

Among highlights from the report:

• Salem, Ore., has the most homes sold in the past year per real-estate agent, 148.20, which is 21.6 times more than in Houston, the city with the fewest at 6.86.

• San Francisco has the highest median house price, $858,800, which is 20.9 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest at $41,000.

• Honolulu and Pearl City, Hawaii, have the highest annual median wage for real-estate agents, $87,070, which is 3.6 times higher than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the lowest at $23,970.

• San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle listings have the fewest days on the market, 38, which is 4.3 times fewer than listings in Miami, the city with the most at 165.

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Kurt Reymers, a professor at Morrisville State College, said all agents need to accept that they are in an up-and-down business.

“Boom and bust is an inevitability of market capitalism,” he said. “As with any business that experiences high times and low times, being prepared for slowdowns by having reserve resources is essential for success.”

Tom Payton, coordinator of career and counseling services at Southern State Community College, had advice for those entering the business.

“Get more education beyond simply a real-estate license – business, marketing and communication classes are essential,” he said. “Plus, the focus on soft skills has been lacking in too many people. I have encountered Realtors who, though wonderful people, lacked the energy and sense of urgency.”

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Fake Valet Steals Man’s Car Outside Of Rice Apartments

Fake Valet Steals Man’s Car Outside Of Rice Apartments

HOUSTON, TX — A Houston area man who thought he was handing his keys to a valet, found out hours later that his car had been stolen.

The theft happened in front of The Rice Apartments on Texas Avenue in downtown on Monday morning.

Bhoumin Mehta pulled up to the Rice at about 7 a.m., as is his normal routine, and handed his keys to the man standing at the valet podium and walked across the street to work.

At was all routine.

But when Mehta returned for his 2011 Toyota Camry several hours later, he was told the valet wasn’t a valet, and his car had been stolen, KTRK reported.

Even though The Rice reported the incident and police were already investigating the theft, Mehta was understandably angry.

Waves Valet, which provides the service, limits liability in cases like these, leaving Mehta to seek legal options, KHOU reported.

In a statement, The Rice Apartments said:

"We are looking into the incident with the valet company and cooperating with the police investigation."

Meanwhile, police are looking for a white male, about 5-feet 8-inches tall and 190 pounds, who was dressed in black and driving a 2011 silver Toyota Camry.

Image: Shutterstock

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Nassar victims file lawsuits in Houston against USAG, USOC, and MSU

Nassar victims file lawsuits in Houston against USAG, USOC, and MSU

HOUSTON, TX, (WILX) — Thursday afternoon in Houston, another Nassar victim held a press conference regarding a lawsuit she has filed against the former doctor.

Photo: HLN

Attorneys Mo Aziz of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz, Texas attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, and Michigan attorney James White, all filed lawsuits on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 alleging that women ranging from age 14 to age 41 were sexually molested by Larry Nassar.

They say that at the time of the assaults and abuse that Larry Nassar was employed and working as the USA Team Gymnastics doctor and as a Michigan State University team doctor.

These lawsuits allege that Nassar molested the victims under the guise of performing medical treatment.

The lawsuit also alleges that USA Gymnastics breached its duty to reveal the abuse to the victims’ families, as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University, and law enforcement agencies.

"The thousands of children and young women who participate in the sport of gymnastics and those who participate in college athletics deserve to be protected," said victims’ attorney Mo Aziz.

"As a former athlete who competed in a sport for the United States myself, I know the complete trust these young women put in their coaches, their trainers, and organizations like FIG and USAG. Not only did they fail to protect these young women, they also have continued to engage in a culture of silence that is designed to protect their multi-million dollar institutions and enterprises rather than protect the bodies and spirits of these young female athletes," said victims’ attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel.

"The trauma these women have suffered as a result of the sexual abuse and assaults has only been made worse by the failure of these institutions to take meaningful responsibility for what happened to these young girls on their watch," said victims’ attorney James White.

The press conference was held at noon CST at the law firm’s office in Houston, Texas.

A copy of the complaint is attached to this web story.

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USAA Real Estate Earns 2018 Energy StarĀ® Partner Of The Year – Sustained Excellence Award – Houston Business Journal

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — USAA Real Estate is proud to announce that it received the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. The company’s long-standing energy-conservation recognitions by ENERGY STAR, which exceed those of any other real estate company, will be announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2018.

An ENERGY STAR partner since 2003, USAA Real Estate will be honored for its long-term commitment to energy efficiency and its continuous achievements in the reduction of energy and water consumption.

"We are honored to receive the prestigious ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award for the 16th consecutive year," said Len O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer of USAA Real Estate. "Our business case for sustainability is to invest capital that efficiently meets the needs of our tenants and helps to preserve our environment, while creating value and producing strong financial results for our investors."

Last year, the USAA Real Estate portfolio reduced total Green House Gas Emissions by 4,700 metric tons of CO2e from 2016, which is equivalent to removing 1,000 cars from the road for a year.

In 2016 alone, ENERGY STAR-certified products, homes, buildings, and plants helped Americans save over $30 billion in energy costs and approximately 400 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, while achieving broad emissions reductions.

The 2018 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are bestowed on companies and other organizations that demonstrate continued leadership in energy efficiency and commitment to the ENERGY STAR program. Winners hail from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 organizations – representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

For a complete list of 2018 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners.

About USAA Real Estate
USAA Real Estate, with approximately $20 billion in assets under management, provides co-investment, acquisition, build-to-suit and development services for corporate and institutional investors and arranges commercial mortgage loans on behalf of affiliates. The portfolio consists of office, industrial/logistics, multifamily, retail and hotel properties. USAA Real Estate is a subsidiary of USAA, a leading financial services company, serving military families since 1922. For more information, visit www.usrealco.com.

About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For over 25 years, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has been America’s resource for saving energy and protecting the environment. Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov. More background information about ENERGY STAR can be found at energystar.gov/about and energystar.gov/numbers.

Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500®—rely on their partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Together, since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped save American families and businesses over $450 billion and over 3.5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity while also achieving broad emissions reductions—all through voluntary action.

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SOURCE USAA Real Estate Company

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Austin paper products company doubling down in Houston

CT Commercial Holdings, an Austin-based supplier of eco-friendly paper products, will nearly double the size of its Houston warehouse.

The company has leased 38,220 square feet at 13423 S. Gessner, NAI Partners said. It will be moving out of and subleasing its 20,000-square-foot location at 6004 Griggs Road.

CT Commercial Holdings distributes products made with materials such as sustainable virgin pulp, bamboo and recycled waste. Its offerings include micro-core and coreless toilet paper, roll towels, folded towels, napkins and toilet seat covers.

Darren O’Conor and Jake Wilkinson of NAI Partners represented CT Commercial Holdings in the lease. Jeremy Lumbreras and Justin Robinson of Stream represented landlord, Western B South TX.

The company has other warehouses are in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and North Carolina.

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Houston’s Weekender: What’s Happening In Your Community

Houston’s Weekender: What’s Happening In Your Community

HOUSTON, TX — What’s happening in your part of town this weekend? There is never a shortage of events going on in Houston and the surrounding communities, and that is especially true this weekend.

This weekend is chock full of festivals, concerts, sports and a lot more

(For more news like this, find your local Patch here. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app; download the free Patch Android app here.)

Here are a few events happening in your area:

Events on Friday:
Art Car Pinewood Derby| Saint Arnold Brewing Company-Houston| Friday 5-10 p.m.: Bring your handmade and hand-painted miniature art car and show it off. This second annual event is a prelude to the Houston Art Car Parade.

Memorial Park’s Friday Night Campfire| Friday 6-8 p.m.| Admission is Free| Bring a chair and some marshmallows, play lawn fishing and other outdoor games, and enjoy the spring weather.

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Julliard String Quartet: Discovery Green| Friday| Da Camera of Houston presents the return of the illustrious Juilliard String Quartet, performing on Friday, April 6, 2018, at 7:30 PM at Zilkha Hall,Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. This distinguished quartet opened Da Camera’s inaugural season in 1988, and returns to Da Camera’s chamber music series in celebration of the organization’s 30th anniversary. Tickets are $37.50

Events this weekend:
The 8th Annual Kemah Crawfish Festival| Friday-Sunday| Grab some mudbugs under the Kemah bridge this weekend and enjoy a bit of those awesome Cajun tunes while you’re at it Tickets.

The Houston Mac & Cheese Festival| Silver Street Studios in Houston| Saturday 1-4 p.m.| By far the cheesiest festival in the Bayou City. This debuted last year and this year is projected to be cheesier. More than 40 of Houston’s best restaurants will serve samples of their creative take on your favorite creamy snack, paired with libations, live music, local vendors, art and engaging activities. Tickets.

Moonshine Hill Trade Days| Humble, TX| Saturday and Sunday| This little shindig happens the first weekend of each month in Humble, and includes Crawfish – Vendors – Shopping- Kid Fun – New, Used, Antique & Handmade Items. Small Market but growing fast! Come on out and see what you can find! Support Small Businesses! Open 10-5 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday.

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival| Town Green Park| Saturday 10-5| More than 200 artists will be participating in this event. Tickets start at $15.

Bryan Kirk/Patch

Spring Arts Festival In Rosenberg| The Rosenberg Main Street Program is sponsoring the Spring Arts and Antiques Festival, happening in Historic Downtown Rosenberg on Saturday, April 7th from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The festival will include a street fair with food trucks, vendor booths, puppet shows, live music and theatrical performances, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats, as well as fine arts and antiques. This year, the festival also includes a mini Czech Fest which will take place at the Third Street Art Park and feature music, performance art, and Czech foods.

Health Fest Houston| Discovery Green| Saturday 10-6| Learn more at this free community event about making healthy choices for a healthier you.

Houston Zydeco Fest| Bayou Event Center| Saturday 1-10| General Admission is $20| You won’t believe the fun you will have at this one day event. The music celebrates the heritage of Louisiana and east Texas with the sounds from a number of hot Zydeco artists. Bring your boogie shoes, y’all.

Heartmade Art Market|Main Street Square on Houston| Saturday 11-6| Heartmade Art Market returns to Main Street Square to raise money for Hoof Prints and Heart Beats, a local organization that offers free equine therapy to those with special needs. Visitors can shop handmade goods from more than 55 local vendors from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

Image: Courtesy Morris Malakoff

First Saturday Arts Market in The Heights| Saturday 11-6| Lots of cool music and awesome art to browse or buy. There’s also food trucks onsite when you get hungry. No cover.

Texas Wine and Arts Festival| Spring| Sat-Sun| Held at the entrance of historic Old Town Spring Texas wineries will offer old favorites as well as new wines for sampling and purchasing. Talented Texas artists will showcase their creative art in photography, clothing, handmade jewelry, paintings, and crafts. You will also enjoy gourmet foods and sauces.

First Saturday Birding| Saturday, April 7 at 7:45 a.m.| Free: Join volunteer bird guides Al Barr for the final First Saturday Bird walk of the spring. This will be a great opportunity to view the wide variety of migratory birds that visit Jones Park each year. Ages 10 and up. Attendees should bring binoculars, water, and comfortable walking shoes.

2018 Nora’s Home "The Best is Yet to Come" Gala| Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the new luxury The Post Oak Hotel in Houston. The event will benefit Nora’s Home facility and programs that provide care, education, and support for transplant patients and their families. Nora’s Home for transplant patients and their families collaborates with many of the Texas Medical Center’s health care providers and hospitals to make Houston the national leader in caring for patients facing the unique challenges of end-stage organ disease and transplantation. For information on how to purchase sponsorship benefits and opportunities or for information on the raffle, please call Natalie Raymer at 832-831-3721, email gala@norashome.org or visit www.norashome.org.

Canoe Spring Creek |Saturday April 7 at 9 a.m. and Sunday April 8 at 1 p.m.| View Jones Park and the surrounding area from a new angle. Park staff and volunteers will lead attendees on a pair of leisurely trips down Spring Creek. Participants who would like a shorter trip should register for the Sunday trip. Ages 16 and up. Reservations required beginning Wednesday, March 28.

Tacos over Texas| Ninfas on Navigation| Sunday 1-4| Tickets| Que Bueno! The Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund will hold its first fundraising event, Tacos Over Texas, in collaboration with El Tiempo Cantina and The Original Ninfa’s On Navigation. Chef’s from around the country will share their skills through a friendly competition. The challenge for our Celebrity Chef’s is to create a taco inspired by Mama Ninfa . We want to celebrate history and the transformation of Houston’s passion for multicultural food, by each chef adding their own unique flavors to their sample taco. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund which helps give back to education in Houston.

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16th Annual Run for the Roses at NRG Park| Lace up your runners and stretch out for this cool 5k run and help raise funds and awareness for brain cancer. Entry: $35 timed 5k; $30 non-timed 5k and 1k; $20 child (ages 3 to 12) timed 5k; $15 child non-timed 5k and 1k. 8am.

Second Sunday Pickers| Sunday, April 8 2-4| Free: Sing or strum along with the Second Sunday Pickers as they bring the Nature Center to life with acoustic music, including country-and-western, bluegrass, folk, gospel, Cajun, and blues. Visitors of all ages are welcome to listen, sing along, or bring an instrument to join in the fun.

Image: Bryan Kirk/Patch

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How Houston stacks up against other Top 10 cities in America

HOUSTON – Houston is currently the fourth largest city in the United States, but how does the Bayou City compare with the rest of the top ten cities in America?

A report by the city of Houston’s planning and development office attempts to answer that question.

Here is how Houston compares with the rest of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. in terms of demographics, social, economic and housing characteristics.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL REPORT

Demographics

Of the 10 most populous cities in the U.S., Houston ranks fourth, with 2,240,582 people, after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Houston experienced a 10 percent increase in population between 2010 and 2016. Houston’s population has increased 13 percent from the start of the millennium to 2016, while San Antonio leads with the most population change at 20 percent.

Houston’s very large Hispanic population is behind San Antonio, which is the largest Hispanic population in the state at 63.6 percent. Houston sits at 44.3 percent.

Houston is tied in second place with San Antonio at 18 percent for the “going to school” age population (5 to 17 years old).

Sitting at 75 percent, Houston is one of the lower-ranked voting age cities. Houston is tied for second with Dallas for having the most millennials in its population (18 to 34 years old), while Chicago and Philadelphia are tied for first. In the middle-age population (35 to 64 years old), Houston has a 36 percent rate in its population, tied with Philadelphia and San Antonio. Overall, Houston’s median age is 33, making it one of the most youthful cities in the U.S.

Social

Houston’s economy is strong. Its positive economic indicators include strong job growth, affordable housing and low cost of living. For most of the large cities, economy opportunity is the driving force for demographic and social changes. Opportunity cities have the ability to provide affordable housing and decent amenities at a reasonable cost to their growing populations.

Houston has a 69 percent native-born population, and is ranked third, with 31 percent native and foreign born. In Houston, English is the most-spoken language at home, with 52 percent speaking it. Spanish is the second most-spoken language, at 38 percent.

Houston’s educational attainment of persons with less than a high school diploma sits at 23 percent as well as those with a high school diploma. College graduates and those with professional degrees, including a master’s degree, medical degree, doctoral degree and other advanced professional degrees. Houston is tied with Dallas at 12 percent, and San Antonio has fallen to 8 percent.

Ranked fourth on the list, Houston has a total of 831,166 households in the city, coming in behind Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, which has the most households at 3,128,246.

Married couple families come in at 38 percent, which is the median number among the other cities. San Jose is the city with the most married couples, at 56 percent.

For female-led households, Houston is tied with New York for second, at 18 percent, while Philadelphia, at 21 percent, is the city with the most female-led households.

Tied for second with San Antonio, Houston has a 30 percent rate for households with children under 18 years old.

The average household size for the United States is 2.65 and Houston comes in right ahead of the average with 2.66.

Houston rivals itself in martial status numbers to people who have never been married before with a 42 percent to 40 percent rate.

Houston is ranked fifth in terms of police officers, with 222 police officers per 100,000 population.

Economic

Houston’s median household income is $48,064, ranked seventh of the 10 cities.

Houston’s household income levels fall as follows:

Household incomes under $25,000 are 23 percent. Household incomes of $25,000 – $49,999 are 25 percent. Household incomes of $50,000 – $99,999 are 26 percent. Household incomes of over $100,000 are 26 percent.

Individuals below poverty level in the city of Houston fall at 21 percent. Philadelphia is the city with the most individuals below poverty level, at 26 percent.

Houston has the lowest percentage of individuals not in the labor force, at 31.9 percent, meaning just under 70 percent of the city is employed.

Houston falls below the median level for employment in educational, health and service fields, at 18 percent.

Houston’s classes of workers are as follows:

Private class of workers rank at 84 percent Government workers rank at 9 percent Self-employed workers rank at 7 percent

Houston ranks fairly close to Dallas in having no health insurance coverage, with Houston ranking at 25 percent and Dallas at 26 percent.

Housing

Houston’s housing occupancy is 90 percent occupied to 10 percent vacant.

With most homes being occupied, 41 percent of Houston homes are owner-occupied while 59 percent are occupied by renters. Overall, in the United States, 63 percent of homes are owned while 37 percent of homes are rented.

Median housing values for the city of Houston start at $152,200, making them some of the most affordable homes in the United States. The average housing value for the United States starts at $194,500, which is a $42,300 higher than the value in the city of Houston.

Houston’s housing values fall as follows:

Houston’s house values less than $150,000 is at 49 percent Houston’s house values of $150,000 to $299,999 is at 24 percent Houston’s house values of $300,000 to $499,999 is at 14 percent Houston’s house values of over $500,000 is at 12 percent

The median sale price of single-family homes in the Houston metro area is $217,400, making Houston the city with the second most affordable homes in Texas, compared to San Antonio at $206,900. Overall, the median sale price of single-family homes in the United States is $235,500, which is $18,100 higher than Houston.

Median rent for the city of Houston is $923, making it the city with the third-most affordable rent price in Texas, compared to Dallas at $903 and San Antonio at $901. Overall, the U.S. median rent price is $959, which is $36 higher than Houston.

Eighty percent of homes in Houston were built before the year 2000. Twenty percent of homes in Houston were built after the year 2000.

Vehicles available in Houston households:

8 percent of households have no vehicle 44 percent of households have 1 vehicle 48 percent of households have 2+ vehicle(s)

Houston’s commute to work:

76 percent of people drive alone to work 12 percent of people carpool to work 4 percent of people use public transportation to work 2 percent of people walk to work 3 percent of people work at home 2 percent of people use other methods of transportation or none at all

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL REPORT

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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Annual salary needed to buy a home in Houston’s best neighborhoods – 2018 update

Annual salary needed to buy a home in Houston’s best neighborhoods – 2018 update

Home ownership is a goal for many in their lifetime, but making enough money to own a home is a major determining factor.

Houston Realtor Paige Martin, a broker associate of Keller Williams Memorial, crunched the numbers for her clients on Houston Properties online and calculated the exact annual salary needed to own a home in various Houston neighborhoods for 2017.

STILL A RENTER: This is what $2,000 rents in central Houston, the suburbs

No surprise here, but River Oaks remains the most expensive Houston neighborhood to live in, with homes averaging in the $1.95 million range. In order to afford a home in this prestigious ‘hood, you’d have to make over $515,646 annually. No big deal, right?

To see the annual salary needed to live in various Houston-area neighborhoods, go through the photos above. All of the images were provided through our partnership with HAR.com.

To calculate the salary needed to own a home in select local neighborhoods, Martin and her team took into consideration a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year mortgage, 3.8 percent interest rate, Texas’ property tax rates and insurance costs. With this, the numbers were then crunched in an online Mortgage Calculator.

Martin and her team stuck with the 28 percent rule, which theorizes that the homeowner would spend no more than 28 percent of their annual salary on their home costs.

The annual home prices for each neighborhood were calculated by HAR data from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017.

To read the full report produced by Martin and her team, visit her website here.

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