By Joan Frances
Every week the citizens of Fort Bend County wait with baited breath for the weekly newspaper to show listings of incredible buys from retailers and best of all, individuals.What better place to shop than the classifieds? Autos, electronics, pets, real estate, all are listed in an attempt to entice a buyer.
One listing that never has a great showing in Fort Bend is garage sales. With the situation of our economy today, it would seem that our residents would be looking for ways to make a few dollars. Garage, moving, and estate sales are overflowing in the Houston area. The Houston classifieds cover half of a page or more with listings for week-end bargain hunters. So why is Fort Bend so slow in grasping the idea of downsizing and cleansing a home of unwanted clutter? One answer is painfully clear, housing areas do not allow residents to have garage sales.
Large communities such as Great Wood and Sugar Creek do not allow any type of garage sales to take place at any time. If someone has a sale, the Homeowner Association will send them a letter reminding them of the bylaws. Also, the City of Sugar Land may fine a resident if a sign is posted.
As of March 30, 2010, an Ordinance was approved that “Forbids freestanding signs located within the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.” If a resident would like to have a sale at their home, they cannot put a sign up to advertise, but they may list it in the newspaper. Other communities, such as New Territory and First Colony do allow garage sales, but discourages the use of freestanding signs as a result of the ordinance.
When asked why such a widely popular week-end event is not encouraged in the area, Greatwood managers say that some residents may abuse the opportunity by having garage sales too often. Another reason is that by not allowing garage sales the traffic flow is lighter and only residents move through the neighborhoods. So if you live in these areas what can you do?
As an individual, consider placing an ad in the local newspaper. The cost is minimal and the rewards are worthy. Don’t worry about the signs, if you place it, they will come.
Encourage the Homeowner Association to allow one day in the fall and/or spring to have a community wide garage sale. Everyone would enjoy planning for and participating in this event and it will be profitable for all.
Missouri City hosts a Community Garage Sale at the Civic Center in November, why not one more in the spring or summer?
Dickinson Elementary in Greatwood hosts a fund raiser “Tag Day” for residents to sell unwanted items at the parking lot at the school; perhaps other schools can do the same.
Fort Bend County is one of the most beautiful and fast growing areas of Houston. With growth comes change and adjustments. Why send people to spend money in Houston when everything is right here, right now?
Garage sales can be profitable for the seller and economical for the buyer.
Remember, “One mans trash is another mans treasure!”