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Best Places/Areas to Live in Houston

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Clutch, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    For some time now I've considered moving to Houston. I'm not sure I'm going to do it because it's tough to leave Austin, but I'm still considering it. I've glanced at homes at www.har.com, but every time I leave there like I don't have a clue where to look or what I'm looking at. I know Austin's home market very well, but don't have much of a clue about Houston's. The problem is, unlike Austin, Houston is just so big that it seems like there are so many areas you'll never get to know.

    I'm on the computer just about all the time, working from home, so I don't really need to go in to the city. Just about everything is important to me: Good investment home, great deal, nice neighborhood, good schools.

    Since many of you know Houston better than I do, I could use your thoughts on good areas to live. The areas I know and like are Spring (I did drive through the Gleannloch Farms subdivision) since I grew up there (Klein High School area) and the Woodlands. Someone also recommended I check out Humble.

    Thanks for any help...
     
  2. VooDooPope

    VooDooPope Love > Hate

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    this is a tough question and based a lot on price range and preference. West U, Memorial and Bellaire all fit your requirements and are in town but are on the upper end of the price range.

    I live in the Heights and love it but due to schools I'm probably looking at moving in the next year or two. We have looked all over and really like the woodlands. Kingwood is also nice. Both 59 N and 45 N have been underconstruction forever but most of it is over now and it is I-10 W that is going to be the nightmare for the next 10 years.

    Most likely we will end up N/NW toward spring the woodlands or the champions area.

    People like to b**** about Houston, but it really is a very livable city.
     
  3. VooDooPope

    VooDooPope Love > Hate

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    What I forgot to say here was... I'd avoid Katy for this reason.
     
  4. Pole

    Pole Houston Rockets--Tilman Fertitta's latest mess.

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    It sounds like you mostly will work from home, so commute is not one of your top priorities.

    Whether that's the case or not, I'd highly recommend using the Chronicle's resources to help narrow your search. Housing prices often seem to go hand and hand with K-12 school ratings. I went through somewhat of the same thing you're going through recently when my wife and I moved away from the Texas Coast. She worked in downtown Houston, and I work near the coast. She had been commuting, and it was killing her, so we were looking at several neighborhoods closer to downtown with the mindset that the commute wouldn't be as bad for me because I'd be going against the traffic. After several months of disappointments though, we ended up in Pearland. We got a big enough house (almost 4000 sq ft. compared to some of the 1500 sq ft ones we were looking at inside the loop) to hold all of our crap, and we basically split our commutes.....a nice compromise that turned out to be a pleasant surprise for both of us.

    I like Pearland, and I'd even recommend it....especially with talk of a new "tech corridor" going down 288. If that comes to fruition, Pearland would be a great investment. Still, there's always "more to do" when you live closer in. Ultimately, you're going to have to drive around and "see" what you and your family are comfortable with. Had I the money to live where I wanted (in a house that I liked), I would have ended up or around the Montrose/museum district/north and south blvd. area, but that wasn't in the cards.

    Obviously though, it would be quite a daunting task to drive around ALL of Houston, and that's where the Chronicle's help will really come in. They provide resources that will give you just about all of the information you want including home pricing trends at this link:

    http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/business/homedata/index.html

    From that link you can click on the "need more help link" to take you here:

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/business/homefront/871619

    --where you can learn what neighborhoods have the best schools and where you'll encounter the least amount of crime.

    With these resources, you should be able to make an educated decision about what areas you are interested in, and this should REALLY narrow down your search. At that point, I'd consider driving the neighborhoods that look appealing on paper to see which ones "feel" right to you. After that, I'd go back to www.har.com which is an INVALUABLE resource for finding a home in Houston. Between it and www.hcad.org, you'll be able to narrow your search down to specific homes.

    As far as specific neighborhoods, I was born and raised in Houston, but I only consider myself an "expert" in the S and SW parts of town. Outside of the aforementioned areas that I've mentioned, I also really like Bellaire, West U. and (for a better price/performance ratio) Friendswood.
     
  5. SWTsig

    SWTsig Member

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    i live in the same area you grew up in (klein area) and would say that the woodlands would be my ideal place. it's pretty, very good schools, not too expensive, and it's expanding nicely (the new riverwalk is nearing completion, additions to the mall, etc.). but with all the expansion, they're doing a damn good job of keeping one of the prettiest areas in the houston metroplex. i believe it's considered one of the highest rated master-planned communities in the country.

    a lot of nice places in spring like champions, klein, and the like.

    i have a lot of family that lives in tanglewood (galleria area). it's really nice out there, although the traffic sucks and it can get very expensive.
     
  6. allan

    allan Member

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    Whatever you do just live inside the Loop 610. Everythining else is suburbia. THere is nothing in the suburbs except cookie cutter home and no culture. If you want to experience Houston the city I would highly recommend inside the Loop. Especially if you would rather spend more time living than driving.
    Trust me I lived in Houston for 10 years and you could'nt pay me to live in the surburbs. my sister live out there and she has to drive 45 minutes to get anywhere. Sure she has a huge home but it looks like every other home in her neighborhood and there is nothing to do or see out there except cars and strip malls. The city is where its at IMHO.

    Some neighborhood:
    The Heights: nice historic homes and big yards. Close to Dwntwn some gentrification.

    Montrose: Cool neighborhood, Walk to bars, restaurants, museums, close to Dwntwn old homes and new loft type buildings, used to be more artsy, now the yuppies are starting to take over. Still a cool neighborhood though

    The 6th Ward Historic District: Houstons oldest neighborhood. Lovely turn of the century homes lots of flavor some new reproduction homes and awesome views of dwntwn. This used to be a primarily hispanic neighborhood and some of the homes and run down but lots of people have realized the potential of this little goldmine. In recent years the neighborhood has seen lots of growth.

    West U: this is more expensive, but they have nice big homes, but not as much flavor. Lots of familys.

    The Binz/Museum District: just south of dwntwn walk/ride a bike or take the rail to hermann park museum or dwntwn historic Homes/Neighborhood.

    The East side: Can be a little seedy, but this is an up and coming neighborhood with big historic homes some new constructions. in 5 years the East side will be all the buzz. Just East of Dwntwn

    Midtown/ 4th Ward area: Up and coming some parts are seedy but lot of new loft/condo constructions. In the heart of the city. And you wont need your car!

    Bellaire: its the city within the city this town/neghborhood has the most "suburban" feel, cookie cutter homes not much flavor, but it is inside the loop and close to most everything

    Oh and one more thing do not buy a Perry Home they are cr@p, I have heard so many horror stories about these shoddy built things. They build them overnight and look horrible, no character and will not survive 20 years.

    Also Check out the "Cheap things to do in Houston" post I have listed a bunch of cool things to do that are close to all of these neighborhoods and not the suburbs.
    Hope this helps
     
  7. twhy77

    twhy77 Member

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    League City is a great town to raise a family in. That's where I grew up and you can choose either side of Clear Lake to live on, the League City side has more marina's access to Kemah and Galveston and less traffic, but the Clear Lake side probably has better schools, especially the Armand Bayou area. Nassau Bay is my favorite part of Houston, right across the street from NASA.
     
  8. allan

    allan Member

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    DON'T DO THE woodlands. Just read this post "Master Planned Community" "Mall Additions" OMG this is exactly what you should try and avoid. There is no culture at the mall or a mediocre chain restaurants. Would you rather have your kids going to a museum or a mall? If schools are what you a concerned with, there are alot of really good schools/ public and private inside the Loop. Would you rather drive 10 minutes or not at all (i.e. public transit) to a dwntwn Rockets game or 45 minutes? Would you rather have a unique home in a historic neighborhood or a "Master Planned" cookie cutter home? dont' be fooled, there is no life in the suburbs.
     
  9. codell

    codell Member

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    Cypress is one of the best areas of town IMO.

    Clutch,

    check out www.movinghouston.com (my wife's website)

    Lot of great info on there.
     
  10. Man

    Man Member

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    Sugar Land!
    Sugar Land is the 18th hottest small city to live in in the West!..The Woodlands is 15th...
    Sugar Land is still growing and expanding..lots of economic development...very nice...schools are excellent...it's a good place for family! Lots of professional athletes live here too. :p
    allan..your cheap things to do in Houston was a very nice post...but suburbs no flavor?!? What do you mean by that? I really don't want to go to museums everyday...and I can't go to bars. Too young...there are bars in the suburbs too!
    Being able to walk to restaurants and shops is nice though..
     
  11. JPM0016

    JPM0016 Member

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    I live in the Cypress area. Great neighborhoods, good schools and easy access to pretty much anything u want to do.
     
  12. Kam

    Kam Member

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    Go back home to the Klein area. Can't beat home.

    Or join me in the Near Cypress area.
     
  13. allan

    allan Member

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    Flavor, meaning culture not just museums, but a huge mixture of people ideas and cultures. Suburbs and Master Planned communities usually attract the same type of family with the same economic background. and usually the goods and services near these places are large chains that can be found everywhere.instead of unique mom and pop shops and one of a kind restaurant that reflect a city and its history, you have places like WalMart, Bennigans, Landry's, Hooters and the like. Have you ever been to a city like San Francisco, New York, or chicago, those cities each have a different feel or flavor that reflects there heritage. i.e unique and historic home and buildings, unique shops and retaurants and lots of cultural activities, besides the mall. All I am saying is if someone is going to move to a new city especially the 4th largest, the should dive right in and experience the uniqueness that is the city. Whereas suburbs are the same everywhere.
     
  14. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    But what's wrong if people like the suburbs? I, currently, do not, but I will never fault anyone for wanting to live where it may be safer, where someone could send their kids to a better school, or where people can get more home for their money.
     
  15. drapg

    drapg Member

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    I absolutely adore the idea of living in the suburbs in huge houses that all look alike and detest living in old, shabby looking houses just for their location near "the cool places to be." And that is not sarcasm; I am dead serious. I value my home more than its location. I want to live in a huge sprawling NEW home, not an old home with some quirks.

    Cypress, hands down, is the place to live for my money. (Of course, I'm probably biased since I was raised there for 15 years!)
     
  16. allan

    allan Member

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    also since most suburbs are outside the city center, there only way to get around is buy car. Cars are ok. but there is more to life than driving everyday.besides they pollute and consume. I think people are too married to there autos and cant even fathom other ways to get around. and when you are in a city usually you have options i.e. walking, biking, bus or train. all of which consume less or not at all. When you walk or bike you get to experience the "flavor" of the place you are living that of which you don't get inside a little box called a car.

    Besides if the suburbs where all that why did the Rockets build a stadium DWNTWN and not Sugarland or the Woodlands? I am sure those neighborhoods are ok but I cant imagine having to live so far from everything the real city has to offer>
     
  17. Man

    Man Member

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    Hmm..okay good points! I totally agree...it would be good to make the suburbs more unique with flavor. :) Sugar Land Rockets? Only 73,000 residents..
     
  18. Faos

    Faos Member

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    Have you been to Sugar Land? There is a wide variety of cultures living in the area. Try walking around First Colony mall, AMC First Colony theatres. Just down the road on Hwy 6 there is big asian influence. With 59 completed now I love living in the area. Getting around is a breeze. Yes, it may not have museums and may be full of "cookie cutter" homes but I think it is a nice place to live.
     
  19. allan

    allan Member

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    Old does not always mean shabby and sometimes NEW isn't always better. There is a reason why some old homes last for 100 years or more, because of the construction. The NEW homes of today are just not built the same. Besides you can get a NEW home in the COOL place to be. thats all. Have you seen some of older homes in the heights of the Binz some of them are huge and sprawling. The suburbs of today are the Ghettos of tomorrow.
     
  20. mc mark

    mc mark Member

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    Clutch my mother in law bought one of the first homes built in Gleannloch Farms. She's been there about 6 years and it's a beautiful house. But she lives there by herself and it's a bit too big for one person. She's been talking about putting it on the market for a while now (she want's to downgrade to a condo, or something along those lines). I think she's looking at asking for a price range of $210 to $220K.

    If you're really interested, I could put you in tough with her and I'm sure she wouldn't mind showing it to you.

    Let me know!
     

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