“Houston, we have a problem!” This iconic sentence has undoubtedly immortalized Lone Star State’s largest city. There should, however, be no problem in opting for one of the Houston neighborhoods to relocate to. They are various, from residential blocks to art hotspots. As expected in the fourth-largest city of the United States, the place is rather diverse, and there’s something for everybody; you just have to know where to start with your search, and that’s where we step in.
Moving to Houston is more than just simply going to a different town. It means a new life in one of the nation’s leading science, research, and medical centers. Every aspect of life there is vibrant and exciting, for singles as much as families with children. Interstate 610, commonly known as the Loop, separates inner Houston from its suburbs. Within the Loop is the bulk of the action, so most of our list will be confined there.
Houston’s home to many attractions, and the amenities it offers are top-notch. Still, certain areas have clear advantages over the others, be it for the real estate prices or the ability to hear the roar of fans from the NRG Stadium. If you’re still not convinced that hiring moving services is the step in the right direction, read on.
Housing is among the prime concerns for folks who wish to move to another state. The housing market in HOU isn’t too competitive, so it is possible to find suitable accommodation at affordable prices. According to the latest data by website redfin.com, the average cost of a home in HOU in January stood at $212,000.
If we go a bit deeper into details, NRG Park has the lowest average real estate prices among the better neighborhoods, currently at around $144,000. Trailing behind are Montrose with $190,000, Clear Lake with $245,000, and Uptown with an average of $257,000 for a house or apartment.
In the mid-range category would be Midtown, Memorial, and Texas Medical Center ($312,000, $390,000, and $594,000, respectively). On the opposite end of the scale are areas such as University Place, where accommodation costs, on average, $975,000. The average monthly rent stands at $1,100.
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All in all, Houston’s real estate prices are significantly lower than in some other Texas metropolitan hubs such as Dallas and Austin, but higher than in San Antonio.
One of the major perks of living in a big city is the opportunity for a never-ending adventure. And if you’re a student or young professional with a good paycheck, why wouldn’t you use it to the fullest? Then head to one of the best places to live in Houston for singles.
Let’s begin with Spring Branch, an ideal area for millennials. With average house prices at $490,000 and a location just west from the downtown, Spring Branch caters to those who aren’t moving with kids but plan to have them at some point. It offers spacious houses and yards, and also access to some of the most exceptional public and private schools in Houston. When it comes to dining, restaurants are many, with many different cuisines close to one another. Nightlife isn’t a strong point of Spring Branch, having been traded for a more suburban vibe. Luckily, areas teeming with parties are not far away.
Next comes Second Ward, a community in Houston’s East End that has seen significant gentrification and renovation in recent years. That happened mostly thanks to professionals flocking from the suburbs, as well as from more expensive areas within the Loop. That way, what was once a Mexican-American community turned into a paradise for persons commonly called DINK, which stands for “Dual Income, No Kids.” Since it’s basically in the city’s central part, Second Ward can only grow in population and popularity. To ensure that, there is a ton of eateries and bars, as well as plans for new parks and bike and hiking trails. Homes there cost $275,000 on average.
And finally, we come to Hobby Area. Built around the airport of the same name, Hobby sports some of the most beautiful houses, decades-old, dating back to the glory days of the 1960s. It is a part of town with mature pecan trees and even occasional wild peacocks in the streets. It opened up for younger homeowners only when the older ones started to move away, and now it is among the hottest real estate markets in town, with affordable prices that are growing steadily as time goes by.
The only suburb on our list, Clear Lake is home to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. In fact, it was built to house the Center’s employees in the 1960s.
Commuting to the city is smooth and straightforward, and schools in the area are outstanding, so it drew lots of young parents back in the day. Therefore, if you have children, it should definitely be on your list. As time passed, the kids grew up and went away, so Clear Lake now has a large population of empty-nesters, too. They form a close community whose members are there for each other, so it may be an excellent place to start making friends in a new city.
There are a couple of parks, a public library, and one large community center with pools, gyms, and tennis courts. Clear Lake is also home to dozens of arts organizations, with regular exhibits and performances. For those fond of aviation, there are annual hot-air balloon festival Ballunar and the air show Wings over Houston Air Fest, during which civilian and military pilots perform acrobatics in the air. Another perk is the proximity to Kemah, Galveston Bay mecca for those who yearn for great seafood, sun, or even to catch a wave or two.
Let’s move on to the two areas offering things people can’t go without – healthcare and sports.
Texas Medical Center, or TMC, is the neighborhood in south-central Houston which encompasses more than 60 medical institutions. Clinics for science, research, and patient care receive more than 10 million patients every year, so if you wondered how to find a new doctor when you move, ask no more. TMC is part of Houston Independent School District for elementary and secondary schools, and four medical colleges are located there. Since the beginning of the 21st century, TMC formed an orchestra whose members exclusively come from medical professions and schools. TMC Orchestra regularly performs at very affordable prices.
Right next to TMC lies a place we already mentioned as one of Houston’s most affordable parts in terms of housing, NRG Park. Formerly known as Astrodome, this part of town now bears the name of the company NRG Energy and is ideal for sports fans, both those with and without a ball. The main staple is the NRG Stadium, the home of Houston Texans and the location of SuperBowl XXXVIII, the first NFL ground with natural grass and a retractable roof. It is a venue for music concerts, exhibits, and other events. Among them stands out the largest traditional sports event in the United States – Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The Galleria/Uptown area is a shopping neighborhood and heaven for fashion fanatics. In a relatively small square mileage lie several hundred stores, some of the best restaurants in Houston, and many hotels.
There is also the Galleria, the largest shopping mall in the Lone Star State. There, you can buy everything from your new apartment shopping list and then some. There are more than 400 stores, from high-end to affordable ones, an ice rink, and numerous places to sate your hunger or quench the thirst.
Aside from shopping, Uptown is a spot where you can see the enormous fountain Gerald D. Hines Water Wall. If you’re moving for love, that fountain is the perfect spot for a romantic photoshoot. Or a selfie. If you wish to revive the spirit of cowboys (though without horses), head to the Pinto Ranch store and equip yourself with a hat and boots. If there’s anything in the art of Feng Shui that includes saddles in the interior design, Pinto Ranch sells them too.
Then there’s the Rooftop Cinema Club. This outdoor cinema is (you guessed it) on a rooftop, and there you can enjoy not only a movie but also a panoramic view of H-Town. Foodies have their slice of the neighborhood, too, with four of the seven highest-ranked restaurants in town. Some of the best joints to have a meal are Nobu (Asian), Caracol (Mexican), and Post Oak Grill (obviously American cuisine).
Downtown is where most things to do in Houston take place. It’s where Rockets and Astros play their games, and where the Houston Theater District is, with the city’s symphony orchestra, ballet, grand opera, and many many more. The most excellent of the dining scene is mostly concentrated in Market Square Park, while you can look for clubbing options at GreenStreet.
Located in the city’s core, west-central, Montrose is a mix of the 1920s and modern architecture, museums, wine bars, and trendy eateries. It is one of the most diverse parts of H-Town and is also considered the most eccentric one, being at the heart of the city’s counterculture movement back in the day.
Between the well-known joints such as Poison Girl, the goth club Numbers, or the cocktail bar Anvil Bar & Refuge, lie many LGBT bars; hence Montrose’s nickname “Gayborhood.” Some of the most celebrated cultural venues are Rothko Chapel and Menil Collection of Art. Works from such greats as Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, and others can be seen there.
Among the community events, there are Houston Greek Festival, held for over forty years, and Montrose Crawl. During the Crawl, people go from one bar to another along the Westheimer Road. Part of the revenue always goes to charity.
This area is very suitable for walking, unlike some other parts of HOU. While strolling around, take a glance at some of the renowned antique shops.
River Oaks is one of the most expensive and exclusive neighborhoods in H-Town. Its real estate prices, starting from $1 million, comfortably see to that designation. If that’s not enough, the city’s country club with a golf course is there. Still, once you move in, you’ll find that everything around you is top-notch.
River Oaks Elementary is among the best, not only in the Space City but in entire Texas, and the offer of private schools is vast. The neighborhood is also the safest in Houston, with police force separated from the other police departments. And if you find that something is missing, all of Houston’s hotspots are within a short drive.
The commercial part of west-central HOU, Memorial is considered to be among the most popular neighborhoods. Its namesake shopping mall is visited by around 20 million people each year. It contains almost two million square feet of office and store space. However, its main perk is Memorial park, a 1,466-acre green area with numerous amenities.
First of all, there’s the 18-hole golf course, which hosted PGA tournaments back in the day and will do so again from next year. Besides the course itself, there is a museum dedicated to golf and a clubhouse. Those who prefer more common sports can play tennis, volleyball, or softball, engage in swimming, skating, jogging, or athletics, or (if feeling specially wonderlandly) have a game of croquet. The park is also crisscrossed with many trails for running and biking, with various degrees of difficulty. Then, there is a botanical garden with an arboretum. This whole district is just a few minutes away from downtown, which can only add to its desirability.
Independence Heights began its life as an Afro-American community and eventually became the first African American municipality in the Lone Star State. It has seen many redevelopment projects in recent years, but its historic core has remained intact, with many sites placed on the register of historic places. Among them is a lobster vendor active for more than a hundred years now.
Locals have access to numerous schools, retail stores, and restaurants. Still, the main attraction of this neighborhood is Independence (or McCullough) Park, the only one that remained from the neighborhood’s early days. Besides the green space with bike trails and walking paths, there are basketball and tennis courts, swimming pools, and a kids’ playground.
The average real estate price here is $272,000, while the average rent is a little under $1,000. On top of affordable housing, Independence Heights is well connected with all the hotspots in downtown.
Next, comes the cultural hub of the H-Town. Museum District stands in the south-west of downtown, and consists of 19 galleries, museums, and cultural and community organizations, brought together with the goal of promoting culture and science. It is visited by nearly 9 million people each year.
The main destinations are the Museum of Fine Arts, with one of the largest collections of sculptures, paintings, clothes, and photographs in the US, Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Natural Science.
This part of town is very pedestrian-friendly, with joints and attractions close by, as well as the only 4D cinema in H-Town, and the Houston Zoo. For those not fortunate enough to get a ticket for the Texans game, the Address sports bar is the place to go.
Housing is in high demand here, from vintage and luxury houses to condos. Prices vary a lot, mostly depending on the proximity of freeways and other major autoroutes that pass through the place.
With its excellent schools and location, West University contributes to Houston’s status among the best cities in America to raise a family. It sports neat houses with perfectly mowed lawns. Prices are a bit steep, indeed, but perks far outweigh the costs.
To begin with, it’s among the safest parts of town. It’s a very tight-knit community, and very kid-friendly. Bicycles are everywhere, and playdates top every other priority. Lots of parents and children in the streets at dusk are a common sight. To make things even better, all the centers of activity are nearby.
Not to mention that all street names come from the 1920s, and are associated with poets and writers. Don’t be surprised if a neighbor stops to have a pleasant word with you in one of those streets. It’s the way things are done in West University Place. And not just in the street, but also in parks, in a library, or baseball field.
Rice Village is the oldest shopping district in H-Town. Its pubs, eateries, and shops are next to the Rice University’s campus. What gives it a unique charm is that it’s completely unplanned; old stores mixing with the new ones. In recent years, more high-end retailers began to pop up in the Village, but its core has remained the same.
The restaurant offer is various, with dozens of restaurants with Turkish, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Japanese, and other cuisines from all over the world, along with delis and specialized stores for food and drink.
The core part of the H-Town proper is Midtown, once a run-down but now gentrified neighborhood in close proximity to the hotspots of business and entertainment. Still, because of some unresolved issues, it remains among the most affordable parts of town. It also provides opportunities for shopping, eating in high-ranked joints, and swimming pools in many residential buildings. Its main attraction is the African American theater company, the Ensemble Theatre, the largest of its kind in the US.
This concludes our list. If you found something that suits your needs, it’s time to start packing and call your Houston movers. If not, don’t give up. Houston is a big city with lots of different areas with a lot to offer. As you could see, most of the areas are suitable for walking, but if you opt for auto transport, you won’t be mistaken, since parking isn’t an issue in most residential parts of town. So don’t hesitate anymore. Life in Texas is waiting for you.