When Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine rated Houston in 2008 as the best city in which to live, work and play, a main criteria was reasonable living costs. Houston and the area don’t disappoint in this category, particularly regarding housing costs. According to the most recent ACCRA Cost-of-Living Index, the Houston area’s housing costs are 23 percent below the nationwide average and 41 percent below the average for the large metro areas. Find your neighborhood in this section that includes detailed descriptions of many communities along with a locator map.
Many newcomers appreciate the variety of housing options – in fact, there are more than 5,000 neighborhoods in the greater Houston area from which families can choose – from downtown lofts, to new spacious homes in surburban or rural communities, to convenient townhouses within easy access to downtown, it’s all available.
The Houston area is also known for its choice of master-planned communities, including The Woodlands, which is north of Houston in Montgomery County; Kingwood, which is situated east of the city; Cinco Ranch located to the west of Houston, Bridgeland in the northwest area and Shadow Creek Ranch, south of the city in Brazoria County.
In addition to the information in this section, you’ll be working with a real estate agent who will be your key resource throughout the home-buying process. Contact the Houston Association of Realtors® (www.har.com) for names of qualified agents. You can also ask your company’s relocation office for contacts as well as going online to research specific neighborhoods or master planned communities. Other local resources are the neighborhood newspapers, the Houston Chronicle, the region’s major daily paper as well as free real-estate resource guides usually found at grocery stores.
For those who want to live where the action is and who want to be part of the city’s vibe, the place to live is in the Inner Loop, which is an area that includes the cities of Bellaire and West University, as well as those parts of Houston located Inside Loop 610.
Bellaire – the little city inside of Houston – has witnessed more and more older homes being replaced by large stately homes. There has been an overall increase of eight percent in property values over the previous year, and sales of homes are ranging from $200,000 to well over $1 million. The homes in Bellaire are a mixture of 1950s and 1960s two- and three-bedroom ranch styles and brand new Georgian brick and Mediterranean stucco mansions. The area is well known for Bellaire High School, which consistently graduates the highest numbers of National Merit Finalists in the country, in addition to regularly producing state champion baseball teams.
— Braeswood/Stella Link
Originally part of oil tycoon Walter William Fondren’s ranch, Fondren Southwest is one of Houston’s most accessible and civic-minded communities with a mixture of multi-family dwellings and residential subdivisions. Property values in Fondren Southwest have steadily risen over the past several years, and the area is becoming known as a great place to live and work. Homes are selling for between $110,000 and $200,000. Recently the Brays Oaks Management District was created to finance projects related to public safety, beautification, economic development and others.
— Downtown Houston
For many, living and working downtown is the perfect combination. More are selecting this lifestyle as new high rises are completed, including One Park Place, a 37-story property new downtown high-rise luxury apartment residences with 346 units and 28 typical residential levels with penthouses on the upper level. Levels 2 through 7 will be used for parking and over 20,000 square-feet of retail space will be on the pedestrian level. With a current residential population of approximately 3,000 +, experts believe that will more than triple by 2010. For those who enjoy the urban experience with close proximity to world-class dining, entertainment and sports, this is the perfect location. Another advantage – you can get to any place downtown by walking or transit and can comfortably leave your car in the garage. (www.houstondowntown.com) (www.downtownhouston.com).
— Fifth Ward
Close to downtown, this is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, one with a rich history that has contributed to the city’s artistic, culinary and musical heritage. In 1989, the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation was established to revitalize the area and since its formation has built more than 300 new homes, two multifamily complexes totaling 336 units, two commercial developments, four public art installations and two community gateway monuments. (www.fifthwardcrc.org)
The Galleria area of Houston is a unique urban environment outside of downtown, yet still centrally located. This area combines a thriving business district, acclaimed retail stores, luxury hotels, condominium and apartment complexes and upscale residential neighborhoods with Houston’s natural beauty to create a vibrant community. This is an active urban center with a focus on national and international business. The area’s high-rise offices and hotels, fine restaurants, and retail centers (such as the world-famous Galleria mall) host 200,000 office workers, shoppers, and out-of-town visitors every day.
This bustling commercial scene is dotted with lovely homes and landscaped public spaces, such as Memorial Park, which boasts a fine public golf course, tennis courts, jogging and biking trails and baseball fields. Single-family home sales range from nearly $100,000 in Shenandoah to $337,000 in Williams Court, north of Bellaire
— Greater Third Ward
Greater Third Ward is a predominantly African-American community immediately adjacent to the Main Street corridor. It is home to Texas Southern University and the University of Houston, both largely commuter campuses, which serve a student population totaling more than 44,000. The area boasts Alabama Garden, the largest and oldest community garden in Houston.
— Greenway Plaza
Greenway Plaza is Houston’s premier master planned business development that offers an environment which is uniquely tailored to the needs of today’s business community. The unique style of Greenway Plaza’s campus combines a central “inside the Loop” location, efficient floor plans, professional management and many amenities. Working professionals and visitors to the campus have easy access to The Shops at Greenway which includes a unique selection of retail options and a full service food court. It’s located within an easy commute to the Galleria area, River Oaks, West University, Texas Medical Center and downtown Houston. (www.greenwayplaza.com)
— Greater Third Ward
The Third Ward neighborhood is located inside the 610 Loop, is immediately southeast of Downtown Houston and to the east of the Texas Medical Center. The ward became the center of Houston’s African-American community and is home to two universities, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.
The community is located east of downtown Houston, south of the Brays Bayou and Buffalo Bayou junction, and west of Brady’s Island. It was founded before 1825 on the eastern stretches of the Buffalo Bayou in present-day Harris County, on land belonging to John Richardson Harris. In 1926, Harrisburg was annexed into the city of Houston. Lying to the east of Harrisburg is the community of Manchester with modest homes close to industries servicing the Port of Houston.
— The Heights
The Heights has Houston’s largest concentration of historic homes, with more than 100 individually listed private and public buildings. Distinctive turn-of-the-century homes, privately maintained parks, several churches and a public library line Heights Boulevard, which has a special city of Houston designation as “Scenic Right of Way.” Such charm, couple with its proximity to downtown, makes The Heights an appealing place to live. The unique 19th Street historic business district and a variety of antique and specialty shops make the area a shopping attraction. The Heights is favored by professionals and families who appreciate a short commute to downtown and the small-town quality of life. (www.houstonheights.org)
Location to important employment centers such as the Medical Center, local universities and downtown businesses has made this a popular community. Many of the old homes are large and stately due to its rich, urban population in the 1930s. Today, there are approximately 1,315 homes in the area.
— Medical Center/Rice Village
This area is one of the most vibrant and exciting in Houston, and is home to the world-famous Texas Medical Center and the renowned Rice University. Both of these institutions are next to Hermann Park and the Museum District. The new Metro Light Rail line connects this area to Reliant Center to the south and downtown Houston to the north. The Texas Medical Center, covering more than 700 acres, accommodates about five million patient visits a year. Patients come from Houston and all over the world for the excellent medical care and the cutting-edge research. With a combined budget of $4.6 billion for its member institutions, the center has an $11.5 billion indirect impact on Houston’s economy. Nearly 80,000 jobs are tied to the area around Texas Medical Center and Rice Village.
Memorial Hermann Hospital, a founding member of the Texas Medical Center, houses one of the city’s two Level One Trauma Centers. The hospital also runs Life Flight, the city’s legendary air ambulance services started by Dr. Red Duke in 1976. Memorial Hermann is one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the country. Another anchor institution is St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, which includes St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Health Network, St. Luke’s Health Charities and the Kelsey-Seybold Management Company. St. Luke’s is home to the world-renowned Texas Heart Institute, which has ranked as one of the top ten cardiovascular centers in the country for the last 16 years.
Rice University, located across the street from the Medical Center, is a prestigious nationally recognized institution, offering a distinguished faculty, low student-teacher ration, and a high number of National Merit Scholars. A $2.5 billion endowment allows Rich University to compete with the best of the Ivy League schools.
— Memorial Park/Washington Avenue
Memorial Park stretches from the west side of the northern edge of downtown to the West Loop. The area covers 5,081 acres with 7,944 properties and is served by the Houston Independent School District and three private schools. Memorial Park is considered one of the city’s primary environmental assets. Residential areas adjacent to Memorial Park are being redeveloped with high-end, single-family homes, high-rises, patio homes and three-story condos.
Midtown is Houston’s pedestrian-oriented urban community uniquely positioned in the heart of the city. Situated directly between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, Midtown Houston is a logical choice for a residential area to serve the two largest employment centers in the region with more than 200,000 jobs. There are also five colleges and universities nearby with combined enrollments of over 50,000. Midtown is a good location for faculty, staff, and student housing for these institutions. (www.houstonmidtown.com).
A popular neighborhood among artists and creatives is the Montrose area, which is bounded on the north by Buffalo Bayou. The area includes the Houston Museum District and many restaurants, eclectic boutiques and small galleries, which provides a unique flavor to the area. Two-bedroom, brick homes characterize the area.
— Near Northside
The historic area is north of downtown and primarily occupied by Hispanics and a growing number of African-American. The boundaries or the neighborhood are along Main Street and Lorraine Street to main and I-45 to Hardy Street. In 2005, Preservation Texas named Near Northside to its list of Texas’ most endangered historic places. Today, METRO is planning an extension of its light rail system through the neighborhood. The proposed expansion could result in the demolition of blocks of historic houses, including properties eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
— Old Spanish Trail/South Union
Old Spanish Trail/South Union is an affordable neighborhood about five miles south of downtown Houston, conveniently located minutes from the campuses of Rice University, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University as well as the Medical Center.
— Reliant Park/South Loop
The Reliant Park area is enjoying a period of expansion and renovation with new restaurants and retailers attracting a growing number of customers. Several new large-scale construction and mass transit projects are complete, and the area is re-establishing itself as a preeminent entertainment and convention site. Reliant Park is a world-class entertainment and convention center site and home to the Houston Texans NFL team. Reliant Park is the home of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest indoor rodeo in the world. This event gives millions of dollars annually in scholarship money to thousands of children across the country.
To connect this exciting area to other important areas in Houston, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) opened a brand new 7.5-mile light rail system in 2004. It stretches from the north side of downtown to south of Reliant Park. Clean electricity powers this line, eliminating pollution from thousands of bus and car trips. The line offers services between the University of Houston-Downtown, downtown Houston, Midtown, Rice University, the Texas Medical Center, and Reliant Park. This rail line is the spine of a planned region-wide light rail system in Houston.
— River Oaks
River Oaks, one of Houston’s most exclusive residential areas, comprises some 1,100 acres replete with stately white-columned mansions dating to the 1920s. Just three miles west of downtown Houston, River Oaks also enjoys easy access to the Greenway Plaza business district, the Galleria area, Southwest Freeway, Loop 610, and the Museum District. Comprehensive deed restrictions ensure that the River Oaks area can never be invaded by commercial structures or multifamily housing. Many homes were designed by nationally recognized architects of the era. One such home, “Bayou Bend,” was owned by Ima Hogg daughter of the one-time Texas governor, James Stephen Hogg. She later donated the magnificent Greek revival property, along with its extensive collection of early American furniture and antiques, to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
— Second Ward/Magnolia Park
Located in the historic district on the eastern edge of downtown Houston, this area is one of four original wards in Houston that were developed around the 1800s. Today, the Second Ward is known for being an affordable, tight-knit community with one of the largest Hispanic populations in the city. Among other things, residents of the Second Ward enjoy close proximity to Rusk Park and the Buffalo Bayou.
— Southside Place
With a population of 1,500, this small community is situated between the cities of Bellaire and Houston. In 2000, Southside Place was the 14th wealthiest location in Texas. The bedroom community is home to Royal Dutch Shell’s Bellaire Technology Center, as well as numerous businesses and shopping centers lining Bellaire Boulevard. Home prices range from the $400s up to $2 million plus.
— West University Place
Founded in 1917, the city of West University Place was named for its proximity to Rice University. With attractive homes that hold their value, the community underwent major redevelopment in the1980s. Neighborhoods are sprinkled with parks, and all streets are lined with scenic, aged trees. Located nearby is the Village, which has more than 360 stores, including 75 restaurants. The 16-block area has an eclectic mix of unique shops and designer boutiques.
This is a large area of approximately 700+ square miles bounded by FM 525 (Aldine Bender Road) on the south, Lake Houston on the east, the city of Conroe on the north and U.S. 290 on the west. I-45, US-59 and the Hardy Toll Road are the main freeways connecting the region to the rest of the city.
— Acres Homes
Acres Homes is situated between downtown Houston and Greenspoint. The area offers jobs for more than 3,000 people and has more than 7,600 acres. The community is noted for its many community development and services efforts. A variety of cultural, recreational and sports activities and facilities are located in the region. Numerous housing choices are available in the community, including new, resale and rental homes, as well as apartments.
Aldine, located near Beltway 8 and IH-45 North, offers easy access to employment centers, especially in the Greenspoint area and downtown Houston via the Hardy Toll Road. The Aldine ISD received a “recognized” rating from the Texas Education Agency and has more than 50,000 students. In the Aldine area, housing options are varied along with housing prices.
— Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
Located north of Houston Heights and close to the retail and office/industrial buildings by Shepherd and North Loop 610, Garden Oaks is known for its large lots, towering pines and a beautiful location just north of the 610 Loop with rambling, curved streets.
You’ll find many residents renovate existing homes in this area rather than building new homes. Home prices range from high $200s to mid-$600s. (www.gardenoaks.org)
— Greater Greenspoint
Minutes from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Greenspoint District is a 12-square-mile activity center in north Houston with a well-educated workforce and superb residential base. More than 18 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space makes Greenspoint an attractive place to do business. The area supports 70,000 employees, and there are approximately 97,000 residents. (www.greenspoint.org)
— Inwood Forest
Located in Northwest Houston, this community consists of more than 1,100 homes surrounding the Inwood Forest golf course that give it an attractive openness. Inwood Forest residents support their community by participation in two important organizations, the Inwood Forest Community Improvement Association (IFCIA) and the Inwood Forest Citizens on Patrol (IFCOP). Residents support a diversity of residents who all share a common desire to live in a pleasant and safe community.
NORTH OF HOUSTON
Additional developments north of the city have provided residents with more living options, including numerous mater-planned communities. You’ll find shopping centers, forested areas and many recreational opportunities.
— Conroe/Willis/Montgomery County
Located 40 miles north of Houston in Montgomery County, Conroe has a population of more than 50,000 and is the largest city, county seat and power center of Montgomery County with a total population of more than 411,000. Many newcomers in the area are attracted to Lake Conroe, a 22,000-acre lake seven miles west of Conroe, which hosts a range of recreational water sports. For golfers, there are 13 courses located in the Lake Conroe area. Surrounding the lake are many fine homes, many with boat docks and access to the lake. The community supports a mixture of residents, including retirees living near the lake and families of all ages and ethnic groups. Three regional hospitals and an array of medical support facilities serve the people in Montgomery County. In recent years, more businesses have been attracted to the area due to its affordability and quality of life. Many residents also commute to businesses in downtown Houston, 40 miles or approximately 45 minutes away. Average home sales in 2008 were $255,000 and a two-bedroom apartment averages $805.
— The Woodlands/South Montgomery County
Established 35 years ago, The Woodlands is a 27,000-acre master planned community development by The Woodlands Operating Company. It’s located 27 miles north of Houston easily accessible via I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. Since 1990, The Woodlands has been the best-selling community in Texas and includes family homes, custom and estate homes, townhomes, urban lofts and brownstones, condos, apartments and homes designed for active adults over age 55. Prices range from the $100,000’s to $3 million plus. For many residents, they enjoy the amenities, including six golf courses, 100 miles of parks and greenbelts, a regional mall and an outdoor performing arts pavilion. In addition, there are multiple hospitals as well as a community college. The projected population of 120,000 will enjoy a framework combining residency, industry, churches, schools, public facilities, shopping, recreation and the forest in a convenient and aesthetically-pleasing hometown environment. (www.thewoodlands.com)
Communities comprising the area include Atascocita, Humble and Kingwood. Located within a 10 mile radius from where Highway 59 and FM 1960 intersect, these communities share an abundance of forest and natural beauty. These areas are approximately 22 miles from downtown and just five miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The Atascocita/Humble area is located just 21 miles northeast of downtown Houston along U.S. Highway 59. The current population today exceeds 30,000 in Humble and Atascocita. Humble’s forested boundaries take up nearly 100 square miles of land in northeast Harris County. Residents in Humble enjoy amenities, including parks, golf courses, access to lake Houston and the San Jacinto River as well as high-performing schools, two major hospitals, Deerbrook Mall and “Park ‘n Ride” facilities. New homes and existing homes range from $60’s to $1 million.
— Eagle Springs
Eagle Springs offers a wide variety of new homes priced from the $120,000s to $450,000s, including low-maintenance townhomes, cottage-style homes, traditional single-family homes, luxury estate homes and upscale low-maintenance patio homes. The wooded master-planned community is located in the Humble ISD. Community amenities include the 15-acre Eagle Springs Athletic Club and Sports Complex, The Island Club at Lake Montage, sparkling lakes and miles of greenbelt trails. (www.eaglespringsonline.com)
— Fall Creek
Designed with quiet streets and carefully planned villages, Fall Creek is a great place to raise a family. It’s also convenient to employment center, such as Greenspoint and the East Energy Corridor, downtown and the Galleria. Close to home, you’ll find shopping centers and plenty of fine dining and family restaurants. Among the community amenities include an aquatic center, trails and greenbelts in a 1,261-acre community. Also located here is the Redstone Golf Club, home to the Shell Houston Open PGA Tour Event. (www.fallcreekhouston.com)
Kingwood is 14,000 acres of beautiful homes, golf courses and wooded landscapes, located 22 miles northeast of downtown Houston. The densely-wooded Kingwood community is made up of several subdivisions that are connected by a few major thoroughfares. The suburb has all the amenities of a big city, and commercial centers are scattered throughout to meet the grocery, shopping, dining and other needs of its residents. Residents enjoy access to 19 swimming pools, 200 acres of community parks, two youth sports parks, three public golf courses, a private boat launch, private stables and two country clubs with golf courses. Served by the Humble ISD, Kingwood has one high school, one ninth grade school, three middle schools and nine elementary schools. Private education is also available from preschool through middle school.
Located at Beltway 8 and West Lake Houston Parkway, Summerwood is a 1,500-acre community. There are more than 200 acres of recreation and nature preserves, and the community is part of the Humble ISD. Houses are priced from $170,000s to $410,000s, many located amid a lushly wooded backdrop of nature preserves and parks. (www.summerwoodlife.com)
— Walden on Lake Houston
Walden on Lake Houston is a master-planned community made up of 750 acres and homes that are build in a natural setting of pine forest and picturesque Lake Houston. Residents enjoy beautifully manicured streets, fairways and access to Humble ISD. Homes prices range from id $160s to mid $550s.
Consisting of Champions and FM 1960-Spring area, northwest Harris County area is located 20 miles from Houston’s central business district. This unincorporated Harris County region as a sense of community derived from a history of hardy pioneer settlers and an unparalleled present day commitment to community. Northwest Houston is one of the most popular residential and commercial locations in the Houston region.
— Bear Creek/Texas 6
This community is located between the Katy Freeway and Highway 290 and just west of the Sam Houston Parkway. Master-planned communities in Bear Creek include Fairfield and Deerfield Village. Neighborhood homes are priced from the $70’s to $180’s. Other subdivisions include Glen Cairn, Bear Creek Plantation, Jersey Village, Pine Forest and Copperfield, a master-planned community of Friendswood Development Corp located just north of the Bear Creek area. Each village within the Copperfield community has its own recreational facilities. Homes are priced from the $80’s to the $400’s.
The 11,400-acre Bridgeland community embraces a lifestyle packed with natural splendor. Over 3,000 acres are devoted to lakes, trails, parks and open space. Sixty miles of trails will connect neighborhoods, amenities and a future town center. An on-site activities director plans a wealth of outdoor fun, plus events at Lakeland Activity Center, which offers resort-worthy pools, a community center, fitness room, tennis, playgrounds and more. Located 2.5 miles south of U.S. 290 on Fry Road, Bridgeland is the future home of more than 65,000 residents (www.bridgeland.com).
— Champions/F.M. 1960
This area is located between Highway 249 and I-45 and a popular choice for many residents because of its easy access to downtown Houston. Champions was the first subdivision built in the area more than 25 years ago. Other subdivisions to note in the area re Olde Oaks, Northgate Forest and Champions Forest with homes priced from the $100’s into $1 million plus. Country clubs and golf courses are plentiful in the Champions area as well as shopping with nearby Willowbrook and Greenspoint malls.
— Coles Crossing
Coles Crossing is conveniently located at the junction of US Highway 290 and Barker Cypress Road, close to many alternate access routes, such as FM 1960, Loop 610 and Beltway 8. A master-planned community focused on preserving the natural environment, Coles Crossing offers 2,630 single-family home sites, nestled in 1,200 acres of forested land. Single-family homes range from the moderately priced mid $200s to exclusive estate homes on lots one-half acre or larger in size ranging in price from the $400s to the high $800s.
— Cypress/Jersey Village
Cypress, also referred to as Cypress-Fairbanks, or Cy-Fair, is an unincorporated area of Harris County that is located along U.S. Highway 290, 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston. Serving the educational needs of the community is the highly recognized Cypress Fairbanks ISD. Population of the area’s zip code is estimated at more than 732,546. Within the area is the city of Jersey Village, which was incorporated in 1956. Today, there is a new police and fire station to service the needs of more than 7,500 residents in Jersey Village.
Fairfield is a 3,200 acre development by Friendswood Development Company that opened in 1988 and at full build-out will be home to 5,000 families. Recreational amenities include a 15,000 square-foot athletic club with a full-size basketball court, fitness center, special events room and classroom areas. There also is a competition –size swimming pool, tennis courts and a 20-acre sports park with baseball and soccer fields. Currently, Fairfield has eight lakes, six neighborhood parks and six neighborhood pools, plus numerous pocket parks and greenbelts winding through the community. Cypress-Fairbanks School District services the educational needs of the community. (www.visitfairfield.com)
— Gleannloch Farms
The area was once famous for breeding Egyptian Arabian horses and today is a community with amenities including a lakeside aquatic complex, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a fabled equestrian center, a championship golf course and schools from the highly acclaimed Klein ISD. Nearby is the active FM 1960 shopping district, which includes Willowbrook Mall.
— High Meadow Ranch
High Meadow Ranch is located among the rolling hills of Magnolia, Texas, where residents enjoy the comfort of country living with easy access to shopping, amenities and major highways into Houston. The newest development within the community is High Meadow Estates, which will feature one to ten-acre home sites. The development is located in the Montgomery Community College district and the Magnolia ISD. (www.highmeadowranch.com)
The city of Magnolia is located at the junction of farm roads 1774 and 1488, approximately 45 miles northwest of Houston and 25 miles southwest of Conroe. The greater Magnolia area spans approximately 12 miles in all directions with an estimated population of more than 65,000. Since 2000, the area has experienced a population growth of nearly 14 percent, in part due to the quality of life the area provides. The average cost of a home in the rural community is $127,450, and the area is served by the Magnolia ISD.
Northpointe East is a neighborhood of affordable, single family homes located east of SH 249. Close by are shopping centers in Tomball, Spring-Cypress, The Woodlands and Houston. The Klein ISD services the educational needs of the area with four high schools, eight intermediate schools and 25 elementary schools.
— Riata Ranch
Riata Ranch is located in the northwest Harris County near Cypress, Texas, with covenient access to Highway 290. The community features homes built by Philip James, Kaufman and Broad, Pioneer and DR Horton and offers convenient access to Highway 290. Dakota Blue Homes is currently the only active builder remaining in this community. Amenities include walking trails, a junior Olympic-sized community pool, tennis courts and multi-purpose sports fields for kid’s activities. (www.riataranch.net)
Known as the “hometown with a heart,” Tomball is located northwest of Houston and offers residents a variety of housing choices that include new custom and production-builder homes, apartments, rental homes and resale homes. Horse lovers will be pleased to know there are also numerous equestrian-oriented subdivisions with larger lots available. Homes range from a $40,000 starter to a $500,000 spread, with plenty of options in between. The area is convenient to shopping, major freeways and is serviced by the Tomball ISD. (www.ci.tomball.tx.us)
WindRose is a master-planned community located in the Spring/Klein area off FM 2920 and Kuykendahl. The community includes 1,121 acres of heavily forested land and upon completion will have approximately 2,000 homes. The community includes a championship 18-hole golf course winding through the neighborhoods, open areas, green space and parks and is located in the highly acclaimed Klein ISD. (www.windroseca.org)
Thanks to the widening of I-10 West and access to major employment centers, West Houston has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. Recognized neighborhoods within West Houston include Memorial, the Energy Corridor and Westchase, as well as the Memorial–Spring Branch and Katy areas that are known for their superior schools and high quality of life.
— Briargrove Park
Briargrove Park is a family-oriented neighborhood conveniently located in the heart of near west Houston within minutes of the acclaimed Galleria retail and business center. Situated between beautiful Buffalo Bayou to the north, Westheimer to the south, by the Sam Houston Parkway to the west and Gessner Road to the east, this beautiful community of approximately 1,480 executive homes offers all the amenities afforded newer, master planned suburban communities with the added convenience of in-town living.
— Memorial/Spring Branch
The Memorial area is an upscale area west of downtown Houston and northwest of Uptown Houston. It is bounded on the south by Buffalo Bayou, on the east by I-610, on the west by Texas State Highway 6, and extends just north of the I-10 to Westview. Within Memorial are the cities of Bunker Hill Village, Hedwig Village, Spring Valley Village, Hilshire Village, Piney Point Village and Hunters Creek Village, all which operate autonomously of Houston and have joint fire and police coverage. The northeast area near I-10 and Texas State Highway Beltway 8 of Memorial City is home to Memorial City Mall, the newer, more upscale Town & Country Village lifestyle center and the mega-development mixed-use project known as CityCentre.
— Royal Oaks
Royal Oaks is located east of Beltway 8, west of Gessner Road and near I-10 and is comprised of approximately 434 home sites. The Royal Oaks Country Club is a gated subdivision of Royal Oaks that is filled with beautiful, luxury homes. Home prices range from the $300s to more than $1 million.
— Spring Branch
The area is largely deed-restricted, with single-family residences and some multifamily facilities. Older homes built in the 1950s and 1960s are on family-friendly streets. Spring Branch subdivisions include Spring Branch Oaks, Timber Creek, Holley Terrace and Afton Village. The location provides easy access to US 290, Loop 610 and the Sam Houston Parkway. Spring Branch ISD services the educational needs of the community
The area is known as the home neighborhood of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush. Tanglewood is bordered by Sage, Chimney Rock, Woodway and San Felipe streets and only one mile from the Galleria shopping and business district. There are 1,519 single-family residences in 11 recognized subdivisions, and the average assessed tax value of homes in these neighborhoods varies from around $950,000 to $6.9 million.
— Walnut Bend
Walnut Bend is a thriving family-oriented subdivision conveniently located off Beltway 8 between Westheimer and Buffalo Bayou. Residents enjoy community facilities including a recreation center, three pools, tennis courts, playground and volleyball areas as well as a community park. Neighborhood amenities include close proximity to many restaurants, the Town & Country Shopping Center and convenient freeway access to other Houston neighborhoods. (www.walnutbend.org)
— West Memorial
Neighborhoods farther west on Memorial Drive past Wilcrest Drive include Nottingham, with home prices around $250,000 and newer subdivisions built in the last 20 years. These include Memorial Thicket, Fleetwood and Barker’s Landing near the east side of Texas 6. Among the home styles include New Orleans Colonial, Cape Cod, traditional and contemporary. Far west of Texas 6 is Weston Lakes, a private master planned community featuring custom homes rivaling those of River Oaks.
WEST OF HOUSTON
With many affordable housing options, including master-planned communities with amenities, access to high-performance schools and retail development, the area west of Houston is attractive to growing families who are looking for safe and family-oriented communities.
— Cinco Ranch
Cinco Ranch, part of Newland Communities, is 32 miles from downtown Houston in Katy, Texas. It’s a 7,600-acre master-planned community where home buyers can find the broadest array of new homes by leading builders at prices from the $170,000s to more than $1 million. Cinco Ranch offers a range of traditional single-family homes in various price ranges, along with exclusive custom and estate homes, low-maintenance lifestyle homes and neighborhoods for people 55 and over. Part of the acclaimed Katy ISD, Cinco Ranch is already home to 11 Katy ISD schools. (www.cincoranch.com)
Firethorne is located in the Katy/Fulshear area of northern Fort Bend County, one mile south of the Katy Freeway (I-10 West) on F.M. 1463. The master-planned community consisting of 1,400 acres is being expertly planned for approximately 3,600 single-family homes upon completion. The master plan design also includes commercial reserves along F.M. 1463, along with open areas, green space, lakes and parks. New homes will be offered in a variety of price ranges, floor plans and designs by a group of the Houston area’s top builders. The community is devoting 150 acres to parks and recreation and will offer residents a full array of recreational amenities, including lakes, parks, playgrounds, sports fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, nature areas, hike and bike trails, indoor exercise facilities and more. Home prices in Firethorne range from the mid $100s to $800s. (www.firethorne.info)
Located in Fort Bend County, Fulshear is a 20-minute drive from Highway 6 and easily accessible from I-10, Highway 59 and the Grand Parkway. One of the popular master-planned communities in the area is the 1,400-acre community of Weston Lakes that features a 24-hour guard-gated entry, an 18-hole championship golf course and country club surrounded by lakes and other amenities.
— Grayson Lakes
Grayson Lakes offers residents more than 30 acres of lakes, tennis courts, a playground and a community pool. Here you’ll have an opportunity to sail, paddle a canoe or rowboat or relax at the area’s recreational facility. The community is just minutes from shopping, dining and entertainment, and children attend the outstanding Katy ISD. (www.graysonlakes.com)
The community of Katy is located on I-10 and U.S. Highway 90 at the intersection of Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties. Housing in Katy ranges from apartments and condominiums to large estate homes with acreage to enjoy and maintain horses. There are many subdivisions to select from with amenities including tennis courts, swimming pools and access to local shopping. The community is served by the highly-regarded Katy ISD. (www.katytexas.com)
— Lakes of Bella Terra
Located minutes from the Westpark Tollway and 30 minutes from downtown Houston, Lakes of Bella Terra is a brand new resort-style community by Houston’s 2007 “Developer of the Year.” The community features acres of lakes and a recently opened recreation center with a Junior Olympic pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, water-playground, lighted tennis courts and more. Lakes of Bella Terra’s youngest residents are served by the Lamar Consolidated ISD and Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy. A wide variety of single-family homes, including custom waterfront homes in a gated enclave, are now selling. In addition, 10 decorated models are now open. (www.lakesofbellaterra.com)
— Lakes on Eldridge
Lakes on Eldridge, located in west Houston just minutes north of Houston’s Energy Corridor, is one of the area’s finest custom home addresses. Home designs by award-winning custom builders complement the serene lakes and beautifully landscaped grounds. Amenities enjoyed by residents include a 25-meter pool, a nicely appointed clubhouse, lighted tennis courts, volleyball court, jogging paths and gated access. Nearby residents will find area schools, hospitals and major shopping centers. (www.lakesoneldridge.com)
— Seven Meadows
Seven Meadows is a 1,050-acre Newland development in Katy, west of Houston. Seven Meadows is designed around the Meadowbrook Farms Golf Course and an 18-hole Greg Norman signature golf course. Residents have access to a six-acre community recreation center as well as parks and greenbelts and are served by the Katy ISD. (www.sevenmeadows.com)
— Silver Ranch
Silver Ranch is a new master-planned community located in the recognized Katy ISD. Among the quality builders in the community include Brighton Homes, Meritage Homes and J Patrick Homes. Amenities include a recreation center with a six-lane pool, art splash pad, a tennis court, playgrounds and a park.
— Weston Lakes
Located in Fulshear, Weston Lakes is a 1,400-acre planned community with estate-sized lakefront, golf course, a 14,000 square-foot country club, picnic facilities and fishing pier. There are more than 11.5 miles of shoreline on two lakes with estate home sites up to 2 acres. The community is located south of I-10 West outside Texas 6 and is served by the exemplary-rated Katy ISD. (www.wlakes.com)
— Windsor Park Lakes
With convenient access to I-10 and the Grand Parkway, Windsor Park Lakes is minutes from many parts of the Houston area, including the Galleria, the Energy Corridor and downtown. Windsor Park Lakes offers new Mediterranean-style homes on home sites that extend to the lake’s edge. Private piers allow residents to fish and launch boats, and for the kids, there are beaches and play areas. Residents can also enjoy 7,800 acres of George Bush Park, located adjacent to the community. (www.wplakes.com)
— WoodCreek Reserve
WoodCreek Reserve is one of Katy’s new master-planned communities, comprised of 500 acres in Katy. It offers residents an outstanding residential amenity package, exceptional Katy ISD schools and a convenient location. Every home site in WoodCreek Reserve is larger than average to give residents more space to call their own. With plenty of green space to enjoy the outdoors, more than one-third of WoodCreek Reserve is dedicated to a nature reserve, where families can enjoy a wide variety of recreation.
This area has experienced high growth due to its proximity to downtown and employment centers. The southwest region lies southwest of Loop 610 and along U.S. 59 South and encompasses Fort Bend County and parts of Harris County. Affordability is another factor, with home prices ranging from the $80s to the $280s.
This area represents a microcosm of the Houston area with its diverse population of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latin Americans, Middle Easterners and Caribbean populations. According to the U.S. Census, Alief’s population experienced a 45 percent increase in this decade. Here you’ll find a Chinatown and a Little Saigon along with many successful businesses. Alief ISD is the most ethnically diverse of school districts of comparable size in Texas. Virtually every culture of the modern world is represented in its 45,000 student enrollment; more than 60 languages and dialects are spoken. Guest speakers, culture clubs and ethnic fairs help promote multicultural appreciation.
— First Colony
A master-planned community in southwest Houston, First Colony is a unique blend of residential neighborhoods and businesses with protective architectural guidelines and meticulously maintained streets, lakes, parks and greenbelts. Residents enjoy tree lined streets, miles of walking paths, lush parks and lakes. Housing options include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and apartments. With convenient access to the U.S. 59, First Colony is less than 20 miles from downtown Houston. (www.firstcolony.org)
— Fondren Southwest
Originally part of oil tycoon Walter William Fondren’s ranch, Fondren Southwest is a mixture of multi-family dwellings and residential subdivisions, with homes selling for between $110,000 and $200,000. Residents have access to nearby activities including Westwood Mall and several golf courses. The close proximity to downtown makes Fondren Southwest an appealing choice for those working in the city.
— Fort Bend County
Fort Bend County is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and includes the incorporated townships of Arcola, Meadows, Missouri City, Stafford, Sugar Land, Richmond and Rosenberg. According to Fort Bend County, the region is home to more master planned communities than any other county in Texas.
Greatwood was developed in Fort Bend County by American General Land Development and was later sold to Newland Communities. This 2,050-acre planned community is built around 32 acres of lakes and offers its residents a trail system and nature parks throughout the community, 18-holes of golf, tennis courts and swimming pools. It’s located 28 miles southwest of downtown Houston at the intersection of U.S. 59 and the Grand Parkway.
Single-family home sales range from nearly $100,000 in Shenandoah to $337,000 in Williams Court, north of Bellaire. The Westpark Tollway, a major new thoroughfare, is now open to service Gulton residents, and METRORail also plans to have stops in the area. In addition to Houston ISD, there are private schools, charter schools and child development centers in the area.
— Lake Olympia
Lake Olympia is being developed in Missouri City, Texas, by Lake Olympia Development Corporation. With nine miles of shoreline featuring custom lakefront homes, this 1,000-acre planned community contains 130 acres of natural lakes. The family-oriented community offers its residents a fully stocked lake for fishing and boating, lighted tennis courts, a marina and swim club and numerous nature reserves and greenbelts.
In 1955, George Meyer created the Meyerland subdivision with 2,700 lots and an 80-acre reserve for a shopping center. The area is defined by its strong Jewish roots, and today there are three synagogues and the Jewish Community Center for residents. There is a mix of homes, including original 1950s bungalows as well as new construction for home owners who are attracted to the area’s location and convenience. Home prices range from $165,000 to nearly $700,000.
— Missouri City
Incorporated in 1956, Missouri City is a growing community of 43,000 residents. Subdivisions include Quail Valley, Lake Olympia, Brightwater and Hunter’s Glen A new planned community is being developed in Missouri City that has the potential to double the size of the community. Approximately 80 percent of the city lies in Ft. Bend County and 10 percent lies in Harris County, with Fort Bend ISD serving the community. Community amenities include two golf courses along with many city and county parks. New home construction is available throughout subdivisions in Missouri City with home prices ranging from $50,000 to $250,000.
— New Territory
Located within easy access of U.S. 59, State Highway 6, Highway 90A and the Sam Houston Parkway, New Territory is located on 3,200 acres with 4,601 homes and 17,000 residents. Residents enjoy 450 acres of parks, lakes, greenbelts and recreation centers along with proximity to nearby schools, churches and retail shopping. (www.newterritory.org)
— Pecan Grove Plantation
Pecan Grove Plantation is a 1,400-acre country club community built around a 27-hole golf course set in the natural beauty of huge oak and pecan trees. There are approximately 1,500 homes in the community, from patio homes to those with golf course views. Recreational amenities include neighborhood parks, playing fields, jogging paths, swimming pools, tennis courts and a fitness center. Schools, retail outlets and other services are nearby. (www.pgp.org)
Richmond, the county seat of Fort Bend County, is on the Brazos River 15 miles southwest of Houston. With a population of more than 14,000, the community is home to numerous master planned developments, including the Lakes of Bella Terra, Weston Lakes, Sienna Plantation and Aliana. (www.roserichchamber.org)
RiverPark West is a master planned community located in the growing southwest Houston suburb of Richmond, Texas. New homes range from the $190s to the $300s and are available from Meritage Homes and Perry Homes. Residents and new home buyers enjoy easy access to nearby shopping, dining, medical, professional and business centers. Memorial Hermann-Sugar Land Hospital, the University of Houston/Sugar Land and First Colony Mall are just minutes away.
Riverstone is a 3,700-acre, waterside community that is master-planned for 6,000 homes and will include more than 250 acres of lakes and more than 500 acres devoted to open space, parklands and recreational facilities. Single family home and luxury townhomes are offered in the community.
— Rodeo Palms
This is a new, 600-acre home community, located in Manvel about 20 miles south of downtown Houston along Texas 288 south. The community features four award-winning home builders, including Perry Homes, Legend Homes, Pioneer and Meritage Homes. Home buyers can select lake front views and amenities include a club house and a recreation center as well as easy access to Pearland’s shopping, dining and entertainment venues.
In the late 19th century, Rosenberg was a bustling transportation hub connecting goods from the Port of Galveston to other parts of Texas. Today, the city offers many recreational amusements and attractions, including the Fort Bend County Fair, a picturesque and historical old town with numerous landmark buildings, antique shops and close proximity to the Brazos Bend State Park, George Ranch Historical Park and the George Observatory. (www.ci.rosenberg.tx.us)
Sharpstown residents represent a wide range of lifestyles and many cultural and ethnic influences. Within the community are more than 7,000 brick homes along with a mix of apartments, condos, townhomes and duplexes. With Houston freeways nearby, residents are able to easily commute to different employment centers. With its winding streets, large yards and quiet neighborhoods, Sharpstown remains an affordable area with homes selling from $110,000 to more than $250,000.
— Sienna Plantation
In 2008, Sienna Plantation was chosen as one of the best places to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine. The 7,000-acre master-planned community provides its residents with 2,000 acres of open space dedicated to parkland, recreation and nature areas, civic and community facilities and three golf courses. Homes by the nation’s leading builders are priced from $100,000 to the millions and can be found in distinctive neighborhoods with a wide choice of housing styles. (www.siennaplantation.com)
There are eight major subdivisions in Stafford, including Crestmont, Dove Country, Kingsway and South Meadows that offer a variety of housing options ranging from $70,000 to more than $1 million. New housing as well as an ample supply of pre-owned homes is available. In addition to affordable housing, Stafford is home to technology firms and a high standard of living is common to all residents of the county. (www.cityofstafford.com)
— Sugar Land
Sugar Land is located in eastern Fort Bend County, approximately 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston. Master planned communities and welcoming neighborhoods enhance home values and create a sense of belonging. The community offers outstanding schools, libraries, civic organizations and other resources that make Sugar Land a great place to work, live and raise a family. The city celebrates its 50th anniversary of incorporation in 2009 with many events planned throughout the year. The city’s name reflects its relationship with Imperial Sugar, a sugar refinery that still operates in the old business district. (www.sugarlandtx.gov)
Sugar Land’s Telfair is ranked by RCLCO, a leading independent real estate advisory firm, as the nation’s sixth top-selling U.S. master planned community for new-home sales for the second year in a row. Developed by Newland Communities, Telfair is comprised of 2,018 acres and is located at U.S. 59 and University Blvd. Telfair amenities include a swim center with a pool house, many neighborhood parks and squares highlighted by fountains, artwork and playgrounds. All recreation centers, parks and squares are Wi-Fi accessible. (www.telfair.com)
Proximity to the Texas Medical Center, downtown and Reliant Park make this a desirable location for residents. Within the area are 5,100 homes that range in price from $110,000 to $210,000. Houston ISD schools serve the area as well as private and parochial schools. Construction continues on the Brays Bayou Watershed Project, a $400 million plus collaboration between Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce flooding along the bayou.
SOUTH OF HOUSTON
The area south of Houston has experienced rapid growth, including Clear Lake, which is bordered on the west by I-45 and on the east by Galveston Bay, and known as the “Boating Capital of Texas.” New housing developments on Galveston Bay also attract many newcomers who love living near the water.
Located in Brazoria County off of Highway 6, Alvin is home to more than 22,000 residents. Historically a rice-growing area, Alvin is known for its friendly and small-town feel. Residents are able to commute to employment centers in Houston as well as Galveston, the Johnson Space Center and petrochemical plants along the Gulf of Mexico. Among the local attractions are Bayou Wildlife Park, Nolan Ryan Center, Gulf Coast Speedway and Alvin Opry. (www.alvintexas.org)
Galveston is a barrier island that is 32 miles long and 2.5 miles wide located 40 minutes south west of Houston. The island has had its share of natural disasters, but still maintains loyal residents and attracts newcomers each year. For many, it’s the attraction of looking out on the water, watching sunsets and living amid attractions such as the historic Galveston Strand with its interesting shopping, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn, for starters. Housing options include beachfront villas, neighborhood homes, high-rises and Victorian mansions. There are new projects under way and many are being planned for those seeking a home on Galveston Island. (www.galveston.com)
— Lakes of Highland Glen
Exceptional in concept, this intimate new neighborhood called Lakes of Highland Glen, redefines the notion of what a well-planned community should be. Conveniently located just off the Sam Houston Parkway, lakeside living is not only affordable, but accessible. The community is served by the highly accredited Pearland ISD with homes from some of Houston’s most respected builders, including Beazer, Newmark Homes, Coventry Homes and Plantation Homes. (www.lakesofhighlandglen.com)
Strategically located 10 miles from Hobby Airport in Brazoria County and southern Harris County, Pearland residents enjoy casual, country living with proximity to the big city. Master planned communities in the area include Shadow Creek Ranch and the newly completed Rodeo Palms. Future growth is slated for the Manvel/Iowa Colony area with planned freeway construction that will connect the Grand Parkway to U.S. 59 and Highway 288. (www.ci.pearland.tx.us)
— Sedona Lakes
Located just 15 minutes from downtown Houston in Brazoria County, and just south of the largest medical center in the world, Sedona Lakes’ residents morning commute can be as relaxing as the community itself. Amenities include large lots that back up to Mustang Bayou, Internal Lakes, preserved wetlands, and the American Canal; waterfall entry; resort style pool, community center; hiking trails; pocket parks and a playground. (www.sedona-lakes.com)
— Seven Oaks Ranch
Seven Oaks Ranch is a proposed 2100 + acre master planned community of Gromax Development, located in Manvel, Iowa Colony and Alvin. Situated south of Highway 6 and east of Highway 288, Seven Oaks Ranch will offer a variety of mixed residential, town center and commercial uses with substantial open space. The development plan calls for the preservation of natural corridors along Chocolate Bayou and West Fork of Chocolate Bayou. Plans include a full range of lot sizes available from typical subdivision lots up to 2-acre estate lots suitable for equestrian uses. All home styles will be featured, including patio homes, garden homes and townhome sections, with prices ranging from $170s to $1 million. Three Alvin ISD school sites are planned and several church and day care sites are available for development.
Silverlake is an 1,800-acre mixed-use, master planned community in Brazoria County that includes more than 4,500 completed homes ranging in price from the $150s to just under $1 million. Silverlake offers its residents top-rated amenities including an 18-hole daily fee golf course and clubhouse and a large 29-acre lake, which is surrounded by parkland, trails, picnic and rest areas. The community also offers residents many neighborhood recreational centers and playgrounds, sports fields and pools, as well as a large, central recreational complex. This complex covers eight acres and boasts four tennis courts, walking trails, sand volleyball courts, a community center and an aquatic center complete with a junior Olympic-size pool, a large zero-depth wading pool and a water playground.
BAY AREA HOUSTON
More than 200,000 residents live in 11 separate municipalities and unincorporated areas in Bay Area Houston, which is half way between Houston and Galveston. This area is the third largest boating center in the U.S. and the location of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Among the lifestyle attractions are access to waterfront properties and recreational facilities as well as communities that support varied industries such as aerospace, high-tech, petrochemical, commercial fishing and marine/boating industries. In fact, aerospace-related companies employ about 27 percent of the area’s residents. Boating, recreation and tourism industries employ an additional 25 percent.
— Clear Lake Area Communities
The Clear Lake area includes both Harris and Galveston counties and parts of the cities of Houston and Pasadena. There are nine distinct communities in the area, which are in the same geographical area as the top-rated Clear Creek ISD.
- Clear Lake City has an estimated population of 63,500 and is home to NASA/Johnson Space Center and a master-planned residential area. Residents maintain a strong sense of local community and are proud to be Clear Lake residents. The Clear Lake City Community Association services the Clear Lake City area.
- Clear Lake Shores is an island community of about 1,400 citizens, located on the southeastern side of Clear Lake at the entrance to Jarboe Bayou. Living on Clear Lake Shores offers peaceful small town attitudes amid big city conveniences. It is home to four major marinas, one of which has 1,300 boat slips and is the largest privately owned marina in the country. Eco-tourists look forward to the completion of the city’s Jarboe Bayou Project that will create a major water bird sanctuary and habitat for water-related animals and small piers for fishing and pathways for strolling and bird watching.
- El Lago was previously home to Jean Lafitte’s pirates and is located on the west bank of Taylor Lake up to the northern shore of Clear Lake. This residential community of about 3,400 citizens experienced a major growth spurt when NASA arrived in 1961 and is proud to be the home of several astronauts.
- Kemah is a seaside community and home to about 1,525 residents and unique area shops, galleries and restaurants in a “Waterfront District.” Shrimpers sail into Galveston Bay past the Kemah Boardwalk, a dynamic collection of themed restaurants, retail shops, water gardens and amusements for the whole family. Stroll the boardwalk, ride the carousel, soar on the Ferris wheel or board the train for a ride through the complex. While heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Kemah Boardwalk has been restored.
- League City is located on the south shore of Clear Lake and is the largest and fastest growing city in the area with a population of about 55,000. It is dedicated to new development and growth with an eye on preserving the past. Enjoy great shopping in “Historic League City.”
- Nassau Bay is directly across from the Johnson Space Center and home to 4,500 residents, several hotels and motels as well as the state-of-the-art CHRISTUS-St. John Hospital. Nassau Bay hosts the popular “Partners in Space” each year in March.
- With Galveston Bay and Clear Lake waterfront, Seabrook is a zoned community of nearly 11,500 that is experiencing a controlled boom in residential and business growth. Stroll among antique and specialty shops in a quaint shopping district called “Old Seabrook.”
- Taylor Lake Village is a quiet bedroom community with a population of approximately 4,200 residents that provides great proximity to water activities. It’s located across Taylor Lake from sister city El Lago and both share a police department as well as the desire to maintain their image as primarily a residential community for the Bay Area.
- Webster has a population of 10,058 and is known as the gateway to the NASA/Bay Area. Residents and tourists enjoy the variety of quaint retail businesses, family recreation opportunities and dozens of popular restaurants.
— Deer Park
Deer Park with a population of 30,628, offers affordably priced, single-family homes. Taxes are lower than in other areas due to industry’s support of the school systems. While you won’t find that many apartments, duplexes, townhouses or condominiums, you will find quality schools and a small-town atmosphere that characterizes this community. Other amenities include golf courses, recreation centers, parks, sports fields and swimming pools. (www.ci.deer-park.tx.us)
Edgebrook offers several single-family home subdivisions on both sides of Edgebrook Boulevard, and the city of South Houston forms the northern boundary. South Shaver sets the eastern and southern boundaries with the Gulf Freeway on the western side. The oldest subdivisions in the area were developed in the 50s and include Freeway Manor, Gulfway Terrace, Sun Valley and Arlington. Large apartment complexes are found along I-45 South and Edgebrook Boulevard.
Friendswood encompasses parts of two counties – Northern Galveston and southern Harris County, divided by the popular Clear Creek. Friendswood encompasses 21 square miles and is over 70 percent developed. Residents appreciate being within 30 minutes of Houston’s cultural, educational and recreational events, as well as its access to Galveston and other Bay Area communities. Education is an important part of every successful community. Friendswood lies within Clear Creek ISD and Friendswood ISD, which are both rated among the best in Texas. There are several community colleges, as well as quality four-year universities and upper-level graduate schools in close proximity. (www.ci.friendswood.tx.us)
— La Marque
With a population of 14,000, La Marque offers many quality-of-life and vacation activities. Home styles include ultra-modern, two-story brick showpieces; sprawling ranch-style residences on large lots; and quaint, country-style homes. There are about 5,000 housing units in the area with many resale housing opportunities. (www.ci.la-marque.tx.us)
— La Porte/Bayshore
The cities of La Porte, Morgan’s Point and Shoreacres comprise the La Porte-Bayshore area. The San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas are located in La Porte; Morgan’s Point was the home of Emily Morgan, known as the famed “Yellow Rose of Texas;” and the state’s oldest yacht club, Houston Yacht Club, is located in Shoreacres. Residents can also enjoy golfing, boating, fishing and a wave pool at Little Cedar Bayou Park. Serving the educational needs of the community is LaPorte ISD, San Jacinto College and the University of Houston. The numerous industrial facilities in the Bayport Industrial Complex and along the Houston Ship Channel provide many jobs for area residents. (www.laportechamber.org)
South of the Houston Ship Channel is Pasadena, about 18 miles from downtown Houston. With a population of 146,000, Pasadena provides amenities, such as parks, recreational facilities, a public school system with a recognized rating, two colleges, a university, numerous cultural attractions and pleasant suburban residential areas with a variety of homes in the area – from properties built in the 70s to brand new construction.
— Texas City
Texas City, located in Galveston County, was named an “All American City” in 1997 by the National Civic League. It’s also the hub for world energy supplies and site of a huge petrochemical complex. The Port of Texas City is the eighth largest port of 153 ports in the U.S. and the third largest in Texas with waterborne tonnage exceeding 78 million net tons. The “City by the Bay” is home to the College of the Mainland and has a population of more than 40,000. Amenities include 37 parks, athletic fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, museums and golf courses. (www.texas-city-tx.org)
EAST OF HOUSTON
This area is home to the Port of Houston and several petrochemical complexes, the Port of Houston is a 125-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located a few hours’ sailing time from the Gulf of Mexico. It is the busiest port in the United States in terms of foreign tonnage, second-busiest in the United States in terms of overall tonnage, and 10th-busiest in the world.
Baytown is located on the northern shore of Galveston Bay between the San Jacinto River on the west and the Trinity River on the east and situated 30 miles east of downtown Houston. The community has many large employers, including ExxonMobil Baytown Refinery, Exxon Chemical, Chevron Phillips, Bayer, Amoco and others. Area amenities include the Houston Raceway Park, Evergreen Point Golf Course, San Jacinto Mall and a variety of shopping centers. Approximately 95 percent of Baytown’s more than 70,000 residents live in single-family dwellings. (www.baytown.org)
The communities of Crosby and Huffman are situated on the eastern side of Lake Houston and a mere 35 minutes away from Houston. The rural area is comprised of piney forest and open grassland and provides a country lifestyle within close access to the city.
Residents can enjoy a relaxed, hometown atmosphere with many sports and recreational activities, yet still be close enough to metropolitan attractions, venues and health-care facilities. (www.crosbyhuffmancc.org)
— North Channel Area
Individual communities within the North Channel area are located in Harris County and include all of the unincorporated areas of Sheldon, Channelview, North Shore and part of Humble. Additional cities served with the North Channel serve the cities of Galena Park and Jacinto City, and a small portion of the city of Houston. All of these areas represent a population of more than 200,000. Businesses in the area range from manufacturing firms, chemical processing and refining entities, specialty valve manufacturers, major health care facilities, small business concerns and major retail operations that provide plentiful employment opportunities. Families moving into the area find housing in every price range, and quality schools staffed by competent, caring professional educators. Area entertainment includes excellent dining, a 24-screen multiplex cinema, two 18-hole golf courses, parks and water sports. (www.northchannelarea.com)