Moving to Houston

Feb 27th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 11
Moving to Houston

I know this is more of a travel site, but I am in desperate need of recommendations...we are moving to Houston and know nothing about the city. Main concerns are schools (we have very small children, but want to be in a great public school district, if possible) and commute to downtown (both my husband and I will be working in downtown). If anyone can recommend some nice areas to live that meet these concerns, I would appreciate. We hope to spend approx $400-500k on a house. Thank you.
f1mas46 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 268
First, go to to do some research. It is a great tool. When my wife and I were looking for a new house, we would hit it every day. Note, your pricing parameters will get you a nice house here.

Second, how long a commute do you want? Living near downtown and in a good school district are mutually exclusive here. The Texas Department of Education grades schools and school districts each year. That might help you with the quality of school question. To me, the suburban school districts are much better than HISD. However, property taxe are higher there and they are not near downtown. The closest I can think of is Kingwood, which is about a 25 minute commute to downtown. The people I know who live there praise the quality of the schools and the teachers. $400-$500K houses there are very nice. Other areas that have good schools include The Woodlands, Clear Lake City, Jersey Village and Katy. But they are much longer commutes.

If you want a shorter commute, I suggest you consider living nearer to town (like in the Heights) and sending your kids to private schools. That solution is painful to me and my wife, since we are both products of public schools. However, we don't have kids, so it isn't an issue for us. But, everyone I know who has sent their kids to an HISD school pulled them out within a year and sent them to private school (unless they lived near River Oaks Elementary or West University Elementary).

Good luck with your move.
LDLee is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
West University and Bellaire are possible choices. And with your budget, you can get something pretty nice, either some recently built houses, or you can buy an old house, tear it down and build you own. Small lots, but only about 15 minutes from downtown.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 01:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 11
Thank you both for your replies. It is very similar to where we live now (Atlanta) and in order to be in a good school district, we drive 45-60 minutes each way to downtown. I will research all these areas.
f1mas46 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2006, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 268
Unless a new taxing mechansim is approved by the legislature, you need to consider property taxes when determining how much house you can afford. Property taxes run between 3% and 4% of property values, depending on the county and the school district. If you are from a state with high property taxes and low or no income taxes, this will not shock you. Many people from out of state are surprised to find their mortgage payment is nearly 50% to 75% higher than they expected because of the property tax escrow. Since we don't have an income tax, the higher house payment is offset by the higher take home pay.

LDLee is offline  
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