If you are looking to relocate to Houston, you are going to want to know what neighborhoods are best suited for you. Think about what you are looking for in a Houston neighborhood or suburb and use this list to clarify the criteria that are most important to you.
Consult the Experts – To help you narrow down the best neighborhoods in Houston, you will want to talk to two experts—a mortgage broker and a real estate agent. The mortgage broker will determine what area is feasible given your budget and lifestyle. The real estate agent will locate Houston suburbs (e.g., The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Katy, Pearland, League City, Kingwood, Cypress, Fulshear) and neighborhoods that suit you and fit your financial situation. Both should base their advice on your goals.
To assist them, you should be able to answer a few key questions:
What kind of residence do you want? Single detached? Duplex or townhouse? Apartment?
Who do you want your neighbors to be? Singles? Families? Retirees?
What are priorities for your neighborhood? Stellar schools? Pleasant parks? Community safety?
The Transportation Situation – Even if you don’t plan on using public transportation to commute to work, it’s usually beneficial to live in a Houston neighborhood served by public transit. Consider what is available nearby—the METRO bus and train system, bike paths/lanes, park-and-ride lots.
Schools Rule – If you have kids, you are going to be interested in the quality of schooling and child care in the area. Some considerations: Do you need a preschool? Afterschool programs? Year-round child care? Are your children older and need high school or post-secondary education options? Your answers will determine the best Houston suburbs or neighborhoods for you and your family.
Don’t Forget the Fun Stuff - Recreation and amenities are important in determining the best neighborhoods in Houston for meeting your needs. You might be single and interested in dining and nightlife. You might have kids and need access to libraries, community pools, and other activities.
Think seasonally, too. Do you enjoy summer activities like cycling, swimming, hiking, or golfing? Or are winter activities more to your liking (skiing, ice skating, sledding)? You probably need a good mix of indoor and outdoor options as well. Are there museums, theaters, and community centers as well as parks, beaches, gardens, etc.? Also look for local festivals, concerts, and sporting events you can enjoy.
Your neighborhood has to match your lifestyle needs. Don’t neglect this critical factor.