Houston City Guide
So you’re looking to find a dig in the biggest city in Texas? You have come to the right place— knowing the lay of the land is important when looking to rent or buy in one of Texas’ most expensive cities in terms of realty. Houston is an excellent place to settle down and has plenty of choices when it comes to employment— only New York City has more Fortune 500 company headquarters! This global city has a high concentration of workers in health care and the manufacturing of oilfield equipment, and the city’s port has more international exports than any other U.S. port city. Not only is one of the world’s most influential medical centers situated close to the heart of downtown, but Houston is also home to over 5,000 energy related firms!
Bayou City Realty
Although the city of Houston has a median list price greater than that of Texas, there are plenty of extremely affordable homes to be found around the city, if you take the time to research. Houston’s median list price of $196,900 falls between two extremes— while there are a few areas where houses are upwards of $700,000, there are also homes to be found for as low as $16,800. A general note on Houston realty— neighborhoods and homes are classified as being either inside or outside of Interstate 610, the foremost road that encompasses the city, aka ‘the Loop’. The second and larger loop to circumvent Houston is Beltway 8, or simply ‘the Beltway’.
Downtown: As with any metropolitan’s downtown, Houston’s is pricy when it comes to buying and renting— with the median rent upwards of $1,700 and houses going for over $200,000— it’s expensive to live in the nation’s seventh largest business district. However, if you’re concerned about proximity to business areas and performing arts centers like the Verizon Wireless Theater, then downtown is the place for you. In recent years nightlife has been on the rise. The Main Street Corridor, which opened in 2004, has a growing nightlife scene that has been fed by the recently established light rail service.
Southside: Situated directly south of downtown within the Loop, the neighborhoods of Hiram Clarke, the Third Ward, South Park, Sunnyside and Kennedy Heights are collectively known as ‘the Southside’. Notable music artists Kenny Rogers and Scarface hail from the Southside. Both renters and buyers looking to live within the Loop will be pleased to hear that the median list prices are lower than Houston’s average.
The Heights: One of the pricier neighborhoods within the Loop, the Heights is a mere four miles north of the downtown area, yet it has that small town feel with its tree canopied streets and homes from the early twentieth century. The Heights includes smaller areas like Norhill, Woodland Heights, and Houston Heights. Houston Heights is acclaimed by National Geographic to be ‘home to the highest concentration of professional artists’ in the state of Texas!
Midtown: Immediately southwest of Downtown, Little Saigon offers newly built apartments and condominiums that are slightly less expensive than those in the heart of the city. Fill your belly with the delicious Vietnamese cuisine at the various bánh mí restaurants that can be found throughout midtown. Catch the METRORail Red line to easily commute to work downtown.
Texas Medical Center: Located southwest of Midtown within the Loop, the Texas Medical Center is an area exceeding a thousand acres, where 50 non-for-profit medical related institutions can be found. The Texas Medical Center (or TMC) is in charge of all housing in this neighborhood. TMC runs the Laurence H. Favrot Tower Apartments, limiting housing to medical professionals, students and staff of TMC— oil tycoons and bankers will have to look elsewhere.
East Houston: One of the more affordable neighborhoods of the city, East Houston has a median list price of $60,000, and rent just under $1,000! Looking to bring out your inner artist? No worries— the Museum District can be found nearby. Peruse the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the Rice University Art Gallery, and the Houston Zoo all in one day!
River Oaks: If you’re looking to be neighbors with oil barons and philanthropists, this is the spot for you! Real estate values for homes in this area can fall anywhere between $1 million to $20 million. And what’s an affluent neighborhood without a swanky golf course? River Oaks Country Club can be found in the hood; this golf course was designed by the famous architect Donald Ross.
Transportation: Most Houstonians travel to work via automobile- hence the two highways that circumvent the city. Don’t stress if you are without a vehicle— the METRO provides the city with buses, light rail, and lift vans. Not all of the suburbs are connected to the city yet, but METRO is constantly moving forward in their efforts to help residents get from Point A to Point B.
Biking has become a major movement in H-Town. There are over 160 miles of dedicated bike paths in the city, the largest number in Texas! Additionally, a bike sharing system called Houston B-Cycle has been adopted, with 11 stations downtown and seven stations outside the metropolitan area!
Houston can be overwhelming— it is, after all, the fourth largest city in the nation. Now that you have a sense of the Capital of the Sunbelt, get out on the streets and find that perfect home or rental!