Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest in Texas, is a city of endless possibilities. From diverse neighborhoods to cultural richness, Houston has something for everyone. However, with such a wide array of options, choosing the perfect place to call home can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various factors that should influence your decision when looking for your ideal neighborhood in Houston.
Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly suburb, a vibrant urban center, or a serene retreat, this blog post will help you navigate the diverse landscapes of Houston. We’ll delve into factors such as the cost of living, safety, education, amenities, commute, and cultural diversity. Let’s embark on this journey to discover the best part of Houston to live in. Let us help you avoid all the hustle and handle all the apartment hunting for you, it’s easy, fill in our short form and we’ll get started.
Cost of Living
The cost of living is a paramount consideration when choosing where to live. While Houston is generally more affordable than many major U.S. cities, there are still significant variations in living expenses among its neighborhoods. Let’s take a closer look at some of the cost factors.
- River Oaks: Known for its elegance, River Oaks boasts a median home value of $1.9 million and a median rent of $2,100.
- West University Place: This upscale area has a median home value of $1.2 million and a median rent of $1,800.
- Memorial: With a median home value of $1.1 million and a median rent of $1,700, Memorial is another high-end choice.
- Greater Greenspoint: Offering a median home value of $86,000 and a median rent of $800, this neighborhood provides budget-friendly options.
- East Little York: With a median home value of $88,000 and a median rent of $800, East Little York is another affordable choice.
- Northside Village: This area has a median home value of $95,000 and a median rent of $900, making it a budget-conscious option.
Remember that the cost of living encompasses more than just housing expenses. Be sure to consider other factors like utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment when evaluating your budget.
Safety and Crime
Feeling safe in your neighborhood is paramount for a fulfilling life. Houston, like any major city, has varying crime rates throughout its districts. To ensure your peace of mind, it’s essential to assess the safety of your potential neighborhood.
- Clear Lake: With a crime rate 57% lower than the Houston average and 53% lower than the national average, Clear Lake offers a secure environment.
- Great Uptown: This neighborhood has a crime rate 40% lower than the Houston average and 37% lower than the national average.
- Westchase: With a crime rate 38% lower than the Houston average and 35% lower than the national average, Westchase provides a safe living environment.
Least Safe Neighborhoods
- Greater Fifth Ward: Unfortunately, this neighborhood has a crime rate 216% higher than the Houston average and 223% higher than the national average.
- Sunnyside: Sunnyside has a crime rate 211% higher than the Houston average and 218% higher than the national average.
- South Park: This neighborhood’s crime rate is 196% higher than the Houston average and 203% higher than the national average.
To make an informed decision, always consult the latest crime statistics and reports for each neighborhood you’re considering.
Schools and Education
For families or those planning to have children, the quality of schools and education in your chosen neighborhood is a significant factor to consider. Houston boasts a diverse array of public, private, charter, magnet, and alternative schools.
Top-Rated Public Schools
- Carnegie Vanguard High School: A magnet school specializing in advanced academics for gifted and talented students, rated 10 out of 10.
- DeBakey High School for Health Professions: A magnet school preparing students for careers in medicine, science, and health, also rated 10 out of 10.
- Tanglewood Middle School: This magnet school offers an International Baccalaureate program for middle years and is rated 10 out of 10.
Low-Rated Public Schools
- Kashmere High School: With a rating of 1 out of 10, Kashmere High School has low test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.
- Wheatley High School: Also rated 1 out of 10, Wheatley High School struggles with low test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.
- Key Middle School: This middle school has a rating of 1 out of 10, with low test scores, student progress, and teacher quality.
When researching schools, consider factors like ratings, reviews, and academic performance to ensure the best education for your child.
Amenities and Things to Do
The availability of amenities and recreational activities can greatly enhance your quality of life. Houston offers a wealth of options for entertainment, culture, dining, and more.
Top Things to Do in Houston
- Space Center Houston: As the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, you can explore the history and future of space exploration, view exhibits, and take a tram tour.
- Houston Museum of Natural Science: This popular museum features exhibits on dinosaurs, fossils, gems, wildlife, and more, along with a planetarium and butterfly center.
- The Galleria: As the largest shopping mall in Texas and one of the world’s largest, it offers a plethora of shopping, dining, ice skating, and lodging options.
Consider your interests and hobbies when evaluating the amenities and activities available in each neighborhood.
Challenges to Be Aware Of
- Traffic: Houston is notorious for its traffic congestion, ranking as the 11th most congested city in the U.S. and the 40th most congested city globally in 2020. The average driver spent 49 hours in traffic per year.
- Pollution: Houston also faces air pollution issues, ranking as the 22nd most polluted city in the U.S. and the 1,028th most polluted city worldwide in 2020. The average annual PM2.5 concentration was 10.4 μg/m³, above the WHO guideline of 10 μg/m³.
- Flooding: Due to its flat terrain, clay soil, and frequent storms, Houston is prone to flooding, experiencing 19 major flood events from 1996 to 2019. This has resulted in billions of dollars in damage and hundreds of deaths.
When planning your activities, be sure to consider factors like weather, events, and attractions in your chosen neighborhood.
Diversity and Culture
Houston prides itself on being one of the most diverse cities in the United States and the world. Its multicultural population contributes to a rich and varied cultural tapestry.
Most Diverse Neighborhoods
- Alief: With a diversity index of 0.81 out of 1, Alief is home to a population of 118,000, featuring a racial composition of 37% Hispanic or Latino, 24% Asian
, 23% Black or African American, and 13% White.
- Sharpstown: Boasting a diversity index of 0.79 out of 1 and a population of 66,000, Sharpstown is characterized by a racial composition of 49% Hispanic or Latino, 21% Asian, 17% Black or African American, and 11% White.
- Gulfton: With a diversity index of 0.77 out of 1 and a population of 52,000, Gulfton showcases a racial composition of 69% Hispanic or Latino, 15% Asian, 9% Black or African American, and 6% White.
Least Diverse Neighborhoods
- Kingwood Area: With a diversity index of 0.32 out of 1 and a population of 82,000, Kingwood Area is predominantly White (76%), with 13% Hispanic or Latino, 6% Black or African American, and 3% Asian.
- Greater Heights: Boasting a diversity index of 0.35 out of 1 and a population of 54,000, Greater Heights features a predominantly White population (56%), with 25% Hispanic or Latino, 11% Black or African American, and 5% Asian.
Houston’s diversity is a source of cultural richness, offering residents the opportunity to embrace various backgrounds, languages, and lifestyles.
Commute and Transportation
Houston’s vast expanse means that your daily commute can vary significantly depending on your choice of neighborhood. Access to public transportation, bike lanes, and walkability can greatly impact your daily routine.
Most Walkable Neighborhoods
- Downtown: With a walk score of 89 out of 100 and a transit score of 86 out of 100, Downtown is the central business district of Houston and offers numerous attractions, restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance. It also boasts a light rail system, a bus network, and a bike share program.
- Midtown: This lively and diverse area boasts a walk score of 86 out of 100 and a transit score of 80 out of 100. It offers a mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment options, along with a light rail system, a bus network, and a bike share program.
- Neartown-Montrose: With a walk score of 85 out of 100 and a transit score of 56 out of 100, this historic and eclectic area offers a variety of cultural, artistic, and culinary offerings. It also has a bus network and a bike share program.
Least Walkable Neighborhoods
- Addicks Park Ten: With a walk score of 16 out of 100 and a transit score of 24 out of 100, this suburban and residential area is predominantly car-dependent, with limited public transportation options and few amenities within walking distance.
- Eldridge-West Oaks: Another suburban and residential area, Eldridge-West Oaks, has a walk score of 20 out of 100 and a transit score of 25 out of 100, making it mostly car-dependent with limited public transportation options and few amenities within walking distance.
- Greater Greenspoint: This urban and industrial area has a walk score of 22 out of 100 and a transit score of 34 out of 100, primarily relying on cars for transportation, with some public transportation options and few amenities within walking distance.
Consider the convenience and accessibility of transportation options when deciding on your new neighborhood.
In conclusion, Houston is a dynamic and diverse city, offering a multitude of choices for residents. Each neighborhood has its own unique character and advantages, but also its challenges. When determining where to live, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of factors like cost of living, safety, education, amenities, cultural diversity, and transportation. Houston’s neighborhoods cater to various preferences, budgets, lifestyles, and aspirations. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and guidance for your journey to find the perfect place to call home in this remarkable city. If you have further questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you make an informed decision and embark on your Houston adventure.