When searching for the perfect home, there are so many factors to consider. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make in the process is where you want to live next — which can get overwhelming, especially when moving to a big city like Houston.
We’re here to lend a helping hand; check out our list of the five best neighborhoods in Houston and find out about top school districts, affordability, and things to do in the surrounding areas. You’ll be on your way to discovering your ideal neighborhood in no time at all.
1. West University Place
Cost of Living
The home prices in West University Place are not only among the most expensive in Texas, but the area’s real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in the entire country overall. The median home value in West University is $759,119. If you have the means to afford it, West University is truly a great place in Houston to live.
For many reasons, West University Place is an ideal place for families with children to look further into. The city’s good public school district and large population of college-educated adults provide an environment that is centered around academic values.
West University Places’ overall crime rate is lower than average for the country. West University is a place where you can feel comfortable and confident in your safety, with just 64 incidents of crime for every 100,000 people. That makes it one of the safest cities in the United States as a whole.
In West University Place, you can expect to find a good amount of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many families live in West University Place.
Overall, West University Place is a city of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. There is a vast amount of people who live in West University Place that work in management occupations, healthcare, and business and financial occupations.
The median household income in West University Place soars to nearly $221,000 a year, which is about four times the income that the typical American household earns. In fact, as of 2011, West University Place has the fifth highest fraction of households with incomes $150,000 or greater.
The job market in West University Place is healthy, with a five-year unemployment rate of just 2.7%.
2. Galleria/ Uptown
The Galleria is one of Houston’s main business and retail centers. Vibrant and eclectic, the neighborhood of Galleria is a bustling mix of offices, posh boutiques, restaurants, and upscale homes.
The median home value in the Galleria neighborhood is $406,118, with a population of 67,996.
The Galleria experiences steady real estate market growth. In fact, Galleria real estate is among the best in Houston, based on Land Value Appreciation. The district showcases a variety of options including chic condos in high-rise buildings, townhomes in gated communities, patio homes, and new construction custom-built homes.
At 23.6 million square feet of office space, the Uptown District is the 17th largest business district in the entire country. The district is home to approximately 2,000 companies and represents more than 11% of Houston’s total office space overall. The median income in the Galleria is $90,760.
Cost of Living
The median home price in Rice is $78,100, with an unemployment rate of just 3.8%, lower than the country’s overall average.
Rice is a fairly quiet city, because there are relatively few of those groups of people who have a tendency to be noisy. Rice is home to only a small amount of families with children living at home — and is quieter because of it.
But probably the biggest reason it is quieter in Rice than in most places in America is that there are just simply fewer people living here. If you’re looking for a touch of serenity in your hometown, Rice may be perfect for you.
As is often the case in a small city, Rice doesn't have a public transportation system that people use for their commute. We hope you like driving, because there aren’t many other options in this quaint and peaceful corner of Houston.
The per capita income in Rice in 2010 was $19,195, which is lower middle income relative to Texas, and low income relative to the rest of the country. This equates to an annual income of $76,780 for a family of four.
Over the last year, Rice has seen the job market increased by 1.2%. Future job growth over the next 10 years is predicted to be 26.3%, which is lower than the US average of 33.5%.
4. Houston Heights
Cost of Living
The median real estate price in Houston Heights is $663,592, which is more expensive than 97.3% of the neighborhoods in Texas and 90.4% of the neighborhoods in the U.S — but for good reason. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, and Houston Heights has a lot to offer its residents; however, it doesn’t come cheap.
Houston Heights is a neighborhood in which more "urban sophisticates" live than 98.0% of neighborhoods across the U.S. Here, your neighbors are oftentimes defined as having urbane tastes in literature, music, live theatre and the arts.
Even if your neighborhood is walkable, you may still have to drive to your place of work. Some neighborhoods are located where many can get to work in just a few minutes, while others are positioned where most residents have a long and arduous commute.
The greatest number of commuters in Houston Heights neighborhood spend between 15 and 30 minutes commuting each way to work (this is about 46.4% of working residents,) which is shorter than the time spent commuting to work for most Americans.
5. River Oaks
River Oaks is a somewhat small city located in the state of Texas, with a population of 7,703 people and just one neighborhood.
Several community parks in River Oaks provide recreational areas and beautiful natural settings for outdoor relaxation.
Education is important to this Houston neighborhood. River Oaks has a public magnet elementary school, River Oaks Elementary and middle school students are zoned to attend the Lanier Middle School, housing the accelerated program for the Houston School District. High school students are zoned to Lamar High School, the Houston accelerated program high school.
Cost of Living
The median home value in River Oaks is $147,500. River Oaks home values have gone up 13.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 9.5% within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in River Oaks is $179,900.
The per capita income in River Oaks in 2010 was $20,790, which is lower middle income relative to Texas and the nation. For your reference, this equates to an annual income of $83,160 for a family of four.