I presently live in San Diego and I have gotten a job offer that would bring me to Houston.
I'm looking for some info about areas of Houston (neighborhoods) to move my family into. Also how is the traffic and is there a trick to beat it. As an example here in San Diego I live in San Diego proper, but work in North County and I’m going the opposite way of 90% of all commuters who mostly live outside the city and commute in to work.
I will be working as a design engineer test fitting prototype parts on diesel equipment and overseeing production installations in the general vicinity of the 610 & 10 on the east side of town and the 610 & 45 on the south side of town.
Any advice & info about Houston &/or Texas in general would be much appreciated.
Congrats on the job offer! You are gonna love Texas. On neighborhoods and traffic - the most family friendly neighborhoods are going to result in your being in traffic all the time. The best bet to avoid a lot of traffic is to locate somewhere near the inner loop (610). This will also result in the greatest appreciation of your investment (your home). Inner city land values just keep going up dramatically. There is a neighborhood near 610 and 290, just inside the loop, that is currently undergoing the transformtion (regentrification). This area is to the west of an area known as "the Heights".
Welcome to Texas and Good luck.
first of all WELCOME!
how to beat the traffic.
traffic flows in town in the morning and out in the evening. if you can drive outbound on the way to work and inbound on the way home you will beat it. also traffic it lighter on 610 (we call it "the loop") and 8 ("the beltway")the east side of town is not bad. stay away from I-10 and 610 west. 59 and 610. live as close to work as possible or buy a comfortable
neighborhoods. kingwood, seabrook, clearlake.
One thing that no one mentioned just yet is the size home you can get for the money in Houston.
I have a 3150 sq ft two story home in the NW area of Houston. I paid $140k for it six years ago. It's worth about $180k now.
This home, in San Diego would be probably 3 - 4 times the price.
Plus, TX has no state income tax. However, we do have higher property taxes, and we are not a no-fault insurance state, thus, your automobile insurance will be more expensive. I know this stuff because I lived in San Jose, CA for 3 yrs. As you move away from downtown Houston, outside out two loops (610 and Beltway 8) you'll see more value for your money on property, but as others have said, your commute will become long and ardurous depending on location. I-10 East bound from Katy area is the worst commute in Houston.
Additionally, if you have no felonies on your record, you can apply to carry a concealed handgun here in Texas.
I've heard good things about Katy from others.
Is Katy more of a rural Suburb with larger pieces of property, instead of bunched up track homes? Also want to try and find the best schools for my daughter.
That is what I am looking for, also I won't be making the commute daily so I may not be too terribly worried about the commute if the land value, property size, neighborhood quality, and educational standards are right.
Flooding, I know Houston is flat, especially from a Californians perspective, but is there high ground, if so where?
Are there areas that are immune from flooding, or are at least more immune than others?
I ordered the 100-year flood plain to use as a reference when I start looking at homes but any help narrowing it down before then would be appreciated.
I’ve also heard there’s a saying “If you ain’t from Texas, you ain’t shit!!!”
If “Texans” feel that way how will a California native be treated upon entering the great state of Texas? Mind you I’m not some pantywaist anti-freedom liberal from the Gay-Bay. I’m fiscally and socially conservative, love God and country in that order, drive a full size crew cab Ford 4x4, and grew up shooting, camping, hunting, and fishing.
Welcome to Tejas!!!!!!!!
When you move to Houston you have to get used to driving about an hour to get to work. The problem is that everything is sooooo friggin spread out compared to other cities. I would suggest looking at the 290(Northwest area) it’s one of the fastest growing areas.
The Cy-Fair school district is top notch and arguably the one of the best in Texas. It has been the largest "Recognized" district for the fifth year in a row. Here’s a link for the district www.cfisd.net/aboutour/state.htm#acad
(BTW my wife is an educator so I know what I’m talking about!!!).
Couple of the nice communities up this way are Fairfield (technically its located in Cypress Texas zip code is 77433) and Cole’s Crossing (77429). Black Horse Ranch is also a growing nice area (sorry don’t know the zip). I would go to www.har.comand use zip codes and see if anything strikes ya. BTW you have to learn the word Yall. Hope all works out for you in Houston. It’s a great place to live. I have lived many places , but keep coming back here.
Edited to add that you need to put a big ol brushguard on that Ford before you get down here...It's a requirment for traffic!!!
Well Katy would be on the west side of town & the "Katy freeway" I-10 west is one of the worst stretches for congestion in all of Houston. Good schools from what I hear though.
I think it's mostly suburban though, not sure about any rural pieces on land.
East/NE side of town looking around Humble & Kingwood would be good. Humble ISD is a pretty good district & a couple of new subdivisions over there off Beltway 8 east, Fallcreek & Summerwood. Totally suburban though.
If you want more rural look at Magnolia or Montgomery maybe.
North of the Woodlands off FM1488 & west of Conroe off HWY105.
Again wrong side of town but several acreage communities out there. 1-5 acre tracts common. Montgomery schools are very good & Magnolia is improving.
Klein is a very good district but suburban.
check our www.HAR.com to search neighborhoods around Houston, has tons of MLS listings.
also go to www.texasmonthly.com
& search "schools"
you'll have to register but a couple of good articles from November 2001 & November 2002 ranking all the public schools in Texas
heavy emphasis on the TAAS score but other info on socio-economic demographics of different districts & how they compare, SAT & college info. etc.
uses a 3 tier system I think to group the districts & then rank them
Congrats on the job.
Others have made good points. Coming from San Diego I am assuming you have a house there and will sell it and will have a little money to spend. Housing is really inexpensive here.
Coz is right, it is cheaper the farther out you go. I am inside Loop 610 about 6 miles from downtown. The house next to me is a 3 bed 2 bath 2300 sq ft home and they are asking for about 325k.
I see you have family. Little kids or school age? This may impact your decision.
Based upon where you will be working I'd suggest inside 610. Preferably on the western/northwestern side , think Montrose/midtown area and Heights. Or on the southwestern side. I am by the Med Center area. 5 minutes and I am on 610, 10 minutes to Hwy 59, 288 or 45.
Traffic does suck if you are more than 10 miles from your job site.
If you have kids, the best public school district is zoned for Bellaire HS. Bellaire/West University are smaller cities inside Houston limits that are nice but also have extra taxes.
If you want land/acreage, I think the best deals are on the south/southwest side out Hwy 288. You will still have a 30-45-60 minute drive but you will have land. Check out the towns of Alvin and Angleton areas. And you are only 45 minutes or so from the coast at Freeport/Surfside. Damn good fishing around there.
It all depends what you want. Personally, I wanted less time in the truck and more time at home. I chose to live in close.
There was another thread lately on this. I'll try to find it and link it. Good luck. Ask any questions you need.
Welcome to Houston. I moved here from Santa Barbara about a year and a half ago, so I feel your pain.
Everyone here has made some good points where some good places to live around here are. SC-texas likes the south side of town, Coz likes the north, 308wood the east, and Kikomax the center. The west side of town has some good neighborhoods to offer as well all the way out to Katy. Think of Katy as Orange County to Los Angeles. In order to get into Houston from Katy you have to spend an eternity on I-10. Not much fun.
No matter where you choose, your money will go much further than in CA.
Don't worry about that Texas attitude you may have heard about. The only attitude your likely to encounter is what you have received on the thread already. Nothing but welcoming..............so long as you just admit Texas is better than CA.
When and if you get here, consider the general Clear Lake area. It's on the same side of town you said you would be working on. Good neighborhoods and good schools. Some of it is also outside Harris county, so your auto insurance would be cheaper.
If you want acreage, you are gonna have to drive..no questions on that.
Several have mentioned Central/inside the loop 610 areas.
No one has mentioned crime rates.
If you're inside the loop, just figure that there is a bit more crime than far out in the suburbs.
Also, someone mentioned off of 288 and Clear Lake and south/southeast side. Watch for flooding there and inside the loop, and off of 59 north too (Kingwood/Porter etc).
I lived in California for three years....what Californians call a rain storm, we Houstonians play golf in....I shit you not...it rains like a motherfucker here and there's lots of cement to limit drainage.....
So be careful...again.....look at www.har.com and take a trip or three out here and let us know....we'll help you out...
Be advised, new and dramatically different flood maps are to be released within the next couple months. Keep an eye out for them if this matters to you.
A lot of different areas of Houston have decent housing... that's one benefit of the lack of zoning and planning. Everyone here can suggest their own "pet" area of town. Maybe you can get more specific about where you'll be working, and a prioritized list of neighborhood/housing features you're looking for.
You'll get lots of offers for help. If there is anything specific I can help you with, or answer any more specific questions, you can e-mail me at texason at hotmail dot com.
While the Katy area does have some good schools they have the biggest collection of spoiled ass brats I've ever seen in my life. The parents are even worse at times. I guarantee you that probably half of those kids are pumped full of ritalen, prozac, etc.
Do a search for houses in 77042, 77077, and 77079 zip codes. I patrol those areas and I like most of the areas quite a bit.
You will want to keep a shotgun handy for the mosquitos and cockroaches. Others have mentioned the Katy Freeway, but they understated the traffic there. when bad people die they ahve to get on the katy freeway at 5pm.
Seriously though, look for palmetto plants on your land or nearby, they very often grow in areas prone to flooding. Also certain streets start and stop randomly throughout the city. ALL of the roads around here are based upon where a cow or two walked 150 years ago and they run predominatly norhwest to southeast.
Speaking of roaches when I moved down here when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade I remember hearing some other kids talking about flying roaches. Being from the north I had not seen or even heard of such a creature. So I went home and asked my mom(hey your a kid your mom is the tree of wisdom)and she said those kids were full of it. Well you know what had to happen. We were cooking outside the next night...great weather..great food..life is great..you get the hint. Well all of the sudden we hear this scream like someone was killing my mom...As it turns out there was such thing as a "flying" roach(Tree Roach). One flew at my mom while she was taking some dishes inside and glided inside the house. Boy that thing sure looked big!!!
My fave is to go into the kitchen for a some water in the middle of the night and as you turn on the light this brown thing that looks like about the size of a bat heads right at you because it's heading to the dark room you just left....scares even the bravest!
A lot of different areas of Houston have decent housing... that's one benefit of the lack of zoning and planning. Everyone here can suggest their own "pet" area of town. Maybe you can get more specific about where you'll be working,
The company I’ll be working for is from California and they are branching out to Houston. We will open an office near wherever I choose to live, so the daily commute isn’t a big deal really. However routinely maybe weekly to a couple times per week, sometimes daily in the middle of a project, I will have two visit two different facilities on the East side of town.
The other facility is very close to the I-45 & I-610 South Loop.
and a prioritized list of neighborhood/housing features you're looking for.
Realizing I probably won’t get it all, my ideal home would be: (prioritized from most to least important)
Good schools, K-12 so she can get into a good University (she is a year old, future planning)
A flood free neighborhood so I don’t find my home / gun safe in 3’+ of water
I don’t want to be part of a homeowners association.
All gas appliances, Central Air Conditioning & Heat
Less than $250,000, Ideally $150,000 to $200,000
3000(+) sq-ft 4(+) bedrooms, 3(+) bathrooms w/ Large Spacious Rooms: (1, 1.5, or 2 story okay)
2 car attached garage behind or beside house for wife to park in.
A detached granny-flat / garage to be used as a hobby workshop (I used to road race motorcycles so I have my bikes, tools, mill, lathe, TIG welder etc…)
The ability to get 3-phase power (not totally necessary but would be nice)
Within 20 to 25 miles of Downtown Houston
If no detached granny flat / workshop, I would like the property big enough (0.5 to 1 acre) and zoned to allow an insulated steel building to be erected.
I would prefer semi-rural, 1-5 acres of land, over a tightly packed sub-division but I do want to be in a neighborhood for social interaction of the family, and within 5 to 10 miles of shopping centers etc…
Obviously I love to shoot, or I wouldn’t be here. I love IDPA. I regularly shoot IDPA, and some local IDPA style 2-gun (shotgun pistol) combat matches. I’d really like to start shooting USPSA matches, especially the 3 gun matches with my evil AR… In Ca I don’t even try to shoot any 3 gun matches because my AR is illegal here, I refused to register it when I had the chance so I took it out of state to Az and keep it in my brothers gun safe.
I love the outdoors and would like to be as close to them as can be expected in a urban/semi-urban environment. Here in San Diego I live in an east county suburb near the city limits so I can I regularly go mountain biking in local canyons and it’s all fairly close to home. I don’t know how this will relate to Houston, but I thought I would throw it out there.
Another question I forgot to ask.
Are there any special laws pertaining to dogs, specifically intimidating dogs?
I have a 7-year-old, 90lbs, female Rottweiler. She is part of the family, so she is definitely coming.
Is anything special required to bring a dog into the great state of Texas?
Must dogs be licensed in Texas?
Are there leash laws in Texas, or can you walk you dog without one, if they are obedient?
Never mind the dog, beware of owner…
This was taken during Easter, and that is a jellybean toy next to her.
I've been in the Humble/Kingwood/Atascocita area most of the last 19yrs
(minus a few spent drinking & pretending to go to college in Austin/San Marcos & a couple inside the loop)
I gotta disagree with you there a bit, with the exception of the "200yr flood" when the San Jacinto went over
the HWY59 bridge back in '94 flooding is NOT an issue up here,
maybe in the southern part of Forest Cove but thats it.
Now flash flooding yes, but that's a problem all over town, remember the
Southwest FRWY corridor after Allison from about Kirby to Greenbriar, it looked like a river!!
No flooding up here in Kingwood.
Will Clayton was a mess though!! As well as parts of I-10, I-45 , Braeswood etc.
Anyway, just about any part of this town can flood with enough rain from a hurricane or tropical storm.
Both the city of Houston and Harris County, which is the county that Houston is in,have laws that state that all animals must be restrained/controlled at all times. By leash,fence,cage,in the house--whatever the case may be. Animals cannot be let out of the house unrestrained.
By the way,with the way you describe yourself you should fit right in. I think you would be more happy living outside the loop 610 area. Inside the loop is populated by the more liberal thinking/behaving population. You would not be happy in the montrose area. It has historically been the homosexual haven in this city. The farther out you go the more conservative/rural the mindset generally. In years past there was a steady flight to the suburbs,these are some of the reasons the city has huge home developments ten to fifteen miles from the city center.
Since when did yewston become part of Tejas?
It's jammed full of YANKEES!
Humidity is worse than Florida.
I hope you are used to heat and sticky wet!
Welcome to Texas,
I've been in Tejas since 1974, more Yankee types in the DFW metro area than Houston IMHO
Welcome to TEXAS ...it will be a liitle of a culture shock from California.....were allowed to own guns out here ;)
Seriously, I have to pretty much agree with what has already been posted ....it's a great place to live and raise a family.
as for the dog..I also have a two year old rottweiler and I have had no problems...well, not from residents rather from her....she loves digging holes ;)
Well, I guess I'll throw in my favorite spot in the Houston area.
I grew up in the Spring/Klein area, and loved it. Nice and quiet, low crime.
I now live in the Spring/Woodlands area (basically a little farther north) and I love it here too. For the same reasons.
Plus, I live outside of Harris county, meaning lower taxes, cheaper insurance, etc.
Come check out The Woodlands area. I'll drive you around.
There are lots of large lots available around 45 south. b/t 45S & 288.