Best Areas Of Houston, Texas To Buy A House

Houston is a large and diverse place — and it's growing fast! According to the City of Houston, the greater Houston area covers 9,444 square miles and is larger than New Jersey. Native Houstonians speak over 145 languages, and 90 nations have consular representation in the city. With such an international population, it's easy to see why Houston is home to some of the best food in the USA and the most friendly folks (via Houston Chronicle).

Houston is also home to plenty of Fortune 500 companies, so jobs in the area are rapidly growing (via Greater Houston Partnership). If you are moving to town or are already living in Houston and want to stop renting, choosing a house in Houston to live in can be overwhelming. After all, you have an area the size of a small state to choose from. Here are all the best places in Houston, Texas to buy a house — no matter your budget or stage in life.

Katy

About 30 miles west of downtown Houston, the Katy area is one of the fastest growing in the country and ideal for families. According to iStorage, Katy is brimming with family-friendly parks. These green spaces are a great place to relax with your dog after work, take your children to play during the day, or even have a romantic picnic with your partner. There are city parks like Mary Jo Peckham Park and Mason Creek Hike and Bike Trail, but each master-planned community in the suburb also has places for children to play and pets to roam.

Katy also has a growing food scene, as Cinco Ranch's LaCenterra is a go-to for up-and-coming favorites, including one of the first Nando's in the state, and Katy Asian Town, a shopping center brimming with delicious choices (via Community Impact Newspaper). The average home value in Katy is about $300,000, making it an affordable option for many families. Its prime location off Interstate 10 makes for easy commutes to downtown, the Houston Medical Center, and the nearby Energy Corridor, where many oil and gas companies have offices.

River Oaks

You can't spell Houston luxury without River Oaks. This upscale suburb boasts some of the most expensive homes in Texas and the exclusive River Oaks Country Club. According to The Houston Chronicle, if you want a taste of Houston's most elite lifestyle, there are homes in the neighborhood available for rent, but they will cost you a pretty penny — think $25,000 a month or more!

River Oaks was founded in the 1920s by three Houston businessmen: Hugh Potter, Will Hogg, and Mike Hogg. They purchased roughly 1,000 acres of land to build a community entirely dependent on cars, which few people owned at the time (via Wayback Machine). This plan ensured the neighborhood was exclusive — and it has remained that way for over 100 years. In modern Houston, you can find River Oaks in one of the most coveted parts of town, what locals call "inside the loop," which refers to 610 Loop, a 38-mile circular highway around Houston's inner city. Residents of River Oaks can access premier shopping areas, Houston's medical center, downtown, and every single arts venue in the area within minutes. Then, retreat into the quiet, leafy community that makes you feel like you're in the suburbs, not right in the city center.

West University

This area is home to many professionals and boasts great access to the hottest spots in Houston. According to PaperCity Magazine, West University is a neighborhood for Houston's high-earning residents. Doctors, lawyers, local business owners, and even professors at nearby Rice University (from which the area takes its name) will feel at home here. The average yearly earnings for each household is $221,000 a year. This amount is nearly four times the national average. In addition, the average selling price for a home in the area is over $900,000 — definitely a pretty penny.

However, living in the neighborhood has its perks. Each year, there are only about 64 occurrences of crime per 100,000 people in the area, making it one of the safest parts of Houston. It's a great place if you have children or live as a single young professional or retired couple. Its prime location in the heart of Houston makes getting to the theater, a sports game, or even to work in the morning easy. You might not even need to get on the highway to reach your destination — it's that local.

Spring Branch

The Spring Branch area is ideal for raising a family, with some of the city's best schools. According to Houston Moms, the neighborhood has one of the best locations in the city. It is north of Interstate 10 with 610 Loop on the east and Beltway 8 in the west. As it is so close to so many major thoroughfares, it is quick and easy to get almost anywhere from Spring Branch. However, it still has the nice and quiet feel of a community away from the hustle and bustle.

There is also so much to do in Spring Branch that you might never have to go far if you have children at home. There is a branch of the Houston Public Library in the area, one of Houston's only rock climbing gyms, and inflatable play places. The schools are also top-notch, as Spring Branch Independent School District has schools with high graduation rates and stellar test scores (via U.S. News & World Report).

The Woodlands

Many companies are moving their headquarters to this master-planned city, making it an easy choice for families. According to Crème de la Crème, this shows up in many positive ways, mainly that there are plenty of places to shop or grab a bite to eat. Unemployment levels in The Woodlands are significantly lower than in other areas of Texas (via Woodlands Reserve). When you are not working, premier Houston-area attractions like the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (the area's best concert venue) are right at your doorstep.

The Woodlands has some of the best schools in the area. The private and public institutions in the area have top reputations for student success, like The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands Classical Academy, and The John Cooper School. If traveling is your thing, you aren't too far from one of the USA's largest international airports, as Houston's Bush Airport (IAH) is only about 20 minutes away from the area. Downtown isn't much farther down the road either, so if you need to commute, it's a breeze.

Meyerland

If you live in Meyerland, you can enjoy the peace of suburbia without a long commute. According to local real estate agent Kristina Morales, living in Meyerland is very family-focused. Nearly 20,000 people live in the community, located in Southwest Houston, just off of 610 Loop. Most homes in the neighborhood were built in the 1960s and feature architectural styles that were popular during that time. Potential homeowners can choose from traditional homes, mid-century modern options, and ranch-style architecture. Many of the homes in the area feature modern interiors with a classic exterior.

Meyerland is in the Houston Independent School District, which offers students the opportunity to attend local IB schools and National Blue Ribbon Schools, so the quality of education in Meyerland is top-notch. Most adults who live in Meyerland are corporate, white-collar workers and roughly 28 percent hold a master's degree or higher education. If you are looking for a convenient place to call home, definitely check out Meyerland.

Cypress

The master-planned communities and focus on sports and education make Cypress a top pick for the best area of Houston to buy a house. According to Keller Williams Realty, neighborhoods in Cypress often win awards for their design and livability, like the "Master Planned Community Of The Year" award from the Greater Houston Builders Association and "Community of the Year" from the Texas Association of Homebuilders. You can expect pedestrian-friendly roads, plenty of public parks, and large, thoughtfully-designed houses.

Cypress Fairbanks ISD (called Cy-Fair by locals) is the fourth-largest school district in Texas and is well-funded. Students can enjoy participating in well-run after-school sports and arts programs on top of an excellent education. There is always something to do in Cypress! Working professionals, young adults, and even people enjoying their retirement in the area can also use the community's picturesque green spaces, like Little Cypress Creek Preserve and great local restaurants.

The Museum District

Houston's Museum District is the ultimate place for young professionals who want to walk everywhere to invest in a home. According to It's Not Hou It's Me, the neighborhood is the epicenter of arts, culture, and events in Houston. The Houston Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts, Modern Art, and even the Miller Outdoor Theater are all clustered together for easy access. While it's not a residential neighborhood, there are always activities and entertainment nearby. The Museum District is even one of the rare places in Houston served by the Metro Light Rail and plenty of buses. While most residents of Houston are dependent on their cars, if you live in this community, you could still do fine without one.

However, the housing types available can be tricky to find on the market. If you are quick, you can find townhouses and condos available for purchase on the edges of Hermann Park and a bit further south, just outside the nearby Houston Medical Center. These homes are still in the district and within a 20 to 30-minute walk of most area attractions.

The Heights

This historic neighborhood is close to downtown with educational opportunities and outdoor green space. According to Green Residential, the Houston Heights are about four miles from Downtown Houston in the northwest part of the city. You can't ask for a better location if you work in the city center but still want a family home with a front yard. If you don't want to take a car, you don't have to. Houston Metro has plenty of routes in and around the area, as well as bike trails for sporty Houstonians to enjoy.

Millionaire Oscar Martin Carter created the community way back in 1891, and the Houston Heights has a long and storied reputation within the city. It's known to be a racially diverse, artsy area with great options for dinner and community events. There are many unique places to shop in the neighborhood, as Houston has no zoning laws. For example, you might find a warehouse brewery next to a church in an Art Deco building. As the Heights continues to grow, home prices keep trending upwards, so the sooner you buy, the sooner you will gain equity.

Uptown

If you want a New York City lifestyle without New York City prices, the Uptown area of Houston is a fit for you. According to Niche, the community follows the path of the 610 Loop from Interstate 10 to Interstate 69, including the upscale shopping mall, the Houston Galleria. The area is home to many business headquarters, including the global offices of billionaire Tillman Fertita's Landry's Inc and Williams Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Texas.

In addition to corporate offices and upscale shopping, the area is known for its great coffee shops, delicious restaurants, and overall proximity to the city. It isn't far to reach Houston's Memorial Park for access to great outdoor space or the Museum District to enjoy the local arts scene. Residents of Uptown are typically younger, single, liberal, and looking to raise families. Many residents are renters, but due to the area's popularity, it's a great place to purchase not only a primary residence but investment properties as well.

Bellaire

Bellaire is a great city within a city with plenty of dining options and short commutes to work. It is close to Houston's Medical Center, the Galleria area, and downtown. It is popular with single professionals, families, and even retirees. According to Click2Houston, the reason for this is that Bellaire has strict rules for construction, while the City of Houston does not. This feature leads to a more unified, planned feel to the community instead of what some might consider chaos. There are also plenty of green parks and peaceful outdoor areas.

A unique aspect of Bellaire is that while it's technically its own city, it is almost entirely residential. Most people who live there prefer it this way, as it gives a nice respite from the hectic hustle of inner-Houston, despite its proximity (via Morningside Nannies). However, there are, of course, still great schools in the area, as well as a library, emergency services, and places of worship.

Memorial

This affluent area has some of the most expensive homes in the city, with large parks and great amenities to boot. According to Compass, the community is built around (and gets its name from) Memorial Drive. It used to be an old, rural road, but it is now one of the most prestigious in Houston and a major thoroughfare. Whether you want to spend $10 million on some acreage and a mansion, or just under $200,000 on a two-bedroom starter condo, you can find what you are looking for in Memorial.

Due to its location in West Houston, Memorial is a popular place for those who work in the oil and gas industries, as Houston's Energy Corridor (where most of the offices are) is just a little bit further west along Interstate 10. There is also first-rate shopping and dining nearby, as residents of the area don't have to go far to reach Memorial City Mall or City Centre. Both complexes feature a great mix of upscale and casual options.

Sugar Land

Named for the local Imperial Sugar Factory, life in Sugar Land is just as sweet. According to Compass, Sugar Land is about 20 miles from downtown Houston in the southwest — a straight shot down highway 59. Most of the neighborhoods in the area were planned and developed by Houston real estate legend Gerald D. Hines. When purchasing a home, you know it will have thoughtfully designed interiors, a great location, and access to plenty of amenities. You can discover homes at all price points in the area.

These amenities include things like Sugar Land Town Square or First Colony Mall, some of the best local places to shop and eat, and green spaces like golf courses and lakes. If you don't want to drive into Houston's Museum District, it's no problem, as the Houston Museum of Natural Science has a branch to enjoy in Sugar Land. The community even has its own minor league baseball team — the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.

Spring

According to Houston Newcomers Guides, Spring was originally a trading post beside Spring Creek. It's now a premier shopping destination, a great area to live in, and a place to do business. You'll find quaint shops, historical points of interest, and delicious restaurants. On a practical level, there are also plenty of schools and hospitals. Spring has a mix of single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and apartments on the housing market (via Zillow). No matter what size of home you would like to buy, or your budget, you will be able to find what you need here.

Spring is a quick trip to downtown Houston and the area's largest airport: IAH. If you travel a lot or work in aviation, you might enjoy living close to the airport for easy access. Unfortunately, most neighborhoods in the direct vicinity of Houston Bush Intercontinental have high crime rates (via Houston Public Media). You might need to purchase housing further away for safety purposes. Spring is one of the best communities for this purpose.