Houston Associates - Where to Live

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Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:07 pm

Looking for nice house with yard, safe neighborhood, that is generally it.

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:36 pm

Renting or buying?
How much do you want to spend on monthly rent (or price of home if buying)?
What commute time do you want (to downtown)?

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:54 am

Looking to rent for a few years, but would also be interested in hearing about the nice places to buy. For price, I am not extremely familiar with Houston prices (other than hearing they are cheap), but I am from NYC, so my numbers would be much higher than probably needed. Would prefer commute to be less than 30 minutes.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:Looking to rent for a few years, but would also be interested in hearing about the nice places to buy. For price, I am not extremely familiar with Houston prices (other than hearing they are cheap), but I am from NYC, so my numbers would be much higher than probably needed. Would prefer commute to be less than 30 minutes.


a 30min commute could take you to the suburbs, but most young associates i see live within the loop and relatively close to downtown, where all the firms are. Montrose, the Heights, etc. are all extremely popular areas.

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DallasCowboy
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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby DallasCowboy » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:04 pm

live in the heights- some cheap apts

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:09 pm

DallasCowboy wrote:live in the heights- some cheap apts


Does this recommendation go for renting only or also for the eventual purchase? I have heard the Heights is "up and coming"

Also, thanks everyone!

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:06 pm

Play with the "map search" function at har.com to see houses for rent. You can adjust for price, size, etc. This is a good way to compare places nearby.

If you hate traffic like me, I would avoid commuting on Route 59 Southwest Freeway (not to be confused with the generally good Route 59 Eastex Freeway), 290 Northwest Freeway, I-45, and 610 Loop.

The Heights is a great "up and coming" (well, it's pretty much "there") place to live. Prices are rising; there are some decent rental opportunities in the $1500-$2000 range for a house with a yard. Heights is very close to downtown (10-15 minutes). You don't have to take a freeway. e.g.,
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Another similarly priced area would be around Rice / Med Center; also very close to downtown (about 15 minutes). Also don't have to take the freeway. Public transportation is generally good from this area (not sure how it compares to Heights). e.g.,
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If you'd like to save a little on rent (down to the $1000-$1200 range), Spring Branch would be a good area--generally north of I-10 between Bingle/Blalock and Sam Houston Tollway. You get more for your money; usually good size yards (I assume you're asking because you have dogs/kids?). Katy Freeway (I-10) is a decent commute to and from downtown; less than 30 mins even with a little traffic. e.g.,
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http://search.har.com/engine/1526-Conra ... 554508.htm

Another decent option with a commute around 30 minutes would be north of Beltway 8 / Sam Houston Tollway near the Hardy Toll Road (so you don't have to take I-45). This would be parts of Spring and North Houston; it's just north of Greenspoint, though, which has a little more crime. This area has newer houses compared to other areas with decent options in the $1000-1200 range. e.g.,
http://search.har.com/engine/823-Remwic ... 707814.htm
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http://search.har.com/engine/1434-High- ... 556927.htm

I've heard people say parts of Humble (pronounced "um-bull") are good, too. Similar to the last option price and style, but closer to 35 minute commute. Look north of Beltway 8, both east and west of Route 59 Eastex Freeway. e.g.,
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Re: purchasing
You're going to need a boat-load of cash if you want to purchase a nice house in a low-crime, good-school, area close to downtown. You could still purchase in the Heights in the $250K-$300K range, but you'll have to sacrifice on space (generally 2-3 bedroom home, small lot/yard). e.g.
http://search.har.com/engine/926-Doroth ... 459438.htm
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If you don't care about schools and and a 30-minute commute, there are very cheap and spacious (both inside and out) options in North Houston / Spring. e.g.,
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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:30 pm

Thanks for this!! What is a "boat-load of cash" for purchasing in the safe, low crime, etc? Will an attorney have enough generally if they come with low debt and save hard for like three years?

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this!! What is a "butt-load of cash" for purchasing in the safe, low crime, etc? Will an attorney have enough generally if they come with low debt and save hard for like three years?

(I'm referencing schools below a lot obviously because good schools usually means good neighborhood, low crime, and high resale value. There are some relatively cheap "low crime" areas. Crime is not that bad despite the hype.).

TBH, those options (15-20 mins to work, large lot/yard, nice interior, good schools) were out of my price range and not ideal for my short-term plans (probably moving in 5-6 years) when looking to buy and rent, so I don't have a good idea of how much it would cost. Probably $500K-$600K in the low to mid end. e.g.,
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Areas zoned for Memorial High are generally good.

But then I see some random houses close to that price (over $400K) with crappy schools not too far away.

I think some but not all schools in the Heights are good.

If you're willing to commute 35-45 minutes, you can buy a McMansion in the Cypress/Klein/Spring (NW Houston) areas for a lot less $$$ and still have good schools. e.g.,
http://search.har.com/engine/19331-Brit ... 930442.htm
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http://search.har.com/engine/15315-Down ... 645898.htm

(EDIT: I personally didn't look at the Katy and Sugar Land areas, but I hear those are good, as well).


If you're headed to a large firm, I'd probably start out by renting in the Heights or Rice/Med Center area and see where you're at after a few years. You probably won't be able to tolerate a long commute with biglaw hours. But I'd be hesitant to buy an expensive house close to downtown unless you have a year or more of living expenses saved up--you never know what the firm will do or if you'll want to get out of biglaw.

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:50 pm

Thanks so much! My wife and I are both going to a "Biglaw" firm this year but both as 1st years so trying to get a good sense for the areas. Would like quality schools, pretty houses, etc. Your info has been very helpful!

ClutchCity24
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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby ClutchCity24 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:00 pm

As far as the Humble area goes (and technically it can be pronounced either way) I would suggest Atascocita or Kingwood. From Kingwood you can get into downtown in 30 minutes and traffic is really not bad for the drive. The area has very good schools and a wide range of prices for houses that are all in a pretty setting.

The memorial area is also very nice but tends to be pricier.

You should also look into Sugarland and the Woodlands which are nice areas but might be a bit more of an issue with the drive.

Its a great city with a lot of great places to live.

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Re: Houston Associates - Where to Live

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks so much! My wife and I are both going to a "Biglaw" firm this year but both as 1st years so trying to get a good sense for the areas. Would like quality schools, pretty houses, etc. Your info has been very helpful!

Nice. Y'all will have some very good options. Welcome to Houston!

EDIT: And I agree with the poster who recommended Kingwood, but I'd personally stick to downtown (memorial / heights / med center) because the commute will add up. An extra 15-minute drive each way, times 5 days per week, times 50 weeks per year (perhaps conservative number of days/weeks per year) = 125 hours each. That's probs about 100 billables per year, per person, wasted on the freeway. If bonus is based on # of hours, OP and spouse will probably save money by renting in a more expensive area closer to downtown.




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