Houston is a large, culturally diverse and spread out city with many different areas to consider when choosing a home and many aspects to take into account.
In Houston, it is very important to use distance to work as one of the major deciding factors as commuting is extremely painful. Houston has one of the worst traffic situations in the U.S., especially during rush hour time. Drivers may soon regret having moved out to the more quiet areas on the outskirts or a fancy subdivision on the other side of town from work. Most expatriates generally do not like rush hour commuting and choose a location close to their work. Therefore, it is important to note where the place of employment is located at and plot from there.
The next important factor should be interests such as access to supermarkets, restaurants, shopping, entertainment/nightlife versus privacy and school district quality.
Some people like to live where it is happening, near happy-hour bars to go to after work and restaurants within walking-distance. They tend search for a residence inside the Loop; or they work in that area and despise commuting. This applies to most areas inside the Loop.
Other people don’t mind commuting as much. They happily utilize the carpools or park-n-rides with the Metro bus, or work outside of the Loop and prefer to stay on the quieter outskirts of town with more privacy, which provides more room to play for the children and good school districts even though they work downtown. This applies to most areas outside the Loop.
While there are many districts and towns all over the Houston area to consider, the most popular areas with expatriates are the following:
- Inner Loop, including Midtown, West U and Rice Village
- Memorial and Galleria area
- The Heights
- The Woodlands
- Outside the Loop west and northwest
Further details about each area can be found in the next sections.