Best Houston Communities to Live
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Houston”? Is it hustling and bustling? What about city lights? Football? “Do you have a problem, Houston?”
If you want to build a house in Houston, you won’t have any trouble — new home construction in Houston is booming. Finding the ideal location for your home is extremely difficult. Not only will your home’s architectural parameters and limitations be determined by its location, but you must also like the aesthetic of the neighborhood. There are also other factors to consider, such as the school district, commute to work, flooding risk, home appreciation (or depreciation), culture, and so on.
Houston is the 4th city in the United States, but there are still areas that have the small-town feel that most of us seek when looking to build a new home. It not only houses NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but its theater district is second only to New York in terms of the quality and number of theaters that present live plays.
With a city the size of Houston, separating out all the various neighborhoods and deciding where to create your dream home can be a daunting task. With that in mind, here is our list of top six Houston-area neighborhoods for new home construction:
Many of the older Tanglewood homes are of the “Rambling Ranch” style. Newer homes were built in a variety of styles, such as English Tudors made of stone masonry and Mediterranean stucco dwellings with tile roofs. Lots range in size from 100’x150′ to half an acre.
Tanglewood is one of Houston’s most expensive neighborhoods. Tanglewood’s median home price is around $1.75 million, which works out to more than $300 per square foot. Over the last ten years, the value of existing homes has increased by 70%.
Greatwood is one of my absolute favorite Sugar Land communities because it is so lovely and has reasonably priced homes zoned to excellent schools with lower tax rates. The Spanish moss dripping from the trees is beautiful.
Greatwood is probably the most desirable neighborhood that you can find in Houston for new home construction. Greatwood, near Sugarland southwest of Houston, has its own golf course, swimming pools, canals, and the charm of true Southern living.
According to Niche, an online aggregation site of housing data from across the country, the median home value in Greatwood is $276,400. It is ranked as the third best place in Texas to live and the third best place in Texas to raise a family.
Greatwood is home to several builders, including Chesmar Homes, Highland Homes, and Sims Luxury Builders. Greatwood Sugar Land is one of the only naturally wooded communities in Southwest Houston, with over 3,000 residents. The majority of these homes are in the Traditional style, but there are a few in the Mediterranean style as well.
River Oaks is a sanctuary to the River Oaks Country Club, which features a Tom Fazio-designed golf course. There are several municipal parks in the neighborhood. The public schools are run by the Houston Independent School District, and there are several independent private schools, such as River Oaks Baptist School, St. Thomas Catholic High School, and Kinkaid School.
River Oaks is in central Houston, north of the Upper Kirby District, on the 610 Loop between the city center and Uptown. River Oaks Boulevard, which runs through the heart of the neighborhood, is lined with luxury homes and estates set back from the road. River Oaks’ median home price is nearly $2.4 million, with a price per square foot of nearly $500. It is currently Houston’s most expensive neighborhood.
The Woodlands is ranked as the sixth best city in America to live in — not just in Texas, but across the country. It is also ranked the No. 2 best city in America for raising a family. The Woodlands is unquestionably a wonderful place to live.
The master-planned community, located 28 miles north of Houston, is home to some of the biggest names in business, including Chevron Phillips, McKesson, ExxonMobil, and Woodforest National Bank.
The Woodlands has higher land values than Greatwood, but there are incentives in The Woodlands that make it so; the median home price is $498,000. One reason The Woodlands is more expensive is that the covenants and building requirements are more stringent than in Greatwood.
Beazer Homes and LGI Homes, plus various custom homebuilders, contribute to the creation and maintenance of The Woodlands ecosystem. All homebuilders working in The Woodlands must be approved by the master plan that created The Woodlands in the first place and must follow the regulations of the master plan.
Another master-planned community located just outside of Houston is Sienna Plantation. Back in the late 1800s, the land was used as a sugar and cotton plantation. Sienna Plantation has since expanded to include custom homes, planned subdivisions, apartment complexes, and everything in between.
Sienna Plantation is ranked No. 8 in Texas for best places to raise a family and No. 15 in Texas for best places to live. The variety of things to do and places to live within the community is what makes it appealing. It has a natural environment, with lakes, parks, and a large number of older trees and vegetation. A four-mile trail along the Brazos River, a 160-acre sports complex, an 18-hole golf course, recreation centers, and water parks are also available. In Sienna Plantation, there is never a reason to be bored.
The average home is worth $292,000. Newmark Homes, Shea Homes, and Johnson Development are just a few of the builders who contribute to the success of Sienna Plantation.
Cinco Ranch, like Sienna Plantation, is a master-planned neighborhood on the outskirts of Houston. It is 25 miles west of Houston and ten miles southeast of Katy, Texas. It has a long history dating back to Texas becoming a republic, when Stephen F. Austin, one of the Alamo’s heroes, realized his father’s dreams and established a community of 300 families in the Texas territory.
One of the most appealing aspects of the 7,600-acre new subdivision is the abundance of built-in activities. An 18-hole golf course, pocket parks within each neighborhood, swimming pools and tennis courts for neighbors, and a YMCA located right within the community are among the amenities.
Cinco Ranch’s home values, at just over $290,000, are in the center of all the top-rated communities in Houston. Perry Homes, David Weekly Homes, and Village Builders are building award-winning homes throughout Cinco Ranch for those seeking a taste of the suburbs while living in the graciousness of Texas history.
Bunker Hill Village
Bunker Hill Village is a Houston suburb near Sugarland that ranks 16th in Texas for best places to raise a family. Historically, the area was home to several lumber mills and served as the region’s center for lumber processing. The small city, located near the Katy Freeway (I-10) and Sam Houston Parkway (Beltway 8), provides excellent access to a variety of restaurants, stores, the Energy Corridor, and the Westchase Business District.
The area has been redeveloped several times, prompting Forbes magazine to name Bunker Hill Village one of the best suburbs to live in.
As one of Houston’s more established neighborhoods, you can expect median home values to be higher than elsewhere in the city; according to one survey, the median home price is more than $1 million. Large, well-kept yards and public areas are interspersed with newer subdivisions, all vying for the title of “best neighborhood in Houston.” Overall, it is ranked as Texas’ 45th best place to live.
The styles of homes range from revised ranch-style houses to newly designed homes. Older homes range in size from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, while newer custom homes can exceed 7,000 square feet.
Along with custom home builders Texas Elite and SSH, Richard Price Homes and Plantation Homes work hard to maintain Bunker Hill Village at the top of the best places to live in Houston.
Meridiana, a master-planned community “designed to improve with age,” is located just outside of Pearland and about 30 miles south of Houston. Meridiana’s low cost of living is without a doubt one of its most appealing features. With the city’s energetic vibe, chic sophistication, and global diversity, Houstonians are proud to call it home.
Meridiana’s well-known homebuilders include Coventry, Shea, Chesmar, Perry, David Weekley, Highland, and Drees. There are more than 15 elegant and modern floorplans to choose from, with prices starting in the low $200s.
Of course, you must consider your options as a homeowner, and Meridiana has a lot to offer. There’s plenty to do without leaving the community, thanks to plenty of green space, hands-on educational facilities, and Oasis Village—a central hub with dining and entertainment options. If you do decide to venture out, Pearland, Sugar Land, and Downtown Houston are all within a 30-minute drive.
Regardless of where you build your dream house in the Houston area, you’re purchasing a piece of Texas history as well as the quality and cutting-edge building techniques available only from the best builders in the area.
Fortunately, this large city prioritizes education, and there are over 600 schools in the surrounding area. Houston received an overall B grade from Niche for schools, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from moving there because several neighborhoods have excellent options.
Three of Houston’s high schools, for example, are among the top ten in Texas, two of Houston’s private high schools (St. John’s and The Awty International School) are among the top ten in Texas for private high schools, and 27 schools offer some kind of advanced learning curriculum, such as AP or International Baccalaureate. The average student-to-teacher ratio in Houston public schools is around 18:1. If schools are a top priority, make sure to do your homework.
Constructing a custom home is an exhilarating experience, and the best place to begin is with the neighborhood. Take a drive through these areas. There will be many well-kept lawns and distinctively beautiful homes.