I'm late to this party. I moved from Tulsa to Houston (by choice) 15 years ago. We bought in the Heights 10 years ago, south of White Oak and just off Heights Blvd. No kids planned, and yet here I am with two girls 3 and 6. I'm recently widowed, so will probably be selling soon to take advantage of the equity. I went to school at Barnard, back in the day when Columbia College was for the boys. I love walking in my neighborhood. We don't have a lot of mom/pop restaurants in Heights proper because it's a dry area (BYOB). We ate out a lot in Montrose and downtown. For a long time we had one car, and so I bussed or biked it. Schools: I would definitely avoid non-HISD like the plague. There are many bad HISD schools but you can cherrypick the ones you want and send your kids there. I feel that the suburban schools are pretty much one size fits all. If it works for your children, fine; if not, you are SOL. My oldest is a kindergartener at Wilson Elementary in Cherryhurst (Montrose). It just opened last year as an all Montessori public school, and in addition, has a fine arts magnet program. My daughter gets art, piano and ballet/jazz. She loves it. So much so, that when we move we will keep the school! The other nice thing is that it is for three year olds through eighth grade, so you don't have to make decisions on middle schools, just high school. The school has been very supportive since her dad died. I believe every HISD school has a gifted and talented program, but there is also Vanguard schools which are all G&T - sort of like Stuyvesant. We originally wanted River Oaks or Travis. My daughter interviewed and didn't like the teacher, so she wouldn't answer her questions! I just got her Stanford 10 scores; she scored in the 99th percentile in math and reading and so could transfer to a Vanguard program, but it is more pressure than I want for my young children. I feel they are progressing fine. Katy ISD will tell that they teach one grade level ahead of the kids' grade - talk about pressure. The Woodlands is similar. Many, many people homeschool their kids, and it is an attractive option - Texas has one of the most liberal policies and makes it very easy. Sure, lots do it for religious reasons, but many do it to fit the family schedule, because their kids are muscians, etc. There's also a Sudbury Valley school in the Heights if you like unschooling. Sohomod, I will send you a PM on a rental.