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Best neighborhood for gay families?


franny

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We're a lesbian couple currently in Tanglewilde with our 16 month old. Lately, it has become clear that many parents in the neighborhood are never really going to get comfortable with us. We both grew up in neighborhoods with lots of interaction, and we really want that for our child(ren.) We don't want our daughter to be punished for the fact that we're on the homo team.

Since for some reason HAR doesn't list voting patterns or predominant sexual preferences on their site, can someone point us toward a neighborhood with:

a) lots of gay or liberal families

b) near Medical Center/Bellaire/West U area (partner is in nursing school in med center and I work at 45 and Fuqua.)

c) good public elementary and junior high schools (realistically we'll most likely move before high school)

d) houses in the $200-300 range

e) a little style wouldn't hurt - we like midcentury modern but we're not the types to live in a "perfect" home with all vintage furniture

We're thinking Westbury, but which sections are most likely to fit all of the above? And are there neighborhoods other than Westbury?

Edited by franny
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I think that the Westbury area would be ideal for you, specifically Parkwest, Willowbend, and Willow Meadows. Each are zoned to good elementary and junior high schools, are generally in the price range you are seeking (though your money won't go far in Willow Meadows), and generally have a more tolerant sensibility. Plus nice houses on largish lots.

I could recommend a few other cool inner loop areas, but none where the public schools are strong and the homes are in your price range.

Good luck!

Edited by travelguy_73
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Abraham Lincoln said, "If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will." If you look for those in your neighborhood who hate homosexuals, you will surely find them. And you will find them no matter where you live. If you ignore those who are so narrow-minded, you will probably notice fewer and fewer of them.

If you "don't make waves", like making overt displays of your sexuality, and you keep your nose clean

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H2B, that was a ridiculous statement and the statement is very parallel to the what most ignorant people think of various forms of bigotry (racism, homophobia, sexism, etc), but I digress.....

I agree with an area similar to Timbergrove, Heights, Rice Military...mostly areas in the inner loop, but 2 things will exist in those areas

1. You may have to downsize

2. There are decent to very good schools in those areas, but you will have to work to find them..(Hogg or Memorial elem and Lanier junior high are pretty decent and diverse schools, and at least the parents that send their kids to those schools will match that demographic)

Good luck and please stay strong

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We're a lesbian couple currently in Tanglewilde with our 16 month old. Lately, it has become clear that many parents in the neighborhood are never really going to get comfortable with us. We both grew up in neighborhoods with lots of interaction, and we really want that for our child(ren.) We don't want our daughter to be punished for the fact that we're on the homo team.

Since for some reason HAR doesn't list voting patterns or predominant sexual preferences on their site, can someone point us toward a neighborhood with:

a) lots of gay or liberal families

b) near Medical Center/Bellaire/West U area (partner is in nursing school in med center and I work at 45 and Fuqua.)

c) good public elementary and junior high schools (realistically we'll most likely move before high school)

d) houses in the $200-300 range

e) a little style wouldn't hurt - we like midcentury modern but we're not the types to live in a "perfect" home with all vintage furniture

We're thinking Westbury, but which sections are most likely to fit all of the above? And are there neighborhoods other than Westbury?

Westbury is the place. The closer you are to South Post Oak, the better, it gets scary in some parts, but it has been penned as the affordable family friendly Montrose.

No late night TG, TV, CD walking the streets. :lol:

Nothing else other than Montrose/Heights is noted at gay friendly and Westbury is affordable.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Westbury is the place. The closer you are to South Post Oak, the better, it gets scary in some parts, but it has been penned as the affordable family friendly Montrose.

No late night TG, TV, CD walking the streets. :lol:

Nothing else other than Montrose/Heights is noted at gay friendly and Westbury is affordable.

I'm curious, since I've been looking at that part of town, too. Why do you say the closer you are to South Post Oak, the better? do you mean as opposed to the Fondren side of Westbury?

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Well, you would not get the good public school thing in Glenbrook Valley, but there are some affordable private schools in the area. It would be a lot closer in than Tanglewilde. You would not have a problem here, but you would also have to avoid T.C. Burton (or join us in tormenting him with our very presence :lol: ) which is another story..

We do have young progressive families with kids that have moved in.

Edited by rps324
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I'm curious, since I've been looking at that part of town, too. Why do you say the closer you are to South Post Oak, the better? do you mean as opposed to the Fondren side of Westbury?

I think conventional wisdom in that area is Westbury south, (basically south of Airport) is sketchy, and section 4 is not that desirable. Which is about Ludington south roughly. Sections 1 & 2, with the possible exception of the houses facing the busy streets, tend to be the more sought after parts with prices reflecting that. The parts of Parkwest north of Bellfort that are zoned to Parker elementary tend to fetch more than those zoned to Anderson.

What sections are better depends upon who you talk to, so it is all subjective. The people in Parkwest tend to think they are a cut above standard Westbury. Parkwest is west of Chimney Rock and some people think east is better. Bellfort used to be sort of a dividing line, but the middle section between Chimney Rock and Hillcroft has improved and prices have risen in there, until you get around Anderson elementary, and it seems to not be as nice there. West of Hillcroft there is at least one nice pocket, but some sections are not as nice as points further east.

That has been my take on it, which again this is somewhat subjective. Someone else may have a bit of a different opinion.

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We don't want our daughter to be punished for the fact that we're on the homo team.

Wait until the NCAA can franchise those jerseys..

Thanks for the advice, but you've missed the point. We don't need advice on making more of an effort and fitting in where we are, we're looking for advice on a neighborhood that's a better fit with less effort.

Hey, you asked a question in a public forum. Did you not expect at least one response not to your liking? You get what you pay for, and everything here is free.

That has to be the most ridiculous advice I've heard in quite awhile. Yes, know your place, no PDA's (reserved for your hetero neighbors) and you might tolerated.

Turn off your liberal-basher radar. I don't want anyone giving me a show in my neighborhood either - no matter what the demographic is. Keep it clean or keep it indoors, no matter what team you're on!

I'm really not sure of what to make of that "nose" comment.

You could try making sense of one of the most common phrases in the American vernacular.

Edited by Jeebus
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"Don't make waves" as well as "public displays of affection" would fit any family, gay or hetero. However, I believe I made a bad choice of words, and I humbly apologize for the blunder.

What I meant was that it would be unwise to flaunt your sexuality in the face of the neighbors. Even if you are gay, you can

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We're a lesbian couple currently in Tanglewilde with our 16 month old. Lately, it has become clear that many parents in the neighborhood are never really going to get comfortable with us. We both grew up in neighborhoods with lots of interaction, and we really want that for our child(ren.) We don't want our daughter to be punished for the fact that we're on the homo team.

Since for some reason HAR doesn't list voting patterns or predominant sexual preferences on their site, can someone point us toward a neighborhood with:

a) lots of gay or liberal families

b) near Medical Center/Bellaire/West U area (partner is in nursing school in med center and I work at 45 and Fuqua.)

c) good public elementary and junior high schools (realistically we'll most likely move before high school)

d) houses in the $200-300 range

e) a little style wouldn't hurt - we like midcentury modern but we're not the types to live in a "perfect" home with all vintage furniture

We're thinking Westbury, but which sections are most likely to fit all of the above? And are there neighborhoods other than Westbury?

A lot of gay families live in the Heights. I've also heard Galveston is becoming the new gay Houston mecca but not sure how true that is.

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I think conventional wisdom in that area is Westbury south, (basically south of Airport) is sketchy, and section 4 is not that desirable. Which is about Ludington south roughly. Sections 1 & 2, with the possible exception of the houses facing the busy streets, tend to be the more sought after parts with prices reflecting that. The parts of Parkwest north of Bellfort that are zoned to Parker elementary tend to fetch more than those zoned to Anderson.

What sections are better depends upon who you talk to, so it is all subjective. The people in Parkwest tend to think they are a cut above standard Westbury. Parkwest is west of Chimney Rock and some people think east is better. Bellfort used to be sort of a dividing line, but the middle section between Chimney Rock and Hillcroft has improved and prices have risen in there, until you get around Anderson elementary, and it seems to not be as nice there. West of Hillcroft there is at least one nice pocket, but some sections are not as nice as points further east.

That has been my take on it, which again this is somewhat subjective. Someone else may have a bit of a different opinion.

I live west of Hilcroft, and it seems nice here. Perhaps I live in this pocket you speak of?

To the OP: It sounds like you want to live in The Westbury. What's stopping you?

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I live west of Hilcroft, and it seems nice here. Perhaps I live in this pocket you speak of?

To the OP: It sounds like you want to live in The Westbury. What's stopping you?

Nothing really, just wanting to know if there are some other pockets of cool liberal neighborliness. My sister and her family live in Meyerland and my mom lives in West U, so central SW is definitely the area we are most attracted to. We just don't want to spend the $$$ they spent.

I appreciate all the people who gave neighborhood input. Again, not too interested in the patronizing interpersonal assvice, but Jeebus is right that you get what you pay for.

Edited by franny
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. Keep it clean or keep it indoors, no matter what team you're on!

You could try making sense of one of the most common phrases in the American vernacular.

I keep it clean but if others wish not to and it offends you TFB.

I realize it is a common phrase. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. My point was that comment made no sense in regards to the question.

Edited by west20th
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I think conventional wisdom in that area is Westbury south, (basically south of Airport) is sketchy, and section 4 is not that desirable. Which is about Ludington south roughly. Sections 1 & 2, with the possible exception of the houses facing the busy streets, tend to be the more sought after parts with prices reflecting that. The parts of Parkwest north of Bellfort that are zoned to Parker elementary tend to fetch more than those zoned to Anderson.

What sections are better depends upon who you talk to, so it is all subjective. The people in Parkwest tend to think they are a cut above standard Westbury. Parkwest is west of Chimney Rock and some people think east is better. Bellfort used to be sort of a dividing line, but the middle section between Chimney Rock and Hillcroft has improved and prices have risen in there, until you get around Anderson elementary, and it seems to not be as nice there. West of Hillcroft there is at least one nice pocket, but some sections are not as nice as points further east.

That has been my take on it, which again this is somewhat subjective. Someone else may have a bit of a different opinion.

I'd say that analysis is dead on Robert. The only thing I would add is that if you are lucky enough to find a house in Westbury 1 north of Willowbend you get Bellaire high with the deal.

Westbury is so big and the "niceness" varies from section to section, and even within sections. I've seen more than a few newbie investors lose their shirt by not being accurate with their comps.

flipper

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"Don't make waves" as well as "public displays of affection" would fit any family, gay or hetero. However, I believe I made a bad choice of words, and I humbly apologize for the blunder.

I'd also like to apologize for my overactive reply to your reply. It was an obvious poor choice of words. Having never done that myself :lol: I didn't snap to it right away when I saw it.

Edited by west20th
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I keep it clean but if others wish not to and it offends you TFB.

Let them come be my neighbor and act a fool. They'll be on a first name with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office in no time. I don't play when it comes to my home.

I realize it is a common phrase. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. My point was that comment made no sense in regards to the question.
I'm really not sure of what to make of that "nose" comment.

Well, I wasn't sure that you were sure of not being sure. Surely I won't make that mistake again.

Edited by Jeebus
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Let them come be my neighbor and act a fool. They'll be on a first name with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office in no time. I don't play when it comes to my home.

Those damn Lesbians next door are holding hands again! Dial 911 quick!

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the Heights is always a good choice as far as gay friendly goes. There are 4 gay couples on my street including myself and we all interact, hang out and get along with other neighbors.

The gay thing is really a non issue.

As far as schools are concerned, I don't think you have anything to worry about until high school.

We're a lesbian couple currently in Tanglewilde with our 16 month old. Lately, it has become clear that many parents in the neighborhood are never really going to get comfortable with us. We both grew up in neighborhoods with lots of interaction, and we really want that for our child(ren.) We don't want our daughter to be punished for the fact that we're on the homo team.

Since for some reason HAR doesn't list voting patterns or predominant sexual preferences on their site, can someone point us toward a neighborhood with:

a) lots of gay or liberal families

b) near Medical Center/Bellaire/West U area (partner is in nursing school in med center and I work at 45 and Fuqua.)

c) good public elementary and junior high schools (realistically we'll most likely move before high school)

d) houses in the $200-300 range

e) a little style wouldn't hurt - we like midcentury modern but we're not the types to live in a "perfect" home with all vintage furniture

We're thinking Westbury, but which sections are most likely to fit all of the above? And are there neighborhoods other than Westbury?

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Although I don't live there myself, I've heard some same gendered families have moved to Jersey Village and feel at home. The schools are good and the park and ride could take one directly to the Med Center. Plus, the prices out there are probably a lot cheaper than closer to town.

Edited by missmsry
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Those damn Lesbians next door are holding hands again! Dial 911 quick!

Please. I could care less about harmless PDA. It's when things get PG-13 and my two year old is able to see it that I do something.

I'm sure the Fort Bend Sheriff loves you.

Probably not. People tend not to like you when you hold them accountable. It's just a fact of life.

Edited by Jeebus
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Just because the advice here is free doesn't mean it has to be unhelpful or impudent. We're looking for areas of town, folks, plain and simple - this isn't about getting down in the driveway.

On that note, I would agree with areas of Houston that were actually mentioned - Heights, Montrose, Glenbrook (but yeah - steer clear of Burton!), and from what I have also independently heard, Westbury.

Another factor to consider would be how much work you want to put in to a home.

It's really unfortunate that you get that kind of feeling from your neighbors - especially if you like your home and neighborhood. While there will always be the chance of having neighbors like that, I hope you find a neighborhood to your liking on the whole.

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Please. I could care less about harmless PDA. It's when things get PG-13 and my two year old is able to see it that I do something.

I don't understand. They use drugs? They display brief, non-sexually oriented nudity? They use the F word once and only once? What are you talking about?

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I have some friends that live in Willowbend. That's South of the Loop, West of Stella Link, East of South Post Oak and North of S. Main (US 90). I'm not sure what elem. school is designated for that area, but others in the area are highly rated. Also, Pershing middle school is nearby and is highly rated. Then, there's Bellaire High.

My friends have a lovely 3/2 with nice yard, etc. Check this site for relative pricing. zillow.com

This area is a stone's throw to the TMC. You would also have a nearby rail option for commuting downtown or TMC.

Edit -

Sorry the schools are Pin Oak Elem, Johnson MS and Westbury HS. I don't know anything about those schools.

Edited by rsb320
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I am a native Houstonian and also happen to be gay. I grew up in Braeburn Terrace (birth to 11 yrs), Sharpstown (11 to 28yrs) and have lived in Westbury since 1994 (39yrs to present). My partner and I love Westbury and have enjoyed the influx of new neighbors--straight, gay, lesbian, and yes even transgender. We have seen our home gain in value from around $65000 to now over $200000. But you know what property value is not why we love Westbury.

Here are a number of reasons that Westbury is a great area.

  • Extremely affordable for the lot size and home size. In my tax protest hearing last year the guy told me Westbury is the best value on the books in Houston for what you get in a home. But that is all changing, but I don't mind.
  • Awesome amazing neighbors. In Section 3 where we live, folks are extremely friendly and look out for each other. We've got friends of every age and sexual persuasion. Plus everyone takes care of everyone else. If you don't see a neighbor for a few days you go knock on their door and make sure everything is ok.
  • Great schools. Anderson Elementary, Parker Elementary (music magnet school), Kolter Elem, Johnston Middle School (performing & visual arts magnet school), Westbury HS (don't knock it until you read the Magnet plans they have to upgrade the school even more), some can attend Bellaire. Private schools abound plus we're close to others in Meyerland and Bellaire area.
  • No McMansions and there never will be. Westbury Civic Club deed restrictions are very tight and prevent the building of the ugly things they are building in Meyerland, Bellaire, West U.
  • Excellent access to the entire city. Main Street is now a freeway going both directions. West Bellfort is a 4 lane road that will soon go from Hwy 6 all the way to I-45 by Hobby uninterrupted. West Airport will also go from Hobby airport to Hwy 6 out west. Hillcroft is a major north-south street that the City of Houston has designated as a major thoroughfare. 610 West Loop and South loop are within 10 minutes of every house in Westbury. Sam Houston Tollroad is a 10 minute drive to the west and a 3-5 minute drive to the south.
  • A station on the planned commuter rail along Main Street will be located at either Chimney Rock or Hillcroft. Right now all plans show it at Chimney Rock. It is the only stop inside Houston City limits other than Fannin South where it will tie into metrorail.
  • Convenient grocery stores. Kroger (known also as Krogay junior because a number of the management team is gay), Randall's, HEB, Belden's, 2-Fiesta's, FoodArama, Food Town.
  • Convenient to 2 Home Depots and 1 Lowes
  • Convenient to 2 Targets--1 regular in meyerland and 1 Super by Reliant Stadium
  • Easy access to First Colony Mall and Meyerland Plaza.
  • I take the West Loop Park & Ride to work every day. It costs me $3 total and is only a 3 mile drive driveway to parking lot. I figure I save over $100 total a month on gas and wear and tear. Plus my insurance company just lowered my insurance because now the car is for "recreational occasional" use only.
  • Well manicured yards and well maintained homes in general.

And honestly the folks who say there are shady areas of Westbury don't know what they are talking about. Westbury South is the most affordable area and has the smallest homes. But has the most active folks living there. Since moving here they have turned Westbury South into a really nice area to live. Westbury 4 is the newest area and is the closest to Fondren Southwest, but their crime statistics are lower than Willow Meadows or West University. Park West is the "shi shi fu fu" area of Westbury. I remember when my folks wanted to buy their house in Sharpstown they looked at Park West. The problem there is the lot size to house ratio and the neighbors. Not every house there is a keeper either. Westbury 1 & 2 are the closest to S. Post Oak. They are also the oldest homes dating to 1954. Westbury 1&2 have a lot of rental properties (1 man owns over 100 of them alone) so there are pockets with spotty upkeep. In W1&2 there are also the most tear downs which simply don't fit into the area.

Commercially things are changing. Westbury Square will probably cease to exist by around 2010 since the City of Houston is actively pursuing the owner to demo it or clean it up. He's made it clear he does not want to clean it up. There are proposals on the books to turn the land into something like a town center. Westbury Centerette at Chimney Rock and W. Bellfort is in the process of being readied for demolition. CVS is negotiating to build a new store in that area. Petsmart and others have indicated an interest in building stores or eateries when that land is vacated.

And a bit of trivia. Back in 2001 or so there was an informal canvassing done of the area. The guesstimate is that about 25% of the homes is Westbury are owned by GLBT folks. And you straights who are so damned afraid of gays.....who does a better job of landscaping and renovating an area than gays. Just look at Montrose and the Heights. Whose homes look the best?

If you're looking for a home that is between $120000 and $30000 then Westbury is your answer. PM me and I will be happy to give you other information or answer questions.

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I would think Montrose. I personally never go to Montrose because I don't live near that area, but I've hear lots of gay and lesbian couples live there peacefully. Westbury is also a good area. The only thing is that Westbury HS had a gang problem (what HS in Houston doesn't have gangs?), but HISD has a good magnet program there and at lots of other schools. I'm not completely familiar with the inner loop area and west/southwest Houston, but I believe Montrose is in HISD as well around the Lee/Bellaire (or maybe Lamar) zone which means you have the option to attend Westside, Lee, or Bellaire if you apply soon enough in the year. They also have great elementaries around this area, and HISD has magnets like Lanier, and great middle schools like Pin Oak. Montrose also shouldn't be far from the Texas Medical Center, Hermann Park, the Museum District, U of H, Reliant Park, Downtown, River Oaks, Memorial Park, etc. Hope this info helps.

Oh, I also just thought, I see lots of gay and lesbian couples around the Marq*e/ I-10 area when I go to the movies there. It is in Spring Branch, but the areas considered nicer in Spring Branch are extremely expensive. I don't know about further out like in the Stratford zone, but I know it's more affordable. If I had to guess, I'd say that the Marq*e is in the Memorial HS zone, a place with great schools through all grades.

Edited by Aldine
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b) near Medical Center/Bellaire/West U area (partner is in nursing school in med center and I work at 45 and Fuqua.)

c) good public elementary and junior high schools (realistically we'll most likely move before high school)

d) houses in the $200-300 range

Let's keep in mind their original request. Of course the Heights, Montrose, and Timbergrove would be great options, but let's face it, you need more than $300k to get into those areas, and even then, you are living in a cramped space.

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And a bit of trivia. Back in 2001 or so there was an informal canvassing done of the area. The guesstimate is that about 25% of the homes is Westbury are owned by GLBT folks. And you straights who are so damned afraid of gays.....who does a better job of landscaping and renovating an area than gays. Just look at Montrose and the Heights. Whose homes look the best?

I disagree with most of your analysis of the area but I can't not say anything about this statistic. 25%? Even for a guesstimate that is ridiculous. My guesstimate would be closer to <5%.

flipper

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I think that the Westbury area would be ideal for you, specifically Parkwest, Willowbend, and Willow Meadows. Each are zoned to good elementary and junior high schools, are generally in the price range you are seeking (though your money won't go far in Willow Meadows), and generally have a more tolerant sensibility. Plus nice houses on largish lots.

I could recommend a few other cool inner loop areas, but none where the public schools are strong and the homes are in your price range.

Good luck!

come on, find a place in Willowbend or Willow Meadows! everyone is welcome

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Flipper.....How long have you lived in Houston? How many folks to you know in Westbury? How much time do you spend in Westbury? Are you a member of the GLBT population?

Like I said we (my partner and I) have lived in Westbury for 14 years and I grew up within 10 miles of Westbury so I think I know the area well enough to give a very thorough analysis of the area.

You state in your profile you live in Willowbend. Most folks over there based on personal experience don't even know Westbury exists.

And as for your comment about the % make up. The survey was done by 2 reputable groups who know how to survey GLBT populations. Also, the 2000 census numbers showed that in 2 person same sex occupants who considered themselves "married" or "coupled" the numbers reflected similar numbers.

And let me scare you Mr Flipper with this statistic. In the Willowbend/Willow Meadows area their statistics showed there were pockets with 50% GLBT home ownership. Hope that doesn't scare you. But in general Willowbend/Willow Meadows is considered to have between a 10 & 15% GLBT population. Also remember the property costs in Willowbend/Willow Meadows are out of site for most folks now. Come 2 miles west and get a bigger lot and bigger house for 50% less.

Now you ask why are the numbers so high. Well as members of the GLBT population age (yes despite our own fears we do grow old) they are not so inclined to want to be in the center of the gayborhood and they want to be around more "normal" folks. So they tend to look for comfortable neighborhoods. According to the Houston Press and the Houston Chronicle....Westbury is the area that turned up to be #1 among the GLBT population in Houston for where they wanted to live or would move if they could afford it.

The bottomline is there area a lot of areas a GLBT person could move, but there are very few in Houston where a GLBT person would be welcomed with open arms. Westbury is that area.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Flipper.....How long have you lived in Houston? How many folks to you know in Westbury? How much time do you spend in Westbury? Are you a member of the GLBT population?

Like I said we (my partner and I) have lived in Westbury for 14 years and I grew up within 10 miles of Westbury so I think I know the area well enough to give a very thorough analysis of the area.

You state in your profile you live in Willowbend. Most folks over there based on personal experience don't even know Westbury exists.

And as for your comment about the % make up. The survey was done by 2 reputable groups who know how to survey GLBT populations. Also, the 2000 census numbers showed that in 2 person same sex occupants who considered themselves "married" or "coupled" the numbers reflected similar numbers.

And let me scare you Mr Flipper with this statistic. In the Willowbend/Willow Meadows area their statistics showed there were pockets with 50% GLBT home ownership. Hope that doesn't scare you. But in general Willowbend/Willow Meadows is considered to have between a 10 & 15% GLBT population. Also remember the property costs in Willowbend/Willow Meadows are out of site for most folks now. Come 2 miles west and get a bigger lot and bigger house for 50% less.

Now you ask why are the numbers so high. Well as members of the GLBT population age (yes despite our own fears we do grow old) they are not so inclined to want to be in the center of the gayborhood and they want to be around more "normal" folks. So they tend to look for comfortable neighborhoods. According to the Houston Press and the Houston Chronicle....Westbury is the area that turned up to be #1 among the GLBT population in Houston for where they wanted to live or would move if they could afford it.

The bottomline is there area a lot of areas a GLBT person could move, but there are very few in Houston where a GLBT person would be welcomed with open arms. Westbury is that area.

I totally agree. I've lived in Westbury for a little over 2 years and can honestly say it's one of the most gay friendly neighborhoods in Houston (including Montrose). On my street alone in Westbury 3, south of W. Bellfort and North of Ludington, there are (including me) 5 gay households (with one household with young kids) And around the corner another 2 same sex couples. Not to mention others that I seen around Westbury. The mixture of folks here is eclectic with mixture of retirees (original owners), young professionals (30-50), and all others that fall in between. The civic association, mostly retirees, are very active and have the desire to continue to bring the neighborhood to its former glory (best place to live) Since I've moved here, I've seen more and more people walking their dogs, jogging, and riding bikes (same sex, different sex, old, young, with kids, w/o kids). There are areas on the fringes mainly due to neglected apartments, which give the area a bit of an "edge". However, that'll even change (already began) as the area continues to get blended with professional middle class. I've got a feeling that with the high commuting gas prices and infrastructure proposed (connection of 610 to Ft. Bend toll road among others mentioned in earlier posts), the area will absolutely excel.....It's a super neighborhood!

Edited by amal70
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I totally agree. I lived in Westbury for a little over 2 years and can honestly say it's one of the most gay friendly neighborhoods in Houston (including Montrose). On my street alone in Westbury 3, south of W. Bellfort and North of Ludington, there are (including me) 5 gay households (with one household with young kids) And around the corner another 2 same sex couples. Not to mention others that I seen around Westbury. The mixture of folks here is eclectic with mixture of retirees (original owners), young professionals (30-50), and all others that fall in between. The civic association, mostly retirees, are very active and have the desire to continue to bring the neighborhood to its former glory (best place to live) Since I've moved here, I've seen more and more people walking their dogs, jogging, and riding bikes (same sex, different sex, old, young, with kids, w/o kids). There are areas on the fringes mainly due to neglected apartments, which give the area a bit of an "edge". However, that'll even change (already began) as the area continues to get blended with professional middle class. I've got a feeling that with the high commuting gas prices and infrastructure proposed (connection of 610 to Ft. Bend toll road among others mentioned in earlier posts), the area will absolutely excel.....It's a super neighborhood!

What do you Westbury residents think of the crime incidents around Bellfort and Fondren... I think there was a gang shooting there the other day? Does that crime happen only on the main streets, and near the apartments, or does it trickle into the neighborhoods?

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What do you Westbury residents think of the crime incidents around Bellfort and Fondren... I think there was a gang shooting there the other day? Does that crime happen only on the main streets, and near the apartments, or does it trickle into the neighborhoods?

The interior areas of the neighborhood tend to be pretty insulated. With over 5K houses in the area, there's going to be some crime activity (part of the urban sprawl). Most crime stats that I've seen tend to concentrate crime activity around the convenience stores on chimney rock/burdine (also an area with high apartment concentration and thru traffic) for instance. The Neighborhood bans all garage sells to spur traffic of non residents coming in/out. Civic Association does a spot on fantastic job of painting over graffiti within a couple of days of idiots putting it up. The neighborhood has voluntary dues for residents for most of Westbury. But initiative are underway to make them mandatory. The inflow of this extra money will continue to improve the security of the area akin to Meyerland.

Edited by amal70
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I attended Fondren M.S. in the 1970s and have lived fairly close to Westbury all my life. My 75 year old mom lives in Maplewood South-North (adjacent to Westbury). I was fortunate to live in a tiny area zoned to Bellaire HS so I avoided Westbury HS unlike the vast majority of my childhood friends - luckily.

Nobody is happier than me with a potential W'bury renaissance. It was depressing watching it deteriorate throughout the eighties and nineties, especially knowing many/most of the original owners remained, aging in a worrisome environment. It seemed somehow unfair, considering its great location and original relative affluence.

What a newbie needs to know is that W'bury is HUGE and cannot be boiled down. No matter what its boosters claim, it is adjacent to or near some of the worst aspects of SW Houston - the circa 1970s apartment complexes . Ask any HPD or HC officer about Bellfort or Airport apartments just a minute or two west of Westbury - some of the most dangerous in the city. Check out the Gasmer/ Chimney Rock area after dark. Are you comfortable around S. Main?

However, as I said, W'bury is huge. In general, if it is priced VERY affordably relative to other areas in W'bury, avoid it like the plague. Because as others have noted, there are "pockets" of good and bad all over W'bury, I won't get too specific, but in general try to stay more to the north and to the east of the community.

I lived in the Bellfort/Fondren area in my apartment days (1980s) and hate that area with a vengance. There are criminals all over the place. The west side of W'bury (and Maplewood South, etc.) is just too close for me.

As to the gay population, there is no way that 25% of the population of Westbury is GLBT - I agree with flipper. Whomever did that census is just an idiot or a dreamer. It may be (just) possible that a quarter of NEW residents are GLBT, but there are so many heteros who are now in their 60s/70s still living there that even almost UNIMPEACHABLE sources like The Houston Press sound just stupid if they made such a claim...and I'd love to evaluate their methodology.

There may be intolerant neighborhoods out there, but in my experience, all (except the richest) neighborhoods with lots of seniors tend to welcome new blood - gay or whatever. They are fearful of run-down homes, loud, angry neighbors and deed restriction violations. If you are gay (or whatever) and keep up the property and keep down the noise, people in Westbury, Bellaire, Meyerland are all the same - you're OK.

In 1983 I bought my first Bellaire home - from a gay couple. They loved the house, just not each other. Bob moved to Sunset Terrace. Dave moved to Southampton. In 1993, I bought a home in the heart of the Montrose on Kipling - from a gay couple.

They loved the home but not the neighborhood (Covenant House, esp.), so they moved - to Mid Lane. My point is that, outside of the Montrose, there are no "GLBT enclaves" or "GLBT-tolerant" areas of close-in Houston. THEY ALL ARE, including Westbury.

I think we should celebrate that fact.

However, if you are looking for a neighborhood with greater upside than Westbury (in the near future), cough up just a little more

and move into what is, in my opinion, the SW hood where major appreciation looms - Willowbend - closer to everything, and still

affordable - for awhile.

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We're a lesbian couple currently in Tanglewilde with our 16 month old. Lately, it has become clear that many parents in the neighborhood are never really going to get comfortable with us. We both grew up in neighborhoods with lots of interaction, and we really want that for our child(ren.) We don't want our daughter to be punished for the fact that we're on the homo team.

Since for some reason HAR doesn't list voting patterns or predominant sexual preferences on their site, can someone point us toward a neighborhood with:

a) lots of gay or liberal families

b) near Medical Center/Bellaire/West U area (partner is in nursing school in med center and I work at 45 and Fuqua.)

c) good public elementary and junior high schools (realistically we'll most likely move before high school)

d) houses in the $200-300 range

e) a little style wouldn't hurt - we like midcentury modern but we're not the types to live in a "perfect" home with all vintage furniture

We're thinking Westbury, but which sections are most likely to fit all of the above? And are there neighborhoods other than Westbury?

I grew up in Willowbrook, just east of Post Oak and across from Westbury. It has made quite a comeback and is a beautiful community. I understand that it is popular area with gay families; maybe others can comment.

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this thread is so weird to me, althought I am straight, I dont understand what defines being gay to the point you wouldnt be accepted in any neighborhood? My wife and I recently purchased a home and have not had one person say hi to us yet. So I think it just depends on your disposition. You cripple yourself by acknowledging your someone different...your really not. Move anywhere you want and just get along (well maybe not Highlands Tx).

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this thread is so weird to me, althought I am straight, I dont understand what defines being gay to the point you wouldnt be accepted in any neighborhood? My wife and I recently purchased a home and have not had one person say hi to us yet. So I think it just depends on your disposition. You cripple yourself by acknowledging your someone different...your really not. Move anywhere you want and just get along (well maybe not Highlands Tx).

I think that in an ideal world, this could work. No one would even give it a second thought. It's already that way all over Europe. Unfortunately, we're not quite there yet. Many people still are predudiced against those who are born differently from them. My observation is that tremendous progress has been made for gay people. There are even religious conservatives who are coming around and understanding that gay people are born that way and it just doesn't make sense to discriminate. But back to your point. After reading it, it occurred to me that the ladies who wrote the original post are not the ones with a problem; it's some of their neighbors. So if their neighborhood is great otherwise, I would hate to see them leave. The longer they stay, the better it should get as younger, more knowledgeable residents move in. If it's really a bad situation, though, I wouldn't blame them for wanting to find a more accepting neighborhood. I may have missed it, but to the original posters: in which area are you currently living?

I reread your post...I see that you live in Tanglewilde. Where is that? I've heard of Tanglewood near the Galleria, but not Tanglewilde.

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Let me address a couple of major points about Westbury based on living here for almost 15 years and growing up in Sharpstown near Beechnut & Gessner.

1. Whether you choose to believe the 25% number or not these are the facts based on a scientifically designed study. And don't forget the US Census Bureau conducted a census in 2000 that also gave a good picture of the area. I can account for a large number of folks personally.

2. Westbury proper has one of the lowest major crime counts in the COH. Take a look at the HPD web site for crime stats. Westbury ends at the north/south drainage ditch about 1 mile west of Hillcroft. The area west of this drainage ditch is called Fondren Southwest. This is the area folks seem to be so scared of when they refer to crime. I will tell you that my partner and I shop the Fiesta and Walgreen's at that intersection. We buy gas for our cars and motorcycles at the Shell or Chevron station there. We have been to Walgreen's at 11:30PM and purchased gas at 2 AM. Never once were either of us afraid for our safety. We were well aware of our surroundings, but we were not paranoid.

3. Each of our neighbors and a number of folks in our neighborhood know we are a committed couple. We walk the dogs and talk to the neighbors. No one has ever made any negative comments. Every GLBT person or couple we know has never encountered any prejudice.

4. The problem with the "Willows" areas is the price of the homes. It's cheaper to get a big house on a large lot in Westbury.

5. You ask about S. Main. Yes, we drive S. Main all the time. Day/Night....weekend.....weekday. Never had a problem.

Finally like I told Flipper, unless you live in Westbury or bother to gather facts/figures don't go making prognostications based on your personal feelings or experiences in the 1980's. Or better yet, come to Westbury and let me and some of the other residents here show you around to get the best picture.

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I was wondering if considering the quality of the elementary school might impact your choice---Perhaps you might look at Wharton elem on Gray close to Stanford-- It's a DUAL language school all the classes are taught in 2 languages--the only elem school of it's kind in HISD---In EMCA neighborhood--south of the school--some houses are still in mid $200 range---not sure about the other areas that feed into Wharton ----Gregory Lincoln is the Middle school---brand new building--and Lamar is the High school--a plus if you're interested in the IB program it offers---The tree canopy is generous but the lots are a bit small the neighbors are friendly (block parties are numerous--the neighborhood assoc is very active) and the crime rate is much lower than you might think--there are young families moving in--and it's not too far from medical center---just a little suggestion to consider

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Dr. Food:

Clearly you love Westbury, and have a financial interest in being a "booster" as a homeowner - nothing wrong with that.

As a person who has lived close (real close) to Westbury for the better part of 40+ years, I'm calling you out on your

"scientifically designed" polling. You cited three different sources (Chron, Hou Press, US Census) as "proof" that Westbury

is 25% GLBT. I'm calling BS on your proof; there is no way that 1 in 4 people in Westbury are GLBT. So, to definitively

prove me wrong, cite here for us the "scientific" method that proves your 25% assertion. Other than a mere opinion or

very sloppy methodology, I assert there is no way you can prove what I consider a ridiculously high GUESStimate.

Please cite your sources, and the methodology so we can draw our own conclusions. Your Westbury-zealotry, while appealing,

disqualifies you as an objective observer. I like Westbury, though I find parts a bit threadbare (unlike you), and have lived amongst gay folks happily most all my life - it seems "they" live with most of the same old problems as "we" do. However, I am a stickler

for accurate stats - and you have none.

There is no way that 25% of the residents of Westbury are gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transexual. I invite you to prove me wrong with real verifiable statistics and not opinion pieces from wishful thinkers or flat-out guesses. Be specific, and verifiable!

...and I'm glad you like Westbury. I've been hanging out there since the sixties and saw some of those houses being built; I dated Westbury HS girls and most of my oldest friends grew up there. Mostly , I'm glad it now has a future; twenty or twenty-five years ago it was headed straight to blight. It's great to see improvement.

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