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My fiance and I will be moving from DC to Houston in May. She is originally from Houston, and while I am not, I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in Houston this summer. We're both extremely excited to be leaving DC, and moving to a city where two young professionals will not be priced out of the housing market.

I did quite a bit of exploring in the downtown vicinity during my time in Houston and I really like what I saw. In particular, I'm very intrigued by the Binz neighborhood for its proximity to Hermann Park, the Museums, and downtown. This area appears to be in the midst of being redeveloped and it seems like a tremendous bargain compared to properties just west of Main. I also like Washington Terrace, Riverside Terrace, and the other close neighborhoods east of 288. While I realized these areas are a bit sketchy, the architecture is great and all things considered the price seems right. My impression is that property crime (which I can tolerate) is more of an issue than violent crime (which I cannot), but I was hoping that some of you might be able offer a bit of insight on this. Likewise, I would greatly appreciate any advice that you might have regarding these neighborhoods. Thanks.

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Riverside Terrace and Washington Terrace are not as bad as the rest of Third Ward. My grandma has lived in the area for 18 years and the only crime she has had was Christmas gifts taking out of her car, but I am not going to act like that there are not worse crimes that may occur more frequently. The west side of 288 is pretty nice and for the most part safer than the east side but they don't have the greater housing stock, I am assming you are speaking of all the brick bungalows, like the east side of 288. My aunt rented a place on Arbor Street I believe east of 288 and has never had a crime surface on her property while she lived there, but in Third Ward there are areas that are night and day and some parts are on pretty high elevation which helped my aunt during Tropical Storm Allison.

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The housing stock and location of all of these neighborhoods cannot be beat. Nor can the prices. I think this is the next area that will skyrocket in Houston just like the Heights in the last decade and Montrose before that. With Hermann Park's renovation complete, the growing Museum District (MFA expansion, Children's expansion, and new Asia House), proximity to U of H, Texas Southern, Rice, UST, and HCC Central, and light rail (walkable from all areas of the Binz hood) as well as the Med Center and Downtown, it's a natural. What's more, the houses are amazing, especially in Riverside Terrace. The views aren't half bad either!

As for crime, if you are coming from D.C. it will be a non-issue. The Third Ward has a much worse reputation than it deserves and what little violent crime that does occur doesn't seem random (perp knows the victim). I think most of the reputation is based on old racial stereotypes as most of these areas have been historically African-American neighborhoods. Of course, that's partly why I like them so much (I'm a WASP). From Frenchy's Chicken on Scott to Alfreda's on Almeda to the campus of TSU (nation's 2nd largest HBCU) to Project Row Houses, there's a vibe there that is totally unique.

You'll notice too that many of the houses (especially in Washington Terrace) will display signs that read "Third Ward is My Home, Not for Sale." Many took this to mean the populace was worried about gentirification (becoming too white) but in reality, it was a collective effort to fight the developers from destroying the fabric of the Third Ward by tearing down the old and building townhomes with no curb appeal (you'll find those metal townhomes on the east side of 288 now right smack in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood). To me, that represents a neighborhood that cares. That's a good sign.

I apologize for being so long-winded, it's just that I really like these neighborhoods and it's where I want to end up if I ever make it back to Houston full-time (in Boston now).

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I live south of Third Ward, in what is ostensibly a worse neighborhood than the areas you're talking about. I've lived there 3 years, but my wife grew up in the house. In the 30 years she's lived in the house, they have only experienced one crime. Someone broke into the house in the late 1980's (which, if you know anything about Houston, was an extremely rough time in Houston). The upshot of the story is that my mother-in-law surprised the thief and chased him down the street...a neighbor heard the commotion and held the thief at bay with a shotgun until the police arrived.

So...outside of that one experience 20 years ago, no car break-ins, no vandalism, no violent crime, nothing of the sort in over 30 years.

I myself made the mistake a couple months ago of leaving the car door wide open with Christmas gifts inside...all night long. I was unloading the car before Christmas, got about halfway done and then got distracted inside and completely forgot about stuff in the car. I woke up the next morning, went outside to go to work, and OOPS! The car doors are wide open, interior lights on, and all our gifts still sitting there untouched.

I don't think you'll find a better sense of COMMUNITY in Houston than the Third Ward.

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Congratulations of your upcoming move and your good taste and semi-boldness in considering those areas. I wholeheartedly agree with the above opinions and I think you'll be kicking yourselves if you don't buy there and it turns into a classy, hip neighborhood. The west side of Riverside Terrace is more desirable as it's become part of Midtown/Museum District but, the downside of that is that, most of those old homes will eventually get knocked down. So, the 3rd Ward side has a decent chance of making a fairly intact comeback.

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My fiance and I will be moving from DC to Houston in May. She is originally from Houston, and while I am not, I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in Houston this summer. We're both extremely excited to be leaving DC, and moving to a city where two young professionals will not be priced out of the housing market.

I did quite a bit of exploring in the downtown vicinity during my time in Houston and I really like what I saw. In particular, I'm very intrigued by the Binz neighborhood for its proximity to Hermann Park, the Museums, and downtown. This area appears to be in the midst of being redeveloped and it seems like a tremendous bargain compared to properties just west of Main. I also like Washington Terrace, Riverside Terrace, and the other close neighborhoods east of 288. While I realized these areas are a bit sketchy, the architecture is great and all things considered the price seems right. My impression is that property crime (which I can tolerate) is more of an issue than violent crime (which I cannot), but I was hoping that some of you might be able offer a bit of insight on this. Likewise, I would greatly appreciate any advice that you might have regarding these neighborhoods. Thanks.

Welcome to Houston.

The only thing I would be aware of are any areas that may flood due to Braes Bayou. The Seller's Disclosure form must mention any previous problems.

It's a beautiful area. The Mosaic high rise on Almeda just received financing approval for the first tower. I think this area is on the verge of a come back.

Better hurry because Lovette homes is doing big business down there. Which only means the property value will be going up because of greed.

Greed if it's their money. Capitalism if it's yours.

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Welcome to Houston.

The only thing I would be aware of are any areas that may flood due to Braes Bayou. The Seller's Disclosure form must mention any previous problems.

Downstream (east) of SH 288, the Brays Bayou floodplains are mostly confined within the banks, but in some reaches the first two or three blocks may be inundated. Outside of those few blocks, you're good. The major floodplain problems on Brays are upstream (west) of SH 288, through the Med Center, West U big problems in the City of Bellaire (approx. 95% in the floodplain), Gulfton, Meyerland, Alief and points west.

Check the interactive floodplain maps at http://www.tsarp.org for better info.

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Wow, thanks to everyone for such great postings. It sounds as though these neighborhoods are exactly what I'm looking for.

After living in DC proper for the past three years, I've grown accustomed to living in neighborhoods that share many similarities with the Third Ward, of course in DC the homes start at 1-1.5 million. A lack of high-end grocery stores, being a minority (I'm white), and living near poor people are all non-issues for me. Driving across 288 for the first time, I was immediately taken back by the wide boulevards, palm trees, and large 1930's era homes. It's really beautiful in parts, and in many way seems to have a great deal more potential than the heights. I'm really curoious as to how man Houstonians are even aware of these areas.

Also, given Houston's property taxing scheme, living in an area with depressed property values seems to be a win-win situation for homeowners. Assuming little or no appreciation, then you are rewarded with property taxes that are a fraction of the $15000-$30000 per year that your neighbors in West U will be paying for similar square footage. If property values start to climb, well, that wouldn't really be so bad either. Am I missing something?

Edited by jdbaker
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A lack of high-end grocery stores, being a minority (I'm white), and living near poor people are all non-issues for me. Driving across 288 for the first time, I was immediately taken back by the wide boulevards, palm trees, and large 1930's era homes. It's really beautiful in parts, and in many way seems to have a great deal more potential than the heights. I'm really curoious as to how man Houstoians are even aware of these areas.

Also, given Houston's property taxing scheme, living in an area with depressed property values seems to be a win-win situation for homeowners. Assuming little or no appreciation, then you are rewarded with property taxes that are a fraction of the $15000-$30000 per year that your neighbors in West U will be paying for similar square footage. If property values start to climb, well, that wouldn't really be so bad either. Am I missing something?

No, I think you're right on. I did the same thing on the East side (hispanic area) and I love my low property taxes and like the neighborhood too. If values go up then they can only go up by 10% max per year, unless you make noted improvements, so I can deal with that, so I think you see the picture correctly. I feel like, if people only knew....but these areas are not for everyone and the majority of people, regardless of race, probably wouldn't touch Washington Terrace with a 10 foot pole. The obvious issues with most people are perceptions of crime and bad schools. I looked there too several years ago but they were out of my range even then, but would've bought one if I could've. I was inside one of those homes on Southmore and the deco touches are great. Simple elegance.

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I'm really curoious as to how man Houstoians are even aware of these areas.

Far too few. Then again, maybe it's a good thing.

The biggest battle you might face is perception. It seems that most Houstonians hear "____ Ward" and think of something from a Geto Boys album. A lot of people actually think that all the "wards" are in third-world conditions. There are pockets of decrepit homes, but for the most part, I consider the Third Ward a nice middle-class area, with some high-end and some low-end areas.

Welcome to Houston!

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I represented a buyer on a sale in there a couple of months ago. He bought in the Timbercrest section off of North MacGregor, which is absolutely beautiful. So many of the homes built in there were designed by the who's who of architects and the quality is evident, even though many suffer from bad alterations and/or neglect. Well priced homes move quick in there though. So when you find one you like, jump on it!

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  • 1 year later...
I never make judgements on houses until I see the master suite & bathroom. From what I can see, the house is nice.

There is nothing wrong with the area.

Not only is there nothing wrong with the area, I am willing to bet it becomes the next place where housing values double in the next decade. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION is the key. High paying jobs literally down the street at the TMC, UH, TSU, Rice, and easy access to downtown. Light rail coming in the near vicinity. It also doesn't hurt that a lot of the housing stock is the type that creative types are drawn to (solid brick construction from the 1930s and 40s) but are disappearing in other parts of town (West U, Southgate, Montrose) as the townhome/mcmansion craze knocks them out on a daily basis. Artists, professors, and Mos have been moving in that direction for the past 5 to 10 years. How soon until the yuppies follow?

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I may have fallen in love today. http://www.har.com/5882597 I am a bit concerned about the surrounding area. There were lots of people sort of wandering aimlessly in the streets.

Anyone want to weigh in?

Looks like a good house as long as it hasn't been the victim of a bad remuddler...the shots of the kitchen make me worry, but its hard to say given the low resolution. Houses over there seem to have been built to last, but if somebody has done a hackjob on it, then you're looking at some major issues to fix down the road.

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The agent is going to make how much commish on that house and puts up those pitiful pictures? What a joke!

He's re-using pics from a previous lisitng. Many agents go in, right-click on pics, save them and re-upload them in MLS. Some of the lower resolution pics, and the ones that don't go to full-size when you click on them are from a previous listing. This home has been for sale since 9/11/06. First with Suzanne Anderson Properties for 70 days and now with Keller Williams for 237 days. Any home that has sat on the market for 300+ days in our current market has done so for a reason - location, condition, price, floorplan, etc.

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This home has been for sale since 9/11/06. First with Suzanne Anderson Properties for 70 days and now with Keller Williams for 237 days. Any home that has sat on the market for 300+ days in our current market has done so for a reason - location, condition, price, floorplan, etc.

Okay, so let's look at the four criteria:

1. Location: the concensus here seems to be that the location is up and coming. Is it still early in that process?

2. Condition: the house was in great shape.

3. Price: I'm a Houston newby and can't judge that very well, but I suspect it's overpriced. has it been reduced over the 300+ days?

4. Floorplan: I thought it was great.

Thanks for all the comments. I am still thinking things over.

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Before buying our home, we looked into this area in 2004. We liked the architecture style of the homes . The lots are huge as well. We drove around several times during the day and late at night. Unfortunately, we were turned off with the surrounding area. It is an

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3. Price: I'm a Houston newby and can't judge that very well, but I suspect it's overpriced. has it been reduced over the 300+ days?

I overlooked some info previously, so here are updated details. Each one represents a new listing in MLS.

10/18/05 - 4/14/06 (179 days): $350,000, reduced to $339,000, reduced again to $328,900

4/30/06 - 5/25/06 (28 days): $345,000

6/5/06 - 9/7/06 (94 days): $344,900, reduced to $339,900

9/11/06 - 11/19/06 (70 days): $339,000

11/20/06 - 2/14/07 (86 days): $339,000, reduced to $329,900

2/14/07 - present (153 days): $329,900

So, according to the days above (as calculated by MLS), the home has been on the market for 610 days, with a couple small gaps between listings. It has never changed to pending during that time. Even if there isn't anything wrong with it, everyone probably assumes that there is a problem because of how long it's been sitting around. If I were looking, I would skip it and move on. However, you are the potential buyer...not me.

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I overlooked some info previously, so here are updated details. Each one represents a new listing in MLS.

10/18/05 - 4/14/06 (179 days): $350,000, reduced to $339,000, reduced again to $328,900

4/30/06 - 5/25/06 (28 days): $345,000

6/5/06 - 9/7/06 (94 days): $344,900, reduced to $339,900

9/11/06 - 11/19/06 (70 days): $339,000

11/20/06 - 2/14/07 (86 days): $339,000, reduced to $329,900

2/14/07 - present (153 days): $329,900

So, according to the days above (as calculated by MLS), the home has been on the market for 610 days, with a couple small gaps between listings. It has never changed to pending during that time. Even if there isn't anything wrong with it, everyone probably assumes that there is a problem because of how long it's been sitting around. If I were looking, I would skip it and move on. However, you are the potential buyer...not me.

Honestly as a resident of this area, sounds like that should not be touched with a 10ft pole. I would certainly hire an inspector before putting in a bid. If there was one thing I found while looking at older houses its that an inspector can tell you how much $$$ you will fork out after you buy.

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I may have fallen in love today. http://www.har.com/5882597 I am a bit concerned about the surrounding area. There were lots of people sort of wandering aimlessly in the streets.

Anyone want to weigh in?

Don't worry too much about people walking in the streets. In Houston (and the rest of Texas?) there can be perfectly good sidewalks on both sides of the street and people will walk in the road. It happens in the best neighborhoods and the worst. I don't know why this is. People from the area don't notice it and don't realize they're doing anything unusual. It's usually only outsiders who think it's odd. Unless they look unkempt or dangerous, I wouldn't worry about it.

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That home is on Ewing off N. Macgregor. It has sat for so long because it is over priced for the area. If the price dropped below $290,000 it would sell fast. For over $300,000 you go to S Macgregor bigger yard , better security no run down convenience stores with people hanging out, and no run down apartments a block away. Lower the price and it will sell

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  • 7 months later...

"Looks like it's being advertised mostly for the land."

Being sold as an "As is" is also a pretty good indicator that there is a lot of work to be done. Having said that, the price is pretty reasonable. But, here we are once again with a good candidate for restoration well within a flood zone (http://maps2.tsarp.org/tsarp/). If this one has been sitting dormant since the hurricane (which one?) as mentioned in the HAR listing, well... that too is somewhat troubling.

Edited by domus48
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I just got done seeing this house. Its best feature is its exterior. The living room is pretty good, too. The rest of house is rather confusing, though, and the house seems really small from the inside.

Someone started doing some work, so there is sheetrock missing in a lot of places, and paint splattered on the inside brick and paneling, which is a shame. The house needs complete renovation.

It's actually not nearly as good of a house as the one on S. Macgregor that just sold for $152,000. That one was interesting and had a lot of neat features, including a much better layout. This one needs about as much work but without the payoff of original terrazzo floors, walls of glass, and a great cantilevered entry.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been a native Houstonian all of my life. I LOVE this city. Having traveled all over the Americas, I have been to no other city I enjoy more. That being said, I have decided to take the 'plunge' and BUY my own piece of Houston.

Recently on my search for the right home, I discovered an area called Riverside Terrace. I am wondering from a financial investment standpoint, what the future of this neighborhood is? Is buying in this area good or bad? :blink:

Is it a bad idea to move in this neighborhood? I should preface that with the fact that I am a young, white, Gay male and would be living in this House alone, possibly with a roommate, or eventually a partner. From what I have seen so far in talking to neighborhood home owners, they love this area and seem to think I would have no problems in the area being white - however, I did not explain my sexual orientation.

Any feedback or thoughts are appreciated.

I am a first time home buyer, in love with this area - seeking the help of other Houstonians - looking to make an informed buying decision.

I am fascinated with this area because it is only 8 minutes from down town - and seems decently maintained. Like it's protected by a bubble. The landscapes are not professionally maintained, as in River Oaks - but lovingly maintained to home owners trying to hold on to what seems to be their pride and joy.

The home in particular that I am looking at is not in the flood plain, and the demographics for 77021 are 82% black, 8% white, and misc. the rest of the way... your thoughts, comments and suggestions are very much appreciated!

Thanks,

Chris

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My two cents:

Many of us have traveled down the same path as you, but have reach different conclusions (see my thread at http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...mp;hl=eastwood). For example, I have few (white) friends who have purchased homes in Riverside Terrace and general they like where they are. Some have had great luck, while others have had less positive experiences.

We looked at a fixer-upper on Prospect Street, near 288. The house needed a ton of work, but had great potential. All the homes on the street were large and well-maintained. However, we felt very uneasy there. Can't really describe it, just a general feeling that we weren't wanted. I'm white, but my partner is black, and so I figured nobody would mind me being there, LOL. We spoke to a number of the neighbors, asking what they knew about the house. OMG, not friendly at all...couldn't wait to get us off their porch. I was a bit confused by it at first, but my partner knew why. He describes the problem with RT along the lines of his people being generally suspicious of white people moving in (which I expected), but really the issue is the gay thing, which is more cultural than generational. If you are single, they don't really know you are gay, so you are problably fine.

I think RT has tons of potential. Love the homes, the terrain, etc. But I never did feel welcome there. Eastwood seems to be our fit, though on the outside it isn't as clean and well-maintained as RT is.

ETA: We were looking in the 77004 section of RT, not 77021. Things might be different in 77021, though I suspect not.

Edited by travelguy_73
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This is a bit racially charged, but I will try to give my opinion as delicately as possible. FYI, I am white and straight, but have been mistaken for gay by most people my whole adult life. I also am a native Houstonian and love the city. I think you will be just fine in Riverside Terrace, but I base that on my own experience and my comfort level when I am in a neighborhood where I am a minority. I have never lived in that particular neighborhood.

I can't tell you how to "behave" in your own life, but I might suggest, that you learn about and be very respectful of the history, traditions and current residents of the neighborhood you choose. This doesn't mean you have to give up any of your own identity, but be prepared to interact with people who are "different" than you are. Although its not politically correct, I think there are clearly some differences between blacks and whites, gays and straights, rich and poor, men and women, etc... Forget politically correct...the differences are what make us interesting and what makes city living rewarding!!!

Gay people and black people are both minorities and both groups have suffered oppression and discrimination in this country. That is something that you hold in common which I think is a good foundation for being tolorant of others (and each other). I think that is a plus. My experince in living adjacent to Freedman's town in Houston for many years and staying in Harlem in New York for many years is that the black community takes a great deal of pride in their neighborhoods. The problem is that there is frequently a lack of resources that the community has access to. So, the neighborhood frequently looks "bad" even though the community is tightly knit and looks out for each other. Like any neighborhood, there is always a risk of crime and in a depressed neighborhood perhaps moreso, but there is also the chance to buy much more house for less. I suggest you don't be afraid to try that neighborhood. That location is very nice and the value will continue to rise in my opinion.

Support the businesses, join the civic club if there is one, introduce yourself to your neighbors! If you make an effort to fit in and be respectful of the residents and businesses there, I think it will come back to you. Be mindful though...its the big city...which means wherever you are you should lock your doors, watch your back and not let your guard completely down.

One more thing...if you still want to consider other neighborhoods...you might take a look in Glenbrook Valley. We looked in Riverside Terrace, but opted for GV. Its a VERY interesting neighborhood with great 1950s architecture, a very active civic club and LOTS of potential. And, its CHEAP and 10 minutes from downtown. Good luck!!!

I have been a native Houstonian all of my life. I LOVE this city. Having traveled all over the Americas, I have been to no other city I enjoy more. That being said, I have decided to take the 'plunge' and BUY my own piece of Houston.

Recently on my search for the right home, I discovered an area called Riverside Terrace. I am wondering from a financial investment standpoint, what the future of this neighborhood is? Is buying in this area good or bad? :blink:

Is it a bad idea to move in this neighborhood? I should preface that with the fact that I am a young, white, Gay male and would be living in this House alone, possibly with a roommate, or eventually a partner. From what I have seen so far in talking to neighborhood home owners, they love this area and seem to think I would have no problems in the area being white - however, I did not explain my sexual orientation.

Any feedback or thoughts are appreciated.

I am a first time home buyer, in love with this area - seeking the help of other Houstonians - looking to make an informed buying decision.

I am fascinated with this area because it is only 8 minutes from down town - and seems decently maintained. Like it's protected by a bubble. The landscapes are not professionally maintained, as in River Oaks - but lovingly maintained to home owners trying to hold on to what seems to be their pride and joy.

The home in particular that I am looking at is not in the flood plain, and the demographics for 77021 are 82% black, 8% white, and misc. the rest of the way... your thoughts, comments and suggestions are very much appreciated!

Thanks,

Chris

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My two cents on this...

1.) No rivers.

2.) No terrace.

...Riverside terrace has been a place "about to turn" for a decade+ now. If you like bungalows, and the general feel of that type of neighboorhood, consider Idylwood (and just hope you don't need a lot of closet space). It still has deed restrictions, which so far, has limited the intrusion of townhomes into the neighborhood (a few old homes have been leveled, but large single family houses went up in their place). Idylwood too expensive, consider Country Club place, just around the corner. Places that do not have restrictions (which specify set backs and minimum lot size), that look desirable now, are at great risk of losing their appeal/character (if that is what you are going for). If you like large 50's modern homes, consider Glenbrook Valley - Section 1. Urban Lofts has invaded parts of Riverside Terrace/77004. If you still really want to live in 77004, consider Timber Crest (not Timbercrest).

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Also check out Riverside/77021. We have not had the townhome intrusion on this side of the bayou yet, and we also have a few neighbors who are the same demographic as you (GWM), and they must like it, as they've been here over 20 years.

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I live in Riverside Terrace and love it. Can't believe I'm able to live inside the loop 2.5 miles from my job in the Med center, and everything else Houston has to offer.

Not sure about the Riverside/77004, but Riverside/77021 has a few "white" people. There are two households with neighbors I know that are gay, there maybe more. In the last year three White families have moved into houses in the neighborhood. None with children at least two with same sex occupants - does this mean they are gay ?? In answer to your question You would be very welcome here. You have to feel comfortable being in the minority, have humility and have respect for the history, also come with an open mind you'll be fine.

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Riverside/77021 has a few "white" people. There are two households with neighbors I know that are gay, there maybe more. In the last year three White families have moved into houses in the neighborhood. None with children at least two with same sex occupants - does this mean they are gay ?? In answer to your question You would be very welcome here. You have to feel comfortable being in the minority, have humility and have respect for the history, also come with an open mind you'll be fine.

On the comment about there being no same sex couples with children in the neighborhood, I saw a lesbian couple last week at the Local Voting Precint Caucus Convention with their son. Perhaps there are more, but we do have such families here in our "hood".

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On the comment about there being no same sex couples with children in the neighborhood, I saw a lesbian couple last week at the Local Voting Precint Caucus Convention with their son. Perhaps there are more, but we do have such families here in our "hood".

Good to know! Thanks for the info.

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Fantastic! Thank you SO much for the imput. I am spending Saturday morning with my realtor in RT. Also eager to check out Country Club Place and Timber Crest. I love Idylwood, but its a bit too pricy for me. I am excited about my future purchase and glad to hear I would be welcome. As said earlier, there are always people who will be uncomfortable in one way or another... Unfortunately, being Gay, I have already dealt with that extensively.

I very much appreciate the feedback and comments - and welcome more! :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

My husband and I are moving to Houston this summer. We don't know much about Houston but will be transfering because he was accepted to a Ph.D program at Rice. U. (never visited, I'm from Boston, he's from S. Oregon) I will be teaching high school, probably HISD. We don't have any children yet but have an active dog and we're tired of apartment life so would like to buy a house at least a few months after we move to Houston.

It seems like most of the homes we could afford (we will have about 20k for a down payment) and are close to Rice (under 2 miles) are across 288 in Riverside terrace, Wilmoth subd., etc. Mostly zip codes 77004 or 77021. Just by looking at HAR.com and ziprealty (etc.) I've noticed that there seems to be (at least on paper) a huge increase in crime stats. For example, on ziprealty they show a graph that shows these areas to have crime rates that are near 400, with 100 being the national average. Is it possible that the SFR areas I'm looking at have a lower crime rate and the apt/town-home areas have higher rates? I'm living in Tokyo now where I feel safe walking my dog past midnight so safety is important. However, I know we will have to make some sacrifices by choosing to live inside the loop near rice and not being able to afford places west of Rice (like West U.)

Any opinions?

Are there any other safer neighborhoods that sometime sell for under 140k that are about 2m or less from Rice?

Also, if financing goes smoothly what is the avg time it takes to close a house deal?

Here are the MLS numbers of some homes I'm interested in so far (though I think they will be gone by August...)

  • 8855715 3205 CHARLESTON
  • 1913058 2605 ARBOR ST
  • 6948117 3010 SOUTHMORE BLVD
  • 4871043 2619 ROSEWOOD ST

{{{Also, from the other posts about these areas I've noticed that some people think race makes a difference in what kind of opinion they give soo... I'm half Japanese/half caucasian, my husband is caucasian. }}}

Thank you!

(((ps. If anyone knows anything about how prevalent dog stealing is in Houston (from backyards) can you tell me??)))

Edited by stefaniedurbin
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Any opinions?

Are there any other safer neighborhoods that sometime sell for under 140k that are about 2m or less from Rice?

Also, if financing goes smoothly what is the avg time it takes to close a house deal?

The short answer is that if you want to be under $140k, in a single-family home, within two miles of Rice, and west of 288, you're out of luck. Your best bet may be to look at new subdivisions such as City Park which are a little further to the south and off of 288. Alternately, you may still be able to find good deals in or near Westbury that work for you and aren't quite as crime-prone.

The alternative is to go for a multi-family option, which to be honest with you is probably a good idea at least for the first several months. That'll give you the opportunity to learn the lay of the land and also to determine how comfortable you are with being urban pioneers east of 288. Also, you may determine that once your husband is done with his Ph.D., it'd be preferable for you to move to a different city (I wouldn't, but there's no accounting for personal tastes). If you buy a place only to sell it within a couple of years, then the way that amortization works, it becomes very difficult for you to make money on the deal as compared to renting. Even if you stay in the Houston area, if you expect that he'll be employed somewhere not in central Houston, then you might end up preferring to move.

Another thing for you to consider is that in addition to buying a home, you'll have to pay property taxes and insurance. If you stay in Harris County, you don't have to buy windstorm and hail insurance, which covers hurricanes. Texas is notorious for high property taxes and sales taxes but no income tax, so that our tax environment is favorable on the whole, but not without caveats. As a general rule for the City of Houston, expect to allocate about 2.5% of the value of a home to property taxes each year, but be aware that there are many exceptions. Use hcad.org to figure out what your prospective home is assessed at and what the tax rate is. If these factors cause you to back off any further from your $140k price, then I'd strongly advise you to rent one way or the other until you can save up enough for a larger down payment.

(((ps. If anyone knows anything about how prevalent dog stealing is in Houston (from backyards) can you tell me??)))

I've never heard of it happening here, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

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Hi,

I live in Riverside Terrace with my family. There is crime, but what I've found personally is that the crime happens around you, not to you... drug dealers shoot each others, prostitutes get beaten. I'm afraid this is what I've seen with my own eyes. I don't want my kids seeing this anymore, so we're moving. If it doesn't bother you to see an incident now and then, you might not mind. However, there's no way I'd go walking around at midnight, here or anywhere else inside the loop.

I agree that City Park might be worth looking into. One problem is that it is low-end, which of course is great in terms of affordability, but might attract some less stable people and less stable situations. That could impact on crime.

If I were you, I would look into a small condo in a good neighborhood inside the loop, rather than a house in a sketchy neighborhood. Of course, you have a dog, so that's a potential issue, but there are apartments and presumably condos that take dogs.

I have a friend in Sugarland (a nice suburb where people go to get away from Houston crime) whose house was broken into in the middle of the day and they stole her dog. So it does happen, and can happen in any neighborhood. Wherever you move, remember that while many parts of Houston appear like suburbs and might seem safe, this is a big city and there is crime everywhere. So be careful, have an alarm system and keep your wits about you and you'll be fine.

.

My husband and I are moving to Houston this summer. We don't know much about Houston but will be transfering because he was accepted to a Ph.D program at Rice. U. (never visited, I'm from Boston, he's from S. Oregon) I will be teaching high school, probably HISD. We don't have any children yet but have an active dog and we're tired of apartment life so would like to buy a house at least a few months after we move to Houston.

It seems like most of the homes we could afford (we will have about 20k for a down payment) and are close to Rice (under 2 miles) are across 288 in Riverside terrace, Wilmoth subd., etc. Mostly zip codes 77004 or 77021. Just by looking at HAR.com and ziprealty (etc.) I've noticed that there seems to be (at least on paper) a huge increase in crime stats. For example, on ziprealty they show a graph that shows these areas to have crime rates that are near 400, with 100 being the national average. Is it possible that the SFR areas I'm looking at have a lower crime rate and the apt/town-home areas have higher rates? I'm living in Tokyo now where I feel safe walking my dog past midnight so safety is important. However, I know we will have to make some sacrifices by choosing to live inside the loop near rice and not being able to afford places west of Rice (like West U.)

Any opinions?

Are there any other safer neighborhoods that sometime sell for under 140k that are about 2m or less from Rice?

Also, if financing goes smoothly what is the avg time it takes to close a house deal?

Here are the MLS numbers of some homes I'm interested in so far (though I think they will be gone by August...)

  • 8855715 3205 CHARLESTON
  • 1913058 2605 ARBOR ST
  • 6948117 3010 SOUTHMORE BLVD
  • 4871043 2619 ROSEWOOD ST

{{{Also, from the other posts about these areas I've noticed that some people think race makes a difference in what kind of opinion they give soo... I'm half Japanese/half caucasian, my husband is caucasian. }}}

Thank you!

(((ps. If anyone knows anything about how prevalent dog stealing is in Houston (from backyards) can you tell me??)))

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I would second the rental idea. I moved to Houston in 2001 and bought right away, however looking back a rental unit would have benefitted me greatly. I knew nothing about the city and ended up buying a place that wasn't bad at all, but had I spent 6-12 months looking around and getting to know the city and the neighborhoods, I would have definitely chosen differently.

There are homes in the Heights that can be rented for less than $1000 per month as well. I have a few friends that have bought here and make the commute to the Med Center, and they say its about a 20 min drive and no freeways required.

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As others have said, if you are concerned about crime, you are looking in the wrong area.

I agree with the notion that you should rent first so you can better learn where in the city you want to live.

If you are dead set on buying, I would look into Westwood (77025) and Post Oak Manor (77035). They are a 4-5 mile straight shot up Main St. from Rice.

It's not rare to pick up a house ~$140,000 in those 2 neighborhoods.

flipper

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I live in Riverside Terrace and love it. I would never live anywhere else. (have lived in the burbs) Having said that all Riverside Terrace is not equal. Unfortuately your budget is not going to allow you to live in the parts of Riverside Terrace that are safe and more tranquil. I too would be hesitant to live in the houses you selected. I think others have given you good advice - Rent first and check out areas once you've explored a bit. Whatever you do do not buy in the suburbs, or any masterplanned community until youv'e been in Houston a while. If you don't do generic well the planned communities might be a mistake could also be an expensive one especially if you plan to sell in < 10years.

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Check out Willowbend. I have some friends that just bought in that area and it's really quite nice. I didn't ask the purchase price.

Meanwhile, if you decide to rent, I'd check out the Museum District/Montrose area. That's really close to Rice U.

I totally do not agree with the comment about not being able to walk "anywhere inside the loop" at midnight.

Here's one in Willow Bend ($139.900.). http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;backButton=Y

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  • The title was changed to Riverside Terrace Private Viewing Of "This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale," At The Murphy's
  • The title was changed to Riverside Terrace Real Estate

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