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Which Neighbourhood


Wide Eye

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Hello forum!

We're first time home owners and would like to hear your opinions. Because I work at North HW6 and my husband works at Greenway Plz, we try to find a place "convenient" (though, it's hard) for both of us. We're considering Walnut Bend, Lakeside, Wilchester and Briargrove CT,Park... Our budget is up to $300K, though $250K-$280K would be even better. Which area is better, in terms of safety, traffic and home value appreciation? I tried to find crime statistics of the neighbourhood on internet, but didn't have much luck. Do you have any resource to recommend? Many thanks!

W.E. :rolleyes:

Edited by Wide Eye
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I live in Nottingham (which I very highly recommend on all the counts you mentioned). How big of a house do you want? Are you concerned about schools (some you mentioned are in Houston ISD, others in Spring Branch ISD). There aren't many houses under 300k in Briargrove Park from what I remember (we looked last summer).

Walnut Bend and Lakeside will probably lag behind Briargrove Park and any of the Spring Branch ISD areas: Nottingham, Wilchester, Wilchester West.

I'll see if I can come up with any localized crime statistics...

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I'd rank them (best to least) as:

Briargrove Park - Inside the Belt, zoned to Westside High (HISD), gas lamp-lit streets, low inner-neighborhood traffic volume.

Wilchester - Memorial area, zoned to Stratford (Spring Branch ISD), similar to other west-Memorial neighborhoods (big homes on big lots), low inner-neighborhood traffic volume.

Walnut Bend - Mirrors Briargrove park in design, not as nice as BGP however, looks up and coming - could be next BGP, zoned to Westside High (HISD), medium inner-neighborhood traffic volume.

Lakeside - Ghetto neighbor to Walnut Bend, too many ajoining townhomes & near-by apartments, higher traffic volume due to Wilcrest.

This is what my wife & found when we were home shopping. We couldn't afford anything worth while in the above neighborhoods, so we had to keep driving west!

Also, if you snoop around the HPD website you can find some crime stats as well.

Edited by Jeebus
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http://www.houstontx.gov/police/cs/beatpages/cs20g50.htm includes Nottingham and Wilchester

http://www.houstontx.gov/police/cs/beatpages/cs20g40.htm includes Lakeview Forest and Lakeside Place

http://www.houstontx.gov/police/cs/beatpages/westside.htm is the general homepage for all the different neighborhoods.

Let me know if you want more information on Nottingham or Wilchester as I know those the best and have lots of friends in that specific area. We liked everything north of Memorial between Wilcrest and Gessner when we were looking - the further in you get the more expensive, obviously. Another neighborhood to consider is Nottingham Forest.

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Walnut Bend, Briargrove Park, and Lakeside are zoned to:

* Walnut Bend ES

* Revere MS OR West Briar MS

* Westside HS

Walnut Bend ES is getting a brand new campus. Revere MS, built in the 80's, now has a lot of students from apartments, while West Briar, built in 2002, has mainly homeowners. I think West Briar is a better bet.

Westside HS, built in 2000, is thought of as a good school too.

Walnut Bend, Revere, and Westside have "Acceptable" TEA ratings while West Briar has "Recognized".

Websites:

* Walnut Bend ES - http://www.walnutbendeagles.com/

* Revere MS - http://www.reverems.org/

* West Briar MS - http://www.westbriar.org/

* Westside HS - http://hs.houstonisd.org/westsidehs/

Profiles

* Walnut Bend ES - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/WalnutBend_ES.pdf

* Revere MS - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Revere_MS.pdf

* West Briar MS - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Westbriar_MS.pdf

* Westside HS - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Westside_HS.pdf

Parts of Wilchester are zoned to Wilchester ES, while other parts are zoned to Rummel Creek ES

All of Wilchester is zoned to:

* Memorial MS

* Stratford HS

These SBISD schools have very high TEA ratings (Exemplary).

Websites:

* Wilchester ES - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/elem/wce/wceindex.htm

* Rummel Creek ES - http://rce.springbranchisd.com/

* Memorial MS - http://mms.springbranchisd.com/

* Stratford HS - http://ssh.springbranchisd.com/

Profiles:

* Wilchester ES - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

* Rummel Creek ES - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

* Memorial MS - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

* Stratford HS - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

Edited by VicMan
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Walnut Bend, Briargrove Park, and Lakeside are zoned to:

* Walnut Bend ES

* Revere MS OR West Briar MS

* Westside HS

Walnut Bend ES is getting a brand new campus. Revere MS, built in the 80's, now has a lot of students from apartments, while West Briar, built in 2002, has mainly homeowners. I think West Briar is a better bet.

Westside HS, built in 2000, is thought of as a good school too.

Walnut Bend, Revere, and Westside have "Acceptable" TEA ratings while West Briar has "Recognized".

Websites:

* Walnut Bend ES - http://www.walnutbendeagles.com/

* Revere MS - http://www.reverems.org/

* West Briar MS - http://www.westbriar.org/

* Westside HS - http://hs.houstonisd.org/westsidehs/

Profiles

* Walnut Bend ES - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/WalnutBend_ES.pdf

* Revere MS - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Revere_MS.pdf

* West Briar MS - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Westbriar_MS.pdf

* Westside HS - http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Westside_HS.pdf

Parts of Wilchester are zoned to Wilchester ES, while other parts are zoned to Rummel Creek ES

All of Wilchester is zoned to:

* Memorial MS

* Stratford HS

These SBISD schools have very high TEA ratings (Exemplary).

Websites:

* Wilchester ES - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/elem/wce/wceindex.htm

* Rummel Creek ES - http://rce.springbranchisd.com/

* Memorial MS - http://mms.springbranchisd.com/

* Stratford HS - http://ssh.springbranchisd.com/

Profiles:

* Wilchester ES - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

* Rummel Creek ES - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

* Memorial MS - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

* Stratford HS - http://www.springbranchisd.com/schools/all...report04-05.pdf

Thank you guys! I didn't expect to get so much good info so quickly!

We don't have kids yet, but this situation may change rather soon... I appreciate the information on school zoons.

One of my concerns is commute. Does anyone here have a daily commute to the innerloop everyday? Which way is the best, relatively speaking? I've heard that Westpark toll sometimes gets bumper to bumper during rush-hours. How about Westheimer? Better or worse? We'll try to avoid I-10 if we can.

cdipaolo, thanks a lot for the cime statistics...that's exactly what I'm looking for. I noticed that some good-sized houses off N. Wilcrest were on sale for very reasonable prices (~$260K). I wonder whether a house sitting off of a main street is less attrative to sellers or what... Another question is that how much should we expect to spend on regular maintenance of a 50-year house? I'm thinking of a 2200-2500sqf house on an 8000sqf land. How about taxes, if we live in? Thank you so much!

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You want to avoid a home sitting on the main street (like some of the homes in BGP that face Briar Forest) for three reasons:

1. Small children/pets - can run into the street, less area to skate or ride a bike, easier targets for predators.

3. Lack of safe curb-side parking for yourself or company.

4. Noise & teenager drivers in rice-rockets commuting through driving 70 in 35.

The Westpark Toll is only backed up for about an hour starting around the belt heading east in the mornings (between 7 & 8), and then again around the belt in the afternoons (between 5 & 6). Other than that, its a nice (but eventually expensive) alternative to gridlock.

I-10 is only bad until you get to 610 (heading east from the belt) and then it opens up. I'd hope that once the Katy freeway project is completed that this would no longer be the case. Of course even after the project is finished, it would be foolish to think there would be no slow downs at the belt & loop interchanges.

Depending on where you're going, I've found both Westheimer & Briar Forest/San Felipe to be somewhat dependable when timing commutes. They are certainly not the fastest & most fluid routes, but they still afford you the chance to run errands, detour, or stop for breakfast/dinner.

Edited by Jeebus
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cdipaolo, thanks a lot for the cime statistics...that's exactly what I'm looking for. I noticed that some good-sized houses off N. Wilcrest were on sale for very reasonable prices (~$260K). I wonder whether a house sitting off of a main street is less attrative to sellers or what... Another question is that how much should we expect to spend on regular maintenance of a 50-year house? I'm thinking of a 2200-2500sqf house on an 8000sqf land. How about taxes, if we live in? Thank you so much!

I echo Jeebus' thoughts about homes on Wilcrest - they will go for a discount because they are less desirable. If one is desperate to get into a neighborhood, those would be the cheapest way besides just finding the smallest house that needs a lot of repair work.

I also agree about Walnut Bend/Lakeside that someone mentioned - in my opinion if you're going to be in the area there will be less crime, better home appreciation, better schools and (often) less traffic in the neighborhoods off of Memorial compared to Briar Forest/Westheimer.

Taxes for a house that is appraised at $265k has total property taxes of about $6500 in 2005 (including county, city, schools, etc.)

"Regular" maintenance is hard to say for a home that is 40-50 years old. More than "regular" maintenance is the number of big projects that will need to be done - there can be houses that age with new windows, new siding, new insulation, redone kitchen/baths, new flooring, etc. that will require negligible maintenance. Then there are those that will need all that plus a new roof....

I commute to the Galleria from roughly Kirkwood between Memorial & I-10. I leave early and come home early to beat traffic. I leave at 6:15 am and sit down in my office at 6:35 am taking I-10. I leave at 4:15 and am always home by 5:00 (again taking I-10) even if traffic is unusually heavy and the entrance ramp to 610 being closed by my office. I would think this would improve after the construction is done.

Hopefully by 2008/2009 the construction will have paid off and I-10 will actually be more of a "plus" than a "minus".

I'll put in one more plug for Nottingham - Wilchester/Memorial/Stratford schools and every other street is a "horseshoe" street that doesn't go through to Kirkwood which makes it very difficult to cut through. Prices are (in general) lower than Wilchester and there are probably more homes in your size range.

Best of luck in your search!

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I echo Jeebus' thoughts about homes on Wilcrest - they will go for a discount because they are less desirable. If one is desperate to get into a neighborhood, those would be the cheapest way besides just finding the smallest house that needs a lot of repair work.

I also agree about Walnut Bend/Lakeside that someone mentioned - in my opinion if you're going to be in the area there will be less crime, better home appreciation, better schools and (often) less traffic in the neighborhoods off of Memorial compared to Briar Forest/Westheimer.

Taxes for a house that is appraised at $265k has total property taxes of about $6500 in 2005 (including county, city, schools, etc.)

"Regular" maintenance is hard to say for a home that is 40-50 years old. More than "regular" maintenance is the number of big projects that will need to be done - there can be houses that age with new windows, new siding, new insulation, redone kitchen/baths, new flooring, etc. that will require negligible maintenance. Then there are those that will need all that plus a new roof....

I commute to the Galleria from roughly Kirkwood between Memorial & I-10. I leave early and come home early to beat traffic. I leave at 6:15 am and sit down in my office at 6:35 am taking I-10. I leave at 4:15 and am always home by 5:00 (again taking I-10) even if traffic is unusually heavy and the entrance ramp to 610 being closed by my office. I would think this would improve after the construction is done.

Hopefully by 2008/2009 the construction will have paid off and I-10 will actually be more of a "plus" than a "minus".

I'll put in one more plug for Nottingham - Wilchester/Memorial/Stratford schools and every other street is a "horseshoe" street that doesn't go through to Kirkwood which makes it very difficult to cut through. Prices are (in general) lower than Wilchester and there are probably more homes in your size range.

Best of luck in your search!

Thanks cdipaolo!

You want to avoid a home sitting on the main street (like some of the homes in BGP that face Briar Forest) for three reasons:

1. Small children/pets - can run into the street, less area to skate or ride a bike, easier targets for predators.

3. Lack of safe curb-side parking for yourself or company.

4. Noise & teenager drivers in rice-rockets commuting through driving 70 in 35.

The Westpark Toll is only backed up for about an hour starting around the belt heading east in the mornings (between 7 & 8), and then again around the belt in the afternoons (between 5 & 6). Other than that, its a nice (but eventually expensive) alternative to gridlock.

I-10 is only bad until you get to 610 (heading east from the belt) and then it opens up. I'd hope that once the Katy freeway project is completed that this would no longer be the case. Of course even after the project is finished, it would be foolish to think there would be no slow downs at the belt & loop interchanges.

Depending on where you're going, I've found both Westheimer & Briar Forest/San Felipe to be somewhat dependable when timing commutes. They are certainly not the fastest & most fluid routes, but they still afford you the chance to run errands, detour, or stop for breakfast/dinner.

Thanks Jeebus! It seems that I-10 is still the most convenient way to get into the loop (in our case, Greenway Plz). I hate the traffic on I-10 as much as I love the houses in the neighbourhood. Maybe I need to learn to live with it...

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