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Hello, all-

I've been lurking on this forum ever since I found out that we would be moving to Houston. Now that we are here and have begun the house hunt in earnest, I need some advice.

My husband got a job in the medical center. But we're not doctors and absolutely can't spend over $200K - actually we'd rather it be more like $180K.

We would like a good sized home (3-4 bedroom) with a little personality and a decent to good sized yard for the dogs. And we're looking for somewhere that would make the commute as painless as possible for him. We're hoping to start a family soon, so a good school district would be nice but I guess isn't essential since it will be a few years before that would become an issue.

Everything that we're seeing either has crime stats that scare me or is a community with nothing but cookie cutter brick homes with no trees. Is it possible to find a safe place with a little style in our price range?

We found a place in Quail Valley that we are considering, but there is talk of them selling the golf course and that concerns me. (I posted about this in the Sugarland forum.)

I guess we have champagne tastes and a Coca-Cola budget. Are we doomed?

Any advice that you may have would be great. Thanks so much!

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Try looking in 77021, Riverside Terrace and the surrounding along south of MacGregor. It's only about a mile from the medical center and it has the look and feel of a long forgotten West U. You should be able to find something in your price range.

Edited by jdbaker
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Hello, all-

I've been lurking on this forum ever since I found out that we would be moving to Houston. Now that we are here and have begun the house hunt in earnest, I need some advice.

My husband got a job in the medical center. But we're not doctors and absolutely can't spend over $200K - actually we'd rather it be more like $180K.

We would like a good sized home (3-4 bedroom) with a little personality and a decent to good sized yard for the dogs. And we're looking for somewhere that would make the commute as painless as possible for him. We're hoping to start a family soon, so a good school district would be nice but I guess isn't essential since it will be a few years before that would become an issue.

Everything that we're seeing either has crime stats that scare me or is a community with nothing but cookie cutter brick homes with no trees. Is it possible to find a safe place with a little style in our price range?

We found a place in Quail Valley that we are considering, but there is talk of them selling the golf course and that concerns me. (I posted about this in the Sugarland forum.)

I guess we have champagne tastes and a Coca-Cola budget. Are we doomed?

Any advice that you may have would be great. Thanks so much!

Try looking at Garden Villas. The schools aren't exactly great, but at least for elementary school should be adequate.

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There are tons of options. You just have to go with the places that aren't the "main stream" choices yet. Certainly you might have to deal with some transitional neighborhood issues, but you can pay a lot more than $200k and still have to contend with some transitional neighborhood issues.

Westbury & Parkwest have decent size homes in that price range close in. If you get in the northern fringe of Garden Villas, on Haywood for example, there are some really nice homes on large lots. Lindale Park is another good option. The houses are not that big generally though. I live in Glenbrook Valley, some sections are better than others, the sections close to Sims Bayou are really nice and while prices are rising, you can still find something in there for that price range. Often times with large lots. like this

Edited by rps324
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:rolleyes: Check out the home at 3447 Southdown Drive in Pearland.. 3-4 bedrooms - 7700 sq ft lot..NO MUD TAX..NO back neighbors..Very convenient to 288/BW8 and 15 minutes to Med Center

Hello, all-

I've been lurking on this forum ever since I found out that we would be moving to Houston. Now that we are here and have begun the house hunt in earnest, I need some advice.

My husband got a job in the medical center. But we're not doctors and absolutely can't spend over $200K - actually we'd rather it be more like $180K.

We would like a good sized home (3-4 bedroom) with a little personality and a decent to good sized yard for the dogs. And we're looking for somewhere that would make the commute as painless as possible for him. We're hoping to start a family soon, so a good school district would be nice but I guess isn't essential since it will be a few years before that would become an issue.

Everything that we're seeing either has crime stats that scare me or is a community with nothing but cookie cutter brick homes with no trees. Is it possible to find a safe place with a little style in our price range?

We found a place in Quail Valley that we are considering, but there is talk of them selling the golf course and that concerns me. (I posted about this in the Sugarland forum.)

I guess we have champagne tastes and a Coca-Cola budget. Are we doomed?

Any advice that you may have would be great. Thanks so much!

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We would like a good sized home (3-4 bedroom) with a little personality and a decent to good sized yard for the dogs. And we're looking for somewhere that would make the commute as painless as possible for him.

Everything that we're seeing either has crime stats that scare me or is a community with nothing but cookie cutter brick homes with no trees. Is it possible to find a safe place with a little style in our price range?

I guess we have champagne tastes and a Coca-Cola budget. Are we doomed?

i think if you're willing to do some updates to the home you'll have many options. if crime is that much of an issue for you, then you may have some problems.

Very convenient to 288/BW8 and 15 minutes to Med Center

that must be at off-peak times because the last time i came up 288 during a morning rush hr, it was backed up!

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based on the fact that most medical staff do very early shifts to mid day to late night... if you leave SD at 8:00 am the most of the rush is down unless there is an accident...

i think if you're willing to do some updates to the home you'll have many options. if crime is that much of an issue for you, then you may have some problems.

that must be at off-peak times because the last time i came up 288 during a morning rush hr, it was backed up!

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based on the fact that most medical staff do very early shifts to mid day to late night... if you leave SD at 8:00 am the most of the rush is down unless there is an accident...

not everyone that lives down there is in the medical industry so there is a rush hr down there too. my aunt works for hisd in town and commented over the holidays that rush hr is just getting worse so she leaves earlier.

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Hello, all-

I've been lurking on this forum ever since I found out that we would be moving to Houston. Now that we are here and have begun the house hunt in earnest, I need some advice.

My husband got a job in the medical center. But we're not doctors and absolutely can't spend over $200K - actually we'd rather it be more like $180K.

We would like a good sized home (3-4 bedroom) with a little personality and a decent to good sized yard for the dogs. And we're looking for somewhere that would make the commute as painless as possible for him. We're hoping to start a family soon, so a good school district would be nice but I guess isn't essential since it will be a few years before that would become an issue.

Everything that we're seeing either has crime stats that scare me or is a community with nothing but cookie cutter brick homes with no trees. Is it possible to find a safe place with a little style in our price range?

We found a place in Quail Valley that we are considering, but there is talk of them selling the golf course and that concerns me. (I posted about this in the Sugarland forum.)

I guess we have champagne tastes and a Coca-Cola budget. Are we doomed?

Any advice that you may have would be great. Thanks so much!

My partner and I did a lot of looking around Houston for a house and decided on Inwood Forest. Now the area doesn't have very good schools from what I hear, but the actual Inwood Forest neighborhood is pretty nice, decent size houses, large yard (we have a dog, birds, fish so that was important to us). My partner will be working in the Med Center too...not all that bad of a commute from what we could tell...drove it a few times to check it out. Its on a golf course..the course was recently sold BUT it may not be a bad thing. There is talk about fixing flooding issues and possibly building single family homes. My THOUGHTS are, since the area is between 610 and 8 on the NW side and not all that far from downtown, that it will possibly start to come around and be a good investment. This is what is happening to Oak Forest neighborhood which borders Inwood. Houses are from the 70s but have a lot of character, larger yards, and is DEFINITELY affordable. Good luck!

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Here are some homes that fit your price range, and are also architecturally interesting, in my opinion. They are located within 5-10 minutes to the Medical Center, but they are in some "transitional" neighborhoods (especially the one on Eagle!)

http://www.har.com/9316031

http://www.har.com/400140

http://www.har.com/9492074

http://www.har.com/1426325

Edited by Dan the Man
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Here are some homes that fit your price range, and are also architecturally interesting, in my opinion. They are located within 5-10 minutes to the Medical Center, but they are in some "transitional" neighborhoods (especially the one on Eagle!)

http://www.har.com/9316031

http://www.har.com/400140

http://www.har.com/9492074

http://www.har.com/1426325

I have been in the first two, one on the Eastwood home tour, and the other just showing. The one on Leeland really has some great architectural character inside.

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Wow, prices sure have gone up. That's all $180 can buy you now?

The one for $185k on Park Street has a lot to do with location. The house faces a landscaped esplanade. Not quite the charm of Heights Blvd., but it is the Eastwood equivalent. Everything along it gets a premium.

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This is the 2nd if not third attempt to sell it. the price is still quite high for a home that needs a major upgrade to the utilities.

I showed it once and it appeared that a pipe had burst or something that was causing the interior to get a little water damage on some of the sheetrock. Not sure what they did about that but I am sure they had to pull it off the market for awhile to get it corrected. The house has some decent space and a lot of architectural draw. Prices have moved up in there, so it wouldn't surprise me at all for them to get in the ballpark of what they are asking.

Edited by rps324
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Wow! Thank you everyone for your input. Houston is a big city to try and learn right off the bat, I appreciate your help.

I will drive past some of the areas you mentioned and see what we think. Some of those listings were just too small for our needs right now, but I will continue to check the areas to see what else comes on the market.

We are not afraid having to update a house, but I am a little concerned about the transitional-ness of a neighborhood. I've never lived in a "pocket neighborhood" before and don't know what to expect. Some of the crime stats look a little scary. It would have to be one of the tamer neighborhoods, I think. But I assume those are the neighborhoods that ones we can't afford, right?

In that case, are there any more established suburbs that wouldn't be a hideous drive and would have real trees and maybe something other than brick cookie cutter houses? Many, many people have mentioned Pearland to us... but it just looks like a bunch of houses someone built in a field to me. It doesn't speak to me. Are there more established areas of Pearland that would be different perhaps?

What other areas/options do we have? We liked Quail Valley, but after researching the sale of the golf course, decided that it just wasn't worth the financial risk to buy out there while the fate of the course was still so up in the air. I don't care about playing golf, but I would hate to lose money because property values go down.

I'm sorry to be so difficult. Thanks again for your thoughts.

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We are not afraid having to update a house, but I am a little concerned about the transitional-ness of a neighborhood. I've never lived in a "pocket neighborhood" before and don't know what to expect. Some of the crime stats look a little scary. It would have to be one of the tamer neighborhoods, I think. But I assume those are the neighborhoods that ones we can't afford, right?

If you're ok with "updating" an older home then the East End would work, as would some of the other inner loop spots mentioned. You could get into Idylwood (77023) and almost anywhere over there for that price, maybe even without updating at all. Contact rps324 for the complete lowdown.

Crime stats don't usually pertain to the average person, unless they're very high. Transitional nabes usually mean some loud car stereos, horn honking, junky yards mixed in with nice ones, occasional burglaries/car theft, maybe some gunshots in the night every now and then.........which might take a short while to become comfortable with. I think most who take the plunge end up discovering the negative perception was overblown.

Schools inside the loop for under 180K will be under-performing. You could buy, update if needed, then sell for a nice profit when kindergarten looms. Or, you could fall in love with the area and stay, until middle school. Even then, if you child is a good student, they can reach the tops of their class more easily in transitional neighborhoods and take advantage of the scholarships that might be dropped into their laps.

But, if you're not ready for such an adventure, (and there's nothing wrong with that) and if 1500 sq ft is just too small then...............give up the idea of "interesting" homes, gas up the car and join the herd of commuters.

Passing thought: Are developers subtly mocking suburbanites by naming so many suburban neighborhoods _______ Ranch, as if to say they're a bunch of cattle? :rolleyes:

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