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Old 07-16-2007, 01:27 PM
104 posts, read 268,966 times
Reputation: 82


If one worked in downtown Houston but wanted less than a 30-40 minute commute during rush hour where would one live?

1. Family friendly neighborhood
2. Great school district
3. Houses in the $300K and up range.
4. 1/2 acre or more of land.
5. Easy (or as easy as it can be) commute to downtown.

Want Nots:
1. Experienced 290 near Barker Cypress before - took up to 1 1/2 hr to downtown during rush hour.
2. Do not want houses right on top of each other.
3. Do not want a neighborhood where multiple generations are living together to make the mortgage payment. (experienced that before too)

Also, can you tell me anything about the Youth League sports? Especially soccer, football and wrestling pertaining to those areas.

Thanks for your input - much appreciated!
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:32 PM
Location: The house on the hill
933 posts, read 3,007,016 times
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I wanted to suggest Summer Lake Ranch near Lake Houston. It's so pretty there. Here is some info one them:
Summer Lake Ranch is located within a few minutes of every convenience imagined while being nestled within the beautiful tall pines and solid oaks of the Lake Houston area. Nature is on display in this estate community, offering residents heavily wooded acreage homesites in close proximity to Lake Houston and area golf courses, including Redstone, and is minutes from Deerbrook Mall and Houston Intercontinental Airport. Just 25 minutes to downtown.
Honestly, I think it's more like 40 minutes to downtown in rush hour. You can build a home there starting in the $300's. There are currently homes available there (or being built) that are in the $400's. Some of those come with pools, etc.
The zip there is 77044 and is in Houston near Kingwood and Humble. You would take hwy 59 to downtown.
I hope this helps.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:44 PM
Location: flyover country
13,502 posts, read 24,764,792 times
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Once they get all the construction on 90A and Highway 6 in Sugar Land, all the way down the South Main corridor is great. If I have to drive to downtown - meaning not taking the light rail. Main (along the rail) is usually moving pretty quickly now that they aren't tearing up the lanes around the Med Center anymore. I'm moving a lot faster than those people getting off the Southwest Freeway trying to pile onto the Pierce Elevated on that stupid ramp that goes from two lanes to one in the middle of the turn. That thing seems to always cause bottlenecks.

People always assume the freeway is always fastest. It's not always the case. I can take a leisurely cruise (as in, not hurrying at all) from just south of the South Loop into Downtown on Main, then take Washington into the Heights and the Old Sixth Ward, then hop south on Studemont/Montrose and be back where I started in under an hour.

Downtown traffic isn't bad, especially with the rail keeping everyone and their grandma from driving their cars there. It makes parking easier too, barring big events (e.g. an Astros game that draws a large crowd, not that there's much to cheer for there lately).

If you are ever taking Main straight up into downtown, be warned that you are likely to get stopped at a red light at Gray with the Greyhound bus station immediately to your right. Having strange people standing that close to your car and peering in can be a bit unsettling. You could avoid the Greyhound station by taking a right before Gray (perhaps at McGowen) and then take a left at Crawford which is one-way into downtown and will put you at St. Josephs Hospital and the Toyota Center. Make sure to your car doors locked when you're cruising around that part of Midtown.
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:05 PM
2,582 posts, read 7,572,477 times
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I think you are going to have to give up the half acre lot thing. The only place with those size lots, good schools, and a 30 minute rush house commute is in Memorial or Bellaire, and you aren't really going to find what you are looking for in the $300k range.

Garden Oaks can give you everything you asked for, except I don't think the schools are that hot, somebody please correct me on that if I am wrong.

Meyerland would probably get you closest to what you are looking for.

Your situation is typical of the house hunt, areas that have most of what you are looking for, will lack something else. I think you are going to have to compromise on something.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:36 AM
Location: Houston, TX
832 posts, read 3,462,904 times
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In Kingwood, there is really nice older development, King's Forest which is all large custom homes on 1+ acre lots that is towards the front end (not too far from 59.) They start in the 300k range.

Most likey 20-30 minutes to Minute Maid park in non rush hour. 40-45 during rush hour.

Youth sports are king. Everything from Football to Fencing can be found in Kingwood. Kingwood High once again won the Long Horn Cup which is the best combined Academic and Athletic school in Texas.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:35 AM
Location: flyover country
13,502 posts, read 24,764,792 times
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Doesn't Kingwood HS even have an unofficial club ice hockey team too?

There is a great youth and school sports culture in Richmond and Rosenberg, and a commute from there will become more feasible once the construction on 59 gets finished. If you are working in the upper part of downtown (closest to the bayou and farthest from the Toyota Center) you can exit FM 527/Milam until it becomes Brazos Street which will take you into downtown near the Continental Airlines tower. You can take a right on Jefferson to get up Louisiana, Travis etc. All streets in downtown are one-way except Main, one lane each way separated by the Red Line, and Avenida De Las Americas near the George R. Brown Convention Center. Otherwise, if you need to make a left and you can't, you can at the next street and you can work your way around.

Finally, if you take Main Street/90A from Sugar Land, Missouri City etc. you can always buy a parking pass at the medical center, park your car in the garage and take the light rail to downtown and you won't have to worry about which way the streets in downtown flow. When it's time to go home ride the rail back to your car and go.
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:44 AM
104 posts, read 268,966 times
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You are all a wealth of info! Thank you! I looked at Summer Lake Ranch and it seems to have a lot of what we want. I need to look at the school district or private schools in that area. I want to look at Kingwood also. Thanks Kandy for the suggestion - I never would have found it on my own.

Jfre81 - wow, you are the direction guru! Thanks! I'm going to research Richmond and Rosenburg also.

The biggest issue for us in Houston is the traffic and land. We will pay more for a house to get land - Houston is very inexpensive compared to where we live now.
It seems in Houston you really need to find neighborhoods vs. areas - everything is labeled HOUSTON.

Question: You mentioned construction on 59, where is that? We would be working closer to the Toyota Center. Also...

When we lived there in the past I found that sending your children to college was not a priority, almost a second thought. Would this have been the area that we lived in or do you feel that education is not as highly regarded vs. other areas of the country, particularly the Northeast? Just wondering, it was a vibe I got when I lived there however my children were not even school age at the time.

Thanks for all of your great advice! It's a huge help.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:50 AM
Location: flyover country
13,502 posts, read 24,764,792 times
Reputation: 8223
The construction on 59 is down around Sugar Land - I'm hearing it's about to wrap up. 90A (South Main) in Stafford and Sugar Land is still under a lot of construction. As it is. tt can take me as much as hour to get from here to the western end of Rosenberg at quitting time.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:03 PM
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Some very nice areas close to the downtown area with nice school districts and land area include:
West U
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:42 PM
Location: Sugar Land, TX
168 posts, read 699,964 times
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There are lots of newer subdivisions off 288 (south of Downtown / Medical Center areas), although I can't tell you much about them. Try checking out HAR.com and you can narrow your house search by land size, house size, area, price, school district, etc. Check the Texas Education Agency website for school ratings, because one person's idea of a 'good school' doesn't necessarily measure up. Each area usually has a chamber of commerce or something similar that should give you lots of info about sports, parks, shopping, etc. in each area.

Education is considered very important to some and not important at all to others. I live in Sugar Land, mostly for the excellent Fort Bend ISD schools for my kids. Parts of HISD are pretty rough, and even when you buy in a fantastic area your kids may be going to school with kids from a low-rent apartment complex right around the corner (the downfall of no zoning here). Wherever you look be sure to do a drive through of the whole area.

There are some large plots of land here in Sugar Land, and like JFRE81 said, construction is almost done on US59 and that should make the drive into downtown much easier. There's also Metro and TrekExpress, plus HOV lanes if you carpool that could reduce drive time a lot.

Since you mentioned universities, University of Houston has satellite campuses all over town as well as it's central and downtown locations. Of course there's tons of other universities, community colleges, junior colleges, trade schools, the list is endless. A lot of kids that grew up here end up at Texas A&M and University of Texas.
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