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Old 02-04-2014, 09:52 PM
2 posts, read 3,582 times
Reputation: 20


My spouse and I both work in downtown Houston. We currently live in the atascocita area (eagle springs). We have twin boys who will be starting elementary school in a year. While we love our current home, we have been thinking about the commute and have been exploring options for areas inside the loop. We have looked at homes in westbury and meyeland areas, but the prices are >$300k for the schools zoned to Parker. Right now, the elementary school in our mpc is pretty good and also our mortgage is low (about 150k). But our current dilema is whether to remain where we are ( more savings) and have a longer commute or to move within the loop (westbury area) with a shorter commute and pay more for a house , with the possibility of private schools (if the public elementary does not work out).
I would like some advise pls. If there are other areas I haven't considered, please feel free to add.

Last edited by buddygal; 02-04-2014 at 09:52 PM.. Reason: error
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:56 PM
Location: Westchase
780 posts, read 980,943 times
Reputation: 768
How long is your commute currently? It shouldn't be that bad if you're using Hwy 59, right?
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:01 PM
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My commute is about 45 mins-50 mins depending on traffic
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:29 AM
Location: Knob Hill
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Reputation: 2215
If your happy in your current home and like your immediate neighbors, stay. You're commute isn't bad by houston standards and moving entails a lot of risk in the happiness department for many reasons.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:47 AM
Location: Charleston Sc and Western NC
9,274 posts, read 22,277,949 times
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You could always look for a townhouse complex near a park, within better school zoning and closer to downtown. The boys will be so busy with school and sports, and going on play dates, the backyard and or pool are seldom used after 7 years old.

I would be really hesitant to purchase a house in an area that has just started to transition over to better again. Especially if it's zoned to poor schools. I think we are about to hit a real rough patch nationally here pretty soon. JMHO

BTW, Westbury isn't anywhere near ITL. Meyerland is just outside of it as well.That said you could shave 20 minutes off your daily commute. But only you can decide if a higher mortgage,private school tuition, and maintenance on an older home is worth the 20 minutes.

Last edited by EasilyAmused; 02-05-2014 at 06:18 AM..
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:04 AM
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We were exactly in your shoes a year and a half ago. We decided to take the plunge and I would tutor our daughter if the schools didn't work out or go private. Everyone cautioned us about the move, but we have not regretted it at all. You can get a house zoned to Parker or herod in your budget. Both are great schools, depending on your kids needs.

Parker is a music magnet and is in an older building with an experienced staff. The front office workers are a bit off putting and not the friendliest , but it is a solid school comparable to a medium KISD campus south of I 10. It is fantastic for musically inclined children.

Herod is a vanguard or gifted magnet school, but if you are zoned there you can get everything offered there without being in the program. It is on par with the best KISD schools, if not better in some areas like science and engineering.

Middle schools are tricky. If you don't magnet into a program, many people choose private for these years. Most people get into a mIddle school program they like, but it is not guaranteed.

I would try Maplewood zoned to Herod, Park West zoned to Parker.

Other great neighborhoods: Marilyn estates, Barkley Square, parts of Maplewood south. It's one big block of streets with boundaries of Hillcroft,S. braes wood, Chimney Rock, and Willowbend.

Westbury is already on your radar, and that is a good neighborhood. The best parts are zoned to Kolter or Parker.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:36 AM
Location: Houston,Tx
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Do what you can afford. Those areas will appreciate over the next decade.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:56 PM
Location: Houston
953 posts, read 2,266,753 times
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Once you move into this area, you'll never want to leave. When we first moved into our first home in Willowbend, I swore it was going to be temporary until we move to a larger home. We jumped in right before it started to take off and 13 years later, we are still here with a full-size family and gone through $75,000 in home renovations. There are many positive qualities and some tolerable issues to expect.

On top of what Meyerland said, there are a few more invisible neighbors like Willow Meadows, Willowbrook, Post Oak Manor, etc. So, you might want to search for houses by zip code 77035 and 77096 to ensure that you don't miss anything. The good thing is that you get close to many of the amenities that Bellaire and West University enjoys. You would be right at the outer edge of the high-end neighbors and near some spotty apartments (two big ones were recently torn down in Westbury).

Some of the best public elementary schools are in this area. Our children are in the magnet program at Mark Twain Elementary school but there is also Horn, Condit, and Lovett. We think Johnson Middle School is better than Pershing MS in the fine arts magnet program. The urban middle schools can still be a culture shock if you are used to a dominant-white school but our teenagers have not had any problems and the schools continue to evolve.

Red Elementary school in Willowbend is not as good as Parker or Kolter. However, the Willow Pool is one of the best community pools in the region. Many parents drive from Ayrshire for the pool and summer swim team. Maplewood South also has a nice community pool. Like Bellaire and West U, we are serious about our Westbury Little League where you'll have a chance to meet many parents and children in the neighborhoods. Likewise for Westbury Soccer, Stella Link YMCA, Planetary Cycle club, etc. where you'll often spend more time passing $1 million homes and appreciating the matured tree scenery.

It's so convenient. You'll find everything you need within 7 miles. So, traffic is not an issue as you'll be on the street more often than on the freeway. Meyerland Plaza turned from a dead mall into a vibrant place to eat and shop without having to go to the Galleria. Events coming up? No problem, our suburban friends always want to meet at our house and often compliment about interesting and unusual features in our home and neighborhood.

The downside is that Westbury High School is terrible and we would not send our children there. Our children plan to apply to a magnet school like HSPVA. But there is a higher chance that we'll be moving within the next few months and you'll be buying our house!
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