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Old 02-29-2008, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Jersey City, NJ
7 posts, read 15,251 times
Reputation: 10

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Howdy Houston!

My sister and I have recently accepted jobs at a major company in Houston. We will begin working and living in Houston starting in April-May 2008 and have no idea what to expect there. Being that we grew up and live in the New York Tri-state area, we are accustom to a very diverse population, ie. Whites, Blacks, Asians, South Asians, Jews, Middle Easterners, Hispanics, etc. We know that there is a large Hispanic population in Houston and we are American born Hispanics ourselves. My sister is concerned about potential racism in Houston as a whole. Are there any specific areas to avoid if this is the case?

We will be working in the downtown area so commuting will be an issue. We have been looking in the Cypress-Fairbanks area, Jersey Village, 77014, 77066, 77067, 77068, 77069, 77083, 77099 zip codes and Sugar Land. Are there affordable areas to purchase a fairly new house (built in the last 15 years) that are diverse in population but in particular reasonably SAFE with low crime rates (we've had our fill of crime ridden areas) and can be easily commuted to and from downtown?

Another concern is resale values, since we are from a metropolitan area where home values are through the roof. We want to make sure that we get a good return on our investment because we aren't certain if this will be a permanent situation. Are there areas to avoid due to home market value downturns? Or does purchasing a condo in the downtown area as opposed to a house in the suburbs sound like a better bet?

Any information you can share will be so appreciated and helpful to us. Thanks in advance to everyone in Houston for sharing their input and insights!

E

Last edited by eparra0109; 02-29-2008 at 06:37 PM.. Reason: misused word
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX (Bellaire)
4,817 posts, read 11,988,886 times
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Whites and Hispanics have lived together in Texas for over 250 years, you won't find much anti-Hispanic racism here.

Most areas of Houston do not have much home appreciation like you would see on the East Coast, but there is also not really a downturn here either.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Spring, Texas
410 posts, read 1,540,049 times
Reputation: 161
[quote=eparra0109;2990851]Howdy Houston!


We will be working in the downtown area so commuting will be an issue. We have been looking in the Cypress-Fairbanks area, Jersey Village, 77014, 77066, 77067, 77068, 77069, 77083, 77099 zip codes and Sugar Land. Are there affordable areas to purchase a fairly new house (built in the last 15 years) that are diverse in population but especially SAFE with low crime rates (we've had our fill of crime ridden areas) and can be easily commuted to and from downtown?

The million dollar question....how much can you spend?
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Jersey City, NJ
7 posts, read 15,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny57 View Post

The million dollar question....how much can you spend?
That would be important to know!!! lol Sorry for the oversight...we are looking to spend in the $180 to low $200K range. Thanks for posting!

E
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Jersey City, NJ
7 posts, read 15,251 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ut View Post
Whites and Hispanics have lived together in Texas for over 250 years, you won't find much anti-Hispanic racism here.

Most areas of Houston do not have much home appreciation like you would see on the East Coast, but there is also not really a downturn here either.
Thanks so much for your posting. I'm sure this will put my sister at ease.

Thanks again.

E
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Spring, Texas
410 posts, read 1,540,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparra0109 View Post
That would be important to know!!! lol Sorry for the oversight...we are looking to spend in the $180 to low $200K range. Thanks for posting!

E
E

I can't speak about the Sugarland area but here on the northside, check out Champions Creek,Champions Glen, Wimbledon Champion Gardens, Spring Creek Oaks, Candlelight Park and Huntwick. They all have patio homes which might be a good fit for both you and your sister ....they will range from $170's -$240+. Best of Luck...Sunny
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Jersey City, NJ
7 posts, read 15,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny57 View Post
E

I can't speak about the Sugarland area but here on the northside, check out Champions Creek,Champions Glen, Wimbledon Champion Gardens, Spring Creek Oaks, Candlelight Park and Huntwick. They all have patio homes which might be a good fit for both you and your sister ....they will range from $170's -$240+. Best of Luck...Sunny

Thanks Sunny! This will be very helpful and serve as a guide for us. Thanks again!

ED
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 6,547,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparra0109 View Post
we are looking to spend in the $180 to low $200K range
For this kind of money you can get a very decent house in the outer 'burbs in a good school system. But if you work somewhere near central Houston you'll likely face a brutal commute, and your opportunity for price appreciation will likely be low--there are so many new houses being built and available in the Houston 'burbs that realizing any appreciation beyond the rate of inflation is often tough. And actual decline in value is not uncommon in some brand new areas, where folks selling their house 2-3 years later are in competition with brand new homes.

If you want better appreciation opportunity and a shorter commute, you'll probably have to look at closer-in areas. These areas, alas, cost much more and (depending on location) may not have better schools.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:16 PM
 
2,586 posts, read 7,947,011 times
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The problem, or I guess challenge, is the areas with really low crime and good schools & that price range are anything but an easy commute to downtown. Like some other posters have said appreciation is weak at best in a lot of suburbs where you will be competing with new construction.

There are options closer in for that price that have easy commutes to downtown and better potential for appreciation. Schools, well, not such an easy answer in that price range and crime rates will be high enough to spook some suburbanites, but not necessarily that bad in the grand scheme of things.

In my area, for example, people often opt for affordable private schools like Mt. Carmel or St. Michaels. Those that can get in go to Carnegie Vanguard or other magnet school programs.

You will not get everything you described in your list.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Jersey City, NJ
7 posts, read 15,251 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by professorsenator View Post
For this kind of money you can get a very decent house in the outer 'burbs in a good school system. But if you work somewhere near central Houston you'll likely face a brutal commute, and your opportunity for price appreciation will likely be low--there are so many new houses being built and available in the Houston 'burbs that realizing any appreciation beyond the rate of inflation is often tough. And actual decline in value is not uncommon in some brand new areas, where folks selling their house 2-3 years later are in competition with brand new homes.

If you want better appreciation opportunity and a shorter commute, you'll probably have to look at closer-in areas. These areas, alas, cost much more and (depending on location) may not have better schools.
Thanks for your response. I think just breaking even is most important to us, so we'll keep in mind what you've mentioned about the newer housing construction. Schools are not really an issue for us, since neither of us have children. If we opt for anything closer to downtown, what are some areas you might suggest? Are there homes/condos in relatively safe areas? Thanks again for your help.

ED

Last edited by eparra0109; 02-29-2008 at 10:42 PM..
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