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Old 12-17-2006, 10:37 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,532 times
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I have seen some great advice given on the forum; however, I have not seen too many posts regarding townhouse options close to downtown (or downtown). We are a mid 20's couple both working downtown coming from the New York City suburbs. I was hoping to find neighborhoods with good restaurants and nightlife but the quality of living must be good as well. Like to walk about to stores and restaurants without feeling unsafe.


Price point $200-$250K.

Thank You in advance for any insight.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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Here's the good news: There are plenty of options on $250,000 townhomes inside loop 610 in gentrifying neighborhoods. You can find many that are brand new construction with all the bells and whistles.

Now here's where I have to give you a little bad news: Houston is a car-centered, car-culture place. There are a few islands of pedestrian friendly areas, but typically those are going to be areas above the $250,000 price point. But not always.

Midtown, boarded by I-45 to the north, I-59 to the south and east, and roughly Brazos on the west, is home to many upscale apartments and recent townhomes. There are a lot of clubs there and some restaurants.
Washington Avenue corridor is gentrifying and is also getting some of those characteristics. In another 5 years it should have many more restaurants.

The other options are east of downtown, near Clinton Drive, or over off of Polk or Leeland, although there is no retail or restaurants there yet, but it could be radically different in 4 or 5 years. That is how Houston is. Now in all of these locations you are living in the big city, so there will be some element of crime concerns, but nothing overwhelming.

Personally I am not a fan of most of the product that is out there in that range. It is usually built by Perry, In-town, Juliet, HHN or someone like that. They are cookie-cutter and character-less at best. The other issue I personally have with them, is they are building too many. Builders will not discount the price usually, but they will throw in special financing, plasma TV's and the like, so when you go to sell, you will be competing with brand new ones ALL OVER with these special incentives. you can count on them still being built several years down the road. That aspect scares me on them from an investment standpoint. Especially if you are buying in an already established area that already has the restaurants/clubs, etc. The pioneers that bought early in gentrifying areas tend to do better in the appreciation game than those buying once the area is more established.

For that price you could get a renovated bungalow that would have a lot more character and better investment potential. After all, they are not building any more of those! Of course it depends upon what your personal tastes are. But I would also investigate bungalows in places like Heights, Woodland Heights, Norhill & places like that. You can't get a house in Montrose for that anymore.
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