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Old 08-09-2011, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Inside the Loop
88 posts, read 197,773 times
Reputation: 74

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Just wanted to post a quick message about my house-hunting experience in Houston this past week. Maybe this will help all those other people who post questions about looking for a place to rent.

About us: we are in our mid 40's. Not married yet (one of these days!), no kids, no pets. My BF works from home and I am in the midst of interviewing. We are both in marketing. We are moving from Chicago.

We knew that we wanted to rent a townhouse (condo) rather than look at apartment complexes and, thanks to this forum, I knew that I wanted to focus on the Rice-Military/Heights area or the Museumm/Montrose area. We set a monthly rent limit at $3000/month, although we were hoping to keep it a little under.

I looked at over 20 places in 3 days and my overall impression was, "you've got to be kidding me!!!" For the most part, the places we saw were filthy. One of them had to be a foreclosure, the building was so decrepit I honestly feared for my safety. I looked at a couple of places that must have been on that "transitional edge" of the Museum that looked like they were next door to a crack house (I know, Houston doesn't have zoning...) one looked like it was next to a dog kennel (fortunately, no dogs were out in that heat!)

Fortunately, we did find a place in Montrose that will work for a year. But my advice is to others is to be prepared that HAR.com photos can be deceiving!!

Friends of mine told me that some of the apartment complexes I initially discounted (CityCentre, Mosaic, etc) are actually pretty nice, so I might regret not checking those out...so, bottom line, my advice to others would be to look at more areas than you think you should and be prepared to do some serious housecleaning before you move in!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,030 posts, read 29,459,892 times
Reputation: 16239
You couldn't find anything nice for $3k/month?!?!?!?!?

I think you were misled on where to look.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:41 AM
 
286 posts, read 709,188 times
Reputation: 203
Yes, I'm really surprised at your experience at that price range in those neighborhoods; it certainly seems atypical based on what I know friends are renting their townhomes for. I'm glad you found something nice that will work for you though. Welcome to the neighborhood!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:33 AM
 
716 posts, read 862,074 times
Reputation: 1088
A couple things about your post. First, a townhouse next to a "crack house" has nothing to do with zoning. It has to do with the ongoing gentrification of the neighborhood. Lack of zoning would being allowed to build a factory next to a school. Most neighborhoods have deed restriction which is essentially de fact zoning.

You state you are from Chicago, so you can probably point to a few transitional meighborhoods (good or bad). From memory the area around Wrigley comes to mind.

Second, I'm really surprised by your results. $3,000 a month should equate to around a $300,000 townhouse. If you were looking at a $150,000 house I could understand but your market starts to seperate the nice from the average.

Maybe there is less of a rental market than an sales market. Have you checked HAR.com? There are some really nice townhouses in 'better' inner loop transiotional areas fro 300k.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:56 AM
 
568 posts, read 1,052,594 times
Reputation: 654
With a 3000 dollar monthly budget, clearly you were looking in all of the wrong places.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:59 AM
 
7,334 posts, read 10,841,620 times
Reputation: 3821
3k I month I could find 25 homes in all areas of town even close to downtown
Check out Meyerland Willowmeadows Willowbend Westbury Maplewood on the southwest side close to the loop
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Inside the Loop
88 posts, read 197,773 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by H'ton View Post
Second, I'm really surprised by your results. $3,000 a month should equate to around a $300,000 townhouse. If you were looking at a $150,000 house I could understand but your market starts to seperate the nice from the average.

Maybe there is less of a rental market than an sales market. Have you checked HAR.com? There are some really nice townhouses in 'better' inner loop transiotional areas fro 300k.
I have spent countless hours on HAR and my sister is a Realtor in Houston..(I am actually a native Houstonian).

As it turns out the place we're renting is very similar in style to the Lakeview condo I just sold in June. The place in Houston is 2250' and on the market for $279K. Rent is going to be $2500/month. My condo was 1800' and I would gave been lucky to rent it for anything over $2000/month...but I sold it for $425K.

Not making any sort of value judgement...all I'm saying is that the rental market is very different from what we expected. Had we been ready to purchase a place, we'd have had a wealth of options!

Last edited by juilletdix; 08-09-2011 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Powell, WY
992 posts, read 2,260,457 times
Reputation: 1349
That's surprising; I did a quick peek search on just plain ol' craigslist and found a number of properties that didn't look bad at all. Most were in Rice Military, the Heights, or the East End.

I don't know that I'd live in Montrose again anyway; it lost it's luster after the 90's in my opinion.

When we move in to Houston out of the boonies, we're looking at the East End/Idylwood/Eastwood area, but that's just us.

I didn't know crack houses were zoned. Dang it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:38 PM
 
2,277 posts, read 3,743,299 times
Reputation: 1920
Quote:
Originally Posted by juilletdix View Post
I have spent countless hours on HAR and my sister is a Realtor in Houston..(I am actually a native Houstonian).

As it turns out the place we're renting is very similar in style to the Lakeview condo I just sold in June. The place in Houston is 2250' and on the market for $279K. Rent is going to be $2500/month. My condo was 1800' and I would gave been lucky to rent it for anything over $2000/month...but I sold it for $425K.

Not making any sort of value judgement...all I'm saying is that the rental market is very different from what we expected. Had we been ready to purchase a place, we'd have had a wealth of options!
*cough* property taxes *cough*
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Tomball
538 posts, read 1,294,758 times
Reputation: 324
Oh my goodness... look in the suburbs and drive. $3k will get you a very nice rental in my neck of the woods (Spring, Woodlands, Tomball and Cypress).
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