What Is The Best Area Of HOUSTON To Live In?


Hello there Texas RNS

I am an RN who resides in San Diego, California. I have been here over 23 Years, & Frankly I am getting bored & tired of it. I cannot Afford to buy the kind of house that I want out here, the Economy is Very Bad, Taxes are sky high, and the job market is terrible. Jobs here are Slim to None, even for nurses. I have never seen it so bad, I don't think that the economy will ever fully recover here. I have been a Psych Nurse for many years, and I also do PACU Nursing Per-Diem and Primary Care Nursing. I will be finished with my BSN Program next year. I have been thinking about relocating to Houston in the future, due to the Low Cost of Living & Affordable, Beautiful, Housing. I primarily work Nights. What is the BEST area in Houston to live as Far as Safety, Traffic, Schools, Shopping, Restaurants, Walmarts, Target Stores, & Medical Facilities, Hospitals, & Psych Facilities close by? I want a house in the price range of $180,000 or Lower, & No more than 15 minutes to work or school. I hear that the Northawest Area is a good place. The place where I live here in San Diego has all of these things close by, and is Centrally located. I have heard that Houston is a City that is NOT EASY to get around. What Neighborhood/Areas are close to Hospitals/Facilities? My main Concern is the Commute Time. I DO NOT want to commute No More than 15 Minutes to work, & want to avoid heavy traffic. Also, I do not want to live in an area where Property Taxes are High. Any advice or information will be Greatly Appreciated. Thanks In Advance

A lot will depend on where you get a job. The Texas Medical Center has quite a few hospitals to choose from, with many of them having satellite hospitals.

Some of the larger and growing neighborhoods with things you want and hospitals in them are Katy, Kingwood, The Woodlands, Pearland (many in the med center live there) and Sugarland. There are many other smaller areas, but these are some of the ones with hospitals that would be a 10-15 minute drive.

I personally love Katy. I have friends who love The Woodlands. That is one of the great things about houston, lots of diversity.

Best way is to come down for a week or so and just drive around and see what areas you like. Also contact a realtor and ask them for recommendations, the good ones know all the dirt in areas.

As for psych facilities, are you looking at long term type or short term facilities? Texas has pretty horrible mental health care.

It is not uncommon for psych patients to wait in the ER for 24 hours or more waiting for placement (this is after the physical eval and initial psych eval). There is just no place to put them.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
Also, I do not want to live in an area where Property Taxes are High.
The property tax rates are sky high all over Texas. However, you will no longer be paying any state income taxes like you currently do in California, so it is basically a wash.
Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Houston is a wonderful choice - and I'm sure that you will be able to meet all of your criteria EXCEPT ONE.... "no more than 15 minutes to work or school" is probably not do-able. I hope it's not a deal breaker for you.

There is a very wide range of housing choices in your price range in all areas of the city. I strongly suggest that you first decide where you want to work - then look at areas to live. For instance, if you want to work in the Texas Medical Center (TMC), a good choice is the 288 Corridor towards Pearland. It's not a bad commute distance-wise and there is a wide range of single-family housing and decent school district. The Woodlands (far north on 1-45) has it's own mini Med Center, good schools & abundant shopping along with all types of housing options, from townhouses & condos to single-family. I'm a "mid looper" (between the inner loop and outer loop) in Spring Branch - another really great school district. I'm only ~ 10 miles from downtown, but that could take from 20 -45 minutes,depending on traffic. I disagree with the statement that property taxes are high. My total taxes are

Other great areas include Sugarland (SW of Houston) Katy (West), Clear Lake (South). . . the list goes on. There are several hospitals in each area. If you want to be an inner-looper, you will probably have to increase your budget but there is a lot of new condo development in Mid-Town and Upper Kirby - both are fairly close to the Med Center.

There are some unique factors you will need to consider. Houston has NO ZONING (this comes up on the ballot once in a while but is always overwhelmingly voted down). The up-side? You're never very far from a Starbucks or dry cleaner. Instead, we rely on Home Owner Associations to maintain home values... It's all hunky dory unless you have a tyrannical HOA that micro-manages all aspects of your living arrangements including forbidding certain types of vehicles to be parked in your driveway (srsly)... so you need to carefully investigate the HOA dues and rules. You'll also need to try to avoid dealing with a Municipal Utility District... these are areas in which water supply is governed by a local body - via taxation and widely variable usage rates. Some MUDS are right in the middle of the city- these can be a nasty surprise if you're not familiar with the concept. Also, you'll need to try to avoid areas that are classified as high-risk for flooding (mandatory extra flood insurance in order to get a mortgage) or in a hurricane evacuation zone (also generates very high insurance rates)... Hope I'm not discouraging you.

Best approach? Once you land a job, look for a temporary living situation for about 6 months. This will give you a chance to look around and find an area that is just right for you. We're a very diverse city... so it's best to enlist the aid of an experienced realtor to help you find you way through the maze. Here's a couple of nice sites to get you going: Houston Real estate, Houston homes, Houston Realtors - HAR.com nHouston TX Real Estate Information - NeighborhoodScout.

Houston is a wonderful choice - and I'm sure that you will be able to meet all of your criteria EXCEPT ONE.... "no more than 15 minutes to work or school" is probably not do-able. I hope it's not a deal breaker for you...

It is very doable, you just have to make the right choices.

In Katy, it is very easy to be within 15 minutes of any of the 4 hospitals here and still be within the price range they want.

I am 7 minutes from 1 hospital and 10-15 from the other 3.

Most of the other areas are similar.

But I do agree that if/when you come, just get an apartment (or rent a house) for the first 6 months and see what you like. Traffic is a part of life in Houston, even in the suburbs. Mobility (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest downfalls of the Houston area.


55 Posts

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer my questions. It is Greatly Appreciated. If you can think of any other sources of information, Please let me know. I want to know the GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY aspects. Lol! This will prevent me from making a Critical Mistake. Also, I have worked Nights for almost 30 Years. Do Nurses who work Nights have any Advantages over Nurses who only want to work Days? I will always be a Night Shift worker; due to the fact that I don't like Office Politics, and I hate Traffic & Parking Hassels. My background is mostly Psych, what are some Good Psych Hospitals? What about Harris County Psych Center & what part of town is it located in? Thanks in advance. If anybody wants to know anything about San Diego, California, Please Feel Free To Ask.



98 Posts

Hi [COLOR=#003366]MsMorningGlory ! Are you still considering living in Houston?

Well firstly, it's a big city! And because of that there is a lot of traffic even though there are five-lane highways or six.

The up and coming new area is Cinco Ranch which is in the northwest area. Katy (NW Houston, above Cinco ranch) is a good affordable area if you would like to live close to work (Katy hospitals) and other things. You could always live near the medical center but I'm pretty sure it may be pricey, but I'm not sure, I've never looked for a house over there before. Sugarland and Bellaire (price-yyy), both in SW are good areas as well.

You wouldn't want to live in the upper northeast part of town where Third Ward, Fifth Ward, and other wards are located, including University of Houston-main campus area. I'm not sure about Pasadena (SE Houston)

Then you have those areas that are on the outskirts or far away from Houston like The Woodlands, Kingwood, Jersey Village, Humble, Tomball, Missouri City Clear Lake...

I hope this kind of helps! I'll try to answer any other questions that I may know of. Best of luck :)