I recommend : THE WOODLANDS
It has been one of the top 3 national master planned communities for years. Historically, THE WOODLANDS homes have maintained their values.Since our average homeowner only lives in the home 3 years, (may move up, not away) the home needs to gain in value YEARLY to at least cover the typical 6.0% Realtor commissions. (Right now, our homes in THE WOODLANDS are gaining about 3.0% according to HAR.com or check TRULIA.COM) How many other areas in the country can say that?...so you will need to live in the home at least 2 years to " break even" if you have to sell.
There are so many Builders and so many new neighborhoods, they will be your biggest competition when reselling your home! They can offer a new home, more features, in house financing and flexibilty that you cannot. Master planned communites do not allow rampant, uncontrolled growth because they have planned to be there for a long time and have allowed for maintanence of the community.
School Districts in Houston Metro Area are widely varied because of the city's industrial base. Deer Park is a rich district but the area is surrounded by MANY chemical plants south of downtown.
In the 70's, our no zoning laws allowed phenomonal growth but with unforseen consequences. The Home Builders were notorious for clear cutting swaths of land and throwing up cookie cutter homes (yes even $500,000. homes!) with no tie-in to land development or sense of community... because they were not land developers...but not in THE WOODLANDS... it is the Land Development that will ultimately dictate your resell value, the diligence of the homeowners associations to maintain the neighborhood standards and of course, the homeowners' PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP that continually builds the neighborhoods' reputations.
The same features that draw people globally to move to our area in THE WOODLANDS will be the same amenities that help resell YOUR home.
No matter where you buy OR RENT, get flood insurance. Houston was built on a swamp originally so our problem is really not so much the hurricanes ( well until recently!) but RISING WATER. In 1996 we had 26 inches in 24 hours of rainfall. You only need ONE inch of water in the house to ruin everything downstairs. HOmeowners" Policies DO NOT cover rising water, wind driven water, etc. that falls under the Flood Policy (etc. verify with an ins. agent...) my point is that it is cheap (UNDER $400. YEARLY) and buys peace of mind.
...and by the way, we are 87 miles to the coast, on the NORTH side of Houston and already "on the other side of town heading out" when trying to outrun that hurricane in the Gulf... along with 3 million of your fellow Houstonians... so check out THE WOODLANDS & happy house hunting!
The most pleasant surprise you will get, however, is learning how much the housing there costs! I know that the prices in Boston are pretty close to the same here and you will understand when I say we had some very serious sticker shock!! When we told our Realtor here how much our home sold for there, they laughed out loud. And ours sold for the highest amount in the entire neighborhood so far that year. We paid 3 times as much for the same size, and had to buy far enough out to get anywhere close to it without going of $1million. So I'd say you should have lots of good news and a pretty big range of neighborhoods to choose from based on housing in Boston.
Houston is made up of several cities and covers several counties. There is no such thing as having everything 'close by' unless you consider and hour's drive close. BUT, each neighborhood becomes it's own little community within a community so you can have the feel of a much smaller town with all the benefits of one of the biggest in the world. The museums and zoo are world class and it's one the world's leaders in medicine of all kinds. In fact, the museums, zoo, hospitals, and largest parks are all centrally located to each other and the city so you can do a lot of things in one outing if you have the stamina.
The only major drawback is the heat. It is hot in Houston. We always said it has 2 seasons: Summer and that week in February. It is one of the most air conditioned cities in the world for very good reason. So get used to running from car to building or enjoying the heat. On the upside, it also has lush vegetation everywhere all year long. The highways are lined in crepe myrtle in bloom all year round and there is an azealia festival every year in River Oaks which is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the US located where the museums et al are located.
As for living there, you have a lot of choices but be prepared for no real zoning so communities can have housing and small businesses mingled together. plus the ever praised/accursed Home Owner's Association. I'm not sure about Boston, but they have made their way into the newest areas here and can be a source for good AND evil...ok, at least REALLY annoying. There are several school districts and everyone has their own opinion about which one is best. I can tell you that the Cy Fair district is great and the elementary school (Wilson) and subsequent middle (Watkins) and high school (Cy Springs) my girls attended were all excellent. We just stumbled in to the perfect home when our family out grew our first home there and learned it is one of the top ranked in the USA. All of their teachers knew them and us well, there was plenty of communication both ways, and they all became like family to us. I became handicapped when my girls were7, 6, and 2 and I had to rely on their teachers to keep me posted should any problems come up. They not only did this, they truly cared for them and were always there for us no matter what. Unfortunately we had to move away when my oldest was entering her senior year, next one her junior year and my youngest was in 7th grade. The high school they attended here was great to us, but the middle school and then changed to new high school my youngest attended were lacking in some very fundamental ways. There is nothing worse than having your child's teacher tell you they can't be expected to remember who they are with 'so many students per class'. Houston's population is equal to 2/3 of the entire state of Virginia, yet nobody in Texas ever seemed to have that problem.
Finally, where to live. Cy Fair is one of the largest districts in the country (everything really is bigger there) so you have plenty to look at. The area near Wilson has built up a lot since we left so lots to look at there. Katy schools are also excellent and right next to us at Wilson. However, one of the best locations for beauty, schools, and community activities has to be The Woodlands. It is one of the first planned communities I'd ever heard of and is up in the middle of the Houston Forest. LOTS of trees-something highly prized there because of the shade and cool they provide. All mentioned here are out west or north. There's good living all over once you get used to the drive. I wish you happiness wherever you go.
Houston is a great place to live. I moved from the Northeast years ago and wouldn't move back. One of the best things about Houston is the mild climate. The summers are HOT, but tolerable. There are tons of things to do here just like in any big city. The downside to Houston is that it is spread out without a mass transportation system. I always tell my clients to consider where they will be working and how far do they want to commute on a daily basis. If that doesn't matter to you, then decide if you want to live in town or out in the suburbs. You might want to consider school systems. If you plan on being here for awhile, schools will be important to you in the near future.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. My email is email@example.com
Have a great move. I think you will like it here.
We have moved several families from the Boston area to our neck of the woods, and we would be happy to discuss your move and get you in touch with them so they can give you their perspective on the move and what they experienced when they arrived. Just give us a shout and we will gladly assist you.
The best part is, no shovelling snow. The winters are very tolerable here. We have cold snaps,
that you will think nothing of. The biggest adjustment for most is the hot summers. A tip on that,
is good Air Conditioning and shorts! Houston is a big place, with a big variety of people. The people
are pretty friendly and the Mexican Food Rocks!
The best advice I have for most people, is to do a "scouting trip" before actually moving here, if possible.
It is really worth the trip to look around and get the "lay of the land".
Since Houston is so big, scout out the areas closest to where you will be working.
Hope you have a good move! Feel free to contact me if I can help!
Keller Williams Realty
And now that the Red Sox have become winners you can adopt the Astros as your 'lovable losers', lol.
Also, the people here are very friendly and you'll be very welcome in town. I'm sure you'll meet all kinds of nice people, especially as you start having kid playdates and such. You'll probably meet a lot of people from other states just like you and easily find people you have a lot in common with. Welcome!
One of our friends moved from Boston to Dallas area. You are not going to need any snow boots, hats or jackets here, weather is one of the significant change for you and your baby. If you like warmer weather, you will enjoy a lot. You will also see bigger homes in TX area with less price than Boston Homes.
Good Luck and enjoy :)
It's honestly night and day the 2 cities. I live here in Houston but would choose Boston any day of the week over TX.
Expect long commutes, less diversity and culture, humidity, less outdoor activities, and lower home prices (with higher tax rates). That basically sums it up.
I'm not trying to scare you, but it's very different.