It looks like I may be moving to Houston and am debating renting vs buying. I know nothing about Houston and would appreciate any advice.

Asked by jrdnsnclr, Lewisburg, PA Thu Aug 15, 2013

I am looking to be close to Rice (< 5 miles would be great,

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Al Geffon, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Aug 16, 2013
As others have stated, the area surrounding Rice University is pricey ... not overpriced, but simply the result of location vs. available inventory (supply and demand in action). It would take a considerable investment on your part, and you may not get as much house as you need for the amount you're willing to spend ... so yes, lease your first Houston home, then adapt to your new environment (including oppressive summers, traffic nightmares, and other components not found in PA). Many people lose track of the fact that this is the fourth largest city in the US, with traditional urban aches and pains. We have no state or local income taxes, but property taxes are among the highest in the country. You may well opt to trade off proximity to Rice for the combination of more home for less money ... but that's something you'd need to explore while leasing your home.

Welcome ... if I may be of further service, please feel free to get in touch.

Regards ...

Al Geffon
Trend Setter Realty
(713) 213-6350
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Margie Johns…, Agent, Cypress, TX
Fri Aug 16, 2013
There are many variables that will effect your decision. Your financial situation, how long you anticipate living in Houston, work location, recreational interests, whether or not you have school age children and/or pets, is a yard important to you or do you prefer a lock and go, etc. I advise looking at both rental and purchase opportunities simultaneously. Both markets are very fast paced right now and homes in good condition priced at market are under contract for purchase or lease within days. If you decide to consider both markets you should begin your search armed with a mortgage pre-approval and all of the documents that will be required by a landlord so there won't be any lag time once you find the home that appeals to you. I highly advise you select a realtor that you feel understands your goals and will help you achieve them. Your realtor can refer you to lenders that they have had good experiences with, acquaint you with Houston and all it has to offer, help you weigh the pros and cons of renting vs. purchasing and assist you to make your move to Houston as smooth as possible. Call me for an interview if you would like to discuss your goals and how I may be of service. 281-798-4100
Margie Johnson
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene
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0 votes
Geraldine Va…, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Aug 16, 2013
Houston is a great city. We have approximately 1, 200 people moving weekly to Houston. Houston has become the number #1 relocating city in the U.S.

The area you selected is very beautiful with great oaks, beautiful homes and great locations for rentals. The West University & Southampton areas has beautiful old homes. Prices in the area for townhome purchase will be above $350's -$400. When it comes to purchasing a home you can find homes in the range of $500's which were built in the 1930's and higher. New construction in the area will be higher than $500's.

Renting is very competitive also due to all the people relocating to the area and proximity to the Houston Medical Center. You will be closer to Rice University, Rice Village (shopping and great dinning), proximity to downtown, museums, zoo and medical center. The Houston galleria is not very far from the area also (6-7 miles). It is a great area.

Rental rates for older property or garage apartments will probably run you around $1,000. I have located under that price for 1 bedroom sometimes. Purchasing a home is always the best option as rent rates area higher. Houses have appreciate at a rate of 7.4% and you can always find great programs in you are a first time home buyer.

Buying is always better. Let me know if I can help
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Rosemarie Fu…, Agent, Pearland, TX
Fri Aug 16, 2013
Welcome from Pa.! I grew up there. If you are planning to live here for five years or more, it is always best to own. Interest rates are good now and rents in the Rice area are high. If you would like more information please call or email me. I would be glad to help you find a great home.

Rosemarie Furnari
Realty Associates
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri Aug 16, 2013
If you know nothing about an area it's always recommended that people consider short term rental before committing to purchasing property. This should allow time to become familiar with the area, your options, and equip you for making a solid decision.

Good luck,

0 votes
Barb Kelley, Agent, Cypress, TX
Fri Aug 16, 2013
Great question!! The Rice area is in the inner loop of Houston and a very sought after area. It's not only close to Rice,, but also close to the Med. Center, West University, DT, the Galleria, Heights, River Oaks, and more. What is your price point for both? Considering the location and what you'd like, it can be very pricy (for Houston). For instance, I just sold a 1 bedroom, 1 bath Condo that was less than 1,100 SF for $195,000 CASH in Montrose and a 2600 SF Town Home in Bellaire for $300,000 CASH. Because the area is so convenient to jobs, shopping, entertainment, medical, etc., the price of homes is typically much higher than the suburbs, but it's a wonderful place to live! Since you are not familiar with our wonderful city, I would lease first to see where you'd like to purchase. Please let me know if I can assist you further.
Barb Kelley, Realtor
RE/MAX Realty Center
0 votes
Persis Behra…, Agent, Cinco Ranch, TX
Thu Aug 15, 2013

Houston has had an influx due to the growth in jobs and housing has gained tremendous momentum beginning in 2013. Houston is a rather large city with attractive areas like Katy, Bellaire, Sugar Land, Cypress, The Woodlands, Spring, etc. etc. that have good family amenities and schools. Since it seems like you want to be closer to the Rice area, your budget will play a big role in determining where you can purchase.

What would you like to have in a home? How important is it for you to be close to your work? What features/amenities must you have? What is your budget?

If you are not familiar with Houston, renting may be a good option for a short term if you prefer to buy eventually. I just helped some folks from UK settle into a short term rental because they are eager to buy within 6 months.

If you will have temporary acommodations when you first come into Houston, it will give you a chance to go around some areas to see what you feel comfortable with. Let me know if you have more questions. The contact information below is the best way to reach me.

REALM Real Estate Professionals
0 votes
Vanessa Mart…, Agent, Pearland, TX
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Hello There!

I have some clients who work at Rice University, and recently chose to purchase in the Museum District. We had a very difficult time finding them a 3/2/2 home under $500k, but it can be done. Anything inside the inner loop of Houston whether buying or renting---will be much more expensive than what you can find in the suburbs. It really depends on exactly what you are looking for. Please let me know if you need further information on either---the Museum District & Rice U areas are a few of my specialties. Talk to you soon...V
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Nadeem Qures…, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Since you don't know Houston very well, maybe renting for 6-12 months would be optimal to get to understand the city. I almost always recommend buying over renting, but I think it's wise to rent in a new city to truly get a feel of areas you'd feel comfortable with.

Also, it's a seller's market at this time, and I think it will remain so through 2014. However I believe there will be more inventory on the market in a year, and I think you'd be better positioned to buy at that time.

Please let me know if you have any other comments or questions- thanks,

Nadeem - Realtor
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Andre Brooks, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Your Credit Score And Finances Will Play A Big Part In Your Decision Making Process. In Many Areas It Can Be More Beneficial And Cost Effective To Buy Instead Of Rent And Vice Versa. Get In Contact With Me And I Can Give You Further Information About The Area Near Rice. Talk To You Soon.

Andre Brooks
Keller Williams Memorial
0 votes
, ,
Thu Aug 15, 2013
I recently moved from CA to TX and was pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced the homes are here in this state. There are several really good loans programs available to get into a home today, and you might be surprised when you see it's actually cheaper to buy than to rent in many areas of the state. The economy is busting here and growth is everywhere. Gasoline is cheaper, utilities are lower, and there is no state income tax. For me, the amount good ole Gov. Jerry Brown was taking out of paycheck every month nearly pays for my mortgage. So it's a brainer for me. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

Best of Luck and welcome to Texas!
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