we are moving from boston, to houston, tx any suggestions as to what we should expect. we also have a newborn baby.

Asked by Juanita777, Houston, TX Sat Jan 23, 2010

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Dbaine, , The Woodlands, TX
Mon Apr 9, 2012
I am a Licensed Realtor & am from here...Greater Houston Metro area is not known for their zoning. Stay in a master planned community. Where ever you live, know that Houston is really spread out. About 50 min. to 1 hour and 15 min, going 65 miles an hour. ( To get "across town" or from one area in the outskirts thru downtown to another area in the outskirts.) Houston is all about resell...

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!
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Karen Van Am…, , Spring, TX
Sat Apr 7, 2012
I lived on the east coast for 10 years and still visit family and friends there at least twice a year. I now live in Gleannloch Farms (in northwest suburb of Houston) and have lived in the Houston area for the last 30 years. My heart will always be with the East Coast, but there are definitely advantages to living in the Houston area. You can get a great house with a nice size yard for the fraction of the cost of what you would pay in Boston. There are numerous master planned and gated communities with great neighbors and ammenites in the Houston suburbs. Best of luck in your move and welcome to Houston!
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Christina Ar…, Renter, Providence, RI
Sat Apr 7, 2012
Ok... well I have lived in Friendswood, Tx about 5 years now and am just getting ready to relocate to Boston for my job. Friendswood is one of the greatest little towns 24 miles from Houston city center and the Galleria area and about the same south to Galveston. You get the best of both worlds in a short 35/45 min. drive. I commute to work everyday downtown, and it's not so bad unless there is a pile up on one of the major arteries around the city, which then causes some delay. It usually takes me about 45 min to an hour during peak times. It was ranked like #4 for schools and one of Texas's best cities to live in. The town is an excellent place for raising children with an awesome school system. Almost no crime, other than the occasional teenagers doing stupid things, and the community really supports all the children and schools with their activities and events. It is very Norman Rockwell with our Fourth of July and Christmas parades and Santa even rides the firetruck down each street in Friendswood every year to kick off the holiday season, throws candy and beads and the kids just love it. My son still asks if Santa is riding every year, and he is 21 and at University in North Texas... There are a few really great restaurants, new ones opening up all the time as the city is getting bigger. 24 hour Fitness, lots of little shops and downtown is undergoing a big revamp to draw in more retailers. The city has an awesome park and recreations area, with a community pool, zumba in the park and movies in the park in the summer.... that's if you don't get eaten alive by mosquitoes...they are not so nice down here. I am glad I was able to raise my son here for at least his high school years. Hope this helps. google Friendswood and check it out!
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Ann, , Houston, TX
Fri Oct 22, 2010
Hi. I am not a real estate agent, but I lived in Houston for 20 years, met and married my husband (a native from Corpus Christi and Rice University grad-3 times over), and raised 3 daughters there. We had to move to Virginia for my husband's work, but trust me when I say, 'Once a Texan, Always a Texan!' Just living in Texas is unique to every other place I have lived and I will always consider it home. After living up here near Washington DC for several years I can tell you without doubt that the people in Texas are nicer, the teachers are better, and it's one of the most beautiful cities, year round, in the world.

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.
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Julia Fullen, Agent, Houston, TX
Tue Jan 26, 2010
Hi Juanita, Houston is a great city. I personally love the Friendswood, Clear Lake area because of the great schools, you are close to the beach in Galveston as well as downtown (both on a 20-30 commute). I have talked with a lot of people that have lived in previous parts of the city and not cared for Houston and have been tranferred back and live on this side of town and stated they love it here and would never have left if they had found this area first. If I can help you in any way just let me know. Congrats on the baby I have a new grandchild and it is surely a blessing!!! Good luck and hope to hear from you!
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Deborah Stru…, Agent, Houston, TX
Sun Jan 24, 2010
Hi Juanita,

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 dstrudler@me.com

Have a great move. I think you will like it here.
Web Reference:  http://dstrudlerhomes.com
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Stacy & Jack…, , Katy, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Moving to a new city can be scary, but it can also be an exciting and fun experience. Start off by doing some research online, and spend some time determining what is most important to you and your family. Think about what you want in a home, neighborhood etc. Make some calls to various REALTORS and ask lots of questions. Interviewing several agents will give you both insight into who can help you out the most as well as giving you plenty of information about the area.
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.
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Maudib, , Houston, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
The most important thing: DO NOT buy before you are well familiar with the area. Houston's neighborhoods are mostly bad or very bad, many of which have declined in the past 5-20 years. Top neighborhoods twenty years ago are usually slums today: examples: Spring Branch, Sharpstown, Riverside.
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Kay Stimson, Agent, Houston, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
Are you familiar with the many different neighborhoods in Houston? Are you looking for City Living? Suburbs? Will you be staying at home or in need of child care? Are you looking for a house or condo? Renting or Buying? What is your time frame for moving? I can help you narrow down your search if you are looking for some help with purchasing or renting property. http://www.kaystimson.com or email me directly at kay@kaystimson.com
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Imeldia Allen…, Agent, Houston, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
I helped a couple of folks from your area relocated down here and YES...it IS different!
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!
Imeldia Adams
Keller Williams Realty
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, ,
Sat Jan 23, 2010
Actually, I think Houston's very diverse. You'll definitely get some awesome Mexican food here! And, yes, we have mild winters and bad public transportation. But many of the suburban communities are VERY nice places to raise a family and you get a big bang for your buck in home styles and sizes. Property taxes seem high to people from other states but there's no state income tax.
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!
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Pelin Guzel, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
Hi Juanita777,

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 :)

Web Reference:  http://dallashomelist.com
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Amy Law, , Crosby, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
I concur with David, our winter weather is much more mild. We have excellent hospitals and health care in Houston, with the Houston medical center and several famous medical schools.. Lots of good jobs, and great schools and great shopping. You can find out about specific neighborhoods on http://www.HAR.com. They have a great detailed section on the different areas within the Houston area. Houston is a huge place with a small town feel. If you need any more information, please feel free to email me.
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David G Brown, , Houston, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
A whole lot warmer weather... Maybe one day of snow per year, very humid, but good for your skin. Great subdivisions with lots of amenities, close shopping with alot of things to do. Excellent freeway system but alot of vehicles. What part of tow are you considering? Let me know and I will send you a multitude of information. Good Luck, David
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, ,
Sat Jan 23, 2010
Haha. Nice. I'm always back and forth to Boston. I used to love there and my fiancé is finishing up here final year of law school at Suffolk.

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.
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