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21396 Provincial Blvd., Suite A | Katy, Tx 77450 | Direct: 281-766-7849 | Mobile: (281) 757-2009 | Email: Richard@RivichRealty.com
INSIDE THE LOOP

The neighborhoods and incorporated municipalities located within the 610 Loop rank among the most desirable communities in which to live within the city of Houston. One of this area's strongest attractions is its prime accessibility to the downtown business district and surrounding office parks, the Texas Medical Center and the Theater and Museum Districts. Extreme variety in housing costs and style is available in the are within Loop 610.

Incorporated townships such as West University Place and Southside Place offer quiet streets, older homes, large shade trees and premium prices. Proximity to Rice University inspired the name West University which incorporated in 1925 because of reluctance on Houston's part to extend power lines out "that far"! Today about 13,000 residents live in this city that spans 1,248 residential acres and nearly 20 acres of commercial property. Because of the high demand for homes in the area, few vacant home lots remain. In recent years, the trend has been to raze older dwellings and replace them with new multi-story Georgian style homes. In fact, more of this kind of renovating has taken place in the West U. area than elsewhere in Houston.

River Oaks, with its stately mansions and spacious deep-set lawns is one of the nation's most exclusive neighborhoods. Nestled around the southern edge of Memorial Park, this area of 1,600 residents offers properties starting at $600,000. Deed restrictions disallow "For Sale" signs on the properties. Just west of River Oaks are the communities of Royden Oaks, Oak Estates and Afton Oaks populated by long-term residents and young couples who have purchased homes with renovation plans in mind.

Between Buffalo Bayou to the north and Highway 59 to the south is the Montrose district, an area in which homes built during the early 20th century still stand in the shadow of modern downtown Houston. There are two-bedroom, brick bungalows as well as two-story brick homes. Surrounding neighborhoods are Westmoreland, Avondale and Cherryhurst, all featuring homes ranging from $200,000 to $550,000. Most town houses range from $175,000 to $600,000, and one also finds low and high-rise condominiums and high-rise apartments in the area.

The Medical Center area, defined by the South Main Corridor, offers a variety of home styles that range from large southern mansions and estates to smaller single-family ranch style homes. Many of this area's residents work at the many corporations located in the area and Houston's largest employer, The Texas Medical Center.

The established, well-kept properties of some of Houston's most elegant neighborhoods offer a wide range of housing styles suited to every taste. Estates, Upscale town homes and condominiums, apartments, some new construction and older single-family homes are all available

The fashionable neighborhood of Braeswood was developed in the 1920s as Houston's ultimate garden suburb and has a wide choice of homes. Because the original architecture was housing of such exceptional design, many of the homes in Braeswood are being renovated.

Parks and open space offer plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. Hermann Park is the site of the Houston Zoo, Children's Discovery Zoo, Brown Education Center, IMAX Theater, Natural Science Museum, Planetarium, Houston Garden Center and Miller Outdoor Theatre. Memorial Park offers golf, tennis and miles of trails for jogging - all year round activities in Houston. City parks provide sports leagues and community recreation centers.

The area inside the Loop falls within the Houston Independent School District, which is committed to providing exceptional elementary and secondary educational services. Gifted students or those with special interests are served by magnet schools. All schools offer bilingual instruction and English as a second language.

The Houston area has more than 200 private schools, most of which offer small classes and both traditional and innovative curricula.

Most of the colleges are here too including The University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Southern University, the University of St. Thomas, and the medical, dental and nursing schools of the Texas Medical Center.

 

 

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HISTORIC HEIGHTS

The area that once was the city of Houston Heights enjoys an ideal location, within minutes of downtown Houston and within blocks of most major freeways. Houston Intercontinental Airport is an approximate fifteen minute drive north on I-45. Heights consists of historic, turn-of-the-century homes overlooking tree-lined streets. Most of the new construction in the area is being built in the traditional Heights styling with front porches. The area has a strong Civic Association that hosts annual events, such as a Spring Home Tour, Christmas Victorian Home Tour, and Heights Fall Festival among others.

Prices range from $150,000 for two bedrooms, one bath bungalow. Three bedrooms, two baths, range from approximately $275,000 to $400,000s. The grand, stately mansions range from $500,000s to $1,000,000s. New construction starts in the mid $200's.

 

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DOWNTOWN

 

Young professionals and 'empty nesters' are finding downtown an attractive place to live for close proximity to work and to the city's theater district. Approximately 2,000 downtown residences exist in such locales as Beaconsfield, Hermann Lofts, White Oak Lofts, Dakota Lofts, Four Seasons Place, Hogg Palace, Houston House and 2016 Main. Housing costs range from $150,000's to $600,000's.

 

 

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SOUTHWEST

 

Southwest Houston has experienced rapid growth in both new and old subdivisions, and has some of Houston's best shopping and entertainment. The area includes portions of both Harris and Fort Bend Counties and attracts many first time and move-up home buyers.

Electronic and bio-technical companies comprise a large percentage of the area's industrial base and for those who work in downtown Houston, the commute is easy via the Southwest Freeway (US-59)

There are a number of beautiful residential communities offering housing in all styles and price ranges. Classic, contemporary and traditional home styles are all included and many condominium, townhouse and apartment complexes are available as well.

The West Loop of 610 cuts mid-way through the independent township of Bellaire, "The City of Homes." The occupational make up of Bellaire's 15,000 residents is predominantly professional. Housing varies from 1950's style two and three bedroom ranches to the newer Georgian mansions built in recent years. It is largely residential, with some commercial and office development. Bellaire is served by the Houston Independent School District, but it is a separate city with its own mayor, council and city manager.

The older Southwest Houston communities of Meyerland and Westbury contain some of Houston's loveliest homes. Often considered Houston's loveliest homes. Often considered Houston's first planned community because of its zoning regulations and architectural controls, Meyerland features mature shade trees and manicured gardens and lawns. These areas offer easy access to downtown, the Galleria, the Texas Medical Center and Greenway Plaza.

Affordable brick and wood homes are prevalent in this area and range from the $50,000's to the $300,000's.

Expansive shopping centers and restaurants create an attractive and accessible area of town.

Five regional malls including the Galleria are easily reached from the Southwest area, while neighborhood shopping districts offer a more intimate experience.

 

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Alief/Sharpstown

The communities of Alief and Sharpstown cover a large part of southwest and west Houston. While these areas experienced their major growth spurts in the 1960s and 1970s they continue to offer comfortable living for a range of lifestyles. Many cultural and ethnic influences are evident in neighborhood in the Alief/Sharpstown area, including Asian, Hispanic and African American.

Multi-family living options are widely available in these areas, with apartment condominium, townhome and duplexes available for rent in several clusters. Small and mid size brick tract homes are prevalent in this area. Prices range from $70,000 to $200,000. A variety of shopping centers and restaurants make this an attractive and accessible are of town.

 

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FORT BEND COUNTY

Showing no signs of slowing, Fort Bend County's population is expected to reach 731,000 residents by the year 2025.

Although Fort Bend County is home to many people who work in Houston and prefer to live outside the city, its work force is dominated by manufacturing in a wide spectrum of industry. Corporations based in Fort Bend County such as Imperial Holly Sugar, Texas Instruments, Unocal, Fluor Daniels, and Frito-Lay are only a few of the county's major employers.

Fort Bend leads the Houston region in household income. Every ethnic group leads its counterpart in average household income. The average household income in Fort Bend County is $66,956.

Fort Bend County has the highest percentage of traditional families (married with children) in the Houston region and the eighth highest percentage of traditional families in the United States. Forty-five percent of the families are married with children compared to the national average of 26 percent. The master planned community of First Colony was named #1 National Community of the year for 1998 by the Community Association and is the home of Tara Lipinski, Olympic Gold Medalist in Figure Skating. The highly acclaimed Fort Bend ISD recently completed a state-of-the-art natatorium.

Fort Bend County is home to more master-planned communities than any other county in the nation. The growth that Fort Bend County has experienced over the last 12 years can be easily traced to the development of the county's 18 master-planned communities. These large landholdings which were part of Stephen F. Austin's original land grants to the first Texas colonists, were ideal for the method of development called master planning, in which residential, retail, office and industrial segments are combined in careful balance. Master-planned communities and residential suburbs are built around lakes, parks and pecan orchards and afford residents a high quality lifestyle. There are 320 acres of lakes, 600 acres of parklands and more than 315 holes of golf. Libraries, museums, sporting events, parks and recreation centers are all located within easy reach.

Sugar Land, Stafford and Missouri City are three incorporated municipalities here. The community of Sugar Land has been built with extreme care, taking into consideration many lifestyles. There is much new home construction here, and a variety of styles in all price ranges. Traditional, contemporary and luxury custom-built homes with lavish amenities are available. Residents are recreation oriented with three highly regarded golf courses, the Brazos Bend State Park and the George Observatory in their own backyards.

The master-planned community of First Colony is among the leading areas in housing start. Most of the homes are newer tract, semi-custom and custom homes-many in a country club setting. Some 20 high technology firms have been established in the Stafford area since 1985. Stafford offers affordable housing  - new and pre-owned - and a high standard of living common to all residents of Fort Bend County.

Missouri City neighborhoods and subdivisions offer housing options that range from small starter homes to luxury homes located within master-planned communities.

Fort Bend County is the source of a lot of new development including the master-planned communities of First Colony, (famous for its Sweetwater Country Club), Sugar Mill, Lake Olympia, Pecan Grove Plantation, New Territory and Greatwood.  Sienna Plantation, Ft. Bend County's newest Master Planned Community, is a 14,000 residential lot community opened in early 1997. It is also the location of the twin cities of Richmond and Rosenberg, former farm communities which appeal to people who prefer small town living while demanding tremendous value for their housing dollar.

Highly rated school districts offer state-of-the-art methods and curricula. Residents over age 25 have the highest levels of educational attainment in the Houston region, and also the highest percentage o graduate degrees, bachelor degrees, some college education and the lowest percentage of high school dropouts. 

Stafford has its own school district; Sugar Land and Missouri City are served by the Fort Bend Independent School District. The twin cities of Richmond and Rosenberg are located in the western portion of Fort Bend County. These areas are linked to downtown Houston by the Southwest Freeway (Hwy. 59), and Hwy. 288.

 

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WEST HOUSTON

West Houston is defined by the area which extends west from Loop 610 along the Katy Freeway (I-10) between Westheimer and the Northwest Freeway and is home to many of the city's most beautiful neighborhoods such as Memorial, Spring Branch, Tanglewood, The Villages, West Memorial, Briargrove Park and Lakeside areas. The communities and neighborhoods of West Houston are known for excellent schools, easy access to freeways, lush parks and ample shopping facilities.

The Galleria area in near West Houston features some of Houston's most upscale shopping, and like Memorial, the residential sectors of close-in West Houston have been the site of redevelopment activity due to high demand. Some to the most richly designed homes in Houston are found on the tree-lined streets which wind through the Galleria area, and elegant townhomes and high-rise apartment complexes are all available.

The quiet residential streets of many of West Houston neighborhoods are lush with inviting greenbelts, tall pine trees and mature landscaping. Close proximity to Buffalo Bayou offers a serene, secluded and upscale lifestyle. Separate community police departments and private security companies provide excellent security.  Close in neighborhoods such as Tanglewood are well-established and have limited building lots available with most new construction due to renovation or razing of older homes. Convenience to freeways and the Galleria make the area popular with empty nester, professional people and retired couples.

Between Memorial Drive and I-10 (the Katy Freeway) are the "Villages". This term refers to the incorporated municipalities of Bunker Hill, Hedwig Village, Hunter's Creek and Piney Point, all located south of I-10 West, and Spring Valley and Hilshire Village, north of the Freeway. Many homes in this area fringe Buffalo Bayou. Older homes built in the 1960s as well as more modern homes can be found here. Home prices in the Villages begin at $300,000. For the most part, residents are professionals, independent business owners, and oil and energy executives.

West of Wilcrest Drive are the beautiful subdivisions off Memorial Drive and Briar Forest which offer private, secluded, near-bayou living. South of I-10 and near the east side of Highway 6 are newer subdivisions built within the last 15 years. West of Highway 6 is Weston Lakes, a private master-planned community which features custom homes rivaling those of River Oaks and Memorial.

West Houston is a wide-based employment center. A number of international energy related companies are located along Interstate 10 "Energy Corridor" between Gessner and Highway 6. In addition is Memorial City Medical Center, composed of five major institutions that include a medical plaza, psychiatric and rehabilitation hospitals and a residential nursing care facility. West of the Galleria, three more major shopping malls as well as numerous community shopping centers serve the approximately 250,000 residents of West Houston. The Westside Tennis Club, selected by World Tennis magazine and the U. S. Tennis Association as one of the top twenty tennis clubs in the nation is located in West Houston.

The Houston Independent School District and Spring Branch Independent School District serve West Houston, and the area is also home to some of Houston's finest private schools such as Kinkaid, Duchesne Academy, Second Baptist and St. Francis.

 

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KATY

Approximately thirty miles west of downtown, Houston on I-10 (Katy Freeway) is the city of Katy, once a small farm community and now an area of upscale subdivisions populated by oil and gas professionals who work at companies in the "Energy Corridor" along the freeway. Katy offers a small town atmosphere that fosters a community of caring neighbors and lifelong friends. Many homes in Katy have towering oaks and stately pines, and housing ranges from apartments to small ranches to estate homes.

In addition to some well known stores, Katy has many small shops and boutiques where top-quality, originally-designed craft items can be purchased. The Katy Mills Mall will offer Katy residents a meca of large and small stores at one location in the very near future.

Katy is zoned and has areas available for all types of businesses, schools, shopping, churches and family living. The city is home to many upscale communities including Green Trails, Kelliwood and Nottingham Country. Housing costs range from $70,000 to $1 million or more. The region's newest country club recently was finished in Katy, and golf course lots still are available.

The Katy Independent School District works closely with the community to provide exemplary education opportunities. As a result, KISD schools have won the National Recognition Award for Elementary Education, Exemplary Performance Awards, and 11 schools were selected as Texas Successful Schools by the Texas Education Agency. More than 80 percent of KISD high school graduates pursue higher education at colleges or other institutions.

 

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"HOUSTON'S "GREAT NORTHWEST"

During the 1970s the Northwest area was quiet, sleepy, hidden woodland intersected by several gentle farm-to-market roads. The area was a haven for golfers, farmers and some early northside settlers. Within a decade, the area exploded into one of the most phenomenal growth stories in Texas history, and is predicted to remain a high growth area for many years to come.

Located 20 to 25 miles north-northwest of downtown Houston, the area along FM 1960 between Highway 290 and Interstate 45 is thickly forested, and its semi-rolling terrain is drained by hundreds of scenic streams, creeks, and bayous. It has attracted developers, business people, and new homeowners who have built a new, progressive community.

The completion of the Sam Houston Toll Road, the upgrading of Hwy. 6 and FM 1960 and improvements to Hwy. 290 have greatly improved transportation and mobility in the Northwest area, making downtown Houston quite accessible. Houston Intercontinental Airport serves the area with Hooks Airport used for general private aviation.

Houston's Great Northwest has numerous health and fitness clubs in addition to country clubs and private neighborhood facilities. The Aerodome ice skating rink at FM 249 and 1960 is the practice arena for the Houston Aeros Hockey Team and also features skating classes and family fun. Many fine parks with jogging trails are located throughout the area with a variety of recreational and sports centers.

The region has experienced a significant residential development as well as major office and industrial activity. The area between the Katy Freeway and Highway 290 is referred to as Bear Creek and is one of the three distinct areas that make up Houston's northwest. Master planned communities in Bear Creek include Fairfield which expects a future population of about 20,000 residents. Neighborhood homes are priced from the $60s to the $160s. Copperfield, a second master-planned community in the Bear Creek area, is composed of villages that span 1,800 acres. Each village has its own recreational facilities. Home prices range from the $80s to the $200s. Residents enjoy recreational facilities such as golf, swimming, lakes and parks.

The second major area of the northwest is Cypress-Fairbanks defined by Highways 249 and 290. Located here is Lakewood Forest, a bedroom community of mainly single-family homes ranging from the low $100s to $250s and more. Wooded lots offer quiet, secluded living.

Making up the third area of the northwest is the "Champions" area between Highway 149 and I-45 named 20 years ago for the northwest's first subdivision. With a wide selection of styles and price ranges varying from $60,000 to over one million dollars, the area is known as a "house hunter's delight"! The majority of residents live in single family homes on individual lots in beautifully wooded subdivisions. Regardless of the type of housing, virtually all homes feature neighborhood or community amenities for park space, swimming, tennis or golf. Along the 1960 corridor are more than fifty subdivisions. Also in this area is Northgate Forest, a neighborhood of custom estate homes starting in the $400,000's. Country clubs and golf courses abound in the Champions area.

Willowbrook Mall and Greenspoint Mall are the largest retail centers in the area. Practically anything can be found in the multitude of other retail outlets where the range of quaint mini-centers, flea markets and specialty stores offers a varied shopping experience. The Cypress Creek Community Center located off Stuebner Airline near 1960 features a new music hall where area residents can enjoy performances by the Houston Symphony and other entertainers.

There are four independent school districts in Northwest Houston: Klein, Cypress Fairbanks, Tomball and Spring. Each district is governed by its own board of elected trustees. North Harris County College and the University of Houston-Woodlands Institute are located in this area, and Houston Community College also offers a comprehensive curriculum of day and evening classes.

 

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TOMBALL

Tomball residents like to say that the bigger Tomball gets, the more it resembles a small town. Emphasis on quality of life makes this farming community bounded by Highway 249, 28 miles northwest of downtown Houston, feel like a friendly place. Nearby rural woodlands give Tomball a comfortable, rustic feel with the advantage of scenic land still available at reasonable prices. Homes range from $40,000 to $500,000 with many options in between. Equestrian oriented subdivisions are also offered that have been developed with larger lots. Burroughs Park, a 330 acre recreational area is a nearby attraction as is Spring Creek Park, another way to make use of the area's beauty through weekend picnics and sports. Golf courses are abundant. Be sure to visit the Tomball Museum Complex featuring historic buildings to see how far this area's come.

 

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NORTH

North Houston offers restful suburban living as well as immense shopping and recreational opportunities. The value and variety of housing available in the area, which is a mixture of new housing and neighborhoods built decades ago, attracts many newcomers. The completion of the Hardy Toll Road gives North Houston residents an easy commute. Old, smaller neighborhoods line the I-45 artery north from Loop 610, many of which are undergoing renovation. Shopping centers and malls abound, with the Greenspoint Mall anchoring a large area of shopping centers and restaurants. Northline and Northwest Malls are also convenient to residents in North Houston.

 

Spring is a community which offers a suburban quality of life for those who want to live near the city but long for a hometown feel. The community offers a variety of housing products from the 1950s and 1960s one-story ranch style homes to the large, two-story colonials. The area has several townhome and apartment communities. Spring residents draw from several employment centers, including Houston Intercontinental Airport, The Woodlands, and even downtown.

 

Spring is served by the Spring Independent School District and the Aldine School District. The North Harris County College is in the Spring area.

 

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THE WOODLANDS

Making up the area north of Spring along 1-45 is The Woodlands, which enjoys the serenity offered by the greenery of forest pines and shimmering lakes. Fifty miles of hike and bike trails are an amenity that close to 30,000 residents appreciates about The Woodlands. Residents refer to The Woodlands as the "new home town." The community sits off Interstate 45, 27 miles northwest of Houston's downtown and 16 miles north of Houston Intercontinental Airport.

 

Nestled in a forest habitat are The Woodlands commercial enterprises. George P. Mitchell, Woodlands founder, headquarters his company here. Also here is The Woodlands Business Complex, composed of three development zones: The Metro Center (Woodlands downtown), the Trade Center for light manufacturing, and the 1,000 acre Research Forest for academic and non-profit research institutes and industry. Located in the Research Forest, for example, are product development laboratories and centers for medical and biotechnology research. Reflecting the flora and fauna of The Woodlands environment are its street names: Moon Vine, Wally Bucket, Muskmellow, Doe Run. The man-made Lake Woodlands is graced with a gazebo at the water's edge and guarding the lake is a sculpted dragon, donated by the Mitchell family.

 

The villages of The Woodlands present a mixture of home styles. Most houses are brick and are priced from the upper $70's to $1 million and more. Some estate homes sit on one to two acres. Available are golf course and lake front properties as well as townhomes and patio homes. Apartments are enjoying a high occupancy rate and rent from $400 to $900.

 

The Hardy Toll Road, stretching from The Woodlands to Houston's downtown convention center, provides commuters with comfortable access to the city.

 

Most alluring to residents of The Woodlands is the quiet, forested atmosphere that makes living in the north a pleasure.

 

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CONROE/LAKE CONROE

The county seat of Montgomery County, Conroe, Texas, is located only 45 miles north of downtown Houston and is a city of more than 43,000 population. The Montgomery County area enjoys an excellent, year-round transportation system fully utilizing ground, air, rail and sea. Montgomery County is served by two regional hospitals and an array of medical support facilities.

 

Just seven miles west of Conroe lies beautiful Lake Conroe, a 22,000 acre recreational lake with 1/3 of its shoreline located in the Sam Houston National Forest. The lake boasts fantastic water sports and fishing, skiing, sailing and boating abound. For those without boats, Lake Conroe Park has accessible beach areas, picnic tables, barbecue pits, piers for fishing, volleyball and horseshoe areas, concessions and a pavilion. Accommodations around the lake range from rustic rooms for fishermen to well-appointed condos to full-service hotel rooms.

 

Lake Conroe was originally designated to maintain the region's water supply and supplies water to Houston and Conroe. However, Lake Conroe has emerged as a major recreational attraction and boasts resorts such as April Sound, Del Lago Golf Resort, and Bentwater and Walden that feature golf clubs, tennis courts and swimming pools in their beautiful lakeside settings.
The premier attraction of Lake Conroe however, is an authentic, 250-passenger stern wheel paddle boat. You can enjoy a lunch cruise, evening cruise, or even an evening dinner and dance cruise for yourself or for a group.

 

Ask a Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area resident why they chose this community to call home, and they are certain to cite the area's affordable housing market. With the wide range of prices comes an amazing diversity of residential options from a basic contemporary or traditional home to a mind-boggling dream home. Also available are a variety of apartments, town houses and condominiums, as well as several retirement complexes. Most of the lake has been developed but there still are several lots all around Lake Conroe to be purchased. There are golf course, lakefront, and gated communities including the beautiful master planned communities of Bentwater, Walden, April Sound and others. Montgomery County homes range from $50,000 to more than a million depending on your preferences and choices.

 

The greater Conroe/Lake Conroe area is served by three quality school districts. Of the three districts that serve this chamber's geographic area, Conroe Independent School District is the largest with over 33,400 students in Conroe and The Woodlands. Montgomery Independent School District serves 3,600 students in the south lake area and the western section of the county, and Willis Independent School District serves 4,600 students in the north lake area and the northern portion of the county. These school districts offer quality, a well-balanced curriculum that provides opportunities for students to gain academic skills essential for success in today's competitive environment. All three school districts field competitive athletic programs that frequently win district and state championships.

 

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NORTHEAST

The communities of Humble, Kingwood and Atascocita dominate northeast Houston. Abundant with natural beauty, these three communities lie within about a 10 mile radius from where Highway 59 and FM 1960 intersect. Recreation buffs will enjoy this area because of its proximity to several golf courses and to Lake Houston. Residents of all three areas can take advantage of the fishing and boating opportunities that Lake Houston and the San Jacinto River create. These amenities and more attract many home buyers as increased home sales point out.

 

Humble residents enjoy life in a small town just minutes away from a major metropolitan center. Intercontinental Airport provides residents with jobs as do other commercial areas along Hwy. 59 and in nearby Kingwood. Humble is another area that offers "more for your money" in terms of housing. Many Humble homes are built on large, wooded lots.

 

Four miles north of Humble lies the master planned community of Kingwood. Developed in the late 1960s, Kingwood was first settled by oil field employees, though now the almost 40,000 residents make up a more diverse community. Kingwood covers 13,000 acres that divide into 14 villages, each with its own neighborhood association and each with a varying home price scale. One can find homes from $60,000 to more than $1 million. Kingwood High School was named one of the top 100 schools in the nation in 1985, earning the "Excellence in Education" award.

 

Atascocita (Spanish for "obstruction") is an area six miles east of Humble which is heavily wooded territory that was once a Spanish government possession and served as a stronghold against the French. Atascocita and its neighboring community of Walden fringe Lake Houston, a man-made lake. Concentrated home building began in 1975. Prices range from the $50's to the low $100s. This suburban community offers large, country-club style homes as well as smaller homes in well-planned subdivisions.

 

Humble ISD serves more than 18,000 students in its 18 schools that cover a 90 square mile area. Other school districts in this region are Aldine, North Forest, Sheldon and Crosby.

 

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EAST

The east area of Houston is an important trade and industrial region with the industry based communities of Galena Park, Channelview and Jacinto City located outside of the 610 Loop East. If traffic gridlock has you down, a home in the North Channel area might be your answer. Access to downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center is an easy 20-minute commute via I-10 East.

 

San Jacinto Mall, one of the larger shopping centers in the Houston metropolitan area, is 10 minutes away. The North Channel area is located almost exactly midway between Hobby and Intercontinental Airports via Beltway 8.

 

Recent commercial growth has added a new dimension. The largest Randall's supermarket in Texas is located at the corner of Woodforest Boulevard and Beltway 8, along with other major retail outlets and specialty shops. Wallisville Road is the home of a new Harris County Library branch and a very modern YMCA. The North Campus of San Jacinto Community College is an integral asset to the area.

 

There is a wide variety of housing options in east Houston's communities.

 

Woodforest is home to almost 3,000 residents and is considered one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the North Channel area. When Woodforest was developed in the late 1960s, many of the old oaks and magnolias were left in place giving the neighborhood an established feel. Although the original homes are more than 30 years old, they continue to be well maintained. Most homes in Woodforest range from $70,000 to $100,000, while those in the estate section in the west part of the neighborhood cost from $85,000 to $250,000. A strong civic association helps maintain property values.

 

Sterling Green is the most well-known subdivision because of the media attention surrounding the devastation caused by the tornado of 1992, however extensive rebuilding has given the community a whole new look. Many of the modifications almost customized some of the homes. Rebuilding also increased property values. There has been a wave of new construction, most of which is concentrated in Sterling Green South where new homes range from the $70s to $90's.

 

Other subdivisions include Rivergrove, with homes in the $95,000 to $145,000 range, and the more modestly priced Riviera East and Pine Trails, ranging from the $40's to $80's.

 

The Galena Park/Jacinto City/Channelview communities are populated by residents who work at the nearby Port of Houston and petrochemical plants.

Two public golf courses, Brock Park and Channelview Golf Course are conveniently located as is a private course at Texaco County Club. Parks with pools, basketball courts, baseball field, soccer field and tennis courts are located throughout the area.

 

Area school districts include the Galena Park Independent School District, Channelview ISD, and Sheldon ISD. Virtually every neighborhood has its own elementary school.

 

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CLEAR LAKE/NASA AREA

Clear Lake describes an area built near the bay water that empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It lies about half way between downtown Houston and Galveston on South I-45.

 

As a community that is home to Johnson Space Center (the No. 3 tourist attraction in Texas), as well as to the third largest boating center in the United States, Clear Lake has a great deal to offer.

 

The city of Houston strip-annexed Clear Lake City, therefore it is not an independent township as are its eight surrounding communities: Clear Lake Shores, El Lago, Kemah, League City, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Taylor Lake Village and Webster. The population of Clear Lake and townships totals 96,000, and has increased two percent annually since 1995. Boating, recreation and tourism industries employ more than a quarter of Clear Lake's work force, so many chances exist for participating in boating, wind surfing, or other water sports. Boaters can choose from 19 marinas offering more than 6,000 boat slips.

 

Clear Lake City is the most established master-planned community in Greater Houston with more than 10,000 acres of residential, commercial and industrial properties. Together with its neighboring communities, the area offers every type and price of housing.

 

Two country club communities, Bay Oaks to the north of the lake and South Shore Harbour to the south, have selections of both pre-owned and new homes. Prices begin in the high $100s and top out in the $1 million range. Neighboring subdivisions provide a multitude of housing choices from under $100,000 to the $200,000"s. Many of the waterfront communities include boat docking facilities either at the door or at the community marina.

 

Housing in the Clear Lake area offers a variety of options. For example, South Shore Harbour in League City offers homes with access to a marina, resort and hotel/conference center. In seaside communities near NASA Road 1, one can set sail from townhomes, apartments, and homes as well.

 

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FRIENDSWOOD

Friendswood lies further south, on the west side of the Gulf Freeway. The residents enjoy a heavily wooded, rural atmosphere. Some homes sit on several acres, others on small subdivision lots. Creek front properties are available, and one subdivision offers a private landing strip as an amenity.

 

Friendswood continues to cherish the values of family and the spirit of community the Quakers brought to it in 1895. Friendswood now encompasses parts of two counties - northern Galveston and southern Harris County, divided by the popular Clear Creek. Clear Creek is a navigable waterway which offers direct water access to the Gulf of Mexico through Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.

 

Friendswood's population has more than doubled in every census count since 1960. It is the 75th largest city in Texas, located three miles west of I-45 halfway between Houston and Galveston. With its unique geographic location, residents and businesses alike have the convenience of living within a large metropolitan area, with all its amenities, and still be away from the intensities of the city. Friendswood encompasses 21 square miles and its undeveloped land has ample room for growth commercially, industrially and residentially.

 

Friendswood lies within two premier school districts - Clear Creek Independent School District and Friendswood Independent School District. Both are rated among the best in Texas. The University of Houston-Clear Lake serves the higher education needs of the area, supplemented by several other community colleges in the area, such as San Jacinto Junior College with two campuses and Houston Community College.

 

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Bayshore Area

On the shores of Galveston Bay are the three communities of Morgans Point, La Porte and Shoreacres. Consisting of wonderful blend of bay breezes, relaxed living, recreational facilities that are second to none and employment opportunities nearby make this a popular area.

 

Morgans Point is home to Barbour's Cut Terminal, a large container facility and a very important part of the Port of Houston. It's also home to the historic Sterling Mansion, a replica of the White House, built by Ross Sterling in the mid 1920's. Morgans Point waterfront homes are typically priced from $250,000 up.

 

La Porte's Sylvan Beach bayside playground features the Pavilion, boat ramp, fishing pier and a large picnic area. Other recreational facilities include a first class recreation and fitness center, Little Cedar Bayou Park, with a state-of-the-art wave pool, athletic fields, tennis courts, and park facilities. Bay Forest Golf Course is a challenging 18-hole municipal course. Swimming pools, athletic fields, parks and nature trails are located throughout the community. La Porte has a general aviation municipal airport with hangar facilities, rentals and lessons available.

 

The world famous Houston Yacht Club calls Shoreacres home. Sailors from all over the world have raced at this historic club.

 

Houses come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. Waterfront properties begin in the upper $100s and approach the $1 million range. Upper end homes are located in areas of Shoreacres, Shady River, and a section of Fairmont Park. Lomax has some larger homes with acreage for horses and livestock. Typically prices will be from $100,000's to mid $200,000's.

 

Mid range homes priced from $60,000 to $100,000 are in Glen Meadows, Creekmont, Fairmont Park East, Fairmont Park West, Fairmont Park, Shoreacres, Bay Colony and Bayside Terrace.

 

The La Porte Independent School District serves the Bayshore area.

 

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SOUTHEAST

Southeast Houston encompasses the Houston Ship Channel that is lined with oil and chemical plants. The region provides a quality lifestyle for the thousands of skilled laborers and managers who work in the petrochemical industry.

 

Further south below the Ship Channel is Pasadena, about 18 miles from downtown Houston. This city offers homes from 40 years old to new and prices range from the $40's to $350,000 and more (see page 53). South of Pasadena is Sagemont characterized mostly by single family homes from the $50's to the $150's.

 

Deer Park, Pasadena's eastern neighbor, offers very affordably priced, single-family homes. Taxes are lower than in other areas due to local industry support of the school systems. A bedroom community, Deer Park offers average to expensive homes - many within planned subdivisions. Small town and families characterize the atmosphere.

 

Further east is La Porte, considered for years as a vacation-home community. Weekend beach homes contribute to the interesting variety of residences here and in nearby Morgan's Point. One can find homes priced from the $30's to multi-million dollar estates.

 

To La Porte's north is Bayport where 60 companies, including chemical and petrochemical manufacturers, are located.

 

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PASADENA

Pasadena is the 15th largest city in Texas and is located in southeast Harris County. It extends from near the ship channel, south to the Clear Lake area and encompasses over 50 square miles. Pasadena has long been known for its annual Strawberry Festival, but few would ever credit Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, for the presence of strawberries in Pasadena! When the hurricane of 1900 wiped out the farmers crops, Clara Barton was in the area to help. Realizing that a quick cash crop was needed she had strawberry plants shipped to the area. By the 1930's the strawberry fields had been replaced by the opening of the ship channel and its adjacent industrial development but their impact on Pasadena history is still remembered each year with the Strawberry Festival.

 

There are over 50 petrochemical manufacturing facilities located within Pasadena along the Houston Ship Channel and in the Bayport Industrial District channel area. They provide thousands of jobs which generate tax revenue and support for the local retail and business community.

 

Towne Square Mall is the largest single shopping area, however the newest growth is evidenced in the Fairmont Parkway/Beltway 8 area with the opening of a 24-hour Wal-Mart, Builders Square, K-Mart and Home Depot. Smaller shopping areas are located throughout Pasadena.

 

Pasadena Independent School District is the single largest employer in Pasadena. It is the 4th largest school district in Harris County, and was the first independent school district in Harris County. PISD has over 40,000 students and is served by 48 schools. Like so many other districts it has instituted a partnership program with parents, community members, business and industry.

 

Recreational opportunities are available in 44 city and county parks such as Crenshaw Park which offers a pond stocked with catfish, bass and other fish! Golfing is available at the Pasadena Municipal Golf Course and Baywood Country Club.

 

Affordable housing is a reality in Pasadena. It is not possible to list all of the subdivisions in each price range. Some of the subdivisions with properties under $80,000 are Burke Meadows, Country Briar, Parkgate, Parkview Manor and Fairmont Estates. From the $80's and into the $100's - Village Grove, Parkview Estates, Fairmont Heights and Mt. Vernon. Upper end properties can be found in Vista Villas, Highland Acres, Vista Oaks, Baywood Shadows, Baywood Oaks and Santorini Estates.

 

A variety of new construction is also available from townhouses beginning in the mid $50's and patio homes in the $70,000 - $80,000 range, to larger homes priced at $135,000 and up. Brighton, D. R. Horton and Barrett Homes along with several custom builders are active in the area.

 

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BRAZORIA

Country living in the shadow of Houston with Hwy. 288 providing easy access to Houston, Medical Center, Astrodome or Lake Jackson/Brazosport area. Being the nation's largest petrochemical industry county, taxes are low with large financial contributions to local schools and communities.

 

Vast wildlife resources and miles of Gulf shoreline make this a sportsman's paradise. Sandy beaches, wooded creeks and rivers, wildlife preserves, ranches and farms make up the picturesque scenery of ancient oaks from 1821 when the first Capital of Texas was established here by Stephen F. Austin.

 

Housing varies from the large ranch to the townhouse minutes from Houston. Pearland being closest to Houston offers both small and large new developments building homes in all price ranges such as Country Place retirement development and Silverlake master planned development providing two of Pearland's three golf course and Country Club developments. Nearby Alvin and Manvel add to the small town living and rural country life with easy commuting to Houston, Nasa-Clear Lake and Bayport, and the Brazosport chemical complex.

 

Schools are local small town districts with Community colleges such as Alvin, Brazosport, and San Jacinto near. University of Houston, Rice, University of Texas Medical and other Senior colleges are as close as Houston and Clear Lake.

 

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MASTER PLANNED COMMUNITIES

The term master-planned community (MPC) describes many of the larger residential neighborhoods that skirt the perimeters of Houston and generally provide a comprehensive package of residential amenities, shopping areas, schools and at least a secondary center of employment. Often the housing options will span from apartment units to single-family homes, all within the boundaries of the MPC. It is conceivable that a family residing in a large, established MPC could take care of all its desires and needs, seldom venturing away from the neighborhood.

Following is a list of some of Houston's larger master-planned communities. Your relocation specialist can direct you to more such communities throughout the Houston area.

AUGUSTA PINES
Location: Northwest, three miles south of The Woodlands off Kuykendahl - easy access to I-45
Size: 1,100 acres
Amenities: 18-hole unique golf course, Savannah’s Restaurant and Banquet facilities, office space
Home Prices: The Greens of Augusta Pines, Garden Homes from $250,000’s; The Lakes of Augusta Pines from $375,000; The Estates of Augusta Pines, Estate Homes from $500,000’s

AUTUMN CREEK
Location: West on Bay Area Blvd. from FM 518 (south from I-45) in Friendswood
Population: 700 homes at completion
Developer: Friendswood Development Com.
Amenities: Greenbelts, children’s play park, swimming pool, basketball court, landscaped pocket parks, Clear Creek ISD

AVALON
Location: Fort Bend County
Size: 427 acres
Amenities: Recreation Center with lagoon style pool, tennis courts and jogging paths, sailing, canoeing and other waterfront recreational sports
Home Prices: $180,000’s to $700,000’s

BENTWATER
Location: Lake Conroe
Size: 1,469 acres
Amenities: Two championship golf courses, tennis and swim center, yacht club.
Home Prices: $175's to $2 Million

CINCO RANCH
Location: Three miles south of Katy Freeway off Grand Parkway
Size: 5,000 acres
Population: 5,000 households
Amenities: Beach Club, West Houston Institute, golf course
Home Prices: $100's and up

CLEAR LAKE CITY
Location: 20 miles southeast of downtown Houston off I-45
Size: 10,000 acres
Population: 46,500
Amenities: Johnson Space Center, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Clear Lake, near Gulf of Mexico, University of Houston at Clear Lake, wildlife refuge center, Hobby Airport within 10 miles, yacht clubs, marinas, all types of water sports.
Home Prices: $80's to more than $1 million

COLE'S CROSSING
Location: U. S. 290 and Barker Cypress Road in NW Houston
Size: 1,200 acres
Population: 2,400 single family homes planned
Amenities: Heavily-forested land, community center, advanced telecommunications technology, Cy-Fair ISD, miles of scenic hike-and-bike and nature trails, a free-form swimming pool with a unique lazy river water-amusement, fishing ponds, tennis courts, sports fields.
Home Prices: $140's to $300's

COPPERFIELD
Location: 22 miles northwest of downtown Houston between I-10 and 290
Size: 2,060 acres
Population: 14,000
Amenities: 10-acre community park, racquet and health club, 10 lighted tennis courts, additional neighborhood parks and pools, near Highway 290 with easy downtown access, near Bear Creek Park and Cullen Park.
Home Prices: $100's - $200's plus

FAIRFIELD
Location: Off Highway 290 north of Highway 6
Size: 3,200 acres
Amenities: Access to Northwest Freeway and Beltway 8, near Compaq Computer Corp., recreational facilities including tennis courts, basketball courts, competition pool and aerobics-fitness gymnasium facility.
Home Prices: $90' to $300's

FIRST COLONY
Location: At Highway 59 South and Highway 6
Size: 9,700 acres
Population: 35,000
Amenities: Sweetwater Country Club, featuring 36-hole golf course as well as a public 18-hole course, 11 athletic fields, $1 Million aquatic center, 150 acres of lakes and greenbelts, Aerodome Ice Rink.
Home Prices: $120's to $1 Million plus

GLEANNLOCH FARMS
Location: Spring Cypress Road at Champion Forest Drive
Size: 2,100 acres
Home Prices: $140s to $500s
Amenities: Sate-of-the-art recreation center, 75-foot competition pool, equestrian center, 27-hole championship golf course, more than 30 acres of lakes, excellent Klein ISD

GREATWOOD
Location: On Highway 59 South, three miles southwest of Highway 6
Size: 1,450 acres
Population: 1,300 households
Amenities: 230 acres of greenbelts, lakes and public parks, public championship golf course, Olympic size pool.
Home Prices: $120's to $900's

KINGWOOD
Location: 22 miles north of downtown Houston on Highway 59 North
Size: 13,000 acres
Population: 45,000
Amenities: Within 9 miles of Houston Intercontinental Airport, home of Kingwood College, three area country clubs, 56 miles of hike/bike trails.
Home Prices: $70's to $1 million plus

KINGS MANOR
Location: 22 miles north of downtown, 1/2 mile east of Hwy. 59 North
Size: 320 acres
Population: 1,200 home sites
Amenities: Recreational facilities including clubhouse, tropical pool, playground, etc. Wooded setting. Houston Intercontinental Airport within nine miles.
Home Prices: $80's to $170's

LAKE OLYMPIA
Location: 17.5 miles from downtown Houston near Hwy. 59 and Hwy. 6
Population: 600
Amenities: Marina and Swim Club, golf course and country club, Fort Bend ISD, 130 acres of natural private lakes, nine miles of wooded shoreline, fishing and boating.
Home Prices: Resale: $90,000 up New: $110's to $1 million

LONGWOOD
Location: Telge and Huffmeister in Northwest Houston
Amenities: 27-hole golf course, Longwood Golf Club. Custom and courtyard homes.
Home Prices: $120's to $500's

NEW TERRITORY
Location: Highway 90A, west of Highway 6
Size: 3,100 acres
Population: 2,000 households
Amenities: A $4 million club, 2 recreation centers, 3 pools, 12 tennis courts, parks, 7 lakes - one is a 15-acre lake stocked with fish.
Home Prices: Resales: $110,000 up New: $90's to $900's plus

PECAN GROVE
Location: Highway 59 Southwest of Highway 6 in Fort Bend County
Size: 1,450 acres
Population: 3,000 plus households
Amenities: Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club, a championship 27-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, restaurant.
Home Prices: Resale: $60,000 to $350,000 New: $90's to $400's

RIVERPARK
Location: N. side of Hwy, 59 at the Grand Pkwy. in Fort Bend County
Amenities: 163 acres of Brazos River-front property set aside as parklands, wooded trails, wildlife reserves, Recreation Center
Home Prices: New: $120,000's to $220,000's

ROYAL OAKS
Location: Within Houston city limits on Westheimer Road, west of the Galleria
Size: 490 acres
Population: 900 households
Home Prices: $300 to $1 million plus
Amenities: Fred Couples Signature Course, an 18-hole world class, private golf course; 45,000 square-foot golf clubhouse; 8,000-square-foot sports clubhouse and spa with fitness center; 25-yard lap pool, recreational pool, seven-court tennis complex with stadium court, pro shop and more; and an extensive fiber optic network allows the community to have its own Intranet.

SIENNA PLANTATION
Location: Fort Bend County on banks of Brazos River
Size: 10,000 acres
Amenities: 2,000 acres of parkland, golf, recreation and greenbelts, 300 acres of commercial, retail, civic and community facilities
Home Prices: Sites: 2-12 acres $50's to $100's New: $120's to $700's

SILVERLAKE
Location: Highway 288, 10 miles south of 610 Loop
Size: 1,700 acres
Population: 900 households
Amenities: Championship 18-hole golf course, 29-acre lake, parks, pools and jogging areas.
Home Prices: $100's to $750's

SOUTH SHORE HARBOUR
Location: East of I-45 South on the south shore of Clear Lake
Size: 1,700 acres
Population: 2,000 plus
Amenities: 1,000 slip marina, resort hotel and conference center, 70,000 square foot fitness center, golf course, senior citizens living centers, near Johnson Space Center and Galveston.
Home Prices: $90's to $300's

SUGAR LAKES
Location: Sugar Land in Fort Bend County
Size: 44 acres
Amenities: More than 70 percent of Sugar Lakes homes are located on bulk-headed waterfront lots, lakefront jogging trails, full yard maintenance in Baybridge, convenient to downtown Houston and Beltway 8, Community Center with swimming pool and tennis courts
Home Prices: Resale: $180's to $600's New: $170's to $700's

SUMMERWOOD
Location: W. Lake Houston Pkwy. and Beltway 8
Amenities: Easy access to Houston via Beltway 8, parks, three lakes, recreation center with pool, tennis courts, soccer fields and more; close proximity to Lake Houston for numerous water sports and activities; 8 area golf courses are 5 to 25 minutes away. Humble ISD, quiet wooded setting, hike-and-bike paths.
Home Prices: $100's to $200's

TEXANA PLANTATION
Location: FM 359 West of Pecan Grove
Amenities: Access gates with private streets, public water supply, underground utilities, country club, Equestrian Center, convenient shopping
Home Prices: New from mid $200,000's; Homesites: From the $40's

VILLAGE CREEK
Location: Exit Spring-Cypress Road from Texas 249 in Tomball
Size: 181 acres
Population: Approximately 450 homes
Home Prices: $170,000 to $300,000
Amenities: Greenbelt trails, lakes with fountain, swimming pool with mushroom water spout, children’s play park, basketball court, landscaped pocket parks, Tomball ISD.

WALDEN ON LAKE HOUSTON
Location: FM 1960 and West Lake Houston Parkway
Size: 750 acres
Population: 1,250 homes
Home Prices: $135,000 to $300,000
Amenities: Country club, Lake Houston, 18-hole golf course, Humble ISD, marina, tennis courts, pool

WESTON LAKES
Location: Three miles west of Fulshear on Westheimer
Size: 1,400 acres
Population: 325 plus households
Amenities: Seven miles of natural lakes, championship 18-hole golf course, pools, tennis courts, croquet lawn.
Home Prices: $180's to $1 million plus

WINDROSE
Location: FM 2920 and Kuykendahl; 40 minutes from downtown
Size: 1,100 acres
Population: 1,800 households
Home Prices: $120s to $300s
Amenities: 18-hole championship, daily-fee golf club; junior Olympic swimming pool; meeting house, computer library

THE WOODLANDS
Location: 27 miles north of downtown Houston, off 1-45 North
Size: 25,000 acres
Amenities: 200-acre lake, athletic center, three championship golf courses, parks, pools, hike-bike trails, near Hardy Toll Road. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Center, The Woodlands Mall.
Home Prices: $90's to $1 million plus

  

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