Moving to Houston

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Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

Hi,

My family will be relocating to Houston next month, and we plan to rent at least for the first year. My office is in the montrose/fourth ward area.

We are looking for safe apartments,close to the office,and zoned to good elementary schools as we have a 5 year old, . Any suggestions?
wilshuer
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by wilshuer »

Note sure of your budget, etc - which could significantly direct your choices.

You may look into the Rice Village - University area - just south of US59/I69. The schools tend to be good around there, and not far from the Montrose area, where you may have a harder time finding a better school.

I work in the city, but we live on the outskirts so can't particularly comment on apartments or schools in the downtown area.

A few resources to look at...

https://texasschoolguide.org/houston/

I also see a lot of discussions here...

http://www.city-data.com/forum/houston/
stimulacra
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by stimulacra »

Look at townhomes and single family units to rent. It will give you more flexibility in terms of location.

Heights, Montrose, West University, River Oaks are all good starting points. Look at specific elementary schools. HISD can be a bit of a patchwork district.

Fort Bend ISD to the southwest (Sugar Land area) is generally considered to be a good school district.

If you want to dig deep into the data: every school in Texas (k-12) is ranked and scored below:
https://texasschoolguide.org/school-rankings/
Random Poster
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by Random Poster »

Look up and down Waugh, Heights, and Memorial Drive (and a few blocks from those streets). Lots of apartments and townhomes in that area.

Lived years and years and years ago in an apartment complex near the corner of Memorial and Waugh (in the Rice Military area). Reasonably safe, never flooded (the complex was on a hill, although the 4-leaf clover interchange below the complex sometimes flooded), exceptional downtown view. Since then, there have been at least 10 new apartment complexes built in the general area, most along Memorial and south of Buffalo Bayou.

I'd avoid living right on Allen Parkway or a block or two from it---that area flooded regularly (say, west of the Federal Reserve building to Montrose Blvd).

Something in the Hyde Park area would probably be ideal (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Kroger are all very close) and traffic would be minimal, but again, look at what is available in Rice Military, as the commute wouldn't be that much longer.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

wilshuer wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:49 am Note sure of your budget, etc - which could significantly direct your choices.

You may look into the Rice Village - University area - just south of US59/I69. The schools tend to be good around there, and not far from the Montrose area, where you may have a harder time finding a better school.

I work in the city, but we live on the outskirts so can't particularly comment on apartments or schools in the downtown area.

A few resources to look at...

https://texasschoolguide.org/houston/

I also see a lot of discussions here...

http://www.city-data.com/forum/houston/
Thank you wilshuer,stimulacra and random poster. My budget is around 2K per month, and flexible on that if required. We were leaning towards apartments since we could make friends, but will also look into renting townhomes as suggested.
essbeer
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by essbeer »

West U, Roberts, Horn, River Oaks -- those are all really good elementary schools in the area. River Oaks would be the shortest commute, it's possible (but very, very unlikely) to win a lottery slot for River Oaks even if you are zoned to a different school. Way easier to just be zoned to a good school. You basically have the entire area along Holcombe from Hermann Park to the I-610 loop zoned to good schools and then a stretch along San Felipe west of Shepherd that's zoned to River Oaks. Really depends on whether you like a quiet area or lots of shopping and restaurants, or do you want to be near the park and museums?
bigdav160
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by bigdav160 »

I know nothing about rent rates inside the loop but I would guess 2K isn't going to cut it in a decent area.

Outside the loop: Far North, West, Southwest, Spring Branch are all areas experiencing plenty of growth with decent schools. Cy Fair, Katy, Fort Bend, Klein, Tomball have plenty of schools with good ratings. [Comment removed by moderator oldcomputerguy]
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snackdog
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by snackdog »

There are heaps of rental opportunities near your office in northeast Montrose and the Fourth Ward. Wharton School is fabulous and your kids can walk to school and you can walk or bike to work. What's not to like?
HDub
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by HDub »

I live in the general area. Agreed with others that West U, River Oaks, Roberts are good schools. Also Poe. A good place to look at available places for rent is HAR. In terms of rentals in the area you are looking at, I personally think the best places to look at would be around Rice. South of 59, north of Rice Blvd, East of Kirby and west of Montrose is generally zoned to Poe. South of University, East of Kirby, north of Holcombe and west of Main is generally Roberts. Both very good schools. And there are generally a fair amount of duplexes or small houses for rent in the area in the price range you are looking at. Nice walkable area and probably 15 minutes from your office. Don't move out to the suburbs unless you just really want to sit in traffic for an hour or two, every day....
Allan
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Location: Houston

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by Allan »

I know the area well, my office is in the River Oaks Shopping Center on West Gray and I live in the neighborhood that abuts Memorial Park. The general area is great, I've lived and worked here for many years. The schools mentioned are all good, but I think the challenge will be finding an apartment for you and family that is anywhere close to $2,000.

Allan
fasteddie911
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by fasteddie911 »

Good suggestions on neighborhoods and lots of modern/luxury apartment complexes, mostly mid-rise, in the general vicinity. Lot of them offer deals and are very easy to rent. I think finding a 2br for $2k is do-able. You can use HAR or just google houston apartments (I like to use google maps for searching). My spouse spent a few years living in that neighborhood.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

Thank you, essbeer,bigdav160,snackdog,HDub,Allan,fasteddie911, especially for the detailed replies on the areas to focus on. I will look into them.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

Will the commute time be around 50 minutes to pear land from montrose/fourth ward,as google map says, during rush hour? My plan B is to buy a home in the Pearland/Sugarland area, if I cannot find suitable apartments near my office.

Thank you,
jello_nailer
Posts: 347
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by jello_nailer »

Depends what part of Pearland, east or west. It shouldn't be much longer than that for either. You would be going against traffic.
My factory is east Pearland near 35/Telephone. Because of stop lights and school zones its over 20 mins just from 288 to anywhere on east 518 in Pearland. Taking the beltway east from 288 to Pearland Parkway and then south would be easy, probably 20 mins too.

All of my staff with families try to move to Friendswood because of schools.

I commute from NW off of 290 to Pearland, 51 miles 90 mins each way. Minimum.

PM me, I know the area well. Been doing it 11 years.
livesoft
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by livesoft »

I'll chime in after reading the other ideas. I used to live in Houston in many places including in the Montrose area. One must seriously consider the commute. I never owned a car while living in Houston and commuted about 10 minutes to work. There is no way I would consider living in Sugarland nor Pearland and then working in Montrose/Fourth ward. You should be able to find something that would let you walk or bike ride to work.

There are plenty of apartments to be had.

However, I might make a commute exception if there was a bus that went from near my home to near my work. For instance, the community north of Houston called The Woodlands has express buses that take one to downtown Houston. There are at least 2 park-and-ride lots for residents to use these buses. One can sleep or read on the bus, plus the bus uses the HOV lanes. But I don't know if one can rent a house for under $2,000 in The Woodlands. The public schools (and the private ones) are top notch for the Houston metropolitan area (3 of the public elementary schools in the top 25 Houston-area from the previous link are in The Woodlands). The Woodlands is also less likely to be affected by hurricanes than Pearland, Sugarland, and Houston.
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jello_nailer
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by jello_nailer »

I apologize, I misread your original post. I thought you were commuting to Pearland. Ignore most of my comment.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

Thank you jello_nailer, livesoft. I will PM you, if I decide to buy in the Pearland area.
simple man
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:44 am

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by simple man »

Unfortunately, there is typically a trade off between good schools and commute. You REALLY need to do your homework on schools. The Houston area has some incredible public school districts - they are just not around where you are working. Check the news. The state is looking at taking over the Houston ISD. But look at Pearland, Katy, CyFair, Klein. There you can find incredible (with college credit) public schools where your kids can have the same friends through elementary, middle and high. HISD does have some really good schools - they just tend not to be in the same zones. You may have great elementary, but poor performing middle, etc... First, do your homework on the school districts and schools - and then cross reference against the commute. Houston is a great place to live. Incredible food of all nationalities (inexpensive), cheap cost of living, and probably the most diverse large city in the country.
alfaspider
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by alfaspider »

simple man wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:50 pm Unfortunately, there is typically a trade off between good schools and commute. You REALLY need to do your homework on schools. The Houston area has some incredible public school districts - they are just not around where you are working. Check the news. The state is looking at taking over the Houston ISD. But look at Pearland, Katy, CyFair, Klein. There you can find incredible (with college credit) public schools where your kids can have the same friends through elementary, middle and high. HISD does have some really good schools - they just tend not to be in the same zones. You may have great elementary, but poor performing middle, etc... First, do your homework on the school districts and schools - and then cross reference against the commute. Houston is a great place to live. Incredible food of all nationalities (inexpensive), cheap cost of living, and probably the most diverse large city in the country.
If you want to live close-in with good schools, look at the Spring Branch/Memorial area. They are in the Spring Branch school district (not HISD). You certainly pay for the privilege. However, there are less expensive housing options zoned to good schools if you are content with something other than a large single family house.
simple man
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:44 am

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by simple man »

And the state school report cards just came out this week. txschools.gov. It is important to look at the data and not just the grade. A school might have an A in a subject you care about and a C in an area that may not affect you.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

simple man wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:50 pm Unfortunately, there is typically a trade off between good schools and commute. You REALLY need to do your homework on schools. The Houston area has some incredible public school districts - they are just not around where you are working. Check the news. The state is looking at taking over the Houston ISD. But look at Pearland, Katy, CyFair, Klein. There you can find incredible (with college credit) public schools where your kids can have the same friends through elementary, middle and high. HISD does have some really good schools - they just tend not to be in the same zones. You may have great elementary, but poor performing middle, etc... First, do your homework on the school districts and schools - and then cross reference against the commute. Houston is a great place to live. Incredible food of all nationalities (inexpensive), cheap cost of living, and probably the most diverse large city in the country.
Thank you. Yes simple man, our plan is to buy a house in either sugarland/pearland a year from now. We are just not comfortable moving to a new city, adding a long commute and buying a house at the same time.
Last edited by siker on Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

alfaspider wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:29 pm
simple man wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:50 pm Unfortunately, there is typically a trade off between good schools and commute. You REALLY need to do your homework on schools. The Houston area has some incredible public school districts - they are just not around where you are working. Check the news. The state is looking at taking over the Houston ISD. But look at Pearland, Katy, CyFair, Klein. There you can find incredible (with college credit) public schools where your kids can have the same friends through elementary, middle and high. HISD does have some really good schools - they just tend not to be in the same zones. You may have great elementary, but poor performing middle, etc... First, do your homework on the school districts and schools - and then cross reference against the commute. Houston is a great place to live. Incredible food of all nationalities (inexpensive), cheap cost of living, and probably the most diverse large city in the country.
If you want to live close-in with good schools, look at the Spring Branch/Memorial area. They are in the Spring Branch school district (not HISD). You certainly pay for the privilege. However, there are less expensive housing options zoned to good schools if you are content with something other than a large single family house.
Thank you alfaspider, we were looking at renting a 2 bedroom apartment around the west university area for now, we will look into the spring branch area too.
Topic Author
siker
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

My son just started Kindergarden last week, so I am not familiar with some of the school lingo. I had a few questions?

1) What happens if there are too many students in a school? Someone mentioned River oaks school is good,but it would be tough to get in.
2) What are magnet schools?
3) How easy is it to transfer schools mid term?
alfaspider
Posts: 3177
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by alfaspider »

siker wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:09 am
alfaspider wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:29 pm
simple man wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:50 pm Unfortunately, there is typically a trade off between good schools and commute. You REALLY need to do your homework on schools. The Houston area has some incredible public school districts - they are just not around where you are working. Check the news. The state is looking at taking over the Houston ISD. But look at Pearland, Katy, CyFair, Klein. There you can find incredible (with college credit) public schools where your kids can have the same friends through elementary, middle and high. HISD does have some really good schools - they just tend not to be in the same zones. You may have great elementary, but poor performing middle, etc... First, do your homework on the school districts and schools - and then cross reference against the commute. Houston is a great place to live. Incredible food of all nationalities (inexpensive), cheap cost of living, and probably the most diverse large city in the country.
If you want to live close-in with good schools, look at the Spring Branch/Memorial area. They are in the Spring Branch school district (not HISD). You certainly pay for the privilege. However, there are less expensive housing options zoned to good schools if you are content with something other than a large single family house.
Thank you alfaspider, we were looking at renting a 2 bedroom apartment around the west university area for now, we will look into the spring branch area too.
West U is great for elementary school, and if you are renting, there's nothing wrong with that.
livesoft
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by livesoft »

siker wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:20 am My son just started Kindergarden last week, so I am not familiar with some of the school lingo. I had a few questions?

1) What happens if there are too many students in a school? Someone mentioned River oaks school is good,but it would be tough to get in.
2) What are magnet schools?
3) How easy is it to transfer schools mid term?
The internet tells you about River Oaks Elementary school in an easy to read complete way:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Oak ... _(Houston)
It appears that Jeff Bezos (I think he has something to do with Amazon) went to that school as a kid.

Students are automatically admitted to the public school that their home is zoned to, so switching schools is trivial if one moves to a different zone. One can also send their children to a private school where one pays for that privilege. Admittance to any given private school depends on that school's particular admission criteria.
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HawkeyePierce
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by HawkeyePierce »

I used to live in Katy (just north on Sugarland). I definitely would not want to commute from the western suburbs to anywhere inside the loop. For a short time I had to commute from Katy to the UH main campus and that was a miserable slog.

I went to high school in Katy ISD. Unless things have majorly changed in the last nine years, their schools are excellent—it's one of the best-capitalized school districts in America. At the time they were opening new campuses left and right—since 2000 they've opened 37 new schools.

The only way I would consider living in Katy is if I could conveniently use the park-n-ride system. Back then it was a pretty great alternative to driving, but I don't know how practical it is for an office in Montrose.

Montrose/University Village is definitely the fun part of Houston and if you can find a rental that's zoned to a good school I'd jump on it.

The Texas Tribune has good coverage of the school ratings: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/15 ... ntability/

They also have this minisite that lets you explore all the available state data on a school or district: https://schools.texastribune.org/
Last edited by HawkeyePierce on Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lalamimi
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Location: Texas

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by Lalamimi »

Not all schools offer free Kindergarten, particularly in High end areas. Be careful. You won't find much for $2K inside 610. Apartment living with kids is not what you are thinking in Houston.
Allan
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Location: Houston

Re: Moving to Houston

Post by Allan »

siker wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:09 am
Thank you alfaspider, we were looking at renting a 2 bedroom apartment around the west university area for now, we will look into the spring branch area too.
I would much prefer West U area over Spring Branch. And as mentioned West U elementary is highly rated.
livesoft
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by livesoft »

Lalamimi wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:49 pm Not all schools offer free Kindergarten, particularly in High end areas. Be careful. You won't find much for $2K inside 610. Apartment living with kids is not what you are thinking in Houston.
I lived with a child in an apartment for several months in the Houston area. I'm not sure what you mean.
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livesoft
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by livesoft »

Allan wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:06 pmI would much prefer West U area over Spring Branch. And as mentioned West U elementary is highly rated.
West U housing is very expensive nowadays though, right? Actually, it's always been very expensive compared to surroundings, except compared to Southside Place which you know is a trick comparison. :)
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tigermilk
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by tigermilk »

siker wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:34 pm Will the commute time be around 50 minutes to pear land from montrose/fourth ward,as google map says, during rush hour? My plan B is to buy a home in the Pearland/Sugarland area, if I cannot find suitable apartments near my office.

Thank you,
Depends. There is a lot of construction currently as new toll lanes are being built to ease congestion. Commute time will certainly depend on which side of 288 you may be on and what time you commute. Pearland schools are very good, but you can begin Pearland and not being that district (Alvin school district).

Fyi, ratings for all schools just came out last week. Just do a search for "Texas school ratings" and let that guide you. There are some, well, not so good schools in the Houston district (but also some good ones).
moneywise3
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by moneywise3 »

Katy or Sugar land. Just manage the commute.
essbeer
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by essbeer »

siker wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:20 am My son just started Kindergarden last week, so I am not familiar with some of the school lingo. I had a few questions?

1) What happens if there are too many students in a school? Someone mentioned River oaks school is good,but it would be tough to get in.
2) What are magnet schools?
If enrollment is full they will assign you to an overflow school. This typically isn't a problem for people who enroll when enrollment opens. Kids in the attendance zone get first chance at seats. After that they will let kids from other attendance zones participate in a lottery for the open seats, if a school is a "magnet" school. School get to be magnet schools by being less than 85% filled by local students, then the district will give them funds to start a specialty program to "attract" kids from surrounding schools.

River Oaks is a magnet school, and it's typically only about 50% full from kids actually zoned to the school. So it's no problem getting in if you are in the attendance boundary. But they get lots of applicants for every magnet school seat, I want to say something like 100 apps per seat so it really is like winning the lottery if you get a seat through the magnet process.
goldensam
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by goldensam »

I live in Sugar Land and work downtown. Without traffic, it is 40 minutes door to door for me. Add in a wreck or stall, which is basically daily, and my commute is at least an hour each way. I flex my time and am usually commuting before the worst of rush hour is in effect. We are getting ready to sell our house and move inside the loop or very close to it, because the commute is just killing us.
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onthecusp
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by onthecusp »

I live in eastern Pearland. Park and ride with a bus to downtown is a nice commute of about 45 minutes door to door mostly catching up on my phone. Rarely any wrecks in the HOV lane the busses use. To Montrose? Ugg. You could go downtown then light rail, but you have just gone from simplicity and relative relaxation to over an hour with drive, ride, walk, ride, walk.
Mickey7
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by Mickey7 »

Since you will be moving here next month (Welcome to Houston!), you have a rather short amount of time. As are all large cities this can be quite daunting, especially with your criteria. One thing that I might have missed in this discussion is regards to your being a no car, 1 car or 2 car family. This is somewhat important as to whether you are looking at using Metro to get you to work and/or your child to their school. If you are planning to use Metro download their map and find out how that works with your workplace.

From what you have said you will be working in the upper Midtown area. There has been a lot of apartment construction in this area. Research this area on the internet on something like apartments to rent in the Midtown area. I took a quick glance and saw some places that met your criteria, but have no way of knowing as to what you looking at to rent. This is your job.

School has already started and so I believe that the magnet school idea is somewhat nixed. Regarding schools in general in HISD this is quite a patchwork district, but if you stick with the areas mentioned, you should be fine. Look at the areas of Midtown and others that posters have mentioned to help define your search if the Midtown search is lacking for you and your family.

Welcome to H-Town!
alfaspider
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by alfaspider »

Allan wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:06 pm
siker wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:09 am
Thank you alfaspider, we were looking at renting a 2 bedroom apartment around the west university area for now, we will look into the spring branch area too.
I would much prefer West U area over Spring Branch. And as mentioned West U elementary is highly rated.
Personal preference, which I think would be strongly informed by where you work. Memorial/Spring Branch would be better for folks working in the Energy Corridor (which has crept eastward of Beltway 8 over the last 10 years), while West U would be better for someone working in the medical center. For single family housing, Memorial/Spring Branch tends to have larger lots, but West U has better access to restaurants/nightlife.
txchris
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by txchris »

If you are looking in West U, you might want to check out the Belmont Apartments. We lived there with our 2 kids in a 2 br apartment almost 20 yrs ago. Plenty of space. Zoned to West U Elementary, on metro bus route, beside nice supermarket, 3 short blocks from nice neighborhood playground, rent on 2 br/2bath <$2000/mo per their website today. Good luck and welcome to Houston!
livesoft
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by livesoft »

txchris wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:17 am If you are looking in West U, you might want to check out the Belmont Apartments. We lived there with our 2 kids in a 2 br apartment almost 20 yrs ago. Plenty of space. Zoned to West U Elementary, on metro bus route, beside nice supermarket, 3 short blocks from nice neighborhood playground, rent on 2 br/2bath <$2000/mo per their website today. Good luck and welcome to Houston!
Solid advice.
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Topic Author
siker
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Re: Moving to Houston

Post by siker »

Thank you everyone. I look forward to moving to Houston.
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