Where to rent in Houston?
January 27, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Houston Filter: The Mrs. and I are moving to Houston, and would like suggestions as to which neighborhoods to look at for renting an apartment or house. We want something safe, and with a reasonable commute to Texas Medical Center.

Mostly we want a safe and quiet neighborhood. Any recommendations and advice about which specific areas to look in (or avoid) will be appreciated.
We don't mind a short-ish commute (<15 min or so) to TMC, but don't want to live too far out.
Nice to have: Something pedestrian-friendly, with parks and ambiance; not too expensive.
We are a professional couple in our late 30’s, without kids.
Thank you for your help.
posted by neutralmojo to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd start by looking in the Museum district, just north of Hermann Park.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:17 PM on January 27, 2011

What is your price range for monthly rent? Houston rents are lower than the US average, but the areas close to the TMC are very expensive for Houston, because it's near both major universities and the Museum District as well.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 1:19 PM on January 27, 2011

Best answer: Define "close" to TMC. In Houston that can mean, less than a half hour commute.

Rice University Village, Bellaire, Montrose, the West End, and the Heights are all popular inner-loop neighborhoods. Just what you are looking for but can be kind of pricey.

The places that are upandcoming right now are the Midtown area, the Washington Corridor and the area north of Downtown.
posted by cross_impact at 1:32 PM on January 27, 2011

I live in the Heights and love it. I would recommend that no matter where you finally choose, be sure to check it out in person and see the surrounding areas with your own eyes. The bitch about Houston is that there is no zoning and a really nice house/ apartment/ neighborhood can be right next to a real p.o.s..
posted by Buckshot at 1:52 PM on January 27, 2011

Best answer: The Heights is great. I lived downtown for two years and loved it (commute forced me back to clear lake) - it's all of the things you asked for, and Houston's one light rail line hits both downtown and TMC.

You might also look closer to Discovery Green or the ballpark. The area the other side of 59 is pretty sketchy, but was improving, or at least seemed that way to me.
posted by verdeyen at 2:37 PM on January 27, 2011

We used to live at this rental complex. My wife's commute to the med center was pretty good (kind of against traffic) and mine was great (very much against traffic). It's a slightly older complex so prices are reasonable. There's a Whole Foods 3 minutes away, on foot! (which is pretty good for Houston)

We live in the West End right now and it's great but mostly townhomes. (Houston is a great place to buy, but only if you're ready.)

The neighbourhoods mentioned by cross_impact are where you want to be.
posted by redyaky at 2:42 PM on January 27, 2011

Best answer: South of the Medical Center, near the Astrodome/Reliant Center: Roughly a triangular area that is bordered by Kirby and S. Main for north-south streets, and 610 and Old Spanish Trail for east-west streets. Avoid that triangle. Also, much of the area around University of Houston (the main campus, not the one that is in downtown) is pretty sketchy.
posted by Houstonian at 6:31 PM on January 27, 2011

Best answer: My suggestion if you have money is the West University / Bellaire / Rice Village area. Its right off the TMC and is a great area. A little expensive (by Houston standards, its still cheaper than almost any urban neighborhood in a coastal city), but very expensive if you want to buy. If you have less money, I suggest the Montrose / Westheimer area. It's my favorite neighborhood, and probably the best if you like to go out to bars/shows, and it can be cheap if you find the right place.

The heights is also awesome (where I lived for quite a while), but its over 15 minutes to the TMC. More like 25 in traffic, just a heads up.
posted by tmthyrss at 6:32 PM on January 27, 2011

I lived in what I guess is the museum district, near Montrose. It was fantastic. Also, I was able to walk to the light rail, which made getting to the medical center extremely quick and easy, even without driving, which sometimes is a huge advantage. Look into options within walking distance of the light rail.
posted by raygan at 11:44 PM on January 27, 2011

Best answer: My wife used to live near the Rice Village / West University area. The Rice Village area is good for some cafes/restaurants and shopping. We have enjoyed so many pleasant walks throught the West U neighborhood. Here's a Houston neighborhoods map that might be helpful. Commute to TMC is really close from both these areas (5-10 minutes) and depending on specific location, you might be able to easily walk or bike as well. Living close to a light rail station would also be a great option.
posted by thewildgreen at 8:45 AM on January 28, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your help. We are going to check prices in the areas you all recommended, and then plan a visit to look at places in person.
posted by neutralmojo at 8:46 AM on January 28, 2011

I know you already have several best answers marked, but wanted to tell you that I have family that works in the medical center area of Houston - one couple lives in West University (and love their less than 5 minute commute), the other in Bellaire with a just slightly longer commute than that. Both neighborhoods are really nice.
posted by echo0720 at 4:31 PM on January 28, 2011

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