As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston has a population of over 2.1 million people and spans nearly 600 square miles. It is also an important economic center. As a global city, with well-known locations such as NASA's Johnson Space Center, the Museum District, which gets some 7 million visitors each year, and a very big Theater District, Houston provides everything a home buyer may be looking for in a rent to own property. That includes a thriving economy, a strong housing market, and good schools.
Though the area has seen some ups and downs over the last few years, this is not unlike any other large city in the country. In the second quarter of 2013, the city had a median sale price on homes of about $88,750, which is about the same as the previous year. The average listing price for a home in Houston proper as of the final week of August 2013 was $327,615. In the previous six months, about 147 homes sold in this area. If you are looking for rental homes, the annual residential turnover here is 20 percent and the median years in residence is two. Incomes have improved by about 18 percent per household in the last decade. The population of the city has grown by eight percent since 2000.
In such a large city, the commutes to and from the various neighborhoods and suburbs of Houston are very important to home buyers. The city does feature the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, simply called the Metro, which is a set of buses and light rail running throughout the city. About 71 percent of people here drive alone to work. Some of the major highways in the city include I-610, which circles the downtown area, and Beltway 8, which create a loop about 25-miles outside of the city. Getting into town can range from a 20 minute commute to an hour, depending on location and the time of day. Many people live in the suburbs and work in the city.
The city's main school system is the Houston Independent School District, which is the 17th largest in the country. It has 112 campuses. There are also 300 private schools located in the region. For college-level education, the University of Houston is a prominent option. Other options include Texas Southern University, Rice University, and the Houston Community College System.
Houston is home to numerous neighborhoods. When looking for a rental property, the following are some of the most important communities to consider:
Montrose: With tree-covered homes and a nice, friendly walking community, Montrose is a good option for the family. It has a combination of single family homes, condos, and duplexes for rent. It is also a diverse area with art galleries, hotels, and numerous restaurants.
River Oaks: This neighborhood is a more luxurious area dominated by single-family homes often on large lots. This is also one of the most expensive regions in Houston. A number of art galleries, high-end restaurants, and boutiques dominate this area, too. It is also near the River Oaks Theatre, which makes it highly desirable.
Greenspoint: This neighborhood is only about 15 miles to the north of Downtown Houston, making it an excellent choice for those who want to be close to the big city. Numerous businesses are in this area and it is also a center for some large companies. Lofts for rent, apartments for rent, and some homes for rent are located here.
Midtown: In between the downtown area and the Museum District sits Midtown. This is a fun neighborhood with some old, restored homes. You will find lofts for rent, rowhomes, and even a few duplexes for rent here. For individuals who want to be close to the nightlife and desire a hip area, this area is a good fit. That's also why it is such a popular young professional destination.
Clear Lake: Located a bit farther away is the suburb-like community of Clear Lake. There are larger homes here. Because it is located on the shore of Galveston Bay, it is also a nice location for a second home. It's easy to enjoy the fun at the Kemah Boardwalk.
Memorial Park: Eclectic is the word that describes this community. It is known for its wine bars and locally owned restaurants. It is a hot spot for younger generations. However, it is also home to some beautiful single-family homes, including some homes for rent.
Galleria: Also known as Uptown, this neighborhood in Houston is desired by those who want fine dining, easy access to the airport, and great sports venues right outside their door. With condos for rent and apartments for rent, this area is for those with a higher budget and the need to be in the heart of the city.
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