Moving to Houston? These Steps Will Help You Prepare

Already one of the nation’s most diverse and thriving cities, Houston is experiencing a boom in population and development.

Already one of the nation’s most diverse and thriving cities, Houston is experiencing a boom in population and development.

People are flocking to the nation’s fourth-largest city for its plentiful jobs, active outdoor opportunities, plenty of sports and entertainment options, and a housing market that remains much more affordable than many other cities in the country.

Known as “Space City,” Houston is a leader in the aerospace industry, healthcare, manufacturing, and many other sectors. Houston’s business-friendly climate makes it a perfect home for numerous Fortune 500 companies based in Texas. With that kind of business might, there are plenty of well-paying jobs in Houston.

If you’re moving to Houston, there’s a lot to look forward to and a wonderful lifestyle is waiting for you.

First, though, you should thoroughly research the city and then hire a great Houston Heights realtor.

Work with a real estate agent

Houston is a sprawling, 670 square mile city of over 2.3 million residents. The Greater Houston area extends from Lake Conroe down to Galveston, on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when trying to find a wonderful, spacious home for sale in Houston, so you’ll definitely need a local’s help in this large city. The best way to find the perfect neighborhood and negotiate a great deal is to work with a real estate agent who has several years of experience in the Houston area.

Great agents know the ins and outs of the best neighborhoods - schools, parks, shopping, and much more. They’ll also know the most recent pricing trends, and will help get you a home that fits your budget and lifestyle needs.

Start your search for a Houston Heights realtor by visiting the websites of real estate companies, going over their testimonials and career bios. If you have friends or family already living in the Houston area, ask them for referrals. If they were satisfied with the agent who helped get them into a home, definitely add that agent to your list of possibilities. If you already have a job waiting for you in Houston but haven’t moved yet, ask your coworkers or HR for agent recommendations.

Once you’ve narrowed your list to the most promising agents, interview each one. The best attributes in an agent — besides extensive experience — are strong interpersonal communication skills and trustworthiness. Buying a home in any market could be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so forging a strong relationship with an agent is key.

Once you’ve hired an agent to help you search for desirable Houston real estate such as homes in Garden Oaks, it’s time to get going on relocating.

Best neighborhoods

There are dozens of great neighborhoods in the Houston area. Consider concentrating your home search in one of the neighborhoods near your place of employment to ensure the shortest commute possible.

In order to get oriented in Houston, it’ll help to know what and where “The Loop” is. The Loop is the large area of central Houston that’s encircled by Interstate 610. There are some great neighborhoods within the Loop and many that fan out in all directions.

Among Houston’s top neighborhoods are Houston Heights, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, Memorial West, and Spring Branch.

Houston Heights


Heights real estate is highly sought after, as it’s located within the Loop and is conveniently northwest of downtown. This historic district is known for its classic Craftsman and Queen Anne bungalows, as well as elegant Victorians and newer townhomes. The Heights was one of the first planned communities in Texas and was named for its high elevation, where people felt safe during several historical cholera outbreaks.

The Heights is walkable and has many unique shops, eateries, and other businesses.

Garden Oaks

Garden Oaks is an affordable neighborhood just northwest of the Loop. Also known as Oak Forest and Central Northwest, homes for sale in Garden Oaks are perfect for families. Garden Oaks is a comfortable area that’s fairly close to downtown, but has an identity and feel all its own. This charming neighborhood is known for its leafy streets and vintage homes on large lots.

Memorial West

Memorial West is a leafy, upscale suburban neighborhood west of downtown. Homes for sale in Memorial West are in close proximity to the Energy Corridor, which is home to some of the largest oil and energy companies in the world. There are enough dining and shopping options that residents don’t have to go far from home. Plus, there are also plenty of open spaces to support an active lifestyle.

Spring Branch

Spring Branch is a pleasant suburb that’s west of the Loop along Interstate 10. It has its own identity, including great schools, but still offers an easy commute into downtown and other areas of Houston. Homes for sale in Spring Branch are usually on large lots, which makes them perfect for young families.

Other Loop Neighborhoods

No home search in Houston is complete without taking a more extensive look inside the Loop. If you’ll be working inside the Loop, there are a number of great areas - Greenway Plaza, Midtown, Rice Military, and River Oaks. While there are some very affluent neighborhoods with luxury homes within the Loop, there are also many affordable areas that offer more diversity.

Completing your move

Once you’ve moved to Houston and settled into your new home, you’ll need to take several steps before becoming a full-fledged Texan. Since you’ll be driving a lot in Houston, you’ll need to apply for a Texas driver’s license, get your vehicles registered in the state, and update your auto insurance policy.

You’ll also need to make sure to register to vote, ensure your children’s immunization records are up-to-date and set up mail forwarding to your new address.

Then it’s time to enjoy the best Tex-Mex that Houston can offer, maybe go to a rodeo, and explore the many other attractions in this wonderful metro. If you plan to relocate in the near future and are looking at homes for sale in Houston Heights — or any one of Houston’s great neighborhoods — contact Miles & Co. for the best client service in Space City.

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