Houston Texas City Guide
Researching Houston city? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about city of Houston!
Houston City Limits
City Overview: Houston, Texas is widely known to be the most diverse and largest of cities in the state. With a vibrant atmosphere, historic venues, and many entertaining attractions, Houston has something for everyone. Houston’s total area classes the city as the largest across the nation. Houston also has the 4th largest population in the country, with around 2.3 million residents.
Additionally, Houston has great private and public schools, and many families feel at home in the city. Today, Houston is seen as a global city and has the most diverse population in Texas. Houston has a long and rich history, and historic locations, museums, and cultural sites throughout the city reflect the area’s past.
Houston is home to famous attractions like the Houston Zoo and Space Center Houston, and the city’s various and distinct districts are sure to entertain. Plus, Houston’s location in Texas’s southeastern corner means Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are short commutes from the city.
Top City Highlights
- Incredibly diverse city
- Various housing options
- Near great beaches
- Highly-ranked schools
- Art and entertainment center
- Historic locations
- Urban atmosphere
- Excellent outdoor attractions
Location: Consisting of 637 square miles, Houston is situated in southeastern Texas and is the seat of Harris County. The Woodlands and Spring are Houston’s northern neighbors. Humble is found a short distance northeast. Mont Belvieu, Pasadena, and Baytown are east of the city. League City, Texas City, and Galveston are all southeast of Houston, while Pearland is south.
Sugar Land is southwest of Houston, and Kayy and Brookshire are both directly west of Houston. Cypress, Magnolia, and Tomball are all northwest. On a larger scale, Houston is located about 165 miles east of Austin, 250 miles south of Dallas, and is also 88 miles west of the Louisiana border.
Commutes: Houston residents commute an average of 24 miles daily. Factoring traffic, Houston’s average overall commute is 50 minutes. Houston is intersected by Interstate 45, Interstate 69, and Interstate 10. Northwest Freeway, AKA U.S. Route 290, and Interstate 45, AKA North Freeway, are frequented local roadways.
Additionally, East Freeway, South Freeway, and Southwest Freeway are well-connected roads that make traveling throughout Houston convenient. Houston has 3 loop freeways that allow for uncomplicated travel throughout the Greater Houston area which are Interstate 610, State Highway Beltway 8, and State Highway 99. It takes about an hour to reach Galveston from Houston, and driving to Sugar Land takes less than 30 minutes.
Culture: A cultural melting pot in Texas, Houston has about 2.3 million residents. 44% of Houston’s population identifies as Hispanic, and 25% of residents are White. 22% of the population is African American, and 7% of the population is Asian. 1% of Houston residents are biracial or multiracial. 23% of residents have some college education or an associate’s degree, and 19% of residents have a bachelor’s degree.
Another 12% of residents have a master’s degree or higher. Houston’s unemployment rate tracks around 4.5%, and the city’s poverty rate is estimated to be 20.9%. The median household income is about $50K, and the median individual income sits at $26K.
Houston’s city council consists of 16 members, including the city controller and the mayor. Members are elected for 4 year terms of office with a term limit of 2 years. 5 council members are elected on an at-large basis, while 11 members represent specific districts of Houston. Council meetings take place at 1:30PM on Tuesday and 9AM on Wednesday.
Address: 901 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
The mayor of Houston serves as the executive officer of the municipality. Among other responsibilities, the mayor presides over city council meetings, signs motions, administers official oaths, and oversees the passing of municipality ordinances. The mayor, who serves for a 4 year term and is elected at-large, puts together the city’s annual budget and advises on the city’s financial standing.
Address: 901 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
Chamber of Commerce
The Houston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce focuses on building networks between members, promoting local businesses, providing learning opportunities, and supporting community involvement efforts. The chamber works to further Houston’s business community and promote local growth through beneficial partnerships and governmental representation. This large chamber of commerce empowers its members through providing useful information, visibility, and promotional opportunities.
Address: 5100 Westheimer Rd, Suite 200 Houston, TX 77056
Overview: Seeing as around 20 independent school districts service Houston, Texas, students have many public schools to choose from. Additionally, Houston contains an estimated 300 private schools, and many of these campuses are recognized by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission agencies, which indicates excellent quality.
According to Niche.com, there are around 780 public school campuses in Houston, including early education campuses, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, charter schools, and magnet schools. Local campuses are ranked by Niche.com to be in the top bracket of schools in the state for diversity. Several impressively diverse campuses include Bellaire High School, Kempner High School, and Sugar Land Middle School.
Campuses in and around Houston are also known for having some of the best teachers not just in Texas, but in the United States as a whole. Calvin Nelms Middle School, Cornerstone Academy, Beatrice Mayes Institute Charter School, and Westbrook Intermediate School are several top campuses notable for their incredibly qualified teachers.
Houston Independent School District includes over 100 campuses in Houston and is the 7th largest school system in the country. Katy Independent School District and Tomball Independent School District are top-rated districts according to the U.S. Department of Education.The Aldine Independent School District is a pre-k-12 district that serves Aldine, sections of Houston, and other areas.
Clear Creek Independent School District is based in neighboring League City, and Crosby Independent School District is a smaller local district. Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, Fort Bend Independent School District, Galena Park Independent School District, and Huffman Independent School District are several of the many other school systems that service Houston students.
Houston Independent School District
Aldine Independent School District
Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District
Katy Independent School District
Klein Independent School District
Spring Independent School District
Tomball Independent School District
Crosby Independent School District
Huffman Independent School District
Humble Independent School District
New Caney Independent School District
Sheldon Independent School District
Alief Independent School District
Fort Bend Independent School District
Lamar Consolidated Independent School District
Spring Branch Independent School District
Clear Creek Independent School District
Galena Park Independent School District
Pasadena Independent School District
Niche.com ranks Katy Independent School District’s pre-kindergarten-5 campuses, such as Bonnie Holland Elementary and Hazel S. Pattison Elementary, among the best in Texas based on overall excellence. Houston Independent School Districts 1-5 elementaries like River Oaks Elementary, Horn Elementary, and West University Elementary have incredibly diverse student populations, AP programs, and high student proficiency scores in math and reading.
Many 6-8 campuses in Houston and neighboring areas are top-rated according to the U.S. Department of Education and Niche.com. For example, Beckendorff Junior High School has incredible teachers and college readiness programs, while Westbrook Intermediate School is an inclusive campus with rigorous curriculum. Creekside Park Junior High and Cornerstone Academy are other impressive campuses with low student-teacher ratios.
Houston Independent School District’s campuses have an average graduation rate of 79%. Some of the top campuses in America include Carnegie Vanguard High School and Michael E. DeBakey High School. Other 9-12 campuses like Seven Lakes High School and Memorial High School have average graduation rates between 94-97%. These top schools are known for excellent athletic, college prep, and AP programs.
Highly rated and established Catholic campuses in Houston include St. John’s School, St. Agnes Academy, and St. Thomas High School. Excellent private Christian campuses in the city include First Baptist Academy, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School, and Houston Christian High School. Several of many other notable campuses include Away International School, the Village School, and the Emery/Weiner School.
Overview: Of around 840,000 housing options in Houston, 56.8% of properties are rented, and 43.2% are owner-occupied residences. The vacancy rate in the city tracks around 11.1%. Around 45% of properties in the city are single family detached homes, and another 43.5% of housing options are apartment complexes.
Additionally, around 5.4% of Houston residences are smaller apartment buildings, and about 6% of residences are condominiums and attached properties. 4.4% of the city’s housing options were built in or before 1939, and 29.6% of residences were constructed between 1940-1969. 46.7% of properties were built between 1970-1999, and 19.3% of Houston residences were built in or after 2000.
Around 28% of housing options in the city have 1 bedroom layouts. 29.2% of residences have 2 bedrooms, and about 30% of properties have 3 bedrooms. Another 11.2% of Houston residences have 4 bedrooms, and 2% have 5 or more bedrooms.
Single Family Homes
Prices of 1-2 bedroom family homes in Houston can range a good deal, seeing as some Houston properties average around $75K, while others stretch to $400K. Likewise, 3 bedroom homes can be expected to start at $160K and range to around $425K. 4 bedroom homes can be found for around $600K, though more affordable options also can be rooted out.
Newly constructed properties in Houston are generally massive, luxurious properties that dwarf other properties. More specifically, a newly constructed property in Houston with 11-14 bedrooms can be expected to be priced at or over $5.5 million. Other properties with around 9 bedrooms generally range between $1.2-$3.3 million. Other giant properties can be priced at $30 million.
Averaging around $40K, the most affordable Houston condos are in western neighborhoods and have 1-2 bedrooms. Other small condos cost around $70K. 3 bedroom Houston condos start at $140K and can range over $1 million. The same can be said of condos with 4 or more bedrooms. In fact, the most expensive condos in the city cost around $4 million.
A studio apartment in Houston averages at $730 per month. 1 bedroom apartments average at $1,130 per month, and 2 bedroom layouts average at $1,300 per month. Larger 3 bedroom apartments in Houston have an average monthly cost of just under $6,000. Overall, the average monthly rent for a Houston apartment is estimated to be $1,136.
There are many lots available in Houston for new construction, most of which are found south and northeast of the city’s center. Generally, the most affordable Houston lots are priced around $9,000, and other lots jump to averages of $15,000. The most expensive pieces of land in Houston are multimillion dollar locations generally listed for over $4 million.
Homes for Sale
If you’re interested in buying a home in this area, we invite you to search homes for sale on our website. You are also welcome to check out the following resources listed below. If you would rather speak directly to a professional and licensed Realtor, feel free to contact Morales Team.
List of Houston Real Estate Listings by Property Types
List of Houston Real Estate Listings by Popular Searches
If you’re interested in selling your own property, contact Morales Team, your go-to local real estate company, by clicking the link below:
Overview: Houston’s median property value is estimated at $156K, which tracks below the national average and is considered above average for Texas. Houston generally has a strong demand for housing, so properties typically receive multiple offers. 8.7% of Houston properties are worth below $60K, and 27.6% range between $60K-$120K.
33.1% of Houston real estate varies between $120K-$239K, and 11.4% of properties range between $239K-$359K. Another 6.9% of real estate is valued between $359K-$479K, and 8.5% of properties range between $359K-$599K. From there, about 4% of properties vary upwards of $599K to over $1.2 million.
Houston real estate appreciated a total of 54.07% between roughly January 2010 and January 2020. This number can be divided into an average annual home appreciation rate of 4.42%, which places Houston’s real estate appreciation rate in the top 10% bracket nationally, indicating that Houston properties can make for solid long term investments.
Things to Do
Overview: Overview: As an iconic Texas destination with many famous attractions, the city’s tourism business is booming, and Houston residents always have somewhere special to explore. Houston includes around 340 parks, such as Lake Houston Park, Memorial Park, Discovery Green, and Buffalo Bayou Park.
Additionally, the Downtown Aquarium, Sam Houston Race Park, Space Center Houston, and the Houston Zoo are all incredible destinations. Forbes ranks Houston as one of the best cities in the country for shopping. Houston features Texas’s largest shopping mall, the Galleria, and other boutiques and stores are impressive local gems scattered across Houston’s neighborhoods.
The city also includes stellar attractions like Space Center Houston, the Theater District, the Bayou Place, and many other cultural venues and intriguing museums. Houston also has a diverse and lively nightlife scene, and local restaurants are some of the best in the state. Regardless of whether a well-known tourism site would hit the spot or if a little-known attraction is ideal, Houston delivers.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
One can’t-miss outdoor location is Houston Arboretum & Nature Center at Memorial Park. Woodland Park opened in 1903 and is a favorite for bird watchers, and Buffalo Bayou Park has 160 acres of green space with stunning views of Houston’s skyline. Discovery Green has live music and so much more, and the Houston Zoo is home to over 6,000 animals.
The Galleria is a massive shopping mall with high-end stores and indoor ice-skating. The Shops at Houston Center, River Oaks Shopping Center, Uptown Park, and Highland Village are other favorite retail areas. Houston also has many boutiques and stand-alone stores, some of the most highly rated being Melodrama Boutique, Saint Lo Boutique, Little Black Dress Boutique, Raspberry Rose, and Kismet Boutique.
Art & Culture
The city includes incredible museums like the Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and Houston Museum of African American Culture. Moody Gallery Inc., McClain Gallery, and Sicardi Gallery are several recommended art galleries. Theaters in the city include Wortham Theater Center, Alley Theatre, MATCH, and The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
Out of Houston’s many incredible venues, top standouts include Anvil Bar & Refuge, Axelrad Beer Garden, and Lei Low Bar. Establishments like Wooster’s Garden and Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lounge are impressive cocktail bars. Meanwhile, Grand Prize Bar and Truck Yard attract young, hip crowds. Other noteworthy spots include The Pastry War, The Hay Merchant, and Better Luck Tomorrow.
BCN Taste & Tradition serves contemporary Spanish cuisine, and Coltivare Pizza & Garden has excellent pizzas. State of Grace is a chic New American venue. Meanwhile, Taste of Texas is known for its giant steaks and Western decor. Xochi is an upscale Mexican food establishment, and Uchi serves fresh and creative sushi. Other tasty Houston eateries include Masraff’s, Hugo’s, and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse.
Overview: Being such a massive city, Houston has over 1,000 neighborhoods. Some of the most recognizable parts of the city include Downtown, Southside Place, West University Place, and Greenway Plaza. Several of the most expensive Houston neighborhoods with the highest safety ratings are centrally located, specifically near Midtown.
These affluent Houston areas are close to Memorial Park and have a median real estate price of $2.8 million, which is more costly than virtually all other Texas neighborhoods and 99.8% of neighborhoods across the country. Western neighborhoods can be more affordable, namely near Bear Creek.
The median real estate price here is estimated to be $335K, which is considered more costly than 85.3% of Texas residential areas and 69.6% of residential areas nationally. Northeastern neighborhoods are seen as some of the most affordable in the city, with a median real estate price close to $75K. These neighborhoods also have higher crime rates than other parts of Houston.