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Downtown Houston skyline at night

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Houston

Thinking about moving to Houston? This rapidly-growing Texas metro is home to 21 Fortune 500 companies, world-class barbecue, professional sports teams, and a strong single-family housing market. If you’re searching for the best places to live in Houston, here are five safe, affordable Houston neighborhoods to check out!

Downtown Houston

Exterior shot of apartment units in the background featuring a pool in the middle. @midmainlofts

Photo via @midmainlofts

  • Home Price: $63,900 median purchase price; $1,186 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 41% of Texas cities
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals

Lined with skyscrapers and packed to the brim with job possibilities and opportunities with the University of Houston-Downtown, Downtown Houston is an urban residential area safer than 73% of other Houston neighborhoods. This area’s variety of housing options—including lofts, condos, and apartment complexes—makes living and working in the same place easy. Downtown Houston’s public transportation is second to none with METRO Local Bus, Park & Ride, and Light Rail servicing the area. Plus, commuters in Downtown Houston working at local employers—like Station Houston and Leaf & Grain—can take advantage of one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Space City! Plus, as one of the best Houston neighborhoods for singles and young professionals, Downtown Houston provides a variety of arts and entertainment options, including a range of sculptures, pop-up installations, and neighborhood murals.

Things to Do in Downtown Houston

Check out the Houston City Tour to see several top attractions in Downtown Houston and surrounding areas. Travel to the Heritage Society Museum to see superb exhibits like Woman: Spirit of the Universe or take a historic building tour. Watch excellent live performances like Disney’s Frozen, Mean Girls, or Legally Blonde at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy America’s favorite pastime and root for the Houston Astros (MLB) at Minute Maid Park. Treat yourself to tantalizing dishes like Steak Tartare and the Tomahawk Chop at Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse. Find delicious meals like Bacon Wrapped Diablo Shrimp, The B.W. Burger, and Grilled Fish Tacos at Irma’s Southwest. Feast on Home Made Crispy Egg Rolls, Fried Chicken Wings, Hunan Shrimp, and more at the China Garden Restaurant. Or indulge on out-of-this-world food like Saucer Wings, the Turkey Meltdown, and the Imperial Stout & Fat Cat Creamy Beer Float at the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.

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Kingwood

  • Home Price: $191,832 median purchase price; $756 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 56% of Texas cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

If you’re looking for the best places to live in Houston, Kingwood may be the perfect neighborhood for you! In addition to being one of the safest areas to live in Houston, Kingwood’s access to great schools in the Humble Independent School District and the New Caney Independent School District make this one of the best Houston neighborhoods for families! This secluded Houston neighborhood lives up to its nickname of “The Livable Forest,” with pine and magnolia trees lining affordable Traditional, Colonial, and Ranch-style houses. And while residents appreciate Kingwood’s access to a 75-mile greenbelt system and proximity to Lake Houston, it’s the tight-knit community that draws Houston residents here. Residents of this Space City neighborhood can also join community organizations like Friends of the Library Kingwood, the Humble Lions Club, and the Kingwood Photo Club.

Things to Do in Kingwood

Play disc golf, launch a boat, host a picnic, or drop kids off at a Kingwood Youth Lacrosse game at River Grove Park. Travel back in time and play classic arcade games like Pacmania or try your hand at Ping Pong at TIME LOOP ARCADE. Stop at East End Park, which features developed hiking trails, biking trails, and bird-watching opportunities. Take a seminar on career skills, attend storytime, or check out a New York Times bestseller at the Kingwood Branch Library. Devour Chicken + Avocado crêpes, Nutella crêpes, and a Breakfast Croissant at Coco’s. Eat dinner at family-owned, local favorite J. Christopher’s Pizza-Pasta, with menu items including Eggplant Parmesan, a Meatball Sandwich, and Tiramisu. Enjoy some fine dining with dishes like Fried Oysters, Cajun Pasta, and Filet Mignon at Raffa’s Waterfront Grill. Or feast on Pepper Steak with Chicken, California Rolls, and Lemon Chicken at Akashi Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar.

Midtown

Exterior shot of a Midtown Houston apartment complex with plant life on both sides of a walkway. @camdenmidtown

Photo via @camdenmidtown

  • Home Price: $230,220 median purchase price; $1,235 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 59% of Texas cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Midtown is one of the best places to live in Houston if you’re looking for affordability paired with a great location near downtown! Additionally, this Houston neighborhood has a lower crime rate than other popular nearby areas, including Montrose and Galleria-Uptown. Plus, a thriving arts scene, quick access to the METRORail system, excellent walkability, and plenty of job opportunities attract many Houston residents to live in Midtown. Despite Midtown’s more urban vibe, this Central Houston enclave is near parks and well-loved areas like Midtown Park, Emancipation Park, and Discovery Green—which are also homes to ample green spaces, free dance classes, a farmers market, and dog-friendly events. And as one of the best places to buy a home in Houston, residents can find a diversified set of homes in Midtown, like Traditional single-family houses, Contemporary townhomes, and Modern condos!

Things to Do in Midtown

Check out a 16-foot mural, read by the reflecting pool, or take a group fitness class at Midtown Park. Bring your dog for Yappy Hour, an event complete with treats, giveaways, and a chance to make a new four-legged friend at Elizabeth Glover Park. See a variety of dance shows, watch the monthly film series, or catch a musical at the Midtown Art & Theatre Center Houston (MATCH). Shop vintage cowboy boots and funky jewelry, as well as Texican and Mexican folk art at My Flaming Heart. Eat breakfast food classics such as Green Eggs and Ham, Biskits & Gravy, and The Meatty 3 at The Breakfast Klub. Enjoy Loaded Fries, Cajun Mac, and the Belle Burger on the expansive patio at Belle Station. Sip a craft brew in a hammock, watch live music, or sample food from one of the rotating food vendors at Axelrad Beer Garden. Or swing by Mongoose Versus Cobra and try a Franconia Lager or order Curry Spiced Popcorn.

Spring Branch

Grey and white house with large front lawn in Spring Branch neighborhoods in Houston. Photo by Instagram user @jihyedeveau

Photo via @jihyedeveau

  • Home Price: $215,498 median purchase price; $872 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 35% of Texas cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Just outside the I-610 Loop, Spring Branch is one of the best areas to live in Houston for families! Houston homebuyers can find older bungalows and single-family houses on oak-lined streets near well-kept parks—at an affordable price. Spring Branch’s variety of natural beauty—like Bear Creek Park and Agnes Moffitt Park, which features a disk golf course—is highlighted by the unique art at Art on Long Point, a rotating collection of local art pieces. That said, residents in this neighborhood value Spring Branch’s accessibility. Not only is this Houston neighborhood a quick drive from Downtown Houston, it’s also near great jobs at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center and amazing schools within the Spring Branch Independent School District.

Things to Do in Spring Branch

Check out the croquet courts, explore more than 30 miles of trails, or visit the indoor pool and fitness center at Memorial Park. Visit stores like La Savonnerie Divine at Memorial City Mall. Challenge the family to a game of laser tag, play a round of mini golf, or get in some go-kart racing at Speedy’s Fast Track. See national touring acts and support local Houston comedians at Houston Improv. Expand your palate and try a Seafood Pancake, grill Fresh Galbi at your table, or order Kimchi Jjigae at BBQ Garden Korean Restaurant. Chow down on Vietnamese meals like Grilled Chicken Bahn Mi or the Chunky Avocado Bahn Mi at Roostar. Prepare your taste buds for the best Greek food in Houston at Niko Niko’s and devour dishes like a Tiropita, Gyros Plate, and Moussaka. Or snack on Clutch City Queso and sip a Love Street Citrus in the biergarten at Karbach Brewing Company.

Sugar Land

Brick house with a long pathway and lots of front yard plants. @lanerealestate

Photo via @lanerealestate

  • Home Price: $83,472 median purchase price; $884 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 31% of Texas cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Do you want to live in one of the best Houston suburbs? Sugar Land was recognized as one of the safest Midsize cities in America, making it one of the best places for families to live in Houston. Not only does it have a thriving arts community headed by a large Cultural Arts Program, Sugar Land boasts great schools in the Fort Bend Independent School District. Plus, families can enjoy affordable, family-friendly activities like the splash pad at RiverPark, Cullinan Park, or a Sugar Land Space Cowboys (MiLB) game at Constellation Field! This suburb in Houston is also home to plenty of outdoor spaces like Brazos River Park, Oyster Creek Park, and Sugar Creek Country Club, which offer both kids and adults a variety of activities to enjoy. And you can find a variety of homes in this Houston suburb, such as Traditional, Craftsman, and Neocolonial single-family homes or townhomes.

Things to Do in Sugar Land

Check out dinosaur displays, augmented reality, and more at The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences at Sugar Land. Take advantage of over 150 acres along the Brazos River, including more than two miles of trails and an enclosed playground area, at Sugar Land Memorial Park. Make a stop at Sugar Land Town Square, where you can shop at MODChic Couture, chow down at Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex & Tequila, and enjoy a calendar filled with events. Adventure out to Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center for exhibits like How Does It Work? and Kidtropolis, USA. Make a pit stop for breakfast dishes like Cioco Delice, Biosperesso, and Breakfast Tacos at Minuti Coffee. Devour the Mediterranean Salad, Falafel Rice Platter, and the Habibi Burger at Habibi Kitchen. Feast on the Rancor Burger, Philly Cheese Burger, and the Double Dose at Fanoosh Burger. Or experience dishes such as Loaded Chicken Fries, a Hot Chicken Wrap, and the Howdy Sammie at Howdy Hot Chicken.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes