Thinking about moving to Houston? This rapidly-growing Texas metro is home to 25 Fortune 500 companies, world-class barbecue, famous pro sports teams, lots of family-friendly activities, and a strong entry-level housing market. If you’re searching for the best areas to live in Houston, here are five safe, affordable neighborhoods to check out!
- Clear Lake City
- Spring Branch
Clear Lake City
- Home Price: $121,525 median purchase price; $793 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 47% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Students, families, retirees
Looking for a quiet neighborhood with lush green space to call home? Clear Lake City is one of the safest areas in Houston! Although this Bay Area community is slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, Clear Lake City has excellent perks, such as its beautiful green spaces, sailing opportunities, fresh seafood, and events like the Gulf Coast Film Festival. Many engineers and aerospace professionals reside in this neighborhood’s sprawling subdivisions and single-family brick homes, thanks to the presence of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Proximity to the University of Houston-Clear Lake makes this Southeast Houston neighborhood popular among students searching for affordable rent as well.
Things to Do in Clear Lake City
Visit the Armand Bayou Nature Center to see armadillos in their natural habitat, take a guided canoe tour, stop by Firefly Friday, or enjoy five miles of hiking trails. Sign your kids up for a tennis league, schedule a private lesson with a golf pro, or spend some time poolside with the entire family at the Bay Oaks Country Club. Visit the Houston Space Center to check out over 400 artifacts, see spacecraft in the Starship Gallery, and sign up to have lunch with a former astronaut. Attend the Bay Area Farmers Market, watch an outdoor movie on The Lawn, or go shopping at stores like Aerie, Kendra Scott, and Michael Kors at the Baybrook Mall. Indulge in Crab Cakes, broiled Rainbow Trout, or Shrimp Diablo at Tommy’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar. Or host pizza night at Grazia Italian Kitchen and start with Jumbo Sea Scallops, Caprese Stuffed Avocados, and Roasted Prosciutto.
- Home Price: $191,832 median purchase price; $756 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 61% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
If you’re looking for the best Houston suburbs, Kingwood may be the perfect home for you! In addition to being one of the safest neighborhoods in Houston, this Far Northeast community—nicknamed “The Livable Forest”—is a heavily-wooded escape from the city. Residents are surrounded by large trees and have access to a 75-mile greenbelt system that’s ideal for running, biking, or walking. Though Kingwood is secluded from Houston’s urban scene, its distance from the city center keeps the area affordable and helps maintain the tight-knit community vibe that many local residents love. Plus, access to great schools in the Humble Independent School District make this one of the best places to live in Houston for families!
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 to the Cypress Trails Ranch for a horseback riding lesson or to host a Quinceañera. Go to a movie or shop at stores like Vans, Forever 21, and Lane Bryant at the Deerbrook Mall. Head to the Kingwood Branch Library to take a seminar on workplace readiness, attend a Family Storytime, or check out a New York Times bestseller. Eat dinner at J. Christopher’s Pizza-Pasta, a family-owned local favorite with menu items including Eggplant Parmesan, a Meatball Sandwich, and Tiramisu. Or treat yourself to S’mores-flavored frozen yogurt or an Alpine Mango smoothie at The Berry Bar.
- Home Price: $230,220 median purchase price; $1,235 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 44% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals
Hoping to be close to Downtown Houston but don’t want to pay the skyscraper rent? Midtown is one of the best neighborhoods in Houston if you’re looking for affordability paired with a great location! This area has a lower crime rate than nearby neighborhoods, including Downtown, Montrose, The Museum District, and Galleria-Uptown. A thriving arts scene, quick access to the METRORail system, excellent walkability, and plenty of job opportunities attract many singles and young professionals to Midtown. Despite Midtown’s more urban vibe, this Central Houston enclave is near parks that offer ample green space, free dance classes, a farmers market, and dog-friendly events.
Things to Do in Midtown
Check out a 16-foot mural, read by the reflecting pool, and take a group fitness class at Midtown Park. Put your dog in a costume and head to Elizabeth Glover Park for Yappy Hour, an event complete with treats, giveaways, and a chance to make a new four-legged friend. See an aerial dance performance, watch the monthly film series, or catch a musical at the Midtown Art & Theatre Center Houston (MATCH). Go shopping at My Flaming Heart and find vintage cowboy boots and funky jewelry, as well as Texican and Mexican folk art. Enjoy Shrimp & Grits or a burger garnished with fried green tomato on the expansive patio at Belle Station. Stop by Axelrad Beer Garden to sip a craft brew in a hammock, watch live music, or sample food from one of the rotating food truck vendors. Or swing by Jazz Night at Mongoose Versus Cobra and try an Earl Grey-flavored cocktail or order a Currywurst.
- 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 neighborhoods in Houston for families! You’ll know you’ve arrived in this safe and affordable Northeast Houston neighborhood by the oak tree-lined streets and numerous parks. Spring Branch is just a quick drive from Downtown Houston, and it’s also near great jobs at the Memorial City Medical Center and awesome schools within the Spring Branch Independent School District. Though there’s been a surge of housing development in this neighborhood, it’s still possible for buyers to find older bungalows and ranch-style houses at an affordable price.
Things to Do in Spring Branch
Enjoy one of the tiny neighborhood green spaces or drive to Memorial Park to check out croquet courts, explore 30 miles of trails, or visit the indoor pool and fitness center. Head to Memorial City Mall to shop at stores like Vera Bradley, Fossil, American Girl, and more! Take the whole family to see what flying and skydiving feels like in the indoor simulators at iFLY Houston. 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. Visit Improv Houston to see national touring acts or stop by on a Tuesday for open mic night. Snack on Tomatillo-Pork Poutine and sip a Cherry Limeade Radler in the biergarten at Karbach Brewing Company. Or check out BBQ Garden Korean Restaurant, where you can try an Oyster Pancake, grill Beef Short Rib at your table, or get a Kimchi Hot Pot to share.
- Home Price: $131,521 median purchase price; $799 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 21% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families
Hoping to live in one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Houston but don’t want to sacrifice location and amenities? Check out Westchase! This safe Houston neighborhood features a bustling business district, so you’ll have everything you need close by. Even more restaurants and things to do are right next door in neighboring Chinatown, and Downtown Houston is only 25 minutes away. This is also one of the best areas to live in Houston if you work at BP America, Shell Oil Company, or any of the other major employers in the nearby Energy Corridor. Westchase’s central location, friendly neighbors, and diverse population are just some of the reasons why people love living in this Houston area.
Things to Do in Westchase
Head to Terry Hershey Park for butterfly watching, fishing, and over 12 miles of hike-and-bike trails to explore. Pick up some fresh produce at the Westchase District Farmers Market or purchase locally-made soap, jam, and kettle corn! Listen to live music on the plaza each weekend, grab dessert at Sweet Paris, and go shopping at stores like J.Crew, West Elm, and Free People at Citycentre Plaza. Try something unique at Veegos, a restaurant that takes a vegan spin on traditional Mexican cuisine. Go to Kasra Persian Grill for Lamb Chops, a Salmon Kebab, or Mast Labu. Or get a Texas Tea, Strawberry Shortcake, or Caramel Apple-flavored frozen daiquiri topped with gummy candy at Candy Shack.
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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes