Houston’s “inner loop,” the swathe of real estate located inside Interstate Highway 610, is home to a vibrant population of young professionals who choose to pay (sometimes exponentially) more per square foot in exchange for being close to work and play. In fact, according to HAR.com, properties in the Montrose neighborhood sell for almost $255 per square foot. In comparison, homes in Katy sell at closer to $125 per square foot.
So when young couples residing inside 610 decide to grow their families, they often realize sooner rather than later that affording even more space for a growing brood may be out of their price range. After all, what buys you a two-bedroom townhome in Upper Kirby can frequently afford you a five-bedroom home in areas like Tomball or Spring. Consider, too, the increase in quality in schools outside the inner city, and a move to the suburbs is sometimes a very obvious choice for young families.
So when it’s time to end the young, single chapter of your life and welcome a few new bundles of joy, where do you even begin?
1. Check the schools.
There are great resources online to analyze the different school ratings across the greater Houston area. Check out this helpful map from Zillow.
2. Consider your commute.
Chances are you’re trading in a quick commute when you move out of the inner city, so be sure to factor in travel times and costs when figuring what you can afford. In 2013, Houston was ranked the second worst in the Business Journals’ Commuting Index, so it’s only fair to expect a few bumps in your new road – literally.
3. Revisit your must-haves.
When you found your home as a childless inner-looper, your list of must-haves might have looked much different. Things to consider when you move to the suburbs may be proximity to grocery stores and pharmacies, the safety of things like balconies or staircase landings, and whether you are ready for the responsibility and maintenance of a backyard pool.
4. Manage your maintenance expectations.
It can be tempting to go big when you discover how much less homes cost in the suburbs, but just because you can afford it financially may not mean you can afford it psychologically! Be realistic in how much time you can devote to home maintenance on top of family and work obligations. That huge backyard may look beautifully groomed now, but will you have the time (or money) to landscape regularly? Think through the new challenges that come with owning a larger home.
5. Trust the experts.
Most importantly, seek help and trust advice from the neighborhood gurus! Krueger Real Estate agents live in the neighborhoods where they sell, so ask your agent everything you can think of – there is no question too big or too small!
Ready to spread your wings outside the loop? We’re here to help.