Originally Posted by 2B
I live in the Woodlands which is north on I-45. I commute to Katy. Katy is also a nice area. I could go on but won't.
Ouch on that commute. We live in Montgomery County (closer to Lake Conroe) and moved here from Katy. The first few months we were here, DS was commuting to HCC in Katy and that was quite a commute. Not as bad from the Woodlands, but not exactly good either....
Originally Posted by Alexandria993434
I have researched Kingwood and have found some nice houses in the 240k range with taxes in the 5k annual range. Both our jobs are portable...(my husband is in IT and could do just fine about anywhere) We have some friends in Houston who are helping us with neighborhoods...
Kingwood is a nice area. Houston varies a lot in areas and cost and location. I've lived everywhere from the Galleria area (very expensive but was 10 minutes to my office) to Fort Bend County, near the 1960 area, to Katy, and now live in Montgomery County. I've known several people who lived in Kingwood. It was always a deal breaker for us that transportation wasn't that easy to deal with to and from Kingwood, but a nice area.
Be aware that in the Houston area, subdivision home owner associations pretty much rule. Some areas that tend to be nice - such as Kingwood, the Woodlands, Cinco Ranch - also tend to have HOAs that are very restrictive. Some people like that. Other people like some restriction, but find those HOAs too restrictive. Others like even less restriction. I mention this because too many people don't look at subdivision restrictions until after they buy. For example, one subdivision I lived in (not one of those mentioned) required HOA approval before you changed any landscaping in the backyard. Yes, planting one new plant in your backyard flowerbed required a full submittal and approval. It was annoying to have to deal with. Also, pets were very restricted. Two only and, yes, 3 goldfish would have been one too many. So keep that mind. When we were looking at houses to buy our current house, I didn't even look at a subdivision before knowing what the restrictions were and whether we could live with them.
I think you have to look at job and location together. For example, for most of my career I worked in an area in Houston that is very expensive. So I could either pay an arm and a leg to live close to work (what I did as a single person when I was happy to live in a townhouse) or have a much larger, nicer home but with a long commute (what I did once I was married and had kids). So, you have to pay attention to both. Some very nice areas to work in do not have reasonably prices homes close by.