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The Inner Loop

The Inner Loop area comprises the cities of Bellaire and West University, as well as those parts of Houston located inside Loop 610. The area is a mixture of historical landmarks, museums, arts, sports arenas (Astrodome, Compaq Center), medical facilities (The Medical Center), fine restaurants, and first-class shopping. (The Galleria shopping center complex is located just outside the loop on Westheimer.)

The Inner Loop area combines older homes with new construction. Many of the older homes are purchased strictly for their lots and location, and are being replaced with new homes ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 square feet. Most of the new homes in this area start around $300,000, and can go into the seven figures. Resale housing is also available but demand is high in what is currently a seller's market. Many older homes are about 1,500 square feet and have only two bedrooms, a den, a kitchen and a detached, one-car garage. These homes generally start at about $150,000. The trade-off, however, is the charm of the older neighborhoods and easier access to Houston's best attractions. There are several areas that you may want to take a look at in the Inner Loop area such as DOWNTOWN, THE HEIGHTS, MONTROSE, RIVER OAKS, THE MEDICAL CENTER, WEST UNIVERSITY and BELLAIRE

DOWNTOWN

Downtown is becoming more attractive to Houstonians as a place to live. Approximately 2,000 downtown residences exist in such locales as Beaconsfield, Hermann Lofts, White Oak Lofts, Dakota Lofts, Four Seassons Place, Hogg Palace, Houston House and 2016 Main. Prices range from $90,000 to $750,000. Residential development is booming and in 1998 alone over 1,000+ new residential units became available. Since Houston is one of only four cities in the country with resident companies in all four performing arts - ballet, opera, theater and symphony-and the theater district is located downtown, residents of this neighborhood have easy access to some of the nation's premier performances.

THE HEIGHTS

The Heights is located just north of Buffalo Bayou and east of Shepherd Drive. The Heights is recognized for it's turn-of-the century Victorian homes. Founded more than a century ago, the community has experienced revitalization and recaptured some of it's old charm. Because of it's proximity to downtown, the Heights has become an attractive neighborhood for young professionals who want a short commute. Due to the increased demand, Heights' homes can command $75,000 to $350,000 for a single family home.

MONTROSE

The Montrose area is bordered by Highway 59(south) and Shepherd Drive(west) and brushes up to downtown Houston. The Muzeum District is located in the southern part of Montrose where many restaurants, boutiques and small galleries maintain the unique flavor of this part of the city. Homes built here in the 20th century still stand and so the area is characterized by two-bedroom, brick bungalows as well as two story brick homes. Single family homes range from $125,000 to $350,000 while townhomes will start at $75,000 and go over $250,000. Montrose residents enjoy the art district as well as easy access to downtown.

RIVER OAKS

River Oaks is the "crown jewel" of Houston and was established by Will and Mike Hogg, the sons of former Texas Governor James Hogg. This exclusive neighborhood of about 1,600 residents reside in homes that start near $400,000 and can go into the millions. You won't find any for sale signs in River Oaks because they're prohibited - so contact your Realtor. River Oaks residents enjoy easy access to the Southwest Freeway and the added attractions of the Galleria, the Musuem District and the Compaq Center.

THE MEDICAL CENTER

The Texas Medical Center collectively make-up the city's largest employer with over 51,000 local citizens working in over 42 institutions. The Medical Center area is attractive to alot of people who enjoy the convenience to The Medical Center, Rice University, The Museum District, the Astrodome, downtown and the Galleria. There is an enormous range of housing costs depending on the neighborhoods. Many neighborhoods you may want to check out are University Place, Southhampton, Southgate, Old Braeswood and Morningside Place. Boulevard Oaks was formed by a group of small neighborhoods: South Hampton, Vassar Place and North & South Boulevard. This area is know for it's abundance of oak trees.

WEST UNIVERSITY

The city of West University was developed by former Tennesse Gov. Ben Hooper in 1917. The neighborhoods proximity to Rice Institute inspired it's name. About 13,000 residents live in this city that spans 1,248 residential acres and nearly 20 acres of commerical property. Due to the high demand for homes in this area - vacant home lots are difficult to find. You will find many older homes in the process of being razed and replaced with new, multi-story Georgian-style homes. West University homes range from $150,000 to $750,000+.

BELLAIRE

Bellaire is another city that was engulfed by the city of Houston. Like West University - it has the old charm of an inner city neighborhood with lots of tree lined streets and sidewalks that make it's real estate quite valuable. Pre-owned homes start from $150,000 and can go up to a million. Housing variety in Bellaire ranges from 1950's style homes, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 car garage or about 1,000 square feet and up. Like West University - Bellaire is also experiencing a renovation with many of these older homes razed in favor of new multi-story homes.

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