For outsiders, the nation’s fourth-largest city can be a daunting destination, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether renting or looking to buy, newcomers will find HAR.com—a one-stop shop for Houston’s available real estate—to be a helpful resource.

Shoppers can filter searches by a number of perimeters including price, location, and school district, and schedule automatic e-mails to stay up-to-date as new listings hit the market. Wondering where to start? It’s all about location, location, location. Read on for a quick roundup of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

 

Downtown

Just steps from lofts, apartments, and luxury condos, downtown residents enjoy all the perks of urban living. Great nightlife, dining, and world-class theater are a huge draw, along with easy access to Houston’s light rail system. The METRORail connects the Central Business District to Midtown, the Medical Center, Museum District, NRG Stadium, and the East End.

 

EaDo

The revitalization efforts of Houston’s East Downtown, aka EaDo, have taken hold in the past 10 years. While the area continues to evolve, fresh-faced buyers are scooping up new construction and rehabbing old properties, thanks to its proximity to the city’s top offerings and a slightly more approachable price tag.

 

Garden Oaks/Oak Forest (GOOF)

Young families torn between suburban life and city living will do well in the GOOF. Set just beyond the 610 Loop, in northwest Houston, the area brings together a mix of bungalows, ranch-style homes, and new construction, along with hip restaurants and wine bars.

 

The Heights

It’s hard to deny the charm of Houston’s historic Heights neighborhood. The inner-loop area was Texas’ first “master-planned” real estate community, home to Victorian mansions, restored bungalows, and New Orleans–inspired architecture. The winding bike trails, locally owned restaurants, and shops along 19th Street add to the area’s vibrancy.    

 

Memorial

Not to be confused with Memorial Park, West Houston’s Memorial neighborhood represents an affluent, tree-lined enclave that shines with head-turning real estate, great schools, and close proximity to downtown. Newly enhanced shopping, dining, and medical facilities have contributed to the allure.

 

Montrose

When it comes to personality, Houston’s Montrose neighborhood doesn’t disappoint. The walkable area, just minutes from downtown, is an eclectic mix of historic mansions, bungalows, and newly constructed townhomes. On weekends, you’ll find residents enjoying the neighborhood’s many coffee shops, boutiques, wine lounges, dive bars, and award-winning restaurants.

 

River Oaks

Even if you can’t afford a multi-million-dollar estate in River Oaks, the neighborhood is worth a visit. The exclusive pocket of the city, sandwiched between downtown and The Galleria, is a mainstay for high-end shopping and dining.

 

Spring Branch

In recent years, young professionals have taken to the West Houston area that sits just north of Interstate 10, scooping up ranch-style homes and newly constructed townhouses. While the proximity to CityCentre is a perk, the neighborhood’s authentic Korean, Vietnamese, and Mexican cuisine is the real star of the show.

 

West U

Home to Rice University, West U’s proximity to the Medical Center and Rice Village, along with great schools, make it a standout among families. Outside of walkable shopping and dining, locals appreciate the neighborhood’s lush oak trees and perfectly manicured lawns. You’ll find luxury listings, blending contemporary and traditional design.