Buying a home can be scary, especially when there is concern for what the financial market holds.  Everyone has had an eye towards the Oil & Gas industry for months now. “Will it or won’t it?” has been the question on many a mind.  People are especially interested in how $45 a barrel oil prices might affect the housing market here in Houston.  Now, we are feeling the stress of holiday spending and despite the best intentions of our New Year’s Resolutions people are considering the best ways to tighten their belts.  Here is a list of neighborhoods that offer affordability, value and will stand the test of time as an investment based on location, amenities and quality of life.

1.  Spring Shadows

Energy Corridor executives will appreciate Spring Shadow’s location and value as an investment. Just northeast of Timber Oaks this neighborhood boasts 3-4 bedroom ranch style homes on generous lots.  Here, $350K will get you a beautiful lawn with mature landscaping and updated interiors.  Buyers looking to create their dream home are in luck too as homes in need modernization sell for below $300K.

2.  Westbury

Westbury is Houston’s second largest subdivision.  Roughly 5,000 houses make up this neighborhood known for grand lot sizes (like, 8,400 – 10,000 sf) and one-story ranch style homes.  Bike trails along Braeswood Blvd. make for an easy commute to the Medical Center with Meyerland and Galleria shopping also within easy reach — just 10 minutes by car.  Buyers handy with a toolbelt can find gold among the area’s mid-century homes, all to be had for well under $300K.

3.  Eastwood

Eastwood is home to Houston’s largest intact collection of Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, Foursquare and Mission architecture.  Bungalow style homes here are available for under $350K, with stellar updates.  With light rail access offering a fast and easy commute to Downtown and the Med Center, Eastwood has quickly established itself as home to Houston’s creative and young professionals who are refurbishing many of these older homes to their former glory.  Many are priced at $250K or less making Eastwood an affordable option for students and growing families who were long ago priced out of areas like the Heights.

4.  Riverside Terrace

Location, location. Location!  Riverside Terrace is close to all the best Houston has to offer — the Medical Center, Downtown, our museums and universities!  Bordered by Highway 288 on the west and the Third Ward to the south, Riverside Terrace boasts Heights-like bungalows and stately 2-story brick homes — many with updates selling for under $350K.  Buyers willing to do some work can find homes well under $250K.

5.  Lindale Park

Lindale Park is reminiscent of Houston Heights.  It’s got the same quaint bungalows except unlike its neighbor to the west, these homes are on expansive lots — and Lindale Park residents plan to keep it that way! The neighborhood is actively fighting to keeping minimum lot size (7,000sf) in and townhomes out.  Expect lots of commercial growth over the next few years thanks to the new light rail line which offers a quick commute to Downtown, the Med Center and University of Houston.  Just to the east of I-45, Lindale Park is close enough to the Heights to take full advantage all its offerings without the high price tag.  Lindale Park home prices are quickly rising, but nicely updated homes can still be had for $350K.