Moving to Houston, TX(5 Posts)
It looks like our family will be moving to Houston Texas after the New Year
Its our first expat assignment so we are learning as we go, but my husband and I will be flying out in two weeks time to look at schools and neighbourhoods.
Is there anyone out there that has lived or is in Houston at the moment that could help out with a little bit of local knowledge ?
Schools will be a priority for us as my son is Year1 and my daughter will start Reception September 2018. we are going to look at the british school and AWTY and possibly Village and Yorkshire Academy.
I'd love to hear from anyone who can give me any balanced advice on any of these
My husband will be working in the Energy corridor so drive times look OK to all.
I've been in Houston for 4 years, 2 dads aged 9 and 13, they're at the British school and love it. The 3 schools you mention are very different! We live near rice village, one of the few places you can walk to shops, cafes and restaurants, it's also very cosmopolitan.
The British school is very nurturing, very progressive approach to teaching, very learner focused. Awty is more traditional, very academic and rigorous. Village is owned by the same parent company (nord anglia) as the British school but is much more American. I have good friends at all 3 and we looked at all 3 before deciding on the British school. I have also dealt with college admissions teams at all 3 in my professional life and am still happy with our choice.
We did not look at Yorkshire but I know people whose kids have been there a while back and were very happy.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for the advice! We like the look of British School and your description of it definitely corresponds with what we would like his school environment to be. We'll be heading out there in a fortnight so we'll hopefully be able to get a feel for it during a visit
My only concern is that the drive times to the school seem to enormous unless living in an area like Katy.
We really like the sound of Montrose and surrounding areas, which I guess isnt far from you. How long does it take yours to get to school, do you drive them or take the bus?
We currently live in a small village and walk to the village school every morning. I see that the school run is going to be very different from now on!
We would still like to minimise drive times as much as possible, whilst also living in a neighbourhood that is at least a little walkable. Is this the impossible dream in Houston?!
My dds take the bus to school, we were in Singapore previously and they have taken school buses since the age of 3. Take about 35-40 minutes to get there but our bus doesn’t stop en route. Other buses from Katy, Lakes on Eldridge and Cinco Ranch take as long as they stop.
Montrose is fab, a great place and good for going out, museums etc.
To be honest if you want to drive to BISH (British School) every day, you’ll end up in Katy. It’s not so much the drive there in the mornings but the drive back home can take a good hour because you’re following commuters into town. I have lots of friends in Katy but personally could not live there. I find it soulless and drab, nearly all the restaurants are chains, very few independent bars, shops and coffee shops, even the architecture is brown and square. Same for Lakes on Eldridge, which got hammered during the recent flooding as many of the houses are built within the boundaries of the reservoir... LOE does have a lot of expats and it’s popular with BISH families but it’s in the middle of an industrial estate and more unimaginative brown boxes in my opinion.
In your shoes, I would seriously consider living in Montrose, West U, Bellaire, Alton Oaks .... all inside the 610 loop, and looking at American preschools for my kids. Many transition back and forth from the US system and it only starts to get complicated when you are trying to fill gaps about European history or American geography in senior school.
We love living where we do. BISH used to be 15 minutes from our house (we bought our house) but then moved to Katy 2 years after we arrived. My kids were dead against moving house and keen to stay at BISH so they’re on the bus and traveling with friends, iPods etc are fine but it’s a long bus ride for little ones.
It’s not an easy decision but will be clearer when you start to see Houston. I have a good friend who lives inside the 610 loop, British expat mum, who is a realtor and relocation consultant. If you need one, let me know and I can pm you her details.
As a side note, property here in Houston is a bit crazy at the moment. Lots of debris stacked along the side of the road, many houses uninhabitable and rentals oversubscribed. The market will calm down but personally I wouldn’t consider a house that had flooded, even if a landlord promises to make it good before you move in.
I have kids at the british school too, and live inside the loop 610 (but that is partly because my husband works downtown and we wanted to minimize the commute time for him too). Travel times for the kids are not too bad on the bus - 30 mins, but if you were to take them out, as a PP has said, it is the commute back in to the city that is a nightmare.
If you are thinking that you might be here for a long stint, then I would look at areas closer to the BISH - Energy Corridor, again being careful of flooded neighborhoods, and choose BISH. If not, I would also look at local US private schools. There are a number of excellent private schools; River Oaks Baptist, St Annes, etc inside the loop that would be great and give you the inner loop lifestyle. Village and Awty both follow a US curriculum so if you are comfortable with that, then definitely look at local US private schools.
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