Houston is home to many inner waterways, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the Bayou City. These bayous provide natural barriers that carve out some of Houston’s most desirable neighborhoods and suburbs.

But the most geographically significant marker in Houston is “the loop.” The 610 highway creates a circular barrier within Houston, delineating neighborhoods and providing a geographical reference for destinations throughout the city. The Inner Loop is home to downtown Houston along with the city’s more densely populated areas and contains most of the city’s social activities from sports games to new restaurants, city parks, and theatre. Housing inside the loop will generally consist of apartments and townhomes, in contrast to outside the loop where single-family homes are the norm.

Whether you wish to be inside or outside the loop is perhaps the first decision you should make. Proximity to work, daily commute, and housing costs will all be major factors in making this decision.

Like any city, Houston has its fair share of ultra-posh neighborhoods with high-end entertainment,  low-income neighborhoods, and everything in between. When picking a neighborhood in which to settle, consider where you plan on spending most of your time. For example, if you work in Spring but live downtown or vice versa, you will have to contend with at least 30-45 minutes of commute time each way. Living inside the loop will give you quick access to some of the city’s best nightlife offerings.

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