We get it. Homeownership can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. Whether you’re searching for a new home, staying put, or somewhere in between, Realm is here to help. We use reliable, unbiased data to show you not only what a property is worth today, but what it could be worth in years to come. Our free tools give you accurate renovation cost estimates and tell you how much value a project will add. Plus, our insights are customized to each property, so you get trustworthy information you can actually use. Make smart choices for your home with Realm.
Our pricing estimates use local labor & material costs. With your free Realm account, you can customize pricing based on square footage and quality of materials.
We currently cover standalone, single family homes in all 50 states, but not in every county.
Check our coverage map for more details on your county
As the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, Houston is a city of many cultures. It’s a true melting pot with plenty to do and see — which makes it easy to understand why the city’s housing market is booming.
Houston is home to multiple professional sports teams, including the Astros (Major League Baseball), the Rockets (NBA), and the Texans (NFL). Although the city has several sprawling suburbs, the downtown area is relatively compact and can be accessed, for the most part, on foot. It’s home to numerous attractions, including the Theater District, which is where you’ll find the world-renowned Houston Grand Opera, the Downtown Aquarium, the Houston Zoo, and the Johnson Space Center. As if these weren’t reason enough to love Space City, there are beaches to enjoy here, too.
The city has a relatively low cost of living, with median home values slightly lower than the national median price and comparably lower than what you’ll find in other large cities around the country. Even a night out on the town is relatively cheap, so you enjoy dinner or a nice concert without breaking the bank.
Not only that, but Houston is a great place to work, too, with a thriving job market and low unemployment rates. It’s home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, which employs more than 100,000 people. Houston also hosts nearly two dozen different Fortune 500 companies and 5,000 different firms related to energy production. The Port of Houston is a hub for manufacturing, transportation, and other industries as well.
Houston architecture varies, but in general, you’ll find a lot of one- and two-story homes here. You can identify historic homes by their shape and architectural style. Most Victorian-style homes here were built between 1837 and 1901. Also popular around the turn of the last century were Folk National-style homes. These homes are similar in style to a Queen Anne but have added spindlework and patterned or painted siding.
Ranch-style homes are incredibly common in Houston. These are low to the ground and have an open floor plan that’s perfect for entertaining. Homes with a more modern influence are also common, built in droves in this city in the early part of the 20th century.
Realm’s data analysis found that most homes in Houston were built in 1950. The ranch-style popular in that era were single-story homes with an open-concept layout. These homes also often featured large glass doors that led out to patios or large backyards. Given that so many of Houston’s homes were built during that period, it makes sense that Realm’s data analysis found that patios were the most popular feature in the local housing market, mentioned in 10,754 recent real estate listings.
In the Montrose and Heights neighborhoods of Houston, you’re most likely to find classic Craftsman-style homes. Although these tend to be associated more often with the northwest coast, Craftsman houses are also common in the Houston real estate market. These homes have low-pitched gabled roofs, prominent front porches, and plenty of wood elements.
The variety in Houston’s housing market offers something for just about everyone. As you look for a home, you may notice some common features across various home styles. Given Houston’s steamy summer months, it’s probably no surprise that pools are also among the most popular home amenities. According to Realm’s data analysis, they were mentioned in 8,010 recent real estate listings. Also popular among Houston homeowners: wood flooring, mentioned in 9,028 recent real estate listings.
Given Houston’s hot temperatures (this is Texas after all!), you’ll want to make sure that any home you’re considering has a well-maintained or updated HVAC system. (HVAC work is another popular feature in the Houston housing market, mentioned in 6,570 recent real estate listings.)
Along with the heat, Houston is vulnerable to hurricanes. As you house hunt, look for features that will protect your home during severe weather, such as hurricane-proof windows, storm shutters, and a metal roof.
According to Realm’s data analysis, 90% of Houston homes are not located in a flood zone — but that also means that 1 in 10 homes are vulnerable to flooding. It’s important to find out whether any potential home is located in a flood zone so that you can get the proper flood insurance. Even at higher elevations, basements are prone to flooding during extreme weather events like hurricanes. If your home doesn’t have one, it may be wise to invest in a sump pump, which will help prevent your basement from flooding. Other features to look for include foundation vents, landscape grading that moves rainwater away from the house, and gate valves over pipes. All of these will help to keep your home from flooding and can be identified during a detailed home inspection.
Fortunately, hurricanes are the only major weather event you’ll have to worry about here. While occasional snowfall can occur, it’s a rarity. And Realm’s data analysis shows that 100% of Houston homes are not within a designated perimeter for a wildfire that has occurred in the last five years.
Are home prices dropping in Houston?
Although home values skyrocketed in 2020 during the pandemic, with many selling for thousands of dollars over the asking price, this surge is now slowing down. While the sharp rise in sale prices is starting to level off, home prices are still going up. As of October 2021, the average price of a single-family home in Houston was $372,408, still a 13.4% increase over the previous year.
Why are homes in Houston so cheap?
Although homes in Houston may seem more affordable than in other large cities, the home prices have increased in the past couple years. But compared to other metro areas, Houston’s housing market has a few things keeping prices in check. For one, Texas is a state with no income tax, so the overall cost of living is quite a bit cheaper. Therefore, home prices are also lower. Houston also has a lot of room to expand, allowing the housing market to add inventory more easily, which also helps keep prices lower.
Is Houston a good area to live in?
Houston not only has a thriving housing market, but it’s also considered one of the best places to live in Texas. It has all the major city amenities you’d want, including access to public transportation and plenty of entertainment opportunities, while also boasting a relatively low cost of living.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes