HOUSTON – (By Dale King) – Kingwood and Katy – two communities in the Houston suburbs – are among the leading communities in the nation for delivering both relatively affordable housing and good schools, according to a new study by Realtor.com.
“When searching for a new home, finding something affordable in a good school district with family-friendly features, such as large backyards, tops the list of homebuyer priorities,” said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for realtor.com. “These markets offer strong public schools and affordable homes, making them a great fit for homebuyers with elementary school-age children.”
Realtor.com, a provider of online real estate listings and services, helped narrow this search by compiling a list of communities with affordable housing markets in top-notch school districts To create the list, realtor.com analyzed ZIP codes within the top metropolitan areas in the country that contained at least one public school or public charter school ranked 8 out of 10 or higher by GreatSchools. Led by Aurora, Ill., outside Chicago, the slate includes communities all over the US, from Royersford, Penn., to Chandler, Ariz.
The initial list included just elementary schools. But when middle and high schools in affordable areas were added, the roster expanded, but only moderately. In fact, seven of the top 10 elementary school cities also made it onto the top middle school and/or high school list, among them, Kingwood, for Riverwood Middle School, which earned a 10 out of 10 ranking from GreatSchools.
A 14,000-acre, master-planned community founded in 1970, Kingwood – located on the northeast side of Houston – is located partly in Harris County, partly in Montgomery County. The 2000 census puts the population at 81,692. Realtor.com says 32.5% of the populace is married with children.
Elementary schools in Kingwood include: Deerwood Elementary (rating 9/10), Greentree Elementary (rating 10/10), Hidden Hollow Elementary (9/10), Shadow Forest Elementary (rating 10/10) and Willow Creek Elementary School (rating 10/10).
The Humble Independent School District, home to Deerwood, Greentree, Hidden Hollow, Shadow Forest and Willow Creek, is one of Texas’ 25 fastest-growing districts, said realtor.com. It aims to create students who are “life-long learners, complex thinkers, responsible global citizens and effective communicators.”
All students enrolled in the Humble Independent School District also have the option to attend Quest High School, a magnet school in Atascocita.
Students living in Montgomery County attend the New Caney Independent School District where Porter High School is located. Before the opening of Porter High in 2010, students attended New Caney High School.
The 2017 median household income in Kingwood is $123,201 with a 2017 median home price listing of $323,750. Kingwood is 46 percent more affordable than its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable than the US overall, said realtor.com.
Kingwood is served by three Humble ISD middle schools: Kingwood Middle, Creekwood Middle and Riverwood Middle schools. Kingwood Middle School students are zoned to Kingwood Park High School, while students attending Creekwood and Riverwood are zoned to Kingwood High School.
Middle school students in areas of Kingwood in New Caney ISD attend Woodridge Middle School. Sixth graders in New Caney ISD previously attended the New Caney 6th Grade campus.
Private schools in Kingwood include Northeast Christian Academy (PreK-12), St. Martha Catholic School (PreK-8) and Pines Montessori School (Toddlers – Middle School).
The closest Catholic high school is Frassati Catholic High in north Harris County.
Katy, on the west side of Houston, came in among top districts for high schools by realtor.com.The report says median household income in Katy is $145,507 a year. The median listing price for a house on the Katy market is $384,997, says realtor.com
Educational facilities are Harmony Science Academy, West Houston (rating 9/10), Cinco Ranch High School (8/10) and Seven Lakes High School (9/10).
People who live in Katy are zoned to schools in the Katy Independent School District. The elementary schools in the city of Katy are Zelma Hutsell Elementary School, Katy Elementary School and WoodCreek Elementary School.
Katy Junior High School and WoodCreek Junior High School are the middle schools serving Katy.
Katy High School, the oldest high school, is located nearest to the center city. Katy High was established in 1898 and relocated to its present location in 1947. Katy ISD’s three alternative education schools (Martha Raines High School, Miller Career and Technology Center and the Opportunity Awareness Center) are all located within the city.
Aristoi Classical Academy is a charter school in Katy.
The bottom line: a modicum of research and a touch of good luck could help homebuyer wannabes with children locate an affordable residence with access to quality schools.