When you decide to call Houston home, you’ll discover an extraordinarily large number of housing choices—from gated master-planned communities to near-town bungalows, family-friendly suburban neighborhoods to trendy downtown lofts, and rent or lease options large and small. No matter what your style or taste, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Houston’s oldest neighborhoods lie near the central business district downtown. These include the Heights, where distinctively updated turn-of-the-century homes stand next to newly constructed Victorian- and Charleston-style cottages with all the modern conveniences. Montrose, an eclectic mix of homes, townhomes and restaurants, is nestled near the Museum District. In MacGregor–Riverside, just east of the Texas Medical Center near Brays Bayou, old homes are being refurbished and new construction is taking place. The historic Fifth Ward north of downtown is revitalized. The Greater Third Ward is home to such Houston landmarks as Texas Southern University and the University of Houston. The Second Ward and Magnolia Park areas on the east end are two of the city’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods. In Midtown, apartments, bungalows and townhomes are within easy reach of some of the city’s finest antique dealers, art galleries, and interior design boutiques. River Oaks, one of the oldest and most exclusive neighborhoods, sports white-columned mansions dating from the 1920s and Houston’s oldest country club. West University Place, a “small-town” cottage neighborhood in the shadow of Rice University and the Texas Medical Center, is one of several incorporated cities that lie within Houston’s borders. South Side Place, situated along a portion of West University Place, is only one block wide and nine blocks long. Bellaire, its own city within the city and one of Houston’s first suburbs, is home to a varied mix of residences of all sizes. Braeswood and Stella Link, perched along and adjacent to the banks of Brays Bayou, have easy access to the Texas Medical Center and the Reliant Park complex. Westward outside the 610 Loop, one of two major freeways that circle the city, neighborhoods take on personalities all their own. To the north, vibrant communities include Acres Homes, Aldine, Garden Oaks–Oak Forest, Greater Greenspoint and Inwood Forest. To the west, Galleria–Uptown Park (uptown- houston.com) reflects the excitement of Houston’s Galleria and Post Oak shopping hub and features soaring high-rises with magnificent city views. Memorial–Spring Branch features large tree-covered lots and ranch-style homes mixed with modern new construction, both north and south of Interstate 10. Tanglewood remains as one of Houston’s most exclusive and desirable close-in neighborhoods, with the Houston Country Club nearby. The Memorial Villages, a collection of some of Houston’s toniest addresses, include the incorporated municipalities of Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village, Hedwig Village, Hunters Creek Village, Spring Valley Village and Hilshire Village—each with its share of some of Houston’s most notable residents. Briargrove Park, just inside Beltway 8, is a picturesque family-friendly neighborhood on the west side. Further west, beyond Beltway 8 (the Sam Houston Tollway), more neighborhoods and communities stretch from the northwest to the southwest. The West Memorial area follows Memorial Drive past Wilcrest Drive and offers secluded, near-bayou living on tree-covered lots not far from Lakeside Country Club. Walnut Bend (walnutbend.org) is a quiet, tucked-away community bordering Beltway 8 to the east and Westheimer Road to the south. Royal Oaks is a gated community of luxury homes surrounding its own private country club (royaloakscc.com). And the Lakes of Bella Terra (lakesofbellaterra.com) offer resort-style living just thirty minutes from downtown Houston. As one continues west along Interstate 10, the city of Katy (katytexas.com) offers the charm of a small town and the quality of life of a burgeoning suburb. Cinco Ranch (cincoranch.com) provides exceptional master-planned community living on a grand scale. And the town of Fulshear is home to dynamic new developments for those who like the feel of country living with easy access to big-city amenities. Other communities in far west Houston include Firethorne (firethorne.info), Grayson Lakes (graysonlakes.com), the Lakes on Eldridge (thelakesoneldridge.net), Seven Meadows (sevenmeadows.com) and Weston Lakes (wlakes.com). In northwest Houston, along the U.S. 290 and FM 1960 corridors, several compelling communities attract new families and young professionals alike who value the top-rated Cypress-Fairbanks (Cy-Fair) School District. The 11,400-acre Bridgeland community (bridgeland.com) embraces a lifestyle within a peaceful, natural setting. Coles Crossing (colescrossing-hoa.com) is a master-planned community with 175 acres devoted to recreation. Jersey Village is an incorporated city in the area with a population of almost 200,000. The Champions– FM 1960 area has stylish neighborhoods, many tucked away and hidden among tall pine trees. Fairfield (visitfairfield.com) is a Friendswood Development Company neighborhood full of lakes, parks, pools, and greenbelts. Other communities in the area include Gleannloch Farms (gleannlochfarms.com), Northpointe, High Meadow Estates (highmeadowranch.com), Riata Ranch, the town of Magnolia (cityofmagnolia.com), the Spring-Klein area (oldtown-springtx.com), WindRose (wind-roseca.org) and the city of Tomball (tomballtexas.com). In northeast Houston, seven dynamic communities share an abundance of natural beauty near Lake Houston, as well as the highly acclaimed Humble Independent School District. Atascocita (humbleareachamber.org), Eagle Springs (eaglespringstx.com), Fall Creek (fallcreekhouston.com), the city of Humble (cityofhumble.com), Kingwood (kingwoodonline.com), Summerwood (summerwoodtx.com) and Walden On Lake Houston (waldenonlakehouston.com).