The most populous city in the Lone Star State, Houston has earned a stellar reputation for its thriving job market — especially in the energy sector. Listed among the top 20 Global Cities of the Future, Houston is also home to the Johnson Space Center, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and a world-class medical center. Beyond the benefits of great weather and vast job opportunities that Houston has, there’s also no individual income tax in Texas. So take a look at these popular master planned communities in the Greater Houston area to find your new home. Live the life you love in Houston!
Grand Oaks Reserve
The master planned community Grand Oaks Reserve is located in Cleveland, about 45 minutes northeast of Houston. Sprawling across 600 acres of thick pines and hardwood forest, Grand Oaks Reserve offers lengthy winding trails, dog parks and plenty of green space—the perfect antidote to workdays in high-rise office buildings. Four builders feature multiple floorplans and home styles and have a few quick move-ins available. Prices begin in the low $200s. Residents can improve their game at the nine-hole golf course or catch up with friends at the on-site lake.
Some 30 miles northwest of downtown Houston is Bridgeland in Cypress. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in the 250-plus miles of meandering, interconnected trails, plus there are fitness stations, playgrounds and a lazy river to enjoy. Residents can also spend the weekend at the 6,000-square-foot community center or fishing or kayaking on the multiple lakes and waterways. Four villages make up Bridgeland, which features a wide array of floorplans designed by 17 builders, with prices starting in the low $200s. Students attend the outstanding Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, with several schools located within the community.
Sprawling across 15,000 forested acres, the Kingwood master planned community of Royal Brook is known as the “Livable Forest.” Located about 27 miles northeast of Houston, Royal Brook features six builders, including Lennar and Ashton Woods, with homes starting in the mid-$200s. Residents can enjoy 75 miles of greenbelt trails, plus nature reserves, private parks and championship golf courses. The community also provides easy access to medical facilities as well as dining and entertainment options. Students attend either the Humble or New Caney district.
Towne Lake was honored as the Best Master Planned Community of the Year in 2019 by Houston’s Best Prism Awards. It’s not surprising considering the community houses the largest private recreational lake in the Greater Houston area and offers more than 14 miles of shoreline. Connected trails, waterways, scenic coves and lakeside restaurants provide an unmatched lake-living experience. Residents can dock their boats at The Boardwalk for dinner and enjoy a lakeside concert. From enjoying the lazy river, waterslides and sandy beaches to strolling the shops at the Boardwalk, Towne Lake has plenty of activities for everyone. Ten builders provide a variety of floorplans and style starting in the mid-$300s, and nine neighborhoods, including The Heritage, designed especially for 55+ residents, make up this growing master planned community. Residents are just minutes from Cypress’ Premium Outlet Mall, and nearby Berry Center provides a wide array of entertainment including theatrical plays, sports games and concerts.
Founded in 1974, The Woodlands is still winning awards, being named the Number One Best City to Live in America per Niche’s 2021 rankings. This unique master planned community also holds the No. 2 spot for Best Cities to Raise a Family in America. Located about 30 miles north of Houston and featuring world-class amenities, The Woodlands is known for its green spaces: 145 parks and an astounding 220 miles of trails. Ten builders, including Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes, offer a range of styles and floorplans with prices starting in the $300s. Within the community, residents can venture to Hughes Landing for the dining options on Restaurant Row and public performances along The Woodlands Waterway.
Heather Allen is a freelance writer who began her career 20 years ago at a small Texas NBC affiliate, while attending SFASU. She’s written blogs on a diverse range of topics.