Another day, another Houston-centric list.
Our fair city has earned its way onto quite a few lists as of late, thanks to all the attention being paid to our growth and steady job market. The latest Houston nod comes courtesy of a California real estate blog, Movoto, and a list of the "Best ZIP Codes in America."
Movoto recently ranked the top ZIP codes in the nation by looking at a few factors -- median household income, unemployment rate, average commute time, median rent, median house value, poverty levels and education -- and landing in the top 100 of those spots are six -- count 'em, six -- of Houston's ZIP codes.
And while those ZIP codes -- 77005, 77401, 77046, 77024, 77056 and 77030 -- may indeed be centrally located, there's a bit of an issue with that "Best ZIP" moniker. You see, all of the neighborhoods that made it onto Movoto's list are not only high on the median rent and home value scales, they are also predominantly white. Like, really really white.
- 77005 -- better known as West U -- ranked No. 2 in the nation out of 28,061 ZIP codes. It is also about 91 percent white.
- 77041, or Bellaire, also landed in the top 100, and is about 89 percent white.
- 77046 or the Greenway/Upper Kirby area follows, and is about 93 percent white. (See where we're going with this?...)
- 77024, or the Villages, clocks in at 88 percent white.
- 77056, or the Afton Oaks/Woodway area, is also 88 percent white.
- 77030, near the Medical Center/Museum District, is also on the list, and is about 71 percent white.
In a city that happens to be pretty racially diverse -- as in, only about half of Houston residents are white -- this all-white top ZIP code business is a bit bland. And while there's no doubt that the neighborhoods on Movoto's list are quite fancy, the homogenous vibe kinda kills it for us.
This city has plenty of centrally located, racially diverse neighborhoods with short commute times and high home values. Here are our top picks for Houston's best, more racially diverse ZIP codes.
77002 Houston's 002 neighborhood encompasses a large part of downtown, including the area by the University of Houston - Downtown, as well as the areas over by George R. Brown Convention Center and Minute Maid Park. 77002 is pretty much the epitome of centrally located, and the income growth rate is much higher than the national average. As a bonus, the area is about as diverse as it gets in Houston, which is never a bad thing.
77008 The Heights straddles a number of ZIP codes, including 77008, and this ZIP is not only in the midst of all of the Loop-centric hustle and bustle, but it's a neighborhood with a diversity that represents our fair city well. About 69 percent of 77008 identifies as white, well below the percentages on the Movoto "Best 'Hoods" list, and the Heights has plenty more interesting and unique qualities when compared to, say, Upper Kirby.
77007 Yes, 77007 is the ZIP code for the Washington Corridor, but it also encompasses areas like the Old Sixth Ward and Rice Military. It's also home to that cool old neighborhood of Camp Logan, which is rich with Houston history -- and the ZIP is about 60 percent white, which means it's way more reflective of our city as a whole. Plus, there are a ton of bars, so you can drink away the fact that you live near Wash Ave. It's a win-win.
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77003 77003 encompasses some of Midtown, Greater Third Ward, Second Ward and Downtown, and it's definitely racially diverse. About 37 percent of the folks living in 003 identify as white, and the area is about equally divided between single and married people. There are plenty of decent bars and restaurants -- the Original Ninfa's on Navigation is in this 'hood -- and homes are even still affordable in the area, which means that there might be a shot at living in this ZIP code, should you want to relocate to somewhere less boring.
77018 Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are both in 77018, a ZIP code that has skyrocketing home prices and plenty of diversity to boot. Plus you get to live right next to places like Petrol Burger and Mytiburger, which is infinitely unfair to the people stuck in other ZIP codes.