5 Best Houston Neighborhoods to Build a Luxury House

09:45 Apr 2023
Memorial Custom Home

If you are new to the area and are looking for the best Houston Texas neighborhoods to build a luxury house, you have come to the right place.

We will share with you the undisputed 5 best Houston neighborhoods to build a luxury house.

Houston has a select number of premier affluent neighborhoods that are rich in architectural tradition and lifestyle splendor.

The 5 best Houston neighborhoods are River Oaks, West University, Memorial Villages, Tanglewood, and The Museum District for building that dream house.

These neighborhoods have long ago been established as the preferred home ownership of some of the most successful people in Houston.

Although distinctively different in their demographics, there are many common amenities that attract likeminded property owners.

Each of these affluent neighborhoods has a higher level of security, either through supplementing local law enforcement with constables or with a private patrol agency.

In addition, these best Houston neighborhoods have the finest public and private schools in the Harris County area.

These areas are also known for their higher end shopping and restaurants that are attracted to service the neighborhood’s residences. But the real attraction is the variety of Houston luxury homes.

These neighborhoods have the time-tested authenticity of being the best in Houston luxury houses when it comes to residential real estate.

As with most Houston metro areas, the new custom home building takes place after the existing house has been razed from the property. This is due to the lack of available home site lots.

Since Houston does not have zoning laws, the deed restrictions and the economics of land values dictate that only a luxury house can be justifiably built.

We discuss the 5 best Houston neighborhoods to build a luxury house for an affluent lifestyle

Memorial Custom Home

Memorial Villages

Memorial Villages consist of 6 municipal jurisdictions inside of the city limits of Houston, Texas.

These independent city jurisdictions operate independently from the city of Houston a provide civil services such as police and fire services to its residents.

The Memorials also have one of the finest school districts in the Houston area.

The city of Houston annexed the general Memorial area and these villages during the 1950s and 1990s.

Memorial is an established wooded area with beautiful towering oak and pine trees and larger home sites up to 1+ acre in size.

The neighborhoods consist of luxury homes from mainly as far back as the 1950s and 1960s.

Over the past decades, these homes have been replaced by newly constructed luxury homes representing the best in architectural design and quality construction.

The Memorial area is a desirable family neighborhood for its school districts, its high level of security, and the secluded privacy from the deep required home set back from the street.

Many neighborhoods have supplemented their Village police with private security patrols to deter unwanted elements and solicitors.

The Spring Branch School District is considered one of the very best in the metro Houston area.

memorial Villages

The Memorial area generally consists of much larger lot sizes than one might find anywhere else in the metro Houston area.

The area is known for its generous lot sizes which range from 10,000 sf to over 100,000 sf.

The larger home sites were offered in the 1950s–1960s as close in estate lots for financially well-off families that desired an oversized home site with many trees and privacy.

As Houston has grown the once popular ranch style architectural homes have been replaced by two story mansions. These properties are ideal for custom home building or complete home remodels.

River Oaks

River Oaks is considered to be the most expensive and exclusive neighborhood in Houston.

It was originally developed in the 1920s around the existing River Oaks Country Club to sell homes as an upscale integrated community.

The original deed covenants restricted the architectural home design to American Colonial and English Tutors.

With fully landscaped esplanades and a carefully planned civic club River Oaks soon became the haven for wealthy Houston citizens.

River Oaks

The architectural design guidelines have broadened over the past 60 years allowing many different types of architectural types.

In most cases, new custom home building is not built regularly in this neighborhood, but rather the existing homes are added to or completed home remodels from one owner to the next.

The cost of a home site has reached the levels that only the wealthiest people can afford to purchase a property to raze for new custom home building.

Centrally located just west of the central business district River Oaks continued to flourish in development with shopping centers, city parks, and private schools.

The shopping areas consisted of many specialty boutique service and retail centers to cater to the local high-end patrons’ needs.

The influence of these families led to the development of many city parks to serve the local area’s needs.

The neighborhood consists of very large lots with many of the original homes still remaining.

These luxury homes have undergone expansions and many renovations while maintaining much of the original curb appearance.

Many of these luxury homes are larger than 10,000 square feet and have been updated through extensive home remodeling.

River Oaks has the most concentration of wealthy individuals, luxury houses, and home lots in Houston.

The centerpiece of this area is the River Oaks Country Club which provides exclusive memberships and a private golf course.

It is not required to be a member of the country club to live in River Oaks, but rather a long waiting list to be a member.

River Oaks is truly one of the best Houston neighborhoods to build a luxury house.


Tanglewood is a beautifully designed wooded community that was developed in the 1930s and opened in 1950 to high end home builders by the William Farrington family.

The community boasts more than 1100 homes on large lots that have many oak trees. Many of the existing Ranch style and Tudor homes have been replaced with a variety of different architectural design styles.

The newer home styles include Mediterranean, Traditional style, and Southern Traditional.

Tanglewood, luxury homes

Premier shopping is one of the more enticing features of the area with the nearby famous Galleria and Post Oak retail area.

Tanglewood is part of the Houston Independent School District. They have some of the best elementary and middle schools that HISD has to offer.

The schools are one of the additional attractions to families.

Tanglewood was originally desired by executives and professionals that wanted a shorter commute to the city and a family friendly neighborhood.

The lot sizes were larger than surrounding neighborhoods and the development was created in a park-like setting with large green belts and streets separated by inverted landscaped esplanade street medium.

River Oaks Custom Home

West University

West U is located due south of downtown Houston and surrounded by Bellaire, Southside Place, and Rice University.

The area is well-preserved area and has become known for its architectural charm.

The city was developed in 1917 by a former Tennessee governor and incorporated as a city jurisdiction in 1924.

For many years West U did not allow the new home building to maintain its neighborhood-friendly feeling.

In 1990 the city become more liberal by allowing new homes to be built.

West U has become nationally known for the quality of life and the concentration of wealthy homeowners.

The immediate area is peppered with cultural and civic facilities including museums, the zoo, parks, and medical centers.

There is also a large number of upscale shops and restaurants to serve these residents.

The area is also bordered by the world-famous Texas Medical Center and Herman Park, the largest of the city parks.

West U has the second most expensive luxury homes per concentrated area and lot prices in Houston, only surpassed by River Oaks.

The West U area has concentrated pockets and streets of very exclusive homes.

With a few exceptions, most of these luxury houses are not gated communities but rather placed on the many of the tree-lined streets that provide the charm of this older area of Houston.

The majority of the lot sizes are much smaller than the three previous areas we have discussed.

West University

West University’s architectural home styles are a collection of American architectural design styles.

Over the past 100 years the homes continue to be replaced by more modern home styles but preserve the essence of a great southern city in metro Houston.

West University is certainly one of the 5 best Houston neighborhoods to build a luxury house for the ages.

The land values continue to increase making a custom home buildings more expensive and exclusive to fewer future buyers.

The Museum District

The museum district is Houston’s cultural center with a fine collection of world class 19 museums, parks, nearby medical centers, and the Houston Zoo.

The Museum District and West University cross boundaries on West University’s east side, creating one of the most sought after residential and business areas in Houston.

Much like West University, the land values continue to make property values swell in both good economic times and bad.

Although many of the existing home developments are protected by deed restrictions, many no longer maintain their ARC (architectural review committees).

This allows for greater flexibility in new home construction as well as home renovation improvements.

It is one of the oldest upscale areas in Houston with approximately 8,000 homes with an average age of homes built in the 1950s.

In the heart of the museum district tree lined streets with an assortment of architectural home styles are giving way to new custom homes.

The general area can be described as in some transition, but much of the area preserves its natural charm and attraction.

Museum District Houston

Around the primary attraction of a large number of concentrated museums are shops and restaurants within walking distance.

It is one of Houston’s remaining upscale areas that has that old town feel of years ago.


These 5 best Houston neighborhoods make for a wonderful lifestyle for families in Houston.

These communities provide the essential elements and virtues that make them strong and desirable investments to preserve and grow home equity and provide the quality of life that is only available to high-income families.

They also preserve the classic surrounding environment and ecstatic integrity even during the transition which provides the assurance of preserving your investment for many years.

As with all metropolitan areas, plight, and undesirable elements find their way into finer neighborhoods, but the classic upscale Houston neighborhoods prevail and prosper over time.

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