Houston House’s spacious balconies. Courtesy of Houston House

Downtown ($1,300)

What
A one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at Houston House, 1617 Fannin St. 

Size
601 square feet

Price per square foot
$2.16 

Houston House interior. Courtesy of Houston House

Location
For nearly a half century, Houston House has served as the main destination for downtown dwellers hoping to avoid a mortgage. And although three more luxury towers will go up near the building over the next year, the iconic tower remains a relative deal, as well as one of the last true mid-century modern buildings in town.

Interior
Thanks to a building-wide renovation in 2010, apartments are now equipped with wood floors, granite countertops, and newer appliances, while still retaining some of the largest balconies in town, courtesy 1960s construction regulations.

Amenities
Great views of downtown and a short walk to sports venues, Discovery Green, and the METRORail. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center, full-size basketball court, clubroom with pool table, and a movie room with theater seating. The building’s pool and deck are in the process of being replaced.

Courtesy of The Retreat at The Woodlands

The Woodlands ($1,237)

What
A one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in The Retreat at The Woodlands, 4400 College Park Dr.  

Residents’ lounge. Courtesy of The Retreat at The Woodlands

Size
792 Square Feet 

Price per square foot
$1.56

Location

Not far from The Woodlands’s busy downtown shopping district, The Retreat has a residential feel. It’s also a short distance from Lone Star Community College and W.G. Jones State Forest.

Courtesy of The Retreat at The Woodlands

Interior
Apartments have a contemporary design with wood floors, granite countertops, new appliances, and mood lighting, as well as access to a private patio or deck.   

Amenities
Concierge service that manages daily errands, health center, cyber café with Starbucks coffee bar, and a sports lounge with billiards overlooking the resort-style pool.

Courtesy of the Plaza

The Museum District ($1,395)

What
A one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at The Plaza, 1615 Hermann Dr.

Size
686 square feet

Price per square foot
$2.03 

Courtesy of the Plaza

Location
A shuttle for residents to hospitals, Rice University, Kroger, and Target is available five days a week for $1.50 a trip. Bordering Hermann Park, Rice, and the Medical Center, The Plaza is a popular destination for students, long-term Med Center patients, and professionals who appreciate the building’s short distance from Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Zoo, and more. “We’re surrounded by 17 museums within walking distance,” says property manager Sarah Kolkman.

Interior
Hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms; energy-efficient appliances; simple, contemporary interiors; private balconies and patios.

Amenities
Fitness center, dog park, and a year-round outdoor pool with hot tub.

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