I left Houston for a small Texas town. Now I own a house, my kids like it more, I feel safer, and my neighbors are like family. – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

I left Houston for a small Texas town. Now I own a house, my kids like it more, I feel safer, and my neighbors are like family.

Quiana Darling and her sons in their home.

Courtesy of Quiana Darling.

Quiana Darling lived in a rental in a dicey Houston neighborhood with her two sons.
The 29-year-old single mother felt unsafe and decided to move to Katy, a suburb, in August.
She bought her first home for $324,000, put her kids in a good school, and has neighbors like family.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Quiana Darling, 29, who, along with her two sons, left  Houston for Katy, Texas, in 2023, to escape the city’s high housing costs and crime. The essay has been edited for length and clarity.

I had no family in Houston, it was just me and my kids.

I lived on the southwest side for the majority of my time. But in 2022, I moved to the downtown area because I wanted to experience living in the city. Before I left Houston, I had a two-bedroom, two-bathroom highrise apartment that cost $2,900.

There was a lot of crime in the area. There were apartment and car break-ins, and the homelessness situation was just crazy. I felt like I couldn’t walk my dog outside.

I ended up reaching out to my complex’s corporate office. They said, if I could be out of my apartment by the end of the month I could break my lease. I moved out at the end of June.

After leaving my apartment, I moved back to Austin with my mom and stayed with her for a couple of weeks. I also stayed with some friends. I didn’t want to get an apartment again because I knew that I wanted to purchase a home.

Katy seemed like a good fit for my family because of the great schools

Katy came on my radar in 2020. I heard that it was one of the best areas for families and it had amazing schools. I have two boys that are five and nine years old. and have always put their education first. Back in Houston, I had so many troubles with the Houston Independent School District and thought that Katy would be a better option.

Quiana Darling and the keys to her new home.

Courtesy of Quiana Darling.

In March, I went to visit a friend who had moved to Katy. Before she even moved into her neighborhood, I had already visited the area and saw its homes in the community’s sales center. My friend was younger than me, so I thought if she could buy a home there, I could too. 

I went back to Austin but the very next week, I put in an application to see if I could qualify for a home in the neighborhood. Turns out that I did. In April, a community sales agent and I went to look for a home that would be the best fit for me. 

I found one, but there were like ten people that were trying to put money down on the same house. My sales agent told me “If you don’t put earnest money down, we don’t know if this house is going to be available.” So, I put $2,500  down immediately. I closed on my home in August. 

I’m proud of myself for becoming a first-time homebuyer  

I would say the real-estate market in Katy is competitive. When I was buying my house, it felt like everyone and their mom was in the sales office. 

I have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home that I bought for $324,000. My mortgage is around $2,900. It has an upstairs balcony, downstairs patio, and backyard. It also has a small office, and since my house sits right in the front of the community, it has really big windows. 

Quiana Darling and her boys in front of their home.

Courtesy of Quiana Darling.

I have lived in an apartment my entire life until now, so I didn’t know what to expect when going through the homebuying process. Everything just fell into place and I’m grateful for that.

This is the first home that I have purchased, but of course I want to get into another home and teach my kids the importance of having generational wealth in real-estate.

My family loves living in Katy 

Katy is very diverse and I actually love it. Being a Black single mother, the fact that I have so many different neighbors who all come from different backgrounds and races that are genuinely good people is huge. 

Me and the neighbor that lives right across from my house have become so close. She’s a single mom as well, and we literally support each other. I have another neighbor, an Asian man, that’s super nice. Every time he comes over to speak to us, it feels just like family.

Quiana Darling’s son at the park.

Courtesy of Quiana Darling.

There are a lot of things available for families in Katy. My neighborhood has a dog park and a huge playground for the kids that’s attached to a basketball court. We also have a tennis court and a huge swimming pool. They are also building a brand new gym. 

I would say that Katy has met my expectations. 

One of the best aspects are the schools. My eldest son had trouble with HISD and would cry about going to school. In Katy, there’s been a dramatic change in his personality. He has friends and likes to go to school. 

I will say, that’s been the biggest improvement in my quality of life — my kids are happy and thriving in school.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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