Your Expert Guide
River Oaks, east of Kirby: Understated luxury in the heart of Houston
There are so many great places to live in Houston that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Synonymous with luxury — and boasting some of the largest home sales in the state — River Oaks radiates with elegance in the heart of the city.
“The vibe is fancy, but it’s not flashy,” says native Houstonian Liz Daniel, who has been living and working in the neighborhood since 2009. “Some of the largest homes are hidden from view.”
River Oaks is remarkably close to wonderful places to shop and dine, and it’s also just a quick commute to downtown. The Buffalo Bayou Park begins at the neighborhood's east entrance on Shepherd.
“We chose the River Oaks area not only because of its location, but also the beauty and secure reputation of the neighborhood — and the great public elementary school,” Daniel adds.
The courtyards on Stanmore and Sharp Place are another gem. “They are a great place to host a Halloween gathering or a birthday party or just get neighbors together with their dogs,” she says.
Before starting her successful real estate career about 13 years ago, Daniel achieved acclaim as award-winning media marketing professional. Her marketing know-how and negotiation expertise, in addition to her countless hours of research, always pay off for clients when it’s time to purchase or sell their home.
When she’s not working, you might find Daniel spending time with her husband and son and daughter, or cooking something delicious in the kitchen. She’s an incredible chef in her own right and loves recreating restaurant dishes at home.
Daniel shared more of her personal favorites about life in River Oaks. Here's her guide:
Where to eat & drink
Daniel recommends State of Grace for its American food with a Gulf Coast twist. “There is also plenty of bar and oyster bar seating for those who do not plan ahead and get a reservation — like me! You will always see someone you know,” she says.
Where to play
“We bike and walk our dogs regularly in the Buffalo Bayou Park,” says Daniel. “They are constantly improving it.”
Also within walking distance are great boutiques and shopping destinations in the River Oaks District. For an arts and culture fix, 19 museums are located within four miles.
For foodies like Daniel, Central Market is the ultimate playground, too. “I could spend hours walking the aisles of this specialty grocer. The meat, the cheese, the bakery, the produce — a cook's dream!"
Where to live
River Oaks is a great mix of old and new houses. There is not a singular style or size of home, and you’ll see contemporary, Mediterranean, traditional, midcentury modern, and more.
“That’s actually the beauty of the neighborhood,” says Daniel. “The homes do not all look the same. I personally love the mix of smaller and larger homes and the contrast of older homes right next to new construction.”
Building rules and deed restrictions do create important uniformity in setback and height, based on lot size, and streets and yards are beautiful and well-maintained.
Daniel mentions that there are also still some tear-downs and fixer-uppers available for those who want a project.
A lovely example of a property in the area is the idyllic, plantation-style home at 1813 Sharp Place, which is situated at the back of a coveted River Oaks courtyard.
Originally built in 1935, it was thoroughly renovated and has all the charm of an older façade with the benefits of new construction. Daniel, who represented the seller, says the home sold in just a few days with multiple offers.
Liz Daniel works and plays in River Oaks, east of Kirby. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 713-416-8001.