Your Expert Guide
Greater Heights: Eclectic small-town vibes in the big city
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.
"The Greater Heights is an eclectic small town in the middle of a big city,” says Thomas Claffy, a native Texan and longtime Houston resident who has been selling homes in this area for nearly 20 years.
Claffy has a true passion not only for real estate, but also for architecture and design, so it’s no surprise he gravitates to the historic Heights’ Victorian homes and other rich and character-filled architecture, some that dates back to the 1800s.
Located northwest of downtown, the Heights is also known for its quirky mom and pop-type shops, quaint boutiques along 19th Street, and funky cafes.
For Claffy, who enjoys “digging in the dirt” at home, the great nurseries are one of his favorite hidden gems, including Buchanan’s Native Plants, Another Place in Time, and Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden.
Claffy offered up a few of his personal favorites about life in the Greater Heights. Here's his guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
For the “best burger ever!” go to Squable, Claffy exclaims. It’s a French cheeseburger with a stout beef patty, raclette, butter, and pickles — and “frites,” of course.
You also can’t go wrong with a gourmet coffee at Boomtown to jump-start the day.
Where to play
One of Claffy’s favorite ways to unwind is with a long bike ride on the extensive trails in the Heights, like the Heights Hike and Bike Trail.
He also recommends the newly revitalized Houston Farmers Market, which traces its roots back to the early 1940s and still includes many longtime vendors with the widest selection of fresh produce in the city.
Now, the market also features new restaurants from celebrated Houston chefs, street food vendors, a Wagyu beef butcher shop, and more.
What to see
The Heights is packed with music venues, including one of the oldest in Houston, The Heights Theater, where you can grab tickets to a concert or other live music.
Another go-to place for good vibes and good times is White Oak Music Hall, which boasts dramatic views of the Houston skyline.
14 Pews is a small church-turned-indie movie house that screens art-house films and documentaries.
Where to live
“A front porch is synonymous with the Heights,” says Claffy. “Classic bungalow architecture — whether old or new — is prevalent, with a few modern homes sprinkled in for good measure.”
A prime example of a traditional Heights home is 102 Northwood Street, a recent sale of Claffy’s. The bungalow-style property has a large wraparound porch and timeless yet modern interiors along with a patio that’s perfect for entertaining friends and family.
“Thomas is amazing and we would never use anyone else,” says the seller. “He has a ton of experience and connections, and on top of all that he's the nicest, most genuine person.”
Thomas Claffy works and plays in the Greater Heights. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 832-875-3275.