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Everything There Is to Know About Friendswood, TX
Located in between the Galveston and Harris county metropolitan area lies the beautiful city of Friendswood. This small city is part of the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan Area, southeast of the big city. Despite its small size, Friendswood has been named one of the best cities to live in America.
History of Friendswood
The unique name is one of this city’s most charming attributes, and it’s also a part of its history. In the late 1800s, a large group of Quakers came to the area of Houston. They traveled from Kansas to the northern part of Texas. The Quakers had no interest in large plains with buffalos, Indians, and cattle. They also wanted a land they could dedicate more fully to God, without the modern luxuries and activities of the day.
So, they looked for a more wooded area with fewer people, and they found what is now Friendswood, Texas – located between Pearland and League City. It was a beautiful wooded area with creek branches running throughout. To these searchers, it was their promised land.
The Quakers had to negotiate with the founder of League City, J.C. League, for 1,500 acres of land to build their settlement, which was named in honor of the Friends. The Quakers referred to the members of their fellowship as “Friends,” and that in combination with the wooded area in southeast Texas made the name an obvious choice.
In 1900, the Galveston Storm, a category 4 hurricane that hit the Gulf of Mexico, hit Friendswood. No one died, but much of their community was destroyed. For most new towns, this would be devastating, but for Friendswood, it was an opportunity for new growth. They built a two story building they called the Academy, which was used over the next few decades as a church, school, and community meeting place.
The Academy attracted more residents, and the Quaker colony began to grow. Soon, more than just the Quakers moved in. First the farmers came, planting figs, oranges, and rice. Friendswood built a church, a school, a post office, and a grocery store. However, by 1960, the population was still less than 1,000 people.
Finally, in 1960, the town elected their first mayor, which was an essential step towards welcoming the growth that was to come. During the 1960s, the Houston station for NASA was built, and people began to flock to this area in droves. Hundreds of NASA employees chose the beautiful area of Friendswood as their home, and by 1970, the population had grown by 500 percent to 5,200.
Thanks to NASA, the growth of Friendswood never stopped, and in 1980, the population had reached 29,000. Now, it’s more than 38,000, and the opportunities for growth continue.
Friendswood Job Market and Economy
Not a lot of major businesses are located in Friendswood; however, there are many small shops and services throughout the area. You can find everything from bicycle shops to plumbers, and all of these businesses contribute to a strong economy.
Friendswood is also the home of the Baybrook Mall, a mall that many Houston residents visit frequently. It’s a smaller mall, but it’s growing as developers try to compete with malls in Pearland and Texas City. It still brings high revenue and jobs to the city.
The small businesses scattered throughout the city offer plenty of jobs for residents, but many citizens go to Houston. Friendswood is close to NASA, which offers hundreds of jobs. Houston is also a short, 30 minute drive away, offering thousands of working opportunities to the residents of Friendswood. Because of the beautiful scenery and quaint, small town feel, many people choose to work in Houston and live in Friendswood.
Houston and its surrounding areas are home to some major corporations, including Phillips 66, B.E.B., Halliburton, Sysco, Michaels, and more. NASA, Texas Medical Institute, and the Energy Corridor also provide a number of top-paying jobs that bring many people to the area.
The Friendswood Demographic
The 2015 census estimates that about 38,800 people live in Friendswood, and it’s continuing to grow. Between 1980 and 2015, the population grew nearly 400 percent. Now, it’s growing at a rate of about 10 percent.
The median income for Friendswood is nearly double the national and state averages at about $101,552.
There’s not a lot of diversity in this area, largely thanks to the Quaker background. About 90 percent of the people who live there are white and 9 percent are Hispanic or Latino. Overall, crime is extremely low in this area compared to the rest of Houston.
Real Estate Outlook in Friendswood
Despite the much higher median income of Friendswood residents, realty prices are very near the average for the Houston area. The median home value was $269k in 2014, which is right around the Houston average. However, prices have recently skyrocketed, and you’ll find the median home price is closer to $300k-$400k now.
Additionally, the median gross rent is about $1,180, which is a little lower than the Houston area. There are a number of complexes and houses for rent, but homeownership is far more prominent in this area. About 88 percent of residents are homeowners.
What’s more, there are hundreds of homes to both rent and buy in this area. The market is booming, and it’s easy to get a great deal whether you’re investing or renting. The home prices are steadily on the rise as well. In fact, prices have jumped tens of thousands of dollars in the last few years, indicating an extremely wealthy market for investors.
One interesting thing about the Friendswood market is that homes are often overpriced. The median listing price is close to $430k, but the median closing price is closer to $227k. The market is growing quickly, but there’s still plenty of room for negotiations.
Schools and Education in Friendswood
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to the Friendswood area is the great schools. The schools have an average rating of 7 out of 10 on Greatschools.org, but some schools have ratings of 8 and 9 on the same scale. You can do more research on the best schools in the area when you decide to invest here.
The percentage of students who graduate high school in Friendswood is high, and about 51 percent of residents are college educated. With more than 100 universities and colleges within 50 miles of the city, it’s easy for individuals to continue their education after high school.
Things to Do in Friendswood
Thanks to the many trees and streams that run through the area, Friendswood is a beautiful place to be outdoors. There are a number or parks – the most popular of which include Frankie Carter Randolph Park, Stevenson Park, 1776 Park, and Oxnard Park. Take a walk on any given day or take the kids to play on the playground at any of these beautiful designated areas.
There’s also the Baybrook Mall, which has all your favorite shops including Macys, Dillard’s, Apple, Gap, and dozens of others. It’s not as big as some of the malls you’ll find closer to Houston, but there’s plenty to keep you busy and meet your needs.
There are a variety of historical sights and tours worth seeing as well, especially if you’re interested in Quaker culture. There’s the 1903 Perry House, Frank J. Brown Museum, and the Friendswood Veterans Memorial, which are open daily for tours and exploration. There’s also the Heritage Day Festival every fall, which has great entertainment, food, and history.
There are also plenty of nearby places to visit and things to do. It’s also a very short, 15-minute drive from the NASA Space Center, where you can explore exhibits and see science in action. If you go 15 more minutes, you’ll be in Houston proper, which is the fourth largest city in the nation. A 30-minute drive in the opposite direction will take you to Galveston beach where you can enjoy this historic town and go for a quick swim.
When living in Friendswood, there are plenty of things to do in town on the daily and other amenities just outside whenever you feel the need. The town is large enough that you have everything right there, but it doesn’t feel like an overcrowded city. When you’re tired of the quaint living and want to feel the hustle and bustle, the big city is just a short drive away.
Contact Green Residential for Friendswood Realty
If Friendswood sounds like a place you’d like to live, Green Residential has all the information and assistance you need. Our team of experienced realtors is very familiar with the area and all it has to offer. For more information about real estate opportunities and what it’s like to live in Friendswood, contact us today!