Bellaire

Median home price: $813,000

Bellaire, today a thriving community of spacious homes, was founded in 1908 by William Wright Baldwin on what was part of a 9000 acre ranch.  It was to serve as a residential neighborhood and an agricultural trading center.  His land company advertised to farmers in the midwest, stating that the town was named "Bellaire", or "Good Air" for its breezes.
 
On December 31, 1948, the city of Houston had annexed the land around the city of Bellaire, stopping the city's land growth. Bellaire remained independent of Houston; Bellaire adopted a home rule charter with a council-manager government in April 1949. By 1950 the city's residents had numbered 10,150. Bellaire High School was established in 1955.

Bellaire's housing lots are 75 feet (23 m) by 130 feet (40 m), allowing for houses larger than those that could be built on typical 50 feet (15 m) by 120 feet (37 m) West University Place lots. A Bellaire lot can accommodate a house with a detached garage and a swimming pool.  With an average price of $10–12 per square foot, Bellaire in 1992 was more affordable than neighboring West University. Don Stowers of the Houston Press said that Bellaire and West University Place had "comparable" attributes such as independent fire and police departments, zoning, recreation facilities and parks, and schools "among the best in Houston." It would be safe to say that Bellaire, with its close proximity to business districts, excellent municipal services and superior schools, is a real bargain. 

 

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