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Living in The Woodlands, TX: What You Need to Know Before Relocating

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Originally developed as a bedroom community of Houston, The Woodlands, TX has come into its own as one of the most desirable places to live in the Lone Star State.

The Woodlands, TX Community Overview

Located west of Interstate Highway 45, approximately 11 miles south of Conroe, TX and 30 miles northwest of Houston, TX, this idyllic community in the southern portion of Montgomery County is Lone Star State’s best-kept secret.

Surrounded by the neighboring communities of Oak Ridge North and Shenandoah, the area has transformed from wilderness to lumber mills to coveted residential area.

Located in Southeast Texas, the community spans roughly 24 square miles with an estimated population of 90,000, according to the official site. It consistently ranks among the safest places to live in the state in addition to having prime real estate and world-class amenities like clean parks, quaint shops, and an artificial lake.

Its proximity to Houston also gives residents access to big city conveniences, top educational institutions, and career opportunities.

History of The Woodlands, TX

The Mitchell Energy and Development Corporation started developing a planned community in 1972 to cater to Houston’s growing population, purchasing forested land from Grogan-Cochran Lumber Co. Businessman George Mitchell is widely credited as the founder of The Woodlands and was a key figure in the opening of The Houston Advanced Research Center, a tech incubator and research development center.

Situated on 23,000 acres, the first homes to be built went on sale in 1974, followed by the completion of six parks, six schools, a public library, and a hospital. By 1981, over 160 companies had offices in the community, creating career opportunities closer to home. Lake Woodlands, a freshwater lake spanning over 200 acres, was excavated in 1984.

What is like Living in The Woodlands, TX

A Mom Holding Baby In Air High

Why Consider Living in The Woodlands, TX

This gorgeous master planned community has everything you need to live comfortably within proximity of Houston and other Texas cities. From prime real estate to world-class entertainment, The Woodlands has come a long way since its founding as a bedroom community.

Cost of Living in The Woodlands, TX

According to BestPlaces, the cost of living in The Woodlands, TX is slightly higher than the rest of Texas, but lower than the national average. Housing costs take the biggest chunk of residents’ pay followed by utilities and transportation. The cost of living is offset by the median income, which was $118,836 in 2020 – higher than the national average of $78,500 that same year.

Tax rates are generally more favorable in The Woodlands, TX. According to BestPlaces, the income tax rate is 0.0%, lower than the national average of 4.6%. However, the sales tax rate is 8.2%, slightly higher than the national average of 7.3%.


Average temperatures range from 70 °C to 100°C in the warmest months, which are typically June, July, and August as well as parts of September and May. In the winter months, average temperatures fall between 40 °C and 65 °C. The coolest months of the year include December and January, as well as some parts of November and February.

Average rainfall ranges from 3 to 5 1/2 inches per month, which is slightly higher than most American cities. The wettest and most humid month tends to be May.

Snowfall is rare in The Woodlands and will only collect on the ground about once every three or four years.


A teacher pointing to her student in school

The schools you’ll find in and around The Woodlands, TX fall within the Conroe Independent School District (CISD) or Tomball Independent School District. Most school-aged children in the community attend schools under CISD, which serves over 48,700 students and has approximately 3,300 teaching staff.

Some of the schools in and around the area include:

  • Buckalew Elementary School
  • Bush Elementary School
  • Coulson Tough Elementary School (K-6)
  • Creekside Forest Elementary School
  • David Elementary School
  • Galatas Elementary School
  • Glen Loch Elementary School
  • Houser Elementary School
  • Kaufman Elementary School
  • Oak Ridge High School
  • The Woodlands College Park High School
  • The Woodlands High School
  • Collins Intermediate School
  • Deretchin Intermediate School
  • Knox Junior High School

Click here for the full list of schools in and around The Woodlands, TX.

Getting in and Around The Woodlands, TX

Residents have access to efficient and affordable public transportation via The Woodlands Express Park and Ride . Woodlands Express services are available Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), transporting passengers to Texas Medical Center, Greenway Plaza, and Houston Central Business District (CBD), among other destinations.

The Town Center Trolleys serve a newly expanded route that operates seven days per week (excluding certain holidays). This free service takes passengers to Market Street, The Woodlands Mall, and Hughes Landing, providing quick access to businesses and offices in Town Center.
Other public transportation options include:

  • Waterway Trolley
  • ADA Paratransit Service

The Woodlands Waterway Trolley passes through Town Center and empties into Lake Woodlands, connecting several outdoor attractions along its scenic path.

The ADA Complementary Paratransit Service serves the same route as the Town Center Trolley service and is available to persons who are unable to use regular Town Center Trolleys.

The community is accessible via several major highways, airports, and shipping systems.

Major roads and highways that pass through Montgomery County, TX, include:

  • I-45
  • Hardy Toll
  • East/West Grand Parkway

Airports within proximity of The Woodlands, TX, include:

  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport

The Port of Houston is a major port that handles roughly 65% of the whole nation’s project cargo.

Economy and Employment

The Woodlands, TX has a robust economy and job market, offering countless career opportunities at home and Houston CBD. The area has a diverse economy supported by approximately 8,000 businesses across different sectors and combined investments totaling over $20.5 billion as of 2019. Local businesses range from independently owned establishments to high profile Fortune 500 corporate headquarters.

The energy sector is the leading sector in The Woodlands, TX, representing over 25% of major employers, with jobs acting as a lifeline to over 9,000 workers.

Healthcare is the second largest (and fastest growing) sector, representing over 24% of major employers and providing jobs to about 8,500 workers. Residents have access to four regional hospitals providing acute care within a five-mile radius of the community.

According to BestPlaces, the job market has grown by 3.2% over the past year, with future job growth within the next 10 years projected at 37.9%, higher than the national average of 33.5%.

Major employers in and around the community include:

  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
  • ExxonMobil
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • CHI St. Luke’s Health
  • The Woodlands Hospital
  • McKesson Specialty Health
  • Memorial Hermann Health System
  • The Woodlands Medical Center
  • Huntsman Corporation
  • Repsol USA

Real Estate Market Overview

Clean and modern Kitchen Area

The Woodlands is made up of eight distinct villages, each with its own character and


  • Alden Bridge
  • Cochran’s Crossing
  • College Park
  • Creekside Park
  • Grogan’s Mill
  • Indian Springs
  • Panther Creek
  • Sterling Ridge & Town Center

Grogan’s Mill dates back to 1974 and is s the first village in the community. The community’s youngest village, Creekside Park, was founded in 2007.

Each village is a self-contained community that functions like a small town. Each village has the full range of amenities and services, including parks, playgrounds, shopping centers, and village associations.

Click here for more information on The Woodlands’ villages.

Commercial and Investment Properties

The community and surrounding area has enjoyed remarkable commercial growth over the last several years. The strong business climate and the availability of class A office space has attracted more than a few Fortune 500 companies that have set up their headquarters here.

The Woodlands, TX boasts of more than 5,000 acres across several distinct areas primed for commercial development. The neighboring city of Shenandoah, TX also offers an abundance of top quality commercial and retail space while nearby Oak Ridge North is home to industrial and commercial developments like The Oak Ridge North Commerce Park.

Gated Communities

As already mentioned, The Woodlands, TX comprises eight distinct villages with their own associations. Some of the most sought after gated communities within these villages include Carlton Woods and Carlton Woods Creekside. These gated communities feature homes by well-known luxury builders like David Weekley Homes and more.

Single Family Homes and Residential Properties

The Woodlands, TX offers an excellent selection of single-family homes, townhomes, and condos to suit your needs and requirements. Some of the most prevalent architectural styles include Traditional, Mediterranean, and Ranch. The typical home features oversized windows, spacious kitchens, and plenty of outdoor space.

Home Rentals

According to Zumper, the median rent for one-bedroom apartments in The Woodlands, TX increased 2% year-over-year in Q1 2021, which is favorable for property investors. Rental rates across Texas have risen dramatically over the last 10 years, with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recording a 32% increase in nominal dollars from 2010 to 2020.

Renter-occupied homes make up about 28% of the housing stock in The Woodlands, TX, with Grogan’s Mill being the most expensive area to rent, followed by Cochran’s Crossing.

Waterfront Properties

Lakefront properties are available in and around The Waterway. As some of the most coveted properties in the community, these waterfront homes command stunning views of the water and provide thousands of square feet of living space. The largest lakefront estates in the area have resort-style amenities like infinity pools, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, and boat docks.


The Woodlands, TX, has two luxury home developments, namely Carlton Woods and Carlton Woods Creekside. Choose from an exquisite selection of Normandy-style mansions to stately Colonials with manicured lawns. These homes have floor-to-ceiling glass windows, Egyptian crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and other fine details courtesy of top interior design firms in the area.

Activities in The Woodlands, TX

Places to Visit in The Woodlands TX

The Woodlands offers upscale shopping and casual dining in the following retail hotspots:

  • Market Street
  • The Woodlands Waterway Square
  • The Woodlands Mall

You’ll find popular attractions in the Woodlands Waterway, including:

  • The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • Riva Row Boat House
  • Town Green Park

The community also hosts annual events along The Woodlands Waterway, including The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival, Lighting of the Doves, and Waterway Nights Concerts.

Best Restaurants in The Woodlands TX

Restaurants in and around The Woodlands, TX serve everything from steak to seafood. Diners can choose from a variety of international cuisines, including Italian and Mexican. Some of the best restaurant seats are situated on patios along The Woodlands Waterway, offering views of the water and the sunset. No matter your preference or dietary requirements, you’ll find a restaurant offering brunch, happy hour, and live entertainment for a memorable dining experience.

Outdoor Recreation in and Around The Woodlands, TX

Residents have access to nearly 7,665 acres of green spaces, including 146 clean and well-maintained parks, approximately 214 miles of scenic hiking trails, and forested nature preserves.

Aside from hiking, residents enjoy tennis, kayaking, and golf. The Woodlands, TX holds the distinction of being the only community in the United States with seven world-famous golf courses.

Local Attractions

  • George Mitchell Nature Preserve – The preserve offers access to five miles of nature trails lined with towering pines in addition to a gorgeous 1,700-acre park. Home to a variety of native plants and wildlife, it’s an excellent spot for nature photography and birding.
  • Northshore Park – This idyllic park offers canoe and kayak access to Lake Woodlands in addition to an open field, playground, sand volleyball courts, exercise area, and picnic spots.
  • Lake Woodlands – This 200-acre lake offers world-class leisure, dining, and entertainment. Popular activities include kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Some of the restaurants around the lake command stunning views of the water and serve delicious food.
  • The Woodlands Waterway – This 1.5-mile-long waterway is lined with parks, restaurants, hotels, homes, and offices.
  • The Woodlands Hike and Bike Trails – Here you’ll find over 160 scenic miles of connected trails and pathways that pass by popular attractions like Lake Woodlands, Market Street, and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Located away from busy roads, these trails offer a safe and peaceful environment ideal for urban hiking, running, and biking.
  • The Woodlands Children’s Museum – The 11,000-square-foot museum features interactive exhibits to spark your child’s imagination.

Golf Courses in and Around The Woodlands, TX

A man playing golfThe Woodlands, TX has several golf course communities, making it an excellent choice

for avid golfers. Some of the most esteemed golf courses in The Woodlands, TX include:

  • The Oaks Golf Course (Canongate at the Woodlands) – Perfect for all skill levels, this 18-hole, par 72 course offers 7,044 yards of exhilarating game play with mature oak trees throughout.
  • Panther Trail Golf Course (Canongate at the Woodlands) – With 18 holes and 7,044 yards of green, the course is considered one of the best courses, not just in the community, but in the Houston area.
  • Fazio Course (The Club at Carlton Woods Creekside) –This 18-hole designer golf course is nestled among the bluffs and rolling hillsides of Spring Creek.
  • Nicklaus Course (The Club at Carlton Woods) – Named for the renowned architect who designed it, this par 72 course offers up to 7,368 yards of golf.
  • Deacon Golf Course (The Woodlands Country Club Palmer Course) – The 9-hole golf course was designed by none other than famed architect Arnold Palmer and was opened to members in 1990.
  • General Golf Course (The Woodlands Country Club Palmer Course) – The 9-hole, Arnold Palmer-designed course opened in 1990 and offers 3,597 yards of golf.
  • King Golf Course (The Woodlands Country Club Palmer Course) – Also designed by famed architect Arnold Palmer, this 9-hole golf course opened in 1990 and offers 3,602 yards of golf.
  • Tournament Golf Course (The Woodlands Country Club) – Designed by Robert Von Hagge and Bruce Devlin, this 18-hole golf course opened in 1987 and is a favorite among local golfers.
  • Gary Player Course & Grand Lake Golf Course (The Woodlands Country Club) – Designed by the renowned golf course architect, the 18-hole Grand Lake golf course opened in 2002 while the Gary Player Course facility brings you the classic Texas golf experience.

Residents also have access to famed golf courses in the Houston, TX area. Click here for a list of golf courses.


If you’re ready to buy or sell in The Woodlands, TX, call me, Walter Ehrhardt, at 832.599.5757 or email to get started. I have several years of experience as a Realtor. As a former lawyer and partner of a German CPA firm, I also have extensive experience in sales taxes, taxation, and real estate regulations. I believe that my skills will serve you well in any transaction.

I specialize in The Woodlands, TX real estate, providing in-depth information on this wonderful community. I’m also an active board member of the Village Association and Design Review Committee, enabling me to provide practical advice on renovations, extensions, construction, and more.

Get in touch with me for professional guidance on buying and selling real estate in one of Texas’ most prestigious communities.