Our Steal: Tracy Madeley with Keller Williams has listed 131 Quiet Oak Circle, The Woodlands, Texas for $440,000.

When it comes to the hottest hoods in Houston, The Woodlands stands out. Not only does it afford easy access to award-winning golf, but also a variety of parks, shops, and fine dining. The Texas enclave also ranks among the best suburbs of Houston year after year. So this week, we put the spotlight on two fabulous Houston homes in our latest Splurge vs. Steal. The only question is, which would you choose?

Splurge: Masterful George Weaver Custom Home In Player Crest For $1.259M

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The WoodlandsEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 39th city on the list — Cape Coral, Florida. This week, we look at the first Texas spot on the list —  The Woodlands, and found you could find a great selection well within the $300,000 to just shy of $500,000 range.

Why The Woodlands?

“This community of approximately 100,000 is a well-kept secret for retirees,” said Moneywise. “The Woodlands offers excellent housing and a low cost of living. The median rent is $1,300, and median home prices are around $300,000.”

“This town has very low crime, and the weather is lovely and warm,” it adds. “The Woodlands’ proximity to Houston gives you access to quality health care just a short drive away.”

So what can you get for less than $500,000? Let’s take a look.

RENOVATED MEDITERRANEAN CLOSE TO AMENITIES

Price: $319,000

At the lowest end of our price point, this custom home in the coveted Grogans Mill neighborhood is also — bonus — in a golf course community. (more…)