Category: buying tips

Finding Home Sweet Home: Top 5 Neighborhoods to Live in the Rio Grande Valley

Real Estate Agent Showing a Beautiful Big House to a Young Successful Couple. People Standing Outside on a Warm Day on a Lawn, Talking with Businesswoman, Discussing Buying a New Home.

The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in Texas is a vibrant region comprising several cities and communities along the Rio Grande River. Compared to many other parts of the US, the RGV boasts a lower cost of living, with housing, groceries, and transportation being more affordable. This can be a significant advantage for retirees or those on a budget. But it’s equally good for job seekers and millennials.

The key to finding the right amenities and standard of living in RGV is to find the right neighborhood to live in. In this article, we will explore the top 5 neighborhoods for your Rio Grand Valley home.

Adult parents with charming girl sitting on bench in big light shopping mall with colorful paper bags and smiling

1.    Royal Oak Estates, McAllen

McAllen is the main city in the RGV region and it’s the go-to city for people moving into the area. It’s the financial and cultural hub in the area and is also known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

While there are many neighborhoods to choose from in McAllen, one of the most sought-after ones is Royal Oak Estates.

Royal Oak Estates is a well-established subdivision nestled in the northeast part of McAllen, Texas. The neighborhood is known for being well-maintained and having a strong sense of community.

One of the defining features of Royal Oak Estates is its many oak trees, lining the streets and creating a picturesque setting. The community enforces covenants that ensure a consistent aesthetic throughout the neighborhood. Trash pickup and garages are located in the back alleys, adding to the clean and clutter-free feel of the streets.

Royal Oak Estates is a mature community with a total of 93 homes, many of which are custom homes. It primarily consists of single-family homes, which means most of the living areas range from 2400 square feet to 3000 square feet. Typically, these homes feature at least four bedrooms and three bathrooms, along with two-car garages. This makes it a great option for families or those seeking spacious living.

The locality gives easy access to the rest of McAllen as it’s located next to the intersection of N Col Rowe Blvd and W Trenton Rd.

Being a prime neighborhood in McAllen, the availability is usually low. But there are listings, nevertheless. Just keep an eye open on the local real estate market.

2.    London Court, McAllen

About 2 miles south of Royal Oak Estates lies London Court. It’s another peaceful and well-maintained neighborhood in McAllen that is both family-friendly and provides access to all major amenities in the city. So, if you miss out on Royal Oak Estates, you can target London Court.

McAllen is home to highly-rated public schools, making it a great choice for families with school-aged children. Some of the educational institutes near London Court are:

  • McAllen Memorial High School
  • Generations Academy Pre-School
  • Gonzalez Elementary School
  • Pablo Perez Elementary School

McAllen also boasts beautiful weather year-round, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. Enjoy splashing around in Schlitterbahn Waterpark, exploring the trails at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, or visiting the McAllen Nature Center – all of which are accessible from London Court neighborhood.

The median real estate price in London Court is $393,492, making it 72% more expensive than the Texan median. This suggests the high demand for the locality. While it may not be affordable per se, it’s a great investment, nevertheless, if you can pay for it. The demand is only going to go up. And with customization, you can even resell for a higher price down the line.

Boy learning to ride a bicycle with his father in park.

3.    Los Lagos DR, Edinburg

Other than McAllen, another prominent city in the Rio Grande Valley region is Edinburg. Edinburg is a vibrant city in the Rio Grande Valley known for its youthful atmosphere, cultural richness, and family-friendly environment.

Home to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg boasts a youthful energy and a lively college-town atmosphere. This translates to a diverse population, a plethora of restaurants and cafes catering to young adults, and a vibrant arts scene.

One of the sought-after neighborhoods in Edinburg is Los Lagos, DR. It’s not as expensive as some of the other neighborhoods like Alma Colonia, where the median home value often touches $500,000. Nor is it a locality devoid of supermarkets and schools. Instead, it’s in the middle, slightly leaning towards the upscale market. The cost to build a custom home in RGV is in the $350,000 to $400,000 range.

It is mere minutes from Edinburg downtown and you have shopping centers like Fairhaven Shopping Center and Hopewell Mall within a few miles.

Its proximity to McAllen Miller International Airport and Valley International Airport also helps. Thus, if you’re looking to call Edinburg your home, consider Los Lagos, DR.

4.    Pharr

For those looking for more affordable options, Pharr is a great option. Pharr is a dynamic and welcoming city that offers a unique living experience. The best part is most of its neighborhoods are moderately priced. Thus, you can construct your custom dream home from the ground up.

Living in Pharr, Texas, offers a unique blend of affordability, cultural vibrancy, and convenient access to the Rio Grande Valley’s amenities. Situated right on the US-Mexico border, Pharr pulsates with a rich international atmosphere. This is evident in the diverse restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine and the vibrant music scene with influences from both sides of the border.

Besides affordability, Pharr offers excellent employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The city boasts a growing economy with a strong focus on international trade and commerce. This translates to a variety of job opportunities and a sense of optimism about the city’s future.

Despite its international flair, Pharr offers a strong sense of community and a family-friendly environment. There are good schools, numerous parks and playgrounds, and a variety of recreational activities for all ages. The city also organizes family-oriented events throughout the year.

So, if you’re looking for more affordability, select Pharr as your new home. South Pharr is considered cheaper than other neighborhoods. But you can consider West Ridge Estates, Crystal Estates, and Las Milpas, which are moderately priced and offer optimal convenience.

boy and his father fishing together from a pier

5.    Los Fresnos

Another city in Rio Grande Valley filled with welcoming neighborhoods is Los Fresnos. About an hour’s drive from McAllen, Los Fresnos is popular among those who prefer tranquility and a slow pace of life. If you crave wide-open spaces and a slower rhythm, Los Fresnos could be your perfect fit.

Moreover, Los Fresnos is located just a short drive away from the Gulf Coast, offering residents easy access to coastal attractions. So think of beaches, fishing piers, and wildlife refuges. You can enjoy unlimited recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and beachcombing within a reasonable distance from home.

Because there are fewer people, the properties tend to be priced cheaper. The median home value is $316,000, but you can get homes as low as $230,000 by opting for more secluded neighborhoods.

Despite its small size, Los Fresnos offers essential amenities and services to meet residents’ needs, including grocery stores, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and recreational facilities. The city’s downtown area features local businesses, shops, and eateries that contribute to its unique charm and character.

Niche names Los Fresnon as the 7th best suburb to raise a family in the Brownsville area. So, if you’ve got a family and want a desirable neighborhood in RGV, head over to Los Fresnos.

Build Your Luxury Custom Rio Grande Valley Home With Us!

So, these were the top 5 neighborhoods you can choose from to build Rio Grande Valley homes. Here is a pro tip: when selecting a neighborhood, expert help can go a long way. They know the industry inside-out and come with the required experience for handling a big investment like your dream home.

Looking for professional custom home builders? Get a free consultation from a luxury custom home builder in RGV. Contact us today to learn more.

What To Look For When Buying a New Home in McAllen?

Couple looking at brand new home with luxurious entrance

You might have seen photos of a gorgeous house on the internet, only to be disappointed later when you visited the location, as the property didn’t fit the description. This is true for many real estate listings on and off the web. They claim big but fall short of the concept of luxury.

When you set out to buy a brand new home in McAllen, chances are, you may not choose the first house that you come across. It is a huge investment on your part since your choice of home decides how your family is going to live for a major chunk of their lives. Needless to say, you have to make significant considerations before you settle on one property.

Tips for Buying a New or Luxury Home

When you are dealing with a purchase worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, you should not be resenting your decision later. Here are some tips to help you choose the right home for your situation:

1. Map Out Your Finances

Brand new homes are expensive, no doubt, owing to the substantial and unique amenities they offer. So, it makes sense to get a realistic look at your financial matters. Some sellers want to know that you are financially equipped, even before allowing you to visit the property.

You may need to produce your bank statement or a pre-approval from a bank. Or, they may need other proof that you are well funded to buy the home. If you are taking a loan, understand the local laws, or hire a financial advisor or a trusted lawyer who can guide you.

2. Get the Right Agent

Take the help of experienced professionals when hunting for your dream home in McAllen. The real estate agent you choose must have a strong portfolio. Top agents must be experts at dealing in the luxury market – not just anyone successful in the mid-range housing sector will do.

  1. Pick someone who understands what you are looking for in a regular or luxury home, but not someone biased toward the latest trends.
  2. The agent’s top priorities must be your privacy and confidentiality.
  3. They will have a great network of luxury home sellers and a list of happy clients as references.

3. Take Time to Choose the Right Location

Research the local area of the property you are interested in purchasing. Ask yourself: “Is this where I see my family living for a considerable time?” Note the proximity to its surroundings – is it close to the city if you need to visit, or is it on the outskirts?

Think long-term. Will there be any future developments in the area? How about any new constructions or high-rises being planned near you? Will they block the gorgeous views for which you are paying a high price now? During your research, you may even find a meatier place in the same neighborhood!

4. Make More Than One Trip to the Home

Do not simply trust the photos on the website or a video walkthrough. There is always a possibility that the features or the whole space got some embellishments. Those fancy photos may have some heavy editing done or were clicked by professionals.

It is always better to check it out yourself, and more than once. Maybe you can visit the home during the day and compare how it fares in the dark. The more trips you take, the surer you will be of your choice.

5. Check If It’s the Right Fit for Your Family

Now for the actual home! Make sure that it suits your family and your tastes. You may have wanted a spacious kitchen or a walk-in closet the size of a small bedroom; now is your chance to check the features.


While most people are happy with a luxurious master suite with a large bathroom, some homes do not have spacious kitchens. Check if the home has ample room in the kitchen so the whole family can enjoy cooking sessions. See if you can entertain all your friends in the dining area. Ask if it comes with state-of-the-art appliances and smart technology.

Floor Layout

You may want to have extra rooms for kids, guests, or elders who might move in later. Ensure that it is senior-friendly or allows you to make future modifications. A movie room, game room, entertainment center, bar, automated maintenance systems, lighting and ventilation features, and more are becoming common these days. So is an outdoor living situation with a beautiful swimming pool, backyard landscape, and privacy from prying eyes.

Premium Materials

High-end homes call for the use of quality finishes and premium materials. Be it your kitchen countertops or floors, your luxury home has to exude opulence. Also, take great care when you decorate the home with deluxe furniture, fancy artwork, and antiques.

6. (Bonus) Get an Inspection Done on the New Home

As much dazzled as you are by the classy home, you need to make sure that everything is in working condition. Hire qualified home inspectors who specialize in new or luxury homes and can judge the state of high-end appliances. Invest in advanced home security systems, the latest smart tools, and have the necessary upgrades.


Buying a luxury home is a huge investment that not only involves huge bucks but is also entwined with your lives.
Home is where your heart resides – so, true! And when you spend your hard-earned money on something that your family can cherish for years to come, it is important to take time and avoid making a hasty decision.