As one of the most ethnically diverse cities across the state and the US, H-town welcomes thousands of people every year. If you are one of those who are moving to Houston soon, we bet you have lots of questions. Before you find your place under the Space City’s sunny sky, let’s try to address some essential things you should know before your long-distance relocation.
Space City is the largest city in Texas, but that is not how it got one of its most famous nicknames. Not many places can brag about being home to one of NASA’s main research centers, but H-town can. That explains the famous movie quote: Houston, we have a problem, as the mission control center was located there. Today, around 7 million people are living in Houston and its metropolitan area, but there is still enough space for more newcomers who want to settle down here permanently.
What Do I Need to Know Before Moving to Houston?
What are the things we really need to know before deciding to continue our life someplace else? What is the living wage? What’s the housing market like? Perhaps the fact that H-town is Beyonce’s hometown or the fact that NASA’s research center could be right in your neighborhood? Those are just some of the facts you’d bump into sooner or later, but now let’s check out some of the essentials you should focus on.
What to Know Before Relocating to Houston:
There is one significant division in terms of location. You’re either in the Loop or outside of it. Indeed, Loop is home to Downtown and all the places where the action happens. The circular 610 Highway acts as the barrier.
Working out as a lifestyle
With a fitness studio or a gym on every corner, it is clear that Houstonians love working out. With such high competition, monthly fees are reasonable.
The humidity is a real issue
Humidity is something you don’t complain about in H-town, you learn how to bear with it. On a bright side, it will keep your skin moisturized and dewy.
Don't go out without an umbrella
The subtropical climate is responsible not just for humidity, but for frequent rainfalls as well. H-town gets more rainfall per year than most other cities in TX, so be aware of that.
The "y'all" moment
If you don’t hear someone saying y’all, you are not in TX. To a newcomer, this can be annoying, but after a while, we are sure you’ll catch yourself saying it.
Bring a bug spray
Due to high humidity, there’s a lot of insects flying around and be sure that some of them will try to bite you. So bug spray or any other insect repelling gear is a must.
Rodeo is a thing here
H-town is not your typical Texas spot, except for one thing – rodeo. The annual rodeo event is the biggest event and a must-see for every newcomer who wants to feel the pulse of HTX.
Expats love it
H-town is often highly praised among expatriates, and there are sizeable communities of Canadians, Britts, Australians, and many other nations. So if you’re coming from abroad, check out if there is a community of expats for you.
Places to Visit On Your Day Off:
- Visit NASA’s space center; tickets range from $25 to $30.
- Visit a rodeo show.
- Stop by the Museum District.
- Head to the Armand Bayou Nature Center, the largest urban wilderness preserve in the US.
- Spend a day at the Hermann Park and wrap it up by visiting the nearby Zoo.
- Spend some money at Galleria, a shopping center with more than 400 stores.
- Visit the Children’s Museum. It’s one of the coolest things to do in Houston with kids.
Is Moving to Houston a Good Idea?
Every place has its pros and cons, and H-town is not an exception. If you have done a bit of research so far, you have probably stumbled upon some frequently mentioned downsides of life in H-town. Before we address them, take a second to think about your current place of residence. It’s not so ideal, is it? But we bet there are still some pretty great things about it that you loved during the time you spent there, right? Every coin has two sides, and every city has two faces; you can love one more than the other, but you’ll have to get to know both of them.
Is It Expensive to Live In Houston? The Basic Costs
The cost of living in Houston index is slightly lower than the national average, but it can vary significantly as you move from one region to another. TX has several rapidly growing metro areas such as Dallas, HTX, Austin, and San Antonio, which leads to higher prices in every aspect. But among them, Austin is the most expensive place to live in TX. So H-town is not on top of that list, but is it still expensive? And how much do you need to live comfortably?
Generally speaking, life in H-town is more affordable than in other large metropolises. According to Numbeo, an adult person needs around $870 per month, while a family of four can expect to spend around $3,100 monthly, without rent. Take into consideration that the average monthly salary is $4,100, after taxes. Now let’s take a closer look and explore some expenses you can expect when living as a Houstonian.
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How to Find the Right Neighborhood In H-Town
There are numerous neighborhoods to choose from, depending on your needs and budget. Safety is another concern whether you are moving to a city alone or with children. You should check crime rates for communities you’re interested in to get a better picture of their safety. Some of the best restaurants in Houston are located in Downtown, where everything happens, but living in the very center has its ups and downs.
Pay attention to the proximity to your workplace, commute time, traffic, and so on. Generally speaking, younger adults and singles tend to prefer these central locations while families and seniors lean towards the suburban lifestyle. Some people don’t even consider moving to the suburbs, but Houston suburbs are worth considering, especially if you can afford them.
Communities such as Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Cypress, and Katy are among the popular suburbs. However, not every neighborhood suits everyone, so rely on your instinct and lifestyle.
Buying or Renting Apartments When Moving to Houston, Texas
Whether you are looking to buy or rent, everyone likes to find a good deal, especially those on a tight budget. If you are moving from an apartment to a house for the first time, this is a great place to invest in real estate. The housing market is relatively affordable, with the median home value around $150,000, and it is growing together with the population. However, rents are not so high. So what is the right decision?
The right choice depends on how long you plan to stay here. You don’t have to settle in H-town for good, but if you are staying here for a few years, then purchasing a property can be more cost-effective. Although TX doesn’t have a state income tax, it has high property taxes, so it balances it all.
What Are Top Hiring Companies In HTX
One of the essential tips on how to get a job before you move would be to research the job market and see what are the biggest employers in the region. Not everyone in H-town works for NASA or in the aerospace sector. There are numerous tech companies, and a lot of people are working in health care, oil, and energy industries.
If you don’t have loads of experience, don’t fall into despair. H-town is frequently rated as one of the greatest places for recent graduates seeking job opportunities. Surprisingly or not, the biggest employer in this area is Walmart, based on the number of employees. But let’s take a closer look at the list.
- Memorial Hermann Health System
- The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- McDonald’s Corp
- Houston Methodist
- United Airlines
- Shell Oil Co.
Education opportunities play a significant role for any family relocating with children of school age. It’s essential to find not just safe Houston neighborhoods, but also the ones with good schools since that is an equally vital factor to consider. H-town has a large school district with more than 280 schools, and some of the best districts are Friendswood ISD, Katy ISD, Pearland ISD, Tomball ISD, and Barbers Hill ISD.
Parents of children going to kindergarten can expect to pay around $950 per month. The University of Houston is highly ranked among universities across the state, and it is the third-largest university in TX. The average GPA is 3.75, so it is expected that future students have above-average grades.
Should You Be Afraid of Hurricanes?
H-town does not stand for hurricane town, although we understand why some of you could think that way. Although HTX is not in the notorious tornado alley zone, it has another problem: hurricanes, tropical storms, and all kinds of natural disasters. Allison, Rita, Alicia, and Harvey are only some of the storms that inflicted significant damage to this region.
One of the most recent ones, hurricane Harvey from 2017, led to more than 100 deaths, so it is reasonable to be concerned. Hurricane season typically lasts from the beginning of June till the end of November, causing severe flooding and dangerous storms. But you can’t prevent events like this, and not every storm is devastating as Harvey was. People still live in these areas.
The Best Way to Get Around Space City
While we are waiting for flying cars and other more convenient means of transportation to be invented, you can go around the Space City in some of the old fashioned ways. You can always hire auto transport services and have your four-wheeler to take you wherever you want, or you can rely on local public transportation. You can count on buses and the metro light rail system to take you pretty much everywhere for $1.25, which is the price for a one-way ticket.
If you are transporting your car from state to state, and want to get on the roads of H-town as soon as possible, know that car shipping can take a while. And like in every other metropolis, traffic jams are a real problem, especially during the morning rush hours, from 7 AM to 9 AM. Car ownership is close to the national average, meaning that, on average, there are two cars per household. Keep in mind that this is a very spread out area, so having a car is very convenient.
How Much Does It Cost to Move to Houston?
You know how they say – everything is bigger in TX, but with the right Houston long-distance relocation company, the costs of your move don’t have to be sky-high. Besides the basic moving service, you should consider investing in the packing service. It saves a lot of time and nerves, and no matter how good you are with wrapping and packing Christmas gifts, professional packers can still do it better and faster. In case you haven’t found a new home yet, investing in storage service might be a handy solution.
The Best Tips for Relocating to HTX On a Budget
- Create a budget and stick to it, but leave some space for unexpected costs.
- Downsize. Consider not bringing everything that was not used in the past few months.
- Depending on your location, determine whether it is cheaper to rent a truck and move everything on your own or call in the pros.
- Get free packing supplies, ask for boxes at a local store, and be creative with wrapping material using cloths and linens
- Ask friends to help you with packing.
Relocating to Houston In 2020
Whatever the reason behind your decision to move to H-town from another part of the country, we are sure that you will not regret it. Whether you are relocating for a job because you dream of working for NASA, or you want to experience something new and different, and you are looking for a change, HTX will welcome you and grow with you.