Texas always had a strong appeal to those looking for adventure. Once a frontier of the Wild West, today’s Texans move boundaries in science, medicine, and space exploration. One city beats all others in those fields, but the cost of living in Houston is something you have to take into account before the move. And we’ll present it to you in detail.
Since the 1960s, H-Town has been associated with problems in Cape Canaveral and upwards. It is what earned it the famous nickname of Space City. But moving to Houston also means paying the rent, buying groceries, shopping for things you need for your first apartment, going to a game with friends, and many other things. Whatever your reasons to move might be, all these are the items you’ll be cashing out on a monthly or daily basis. Luckily, H-Town is ready and willing to provide opportunities for well-paid work.
What Is the Average Living Wage and a Good Salary in Houston Texas
Once there, you’ll soon discover that even though larger in population, Houston is less expensive than its Texan counterparts Dallas and Austin. Nevertheless, it offers excellent chances for skilled professionals to earn quite a buck. As ever it can pay off to know how to get a job before you move, especially if you’re moving out for the first time and therefore need all the stability you can get.
So, let’s start crunching the numbers. According to the data provided by website payscale.com, specialized for employment and salaries, the average annual wage in Houston stands at 71,000 USD. Project managers in business make even more than that, in the region of 80 grand, as do project engineers, software, and mechanical engineers.
H-Town is one of the busiest ports in the US, so there’s always work to be found. Other big chunks of business in town go to the oil industry, universities, and medical centers.
Average Cost of Living in Houston
Overall, the index of the cost of living in Houston is 3.5 points lower than the national average. Data from web portal bestplaces.net shows that every listed index for H-Town is lower than the national, except for the significantly higher transportation indicator.
If you’re not sure about how you would fare with your skills, you can use an online calculator to compare your current earnings with those you may expect in Texas and the anticipated prices.
Cost Of Living in Houston Texas – Tax Rates
Now we have to mention that financial aspect that all of us would rather forget – tax rates. Houstonians pay a combined sales tax of 8.25 percent, while property taxes are at 2.12%, which is considered somewhat high.
The silver lining is that Texas, as well as Houston’s Harris County, charges no state income tax. Still, the federal government duly takes its due on that front.
How Much Does It Cost to Live in Houston per Month – Housing Prices Calculator
In H-Town, as in all other places, the most substantial portion of every paycheck will be spent on accommodation and groceries. Housing can seem a bit steep if you’re moving from a small town to a big city but is quite affordable for a metropolis of its size. The housing index there is nearly 20% lower than the national average. But let’s put it in numbers.
Data gathered in May 2020 by specialized website numbeo.com tells us that the average monthly rent for a small, one-bedroom apartment in the city’s center stands at around 1,450 USD. Same-sized apartments outside of downtown can be rented for about 1,000 USD, so that may be the best option in case you are moving to a city alone. Rent for larger flats, natural choices if you wish to have roommates or are moving in with your significant other, go at around 2,625 USD in the center, and 1,750 on the outskirts.
If you wish to join the ranks of homeowners, a square foot in the city’s center costs around 210 USD, while the same area outside of it goes for around 120 bucks. Yearly interest rates on mortgages stand at 4.15 percent.
Of course, if your sights are set on some of the best Houston neighborhoods or moving to the suburbs, you may expect higher prices. Still, that, too, is worth it because Houston suburbs offer a very high quality of life.
Since a home is more than just walls, there are few more items on the monthly expenses checklist, namely utility bills. In H-Town, you may expect to be charged something in the region of 150 bucks for electricity, water, heating, and taking the garbage off. For one month of fast internet access, you’ll have to splash about 60 to 70 dollars.
Let’s Compare the Cost of Living in Houston TX With the Neighboring Cities
If you look through data for 2020 from numbeo and other sites, you’ll see that Space City sits in the middle of the road when you compare it with other Texan cities. Square foot there is cheaper than in Dallas and Austin, as is the rent. But, since a picture’s worth more than a thousand words, here’s a table with some of the expenses you can expect in Texas and larger places around Lone Star State.
[table id=40 /]
Buying Groceries and Eating Out in H-Town
Next comes what all people need to live and perhaps even to enjoy life – food. Sure, delivery is always an option, but sometimes you have to head to the supermarket and purchase a thing or two. So here’s the price of a basic groceries In H-Town, according to numbeo:
- A loaf of bread – $2.2
- Bottled water – $1.9
- A gallon of milk – $2.8
- Carton of 12 eggs – $2.2
- Cheese – $4.2
One pound of chicken meat is 3.6 bucks, and the same amount of beef is around 5 dollars.
For those in search of fruits and vegetables, one pound of apples is two bucks, and oranges have the same price. One head of lettuce can be bought for 1.5 dollars, and a pound of potatoes for 1.4.
Bottle of mid-range wine is about 12 dollars, while beer prices vary from 2 to over 3 dollars, depending on whether the beer is local or imported.
All in all, the grocery index is lower than national, though just slightly.
If you wish to eat out (and what decent American doesn’t, right?), prepare around 15 dollars for a meal in a not-so-expensive restaurant. In case you’re moving across country for love, a romantic dinner for two in a mid-range joint would cost you around 60 dollars. Of course, when there’s a special occasion, some of the best restaurants in Houston are much pricier than that, but you’ll find them well worth the check.
Amenities in H-Town
As the most populous town in Texas and one of the places with the most people in the entire US, it is only natural that Houston has top-notch amenities to offer to its residents.
On the, to say, ground level, if you have to see a doctor, a basic exam would cost you around 85 dollars. Boxes with 12 doses of antibiotics can be purchased for 20 bucks, give or take, while paracetamol in the week’s dosage stands at around 6 dollars.
On a larger scale, the city is home to a Texas Medical Center, the area with 49 medical research centers, medical colleges and schools, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions. TMC is one of Houston’s biggest employers.
One sentence has to be spared for those who choose to live a healthy life, and, by doing so, avoid encounters with doctors. For about 45 dollars, you can have a gym membership for a month.
Costs of Education – How Much Money for a Year at International School
If education for you or your children is the reason to book moving services and start packing up your belongings, you won’t be disappointed with the offer. H-Town area is served by 19 school districts and more than 300 private schools, some of them among the best in the country. They are quite expensive, though. One year in international primary school comes at a price of almost 22,500 dollars.
In case you have a child of preschool age, one month in kindergarten would take almost a thousand dollars from your salary.
When it comes to universities, there are four state universities in Houston and several private ones. Among them is Rice University, one of the most selective universities in the country.
Driving, Using Public Transportation and Traveling to and From Space City
Once in a new town, you have to get around somehow, at least to and from your job. Public transportation consists of buses and light rail. A month passes for them come at 50 bucks, while a single ticket is 1.25.
That being said, the fact is that Houston is the city of drivers. Whether you opt for auto transport service or for buying a car once you arrive, you’ll have much more independence in commuting then without a vehicle of your own. Also, and it is a unique Houston’s treat, you can join a ride-sharing scheme locally known as “slugging” and take on strangers. Do so, and you’ll be able to use special lanes for such drivers, thus shortening the commute time.
And there’s one final possibility. If you value independent traveling around the place but aren’t too eager for shipping a car cross country, you’d best learn how to pack a bicycle for moving. Local authorities did a lot in recent years for improving biking infrastructure.
Also, Houston’s being served by three public airports. From one of them, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, passengers can travel to various destinations, such as London and even Almaty in Kazakhstan.
How Much Do You Need to Make to Live Comfortably in Houston TX, and What Sets it Apart From Other Cities
Luckily, living in Houston isn’t all work and no play. There are tons of fun stuff for everyone. For starters, there are more than 300 parks, if you ever wondered if there are things to do in Houston with kids. Parks are an ideal place for hanging if you’re moving with pets, too.
What youngsters and older folks alike will definitely find entertaining is Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in the Clear Lake area, with its facilities for space missions control and astronauts’ training. After all, there isn’t a living man who hasn’t heard the iconic line “Houston, we have a problem!” at least a couple of times in various situations.
Houston’s rich in sports offer as well. Seats for the home games of NFL’s Texans, NBA’s Rockets, and MLB’s Astros come for from a few dozen to a few hundred dollars, on average. And there’s also the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, probably the biggest event of its kind in the US.
For those looking for a calmer way to spend the evening, a ticket for the cinema is around ten bucks.
Give H-Town a Chance, You Won’t Regret It
There it is, then, the breakdown of the cost of living in Houston. As you could see, you can earn a salary that would more than cover the expenses of everyday life. If you are still in doubt whether you can afford to call Houston movers near you and book a relocation, use an online salary calculator which should clinch the deal. In the end, you can always help your budget before you relocate. Simply estimate the value of household goods and try to sell things you no longer use. From there, just give it a shot and live happily as a brand new Houstonian.