Is it a good idea to move to Houston, Texas?
Like Dallas and Austin, Houston has become a rapidly growing city over the last few years. In fact, Houston saw the second largest population growth surge in the U.S between 2021 and 2022, trailing just behind the Dallas-Fort Worth area. While other states like New York and California are experiencing population declines, Texas is experiencing massive population surges. So, if you are thinking about moving to Houston, Texas, you are not alone! There are many reasons why Houston is becoming an attractive destination in 2023.
MOVING TO HOUSTON, TEXAS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Cost of living (Houston is affordable!)
With rising inflation, finding an affordable city to live in can be a challenge. However, the cost of living in Houston is 8% lower than the national average. Moreover, the cost of rent is a whopping 18% lower than the national average. This means that you can find a one-bedroom apartment for only $1,144 a month. Another financial benefit is that groceries in Houston are 6% lower than the national average.
Given the lower cost of living, the quality of life in Houston is unparalleled. Houston has excellent healthcare facilities, world renowned art museums and incredible higher education institutions.
No income tax!
Texas is one of the 9 U.S states that do not charge any income tax. This can be a great financial incentive if you are moving from another state in the U.S with a higher tax burden.
It’s very possible to own real estate in Houston!
Real estate prices in Houston remain widely affordable. The median home price stands at $370,000, which is around 70,000 cheaper than the median national average sales price of 430,000. Due to the growth that Houston is expected to experience over the next few decades, buying property in Houston can be an excellent investment.
Houston is the 4th most populated city in the country.
Houston is a large and sprawling city home to over 2.3 million residents. In terms of population, Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S behind Chicago, Los Angeles and New York (in that order). In terms of size, Houston is actually the 9th largest metropolitan area in the country spanning over 640 square miles. For comparison, Dallas is only 385 square miles.
Lots of neighborhoods (wards) to choose from within “THE LOOP”.
When Houston was first being developed in the 1830s, the founders of the city organized the land according to ‘wards’ which is still the term used to refer to neighborhoods in Houston. Initially there were 4 wards, but now there are 6. In terms of understanding what consists of central Houston, you can refer to the 610 loop. Anything inside “The Loop” is central Houston.
The neighborhoods within the Loop are considered to be more urban and lively. Within the loop you will find office buildings, museums, tons of restaurants, music venues, a fun bar scene and more. If you prefer a more urban landscape with highrise buildings you may want to find a place in Downtown Houston, or even neighboring Midtown, which has become a hip hangabout for 20 somethings. These areas are very walkable and great for young people who want to explore new cafes and boutiques.
Another great area for young professionals is Houston Heights and Montrose which is home to lots of antique shops and retro record stores! Montrose, specifically, is a lively area full of gay bars, eclectic art galleries and indie venues.
There are also a number of historically affluent neighborhoods in the Loop like River Oaks and West University Place which are full of historic colonial and victorian architecture, high end shopping and fine dining. In fact, West University Place is the area home to Rice University, making it a charming college town.
Another great option is Kingwood, located just 25 miles from Downtown Houston. Kingwood is an area full of great schools, beautiful parks and shopping areas. The best part of Kingwood is that it offers plenty of housing options for all income brackets.
Depending on your lifestyle and budget, you can find an area in central Houston that will suit you.
There are also the many suburban areas outside Houston that can be especially appealing for young families. In general, suburban areas can offer higher quality public schools with better funding. The areas outside the Loop include Sugar Land, Cypress, The Woodlands, Clear Lake, Katy and Nassau Bay.
The Woodlands is a newer master-planned community that offers tons of attractions including forest reserves, museums and waterparks. Sugar Land, an area close to Downtown Houston and the Medical Center, is full of excellent schools, golf courses and lakes. Greater Katy, which is also home to areas like Cinco Ranch, is another great option for suburban Houston living. Cinco Ranch is a master planned community full of amenities like great schools, beach clubs, shopping districts, museums and water parks. Finally, it is important to mention Clear Lake, which is a great place to be based if you work at Lockheed Martin or Boeing, as it is not far from their headquarters.
Depending on your lifestyle, commute to work, family aspirations and budget, you can find an area in suburban Houston that will suit you.
Jobs & Opportunities
Houston is not only famous for being Beyonce’s hometown. Houston is also famous for being the home of NASA. In fact, when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon, the first word he said was ‘Houston’. In addition to many opportunities in the aerospace and engineering industry, Houston is also the city with the 3rd largest number of Fortune 500 headquarters. And, on top of the immense job growth that Houston has already experienced over the past few years, the city is predicted to offer even more job opportunities in the future.
Car Culture & Traffic
Though there are a few walkable areas in Houston, and Houston does have some form of public transportation, most people in the city rely on cars. The METRO public transit system offers a network of bus routes and light rail, however, does not connect all parts of the city.
The average commute time in Houston is 26.1 minutes, which is around the national average. However, Houston commuters have experienced longer commute times due to the rapid growth of the city and increase in traffic.
Houston is a city that is famous for its delicious cuisine and talented restaurants. The city has several James Beard award winning restaurants including Tatemó and Nancy’s Hustle. Furthermore, due to the cities’ widespread ethnic diversity, you can find almost any cuisine you want in Houston including Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, French, Italian and so forth.
If you are not a fan of winter, Houston is the city for you. The winters are incredibly mild with high temps in the 60s. Though the summers can be brutal, there are lots of forests and nature preserves around the city to help you cool off. The best part about living in Houston is that you’ll never need your winter jacket again.
READY TO MOVE TO HOUSTON: HIRING EXPERT TEXAS MOVERS
USA Preferred Movers is a professional moving company with over 40 years of experience. Though we operate all throughout the country, we have moving depots based locally in Texas. Whether you are moving from another part of the state, or another part of the country, we can help you with your move. Request a free quote today.