Moving to Houston
Hang on to your cowboy boots! Set your compass due south and hitch a ride to the booming energy city known around the globe as Houston, Texas. Fortune 500 companies, country music, space exploration, and mouth-watering barbecue blend seamlessly in this sprawling Texan metropolis. Our comprehensive Houston relocation guide will arm you with everything needed to make your move smoother than a slide on a steel guitar. Get ready to explore the ins and outs of the Bayou City from its charming neighborhoods to vibrant downtown hubs. So grab your Stetson and let's mosey on down to H-Town!
What to Know Before Moving to Houston
1. Say Howdy to a Hot and Humid Climate
If you're moving to Houston, you'd better love a good sauna. Blessed with a subtropical climate, summer temperatures can frequently hit the low to mid-90s and it's not just the heat you notice - it's the humidity. Houstonians often joke that you don't need a shower in Houston, just step outside. Factor in the proper attire (shorts, flip flops, and tank tops are your friends) and make use of the strategically placed public misting stations - they're lifesavers!
2. Houston Sports are a Big Deal
You either bleed Rockets Red, Texans Blue, or Astros Orange when you live in Houston. From NFL games at the NRG Stadium to NBA action at the Toyota Center, be prepared to pick a team and stick by it through thick and thin. If you don't, you'll stick out like a sore thumb.
3. Diverse Food Culture
Houston is a treasure trove when it comes to culinary experiences. Tex-Mex? Check. Vietnamese? Check. Barbecue? Check. Foodies will not be disappointed with the wide-ranging choices available. Make sure to check out the monthly food truck festivals where local mobile kitchens showcase their unique takes on Houston's best dishes.
4. NASA, We Have No Problem Here
"Houston, we've got a problem" is not something you will be saying when you live here because moving to Houston means you are now neighbors with the world-renowned space center, NASA. This means regular opportunities to meet astronauts, watch space shuttle launches, and learn all about the stars at the Houston Space Center. Also, do expect some bewildered faces if you confess that you haven't been to visit yet.
5. Beware of the "Cockroach Line"
Here's one of our quirky facts; There's an unofficial dividing line in Houston, dubbed the "cockroach line" by locals. It splits the city into areas with the massive, flying American cockroaches and areas without. You're more likely to encounter these pests in older, more established neighborhoods with lots of beautiful, but roach-friendly, trees. Not for the squeamish, certainly, but definitely a testament to Houston's fun local lore.
6. Size Does Matter
Everything is bigger in Texas and Houston is no exception. It's the fourth largest city in the U.S., making it larger than some small countries. This means that commute times can be long, particularly during rush hour, so plan your living and working areas strategically. Also, be prepared for the concept of "30 minutes away" to mean "just around the corner."
In conclusion, Houston is a vibrant city chock-full of character and charm. From its diverse food scene to its Texas-sized infrastructure, it offers a blend of rich history, culture, and quirkiness unlike any other location. But remember, if you do move to Houston, embrace that southern humidity, pledge your loyalty to a sports team, and watch out for that infamous "cockroach line"!
Pros and Cons of Living in Houston
Pros of Living in Houston
Houston is notably affordable for a major US city. Besides lower living costs, housing can be far less costly compared to other major urban areas in the country. This means more living space and amenities for your money.
Strong Job Market
Houston is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, resulting in a robust job market. Industries like healthcare, energy, and aerospace have a strong presence here. The city's economy is also known for its diversity, offering various job options to residents.
Known for its blend of cultures, Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the US. You can find a variety of international cuisines, cultural festivals, and ethnic neighborhoods here, making for a vibrant and inclusive community.
Thanks to its cultural diversity, Houston boasts a thriving food scene. The city is filled with various restaurants showcasing cuisine from all over the world. From Tex-Mex to Vietnamese, food lovers will never run out of options.
Access to World-class Healthcare
Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical complex. It comprises top-notch hospitals and research institutions, offering easy access to high-quality healthcare services.
Cons of Living in Houston
Hot and Humid Weather
One downside of Houston for many people is its hot and humid summer months. The city is in what's known as the "humid subtropical" zone, which means the summers can be extremely hot and muggy.
Like many other major cities, Houston experiences its share of congestion. Despite ongoing infrastructure improvements, traffic can still be a significant issue, so consider your commute when choosing where to live.
Houston is prone to several types of natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, and tropical storms. While the city has mitigation strategies, it is important to purchase appropriate insurance coverage.
The public transport options aren't as robust in Houston compared to some other large cities. While there are bus and rail services, many people find they need a vehicle due to the city's vast size.
High Property Tax
While housing may be more affordable, property taxes in Houston are relatively high. This can, to some extent, offset the city's otherwise affordable cost of living.
Is Houston a Good Place to Live?
Houston, TX is a great place to live because of its strong economy, delicious food scene, and access to top-notch healthcare with the famous Texas Medical Center. The city is also known for its sports enthusiasm, with passionate fans supporting their local teams in baseball, football, and basketball. From world-class arts and entertainment to renowned educational institutions, Houston is a thriving city full of diversity, opportunities, and warmth.
What Is Houston Famous For?
NASA's Johnson Space Center
You know that famous quote "Houston, we have a problem"? Guess what, it's related to Houston, Texas! Home to NASA's astronaut corps, mission control, and international space activities, the Johnson Space Center has played a massive role in human space exploration since the '60s. It's an out-of-this-world experience!
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Saddle up, partner! Each spring, Houston hosts the world's largest livestock show and rodeo. This isn't your typical cowpoke gathering. With nearly three weeks of concerts, BBQ contests, carnival rides, shopping and of course, rodeo action, it's a western cultural bonanza!
The Museum District
Ever wanted to travel the world or even back in time? The Houston Museum District can help with that! With 19 institutions covering everything from natural science to the art of cultures worldwide, their exhibits cater to the relentlessly curious and the creative at heart. It's pure wow factor from start to finish!
Here in Houston, food isn't just nourishment, it's a love language. Flourishing with a mix of world cultures, Houston boasts a food scene that offers a whirlwind culinary tour without leaving the city. With over 10,000 restaurants representing more than 70 countries and American regions, your taste buds are in for an adventure! Check this Houston Dining Guide to start your culinary journey.
Overview of Tax Rates
In Houston, Texas in 2023, the property tax rate is 2.1%. This percentage is lower than the US standard, which typically rises to 2.2% for property tax.
The sales tax rate in Houston, Texas in 2023 is 8.25%. This rate is higher, compared to other states, such as Colorado with a 2.9% sales tax or Oregon with no sales tax at all.
Houston, Texas boasts of a 0% income tax rate in 2023. This is significantly lower compared to most other states, such as New York, which imposes an income tax rate varying between 4.00% to 8.82%.
The housing market in Houston, TX is quite appealing compared to other U.S regions. As of 2021, the median home price is around $240,000, significantly lower than the national median. Rental rates are also reasonably lower, with an average of $1,105 per month. Despite a 3-4% annual appreciation, Houston's market still offers affordable rates for homebuyers. Insightful for renters, Houston doesn't impose income tax which further reduces living costs. The city's robust job market is a bonus factor, making it an attractive option for both renters and homebuyers.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Houston, TX, is currently estimated to be lower than the national average and significantly more affordable in comparison to many other major cities across the U.S. Indeed, housing forms a substantial part of this lower cost. While food and healthcare may be on par with the national average, comparatively low utility costs and less expensive transportation also contribute to Houston's affordability. However, it is crucial to remember that these costs can fluctuate based on personal lifestyle and consumption patterns.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Houston, TX, is characterized by a humid subtropical climate, subject to hot, humid summers and mild winters. Its position close to the Gulf of Mexico facilitates a significant level of rainfall, averaging 49.8 inches annually. This maritime influence also moderates the city's temperatures, with average highs reaching about 94degF in the peak summer season and lows of about 45degF midwinter. However, the city also grapples with severe weather phenomena like hurricanes and tropical storms due to its coastal location. Flooding is a recurrent issue, particularly during the hurricane season from June to November. Heatwaves and sporadic winter freezes are not uncommon. All these factors combined make Houston a city of diverse weather experiences, marked by both vibrant sunny days and dramatic weather events.
Economy & Job Market
* The Oil and Gas Exploration industry is one of the biggest contributors to Houston, TX's economy.
* The Health Care Services industry is also substantial in Houston, hosting a significant number of health care facilities.
* Aerospace and Aviation industry thanks to NASA's Johnson Space Center.
* Manufacturing sector, particularly related to energy, technology, and oil, is also a key component of Houston's economy.
* The Information Technology Services Industry is emerging as a significant force in Houston.
Historically, Houston's economy was majorly driven by the oil and gas industry, mainly due to its geographical location near large oil reserves. However, in the last few decades, other industries such as healthcare, aerospace and aviation, manufacturing, and more recently, information technology have become major contributors. Today, the city's economy is a diverse blend of these industries. The Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, contributes significantly to the healthcare sector. NASA's Johnson Space Center, located southeast of Downtown Houston, anchors the region's aerospace industry. Houston's manufacturing sector, powered by advanced technologies and specialization in energy-related products, also plays a vital role, as does the burgeoning information technology sector.
If you're moving to Houston and want a jumpstart on the job search, here's what you need to know. The city has a higher job growth rate compared to the national average, owing to its diversified economy. Despite this, Houston's unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average, so it might still take some time to find the right job, especially if in specialized sectors. The best areas to look for jobs are the dominant industries such as oil and gas, healthcare, and manufacturing. Additionally, cutting-edge fields like aerospace and IT are also gaining momentum. All in all, Houston offers an avenue for people across various occupations, from creatives to engineers, IT professionals to healthcare professionals, skilled to unskilled laborers.
Traffic and Transportation
Deep in the heart of Texas, where space and freedom reign supreme, Houston offers a unique blend of Southern charm and cosmopolitan flair. But beware, dear visitors and newcomers, the average commute time here can be a Texas-sized 30 minutes - the heaviest during morning and evening rush hours. If you're not all revved up about that, here's your cue to get aboard Houston's public transportation. Dubbed METRO, you're offered a flirty mix of buses and light rail bristling across the city like a cowboy lassoing a steer. But hold onto your ten-gallons, it's not all land-yachts and horsepower here. For the high-flyers among us, Houston's two major airports, George Bush Intercontinental and Houston Hobby, are well equipped to take you to greener pastures or jet you off to pastures new. We hope you're buckled up for your Houston adventure, y'all!
Best Neighborhoods in HoustonYour content has been edited with appropriate hyperlinks: '
1. The Heights
First on our list is The Heights, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Houston. A historically hip and character-filled locale, The Heights is the epitome of small-town charm smack in the middle of the big city. This neighborhood shines with tree-canopied streets, quaint craftsman homes, and an abundance of unique restaurants, bars, and shops. It's a community-focused area where supporting local businesses is the norm. Moreover, this area is also blooming with local art scenes - perfect for creative souls!
Find your eclectic, artsy side in Montrose! This vibrant neighborhood, filled with vintage homes, art galleries, and highly-rated bistros, is perfect for food and art enthusiasts. Montrose is considered the heart of Houston's LGBT community and offers a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. Art lovers will appreciate the Menil Collection, a free museum housing 17,000 pieces of art. On weekends, you can unwind in one of its many cafes or spend a relaxing afternoon in tranquil parks such as the Menil Park.
3. Rice Military
Situated between downtown Houston and Memorial Park, Rice Military offers the perfect blend of urban and suburban living. This centrally-located neighborhood is a popular choice for young professionals looking to live near the city's business districts. The area also offers abundant green space, with Memorial Park being one of the largest urban parks in the country. Plus, foodies will rejoice at the thriving food scene, featuring everything from brunch hotspots to upscale dining experiences.
4. West University Place
Known for its charming residential streets and high-ranking schools, West University Place is a top choice for families. This neighborhood offers the full package: safety, community, and convenience. Living here means you'll be in close proximity to the Houston Museum District and Herman Park, so there's no shortage of fun and educational outings for the little ones. Also, nicknamed "The Neighborhood City," you can enjoy a suburban feel while still being within reach of the urban delights of Houston.
5. Museum District
As the name implies, the Museum District is the cultural hub of Houston. Home to 19 cultural institutions within a 1.5-mile radius, this neighborhood promises a never-ending supply of cultural experiences. From the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest in the country, to the Houston Zoo and the Museum of Natural Science, there's always something fascinating to explore. Moreover, it's also a trendy spot to live, with beautifully restored mansions, bungalows, and modern condos.
In conclusion, whether you are an artist, a foodie, a young professional, or a family, Houston offers neighborhoods teeming with culture, history, and charm. Each neighborhood has its unique vibe, making Houston a diverse city that appeals to all kinds of people. So pack your bags and get ready for a fantastic new chapter in Space City!'
Things to Do"
Welcome to Houston, Texas, the city where southern charm meets urban life! By moving into the 'Space City,' you're about to embark on an exciting adventure in a place that offers an abundance of activities and attractions. If you're wondering where to start, here are 7 must-do's to begin your journey through the exciting metropolis of Houston.
1. Explore Houston's Museum District
Home to 19 museums, Houston's Museum District is rich in art, science, history, and culture. Here, you can contemplate world-class art exhibits, delve into natural history, explore space, or visit the remarkable Children's Museum. Each institution offers unique treasures, and it's the perfect place to spend your weekends or free days.
2. Visit The Space Center Houston
As the home of NASA's Mission Control and astronaut training, The Space Center is a must-visit. Experience interactive exhibits, astronaut artifacts, and even an intimate encounter with a real spacecraft. This is your chance to take a giant leap into space without leaving Earth!
3. Stroll around Buffalo Bayou Park
Buffalo Bayou Park is an urban green space loaded with stunning landscapes, walking trails, and various events. This 160-acre stretch offers canoeing, cycling, or a calming walk with great views of the Houston skyline. Be sure to check out the underground Cistern--an old city reservoir turned into a public art space.
4. Eat your way through Houston's Culinary scene
Being one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., Houston's culinary scene is a melting pot of gourmet delights. Venture to try some authentic Tex-Mex, Vietnamese pho, barbecue, or Creole favorites, before heading to Chinatown for some bubble tea. There's a flavor for everyone in this city!
5. Hit the vintage shops in The Heights
For a unique shopping experience, The Heights is your go-to zone. Full of vintage stores like Manready Mercantile, this hip neighborhood allows you to find one-of-a-kind items, whether it's vintage clothing, records, art, or interior decor. And don't forget to grab a coffee at one of the local cafes like Antidote Coffee on 19th Street.
6. Chill at Axelrad Beer Garden
This isn't your average bar; it's a community gathering spot. Located in Midtown, Axelrad is a hammock-filled haven featuring a wide selection of local beers, live music, movie nights, and food trucks. It's the perfect spot to spend a relaxed weekend afternoon, unwinding amidst the city buzz.
7. Visit the Murals scattered all around the city
This lesser-known but incredibly colorful part of Houston involves exploring the street art that adorns the city's walls. From downtown buildings to small neighborhood walls, these murals display the skills of local artists. Grab your camera and take a self-guided tour of these hidden gems, starting with the street art tours provided by UP Art Studio.
Whether you're a history buff, art admirer, food lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, Houston is sure to offer something that will excite your senses. And remember, these are just seven things in a city filled with endless opportunities. Every nook and cranny in Houston has its own story. So, get ready, get set, and start exploring your new H-Town life!"
Find Movers for Your Houston Relocation
You've explored Houston's stunning neighborhoods, delectable food scene, vibrant arts, and excellent job opportunities. Now, it's time to make the magic happen. Great Guys Moving can assist with simplifying your transition. By linking you with top-tier, licensed, and insured movers in the area, you can rest easy knowing you're in good hands. They've established a network of reputable, reasonably-priced moving services ready and waiting to make your move as seamless as possible. Begin your exciting new journey with confidence. Use Great Guys Moving to request your free, easy-to-obtain moving quote today.
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