Perhaps a new job is a reason why you're thinking of moving to a new city.
Maybe you're a retiree looking for a nice spot to live out your golden years. Or you’re looking for the ideal location to start afresh.
Whatever your reasons for moving, there are certain pros and cons of living in Houston, Texas, you need to know beforehand.
If you've gathered that moving to Houston or anywhere else in Texas is a good idea, contact us today and we can help you find a great spot to call home.
Summary of the Pros and Cons of Living in Houston
- Cost of living
- Affordable homes
- Availability of jobs
- Plenty of things to do
- Humidity and heat
- Hurricanes and flooding
- Traffic congestion
- High taxes
- No zoning laws
- Public ISD
Pros of Living in Houston
Cost of Living
Cheap food, Texas-sized houses, and cheap entertainment are synonymous with living in Houston. Compared to other Texas cities, the cost of living in Houston is roughly 5% cheaper than in Dallas, and 19% cheaper than in Austin.
Residents also realize big savings on transportation and car insurance which are cheaper than in most big US cities. And among the most populous U.S. metro areas, Houston has the second lowest living costs.
A recent Cost of Living Index revealed that the cost of living in Houston is 8.6% below the national average. Furthermore, it's 36% below the country's most popular metro areas. Combined with no state income tax and high salaries, living in Houston offers more bang for the buck.
Despite a double-digit increase in home prices across the country, Houston real estate offers buyers more house for the dollar. Recent data from the greater Houston partnership revealed the median sale price of a single-family home in Houston is $350,000—a 40% increase compared to two years ago.
One of the reasons Houston's overall living costs are 26% below the large-metro average is the lower housing costs. The housing costs in Houston are 53% below the average of the 20 most populous U.S. metropolitan cities.
The booming economy is a big selling point of the city of Houston. Even when other parts of the country are facing an economic downturn, Houston's economy is remarkably robust.
For instance, in May 2022, Metro Houston created 31,000 jobs, a figure that was well above the 20-year pre-pandemic average. The result is the availability of good jobs, increased public resources, and more funding for social amenities.
Second, only to New York, Houston also has more corporate headquarters than other cities in the country.
Major employers in Houston include:
- Aerospace and Aviation
- Life Sciences / Medical
As the fourth largest city in the U.S, Houston is home to a population of 2.3 million people within the city limits. Meanwhile, the greater metro area has over 7.1 million people. Known for its global influence, rich cultural heritage, and over 145 spoken languages, Houston is also the most diverse city in the country.
Comparison of the most Diverse U.S. cities
The diversity of cultures allows foodies to sample an array of cuisine including Tex-Mex, French, Cuban, Jamaican, African, Southern, and Chinese among others. Whatever your taste buds fancy, Houston has it all!
Things to Do
Related: Things to Do in Houston
What makes Houston an ideal place to live is the vast array of things to do and see, many of which are unique to the city.
Fun and educational destinations for families in Houston include:
- Houston Zoo
- Space Center Houston
- Downtown Aquarium
- Museum of Fine Arts
- 1940 Air Terminal Museum
International festivals top the list for those looking to embrace the local culture while spending less money on reaction activities.
Here are some of the top Houston festivals to look forward to:
- Mardi Gras Galveston
- Houston Japan Festival
- Insomnia Gallery
- Dickinson Festival of Lights
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Outdoor aficionados and fitness enthusiasts can enjoy over 50,000 acres of park space within Houston's city limits.
On weekends, locals love to gather at parks such as:
- Emancipation Park
- Elizabeth Baldwin Park
- Hermann Park
- Hines Waterwall Park
- Buffalo Bayou Park
Houston sports fans will find plenty of sports to root for be it the local college team or a favorite professional team.
Spectator sports fans should not overlook a trip to watch famous Houston pro teams including:
- Houston Rockets (NBA)
- Houston Texans (NFL)
- Houston Astros (MLB)
- Houston Dynamo FC (MLS)
- Houston Dash (NWSL)
Living in the fashion capital of the south means enjoying access to some of the best shopping in the Lone Star State. ]Shopping enthusiasts can indulge in retail therapy at:
- The Galleria
- Houston Premium Outlets
- Traders Village
- Historic Heights
- River Oaks Shopping Center
Cons of Living in Houston
Humidity and Heat
The "H" in Houston stands for heat and humidity—no pun intended. The Houston metro area features large flood reservoirs throughout that pool with water to prevent flooding. As a result, more moisture evaporates creating humidity that tops 90% in the late summers.
Regardless of the humidity, summers are extremely hot, especially in August which has an average high of 94°F. In addition, locals have to contend with mosquitoes and pollen allergies year-round.
Hurricanes and Flooding
Houston's location near the Gulf of Mexico means the city is predisposed to more tropical weather than other larger cities. Originally swampland, flooding also tends to be a perennial problem in Houston. Residents are advised to buy flood insurance and have an emergency kit on standby.
Everything is spaced out in Houston thus owning a car is a necessity for many residents. That said, the 2021 Urban Mobility Report ranked Houston third in the nation for traffic congestion.
On average, Houstonians waste 49 hours every year sitting in traffic. Many drivers are also aggressive and traffic accidents on the main thoroughfares are a common occurrence.
One of the fundamental reasons property taxes are high in Texas is because the state spares residents from paying state income tax. That said, a sales tax of 8.25% is an additional tax burden that most consumers have to bear.
No Zoning Laws
Houston's loose zoning laws have blurred the line between residential and business districts. A stroll around the city will reveal a strange mix of structures and hip architecture that dot the Houston landscape.
Operating 283 schools, the Houston Independent School District is the largest in Texas. However, a B-minus rating by Niche.com means HISD is average at best. In most cases, suburbs such as The Woodlands as well as other parts of the greater Houston metro area are going to offer far much better schools.
Moving to Houston—the Bottom-line
Beyond the cons, transplants from other big cities such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco are increasingly finding Houston attractive. Thanks to its blend of cultural amenities, diverse communities, world-class restaurants, and a low cost of living, moving to Houston offers a fresh start for single professionals, families as well as retirees.
If moving to Houston sounds great, Head on over to our website to learn more about how VIP Realty can help you find a home suitable for your needs.Posted by NJeffu Mwaura on