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Living It Up In Houston, Texas

Houston Texas modern skyline at sunset twilight from park

Houston sits on Buffalo Bayou in East Texas. It’s hot, humid, and prone to occasional hurricanes. Houston is also enormous. It’s the largest city in Texas, and the fourth largest in the US. The metro area is an economic growth engine with a rapidly expanding population. 34,000 new residents moved to Houston between 2011 and 2012. The only city with faster growth that year was New York City. Why are so many people moving to Houston, Texas?

Jobs In Houston

People don’t move to Houston for the weather. They go for jobs. People moving here find a strong job market. There were more jobs created in Houston in the first half of 2013 than in any other city, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Houston suburbs Sugar Land and League City currently have rock-bottom unemployment rates.

It helps that Houston is the energy capital of Texas. Dozens of energy companies are headquartered here. The city leads the way in both the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas have boomed in Texas, and Houston has reaped the benefits. It’s also an innovator in finding and utilizing renewable energy systems. That means that Houston has a steady stream of new energy jobs and will continue to do so for the near future. Houston has also seen strong growth in manufacturing, technology, and business services. It has a massive, deep-water international port, one of the busiest in the world. Texas fared well throughout the recession, and Houston did especially well. It has moved forward and been extremely successful in bouncing back and capitalizing on the recovery.

Low Cost of Living

Housing costs are lower than in many other US cities. The housing market hasn’t seen the price hikes that other places have seen.  The stable and relatively affordable housing market makes living in Houston an attractive proposition for many first time buyers. And it makes moving to Houston a good idea for those looking to take advantage of the ongoing employment boom. The median list price for a home in Houston is currently around $199,000.

Find homes for sale in Houston at zillow.com.

Low Taxes

No personal state income tax, coupled with Texas having the lowest yearly tax bill per household in America, helps to make those pay checks go further.  This lower tax bill, coupled with the lower cost of living and housing makes Houston much more attractive than places such as California, where wages are on average higher, but where taxes living costs are higher to match.

Pro Sports

Houston is home to three major professional sports teams. The NBA Championship winning Rockets play at the Toyota Center downtown. The Astros play baseball at Minute Maid Park. And the Texans have replaced the Oilers as Houston’s home-town NFL football team.

Big Business

Except for New York, no other city in America is home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters. Twenty-two such companies are based in Houston, including Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, Sysco, Halliburton, Apache, Marathon Oil, Waste Management, Baker Hughes, Kinder Morgan, and FMC Technologies. It’s a hotbed for employment and future career prospects.

Libertarian Attitude

Houston has a hands-off social policy. ‘We won’t help you, but we won’t stand in your way either’ is how you might phrase the city’s approach to personal freedom. From city rules to business regulation, this is how it works across the board. For instance, there has been a strong opposition to a law banning texting while driving.  Zoning laws are lax here. That’s reflected in the interesting, and sometimes out-of-place, architecture throughout the city. There is a sense of personal freedom in Houston.

Great Food

Food Critic Pete Wells wrote that Houston has become “one of the country’s most exciting places to eat.” Places like Uchi, and critically lauded restaurants like Oxheart and Underbelly prove he isn’t wrong. There are many other places springing up to provide sustenance and eating opportunities to the growing population. Vietnamese, Mexican, and Tex-Mex are popular. Since Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, there’s been a  growing Cajun presence in the city. Many Cajun restaurants were opened by Louisianans who chose to stay in Houston after the storm.

Arts & Culture

Houston boasts many huge and magnificent art installations and exhibits. The museum district offers nineteen different art museums all within walking distance. Highlights include the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses several unique and priceless collections. It also displays traveling exhibits.  The district includes the famous Rothko Chapel, designed by Mark Rothko. He spent several years creating the works of art that are now on display there.

Diversity

Houston welcomes people in from many cultures and races. Since 2000, more than 400,000 non-US born citizens have moved to the city. There are about the same number of Hispanics and Anglos. The Asian population is large and quickly increasing. Houston is a true melting pot, and a place for anyone who has the drive and desire, can do well for themselves, regardless of creed or color.

Parks & Green Space

Many are under the illusion that Houston is a concrete wasteland of skyscrapers and oil derricks. Over 50,000 acres of parkland exist across Houston. Out of America’s ten most populated cities, Houston has the largest amount of green space. People moving to Houston will appreciate the sheer amount of outdoor space available to them. It’s somewhere they can escape from the hustle and bustle of this giant city.

Education

A good reason to move to Houston is the education potential. The Greater Houston area has fourteen major institutions of higher learning, including Rice University and the University of Houston. There are also many colleges and schools, and the education level in the city is among the highest in the state. People moving to Houston with young children, or who plan to start a family, have many choices in terms of their children’s education.

Houston has a lot to offer. Affordable real estate, culture, a strong economy, and a diverse population continue to draw new residents.  It’s a great choice for new residents or visitors who want to experience Texas in a big city setting.

Find jobs in Houston

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  • Youcankeepyourplan

    Great information

    • http://movingtotexas.net/ Moving To Texas

      Thanks!

  • jojo

    Can’t wait to move

  • Dan

    Moved here in 1968 after falling in love with Houston during a visit. I was 19 at the time. I never looked back. Houston is the greatest!

    • Cath

      I am getting ready to move to Houston Texas with both my sons. I can not get out of Michigan quick enough. No jobs, cost of living is through the roof, people here are so stressed out how to survive day to day. This is not living. It’s just existing. It’s going to get much much worse before or (IF) it ever gets any better. Time to move on and start living life again. Yes in Houston Texas :)

    • Cath

      I was reading your review and found it very helpful. Thank you! My youngest son just moved there last Friday and told me he would never ever think about even going back to Michigan to even visit. His friends would have to come to Texas to visit him. (lol) He was dead serious to! In the next couple of months if not sooner? My oldest son and I will be making our great escape from Michigan to Houston Texas. My son is a Linux administrator and has been talking to a recruiter in Houston. They pay much much better in Houston verses Michigan and the jobs for being a Linux Admunistrator are in abundance there with benefits. We hear that even the people in Houston Texas are much kinder to talk to socially and Texas is a wonderful place to set your roots and start a family. My husband passed on last March and I am looking forward to starting a brand new life in Texas myself close to my two sons so when they do decide to settle down and start a family, they will have their Nana close by to enjoy them and give mom and dad a break every now and again. This makes starting all over at the age of 50 in Texas very much more so exciting.

      • Dan

        I have been back to the Chicago area and Lansing, Michigan on a number of occasions over the last ten years, or so. Each visit back there (I was born in Milwaukee, but, grew up in Elyria, OH) has done nothing but reinforce my long-ago decision to come here. All of my kids were born here and are proud Texans, even though one son now lives in Tampa. Come on down, and don’t let the hot weather scare you. It’s unbearably hot for only two and a half months. Then, the weather in near perfect. Besides, no one ever died of a heart attack while shoveling heat out of their driveway. Oh, and another thing: After you settle in down here, you’ll be amazed at all the people you’ll run into who are from Michigan. LOL

    • boomersdidthis

      Hi, hope you won’t mind but found this comments section and wanted to see if we could get advice from someone who has lived in Houston awhile now? We are in our late 50’s and my husband got an incredible job offer in Houston so we just sold our house in a suburb north of Los Angeles and will be looking for a new home in the Houston area. We were given a relocation package and will rent until we buy a house. We’ve learned about the suburbs like Katy and we might end up buying a house there although we wont’ have little kids and the suburbs seem so boring to us now. Wondered first of all (his office is in the “oil and gas corridor” area) where you might suggest we look to rent that would be a safe area but a good point of contact place to live until we explore? Secondly, we are not wealthy but will have about $230,000 cash to outright buy a place with….we’d even consider a nice condo or townhome. We can’t afford to live inside the “loop” but someone mentioned Montrose? Any suggestions would be appreciated but first we need to rent a very small apartment to get us “situated” but it needs to be a safe area as he travels and I’ll be alone and I want to feel safe at night. Thank you if you see this and have any ideas for us. Also any other suggestions or suburban areas other than Katy? Thanks.

      • TBB2013

        I’ll be very brief. Check out The Wood Lands, Kingwood, Shenendoah, or Tomball for nice areas. Get a house with a garage and use it for your car. Crime is spreading as the city is growing. And thugs look for unsuspecting vulnerable people in nice neighborhoods with nice things so look into getting a CHL or, at least, mace, as a precaution. You may never need it but never know.

  • girlswin

    Hello, my family and I will be moving to Houston in April 2015 and are coming
    from Cincinnati OH. We have 4 sons and are looking for a kid friendly
    neighborhood, any suggestions? I am in the administrative /customer
    service field and my hubby in maintenance. Will have to find new jobs.
    We will have to rent for a while until we find our way and prefer to
    rent a house… please help

    • paidprogram

      I’m from south east texas and stayed in houston for 7yrs – I stay in dallas now – my family stays in clear lake where nasa is – depending on where you work, how much you can afford and how far you have to drive helps narrow options – galleria area (west Houston) might be a good place to start – search from 610 west all the way to hwy 6 (westhimer north of 59) – katy, humble, spring, the heights, montrose, midtown, sugarland, clearlake, pearland, alvin – all areas are spread out driving is essential (traffic at all times) – Houston is no joke and can provide your every wish and a overall cool place if you know where to go

  • Karsten Kliewe

    Hi, it seems that my employer wants to relocate me and my family to Houston. Not to mention that I am happy about as we are living in NE Ohio in a rather rural area. The question is where to move to. We have a son who will be next to 2 years when we are moving and therefore EE / Kindergarten / elementary school will become important. As well as I will use the IAH airport weekly, so I guess the southern area will be not convenient for the commute. Do you have any recommendation where to move to.? We’d prefer to have a single family home with garden rather than an apartment.
    Tks

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