Since Houston is known for being diverse, it is not surprising that it has become the destination of transients. It is the 2nd city with the highest number of Fortune 500 companies. It also has a thriving healthcare industry, aeronautics, and manufacturing. The city is an exciting place to raise a family and start your work. If you are moving to Houston, you will discover that this is not just a place with stable industrial support; it is also a city of vibrant culture and deep history.
- What is the Population of Houston?
- How Diverse is the Population of Houston?
- What is the Best Neighborhood in Houston?
- How do You Get Around in Houston?
- What is the Cost of Living in Houston?
- How’s the State of Job Market in Houston?
- How’s the State of Education in Houston?
- Is it Safe in Houston?
- What Are the Best Things to Do in Houston?
- How’s the Weather in Houston?
A Complete Guide on Moving to Houston
With a lot of things that you need to take in, new residents may find the city a bit overwhelming. Therefore, before transferring to Houston, you need to educate yourself about some of the most important facts related to this city. This article will serve as your guide to help you adapt to your new life.
What is the Population of Houston?
The population in the city center is around 2.3 million. At least 250 transients are moving to this city daily. Most of them are being drawn to the city’s great job opportunities, affordable housing options, and lower cost of living. Most of the residents here are young professionals. The median age of the population is just 33, and almost 56% of the population is still single. The ratio of male to female here is pretty even.
How Diverse is the Population of Houston?
The city is the home of tons of restaurants that offers a range of ethnic cuisine from different countries all over the world. The diversity of Houston’s population brings the dynamic food scene. It is now more ethnically and racially diverse compared to big cities such as New York. Anglo makes up 40% of the population. The country is known for the destination of immigrants, and the number of individuals coming from other countries is continuously increasing. Around 46% of the population can speak a different language apart from English, and at least 38% of the speaks Spanish.
The fact is no longer surprising since 71% of the population here are of Latin American descent, and around 19% of them are Asian. Belief and colors of the skin do not matter here. People here are equal. They will look at you beyond your sexual preference. A former mayor of the city is an open member of the LGBTQ community, marrying her partner last 2014.
What is the Best Neighborhood in Houston?
Houston is the most populous city in Texas. Each community here has its characteristic that may interest you. You should consider the amenities that each neighborhood offers to identify if it will give you excellent quality of life.
- Second Ward- This place used to be a home of industrial companies, now it has transformed into a trendy and vibrant part of the city. Second Ward is now the home of great restaurants and breweries, soccer stadiums, and a light rail system for a comfortable journey. Nevertheless, it was still successful in preserving its historical touch. Head to Navigation Boulevard, and you will even see some of the original establishments there. Most of the housing options here are townhomes and condos, wherein the average market value is at $325,000. The median rental cost on this side of the city is $1,459 per month.
- Garden Oaks- If you want a luxurious place with ample space, this is the perfect spot to find a home. The average cost of the homes here is around $403,000. For those who are planning to rent an apartment, prepare to pay $884 each month. Garden Oaks is the home of new yoga studios and trendy restaurants. There are also fantastic bike trails here that extend up to central Houston.
- Spring Branch- For employees of Energy Corridor who want to live near Downtown, you must consider this neighborhood. The houses here may cost around $229,000, which is more affordable than in other communities. Expect to pay about $945/month if you are renting a place here. There’s a lively Asian community here that is reflected in the different establishments here, such as the H Mart Asian Grocery Store and the range of Korean eateries here. If you are commuting to east or west for your work, the proximity of this place to I-10 makes it convenient to travel.
- Glenbrook Valley- This neighborhood will let you step back on the golden age of astronauts. If you want to be in a historic place, this is the right community to be. It has a close-knitted community that will welcome you with open arms.
- Northside Village- The place now offers a light rail service that significantly improved its public transportation system. The houses here have decent space and a beautiful yard.
How do You Get Around in Houston?
Like some of the big metropolitan cities in the country, the locals in Houston hate driving. The average commute time in this city is 26.4 minutes, higher than the national average. Around 11.1% of the commuters are carpooling that decreases the number of vehicles in the road. However, when we are only factoring the commute time of the employees, which is at 26.7 minutes, it is longer than the commute time of the average workers in the country, which is at 25.7 minutes only. Based on the study, Houston is currently the 6th highly stressful place to commute. It is no longer surprising, once we look at the walkability and biking score of this city.
- Houston Walkability- The walkability score of the city is only 49, which is barely passable. The section near the downtown area is relatively walkable. However, as you move closer to the town, you will notice that it will be less feasible to walk around. Traveling by car is highly essential in some parts of the city. Luckily, the authority is starting to recognize the needs of the people, and they are implementing changes to create a city that is more walker-friendly.
- Bike Score- Houston has only 37 bike score, but the place is starting to improve things. The cyclists here are facing the same problems as pedestrians. There are various developments in infrastructure that aims to create a bike-friendly road. According to the authority, by 2027, there will be an improved ridership, accessibility, and safety for bikers in this area.
- Bus System- The public bus transportation system in here is weak. With a 48/100 score, there are a lot of things that require attention and need improvement. Metro Houston is handling the city’s bus system that covers different paths all over the city. The bus routes have various stops, but the majority of them are concentrated in the downtown area. However, overall, the ridership has experienced gains after the authority revamped their bus lines offering a more reliable and direct approach.
- Travel by Air- Houston is a home for two airports that offer both local and international flights. It makes it a hub for international travelers in the country. From this location, it will be easy to reach different destinations in the city.
What is the Cost of Living in Houston?
Houston is a relatively affordable city, which is 2% lower compared to the median cost of living in the city. The average value of residential properties here is $161,300. The average rental price, on the other hand, is about $990, which is slightly more affordable than the US average of $1,023. The cost of living can also be seen in the cost of primary goods. For instance, the prices of groceries are 13% lower than the median rate of the country. When you are completing your grocery list, expect to pay $3.31 for a loaf of bread, $1.50-$3.39 for a dozen eggs, and $0.53-$1.15 for one liter of milk.
Consequently, the average salary of workers in Houston, which is at $51,140, is lower than the national average. The per capita income in Houston is only at $31,576, lower than the US average of $32, 621. Once you compare the city’s cost of living with other major cities, the lower household income is no longer surprising.
Texas will be collecting a tax average of $3,500 to its residents per year. While this may seem huge, this is only half of what you will pay when you live in New York. Plus, you will not be subjected to an insane income tax. It has become a popular destination of the ex-pats who are looking for more lax taxation policy.
How’s the State of Job Market in Houston?
When people are moving to Texas for job opportunities, they will mostly think of gas and oil. Given that Houston’s top sector is the petrochemical industry, this will no longer shock you. The Port of Houston has become a giant in shipping gas, oil, and other goods. However, Houston is also the home of Texas Medical Center, which is regarded as the biggest medical facility all over the world. The city also has a profound history in the field of tech, thanks to the Manned Spacecraft Center of NASA in Houston. It has also become the base of operation of more than 24 companies that belong in the Fortune 500 list.
Despite this, the unemployment rate in the city hits at 3.9%, higher than the 3.5% unemployment index of the country. Houston has a long history of being resilient during the economic downfall. Based on the recent study, the city is expected to experience a growth of 2.4% annually for the next three years.
How’s the State of Education in Houston?
Houston Independent School District is currently the biggest school district in the entire state and the seventh biggest in the country. It is the home of several professional schools that placed on top of the national ranking. Some of the competent institutions that offer good vocational programs include Carnegie Vanguard School and DeBakey High School for Health Professionals.
Apart from the public schools, you also have the option to attend more than 80 private schools and more than 160 charter schools. For those who want to pursue higher education, multiple universities and colleges can offer your chosen field of specialization. Some of the most notable educational facilities here are Rice University and the University of Houston. Houston Community College is located in all parts of the town and will be an excellent place to learn vocational or business courses and trade skills.
Is it Safe in Houston?
Houston is among the least safe city in the US. The frequency of the crime rate is very high compared to other cities, wherein most of the crimes committed here are property crimes. Nonetheless, certain factors are improving. For instance, the murder rate in Houston has shown an 11% improvement, probably due to the stricter implementation of the law. Note that the high crime rate in this city does not necessarily mean that you are always in danger. You only have to stay alert to remain safe.
Perhaps the safest part of the city would be Kingwood, particularly the area of Walden Woods and Dogwood Acres. Other sections of the town that scored higher in safety are found in the far west section of Houston. Houston is only safer than 4% of the other cities in the country, which can be alarming. Even when you compare it with cities that have the same size, the numbers can discourage you from moving to Houston.
What Are the Best Things to Do in Houston?
Houston is a large city that offers so many things that will keep its residents busy. So instead of watching a marathon of your favorite Netflix series on a Friday night or weekend, you may consider roaming around the city to experience its beauty. Whether you are a sports fan or you are looking for a gastronomic adventure, Houston can satisfy you.
- Watch Live Game of Your Favorite Sports Team- The city actively participates in all sorts of major sports leagues. Some of them even make it to the national association. For basketball fans, you can watch Houston Rockets battle it out against the other teams in the NBA. For rugby fanatics, catch a thrilling game of the Sabercats or watch The Astros in one of their baseball games.
- Have an Indulging Cultural Experience- The museum district of Houston is comprised of about 19 museums found in all walkable sections of the city. Whether you want to see the Surrealists arts at The Menil or the exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, you will certainly have fun here. Besides, Houston is the home of different groups of performing arts in opera, symphony, and ballet. Take some time to visit the niche museum, like the Art Car Museum and Museum of Funeral History.
- Family Activities- For those who will take their families along with them, there will be unlimited ways to entertain them in this city. Take your kids to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, especially during Sunday, wherein they will have a kid-friendly area known as ‘Family Zone.’ Children’s Museum of Houston is another excellent place that has been consistently recognized as the top children’s museum in the entire country.
- Have a Taste of the Local and Ethnic Delicacies- The diversity of the population and its proximity to the coast creates a very diverse food scene. You should not miss the authentic Viet-Cajun cuisine, such as the spiced crawfish and the fried oyster. The barbecue in Houston is also a must-try; this is Texas, after all.
- Explore the Outdoors- The weather in Houston makes water activities extremely popular, especially in Clear Lake and Galveston. You can also enjoy hiking and camping at the Texas Hill Country that you can reach a couple of hours by car. For those who live in the heart of the city, running and biking would be the preferred activities in parks such as Hermann Park, Memorial Park, and Buffalo Bayou.
How’s the Weather in Houston?
Houston is known for its humid and hot climate. You will need to take a bug repellant with you all the time since the weather made the place a mosquito breeding ground. There are some areas in the city where the mosquitoes have become a positive carrier of the deadly Dengue Fever, Zika Virus, and West Nile. You should also be prepared to deal with a nasty weather condition. Houston is vulnerable to different natural disasters such as flooding and hurricane. Houston belongs in the 2% of the US that is prone to natural hazards. It would be a great option to look for the right home insurance provider when moving to a new city.
When moving to Houston, it is essential to understand how your decision will affect your budget. You should talk to a professional that will help you navigate on this significant change in your life. Hopefully, our short guide was able to guide you in the complex process of relocation. If you like what you are seeing, never hesitate to ask for the help of a moving company that will make the process less stressful.