If you’re moving to Houston anytime soon, be prepared for an exciting way of life. Named one of the best places to live and retire in the United States, Houston attracts tens of thousands of new residents every year for its economic opportunities and high quality of life.
To help you prepare for the big move, here are some of the things you should know about living in Houston.
Houston has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the country, giving it a highly welcoming vibe. About 100 languages are spoken in the region, and the metropolitan area has the third largest Hispanic and Mexican populations in the US.
About half of the population is single, and more than 25% is below 20 years old. The city’s top-rated schools and wealth of attractions for all ages make it a great place to raise a family. The abundance of job and economic opportunities also makes it a magnet for highly-educated and skilled individuals.
Housing and real estate
Houston is a huge metropolis covering an area of 627 square miles. The city is divided into 18 “super neighborhoods” where you’ll find various housing options – from luxurious mansions in gated communities to more affordablesingle-family homes in several developments. There’s also a wide array of condos, townhomes, and apartments.
One of the best things about living in Houston is that the housing cost is not as high as in other major Texas cities. In 2018, the average housing cost here was even lower than the national average – something rare among the largest urban centers in the country. Relative to the median household income, homes in Houston offer greater value than in similar urban areas.
It’s believed Houston’s city planning has much to do with the lower housing costs and resilience during the 2008 economic crisis. Houston has no zoning laws, which has resulted in a mix of property types in a single district. You’ll find single-family homes alongside multifamily properties and commercial buildings. The lot sizes of single-family homes are regulated, allowing for what many consider as efficient land use.
Food, grocery, and restaurant costs
The cost of living in Houston, TX is highly affordable. The average cost of food and grocery is below the national index. You have plenty of options for your grocery shopping, from big-box stores to smaller, independent establishments. The city also boasts topnotch farmer’s markets and organic food stores.
With over 10,000 restaurants in the city, you’ll find a wide range of dining options with different price points. Upscale restaurants are aplenty, as are affordable places with cheap but great eats. The city also boasts numerous bars and clubs, playing an important role in the lifestyle here.
Houstonians are known for their love of cars, and cars are an important mode of travel in and around the city. This often results in congested highways, particularly during rush hour. Fortunately, the downtown area offers plenty of parking.
On days when you’d rather not drive, you can take the light-rail system operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, as well as Park N’ Ride buses. You can also bike your way around the city on its many cycling-only lanes. This is a great option considering transport costs in Houston are relatively higher compared to the state and national averages.
There are two major airports in Houston – the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and the William P. Hobby Airport. Both are international airports, but the George Bush Airport is one of the busiest international hubs in the US.
Houston has pleasant weather all year round. The average temperature is 83.3 degrees F in the summer, and 55.7 degrees F in the winter. Seasonal festivals are held in the city throughout the year, giving residents the perfect excuse to go out and enjoy the great weather.
Health and medical care
Health care costs in Houston are generally lower compared to the national and state costs. The city is considered one of the best medical communities in the world, primarily because the Texas Medical Center (TMC) – the world’s largest medical center – is only 10 minutes from the downtown area. Including TMC, there are over 85 hospitals in the Houston area, providing more than 19,300 beds and employing more than 100,000 health care professionals.
The Houston Health Department runs health centers and multi-service centers throughout the city, providing such services as Women’s, Infants, and Children’s Programs, family planning, immunizations, and more. Harris County also provides public health care services and treatment programs.
Looking for a home in Houston, TX? As an experienced Realtor who has been specializing in the city for over 14 years, I can help you find the perfect property. Call me at (832) 381-4121 or get in touch here.