Is Houston calling your name?
Whether you have a family and are looking to put down some roots or are a working professional hoping to jumpstart your career, moving to Houston is a smart decision.
Here’s what you need to know before you pack your bags.
There’s much more to this Texas city than barbecue and baseball. With friendly southern charm set against a modern urban backdrop, Houston is a city that welcomes everyone. The metro area is home to acres of green space, a plethora of diverse communities, a robust local job market and plenty of affordable housing.
Best of all, with countless options for recreation and entertainment, residents are never left lacking something to do. Here’s a quick picture of Houston by the numbers.
- Population: 2,320,268
- Population density (people per square mile): 3,501.5
- Median income: $51,203
- Studio average rent: $1,144
- One-bedroom average rent: $1,233
- Two-bedroom average rent: $1,605
- Cost of living index: 95.8
Popular neighborhoods in Houston
No matter where you choose to live in Houston, you can be sure your home is close to world-class cultural attractions, entertainment, dining, sports and other recreational options. Families and young professionals alike will have no trouble finding the perfect neighborhood to suit their tastes. Some of the most popular communities in the metro area include:
- Memorial: With great schools, easy access to Energy Corridor jobs and high-quality medical care, Houston’s Memorial neighborhood is a popular choice with many middle-class families. The Memorial City Mall and CityCentre both offer upscale shopping and dining options, as well as mixed-use office space. Several acres of green space at parks, including Bear Creek Park and George Bush Park, are also located nearby.
- Midtown: Set just south of Downtown Houston, the popular Midtown neighborhood is a hit with young professionals and families. Hip urban lofts and studio apartments line every block along with bars, restaurants and shops. Residents of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy living in such close proximity to attractions like the Houston Zoo, Downtown Aquarium, Theatre District and the Museum District, as well as several top-notch universities and the world-renowned Texas Medical Center.
- Montrose: If you’re looking to live in a neighborhood with an artsy and quirky vibe, you’ll feel right at home in Montrose. This community is conveniently located close to Downtown, boasts excellent schools and offers its residents a choice of historic bungalows or modern townhomes. Artists, creatives and other free spirits enjoy the neighborhood’s walkable tree-lined streets dotted with independent record shops, thrift stores, dive bars, music venues, coffee shops, art galleries and restaurants.
- Clear Lake: This suburban community is just minutes from the beach and other tourist attractions, such as the Kemah Boardwalk, Tanger Outlet Mall and NASA’s Space Center Houston. Tree-lined streets, great schools and plenty of backyard space attract families from all over the city.
- Uptown-Galleria: As one of the most popular neighborhoods among new transplants, the Uptown-Galleria area offers easy access to world-class shopping and dining, along with a short commute to both Downtown and the Energy Corridor. The Galleria is the largest shopping mall in Texas and is also home to the Galleria Office Towers, including the Galleria Financial Center.
The pros of moving to Houston
With nearly 1.3 million people moving to Houston over the last decade, the city is experiencing record population growth. There are many perks to living here, which explain why people are moving to Houston in droves, but here are the top three.
Low cost of living
With a cost of living that’s entirely unheard of for a major American city, the lifestyle made possible by a move to Houston will blow you away. Everything from housing to groceries is cheaper in Houston when compared to most large cities around the nation. Best of all, there’s no state income tax.
As a true melting pot, Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country. Transplants and immigrants of all backgrounds will feel right at home among Houston’s welcoming residents. Plus, this diversity leads to a fantastic local food scene with restaurants serving up everything from Cajun food to Tex-Mex.
Awesome employment opportunities
Any move to Houston is a smart one, particularly for those in the energy or medical fields. With multiple business districts, several Fortune 500 headquarters, strong international ties, two major airports and a bustling port, there’s no shortage of jobs in this city. Houston’s unemployment rate saw record lows in 2019. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston’s job outlook has remained strong.
The cons of moving to Houston
As wonderful as all of this sounds, Houston is far from perfect. The Bayou City has its quirks like any other. Before you sign on the dotted line, here are a few cons to keep in mind.
Time spent in traffic
Houston ranks 11th among the most traffic-congested cities in America, according to INRIX. The firm revealed that Houstonians spent about 81 hours driving in congestion in 2019. You’ll want to load up on a few good podcasts, grab a toll road pass and try to live as close to your workplace as you can.
Prepare for hurricanes
If you’re used to experiencing all four seasons, it may disappoint you to discover that the most significant “season” Houston has is hurricane season. Flash flooding is a real hazard. You’ll want to check if your new home is on a flood plain.
Bugs as big as your fist
People aren’t kidding when they say everything is bigger in Texas. That includes spiders, roaches, wasps and mosquitoes. You may want to invest in a screen for your patio, a bug zapper and pest control to help keep the critters at bay.
How to get started on your move to Houston
Ready to make your move to one of the greatest cities in the United States? Whichever neighborhood you choose to call home, a move to Houston is one you won’t regret.
To make your move a success, check out our Moving Center for free quotes and other helpful information about planning your move to H-Town.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in November 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Population and income numbers are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.