Moving is a big deal. Finding the right place takes a lot of time, stress and energy. Even if you have a job lined up, you still need to find a place to live, get acquainted with neighborhoods and figure out what will work best for you and your family. If you are considering a move to Houston Texas, we are here to help. We are going to connect you with communities throughout Houston and provide you with important information. Here are 10 Things to Know Before Moving to Houston:
1. Houston just keeps growing!
Forbes recently did a study that proves that Houston is one of America’s fastest growing cities. “The Houston metro area add a whopping 667,800 new jobs since 2005, the energy city is an economic powerhouse: its 4.5% year-over-year job growth rate is the nation’s fastest. Jobs at major corporations like ConocoPhillips and Halliburton help boost the median annual pay for college-educated workers to $71,900, fourth among America’s 100 largest metro areas. Add to that an economy that grew at a 3.52% clip last year alone, and Houston lands the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ annual list of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities.
2. There’s no real way to avoid traffic.
It’s recommended in Houston to purchase a home based on commute times – seriously. This is because Houston is a large city and you have to drive to get everywhere, basically. NerdWallet conducted a study that shows: “the average resident in Greater Houston pays over 20% more for annual car insurance than other drivers in the U.S. In addition, the Houston area has one of the most congested highway systems in Texas” So if you can, it is wise to live as close to wherever you work as possible.
3. It’s affordable – but pay attention to taxes!
Woohoo! Texas has no state tax – but you still have to pay taxes here. Property taxes are much higher in many parts of Houston and sales tax varies from 6.25% – 8.25% depending on your zip code. The cost of living is lower in Houston. Compared to the national average on a scale of 100, the cost of living in Houston comes it at 98 which means it is cheaper.
4. Humidity: it is a real problem.
Humidity during the hot summer months will make you feel like you are suffocating. Not to be dramatic, but it is not for the faint of heart. Average daily humidity levels in Houston is around 75%. This means when it is 102 degrees farenheit, humidity makes it feel like it is 113 – especially if there are thunderstorms (which is frequent during the summer). So ladies beware, your hair will frizz and your make up will melt. But at least you’re not alone, we are all feeling it.
5. Downtown parking rates don’t stay the same.
If you are looking to park somewhere Downtown, be prepared to pay. It is rare to find free parking before 6pm and with events like sporting events and festivals, be prepared to pay upwards of $30. Yeah, no fun, right? So if you are going downtown for events, carpool and split parking with friends.
6. It’s a city filled with art.
Anywhere you go in Downtown Houston you are bound to find new and converted galleries. Plus Houston is home to a lot of great art museums. The Museum of Fine Art, Houston is an incredible museum with Classic American, Contemporary, World and Modern art. In 2012, Houston was honored with 4 out of 24 “best show” awards from the International Association of Art Critics for exhibits around Houston.
Everywhere you go in Houston, you are going to find art in some capacity. For example, the Texas Art Asylum is an awesome business that sells reusable materials to create urban art projects. Houston is a funky city with a vibrant arts scene.
7. It’s becoming a culinary hotspot.
Houston is home to 11,000 restaurants which means there are 11,000 different dining options for you every day of the year. Plus with major food events like the World’s Champion Bar-B-Que Festival, the Houston Barbecue Festival, Japan Festival, Pasadena Strawberry Festival, Houston BeerFest, Caribbean Heritage Month Festival, The Original Greek Festival, and Festa Italiana there are culinary events year round to satisfy cravings from around the world.
8. There’s plenty of opportunities to get outdoors.
There are outdoor activity venues and green space all throughout the city. All in all, there are 38, 394 acres in the City of Houston parks system. There are also nearby Texas State Parks which means more opportunities for hiking, kayaking, camping, biking, birding and much more.
A hotspot with local events is Discovery Green which covers 12-acres in urban Downtown Houston and is home to various events, festivals and activities. Take yoga classes on the grass, enter into a kayaking league, or try out dance classes and more. Discovery Green is a great place to get to know new people and enjoy Houston’s community.
9. The beach is only 45 minutes away.
When the summer heat is starting to get you down, just remember that Galveston and the ocean is just 45 minutes away. This means you can easily escape for a day trip, or a weekend retreat. We love it! You can have a relaxing beach vacation without flying anywhere.
10. If you don’t like the Texans…maybe you should find somewhere else to live.
You have to love the Texans if you live in Houston. Even if you don’t – just keep that to yourself – and definitely DO NOT root for the Dallas Cowboys. People in Texas take their football very seriously and if you aren’t a Texan fan…go home.