Moving to Houston
Moving to Houston
Do you have a plan for moving to Houston? If so, then one thing is for sure - you are not alone! Houston’s popularity has been rapidly growing without any tendencies to stop doing so. Surprisingly (or not) Houston is ranked the fourth most populous city in the nation. Only the notorious giants New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are ahead of Houston in that category.
In fact, in 2012, Houston managed to surpass both New York and Los Angeles by being announced as the most ethnically diverse city in the entire U.S.
We’re here to help you out on your quest of moving to Houston and enjoying every bit of this journey. Below, we have compiled 17 useful facts and tips Houston-residents-to-be will appreciate.
Curious Facts about Houston: A Quick Peekaboo
#1 - Houston: The King of Ethnic Diversity
Just like we briefly mentioned above, Houston is the absolute king of ethnic diversity in the United States. It is surely no wonder why there are over 80 consulates and embassies in Houston.
The spectacular blend of various cultures, such as Asian, African-American, and Hispanic, among many others gives off a unique imprint of freedom in the spirit of Houston’s lifestyle.
The amazing diversity creates one-of-a-kind friendships, opens up new opportunities, and also makes up for satisfying the hunger of adventurous-minded individuals, whether it comes to enjoying all kinds of local food, entertainment, or simply letting go of the gray routine.
#2 - Ease of International and Domestic Travel
The truth is, traveling around Houston tends to get overwhelming at times (and especially before you get used to the pace). But we’ll share some tips on that note later on, so cheers up.
However, when it comes to traveling out of Houston, the seekers of international thrills and the lovers of exploring new countries will find moving (and subsequently, living) in Houston, a fantastic option.
With not a single one but two airports available, Houston is easy to reach both to and from, meaning you will land off in Houston with ease and confidence but you will also head out of the city with the same convenience.
#3 - Over 50,000 Acres of Parks to Enjoy the Beauty of Nature
The battle for saving the natural treasures of our beautiful Planet Earth for the future generations is getting more severe than ever. Houston gets bonus points on that note, too, being deservedly crowned as the greenest city in the South.
Interestingly, Houston is also the home of the biggest park within a city, as well. We’re talking about the stunning 8,043 acres, covered by the George Bush Park. Moving to Houston can be an invaluable opportunity for those who seek to nurture their relationship with the surrounding nature.
Whether it comes to hiking, running, exercising outdoors, enjoying a weekend out with your furry fellows or having a delightful picnic with friends whenever you feel like it - Houston has a lot to offer.
Getting to Know the Neighborhood Scene in Houston: A Fast Guide for the New Kids on the Block
#4 - The Most Popular Choice: The North Side
One of the most crucial decisions you will have to make when you finally decide to move to Houston is choosing the most suitable neighborhood for your lifestyle and aspirations. On that note, the North Side Houston is surely one of the most (if not THE most) popular options.
Also known as Houston Heights, the North Side Houston district is undisputedly the most historic-rich part of the city. This is easy to see by the authentic architecture which allures the eye with the big porches, wrapping the traditional style residences.
Keep in mind, though, that moving to Houston Heights also tends to be expensive. The good news is that more affordable options, such as shared living spaces and lofts keep getting quite popular in the North Side.
#5 - The Favorite Option for Young Families and Young Professionals: Eastwood Houston
The Eastwood is the type of neighborhood which welcomes Houston residents-to-be with a more humble, modest allure, as compared to Houston Heights. Located only 3 miles away from downtown Houston, Eastwood provides a lot of convenient and affordable options in terms of living spaces.
That’s why many young families, as well as young professionals alike, are choosing to move to this part of Houston, where you can live decently even when having to deal with a tight budget.
#6 - The Community-Focused Choice: West Houston
West Houston offers a delightful mixture of cozy, suburban-type apartments, along with condos, and lofts, among others. Keep in mind that West Houston refers to a quite wide district, though. Thus, it is good to know that there are three major neighborhoods out there, namely Bellaire, Uptown, and West University Place.
As you can probably already guess by the name, West University Place is situated close to a well-known university - Rice University. The atmosphere in this particular neighborhood is one which appeals to many single-families, and students, looking for affordable housing.
When it comes to Uptown, this is more of a retail-driven part of Houston. It is in the Uptown district where the biggest shopping center - The Galleria - is located.
What to Eat in Houston: A Quick Guide for the Foodies
Houston is a paradise for food aficionados, boasting of mouthwatering options in terms of delicious meals to enjoy. Plus, price ranges widely vary, so there is a little bit of everything to suit each budget and taste.
#7 - Mamma Sitta, Yummy Fajitas!
It is no secret that every true Houstonian by heart will be proud to introduce you to the exotic charm of Tex-Mex cuisine. Yep, Tex-Mex is more popular than KFC around here, and there are some good reasons on that note.
Depending on the neighborhood you live in or the streets you are currently roaming alone or with friends, make sure to check out the local places where Tex-Mex meals are served. Long live Google search and the power of social media, right?
#8 - That BBQ is Smokey-liscious!
Another pearl in the crown of living the Houston life is enjoying those succulent, sinfully tasty barbeques. As a matter of fact, mastering the art of preparing juicy steaks during the weekend and gathering your neighbors for a treat is one of the easiest ways to make new friends around.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of wonderful places where you can satisfy your appetite for the local BBQ masterpieces. One of these places which is a big must-visit is none other but Killen’s. The fact that people often have to wait in line speaks for itself.
#9 - For the Lovers of Local Cuisine with an Attitude
As we already mentioned, Houston is choke-full of fantastic places to enjoy a diverse range of what foodies will call a mini celebration for the senses. But one particular part of Houston which seems to pack a little bit of everything in terms of local cuisine with an attitude is the notorious Montrose district.
Whether it comes to indulging in some of the best tacos, or exotic tastes such as these of the national Indian cuisine, walking around the two main streets of Montrose - Montrose Blvd. and Westheimer Ave. is an experience you don’t want to miss out once you have moved to Houston.
The Nightlife in Houston – A Colorful Mixture of Places to Socialize and Unwing
Just like the amazing range of local cuisines, the diversity of cultures, and the breathtaking beauty of the green parks in Houston, the nightlife here is vibing with anticipation. No matter your music preferences, Houston will not fail to provide tons of fun whenever you are in the mood to socialize.
#10 - Time to Rock’n’Roll
Rock’n’Roll is definitely not dead; not in Houston. A good place you may want to check out is the Dirt Bar, which features a gothic decor, along with a big glass of cold beer, always served with a smile.
The rock’n’roll vibe in this place is a heart-grabber. The peak of the fun starts about 9 p.m. Occasional visits by famous rockers are also part of this bar’s specialties.
#11 - Back to the Glorious 80s
If you are looking to enjoy a more chilled out night along with a quality cocktail in your hand and some pleasant conversations with friends, then Houston’s bars with a tribute to the 80s may be a wonderful choice.
Prices range from one place to another, and so does the atmosphere but the Etro Lounge seems to score good points on both of these notes.
#12 - For the Aficionados of Piano Bars
Houston doesn’t fail to live up to the expectations of piano bars, as well. Enjoyable music, great atmosphere, and plenty of specials are some of the outlines which make Houston’s piano bars so special.
One popular option is the Howl at the Moon Houston piano bar, where reasonable prices, happy hours, and dueling piano shows combined with a distinct party vibe bring pleasure to the senses.
Culture Activities to Enjoy in Houston
#13 - Space Center Houston
The NASA facility can never get outdated. This is a one-of-a-kind place where you can get a real taste of how it feels to be a space explorer. Plus, not only curious artifacts will expand your horizons. The interactive simulations are a must-try. And best of all, new entertainments are constantly being provided for the visitors.
#14 - The Houston Museum of Fine Arts
The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is crowned as one of the ten most visited museums in the entire U.S. But what’s more, it is also one of the largest museums in the country, too. Apart from cult-classic pieces of arts, regular new exhibitions are also being held.
But the appeal of Houston’s museums doesn’t end here. Head straight to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to explore another world of knowledge, or the Holocaust Museum to find out little-known facts about history.
A Beginner-Friendly Top 3 Tips for Moving to Houston
We’ve gone a long way introducing you to what you can possibly expect of the vibes in Houston, Now, let’s get to the most important part. Take advantage of the top 2 tips we’re listing below in an easy-to-grasp, quick-to-read, and no-nonsense way.
#15 - Understand the Possible Challenges of Transportation in Houston
Let’s get things straight: moving around from point A to point B in Houston is (almost) impossible without a car. Yes, a car is more of a necessity here and not merely a recommendation. Even though H-town’s public transportation system is growing, it is still not developed as much as the public transportation in other cities around the U.S.
Plus, the area which Houston covers is quite big, too. Nevertheless, bike lanes are still limited. Last but not least, since most of the Houstonians do rely on their personal car for transportation, you need to make peace of mind with the fact that you will be regularly stuck in traffic jams.
#16 - Get Prepared for the Unexpected
The gulf-coast location of Houston makes it particularly prone to natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. That’s a crucial aspect you need to take into consideration when moving to Houston. With this in mind, a home insurance becomes a MUST.
Meanwhile, Houston’s mosquitoes can get pretty nasty, too. Having a bug spray available is no less obligatory than the need for a home insurance.
On another note, taxes in Houston may surprise you, too. You won’t be collected a state income tax but this will be partially compensated by the higher sales and property taxes.
#17 – Cost of Living, Crime Rates & Schools in Houston
The living hosts in Houston tend to be slightly below the average ones for the U.S. For example, a monthly rent for a furnished accommodation of 900 square foot in an expensive area will cost you approximately $1,500. The daily expenses when it comes to food offer a wide range of options to suit each budget.
Expatistan’s quick comparison guide can help you gain a proper understanding of prices in Houston. When it comes to the crime rates in Houston, though, these are estimated at 88% higher than the average ones for the national stage.
As far as education in Houston is concerned, there are 723 functioning schools up-to-date, which makes the choice a wide one, ranging from public to private facilities.
So here we are at the final of our journey to introducing you to what you can expect before moving to Houston. Sure, there are pros and cons, just like with every other aspect of life. Starting to live in another city can be your best decision ever but it is not one you make without considering the gains vs. the loose ends. In the case you need some extra help (and you most definitely will), don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our experts are here for you.