Known for its world-class shopping and dining, Houston isn’t just a great city to visit, it’s the perfect place to call home. Thinking of moving to there? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a comprehensive moving guide full of tips to help get you acquainted with this southern city.
Cost of living in Houston
- Rent: For most, housing makes up the majority of the cost of living in a city. The median rent for a one-bedroom in Houston is $1,242 and $1,525 for a two-bedroom. It’s worth noting that these are median prices, meaning that half of all available inventory will fall below this level.
- Utilities: average utilities in Houston, including electricity, heating, and water, will cost you around $147 per month.
- Internet: expect to pay around $60 per month.
- Food: residents in Houston spend around 14.2% of their monthly income on food, significantly higher than the national average of 12.6%.
- Taxes: Residents in Houston pay an 8.25% sales tax. Since Texas has no state income tax, you won’t find yourself owing any money to the state when April rolls around.
Moving to Houston doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Before starting your search, make sure you’ve thought about the apartment amenities you want, if you want to live with a roommate, and the area you want to call home. We’ve put together a list of some of the more popular neighborhoods, so whether you’re looking for a residential area or one in the middle of the action, we’ve got you covered.
Great Uptown: Located in the heart of Houston, this neighborhood is a perfect mix of sophisticated and diverse. Great Uptown might be for you if you’re looking for comfort, convenience, community, and proximity to Houston’s best dining and entertainment. If shopping is more your thing, you’ll love how many places to shop this hood has; Great Uptown is home to The Galleria, the largest mall in Texas.
Downtown: Home to the central business district, Downtown is also where a lot of the city’s action takes place. The Houston Rockets take the court at the Toyota Center, locals bike and kayak through downtown’s Discovery Green, a massive public park with city views, and the Houston Astros play ball at Minute Maid Park. One thing’s for sure–you won’t run out of things to do in this neighborhood.
Midtown: Midtown is located just southwest of Downtown Houston, making it a great place to live if you’ll be working in the area. It’s also home to Houston Community College and boasts ample bars and restaurants that draw happy hour crowds galore.
Westchase: Here you’ll enjoy the homey feel of boutique restaurants paired with the familiar comfort of larger chains. Check out the Westchase Farmers Market or enjoy the outdoor air along the Westchase District Library Loop Trail.
Greenway-Upper Kirby: Upper Kirby is one of Houston’s hottest and fastest-growing neighborhoods located close to Rice University. If you’re a foodie, art lover, or love to shop, this is definitely the place for you. It’s one of the most happening parts of town and you can find everything to eat from burgers and New Orleans cuisine to frozen yogurt and ice cream.
Clear Lake: Clear Lake is one of Houston’s largest neighborhoods, but still has that small town feel. It’s a master-planned community located on Clear Lake, and it’s within easy driving distance to both the Kemah Boardwalk and NASA Space Center. You’ll want to live here if you’re trying to be close to nature, as the Armand Bayou Nature Center is located just a few miles away.
The METRORail offers accessible and convenient service from downtown Houston all the way out to NRG Park. With three lines running through the heart of the city, it’s likely that the rail system will be able to get you where you need to go. Plus, a one way fare on METRORail costs just $1.25. METRO also offers several local bus lines, most of which run on city streets and make stops at every other block. A one-way fare for the bus also costs $1.25.
It’s important to know that a majority of Houston residents commute by car. You might want to check out the distance from your new home to your workplace and see if that’s the case for you, too.
Biking in Houston
Houston has the BCycle program, which features more than 40 bike stations throughout the city with bikes available for short-term rental. If you have your own bike, you’re in luck! Houston has been hard at work creating a network of connected parks and trails along the nine Houston Bayous. The city has also quietly started investing more in bike-friendly streets and pathways, and residents are taking advantage of it.
Are you ready to take on Houston? This Texas city will welcome you with open arms. Before you move, check out all our Houston apartments for rent and pick the one that works for you.
*Featured image courtesy of Flickr.
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