This guest post was brought to you by Jonathan Deesing, community specialist at imove.
Headed to Houston, Texas? You’re not alone. “Forbes” recently named Houston the fastest growing city in the U.S., with a 4.5 percent job growth rate and a median pay of $71,900. Whether you’re transferring for a job or moving for a fresh start, Space City is the land of plenty. Before you move to Houston, make sure you know in advance what to expect and how to fit in like a local.
Should I Live in the City or the Suburbs?
Renters moving to Houston will find that the city has plenty to offer, from jobs and reasonably priced housing options to a lively entertainment scene. Houston’s Interstate 610 is known as the “Inner Loop” and, in Houston lingo, you either live inside or outside the loop. Downtown Houston is inside the loop — and it’s where all the popular restaurants, museums, and activities are. Any neighborhood within the loop is in demand and more expensive. Downtown apartments rent for $1,782 on average, whereas the average rent for Houston apartments sits somewhere around $1,032.
The suburbs outside the loop on the other hand are much more affordable, without cutting on style or amenities. The rapidly-advancing Eldridge – West Oaks community in far west Houston, for example, is home to a mix of young professionals and families with many of the apartments in the area having mid-priced options within the $800 – $1,000 per month range. If you want to purchase property, look outside the city to find an affordable home with traditional Texas-sized square footage.
What Are My Transportation Options?
Houston isn’t a very walkable city and its public transportation is only slowly improving, which is likely why 90 percent of Houston residents own cars and drive to work. Along with getting a car, make sure you have a great audio system. Due to congested roads, Houstonians spend 76 percent more time getting to work than other Texas cities. To cut down on commute time and gas costs, consider paying more to live within the city or find a co-worker or neighbor to carpool with.
How Is the Food in Houston?
With so many culinary options to choose from — 11,000 restaurants and counting — the most difficult part of eating in Houston is deciding what to eat. The city may not be famous for food like New York or New Orleans, but The Washington Post recently declared it one of America’s best food cities. From regional Tex Mex and Southern fare to Viet-Cajun seafood, you can find just about any cuisine in Houston. Vegans and vegetarians may find the city a little less friendly, as you aren’t considered an official Houstonian until you’ve indulged in some Texas BBQ, but the city does have a growing veggie scene — plus hundreds of barbecue joints throughout the city.
What Are Popular Local Publications and Media?
There’s always something going on in Houston. The best way to stay up-to-date and get to know the city’s culture is through its publications and media. Houstonia Magazine features a little bit of everything a Houstonian could want. Learn about the newest restaurant openings, upcoming events, travel profiles, fashion and shopping tips, and other local news. For radio, tune in to KPFT 90.1, a Houston institution since 1970 and one of the city’s few public radio stations.
What Are Some Fun Weekend Activities in Houston?
If you love sports, you’ll feel right at home in Houston. From the Texans and Rockets to the Astros and Dynamo, the locals love to root for their home team. Football in particular is huge, and, come football season, you won’t be able to escape the Texan gear or tailgates. Beyond sports, Houston’s Theater District offers opera, ballet, and theater, and the Museum District includes 19 museums in four walkable zones, all within a 12-block radius. Outdoor concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre and Woodlands Pavilion are popular year-round for catching a big act.
So once you get your car, stomach, and tailgate in order, you should be ready to launch your move to Space City!