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Renter’s Guide to Pasadena, TX
Pasadena is a suburb of Houston, and the second largest city in Harris County, Texas. It’s also a principal city within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. Historically famous for its strawberry farms, the city still holds an annual festival dedicated to the plump fruit. It’s among the top 150 suburbs with the lowest cost of living in Texas and is popular with families.
With a population of 153,909, Pasadena is the 17th most populated city in Texas, and is far larger than most of the surrounding cities and suburbs. For example, it’s almost 10 times more populated than the nearby city of South Houston, and 3 times larger than Deer Park. Compared to Houston proper, however, it’s almost 15 times smaller, ensuring it doesn’t feel too much like the big city, and retains a more suburban vibe.
Pasadena is just 13 miles east of downtown Houston, which can typically be reached in less than 30 minutes via the Pasadena freeway. The Sam Houston Tollway which loops Houston, passes through the center of the city, allowing quick and easy access in any direction. Dallas, for example, is 250 miles north, while San Antonio is around 210 miles to the west.
Pasadena has hot, humid summers and cool to mild winters, with rainfall throughout the year. July is generally the warmest month, with highs of 92°F, while January sees lows of 45°F. The rain is heaviest in June, which can see over 7 inches of rainfall. The city gets around 55 inches of rain per year, but snow is extremely rare.
Cost of Living in Pasadena, TX
Public transport in Pasadena is served by METRO, which runs a park and ride service to downtown Houston, departing from the Plaza Paseo Mall. Trips only run during the morning and afternoon rush hours, with 9 trips in total per day. Tickets for this service typically cost $2 per ride. However, many residents use a private vehicle, with a gallon of gasoline costing around $2.38.
A meal at a typical inexpensive restaurant will normally cost between $10 and $30, while a 3-course meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant will average out at around $62.50. Adding coffee to the bill will generally be an additional $4.39, or $5 for a beer.
Basic utilities will generally cost around $141 per month, including water, cooling, heating, electricity, and garbage disposal. It’ll be an extra $61 to hook up an internet connection.
Average Rent in Pasadena, TX
- Pasadena, TX Average Rental Price, December 2019 $881 /mo
Pasadena, TX Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5002%
Pasadena, TX Rent Trends
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Living in Pasadena, TX
Despite being among the largest of Houston’s suburbs, Pasadena retains a suburban feeling, and doesn’t seem too urbanized. It enjoys a great location, with proximity to the beach, and downtown Houston alike. You’ll find most of what you need within the city limits, though the nightlife is somewhat quiet.
However, some areas of the city are home to a number of chemical processing plants and refineries, which can reduce the air-quality in the city and cause a bad smell. They also make certain areas appear unattractive. Public transport is also quite difficult to navigate, while several roads are in need of repair.
Things to Do in Pasadena, TX
The city contains 43 parks in total, with over 14 miles of trails to explore, sports facilities including tennis courts and pools, a golf course, and picnic areas. Strawberry Park is a popular city park with a pond that is ideal for feeding the ducks and geese. There’s also several trails for walking the dog or jogging, plus tennis courts and picnic areas. A large water park in the center of it is also popular with the kids.
There are several shopping centers to cater to your needs: the Pasadena Oaks Shopping Center contains several national stores, as well as a few independent, specialist stores. There are also plenty of places to eat, and even a kids' area. The larger and more central Macroplaza Mall is currently fairly run-down, with many stores sitting empty.
One of the main attractions in the city, and a must-visit for kids and adults alike, is the Houston Space Center Museum, which offers tours, exhibitions and a gift shop. It’s packed full of interesting facts and things to do.
The annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival celebrates the city’s past and showcases the namesake fruit in numerous delicious variations. Live music, carnival rides, competitions, and local food and drink can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, and it’s a great chance to see the community come together.
Employment & Economy in Pasadena, TX
With a median household income of $50,207, residents of Pasadena are slightly below state and national averages. More than 16% of the working population are employed in the construction industry, 13.3% in manufacturing, and 11% in retail trade. The highest paid industries in the city include utilities, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, and professional scientific and technical services.
In Pasadena, the most common occupations are also in construction and extraction roles, followed by office and administrative support occupations, and production. The highest paid residents are in life, physical, and social science occupations, and architecture and engineering. Compared to other places, more residents of the city are employed in construction and extraction occupations.
A 2017 report concluded that the Pasadena Independent School District was the city’s top employer, with more than 8,330 employees. SGS Petroleum Service Corp was in second place, closely followed by the Boeing Company.
Education in Pasadena, TX
The majority of the city is served by the Pasadena Independent School District, though some sections fall under different districts, such as Deer Park Independent School District, Clear Creek Independent School District and La Porte Independent School District.
Fairmont Elementary School is the top-rated elementary school in the city, and it consistently ranks above average in test scores, quality of care, and student progress. Fairmont Junior High is among the top-rated middle schools, alongside Bondy Intermediate School. Both do well in all areas, particularly excelling in test scores.
While there are 3 high schools in the city, none of them rank especially high or low, and rank more or less average in terms of test scores and college readiness. Of the 3, Pasadena Memorial High School ranks the highest. There are numerous specialized colleges throughout the city, offering a range of courses from medical degrees to beauty qualifications. Texas Chiropractic College is a highly specialized college and attracts students from around the world.
Tips for Renting in Pasadena, TX
If you’re planning a move to a suburb of Houston in order to commute to a new job in the big city, Pasadena is a great choice, primarily because of its proximity to central Houston. State Highway 255 passes through the north of the city, and can take you downtown in under 20 minutes, though rush-hour times can be slightly longer.
However, if you don’t own a private vehicle, commutes can be far more chaotic, as public transport options are extremely limited. As such, it’s almost a necessity to own a car if you plan to commute downtown. However, a number of local routes operate, as well as taxi and ride hailing services, making it easy to get around town.
The southeast end of the city that borders Clear Lake is generally considered more upscale than other parts, and is far from the refineries, and much closer to the beach. Check out Brookwood, Pine Brook, and Park Shadows, which feature upscale apartments in a more peaceful and less polluted part of the city. The flip side is that the commute to downtown is marginally longer.
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