2021 has been a challenging and somewhat strange year for all of us: Following the lifestyle changes ushered along by the 2020 pandemic, American families have had to take a long hard look at their habits and quality of life, with many deciding to make important changes to their routines and environment.
So, it doesn’t really come as a surprise that many Americans ended up moving during 2020, searching for better housing, cleaner air, and an overall better lifestyle to take care of their families and health.
According to a 2020 report by United Van Lines, the majority of these families headed toward the West and South, and Texas in particular recorded a whopping surge in population, with Californians making for the largest demographic who has chosen to make a new home in the Lone Star state.
Out of the many incredible Texan cities that have recorded a migration boost, Houston is believed to be one of the most popular, and its population surge is projected to reach an additional 1.2 million in the next eight years.
But why are so many families in America and abroad moving to Houston in the first place?
And how can you know moving to this bustling city will be the right choice for you?
If you want to move to Houston but don’t know exactly what to expect, here are the top 10 reasons why living in Houston can be one of the best choices you could ever make in 2021, from the Bayou City’s booming job market to the unbeatable low cost of living!
1. Thriving Job Market
The main reason why so many families and professionals have chosen to move to Houston to start a new life is its thriving job market.
In the last few years, the Bayou City has become a major hub for entrepreneurs and companies looking to move to a more business-friendly major city, taking advantage of the low tax rates and other generous policies designed to attract ambitious business owners.
The job opportunities you’ll find in Houston are unlike any other in the country: Save for New York City, there are more Fortune 500 companies located in Houston than anywhere else, so you’ll find no shortage of high-paying and high-skilled jobs to help you advance in your career and secure your dream lifestyle.
Out of the many industries thriving in the United States’ fourth-largest city, you’ll find the most attractive vacancies in the tech industry, aerospace and aviation industry, energy, education, and healthcare.
Houston is home to the largest medical center in the world as well as the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, making for the perfect destination for young talent — as an added plus, Houston also doesn’t have any state income tax, so you can be sure you’ll have quite a lot left in your pocket to enjoy all that the big city has to offer!
2. Plenty of Outdoor Activities
Houston is a dream destination for lovers of the great outdoors thanks to the abundance of beauty spots available, its year-round comfortable weather, and its outdoor-friendly infrastructure.
There are more than 50,000 acres devoted to parks and green spaces in the Houston area, which is particularly impressive for such a busy and large city, with family-friendly green spots like Memorial Park, Hermann Park, Rice University, Discovery Green, and Buffalo Bayou Park making it to the top of the list as the best strolls in the city.
Many of these parks and green spaces are found in downtown Houston, so you’ll have no shortage of convenient spots for having a picnic, walking your pup, going for a run, or simply spending some quality time with your family on the weekend — it’s easy to see why living in Houston can be such a blessing for your quality of life!
3. Convenient Transportation Network
Low fuel prices and affordable parking make Houston the perfect destination for car lovers, and you’ll be able to move to the city with your car without any headaches.
But while commuting from and to downtown every day can become a hassle during peak times (7 to 9 am traffic can definitely wear you down in the long run), Houston residents can also benefit from a convenient public transportation system, with bus lines and a light rail system connecting downtown and midtown.
Bike paths are being expanded to make the city greener, and you can already find different paths along the Greenway system connecting different neighborhoods to downtown.
On top of that, Houston is also home to two major airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, from where you can reach all the major international destinations and other major cities in Texas.
4. Warm Weather
If you’re a fan of year-round warm weather and can’t stand spending another winter in the freezing cold, then Houston is going to be the perfect place for you!
With warm and sunny summers reaching as high as 90F and winter temperatures only falling below 0 for around one week out of the entire year, the Texan city shines for its comfortable weather, and getting out of the house to explore all the outdoor activities it offers is easy all year round.
Now, you’ll have to be prepared for quite a bit of rain: Houston is one of the wettest Texan cities, with the wet season (going from May to July) bringing about frequent, daily showers as well as plenty of humidity. You might also need to prepare for hurricane season (June to November) as Houston is quite close to the hurricane-prone Gulf of Mexico, but keep in mind that active hurricane seasons are few and far in between (Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was the last truly destructive hurricane in the area).
So, as long as you’re armed with plenty of sunscreen for weathering the hot summers and a good pair of waterproof boots to get through the worst of the rainiest months, you’ll have the time of your life visiting the local parks and outdoor attractions, all year round!
5. Great Neighborhoods (and Neighbors!)
Houston is home to some of Texas’ trendiest neighborhoods, and whether you’re a shopaholic or love to explore your local nightlife, you’re bound to find a neighborhood that fits your interests just right.
Walking around central Houston, you’ll find the Heights and East Downtown (also known as EaDo), considered some of the city’s most hip and trendy neighborhoods, where you can find vibrant street art, creative eateries, trendy bars, and quirky nightlife clubs.
The town of West U, found just west of Rice University, is a popular destination for families thanks to its quaint green spaces and walkability, while the upscale residential neighborhood of River Oaks is considered one of the most desirable Houston neighborhoods to live in thanks to its quiet feel and gorgeous homes.
And speaking of residential areas, you’ll find the dream suburban living in Houston’s Cypress and Woodland suburbs, known for an abundance of green space, shopping amenities, and great schools.
These exclusive areas are definitely more expensive to live in than revitalized suburbs like the hurricane-stricken Bay Area, or even the tiny suburbs of Katy and Fort Bend County, known as one of the best school districts in Houston.
As an added benefit, Houston not only boasts diverse and family-friendly neighborhoods but also some of the friendliest, most welcoming neighbors in the whole of Texas — no matter who you are and where you come from, you’ll be guaranteed to feel at home!
The Best Houston Neighborhoods for Families
6. Exceptional Healthcare
Houston is also home to the world’s largest medical city, the Texas medical center, which functions as the city’s hub for everything healthcare and life sciences, attracting thousands of medical professionals every year.
It doesn’t come as a surprise then that living in Houston will guarantee you and your family’s health will be well taken care of, as you’ll have easy access to not only this world-renowned medical center but also the Texas Children’s Hospital, the Houston Methodist Hospital, and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
The populous city is the go-to destination for those with specific health needs, as you’ll find plenty of specialized doctors and other health professionals ready to care for the rarest conditions.
7. World-class Universities and Schools
Houston boasts world-class universities and an enviable public school system, so if you’re looking to move with your children or need access to great universities, you’re guaranteed to find a high level of educational resources in the Bayou City.
The Houston Independent School District is one of the largest in the country and one of the most decorated in the whole of Texas thanks to its ambitious advanced programs, and college-age students residing in the city will be able to benefit from discounted tuition rates when attending one of the top-rated universities in Houston.
Rice University is considered the Ivy League of the South by many, and the public institution Houston University is the third-largest university in the whole of Texas, highly rated for its Psychology, Finance, and Nutrition programs.
8. Downtown Houston Food Scene
There are thousands of things to do in downtown Houston: From exploring the Houston Theater District and its vibrant art scene to supporting the Houston Astros at the Minute Maid Park, you’ll always have something exciting to do when you’re up for a good time!
If you’re a baseball, basketball, or soccer fan, there are plenty of professional sports teams you can support in Houston, and if you love ethnic food, BBQ, Tex Mex, or creative hip cuisine, you’ll find that the city’s food scene is one of the most exciting in the country, with award-winning restaurants and food trucks scattered all over the city center.
You can also immerse yourself in the colorful spirit of old Texas at the iconic Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, visit the space center, or simply walk around downtown to indulge in a little bit of shopping.
Whatever you feel like doing in the Houston metro, you’ll likely be able to find a place for you in Houston!
9. Low Cost of Living
Houston not only offers great healthcare, top-class public schools and universities, incredible nightlife, food scene, and neighborhoods, but it offers all of this with a surprisingly low cost of living.
You can live comfortably and have access to all the best that this populous city has to offer on a very modest income, as Houston’s cost of living is not only far below the expenses of living in other major metropolitan areas like NYC but also considerably cheaper than other Texan cities, like Dallas and Austin.
You won’t have to pay income tax when living and working in Houston, and you’ll be able to buy or rent beautiful, large properties for a lot less than you’d pay in any other metro area of a similar size, saving quite a lot on energy costs too.
10. Convenient Housing Prices
Everything is bigger in Texas, and luckily for all future Houston residents, Houston has recently been named the city that gives you the most house for your dollar!
This means that you’ll be able to tap into a thriving housing market packed with a wide selection of reasonably-priced housing that is bigger (and better) than many other metropolitan areas in the U.S.
In fact, the median house price for a large, comfortable home with an extensive yard is just under $200k, making for the perfect destination for starting a family or accommodating a large family.
Of course, house prices will change considerably when moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, so you can expect to pay a lot more living in the inner loop compared to Houston’s sprawling suburbs.
Average Rent and Property Prices in Houston, Texas
Realized Properties Houston Relocation Guides
So, with so many benefits and top-class amenities to be found within the Houston metro area, how can you make sure to make your move as easy and effortless as possible?
Moving to Houston can be a dream come true for professionals and families looking to start a new life in one of the country’s most exciting and affordable cities, but you have to be prepared for the journey ahead, especially when it comes to price differences.
Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect…
Moving to Houston from the UK
If you’re moving from the UK, you’ll be considered an expat within the States, so whether you’ve just found employment as a specialist in one of Houston’s booming industries, you’ll have to make sure your work visa is in order before booking your flight.
Compared to UK house prices, Houston’s homes are considerably cheaper and larger, with the average home in the city costing over 60% less than the average home in London, England.
Moving to Houston from Canada
If you’re relocating from Canada for work or study purposes, you’ll have to be prepared for more than just year-round warm weather: You’ll have to organize everything concerning immigration and visas, as well as get used to a very different lifestyle.
Houston house prices are actually slightly more expensive than Toronto, Ontario, but you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of lot size, not to mention lower average rent prices if you decide to move to the suburbs.
Moving to Houston from NYC
If you’re coming from New York City, on the other hand, you’ll be faced with a higher quality of life, a lot more green space, and much cheaper house prices than what you’re used to.
Houston is a family-friendly haven that doesn’t compromise affordability for the sake of comfort, and you’ll soon find that properties in the Big Apple are over 100% more expensive than bigger, more comfortable houses in Houston.
Average prices for eating out and entertainment are also considerably cheaper in Houston, as well as grocery shopping.
Moving to Houston from Dallas
Dallas and Houston are both popular destinations for families relocating to Texas, but if you’re looking to move from one to the other, you’ll soon find that the amenities, lifestyle, and cost of living are quite different from one another.
Living in Dallas is overall more expensive than living in Houston, even though you can expect similar prices when it comes to renting a two-bedroom apartment or house.
Overall, the cost of living in Houston is reported to be 11% cheaper than in Dallas.
Moving to Houston from California
With so many families and companies relocating from California to Houston, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Texas city is believed to offer a much higher quality of life, especially when you consider Houston’s affordable housing costs.
The city of Los Angeles, for example, is reported to be over 55% more expensive than Houston, though curiously enough, restaurants tend to be cheaper in LA compared to the Bayou City.
Moving to Houston from Chicago
If you’re thinking of relocating from Chicago, you’ll find more than just a much more pleasant, warmer weather: Chicago housing costs are on average 23% more expensive than Houston’s, and transportation costs and overall living costs are also cheaper in the Texan city.
Comparing the median house costs for both cities, buying or investing in property in Houston is a no-brainer!
Moving to Houston from Miami
Similar weather aside, living in Miami is quite different from making a home in Houston, as the cost of living in the Florida city is believed to be over 20% more expensive and average salaries are also reported to be lower than those you’ll get working in Houston.
In terms of median home prices, you can expect Miami’s properties to be as much as 80% more expensive than homes of the same size in Houston.
What to Expect Moving to Houston in 2021
The Bayou City is Waiting for You!
With so many compelling reasons for moving to Houston, embracing the Texas lifestyle and signature spirit is everything but a sacrifice, especially if you’re looking to advance in your career and provide your loved ones with a more comfortable living environment.
So, what else do you need to finally make the move to one of the country’s most vibrant and affordable cities?
We’ve given you the information you need, and it’s time for action.
If you’re looking for your next dream home in the Bayou City, you’ve definitely come to the right place: Browse our latest listings in Houston according to property type and price range today!