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The Houston, Texas, skyline during the day. There are a mix of high-rise and low-rise buildings and two roads with traffic.

Moving to Houston in 2024? Here’s the Low Down on H-Town

Houston Texas

by Matt Lyons Posted on February 29, 2024
Whether you’re looking to land a new job on the booming “Third Coast,” you want to enjoy a lower cost of living with no income tax, or you just want your family to live in a safe suburb with top-notch schools, moving to Houston is a great idea. Houston, TX, enjoys beautiful sunny weather for the greater part of the year, and it seems like there’s always something to do — like cheer on the Astros, visit first-class art museums, or enjoy your fair share of Texas BBQ. And as one of the largest cities in the U.S., you’ll never be at a loss for a reason to get out and explore this thriving metropolis. Ready to learn more about what it’s like in Houston, Texas? Hold on to your hat!
Planning a move to Houston? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

About Houston

The city of Houston was founded in 1836 by a pair of brothers near the Buffalo Bayou, which is the reason why one of its popular nicknames is The Bayou City. It’s the 4th most populous city in the U.S., with a population of around 2.3 million people. And its population has a median age of 33.7, which is younger than the national median age of 38.9. However, all walks of life and diverse cultures enjoy living in Houston, and it’s a great location for families and retirees. It’s home to great schools, the largest medical center in the world (Texas Medical Center), and lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy places like the Houston Zoo, Space Center Houston, and the Children’s Museum

Moving to Houston, Texas — FAQs

Q: How much money do you need to live comfortably in Houston, Texas?
What salary do you need to live in Houston? According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, if you live alone, you’ll need around $43,000 before taxes. A family of four with at least one adult working will need around $80,000.

Q: Why is Houston so cheap to live in?
There is no state income tax in Texas, which means your paycheck goes further!

Q: Why are so many people moving to Houston?
Compared to other major cities, the cost of living in Houston is cheaper, and with no income tax, it may be easier to find an affordable home of your dreams.

Moving to Houston — Pros and Cons

It’s easy to see why lots of folks are moving to Houston. However, it’s important to know the pros and cons of moving to Houston before making any final decisions.

A man looks out of a high-rise office window over the city of Houston

There Are Jobs in a Variety of Industries

Houston is home to a booming job scene, whether you’re looking for a new one, or you want to relocate for a current one. One of the biggest industries that still dominates the area is the energy sector, specifically in oil and gas. However, the healthcare industry also provides lots of jobs, specifically at the Texas Medical Center. Since Houston is also known as Space City and the home of NASA, you’ll find high-tech jobs in aerospace, engineering, and research abound, as well. And if retail or the service industry is what you’re looking for, Walmart and HEB Grocery are large employers, as are the variety of hotels and restaurants in the area.

Bonus perk: Once you find your job, you can expect to keep more of your paycheck, since there’s no state-level income tax! 

You’ll Need a Car

Houston is a huge city, and that means there are all kinds of places to explore and things to do, (including an easy one-hour drive to the beach at Galveston, TX). However, it also means you’ll need a car. Residents find that it’s difficult to walk between Houston’s neighborhoods, and commutes into the city are often long — especially if you live in the suburbs. You’ll need to make sure you include extra time for traffic anytime you’re going somewhere. 

There’s Lots To Do, No Matter What You’re Into

Whether you want to train like an astronaut at the Space Center, check out the Museum District, shop at The Galleria mall, go to the beach, or enjoy a rodeo, you can do it all in Houston. This city is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., with over 90 languages spoken, which means you’ll find cultural attractions and restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines for you to try. And did we mention Houston’s sports scene? You can check out the Astros, the Rockets, the Texans, the ghosts of the Oilers, local college teams and enjoy how passionate this city is about its sports.

The Weather Is Great (Until It Isn’t)

The weather in Houston is typically warm, which means you’ll have lots of sunny days and enjoy mild winters. However, those 70-degree days can turn into 90- to 100-degree days in the summer, not to mention humidity and insects are prevalent. You’ll also need to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms that can pass through and the flooding that results.

Cost of Living in Houston

The cost of living in Houston is one of its many draws, as it’s considered more affordable than other large cities. The average home value is around $262,600, and the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,350. This means that no matter what type of place you’re looking for (condo, apartment, single-family home, etc.), you’ll certainly be able to stretch your dollar. And this applies to other expenses, as well, such as groceries, utilities, and healthcare, as Houston’s cost of living index is 96.9, which is below the national average of 100 and only slightly higher than the state of Texas as a whole (94.2).

How does Houston compare to other Texas cities? Compared to Dallas, for example, Houston is more affordable. Dallas has a higher cost of living (100.2), and you’ll need a higher salary as a result. To put it in perspective, if you make around $45,000 annually in Houston, you’ll need approximately $51,000 in Dallas to live the same type of lifestyle.

Houston Climate and Weather

Houston’s climate is considered to be humid subtropical. Summers are hot and humid and winters are mild. July and August are the warmest months, and you may see temperatures reach the 90s, but the average is around 85 degrees. January is the coldest month, with temperatures not dipping below the 40s. And Houston receives rain throughout the year, but the wettest months are usually between May and September. 

Because of its proximity to the Gulf coast, Houston can see tropical storms and even hurricanes make landfall. They can cause significant damage — especially since Houston is located on a flood plain — and the chance of flooding is high after extreme storms. Unlike Dallas, Houston is not located in Tornado Alley; however, Harris County has experienced it’s fair share of tornadoes over the years.

Getting Around Houston

Locals recommend having a car to get around Houston, as it’s a large city and difficult to get exactly where you want to go without one. Traffic is considered heavy (especially on the Interstate 610 Loop during rush hour), so expect to add that onto your commute times. Houston does offer both a rail and bus system, however, which operate mostly within downtown Houston and the popular tourist attractions. Additionally, there is a BCycle low-cost bike rental program that operates in the city.

The neighborhood of Cinco Ranch in Houston, Texas. There are three mansions, two of which have pools. There are also green trees throughout.

Best Places to Live in Houston

If you’re considering moving to Houston, you’re going to need to know all about the best places to live. Fortunately, Houston offers all kinds of suburbs and neighborhoods perfect for all lifestyles. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Cinco Ranch, TX

With an A+ rating, according to Niche, if you have a family or are ready to start one, then you should definitely look for a home in Cinco Ranch. Not only do they have excellent schools, like Seven Lakes High School or the Village School, but you’ll also find ample opportunities to enjoy time with the family outdoors. 

There are many little communities within Cinco Ranch that offer folks the chance to own their own homes, such as Cinco Ranch Fountainview, Kelliwood Terrace, and Cinco Ranch Cinco Forest. And with lots of parks, like Torchlite Terrace and Clearwater Park, there’s plenty of green space for playing sports or having picnics. Cinco Ranch also offers trails to explore, and you’re close to great restaurants, like Astor Farm to Table and the Black Walnut Cafe.

2. Piney Point Village, TX

If you’re looking for a place to spend your golden years as a retiree, you can’t go wrong with Piney Point Village. This quiet area is full of spacious lots that offer folks the chance to enjoy living in their dream home. You’ll also love greeting neighbors as you walk along the neighborhood streets.

The Houston Country Club is also just a stone’s throw away, where you can enjoy swimming, golfing, tennis, and pickleball almost any time of year. Shopping and restaurants are plentiful on nearby Westheimer Rd., too, including Fogo de Chão steakhouse and Nazif’s Mediterranean Grill.

3. Fourth Ward, TX

If you are a young professional working in the city and you want to be close to all kinds of attractions in Houston, consider getting a spot in Fourth Ward. This neighborhood is ranked as one of the best neighborhoods to live in Houston, and its location is extremely convenient. Right in your backyard is the Buffalo Bayou, which is the perfect place to jog, bike, or enjoy a pickup game in Eleanor Tinsley Park. And from here, it’s easy to get on and off Interstate 45, so no matter where you need to be, your commute time is manageable. 

In the Fourth Ward you’re also close to the Theater District and can easily see shows at the Hobby Center for Performing Arts, the Bayou Music Center, and the Wortham Theater Center. Whether you’re taking a class at EoS Fitness or grabbing your morning cup of joe at Native Coffee, there’s a lot to like about this area of Houston. 

An image of a monument of a person on a horse in Hermann Park in Houston, Texas. It is dusk, and there are lines of bricks for a path with buildings in the background.

Things to Do in Houston

We’ve mentioned that Houston has things to do, no matter what you’re into. It’s a large city with a multicultural population, so there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you like to stay active, want to learn something new, or enjoy hearing live music, meeting new people, or trying a different cuisine, you don’t have to go very far. 

If you’d like to explore the cultural side of Houston, then the Museum District is a must. Here, you’ll find popular museums like the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Menil Collection, and the Contemporary Art Museum. When you’re done being wowed by their collections, you can breathe in some fresh air at nearby Hermann Park Conservancy and explore the Japanese garden, sculpture garden, lakes, and fountains.

Stay outdoors and enjoy the day in Buffalo Bayou Park, which is a 10-mile stretch that follows the river and offers plenty of opportunities to walk, bike, or play with your kiddos or dogs. Kayak tours are also available if you want to get out on the river!

And when you’re in Texas, you’ve got to soak up a little cowboy culture! What better place than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo? From late February to early March, there are musical performances, daily rodeos, barrel racing, auctions, and carnival rides — perfect for all ages. You don’t need a cowboy hat and boots to enjoy this spectacle, but it wouldn’t hurt.

And, of course, you can shop 'til you drop at the enormous Galleria Mall, visit Space Center Houston, or attend one of the many festivals in Houston that happen throughout the year, such as the FoodieLand Night Market, the Houston Brew Festival, or the Soul Flower Music Fest.

Moving to Houston

When you’re ready to start seriously thinking about moving to Houston, TX, you’re going to need to decide how exactly you want to get there. It helps to know what your budget is. That way, you can determine if you want your move to be more hands on or hands off. If you want to save money, it might help to recruit some friends and family members to help you, as well. Whether you’re moving from Dallas to Houston or coming from across the nation, there are three main options you’ll want to consider.

DIY With a Rental Truck

If you want to keep your moving costs to Houston low, consider renting a moving truck and doing it yourself. This is less expensive than full-service movers, but you’ll need to do all the packing, lifting, and unpacking of your household belongings. It will typically take longer to complete this type of move, too, depending on how much help you have, but you won’t have to worry about your items getting lost or operating on someone else’s schedule. 

Full-Service Movers

If you have more wiggle room in your budget and don’t want to be bogged down with details or worry about heavy lifting, there are plenty of moving companies in Houston that can help ease the stress of a move. Full-service movers will pack, load, transport, and unload all your items, but you’ll need to be prepared to pay more for them to do that. This is the most expensive option, and there’s always the risk they’ll break or lose an item, or worse, they won’t be able to deliver your items on schedule. 

You’ll need to book full-service movers well in advance, too, and this is especially true if you're using one of the many long-distance moving companies to Houston. 

PODS Portable Moving Containers

Another option is to get a PODS portable storage container that you can load on your schedule. This is typically more expensive than a DIY move but less expensive than full-service movers. If you need assistance loading or unloading heavy items, PODS can help with that, as well, by providing references. You just need to choose the size of your container and whether you need one or multiple containers. Once they’re loaded, PODS professionals will come and pick up the containers and drive them to your new Houston home. Then you can unload on your schedule, and even keep them stored safely in a secure storage facility until you’re ready, if necessary. Easy peasy! 

Moving Costs — Houston

Everyone wants to know what the moving costs to Houston are, and rightly so! This will determine what type of move you decide to do. But moving costs to Houston will depend on how much stuff you’re bringing, where you’re moving from (is it local or do you need to engage long-distance moving companies to Houston), the time of year you move, and what level of service fits your budget. You can get a free local moving quote at PODS.com, or call 877-350-7637 for a long-distance quote. 

A young couple with a PODS truck driver. The truck is loaded with a container, thanks to PODZILLA.

Let PODS Help With Your Move to Houston, Texas

If moving to Houston seems like a great idea, then let PODS help you get there! Renting a portable storage container couldn’t be easier, and you can take as long as you need to pack up and load your belongings. Once you’re ready, PODS will pick up the container and drive it to your new space in Houston, where you can unload it on your schedule, as well. And if you need additional time, that’s no problem at all. After all, PODS specializes in flexibility.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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