With a population rapidly approaching 7 million, the Houston metropolitan area continues to be one of the fastest-growing parts of the country. As such, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that many businesses and individuals are choosing to relocate to this region.
If you’re about to make the move yourself, here are a few things you should know about living in Houston so you can get ready for the transition.
1. A Diverse Job Market
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No matter your professional background, there are plenty of employment opportunities in the Houston area. Houston is home to 25 Fortune 500 companies, including energy giants such as Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, and Occidental Petroleum.
Of course, working for an oil or energy company is far from your only job option.
Aerospace and manufacturing are also among the area’s top employment sectors. The world’s largest medical center—the Texas Medical Center—is located in Houston, and the University of Houston Systemplays a major role in the local economy, generating over $3 billion in “total economic benefit” each year.
Even companies that aren’t based in Houston employ tens of thousands of individuals in the region, with United Airlines, Walmart, and H-E-B ranking among the area’s top employers. Needless to say, whether you plan on living and working in the downtown area or in one of the surrounding communities, there are diverse job opportunities available to help you along your career path.
2. A Vibrant Housing Market
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Families looking for a place to live shouldn’t have much trouble finding a new home in the Houston area—in fact, the city is ranked number two in the country for new home construction. This makes Houston one of the best areas to build a custom home.
With construction keeping on pace with the area’s population growth, the Houston housing market remains surprisingly affordable. According to AreaVibes, the median home price in Houston is 24% lower than the national average. Rent is also somewhat lower than the rest of the country, ensuring that you won’t break the bank when looking for a place to live.
3. The Loop
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With its 42-mile loop around Houston’s downtown area, Interstate 610 is more than just a way for Houston residents to get to and from work. It also serves as a distinct dividing line between the different types of neighborhoods and cultural experiences you might find when moving to the Houston area.
Locally, the debate over which lifestyle is better is a frequent topic of conversation.
Within the Loop, housing prices tend to be more expensive, but you’ll also find improved access to public transportation, as well as close proximity to many of the city’s museums, nightlife and other cultural experiences. As such, neighborhoods like Midtown and Montrose are especially popular with young professionals.
Outside the Loop, you’ll find larger properties and quieter suburbs. With more green space, living outside the Loop is considered a great option for families—though choosing an area that is relatively close to your job is still recommended if you wish to avoid traffic.
4. A Sports Fan’s Dream
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If you love sports, then you’ll love living in Houston.
Houston is home to professional baseball, basketball, football and soccer teams—the city even has a team in the newly-formed Major League Rugby! Houston sports teams also have a history of fielding successful, competitive teams, with the Houston Astros being the most recent team to bring home a championship, winning the World Series in 2017.
Houston’s temperate climate has also allowed it to play host for several major sporting events. Houston has hosted three Super Bowls, three MLB All-Star Games, three NBA All-Star Games, the 2011 NCAA Men’s Final Four and the Big 12 Championship in college football.
Such traditional sporting events aren’t the only options available…
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest event of its kind in the world with over 2.6 million attendees in 2017. With 20 consecutive nights of rodeo events (which also feature concerts from famous musicians), there is perhaps no better way to catch bull riding, bucking broncos and more. If you’ve never seen a rodeo before, this is by far the best place to get introduced to the excitement.
5. Family-Friendly Fun
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Year-round sporting events aren’t the only activities Houston has to offer. There are plenty of things to do in Houston for families!
The area is home to several exciting family-friendly activities, most notably Space Center Houston, where visitors can learn about NASA’s history and current activities at the Johnson Space Center. Other fun locations include the Downtown Aquarium and the Houston Zoo, which is home to over 6,000 insects and animals.
When the weather is nice, there are also several parks to visit. Hermann Park (which houses the Houston Zoo) offers pedal boats, contemporary art exhibits, and even a mini railroad.
The 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park features hiking and biking trails, as well as a colony of 250,000 bats, which makes for a spectacular sight when they fly out of their home in the Waugh Drive Bridge each night.
6. Delicious Dinners
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Dubbed “America’s Next Great Food City” by GQ Magazine, there’s a variety of options for delicious meals throughout the Houston area. You’ll find much more than Tex Mex in Houston—thanks to its unique location and large immigrant population, you’ll find influences from Louisiana, the Deep South, and Asia!
Upscale diners can enjoy French cuisine at Maison Pucha Bistro, or combine tacos and champagne at Goodnight Charlie’s. Sushi lovers will find plenty to enjoy at Uchi, which offers a wide selection of unique fusion dishes.
Being in Texas, you can’t go far without encountering some barbecue.
What Does Houston Have In Store?
Whether you have a growing family or you’re just starting out in your career, there are amazing opportunities awaiting in Houston. For work or play, this blooming metropolis will undoubtedly be a great place to live.
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