Moving to Houston (Part 1)




June 23, 2022

Moving to Houston (Part 1)

So, you’re moving to Houston, and don’t really know what to expect. If you haven’t had the opportunity to study up on this eclectic city, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!

This guide will serve as a deep dive into the rental scene, cost of living, and more. 

Let’s take a look at what topics we’ll be talking about in Part 1 of the Houston City Guide. Part 2 will go into depth on Houston's transit network, attractions, and the job market. 

Chapter 1: Welcome to Houston! A City Overview

Chapter 2: Cost of Living in Houston

Chapter 3: Renting in Houston

Chapter 4: Best Neighborhoods in Houston to Rent

Let’s get started!

Chapter 1: Welcome to Houston! A City Overview 

Welcome to the world capital of space exploration and the only major U.S. city to not have land-use zoning laws. That’s Houston for you!

This city has tons to offer, including a large population of 2.32 million people! 

Outside of its prominent oil and gas industries, Houston is a cultural mecca. The city’s lively essence comes from its many museums, art galleries and entertainment, sports, and cultural events. 

Houston has also perfected the craft of restaurant dining. Why do you think Houstonians eat out more than almost anyone else? You can find over 10,000 restaurants representing over 70 countries globally there. 

Keep on reading to discover more of what this great Southern city has to offer!

Chapter 2: Cost of Living in Houston

There is no news more exciting than discovering that Houston’s cost of living is actually low.

The city falls under the top 20 most populous U.S. metros. Despite this, Houston still manages to be affordable while keeping their quality of life high. 

The Houston cost of living is 6.2% below the national average. To put things into perspective, other Texan cities like Dallas have a cost of living that is 4.3% above the average. You really get the best bang for your buck here!

We’ll go over the average resident income and the cost of items in Houston down below. 

Income in Houston

The Department of Housing & Urban Development recorded that the median income in Houston for a single person was $55,450. 

The median income for a 4-person household was $79,200. In contrast, the US median household income was $79,900 in 2021. 

Although Houston’s income is lower than the national average, it's mediated by the low cost of living. Additionally, the city presented a 2.44% annual income growth which is always good news!

Average Cost of Items in Houston 

Houston prides itself on having a lower cost of living. Groceries, healthcare, and transportation are all more affordable than the American average.

The city is more expensive in the housing and utilities department. The housing market in Houston is 5% above the national average whereas utilities are 11% more expensive. 

Groceries present the biggest contrast. They can be as much as 13% lower than the average. That’s some great news for those who like cooking at home!

Check out the chart down below to see the average cost of items in Houston. 

Chapter 3: Renting in Houston

You’ll be happy to know that rent in Houston is more affordable than the American average. 

The average rent price for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,225. In 2021, studio apartments actually increased by 2% in rent price, making their average price $1,305. Renting a 2-bedroom apartment averaged around $1,502. 

These prices were pretty affordable when compared to other Texas cities like Dallas and Austin. Dallas’ median rent for a 1-bedroom comes in at $1,425 while Austin’s is $1,500. 

Let's be real. Finding a rental unit can be hard in such a large city. If you're relocating to Houston, Lighthouse can help you find your perfect rental home. Check us out to earn up to $1,200 in cashback.  

Chapter 4: Best Neighborhoods in Houston to Rent

Houston is filled with neighborhoods of different styles, atmospheres, and demographics. Each one offers its own unique quality. 

Discover the best neighborhoods in Houston with our list, down below.

Most Affordable in the City: Midtown

Many of us want to save money while still living in the city. If those words speak to you then Midtown might be your best living location! 

This neighborhood is located south of Downtown Houston. It offers rent prices around the $1,250 range. 

Singles and young professionals love the area. That's thanks to its low crime rates and urban atmosphere. 

Midtown also has easy access to public transportation, many job opportunities, and a vibrant arts scene. Join free dance classes or shop at the farmer's market to immerse yourself in the neighborhood culture!  

Most Affordable Suburbs: Clear Lake City

Looking to get out of the hustle-and-bustle of Houston? Clear Lake City is a quiet neighborhood with lots of green spaces. To add to your peace of mind, it’s also one of the safest neighborhoods in Houston. 

Many families and retired folks look to live here. It has many parks, fresh seafood, cultural festivals, and outdoor activities. 

The NASA Johnson Space Center is also stationed nearby. As such, many aerospace workers and engineers live here too. 

The average monthly rent is the best perk, averaging at the low cost of $795 per month.

Best for Young Professionals: University Place

This one is for the young professionals out there.

University Place is the perfect urban-suburban mix while offering tons of amenities. The area is also pretty quiet despite being near downtown Houston. 

This location offers modern apartments and condos to rent. It’s near Houston Memorial Park and Texas Medical Center, making it very sought-out in Houston. 

University Place also offers many activities to do. Head on down to West University Place to use their swimming pool, gyms, and sports courts. 

Best for Families: Great Uptown 

Great Uptown is a highly coveted area. That's thanks to its remarkable school system and family-friendly atmosphere. 

Great Uptown is continuously being developed to add more office buildings. It’s the perfect place for those who work in an office but also have a family. Commuting gets substantially cut down and kids get to live in a safe area. 

If you’re ever bored, the famous Houston Galleria Mall is also nearby. There you can grab a bite to eat or skate in their indoor rink.

Most Urban: East Downtown

This neighborhood is known as EaDo to the locals. It’s the entertainment mecca of the city- you can find many shops, dining spots, and attractions. 

Young adults and professionals love this location since it’s so accessible. You’re close to the METRO Transit, METRO Light Rail Service, and many freeway entrances. 

There’s also always something to do! Ethnic markets, restaurants, bars, sports centers, and nightclubs are sprinkled throughout the area. 

Best for the History Enthusiasts: Museum District

It’s pretty much in the name. This neighborhood is filled with museums and new developments. You can find 19 museums within a few blocks of each other, and 11 of them are free! 

The Museum District offers modern residences and easy access to the METRORail. 

Keep in mind that the area is not ideal for those who have a car because of ongoing traffic congestion. However, you can always get to your destination by walking or biking. 

Best for Entertainment: Neartown- Montrose

This neighborhood is rich in history and culture. It’s in an older part of town, meaning there are many historical homes and monuments around. 

Neartown - Montrose is also the hub for the LGBTQ community. Their roots thrive in the unparalleled nightlife in the area. 

It doesn’t stop there though. You have tons of bars, clubs, and entertainment spots to visit. Buffalo Bayou Park is also nearby if you want to get some fresh air.

TL;DR: Conclusion

Let’s recap on what to expect when moving to Houston. 

Houston is a massive U.S. metro city but manages to have a low cost of living while maintaining a good quality of life. It’s a whopping 6.2% below the national average. Rent is on the more affordable end (especially for a large city), average at the $1,500 mark. The city’s neighborhoods appeal to many different lifestyles and interests. Pick from many options- living in the downtown bustle, an urban vibe, or the suburban tranquility. 

If you’re looking for rent in the Houston area, Lighthouse offers up to $1,200 in cashback when you sign a new lease.

Which tidbit of information did you find the most interesting about this article? Let us know in the comments below!

If you want to learn more about what Houston has in store for you, check out Part 2 of our Houston City Guide. 

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