Houston stretches out before us, a modern goddess, bruised by not defeated.
- Julia Heaberlin
The Best Thing About Houston?
It’s A Rocket Ship (And a Relatively Cheap Ride)
The economy of Houston is exploding with a diverse set of industries including Aerospace & Aviation, Manufacturing, Energy (oil has softened but still big), Healthcare and Digital Tech. Making a good living here is even more compelling when you realize how much less expensive Houston is compared to crazy cities like San Francisco (179% more expensive), New York (94% more expensive), or the other “hotter” cities in Texas, like Austin (19% more expensive).
Quick summary review from a local about the pros of Houston:
Pro: cheap to live close to the city, best/most varied food of any city except possibly NYC, some of the close-in neighborhoods are easy to get around on foot/bike/public transportation, easy to drive around despite the traffic, lots of green space and parks, clean/mostly doesn't smell like shit by the standards of most big cities, young and diverse population, lots of museums and stuff like that, great weather for a good portion of the year, good mix of feeling like a big city while also having some space for yourself.
The Worst Thing About Houston?
It’s Not A Dry Heat
For many from the Great White North the idea of year round sun sounds awesome. It is critical to know ahead of time though that not only does Houston get HOT, the fact that it is surrounded by water and low-lying flood-lands means it gets HUMID.
Cons from a local about living here:
Cons: sprawl, even in the loop most neighborhoods are not walkable/public transportation-able, lack of natural scenery/outdoors activities beyond city parks, lacks major historical significance, lacks major cultural significance, miserably hot in the summer (although you get used to it), pretty bad traffic (not as bad as any major East Coast city though… complaints about Houston's traffic are way overblown unless you're living way out in the 'burbs), and lots of Houston residents don't particularly wanna be here and will talk mad shit about it (as you've seen in this thread).
Lifestyle of Houston
Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country and this diversity drives a cultural experience unlike many other cities in the country or the world. Inside the 610 loop, which is the “center” of Houston is an incredible concentration of museums, theaters (the cultural kind), art galleries, and a stunning collection of amazing restaurants with food from all over the world. Outside the 610 are more mellow neighborhoods, and then an incredible spread of suburbs that comprise a metroplex that is 15% larger than the entire state of New Jersey.
What is different about Houston is its working-class spirit and unpretentious behavior that is so different from many of the other major cities. Here you can attend a world-class performance, eat at a five-star restaurant and yet it never feels super-fancy or full of itself. Your life here would more likely be filled with trips to the local coffee shop and neighborhood park than the ballet but good to know you can go if you’d like, right?
If you want to check out the happenings in Houston here is the calendar of events:
One final note: Texas is a concealed-carry state, which means the lifestyle here includes locals packing heat when they are out and about. If that bothers you then perhaps Texas won’t be your cup of tea.
Workstyle of Houston
Houston is also diverse in terms of its business opportunities. Presumably everyone knows that Energy is big business here, but Houston also has the largest medical center in the world (Texas Medical Center). The different industries that are exploding in Houston are referenced above so we’ll stick to other characteristics: 1) The commutes truly suck here. If you can be a wfh’er we’d recommend it. 2) No state income tax!!!! You gets to keep more of your dough. 3) Houston has a network of tunnels and sky bridges so if you work downtown you can avoid the icky-sticky when you’re walking around.
Overall Houston has a great business culture. While Texas in general and Houston in particular have grown, that has largely been on the back of people coming here for jobs. With the rise in wfh’ers who can enjoy what Houston has to offer without any commute we imagine more growth is on the way.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
The City With No Limits
We know a lot of people are looking to get away from big cities but Houston seems like a place that might receive some of that escaping traffic from the denser cities of the Northeast and Northwest. If you’re moving south but want the diversity, culture & art experiences, food scene and vibrant population of some of those cities but in a more chill, easier to afford package, then Houston’s the spot.