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What to expect when living in Houston
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    Inner and Outer Loop Houston Maps

    Houston is America's 4th Largest City

    Vibrant, diverse city with unique communities and neighborhoods to suit every family's needs.

    Popular Houston Neighborhoods

    Houston - The City, Culture and Community

    Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States. It is known for its diverse population, thriving economy, and cultural attractions, and home to over 2.3 million people.

    Houstonian culture is a rich tapestry of diverse influences that come together to create a unique and dynamic environment and visitors can expect to encounter a warm and welcoming atmosphere and experiences  to enjoy.

    It is a hub for international trade, healthcare, and energy industries and well-renowned for its museums, performing arts venues, and sports teams. It is a melting pot of cultures, with large communities of Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Middle Eastern residents.

    With over 145 different languages spoken in the city, it is one of the most multicultural places in the country. This diversity is reflected in Houston’s food, music, and art scenes

    Memorial Harmann Conversancy, Houston

    Experience Houstonian Culture 

    Houstonian culture is a vibrant fusion of diverse influences, reflecting the city’s multicultural population. 

    This dynamic environment offers visitors a warm, welcoming atmosphere alongside a wide range of culinary experiences, a thriving arts scene, strong connections to space and technology, passionate sports fans, and ample outdoor activities. 

    The city’s rich tapestry of cultures can be seen in its various festivals and events, celebrating its unique blend of traditions and backgrounds.

    Here are some of the things you can do to experience Houston’s culture:

    • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, one of the largest art museums in the United States.
    • See a show at the Houston Symphony or the Houston Grand Opera.
    • Take a walk through Hermann Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States.
    • Visit the Houston Zoo, home to over 6,000 animals from all over the world.
    • Catch a game at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.
    • Go shopping at the Galleria, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States.
    • Enjoy the nightlife in Midtown, one of the most vibrant and exciting neighborhoods in Houston.
    • Explore the city’s many parks and green spaces, including Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park, and Memorial Park.
    • Attend one of the city’s many festivals and events, such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Houston Greek Festival, and the Houston International Festival.

    No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love in Houston. So come and explore the city’s unique culture for yourself

    How to Meet your Neighbors

    The most effective way to engage your neighborhood is to join social networking platforms like Nextdoor,  where people and businesses in a hyperlocal area can interact with each other. Some benefits provided by Nextdoor include,

    • Announcement of Community events
    • local recommendations 
    • Crime and Safety Updates
    • Emergency Alerts
    • Improved communication and interactions between neighbors
    • Access to business services that are local to you 

    As you become more comfortable, you can expand your network to include more people.

    Alternatives to Nextdoor are Facebook Groups, Patch, Neighbors by Ring, Peanut (for connecting mothers in a neighborhood)

    Work and Career

    Houston is a major center for business, industry and technology and offers a wide variety of career opportunities, and attracting an 18.5% growth in workforce over the past 10 years

    You will find Fortune 500 companies like Exxon Mobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Schlumberger, Conoco Philips and Shell, Haliburton, Phillips 66, Sysco and Valero Energy;

    Most are headquartered in Houston with operations in many different countries.

    These companies are a testament to the city’s strong economy and strategic location as a hub for Energy, transportation, and logistics, as well as home for a diverse and skilled labour.

    Some of the most in-demand jobs include:

    1. Software Engineers
    2. Data Scientists
    3. Healthcare Professionals
    4. Financial Analysts
    5. Marketing and Sales Professionals
    6. Construction Workers
    7. Truck Drivers
    8. Warehouse Workers
    9. Retails Sales Associates
    10. Customer Service Reps

    Correct as of December 2021

    Find a job in Houston

    Understandably, living in Houston also involves make a living, so if you’re focus is to find a job, here are some tips on how to get started;

    1. Start by researching the job market in your preferred industry to find out which businesses are hiring, using Online Job Boards like Indeed.com,and Careerbuilder.com
    2. Attend industry Network events and meetups to meet new people about opportunities. Try Houston Young Professionals, Texas Workforce Commission, or even local libraries, which host job fairs and networking events.
    3. Tailor your resume and cover letter to match each job you apply, and avoid the generic CV approach. This article from indeed.com offers information on how to use professional resume writing services to boost your resume.
    4. Staffing Agencies can help with temporary and contract employment as well as offer counselling services to help you secure a job. Some relevant agencies are, Robert Half, Adecco, Kelly Services, Manpower Group, Randstad, Aerotek, Express Employment Professionals, Volt Workforce Solutions, Robert Walters, Heidrick & Struggles
    5. If you’re an international jobseeker, you will need a USCIS work visa to work in Houston. Visit USCIS to learn more about working in the U.S

    Know your Houston Neighborhoods

    Inner Loop Houston

    Outer Loop Houston

    Cost of Living

    Living in Houston, Texas, is generally cheaper than in other major cities in the United States, even if it can  vary depending on the neighborhood and lifestyle.

    Some of the costs you can expect include:

    Housing: The cost of housing in Houston can vary widely depending on the neighborhood, but most homes are relatively affordable. The median home value is around $195,000, and the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,100.

    Transportation: Houston is a sprawling city, so many residents own cars. Gas prices are generally lower than the national average. There is also public transportation available in the form of buses, light rail, and commuter rail.

    Food: Houston is known for its diverse and affordable food scene, with options ranging from barbecue to Tex-Mex to Vietnamese cuisine. Groceries are also relatively affordable, with a items like milk (gallon)a loaf of bread around costing under $5

    Utilities: Utility costs in Houston are generally in line with the national average. The average monthly cost of electricity for a 900-square-foot apartment is around $115, and the average monthly cost of water is around $45.

    Healthcare: Healthcare costs in Houston are generally lower than the national average, although the cost of health insurance can vary widely depending on the provider and plan.

    Obviously, your lifestyle and preferences contribute to your cost of living, but overall, Houston offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other  cities in the United States.

    Average Salary per Industry

    IndustryAverage Salary (USD)
    Oil and Gas Extraction90,000
    Energy, Utilities, and Waste Management75,000
    Engineering Services85,000
    Aerospace and Defense80,000
    Manufacturing55,000
    Construction45,000
    Health Care and Social Assistance60,000
    Information Technology85,000
    Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services75,000
    Finance and Insurance70,000
    Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing55,000
    Transportation and Warehousing45,000
    Retail Trade30,000
    Accommodation and Food Services25,000
    Education Services45,000
    Public Administration55,000

    Entertainment and Popular Landmarks

    Houston is the bustling heart of Texas and as such, offers a diverse and dynamic array of landmarks and attractions for both locals and tourists alike that will spark your curiosity and wanderlust –  some of which include;

    1. Space Center Houston
    2.  Museums;
      • Museum District
      • Museum of National Science
      • Children’s Museum of Houston
      • Museum of Fine Arts

    3. Houston Galleria
    4. Toyota Center
    5. The Houston Zoo
    6. Downtown Houston
    7. Galveston Island

    8. Houston Parks
      • Hermann Park
      • Memorial (Popular)
      • Discovery Green
      • Buffalo Bayou
      • Terry Hershey Park

    9. Houston Center of Photography
    10. Miller Outdoor Theatre
    11. Minute Maid Park
    12. We love Houston Sign (Popular tourist photo area)

    I will be producing a comprehensive brochure of 50 popular landmarks in Houston, for download soon. You can indicate your interest below by entering your email, and be first to receive a copy before everyone else.

    Weather

    Houston is located in the southeastern part of the Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico and generally experiences humid subtropical climate which soar during the summer months, and produce mild winters.

    In 2021, Houston experienced a once in a lifetime historical freeze that almost paralyzed the city for a month. This can be considered an anomaly that is unlikely, but not impossible to happen again.

    • Temperature: Temperatures in Houston can soar as high as 95′ F, especially in the Summer and has been known to hit 100′. Winters are milder, with the humidity occasionally diluting the few cold fronts we experience.
    • Humidity: can be oppressive during the summer months making it feel much worse than it is. Thankfully, most homes, offices, shops and hospitals are equipped with air conditioners
    • Flooding: Houston is prone to flooding due to it’s relatively flat terrain. This is mitigated by a fantastic drainage system deployed primarily in the inner loop of the city. A historic Hurricane Harvey severely tested the city’s resilience in 2017.
    • Rainfall is sporadic, but gets intense during Hurricane season between June and November. The average annual rainfall is about 50 inches.
    • Hurricanes: Houston is susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes. While few ever make landfall in the city, residents should and are always alert to severe weather and it’s impacts.
    • Winter: Snow and severe cold fronts are rare, but the city has experienced the occasional ice storms and freezing rains which cause hazardous situations

    Transportation

    Houston, Texas has a diverse transportation system that includes highways, airports, public transportation, and in recent years, become bicycle infrastructure friendly.

    The city is known for its extensive highway network, including the 610 Loop, which circles the city, and several major freeways that connect Houston to other cities in Texas and beyond. 

    There are two major airports in  the city, namely, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, which serve domestic and international destinations.

    Public transportation options in Houston include buses, light rail, and commuter rail, operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), which is the primary provider of everything public transport in the city, serving over 2 million riders per day.

    METRO provides Light Rail, Commuter Rail, Bus services and a park-and-ride service, which enables riders to park their vehicles and swap for public transportation at specific locations. Access all these services from the Metro App which is free.

    In recent years, Houston also started to embrace eco-friendly options and expanded bike lanes and walking trails, which was incidentally very useful during the pandemic, where people could be outdoors with enough space to avoid infection, while enjoying the warm and sunny Houston weather.

    The city now plans similar developments in the future, owing to the positive experiences of the pandemic, among other things. 

    Despite its extensive transportation system, there are still challenges from traffic congestion, air pollution, and limited funding for public transportation infrastructure, as the population grows, challenging the infrastructure.

    Food and Drinks

    Food and Drinks in Houston is a delightful experience owing to the multitude of diverse  cultures that have converged in the city.

    There is a wide array of food and flavors from various cultures, including Mexican, Asian, Cajun, Indian, Japanese,  African and European cuisines. There is something for everyone’s taste and budget.

    Some of the popular cuisines include;

    1. Tex-Mex – a blend of Texan and Mexican  food that is synonymous with the city and widely available.
    2. Mexican Food – Traditional Mexican food  like Tamale, Pozole and Mole dishes 
    3. Authentic Southern Comfort Food – If you like Shrimps, Grits, Gumbo, Chicken, Biscuits and Gravy, you’ll love it in Houston
    4. Barbecue – is considered the barbecue capital of America, due to it’s history of producing similar food in the early days of American settlements. They offer meat, in bold, Smokey flavors and in sizeable portions. Enjoy briskets, ribs, sausages and chicken to your hearts content.
    5. Asian Cuisine – Houston’s diverse population has led to a boom in Asian food scene, with a ride range of Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai restaurants.
    6. Seafood –  With the gulf of Mexico literally beside it, Houston offers a wide range of seafood options including Oysters, Crawfish, and Shrimp, enjoyed in Cajun or Creole Cuisine.
    7. Food Trucks – are found throughout the city serving gourmet and international sandwiches. Food Trucks are popular Houston trademark, which started in 1900s and really became synonymous with Houston food scene in 2010, when regulations were relaxed to accommodate the increasingly diverse population.
    8. Fine Dining –  if you’re in the mood for the more sophisticated, unique and expensive than average restaurants, Houston has fine dining establishments like this in abundance, with each  portraying the character of the neighborhood in which it resides in.
    9. Drinks – Bars and Restaurants that serve drinks are just as diverse as the food scene in the city. You will find craft beers, wine bars, cocktail lounges and traditional sports bars, that offer snacks or food with drinks, and are packed on game days, especially when the Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Dynamos (MLS) play.

    Is Moving to Houston Right for You?

    Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not Houston is the right place for you to live:

    • Your climate preferences: The  a humid subtropical climate, means that the summers are hot and humid, and the winters are mild. If you can’t handle the heat and humidity, then Houston may not be the best place for you.
    • Your job preferences: Houston boasts a strong economy and a lot of job opportunities. However, the job market can be competitive, so you’ll need to make sure that you have the skills and experience that employers are looking for.
    • Your cost of living preferences: The cost of living in Houston is lower than the national average. However, the cost of housing is on the rise, so you’ll need to factor that into your decision.
    • Your lifestyle preferences: Houston is a big city with a lot to offer. There are always things to do, and there’s something for everyone. However, if you’re looking for a more laid-back lifestyle, then Houston may not be the best place for you.

    Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to move to Houston is a personal one. There are many factors to consider, and the best way to make a decision is to visit the city and see for yourself if it’s a good fit for you.

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