Home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the 2017 MLB World Series Champion Astros, and the birthplace of Beyoncé, Houston biggest city in Texas and attracts transferees and expatriates from all over the world. This sprawling city hums with independent spirit.
While the energy industry remains king in Houston, the city’s economy is diversifying and its experiencing a boom in manufacturing and transportation. Despite all this, Houston is still rated as one of the top cities in the United States for having the greenest space. Much of daily life happens outdoors, thanks to mild, temperatures most of the year. Many residents and visitors take time to explore the eclectic, culture-filled neighborhoods, gallery spaces and attractions, offering diverse flavors unique only to this city!
Six months after Hurricane Harvey, Houstonians are focused on rebuilding. With Memorial and West Houston being the hardest hit neighborhoods after the Hurricane, the inventory is very tight in what is being called the “Harvey Haze”. While the hurricane has impacted supply, rental demand has been surging with growing employment opportunities. This has led to a significant increase in renters in the last couple years: 38% in fact for home rental demand since 2016. Despite these obstacles, recently trends have begun to shift as rising rental costs began to taper in 2017.
Where to Live
Houston is a city of many neighborhoods, each with their own history and unique feel. When looking at rental properties be sure to explore, and consider going back at night to restaurants to ensure a good fit.
The Houston rental market moves fast year round. Be prepared to move quickly on a property as Houston always has people relocating and no shortage of demand for rentals.
A few neighborhoods popular with our assignees:
Downtown Houston can feel very corporate and business-like, but it is also a thriving social and cultural hub for all ages. In downtown Houston, you’ll find wonderful restaurants, historic apartment buildings and lofts, stadiums, theaters, and more.
Average 1 Bedroom: $1,600/mo
West University Place/Rice Village
Often referred to as “The Neighborhood City” this tree-lined area is one of the most soughtafter districts. Many families choose to live here due to its proximity to Rice University and Texas Medical Center, as well as it’s pedestrian-friendly downtown with local shopping and restaurant options.
Average 1 Bedroom: $1,600/mo
Recognized for its distinct craftsman architecture, this neighborhood offers a historic charm. The housing in this area is affordable and many families and young professionals choose to
live here. Residents can enjoy live music, close access to parks, and can get around by bike or on foot.
Average 1 Bedroom: $950/mo
Memorial West/Energy Corridor
This area is popular for expat families due to it’s closer commute to downtown and larger houses. Another draw is its proximity to major energy headquarters such as BP America and Shell, and over 300 additional companies nearby.
Average 1 Bedroom: $1,200/mo
Tips for RMCs/HR & Assignees
Houston is a car city! 90% of Houston residents own cars. Public transit is expanding, and the city is working hard to improve bike lanes and paths, but it is a work in progress.
It’s wise to live near where you work if you can. The average commute cost in Houston can add up to $6,000 annually, and during rush hour the traffic can be brutal. Do yourself a favor and live as close to where you’re working as possible to cut down on commute time!
Some may consider charming while others may wrinkle their noses, one thing unique to Houston is there are NO zoning laws. Expect an eclectic intermingling of buildings in certain areas, and the occasional skyscraper and house sharing a city block. Transferees moving from high tax states may see a nice increase in take home pay since there is no state income tax in Texas!
Summertime in Houston can bring high temperatures, so it is important to keep two things in mind when looking at rental properties: covered parking and air conditioning! Prioritize properties that have a garage or some sort of cover to keep your
car cool in the heat. Some apartments will offer an “all bills paid” contract, which have either air conditioning for each apartment (with your own thermostat) or a central system with one shared thermostat. If your property doesn’t come with central air, make sure you know where and how to buy a window unit.
Local Insight for Assignees
Bon Appetit! Houstonian’s eat out more times a week than any other city in the US, and with over 10,000 restaurants to choose from, it’s no wonder! The city is deep-rooted in Barbecue and Tex-Mex, with world-class offerings in both. In addition, the diversity in Houston’s people have supplemented this thriving food scene. Mouthwatering Asian, Cajun and Latin options have made Houston a foodie destination, and is considered by many to be a food capital.
Sports The city has hosted Olympic qualifiers, the NCAA final four, famous rodeo’s and a Superbowl. Houston is home to many professional sports teams such as the Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Texans (NFL), and Houston Dynamo (MLS) just to name a few.
Entertainment There is never a shortage of things to do in Houston! Visit the Houston Space Center, one of many of the city’s world-class museums. Also seek some retail therapy at the Galleria, the largest mall in Texas! If you are looking for some outdoor activities check out Central Park. Over 1,500 acres, Memorial Park is home to a public golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, trails and more. This is just one of the many urban green spaces in the city.
Moving To Houston?
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