Top 5 Pros and Cons of Moving to Houston, TX in 2024

Top 5 Pros and Cons of Moving to Houston, TX in 2024

Thinking of moving to Houston, Texas? You’re not alone.

Houston is huge and growing—it’s one of the biggest cities in the country! We’re talking 600+ square miles and over 2.28 million people. And just like its population, everything is big in Houston, from its booming job market to its mammoth highways and grandiose arts and entertainment scene.

Although it’s not for the faint of heart, Houstonians love it. Forbes ranked it the second-best place to live in Texas, and it’s not hard to see why.

Are you looking for sun, sports, green space, and a little outer space? 

Houston’s the place!

Moving to Houston has many advantages, from abundant job opportunities in vital industries to affordable housing options and a lack of state income tax. That said, Houston has challenges, too, like humid weather, heavy traffic, and hurricanes. 

What Is Houston Known For?

Houston, Texas, is known for several key characteristics and industries that contribute to its reputation:

  • Energy Hub: Houston is often called the “Energy Capital of the World” due to its prominent role in the global energy industry. The city is home to numerous energy companies, including oil and gas giants, which play a crucial role in energy exploration, production, and innovation.
  • Texas Medical Center: The Texas Medical Center (TMC) in Houston is the largest medical complex globally, renowned for its cutting-edge research institutions, hospitals, and healthcare facilities. It attracts patients, medical professionals, and researchers from around the world.
  • Diverse Cultural Scene: Houston boasts a rich and diverse cultural landscape, with a thriving arts scene, museums, theaters, and galleries. The city’s Museum District is particularly notable, housing a collection of 19 museums covering various interests from art to science.
  • Space Exploration: Houston has deep ties to space exploration as the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The center serves as NASA’s hub for human spaceflight operations, training astronauts, and managing missions to space.
  • Culinary Delights: Houston is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, offering various restaurants representing cuisines worldwide. The city is celebrated for its Tex-Mex, barbecue, and Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Sports Teams: Houston is home to several professional sports teams, including the Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Rockets (NBA), and Houston Dynamo (MLS). The city’s sports culture is vibrant, with enthusiastic fans supporting their teams.
  • Educational Institutions: Houston is home to prestigious universities and research institutions, such as Rice University, the University of Houston, and the Baylor College of Medicine. These institutions contribute to the city’s intellectual and academic environment.
  • Port of Houston: The Port of Houston is one of the busiest ports in the United States, facilitating trade and commerce for Houston and the entire region. It is a vital economic engine, supporting industries such as shipping, logistics, and international trade.

These aspects collectively shape Houston’s identity as a dynamic, diverse, and economically robust city with a strong emphasis on energy, healthcare, culture, and innovation.

Famous Celebrities that Live in Houston

Texas has made full-time residents of quite a few well-loved celebrities. Houston is specifically home to celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper, “Big Bang Theory”), and Megan Thee Stallion, who all enjoy not having to pay state taxes. More on that soon.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Moving to Houston, Texas

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Moving To Houston, Texas

 

Do you want to know the advantages and disadvantages of relocating to Houston? You‘ve come to the correct place.

While a vacation in Houston is usually a fantastic idea, is it a decent place to live permanently?

After weighing the benefits and drawbacks of living in Houston, you will be able to make a more informed decision.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Jobs in energy, aerospace and healthcare 1.  Humid Summers
2.  Affordable housing 2. Traffic congestion
3. Big city arts and entertainment 3. Limited public transportation
4. No state income tax 4. High crime rate
5. Mild winters 5. High risk of hurricanes

Here, we delve into the top 5 advantages and disadvantages of moving to Houston, Texas.

5 Pros of Moving to Houston, TX in 2024

Advantages Of Moving To Houston, Texas

As the fourth-largest city in the US, Houston is packed with everything. 

Jillions of job opportunities, countless cultural influences, and more than a few things to do on any given day of the year. 

Those are just a few of the advantages of moving to Space City.

Here are 5 things to look forward to when you move to Houston. 

1. Job Opportunities in Houston

Home to almost as many Fortune 500 companies as NYC, Houston’s high-paying job market is on fire, especially in the energy, healthcare, and aerospace sectors. 

The mix of thriving industries and a bright workforce has served Houston well in terms of economic survival and prosperity because when tough times hit, the city naturally rebounds.

Houston’s Energy Industry

There seems to be a job for everyone (and their mother) in Houston’s energy sector.

The Energy Capital of the World is home to big-time companies like ExxonMobil, Shell Oil Company, and Chevron, representing thousands of skilled workers, from engineers to geologists. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston had a whopping 64,330 folks working in oil and gas as of July 2022. 

The city is also a hotspot for solar, wind, and other clean energy ventures. In fact, the New York Times reports the sustainable energy scene here has expanded by almost 20 percent in the last five years, with over 113,000 workers currently driving new technologies forward.

Then there’s energy trading in Houston, a veritable buffet of energy commodities—crude oil to natural gas, etc.—traded by the companies above and banks like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. 

Houston Healthcare

Houston’s healthcare system flexes some major medical muscle, and it takes legions of workers to keep it going strong. 

With over 85 hospitals in the Houston area, including Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital, it’s like a medical city within a city. Houston is also home to the largest medical complex in the world such as Texas Medical Center (TMD). Renowned for the MD Anderson Cancer Center (the world’s largest cancer hospital), TMD employs 106,000 people and sees 8 million patients annually.

Houston’s medical sector employs more than 376,000 healthcare professionals—doctors, nurses, technicians—making up almost eight percent of the workforce. This massive healthcare scene also means thousands of jobs for healthcare administrators, managers, and all those who keep things running smoothly. 

The life sciences and biotech sectors further support the medical field with pharmaceuticals, genomics, and cutting-edge medical technologies, with thousands of diverse jobs for scientists, researchers, tech wizards, and more.

Aerospace in Houston

The Houston aerospace industry owes a lot to its connection with NASA, with its Johnson Space Center (JSC) cemented in human spaceflight history. 

Over 50 years ago, astronaut John L. “Jack” Swigert uttered the now-immortalized words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” to mission control at JSC during the compromised Apollo 13 mission. Today, the Center employs around 11,000 folks—engineers, scientists, and astronauts—you name it, all making NASA’s missions happen.

A hub for aerospace manufacturing, Houston is also where spacecraft, satellites, and aircraft components are born. According to the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), the aerospace manufacturing field employs about 20,000 people, ensuring America dominates the skies and space.

Behind the scenes are Houston’s aerospace research institutions, pushing the boundaries of space exploration, aviation, and defense tech. The GHP reports around 16,000 folks, from scientists to engineers to tech whizzes, are employed by this sector’s research and development. Maintaining those spacecraft and aircraft are the employees of Houston’s aerospace services companies, employing thousands more.

2. Houston’s Affordable Housing

Houston’s affordable housing is refreshing compared to the outrageous prices in other big cities like New York or Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, this is a big draw for homebuyers and real estate investors.

  • In some Houston zip codes, the median house price is as low as $157K.
  • The most recent property tax rate is 0.523479 per $100 of the home’s assessed value.

A few affordable and popular Houston neighborhoods include: 

  • The Heights has charming historic bungalows ranging from Craftsman and Queen Anne to Victorian and other turn-of-the-century architecture styles
  • Montrose is Houston’s LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood, featuring trendy loft apartments and a relaxed vibe. In 2018, Montrose was named one of America’s Hippest Neighborhoods. In 2023, Niche rated it the second-best neighborhood to live in and the third-best neighborhood for young professionals in Houston.
  • Buffalo Bayou has a mix of modern apartments and charming historic homes, shops, and parks along the bayou’s scenic banks. It’s like living in a postcard with all those waterfront views and lush green spaces where residents and visitors can bike, picnic, and kayak. 
  • Sugar Land is a slice of the good life outside the city, where 81 percent of folks here own their home. It’s about $433K for a home there, but you can snag something even more affordable if you’re willing to put in some sweat equity to bring a fixer-upper back to life. Plenty of one-bedroom apartments (or more) start at around $1,675 monthly.

3. Houston’s Arts & Entertainment Scene is Hot

Houston’s arts and entertainment scene is a feast for the senses, thanks to a constant flow of events, attractions, and new restaurants.

Beyond its vibrant sports scene and renowned entertainment arenas, the city offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. The Houston Museum District is a testament to this, boasting an impressive collection of 19 museums, galleries, cultural centers, and community organizations. Dive into art at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum or STEM exhibits at the Museum of Natural Science.

Broadway shows and standup comedians tour through Houston often. You can also take in classical and contemporary music at the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Grand Opera. From Bad Religion to Bad Bunny, the city has must-see performances happening every night of the week.

With Houston’s diverse crowd, Houston’s food scene is more than a treat, showcasing more cuisines than Disney World’s EPCOT World Showcase. Think kitschy Tex-Mex, finger-lickin barbecue spots, Viet-Cajun crawfish, and Middle Eastern takeout.

4. Houston Has No State Income Tax

Houstonians enjoy the sweet lack of state income tax, which means that if you move here, you can keep what would typically be deducted from your paycheck. 

Who benefits the most from this tax-free paradise? 

High-earning professionals focused on maximizing their earnings, families looking to stretch their budget, entrepreneurs and some celebrities.

If anything, you’re more likely to hear locals complain about paying one of Texas’s highest sales tax rates (up to  8.25%).

5. Houston’s Climate Means Year-Round Outdoor Activities

Houston’s weather is a dream for lovers of the great outdoors. When surrounded by parks, scenic lakes, and even the beach at Galveston, having sunny weather year-round to enjoy it all is the cherry on top. 

Whether you’re picnicking at Hermann Park, paddling down Buffalo Bayou, exploring the 12-acre Discovery Green city park, or playing pickleball, there’s no shortage of fun in the sun since there’s so much of it to be had. Even in winter, Houston temperatures barely dip below freezing.

5 Cons of Moving to Houston, TX, in 2024

Disadvantages Of Moving To Houston, Texas

Before packing your bags for Houston, Texas, you should know that it has its share of drawbacks, from the city’s humid climate and heavy traffic congestion to the lack of public transportation and the high risk of hurricanes. 

Let’s explore the top 5 disadvantages of moving to Houston so you can make an informed decision.

1. Humidity and Other Airborn Irritants

When summer in Houston hits, brace yourself for that sticky, muggy, humid air. “Relative humidity” measures the amount of moisture in the air as a percentage of the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold. Houston’s relative humidity can reach around 90%, making a simple walk around the block feel like much more exercise.

But hey, Houstonians are pros at dealing with it. You’ll see folks reserving physical activities for early morning or evening and retreating to cool, air-conditioned spots, like one of the hotels or resorts that open their refreshing pool to the general public for a fee.

The humidity also makes seasonal allergies a potential nightmare, making poor Houstonian noses go haywire. And thanks to all that lush pollen-filled greenery—ragweed, oak, and pine—sitting in a moist environment, mold spores also like to join the party.

Unfortunately, that’s not all. Houston’s air quality can be iffy in heavy industry or traffic spots. That means you should check the air quality before venturing out, especially for vulnerable groups like kids, seniors, or folks with respiratory issues.

Think hard about moving to Houston if you have allergies or asthma. It’s worth considering how the humidity and airborne irritants affect your health and comfort.

2. Safety Concerns

Houston’s crime rate often lands it at the top of the 100 most dangerous cities in the United States. 

Although violent crime in Houston has been trending downward lately, it still has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to similarly populated cities. It’s not all bad, though; Houston has a strong police force keeping things in check and programs to help prevent crime. 

Looking for safe Houston neighborhoods to live in? 

The Heights, West University, and Bellaire are known for their safety and lower crime rates. No matter where you live and work in Houston, staying safe is about street smarts and taking common-sense precautions.

3. Limited Public Transportation

Regarding public transportation in Houston—this is definitely a car town. That’s good news if you love driving, but not great for those who rely on public transportation. Houston public transit is limited, and ridership has declined over the pandemic, suppressing the city’s motivation to improve existing services.

Don’t get us wrong—the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) has buses, light rail, and commuter options. But let’s just say it might not cover all your bases in this big, sprawling city.

4. Traffic Congestion

Houston rush hour traffic is a real drag for folks looking for a smooth, stress-free commute or quick trips to the store without getting stuck in gridlock. 

A recent geolocation technology company TomTom study revealed that the average Houston driver spent 130 hours driving, 58 hours of which is spent in rush hour traffic. Houston’s traffic congestion rate indicates that traveling during high traffic takes 20% more time than in free-flowing traffic conditions.

Being stuck on congested roads can mean extra stress, wasted time, and burning through gas like there’s no tomorrow. Houston might be okay for someone who loves driving and can stay zen despite traffic. But if you can’t tolerate these road conditions, think twice about moving here.

5. High Hurricane Risk

Houston weather gives residents a front-row seat to Gulf Coast hurricanes. As of now, Texans born in 1980 have been alive for 81 tropical storms.

Every year brings the potential for hurricanes and tropical storms to roll in, with high winds and flooding causing damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles. Part of living in Houston means folks here must be ready for possible evacuations, especially during hurricane season.

  • Houston’s three-county region has faced 26 federally declared disasters since 1980.
  • 322,000+ residential properties in Greater Houston are located in FEMA-designated floodplains.
  • 350,000+ properties are projected to have a “substantial” risk of flooding by 2050.

Considering all of this, if emergency prepping spikes your anxiety, Houston might not be your ideal home. 

Conclusion

Moving to Houston, TX, offers exciting opportunities and potential challenges. Houston has a little something for everyone, from its booming job market and diverse culture to its humid weather and traffic woes.

If what you want is a bustling city with a thriving economy, vibrant cultural scene, and endless culinary delights. It could be time to pack your bags for an adventure in Space City—Houston will welcome you with open arms. Just be prepared for the occasional hurricane season and the need for a reliable set of wheels to navigate its sprawling layout. 

Whether Houston becomes your new sweet home depends on your priorities, lifestyle preferences, and how you handle its unique quirks. Either way, we wish you the best in searching for a new hometown.