Living in Houston, TX
Some people compare living in Houston to being on vacation - permanently. The weather is generally sunny in this southwest city. The people are friendly. There is fabulous shopping, world-class dining, clubs for partying, and attractions that you normally link with vacations.
About 2 million people call Houston home. They are spread throughout the city's many neighborhoods and many living in apartments in Houston. The Interstate 610 Loop that encircles Houston serves as a geographic marker. Neighborhoods are described as either being inside or outside "The Loop." Inside the Loop, you'll find the city's central business district and older residential neighborhoods. The city fans out from there. Another freeway, Beltway 8, encircles the city about five miles out from the city center. Since about the 1960s, much of the city's growth has been west of downtown and in outlying suburbs. Some of the popular communities include: Uptown, Galleria, Neartown and Montrose.
Houston is the largest city in Texas, and despite some setbacks in recent history, it is a city on the upswing. The city got its humble start on the banks of Buffalo Bayou in 1836. Two upstart real estate moguls, from New York of all places, bought land with the idea of starting a city, which they named after Sam Houston. The general was elected President of the new republic of Texas that same year. Less than 30 years later, Houston had become a commercial and railroad center. Cotton was the main export. After nearby Galveston was nearly destroyed by a hurricane in 1900, the city began plans to turn Houston into a deep water port. The real turning point for the city and they state was the discovery of oil in Beaumont that spurred the creation of a new industry. The city endured a slump after the bottom dropped from the oil industry in the 1980s. Today, Houston has come back in a big way and is the leading center for the energy industry.
Houston Work & Study
Although a large part of Houston's economy is based on energy industries, it has diversified over the two decades. Other industries include medical research and delivery, education and high technology. The high tech focus is on computers, aerospace, and all types of engineering. About 26 companies on the Fortune 500 list are headquartered here. Houston also is home to Texas Medical Center. It has the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions and employs nearly 100,000 people.
The Port of Houston also plays a vital role in the city's success. It is among the top ports in the U.S. for international commerce and one the largest ports in the world. Dozens of foreign governments have trade and commercial offices in Houston. There are nearly 100 consular offices here. Another interesting feature of Houston is that in addition to its downtown, there are several other business centers throughout the metro area, such as the Energy Corridor. This gives residents more flexibility about where they work and live when searching for Houston apartments.
When it comes to getting a college education, Houston has a selection of top-notch public and private universities. The University of Houston System has three separate institutions in the city. Private schools include: Rice University, Houston Baptist University and the University of St. Thomas. Plus there is a community college system. And, there are several academic health science centers as well.
Houston Cost of Living
The cost of living in Houston is below the average for most American cities. In fact, it reportedly has a lower cost of living than the top 27 metro areas with more than 2 million residents. It is estimated that overall costs are nearly 20 percent lower than average, and that housing costs are about 36 percent lower. This gives new residents much advantage to finding apartments in Houston to live.
Houston Attractions & Entertainment
As a major American city, Houston has all the bases covered when it comes to entertainment and attractions. It has permanent companies in: ballet, orchestra, opera and theater. Many are concentrated in Downtown's Theater District. The Museum District offers 18 museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Children's Museum, Museum of Natural Science and the Holocaust Museum to name a few. There's also a zoo and an aquarium.
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center enables visitors to experience the U.S. space program through exhibits, hands-on activities and a review of the dramatic history of space travel.
If you're into shopping, the Galleria Houston is sure to have what you're looking for. It is the fourth largest mall in the country with 375 retailers, dining options and an ice rink.
Houston's professional sports teams include the Aeros NHL hockey team; the Astros National League baseball team and the Dynamos Major League Soccer team.
Houston Special Events
Houston is an outsized city with many special events throughout the year. The most famous of these is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo held annually in February-March. Begun in 1932, it is one of the largest such events in the world. Other events include the Bayou City Art Festival, the Chevron Houston Marathon, and the Art Car Parade.
If you are looking to make Houston your new home, or just looking for a new home in Houston, you can search for rental properties, including apartments and homes at Rent.com®.