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What to Know Before Moving to Houston

Are you considering a move to Houston? If so, you may be wondering what life is like in this part of Texas. Fortunately, at Hilled Land, we work every day with people who are relocating to Houston, and we like to think we know this city pretty well. That's why we've put together this comprehensive list of moving to Houston, Texas, advice, pros and cons.

1. The Most Populated City in Texas

If you're looking for a large, diverse city, Houston is the home for you. Not only is this city the most populous of Texas, but it's also the fourth most populous city in the U.S., after only Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

With this large population comes a lot of diversity. Many of Houston's residents hail from other countries. You'll get a chance to explore many tasty cuisines and hear a variety of languages when you live in Houston. The multiculturalism is one of the many aspects of Houston that make it such an exciting city.

2. The Population Is Increasing Quickly

From 2010 to 2015, the population in Houston grew steadily, at a rate of approximately 1.8% per year. Houston saw an influx of more than 40,000 residents from July 2014 to July 2015 alone. Living in Houston, TX, during this population boom is exciting and gives residents a contagious feeling of optimism. With this influx of residents comes increasing possibility. The future promises bright things for Houston and its residents.

3. Home to NASA

Space enthusiasts probably already know Houston is NASA's hometown, but even if you wouldn't necessarily call yourself an astro-geek, you'll still want to visit the Space Center after you make your move to Houston. You can also save some money if you buy a CityPASS, which allows you to check out other noteworthy sites in Houston as well.

4. Hometown of Many Celebrities

Many celebs proudly call Houston their hometown, including Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Garner, Jim Parsons and Kenny Rogers. If living in the birthplace of your favorite star appeals to you, Houston is a pretty safe bet, especially since everyone loves Beyoncé.

5. Low Home Prices

Houston boasts an affordable housing market, with a median home value of around $150,000. This relatively low median home value is part of what has attracted so many residents to this city. Some cities, such as San Francisco and New York, haven't increased their supply of housing to meet the demand from the influx of new residents. Unlike these cities, the housing market in Houston has managed to grow with its increasing population, which has prevented the sort of real estate bubbles other cities have faced. If you are planning to become a homeowner in Houston, the real estate market is in your favor.

6. A Car Is a Necessity

If you don't already have a car, it's time to buy one, because Houston is a driving city. Traffic in Houston can be a pain, and though there are some buses and a rail, the public transportation system still needs some work. For many people living in Houston, a car is more of a necessity than an option. You'll also want to be sure your vehicle has air conditioning to combat the intense heat and humidity that characterize Houston.

7. Long Commutes

If a short commute is vital for you, you'll want to find a home near your place of employment. However, if you are unable to find a home close to your office, you may decide to live in the suburbs and commute, which is quite common in Houston. You can live as far out as Pasadena, Katy, the Woodlands or even as far as Galveston and still be able to consider yourself a Houston resident because the Houston metro area is so large. If you enjoy driving, you're in luck, because in Houston, driving long distances is a pretty common part of daily life.

If you currently live or have lived in a heavily trafficked city like Los Angeles, you'll be right at home in Houston. If you're moving from an area without much traffic, there may be a bit of an adjustment period for you when it comes to Houston traffic. If your commute to work is under 30 minutes, your co-workers will probably be jealous. On the plus side, if you tend to run late, you can use traffic as your excuse, and your friends will understand.

8. Insect Repellent Is a Must

Because Houston is humid, hot and swampy, you'll be sure to run into some bugs. Mosquitoes are enough of a pest to warrant the insect repellent, especially after it rains. Depending on where you're moving from, you may think of a mosquito as a mere annoyance that leaves behind itchy bites on your skin. But in Houston, mosquitoes can also carry West Nile virus and dengue fever. So, keep your bug repellent on you to stay safe, especially if you're enjoying an extended amount of time outdoors.

9. Home to Many Bayous

Speaking of mosquitoes, Houston is home to plenty of bayous, a favorite breeding ground for the pesky critters. Houston has earned the nickname Bayou City for the abundant waterways in backyards and downtown. Many are hidden pretty well and probably aren't a place you'll want to hang out. It's yet another reason to make sure you always have your insect repellent on hand.

10. A Lot of Space to Explore in Texas

Texas is the second-largest U.S. state, so there is no shortage of places to explore outside Houston. Even if you fall in love with Houston, you may also want to visit other cities, such as Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Just make sure you avoid an argument with a Dallas resident about who lives in the trendier city. Everyone from Dallas thinks their city is superior, and everyone from Houston remains convinced they have it better. It's a fruitless battle no one will win.

You can also hit the beach in Galveston. The beach is about 45 minutes away from downtown Houston, so it's a great spur-of-the-moment trip. Or, for a change in scenery and culture, you might want to take a road trip to New Orleans, which is only six hours away.

11. An Abundance of Fantastic Local Restaurants

Houston's food scene has a wealth of diverse options. Tex-Mex may be Houston's most famous, but because this city is so multicultural, you can find fantastic restaurants serving pretty much every cuisine under the sun. You can choose from a low-price option at the food trucks to a higher-priced option at the more upscale restaurants. If you love food and dining out, living in Houston will be right up your alley. But don't be too surprised when you put on a few pounds. When you live in Houston, the "freshman 15" doesn't just apply to college students anymore.

12. No Zoning Laws

Zoning laws put limitations on where developers can construct commercial buildings, and what the heights of those buildings can be. Since Houston doesn't have these laws, the city can expand quickly through the construction of commercial buildings and housing. Though there are fewer restrictions hindering the growth of the skyline, it can also lead to an odd or mismatched look for the city as a whole.

13. The Rodeo Will Make You Feel Like a True Texan

Houston can often feel like a separate enclave more than it feels like part of Texas, but when you go to the rodeo, you're likely to feel more like a Texan. If you imagine cowboy boots, horses and concealed-carry permits when you think of Texas, the rodeo will be the event that presents that version of the Lone Star State for you. Even if you aren't that interested in becoming immersed in the rodeo culture, you can still enjoy yourself at this event and spend some time surrounded by fellow Houston residents.

Everyone can have a ton of fun at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Once a year, you can enjoy a 20-day event just about every Houstonian spends all year preparing for and talking about. Besides the rodeo, there is a barbecue cook-off, a huge carnival, concerts and more. If you don't own a pair of cowboy boots, your flip-flops should work just fine.

14. Many Cultural Attractions to Enjoy

Oil money has created a boon of cultural attractions for Houston, including the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Blaffer Art Museum, the Menil Collection and more. The city also has an arts district on Washington Avenue if you are interested in viewing work from emerging artists. This arts district is home to the workspaces and studios of more than 300 creative entrepreneurs and artists. If you love a vibrant art scene, Houston is the city for you.

15. Have a Plan for Disasters

Tropical storms and hurricanes present a threat to Houston, so you'll want to create a disaster plan before you move to this city. Does your apartment or house have a kit for disaster preparedness? If not, you'll want to put one together. Make a first-aid kit and seek multipurpose tools. You might never need to implement your plan, but it's better to be safe than sorry if Mother Nature lashes out.

16. Stay in the Loop

Interstate 610 loops around the central part of Houston. When giving directions, residents typically refer to whether a location is inside or outside the Loop. A lot of cultural institutions are inside the Loop, along with sports teams. If you don't require a home in the suburbs with a substantial yard and perhaps a pool, you may want to consider living inside the Loop to be closer to these amenities.

17. Ditch the Coat, but Not the Umbrella

January is the coldest month in Houston, but even in the coldest month, the average temperature is still a mild 53 degrees. Flip-flops are acceptable footwear all year long, and you can probably get through the winter without even a sweater. If you're moving from somewhere with frigid winters, you're in for a treat.

You'll want to hang on to your umbrella, though. Houston is a subtropical climate that sees more rain than many other cities in Texas. But it may only rain for an hour, so pop open your umbrella or turn the windshield wipers on. You'll become a pro at navigating Houston in the rain in no time.

18. Learn to Love the Humidity

Humidity in Houston is a fact of life, an intrinsic part of the lifestyle. If you aren't already accustomed to humidity, you'll have to acclimate to Houston. Maybe if you tell yourself humidity acts as a natural anti-aging serum that gives your skin a dewy glow, you'll feel a little better.

19. Determine the Best Route to the Galleria

This shopping center is the largest in Texas, and even if you aren't a big shopper, you will still likely want to make frequent trips to the Galleria. More than 30 million people visit every year for the shopping and the dynamic environment, including both Houston residents and international guests. You'll find 400 stores and restaurants, along with two hotels, three office towers, an ice rink, beauty salons, a post office, national and international banks, all within 2.4 million square feet.

Shop at stores such as Macy's, Nordstrom, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Urban Outfitters and H&M. You can also dine at Nobu, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, Fig & Olive, Shake Shack and the Cheesecake Factory. The Galleria is in uptown Houston, so be sure to figure out the most direct route and plan your visit.

20. Understand How the Move Will Impact Your Finances

Before relocating, you may want to take a good look at your budget and crunch the numbers to determine how the move to Houston will affect your bank account. Come up with concrete goals and examine different scenarios you might face during and after your relocation. You may also want to switch to a bank that has many convenient branch and ATM locations in Houston and offers competitive interest rates. Research the best banks in Texas, and decide whether you need to move your money to a different bank after you relocate.

Relocate to Houston With Hilled Land

Reading Houston relocation guides and tips is a good start, but the best way to know what living in Houston is like is to try it out. By staying in corporate housing or in a furnished apartment, you can get a feel for Houston and develop a better understanding of what area you'd like to live in. By first relocating with Hilled Land Furnished Apartments, you can get a sense of what different communities are like without having to commit to a 12-month lease. We offer furnished apartments in the Woodlands, Medical Center, Energy Corridor, Katy, Uptown-Galleria, MD Anderson, Tomball/Vintage Park and more. If you want more than a hotel for less, contact us or call us at 800-314-7018 today.