Cost of Living in Housto | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

A Quick Guide to the True Cost of Living in Houston, TX

Have you decided to join over two million people who call H-Town home? All of you still wondering, Is Houston a good place to live? should know that close to 300 people move here every day. One of the many reasons why so many folks flock here is the relatively low cost of living in Houston. Other than that, the job market is booming, and the city has an extensive transportation network, as well as an excellent healthcare system.

All in all, moving to Houston is, without a doubt, an idea worth considering. But then, more and more questions about the expenses arise. Naturally, you’d like to plan your monthly budget, so you’re wondering What is the average living wage in Houston, Texas? What is a good salary in Houston? How much do you need to live comfortably in Houston? We are here to answer all those questions and tell you more about your future expenses to help you organize your finances accordingly.

The Housing Prices Are Rising, But You Can Still Find an Affordable Place

When it comes to housing, the prices have risen recently, and, more importantly, are expected to maintain an upward trend in 2020. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t despair. There are still quite a few affordable options, as well. Among over 80 Houston neighborhoods, you can be sure that there is something for everyone, from affordable to expensive houses and apartments.

If you’ve been thinking about relocating to a house, you should know that, according to Zillow, the median home value is over $190,000, while the median rent price is $1,500.

If you’re looking for peace and tranquility, suburbs are always a great way to go. Luckily, there are many Houston suburbs worth considering. Not only are these places more affordable, but they are usually safer, too. You may be wondering about how to meet your neighbors after moving in, but there’s not much to think about in these tight-knit communities. This is always a lovely experience in the warm and pleasant suburbs of H-Town.

Those of you thinking about renting an apartment will be happy to hear that, in spite of the rising housing prices, rentals are still cheaper than the national average. According to data provided by Numbeo, the rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the center is just over $2,600. Apartments on the outskirts are significantly cheaper – a flat of the same size outside the center would be about $1,700 per month.

Whether You’re Renting or Buying, Don’t Forget to Add Utility Costs

When you figure out what you need to rent a house or what you need to rent an apartment, you should add utilities to your list of expenses, too. According to data on Numbeo, you can expect to pay around $150 for basic utilities (water, electricity, cooling, heating, and garbage). This goes for a place of about 914 square feet. However, that’s not all – don’t forget about the Internet, which is about $60 per month.

When you choose the perfect area, it's time to look for a home that will meet your needs and fit your budget.

Food Won’t Cost You Too Much

Depending on where you’re coming from, food prices might be lower or higher than what you’re used to. But in any case, you shouldn’t worry too much about this item when you start planning your budget. The cost of living index shows that food is cheaper than the national average.

As data on Numbeo shows, you should plan to spend about $310 on food per month. For instance, a gallon of milk is $3, a loaf of bread is $0.60, and a pack of 12 eggs is about $2.20. When you go grocery shopping, be prepared to allocate more money for meat, especially beef and chicken.

Now, when you get tired of grocery shopping and cooking for yourself, it’s time to explore Houston’s excellent restaurant scene. Let’s see how much you should allocate for that.

How Much Does It Cost to Eat Out in Houston, Texas?

Even though you’ll likely pack the dishes and ship your entire kitchen, you’d also like to take a break from cooking and eat out. And you should do so, especially with such excellent eateries all around you. Some of the best restaurants in Houston are worth every penny, even if they seem pricey at first.

According to Numbeo, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is $15. When you go to a mid-range restaurant, you should expect to spend $60 on a three-course meal for two people. If you’d like to try some of the gastronomical delicacies prepared at the best eateries in H-Town, your bill will, naturally, be a bit higher. Some of these include restaurants such as Lynn’s Steakhouse or Uchi.

When you start planning your budget, be sure you calculate your monthly food expenses, too.

Transportation Costs Are Higher Than What You Might Have Expected

Since H-Town is an affordable place, generally speaking, you don’t expect getting around to be an issue, right? We are here to warn you and tell you that transportation is almost as expensive as in New York, according to the Houston Chronicle. But there’s no room for despair. You can always find some affordable options. For instance, a monthly pass for public transportation costs $50.

If you’re looking to save even more and get some exercise along the way, you can always hop on your bike. Biking has become more and more popular among Houstonians, so why not use the chance to join them?

Another popular solution the residents use to cut transportation costs is slugging. It refers to casual, impromptu carpools where strangers join to meet the occupancy requirements of HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes. Sounds convenient, doesn’t it?

Houston, TX Is Considered a Driving City

Since you’ve picked a driving city to be your future home, it’s only reasonable that you consider shipping your vehicle to your next address. So, this might be best to learn more about how car shipping works. Since you probably don’t want to drive such a long distance, you can hire professionals who can provide you with auto transport services. That way, you can have your vehicle delivered to your future address without any trouble.

When it comes to expenses, a gallon of gas is $2.35. Considering that the national average is below $2, it turns out that H-Town is not that affordable in terms of transportation.

All things considered, how high a salary is enough to live comfortably here? Let’s take a closer look at some numbers.

Most residents here drive their cars, so consider shipping your vehicle to get around easier.

How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Houston, TX?

If you haven’t thought about it yet, it’s time to start planning how to get a job in a new city. You may not be moving for a job, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a position waiting for you when you get there. With a well-paid job, you can afford to lead a comfortable life and not struggle to make ends meet. So, the question is, how good a salary is good enough in H-Town?

If you want to live comfortably, you should earn a yearly salary of about $70,000. The monthly net salary (after tax) is about $4,200, which means finding a better-paid job is of crucial importance. It’s enough to look at the data provided by Numbeo: a four-member family spends over $3,000 per month without rent. A single person needs about $900 per month, again, without rent. And we’re sure that you want to be able to do more than just work for basic monthly expenses. There’s so much to do around the city; it would be a shame to miss it.

How Much Should You Allocate for Healthcare and School?

When it comes to healthcare, monthly health insurance rates may range from $200 to $500, depending on the type of insurance. Even though this might be somewhat pricey, you should remember that H-Town has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The Texas Medical Center (TMC), located only 10 minutes away from downtown, is the largest medical center in the world.

Those of you moving with kids are probably curious about education expenses. When it comes to these expenses, you should not worry too much about them, as prices are somewhat reasonable. If you’re relocating with your little ones, preschool or kindergarten will cost you about $950 per month. If you pick one of the 277 private schools for your kid, the tuition might be somewhat higher, but still reasonable.

Make sure you have a well-paid job that allows you to lead a comfortable life in H-Town.

Cost of Living in Houston Compared to Other Cities in Texas and Around the Country

Compared to other cities around the state, H-Town stands as one of the affordable options. For instance, if you’re considering moving to Austin, you should know that the index shows that the state capital is significantly more expensive to live, especially when it comes to housing. Overall, Austin is 23% more expensive than this large metropolis, the fourth-largest in the US, to be more precise. As for other places, some of the most affordable cities in the state include the following:

  • Brownsville
  • El Paso
  • Galveston
  • Harlingen
  • Lewisville

Now, let’s see how your chosen destination compares to other cities in the United States.

Cost of Living in Houston Is Lower than in Many Popular US Destinations

When we compare H-Town to other US cities, we can see that your chosen destination is more affordable than 62% of cities around the country. The difference is particularly obvious if we compare it to some of the most popular destinations, such as NYC and LA. When it comes to San Francisco, the cost of living index shows that the City by the Bay is 179% more expensive than H-Town.

 Monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the centerBuying an apartment in the center – rates per square footThe price of a gallon of gasAverage net salary
Houston, TX$2,600$250$2.35$4,200
Austin, TX$3,000$230$2.36$4,500
Los Angeles, CA$4,200$750$4.20$4,400
New York City, NY$6,400$1,400$2.80$5,500
San Francisco, CA$6,600$1,200$3.95$7,700

To compare your chosen area to some other destinations around the country, you can use a cost of living calculator and get all the figures you want. You’ll see that H-Town is among the most affordable places with so much to offer. You can, of course, always find a cheaper option if you’re willing to relocate to a small town.

Before you make your final decision, compare H-Town with other popular destinations to check whether you've made the right choice.

Summary

If you’re not quite sure how to move, remember that you can always make this endeavor easier if you turn to a team of reliable Houston movers. You should take all the time needed to organize important papers and let experts handle the relocation process itself. In case you have some extra stuff you don’t know what to part with, you can ask for storage services. There’s a solution for everything, so don’t worry about a thing.

Making friends in a new city is a pleasant experience here, as people are friendly, open, and welcoming to newcomers. So, there’s no reason to worry about how to adjust to a new town. Houston is waiting for you in all its glory, and if you’re moving alone, rest assured that you’ll soon find someone to explore and enjoy the town with.

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