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What to Know Before Moving to Houston:

Houston, Texas, with a population of over 2.3 million people, is the fourth most populous city in the nation, and is predicted to grow to be the third most populous city by the second half of the decade of 2020.  Its 665 square miles are colored with at least 145 different spoken languages and are represented by 90 nations.  It is a vibrant city with extraordinary and eclectic places to go and things to do.  Houston is home to some delicious eats.  Try Houston’s famous chicken and waffles or wild game hot dogs at Moon Tower Inn.  If you dare, visit Hubcap Grill and delve into the Triple Heart Clogger Burger.  Don’t leave the city until you have experienced the second best barbecue destination in America: Killen’s, located in Pearland, is serving up barbecue good enough to compete with Texas Hill Country competitors.  From a baseball game at Minute Maid Park to exploring space at the NASA center, Houston provides activities and opportunities by the hundreds.  Texas’ biggest city is known as the Bayou City by its waterway system.  For business…for fun…for living and for visiting, Houston serves as a major corporate center, and is home to 23 Fortune 500 companies.  

Houston’s economic infrastructure is supported by three airports, a trucking and rail system that links the southern, south central, midwestern, and western United States.  This system allows a rich and widely diverse economy that includes energy-related businesses, business services, aerospace, technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.  As these industries continue to grow, Houston calls more workers and people to its city and gives locals, transplants, and immigrants a chance to earn their living in the lone star state.

Find All You Need to Know About Moving to Houston

So you’re ready to move to the Space City?  We’ve created this resource to provide you with everything you need for your Houston move, right at your fingertips.  Check out the links below for everything you need to know before,  during, and after your move.  

Houston Places to Live
Houston Places to Live

Great Places to Live in Houston:

There are many variables to consider when relocating to a big city.  Houston, a relatively young city, is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.  Along with diverse communities and cultural amenities, a low cost of living draws people to relocate to the Houston area.  Say goodbye to city and state income tax here in the city.  Houston is high on quality living and low on costly living.  Research shows that Houston’s overall after-taxes living costs are 4.4% below the average for all 257 urban areas, according to data, insight, and analysis from houston.org.  Residents enjoy the fact that Houston is the 3rd most affordable city among the nation’s 20 biggest metros.

Cinco Ranch

Cinco Ranch, a family community, is rated #1 in best places to live in the Houston Area.  Residents, 16,977 strong, tend to own their homes with a percentage of 83-17.  This dense suburban area has a median home value of $362,100, median rent of $1,375, and a medium household income of $139,420.  The community provides great schools like Seven Lakes High School, Cinco Ranch High School, Beckendorff Junior High School, Rodger& Ellen Beck Junior High School, and Sue Creech Elementary School.  Cinco Ranch offers residents a tranquil space with plenty of parks and entertainment facilities such as bumper cars, swimming pools with waterslides, water parks, trampoline parks, and nature hikes.

Sugar Land

Sugar Land, with a population of 118,182, offers residents a safe and beautiful place to live in the Houston area.  In this neighborhood, the crime rate is far below the national average, and the secondary educational institutions are the finest in the state.  The diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds harmonize and provide ample opportunities for residents to learn and celebrate.  Folks live quite comfortably with a median household income of $122,233 and a median home value of $309,000.  Renting is not popular in the area, as 83% of residents choose to own their home.   However, if renting is the only option, plan to spend around $1,719 monthly.  Popular places to work in Sugar Land include Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, Emerus Hospital, and Team Inc.  Top public schools serving Sugar Land are Clements High School, Dulles High School, Stephen F. Austin High School, George Ranch High School, and William B. Travis High School.

New Territory

Right next to Sugar Land, and scoring #4 on the niche.com list of best places to live in Houston, is New Territory. The open space and naturescape make this sparse suburban community a great place to live. The median household income rests at $135,444, far above the national average.  The median home value comes in at $276,800 with a median rent of $1,554.  Eighty-five percent of these residents choose to own their home.  New Territory’s population of 15,699 is serviced well by many parks and schools.  Top public schools serving New Territory include Stephen F. Austin High School, William B. Travis High School, Sartartia Middle School, Walker Station Elementary School, and Brazos Bend Elementary School.

Several other comparable and reputable communities in the Houston area include Greatwood, Nassau Bay, Spring Valley Village, University Place, Memorial, and Clear Lake.  

The best private schools in the Houston area include St. John’s School, with an enrollment of 1,258 students; The Awty International School, with an enrollment of 1,731 students; St. Agnes Academy, with an enrollment of 921 students, The Village School, and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School.  Popular and prestigious public schools include Carnegie Vanguard High School, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Seven Lakes High School, Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Memorial High School.


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Houston Careers and Opportunities
Houston Careers and Opportunities

Career Opportunities & Industries in Houston:

Although Houston’s economy is based primarily on the oil and energy industry, healthcare, biomedical research, and aerospace continue to provide large portions of the occupation sector.  Its employment base has become increasingly diverse since 1981, when 85% of Houston’s economy was primarily energy-related businesses.  Real estate and corporate location, finance, information technology, higher education, trade, tourism, retail, and media make up other sectors of the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area.  The Houston metropolitan area comprises the largest concentration of petrochemical manufacturing in the world.  Included in this industry is the manufacturing of fertilizers, synthetic rubber, and insecticides.  It is also the leader in oilfield equipment construction, as it provides more than 3,000 energy-related businesses, including many of the top oil and gas exploration, petroleum pipeline operators, and production firms.  The City of Houston offers a wide range of incentive programs to encourage business and industry.  These programs pertain to expansion or relocation decisions, and are available for Tax Abatement Programs, Enterprise Zones, Tax increment Reinvestment Zones.

The Port of Houston, the nation’s largest port in international tonnage and second in total tonnage, is one of the region’s greatest assets.  This 50-mile system has public and private facilities in multiple communities.  Barbours Cut Terminal, the busiest terminal in the port, is located in Morgan’s Point.  The port, situated along Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay, is operated by the Port of Houston Authority, and is a major point of international trade for the United States.  An expansion and renovation of part of the port began in 2010 and is expected to be completed by 2020.  This renovation will give The Turning Basin Terminal a multipurpose complex with open wharves and 37 docks to be used for direct discharge and loading of breakbulk, containerized, project or heavy-lift cargoes, and is projected to accommodate the increase in the transportation of steel.  Many petroleum companies have built refineries along the channel where they are partially protected from the threat of major Gulf of Mexico storms.  According to statistics provided in 2006 by portofhouston.com, the port’s annual revenue is $168 million, while its economic value is $118 billion.  With a net income of $42 million, the port of Houston records 785,000 attributable jobs.  

The port provides a portion of its economic value, but Houston’s infrastructure is supported by other modes of transportation, hauling, and shipment.  More than 600 trucking firms operate in Houston, some of which are Nationwide Transport Services, Adams Warehouse and Delivery, B4 Logistics Inc., and Air 7 Seas Transport Logistics, Inc

ConocoPhillips, an American multinational energy corporation, is headquartered in the Energy corridor district of Houston, and is an industry leader with 11,400 employees.  With an annual revenue of $38.7 billion, an average ConocoPhillips employee makes $99,333 a year.  Highest paying competitors include , Occidental Petroleum, and Phillips Petroleum International Investment Co.  Jobs in this company and industry include drilling engineer, construction, and science and engineering.

Occidental Petroleum engages in hydrocarbonation exploration in the United States, as well as in the Middle East and Colombia.  Organized in Delaware and headquartered in Houston, this company also contributes to the petrochemical manufacturing in the United States, Canada, and Chile.  Occidental Petroleum employees have a retention rate of 3.8 years and make an average of $105,606 annually.  They are an industry leader with 11,000 employees and an annual revenue of $17.8 billion.  Occidental Petroleum is rated by zippia.com as the #2 best company to work for in Houston, Texas.  Job opportunities include ICS Network Security Engineer, Field Foreman, Corrosion Tech, Sr Staff Accountant, Sr Paralegal, and E&I Technician.  

CITGO Petroleum and Phillips 66 both serve the multinational energy community to provide energy in ways that improve lives.  Median annual salaries hover around $37,000.

The Sysco Corporation is involved in marketing and distributing food products, smallwares, kitchen equipment, and table top items to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities.  Competitive with Ecolab, Kimberly-Clark, and Staples, Sysco employees remain in the company for nearly four years, and earn approximately $49,285 annually.  The company is an industry leader with 66,500 employees, an annual revenue of $55.4 billion, great products, and exceptional service.  Recent job opportunities include Sr. Director, Labor Relations, Coord, Benefits Administration, Warehouse Associate, and CDL B Delivery Truck Driver.

Retail companies in the Houston area include Mattress Firm, Charming Charlie, Stage Stores, Momentum BMW, Houston Wire & Cable Company, Lewis Food Town, and Mustang Cat.

In the healthcare industry several hospitals, cancer centers, and clinics provide outstanding service to the Houston communities. Texas Children’s Hospital, employs 11,970 workers and brings in an annual revenue of $5.5 billion.  It is voted by zippia.com as the #1 in  best healthcare companies to work for in Houston, Texas. MD Anderson Cancer Center is a part of The University of Texas and is a comprehensive cancer center in Houston.  The #2 rated healthcare company seeks to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees, and the public.  Several other healthcare facilities and centers include US Physical Therapy, Burzynski Clinic, Legacy Community Health Services, and Alleviant Medical.

The Houston’s community is served through the finance community by Aramco Services, Cardtronics, Crestwood Equity Partners, Prosperity Bancshares, and Cadence Bank.

Zippia.com has curated a list of the best companies to work for headquartered in and around Houston.  Here is a list of 18 best Fortune 500 companies to work for in Houston.

Houston Things to Do
Houston Things to Do

Things to do in Houston:

It is said that everything is bigger in Texas…so, naturally, the fun adventures, spectacular attractions, and amazing experiences are bigger and better, as well!  Houston is a magnet for tourism.  Its close connection to the Space Center Houston, and NASA’s astronaut training and flight control complex bring space enthusiasts from all over the world!  Visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science to explore the breathtaking collection of mineral specimens, space station models, dinosaur skeleton mounds, and the planetarium.  Spend an afternoon in the Children’s Museum.  It was founded in 1980 by a group of parents who desired to raise early education development within the community.  Hands on exhibits and sensory stimulating stations make this a memorable place for the whole family.  Discovery Green is an 11.78 acre public city park .  This urban oasis offers open air reading rooms, free WiFi, playgrounds, and shareable games and equipment.  The Downtown Aquarium is home to a gigantic 500,000 gallon aquatic wonderland filled with exotic species and fish.  The six acre dining and entertainment complex was made even more spectacular with the redesigning of two of Houston’s landmarks…the Central Waterworks Building and Fire Station No.1.  

The Health Museum is a common stop for school aged children as it serves as a popular field trip venue.  The Health Museum welcomes more than 180,000 guests each year, and provides children and adults alike with excellent interactive health and science educational experiences.  Walk through the human body, and participate in real organ dissections as part of your visit.  

Fast Track Amusements gives the family perfect race track memories.  Drive on the Wacky Gator Super Speedway.  Play dozens of arcade games, miniature gold, laser tag, and Formula 1 style go karts.  For the more cultured tourists, the Museum of Fine Arts caters to nearly 1.25 million guests who attend workshops, programs, and resource centers annually.  This museum is home to Gleizes’s La Femme, Memling’s portrail, Monet’s Water Lilies, and dozens of Roman period sculptures and statues.  

Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, now brings open air baseball to Houston for the first time in over thirty-five years.  The recently renovated baseball stadium is complete with a 242 for high retractable roof. 

Other places of interest to add to an exploration itinerary include Cockrell Butterfly Center, The Galleria, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Hines Waterwall Park, Texas Rock Gym, the Houston Zoo and Hermann ParkJPMorgan and Chase Tower, and the Toyota Center.  Take a stroll or ride a bike through Buffalo Bayou Park.  This 160 acre green space running through the city is sure to take work off our mind!

Sports in Houston:

Astros, Texans, Dynamo and Dash, Rockets, SaberCats, and Skeeters…Houston has several professional sports teams that are sure to please the fans and crowds on or off the court.  

The Astros light up Minute Maid Park with baseball memories.  You will definitely want to sit in the Crawford Boxes-the 2,500 seat-section that juts out into the left field corner.  Here you will have a chance to go home with a home run ball!  

Dynamo and Dash soccer teams have made a name for themselves as they compete in the new BBVA Compass stadium.  

The Houston Rockets, playing in the Toyota Center, can amaze up to 18,300 fans in the indoor arena.  

Playing in the AVEVA Stadium, the Houston SaberCats are one of seven teams in the newly formed Major League Rugby league.  They made Houston their home in 2018.

Texas and football just seem to go together.  The NRG Stadium, an indoor/outdoor venue featuring natural grass and a retractable roof, is home to the Texans.  

The Skeeters, playing at Constellation Field, are Sugar Land’s ALPB professional baseball team.  The stadium has a playland designed specifically for children, complete with jungle gym equipment, a splash pad, and a carousel.

Getting Around Town – Transportation in Houston:

Whether it is by rail, bus, taxi, Uber or Lyft, the B-Cycle Program, or rentals, Houston has convenient and affordable access to public transportation.  

The METRORail provides convenient and accessible service in downtown Houston, NRG Park, Museum District, and the Texas Medical CenterThe Theater District, BBVA Compass Stadium, and places east of downtown are accessed through two additional lines.  

METRO bus system runs locally on city streets, stopping at every other corner along its route.  Bus service is cost effective as its fare is just $1.25 one-way.  Long distance commuting is available through the Park & Ride service.  Fares for this service range anywhere from $2-$4.50 depending on your destination and distance.  There are 1,236 buses in the Metro bus fleet.  They travel along 23 miles of light rail.  

Convenient to those choosing to travel by taxi, is the flat taxi fare.  The City of Houston has issued a flare taxi fare of $6 for all trips in the downtown area.  

You will find many Uber and Lyft drivers in the Houston area.  Statistically, Houston was the first city in Texas to approve ride-sharing services including Uber.  

As in many other big metropolises, Houston has acquired a bike-share program.  Guests may check out a bike from any kiosk for just $3 for 30 minutes.  This feature is particularly appropriate for those looking to tour the city’s core, visit the Museum District, or spend some time in the Buffalo Bayou.

Houston has a fleet of nearly 30,000 cars that are available for rent.  From the traditional sedan to the sporty and exotic, rental companies throughout the city provide great service and equipment.  Check out Auto Exotic Rental for the fancy drives!

Crime in Houston:

Houston, Texas’ most populous city, is also its most dangerous city.  With a crime rate of 52 per one thousand residents, Houston is safer than only four other cities in America.  Annual crimes in Houston total 120,256, with 95,926 of them being property related crimes.  Violent crimes total 24,330 annually.

Education in Houston:

With an emphasis on higher education, Houston has several colleges that remain at the top of the list.  

Rice University, at $23,202 a year, has 3,899 undergraduates, and popular majors such as economics, information science, and chemical engineering.  

The University of Houston, slightly more cost effective at $16,002 a year, has 28,029 undergraduates, and popular majors in psychology, finance, and accounting.  

University of Houston Downtown is cheaper yet at $7,883 a year.  Popular majors include liberal arts and humanities, business, and accounting.  There are 6,201 undergraduates on campus and 13 online programs offered.  

Other notable colleges include Texas Southern University, Remington College-North Houston, North American University, American InterContinental University-Houston, College of Biblical Studies-Houston, and University of Houston-Clear Lake.

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