Moving to Houston discussion

Negative reviews


There’s crime in every major city.

Housing is getting expensive. You can guy a cheaper home but you’re going to be far away from a lot. If you’re fine with chain restaurants then the burbs are for you. In the summers it’s really hot so all you can do is stay inside. The beaches aren’t great.

Neutral reviews


Beach in Galveston is okay when it's not loaded with fecal bacteria. Crime is pretty rough, but if you are paying attention to your surrounding and don't venture into shady areas at night, etc, you should be okay. Some neighborhoods are a lot safer than others, obviously.

It's hot and humid as shit most months of the year, to the point where going outside sucks.

Beach in Galveston is okay when it's not loaded with fecal bacteria. Crime is pretty rough, but if you are paying attention to your surrounding and don't venture into shady areas at night, etc, you should be okay. Some neighborhoods are a lot safer than others, obviously.


I live in Houston but have always kicked myself for not having moved to Austin during my college years when I had the opportunity. You mentioned California, so figured I’d throw my 2 cents in as I would if you were a friend moving to Texas. Austin is about as close to CA as you’ll get here. Houston’s improved over the last 20 yrs, has good people, and many job opportunities but I wouldn’t move here for any other reason than jobs/housing. Concrete jungle gets old. Many best wishes wherever you decide to live.


I'm honestly not Houston's biggest fan. The poor planning makes traffic freaking horrible and they're constantly doing construction everywhere. They've been working on highway 290 since I moved here in 2011 and it still only seems to be half done. 610 is the absolute worse! Commute time to anywhere is usually 20-30 minutes from one area to the other, and about 45 minutes to an hour to the nearest airport. The nightlife for LGBT is almost non-existent unless you wanna party with twenty something white or hispanic gay males. There aren't really any just chill, mature spots that are open consistently. So, nightlife is kind of meh. Main Street downtown is kind of like an upscale Bourbon Street, but full of snooty college kinds. The school is okay in some areas. The city is a melting pot with a lot of job opportunities, but it's hard to find anything if you don't have a lot of experience, aren't bilingual or don't have a degree.

Positive reviews

David Schneider

As others have suggested location is critical. There are lots of different areas (as with any large city) and it’s important to figure out where you best fit. Ideally live close to work. Freeways in Houston are a nightmare at rush hour. If you have kids one of the suburban areas might be best although almost all neighborhoods have at least some kids. School in Houston as in any large city are uneven; again if you have kids figure out what the best schools are. If you like culture and general entertainment live as close to downtown as possible. Most of the desirable neighborhoods near the center are expensive although nothing like SF, NYC or Boston. You get used to the weather — especially the heat. Since everything is heavily air-conditioned have a sweater in the car.

There’s actually lots to do in Houston. As someone has said it’s a great city to live in but not so great for visiting. Restaurants are diverse and compared to other big cities relatively affordable; however, there are more of the best nearer the center.

Make sure you have a decent car — you’ll use it a lot. Buses seem ok (I don’t use them much), light rail is good but very limited. If you like to use public transportation get close to a bus stop with buses that take you where you want to go or near a light rail station if that can take you places you need to be. Generally in-town traffic is better than in most cities, the freeways maybe worse.

Like others I would recommend renting at first until you get the place figured out. If you spend some time evenings and weekends exploring, you’ll get it figured out pretty quickly.

I’ve lived lots of places and although I would probably prefer the Bay Area if I could afford it or Boston if I could adjust to snow again, Houston is a great city. It’s generally easier to get around and less expensive. I actually love Houston. I live near the medical center which has now become expensive, but I rarely have to use the freeways and can get to the opera, symphony, plays, jazz, etc in about 15 minutes and it’s not usually a hassle.. Try that in Boston or San Francisco.

Museums are world class and the major universities offer sports and lots of entertainment of all sorts. No hockey but everything else in terms of major pro sports. Ocean close, mountains are true wilderness not so much.

Don’t worry about the floods — just get flood insurance wherever you live. Although Harvey has flooded some areas that have never flooded before we’re not likely to get a another storm with 50″ of rain. It’s fairly easy to find out where the floods are most likely, and real estate agents are obligated to tell you if a house has flooded if you ask. I’ve lived through earthquakes, floods and tornadoes. They’re all bad but floods probably not the worst — although m,y house has never flooded. Only 30% of Houston flooded during Harvey so there are plenty of places that are safe.

Depends on what you’re used to. If you’ve been living in a small town or city, you may well like a big city that’s relatively easy to negotiate. If you’ve lived in a big city (well, not LA), you’ll find that Houston is different. It’s not as compact as most big cities (again LA is the exception) and so you do spend more time generally in a car. And I should say that although I sometimes get frustrated with the politics of Texas, Houston is actually fairly liberal and tolerant, and by most measures it is the most diverse city in the country. There is, of course, considerable segregation of housing mainly based on affordability, but in most parts of the city you’ll find a mix. Just on the block of my street, we have gay couples, Asians of various kinds, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims and Orthodox Jews, Baptists. And lots of regular old white folks. Everyone gets along just fine. For large cities relatively little racial tension.

Rod Snyder

I think most of the important issues are covered already. Make sure wherever you live has a strong a/c system. If you get one that is too small for your house/apartment you will be uncomfortable. I also agree that you should rent if you can before you buy. There’s a huge variety of options in the metro area. There are a couple of great parks in the city—Hermann Park near the Medical Center includes the Zoo, a concert shell, and lots of room for picnics. Memorial Park is on the other side of town and has a large picnic area and even some really technical mountain biking trails. Both have running trails, but the Memorial one is nicer. You do get some amazing fall, spring and winter days here. It also rains a lot as everyone mentioned. I remember when I first moved here the rain was very noticeable to me but you get used to it. It’s not Seattle. In choosing a place to live you need to pay a lot of attention to flooding issues. Just stay away from anything in a flood plain and think seriously about flood insurance as well as windstorm coverage for your homeowner’s insurance. I’ve lived here almost 40 years (if you include 8 years in Galveston) and I’ve never been a victim of a crime or witnessed one.

This is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. I think this adds a richness that is lacking in some places. I managed a customer service operation with about 60 employees and I probably had a dozen different cultures represented. I consider this a plus for Houston.

Joe Roosth

I’ve lived in Friendswood near Houston since 1992 and while people here are enamored with their trucks and SUVs I say drive what you want. I drove pick ups for 18 years and now drive a sedan. For one thing it is much easier to get in and out of garages like downtown or the medical center. And it is far more comfortable. I’ll get some dirt for that comment. Anyway yes it is Hot but you got to take a Jimmy Buffett attitude on that….”salt air it ain’t thin, it’ll stick right to your skin and make you feel fine.” This is a great time to move here in that you should definitely look for an area that did not flood during Harvey. Living on the water or near a Bayou might seem cool but it can sure get expensive. Houston proper has a HUGE base of different religions if that is something you are thinking about. I’m Jewish and there are choices from ultra reform to traditional Orhodox. We have an incredible medical presence, but am biased since I’m a doctor. It’s a food lovers paradise. Hobby airport is easy but if your flying a long way or international why you can get anywhere literally from IAH. It’s cheaper than a lot of places. But be prepared as others have said to drive. A lot. Ok be a redneck. Get a big damn truck hahahaha. Good luck and enjoy

Jc Collins

It is possible to live in Houston without a car. It just ain’t easy. I used to have a 12 mile commute, which I did on bicycle. I made a deal with the hotel a couple doors over for the use of a shower and a closet. Showed up for work every day smelling clean and in a suit and tie. Freaked my co-workers out!

OTOH, Houston is NOT bike friendly. There’s a reason I call it “combat cycling”. Mounting a Ma Deuce on the handlebars is discommended, if only for the recoil. Although it will get you lots of thumbs up.

The ubiquitous freeways and bayous will require either (long) circumvention or for God’s sake just put the bike on your shoulder and walk circumstances, unless you’re willing to merge with the traffic. That’s what I do. The first quarter mile is generally at about walking speed anyway.

I’d suggest you check out nextdoor dot com. If the area you’re looking at has a lot of “Beware armed robbers” posts, you might want to bear that in mind. I personally live in a neighborhood where it’s “Whose doggie is this” and “Loving kittens need home”. I want a kitten.


This is a pretty broad question OP. There are dozens on dozens of neighborhoods in Houston that are all vastly different from each other. Personally, I live close to downtown (commonly referred to as “inside the loop”) and it is very similar to what everyone thinks the Austin feel is like. I love the big city feel and the huge diversity that Houston has to offer.

It’s hot, but everywhere in Texas is. Whatever you do, don’t move to Dallas.

If you have more specific questions, ask away.


Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. There are people from all walks of life living within the city of Houston which include different races, religions, age and the list goes on and on. There are many things to do in Houston as long as you don't mind being outside in the humidity. There are plenty of parks, restaurants and bars to visit. There is a lot of shopping available from the Galleria to the shopping outlets throughout the city. Like anywhere else, there are things that can be improved. Roads in Houston are littered with potholes due to the poor soil content since Houston used to be a large swamp before being industrialized. Public transport isn't the best since the only thing available is the metro bus system and metro light rail. Houston is overall a great city with your mix of big city as well as country life depending on where you live. You can find a place just for you in or near the city of Houston!


I love Houston because it's very diverse here. So many people here are from different backgrounds and there are small hidden neighborhoods filled with the same people with different ethnic backgrounds. All the diverse people here make the culture, food, and Houston environment feel welcoming and incredible


This is a working city, yet there are various of activities to do here. Downtown Houston contains a lot of places where one can enjoy their selves like the zoo and the parks. This place is very diverse and connected city, love it.

Christine Hall

The Houston metro area attracts people with an entrepreneurial spirit and those who want to work at some of the country's largest companies. Not only is Houston the hub of the oil and gas industries, but it's also a major center of manufacturing and health care. The region has weathered the economic downturn better than similarly sized metro areas in terms of bouncing back from lost jobs. As the country recouped, Houston was able to gain all of its lost jobs back, and has gone on to add two jobs for every one lost.

A paycheck goes further in Houston than it does in other major metro areas, with affordable housing and free or cheap attractions like biking along Buffalo Bayou and exploring the 7,800-acre George Bush Park. The affordability of this region, which is located in southeastern Texas and home to more than 6.7 million residents in the metro area, is attracting new people from across the country and around the world.

In Houston, dining is a pastime, and the region pleases palates with more than 11,000 restaurants. Houston has everything from award-winning establishments like Underbelly to barbecue joints like Gatlin's BBQ. The metro area also offers a variety of international cuisine ranging from Ethiopian to Indian.