Expats planning to move to Houston often have all sorts of questions, particularly about schools and the best areas to live. Read on for the most frequently asked questions about living in Houston.
What is the weather like in Houston?
Summers in Houston can be intense for new arrivals with temperatures frequently reaching highs of 100°F (40°C). Houston also suffers through a heavy hurricane season from June to November which can lead to flooding.
Other than summer, the weather in Houston is quite pleasant with winter being very mild.
What are the best public school districts in Houston?
Houston has several school districts, each with a number of elementary, middle and high school options. While many will insist that only certain districts are acceptable, it’s important to keep in mind that certain schools in reputable districts may have poor performance records, and certain schools in districts with a less than perfect reputation may have exceptional performance records. For this reason, it’s highly advised that expats do their research on districts in general, but also to take the time to suss out individual educational institutions.
Is healthcare accessible in Houston?
Houston is actually know for its excellent healthcare system. Many patients travel to Houston to receive specialist treatments. If a resident feels like they aren't receiving the care they need, they'll have no shortage of a second opinion.
Unfortunately, like in the rest of the USA, healthcare can be exorbitantly expensive. New arrivals are advised to get medical insurance as soon as they arrive in the country.
Can I rely on public transport while in Houston?
Sadly, one of the biggest drawbacks of life in Houston is the distinct lack of accessible public transport. Though the city does have a bus system and the METRORail, neither service the city effectively. This is due to the city being so large and spread out.
Taxis and ride-hailing apps like Uber are popular in the city. Many residents end up renting or buying their own car as driving is the easiest way of navigating the city. New arrivals should avoid driving in rush hour though, as the city is notorious for its heavy traffic.
What is the cost of living in Houston?
The cost of living in NYC, LA and Chicago are significantly higher than living in Houston. The primary reason the cost of living in Houston is lower is that the cost of accommodation in the city is so affordable. Obviously, some options are both lower and higher than this – depending on the level of luxury and the size of the space one will be renting.
Additionally, petrol is cheap in this Texan energy capital. Food is also priced lower than the national average.
What are the best neighbourhoods to live in?
A difficult question that begs a difficult answer. Different neighbourhoods are “best” for different people, depending on priorities, the desired proximity to certain places and budget.
For the young, single professional, it might be best to live somewhere in central Houston, while expat families may be more suited to live just outside of central Houston, in one of the many areas known for high levels of safety and exemplary school districts.