According to the United States Census Bureau, Houston has a population of 2.1 million people. It is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States. Sam Houston, the former president of the Republic of Texas, is honored with the name of this huge metropolis. Houston is an attractive area to live, work, and play in because of its status as a dynamic metropolis. Houston, being the country’s fourth-largest metropolis, has a thriving job market as well as plenty of recreation and nightlife. In comparison to places such as Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco, Houston is also comparatively inexpensive to live in. In Houston, there’s a neighborhood for everyone, whether you enjoy art and culture or prefer a quiet retreat from the city. It’s no surprise that Houston is one of Texas’ top locations to live.
Continue reading to learn more about Houston’s cost of living so you can start planning your big move and budgeting properly.
Housing Prices in Houston
The good news is that Houston’s cost of living is lower than the national average, according to the Cost of Living Index. Housing will be your most significant expense, as it will be everywhere you live. Here’s some more information on how Houston compares. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, H:Town added around 71,000 jobs in 2019. Despite the fact that the epidemic has impacted most economies, Houston is on track to have a positive economic outlook. Construction, administration, and waste management are all expected to bring a significant number of employment to the market.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing rents to fluctuate across the country. The good news for renters is that year-over-year rent growth in Houston jumped by 11% above last year’s average. A one-bedroom apartment in Houston costs $1,002 per month on average. A bedroom apartment will run you back $1,192 a month on average. These values are also appropriate for residents of other Texas cities, such as Dallas. The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Houston is $1,101, which is slightly higher than the national average. Houston’s rents are normally lower than those in most large urban areas, but they will undoubtedly rise when the pandemic subsides. If you’re looking to buy a home in the future, Houston’s real estate prices are dropping. A single-family home in this area will set you back $395,316 on average. Of course, the neighborhood in which you buy a home in Houston has an impact on costs. Experts anticipate a significant increase in 2021 and beyond. Purchasing a condo or townhouse in a desirable location, such as Downtown Houston, will have an impact on your budget. The more luxurious amenities you have and the further you are from public transit, the more you will pay.
Transportation Costs in Houston
Houston is a car-centric city. You can still get around by taking rideshare, walking, or taking public transportation. The less you rely on your car, the less money you’ll have to spend. In Houston, finding a parking spot might be difficult. However, securing a place will be easier than in Chicago or New York. As a single adult, you can expect to spend about $5,113 per year on transportation. The cost of transportation for a household of three (two working adults and a child) is $9,378 per year.
When vehicle culture becomes the norm, you’ll need to budget for gas properly. The cost of gasoline in Houston is relatively low. The price of gasoline fluctuates at $2.78 per gallon. You can get rid of your car if you live close to work. Instead, take the METRO to catch a bus or light rail. The METRO Fare Card allows you to pay for your ticket using a credit card, PayPal, or Apple Pay, and your ticket will be activated right away. You can also get five free rides after 50 paid rides or pay $1.25 for a single one-way journey. It’s important to know that the public transit system is divided into zones based on where you live and how far you’re traveling. At $8 each ride, Park & Ride Zone 7 is the most expensive.
Food Prices in Houston
Plan ahead of time because Houston is known for its food. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, a single full-time working adult who cooks their own meals and snacks spends about $3,010 on food each year. Keep in mind that this is for a low-maintenance diet. Depending on where you reside, your dietary essentials will change as well.
Check on the basis to get an estimate of food pricing. A loaf of bread will set you back $2.29, a gallon of milk will set you back $3.02, and a dozen eggs will set you back $1.92 in the city. Because large supermarkets are scarce in downtown Houston, it is characterized as a “food desert.” Spend more on groceries delivery or make a quick trip to a nearby area. You can’t visit Houston without trying some of the city’s most well-known meals. The sizzling fajitas, fried shrimp, crawfish and noodles, pork ribs, and other dishes are popular. Lunch in a cheap restaurant will set you back at least $15.50. Supper for two people in a mid-range restaurant can set you back at around $52. Houston is also home to James Beard Award winners and finalists, restaurants featured in Southern Living’s 100 Places to Eat Now, and Travel & Leisure’s best of the best. You could spend an entire year eating your way around Houston and still not be able to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
Costs of Healthcare in Houston
Budgeting for healthcare as a necessary part of your overall living expenses is critical. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are used by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator to estimate typical health spending. A single full-time working adult in Harris County may expect to pay $2,760 per year, while a family of three can expect to pay $8,554 per year.
Houston Utilities Is a Public Utility in Houston, Texas
Electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage should all be included in a basic utility bill, regardless of where you live. In Houston, you can expect to pay around $140.14 per month for a 915 sq. ft. apartment. Remember that Texas isn’t known for its pleasant summers. During the summer months of May to August, you may expect to pay extra to run your air conditioner. In addition, the internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) will add $59.80 to the total monthly utility bill. This brings your monthly payment to $199.94.
Fitness and Entertainment in Houston
In the fall, winter, and spring, Houston’s temperate environment provides additional possibilities to cycle, jog, and get in shape outside. Summers make it more difficult to spend the day outside in the heat. You’ll pay roughly $40.69 in monthly membership costs if you’re a gymgoer who needs a space to cool down while working out. Houston is a culturally rich city with a thriving Museum District. If you want to tour the city’s 19 museums and 9 mile museum area, you’ll need a bigger budget. Moviegoers should expect to pay roughly $11 for a ticket. If you want to stop at the concession stand for food and drinks, remember to add on more time. A golf course and the Houston Zoo are both located in Hermann Park. The park is a great spot for families to spend the day learning about the zoo’s 6,000 animals and 900 kinds.
Things to Do for Free in Houston
Residents of Houston already have a low cost of living. However, there are a number of free sites and activities in the metro region that might help you stretch your budget even further. The Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston’s Museum District presents free performances, films, and music throughout the summer months. Visit the Menil Collection for free and see works by Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, as well as other artists from around the world. On the Armand Bayou Paddling Trail, you can also go kayaking. Houston has a lot of open green spaces where you may relax or exercise. In Buffalo Bayou Park, the Hike and Bike Trail, or Brays Bayou Park, go running, riding, or walking the dog. The 1,466 acres of Memorial Park provide plenty of space for superb golf.
Houston Cost of Living Calculator
Calculate how much money you’ll need to live comfortably in Houston. Our cost of living calculator will estimate your anticipated spending on food, utilities, transportation, housing, healthcare, and other items. From the drop-down menus, select your marital status and family type. To help you determine the cost of living in Houston, the calculator will break down your monthly expenditures on food, utilities, transportation, housing, healthcare, and other miscellaneous goods.
Other Houston Expenses to Consider
When living in Houston, there are a few more costs to consider. If you want to buy a house, you should know that property taxes in Houston are likely to be higher, ranging from 2% to 3%. Texas, on the other hand, has no state or municipal personal income taxes, which can save you a lot of money come tax season. You may be surprised by the sales tax, however, it might be mitigated by the lack of income taxes. Houston, Texas’s minimum combined 2020 sales tax rate is now 8.25 percent. When you reside in Houston, you won’t have to worry about freezing winters or icy wear and tear on your car. During the summer, though, heat can be a serious issue. In addition to budgeting for an increase in air conditioning costs, most Texans require a pool to cool off. Apartment complexes all across the metro region have swimming pools. You’re also about an hour from Galveston and the shore, where you can cool off, wander the Pier, and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Salary Estimates in Houston
Not sure how much money you’ll need to live comfortably in Houston?
In Houston, the recommended annual household income for a one bedroom apartment is around $40,040. You’ll need to make at least $47,632 per year to live comfortably in a two-bedroom apartment. Keep in mind, however, that the “living wage” refers to the amount of money required to live above the poverty line. For a fulltime working single individual in Houston, the basic living wage is $14.33 per hour. Extras like eating out at restaurants and going to the movies are not included in the livable wage. It also ignores any savings for a rainy day fund or retirement.
At the end of the year, Houston’s estimated median household income was $52,338 per year. Consider your wage in relation to Houston’s median rent costs if you’re unsure how much you’ll need to live comfortably. Your lifestyle will be less stressful if you can find an economical location to live. If your one bedroom rent is $1,000 per month, your monthly salary should be at least $3,333 per month or $40,000 per year. According to the $40,000 per year rule, you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly salary on rent. Plan ahead of time because Houston has a plethora of amazing restaurants, museums, and nightlife. To take advantage of all the city has to offer, you’ll need to acquire higher paying work or start a side hustle. There are other choices to explore if you can’t find the pay you want in Houston. Having a roommate lowers your costs and gives you more freedom when it comes to splurges and nightlife.
Employers in Houston’s Surrounding Areas
Houston locals have access to a thriving work market. The coronavirus pandemic, on the other hand, has slowed its spread. The job market in the metro area attracts newcomers looking for possibilities for job growth. Houston is a welcoming city for newcomers. The work market is less competitive than in other major cities. Among the city’s largest employers are Walmart, Memorial Hermann Health System, HEB, McDonald’s, Houston Methodist, and United Airlines. Houston is also home to Boeing Space Exploration, Houston Spaceport, Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston, and other aerospace companies.
Facts About the Cost of Living
When compared to the combined price of entry to each of the five venues, the Houston City PASS works as a ticket to five Houston attractions, saving you 47 percent.
The City PASS includes admission to the following attractions:
*Houston Space Center
*Houston Museum of Natural Science
* Houston Zoo or Houston Museum of Fine Arts
*Kemah Boardwalk or Houston Children’s Museum
Do You Prefer Sports Over Museums?
You’ve come to the right place. Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National
Baset ball Association, and the National Football League all have teams in Houston (Texans).
The following is a list of the average ticket costs for each of these teams:
Astros (Houston): $40.25 (2018, Statista.com)
Houston Rockets: $67.24 (Statista.com, 2015/16)
Texans of Houston: $107.67 (2018, Statista.com)
Dynamo de Houston: $18-$206 (2017, WCPO Cincinnati)
What About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the City’s Most Famous Attraction?
The cheapest Rodeo tickets are $20, but if you want to be in the front row, you’ll have to pay $125.
Moving to Houston: Tips
Moving can have a significant financial impact, and you’ll have to deal with mortgages, budgeting, and other financial issues. A financial advisor can be quite beneficial in managing this life transition. It doesn’t have to be difficult to find the perfect financial advisor for your needs. In only 5 minutes, Smart Asset’s free tool matches you with local financial experts.
Get started now if you’re ready to be matched with local experts who can help you reach your financial objectives.
When you relocate to a new location or state, your money will have to go as well. It can be difficult to choose a new bank, but here are some Houston area options: FirstBank Southwest, First Texas Bank, Falcon International Bank, and Community Bank of Texas.
Houston caters to a wide range of interests. There’s a moderate climate, a developing job market, and a diverse range of food and culture to select from.