Why Houston Is Cheap (Tax, Floods and Reasons To Move There)

House prices throughout the United States have risen rapidly over the last decade, although prices in Houston seem cheaper than in other states.

A combination of no income tax, low sales tax, and risk of flooding are factors for cheaper housing in Houston. There are also cheaper groceries in Houston where you can get more than a third compared to other states.

Aarial View Of Houses In Houston Texas Usa. Top Of Homes With Swimming Pool And Outdoor Parking Lots - Texas News, Places, Food, Recreation, And Life.
Aarial View Of Houses In Houston Texas Usa. Top Of Homes With Swimming Pool And Outdoor Parking Lots - Texas News, Places, Food, Recreation, And Life.

What Makes Houston Cheap?

The reason Houston is cheap is that Texas, the state where it lies, is cheap overall. This is because it’s a state with no income taxes. Not only that, but its cost of living is generally a lot less than in other states.

The fact that groceries in Houston would be 42% cheaper than in New York is a prime example of this. On the same basis, living in New York would cost you twice as much as it would if you were living in Texas.

While other cities in Texas are also cheap, like Austin and Dallas, Houston is still the cheapest of the bunch. Not to mention, it’s also the biggest, that’s why living there is quite a bargain.

It’s Prone to Floods

There are 80,311 properties that are at risk of being affected by flooding in the upcoming 30 years. This number makes up 31% of all the properties in Houston, which is a pretty large percentage if you’re talking about living safely.

It’s worth mentioning that the risk is more about posing a challenge to day-to-day life in the city’s community and less about the complete destruction of the city.

Perhaps this is why if you compare two similar apartments, the one in Houston would be much cheaper to rent or buy than the one in New York.

There Are No Zoning Laws

Houston is one of the few cities that have no zoning laws, which are typically used to govern land use. Instead, they use a complex system of codes to regulate real estate development. Still, these codes don’t put restrictions on or dictate land use.

For this reason, housing can easily be available in abundance. With an extensive supply to meet any level of demand, the housing market is one of the cheapest ones out there.

Does this mean that you should be considering moving to Houston, Texas?

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Houston Texas Skyline During Sunset
Houston Texas Skyline During Sunset - Texas News, Places, Food, Recreation, And Life.

Should You Consider Moving to Houston?

Before moving to a new city, you have to consider a lot more than just the prices there. This is why this section is dedicated to the pros and cons of Houston, Texas. After learning both, you’ll be able to decide whether this move would be the right one for you or not.

Pros of Living in Houston, Texas

Let’s discuss some of the points that make Houston, Texas, one of the best places to live in the USA:

1. Job Market

Houston is known for its booming industries of oil and gas, manufacturing, aerospace, and health care. Just in the energy sector alone, you can expect to find plenty of job opportunities.

From the period of 2016 to 2022, the median household income in Houston was $53.6K. Let’s just remind you that this is pure income as this city knows no income tax.

2. Cost of living

As we’ve mentioned, the cost of living in Houston is quite cheap. You can rent a 2-bedroom apartment for as low as $1,277 to around $1,797 per month

Not to mention, there are plenty of attractions, a lot of which are free. For example, you can see a free movie screening at Market Square Park or you can attend a free classical music show, ballet show, or Shakespeare play at Miller Outdoor Theater.

3. Great Food

Not only are there many attractions but also many places to eat great food. You can find diverse options, from New American and European cuisines in bistros to Tex-Mex dishes at El Tiempo Cantina.

Around Montrose, you’ll find plenty of food places, arty culture, and fun nightlife experiences.

Cons of Living in Houston, Texas

Now that we’ve covered the good, let’s look at the aspects of Houston living that could put you off:

1. Unpredictable Weather

Apart from having a rather humid climate, Houston is also known for its abundance of bugs. This includes mosquitoes and wasps. But the most off-putting one is that it’s also known for snakes  —known to thrive in humid weather.

Not to mention, this weather is the reason so many floods happen in Houston, which makes it a problematic city to live in.

2. Traffic

If you live in Houston, you’ll have to get used to being stuck in traffic. Worse yet, if you don’t own a car, you’ll have to adapt to the subpar public transportation available.

3. High Internet Costs

Staying connected online in Houston would cost you around $30 each month. This is relatively pricey when you compare it to other seemingly more expensive places like New York.

4. Property and Sales Taxes

While the price of apartments and rentals isn’t extremely high, Houston does impose quite hefty taxes on property —around 1.9%— and sales taxes.

Most of your purchases would come with an 8.25% sales tax, which is pretty high compared to other places around the country.

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What’s the population distribution like in Houston?

Houston is known for its cultural diversity, and the Census Bureau shows that 44.5% of the people there are Latino or Hispanic, 24.1% are white, 22.8% are African American or Black, 7% are mixed race, 6.9% are Asian, and 0.3% are Alaska natives or American Indian.

What are the major attractions in Houston?

The downtown area in Houston is quite compact, and it is crowded with attractions. Starting with the Theater District that houses the Houston Grand Opera and moving to the Johnson Space Center, Houston Zoo, and Downtown Aquarium. Not to mention, the beach is an excellent place to spend a humid day. There’s plenty to enjoy around the city.