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Old 07-12-2012, 01:05 PM
 
9,633 posts, read 6,570,633 times
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This is internet data on the cost of living, but I don't necessarily agree with it as a comparison between Chicago and Houston as we moved from the Chicago area and do not find that things are quite as cheap here as they seem.

Cost of Living in Houston

Note that housing is cheaper, but... it is also less well built, so you need more maintenance and that is not taken into account. The cost of groceries seems quite comparable to me not that much less here. With utilities, you basically pay more in the summer because of the heavy use of a/c and less in the winter because you don't need much heat. Transportation actually costs a LOT more here if you use public transportation in Chicago and have to use a car here. I almost never used a car in Chicago - in fact, I walked and biked frequently which I cannot do her because of the heat and because things are not close enough to walk to. I actually biked or walked to the grocery store in my suburb frequently in Chicago. In so far as health care goes, I cannot speak so much to the costs as we had great insurance in Chicago and we have retired here, so we have medicare. I am not particularly happy with the provider I have who takes medicare and am looking to change docs, but I don't want to go into Houston for someone. I need someone who is in Pearland.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Houston
2,248 posts, read 2,821,195 times
Reputation: 1507
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
This is internet data on the cost of living, but I don't necessarily agree with it as a comparison between Chicago and Houston as we moved from the Chicago area and do not find that things are quite as cheap here as they seem.

Cost of Living in Houston

Note that housing is cheaper, but... it is also less well built, so you need more maintenance and that is not taken into account. The cost of groceries seems quite comparable to me not that much less here. With utilities, you basically pay more in the summer because of the heavy use of a/c and less in the winter because you don't need much heat. Transportation actually costs a LOT more here if you use public transportation in Chicago and have to use a car here. I almost never used a car in Chicago - in fact, I walked and biked frequently which I cannot do her because of the heat and because things are not close enough to walk to. I actually biked or walked to the grocery store in my suburb frequently in Chicago. In so far as health care goes, I cannot speak so much to the costs as we had great insurance in Chicago and we have retired here, so we have medicare. I am not particularly happy with the provider I have who takes medicare and am looking to change docs, but I don't want to go into Houston for someone. I need someone who is in Pearland.
One reason I would never buy a house in Houston.
The thing is nana, prices have been rising all over...for everything and not necessarily uniformly for each region/city. So I don't know when you moved from Chicago, but things are likely to have risen there as well.
In Boston, while it's not the same as the cost of a car, fares have increased by close to 50%.
Some people (like me) are pretty good with the heat, so it really depends on your preference. I learned I can't really do the cold, especially because my body fat is pretty low, so I snuggle up with my boyfriend. So in terms of weather, go where your body is happy--you'll save more money.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Spring Branch, Houston, TX
23 posts, read 24,560 times
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Thanks for sharing!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlionjr View Post
Since I've been a regular on this web-site I've never posted my own experiences of living in Houston. So I decided why not do it now since i'm starting to feel somewhat like a Houstonian being a resident of the city for some time now.

Overall experience since living in Houston has been pretty much a life changing situation that only get's better and better. I moved here from Waco,Texas as I was pretty much finish with college and ready to move out of Waco. Nothing against Waco, I just felt like I've done so much in Waco and my heart really wasn't in a small or mid size city but more wanting to be in a urban jungle. Prior to moving to Houston, I had the option to move to DFW or Atlanta and I felt as though Houston would be the best choice for me. Since moving to Houston I've had way more positive experiences then negative ones. I'll just give pros and cons of the city.

Cons:
1.Traffic- I actually didn't have that much of a problem with traffic when I first moved but I've notice traffic volume has gotten worst due to what I assume is more and more people moving to the city. After spending some time in D.C. and loving public transportation(even though I like driving)coming back to Houston made me hate the traffic even more.

2. The ILLUSION of a lack of scenery- Look,I've been to many beautiful places in this country my favorite good looking city based off of scenery alone would be San Francisco. D.C., I fell in love with the architecture and the whole feel of the city(mostly due to the fact i'm huge on history and the city just embodies that) However, I don't live everyday in Houston wishing and hoping that Houston looks like those cities. I feel that Houston has alot of beautiful looking areas, more then most people realize. It's alot of charm in Houston. The Illusion of a lack of scenery is the fact that the freeways/main roads cut through some of the ugliest blandest parts of Houston. So to me it makes seem as though Houston is full of blandness when it's the total opposite. The area in between Greenspoint and right before you get to 610 on 45 isn't the most attractive. And that cut's right through hoods on the Northside. But I would get lost on purpose through the city and end up in some beautiful charismatic areas even outside the loop that didn't come off as a typical sub-division.

3.Lack of marketing/Tourism- More then likely I probably would avoid tourist traps because most tourist destinations in the U.S. most locals tend to avoid anyway. But it would be nice if Houston markets it's attractions much better. Ex: I just found out about Bayou Bend by accidently browsing the MFAH web-site. I don't hear many people talk about it as well when it comes to attractions. Maybe i'm one of the few people that find this place fascinating. This is one of many places that Houston actually has that should get more recognition to draw more tourist to the city.

4. Not Pedestrian friendly in most areas- I've been taking alot of pictures in the city. Some of the most unique areas are not as pedestrian friendly as other cities I've been to. It would be progressive if they made these area's a little more walk able.

PROS:
1. Food- Like others have said, bar none Houston has some of the best food in the United states. And eating out is pretty much a religion in this city. I think you have to be in cities like Houston or New Orleans to understand what i'm saying. The social atmosphere eating out is on a different experience down here then most cities I've been to. But maybe because i'm around alot of foodies.

2.Social scene-Alot of people on here have said Houston doesn't have much of a night life or social scene. I say otherwise. I've been to alot of cities in this country and Houston is top notch to me and very underrated in this category. Maybe because i'm black and Houston might have more to offer in that sense even though I see tons of other races/ethnicity out all the time in Houston. Trust me there's always something to do in Houston. Monday to Sunday. I've lived or been in cities where you wait till Friday for the party to get started. And that's only on a Friday and Saturday. I've made alot of progressive connections living in Houston. I've rubbed shoulders with people I never thought I would be in a position to meet since I've been here. I've also put together events and had a good turn out to add to the social atmosphere of the city. I seriously don't see how people can say it's dead when I always see people out having a good time. Not to mention most people don't think about party scenes in other cities while there out having fun.

3. Neighborhoods in the inner loop- I like the fact that it's so many different vibes within the inner loop. Alot of people say that Houston is bland with no charm but I beg to differ. Hoods like the Heights, Midtown, Upper Kirby,Montrose, 3rd Ward, River Oaks, 5th Ward have there own vibes and all have activity going on daily. I mean all those areas I named you could not compare them at all. 3rd Ward and 5th ward are worlds apart and I know most people on this forum are not even aware of the vibes of those areas.

4. People- Houstonians have alot of character. I've meet alot of cool people both natives and transplants. Meet people from all over the globe and have been exposed to many different cultures thanks to Houston's diverse population.

5.Proximity to unique areas- Alot of people might not like the beaches on Galveston. But Galveston in itself is a nice getaway and it's no other city quite like Galveston in Texas. It has a vibe somewhat like New Orleans,Savannah,Charleston. And the fact it does have beaches and nice hotels,great food,culture and theme parks. I also like the Woodlands area and see it as an up and coming area in the Houston metropolitan area.

6. Shopping- For the wardrobe I like I think Houston is on top 5 or 10 list.

There you have it, the pros outweigh the cons for me. I plan on living here for a long time and raising a family here. I only would consider living in 2 other places in this country over Houston. And even then that's if I had enough money to have residence in 2 places, that one place being Houston.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Pearland, TX
3,335 posts, read 4,263,870 times
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I base my statements primarily on a cost basis of fuel, housing, land, groceries, clothing, state tax and ammunition.

Ronnie
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
10,007 posts, read 9,066,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H'ton View Post
Additionally, the state of Texas has HIGHER property taxes, sales taxes, and utility fees (water, electricity, etc. ) comparaitively speaking. Also, we have a weak public transportation system so personal transportation costs are typicall more expensive.
That's what I call hidden costs, people don't see them until they are here.
Add to that, all the toll roads that we have, the other option is to be stuck in traffic for God knows how many hours.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Pearland, TX
3,335 posts, read 4,263,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopo View Post
That's what I call hidden costs, people don't see them until they are here.
Add to that, all the toll roads that we have, the other option is to be stuck in traffic for God knows how many hours.
I hear ya, but if you ball it up in twine, it's still cheaper living here than in every city I've lived in including Boston, Detroit, Phoenix, LA, Denver and Chicago.

Ronnie
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:23 PM
 
29 posts, read 32,067 times
Reputation: 33
Redlionjr I really really liked your post. Wanted to drive to Houston after I read it. I never been to any part of Texas but planning on moving to Houston this August from Chicago. Can you recommend any areas to live it. I was thinking about the woodlands area what do you think? I'm in my early thirties single black female with no kids. A lot of ppl on this forum always say don't move to Texas without a job. I think since I'm a nurse it would'nt be to hard to find a job. I am move concern with housing. Any suggestions? any editional info you can give would be great far as the dating scenes....
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
6,939 posts, read 7,013,981 times
Reputation: 7673
Quote:
Originally Posted by unsure soul View Post
Redlionjr I really really liked your post. Wanted to drive to Houston after I read it. I never been to any part of Texas but planning on moving to Houston this August from Chicago. Can you recommend any areas to live it. I was thinking about the woodlands area what do you think? I'm in my early thirties single black female with no kids. A lot of ppl on this forum always say don't move to Texas without a job. I think since I'm a nurse it would'nt be to hard to find a job. I am move concern with housing. Any suggestions? any editional info you can give would be great far as the dating scenes....
The Woodlands is nice - but not exactly a hot singles area. It also could be 90 minutes one way from where you work.

Houston is huge. The plan is always line up the job first, then find the place to live. If you worked in The Medical Center, you could live in Midtown and be near lots of singles.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:37 PM
 
29 posts, read 32,067 times
Reputation: 33
Thanks for your advice cheryjohns. I have to plan a little better. 90 mins does'nt work for me.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:41 PM
Status: "52 days till college football" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Houston, Tx
7,085 posts, read 3,805,714 times
Reputation: 6962
Quote:
Originally Posted by unsure soul View Post
Redlionjr I really really liked your post. Wanted to drive to Houston after I read it. I never been to any part of Texas but planning on moving to Houston this August from Chicago. Can you recommend any areas to live it. I was thinking about the woodlands area what do you think? I'm in my early thirties single black female with no kids. A lot of ppl on this forum always say don't move to Texas without a job. I think since I'm a nurse it would'nt be to hard to find a job. I am move concern with housing. Any suggestions? any editional info you can give would be great far as the dating scenes....
Unless you're married with kids don't move to the woodlands. And unless you have a job already lined up, I wouldn't move here, unless you have family you can stay with until you get on your feet.
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