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Thread summary:

Moving to Texas: Houston, city living, rent a house, apartment, traffic.

 
 
Old 10-27-2008, 03:14 AM
 
Location: New York (Long Island, Port Washington)
4 posts, read 12,123 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi Everyone,

A few weeks ago I posted on these forums about potentially moving from NYC to NC (just to do it, because I had a flexible position with work at the time). However, plans have changed and I am now being asked to move to Houston by my employer within the next 8 weeks.

About me: I am 22 years old and I've pretty much lived in NYC and subsequently Long Island (Manhasset/Port Washington) my entire life. Although I travel a ton, I haven't experienced living outside of the Metro Area. I am a New Yorker at heart, so I picture myself returning to NY down the road, but for now work is taking me to Texas . So I come to you, the experts, for some much needed advice .

What I am looking for: Well, because I am pretty comfortable in the city setting, I'd ideally like to live "in" the city as opposed to in the suburbs (unless I'm convinced otherwise by you friendly people here on the board that the suburbs might better fit my requirements). Either that, or a nice suburb area with some life of its own with a super easy commute to the best nightlife Houston has to offer. I'm hoping to RENT an apartment or house (to see if I like the area before buying a condo/house).

Neighborhood: I'm looking for a NICE area (nice meaning safe, not slummy, etc.), with a sizeable young crowd, great restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene. I thoroughly thoroughly enjoy meeting new people, and having a good time. I do not want to rent an apartment in a "dorm" type building, but young professionals/college students in the area is a perfect fit for me. I'm only 22, I still like to go out and have a good time with them .

Apartment Specs: I'm looking for something that's 2 3 bedrooms, as I'd convert one of them into a home office. 1,000+ sq ft is a must.

Budget: Up to around $2,500.00/month, although less for something nice would be fantastic . I'd probably try to rent something for ~6 months, and if I liked the area, I'd buy.

Commute: Since I hear the traffic is horrendous in Houston (wonder if you guys have been to NYC lately? ), I guess this is pretty relevant - I need to drive to/get to 11251 Northwest Fwy daily.

So where should I start looking? General opinions on Houston are welcome as well--thank you all in advance for your help!
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:14 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,399,722 times
Reputation: 1891
Mid-town, Montrose, Rice Military Districts (in that order) would be my suggestions.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:57 AM
 
619 posts, read 1,181,408 times
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I agree with above, and for $2,500 a month you can pretty much rent anything you want and have money left over.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:43 AM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker;)
4,085 posts, read 8,575,677 times
Reputation: 1859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
Mid-town, Montrose, Rice Military Districts (in that order) would be my suggestions.
Thirded.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:12 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,252 times
Reputation: 16
Although I'm not quite in your age bracket (early 30's here), I was born & raised on LI (Northport and Port Washington), lived in NYC for 10+ years and just moved to Houston in August. I was reluctant to move (did it for my husband's job), and vowed I'd move back to NYC in a year. But lo and behold, I really love it here and am not sure I'll ever go back north.

Anyway, the regulars on these boards will be much better at giving you specific neighborhoods to look at than I will, but I thought I'd share some things I learned from our very exhaustive search for housing here.

1) Living 'in the city' here means something very different than it does in NYC. I came here determined to live 'in the city', which to me meant somewhere amid the buildings that make up the Houston skyline. To me city = skyscrapers. Not so much. Here it seems the "city" is anything that sits inside the 610 loop (known as "the loop"). The area amid the skyscrapers is referred to as downtown and is primarily where people work, but not where people really live.

2) Decide what type of housing you want to be in if you can. Do you want to live in a townhouse, mid-rise, high-rise, loft apartment? Do want lots of amenities? There are a variety of housing options here - especially within your budget - and knowing what type of thing you want will help narrow the search. My husband and I knew we wanted to continue to live in a high rise, similar to what we were coming from in NYC. Knowing that made our search a lot easier. I'm not, of course, discouraging you from looking at lots of different places. But if you know for sure that an apartment building that is only 3 stories high won't work for you, or that you need to have a doorman (called the concierge here) you can rule certain places out and you'll save time.

3) Live relatively close to where you work. Although the traffic here is nothing like the LIE, and drivers are generally nicer, traffic can still be a nightmare during rush hour.

4) Visit if you can!!! All of the virtual tours and pictures on the internet will not do justice to what Houston is really like. After months of internet research we made a visit here, and it changed everything I thought about the neighborhoods I wanted to live in and what it really meant to live in Houston. So if it's possible, visit.

5) Don't let any annoying NYers get you down when they say in a disparaging tone, "You're moving to Houston? Why?' People seem to have this very unrealistic (at least from my standpoint) idea that Houston is some hell hole with nothing going for it. Not true! In my limited experience I've found Houston to have great food, great people, nice weather (except for August!) and TONS to do.

I think the best advice I can give is to try not to compare NY and Houston. They're not the same. And to me, one is not better than the other. They both have plenty to offer. So if you can avoid thinking in terms of comparing the cities, it's my experience that the transition will be easier.

Best of luck in your search! Welcome to Houston.

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Old 10-27-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
898 posts, read 1,946,864 times
Reputation: 754
Try the Heights, too. It's a beautiful old neighborhood with a lot of college-educated young people, not far from Mid-Town and Downtown where the social action is set, and most importantly about half-way to your job in the right direction. Houston, while not NYC, does have some pretty awful traffic density to the NW. It will help in that you'll do a "reverse commute" against traffic.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Houston
202 posts, read 551,647 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post

1) Living 'in the city' here means something very different than it does in NYC. I came here determined to live 'in the city', which to me meant somewhere amid the buildings that make up the Houston skyline. To me city = skyscrapers. Not so much. Here it seems the "city" is anything that sits inside the 610 loop (known as "the loop"). The area amid the skyscrapers is referred to as downtown and is primarily where people work, but not where people really live.

Very true. I know people who have moved from NYC to the midtown areas mentioned by other posters and were just not happy. They spent time comparing the "city-ness" of Houston to NY. Every place has something unique to offer but living downtown in Houston may leave you disappointed. Take Houston for what it is and hopefully you will enjoy your time here.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:17 PM
 
Location: houston/sugarland
734 posts, read 479,350 times
Reputation: 174
Houston does not have a cityness feel to it at all... its very similar to LA except less populated.

No matter where you live there wont be a feeling of "being in the center of all the nightlife and such"
your always going to have to drive somewhere. Houston is very unwalkable so a highrise might sound like a great idea but you can save a significant amount of money living in an apartment complex in the loop; however you will still need a car to get to work; nightlife; dining etc.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:09 PM
 
Location: New York (Long Island, Port Washington)
4 posts, read 12,123 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you everyone for all of the responses so far .

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post
I was born & raised on LI (Northport and Port Washington), lived in NYC for 10+ years and just moved to Houston in August.
Oh wow, so we're definitely in a similar situation here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post
1) Living 'in the city' here means something very different than it does in NYC.
That's a good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post
3) Live relatively close to where you work. Although the traffic here is nothing like the LIE, and drivers are generally nicer, traffic can still be a nightmare during rush hour.
Gotta love the LIE .

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post
4) Visit if you can!!!
Absolutely. I was actually there around this time last year, and will probably spend a weekend down there soon looking around. I know a handful of people living in the area/just outside Houston, so in addition to getting a better sense of things here on the forums, I will ask them to take me around a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post
5) Don't let any annoying NYers get you down when they say in a disparaging tone, "You're moving to Houston? Why?' People seem to have this very unrealistic (at least from my standpoint) idea that Houston is some hell hole with nothing going for it. Not true! In my limited experience I've found Houston to have great food, great people, nice weather (except for August!) and TONS to do.

I think the best advice I can give is to try not to compare NY and Houston. They're not the same. And to me, one is not better than the other. They both have plenty to offer. So if you can avoid thinking in terms of comparing the cities, it's my experience that the transition will be easier.
Yeah, I will have a good attitude going into this. I am welcoming a change of pace, and the adventure. If I really don't like it, worst case scenario, I could always move back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle107 View Post
Best of luck in your search! Welcome to Houston.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
Mid-town, Montrose, Rice Military Districts (in that order) would be my suggestions.
Thanks a bunch for the suggestions. I just spoke (via email) with a friend of mine who lives outside of Houston and he recommended Mid-town for a young professional in their 20s as well. My biggest initial concern is that Mid-Town might be a bit far from the office. I'll have to find some apartment complexes in Mid-Town, then google maps it .

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamba_boy View Post
Try the Heights, too. It's a beautiful old neighborhood with a lot of college-educated young people, not far from Mid-Town and Downtown where the social action is set, and most importantly about half-way to your job in the right direction.
How does the Heights compare to Mid-Town in terms of overall "safety" of the area? Realistically?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daisybear View Post
Take Houston for what it is and hopefully you will enjoy your time here.
I'll keep that in mind .

Quote:
Originally Posted by EEstudent View Post
your always going to have to drive somewhere. Houston is very unwalkable so a highrise might sound like a great idea but you can save a significant amount of money living in an apartment complex in the loop; however you will still need a car to get to work; nightlife; dining etc.
Fair enough. I certainly don't mind driving . I dislike the heat, so this should be interesting, haha. I went to school up north a couple of years ago(Syracuse) and got used to -30 type weather.

I guess maybe I should focus on finding a safe area with a strong concentration of young people.

Again, thank you everyone for the suggestions. Please keep them coming.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
898 posts, read 1,946,864 times
Reputation: 754
Originally Posted by bamba_boy
Try the Heights, too. It's a beautiful old neighborhood with a lot of college-educated young people, not far from Mid-Town and Downtown where the social action is set, and most importantly about half-way to your job in the right direction.
How does the Heights compare to Mid-Town in terms of overall "safety" of the area? Realistically?

Neither is antiseptically free of crime like say The Woodlands but neither are they dangerous. I work near Mid-Town and have friends in The Heights and I have never felt unsafe or even observered criminal activity, heard of break-ins, etc. Mid-town does seem to have a lot more pan-handling and drunk young people (because of many bars and music clubs compared to The Heights). Just minor stuff.
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