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Old 12-01-2008, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Surface of the Sun, AZ
91 posts, read 283,620 times
Reputation: 38

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Hello All!

How do Houston and Phoenix compare to eachother?

I currently live in Phoenix, AZ and I am considering moving to Houston sometime in the next year. I am so tired of the hot, dry, brown, dusty Phoenix. Phoenix is just endless scrub brush, strip malls, chain restaurants and cookie cutter subdivisions.

I am considering moving to Houston because I am in the Hospitality industry and from what I've been able to research, Houston seems to have a good Hospitality industry, a growing economy, and a relatively low cost of living. It also seems like the city has some beautiful areas, with lots of classic southern, french and creole inspired architecture. The beach is also relatively close in Galveston, is it not? So a few questions;
1. People have said that the city smells bad? Is this true? and are there areas that it doesnt?
2. Cockroaches! I've heard horror stories about giant flying roaches there? How bad is it? And can you spray for them?
3. The beach is crappy...How nice is the beach in Galveston? Can you swim in the water or is it too polluted?
4. Killer humidity...Obviously it's more humid than Phoenix, just about every place is, but is the humidity comparable to like Florida in the Summer or is it worse?
5. What are some nice/safe areas for a SWF to live that are near shopping, dining, nightlife that I can find a 1 bed apt for under $800.
6. Safety is a huge concern, but if possible, I'd like to be close to the action, (wherever that may be), in a more historic or established neighborhood. Does such a place exsist?
7. Houston doesn't seem much like the rest of Texas, it seems like the city vibe is almost a cross between Washington D.C. and New Orleans...much more international and metropolitan than some other areas in Texas?

I did have a chance to look at the picture threads for Houston and the surrounding areas. You have a beautiful city! I can't wait to see what its like in person, and hopefully sometime within the next year, make a move there! Thank you all again for your advice!
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,342 posts, read 8,994,580 times
Reputation: 3403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel127 View Post
1. People have said that the city smells bad? Is this true? and are there areas that it doesnt?
2. Cockroaches! I've heard horror stories about giant flying roaches there? How bad is it? And can you spray for them?
3. The beach is crappy...How nice is the beach in Galveston? Can you swim in the water or is it too polluted?
4. Killer humidity...Obviously it's more humid than Phoenix, just about every place is, but is the humidity comparable to like Florida in the Summer or is it worse?
5. What are some nice/safe areas for a SWF to live that are near shopping, dining, nightlife that I can find a 1 bed apt for under $800.
6. Safety is a huge concern, but if possible, I'd like to be close to the action, (wherever that may be), in a more historic or established neighborhood. Does such a place exsist?
7. Houston doesn't seem much like the rest of Texas, it seems like the city vibe is almost a cross between Washington D.C. and New Orleans...much more international and metropolitan than some other areas in Texas?
1. Only smells bad sometimes in the eastern suburbs where there is a lot of industry (Channelview, Pasadena, Baytown). Sometimes it floats over to other areas on the eastern side. You probably won't be living in any of these areas however. In general Houston does not "smell" and this is a misconception.

2. Roaches seem to be more prevalent in areas with lots of tall trees (such as the Woodlands and other areas in the piney forest). I lived in Memorial (which does have a lot of trees) and only saw a few tree roaches. I've never seen any where I live now (a newer area with few large trees).

3. The beach is not crappy. But it's not Florida or the Caribbean either. The water is brownish because of silt, not pollution. Another misconception about Galveston. See some pictures for yourself here
Galveston Beach pictures

4. Humidity is similar to Florida probably.

5. Desirable areas to live for singles include Midtown, Montrose/Museum District, West University, the Heights, Washington Ave area, Galleria area and around Memorial Park. As far as the rent, I'm not sure what those areas run. Locate an apartment finder to help you.

6. There are many historic/established neighborhoods. Some that come to mind are West University, the Heights, River Oaks area.

7. Yes, Houston is very international compared to the rest of Texas. The only other place that comes remotely close is Dallas, which doesn't have two Chinatowns or rank 3rd in the country in foreign consulates like Houston does.

Hope this helps some...
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: 77059
7,731 posts, read 18,242,036 times
Reputation: 3779
A few things:

2. Roaches can be dowright huge, and they can also fly, but it's not like the city is infested with them. In my house I get a big one about 1x or 2x / year from May-October, esp when it's dry.

3. Galveston pix above were pre-Ike. They were also taken on clear, sunny days. You can get some good pix of Galveston on such days with some basic photography skills, when the blue sky reflects off the Ovaltine-brown water. Otherwise the beach is ok. The TX coast is pretty blah IMO, and the charm of Galveston is not its beaches.

4. Humidity is like Florida, and then add 5-10 degrees of heat in the summer. To the people who say our climate is just like Florida or "the south" it's true except they forgot to mention the heat is more extreme. Mid-upper 90s are very common for July & Aug, as is a heat index of 110. But actual temps rarely get above the low 100s. And at 10pm, 85 with a heat index of 95 is also common.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
788 posts, read 1,732,345 times
Reputation: 595
Smile I moved from Phoenix to Houston

Boy this is right up my alley. I moved from Phoenix about 1 year ago after living in the Phoenix area for 11 years. I lived in Surprise, Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe over the 11 years that I lived there.

I searched all over the Country looking at all the metro areas. I was tired of living in the desert and Our home in Surprise lost half of its value in 2 years. The economy in Phoenix was only going to get worse.


I will say that Houston is much better than Phoenix the City the area and everything. Here it is so green with woods the bayou and a beach nearby. The City of Houston is sooo!! much bigger than Phoenix with towers and freeways everywhere. this is a much more bustling place than Phoenix.

I would love to chat with you about this. I could go on for hours about how glad I am that I moved from Phoenix to Houston.

The beach in Galveston is a good beach. Yes the water is not clear but it looks like any beach. The waves are nice and the water is warm. Great for swimming.

It is humid here but even with the heat and humidity it is no where near as hot as Phoenix in the summer. It is also just as warm in the winter.

You have got to come here and see. Housing is so affordable, there is so much to do and you can really live here.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Houston
780 posts, read 1,470,388 times
Reputation: 621
Come on down! I was there just for the whole summer in Phoenix. Whew! I survived that one, too.

But the final conclusion was: will Phoenix ever be sustainable with very limited water? I packed up and moved back home.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Surface of the Sun, AZ
91 posts, read 283,620 times
Reputation: 38
Thank you all for the postive responses! But I know there are more former Phoenicians out there in Houston, where's your 2 cents! Lol!
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Waco Texas
7 posts, read 13,617 times
Reputation: 10
We have the big Roaches here in Waco Tx, wherever you have sewers you'll have them, they live and breed in there, what makes them come out is the heat, May-October. Bleach in the drain keeps them at bay.
A large fly swatter won't hurt.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,424 posts, read 13,595,020 times
Reputation: 4819
You simply can't compare Houston to Phoenix they are both so completely opposite.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,424 posts, read 13,595,020 times
Reputation: 4819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel127 View Post
1. People have said that the city smells bad? Is this true? and are there areas that it doesnt?
2. Cockroaches! I've heard horror stories about giant flying roaches there? How bad is it? And can you spray for them?
3. The beach is crappy...How nice is the beach in Galveston? Can you swim in the water or is it too polluted?
4. Killer humidity...Obviously it's more humid than Phoenix, just about every place is, but is the humidity comparable to like Florida in the Summer or is it worse?
5. What are some nice/safe areas for a SWF to live that are near shopping, dining, nightlife that I can find a 1 bed apt for under $800.
6. Safety is a huge concern, but if possible, I'd like to be close to the action, (wherever that may be), in a more historic or established neighborhood. Does such a place exsist?
7. Houston doesn't seem much like the rest of Texas, it seems like the city vibe is almost a cross between Washington D.C. and New Orleans...much more international and metropolitan than some other areas in Texas
1. People have said that the city smells bad? Is this true? and are there areas that it doesnt?

That is a myth. Houston does not smell bad. There are certain areas around the suburbs of Baytown, Texas City, & Pasadena (far East/Southeast Houston) that may have an odor of burning sulphur due to all the chemical plants.

2. Cockroaches! I've heard horror stories about giant flying roaches there? How bad is it? And can you spray for them?

Actually they're not cockroaches, they're called water bugs & yes you can spray for them. They're even common here in Tyler, which is a good 3 hours north of Houston.

3. The beach is crappy...How nice is the beach in Galveston? Can you swim in the water or is it too polluted?

You can't do anything there now. Galveston is still recovering from the hurricane.

4. Killer humidity...Obviously it's more humid than Phoenix, just about every place is, but is the humidity comparable to like Florida in the Summer or is it worse?

Houston's humidity is comparable to any other city near the warm waters of the Gulf.
New Orleans, Atlanta, & Miami all come to mind.

5. What are some nice/safe areas for a SWF to live that are near shopping, dining, nightlife that I can find a 1 bed apt for under $800.

Inside the 610 loop is an option if you don't mind a smaller apartment. See below

6. Safety is a huge concern, but if possible, I'd like to be close to the action, (wherever that may be), in a more historic or established neighborhood. Does such a place exsist?

The Heights

7. Houston doesn't seem much like the rest of Texas, it seems like the city vibe is almost a cross between Washington D.C. and New Orleans...much more international and metropolitan than some other areas in Texas?

I've always said & felt Houston is a cross breed of Los Angeles, New Orleans, & Atlanta. Houston is the most international & cosmopolitan city in the South. Dallas is the most metropolitan city in the South.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Southeast Texas
564 posts, read 1,325,875 times
Reputation: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
A few things:

2. Roaches can be dowright huge, and they can also fly, but it's not like the city is infested with them. In my house I get a big one about 1x or 2x / year from May-October, esp when it's dry.

3. Galveston pix above were pre-Ike. They were also taken on clear, sunny days. You can get some good pix of Galveston on such days with some basic photography skills, when the blue sky reflects off the Ovaltine-brown water. Otherwise the beach is ok. The TX coast is pretty blah IMO, and the charm of Galveston is not its beaches.

4. Humidity is like Florida, and then add 5-10 degrees of heat in the summer. To the people who say our climate is just like Florida or "the south" it's true except they forgot to mention the heat is more extreme. Mid-upper 90s are very common for July & Aug, as is a heat index of 110. But actual temps rarely get above the low 100s. And at 10pm, 85 with a heat index of 95 is also common.

I'd say it's actually pretty close to north Florida, especially from about Gainesville to about Pensacola. The heat indecies are usually about 5-8 degrees lower than Phoenix but it's still in the low 100s much of the time during the day with the middle 100s being a constant at times in July and August. Heat waves will bring the indecies to 110 or so for a handful of days in late July to late August.
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