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Old 04-12-2015, 10:50 PM
 
12 posts, read 12,452 times
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I have been perusing these forums to get some insight into the Houston life and decided to just create an account and post on my own. I've been looking to get out of the Los Angeles area to another city for quite some time and finally received a job offer in Houston. Does anyone think this is crazy and that I would be making a huge mistake? I am a young professional--nothing tying me down here really (i.e. no kids or long-term relationship keeping me here). I enjoy big-city life but am tired of LA in particular. I know the weather will be a huge adjustment and also being quite far from the beach. I thought that the cost of living would be considerably less in Houston, but after doing some research that doesn't seem like it's really the case. This bothers me since I would be taking a pay cut for my job. Since I am still young, I am still into the bar scene and nightlife seems accessible in Houston so I'm not too concerned about that. But I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and running, but Houston's weather and flat topography seem like obstacles for such things. I also enjoy art and checking out different music scenes and watching sporting events; I don't think any of these would be difficult to find in Houston. Traffic seems comparable, which is unfortunate. I really wanted to live somewhere with a good public transportation system. I've heard the public transportation system in Houston is only effective in some areas. Anyone move to Houston from LA or Southern California in general? Got any opinions?
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Old 04-13-2015, 12:03 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
1,286 posts, read 2,742,237 times
Reputation: 1130
How significant is the pay increase ? Houston is a pretty solid place but if you're young and moving a good distance you wanna make sure you're prepared. Rent is high in areas of Houston where young professionals live. That's really the biggest surprise you may be in for. You def don't wanna make a move and wonder why you're there if your income is similar.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Lake George, CO
371 posts, read 465,263 times
Reputation: 378
Are there any other cities that you can relocate to? I am known to not be a Houston (or Texas) lover on this forum, but it really does not sound like a move here would be in your best interest. Trying to look out for someone young and wanting to make a change is all- I wish I would not have relocated back here. I am into the outdoors and hiking- and I have put 50K miles on my car in just a little over a year and a half just to go do anything away from Houston.

Cost of living here is not as cheap as people make it out to be (especially IN Houston). If you are taking a pay cut (especially a larger one.) I do not see it being as beneficial.

I do love Houston's sports- the professional sports games are fun to watch and do not have to worry about the gross humidity and heat- they just keep roof closed if it is too bad!

There are some good artsy things here- it may not be one of the top in the arts- but Houston is not a slouch in that department either.

Yes, traffic is really bad. May not be as bad as LA- but still very aggravating. The public transportation- from what I have heard- is not really that great at all.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Non Extradition Country
2,165 posts, read 3,207,030 times
Reputation: 2252
If you like hiking and want good public transportation then houston is not a good fit at all, far from it.

I'd look toward Austin/San Antonio. More 'hill country' there and public transportation seems to be better.

I think fourfiftyfour pretty much said it.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:39 AM
 
121 posts, read 194,229 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnifik View Post
I have been perusing these forums to get some insight into the Houston life and decided to just create an account and post on my own. I've been looking to get out of the Los Angeles area to another city for quite some time and finally received a job offer in Houston. Does anyone think this is crazy and that I would be making a huge mistake? I am a young professional--nothing tying me down here really (i.e. no kids or long-term relationship keeping me here). I enjoy big-city life but am tired of LA in particular. I know the weather will be a huge adjustment and also being quite far from the beach. I thought that the cost of living would be considerably less in Houston, but after doing some research that doesn't seem like it's really the case. This bothers me since I would be taking a pay cut for my job. Since I am still young, I am still into the bar scene and nightlife seems accessible in Houston so I'm not too concerned about that. But I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and running, but Houston's weather and flat topography seem like obstacles for such things. I also enjoy art and checking out different music scenes and watching sporting events; I don't think any of these would be difficult to find in Houston. Traffic seems comparable, which is unfortunate. I really wanted to live somewhere with a good public transportation system. I've heard the public transportation system in Houston is only effective in some areas. Anyone move to Houston from LA or Southern California in general? Got any opinions?

3 questions so I can get a better picture (I used to live in California as well):

1) What is your professional field
2) How much do you make in LA and how much will you make in Houston?
3) What is the outlook in your field?
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:40 AM
 
8,531 posts, read 5,023,974 times
Reputation: 18191
Houston is considerably lower in cost of living than L.A., CA:

Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

Los Angeles CA COL is 163.5. Houston COL is 98.5.

The COL sites aren't always correct, and they contradict each other sometimes. But this is such a wide difference that I think it's probably correct.

Can you get a decent home in L.A. for $250k or $300k? You can in Houston. Of course, if you don't buy a home, that doesn't matter. But rent would be cheaper in Houston, too.

I think people move to Houston to prosper, not to inrease their quality of life. Here's a tidbit of info: The Texas Triangle is now and going to be the biggest economic growth in the country in the coming decade. The Texas Triangle is the triangle from Dallas down to Houston, across to Austin and San Antonio, then back up to Dallas.

Headquarters of MANY large corporations are in Dallas and Houston.

So while your salary will decrease, your standard of living may well go up. Of course, the ideal thing is to make big bucks somewhre else, then move down to Houston or elsewhere where the cost of living is lower, so your retirement funds will last longer.

But I don't hear of people moving to L.A. to make big bucks and have huge savings, because the COL is so high there.

Last edited by Yac; 11-17-2020 at 03:03 AM..
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:12 AM
 
34,648 posts, read 18,249,749 times
Reputation: 22157
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnifik View Post
I thought that the cost of living would be considerably less in Houston, but after doing some research that doesn't seem like it's really the case.
According to Zillow, the median home price in LA is $200k more than Houston.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:25 AM
 
9 posts, read 11,028 times
Reputation: 28
You don't really say what it is that you don't like about Los Angeles that is motivating you to consider moving, so it's a bit hard to say if Houston could compensate for the deficiencies you perceive in LA (except maybe wanting good public transportation - which Houston does NOT have).

You said you did some research on costs. Did you take into account that Texas has no state income tax? Compared to a high-tax state like California, this might make up a lot of the difference in the paycut (it might even be a reason for the pay difference), though every person's financial situation is different. (Yes, property taxes in Texas tend to be higher compared to many states - though not as high as most of California. But this affects homebuyers more than renters, even though of course property taxes are baked into the rents no matter where you are located).

Also, be sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to COL. A "one-bedroom apartment" going for the same rent in LA and Houston might be much nicer and better located in Houston. Compare the cost of auto insurance not in general, but for your car. The cost of gasoline is almost certain to be lower in Texas than California.

On the other hand, your utilities will likely be higher because in Houston, that AC is going to be running non-stop for most of the year.

There's also the future. Maybe one day you might want to buy a house, this will be much cheaper in Houston than LA, both in absolute dollars and how much you get for your buck.

Even with all this, it does sound like you are more interested in getting out of Los Angeles - rather than interested in moving to Houston (not necessarily the same thing). That you would never have considered Houston at all except for the job offer. Perhaps other places might be a better fit. I say this kindly, not critically - different strokes for different folks.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:37 AM
 
12 posts, read 12,452 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfer View Post
3 questions so I can get a better picture (I used to live in California as well):

1) What is your professional field
2) How much do you make in LA and how much will you make in Houston?
3) What is the outlook in your field?
Thanks everyone for your insight!
I am working in the space industry (NASA) where the outlook is never really certain. I know that it's located some distance from the loop or whatever, but living in the suburbs closer to work would not be ideal for me. Looking at places in neighborhoods like Midtown and Montrose (which is what I've heard the most suggestions for as a young person), the rent is ~$1200-1400 for a single apt. This is comparable to where I currently live which led me to think the cost of living isn't that much lower in Houston though the fact that there is no state income tax is sweet. It's true that I'm more interested in leaving LA rather than living in Houston. Right now it doesn't seem like it's truly what I'm looking for. I've applied elsewhere to companies in Seattle & St. Louis as well, but I haven't received any offers. I just didn't want to pass up the opportunity of moving to Houston if it would have been a great fit.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:48 AM
 
121 posts, read 194,229 times
Reputation: 135
As a single person, and a renter, you probably won't see too much of a difference in COL, especially since you'll be taking a pay cut. If you get married and want to have a family then Houston is the better option. Here you have tons of options for housing at a much lower price than LA. You'll pay more in property taxes and electricity but it'll still be more affordable for similar housing.
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