The purpose of this article is to provide an unbiased assessment of the area for your relocation consideration. If big city life is what you desire then Houston, Texas is the place to be! It boasts a population of over two million people!
Largely dependent on the energy and chemical industries to fuel its economy in the past they learned from the experience. The 2008 recession that hit the rest of the country hard economically was largely avoided. This phenomenon was largely due to smart planning and the realization by the city that putting all their eggs in one basket made it particularly vulnerable to economic downturns.
The city diversified by branching out to refining and chemicals manufacturing. Houston is a world leader in the chemical industry today and is a key production center for derivatives and specialty chemicals. Other key components to Houstonís current economy are financial services, insurance and real estate sectors as well as an international agribusiness center specializing in marketing, processing, packaging and distribution of agricultural commodities. Computer software, electronics, engineering and nanotechnology share in the stabilizing effects with agribusiness and financial services on its past energy based economy.
Houston balanced its economy by presenting incentive programs to new and existing companies to attract new businesses. Local programs consist of Economic development tax abatement's to encourage investment and job creation. Texas takes an active role to ensure the health of the entire stateís economy by offering state programs to bring new business into the Lone Star State as well.
If you are relocating for employment opportunities the Texas Workforce Commission reports that the largest job growth will be in the computer systems design, architectural and engineering, arts, entertainment and recreation, employment services as well as education, healthcare and social assistance. These will be followed by the service industry, professional occupations then management, business and financial occupations, construction and extraction occupations. The slowest growing sector is expected in the farming, fishing and forestry occupations.
The Port of Houston ranks sixth largest in the world. Itís a twenty five mile long complex served by the port authority and more than one hundred fifty private industrial companies. Two major railroads and one hundred fifty trucking lines connect the port to the rest of the country.
Pros of moving or living in the Houston area:
1) Residents pay no state or local income tax.
2) The average house price is approx. $ 186,722.
3) There is a state sales tax but food and prescription drugs are exempt.
4) Jobs are plentiful in almost all sectors.
5) The city lies near the Gulf of Mexico with intricate networks of canals and bayous as well as a great coastline.
6) Winter temperatures are very mild with an average temperature of 69 degrees, although an occasional freeze is possible.
Cons of moving or living in the Houston area:
1) The crime rate is higher than average for most cities in the U.S. the national average is 319 and Houston ranks at 539. (Assaults, burglary and auto theft being the highest types of crime.)
2) As with any city traffic is a problem, although in all fairness, the city has been working to alleviate the bulk of the trouble spots and will continue to do so.
3) Summers are humid and the heat can be brutal with temperatures consistently near 100 degrees.
4) Severe weather, particularly hurricanes, can impact the area significantly and it has been hit directly twice in the past 40 years. (In 1983 Hurricane Aliciaís eye passed directly over the downtown area.)
Consider carefully the pros and cons of the Houston area before making the move to the big city area. Often it is easier to get settled somewhere new than to leave if you are not satisfied. It takes time to get a new job, recover savings you might have dipped into to make the move and time to find a suitable relocation destination. When first moving to a new area or location, get acquainted with the area before making a housing purchase. I would also advise to rent a home before buying. It is much easier to get out of a lease than to sell a home if you are not satisfied with the neighborhood or schools in the area.
I hope this helps anyone who is considering Houston as a relocation destination. For work or retirement Houston has much to offer but like any city has its share of imperfections to consider. No place is perfect and it would be unreasonable to expect it to be but if you know what to expect you can make the best decision for your family.